Category Archives: Food

Coming soon, new potatoes

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

It’s March, and new potatoes are soon going to be plentiful. It’s up to us to take advantage of them.

New potatoes are special. They have thin, delicate skins. When they’re first dug from the earth, the skins can come off when they’re washed.

For most of these recipes, we recommend using small new potatoes. Their unique flavor is slightly different from that of larger, older potatoes, and you only have the opportunity to experience that in spring.

If you have a good source for local produce, buy from there. If not, look around in your grocery store. Ideally, you can grow your own, but unless they’re already growing in your garden, it’s a little late to be thinking of that.

So hurry and get your potatoes. There’s nothing like them.


Fresh herbs kick it up a notch

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Cooking with fresh herbs makes such a difference in flavor.

 In warm weather, I have access to herbs grown in the yard. It was a great discovery to learn I could buy a bay plant and keep it year-round by bringing it in during cold weather.

If you place a couple of bay leaves under a roasting hen or chicken breasts while they bake, the flavor is absorbed by the meat.

None of these recipes are difficult, and all will throw some fresh flavors into

Recipes stuffed full of goodness

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

There are times when the clock gets close to 6 p.m. I rack my brain for something different to cook for supper. We’ve all been    there, and it’s an uncomfortable place to be.

So, at regular intervals, I force myself to try new recipes. Not all experiments in new food are successful, but the following four

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Better, healthier baking

Olive oil is a flavorful and versatile cooking oil that is often trusted in popular cooking methods such as sauteing, stir-        frying, dressing, marinating and grilling. It can also earn your trust when it comes to baking.

With seven olive oil varieties to fit almost any need, each Filippo Berio olive oil has its own distinct color, aroma and flavor characteristics. Among those seven, the Extra Light Olive Oil offers a delicate aroma and subtle flavor that can complement your favorite baked goods. Its high smoke point helps keep those goodies moist, and with strong flavors like chocolate, it also lets the sweetness come through.

Additionally, it provides high levels of mono-unsaturated fat (“good” fat) and low levels of saturated fat (“bad” fat), making it a more nutritional choice when compared to butter or margarine. Because you need less olive oil than butter in baking, you’ll save calories as well.

One easy way to incorporate olive oil in your baked goods is during the prep work: where recipes call for buttering or flouring pans, instead brush the pan with olive oil and dust with flour for the same effect as butter.

Explore more tips and recipes using olive oil at

k Chocolate Souffle

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 18 minutes

Servings: 2

1/2 tablespoon Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil, plus additional for coating pan

1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for coating pan

4 ounces 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate

1 ounce 30 percent heavy cream

3 egg whites

2 egg yolks

Pinch of cream of tartar

Heat oven to 375 F. Grease two 6-ounce ramekins with olive oil and dust with sugar.

In double boiler, melt chocolate, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and cream; let cool. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

Whisk egg yolks into cooled chocolate mixture; fold in egg whites, 1/4 cup sugar and cream of tartar. Pour into prepared ramekins; bake 15 minutes.

Tips: This recipe can be easily doubled. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.

Double Chocolate Biscotti

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Servings: 40

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil, plus 1 tablespoon for coating pans

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk

1/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate morsels

On sheet of waxed paper, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.

Using electric mixer, beat olive oil with sugar until smooth and light. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add milk and vinegar; beat until smooth. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in chocolate morsels with large spoon; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Heat oven to 325 F. Grease two large baking sheets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil each. On lightly floured surface, divide dough into quarters. Roll each piece of dough into log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place logs on baking sheets, leaving space in between. Bake about 30 minutes, or until golden and set. Transfer to rack; let cool 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 F. On cutting board using serrated knife, cut each log into 3/4-inch-wide slices diagonally. Place slices, cut-side down, on baking sheets. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until toasted. Transfer to racks; let cool.


Heart-smart eating can be delicious, nutritious

Keeping your heart in good shape starts at mealtime. Fortunately, there’s no reason to skimp on flavor to spread the love to your heart.

For example, homegrown American Pecans are a naturally sweet, heart-smart ingredient you can add to salads, vegetable side dishes, oatmeal and other whole grains – or enjoy on their own as a snack. Their unique mix of “good” unsaturated fats, fiber, plant sterols and flavonoids add up to make pecans a powerful, heart-healthy food.

Each 1-ounce serving provides 18 grams of unsaturated fat with zero cholesterol or sodium. In fact, American Pecans are certified as a heart-healthy food by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Certification Program. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Try adding a colorful, flavorful twist to a simple salad by combining crunchy kale with fresh pecans, pomegranate seeds and pears for a tasty, heart-healthy meal you can feel good about.

For more recipes, nutrition information and cooking tips, visit

Pecan, Pear, Pomegranate Kale Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes

Servings: 8

1 bunch kale, stems removed

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Show off your sweet side

Treat family, friends and co-workers to something they will all love this Valentine’s Day by making easy and impressive cookies. Start with your favorite roll-out cookie recipe or simply dress up store-bought ones by adding some simple details with icing.

From the cupids at Wilton, here are three ways to leave them

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Cooking with nuts

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

We all love pecans, and they are amazing nuts. But this week I wanted to branch out a little on the nut tree.

Cooking with nuts can bring your main dish to another level, turning the simplest meal into something exotic.

So here are four recipes featuring almonds, peanuts, walnuts and

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Crepes — perfect for main dish or sweet dessert

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

The first good crepes I ever had were years ago at a restaurant in Highlands, N.C. We ordered the strawberry crepes for dessert, and they were a huge success.

This was pre-internet, so the library and old cookbooks were the

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Bring on the brownies

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Chocolate is a truly wonderful ingredient. If you’re suffering from the winter doldrums, baking something with chocolate will bring hope into the kitchen. Just smelling a warm brownie fresh from the oven is an uplifting experience.

So get out a mixing bowl and try some of these outstanding brownie recipes. Everybody has a favorite brownie. I love the chewy ones and am especially fond of the corner

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Zucchini doesn’t have to be bland

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

Zucchini was never a favorite at my house. It didn’t seem to have much flavor, and frankly, we’d just have soon eaten a slice of cardboard.

But there is more than one way to prepare this prolific producer, so we’ve been looking into various recipes to help get zucchini out of its rut.

I hope you will give these a try. You

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