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Hilary Meyer's Blog

March 24, 2010 - 11:04am

I’m hosting Easter brunch this year. As if looking through my billions of brunch recipes trying to decide what to make wasn’t enough of a challenge, I’m also putting a cap on how much I spend. Budget-friendly recipes are a must. Can I really pull off holiday entertaining on a budget? I can, if I choose my menu wisely.

This year, I’ll skip the expensive spiral ham I usually serve and make a frittata with ham in it instead. That way I can still have ham (what’s a brunch without ham?!) but I can buy it in a smaller quantity. I’m going to keep it simple, but it’s still going to be delicious—...

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March 16, 2010 - 11:46am

I want cheap, fast food for dinner. I’m not talking about the stuff you get at the drive-through window. I’m talking about food that’s healthy, that I can make at home, quickly. That’s why I cherish the sandwich. Sandwiches are the ultimate ultra-quick dinner. I can whip up a satisfying dinner sandwich start to finish in 30 minutes or less without a hitch. To keep it interesting and feeling more like dinner, I change up what I make, and think beyond the deli-meat and cheese combos. What I put between my two pieces of bread varies each time, but what remains constant is the fact that sandwiches are ...

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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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