Category Archives: Food

More than one way to cook greens

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

Sometimes I fall into a rut in the kitchen and stick with the tried-and-true methods of cooking certain foods. That’s not a bad thing or a good thing.

But I may be missing out on a new wrinkle when it comes to foods that are so familiar.

All of these recipes have some things in common. They also have some elements that are very different. But they are all good.

You may prefer one over another, but until you step out of the box and try them, you’ll never know how good collard greens can be.


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.

In the South, especially the Carolinas, collard greens, black-eyed peas and rice are universally thought to be most important for New Year’s dishes.

This tradition can be traced to several other regions, primarily Africa, France and the Caribbean.

The pork roast and saurkraut tradition is favored in states with strong German and Dutch heritages, and the orange brandy cake is a Greek Island tradition.

They’re all good. And I hope prosperity will come to you immediately after eating at least one of these dishes.


Old-fashioned treats help celebrate holidays

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

Perhaps food isn’t important to some, but at our house, it’s always a topic of interest.

And food is an integral part of celebration. The smell of evergreen, the crackle of wrapping paper and the scents from a busy, fragrant Christmas kitchen are all part of ritual.

You may want to make special foods a part of your family’s rituals.

Usually, especially if there are children in the home, this is a much-anticipated activity. And including them, when possible, in the preparations will be an experience they never forget.

So gather at the table and cook. 


Pecans for special occasions

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

The holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without pecans. They add something to the entire experience of food prep for special dinners, and I hope we never have to live without them.

These recipes are all aimed at satisfying your sweet tooth. Don’t worry about the calories, the sugar, the fat and the starch. Just think about the flavor and the protein nuts bring to the table.

No matter when you bake these treats, they’ll always make it feel like a celebration.


Steaks make a great

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

When it’s time to tailgate, there aren’t many options better than grilling steak. And there are a few basic rules to apply to all steak grilling projects.

Never put a steak on a cold grill. Get the grill hot before starting. Leave the steak out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes before grilling. Let the steak rest, loosely covered with foil, after cooking. When you take the steak off the grill, put it on a platter that has been heated. Keeping the hot stuff hot is important.

Never leave the grill unattended. That’s about the size of it. Oh, and buy the best quality meat you can find. Cheap meat is never really a bargain. Go team!


Treat kids to lunches that meet all needs

School lunch may seem like a relatively easy concept for parents to master. However, day in and day out, enterprising moms and dads grow anxious over what to put into kids’ lunch boxes or bags.

Parents have foods they want their kids to eat, and then there are foods their grade-schoolers will actually consider. Schools may also place limitations on what kids can bring to school due to allergies or school rules on sweets versus healthy foods. Then there’s the packaging itself. Parents may weigh the benefits of everything from clever accessories to eco-friendly

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Promote healthy weight starting with school lunch

Although there are a variety of theories behind the growing obesity problem plaguing North American adults and children, the most consistent findings point to caloric intake as the culprit. Here’s a simple equation to get to the root of the problem:

Calories eaten > calories spent = weight gain.

According to National Health Examination Surveys, adult obesity trends in the United States between 1976 and 2014 indicate the percentage of the adult population classified as obese has roughly doubled to more than 38 percent in the last three decades. Children may be learning eating habits from their parents,

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Time to serve the awesome ears

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

There’s nothing in the world that can hold a candle to fresh corn, straight from the garden to the table.

Whether you prefer yellow corn, white corn or bicolor doesn’t matter. What is important is how much it has filled out, if it has received enough rain, how hot it has been and how long you cook it.

For plain corn on the cob, or roast’n ears, the kernels should not be large and tough. They should look like pearls, and if a kernel is pricked, juice should come out. Otherwise, pass it by.

Also, never boil fresh corn for more than 20 minutes. Overcooking will make any cob of corn tough and chewy.

Keeping all that in mind, enjoy it. Corn doesn’t hang around forever.



By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

If you’re fortunate enough to have access to fresh blueberries, take advantage of that fact and use them while they’re available.

If not, substitute frozen berries. Just make sure they’re completely thawed before use.

None of the featured recipes are difficult, and they really are delicious. They are a special treat for your family or make an exceptional item to take to a covered-dish supper.

Try one or all and enjoy.


Sweet treats with heat


By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

 Almost everyone loves chocolate desserts, but this week we’re featuring chocolate with a twist.

You may not think chili peppers and chocolate make a good marriage, but amazingly enough, they do.

If you feel a little nervous about adding the chili powders, feel free to cut back just a little, but not too much. Sometimes we are surprised by how good new combinations taste, and this may be one of those times. Enjoy.


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