Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Kitchen Corner

rss feed
  • E-mail: pamelab@lodinews.com
  • Local foodies share their recipes, tips and experiences in the kitchen.
Tuesday 12/16/2014
Give the jolly gift giver Santa yummy cookies for a healthy treat

What is more delightful than the holiday tradition of leaving cookies and milk for Santa on Christmas Eve? This year give Santa something yummy as well as healthy. Santa yummy cookies are easy to make. The kids can help, and the jolly holiday gift giver will have super energy for his long night’s journey.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:21 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 12/02/2014
Skip the turkey leftovers and try a meatless crockpot stew

After Thanksgiving there are a flood of recipes for turkey leftovers. Tasty dishes include turkey tetrazzini, turkey enchiladas, turkey pot pie, and turkey a la king. This year, let’s go non-turkey and slip in a tasty vegan stew. Crockpot Meatless Stew is easy to prepare, makes a nice change from turkey leftovers, is healthy and nutritious for vegans and non-vegans alike. Non-vegans can easily substitute hamburger for non-vegan meat substitute. Serve with a side salad and choice of bread.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 1:25 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 11/25/2014
Use your turkey carcass to make a great Louisiana gumbo

The leftovers from the Thanksgiving meal are often as enjoyable as the original Thursday feast. In recent years, I have kicked the leftovers up a notch by using the turkey carcass and some of the remaining turkey meat to make a great Gumbo. I'll strip the carcass of most of its useable meat, then make a luxuriant turkey broth with the carcass. The gelatinous bones make a full-bodied broth perfect for use in gumbo.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:13 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 11/04/2014
Complement a German apple pancake with cider

Now that I’m busy with my holiday baking and cooking, I’ve been considering ordering a bottle of Vermont boiled cider to add flavor to some of my standard recipes. The price and the cost of shipping proved ridiculous so I decided to try duplicating it at home.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 11:35 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 10/28/2014
Prepare winter squash in a tasty, vegan soup

Let’s cook winter squash soup. Common varieties of winter squash include acorn, cushaw, calabaza, butternut, hubbard, and spaghetti. Winter squash differs from summer squash like zucchini, yellow and crookneck varieties which are smaller in size and can be prepared without removing seeds or skin.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 1:33 pm. Comments (2)

Tuesday 10/14/2014
Use up fresh harvested apples in an apple crisp

Few of us are fortunate enough to have an apple orchard defining the perimeter of our property. But a Lodi friend, whose Gala trees — Buckeye Galas to be exact — grow tall and vigorous is quick to share a bushel right before harvest! I know I surprised her the other day, when I reached for the ones on the ground and designated them for applesauce.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 11:56 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 09/30/2014
Use canned tuna for filling to stuff in fresh tomatoes

Canned tuna is one of those ingredients that we take for granted but always seem to have on hand. Besides a sandwich filling or a dietetic salad item, we sort of run out of ideas after the tuna noodle casserole is gone.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 11:40 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 09/23/2014
Corn off-the-cob summer casserole

One of the great local treasures we can enjoy all summer long is fresh corn. Most commonly eaten “on the cob,” the following recipe takes the kernals off the cob into an exquisite casserole.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 1:05 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 09/02/2014
A pineapple pizzazz coleslaw

When the calendar turns to September, happy summertime memories of family and friends gathered around the picnic table or barbeque pit begin to wane. This year, rally round the wholesome tradition of an outdoor meal featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, condiments, and chips as one last farewell to summertime fun. Compliment your menu with pineapple pizzazz coleslaw as a delicious side dish.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 2:20 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 08/19/2014
A light and colorful way to serve fish

I grew up hating fish. Ocean fish, in particular, with its strong flavor and millions of bones. I even choked my way through what someone was pleased to call “Smoked Fish”. I just assumed that it was supposed to be like jerky. My mom did a good job whenever she cooked it; it tasted bad only to me.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 1:13 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 08/12/2014
Enjoy fresh miso soup at home with an easy recipe

Miso soup, that staple of Japanese restaurants, is not something that most people make for themselves. Why bother; just order some while waiting for your sushi and sashimi. However, if you want a bowl at home, the grocery store has that packaged dry mix. Not good. It is too easy to make a fresh batch that feeds more than the one serving listed on the instant version.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:13 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 08/05/2014
A healthy, delicious non-candy bar

