The following are some tips and techniques for cooks from Food Network Kitchens:
Garlic for health
Hippocrates prescribed garlic for everything from tumors to heart trouble, and the ancient Chinese used it to cure respiratory infections.
These days garlic is said to do everything from promoting healthy hearts and circulation to preventing the common cold. A substance in the herb is said to lubricate blood platelets and keep them from clumping. Scientists think garlic's sulfur compound, allicin, may play a large role in cancer prevention.
Choose garlic that is crisp and firm - no soft, yellow cloves with sprouts. If you don't want to chew raw cloves, boost the amount of garlic in your diet through garlic-rich recipes.
Spring pot pies
How about a spring pot pie in a flaky puff pastry, teeming with colorful seasonal veggies, kissed with herbs, scallions, and kale leaves and refined with a dollop of heavy cream, making it a little bit naughty? Make the pies small as inventive side dishes and you are sure to free yourself from the shackles of winter.
To find this divine concoction, visit www.foodandwine.com and type "spring vegetable potpies" in the search box in the upper right corner. Note the recommendation for the wine to serve with your creation.
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The editors will keep you busy for weeks browsing recipes, visiting with great American chefs and learning about wines.
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When April showers blow along, everyone may well end up hanging out in the kitchen - and if it's clean and organized it will be that much easier to cook up a tasty dish to keep the troops happy till the clouds pass by.