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Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

A traditional spinach salad with bacon, hard-cooked eggs, mushrooms. Such a classic and ever so satisfying. Plus bonus: a great way to use leftover Easter eggs. ~ Skip Straight to the Recipe ~ Just before the green begins there is the hint of green
 a blush of color, and the red buds thicken
 the ends of the maple's branches and everything
 is poised before the start of a new world,
 which is really the same world
 just moving forward from bud
 to flower to blossom to fruit
 to harvest to sweet sleep, and the roots 
 await the next signal - from "April Prayer" by poet Stuart Kestenbaum via Writer's Almanac Finally, Spring! Spring eased into Missouri some time in the past weeks, overnight, it must have been, since on no one day was its arrival a certainty. In the local paper, the letters to the editor take on this new season’s controversy, whether chickens, especially the crowing roosters, make good neighbors. More families, it seems, are put

Homemade Chicken Stock

A new cooking lesson, how to make homemade chicken stock. Lots of tips and techniques, my own and Michael Ruhlman's, from his new book "Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking". ~ Skip Straight to the Recipe ~ "Cook" Books vs "Recipe" Books: Which One Suits You? My kitchen bookshelves sag under cookbooks, the basement is home to two decades of food magazines. Author Michael Ruhlman wants us to call these not "cook" books but "recipe" books. Recipe books, he says, teach us to follow recipes; cook books teach us to cook . But acceptance is a virtue and me, I accept that I’m a recipe cook. Turning the pages of cookbooks and magazines, I experience the thrill of the hunt, the possibility of discovery: be still, my heart! Still, deep within, I long to be released from the shackles of recipes. In the cooking of my mind, I stand before a well-stocked pantry and a just-filled refrigerator, grab a few th

Armenian Easter Bread

The oh-so-special braided Armenian Easter bread, called "choereg" or some times "choreg". It's a buttery sweet bread, fragrant with an addictive spice called "mahleb" or some times "mahlab". Best of all, the pastry can be made in advance and keeps just beautifully. Many thanks to Cyndi, a Kitchen Parade reader, for sharing her family's special Easter bread! Old Family Recipes Are the Best! A Celebration Bread for Easter. Tastes Better and Better Over a Few Days. Freezes Well.

Pork Chops & Rice Oven Dinner

How to bake pork chops with rice in the oven in one skillet, a simple satisfying meal. Baking pork chops and rice yields tender, fall-apart chops and tasty rice. This is the very first meal I ever cooked, memorable for reasons good and bad! An Old-Fashioned One-Pot Dinner, True Comfort Food. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Grape Salad with Almonds & Cilantro

An unusual fruit salad, savory and sweet at the same time. This easy recipe takes familiar ingredients like fresh fruit, almonds and cilantro and turns them upside down. Start with your favorite fruit – so far I've tried grapes, mango and apples – and then just stir in the rest, including a touch of salt, a key ingredient. There you go, fruit salad in a whole new way! Real Food, Fresh & Flexible. Simple Healthy Dessert or Breakfast Salad. Not just easy, Summer Easy . Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Easily Scales from Grape Salad for One or Two to Grape Salad for Big Groups. No Added Sugar. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real . Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.

Cheery Cherry Banana Bread

The Recipe: My forever-and-forever favorite recipe for banana bread, rich with banana flavor, very banana-y. (That's thanks to very ripe bananas, even my favorite "black bananas"!) It calls for whole-wheat flour and wheat germ, so the recipe is even half healthful. But what really makes this banana bread special? Poppy seeds and those bright-red cheery cherries! And now there's also Christmas Banana Bread with tart fresh cranberries. Consider making banana bread a new seasonal tradition. The Conversation: Are super-size portions the reason we're putting on pounds? Nutrition experts cite super-size portions as one reason why Americans put on pounds. I recently purchased a baking pan that cuts the portion size of quick breads in half – kinda magic, just like that! The pan holds the same volume as a standard bread pan but is shallower and longer, about twelve inches long, allowing for more slices. The longer size is especially perfect for rich quick br