One of America’s Favorites – Strip Steak

September 18, 2017 at 5:26 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Grilled Kansas City strip steak topped with onions and mushrooms

The strip steak, also called a New York strip, a Kansas City strip steak (US), a sirloin steak (UK/NZ/ZA), or a porterhouse (AU), is a cut of beef steaks from the short loin from a cow. It consists of a muscle that does little work, the longissimus, making the meat particularly tender; although not as tender as the nearby rib eye or tenderloin. Fat content of the strip is somewhere between the two cuts. Unlike the tenderloin, the short loin is a sizable muscle, allowing it to be cut into larger portions.

 

 

A U.S. Prime raw strip steak with a high marbling content

According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the steak is marketed under various names, including Ambassador Steak, Boneless Club Steak, Hotel-Style Steak, Kansas City Steak, New York Steak, and Veiny Steak.

In New Zealand and Australia, it is known as Porterhouse and Sirloin (strip loin steak) and can be found in the Handbook of Australian Meat under codes 2140 to 2143.

In Canada, most meat purveyors refer to this cut as a strip loin.

Delmonico’s Restaurant, an operation opened in New York City in 1827, offered as one of its signature dishes a cut from the short loin called a Delmonico steak. Due to its association with the city, it is often referred to as a New York strip steak.

 

Related Cuts – When still attached to the bone, and with a piece of the tenderloin also included, the strip steak becomes a T-bone steak or a porterhouse steak, the difference being that the porterhouse has a larger portion of tenderloin included. The strip steak may be sold with or without the bone. Strip steaks may be substituted for most recipes calling for T-bone and porterhouse steaks, and sometimes for fillet and rib eye steaks.

A bone-in strip steak with no tenderloin attached is sometimes referred to as a shell steak.

 

 

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One of America’s Favorites – Meatball Sandwich

September 11, 2017 at 5:31 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 4 Comments
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A meatball sandwich

The meatball sandwich is a common sandwich that is a part of several cuisines, including Italian-American cuisine, American cuisine and Italian cuisine.

 

 

The sandwich primarily consists of meatballs, a tomato sauce or marinara sauce, and bread, such as Italian bread, baguette and bread rolls. Cheese such as provolone and mozzarella is sometimes used as an ingredient. Additional ingredients can include garlic, green pepper and butter, among others. It is sometimes prepared in the form of a submarine sandwich.

A meatball sandwich prepared using a bun

A meatball sandwich prepared using a bun

 

It has been suggested that the meatball sandwich was invented in the United States around the time of the turn of the 20th century.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Anadama Bread

September 4, 2017 at 5:40 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Anadama Bread is a traditional yeast bread of New England in the United States made with wheat flour, cornmeal, molasses and sometimes rye flour.

It is not readily agreed exactly when or where the bread originated, except it existed before 1850 in Rockport,

Anadama bread

Massachusetts. It is thought to have come from the local fishing community, but it may have come through the Finnish community of local stonecutters.

Near the turn of the 20th century, it was baked by a man named Baker Knowlton on King Street in Rockport, Massachusetts, and delivered in a horse-drawn cart to households by men in blue smocks. In the 1940s, a Rockport restaurant owned by Bill and Melissa Smith called The Blacksmith Shop on Mt. Pleasant St. started baking the bread for their restaurant in a small bakery on Main St. They baked about 80 loaves a day until 1956, when they built a modern $250,000 bakery on Pooles Lane. They had 70 employees and 40 trucks which delivered Anadama bread all over New England.

The Anadama Bread center of consumption was in Rockport and next-door Gloucester, Massachusetts. It was commercially available from local bakeries widely on Cape Ann from the early 1900s until 1970, when the Anadama Bread Bakery on Pooles Lane in Rockport closed due to Bill Smith’s death. For a number of years, it was baked by small local bakeries at breakfast places on Cape Ann.

