About Me

My photo
My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

'Hippie Food' sounds like a fascinating read

Food and how we eat it changes over time. 

I never knew what to do with tofu until I tried a vegetarian diet for a couple of weeks. I learned a few things during that time period, including that I feel weak going too long without any meat. A pescatarian diet (adding fish to a vegetarian diet), would be fine. Well, except for the fact that I love Mom's pot roast, bacon, a good burger and variations on chicken stir fry. 

While contemplating what, if any, changes I'd like to make in my diet, I ran across a fascinating article in the New York Times, about food evolution and, in particular, Jonathan Kauffman's "briskly entertaining history, 'Hippie Food,'" which it, it argues, "makes a convincing case for adding another legacy" to a list of ways the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s have changed our lives ... "the way we eat."

"Hippie Food" sounds like a fascinating read; here's the book purchase link. It's on my Amazon list. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Old cookbooks, real food and the dangers of online shopping

My friend, Michelle, and I had an interesting discussion a while back. 

It started with a search for a recipe she wanted from Plimouth Plantation involving rabbit with gooseberries. 

Armed with that knowledge, I went hunting and found it. 

Plimouth Plantation's website has an incredible assortment of books (including some cookbooks I thought Michelle might want to check out of her library, which is a great way to see if you'd use a cookbook). 

Ah, the dangers of online shopping abound. I did come up with some possibilities in terms of cookbooks for Michelle, but I probably saved half of them to my Amazon list. Here's the most recent addition to my list of desired cookbooks, Barefoot in Paris by Ina GartenAnd other books, too. If I got everything on my list and did nothing but read for a year, I still might not finish. all of them to read, it'd probably take me a year. See what being helpful can do for you? 

Unfortunately, that's just a small portion of my Amazon list. But I did get to take a couple of things off it thanks to some lovely Christmas gifts. 

How was your holiday? Did you get what you wanted? 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Happy New Year: try my favorite recipes from the holiday season

My New Year's resolution is simple: update the blog more often. 

I last updated about a year-and-a-half ago. Time flies. 

I really have no excuse for it. What have I been doing? Everything and nothing. (On Facebook, I'd be accused of vague booking. Here, I guess it'd be vague blogging. 

The last two things I made are chocolate dipped Oreos (I dipped them in bittersweet melted chips and put on wax paper in freezer to harden; they weren't pretty, but hey, they were chocolate) and Braunschweiger liver pâté; it's similar to this recipe but with some major differences: 

I ditched the chili powder, used roasted garlic powder (1/4 tsp. and minced onion (1 tsp) instead of fresh. I also added ketchup and French's yellow mustard to taste (about 2 TBSP and 1 tsp., respectively - and it varies by brand, so you need to taste it) as well as about 1 TBSP of McCormick's Bac'n Bits. I had no bacon on hand, or I probably would have put a couple of slices of crumbled bacon in. I have since solved that problem. 

Aesthetically, it wasn't outstanding. For the first time ever, large chunks of cream cheese flecked the spread. I could not get them to completely blend in and that bothered me. I've made this several times, and that never happened before. I did leave it at room temperature for 45 minutes. Perhaps it needs to be colder to blend properly? Anyway, the pâté is gone, too, so I have no photos. 

My preferred chilling time is at least four hours, but overnight is even better. Another note: there's also a difference between the Jones and the Oscar Mayer brands of Braunschweiger. I feel the Oscar Mayer is more authentic, but both are good.

Bonus: I made a huge number of cookies for gifts and in doing so, discovered an awesome product. Krusteaz Bakery Style Gingerbread Cookie Mix was the best mix I used. (I was a bit crunched for time.)

Will make all three again soon for a belated holiday celebration. When I do, I'll take and post photos. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Safety first: General Mills' Gold Medal, other flours recalled

Gold Medal Flour has been recalled, various sized packages of all-purpose and unbleached flour, due to a multi-state breakout of E.coliO121, which is potentially deadly, according to a notice on General Mills' website

The recall also affects Wondra Quick-Mixing All Purpose Flour (often used for gravy) and Signature Kitchens' All Purpose Flour. 

This notice includes all relevant dates and packages. Check it out for the safety of your family and have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Beyond Meat offers new vegan burger

Whether you genuinely like vegan burgers or eat them due to necessity, you may be interested in this new product. 

After loads of research, the Beyond Burger, made by Beyond Meat, is the first burger that will be sold next to actual meat. It's also gluten-free and soy-free, with no GMOs.

Available now only at a Whole Foods Market in Boulder, CO, it will be making its way to other Whole Foods stores in the coming year. 

For more info, check out this link: 


I actually enjoy veggie burgers, so I expect that I'll eventually be checking it out. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is Saturday, May 14

An annual event, Stamp Out Hunger is Saturday, May 14. 

You don't even have to haul your food donations to a remote location. 

Just collect and bag nonperishable food items and leave the bag at your mailbox by 9 a.m. for your letter carrier to collect; it will be delivered to your local food bank (such as Gleaners Community Food Bank). 

And if it's going to rain, well, tie the food up in white plastic grocery bags. 

For more information, or to make a donation if you're not going to be home, visit to www.gcfb.org/StampOutHunger.

Pepin retires, to the disappointment of many a PBS watcher

A legend has retired, and Public Broadcasting System watchers aren't likely to be happy with the result. 

Jacques Pepin will only appear on PBS in re-runs after this year. 

In addition to being a fantastic chef, Pepin, 80, is noted for his good humor, joie de vivre and his incredible teaching ability, including a cooking show he did with Julia Child.

I've seen this Frenchman late at night and found him able to break down things simply, so that anyone can follow along (even a large knife-phobic soul like me). 

Slate's tribute to him is here; an excellent article, it mentioned a PBS channel that had some of his shows online. 

Now I just have to find the episode that teaches you how to make mayonnaise, since, so far, I have found the process too hard to even think about trying.