Sunday, December 21, 2014


Wednesday, December 17, 2014
AP Photos/Matthew Mead

Here's my holiday conundrum, and I bet you can relate: I am in charge of this year's holiday meal, which will feature a big standing rib roast.

Everyone in my family wants their meat rare, but I want the outside to be nicely seared. How to have both?

Cooking a big roast at high heat can get you that nice crisp outer crust, but it comes at a price. Cooking a roast at high heat for even part of the time generally means you end up with just a small core of rare meat running down the center of the roast.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
This July 21, 2014 photo shows bacon apple baked pancake in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/MatthewMead)This Dec. 1, 2014, photo shows bacon apple baked pancake in Concord, N.H. The baked pancake was inspired by an upside down cake. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Like Thanksgiving, Christmas is one of those holidays that requires aroma.

On Thanksgiving, we need the house to smell of turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes. On Christmas, we need whiffs of indulgent breakfast items, like cinnamon rolls or a bubbling fruit crisp. Or maybe you prefer hash browns and bacon. Those get the job done nicely, too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

It really is hard to beat freshly baked cookies. Leave aside for a moment the deliciousness of the finished product; the simple act of cooking them makes your whole house smell like heaven.

But who has the time to whip up a batch of cookies every time a guest shows up at your door? Or every time you get a craving? Actually, if you rely on these refrigerator cookies, you do!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Editor's note: To help with last-minute calculations for tomorrow's big day, we're rerunning this article from the Associated Press.

Preparing Thanksgiving dinner is enough of a pressure cooker, never mind having to do on-the-fly math to get it right. Here are all the numbers you need to have a safe, worry-free and delicious Turkey Day dinner.

All serving estimates are generous to allow for plenty of seconds and leftovers.

How big?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hosting Thanksgiving can be a stressful ordeal. So to teach any home chef how to iron out whatever wrinkles occur while making the year's most difficult meal, and to provide some expert advice on holiday favorites, Taste of Home offers 10 easy tips to ensure you're actually grateful it's Thanksgiving:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Admittedly, it sounds like a Halloween trick. Chocolate hummus.

It's either disgusting or just a cruel joke, right? Neither, actually. But when I first saw it sold alongside "real" hummus at the grocer, I decided it had to be one of those.

There was no way a traditional hummus base with all sorts of savory things like chickpeas could possibly play nice with chocolate.

I was pleasantly mistaken. I bought it only because my son as most 10-year-old boys are is smitten with anything chocolate. Frankly, I was just curious what he'd make of it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
This Sept. 29, 2014 photo shows orange zest pudding with dark chocolate shavings in Concord, N.H. Orange zest, the thin outer skin of an orange, has fragrant and flavorful oils that can add sweetness to dishes. (AP Photo/MatthewMead)

When it comes to sweets, I have a surprising trick up my sleeve. And the best part about it? It probably won't cost you a penny because most likely you already have it, but throw it in the trash.

I'm talking about orange zest, the thin outer skin of an orange. I don't mean the white part, called the pith. That's bitter. The zest is just the paper-thin layer of colored skin, which has tons of fragrant and flavorful oils.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
This Sept. 8, 2014 photo shows salted caramel pumpkin buns in Concord, N.H. The bun combines two classics, pumpkin pie and a cinnamon bun, which is topped with a homemade caramel sauce. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

A pumpkin pie. Rolled up in a cinnamon bun. Do we have your attention yet?

That's right ... We took our autumn baking to a delicious new level by combining two classics, then topping them with an intensely good homemade caramel sauce spiked with flaked sea salt for added oomph and contrast to all that sweetness.

When slicing the log of dough into individual buns, a serrated knife works well. You also can use unflavored, unwaxed dental floss (or heavy thread).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
This June 9, 2014 photo shows Dijon tomato and sweet onion pie in Concord, N.H. The Tomato Pie is a classic Southern dish made in summer when the tomato plants are heavy with ripe fruit. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Tomato Pie is a classic Southern dish made in late summer when the tomato plants are heavy with ripe fruit, but everyone has had their fill of tomato sandwiches and salads. It is essentially a pie shell filled with fresh sliced tomatoes and sweet onions, topped with mixture of shredded cheese and served with a sprinkle of fresh basil.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
This June 9, 2014 photo shows easy overnight ham and cheese casserole in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Those first few weeks when the kids head back to school can be among the most hectic for families.

The lazy days of summer quickly give way to crazy schedules, homework and after-school activities. And don't forget somehow managing to slip dinner into the middle of all that.

This is why a do-ahead dinner can be a lifesaver as families get accustomed to their new routines.

So we created this easy, kid-friendly ham and cheese casserole that can be prepped and refrigerated the night before, then just popped in the oven the next evening.