a Cook at Heart

practical tips and recipes for busy cooks

My 5 Favorite Foodie Podcasts

One of the things that originally attracted me to Nashville was how beautiful the metro area is. It reminds me a lot of West Virginia with lots of green rolling hills and farmland. You can drive 20 minutes from most points in the city and be in the country – really in the country. It’s taken me years to learn the back roads that snake around through some of the outlying areas and I’ve found a lovely back road route to work.  My commute is about 30 to 45 minutes most days which sometimes is the high point of my day. While I drive, I usually listen to books and

What I Eat: Around the World In 80 Diets

I ran across this photo gallery on the NY Times website yesterday and it’s fascinating. It’s based on a collection of stories and photos collected by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio for the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.  It documents the meals of people all around the world with the calorie counts. It has everyone from a farmer in Ecuador to a ride supervisor at the Mall of America in Minnesota. I’ve always been somewhat intrigued by what other folks eat (past and present), especially people in nonwesternized cultures. When I get bored with what I’m eating, I like to switch it up and experiment

Why I’ve Stopped Shopping Grocery Store Bulk Bins

I’ve always been a huge fan of shopping bulk bins for certain items. I like being able to get only the amount I need plus they’re cheaper and reduce the amount of packaging waste we generate. There’s a gourmet grocery store here in the Nashville area that my husband and I love partly because they have great bulk bins. I go there to get my cashew fix and hubby stocks up on trail mix to take in his lunch. Last week we stopped by to check out the weekly sales and grab some snacks. Hubby got his normal trail mix and we brought our items

Is Your Pantry Ready for the Next Big Storm?

It seems like you can’t turn on the TV these days without seeing some type of storm coverage. I always feel bad for people that have gotten hit by 2 feet of snow or a tornado and weren’t prepared for it.  We don’t get much snow around here but we do get tornados and high winds. Occassionally our power gets knocked out because a transformer blows or a tree falls on power lines during stormy weather. All in all we’ve been really lucky but a lot of people in our area haven’t been. There are communities that have gone without power for days after a big storm. Last year we a few close

Post Clean Out Pantry ReDo

Once you’ve pulled everything out of your pantry, it’s time to reorganize  what’s left.  Give your shelves a good wipe down and start adding things back. 1.  I like to keep like items together. All of the cans of chicken stock are lined up together. All cans of black beans are together – you get the picture. Using a good pantry inventory list will help you track how many of each item you have and what you need buy or what you don’t. 2. Measure the dimensions of your cabinet or pantry shelves. You’ll want to measure the height, width and, depth of each shelf and the distance between any dividers if you have old cabinets like

A Nostalgia Moment

This week we had a bake sale at work to benefit a charity that one of my coworkers supports. There’s a group of us that like to bake so she always recruits us to make baked goods to donate for the sale. This time I decided to make peanut butter fudge, but not just any peanut butter fudge. I pulled out the recipe that I’ve been using since I was 13 years old just to make sure it was extra good. As soon as I pulled out that battered and stained community cookbook, I was a kid again mixing fudge in my mom’s old Club