• Kitchen Adventures: For the love of fresh basil

    When you have a package of fresh basil, you make a lot of basily things.

    At least I do.

    Last week, I used basil in a pasta salad.

    For dinner one night, I put it on some homemade pizza bread. Simply put some pepperoni, bacon bits, tomato sauce, basil and cheese on some freshly sliced bread and place it under the broiler for a few minutes. It was a last-minute dinner choice using a variety of things on hand, but the basil made it delicious.

  • One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks: It's no surprise, Shirley Pearson dishes up family favorites

    This month’s “One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks” is a lady I have known for a long time: Shirley Pearson. This month is special because her adult granddaughter nominated her and three of her grandchildren have made comments about their favorite dishes.

    Granddaughter Erin Roberts said, “Mamaw has inspired Travis, Jenna and I to learn to cook and make some of her recipes that we love.”

  • Kitchen Adventures: Addicted to pasta

    I officially may be addicted to pasta. If there’s a recipe involving pasta, I want to try it. 

    The things that go so well with pasta also are enticing. Sauces, cheese, basil, spices, meats and even bacon on occasion all mix in well with pasta. Not only can you smother pasta in cheese, you can stuff pasta with cheese. When you add cheese and pasta together, it’s a combination hard to resist.

    You make pasta boiled on a stove and tossed in a good sauce, baked or even cold in a salad.

    In a word, pasta is amazing.

  • A Dash of Class: Sweet treats for any weather

    Time just flies, doesn’t it? Here we are at the end of March and the beginning of spring is teasing us, but if the forecast is right, we might have snow today.

    I have for you some great recipes this month. The first recipe was brought to our Cecilia Homemakers meeting and the person sent me the recipe, but I fail to remember who it was. It sure was delicious.

  • Kitchen Adventures: A middle school journey into Middle Earth

    Books are exciting, wonderful and brilliant and can be the inspiration for cooking.

    Library Media Specialist Jessica Hundley decided to combine books and food as a reward to some of her avid readers at Bluegrass Middle School. They gathered in the media center last week during the school’s Read Across America emphasis. The event was rescheduled because of snow the week before.

  • Dash of Class: Three treats for lasagna lovers

    The term “lasagna” comes from the Greek word, “lasagnum,” meaning dish or bowl. The ancient Greeks used baking dishes of that name, which they eventually transferred to the Romans.

    The Romans, who ended up using the same style of dish, also developed a type of food which they used the term “lasagnum” for: it was served in said dish, with layers of a pasta-like food and other fillings in-between. With the extent of the Roman Empire, this new “lasagnum” dish spread all across Europe.

  • Kitchen Adventures: Salty, sweet and spicy treats

    When trying to find a recipe idea in a pinch, I go to two places. One is the pantry to see what I have on hand and the other is the Internet to look for recipes built with those ingredients.

    On a recent snow day, I found a couple of great recipes to make out of crackers with ingredients you may have around the house. They’re a perfect snack.

    The first is a recipe from the Mingus family, collectively known as the Mingi. The dish was brought to a New Year’s gathering earlier this year and was delicious.

  • Principles of cooking are elemental for ‘One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks’

    It is an honor to introduce you to this week’s “One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks.” Since I started this feature, I don’t believe I have ever had anyone as young as this lady.

  • Soup's on: A warm meal for cool evenings

    While spring is just around the corner, it doesn’t feel much like it. In a winter where the words “polar vortex” are thrown around on the forecast every other week, soup is a staple on the menu.

    There’s nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a cold day. While tomato soup and grilled cheese remains one of my favorite meals, I’m always on the lookout for a new soup recipe.

  • A Dash of Class: Mardi Gras recipes

    The words Mardi Gras are French for “Fat Tuesday.” Carnival celebrations beginning on or after the Feast of the Epiphany have become very popular, especially in the South.