You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~ Culinary Q&A & Kitchen Therapy Too (4/26/13) ~

Culinary Q & A #2April showers bring May flowers. 'Tis true.  Over the past few days we've been experiencing sunshine on a regular basis and temperatures started venturing into the upper 50's and lower 60's. When I stepped out onto my laundry room porch to bring the newspaper in this morning, I was greeted by one of my favorite sights:  The 30-some 'thundercloud' plum trees that line our driveway and lane have gone from being full of pretty pink blossoms to pretty pink flowers!  

IMG_5540How anything this pretty got the name 'thundercloud' is beyond me. I always referred to them as "flowering plum trees" and was astonished when I learned of their proper name.  No matter.  In my yard, they announce Spring and Spring arrived today.  Soon they will be full of ornamental plums and for the rest of the Summer their burgundy-colored leaves, which shimmer in the sunlight, will provide shade to the front of our house! 

There's more good news:  We are supposed to have hallmark weather here in Happy Valley this weekend.  We are looking forward to opening a few doors and windows, enjoying our pretty view and firing up the barbeque grill too.  Before I head off to enjoy all of this glorious fresh air, Kitchen Encounters got a great question a couple of days ago that deserves a good answer:

6a0120a8551282970b015432779207970c-320wiQ.  Meredith says and asks:  My family loves cheese and I thoroughly enjoyed your cheese fondue post.  It caused me to buy an electric fondue pot and I love it. Thank-you.  I have a question.  We use a lot of good-quality parmesan cheese in our house.  Do you freeze parmesan cheese rinds? If you do, do you know of any uses for the rinds besides adding them to sauce or soup for additional flavor?

IMG_5248A.  Kitchen Encounters:  Meredith, as you can see, I too freeze parmesan cheese rinds, and, if one uses a lot of parmesan, they tend to stack up in the freezer.  Like yourself, I use them solely to "finish" Italian soups and pasta sauces.  So, I decided to pose your question to my Facebook foodie friends and here's a few of their suggestions:

Teresa Gottier:  According to Italian friends and cooks, there are all kinds of uses beyond flavoring.  Scrape the very outer layer of rind off and cut into cubes.  Heat in a pan with some olive oil or place on the grill.  Enjoy the soft cubes as a snack with some Italian bread!

Marilyn Cummins:  Occasionally I add a parmesan rind to the mason jar when I am making garlic-infused olive oil.  It adds a nice cheesey tang to the oil which we use as a bread dipper!

Julia Enerson:  For added flavor, put a rind in the pot when you're cooking risotto or rice. Remember to remove the rind just before serving!

Thank you my foodie Facebook friends!  I love it when I learn something new too!!!

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 e-mail me directly!

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

(Recipes, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013)


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