St. Charles County mother Vickie Minnella offers useful tips in her blog.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Make this year's Thanksgiving dinner a little easier. Consider cooking a little less and doing part of, or the entire, Thanksgiving Day feast as a carry-out.
Thanksgiving 2012, are you cooking this holiday or not? Perhaps the better question is: How much of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner do you plan on cook yourself? With over-extended schedules, cooking anything, let alone Thanksgiving dinner, has become an overwhelming task. Thankfully there's help. If you can’t or don't have time to cook, you can buy local takeout turkeys and more. Chefs, caterers and grocers have taken note and are ready to provide the elements of a Turkey Day dinner for the time-crunched, weary and/or culinary challenged. “People don’t have the time to cook like they used to,” said Joe Weinmann, co-owner of Kenrick’s Meats and Catering who explained how he offers his customers a variety of options. “We provide turkeys …
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Our panel of experts are waiting in the comments to answer your culinary questions in the latest installment of Ask the Patch Pro.
It's time for another edition of Ask the Patch Pro, where each week we tackle a different topic and open up the comments section for questions. Our team of experts stop in to help you out and answer your questions. This week we're talking all about food and cooking. Patch wants to help you get your questions answered, but we needed some help. We've compiled a team of experts to help us out. Meet the experts: If you have a food/cooking related question, ask below in our comment section and one of our experts will answer! If you consider yourself a local expert and would like to be added to the list, let us know! email@example.com
Monday, October 15, 2012
Patch is looking for experts who can share their cooking expertise this week.
We want to find the answers to all your culinary questions this week, but we need a little help. In the latest edition of "Ask the Patch Pro" we need local experts who can answer readers' food and cooking questions and offer advice. If you consider yourself an expert and can answer these questions and more, let us know two ways. One: You can leave a comment on this post. Two: You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We need experts to answer questions on Thursday, Oct. 18. Curious as to what we are looking for? Take a look at some of our previous Patch Pro posts: So what do you say, who wants to be our expert?
Thursday, March 15, 2012
A secret ingredient to make your St Patrick's Day dinner more grand is cooking with Irish beer.
Ask an Irishman what makes his Irish eyes smile and he’ll likely say it’s the brew in his glass. “I love checking out all the Irish beers this time of year,” said South Countian Mark Cobb who spent time this weekend comparing the Irish beer selections featured at O'Fallon’s Friar Tuck. “My favorites are the Irish red ales. They have a nice malty flavor that tastes great with a plate of corned beef.” Irish red ales and Ireland’s renowned dry, dark stouts will be the featured drink on countless St Patrick’s Day tables. Each brew processes rich flavors worthy of consideration as an ingredient in everything from soup to a nut-laced chocolate cake. Brewmiesers and chefs agree, almost any recipe that calls for liquid could be replaced with beer…
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Dried beans are versatile and a great addition to frugal, healthy meals. Double this recipe for leftovers during your hectic week.
Over the past year writing Great Eats, I have had numerous email requests for frugal recipes, meatless recipes, healthy recipes and regional recipes. This year, I will tailor my recipes to your requests, starting with “frugal,” to kick off 2012. As the mother of teenagers, I am a self-proclaimed queen of frugal dinners. Feeding teenagers, and their many friends, often requires creativity. Breakfast for dinner is a great option, as are soups and stews. Beans, however, are my favorite way to stretch the food dollar. Combined with great spices, beans are anything but ordinary. Nutrition Stop in St. Peters is a good source for dried beans, plus dozens of other items for your healthy, frugal lifestyle. Beans are versatile and show up in many …
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Real Mom of O’Fallon is tired of dealing with picky eaters.
I’m frustrated! My boys are picky eaters.This includes my husband, too. I enjoy cooking, but recently I’ve become more of a short order cook. On any given night, I am making two or three different entrées for dinner. For example, the other night I made a Chicken Pot Pie for dinner. Luckily, one of my children tried it and liked it, although he picked out every pea and carrot from the pie filling. I also ate the Chicken Pot Pie, which was rather delicious, but my younger son and husband wouldn’t even try it. This wasn’t a special gourmet pot pie, but rather a simple recipe from Betty Crocker. I made Andrew a sandwich, but refused to make another item for my husband, so he was on his own. I could understand their refusal to try the …
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Found in coffee shops and bakeries everywhere, cake pops are also simple to make at home.
It seems as though cake pops are making their appearance everywhere. With a soft and chewy inside and a frosting-like coating on the outside, they are hard to resist. Local coffee shops sell cake pops or basic cake pops sell for as much as $24 a dozen online. Amazon has a half dozen recipe books featuring cake pop recipes. Cake pop “kits” are also available from Amazon. These little confections, however, are easy to make and all the materials are available in the O’Fallon/St. Peter’s area. With a little practice and imagination, you can elevate the basic cake pop into a work of art. Purchasing an already baked chocolate loaf cake at the Dierbergs or Wal-Mart bakery cuts prep time by several hours. If you choose to make your own cake, make …
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Fresh, local strawberries are showing up early in local produce stands. While not quite as sweet as our June strawberries, they are welcomed after a long winter of produced flown into the area.
This time of year, I start yearning for fresh, local produce. I was surprised to find locally-grown strawberries already at Orlando’s Produce on Mexico Road. The berries just started arriving a few days ago from southern Illinois, I was told. While not as sweet as June strawberries from Lakeview Farms in St. Peters, my family still declared them the best they have had in months. They are juicy, soft and red throughout—not hard like the berries trucked in from California that we have had all winter long. We ate an entire pound at dinner time. They were that good. Strawberry salsa is a great way to showcase fresh berries. The salsa is great with tortilla chips, but it also turns grilled chicken breast or fish into something special. Grill or…
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Leftover Easter ham can turn into a variety of menu items instead of the basic ham and cheese sandwich.
In many homes, ham is an Easter staple. Ham is top dog, it is the main event. But typically, there are leftovers and frugal people everywhere will be eating ham sandwiches for lunch for the next week. My family looked at me as if I were nuts when, on Tuesday night, our Costco-purchased Easter ham came out of the oven for dinner. Because I write this column, I had to have ham leftovers before today. My understanding family sighed then dug right in. They love ham. While we did have ham sandwiches on Wednesday, we also had ham in a myriad of other dishes. And just for the record, there is no ham for the Baratta family today—we are grilling filets for Easter dinner. I purchased a spiral sliced ham from Costco, so removing the meat from the …