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~ Culinary Q&A & Kitchen Therapy Too (1/13/12) ~

Culinary Q & A #2Our first Q&A of 2012 and I hope you are all having a fine start to the New Year.  I stopped making formal resolutions years ago, because life always gets in the way of the best laid plans, so, let's suffice it to say, I'm going to try my best to post a lot of new and exciting recipes, as well as old and beloved ones on Kitchen Encounters this year!  

Also, notice that I've added an "Email Me" tab to the top/header of my blog, so, now you can contact me directly with your questions and recipe requests, which in turn insures you a quicker response from me.  A lot of you have commented on how you enjoy reading the short history or "a bit about" how a recipe came to be in our foodie world, so I plan to do more of that too.  Thank-you all for all the feedback and input!

PICT1186I've posted six recipes so far this year and of the six, my recipe for ~ Sweet & Sour Broccoli-Orange-Cashew Chicken ~ struck a chord that resonated GLEE on my Facebook page as well as right here on Kitchen Encounters.  After all of the customary rich holiday fare and dessert overload, everyone's taste buds must have been in the mood for a "wake up" call, because several of you dropped what you were doing and cooked the recipe.  You can find it by clicking into Categories 3, 13, or 19!

I had one great question this week, and it did not come to me via Facebook, Email or Kitchen Encounters.  Those of you who know me, know I try to do a foodie post over on Black Shoe Diaries, which is a blog for Penn State sports fans every Thursday.  If you notice, Black Shoe Diaries is on "My Favorite Blogs" list (found on the left hand column of KE), so feel free to click on it and read Penn State sports news first hand (as well as read my BSD "Food for Thursday" food post every Thursday evening)!

Q.  Esteban asks:  Does Kitchen Encounters have a section with quick meals (30-40 minutes from prep to plate)?  I love your recipes, but many of them I don't have the time to make during the week with my work schedule and an 8 month old.

PICT2690A.  Kitchen Encounters:  Esteban! Great to hear from you and what a great question too!  I do not specifically have a category for 30-minute meals, but there are 2 categories that might interest you: 20) Just Plain Easy!, and, 22) Alert! Can be Made Ahead and Frozen!  I try to never say (or take responsibility) for how long it will take any one person to prepare a recipe from prep to plate.  What takes me 40-45 minutes, might take someone else 1 1/2 hours, so, I try to avoid being criticized for making that promise.  Also, I'm a bigger proponent of making a double batch of a recipe that freezes really, really well, and, freezing it in appropriate portions for truly FAST and DELICIOUS weeknight meals.  That being said, when I teach classes to busy, working moms and dads, I try to get them to take an hour or so over the weekend, when one parent can babysit, so the other can prep, by hand or in the food processor, a bunch of vegetables (celery, onion, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, etc.) and put them in the vegetable bin in the refrigerator.  Cooking on a busy weeknight is a breeze with some pre-prepped fresh veggies on hand.  Hope this helps and I hope to hear from you again!

Enjoy your weekend everyone, and once again:  To leave a comment or ask a question, simply click on the blue title of any post, scroll to the end of it and type away... or, email me directly!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012) 


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