Category Archives: Food

Sweet treats for the New Year

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

If you like sweets, these recipes are for you. Just remember, moderation is the key to healthy teeth.

These traditional recipes are still around because they’re just so good. Yes, they are sweet. But on special occasions, a little sweet goes a long way.

Whether you’re planning a party, reunion, relaxing family evening or just an afternoon drop-in with friends, you can’t go wrong with these candies.

Now, I’m not saying you should serve them all at the same time, but try them all and pick your own favorites.


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.


Easy entertaining with one-bite appetizers

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

There’s nothing quite like a holiday get-together, but if you’re the host, you think twice before committing to the project.

If you have the house relatively clean and your guest list drawn up, the only matter of concern is the food. If gguests plan to bring a dish, that’s one thing. But if you plan to provide the entire spread, be careful not to overextend yourself. You don’t want to be exhausted for your party.

Easy and simple appetizers can be just as delicious as complicated recipes that are time-consuming to prepare.

Try some of these quick and easy recipes to make the party fun for everybody, including you.


Holiday compotes to serve with cheeses

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

No party is complete without a cheese platter, and when I think of cheese my mind goes to compotes, especially during the holidays.

Compotes are flavorful and compliment many varieties of cheeses. Not only are they good as an appetizer, but also make a great snack for winter afternoon football games on TV, watched with friends.

You may not like all of these, but odds are you will, so enjoy.


Enjoy the new crop of apples

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Nothing says fall like biting into an apple straight from the tree. The crisp and juicy flesh is unlike any other fruit.

We are fortunate to live in a region that allows us to pick our own apples from any number of orchards. And the many varieties available should satisfy the pickiest apple eater.

Although they’re delicious as they are, apples are easily transformed into a multitude of dishes.

My family loves the fried apple rings for breakfast in the fall and winter.

I hope you’ll find a favorite apple dish from among those featured this week.


Snacks for the great outdoors

By Olivia Fowler

For The Courier

The calendar says fall is here, and temperatures finally seem to be dropping.

The season offers a chance to enjoy the outdoors without collapsing from the heat. It’s a perfect time to hit the trail with friends or tour 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.


Go sweet or tart

Cherries offer a treat that’s nutritious and delicious

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

Cherries are making an appearance in local grocery stores now. They are a beautiful fruit, glossy and dark red. When ripe, they’re sweet with a faint tartness and are delicious to snack on.

If you use fresh cherries, they must be pitted before eaten. Just pop off the stems, slice the cherries in half and remove the pits. It isn’t difficult to do, just a little time

consuming. Also, it’s hard to resist eating them as they are being pitted.

This week’s recipes include one salad, one dessert and two main dishes.

Some take more time than others, but I think you’ll like any one you try.


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?


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