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November 2002 Issue
by Ronda L. Halpin
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    "The hostess must be like the duck -- calm and unruffled on the surface, and paddling like hell underneath."


Welcome to the November issue of Seasoned Cooking. In an effort to allow everyone to find their "duck-like" sides, the Kitchen Focus column is tackling the tough question of menu-planning for your holiday entertaining. Everything from how to pick a theme to how to plan ahead is covered. So, relax and enjoy the month.

November is a month filled with chilly days and warm memories. There's certainly a lot to be thankful for and reminders are everywhere. Somehow, that seems no more true than in the kitchen and at the table. We are lucky to have a wide variety of delicious, fresh and fabulous food available to us on a daily basis. And, of course, that's what we're focusing on this month too.

We begin with a little salute to traditional foods. There are few foods as rooted in culture and tradition than pasta and we're giving our nod to this pantry staple in the Rush Hour column. A quick midweek meal featuring turkey (yes, it can be leftover!), mushrooms and peas tossed with bowtie pasta and a simple sauce means dinner can be on the table in minutes. Moving on, we enthusiastically welcome back longtime writer Victoria Smith with her Vegetarian Victuals column devoted to her Native American heritage and, of course, healthy recipes inspired by them.

Adding a little twist to the traditional, we visit the Rise 'n Shine column for a neat muffin recipe featuring pumpkin and chocolate. Think that's a strange combination? Try it before you dismiss the idea! Another twist on the traditional can be found at the Home Cookin' column. There, you'll find a wonderful recipe for a pie featuring squash and a promise that you'll be hard-pressed to taste the difference between it and a pumpkin pie! Try it yourself and you'll agree.

Finally, we move onto some recipes that you'll want to try for the "wow" appeal they have. First, check out Phil's International Flair for a recipe for Drunken Shrimp. No, it's not a night on the town, but these are some fantastic grilled treasures that would be a shame to miss. And, finally, you'll want to end your meal with something elegant and easy. Head over the Happy Endings column and you'll find yourself greeting with a recipe for Cheesecake in a Glass. It's easy and is sure to make a good impression with your friends and family. Besides, it's just plain fun!

We hope that you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday this month and that Seasoned Cooking can help make it a blessing. Enjoy your family and friends and all that you have to be thankful for this year. Enjoy and here's to a seasoned lifestyle!

    Ronda L. Halpin

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