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Hilary Meyer's Blog

March 9, 2010 - 11:50am

I’m not Irish. Not even a little bit. Even though my green beer–guzzling days are behind me, I still get excited about St. Patrick’s Day food. Now I pretend to be Irish in a more subdued manner, by cooking up a storm of Irish-centric meals the week of St. Patrick’s Day. My Irish Lamb Stew hits my slow cooker early in the week, and I sop up the broth with the Irish soda bread I made over the weekend. I follow that with a couple of easy weeknight meals—sticking with my theme of course—so by the end of the week I’m about as Irish as I’m ever going to get.

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March 4, 2010 - 11:09am

When I’m feeling stressed or a little blue, I don’t hit the vending machine or the drive-through window at the local fast-food joint. No, I grab a baking dish, or even a skillet, to make one of my favorite casseroles. Besides their comforting nature, casseroles are, by definition, incredibly easy—they’re simply any food that is cooked and served in the same dish.

And for the record, they don’t have to be covered with gobs and gobs of melted cheese. Casseroles can retain their title as king of comfort food when filled with vegetables, even fish. And just a little cheese, or maybe none at all, can still make a great casserole. All it takes is a little ingenuity like substituting cottage cheese for regular full-fat...

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February 26, 2010 - 11:41am

We’re officially midwinter and I miss the produce bins at the grocery store during midsummer that overflow with fruits and vegetables at the peak of ripeness. Right now the produce section looks more like a compost pile than anything else. If I have to put one more anemic tomato in my grocery cart, I think I’ll scream.

I can’t just stop eating fruits and vegetables for the winter, so I’ve turned to frozen for the time being. But when it comes to fresh vs. frozen, are we giving up nutrition for convenience? As it turns out, maybe not (especially when it comes to “out of season” produce).

Frozen vegetables may be even more healthful than some of the fresh...

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February 25, 2010 - 11:26am

Last week I blogged about the one pot I couldn’t live without, my enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven. And that got me thinking about more kitchen tools that I hold near and dear to my heart—one in particular, my cast-iron skillet. Some of my all-time favorite recipes are made in a cast-iron skillet.

I love cooking in cast iron because it conducts heat beautifully and, if given a little TLC, the skillet will last a lifetime. Its straight high sides are the perfect vessel for a one-skillet meal, which is great for easy cleanup, and you can even use it to make dessert. A cast-iron skillet may not be fancy, but it...

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February 10, 2010 - 10:55am

If my house ever caught on fire, I wouldn’t be scrambling for my wedding album or my jewelry box. Of course I’d rescue my husband and pets, but the one item I’d fight to save is my enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven. I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s the perfect vessel for cooking up a warming winter supper. It conducts heat evenly, which is perfect for braising. It goes from stovetop to oven with ease and the enamel surface makes it a breeze to clean.

Some Dutch ovens can be on the expensive side, but the truth of the matter is that many of them last forever and if they don’t, many companies will send you a replacement. Mine has taken a lot of abuse and it keeps on ticking. In...

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