Category Archives: Cooking

Exploring cooking with Barbara McNeely.

What changes will you make to cook more meals at home?

Can Thanksgiving be Gluten-Free?

Can Thanksgiving Be Gluten-Free and Taste Delicious?
Can Thanksgiving Be Gluten-Free and Taste Delicious?
A few weeks back I posted a preliminary version of my Thanksgiving Meal plan. Perhaps you caught the mention there of a gluten free dressing I was contemplating. My son-in-law has a few health issues and is staying away from gluten as much as possible.

My original thought was that I would make two dressings and one of them would be gluten-free. Then as I looked at our menu, I decided to make the entire meal gluten-free. After all, what would it take to make dressing, gravy, and two pie crusts that were gluten-free? That’s all I needed because the rest of my menu is naturally gluten-free.
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Potato Salad Twist: Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet Potato Salad
Sweet Potato Salad
This recipe started as a conversation. Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a potato salad that wasn’t quite so fragile as most? That didn’t have mayonnaise in it? That perhaps didn’t even have regular potatoes in it? Instead it had sweet potatoes?

From there I set out to create this dish. Being that I call Texas my home, it had to have a Texas flavor. So, of course, that meant pecans and jalapeños!

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Video – Braised Kale

I admit that for many years I wasn’t even aware of kale. My first attempt at kale didn’t turn out so good, even though I’m a fan of cooked greens. Then I created this recipe, complete with its secret ingredient! Now, kale is a common dish in our house. Watch the video to see how it’s cooked – I even reveal the secret ingredient!

Watch the video:

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How To Dice An Onion

One of the coolest things I learned in my CIA Boot Camp was how to dice an onion. Sure, there are lots of ways to dice an onion, but this method consistently gives even pieces. And once I learned it, it was the easiest way I have ever tried to dice an onion. Now, it’s the only technique I use!

Watch the video:

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Top 10 Reasons for Cooking at Home

What changes will you make to cook more meals at home?
What changes will you make to cook more meals at home?
Growing up, we at most of our meals at home. This was in the days before McDonald’s – there were no fast food places. There were fried chicken places and pizza places. But there just weren’t the dining out choices of today. Dining out was really a treat back then. For me, dining out with a girlfriend’s family was a HUGE treat! My parents always dictated what I could order – fried chicken, but my friend’s parents had no such rules. Is it any wonder that I very rarely choose to eat fried chicken as an adult? I had so much of it as a child!

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Side Dishes No More – A Star is Born

Vegetables should be thought of as stars, not side dishes.
Vegetables should be thought of as stars, not side dishes.
Too often, people plan their meals around a meat and serve vegetables as “side dishes.” I loathe that term – side dish – as it puts those vegetables in second place, suggesting that they are simply accompaniments to the main attraction. Ladies & Gentlemen, I suggest to you that those side dishes need to be elevated to their rightful place as the stars of your meal. And by doing so, you too will be a star recognized by your friends and family who are lucky enough to enjoy your meals.

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A Change is in the Works

Mariposa Naturals is changing - we're all about cooking!
Mariposa Naturals is changing – we’re all about cooking!

I’ve been writing this blog for 3 years now. In fact, I just looked back and see that I missed my anniversary – three years as of April 25th. I started with a blog post on the “Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your Stress.” During those 3 years I have written nearly 250 blog posts on a variety of topics.

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Made From Scratch

The best foods are made from scratch!
The best foods are made from scratch!

Do you like to cook? I do. I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember. I learned a lot from my mom and then from my sister, Conni. Everything was made from scratch, too.

When I was 9 or 10 years old, I would occasionally get up very early in the morning and make donuts for my dad to take to the office. I’m not sure what time I got up, but I know that Dad was usually at work by 7 or 7:30 so it was early. This was what I would do on Summer days – my vacation. They were always made from scratch, too. Don’t you know I was popular in his office?

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