Donna Brown

Foothill gourmet: Yummy brownies

Brownies are definitely a comfort food. Who can resist the guilty pleasure of a chocolate brownie? In recognition of the Oscars, I found some Oscar worthy recipes for flavorful brownies. If you find a variation presented today that tickles your fancy, go for it! Serve the brownies for friends and family and be sure to […]

Foothill gourmet: Pinwheel roll-ups are fun

Planning appetizers for a social celebration is continually challenging. The challenge is to find appetizers that are easily assembled, delights the eye and the palate. Meet the challenge; the rewards are delicious tastes and multiple compliments. This week I’m planning to teach a close friend how to make pinwheel roll-ups for her bridge gathering. Pinwheel roll-ups […]

Foothill gourmet: Super Bowl tasty tidbits

The Super Bowl is fast approaching. Watch your favorite team with family and friends and enjoy any of the following recipes for tasty tidbits. Lime chip mix — Combine potato chips, corn chips and cheese puffs to make 8 cups. Toss with the zest of 6 limes, and 1 tablespoon each of paprika, garlic powder […]

Foothill gourmet: Quick tips for the New Year

Today I’m sharing quick tips to help start off the New Year. I find it helpful to collect quick tips, because many of them are excellent shortcuts. While the toaster/counter top oven is on, place plates on top of the toaster oven. The radiating heat warms them up and delivers food items to the table […]

Foothill gourmet: Holiday recipes

Our family enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving repast. Now, I have two excellent recipes to share for the Christmas holidays: Sweet potato, pecan and cranberry surprise and Terri’s favorite cornbread-sausage stuffing with apples. My sister made sweet potato, pecan and cranberry surprise for our Thanksgiving dinner and my good friend Terri shared with me a delicious […]

Foothill gourmet: Pinwheels good for celebrations

Planning appetizers for a social celebration is continually challenging. The challenge is to find appetizers that are easily assembled, delight the eye, and the palate. Meet the challenge and the rewards are delicious tastes and multiple compliments. Hosting the gathering is relaxed and you have quality time to enjoy your guests. Pinwheel roll-ups are quickly […]

Foothill gourmet: Two ‘deliciously great’ recipes

Imagine loaning a cookbook, to a friend, that you had used enthusiastically for more than 30 years. Two years ago, my friend, Dee, did just that for me. The cookbook was created by army officers’ wives in 1973 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the officers’ wives’ club of Fort Benning (1923-1973). Dee’s excellent […]

Foothill gourmet: Tagines are perfect for fall

My friend Wilma loves to takes bicycle tours for her vacation. One year she traveled to Morocco. Ever since, she enjoys preparing Moroccan food. A recipe for chicken, date and apricot tagine that she prepared for us is included in today’s column. The word tagine is the name of a special cooking utensil to cook […]

Foothill gourmet: Fall is time for appetizers

With weekend football games and several seasonal holiday celebrations approaching, fall is an excellent time to think about preparing delicious appetizers. My approach to entertaining is to rely on several tried and true recipes, then present a new one. Since the tried and true recipes are delicious, I don’t worry. Trying a new recipe that […]

Foothill gourmet: Healthy pasta and grilled fruit

Today’s column features a new recipe created by my husband, Dwight. He’s been reading “The 4-Hour Body” by Timothy Ferris. One focus of Ferris’ book is to avoid foods that cause insulin levels to increase. It’s a diet designed to keep insulin levels low so sugar is not converted to fat, so extra body fat is […]

Foothill gourmet: Summer treats

Today’s column is a celebration of excellent new summer treats that run the gamut from cream pies to potato salad recipes my husband and I recently prepared. We’re enthusiastic about these delicious recipes and it’s our pleasure to share. To make the pie filling, be sure to cook it on low heat, continually stir and […]

Foothill gourmet: Summer salads are cool

Hot summer days include an abundance of summer produce from everyone’s garden, or the Farmers Market. What better way to use flavorful summer produce than in stellar summer salads. It’s perfect fare for hot days when appetites wane. Avocado and chicken salad features a dressing of puréed avocado and mayonnaise that makes a delicious, subtle […]

Foothill gourmet: Zippy zucchini

 Zucchini is abundant at the Farmers Market and in gardens. Today’s column features my family’s favorite zucchini recipe, Awesome Zucchini Pizza. It has the flavors of pizza without the carbs. I’ve made Awesome Zucchini Pizza every summer for more than 17 years. The pizza’s base is grated zucchini, eggs and cheese, not pizza dough. Both […]

