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Things You Can Do Starting with Ground Beef

by Jane Wangersky October 24th, 2014 | Cooking Basics
Cooking Basics My recipe for quick beef Stroganoff is just one example of a main dish that starts with a pan full of plain old ground beef, browned loose. The number of things you can do with this for a base is pretty much infinite.

That’s impressive, considering that ground beef usually comes from “leaner, tougher and less desirable beef”, as the USDA puts it. It gets ground up because of an ancient culinary truth that also led to the invention of the cheese grater:  If you cut tough food into small enough pieces, it won’t be tough anymore.
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Quick Beef Stroganoff — From Scratch

by Jane Wangersky October 23rd, 2014 | Simple Solutions Simple Solutions
Beef Stroganoff has taken lots of different forms over the past 150 years since the recipe was first published. The only constants have been -- obviously -- the beef (cubes, strips, even ground beef) and sour cream, whether just a little or a lot. Those are the two tastes everyone expects from a dish by this name.

Though you can make quick versions of beef Stroganoff from mushroom soup, or
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Ask The Chef

Kefir: What It Is, What It’s For, How to Make It

by Elizabeth Skipper October 22nd, 2014 | Ask the Chef
I’ve seen kefir in the yogurt section of my grocery store. As it comes in bottles, I assume it is thinner than yogurt.  Is it pretty much the same as the drinkable yogurt? Is it a useful ingredient for cooking?  It only comes in large bottles, so I’m hesitant to try it.

Yup, kefir is thinner than yogurt. It's similar, though I wouldn't describe it as the same as drinkable yogurt; the flavor's a little different. I'm spoiled, as I make my own kefir and prefer it to the store-bought variety. If you like drinkable yogurt, though, you should probably
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Best BnB Bites

Pork Loin Filled with Apricot-Cranberry Stuffing

by BnB Finder October 21st, 2014 | Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Stuffing is not just for turkey, and it doesn't have to consist mainly of breadcrumbs. In this recipe, pork chops are stuffed with a sweet and tart fruit (and breadcrumb) filling that sets off their mild flavor. They're first browned for crispness, then baked to cook them through with a minimum of fuss. Meanwhile, you're making a simple sauce out of fresh ingredients to finish off the dish. Though this all takes preparation, it's worth it for a special occasion at home. From the Castle in the Country in Allegan, Michigan, a great place for a celebration
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Baked Sausage and Onions- Simply Amazing

by TT October 20th, 2014 | Main Dishes, Recipes, Tapas Monday
Recipes Almost a year ago a butcher at a local shop had offered some cooking advice to me, which I followed.  The advice was, "Bake this sausage, so that you don't lose all of the gooey cheese."  I did so and thought the sausage was fine.  However, it wasn't exciting, exhilarating, or really much more special than when I pan cook it. 

So, imagine my surprise when I decided to try that method of cooking again and found the baked sausage to be the one of the most delicious dishes we've had at a Tapas Monday in ages.  In fact, my
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