Put in a large mixing bowl 2 cups boiling water and 1/2 cup cornmeal. Stir thoroughly. Let stand one hour. Add 1/2 cup molasses, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tablespoon butter. Put in a small bowl 1/2 cup lukewarm water and 1 package yeast. When dissolved, add to the cornmeal. Stir in 4 1/2 cups flour. Beat thoroughly and let rise until double in bulk. Add enough more flour to make the dough just firm enough to knead. Shape into loaves and put into buttered pans. Let rise until almost double. Bake about 50 minutes at 350°. Makes 2 loaves. White flour will make the most “addictive” Anadama, but experiment with whole wheat, rye and other flours to make more healthful loaves.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – New England Boiled Dinner

August 28, 2017 at 5:34 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 2 Comments
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New England boiled dinner is the basis of a traditional New England meal, consisting of corned beef or a smoked “picnic ham” shoulder, with cabbage and added vegetable items, often including potato, rutabaga, parsnip, carrot, white turnip, and onion. With a beef roast, this meal is often known simply as corned beef and cabbage. A similar Newfoundland dish is called a Jiggs dinner.

New England boiled dinner

New England boiled dinner is a traditional meal on St. Patrick’s Day. Ireland produced a significant amount of the corned beef in the Atlantic trade from local cattle and salt imported from the Iberian Peninsula and southwestern France. Coastal cities, such as Dublin, Belfast, and Cork, created vast beef curing and packing industries, with Cork producing half of Ireland’s annual beef exports in 1668. Most of the people of Ireland during this period consumed little of the meat produced, in either fresh or salted form, due to its prohibitive cost. In the colonies the product was looked upon with disdain due to its association with poverty and slavery.

Corned beef was used as a substitute for bacon by Irish-American immigrants in the late 19th century. Corned beef and cabbage is the Irish-American variant of the original Irish dish of bacon and cabbage.

A “picnic ham” shoulder consists of the cured and smoked primal pork shoulder, which is cut from the lower portion of a hog’s foreleg still containing the arm and shank bones. The meat is then boiled with root vegetables for several hours or until it is tender. The resulting meat does not taste similar to a traditional ham.

Corned beef is prepared before the actual cooking of the meal by seasoning a cut of beef with salt (large grains of salt were known as corns) and spices and the natural meat juices. This meat is then placed whole, like a rump or pot roast into a crock pot, which in olden times was a ceramic pot over a fire, filled with cabbage and carrots, and, when available, red potatoes. However, after Luther Burbank’s alteration of potatoes, the potatoes were chopped when placed in the pot. Rutabaga or turnips are also common ingredients. This meal can be left in a crock pot all day but must be kept in the naturally humid environment of cooking meat. Corned beef and cabbage is often served as a whole meal.

Smoked shoulder is an exceptionally salty cut of meat. Two different methods of preparation are commonly used to decrease the amount of salt in the meat. In the first method, the meat is placed in a pot and soaked in a refrigerated cold water bath for one day prior to cooking. During the soak, the water is changed several times. The pot of meat and water is then boiled on the stovetop until the meat is tender. In the second method, the meat is placed in cold water and brought to a boil. The boiling water is then poured off, replaced with fresh cold water, and the ham is brought to a boil again. This process can be repeated several times, as deemed appropriate by the chef, before the meat is allowed to cook. A combination of both methods is also acceptable. This is a very easy meal to cook, as the salt and flavor of the meat require no additional seasonings. The ham generally must boil for several hours until it is ready to eat. The vegetables are placed in the pot and boiled with the meat; however, some chefs prefer to place them in the ham’s water after the meat has been removed to avoid overcooking.

Common condiments include horseradish, mustard, and cider vinegar.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Pork Ribs

August 21, 2017 at 5:16 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 1 Comment
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Balinese roasted pork ribs

Pork ribs are a cut of pork popular in North American and Asian cuisines. The ribcage of a domestic pig, meat and bones together, is cut into usable pieces, prepared by smoking, grilling, or baking – usually with a sauce, often barbecue – and then served.