Foothill gourmet: Best pizza

Love pizza? Today’s column includes techniques to use with either purchased pizzas or homemade dough and I guarantee you will make the best pizza your family and friends have ever tasted. You’ll be so confident of your pizza making skills that you’ll want to share these rarely known techniques that make pizzas with remarkable flavors. […]

Foothill gourmet: Pizza with pizzazz

I enjoy creating gourmet pizza for family and friends when they visit. Making flavorful pizza is not difficult and today’s column includes extra ideas to make fabulously flavorful pizza. First, a recipe for pizza dough follows. It’s a pizza dough recipe that I’ve used since 1990. The recipe makes one large pizza, or two appetizer […]

Foothill gourmet: A great time with Alton Brown

As I promised, today’s column includes my report on the group seminar with Alton Brown at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. When on vacation, we watch him on the food network and enjoy his shows. We first saw him on “Good Eats” and later as the Food Network host for the “Iron Chef” show. Brown was […]

Foothill gourmet: Have a sundae on Monday

Celebrate Memorial Day with cool ice cream sundaes. It’s easy and quick to prepare delicious sundae treats by using purchased ice cream accented with slices of fresh ripened berries from local fruit stands, farmers markets, or the supermarket produce section. The famers market in Placerville is already going at the Ivy House parking lot at […]

Foothill gourmet: Don’t get burned while grilling

Summer is a family favorite grilling time. Grilled food is flavorful, keeps the kitchen cool, and lets the grill chef receive lots of compliments about the delicious food. Grilling can burn you and your home. Follow a few safety tips and family and property are safe. Fires caused by gas grills create more property damage […]

Foothill gourmet: Baby greens are growing popularity

Recently I read an article about the adventurous spirit of California diners. I celebrate Californians for being at the forefront of maximizing flavor in California cuisine. That adventurous spirit, to me, is analogous to California’s history of the adventurous gold miners. The newest take on California salads, taking Californian flavor to the next level, is […]

Foothill gourmet: Get organized

Spring is here, so let’s get organized. Today’s column includes helpful quick tips ranging from butter to tortillas resulting in less preparation time the cook. Less time in the kitchen means more time pursuing additional relaxing pursuits. • To corral an unwieldy pile of plastic bags an empty paper towel roll makes a great hideaway. […]

Foothill gourmet: Poultry burgers go Mediterranean

Try one of today’s recipes for poultry burgers featuring Mediterranean flavors. The first recipe uses cooked poultry, perfect for using up leftover chicken or turkey. The second recipe features ground poultry. Both recipes include garlic, onions, spinach and herbs to make fabulous burgers. Garnish the burgers with a family favorite sauce, salsa, or try the […]

Foothill gourmet:Cooking secrets and hints

It’s always fun to share cooking secrets and hints. Here’s a few hints to help bake a perfect batch of cookies and my favorite Oatmeal Craisin Gems recipe. Making the dough Be sure to measure the flour accurately. Even the slightest variaion in the amount of flour can have a direct effect on a cookie. […]

Foothill gourmet: Attention clam chowder aficionadoes

If you’re a clam chowder aficionado, read on. Clam chowder is today’s highlight. We visit the stunning coastal area of San Luis Obispo County and enjoy bird watching and fresh seafood. Besides 250 species of birds, San Luis Obispo County (SLO, in the local vernacular) hosts a decadently rich, creamy clam chowder at the Splash […]

Foothill gourmet: Cooking and grilling hints

With spring and summer weather coming up; it’s a perfect time for grilling. Think about grilling or barbecuing fruit. It is an excellent way to bring out a fruit’s sweet, ripe flavors. Most fruits can be cooked using a grilling or barbeque method. The drying heat from a barbecue, after cooking the main course is […]

Foothill gourmet: Discovering saffron

Today’s column features information and a delicious saffron soup recipe. I chose to share saffron’s delightful flavor so that readers can prepare an eye-popping and delicious repast. Saffron’s flavor is awesome for impressing family and guests. It’s perfect for a lovely weekend dinner. Saffron is the stigma of the fall flowering crocus. Inside most flowers […]

