This time of year in the south, there aren't many cooks that don't have access to venison(deer meat), either from the hunter in the family or friends.  However, cooking with venison can be challenging at first. Proper tenderizing and seasonings need to be added to enhance the flavor and cut down on the "gamey" taste that comes along with wild game. We first started cooking with venison as a way to cut costs at the grocery store meat department when prices started to skyrocket. I also found that I liked the fact that the meat was all natural, with no steroids or other additives. The following five recipes have become family favorites over the years.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy sweet treat to whip up for a holiday party, these mistletoe kisses are so cute – and so tasty!

Is anyone else already mentally prepping your big Thanksgiving meal, or doing practice runs? Same here. But this month, I thought I’d suggest some great fall alternatives that your family can enjoy – because really, there are 29 other days in November! And FYI: I actually wound up making two batches of these Almond Joy cookies. On the first batch, I accidentally grabbed wax paper instead of parchment paper. Trust me, you don’t want to ever do this. The wax melted to the bottom of the cookies. Whoops! (I cut them out to take a photo, but my family was so disappointed). Fortunately, the cookies in batch number two were better all around. Edible, even.


Have a great week, and as always, bon appétit! 

Well  now, look at this: Finally, fall has arrived in West Alabama. Hooray! Now that the temps are cooling down a little, especially at night, I thought this would be the perfect time to suggest this recipe for smoked sausage and white bean soup. Obviously you can use regular sausage *or*, if you'd like an extra kick, try adding andouille instead. Enjoy, and, as always bon appétit!

Okay, so it’s not technically fall just yet – but we’re getting closer to it, and no doubt many of us are running around town, busily balancing kids, work, you-name-it. Wouldn’t it be nice to sit down with the entire family for a nice meal? With that in mind, I thought I’d suggest this wonderful chicken parmesan entrée. Make it, and watch every member of your busy family gravitate to the table. Never fails. 

By Mary Martin Nordness

For centuries, consumers have known that what they eat and how much can play a role in their health, but only until recently have studies shown that food also may play a role in keeping our brains healthy. While most Americans consider brain health the second most important component in maintaining a healthy lifestyle - right after heart health - they often have no idea they can help to fight off cognitive decline with better nutrition. And with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, and Americans living longer, it’s more important than ever to know the steps to protect your brain health.

If you’re planning on enjoying some backyard summer parties, I’ve got the potato salad for you. This bacon ranch potato salad is a huge crowd pleaser, and it’s quick and easy to make. Summer is *far* from over so enjoy all the gatherings in coming weeks.

Happy summer and as always, bon appétit!

The foods that we associate the most with the South are all at their peak in July. 

Shucking peas on the porch with grandmother, tomato sandwiches on white bread in the yard and having watermelon seed spitting contests are memories we all have here in Alabama. 

So what do you do with the haul from the farmer’s market when you get it home? 

Who doesn’t love a great cake? If you’re looking for a unique, absolutely amazing dessert to serve, this cannoli cake is simply divine. What’s even better? It’s surprisingly easy to make. Enjoy, and as always, bon appétit!

Those of you who are savvy shoppers have no doubt noticed: Strawberries can be had in almost every store (and at the Farmer's Markets) for low, LOW prices, and often in bulk. With such a bounty, what is one to do? Create a sweet desert that will thrill the taste buds of everyone in your family, of course! This is my recipe for strawberry vanilla Bundt cake, and it's usually a big hit. Enjoy using those great berries and as always, bon appétit!

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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