Easy Chocolate Cocoa Bombs

Chocolate Cocoa Bombs

Chocolate Cocoa Bombs have well, absolutely exploded this holiday season. I adore the idea, but cannot believe anyone would want to go to the trouble of tempering chocolate, painting a mold — and then filling it with instant cocoa mix? Instead, how about a super easy chocolate truffle that simply melts in hot milk? No tempering or molds needed — and it works, too.  (Tik Tok is filled with videos of Chocolate Cocoa Bomb Duds….) Read on for my recipe for a simple-to-make rich and indulgent Chocolate Cocoa Bombs.

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Easy Butter Cookies

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This recipe is so simple and quick! And, best of all during these trying times, it’s flexible. I baked them three ways: immediately after assembling, straight out of the mixing bowl; scooped the dough into balls and chilled them before baking; and chilled the dough in the mixing bowl before scooping and baking, as well. All three baking techniques were a success! These buttery bites are also amenable to being rolled in various things or topped before baking.  Tender, buttery, and crisp all at the same time. No rolling or shaping into logs. These Easy Butter Cookies are the cookie you need in your go-to list of recipes.

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Weeknight Supper: Smoky Shrimp Etoufee

A healthy shrimp recipe ready in only 30 minutes!

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Shrimp have a season. We’ll get to that quick and easy weeknight recipe in just a sec, but first, I want to chat a bit about how shrimp gets to on your plate — and a little moonlight magic. We’re used to always seeing shrimp in the case at the grocery store, but shrimp, like pretty much everything else on Earth, have a season. (more…)

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Weeknight Cooking: Creole Shrimp Nachos with Creamy Queso

 

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Nachos are a go-to weeknight dinner in our home when the day has been a bit more crazy than usual. What’s not to like? Nachos are quick and easy – a few vegetables and perhaps a bit of protein tossed in a hot skillet, all topped with a bit of cheese, and you’re good to go. They’re positively craveable. The trouble is that nachos can tip into unhealthy territory pretty quick. And, if you’re on a low-sodium diet, that can be even more challenging. What’s the trick into keeping them out of the junk food category? Flavor! (more…)

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What’s in Season: Butterbean Basil Hummus

Butterbeans vs. Lima Beans

Butterbean Basil Hummus on www.virginiawillis.com

Everybody Likes Butterbeans….

Butterbeans are one of my favorite things to eat on this Earth. Yes – that includes fine Belgian chocolates, French delicacies, other Southern classics like fried chicken with rice and gravy or Georgia peaches picked fresh from the tree. When I am feeling down in the dumps, sick, or homesick, I cook a pot of butterbeans.

My family always planted a large garden. In the evenings during the summer, we’d sit on the screened-in porch shelling the butterbeans or field peas that Dede had picked early that morning.  Meme would put them on the stove with a hunk of fatback and chopped Vidalia onion. They’d simmer slowly until creamy and tender, bathed in an opaque salty, smoky broth. Once they were tender, my grandmother would ladle a spoonful of rice into a pale blue shallow bowl, then top it with a heaping mound of butterbeans and steaming broth. At some point the rim of the bowl was chipped, but that precious butterbean bowl now rests aside my finest china and crystal in the china cabinet.
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What’s in Season: Cooking with Citrus

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Winter is citrus season and the produce departments are overflowing. There are the diminutive Tangerines, Clementines, Tangelos, Mineolas, and Satsumas in the “cutie” citrus club. Down the aisle, big bold Navel oranges with their thick skins and bright colors rest aside their more thin-skinned, but certainly no-less-sweet juice oranges. With their intense colors and vibrant aromas, the decidedly more exotic Blood Oranges, Cara Cara Oranges, and Meyer Lemons often are featured in decorative baskets to highlight their preciousness — and higher price. Lastly, oversized red, pink, and white Grapefruit and the nearly comically large Pomello round out the bunch. There are a lot of kitchen choices for cooking with citrus. (more…)

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How to Make “Cream of Anything Soup”

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“Cream of Anything Soup” is one of the easiest of soups to make. It can be practical and money-saving, too. Do you have some vegetables lingering in the fridge that are too limp for sautéing or too bruised for salad? Don’t toss them in the compost or the trash. They are perfect for “Cream of Anything Soup.” Think “Cream of Anything Soups” are too rich and fatty? You actually don’t need any cream for velvet-smooth, silky soups other than perhaps an optional few drops at the end. Do you think soups are just for winter – how about Chilled Cream of Asparagus this spring or Cream of Corn or Zucchini Soup this summer? How to Make “Cream of Anything Soup” is a fundamental kitchen technique.

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