 

 

 

 

Cuts of pork ribs
Several different types of ribs are available, depending on the section of rib cage from which they are cut. Variation in the thickness of the meat and bone, as well as levels of fat in each cut, can alter the flavor and texture of the prepared dish. The inner surface of the rib cage is covered by a layer of connective tissue (pleura) that is difficult to cook tender; it is usually removed before marinating or cooking.

Baby back ribs

Baby back ribs served with fries and cornbread

Baby back ribs (also back ribs or loin ribs) are taken from the top of the rib cage between the spine and the spare ribs, below the loin muscle. They have meat between the bones and on top of the bones, and are shorter, curved, and sometimes meatier than spare ribs. The rack is shorter at one end, due to the natural tapering of a pig’s rib cage. The shortest bones are typically only about 3 in (7.6 cm) and the longest is usually about 6 in (15 cm), depending on the size of the hog. A pig side has 15 to 16 ribs (depending on the breed), but usually two or three are left on the shoulder when it is separated from the loin. So, a rack of back ribs contains a minimum of eight ribs (some may be trimmed if damaged), but can include up to 13 ribs, depending on how it has been prepared by the butcher. A typical commercial rack has 10–13 bones. If fewer than 10 bones are present, butchers call them “cheater racks”.

Spare ribs

Spare ribs cut into riblets with Chinese barbecue sauce

* Spare ribs, also called “spareribs” or “side ribs”, are taken from the belly side of the rib cage, below the section of back ribs and above the sternum (breast bone). Spare ribs are flatter and contain more bone than meat, but more fat that can make the ribs more tender than back ribs. The term “spare ribs” is a Middle English corruption (via “sparrib”) of “rippspeer”, a Low German term that referred to racks of meat being roasted on a turning spit.
* St. Louis style ribs (or St. Louis cut spare ribs) have had the sternum bone, cartilage, and rib tips (see below) removed. The shape is almost rectangular.
* Kansas City style ribs are trimmed less closely than the St. Louis style ribs, and have the hard bone removed.
Rib tips
Rib tips are short, meaty sections of rib attached to the lower end of the spare ribs, between the ribs and the sternum. Unlike back ribs or spare ribs, the structure of the rib is provided by dense costal cartilage, not bone. Rib tips are cut away from the spare ribs when preparing St. Louis style spare ribs.

Riblets

Smoked country style pork ribs

Riblets are prepared by butchers by cutting a full set of spare ribs approximately in half. This produces a set of short, flat ribs where the curved part of the rib is removed and gives them a more uniform look. Loin back ribs don’t always have this removed. When not removed they have a rounded look to them and are often referred to as baby back ribs. Another product (imprecisely) called riblets is actually the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae. Riblets used to be thrown out by butchers, but have become popular due to their excellent flavor and lower cost.

Button ribs (or feather bones) are often confused with riblets mostly because Applebee’s sells these as “riblets”. In fact, what Applebee’s sells is found just past the ribs near the back bone, just underneath the tenderloin. This cut of meat actually has no bones, but instead has “buttons” of cartilaginous material with meat attached.

Rib tips (or brisket) are found at the bottom of the spare ribs by the sternum. The rib tips have a high proportion of cartilage. The rib tips give the spare ribs a rounded appearance. In an attempt to give the meat a more uniform appearance and make it easier to eat, this piece is sometimes removed, and the remaining spare ribs are referred to as Saint Louis style ribs.

Other cuts and preparations

Crown rib roast of pork with apples

* Button ribs are flat, circular-shaped bones located at the sirloin end of the loin. They are not actually ribs, as they are not taken from the rib cage. The button ribs consist of the last four to six bones on the backbone; they do not have actual ribs connected to them. The meat on the button ribs consists of meat that covers each button and connects them together.
* Country-style ribs are cut from the blade end of the loin close to the pork shoulder. They are meatier than other rib cuts. They contain no rib bones, but instead contain parts of the shoulder blade (scapula).
* Rib roast (or bone-in pork loin rib roast, bone-in loin rib roast, center cut rib roast, prime rib of pork, standing rib roast) is a whole pork loin with the back ribs attached. They can be up to 2 ft long and 6 in thick. They are sold whole or in sections.
* Rib chops are pork steaks or chops that include a back rib bone and the loin meat attached. They are lean and tender.
* Rib patties – The meat from the ribs is taken off the bone and ground to make rib patties. McDonald’s McRib patties contain pork meat mostly from non-rib sections of the hog.
* Christmas ribs – About half of Norwegian families eat oven-cooked rib at Christmas Eve. Normally, they are referred to as ribbe or juleribbe. Traditional recipes include steaming half an hour before cooking in the oven to achieve a crisp surface.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Chimichanga

