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Cooking with Cindy

Asian spices in your pantry pave the way for tasty dishes

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altIf your basic pantry is well-stocked, you are ready to expand your cooking horizons to include other foods that you love. You don't have to eat out to get great Chinese, Thai or Vietnamese food. The list of ingredients for Asian style dishes can be long and intimidating, but don't worry – once you have the basics, hundreds of delicious dishes can be made. The great thing about Asian condiments is that most of them are pickled, dried or fermented, so they have a long shelf life in the refrigerator or in your pantry.

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Land of Enchantment

altEven before we stepped from the jetway into the gate last month, it was obvious that we were in the Albuquerque airport. The dry cold air, unusual architecture and "ski" clothing were visual clues, but the delicious smell of roasted red and green chiles is what confirmed we were in the Land of Enchantment. The aroma immediately brought to mind the posole, stuffed sopapillas, Navajo tacos, green chile chicken enchiladas and chile rellanos of my childhood. It is New Mexico cuisine.

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'Literary' cookbooks

alt“Millions of Mitford Fans will agree - it's easy to put on a pound or two reading a Mitford novel (The Mitford series featuring Father Tim, by Jan Karon). In scene after scene you find colorful characters eating ravishing dishes……And before you know it you have read several pages by the glow of the refrigerator light bulb.”   
– From the introduction
to “The Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader”
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How to build your cookbook library

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The reading material you find on someone's nightstand tells a lot about a person.  My nightstand has a couple of mysteries, some books on the history of hymns, and cookbooks. In fact, despite having a number of bookshelves for them, cookbooks can be found all over my house. Most foodies have a continually growing collection and read them as much for entertainment as they do for recipes. That is why a new cookbook is always a great gift for your favorite foodie.

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Gifts for foodies: Gadgets

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altI may be biased, but I think gifts are easiest to buy for foodies. Give us a bag from Williams and Sonoma or the Kitchen Collection and we are delirious with anticipation of what might be inside. There are so many possibilities from stocking stuffers to large gift items that will delight the foodie on your Christmas list. Over the next few weeks, I want to share some of my current kitchen favorites and some new items that intrigue me.

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