When my wife and I were studying to become Christian ministers during the 1970s, we had the distinct privilege of learning from one the nation’s pioneers in natural foods and organic farming — Grace Bliss.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 11:42 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 07/29/2014
Relive ice cream truck memories with a mock ice cream drumstick

Whenever I hear the happy music of the ice cream truck, childhood memories of running down the street on a hot summer day come to mind. However, following a vegan diet, I know I am verging on dangerous territory. Even though my head tells me no, my heart tells me yes, and my mouth begins to water.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 2:40 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 07/15/2014
Celebrate summer with a cold macaroni salad

I can hardly believe my calendar says it’s July and the holiday most of us celebrate with much anticipation, Independence Day July 4th, has passed. What a grand time it is every year we look forward to the fireworks lighting up the sky with all the colors, and everyone is having such a great time. My favorite part of the celebration is the singing of our National Anthem.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 2:11 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 07/08/2014
Mini tomato salad with a burst of color

I was introduced to big yummy tomatoes when I was a little girl. We lived in the first house finished in the Stockton sub-division Pacific Gardens. The soon to be constructed block across from our house was still tomato field.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 11:50 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 07/01/2014
The perfect burger sauce

It's summertime in the valley. Days where it's so sweltering, the only cooking appliance that seems worth firing up is the outdoor grill. And sometimes, it only seems reasonable to cook something easy, like a burger. When we think about burgers, we think about beef or turkey, what kind of cheese, romaine or iceberg, sweet or dill pickles, red or white onion, and always the good idea — bacon.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 2:07 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 06/24/2014
Fresh cherries — Queen of the Valley

Cherry memories from my childhood are scattered and vague due to the fact that during my growing up years in Saratoga we did not have a cherry tree in the garden. As we ate mostly fruits and vegetables cultivated in the backyard, I don’t remember making cherry pie or canning cherry jam with my mom. But I do remember picking and eating cherries in Italy from trees grown in my great uncle’s orchard. In fact, even my husband remembers going to meet my great uncle and sitting in his kitchen drinking an espresso and eating from the bowl of cherries in the middle of the farm table. To our amazement, Zio Isidoro would spit the pits back in his fist and then drop them on the stone floor to be swept away later that evening.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 10:36 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 06/17/2014
A mock tuna salad sandwich

A tuna salad sandwich is one of the things I missed when going vegan. Without the benefit of a can of tuna, and a slap of mayonnaise, I thought I would never delight in my favorite tuna sandwich again. However, where there is a will, there is a way.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 2:27 pm. Comments (2)

Tuesday 06/10/2014
A Farmer's Market salad

I look forward to the opening of the Lodi Farmer’s Market each spring. I can hardly wait to get my hands on the produce. I end up with so much greenery and fruit that I can barely get it stuffed into the fridge then I scramble to get it all used before anything spoils.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 10:54 am. Comments (0)

Adding new interest to risotto

Because my mother was a dietician, I usually feel a little guilty when I get in a high-fat cooking rut. I mean, I know better but deep-fried is a food group, right?

Posted in Kitchencorner on Saturday, May 10, 2014 7:00 am. Comments (0)

Friday 05/09/2014
Macarons for mom

Sweet and soft yet crunchy, and colorful, the oversized macarons beckon to hungry customers from the large pastry case inside Lemonade, our favorite restaurant in Venice Beach. A few miles away at MILK, a local creamery, ice cream sandwiches of delicious flavors made with macaron cookies become an anytime irresistible dessert.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Friday, May 9, 2014 9:42 am. Comments (0)

Cook mom an awesome steak for Mother’s Day

A perfectly cooked steak is an essential part of every good cook’s repertoire. The best part is anyone can do it! Start by buying 2-inch thick tenderloin filets from your butcher. Beef tenderloin, also known as filet mignon, is the most tender of all beef cuts. If your store doesn’t have them in the meat case, ask the butcher to cut them.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Friday, May 9, 2014 9:29 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 04/08/2014
A step by step process to preparing a fish meal

I enjoy eating fish but I do not really like really fishy tasting fish. I have found one of my new favorite types of fish to cook at home. It is called Rockfish. It is meaty, comes boneless and the taste is mild.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 9:39 am. Comments (0)

