Ham is the star of Easter dinner

Easter conjures up images of baskets, bunnies, egg hunts and a holiday favorite — ham. A new survey by the National Pork Board found that ham is the star of the Easter feast for two-thirds of Americans, yet half of cooks admit they need help picking the perfect ham.

Quiznos arrives in Peachtree City

Quiznos is toasting Peachtree City with the introduction of a new store at 220 Peachtree East Shopping Center (Georgia Hwy 54 in front of Publix). This national sub chain, with more than 4,500 restaurants worldwide and 90 stores in the Atlanta metro area, is the fastest growing sandwich chain in the United States.

The healthy alternative to trans fats

What will you have for lunch today? A hamburger and fries? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some chips? Or maybe some chicken wings? No matter what the answer, chances are good the meal will contain trans fatty acids formed through partial hydrogenation -- a chemical process where hydrogen is added to vegetable oil in the presence of small amounts of catalyst metals to produce a semi-solid material that is more desirable for use in baking than liquid oils.

Healthy, flavorful recipes bloom with onions

As you cruise the marketplace looking for fresh, healthy and quick ways to incorporate more produce into your meals, stop and smell the onions.

How to create and enjoy lower sugar desserts

Those who choose to or have to monitor their sugar intake, or carbohydrate-conscious confectionary lovers, can often find it difficult to bake and enjoy desserts without compromising healthy eating habits -- or sacrificing taste.

Fewer choices for foodies

As I drive the highways and byways of Fayette County looking for the next big find, I’m starting to become aware that the food landscape is starting to dramatically change.

How does your garden grow?

Fertilizer facts for healthy soil, healthy plants and healthy food

Growing healthy, fresh vegetables in your backyard is easier said than done, right? Wrong.

Four seasons of food safety

The top 5 mistakes people make in the kitchen

Most people think of food safety in the summer when grilling and picnics are at their peak. However, food safety is important year-round and no matter what the season, preventing foodborne illness should be top of mind. Whether you’re cooking a five-course meal or preparing food for a tailgating party, it’s crucial to know how to keep your food safe, especially when cooking for family and friends.

Time to get baking

Fire up the oven for wickedly good chocolate desserts

By Barbara Albright
Associated Press

It seems like it was just yesterday, but here we go again. This is that mouthwatering time of the year when the holidays line up, and the urge to bake grabs hold.

Shaking up the pot

Teaching an old stew new tricks

By Mark Graham
Chicago Tribune

How do you take an old stew recipe and make it new again? By using spices and ingredients from all over the world — some familiar, some not so familiar. And it’s easier than ever. The availability of unusual ingredients has grown with the development of modern palates, “smarter” supermarkets and the Internet.

Heart of green

Cookbook spawns from author’s love of vegetables

By Joan Brunskill
Associated Press

The kitchen in Barbara Kafka’s Manhattan brownstone has a mellow, lived-in air. It’s lined with cabinets, shelves piled with spice jars and cooking bowls, one wall with a collection of shining copper saucepans hanging — all reflecting the more than four decades she’s lived here.

Spice up for baking

The specialists at The Spice Hunter offer their top 10 “must-haves” for baking, as a guide to cooks whose resolution was to have a fantastically stocked pantry this year.

Which side is best when placing parchment paper in baking pan?

Q: Is there a right side to use when placing parchment paper in a baking pan?

A: No. And while we’re on the subject, there’s no right or wrong side to foil, either, said Rebecca Danchise, spokeswoman for Reynolds Kitchens in Richmond, Va.

Taste of Italy

We loved Isola Imports’ preserves (below) from Italy’s Abruzzo region. Our favorite was the tart-sweet Sicilian orange with liqueur, but wild berry with liqueur and strawberry balsamic also had their fans.

Popcorn hits the spot

Family feasts often include tasty foods that aren’t so hot in nutrition values. Popcorn is something that gets a better rating than many others when it comes to nutrition.

Sweet potatoes vs. yams

Q: Is there a difference between sweet potatoes and yams?

A: Yes, there is a difference. The sweet potatoes we see most often in stores — bright orange flesh and pointed on both ends — are often called yams, but are indeed sweet potatoes (above, right). There’s also another type of sweet potato that has a yellow-orange skin, pale yellow flesh and a dry and fluffy rather than moist cooked texture. It isn’t nearly as sweet. It can grow as far north as New Jersey, while the dark-orange sweet potato is grown only in the South.

New varieties of mac and cheese

I’m always going on about nutrition when you just want a big bowl of comfort. Well, far be it from me to deny you — let’s talk mac and cheese.

Words of caution for the desktop diner

If you’re one of the millions of American workers who regularly eats at their desks, keep in mind that your keyboard and desktop should be cleaned regularly so you can avoid food-borne illnesses.

Getting in shape

Ahh, January ... it’s the month when the gyms are overrun and resolutions are made to live a healthier lifestyle in the new year.

Meet people who take their coffee seriously

The aroma wakes us up, its taste perks us up. We need it first thing in the morning, brewed fresh and strong. It keeps us going throughout the day. We’ll take it on the go, savor it after dinner, and turn into grumps if we can’t get our daily fix. Yes, we love our coffee.

Year-round sweet treat

Sweet potatoes offer nutrients needed well beyond the holidays

By Tommy C. Simmons
Associated Press

Toasting for the smaller gourmand

Toaster oven a good choice for gourmet-minded single-serving cooks

By Malina Brown
Knight Ridder Newspapers

Choc talk

Homemade candymaker has many tips for making the best truffles

By Jane Snow
Knight Ridder Newspapers

Winging it!

You may know how you like your wings (spicy, mild, barbeque), but did you ever wonder where the original Buffalo wing came from?

F.C. Foodie’s year in review

With just two weeks to go until the new year, it’s time for Foodie to reflect on Fayette’s dining scene.

Without further ado, here are some of the things that Foodie is happy about this year:

Family food

Keep it simple when preparing daily family dinners

Erin Campbell

By Allison Askins
Knight Ridder Newspapers

Erin Campbell grew up in a family that always sat down together for dinner.

Getting nutty

Two new peanut butter cookbooks provide ample ideas

By J.M. Hirsch
Associated Press

If I didn’t really love peanut butter, I’d question whether we need two new cookbooks dedicated to the ingredient.

Roll player

Get compliments on your buns this year

Baking Powder Buscuits

By Jane Snow
Knight Ridder Newspapers

Let the young and the vain worry about buns of steel while you rake in the compliments for buns that are plump, warm, and — frankly — squishy.

14 years and counting

Wings & Things still the place to go in Fayetteville

Some restaurants choose to employ fancy décor or exotic-sounding ingredients to lure their customers in. Wings & Things uses a different tactic to impress customers. It’s simply called great food and great service. This basic plan seems to be working, as the Fayetteville restaurant celebrates its 14th anniversary this weekend.

Restaurants that deserve more business

In the course of trying to find favorable food selections for my devoted fans, I often run into restaurants that should have far more business. Whether it’s a bad location or the word hasn’t reached the patrons, the half-empty restaurants simply deserve a better break from the dining public.

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