2012 in Review – Thank You Visitors Near and Far!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. I am so honored to have so many visitors from around the world! Thanks everyone! Here’s an excerpt: 600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the…

Lesley’s Peppery Popcorn Balls

My daughter-in-law, Lesley, is a creative and talented cook. Her culinary creations contain unique combinations of ingredients that surprise and delight the palate. I happen to know that Lesley’s favorite snack is freshly popped corn topped with pepper, so when I suggested she join me in my kitchen to transform her peppery popcorn into sweet,…

Smoky Chipotle-Roasted Pumpkin

We often think of pumpkin as a dessert ingredient, just right for pies and muffins. As a member of the squash family, however, pumpkin is also the perfect candidate for simple, savory dishes. In this recipe, harvest pumpkin is seasoned with chipotle, then oven-roasted to a sweet and smoky blend. Serve it as a seasonal…

Mushrooms

Did you know that mushrooms have no chlorophyll, so they don’t need sunshine to grow and thrive? As a fungus, the mushroom lacks ability to use energy from the sun. Instead, it extracts carbohydrates and proteins from decaying, organic matter. Here’s an old Igbo proverb for you: “If you wish to eat a mushroom, you…

Zucchini

Did you know that zucchini plants originated in the Americas thousands of years ago and were re-popularized by Italian immigrants in the last century? Zucchini are summer squash (of the species cucurbita pepo), and are actually fruits, although we treat them as vegetables in the culinary sense. Here in the US, we call these familiar…

St. Patrick’s Day Soda Bread

Baking soda, known as bread soda in Ireland, gives quick breads their rising power when mixed with an acid such as sour milk or vinegar. This down and dirty alternative to yeast allows you to mix up, bake and enjoy a piping hot, homemade loaf of soda bread in less than one hour. Ingredients 2¼…