Monday 04/07/2014
Straw patch Easter grass satisfies the sweet tooth

For any vegan with a sweet tooth, try straw patch Easter grass. I adapted this recipe from the back of a box of Shredded Wheat. With a few vegan friendly changes, straw patch Easter grass was a hit at the last CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) potluck. The table was laden with wonderful vegan dishes, and my straw patch Easter grass found its way to the dessert section.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, April 7, 2014 3:32 pm. Comments (1)

Tsoureki — A Greek Easter bread

While organizing my notes for this month’s blog, I came across one of many online recipes for Tsoureki (‘tsoo-REH-kee’), a traditional Greek Easter bread with one or more red-dyed eggs-which symbolize the blood of Christ-imbedded in the dough before baking. I had seen recipes for this bread many times but now I was intrigued enough to look into the history of this bread. I gained a deeper appreciation for the contributions of the ancient Greeks to bread.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, April 7, 2014 3:10 pm. Comments (0)

Catch of the day

My favorite component of my cooking passion is sharing recipes with others and teaching people how to be creative in their kitchen endeavors. In preparation for an upcoming class at Draeger’s Market in San Mateo, I was explaining to my girlfriend a fantastic way of cooking fish in parchment paper.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, April 7, 2014 3:03 pm. Comments (0)

Thursday 03/06/2014
The ultimate accompaniment to corned beef

A well constructed sauce can turn a good meal into a great one. The complimentary flavors of a great salsa to a taco, a hollandaise to eggs benedict or asparagus, or a port reduction to a grilled steak can “kick it up a notch” to make a meal memorable.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Thursday, March 6, 2014 2:38 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 03/04/2014
A St. Patrick's Day tradition

In my house, Irish Soda Bread is a tradition on St. Patrick’s Day and fond memories of Nana Bradley come to mind. Not a blood relative, Anne Bradley was a family friend who was Irish to the core. When I was a child, I remember visiting her in a studio apartment in Oakland.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:39 am. Comments (0)

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day by making shepherd's pie

I admit it: I am addicted to serious cooking and food-related shows. I only watch programs which go beyond the usual basics. One of these is Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’. I am aware that there is a script and a director, but listening to arrogant restaurant owners argue with this established chef about the hazards lurking in the walk-in, and how their unique menu is better than anything that Gordon has in mind, just cracks me up. Recently, I was inspired by an episode featuring a failing Irish pub and their dismal Shepherd’s Pie. Realizing that it was time to look into the domestic origins of this venerable classic, I started with pubs in general.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:16 am. Comments (0)

Try adding spinach into every meal of the day

Well I am on a Spinach kick — so I am sharing the amazing ideas and benefits with all of you!

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:05 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 02/18/2014
Enjoy pan fried chicken cutlets with capers for a special dinner

Every year I try to come up with something good for Valentines Day. Sometimes its extravagant; sometimes low key. So I thought about a dinner I cooked up several years ago. This is a meal you can do ahead of time, as the chicken is the only thing cooked at the last minute. Everything else can be prepared ahead of time. Although the special day has passed, enjoy the food for another special evening.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:17 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 02/04/2014
An Italian chocolate kiss

Chocoholics everywhere should be grateful for the long-time secret kept between two friends. For out of a clandestine liaison one of the most delectable chocolates was born. The story of Giovanni Buitoni, heir to Perugina Chocolates and Luisa Spagnoli, a confectioner in his factory is a classic tale of romance. The two lovers exchanged passionate messages wrapped around handmade chocolates to express their loyalty and desire. Certainly more romantic and amorous than a modern-day text message, this edible method of communication became the forbearer of the legendary Baci (kisses) chocolate. Creamy dark chocolate surrounding a rich hazelnut center and crowned with a whole hazelnut, wrapped in silver foil with blue stars with a love note bearing a message in four languages, describing the wonderful and often tumultuous course of love is the creation attributed to Luisa Spagnoli. More than 90 years later, the tradition continues as Baci chocolates are still considered the ultimate love token proving that romance can indeed last forever.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 11:43 am. Comments (0)

Valentine's truffles

For years, Valentine’s Day meant elementary school parties, with cards for the kids to exchange and home-baked cookies or decorated cupcakes to share. Many times, I was notified at the very last minute that I needed to send 32 whatevers with one or both of the kids for a hastily and loosely organized class celebration. Adding to the fun was the fact that my middle child’s birthday is only three days before the holiday and I usually made a lame cake decorated with holiday M & M’s for the family get-together. Trooper that he is, he always thanked me for the effort. Now that he has children of his own, he prefers that I make him a giant birthday cookie because that’s what I make for the grandchildren. Silly me; why didn’t I think of that back then?

