Keeping food safe when the power goes out

Even though hurricane season officially began on June 1, we’re approaching the season’s peak, which typically runs from now until late October. Statistics show that Sept. 10 is the most likely day to find something stirring in the Atlantic. So if a storm came through and your power went out, would you know what to do with your food? Also, what food would you eat to keep you and your … [Read more...]

Paninis help relieve stress on school days

It’s August — and that means families will be getting back into their school routines. Besides gearing up in the morning, there’s the evening to think about, too. As kids get into their extracurricular activities and homework habits, there is usually one part of the day that can get particularly stressful: dinnertime. We all hear that this should be family time, a time for no TV, a … [Read more...]

Natural ‘enemies’ can attack garden pests

Summer months may stress plants because we often see periods of increased rainfall and then periods of drought along with intense heat. And, when plants are stressed, they may be more susceptible to pests. When it comes to combating these pests, don’t forget there are many natural enemies that eat pest insects. These natural enemies, that are considered good or beneficial, include … [Read more...]

Father’s Day is a big day for grilling

Father’s Day is often associated with grilling. Grilling accessories are a popular Father’s Day gift idea, and some dads use this time of year to purchase a new grill — with businesses often offering special sales. Father’s Day also is a time when families often go fishing — with fishing gear also being a popular gift category for dads. So, why not tie those two themes together for a … [Read more...]

If you want a quick and refreshing meal, try these chicken salad recipes

Sometimes you just want to make something simple, quick and delicious — and chicken salad is just that thing. Here’s a little stash of chicken salad recipes to keep on hand for when you need them. Enjoy! First, to prepare the chicken. Ingredients: 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless 2 low-sodium bouillon cubes (granules or liquids can be used), along with water to make 2 … [Read more...]

Have some Hoppin’ John, and a Happy New Year

The beginning of 2019 is right around the corner, and celebrating the start of a New Year often involves partaking in a traditional food ritual to promote health, luck and prosperity in the year ahead. In the Southern United States, many subscribe to the notion that eating just a bowl of Hoppin’ John will bring you good fortune in the New Year. The ritual dates back to the 1800s in South … [Read more...]

If you’re having a holiday party, these recipes may help

Planning to entertain for the holidays? Whether you’re planning a small gathering with “finger foods” or a full meal, these ideas may help you get started. Hors d’oeuvres  — which literally means “apart from the main work/meal" — can be a great way to feed your guests during a cocktail hour, or, can take the place of a meal. In the United States, we often refer to these foods as “appetizers.” … [Read more...]

Plan for your pet, too, during a disaster

Taking precautions for your pets in the event of a disaster doesn’t have to be difficult. The Pet Resource Center in Hillsborough County offers these key pointers: Make sure your pet’s county registration tag is up to date, and take a trip to the vet to update all vaccinations, get a microchip and extra medications. Create a disaster kit and ID packet for your pet. The kit should … [Read more...]

Rediscovering the fun of fondue

Fondue is more than a recipe — it is a way of cooking that was developed by Swiss peasants back in the 19th century as a way to use hard/dried-out cheeses to make it more appealing. The word fondue comes from a French verb that means to melt or to blend. So, in preparation, the cheese was melted in a communal pot made of heavy earthenware (called a caquelon or fondue pot) and wine (or … [Read more...]

Do you know the ‘Muffin Man? How about your muffin pan?

I am always looking for quick, easy, unique recipe ideas – this time I had a convenient source of inspiration. I just reached into my kitchen cabinet and pulled out a common baking pan – the muffin pan! The beauty of cooking in a 6- or 12-cup muffin pan is that recipes become individual, pre-portioned servings, that are very portable (grab and go) and can easily be served. Some can even be … [Read more...]