Category Archives: Food

Make the most of the whole chicken

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

If you can’t find chicken parts at the grocery store during these challenging times, buy the whole chicken.

It’s cheaper per serving, easy to cook and provides more than one meal. Included on this page are a few recipes that aren’t hard to make and are dishes my family has enjoyed for years.

I like to brine the chicken in salt water overnight before cooking. Cover the chicken with water and 1/2 cup salt, stir, cover and set it inside the refrigerator for at least four hours.

Before using, remove the chicken from brine, rinse inside and out, then pat dry. This keeps the chicken moist and flavorful.


Make The Bread Yourself

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

If you can’t find bread in the store, don’t panic.
Buy yeast and bread flour (you can substitute all-purpose flour), go home and get started.
It gives you something constructive to do and helps you acquire a new survival skill.
The key is not to have the liquid you dissolve the yeast in too hot — go by the recommended temperature on the package of yeast. Knead properly and place dough in a warm place to rise.
One suggestion is to heat two cups water in a glass measuring cup for four minutes in the microwave. Move water to back of microwave. Set dough, covered in a bowl, in the center. Shut the door (with microwave off) and let the dough rise.
Breadmaking is nothing to fear. If you can read and follow directions, you’re all set. Remember, the more you make it, the more confident you become.


Pasta dishes are rich and filling

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

There are so many different kinds of pasta dishes and recipes for pasta itself, I couldn’t begin to list them.

You can make your own fresh pasta or buy it already made or go with dried pasta from a box.

There are different kinds of flour and other ingredients, and you can go online and watch how it’s done by hand.

But you don’t have to be an Italian chef to make the recipes featured this week, and none are so complicated you feel compelled to throw up your hands and go out for dinner.

I hope you like some of these. I still love Fettuccini Alfredo, even though I found out it isn’t served in Italy, but was created in America in the early 1900s. No matter where it came from, I call it delicious.



It don’t mean a thing if it isn’t green

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

Broccoli appears in grocery stores year-round in varying degrees of freshness.

Before buying, check out the cut end of the stems. If they have a greyish look, don’t buy. That indicates the broccoli isn’t very fresh.

If possible, buy broccoli directly from someone who grows it.

It’s a vegetable we take for granted, but it is delicious and very good for you.



Casseroles: cold weather comfort food

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

This is that time of year when we begin to think spring will   never come again.

When that happens, I look for recipes that bring hope and comfort. That brings casseroles to the forefront.

They can feed a crowd, are warm and delicious and can become a family favorite.

Every now and then you want something a little different, and these fit the bill.

I hope you’ll enjoy these recipes as much as my family has.


Use watermelon for these Valentine’s treats

Valentine’s Day naturally brings thoughts of hearts, flowers, sweetness and love. Because it also occurs during American Heart Month, it’s a perfect opportunity to start taking care of your own heart and the hearts of loved ones.

Part of the charm of the day’s celebrations is in giving family and friends flavorful foods to enjoy from chocolates and candies to other sugary treats. However, the festivities don’t have to be completely focused on unhealthy bites in order to make someone feel special.

This year, it can be easy to share in the fun of Valentine’s Day by serving those you love with sweet, seasonal treats. For example, these Frosted Watermelon Cutouts make for ideal snacks for children and adults alike whether it’s an after-school treat or a sweet dessert with just three ingredients, heart-shaped cookie cutters and minimal time spent in the kitchen.

If you’re really looking to impress that special someone, this Watermelon and Chocolate

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Chocolate makes the world go round

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

Chocolate is one of the most popular things to eat in the world.

Almost anything you make for dessert benefits from chocolate. Pies are the primary focus this week for purely personal reasons.

Pie is the favorite dessert at my house. We don’t like dry desserts, and these recipes are all creamy, moist and delicious.

Make one for get-togethers or just for an at-home treat. Enjoy.


Sun-dried tomatoes brighten wintry days

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

In summer, we take for granted our unlimited access to juicy, delicious, mouth-watering ripe homegrown tomatoes.

But it isn’t summer anymore, and winter tomatoes tend to be tasteless.

If you still crave that rich tomato flavor, have you thought of using sun-dried tomatoes in recipes?

You don’t have to dehydrate them yourself if you don’t want to. They are available in most grocery stores and offer a versatility in dishes that may surprise you.

I hope you’ll try and enjoy these four recipes.


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.