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December 27, 2014


Season's freezings: Ice cream comes in holiday flavors from eggnog to pumpkin pie

It might just be the gluten-free brainwashing, but I’m a little bored with Christmas cakes and cookies. This year, my holiday dessert of choice is Christmas ice cream.

  • icon Updated: December 24

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Wednesday 12/24/2014
Thank Roman invaders for the gift of Champagne
Updated: December 24, 2014 - 9:30 am

As we celebrate Christmas tomorrow and toast the New Year next week, Champagne is likely the toasting beverage of choice. The selection of this effervescent French wine for our celebratory gatherings is rooted in ancient history.

Wednesday 12/17/2014
Easy desserts for a busy holiday season
Updated: December 17, 2014 - 10:02 am

This is the time of the year when many sweets are expected at every family dinner, party or celebration, and everyone likes to have his or her dessert be special.

Wednesday 12/10/2014
CHRISTMAS SPIRITS: Do’s and don’ts for gifting wine this season
Updated: December 10, 2014 - 9:30 am

Gift selection can be challenging, especially for those who have everything, casual acquaintances whose taste is unknown, or those who unexpectedly appear bearing gifts that trigger a compulsion to reciprocate.

Wednesday 12/03/2014
Pursell Farms hosts an elaborate holiday feast
Updated: December 03, 2014 - 9:00 am

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now behind us and, in the ideal world, stockings are hung by the chimney with care and children are nestled all snug in their beds. Perhaps right about now adults are in need of a mid-holiday respite.

Wednesday 11/26/2014
How NOT to order a $3,750 bottle of wine
Updated: November 26, 2014 - 8:02 am

Perhaps by now you have heard about Joe Lentini, the New Jersey man who ordered, allegedly by accident, a bottle of one of the world’s priciest wines at Bobby Flay Steak in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.

Wednesday 11/19/2014
Sweet potatoes aren’t just for Thanksgiving
Updated: November 19, 2014 - 8:00 am

At the Hilburn home, sweet potatoes are always in season, and they are a "must" at Thanksgiving.

Wednesday 11/12/2014
American wines for America’s harvest festival
Posted: November 12, 2014

My first thought when contemplating the Thanksgiving meal is flight. Flight to somewhere else other than my kitchen.

Wednesday 11/05/2014
Stir-frying makes it better
Posted: November 05, 2014

November is a busy month in the kitchen. Much preparation is made for that wonderful All-American meal at Thanksgiving. If you would like something simple and easy before planning that big meal, how about stir-fry?

Wednesday 10/29/2014
BEER VS. WINE: A fermentation smackdown
Posted: October 29, 2014

Admittedly, I know little about beer, but one would have to be living under a rock not to be aware of the current popularity of craft beer.

Wednesday 10/22/2014
Cream cheese adds tang to spaghetti dish
Posted: October 22, 2014

Those who have read my column for the past 28 years know how much I enjoy using new products in my kitchen experiments. Having been in recipe development for many years, I like to find exciting and creative ways to use new products. Some work. Some don't.

Wednesday 10/15/2014
How to eat a lobster and other lessons for Lobsterfest
Posted: October 15, 2014

On Saturday, Grace Episcopal Church in Anniston celebrates the 18th anniversary of Lobsterfest, an annual fundraiser benefiting Habitat for Humanity.

Wednesday 10/08/2014
Cake-mix cookies can be whatever f lavor you want
Posted: October 08, 2014

Whether you are preparing a lunchbox treat for the kids or just a wonderful snack for the family, cookies are a perfect choice.

Wednesday 10/01/2014
UNCORKED: American wineries diversify into olive oil production
Updated: October 07, 2014 - 8:14 am

An enduring love of olive oil led me to plant an olive tree seedling a few years back.

Relish Weekly Recipe: Biscotti - Sweet and savory
Posted: October 01, 2014

Biscotti are the crunchy, gently sweetened Tuscan cookies Italians like to dunk in wine. In Italy, the word "biscotti" refers to any kind of cookie, but once it made the voyage across the sea, "biscotti" came to describe long, twice-baked cookie (bis, meaning "twice"; cotto, meaning "cooked"), with a characteristic hard, crunchy texture. Baked first in a log and then in slices, they come out of the oven toasty on the outside and softer in the middle. But when they’re cool, they're crisp and ready for dunking.

Wednesday 09/24/2014
Relish Weekly Recipe: Rethinking grilled cheese
Updated: September 24, 2014 - 1:25 am

Grilled cheese sandwiches—they’re universally loved, and with good reason.

Tuesday 09/23/2014
Crisp autumn: Fall means it’s time to bake up apple desserts
Posted: September 23, 2014

Want something sweet but trying to cut back on calories? Grab an apple. It has only 81 calories, and the fruit sugar in an apple is said to be one of the sweetest carbohydrates on earth.

Saturday 09/20/2014
Draft picks: Suds-Fest has a new site and a new focus on Alabama craft beers
Updated: October 09, 2014 - 10:55 am

When the Autumn Suds-Fest beer-tasting festival started 10 years ago at the Berman Museum of World History, nobody had ever heard of "craft beer." The times they have a-changed, and Suds-Fest is changing with them.

Tuesday 09/16/2014
Relish Weekly Recipe: Vegetable (with meatballs) soup
Posted: September 16, 2014

Vegetable Soup is a classic for a few very good reasons: 1) It calls for using up bits and pieces of vegetables hiding in our fridge. 2) It’s easy to put together, taking less than an hour to prepare. 3) Its flavors improve while sitting overnight in the fridge, so it’s great for making ahead.

'Green' reds: Wines that are good to sip, and good for the environment
Posted: September 16, 2014

When thinking of California wines, most often Napa or Sonoma comes to mind, especially with the heightened attention after an earthquake rocked this wine enclave on Aug. 24.

Tuesday 09/09/2014
Relish Weekly Recipe: Quick Breads
Posted: September 09, 2014

We love quick breads. They're just that—quick, requiring no yeast or long rising times. They're great for breakfast or snacking or with soup or salad for a quick dinner. They're also great for creative add-ins.

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