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...]

Buzzin’ about bees at the Hugh Embry Library

Ginny Geiger, a member of the Dade City Garden Club, delivered an entertaining and informative program on the importance of bees at the Hugh Embry Library. Geiger led the “Nature Detectives Bee Workshop,” dispensing information and, at one point, demonstrating how a bee might act, if a wasp — an enemy of the bee — approached the hive. In her hour-long workshop, Geiger talked about the … [Read more...]

Sharing the history of the Bundt cake, and a recipe, too

If you’ve ever wondered how Bundt cakes came about, this column will satisfy that curiosity. A Bundt cake is baked in a pan that gives the cake a distinctive ring shape. The shape was inspired by a traditional European yeasted cake known as a Gugelhupf (also called bund cake) that was often prepared to serve at a gathering of people. Many recipes have been developed over time for … [Read more...]

It’s the holidays: Time for yummy traditional Southern pies

When it comes to Southern pies, Florida has its famous Key Lime pie. Georgia has a classic Buttermilk Custard pie. And, North Carolina has its Chocolate Chess pie. But when it comes to the fall, seasonal favorites are apple, pecan, pumpkin and sweet potato — in alphabetical order. That’s because the ingredients needed for the seasonal pies are at their peak. And, it turns out that … [Read more...]

Save time and money, with make-ahead meals

Put those take-out menus back in the drawer! You can save time and money in your own kitchen by making meals ahead and freezing them. That way, you’ll have them for those “too busy to cook” days. When life gets too hectic, pull out of one of your prepared meals. Not only will your meals be tastier, they’ll also be healthier than those you are tempted to buy on-the-go. You may have … [Read more...]

Summertime fun with campfire cooking

Those who grew up in the Girl Scouts, or Boy Scouts, have fond memories of cooking over an open fire. For those of who didn’t have those experiences early on, it’s not too late to join in the fun. Don’t be intimidated by your lack of expertise. Here are some fundamentals to help you succeed with campfire cooking. First, be sure to build the right fire in the right place in the … [Read more...]

Festivities set to honor Earth Day

Finding ways to celebrate Mother Earth and to recycle, upcycle and preserve its precious resources are the themes of Earth Day celebrations planned around the region. One of the largest area events planned for Earth Day, known as Earth Day Tampa Bay, got its start as EcoFest at Learning Gate Community School in Lutz. Now, in its eighth year, the event has become Tampa’s signature Earth … [Read more...]

Be healthier: Start with small steps, be consistent

So, maybe you decided to start the New Year like you always do — with a resolution to be healthier. If you did, you’d be like many of us who always have good intentions. Sadly, many of us don’t follow through. Still, there’s no time like the present to begin making positive changes in your life, and most of us could stand to improve when it comes to our diet and exercise … [Read more...]

Here’s a healthy gift idea

When it comes to the holidays, unhealthy choices abound. But, there’s one gift that you can give that actually promotes good health. Contrary to what some people believe, nuts are a heart-healthy food. Because nuts are high in fat and calories, some people exclude them from their diet. But the fact is, nuts are good for you — when eaten in moderation, of course. The U.S. Food and … [Read more...]