Wednesday, September 17, 2014
     

Comfort and Joy

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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Dutch Meatloaf is easy to make and a perfect weeknight meal. A side of mashed potatoes is another way to enjoy the tasty sauce.

I own an obscene number of cookbooks. Some were very pricey with beautiful, full-color photos that could easily be mistaken for a coffee-table book.

They fill three full shelves on the bookcase in my dining room, as well as two other shelves in my kitchen.

My favorite cookbooks, however, are your standard, everyday, spiral-bound cookbooks created by local churches or organizations trying to raise a few bucks. These books are loaded with great family recipes from local cooks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Crumb Bum Cake

When I was a kid, if my father wanted to speak disparagingly of someone, he called them a "crumb bum."

This was somewhat confusing for me, a small child, because on Sundays after church, we often went to the bakery where he would purchase an entire box of "crumb bums" and eat them, slathered with butter, much to my mother's chagrin.

My mother, "The World's Greatest Cook," hated butter and used it sparingly, if at all.

In regard to the great butter debate, I took after my father; nothing beats butter.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Summertime is the perfect time for Fresh Bruschetta.

Although the essential ingredients are always the same bread, tomatoes, garlic and basil there are probably as many recipes for bruschetta as there are cooks who create it.

With an abundance of red, ripe tomatoes at our fingertips this time of year, there's no better time to treat yourself.

I had a lovely version on Sunday while visiting with a friend and her family. Fresh ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and lots of garlic.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS A batch of Sweet Zucchini Relish may take a little while to make, but it's worth the effort.

I don't know what it is with zucchini, but I've yet to come across someone who complains that the vegetable doesn't grow well for them.

Instead, they can usually be seen most of the summer lugging a half dozen wherever they go, trying to foist them off on friends and co-workers without a garden of their own.

When we had our first garden in the Garden State no less we had more zucchini than we could ever hope to give away. I made zucchini bread, zucchini soup, zucchini with eggs I was getting pretty sick of zucchini to be honest.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
@$:KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Pork Roast with Apple Jelly Glaze

For this week's recipe I have to give a nod to Times News reporter Amy Miller.

A few years ago I made a couple batches of apple jelly. One batch didn't want to jell and remained rather runny. I had the option of reprocessing it, but after all that work, I really didn't want to bother.

It tasted fine delicious in fact and other than running out the sides of my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, it was good jelly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Roasted Garlic Onion Jam Pizza

Whenever we go to Maine I usually make a pilgrimage to a number of favorite places, such as the Portland Head Light (my favorite place) and L.L. Bean's in Freeport.

I also make an annual pilgrimage to the Old Port in downtown Portland, where I always visit the Stonewall Kitchen Company Store.

I make a lot of my own jams and jellies, but there are some that they offer that I just can't reproduce.

They also have delicious salsas and sauces, not to mention a host of kitchen and cooking-related items.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS  This Turkey BBQ is packed with flavor.

Where I grew up the word "barbecue," as in barbecued beef or barbecued chicken, implied the use of a sweetened, tomato-based sauce, and I was all in.

Fast forward to 1998 when I came to work at the Times News. Each day my friend Debbie and I would take a walk to pick up lunch.

One day, she seemed excited to see that one of the nearby establishments had turkey barbecue on the menu. I'd never had it, but as a barbecue sauce aficionado, I thought I would probably like it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Jim's Homemade Guacamole (with bacon).

When my husband first made his version of guacamole, I was surprised to see that he added bacon.

"That's not guacamole," I insisted.

He likewise insisted it came from a long-ago friend, who was Mexican. Over the years, when we'd eat in a Mexican restaurant, or have guacamole in other places, I would be quick to point out: "See. No bacon."