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 11:38 am. Comments (0)

For a healthy start, try quinoa

February is heart month. This year I decided to give my heart, as well as body, a Valentine’s Day gift and joined CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program.)

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 11:31 am. Comments (0)

Monday 01/06/2014
A super bowl of chili for the Super Bowl

Throughout January, leading up to that great American holiday, Super Bowl Sunday, many of us are glued to our televisions, watching the ferocious action of our country’s most popular sport. Making a pot of chili fits the occasion perfectly, being available to enjoy during commercials and at half-time. A fun Super Bowl party idea is host your own “Chili Cookoff” with guests bringing their favorite chili recipe, everyone sampling, then judging the entries, with a prize or trophy going to the big winner. Grilling sausages or hot dogs and using the chili as a topping is another super variation.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, January 6, 2014 4:12 pm. Comments (0)

Relax and make one pot meals

Now that Christmas and New Year’s celebrations are over, it’s time to take a deep breath and relax. One-pot meals are just the break that we need from all the cooking and baking of last month. The kitchen stays warm and steamy and smells so good. Soups, stews, crockpot roasts, chicken or pulled pork can simmer quietly while everyone is occupied elsewhere. When I’m home, I enjoy hanging out in the kitchen and keeping an eye on dishes that need a little more supervision but not a lot of effort. A good lentil soup is one such meal. I know people who think that lentils are either boring or nasty. The recipe I have used for years is one that is inspired by New Orleans, with bright flavors and is always a pleasant surprise to unenlightened lentil-haters. It never seems to last long enough to have for lunch the next day. The cream or half-and-half can be replaced by whole, or even non-fat milk but use less since the finished soup will be a little thinner. Either andouille or linguica sausage would be good alternatives to the bacon. Whether or not to puree’ is a matter of preference. Often, I do not in order to preserve the texture.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, January 6, 2014 10:11 am. Comments (0)

Unexpected guests call for a hearty meal

One New Year’s Day when I was a little girl, the doorbell rang. Curious, I stood behind my mother as she opened the door. Standing on the front porch five people were singing “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, January 6, 2014 10:01 am. Comments (0)

Monday 12/09/2013
Maryellen's perfect candy cane cookies

Fond memories of a cherished friend come full circle every time I see a candy cane cookie. My best friend, Maryellen, introduced me to this delightful Christmas favorite that has reigned supreme as the holiday cookie most requested by my family. Maryellen has been gone for over 25 years, but as Christmas baking commences, I remember how I learned to make candy cane cookies.   

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, December 9, 2013 10:33 am. Comments (0)

Potatoes Michelle makes an easy holiday or midweek dish

I am a huge fan of potatoes. In any form, except raw. I just can’t get enough of potatoes. With gravy, fried, baked, in soup, the list goes on. One of my particular favorites is a dish that my mother would make for company that I still get the jitters for — a creamy, cheesy comforting casserole that works well for holiday meals (especially if there are going to be a lot of guests and the thought of making 30 or more pounds of mashed potatoes causes panic) but tastes just as nice for a simpler midweek meal. Yes, there are one or two canned ingredients but in this instance, they work for the best. For a buffet or a potluck, this dish is easily doubled or tripled, as needed. Or, two casseroles may be prepared. A garnish that you might consider is crumbled cooked bacon — adding cubed ham or turkey would put it the main dish category. I give you:

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, December 9, 2013 10:27 am. Comments (0)

Monday 11/04/2013
A new way to enjoy sweet potatoes

I am not a fan of candied sweet potatoes or candied yams. I have been told, in no uncertain terms, that this is un-American. Not so. It’s perfectly reasonable to want my dinner separate from dessert. When my children were young, I could not bring myself to make this gloppy dish that is so beloved and expected by so many people at Thanksgiving. Fortunately, others in the family were glad to prepare plenty for everyone else. This concoction doesn’t even make sense; the way it was always served at our family gatherings was two large cans of ‘Candied Yams’, one whole box of brown sugar, a stick of margarine and as many miniature marshmallows as could be packed on top. It was then thrown in a hot oven and ignored until it was engulfed in flames. Once it was removed from the oven, the flames were extinguished and everyone dug right in. Seriously. Disgusting. The worst part was that the person who usually made this would bring the ingredients along and bake it in my oven. I did not look forward to chiseling the obsidian-like residue that had bubbled over onto the bottom of my oven the next day. I came to refer to it as “Thanksgiving – The Aftermath”.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, November 4, 2013 3:29 pm. Comments (0)