August 14, 2017 at 5:05 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A chimichanga with rice

Chimichanga (/tʃɪmiˈtʃæŋɡə/; Spanish: [tʃimiˈtʃaŋɡa]) is a deep-fried burrito that is popular in Tex-Mex, Southwestern U.S. cuisine, and also found in the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Sonora. The dish is typically prepared by filling a flour tortilla with a wide range of ingredients, most commonly rice, cheese, machaca (dried meat), carne adobada (marinated meat), carne seca, or shredded chicken, and folding it into a rectangular package. It is then deep-fried and can be accompanied with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and/or cheese.

 

Debate over the origins of the chimichanga is ongoing:

The words chimi and changa come from two Mexican Spanish terms: chamuscado, (past participle of the verb chamuscar which means seared or singed, and changa, related to chinga, (third-person present tense form of the vulgar verb chingar, a rude expression for the unexpected or a small insult.

According to one source, the founder of the Tucson, Arizona, restaurant El Charro, Monica Flin, accidentally dropped a burrito into the deep-fat fryer in 1922. She immediately began to utter a Spanish profanity beginning “chi…” (chingada), but quickly stopped herself and instead exclaimed chimichanga, a Spanish equivalent of “thingamajig”.

Woody Johnson, founder of Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen, claims he invented the chimichanga in 1946 when he put some burritos into a deep fryer as an experiment at his original restaurant Woody’s El Nido. These “fried burritos” became so popular that by 1952, when Woody’s El Nido became Macayo’s, the chimichanga was one of the restaurant’s main menu items. Johnson opened Macayo’s in 1952.

Although no official records indicate when the dish first appeared, retired University of Arizona folklorist Jim

A chimichanga with refried beans and rice

Griffith recalls seeing chimichangas at the Yaqui Old Pascua Village in Tucson in the mid-1950s.

Given the variant chivichanga, mainly employed in Mexico, another derivation would have it that immigrants to the United States brought the dish with them, mainly through Nogales into Arizona. A third, and perhaps most likely possibility, is that the chimichanga, or chivichanga, has long been a part of local cuisine of the Pimería Alta of Arizona and Sonora, with its early range extending southward into Sinaloa. In Sinaloa, the chimichangas are small.

Knowledge and appreciation of the dish spread slowly outward from the Tucson area, with popularity elsewhere accelerating in recent decades. Though the chimichanga is now found as part of the Tex-Mex repertoire, its roots within the U.S. seem to be in Pima County, Arizona.

According to data presented by the United States Department of Agriculture, a typical 183-gram (6.5-ounce) serving of a beef and cheese chimichanga contains 443 calories, 20 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 23 grams total fat, 11 grams saturated fat, 51 milligrams cholesterol, and 957 milligrams of sodium.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Stromboli

August 7, 2017 at 5:36 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Homemade Stromboli

Stromboli is a type of turnover filled with various cheeses (typically mozzarella) and cold cuts (typically Italian meats such as salami, capocollo and bresaola) or vegetables. The dough used is either Italian bread dough or pizza dough.

Stromboli was invented in the United States in the 1950s. It was named after the Italian film Stromboli.

A stromboli is somewhat similar to a calzone. A calzone is a baked turnover stuffed with pizza ingredients. A stromboli is usually made by rolling up dough that has been topped with pizza ingredients and then baking it. A calzone is crescent-shaped, and a stromboli is usually shaped like a long cylinder. The distinction between the two is complicated by the fact that there is some variation in what constitutes a stromboli.

