Wednesday, 30 May 2012 16:01

Vinegar the alternative cleaner?!?

In March of 2012, the Silent Springs Institute in Massachusetts released a "scientific study" declaring that vinegar be recommended as an "alternative cleaner." We Yankees have been using vinegar as a cleaner in hundreds of different ways for centuries. Well, before I get my gander up about how foolishly institutes spend their money or how foolish institutes are, let me give you some other ideas about how you can use vinegar and its namesake Vinaigrette - and how easy it is to make your own at home. You won't find these highly-addictive Vinaigrettes on your store shelves.

Published in The Cooking Edge
Friday, 25 May 2012 08:23

Not your momma's pesto

For the third time so far, summer has peeked its inviting forehead from the sides of the clouds. And every time it does, I get the urge to cook outdoors, eat outdoors or enjoying recipes that make me feel good, much as the radiance of the sun. Pesto just happens to be my springtime fling. It is great used as a dip for crusty French bread, mixed in with a cold pasta salad, tossed with just cooked pasta or served as the following recipe suggests. Basil pesto is a classic recipe and delicious in its own right. But when you add a spring-time taste, such as asparagus, it transforms this clean taste into something that you will remember and want to make numerous times. Spice this recipe up a bit with a dash or two of hot pepper sauce, a minced jalapeno pepper, a teaspoon of ground mustard or even some flavored oils.

Published in The Cooking Edge
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 22:44

Something old, something new

While I was going through my cupboards the other day, I noticed I still had some molasses hidden behind that cylindrical box of oatmeal that's been up there just as long.(You know what I'm talking about, admit it). Although I knew that it would still be good, even after two years, I glanced it over nonetheless. Yup! Still good. Now before you start chastising me, remember that molasses, along with honey, stays edible for so long because of its sugar content. The sucrose inhibits bacterial growth. I don't want to tell everyone to be as cheap as I am, but I can't help it, it's the Yankee in me. Now what to do with it...? Got it! One of the messiest, delectable and comforting summer foods imaginable: pulled pork. Never heard of a pulled pork recipe using molasses? Then why don't we just call it -

Published in The Cooking Edge
Thursday, 26 April 2012 12:31

Must-haves in the kitchen

Recently I posted a video on YouTube dealing with gravies. Since then I have received so many requests for a list of spices and herbs that you should keep in your kitchen, I made another video dealing with just that. This week's article will address that as well. I think because so many people are marinating steaks and chicken, they want to know what to keep on hand. So here is my list - not only for this summer's grilling and marinades, but for the holidays as well.

Ground cumin - Native to the Mediterranean, this is the second most popular spice (behind pepper) in the world. Most commonly used in the cuisines of Brazil, Texas and Mexico.

Basil - Commonly known for Italian cuisine, but very popular in Asian cooking as well. Oddly absent in India, where it originated.

Cinnamon - Used in both sweet and savory dishes, this pungent yet sweet spice was what Moses was commanded to put in anointing water, believe it or not.

Published in The Cooking Edge
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 16:19

The food flipper

I stopped in Perkin's Appliance a couple of days ago to get a part for my washing machine (did I ever tell you I am a wiz at home repair? Good, 'cause I'm not) and noticed a small display at the register. Now just to give you yet another plug for a great business in the area, I gotta tell ya that it isn't often you find genuinely nice people who want to help you, the buyer, just out of the kindness of their hearts. If you think about it, it doesn't cost a penny for kindness. I brought the whole agitator in with me because I didn't dare to take any of it apart to get at a little "dog" to replace. The man at Perkin's was not only happy to help me replace the part, it was almost a given that he do so, just because I gave him my business. That, my friends, is the Yankee way. Anyway. this display had an odd looking "Food Flipper" that I had never seen before, hanging. Not only does it come in a short length (which is over a foot long), but long as well. The name is Super Stick and it is also made for left- or right-handed outdoor man cooking. You can either pop on over to Perkins to buy your own or order it through the Nickerson family at 207-236-7125. I tried it and, although another business carries their own rendition at a higher price and imported from another state, these are made locally and I will never go without one of these gems again. It isn't so good on burger or fish, but for steaks and chicken cooking on your grill, it can't be beat.

I mentioned man cooking. Of course it is universally known that the outdoor grill belongs to the man. I have done many articles for the female populace, so this week let's put the man behind the grill, pick up your Food Flipper and start grilling.

Published in The Cooking Edge
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 16:20

Dumbed Down

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).

Published in The Cooking Edge
Thursday, 29 March 2012 12:26

It's time...almost!

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.

Published in The Cooking Edge
Thursday, 08 March 2012 13:44

A second helping of vegetables

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.

Published in The Cooking Edge
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:25

Eat your vegetables!

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.
Published in The Cooking Edge
Thursday, 23 February 2012 09:37

My Yanked mac and cheese

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.

Published in The Cooking Edge
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