Category Archives: Food

Get lost in great cakes

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Some of these recipes go back a long way.

One of my all-time favorites is the old-fashioned pineapple upside-down cake my grandmother used to make in a cast-iron frying pan. This was a specialty of hers for Sunday night suppers. It never lasted long enough to make leftovers.

The upsy daisy cake was

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Mix it up with Mexican faves

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Recently I realized that most of the recipes we’ve featured are those that please my taste buds.

There are a lot of dishes out there I haven’t tried and some I’ve found too hot or spicy for me. However, every

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Incredible edible eggs

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Eggs are a miracle. Here they are, provided with no effort on our part, encased in their own storage package. All we have to do is crack them and go from there.

  The recipes offered this week all feature the use of eggs, not in a

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Eat your green vegetables

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

We’ve all been told to eat our green vegetables, because they’re  good for us.

As children our parents would tell us we couldn’t say we didn’t like something unless we tried it. Then if we still didn’t like it we didn’t have to eat it. We, in turn, have said those very same things to our own children.

 This week’s recipes are selected with the belief that not only are green

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Coconuts don’t have to be complicated

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

I can remember when making a coconut dessert required several people in the kitchen laboring with a hammer and spike to crack the thing while the grater was ready to be put into service.

We’re freed from all that now, because shredded coconut is readily available.

It’s also nice to know

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Keep the carrots coming

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

For some reason I associate carrots with spring. Their bright color adds a cheerful note to a dinner plate. This week’s recipes include a carrot  salad, roasted carrots, a carrot

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Grits — a staple in Southern kitchens

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Grits are right at the top of the comfort-food list.

We depend on grits to get us through early mornings, dusky

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‘Not from around here’ recipes

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Sometimes we fall into a rut with meals and tend to serve the same dishes over and over. Well, we don’t have to do that. Every now and then it’s good for everybody to have their taste

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Dutch oven meals — big on flavors, easy on you

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Dutch oven cooking maximizes meat flavor and minimizes labor.

Once the Dutch oven is filled with the meat of choice, plus other ingredients, it’s simply a matter of throwing it into a slow oven and forgetting about it until the timer goes off, hours later in many cases.

Other than being delicious and easy to prepare, these dishes are a great way to battle the chill evenings of winter.

One of the best things about them is the scent that fills the kitchen while they’re cooking.

I use a cast-iron Dutch oven, but there are several highly rated Dutch ovens on the market made from other materials that produce excellent results.

Caramelized Pork Loin

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and 1-inch diced
  • 1 (5-lb.) center cut, bone-out pork loin, butterflied
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c. apple cider

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and diced apples and toss to coat. Sauté three minutes, without stirring to let the apples caramelize on one side. Toss and sauté another three minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Butterfly the tenderloin by cutting the beef lengthwise down the center to within 1/2-inch of the other side. Flatten with a meat mallet.

When the caramel apples have cooled spread the mixture down the center flap of pork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the apple mixture down the center of the pork roast. Bring the two sides of the tenderloin up around filling to meet. Use butcher string and tie around the roll at one-inch intervals.

Season the stuffed and tied pork loin with salt and pepper. Sear the pork loin in vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, turning to get all the sides. Pour the apple cider over the pork. Roast uncovered for about one hour and 20 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 155 degrees F.

Remove from the oven and let rest, tented with foil, for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with pan juices.



Beef Burgundy

  • 4 lbs. beef stew meat
  • 4 c. French Burgundy wine
  • 1/3 c. olive oil divided
  • 8 slices lean bacon, chopped
  • 1 c. flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs. white mushrooms, halved
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 ribs celery, sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 c. beef broth
  • 2 boxes frozen pearl onions (10 oz. each)
  • 1/2 c. parsley, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 325°F

Combine the beef and the wine in a resealable plastic bag or in a container with a lid. Marinate the beef for 3-8 hours. Strain wine and reserve. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with two tablespoons of olive oil Add the bacon and cook until all the fat has rendered out and it is crispy. Remove bacon and let drain on paper towels.

Spread flour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper. Coat the beef by dredging it in the flour. Shake extra flour off beef and drop pieces in, a handful at a time to brown in the oil, adding more olive oil as needed. After the meat is browned remove and set aside.

Add the mushrooms and bay leaves, and cook until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and garlic, and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Deglaze the pan with the reserved wine from marinating the beef, scraping up all the browned bits.

Add the beef stock, bring to a boil and cook for five minutes.

Add the browned beef back to the pan with the pearl onions and bring the pot up to a simmer. Put the Dutch oven into the oven for 1/1/2 to 2 hours.

The beef should be tender enough to pull apart with a fork. To thicken the sauce, cook until it’s the thickness you prefer. Remove the bay leaves, taste and adjust seasoning. Top with chopped bacon bits.



Dutch Oven Pork Roast

  • 6 lb. pork roast
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 c. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Peel and slice the garlic cloves.

With a small knife, pierce the top of the roast and force garlic slices into the cuts. Rub the roast with salt and pepper.

Place bay leaves in the bottom of a cast-iron Dutch oven. Set the roast on top of the bay leaves, fat side up.

Mix the vinegar and thyme in a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour over the top of the roast.

Bake the roast for three hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 to 155 degrees F. Baste the roast with the drippings frequently during cooking.

Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Dutch Oven Chicken in White Wine

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 (4 lb.) chicken
  • 1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1 (10.5 oz.) can chicken broth

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, and brown on both sides. Remove chicken to paper towels.

Spoon off chicken fat, and return pan to stove. Stir in mushrooms and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Remove to a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Season with garlic salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Stir in wine, and add to onion and mushrooms.

Return chicken to Dutch oven. Pour mushroom mixture and broth over chicken; cover, and cook over low heat until meat begins to fall off the bone, about 1 1/2 hours.




New Year’s dishes bring good fortune

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

All over the world, people believe that serving certain dishes on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day will bring a prosperous New Year.

Greens of almost any kind are chosen to represent folding money, pork is considered a prosperous meat and peas and beans represent coins in many cultures.

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