About Me

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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.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cookbook Review: Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen

Today, I review an oldie but a goodie (first printed in 1996 and reprinted 10 years later). Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen was written about 10 years after I had the idea to do something similar: a dorm room cookbook (a project I never finished because I was too busy with college at the time).

I believe you could apply many of the recipes to college dormitory cooking. (We were only allowed to have either a single electric burner or a hot pot in our dorm room, so making our Sunday dinner was a challenge. Hot pots were difficult to clean, especially after making tuna noodle casserole. I understand some colleges now allow microwaves.) 

Anything that involves slightly more difficult concepts than, say, making a peanut butter or grilled cheese sandwich is pretty much explained. There's also a section on cooking basics. The down side, which I find with many cookbooks, is the lack of nutritional information. In moderation, however, none of this food should harm you. Furthermore, it's "kid" tested and mother-approved.

Written by the son/mom team of Kevin and Nancy Mills, this cookbook features simple recipes (for the most part).

If you're new to living on your own, don't know how to do anything besides boiling water and cooking soup and don't want to eat out all the time, buy this book! Its uncomplicated recipes and simple, matter-of-fact approach to cooking is the real thing.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Magazine Review: Taste of Home Healthy Cooking

maThe original Taste of Home magazine features great-sounding recipes that just aren't as healthy as I would like. I have about two years' worth of these magazines thanks to a friend who once gave me a gift subscription. She is a cooking professional, and knows her food, so I knew the recipes would be good.

Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine lightens new and classic recipes so that they can be made for every day meals. I know they will taste good and be healthier than many choices. How healthy your choices are in this magazine depends upon you: unlike a number of cooking magazines, you have access to the nutrition facts. (One of my main beefs with a number of magazines is the lack of nutritional information available.

Recipes for July 4 currently are featured on the Taste of Home Healthy Cooking  website, which also offers one issue of any of the Taste of Home family of publications free

Beyond Shirley Temples: The Mocktail

I've never been much of a drinker, which is, in my mind, one good habit that affects the size of my waist. Besides, I tend to like what I call "fruity girly drinks," in which you can't taste the alcohol anyway. So mocktails eliminate extra calories and make me sure I can safely drive home.

When I'm not drinking water, tea or coffee, I'll select the non-alcoholic punch or mocktail, generally created from various fruit juices and seltzer.

When you either can't or don't want to drink alcohol, here are some links to inspire your own mocktails, taking you beyond the classic Shirley Temple (one of my favorite drinks).

Washington Post (This article makes a great case for the mocktail: kids love them, too.)