Author Archives: Susan Woody

Column: What to do for May

Inside: Wash throw rugs and hang outside to dry. Hang mattress pads and blankets over the clothesline to air out. Always pack away clean items. Move indoor plants back outside, gradually. If you gave up on your hanging baskets last fall, buy some new ones for the porch. Complete closet cleanups. Pack away clean winter… Continue Reading

Texas sheet cake

I finally succumbed to the lure of the Texas sheet cake. You know, that recipe you’ve seen for years in a host of food magazines. I always thought that the recipe probably never did go out of style; it has just been circulating in magazines since the beginning of time. Well I finally made one and,… Continue Reading

Column: The golden rules of the garden

As the season kicks off it is always a good thing to remind ourselves of the basic business of the garden. When our eyes fall on a plant that would be disastrous for us we need the discipline to glance away and move on. We’ve learned and evolved enough to know our growing limits and… Continue Reading

Ladies who brunch

Adding a topping bar at the last minute before putting these small bundles of joy into the oven can make each individual quiche unique to your guests. I added sliced strips of fresh asparagus and fresh herbs like rosemary and basil. Whichever way you choose to define yours is simply delicious. Crustless Quiches Butter 2… Continue Reading

Column: Houses

This spring I spent about three weeks at our house in Colorado getting it ready for our son and his family. They will spend the summer there and then move to a new home in time to get their school-age kids enrolled in their new school. Will and Jeana have spent the last 18 months… Continue Reading

The eggs of spring

With Easter behind us, eggs still have their place in spring cooking. I began reading a piece in The New York Times last week about the importance of eggs in cooking unique dishes. Not being a farm or ranch kid, I had no idea how big a role the seasons play in the life cycle… Continue Reading

Column: Welcoming Spring

I hope you have been doing a little watering on those especially warm days from mid-February on into April. With this early spring we tend to get our hopes up and rush into planting even though it would be foolish to do so before the average evening temperatures are well past frost dates — somewhere… Continue Reading

Column: Going all in

As we read new recipes and pick up on the interest in baking with whole-wheat, brown rice and even buckwheat flour many of us ask ourselves if we are making the right choice in giving up the ever present bland all-purpose flour. I’ve been reading lately that using nutty whole-grain flour actually amplifies those buttery,… Continue Reading

What to do for April

Inside: Start the month on a safe note —  replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Give kitchen cupboards a spring cleaning. Donate extra canned goods to the food bank. Wash your windows inside and out; it will lift your spirit. Prevent lint buildup in and around your clothes dryer, it can cause the… Continue Reading

The power of home

I am constantly on the prowl for the odd piece of furniture that I can make over, either with paint or fabric. I absolutely love to find a piece with good “bones,” something that speaks to me of how things could be. In this way, it is kind of a testament to life, becoming who… Continue Reading

Column: The top tips

Cooking Light magazine, as you well know, is one of my favorites and I like their cookbooks too. This month they’ve come up with their all-time greatest kitchen hacks. “Genius ideas from the brain trust to show you how to save time, minimize effort, make do deliciously, and not let anything get in your way… Continue Reading

Column: Planting a tree

With Earth Day a month away (April 22) now would be a great time to decide when or where you could celebrate the day by planting a new tree. Planting a new tree is the very essence of hopefulness, planting for the future. On the other hand perhaps planting a memorial tree is the real… Continue Reading

Column: An Easter ham handbook

As traditional as ham is for Easter it can turn out dry and chewy on the best of days. As I’ve said before I am not at my best when it comes to cooking meat. But I’ve learned that starting out with the best ham ensures that nine times out of 10 the ham is… Continue Reading

Double agents

When it comes to working around the house, having the right tools is almost better than having a helping hand. This is something that I learned while watching my father work and later realized when I worked around my own home. But sometimes the smallest most significant gadget can be made from something laying in… Continue Reading

Column: Why you need to preheat your oven

The minute you turn on your oven it starts getting hot, but it can take 20 minutes before it is fully heated even though sometimes the chime or light says it is ready. The light or chime indicator signals when the air in the oven has reached a certain temperature, but for it to be… Continue Reading

Column: Guys doing laundry

If your watched the Super Bowl a few weeks ago you might have noticed the laundry detergent ad featuring Persil the new detergent marketed especially for guys. It seems there is an “epic” change taking place across America — more men are doing laundry. Detergent and washing machine manufacturers have taken notice of this growing… Continue Reading

Natural flavors

Reading labels has become second nature to many of us.  So much so that I have to remind myself to make sure I have my reading glasses with me before setting out to shop. The phrase “natural flavors” pops up on ingredient listings now and then so I set out to find out just what… Continue Reading

Column: A healthy eating environment

After writing column after column suggesting healthy foods and diets including lean meats and plant-based proteins and hoping that some of these words were getting through, I was blown away by this easy concept of setting ourselves up to win the battle by making small changes to our environment also. Research shows that it is… Continue Reading

Superfast dinner tonight

This combination of honey and sesame oil makes a simple chicken dinner special. Honey and Sesame-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Green Beans 6 tablespoons unsalted chicken stock 1/3 cup honey 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided 1 1/2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 1/2 teaspoon ground… Continue Reading

Column: Men in the kitchen

We appear to be on the edge of a major societal shift. Data and industry professionals say that when it comes to kitchen design — men want to be involved. A 2012 study, from the University of Michigan, of Americans born from 1961 to 1981, married and single men now cook more than their fathers… Continue Reading

Column: Creamy soup without the cream

We all love creamy soups but not all the calories that come with them. This bit of kitchen wizardry comes straight out of Cooking Light and involves no slight of hand; how to get a creamy soup without using the cream. The secret is using an emulsion. Long have we used these when making salad… Continue Reading

Column: A little privacy

As the saying goes “good fences make for good neighbors.” There can be times when living close to someone has its advantages and times when it does not. For the most part, it seems that the disadvantages always take some time to get over. Like when your neighbor goes on vacation and leaves his high… Continue Reading

Column: How to: Stock a pantry

Having a few staples in your pantry and a few easy last minute recipes can make all the difference in how easy or hard it is to come up with menu ideas and quick, healthy meals. And it is easy — I swear. • Always have foundation ingredients — things like canned beans, broths and… Continue Reading

Column: Bowled over

There is a decided shift in the kitchen these days and for once it is not about the food, but about what we eat food from. Bowls 38 ounces and larger are taking the place of the traditional dinner plate in a lot of homes and restaurants around the country. Traditional pasta serving bowls have… Continue Reading

A mid-winter break

February seems to be one of those months that just screams for a break from the ordinary. A short month where one can catch up and see to packing away the holidays and enjoy the sentiment of Valentine’s Day with those we love. Take a moment to catch up on a healthy diet and add… Continue Reading

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