Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Wednesday, March 18, 2015
AP Photo/Matthew Mead Welcome spring with Brown Butter Asparagus with Pecans.

Remember the days when you knew spring was coming by the arrival of asparagus at the grocer?

These days, fresh asparagus is available almost all year. But still, my heart leaps with joy the first moment I see asparagus for less than $3 a pound. Then it is officially spring!

When asparagus is in season, I buy it weekly, both because it's so cheap and because it's incredibly versatile.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Go green for St. Patrick's Day

It's easy to be green with help from McCormick.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here are a few recipes to help you celebrate.

The best part? You don't even need to be Irish!

Easy Green Velvet Cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes 24 servings

1 package (2-layer size) German chocolate cake mix with pudding

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup water

cup unsweetened cocoa powder

cup vegetable oil

1 bottle McCormick Green Food Color

3 eggs

2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
AP Photo/Matthew Mead Rotini with Creamy Burger Sauce

Sure, we're all trying to lose those pesky 10 or 15 or whatever pounds, but that's no reason to not keep a pint of heavy cream in the refrigerator.

Truth is, a little fat like that can go a long way to turning a basic dish into one that is exceedingly comforting.

Steak, for example, is dramatically improved with a cream-based pan sauce. Pureed vegetable soups taste like indulgences with just a bit of cream.

And don't even get me started about what it does for mashed potatoes and baked sweet potatoes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Southwestern Sweet Potato Chowder has just the right amount of zing.

As we head into our second week of Lent, we have more recipes from Rhianna Cenci, retail dietitian at the ShopRite of Brodheadsville.

We tried the first offering, Southwestern Sweet Potato Chowder, and let me tell you, it's good.

I love sweet potatoes, so this was one I definitely wanted to make. My husband, on the other hand, is not a fan, not even of those ooey-gooey-covered-in-sugar-and-melted-butter versions that grace the Thanksgiving table.

Surprisingly, he tried this chowder, and he loved it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Grilled Broccoli-Sesame Noodles

Today marks the beginning of Lent. During this season of 40 days, many families will abstain from eating meat on Fridays, as part of their religion. I also know of those who will have a light, meatless meal another day of the week as well, and donate the money they would have spent on meat to those who don't have enough to eat.

Whether you abstain from meat for religious reasons or because you just want to eat a little healthier, we have several recipes to share over the next two weeks, courtesy of Rhianna Cenci, retail dietitian at the ShopRite of Brodheadsville.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
MATTHEW MEAD/AP PHOTO Start with a classic macaroni and cheese, toss in a few veggies, and you have Green Goddess Macaroni and Cheese.

Do you love macaroni and cheese? Stupid question, right? OK, so let's try this one: How could you love macaroni and cheese even more?

Now we're talking. Because there are all sorts of simple ways to doctor an already awesome pan of basic mac and cheese to take our love of this dish to a whole new level. But let's start with the basics our classic take on macaroni and cheese. Since everyone is pressed for time, we kept it simple with a stovetop version that will have you ready to eat in about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

It's easy to overthink things in the kitchen. It's easy to fall into the trap of assuming that flavor needs a whole lot of labor. Or at least a long ingredient list.

I certainly was of that misguided mindset when I recently prepared dinner for friends. As I considered and discarded one dish after another, I ended up settling on a rather elaborate braised lamb shoulder. It was, of course, delicious. But that wasn't the dish people commented on.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Mexicali Mud, a spicy, hearty soup, perfect for these bitter cold winter nights.

Maybe the name isn't too attractive, but the result is delicious: Mexicali Mud. It's a spicy, cheesy, beefy, bean-filled soup that looks a little like red clay, hence the muddy moniker.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe that was adapted from another recipe. I just spiced it up a bit and added some corn.

It's a hearty soup, filling and loaded with protein. It's easily a meal by itself. Of course I'm always in favor of a crisp green salad on the side, but one or two bowls of this, and I doubt you'd even have room.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
This Dec. 15, 2014 photo shows mini bean and beef burritos in Concord, N.H. To make burritos into a finger food, use small flour tortillas. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

There is something magical about a burrito, that combination of crispy tortilla edges that turn doughy soft at the center, all concealing a delicious blend of beans and meat and melted cheese. Splash that sucker with some salsa, sour cream, perhaps a spoonful of guacamole, and that's a pillow of perfection on your plate.

Usually, a burrito makes a meal. But for my Super Bowl party, I decided to turn the dish into a finger food. Using smaller flour tortillas, I rolled up an army of burritos filled with refried beans, ground beef and cheese.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
AP Photo/Matthew Mead From left, Maple Coffee Pepper Jerky and Sweet Heat Beef Jerky. It may sound daunting to season and dry your own meat, but it actually is a simple process that requires little hands-on time.

Sure, you'll have some guacamole and some chips and some chicken wings. And a plate of nachos isn't a bad idea, either. But how about something to set your Super Bowl spread apart?

How about some homemade beef jerky? Because while it may sound daunting to season and dry your own meat, it actually is a simple process that requires little hands-on time. It also can be done well ahead as in several weeks and the results are pretty spectacular. And let's not forget how wonderfully a well-seasoned hunk of jerky goes with all that beer you'll be drinking.