Category Archives: Food

Cucumbers — crisp and light, just right

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

Fresh garden cucumbers only come around in summer. If you enjoy them straight from the garden, you know that there’s nothing like a fresh cucumber for the best flavor and texture.

Cucumbers need water, and hot dry weather can make them bitter. We’re lucky this year to have gotten enough rain to make them thrive.

Now, I know restaurants don’t peel their cucumbers. But I believe that’s the lazy man’s way. The peelings are bitter and tough, and I see no reason to leave them on.

In addition, hogs won’t eat cucumber peelings, so that’s all the proof needed to pass them by.

All these recipes star cucumbers, and they’re relatively easy to prepare.

I hope you enjoy them.


Go big, go bold, go brownies

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Anything concerning chocolate is a serious matter. That’s why it was         devastating news a few years back to discover that Martha White had discontinued her brownie mix. It was perfect, and now it’s gone. She has broken my heart.

I never bothered making brownies from scratch because this was one package mix that really was “just like homemade.” So now what am I supposed to do? I’ve tried all the other mixes and don’t like any of them. I guess it’s time to go back to basics and make them from scratch. This week, four brownie recipes are featured as alternates to Martha White. One of the recipes, peanut butter brownies, uses mixes.

I wasn’t looking for something just like homemade. I wanted to find something “just like Martha White.” You be the judge.


Blueberries go mainstream in July

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

July is National Blueberry Month. Our blueberries are coming in strong right now, so that makes sense. I freeze them in pint bags. They’re so easy. You don’t wash them before freezing — just throw them in the bags and rinse when you take them out of the freezer before using.

The reason for specifying a cast iron skillet for making the blueberry upside-down cake is because that is what my Grandmama used for pineapple upside-down cake and it really cuts down on cleanup if you prepare, bake and serve in this old standby.

I hope you’ll enjoy these. One of the bonuses of eating blueberries is that they are good for you. Now isn’t that good news?


Homemade chips that are Delicious … and good for you

Tips for making delicious ice cream at home

Ice cream is a favorite dessert across the globe. The average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year, says the International Dairy Foods Association.

Even though a trip to the local ice cream parlor can yield many different opportunities to indulge, making ice cream at home is easier than one may believe. Also, creating homemade ice cream can be a fun way to experiment with unique flavors and textures. It is easy to customize concoctions based on what everyone likes best. Making ice cream also is a fun way to bring

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Not your stereotypical green beans

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

In the South, when people talk about green beans they usually are talking about the standard, traditional way of bean preparation. And yes, they are good.

But there’s more than one way to cook a bean, and it’s fun to venture out.

Beans don’t have to be cooked to death until they’re limp and low in the pot.

One of the recipes today comes from India, the green beans with mustard seed and grated ginger. Before assuming you won’t like it, taste it.

That was always the rule at Mama’s table. You can’t say you don’t like if you’ve never tried it, so I encourage you all to make an informed decision. Enjoy.


Time to wrap and roll

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

There’s a theory that it takes 10 years for a new dish to make its way from California to the Southeast. Or at least it used to. But with the advent of Food Network and a multitude of cooking shows, the times have changed and so have some of our food choices.

Not so long ago, tofu was thought of as tasteless, much like soy filler. That’s chiefly because it is.

You must add the flavor, but if you don’t want to chance it in the recipe that features tofu, don’t worry. You can substitute chopped chicken. Just be sure it’s done after sautéing it.

All these recipes are nice for warm weather. They’re quick and easy. And they’re delicious. So, here’s to spending as much time outside as possible. Keep it simple.


Snacks for the great outdoors

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Summer is coming, and we all spend a lot of time outside doing a variety of things.

Maybe you’re taking the children swimming, biking or hiking. Or maybe you’re just hitting the trail with friends or touring botanical gardens.

But you will get hungry, and you may not be within easy distance of a snack bar. So, it’s a good idea to pack some snacks that are satisfying and good for you. Also, make sure you take some water. We forget how quickly we can become dehydrated outside, so drink before you get thirsty.

These granola bar recipes are all a little different and you can experiment with a variety of ingredients if you like. Feel free to substitute other dried fruits for those listed here and change up the nuts if these aren’t your favorites.

Have a great time in the great outdoors, and never go hungry.


Satisfy that morning sweet tooth

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Sometimes there are weekends when you want something special for breakfast. Breakfast sweet breads are a favorite but seldom seen breakfast at our house.

These are delicious recipes, but they do take a little extra time. Anybody that eats one of these will tell you they are well worth the effort. And you don’t have to wait until the holidays to make any one of these.

Just follow the directions, and all should turn out well. Enjoy.



Straight from the oven

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Although they are a prime staple of the Southern breakfast table, biscuits can make for a delectable delight morning, noon and night.

They’re best when they’re warm and fresh out of the oven, but they can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen and easily reheated when convenient.

Biscuits are also one of the most versatile additions to any baker’s repertoire. They can be served by themselves or with any number of toppings, including butter, gravy, jams and jellies, honey and so much more.

These recipes are some of my family’s favorites, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them just as much.




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