When Karin Calloway's friends are making a recipe, and they don't understand the directions or encounter an unfamiliar cooking term, she's the person they call.
"Or they call me up and say, 'I'm having a luau. What kind of food should I serve?' " Mrs. Calloway said.
Mrs. Calloway is a self-trained chef whose collection of cookbooks numbers nearly 200.
She's a corporate chef who has planned and prepared menus for the Masters guests of former Augusta National chairman Jack Stephens since 1991.
She has taught cooking classes and given cooking demonstrations.
She knows the difference between a frappe and flambé and can get six dishes out of Thanksgiving turkey.
Karin Calloway knows food.
That's why, beginning today, The Augusta Chronicle will carry a weekly column from Mrs. Calloway.But this won't be your typical cooking column.
Each Wednesday she'll provide a recipe for a meal that's easy and fast -- dishes that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less. And she'll make each dish, just to prove it. Alongside her preparation and side dish tips, we'll print the recipe in a clip-and-save format that's perfect for your recipe card file.
Our goal is to make readers' lives a little easier by providing meal ideas that will free them from the fast-food habit but won't chain them to the kitchen all night."A lot of us get in the habit of making the same dishes over and over," Mrs. Calloway said. "I hope these simple recipes will give families a change of pace. These are the recipes I've shared with my friends, and when they lose them, they call me for another copy."
Mrs. Calloway developed an interest in cooking while dining out with her husband of 13 years, Bond."When we were first married, we would enjoy a great dinner and then try to re-create it at home," she said. "Early on we had our share of flops. But after a while we got to the point where dining in was almost more enjoyable than dining out.
"One year, on Valentine's Day, the restaurant waits were long, so we stopped by the store, ran home and made a wonderful Veal Oscar."
These days she's cooking slightly less fancy fare for her family of four, including her children Tripp, 6, and C.C., 5.
"My children think I'm a great cook because I make them the macaroni and cheese from the blue box," Mrs. Calloway said. "Children like to have the same thing over and over, so it's a challenge to make family dinners that please them, too."
Mrs. Calloway is uniquely qualified for this column because, in addition to being a cook, she's a writer. She has worked as a Lifestyle writer for the Chronicle, an information specialist for MCG and a free-lance writer for local businesses and publications.
Today she's a stay-at-home mom, but she's rarely at home.
She's an active member of the Junior League whose past duties have included serving as publications chairman for the league's best-selling cookbooks, Tea-Time at the Masters and Second Round.
And like most families, her young children keep her on the go.
"We spend a lot of time after school in the car, going from soccer to gymnastics to church children's choir," she said. "It's hard to find the time to prepare elaborate meals with all our activities. We're not alone in this, as most families today are doing a lot of juggling."
Mrs. Calloway hopes to provide readers with quick solutions to the "what's for dinner" question."I hope to share recipes that are not only fast, but taste great . . . recipes that will please the family as well as the occasional dinner guest."
We hope you enjoy Quick Cooking with Karin. You can write Mrs. Calloway in care of the Features Department, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box, 1928, Augusta, GA 30913. Or send an email to karinGCa@aol.com.