culinary review

Superbowl Drinks & Appetizers

Last Modified: 02/02/12
First Published: 01/22/08
Views: 2949
Views: 2949

These classic party dishes can make any superbowl party stress-free and fun. How about a cornmeal topped chili and a beer margarita to go with it... For snacks, refried beans is always a classic with good quality corn chips. And why not serve a feta dip with vegetables as well as avocado nibbles which makes a healthy and tasty addition.



Chili with Baked Cornmeal Topping

When you feel like having chili, but want to make it something special, then why not make a chili baked with cornmeal topping. It is a very tasty and comforting way to serve chili – the golden cornmeal topping bakes on top of the chili in a Dutch oven and provides a perfect meal in one pot.

Refried Pinto Beansrefried beans

Why in the world would you buy canned refried beans when it's so easy to make your own. If you already have some cooked pinto beans on hand (either cook up a large batch in advance and freeze portions - or use canned), then this dish will be done in no-time and the result is more than satisfying.

Spicy Buffalo Wingsspicy buffalo chicken wings

This recipe from America’s Test Kitchen produces perfect spicy buffalo wings with the traditional hot, tasty flavor. A classic hot sauce such as Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce provides the recognizable taste (hot, slightly sweet and vinegary) and coupled with brown sugar, apple cider and extra Tabasco, the sauce gets the right kick.

Cheesy Classic Nachosclassic nachos

Sometimes nothing beats classic nachos with lots of cheese, spicy peppers and lots of tasty toppings such as homemade guacamole, salsa and sour cream. Nachos happen to be really simple to make. You need some good quality chips, about 2 cups of cheddar cheese and habero peppers as well as tasty toppings.

Twice Baked Potatoestwice-baked potatoes

These twice-baked potatoes are easy to make and absolutely delicious. They are perfect plain with some sour cream and salsa with some crispy bacon bits. These potatoes are also easy to prepare in advance - the perfect party food.

Feta Dip with Lemon and Parsleyfeta vegetable dip

This is a very nice and crisp dip that is perfect to serve along with vegetables or chips. It is really so easy to mix together your own dip, as opposed to buying an onion dip mix which usually is quite salty anyway. This dip has a really nice flavor and the feta provides good taste and texture. Make sure to let the dip rest for at least an hour before serving, it makes a big difference in taste.

avocado appetizerAvocado with herb cheese on hard bread

This is a very simple way to serve avocado as a nibble or small appetizer - these little bite-size pieces will be gone in no time!


margaritaClassic Margarita

You can't go wrong with a classic Margarita. This one is made from the basic ingredients tequila, triple sec and lime juice.

Beer Margarita

This is a very refreshing drink where the beer flavor doesn't stand out at all, it only adds a crispness and freshness to the drink.

grapefruit margarita

Grapefruit Margarita

This simple drink is really refreshing and different as opposed to a regular margarita. Not to speak of how much easier it is to juice one or two grapefruits instead of six or seven limes!

Christmas & Holiday Butter Cookies

Last Modified: 12/23/11
First Published: 10/18/07
Views: 4595
Views: 4595
holiday butter cookies

Christmas & Holiday Butter Cookies

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General Info
Servings: 40
Total Cost: $2.06
Cost Per Serving: $0.05
Total Calories: 3,564
Calories/Serving: 89
Butter, Unsalted 1/2 Cup 112.00 Grams $0.50 800
Shortening, All Vegetable 1/2 Cup 120.00 Grams $0.85 1,080
Sugar, White Granulated 3/4 Cups 150.00 Grams $0.20 581
Eggs, Chicken (1 egg) * 50.00 Grams $0.17 78
Flour, White Unbleached All Purpose 2 1/4 Cups 9.56 Ounces $0.31 1,024
Baking Powder, Clabber Girl 1/4 Teaspoon 1.20 Grams $0.01 0
Extract, Vanilla Pure 1/8 Teaspoon 0.54 Gram $0.03 2

This is a Holiday Butter Cookie from the "Cookie Press", an old tried and true recipe that always works. It holds its shape, stores nicely and just feels like the Holidays when you bite into one of these.

christmas butter cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup crisco softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • food coloring
  • 2 1/4 cups flours
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla
  • colored sugar crystals


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Using an electric stand mixer ceam butter & shortening until fluffy-beat in sugar.

