Wednesday, November 26, 2014
     

Comfort and Joy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Country superstar's new  book an entertaining dream

Things get hectic this time of year. Not only are we looking for gifts, we're also looking for fun, easy ways to entertain.

Because we're so busy, we also want to make simple weeknight meals because other than those marathon cooking days, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, we just don't have time to spend in the kitchen.

I think Martina McBride might have the answer to your problems.

The country singer superstar recently published a beautiful cookbook and entertainment guide that offers an array of recipes for special gatherings and family-friendly options.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Deliciously Decadent Macaroni and Cheese

I've never been one to believe that comfort food has to be rich and fattening to be satisfying. Usually, for me at least, it's all about the memories that food evokes.

I get just as excited about a salad of curly endive dressed with red wine vinegar and lots of garlic as I do about a homemade cavatelli covered in a thick marinara.

But there are days when I want something that will make me feel good, at least when I'm eating it, even though I know the guilt will come soon enough.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Chicken with Pineapple and Vegetables

This recipe is a creation from my husband, with whom I'm happy to share kitchen duties.

Jim enjoys being creative, and here's a simple recipe he came up with earlier this week.

My favorite part is the sweetness from the pineapple.

Serve it on a bed of rice, and it's practically a one-dish meal.

Chicken with Pineapple

and Vegetables

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup flour

Half teaspoon salt

Quarter teaspoon black pepper

Quarter teaspoon garlic powder

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Leftover Hash

It's been a busy week and I did a lot of cooking, but all of it was for recipes I've already shared here, like my homemade meatballs and spaghetti sauce. We also had our annual cookbook judging, so time was pretty short and so was my imagination, not to mention my energy level.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Marta's marvelous meatloaf

My search for the perfect meatloaf continues, and this one is a definite contender.

This recipe comes from Marta Gouger, Times News Editor in Chief, and I have to tell you, my kitchen smelled good before I even got this in the oven!

Although it seems like a lot of ingredients, the recipe went together quickly. It makes two loaves, so a small family could eat one now, and freeze one for later.

This is a recipe I'll be making again. Enjoy!

Marta's Meatloaf

2-and-a-half to 3 pounds ground beef

One-half cup onion, finely chopped

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Chicken a la George's

When my husband turned 40 I surprised him with a trip to Bar Harbor, Maine, and a coupon for all the lobster he could eat.

While Jim seemed to be attempting to break some kind of lobster-eating record (and it wouldn't surprise me if he did), I don't eat seafood, so we needed to find restaurants with a wider variety.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Weeknight Stroganoff

Just about everyone I know who has school-age children is running themselves ragged about now.

If it's not football or hockey practice, it's dance lessons, Scouts, religion classes, youth groups, not to mention homework.

Summer's carefree days are over!

With all the running around, it's hard to find the time to sit down and eat a meal, let alone cook one. Here's an easy weeknight dinner that takes almost no time to prepare and is ready in just a little more than a half-hour (and most of that is the time it needs to simmer).

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Veggie Chili

This week I'm sharing the spotlight with Marlene Urban, who works in our Tamaqua office.

Marlene is sharing her recipe for a delicious chili that includes lots of beans, meat, spices and wait for it cocoa powder! She also shares some fun tips for taming the beast (aka the rabid fan): Good food and plenty of it!

I also have a recipe for chili this week. It's also hearty and flavorful, but unlike Marlene's, this one is vegetarian style.

If you think being a vegetarian means eating nothing but rabbit food, think again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Blue Cheese Dressing

As promised last week, in this week's column I'm sharing a recipe for homemade Blue Cheese Dressing.

Rich and tangy, this salad dressing is super simple to make. Drizzle it over some crisp fresh greens and add a few healthy twists from the pepper mill, and you have yourself a winner.

Want to amp up the flavor a bit? Toss on a few extra crumbs of blue cheese.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

1 pint mayo

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons chopped chives

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Homemade French Salad Dressing is better than anything you can buy in a bottle.

Our "salad days" aren't yet over, so this week and next I'm sharing a couple recipes I adapted from one of my old church cookbooks.

Although I like salad dozens of ways, my favorite is a simple mix of oil and vinegar or lemon juice, and with little more than a pinch of other seasonings.

I simply eyeball it and taste until I like it. It's the way my mother always did it and my kids like it that way as well.