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.
Continue reading Can Thanksgiving be Gluten-Free?

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!

Continue reading Top 10 Reasons for Cooking at Home

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.

Continue reading Side Dishes No More – A Star is Born

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.

Continue reading A Change is in the Works

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?

Continue reading Made From Scratch

Basil and Tarragon

Balsamic-Glazed Cippolini Onions with Fresh Tomatoes served on Basil leaves.
Balsamic-Glazed Cippolini Onions with Fresh Tomatoes served on Basil leaves.
This past weekend at the Pearl Farmers Market they had a Basil Fest. The event was spear-headed by the San Antonio Herb Society. So we bought basil plants while at the market. We decided to get several varieties, rather than just Sweet Basil. And they did have other plants so we bought tarragon as well.

Continue reading Basil and Tarragon

Announcing: Upcoming Veggie Cookbook

I'm putting together a veggie cookbook. What would you like included?
I’m putting together a veggie cookbook. What would you like included?
For many years I wasn’t so good at preparing vegetables. I mostly bought frozen veggies and maybe some canned ones – they really weren’t that interesting. The advent of farmers markets in our area changed the way we shop and the way we eat.

Now, we really love fresh vegetables and I have become quite accomplished, and inventive, in cooking them. And it’s something I want to share. First because they are good for us – full of vitamins and antioxidants. But I want to help more people see that vegetables are not that difficult to prepare.

Continue reading Announcing: Upcoming Veggie Cookbook

Of Cooking, Cookbooks and Recipes

This is my laboratory for experimenting with food.
This is my laboratory for experimenting with food.
In high school, I read The Double Helix and wanted to do the same type of research as Watson & Crick – the team that determined the structure of DNA. Lately, my laboratory is my kitchen, I experiment with foods, and my husband and friends are my guinea pigs. That’s been true for a while, but 2012 was the year of the quantum leap in cooking for me. It started on January 1st, 2012, when I found mushrooms, onions, and eggs in the fridge and create a Mushroom & Onion Frittata.

Continue reading Of Cooking, Cookbooks and Recipes

Christmas Food Cooking Challenge

Red Beets And Golden Beets
We bought two bunches of beets – red and golden.
On the Saturday before Christmas, we made our usual trip to the farmers market. We had several days of food to plan for and we bought a lot of veggies. We bought more based on what sounded good, rather than with a plan for what to cook. We wound up buying kale, spinach, cauliflower, red beets, golden beets, Brussels sprouts, and cherry tomatoes.

Continue reading Christmas Food Cooking Challenge