Tuesday, October 6, 2015


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.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
PHOTOS COURTESY QVC Hearty Vegetable Lentil Stew

During the chilly months of winter nothing will warm you up like a hearty soup or stew.

QVC's resident foodie and best-selling cookbook author David Venable has the best recipes to cozy up to this winter, like this Hearty Vegetable Lentil Stew, Grammie's Noodle Soup or Coconut-Curry Chicken Stew.

Hearty Vegetable Lentil Stew

Serves 6-8

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
AP Photo/Matthew Mead French lentil salad

When I was in high school, my parents took my sisters and me to Paris. That trip shaped me in so many ways, most of them culinary. So many of the dishes I make even today were inspired by that trip.

One night, we went to a small, rustic restaurant in the heart of the city. The meal started with hunks of cheese, sausages, cornichons and a bowl of "country caviar." The bread, cheese and meat were as delicious as you would expect, but it was that last item that blew us away.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
This Dec. 8, 2014 photo shows preparing tofu that will be sauteed with broccoli and red peppers in chili-orange sauce in Concord, N.H. ()

My mom started traveling abroad when I was in high school. And after each of her trips, we cooked a meal from the country she'd just visited.

It was after her trip to Italy that I became a huge fan of veal. Veal, of course, is notoriously bland, so what's the appeal?

I love it because it functions mostly as a firm landing strip for the delicious sauce of your choice, and I'm a nut for sauces. Recently, I figured out that tofu plays the same role for vegetarians as veal does for carnivores.