A simple sweet treat

Well the holidays are coming and sweets always seem to be some part of the menu. Here is a very simple sweet treat that I concocted yesterday

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, November 4, 2013 3:20 pm. Comments (0)

Remembering the first Thanksgiving with pilgrim salad

The house is filled with the savory aroma of Thanksgiving Dinner. Roast turkey with stuffing and giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, candied yams, and green beans have been prepared. Fresh rolls are piping hot out of the oven. Relish plates laden with pickles, cream cheese stuffed celery, carrot sticks, and olives await hungry holiday guests. Prepared from scratch the day before, pumpkin, mince, and lemon meringue pies are on the counter. Each slice to be served with a dollop of whipped cream after the table is cleared and the meal settled in full tummies.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, November 4, 2013 3:21 pm. Comments (0)

Brining for a surefire best Thanksgiving turkey

At the center of most every Thanksgiving meal is the roast turkey. With all the effort required to pull off this most special meal, the last thing you want is the main course to be less than the best. Yet, many times, this glorious Thanksgiving bird can turn out dry and less than flavorful.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, November 4, 2013 3:18 pm. Comments (0)

Cranberry beans and comice pears

Hidden in dry and wrinkled pods, cranberry beans await to share their lovely pink speckles with the wise cook who appreciates their goodness. I found these Cranberry Beans at The Fruit Bowl in Stockton. I love to cook with dried beans and I know that just harvested dry beans are at their best. Cranberry beans, like most legumes are high in fiber and low in fat. Unfortunately, once cooked, they lose their white and crimson-flecked appearance and take on a more common, tan color. The taste is mild and so blends well with other ingredients. In Italy, their name is Borlotti and are used in Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, and Greek cooking.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, November 4, 2013 3:08 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 10/22/2013
A caesar salad with a twist

When I was considerably younger, my friend Jeff Litts invited me over for dinner one evening. His mother, was I was soon to find out, was a terrific cook. Babe Scaletta/Litts made this salad dressing that was (in the jargon of the day) outta sight! I had never had anything like it. Well from that point on, I just happened to be in their neighborhood around dinner time. Babe is no longer with us, but the recipe was passed on to me and from me to you. It is always a hit; similar to caesar salad, but much better! Be sure to make the dressing a day ahead. This recipe is enough for two salads.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 11:45 am. Comments (0)

Monday 10/07/2013
Sweet basil stardom

Last week the Pacific Italian Alliance of San Joaquin County celebrated Basilico at its annual Concorco di Cucina - Cooking Contest. A call for recipes was announced — the only requirement was the use of basil as an ingredient.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, October 7, 2013 4:04 pm. Comments (0)

Creamy clam chowder

When the days turn shorter and the air gets cooler, soups become a desirable part of our menu. Years ago, I got a basic recipe for Clam Chowder from a friend, and set out to improve upon it.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, October 7, 2013 3:25 pm. Comments (0)

An end of the garden tomato soup

Just the other day, I had a bowl of produce from the garden facing me. The tomatoes had been wiped out by bunnies, yielding only a couple dozen or so for the entire season. The zucchini and crookneck squash had been murdered by gophers.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, October 7, 2013 3:14 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 09/10/2013
Comfort in a simple Ragu

Well it is getting to be that time of year. We want comfort food, aromas in the kitchen and a meal that will fill us up and make us cozy and warm.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 4:23 pm. Comments (0)

Monday 09/09/2013
In praise of tomatillos

Like everyone else with a garden this year, we are blessed with an overabundance of fresh produce. This means giving away Armenian cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatillos. Curiously, no one seems to know what to do with the tomatillos.

Posted in Kitchencorner on Monday, September 9, 2013 4:52 pm. Comments (0)

Popular Stories

Poll

Loading…

Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists