• Favorite recipes from Christmases past

    As I write this column, on Dec. 18, it is exactly one week until Christmas. Our mail lady brought three packages to the front door today. Gee, I thought I was through wrapping presents.

    When thinking about what to write this week, I became nostalgic and wondered what I wrote in columns at this time of the year during the last seven years. Two years I wrote memoirs without recipes. This week I present to you a collection of favorites from 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

  • Recipe for a Christmas tree

    I know many of you have your Christmas trees up, but I want to tell the recipe, you might say, for a Christmas tree.

    First, there is the tree. While growing up, we always had a cedar tree from our farm. Later, Mike and I bought our first trees from a tree stand until the fresh tree succumbed to the artificial tree, but where is the aroma of a fresh tree?

  • Kitchen Adventures: Peppermint puts Christmas in cookies

    I saw a video this week of Cookie Monster learning the concept of delayed gratification while waiting to get a cookie from actor Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in the “Thor” films. Cookie Monster had a hard time grasping this concept, but by waiting and not eating Hiddleston’s cookie, he was rewarded with an entire plate of cookies.

  • Dash of Class: Wrap up tested local recipes

    It’s only 15 days until Christmas and if you are like me, you are trying to think of the right gift for someone on your list.

    A cookbook might be the answer and I have a couple suggestions. I love cookbooks; I can sit down and read one like a novel. Just within the last month, I’ve added two new cookbooks to my collection.

  • Kitchen Adventures: This Christmas candy is a snap

    If you like to cook and bake, Christmas is a time to share that joy with others. One of the staples of this tradition is making Christmas candy.

    This Christmas I wanted to try a couple new things.

  • Kitchen Adventures: Cranberry Orange Relish is a delicious, no-stress Thanksgiving dish

    Thanksgiving is a holiday where families and friends sit down to remember what they are thankful for and then eat until they can’t possibly eat anymore.

    A holiday that centers on food is something that brings joy and stress to any cook. Joy because we love cooking and can’t wait to share with family and friends. Stress because we want everything to go perfectly and one little misstep can send us into a Thanksgiving Day frenzy in the kitchen.

  • Dash of Class: A roundup of holiday desserts

    Here we are again at the end of the month, but more importantly, two days before Thanksgiving. I’m sure you have your menu planned, but just in case, I have some dessert options beyond the traditional pumpkin or pecan pies in this month’s recipe roundup.

    I also have an unusual biscuit recipe that was sent to me by a friend, Ruby Ingram of Cecilia Homemakers. Enjoy and have a very happy Thanksgiving no matter what your dessert choice is.

    Remember, you can share a recipe or have me look for one you might have lost for next month’s recipe roundup.

  • Kitchen Adventures: A yuletime tradition


    From gingerbread men to fruitcake and figgy pudding, there has been a wide variety of Christmas food traditions throughout history.

    One traditional recipe I have never tried until now is a yule log.

    The yule log, or bûche de Noël in French, is based on an actual log burned in European hearths as a part of winter solstice celebrations.

  • One of Hardin County's Finest Cooks: Jo Johnson passed down fine food traditions

    December’s “One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks” is the late Josephine “Jo” Johnson of Elizabethtown.

    Nominated by her daughters, Bonnie Young and Carolyn Clark, Jo was a homemaker, devoted mother and retired seamstress from Elizabethtown Sportswear. Jo, although small in stature, was a bundle of energy and prided herself on being a hard worker.

    “I may wear out, but I won’t rust out,” she often said.

  • Dash of Class: Thanksgiving recipes and reflections

    While I was teaching foods classes at Central Hardin High School, I had students do a culminating project over the semester. It showcased what they had learned such as measuring ingredients, kitchen sanitation, the proper way to set a table, table manners and actual meal preparation.