Mary Ann's Blog

The Mighty Meatball

I guess it was only a matter of time…the craze for meatballs that has taken hold in a big way. Food magazines cannot stop writing about them; restaurant chefs have elevated them to super food star gourmet status on their slick menus; food bloggers adore them and all…

Making Stock

The easiest thing in the world to make is beef stock; just save whatever meat bones you have and freeze them; when you have about 5 or 6 place them on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet and add a couple of cut up carrots, a couple stalks of celery, a large onion unpeeled…

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Here's The Rub

Dry rubs are in. Just ask any serious grill meister. These magic flavorful concoctions pack on the flavor for everything from veggies to steaks, pork and chicken. They are also loaded with salt and hard to pronounce other ingredients. And they are expensive. So make your …

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Cast Iron Pan Grilled Meat Loaf

I tried something new; cooking a meatloaf in a cast iron pan on my gas grill. Couple of tips; preheat the grill to 400F then cook the meatloaf over indirect heat. Invest in an instant read thermometer to gauge when the meatloaf is cooked and that would be 160F in the thic…

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Lettuce...Not Just for Salads

Ok, I am going to admit that I am a lettuce snob. I can’t help it; we grow so many kinds that anything else is just no acceptable. Right now, I am inundated with all kinds of lettuce from Freckles, to Romaine to Oak Leaf, Quattro Stagione and many others. I …

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The Spin on Spinach

Right now spinach is appearing in local markets and is a welcome sign of spring. Spinach is a really versatile vegetable that somehow doesn't seem to get enough culinary credit. Here is a veggie that is high in niacin and zinc as well as loaded with fiber and vitamins A, …

Saving Mother Earth

On a misty Sunday morning, long before my neighbors have sipped their first cup of coffee, I make my way up the hill to work magic. I have everything I need, gloves, tools, water, dirt and a plan. My husband is the mastermind of the plan, conceived many years ago. I am j…

Cake Sense

With Easter and Passover around the corner, it is baking season again and here are my tips for turning out molded type cakes made in bundt pans and other configurations. Really grease the mold well with melted butter being especially diligent with getting into the corners…

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Neapolitan Stuffed Easter Bread

The casatiello is a savory filled Neapolitan Easter bread. Casatiello means caccio or cheese in dialect because of the use of cheese in the dough and in the filling. The rising dough meant the promise of new life; the shape of the bread symbolized a crown and the eggs mea…

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Don't look over your (pork) shoulder

Oh, the lonely pork butt, (also going by the name of pork shoulder roast), is so overlooked by home cooks. This cut need lovin’ in a low oven to really bring out its tenderness and tastiness. A pork butt has lots of fat and connective tissue and that is where the ju…

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