Add egg & few drops of food coloring - mix well

Sift flour, baking powder & salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture & blend until smooth.

Fill the cookie press with dough & select disc (wreath for Xmas)

Form the cookies on ungeased cookie sheets & decorate with colored crystals or cherry

Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove & cool on wire racks


Ideas For The Thanksgiving Holiday Meal

Last Modified: 11/24/11
First Published: 10/29/07
Views: 2032
Views: 2032

Thanksgiving time presents a wonderful opportunity to gather friends and family around a festive meal.
Here is a collection of various Thanksgiving recipes including information on how to thaw and cook your turkey properly. These recipes are all well tried and delicious, why not try the Cranberry Sauce with Pineapple and Walnuts, or perhaps the stuffed spicy acorn squash?

Of course you can also find recipes on how to make gravy, classic stuffing, pumpkin pie and other traditional Thanksgiving dishes.



The Turkey:

How To Thaw A Frozen Turkey

How To Make a Turkey Brine

How To Cook A Turkey

Homemade Turkey Stock

gravyGravy & Sauces:

How To Make Gravy

Cranberry Sauce with Pineapple and Walnuts

Orange Cranberry Sauce with Cinnamon and Cloves

Homemade Applesauce


stuffingSide dishes:

Classic Turkey Stuffing with Cranberries and Walnuts

Traditional Deviled Eggs

Brown Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Classic Green Bean Casserole

Stuffed Spicy Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Dried Fruit and Walnuts


Sweet and Spicy Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Classic Carrot Soup with Ginger and Orange

Roasted Red Pepper Soup




Mashed Potatoes:

Smooth & Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Chunky Mashed Potatoes



Homemade Sweet Potato Pie

Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Pie



turkey_sandwichEvening Meal:

Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich


Halloween Cupcakes

Last Modified: 10/28/09
First Published: 10/25/07
Views: 16327
Views: 16327

Cupcakes are a great holiday treat. And with a really good basic cupcake recipe you can create all sorts of interesting icing and candies to put on top.

How To Make Cupcakes

This is a really nice cupcake recipe that works wonderful for Halloween cupcakes.

How To Make Cupcake Icing

Top you cupcakes with this nice and creamy frosting. For a nice Halloween feel, add some yellow or orange food coloring to give the icing a beautiful color.


For a true Halloween feel, buy regular candied corn candy, and orange and black jelly beans and top your cupcakes with this variety of candy...

Halloween_candy Halloween_cupcakeshalloween_cupcakes


Homemade Holiday Food Gifts From The Kitchen

Last Modified: 10/21/09
First Published: 11/06/07
Views: 4562
Views: 4562

Homemade edible gifts from the kitchen are so much fun to give, and are always appreciated. No matter whether you're looking for unique Christmas presents, or ideas for things to put in gift baskets for Thanksgiving, Halloween or other times of the year, these edible presents are fun to make and delicious to eat or drink! Homemade food gifts are perfect if you want to save some money this year, or if you simply want to bring authenticity in to your home and create your own traditions.

Wrap your gift in some nice paper or put the content in a pretty jar, and you're all set. Mason jars are affordable and can be reused again and again. A hand written note describing the content is nice and gives it a personal touch. 


Dry Dark Hot Chocolate Mix


Mix together your own dry cocoa mix. This is a very dark and rich mix and a perfect gift for the chocolate lover. Either make a regular mix, or add some cinnamon to make Mexican hot chocolate.


Dry Spicy Chai Mix


A dry spicy chai mix makes a very nice gift. All you do is mix this blend with some hot water and you have a wonderful beverage.

Apple Butter


A jar of sweet and spicy apple butter is so versatile and delicious. If you're giving this away, then it's a good idea to go through the steps to sterilize and preserve this right, so it will last on the shelf for a few months.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Butter


Preserve the pumpkin flavors of the season and give a jar of homemade sweet and spicy pumpkin butter. This present is a yummy and unique gift. Don't forget to sterilize and preserve it right, so it will last on the shelf for a few months.


