Ah the cookie. In America, a cookie is described as a thin, sweet, usually small cake. By definition, a cookie can be any of a variety of hand-held, flour-based sweet cakes, either crisp or soft. The name cookie is derived from the Dutch word “koekje,” meaning “small or little cake.” Whateve…

During the coming holiday season the two things that seem to be in short supply are time and money. A great solution to both is homemade food gifts. A few minutes in the kitchen can save you hours of shopping in crowded stores plus homemade food gifts can be super cost-effective.

The newspaper, magazines and TV programs are flooded with information, suggestions and recipes for what to make for Thanksgiving. It’s almost overwhelming.

Are stuffing and dressing the same thing? Some believe if you cook the bread mixture inside the bird that makes stuffing; if it’s prepared outside the bird, that makes it dressing. We here in the South call it dressing. Stuffing isn’t very pleasant-sounding at all.

I love to learn anything about food from growing to cooking to, of course, tasting. So it was a natural fit when I joined the local Halifax-Northampton Beekeepers Association.

Along with the witches, goblins and scary movies for Halloween, comes the tradition of tick or treating and all that Halloween candy. Are you ready for a really big scare? A typical child’s loot bag will have about a whopping 11,000 calories worth of “goodies.” Most of it is in the form of u…

It happens every year like clockwork, around the end of September the supermarkets, farmers markets and pick your own farms offer a wide selection of various size and shape bright orange pumpkins.

On my way back from vacationing last week, we passed The Sanctuary, a local Outer Banks winery. I said, “Hold everything!” and insisted we stop to check it out.

This is the time of year when I always crave apples. I love driving to the mountains and stopping at several of those little stands on the side of the road. They have all kinds of apples, meats, cider and tons of delicious and most of the time homemade (hand-crafted) goodies.

Labor Day is over and with it, the official end to summer. It’s back to school, and all the activities that go along with it, plus work. Oh my! It’s usually the time meal planning and cooking gets put on the back burner (sorry for the pun). Many turn to fast food or highly processed foods, c…

With school starting, what’s on a parent’s mind is children doing well in the coming school year. Did you know the food you choose to feed your child and with whom they eat it can make a big difference in their ability to do well in classes and getting along with others.

Great-Aunt Verna Mae is my Granny’s youngest brother’s wife. She was a beautiful woman. She had long black hair and the most gorgeous blue eyes. Her skin looked like a porcelain doll. Everyone always spoke of Aunt Verna Mae and they would always comment on how beautiful she was. She was also…

Summertime is zucchini time. And if your garden is like mine, it’s in abundance. Not growing any? Then check the supermarkets. There’s locally grown North Carolina squash reasonably priced and available just waiting to be cooked in amazing recipes.

The statistics say the world production of tomatoes was 170.8 million tons, with China accounting for 52 tons (31 percent) of the total, followed by India with 19 tons, then the United States with 14 tons. We all know what’s really true — the biggest crop is in your backyard and you don’t kn…

We are well into the summer season. During this time of year we all love to grill out. I use my gas grill but I do miss the taste of a charcoal grilled hot dog.

What is a summer treat that is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s heaviest grown fruit, weighing in at 350.5 pounds and you can eat every part? Give up? It’s green on the outside, bright reddish-pink flesh and the juice runs down your chin when you bite into it. It is cous…

July 4th is soon upon us. It’s time to plan food for the celebration. Food should not only be flavorful, loaded with nutrition and appealing but should also be fun!

TRIFLE (TRI-fuhl) — The word “trifle” is an old French term meaning something whimsical or of little consequence. The earliest mention of a trifle is in an old cookbook dating back to 1585, “The Good Huswifes Jewell.” I looked this up online and couldn’t really make heads or tails of it. I’m…

A smoothie (also spelled smoothy) by definition is a thick blended beverage with shake-like consistency, normally pureed in a blender containing fruits and/or vegetables as well as an added liquid such as fruit juice, vegetable juice, milk or yogurt. The best things about smoothies are they …

Whenever I think of chicken casserole, I immediately think of my mama, Judy Hall-Meadows. She had a core chicken casserole recipe that from time to time she would add a few extra ingredients and it would change the look, smell and most of all the taste. All of which were always delicious! I …

What’s red, juicy, small enough to hold in your hand and are best when grown and bought locally. If you guessed tomatoes, wrong! This time of the year, it’s strawberries. I bought some to use for testing the recipes below from a local farm on N.C. 301. Walking to my car, I swatted at a bug t…

Now is local asparagus season. Asparagus is amazingly versatile: It can be simmered, steamed, grilled, roasted, battered, sautéed or wok-fried. Thinly sliced, it is even wonderful raw in a salad. The cooked spears can sport a variety of guises, from simple salt and pepper seasoning with butt…

With the days whizzing by, it’s no surprise to discover March is gone and we’re into April. Yet, in good conscience even though it’s over, I can’t ignore the celebration of an important crop we grow right here in this area.

Spring is blooming on your Easter table. From yellow chick cupcakes to blueberry French-toast casseroles, there are plenty of ways to wow your brunch guests with simple seasonal recipes.

Bummed out about having missed my chance to write about St. Patrick’s Day and Irish food, my thoughts went to the Irish and their connection with potatoes. Both how it sustained them and during the famine, when potato blight destroyed the crop, it caused devastation. Potatoes are an essentia…

Most people don’t realize the food they eat and how it’s prepared is directly related to their health and wellbeing. Food can be your medicine or contribute to your decline in health. That’s why I can’t ignore talking about March being National Nutrition Month. As stated on the website of th…

Coming up with an idea for my column is almost as much fun as writing and testing recipes for it. Combing the Internet I came across several websites that had a list of the monthly “holidays” especially those related to food.

Yes, it’s almost that time of year again when people gather every place imaginable to watch two teams of grown men rough up and tackle each other; going up and down a field while possessively hanging on to an odd shaped object make of cowhide. It’s football and it’s Super Bowl time.

New products are showing up on the grocery shelves, the buzz is in the air and diets are touting its virtues. Gluten-free! What are they talking about?