WFAEats

Mecklenburg County Extension

It’s a fresh, new year and the perfect time to launch a new volunteer initiative. That’s exactly what’s happening as Mecklenburg County implements its first Extension Master Food Volunteer Program.

That may be a mouthful but what it means is this: The program is recruiting volunteers. They will help provide “unbiased, research-based information on food systems, cooking, and food safety to our community.” The deadline to apply is January 20, 2017. 

Champagne being poured in a glass
Steven Depolo/Flickr Creative Commons

This is going to be the shortest list of New Year’s food resolutions ever. Ready?

 

Use the good stuff.

 

That’s it. 

 

Stay with me here. 

 

Courtesy of Iva Jean's Fudge

Does this sound familiar? One minute you’re raking autumn leaves, and the next thing you know Santa’s on your rooftop.

Yes, it’s the final countdown. Even worse, Christmas and Chanukah both fall on December 25, a Sunday this year. That means fewer days for shopping, schlepping – and shipping those gifts.

Never fear: Branded food products made here in Charlotte are easy to find at grocery and specialty food stores. Pop a few goodies into a basket and your tasteful gift is ready to give.

Get The (Bourbon) Ball Rolling

Dec 12, 2016
Bourbon balls
Samantha Thacker

I have been making these bourbon balls for more than a quarter of a century now. 

Sure, there were years I didn’t make them at all and swore I would never do it again. Then there was the time I couldn’t be bothered getting confectioners sugar, and learned the hard way that using granulated sugar instead made them so sweet and gritty that my dearest friend, who had always been a big fan, literally gagged and spit one out right in front of me. 

bacon chocolate candy
Amy Rogers / WFAEats

When it comes to making holiday treats, I have a guarantee. Everything is “So homely that you know it’s homemade.”

This pre-emptive statement came in handy recently when I experienced my first melted chocolate failure. Yes, failure. The chocolate would. Not. Melt.

This was something I’d done a hundred times before. I put white chocolate chips in a glass bowl, heated them in the microwave according to the directions on the bag, removed the chips, and stirred with a wooden spoon.

Peter Pham / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The invitation sounds innocent, fun even. “Come to a holiday cookie swap!” But be warned: You may find competitive bakers showing off – and showing up the rest of us.

Some people are cookie artisans. They bake edible embodiments of beauty. They create miniature masterpieces too pretty to eat.

Long before European settlers plowed the Plains, corn was an important part of the diet of Native American tribes like the Omaha, Ponca and Cherokee. Today, members of some tribes are hoping to revive their food and farming traditions by planting the kinds of indigenous crops their ancestors once grew.

runningtothekitchen.com/

Thirty million. That’s the number of pumpkin recipes a casual search will find on the internet. Now that it’s full-on fall, we’re skipping right over pie recipes to sample some of the more intriguing pumpkin preparations.

Start the day with a Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie from the expert juicers at Hummusapien. Chia seeds and spinach make this green drink extra healthy.

In the small town of Sunderland, Mass., is a 300-year-old, family-run plot of land that fuses fine art and farming.

Mike Wissemann's 8-acre cornfield maze is a feat of ingenuity, with carefully planned and executed stalk-formed replicas of notables such as the Mona Lisa, Albert Einstein and Salvador Dalí.

Halloween apple bites
Angela Liddon / ohsheglows.com

Take away the blood and gore of Halloween, and what’s left? Not much for vegans – until now.

Creepy cupcakes, edible eyeballs, and frightful fruits; most everything can be made without animal ingredients.

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