Picture-Perfect Meals

Category: The Stock Pot

The Stock Pot

The Stock Pot: Old-Fashioned Sweet Vinegar Coleslaw

I’ll be the first to admit it took me a long, long time to warm up to coleslaw. Well, because, like many of us, I never knew from good coleslaw.  It never appealed to me. And, honestly why would it when you’re staring through the deli case looking at a mound of white flecked with […]

The Stock Pot

The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Marinara Sauce

There are a few recipes that I refer to as “fundamentals.” Those basic, multipurpose work horses that every cook should have in their back pocket (and on hand) for a quick meal. Ones that are springboards – not just one-trick ponies – to all kinds of culinary greatness…and this tomato-basil sauce is one of them. Toss […]

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The Stock Pot: Sensational Sides – Steakhouse Fries

When we lived in East Nashville what now seems like ages ago, every now and then, we’d stop by this Meat and Three right down the road from our house for some serious soul food. I always went in with an open mind to try something new on her menu, but when it came time […]

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The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Butter Cookies

Well, I didn’t think it could happen. Not in a million. In fact, neither did my husband. But it did. After almost 17 years as Adam’s Reigning Cookie Champion, his all-time favorite, Walnut Cream Cheese Cookies (from our first cookbook!), has been dethroned. And these are what did it. This is another one of my Fundamental […]

The Stock Pot

The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Indispensable Pie Dough

Here’s another Fundamental Recipe you’ll use over and over again for both sweet and savory dishes. This is my go-to, never fail me pie crust that I use for all sorts of applications – pies, galettes, quiche, chicken pot pie. You name it. Using a food processor makes it so quick and easy to pull […]

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The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Classic Roast Chicken

Almost every grocery store in America now offers those small, hot-off-the-rotisserie chickens that even I admit to purchasing occasionally for a quick-fix dinner. But for some reason, it seems that many people shy away from roasting their own birds at home, save Thanksgiving and Christmas. This made me curious so I began asking around. Some […]

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The Stock Pot: Homemade Graham Crackers

Years ago when I was still in the very beginning stages of my Product Purity campaign, I distinctly remember holding up a box of store-bought graham crackers to look at the ingredient list to see if they would pass the test and immediately slumped my shoulders. Partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. I have always loved graham crackers […]

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The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Mashed Potatoes

A few years back when I lived in Nashville, I was invited to a dinner party where there was a sort of interactive cooking demonstration going on with the hosts. Mashed potatoes were on the menu and after one of the ladies peeled the russets, the other one sliced them in very large chunks, added […]

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The Stock Pot: Sensational Sides – Classic Molded Cranberry Sauce

Years ago when my parents still operated their florist, one of my mother’s employees asked her about making fresh cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. “Oh, it’s so easy,” my mom reassured the novice cook, then gave her the simple instructions. When everyone returned to work on Friday, Momma asked her how it turned out. With a […]

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The Stock Pot: Sensational Sides – Fresh Green Bean Casserole

The traditional version of this truly American casserole relies heavily on convenience foods, like frozen green beans and cans of cream of mushroom soup. My updated version of this holiday classic uses fresh ingredients in a rich, mushroom-charged béchamel sauce that gives this sensational side dish the creaminess you expect and the fried onion topping […]

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The Stock Pot: 10 Great Homemade Food Gifts from the Kitchen

Food gifts from the kitchen are first and foremost gifts from the heart. They’re homemade bundles of love and the care you take in creating something from your warm and cozy kitchen will radiate affection like no store-bought trinket can. So, whether you put them in pretty decorative tins, cellophane bags cinched with a silky […]

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The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

In the 1950’s, a Nebraskan cowboy with big dreams of striking it rich headed west with his high school sweetheart and settled in Santa Barbara, California. Nestled in 120 picturesque acres complete with waterfalls and streams, Hidden Valley Ranch was born. By day, the dude ranch offered hiking tours, horseback riding and fishing; at night, […]

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The Stock Pot: Sensational Sides – Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

On a recent trip to Winston-Salem, Adam and I had a nice, leisurely lunch at the perennially-packed Village Tavern. We have never had a bad meal at that busy restaurant housed among the charming shops in quaint Reynolda Village and that particular day was no exception. We ordered a few appetizers for a light bite, […]

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The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Basic Ganache

One of the greatest jewels in a cook’s crown is having a handful of solid back-pocket recipes that can really multi-task. Ganache is one of those workhorses. Although its French name may sound intimidating and complex, ganache is nothing more than a combination of melted chocolate and heavy cream (and a pinch of salt to […]

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The Stock Pot: Sweet Treats – Amaretto Truffles

I’m sorry, but chocolate is just plain sexy. Especially truffles. Even if they are plain, they’re still pretty enticing. But when you’re offered a tray of truffles cloaked in various confectionary wardrobes, well, it’s flat out culinary seduction. For some, it may take all the romance out of the truffle’s mystique as to why we […]

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The Stock Pot: Sweet Treats – Best Banana Bread

Confession: I think I subconsciously buy bananas just to make banana bread. I mean, sure, I have every intention of purchasing a large hand of bananas – the really green, underripe ones – with the solid purpose of using them in myriad ways during the week to get a good dose of potassium in my […]

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The Stock Pot: Sensational Sides – Beer-Battered Onion Rings

There’s a graduated three-tier wire basket that hangs near my kitchen sink that I keep chock-full of produce. The top basket reverently holds cloves of garlic and, if you dig around, you’ll probably find a few shallots in there, too. The middle one stores anything from a handful of red bliss potatoes to a few […]

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The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Homemade Flour Tortillas

There are a few sacred grocery items that we all have to have on hand at all times. For me, there are several. Eggs. Yogurt. Extra-sharp cheddar and extra-virgin olive oil. Unsalted butter. Good coffee and creamer. Wine, of course. Certain paper products, like paper towels. And flour tortillas. But since we live in the […]

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The Stock Pot: Sensational Sides – Ultimate Baked Potato

Is it just me or are there very few people who know how to make a really good baked potato? We recently were asked to dinner at a very nice restaurant, I ordered the special – a huge bone-in ribeye that looked like something you’d see plopped on the side of Fred Flintstone’s car that […]

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The Stock Pot: Homemade Bread Bowls

I don’t care how retro bread bowls are, I love them. I vividly remember the first time I had one, as it’s one of my all-time favorite food memories that needs no airbrushing in my mind to live up to the romance of the reality. Adam and I were in San Fransico in the summer […]

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The Stock Pot: Sweet Treats – Hot Fudge Sauce

There’s a quote by Heywood Broun that I adore: “I doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice cream.” I’ll take it one step further and add “ice cream with hot fudge sauce” to the sentiment. That completely magical combination of cool and creamy vanilla ice cream topped […]

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The Stock Pot: Morning Fruit Smoothies

I’m a firm believer in breakfast and, for the most part, I alternate my daily morning meal between bacon and eggs and smoothies. On the smoothie days, as the blender whirs and moans, I almost always remember the first smoothie I had ever tasted. Spanky’s restaurant in Chapel Hill back in the 80’s. The California […]

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The Stock Pot: Sensational Sides – Angel Biscuits

As a Southerner, I know a thing or two about biscuits. Biscuit-making is some serious business around these parts and each one of us has our own unique style of rolling them out. My grandmother’s signature move was to pat the tops with a little extra flour, pressing ever so slightly to barely compress them […]