• Smoky Mountain delicacies travel home

    Recently, I took a trip to the Smoky Mountains. While the beautiful scenery, shopping and miniature golf are big draws for the region, the food also is pretty popular.

    While in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, there are a few places I visit each time. This year, I tried a few new places as well.

  • Dash of Class recipe roundup: Pretzel-crust treat with a new twist

    Here we are at the end of the month with Recipe Roundup and you will find two soups and a dessert.

    I love Pretzel Salad. A good pretzel salad, that is. Some people don’t crush the pretzels fine enough or get the gelatin firm enough and it runs under the pretzel crust and you have a whole new dish. Through my online Taste of Home subscription, I found the Pretzel Dessert. Cherry pie filling is used instead of strawberry gelatin. Give it a try.

  • Kitchen Adventure: Strawberries and chocolate: Yes, please

    Sometimes a series of random events can come together for perfect timing to try a new recipe. That’s what happened with the Fudge Lover’s Strawberry Truffle Cake.

    Several recipes from various websites land in my inbox every day. One day, a sweet treat of chocolate and strawberry deliciousness appeared in an email.

    The recipe was tucked away in a file, but never far from my mind.

    In another great surprise recently, strawberries were on sale at the grocery store. Things were coming together nicely.

  • Kitchen Adventures: Meatloaf, a little slice of home

    When you’ve had a hard week, sometimes all you want is a little bit of comfort food. Something that’s freshly cooked, warm and tastes like home. The king of comfort food is meatloaf.

    After a couple rough weeks, I searched the Internet for a new meatloaf recipe. In the past, I’ve made several varieties including traditional, Italian, cheeseburger and barbecue.

    This time around I found a recipe for Stove Top Stuffing Meatloaf.

  • Dash of Class: Crazy 'bout cupcakes

    Cupcakes have taken the country by storm in the past decade. What gives? When I think of cupcakes, I remember how my mom would bring them to school with flavored, sweetened beverages and how she would make them for 4-H bake sales. You would see them with Scouts or athletic teams to help them raise money for their organizations.

  • Dash of Class: Nothing says Valentines like ganache

    Happy Valentine’s Day two days early. While researching why chocolate is so popular for Valentine’s Day, I found this interesting information.

    Chocolate is a unique food as it not only satisfies the taste buds and mouth, but goes on to satisfy the brain, according to Dr. Judith Wurtman, who published “A Valentine Date with Chocolate,” in “The Antidepressant Diet.”

    Sugar and butterfat change chocolate from a bitter, dry crunchy food into one that coats the tongue and mouth and has a major impact on the way we feel.

  • Kitchen Adventures: Enjoying the food in Mom's kitchen

    One of my favorite things to do is go to my mom’s house for dinner. There’s just something about my momma’s cooking.

    After staying at her house a few days while I had some home repairs completed, she made one of my favorites — broccoli casserole.

    As a kid, you couldn’t get me to eat broccoli if you paid me a million dollars. But now this dish is a favorite.

    It’s even better the next day as leftovers. It’s almost like food crack. 

  • Stephanie Hagar is 'One of Hardin County's Finest Cooks'

    Today is a first for One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks. It is an honor to introduce a former student, Stephanie Hagar, who was nominated by her very proud grandmother, Lelia Rogers.

    Stephanie lives in Cecilia with her husband, Tim, and three sons, Derek, Devin and Cade. Stephanie calls herself a stay-at-home working mom, as she has a nail salon in her home and says it is the best of both worlds.

  • A fudge mess saved by ice cream

    This week’s adventure is the story of a recipe gone wrong but joyfully salvaged because adding ice cream on top of any baking mishap makes it all turn out well in the end.

    A few weeks ago, I ran across a recipe for hot fudge pie. The photo looked delicious and the instructions were relatively simple so I printed it out to try sometime. With the words hot fudge in the title it was a no-brainer to clip and save.

  • Kitchen Adventures: The big game spread

    The big game is coming up Sunday and with the Super Bowl comes game day snacks.

    Super Bowl snacks always are about eating something yummy, but there are certain kinds of snacks people tend to enjoy more.

    A very unscientific survey on Facebook broke down what people want this way.