Homemade gifts have been gaining popularity the past few holiday seasons. They make great gifts for those people you are looking to give something extra special.
A few days ago, when I was doing my food shopping, I came across a piece of meat that I don’t often give a second thought to other than when I see it on TV or restaurant menu: beef brisket. I love it, and when I see it, I often think, “Oooooh, I have to remember to make that.” My biggest problem with preparing brisket is that most recipes for it require prep time. They either want you to brine or marinade the beef for a period of 24 to 48 hours.
Recently, I was asked to donate a culinary experience to the Community Violence Intervention Center’s fundraiser. Nights like these provide me with a chance to both cook for a group of clients as well as share some of my knowledge with them. When I run these types of events, I like to meet with the group to discuss the night’s menu, talk about the timing of the evening’s meal and scope out my cooking area.
One food trend that has been fun to follow this year is that of foods stuffed inside other foods. I guess saying “food” is pretty general; the trend is actually a full complete recipe or premade item that is then baked inside of something else: a pie baked inside of a cake, a chicken into a duck into a turkey, Oreos inside of cookies and those sorts of things. A couple weeks ago, I began experimenting with some of those dishes in my house. While we discussed the possibilities, the kids were coming up with some crazy ideas.
Even though our temperatures in Grand Forks have been a little on the warm side for this time of year, the leaves are changing because fall is here. I immediately start craving comfort foods. Two of my favorites this year have been Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Bake and Roasted Root Vegetables. Roasted Root Vegetables was something I came across while volunteering to work with another chef.
One thing I love about football is tailgating. OK, it might be the only thing I like about football, but don’t tell my fiancé! Seriously, though, I love the crisp fall air, crowds of people all cheering for the home team, the welcoming atmosphere of your parking lot “neighborhood” and — most of all — the delicious food and beverages that everyone is so proud to share. Some people like to keep it simple by sticking with burgers and brats while others go as sophisticated as beef tenderloins or grilled lamb chops.
Meatless Monday is becoming a trend in quite a few households. It’s a great way to get your family eating more fruits and vegetables, it has proven health benefits, and it can also be a great way to help your family stay on budget. A win-win-win in my book. I have made weekly meat-free meals my goal for the next year to see if I can really get this to work — with children and busy schedules.
There is nothing quite like the taste of fresh herbs or produce from the garden. I don’t really want to be the bearer of bad news and say that summer’s coming to an end, but we all know fall is just around the corner. Let’s preserve summer and keep that “fresh from the garden taste” in your food for the much cooler months to come. Over the years, I have tried several different ways to preserve herbs and produce, but my favorite way is the freezer.
In the past, I was leery of cooking pizza on the grill. I love to eat grilled pizza, but surprisingly, I had not been in a kitchen with anyone that had prepared it!
Popsicles are a soothing, cool, summertime treat. I often forget about them or pass by them in the grocery store, and it wasn’t until a five-minute-long conversation with my 4-year-old that I remembered why they were so good. His eyes got an extra twinkle as he looked up at them and said “But Mom! They are so … good! There is cream, and sugar, and strawberries, and butter, honey, and sugar in them! They are so tasty!” He might have been a little bit off on his ingredient list, but he was so certain they would be the best option for an after-dinner treat.