Raisin-Nut Bundt Cake


Make a nice and rich cake such as this raisin-nut bundt cake. What's so nice about this kind of cake is that it's dense and stays nice for a couple of days. Wrap in cellophane for nice presentation.


Sugar Cookie Dough


Cookie dough is the perfect gift for the non-baker. Make a batch and store it in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a longer period of time in a roll. Then whenever the reciever wants some cookies, they can simple cut a few slices off and bake them in the oven.

Chocolate Truffles


Chocolate truffles makes an impressive gift, yet they're quite easy to make. Coat with different kinds of chocolate or nuts and put in a nice box.

Chocolate Fudge


Homemade fudge is so delicious if you watch your temperature carefully and is perfect to give. Rich, sweet and smooth, it makes a decadent gift.

Homemade Chili Spice Rub


Create a personal spice blend, wrap in a bag and attach a note describing how to use the blend. There are so many different spice blends one can make such as chili rubs, fish spices, pumpkin spices etc...


Traditional Thanksgiving Deviled Eggs

Last Modified: 11/22/08
First Published: 10/18/07
Views: 3220
Views: 3220
click on any ingredient
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General Info
Servings: 24
Total Cost: $2.26
Cost Per Serving: $0.09
Total Calories: 1,673
Calories/Serving: 70
Paprika 1/2 Teaspoon 1.15 Grams $0.07 3
Cayenne Pepper 1 Dash 0.22 Gram $0.01 1
Black Pepper, Ground 1 Teaspoon 2.13 Grams $0.02 5
Salt, Kosher 1 Teaspoon 4.80 Grams $0.01 0
Eggs, Chicken (1 dozen eggs) * 1.20 Pounds $1.81 849
Mayonnaise, Generic 1/2 Cup 112.00 Grams $0.19 800
Mustard, Dijon 1 Tablespoon 15.00 Grams $0.14 15

Deviled Eggs are always a perfect dish for the holidays. We have these every year.


  • 12 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 - cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • dash of cayenne
  • sprinkle paparika on top
  • optional parsley or chives-dash of white vinegar

deviled eggs


Start out with 12 hard-boiled eggs.

How to Cook an Egg - Soft or Hard Boiled

Once they are cooled, peel then slice in half scooping out yolks

Mix all ingredients in a bowl & with a fork & then spoon into whites, refrigerate & serve



Thanksgiving Turkey

Last Modified: 11/22/08
First Published: 11/22/08
Views: 886
Views: 886
turkey cooked
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General Info
Servings: 8
Total Cost: $15.35
Cost Per Serving: $1.92
Total Calories: 5,734
Calories/Serving: 717
Turkey, Whole Bird (1 medium~large) * 15.00 Pounds $14.70 5,310
Paprika 2 Teaspoons 4.60 Grams $0.30 13
Salt, Kosher 2 Tablespoons 28.80 Grams $0.06 0
Black Pepper, Ground 2 Teaspoons 4.27 Grams $0.04 11
Butter, Unsalted 4 Tablespoons 56.00 Grams $0.25 400

This is a cost breakdown of a typical preparation for a Thanksgiving Turkey. This does not include stuffing or side dishes.

Turkey Resources


Classic Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing with Cranberries and Walnuts

Last Modified: 03/10/08
First Published: 10/18/07
Views: 6168
Views: 6168
Turkey Stuffing (or Turkey Dressing as some prefer to call it) is one of the most essential dishes on the Thanksgiving table.Stuffing We usually prefer to cook our stuffing on the side and not inside the bird, to ensure an evenly cooked bird, and crispy, golden stuffing. Instead, we usually fill our bird with onions, garlic and citrus, which lends some extra flavor, without “over-stuffing” it.

