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The Cooking Edge (75)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 20:27

I really REALLY hate capers!

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There are very few foods that I just plain hate, and capers is one of them. I could have won any episode of 'Fear Factor' because there was (and is) nothing I wouldn't have eaten for money. I mean, worms? Forget about it. Intestines? Again, I wouldn't give it a second thought. But as odd as it sounds, I have the dry heaves when I think of olives, I don't even like being in the same room as capers, and when cottage cheese comes a-knockin', I run out the back door. But as any good chef, I do taste my food, even when those items are involved. But even with their lemony flavor (a taste I adore by the way), I still can't do it. I won't tell you what happens afterwards, though.

Now that I have whetted your appetite, let me give you a recipe that truly ties two flavors together very well. Cod is usually served with parsley sauce, but cod and capers really do accent each other well. I am altering my original recipe to fit the outdoor grill, so you can clip and save if you like. Me? I don't want to see it in print again!

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 16:20

Dumbed Down

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This article is written with one person in mind: a lady by the name of Lynn works at Dr. Mazzei's office in Bangor. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met. Now, I must say that every single person working at this doctors office makes you feel like family the second you walk in, but the personality and the decor of this office, along with the patient rooms, truly takes the emotional sting out of being seen by a physician. Lynn wanted some recipes that were a little less time consuming but none-the-less, gratifying. These are for you Lynn (And you better make at least one of them). 

Yanked Chocolate Strawberries

Instead of always dipping your strawberries into melted chocolate, why not fill them with chocolate? I am eating them as I am writing this article and cleaning the chocolate off the keyboard).

Thursday, 29 March 2012 12:26

It's time...almost!

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Yes almost time for cooking and eating outside. With the recent days of sunshine and the itch to get outside, I started thinking of a sandwich that would go hand in hand with the warmer months to come. Something that is light and made with little effort. I quickly thought about the coast, with the smell of mud flats and the sight of sea gulls. It didn't take me long to "Yank" a sandwich together, and I gotta admit, we will be eating these many more times under the sun.

Crab and tuna burgers

Because they're moist and more delicate than hamburgers, handle these taste sandwiches gently during the shaping and cooking, but have at it when eating.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:31

Great street food

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After almost a week in Boston and beyond, I never had food so greasy, laden with decadence and so delicious as I did while stopping at every food truck I could find. By far, the best "had-food" was the arepa. Many vendors were making them and no wonder. They are great!

Arepas (Venezuelan corncakes)

These stuffed corncakes are original to South America and are generally served in areperias, Venezuelan restaurants. They are stuffed with anything under the son or just enjoyed for breakfast with better melting inside or on top. Making your own is worth the effort, especially when you can't find pre-made anywhere.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:19

Making your own pasta

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Nah, I wouldn't do that to you nice folks. I am, however, going to give you some recipes that combine vibrant spring colors with freshness that will remind you that spring is here. These quick, delicious and beautiful pasta dishes are great to look at and have that spring zing in taste.

Thursday, 08 March 2012 13:44

A second helping of vegetables

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I am continuing last week's article on vegetables because of the past few wintery months, during which many of us have become couch potatoes. If we aren't going to get off that couch, then the least we can do is put something nutritionally valuable into our system. I am adding some flavor and depth into our vegetable dishes this week, so I do hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:25

Eat your vegetables!

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How many times have we heard those dreadful words uttered by our caring parents when we were growing up? It's funny because when we were children, we didn't understand the benefits of eating vegetables, nor did we care. Looking back (and being parents ourselves), it wasn't just the vitamin benefits of eating veggies our parents were concerned about, it was for financial reasons as well. Vegetables were (and still are) a way of filling our bellies with something a little cheaper while at the same time giving our bodies nutrients and vitamins only found in leafy greens and vegetables. Now to make these side dishes taste better than we remember. When you play around with veggies, adding this ingredient and that spice, it is so easy to come up with something great tasting and much more filling than we remember as children. Here are a couple recipes I think you will enjoy.
Thursday, 23 February 2012 09:37

My Yanked mac and cheese

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I think one of the top five comfort food to us Yankees is macaroni and cheese. Nothing like that creamy cheese sauce working its magic around fully-cooked (not al dente) pasta which beckons us to grab a second plate. Be it baked or not, that crispy top crust reminds me of those days when my father put a smile on our faces by setting that jumbo-sized casserole dish in the middle of the table at suppertime. I have taken that feel good meal and Yanked it with few flavors I think you may find quite complementary. And, as usual, let me know what you think at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Don't forget to visit my blog and website as well for many more ideas for that wintry meal that will warm you up.

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 15:44

Shepherd's Pie

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Or is it cottage pie? My beautiful niece Jessica called me the other night and asked, "Uncle Jim, what the heck (I don't think I have ever heard her swear) is China pie?" I asked her if she meant Chinese pie; she said yes. But she was still curious why some people call it Chinese pie while others called it shepherd's pie. She also wanted to know the origins and meaning of the name. (Thanks a lot Jess!)

First off, Chinese pie should indeed be called China pie, and it has hamburger on bottom, a layer of corn (either whole kernel or creamed) and is topped with mashed potatoes, baked and browned slightly on top. It was first made by railroad workers in Canada during the last half of the 19th century. As these workers migrated to China, Maine, they brought with them this dish, which the Maine people of the China region had never seen. It quickly became a favorite and was called China pie.

Wednesday, 02 November 2011 16:42

More yanked recipes

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Here are some Holiday favorites that I yanked just for you. I haven't even posted these recipes on any of my sites and you can't find them in my cookbook. Hope you enjoy the flavor of New England in each Thanksgiving recipe.

Spiced pumpkin custard pie
3/4 c. chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
4 T. ice cold water, or more as needed to form dough ball
1 t. lemon juice or vinegar

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