 

Many American pizza shops serve a stromboli using pizza dough that is folded in half with fillings, similar to a half-moon-shaped calzone. At other establishments, a stromboli is made with a square-shaped pizza dough that can be topped with any pizza toppings and is then rolled into a cylindrical jelly roll shape and baked. Other variations include adding pizza sauce or deep-frying, similar to panzerotti.

One of America’s Favorites – White Hot

July 31, 2017 at 5:48 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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White Hot

The white hot is a variation on the hot dog found primarily in the Rochester, New York area, as well as other parts of Western New York and Central New York. It is composed of a combination of uncured and unsmoked pork, beef, and veal; the lack of smoking or curing allows the meat to retain a naturally white color. White hots usually contain mustard and other spices, and often include a dairy component such as nonfat dry milk.

 

 

 

The white hot, also commonly referred to as a coney, originated in the 1920s in Rochester’s German community as a “white and porky”. It was originally a cheaper alternative to high-price red hot dogs, made of the less desirable meat parts and various fillers; in contrast, modern versions are made from quality meats and are generally sold at higher prices than common hot dogs.

One of the best-known producers of the white hot is Zweigle’s. Although they were not the first to make white hots, they were the first to secure a contract at the Red Wing Stadium soon after Zweigle’s founder Robert Berl began making the dogs in 1925. The white hot has become the official hot dog of the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Rochester Americans and Rochester Rhinos and was the official hot dog of the Washington Nationals during the major league baseball team’s first season.

Another producer, Hofmann, produces white hots in the Syracuse, New York area under the name “Snappy Grillers”. A third company, Hartmann, is also known to produce white hots.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Natchitoches Meat Pie

July 24, 2017 at 5:40 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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The Natchitoches meat pie is a regional dish from northern Louisiana, United States. It is one of the official state foods of Louisiana.

Ingredients include ground beef, ground pork, onions, peppers, garlic, oil, and a pie shell. Natchitoches meat pies are often fried in peanut oil because of that oil’s high smoking temperature. A number of restaurants in the historic district in Natchitoches serve meat pies, and frozen pies are available from grocers in northern Louisiana.

It has a savory meat filling in a crescent-shaped, flaky wheat pastry turnover. It is similar to a Spanish picadillo beef empanada. Varieties are found throughout the colonies of the Spanish Empire. The Natchitoches meat pie is nearly identical to the traditional ground beef empanada of Argentina, Empanada de Carne.

 

Natchitoches meat pie with New Orleans beans and rice

The meat pie is found all throughout Louisiana, including southern Louisiana which tends to have a spicier version compared to its northern counterpart, but its origins are found to be from Northern Louisiana. Although found in Greater New Orleans today, The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book published in 1901 by The Times Picayune of New Orleans does not contain a recipe for a Natchitoches style meat pie in its list of over a thousand recipes. Natchitoches meat pies are found in other parts of Southern Louisiana as well as sold at food booths at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and seems to have spread south from Northern Louisiana.

The use of wheat flour as an ingredient is significant. Corn is grown locally. It is a staple of both Spanish and Native American food. Wheat is difficult to grow in this wet, warm climate. Mexican wheat flour could have been imported initially by annual supply convoy over El Camino Real de los Tejas (a portion later became The Old San Antonio Road) or sourced from Europe via the French port on the Red River at Natchitoches.

In the modern recipe, ground pork or pork sausage is blended into the ground beef for additional flavor. Onions, bell pepper and when used garlic and parsley provide aromatics. Ground black pepper and cayenne pepper are added to get attention without being uncomfortable. Flour is added to the browned meat and vegetable mixture to dry, thicken and loosely bind the filling. The meat filling can be used in other foods (e.g., tacos, tamales, enchiladas, stuffed bell pepper et al) but the wheat turnover crust is a defining element. The traditional size is approximately 4 ounces (by weight) on a 5″-6″ diameter pastry dough. The filling should be made the day before to allow the flavors of the ingredients to meld. Filling, dough and tools should be chilled before assembly. Warm filling will cause the dough to disintegrate.

