When it comes to entertaining, I often find that the casual gatherings and impromptu parties outshine more elaborate affairs. I think it's the combination of a relaxed atmosphere and last minute inspiration.
Most Americans never will sip the watermelon margarita at Guy Fieri's behemoth Times Square restaurant, nor savor the chicken Alfredo at the Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D. Yet both eateries somehow shot to the top of the nation's culinary zeitgeist in 2012, for this was the year of the viral restaurant review, when the rants and raves of seasoned pros and naive octogenarians alike got superstar treatment on the world wide smorgasbord.
Whenever I have too little time and too few ingredients on hand -- or when I've been eating too much meat -- I cook up some broccoli pasta.
An indelible memory I carry from childhood is of Christmas morning breakfasts. In our home, there was no charging from the bedrooms to see what Santa brought, no race between siblings to be the first to the tree. Oh no, if there was one thing we were good at, it was stretching out the Christmas experience.
When it comes to stuffing, it's hard to get a more classic flavor combination than sausage and pecans. The result is a salty, nutty, sweet, crunchy and tender combination of flavors and textures.
Sometimes failure can end up tasting pretty good. It certainly was the case with these meatballs.
For me, eggnog season can't come soon enough. As soon as Halloween is packed away, I buy a quart of my favorite eggnog at the grocery store.
Tamales or tamaladas are as much a part of Christmas traditions in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries as bacalao (salted cod), pizole (hominy soup) and a nice roasted pavo (turkey). And why wouldn't they be especially popular during Christmas as tamales are one of the only foods that come already gift wrapped.
You can keep your decorated, stained glass, death-by-chocolate, triple-dunked biscotti bombs, or whatever this holiday season's must-bake cookie will be.
There was plenty of construction going on in Starkville Sunday afternoon, but there was nary a nail gun or sawhorse in sight. Instead, this project required gumdrops, candy canes and chocolate kisses. And, oh yes, imagination.
Here's the thing about decorating for Christmas. It should be fun. It should be an occasion. It should involve delicious food.
There is no subtle way to say this. This cake screams Christmas.
As the days inch closer to Christmas each December, my husband and I know we're going to hear a knock on the door one evening. It will be a neighboring family, from down the road. They'll bring us gifts of Christmas carols and a delicious assortment of homemade goodies from their kitchen.
The problem with buttermilk is there isn't a lot of "real" buttermilk around.
Of all the many green vegetables available to us, we tend to be profoundly lacking inspiration when it comes to selecting one for holidays.
It seemed like a tall order. I wanted an edible gift that was fast and easy to make, inexpensive, wouldn't spoil or need to be refrigerated, and that kids could be involved in.
The big day is tomorrow. In many homes, the dining table's extra leaves are being inserted and more chairs rounded up from outlying rooms. Silverware is being cleaned, serving dishes lined up, and Thanksgiving meals are in the making. This holiday, more than any other, celebrates food as a focal point that draws us together. Yep, tomorrow the eating will be good.
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.
On Tuesday morning, Nov. 20, Columbus' S.D. Lee Home will once again witness a festive frenzy of shopping as hostesses select fresh pies and cakes, savory cheesestraws, aromatic breads, jellies and sweet candies to supplement their Thanksgiving feasts.
Even if you avoid baking all year long, there's a very good chance the allure of the holidays will seduce you into having a go at a batch of cookies.
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