Category Archives: Taste

Versatile zucchini

Zucchini is about as versatile a vegetable as there is; able to be made into savory pancakes and moist, delicious brownies. Zucchini Pancakes with Creamy Dill Sauce 1 cup buttermilk, divided 1/2 cup sour cream 3 tablespoons dill, chopped 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions 1 teaspoons lemon juice, plus more as needed 4 small zucchini,… Continue Reading

The upsides of home owner’s associations

Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared some email from readers regarding homeowner’s associations. While many readers were quick to point out what they didn’t like about HOAs, others wrote to share the upsides of living in a community where everyone has agreed to abide by the same rules. “Dear Jill, I personally have served… Continue Reading

Bright, fresh flavors for hot summer nights

Bright, fresh flavors for hot summer nights

TRADITIONAL ISRAELI SALAD  Servings: makes 6 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes INGREDIENTS 3 cups chopped tomatoes 3 cups seeded chopped cucumbers 1/4 cup chopped parsley 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon coarse salt In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, oil, juice and salt. Toss well to combine,… Continue Reading

Lemon twists

Throughout history, lemons have played an important part in adding depth to regional cooking or made into lemonade or marinades; lemon are multitaskers. Other ideas: • Air fresheners — simmer slices of lemon and a few whole cloves in a pan of water help remove food odors. • Vegetable enhancers —Toss lemon peel with vegetables… Continue Reading

Beef and fruit kebabs add a twist to summer grilling

Beef and fruit kebabs add a twist to summer grilling

CITRUS-MARINATED BEEF AND FRUIT KEBABS  Servings: makes 6 beef kebabs, plus 4 fruit kebabs Preparation time: 20 minutes; marinating time: 15 minutes to 2 hours Cooking time: for the beef kebabs: 11 to 16 minutes; for the fruit kebabs: 5 to 7 minutes INGREDIENTS 1 medium orange 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves 1 tablespoon smoked… Continue Reading

Fresh sauces to get you through summer

Top pizza or bread for bruschetta, or toss on penne. Seeding half the tomatoes keeps the sauce from becoming too watery. Fresh Tomato Sauce 1 pound ripe tomatoes, divided 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon molasses 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 2 garlic… Continue Reading

Tips and tricks to get you through summer

It doesn’t take a lot to put a little punch in your food. Sometimes just a pinch of something flavorful will be enough to make a dish sing. Herbs Growing and cooking with your own home-grown herbs is one of the perks of summer. The aromas that linger in your kitchen are the payoff. Here… Continue Reading

Couponing — All that glitters isn’t good

Dear Jill, “I learned of a way to save even more with coupons that I’ve never seen you talk about. On Facebook, I have joined several groups for ‘glitter’ couponing. Did you know that just because a coupon shows one product, you could use the coupon on other products that cost less for a better… Continue Reading

Bacon makes every dish better

Bacon makes every dish better

BACON AND BASIL PASTA SALAD  Servings: makes 12 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: for the pasta and bacon; refrigeration time: 2 hours INGREDIENTS 1 (16-ounce) package penne pasta 8 ounces bacon 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved 2 bell peppers (red, orange or green or mixture), chopped 4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)… Continue Reading

Cooking with rhubarb

Cooking with rhubarb is kind of like planting hollyhocks in your garden. A little old-fashioned but well worth the trouble. Rhubarb-almond muffins INGREDIENTS Vegetable cooking spray 2/3 pound rhubarb, tops removed and ends trimmed 2 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour 3/4 cup chopped almonds 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg… Continue Reading

Privacy concerns in the digital coupon age

A few weeks ago, I shared some innovative ways that brands and retailers are using regular people as social media influencers. A brand recently contacted Instagram users, offering to put a favorite photo on a free bag of potato chips. One of my readers participated in this campaign because it was fun and cost him nothing.… Continue Reading

Summer means berries…. and dessert

Summer means berries…. and dessert

PEACH BERRY CRISP WITH OATMEAL-PEANUT TOPPING  Servings: makes 12 servings Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 40 to 50 minutes; cooling time: 20 minutes INGREDIENTS 4 1/2 pounds firm ripe peaches, peeled and sliced 1 pint blueberries 1/2 cup white sugar 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour plus 1/4 cup, divided 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4… Continue Reading

Summer kebabs for all tastes

These tasty combinations of flavor are just right on a warm summer night. Each has a unique regional flavor at under 250 calories. Try them all, then find the one you love and can improve upon. Be sure to soak wooden skewers for an hour or so before using. Mediterranean — Lamb, Tomato and Mint… Continue Reading

HOAs — Predefined quality vs. too many rules

Is there value in paying a monthly fee to ensure a predefined quality of life at home? Homeowners’ associations exist to define and enforce a code of regulations for the appearance, maintenance and quality of life in a community. For these services, the homeowner’s association (HOA) charges a monthly or annual fee to its residents.… Continue Reading

Summer screams shrimp on the barbie

Summer screams shrimp on the barbie

GRILLED SHRIMP SKEWERS  Servings: makes 4 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: less than 10 minutes INGREDIENTS 1/4 cup olive oil 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 2 teaspoons less-sodium seasoned salt 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks 1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into… Continue Reading

One more strawberry recipe

These biscuits are far from average. They remind me of scones and could be made more along those lines by shaping and wedging the dough before baking. This is one of those recipes to keep for times when the glut of berries means baking is essential. Remember to only use the best berries you can… Continue Reading

Television antenna angst still finding consumers

Several weeks ago, I shared an email from a reader who believed that consumers should pay for cable to avoid the visibility of a television antenna mounted on the home. She felt that paying membership to her homeowner’s association was worth ensuring the sight of unapproved structures didn’t visibly degrade the neighborhood. I received so… Continue Reading

Grilled T-bone steak with barbecue sauce

Grilled T-bone steak with barbecue sauce

GRILLED T-BONE STEAK WITH BARBECUE SAUCE  Servings: makes 4 servings Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: less than 15 minutes; standing time: 10 minutes INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 clove garlic, minced 2 teaspoons coarse-grain mustard 1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger… Continue Reading

‘Healthy’ gets new scrutiny

We’ve all heard or read about the list of food products that have the word “healthy” on the box when they are anything but. According to the outdated rules from the Food and Drug Administration a Pop-Tart qualifies as healthy while a piece of fresh salmon does not. Wacky? That’s what happens when a slow… Continue Reading

Social media marketing: All that and a bag of chips

Are you active on social media? If so, it’s probably no surprise to you that brands and retailers are using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to advertise to shoppers. It’s not surprising that brands are utilizing a variety of media platforms to reach shoppers, but some of the new methods brands are… Continue Reading

Fancy up your fare with farro

Fancy up your fare with farro

ALMOND, FARRO AND BLACK BEAN SALAD WITH CILANTRO Servings: makes 8 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: less than 20 minutes INGREDIENTS 2 ounces slivered almonds 1 1/2 cups water 1/3 cup farro 1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) shelled edamame 1/3 cup diced red onion 1/4… Continue Reading

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