We have found, that the quality of your stuffing will largely depend on the quality of your bread. If you happen to find a very aromatic, “herby” bread, your stuffing will be so much better. Our local bakery produces a really nice “Stuffing Bread” each year around Thanksgiving - and it always makes our stuffing so flavorful. If you can find something similar, it would definitely be worth picking up... Otherwise, you could of course use a regular day-old bread and season it liberally with herbs.
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measurement conversions
General Info
Servings: 8
Total Cost: $5.85
Cost Per Serving: $0.73
Total Calories: 2,301
Calories/Serving: 288
Butter, Unsalted 2 Tablespoons 28.00 Grams $0.13 200
Onion, Yellow Diced (1 large onion) 1 1/4 Cup 200.00 Grams $0.44 84
Carrots (2 carrots) 2 Cups 256.00 Grams $0.28 104
Celery, Chopped (2 stalks) 1 Cup 120.00 Grams $0.13 17
Garlic 3 Teaspoons 8.50 Grams $0.04 13
Bread, Hearty Grain (1 loaf, day old) * 16.00 Ounces $1.98 1,266
Cranberries 1/2 Cup 28.00 Grams $0.50 90
Walnuts, Chopped 1/2 Cup 60.00 Grams $0.70 393
Eggs, Chicken (1 egg, lightly beaten) * 50.00 Grams $0.17 78
Chicken Broth 1 Quart 972.00 Grams $0.43 48
Salt, Table 1/2 Teaspoon 3.00 Grams $0.00 0
Black Pepper, Ground 1 Teaspoon 2.13 Grams $0.02 5
Thyme, Dried 1 Teaspoon 1.40 Grams $0.37 4
Sage, Fresh, Chopped 1 Tablespoon 9.33 Grams $0.67 0

The dried cranberries and nuts are really nice in this stuffing
and add some good crunch as well as flavor. This recipe is quite straight forward and it always turns out delicious.

Turkey Stuffing
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 loaf of a day-old hearty wheat bread (preferably a specified stuffing bread with herbs), cut into chunks
  • ½ cup of dried cranberries
  • ½ cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • About 1 quart of chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper

Herbs (how much depends on if you already use a bread with herbs in it):
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
Sautee the onion, carrots and celery in the butter until soft. At the end, add the garlic and cook for another minute.

In a large work bowl, combine the vegetables, the bread, the cranberries, the nuts and the egg. Add herbs (I like to use about 1 teaspoon each). Mix well. Now add enough chicken stock until the mixture is moist. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Butter a 9x13 pyrex dish, and distribute the stuffing evenly. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Valentine's Day Recipes

Last Modified: 02/05/08
First Published: 02/04/08
Views: 3782
Views: 3782
Valentines Day Ideas **********************************************************************

For Valentines Day, what better way can you show your love and care than with avalentine chocolate cake delicious homemade dinner. However you might want to prepare something slightly out of the ordinary. For the main meal, perhaps something interesting and different such as Giada's filet mignon with balsamic syrup and goat cheese or Paula's rich chicken scaloppini would be nice.

And when it comes to dessert, you can never go wrong with chocolate! Tyler's gooey, decadent chocolate cake would make a delicious, rich dessert. Or maybe a flourless chocolate cake or a classic French creme brule would suit your tastes better. No matter what, here are some interesting ideas for Valentine's day.


Giada De Laurentiis Spaghetti with Clams
Giada De Laurentiis Filet Mignon with Balsamic Syrup and Goat Cheese
Paula Deen's Bourbon Beef Tenderloin
Paula Deen's Chicken Scaloppini
Nigella Lawson's Butternut Squash with Pecans and Blue Cheese
Alton Brown's Coq au Vin


Giada De Laurentiis Orange and Chocolate Zeppole
Tyler Florence's Gooey, Decadent Chocolate Cake
Giada De Laurentiis Raspberry Almond Tart
Paula Deen's Cherries Jubilee
Paula Deen's Molten Lava Cakes
Rich Flourless Chocolate Cake
Alton Brown's Ambrosia
Classic French Crème Brûlée


Oprah's Pomegranate Martini
Blue Moon with Gin
Cappuccino Martini
Lemon Vodka Martini with Apple
Nigella Lawson's Alcoholic Hot Chocolate


Pumpkin Recipes

Last Modified: 10/29/07
First Published: 10/18/07
Views: 1382
Views: 1382

Method To Prepare A Fresh Pumpkin

How To Cook a Fresh Pumpkin

pumpkin recipes


Recipes For Fresh Pumpkin

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Butter

Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Sweet and Spicy Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Roasted Garam Masala Pumpkin Seeds

Fresh Homemade Pumpkin Scones

Homemade Pumpkin Coffee Latte