Basic Chicken Stock and Asian Chicken Stock

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Let’s talk chicken stock. Do you keep it handy?  Having chicken stock around is like owning a black dress or a pair of red shoes; it’s just something you have to have to have and it makes you feel good. The best chicken stock is made in  your own kitchen.  You can control the final…

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Homemade Cultured Buttermilk

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I use a lot of buttermilk.  And by ‘a lot’ I mean a ton.  Many of my baked goods contain buttermilk.  Much of my salad dressing uses buttermilk.  And The Evil Genius?  He drinks buttermilk. *  We go through a lot of the stuff.  And I may have mentioned that I live in the middle…

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Homemade Hummus

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I spent nearly seven years as a vegetarian; those years were spent subsisting mainly on hummus, cheese and big green salads. I long ago enthusiastically re-entered the omnivore world* but still spend a great deal of time conveying hummus to my mouth on various crudites and pita chips. Hummus is the first rite of spring…

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Pimiento Cheese

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This is the second installment of my Southern New Year’s Foods series.  Happy New Year! Really, The Evil Genius and I complete each other. While I sit here on the couch with the laptop, contemplating pimiento cheese, he is watching ‘Alien vs. Predator’ and talking about which characters he thinks will be eaten. So see?…

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Hotter Than the Hinges of Hell Habanero Jelly

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Ow.  Ouch.  Owwie.  Ooooooh.  Oooooch.  Oh it hurts! I want you to be aware that this recipe is not for the faint of heart or wimpy of tongue.  It is a pure habanero relish.  As in lots and lots of chopped fresh habanero peppers. Habaneros, for those who do not know, are one of the…

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Homemade V-7 (not 8) Garden Vegetable Juice Blend

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A few weeks ago, my mom made the trek out to Michigan to visit her sisters (my aunties) and my Grandma. One night while Mom and my baby sister were out there, the Shaffer girls (because that’s what they become when they’re all together again) and Grandma gathered around the kitchen table to talk food…

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Blueberry Butter Tarts with Mascarpone Ice Cream

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We have a winner!  And I have my power back!  Yes.  I was without power for nearly two days.  With two stinky dogs, sixteen stinky chicks, five stinky chickens, five stinky kids and two marginally less stinky adults, our power came back none too soon.  No power translated to no pump for the well, no…

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Homemade Nut Butters: Foodie Gift #12

Nutella was only the beginning….I’ve made homemade peanut butter for some time now — I buy 30 pound bags of Valencia peanuts and our PB is cheaper and fresher and better than what we could find at the store. It is good, quick and easy, and while I’ve made foods that incorporated pulverized cashews, almonds, pecans,…

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Golden Crunchy Pickled Onions: Foodie Christmas Gift #7

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These golden rings of crunchy, flavorful pickled onions are just about the perfect thing for topping salads or roast meat sandwiches,  adding a unique touch and pop of color to buffet spreads and antipasto trays, and accompanying cold meat loaf.  Plus, when you’ve fished the very last onion ring out of the jar, the leftover oniony,…

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