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January 12, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Some hearty fare for wintry days

NEW CASTLE — Culinary Conversation is off to a great start in 2013.

The goal is to feature a guest contributor every week and our first submissions came from Cindy Hickok of Old State Road. Cindy shared her thoughts on her love of cooking and baking, and all of that plus her recipes will be included in next week’s column.

Meanwhile, we’re all settling into a new year and for some, that means, a change in eating habits.

More than likely, your holidays were like mine — a flurry of activity that included a theme of eat, eat and eat some more.

During that time of year, life is one giant, nonstop buffet.

Then the snow came, providing some pretty scenes and putting an end to my three-day bout of cabin fever after Christmas.

So we set out for a nearby park, capturing some beautiful pictures. And I romped in the white stuff like I did when I was a kid.

It was a day that called for returning home to homemade soup and bread and relaxing by the fire.

That didn’t happen.

Instead, we ate leftover beef tenderloin with a curry-mayonnaise go-along, risotto, cucumber salad and Brussels sprouts hash.

Soon after, though, a big batch of Brunswick stew — bursting with flavorful vegetables and chicken pieces — was prepared. Now if I could just conjure up enough ambition to bake some homemade bread, my world would be a better place.

Most of the snow has melted, and while meteorology is not my forte, it’s a good guess we’ll be getting more of the white stuff before this winter ends. So that will allow for plenty of time to indulge in some hearty fare, which is what is in store for you today.

As guest contributors, we welcome your recipes, cooking suggestions or cooking-related stories at Culinary Conversation — a tasteful place to be.

Meatball Stew

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