 

In the first part of the 20th century, meat pies were sold from home kitchens or from carts by street vendors. By 1967, Natchitoches meat pies were produced in commercial kitchens. Now, they may be ordered online.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting aired a program January 20, 2007, describing how to make Natchitoches meat pies. It is available on DVD entitled “A Taste of Louisiana with Chef John Folse & Company: Our Food Heritage – The Spanish Shows”. An annual Meat Pie Festival, held in September, celebrates the Natchitoches meat pie. It includes pie making demonstrations, a meat pie cook-off, live music and more.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Pig Pickin’

July 17, 2017 at 4:53 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A pig pickin’ (also known as rolling a pig, pig pull, pig roast or, among the Cajun, “cochon de lait”) is a type of party or gathering held primarily in the American South which involves the barbecuing of a whole hog (the castrated male pig or barrow, bred for consumption at about 12 weeks old). Females, or gilts, are used as well. Boars (full-grown intact males) and sows generally are too large.

Many Southern families have a pig roast for Thanksgiving or Christmas, graduations, weddings, or summer gatherings. Some communities hold cook-offs during festivals, where cooks compete against one another for prize money.

 

A pig, often around 80–120 pounds dressed weight, is split in half and spread onto a large charcoal or propane grill. Some practitioners use a separate stove filled with hardwood to produce coals which are then transferred under the charcoal grill by shovel; others use charcoal with chunks of either blackjack oak, hickory wood or some other hardwood added for flavor. The style of these grills are as varied as the methods of producing them, some being homemade while others are custom-made.

There is a long-running debate among barbecue enthusiasts over the merits of different fuels. Propane is said to maintain a consistent temperature, whereas charcoal or charwood are often touted as producing better-tasting meat.

The cooking process is communal and usually directed by an authority figure; the host is helped by friends or family. It usually takes four to eight hours to cook the pig completely; the pig is often started “meat-side” down, and then is flipped one time once the hog has stopped dripping rendered fat. Some practitioners clean ashes from the skin with paper towels or a small whisk broom before flipping the hog to help produce high quality cracklings from the skin.

Often the hog is basted while cooking, though the method and sauce used differs according to region. For instance, a typical South Carolina Piedmont-area baste would be a mustard based sauce, an Eastern North Carolina baste is usually a very light vinegar based sauce with red pepper flakes, and Western North Carolina barbecue uses sauce with a ketchup base similar to traditional barbecue sauce.

When the cooking is complete, the meat should ideally be tender to the point of falling off of the bone. The meat is then either chopped or pulled into traditional Carolina-style pork barbecue, or it is picked off the hog itself by the guests. It is from the latter that the gathering gains its name. The barbecue is sometimes eaten with hushpuppies (fried cornmeal, occasionally flavored with onions), coleslaw, baked beans or sometimes Brunswick stew. In South Carolina, it is common to serve pilaf or hash as a side dish. Hash is a blend of leftover pork mixed with barbecue sauce and usually served over rice.

Sweet tea, beer, and soft drinks are often served.

 

The pig pickin’ is a significant part of the culture of the South; the necessary work and time needed to cook the hog makes it ideal for church gatherings (“dinner on the grounds”) or family reunions, and they can be held virtually year-round thanks to the region’s mild winters. Pig pickin’s are popular amongst the most devoted tailgaters at college football games across the South. The pig pickin’ has been long associated with politics; many local political parties and politicians still use the pig pickin’ to attract people to meetings and campaign rallies.[citation needed] In 1983, Rufus Edmisten, running for Governor of North Carolina at the time, was overheard saying “I’ve eaten enough barbecue. I am not going to eat any more. I’m taking my stand and that is it.”

Culturally and culinarily different from traditional Deep South pig pickin’ events, pig roasts are a common occurrence in Cuba, as well as the non-mainland American state of Hawaii, with roasts being done in the traditions of those places.

 

 

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