Bagging It

My Favorite Things - A Cup of Kathy

Bags, glorious bags.  Believe me, I’ve got bags.  Not under my eyes, mind you – these bags are in the trunk of my car. 

I started the “collection” when I bought a couple of reusable bags for use when shopping at Aldi after they opened a store in our town…and then the state announced, in the interest of keeping plastic out of our landfills, plastic grocery bags would be subject to a 10-cent tax.  I figured that though the state officials said the tax was enacted to combat the effects plastic was having on our environment, it was really about helping to bridge the looming gap in the state budget.

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Punched Up Potato Salad

Recipes - A Cup of Kathy

Celery. Celery. My queendom for a bunch of celery.

I was making potato salad to go with last night’s dinner – and horror of horrors – there was no celery in my fridge. How can that be, and more importantly, what can I use to bring flavor, color and crunch to my potato salad?

I needed inspiration and I needed it fast. Continue reading

Easing Into Autumn

My Favorite Things - A Cup of Kathy

I’m trying to hold onto summer and ease my way into fall, but the days are getting shorter and the longer nights bring a bit of a chill. Fall has arrived, and while I’m trying to soak up every last sunny and sandy minute I can, I’m also longing for the enjoyment of local fairs, festivals, the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E), and fair food.

Oh yes, the many delicious and tempting aromas of the varied fair food offerings. The delights and calories of fried Snickers, chocolate ganache cream puffs, giant smoked turkey legs, and bacon cheeseburger, chicken parm, and taco chompers – all among my favorites. And caramel apples. I can’t forget caramel apples. There’s nothing like hearing the crunch as I bite into a crisp, tart Granny Smith apple that’s been richly coated in sticky, gooey caramel. Continue reading

Beat The Heat Meals

My Favorite Things - A Cup of Kathy

Ugh, it’s hot and it’s humid here – and that means I need some inspiration to prepare lighter meals that are cool, refreshing and delicious.

Salads are great hot weather options. I change them up by varying the ingredients. Favorite proteins are grilled chicken and hardboiled eggs. Sometimes I’ll use spring mix greens; other times our salad base is a bed of crisp romaine. A wealth of additional ingredients – green onions, halved grape tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, diced apples, mandarin orange sections, halved seedless grapes, dried cranberries, finely shredded cheddar cheese, feta cheese crumbles, bacon bits, sliced avocado, black olives, croutons, and tortilla strips, – give us plenty of satisfying variety and limitless options. Continue reading

Cousin Carol’s Caprese Salad

Recipes - A Cup of Kathy

Have I got a treat for you. I know my last blog said I would follow it up with a Beat The Heat Part 2 blog, but I’ve got something that’s too good not to share here.

My cousin Carol is an excellent cook. I’ve never had a bad meal that she’s prepared. Since she always seems to come up with something delicious to bring to our holiday meals, I was inspired to reach out to her for a cool summertime recipe…and she sent me a gem. Continue reading

Beat The Heat

A Cup of Kathy - Health and Beauty

Phew, Mother Nature’s gentle summer breeze has given way to a good old New England heatwave, which has inspired me to share some ideas on how to beat the heat. My ideas will help you cool down and quench your summer thirst while not sizably denting your budget or bank account.

Dress for summer in clothing that is light in weight and color – that combination reflects sunlight and heat. Though clothing in black is a favorite of mine, those items are at the back of my closet when summer rolls around. Nix the dark colors because they absorb the sun. Continue reading

In A Word, YUM!

My Favorite Things - A Cup of Kathy

As we’re still holding the pandemic line on dining out, and limiting takeout to only once a week, my lovely assistant (also known as The Haunted Pen) recently inspired a collaborative kitchen effort that produced a delicious side dish.

Since we were lucky enough to have a day off from roasting ourselves in a New England heat wave, he suggested roasting russet potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions instead. Continue reading

Bountiful Burrito Bowls

Recipes - A Cup of Kathy

The warm weather has me looking for dinner inspiration…and cool meals long on satisfying flavor.

I made burritos recently and they were well received. Okay, they were devoured. After some thought, I decided to take the ingredients out of the wrap and put them in a bowl the next time I made the recipe. This would be perfect for a warm day’s dinner – a layered combination of warm seasoned ground beef, refried beans and sautéed whitecap mushrooms and onions with the cool crispness of shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes and cucumber, low-fat sour cream and finely shredded Cheddar cheese on top. Continue reading

Manna From Heaven

My Favorite Things - A Cup of Kathy

I like bread. My family likes bread. Good bread. Not the Wonder white bread a lot of people grew up on. We like multigrain…sourdough…ciabatta…tomato basil…crusty French baguettes…and now we have a new favorite.

We’ve always enjoyed the breads, especially the brown, served at Cheesecake Factory. But it’s not always convenient to go there for lunch or dinner, whether we were dining in (which we preferred, though they get very crowded “back in the day pre-COVID-19,”) or doing the pandemic takeout (because of the long drive home). Continue reading

More Pandemic Pantry

Recipes - A Cup of Kathy

While shopping my pantry recently and finding two boxes of stuffing, I was inspired to tweak my meatloaf recipe (see “Pandemic Pantry” blog post).

But what to do with the other box of stuffing had me puzzled. After some thought and a check of my pantry inventory, I was inspired to revamp my quiche recipe to include stuffing. And with the weather turning warmer, a slice of quiche and salad make a welcomed meal. Continue reading