Category: Spice Up Your Life

Taking a dip with real cheese

I know it’s a party favorite, but when I go to get-togethers where someone has a big crockpot full of cheese dip, I normally avoid it completely. It’s not because I dislike cheese dip. I love cheese—real cheese. What I can’t stand and am always afraid to run into is my arch nemesis: Velveeta. That rubbery stuff just grosses me […]

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Pepper in some flavor with a casserole

I am enamored by the pasta section in the grocery store. I’m amazed at how many shapes are available and often wish I was fancy enough to put some of the exotic ones in my cart. I was pretty excited with the recipe I decided to try this week, because it called for “farfalle” pasta. If you’re not familiar, farfalle […]

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Transforming brownies is no ‘truffle’ at all

One of the reasons I know Joey and I are a perfect match is our brownie preferences. Joey loves the crispy outside edges of a pan of brownies, whereas I love the fudgy, soft brownie that exists right in the middle of a square pan. The first time I made brownies for him, I left the center one for him—which […]

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‘Bean’ looking for a good meatless recipe?

Before our next paper hits the stands, many of you will be starting your observance of Lent. I grew up in a Protestant tradition that didn’t observe Lent, but later on, when I went to Bethel College, I had several classmates who practiced it and encouraged me to do it with them. I decided to abstain from sweets for the […]

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Come to the dark side…of chocolate

One summer, when I was volunteering at camp, I was recruited to be in a skit where the actors had to do whatever the narrator said. It was silly, and the kids loved watching us all make fools of ourselves while we were directed to crawl around and say weird phrases. My character had to eat chocolate—lots of it. The […]

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This crisp makes quite a ‘pear’

When I was in grade school, I loved getting canned pears on my tray for lunch in the cafeteria. They have a unique texture that I like, and I’ve always enjoyed the understated flavor of them. That said, I often forget just how much I like pears. When I bake pies or other fruity desserts, I tend to lean toward […]

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These green beans will ‘bacon’ to you

One day quite a few years ago, Joey and I were given a large bag of green beans—the type you’re supposed to let steam in the bag in the microwave, and they were whole green beans, which was not something I was particularly familiar with. I popped them in the microwave and cooked them according to the directions, and they […]

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There’s always room for Jell-O cookies

It was 1897 in LeRoy, N.Y. A carpenter by the name of Pearle Wait and his wife, May, were experimenting with how to preserve a cough remedy and a laxative tea. One of their experiments included using gelatin, and while they didn’t necessarily find a way to preserve their medicines, they did succeed in making history. The fruit-flavored dessert they […]

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The best way to stew about how cold it is

For me, it seems like I can tolerate winter until Christmas is over, but after that, I’m ready for it to just move on. The cold and the dark just aren’t my scene. That being said, I do love cold-weather food, and not long ago I had a major craving for stew, so I found the delicious recipe I’m sharing […]

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It’s time for a real sweetie (potato) pie

I know. I know. We’re done with the holidays, you’re still trying to avoid all the snacks and goodies that piled up in your house, and here I am shoving a delicious pie recipe right in your face. But hear me out on this one: We’re all going to have to wean ourselves off the sweet stuff of the holidays […]

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