Foothill gourmet:Elegant and delicious desserts

Today’s column shares several delicious and elegant dessert recipes we served over the holidays. My husband enjoys spending time in the kitchen and prepared white chocolate mousse and white chocolate tapioca pudding. I enjoyed making individual brownie baked alaska. White Chocolate Mousse — Ingredients: 8 ounces best-quality white chocolate (cocoa butter, but no hydrogenated or […]

Foothill Gourmet: These recipes offer creative ways to recycle turkey

Today’s column features flavorful recipes using turkey leftovers, as well as, information regarding storing leftover cooked turkey. Leftover turkey keeps its fresh cooked quality for four to five days when covered well in the refrigerator. If you have leftovers longer than that, freeze them. Frozen and freezer-wrapped, leftover turkey keeps for two months, providing great […]

Foothill gourmet: It is fun to share food ideas

I love writing this column, plus I’m jazzed sharing new and old ideas about food. The oriental sauce recipe that follows is one that I have used for 20 years. I’m still jazzed about the sauce because it is so flavorful and inexpensive to prepare. A bottle of stir fry sauce ranges in price from […]

Foothill gourmet: Fall is a wonderful time to cook

Welcome faithful fall readers. I love fall. The colors are exquisite. Who can’t be enchanted? Even though the day shortens, we look forward to planning and cooking on the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I love preparing the traditional dishes, but, I always try at least one new dish. Today’s column shares two new recipes I […]

Foothill gourmet:Two great Thanksgiving recipes

I have two excellent recipes to share  for Thanksgiving: Sweet Potato, Pecan, and Cranberry Surprise and Teri’s Favorite Cornbread-Sausage Stuffing with Apples.  Last year, my sister made Sweet Potato, Pecan, and Cranberry Surprise for Thanksgiving dinner and my good friend Teri shared with me a delicious Cornbread-Sausage Stuffing with Apple. Sweet Potato, Pecan and Cranberry […]

Recipes from the past are still good

Special to the Democrat My wonderful friend Dee, loaned me a cookbook that she has enthusiastically used for more than 30 years. It is a 1973 cookbook created and published by Army officer wives. Dee left excellent and helpful notes on the recipes she has used over and over. Her comments run the gamut from […]

Tamales are good with some apples

Special to the Democrat A recent visit to Apple Hill included a complimentary tamale workshop at GrandpaÕs Cellar courtesy of the owners Bill and Pat Scheuner, and support from family member Elena Aguilar Ramos. ItÕs an energizing experience to create a tamale on your own. It is a process suitable for a weekend, rather than […]

Avocados make a grat side and gift

Special to the Democrat At our house, eating an avocado is a pleasure anytime one is ripe. Avocados are colorful and delicious additions to recipes and an excellent fresh accent to meat, fish, chicken and salads. They supply healthy monounsaturated fats, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. Their monounsaturated fats help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and boost […]

Two new summer recipes to enjoy

Special to the Democrat TodayÕs column is a celebration of excellent new summer treats that run the gamut from cream pies to potato salad we recently prepared. WeÕre so enthusiastic about these delicious recipes, that itÕs our pleasure to share. To make the pie filling, be sure to cook on low heat, continually stir and […]

Some storage tips

Special to the Democrat In my prior column there was information on refrigerator storage from an article my aunt shared. TodayÕs column completes additional hints for refrigerator storage, as well as, hints for freezer storage. The article was not certified by any government agency, but from my experience many of the hints are helpful. Try […]

Breezy bars are cool and good

Special to the Democrat TodayÕs column includes an easy recipe for granola bars and supremely helpful information regarding refrigerator food storage. I saw the food storage information recently on our auntÕs refrigerator door. Read over the info, there is a lot of valuable information. If you find the info is valuable, store it nearby on […]

Salads are great for summer days

Speical to the Democrat Hot summer days include an abundance of summer produce. What better way to use flavorful summer produce than in stellar summer salads. ItÕs perfect fare for hot days when appetites wane. Avocado and chicken salad is a unique salad that features a dressing of pureed avocado and mayonnaise making a delicious, […]

Making a perfect omelet for Dad

Special to the Democrat With FatherÕs Day fast approaching, make Dad a breakfast he wonÕt forget Ñ a delicious omelet. TodayÕs column presents hints to create an omelet. First and foremost, I believe you have to be willing to practice making an omelet. Buy extra eggs so that you wonÕt mind if a few omelets […]

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