Saturday, November 28, 2015


Wednesday, January 30, 2013
AP PHOTO Buffalo chicken tenders

First, a confession. I don't watch the Super Bowl. As a matter of fact, I rarely even know who is playing. Still, I'm well aware that it is far and away America's largest secular holiday and that the celebration requires not only watching the game on television, but also eating a hefty snack or meal while doing so.

Naturally, such a manly event calls for manly cuisine, dishes designed to be eaten by hand and that will stick to the ribs. The key food groups are meat and melted cheese, preferably deep-fried.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
In this image taken on January 7, 2013, sweet and sticky slow cooked short ribs served on skewers are shown in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

The day of the big game calls for big, stick-to-your-ribs grub.

So we went with that as a theme, creating a recipe for boneless beef short ribs that are inspired by all the sweet and sticky goodness of Chinese-style pork ribs.

To keep you in front of the television instead of the stove, we kept the recipe simple. Start by dumping everything in a bowl to marinate. When you're ready to cook, transfer it to a baking sheet and pop it in the oven. Done.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
In this image taken on January 7, 2013, a recipe for roasted fresh salsa guacamole is shown in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Looking for a few simple ways to freshen up the go-to dish of the Super Bowl? We cobbled together a mighty tasty basic guacamole, then came up with four ways to turn basic into unbelievably good.

If sweet and heat are your style, go for guac mixed with brown sugar candied bacon and hot sauce.

Heat fiends will prefer the corn and chipotle blend, while those who favor the exotic touch might like the shrimp and mango version.

And for those who want it all? A roasted fresh salsa guac.

Base Guacamole Recipe

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 12

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
@$:TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO Melody Patrick of New Ringgold was the winner of last year's Cookbook and Recipe contest with her Wonton Sausage Appetizers. After winning in the Celebrations category, Melody captured the grand prize as well.

Get out in that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans, because the 2013 TIMES NEWS Cookbook and Recipe Contest is under way!

This year there will be six categories: Main Dish; Vegetarian; Breads, Biscuits and Muffins; Soups, Stews and Chili; Christmas Cookies; and Dessert. A winner will be chosen in each category, and will be invited to bring their prepared winning dish to the TIMES NEWS office in Mahoning Township, where a panel of judges will sample each dish to determine a grand prize winner.

Every entrant will receive a TIMES NEWS rubber jar opener, shaped like a daisy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
In this image taken on Oct. 8, 2012, a slice of maple pumpkin pie with cinnamon-maple whipped cream is shown served on a plate in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

A classic Thanksgiving dinner is only complete with the classic finish – an aromatic pumpkin pie rich with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and topped with pillowy soft mounds of whipped cream.

To sweeten both the pie and the cream, we turned to maple syrup, which complements the other ingredients with a rich, but still subtle sweetness.

Maple Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon-Maple Whipped Cream

Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 8

For the pie:

9-inch prepared deep-dish pie crust in a pan

15-ounce can pumpkin puree

1 cup grade B maple syrup

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
In this image taken on Oct. 2, 2012, sweet-and-sour glazed carrots and green beans are shown in a serving bowl in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

For a family-friendly Thanksgiving dinner, the sides matter. A lot.

Because if the mashed potatoes aren't truly wonderful, you're going to have some seriously upset children at the table. Which is to say, this isn't the time to experiment by spiking them with blue cheese or a 50-50 ratio of garlic to potato, or to test whether mashed cauliflower really does taste just like the real thing.

This is the time to make wonderfully fluffy, buttery, salty, peppery, delicious mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
AP Photo/Matthew Mead A Plain Jane turkey is shown served on a platter.

Children don't care if you've slaved hours over the Thanksgiving turkey. And they certainly don't appreciate the nuanced layers of flavor you once extracted from the bird with the help of expert brining and seasoning and rotating and roasting and trussing and fussing.

You know, back before you had kids. Back when you had time to worry about such things.

Monday, November 19, 2012

On Thanksgiving Day how do you get the turkey into the oven and the kids out of your hair?

It's not as hard as you think, say family dinner experts. A number of strategies – crafts tables, light snacks, and yes, even inviting the kids into the kitchen – will ensure that all is well when you finally sit down to give thanks.

Though it seems counterintuitive to bring the kids into the kitchen while you're negotiating stuffing, squash and your mother-in-law's running commentary, giving eager children a job lets them feel like they're part of the action.

Friday, November 16, 2012

If you start roasting a 14-pound turkey at 375 F at 7 a.m. and need to feed 15 people – including three vegetarians, a vegan and two gluten intolerants – by 1 p.m., how many pounds of cranberries do you need if the stuffing is baked outside the bird and the pumpkin pie is cut into 11.75 equal wedges?

Or am I the only cook who suffers flashbacks to grade school word problems every time I try to calculate the many mathematical angles of assembling Thanksgiving dinner?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
n this image taken on Oct. 15, 2012, corn bread stuffing mushrooms are shown in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

You don't need a turkey to have stuffing on your Thanksgiving table. Many Americans long ago abandoned the fuss of cooking the stuffing in the bird. In addition to cutting the time it takes to get the turkey on the table, this also frees up the side dish to be enjoyed by vegetarians.

Rather than simply spoon the stuffing into a casserole dish, we took it a step beyond. We spooned a savory cornbread stuffing into portobello mushroom caps. The result is as attractive as it is delicious.