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Different colors of maple syrup sit on the windowsill at Maple Ridge Sugar House in Loudon on Saturday, March 22, 2014.  Visitors could see maple syrup being made, tour the farm, visit with a horse, a cow and pigs and taste maple treats.

(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

USDA revises maple syrup grading with descriptive terms

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Grading standards for maple syrup have been revised to match international standards, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday, and now consumers can have a better understanding of what topping they’re buying. The revisions to the voluntary standards were released Wednesday. The move comes in response to a 2010 petition from the International Maple Syrup Institute, …

Pack in protein — and save the budget — with beans and rice

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

When I was growing up, beans and rice were an end-of-month staple. As money got tight, my mom would whip up a beans and rice casserole, a healthy, budget-friendly choice that stretched our pantry a bit longer. Not that we necessarily appreciated it. “It’s a complete protein!” Mom would proudly announce as my …

Swiss Guard’s cookbook reveals Vatican culinary treats

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cookbook reveals Vatican culinary treats If an army travels on its stomach, what does the world’s smallest army eat? A chef who serves in the Swiss Guards, David Geisser, is shedding light on the culinary tastes of the pope’s army with a new cookbook. Buon Appetito features recipes on the soldiers’ current menu …

A simple, healthy lentil salad tastes anything but

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

When I was in high school, my parents took my sisters and me to Paris. That trip shaped me in so many ways, most of them culinary. So many of the dishes I make even today were inspired …

Health officials issue caramel apple warning

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Health officials are warning people not to eat Happy Apple brand caramel apples after they were recalled over concerns they could be contaminated with listeria. Missouri-based Happy Apple Co. announced a day earlier that one of its suppliers reported that there may be a connection between the recent …

Study sees corollary between fast food, test scores

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fast-food consumption isn’t merely connected to increases in pants size – it’s also tied to significant decreases in test scores among school children, according to a new national study. Researchers at Ohio State University used data from a nationally representative sample of about 11,700 children to measure how …

Home Plate: Easy appetizers

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

As I write this column, my holiday plans are up in the air. We were supposed to host extended family, as we traditionally do, for a Christmas Eve overnight and a rambunctious Christmas morning. But our oldest daughter …

Keurig recalls ‘Mini Plus’ coffee makers

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Keurig is recalling some 7 million single-serve coffee brewing machines because of reported burns. Keurig says its Mini Plus Brewing Systems, with model number K10, can overheat and spray water during brewing. Keurig says it has received about 200 reports of hot liquid escaping from the brewer, including …

Spicy peanut noodle comfort for New Year’s Eve

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Let’s be honest about New Year’s Eve. Once you’ve reached a certain age, celebrating stops being about partying and starts being all about hunkering down with a movie and comfort food on the couch. There is no shame …

Hellman’s maker Unilever drops suit over ‘Just Mayo’

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hellman’s maker drops ‘Just Mayo’ lawsuit Hellman’s mayonnaise maker Unilever says that it has withdrawn its lawsuit against the maker of “Just Mayo.” Unilever filed suit against Hampton Creek earlier this year claiming the name of the small …

A fresh take on the classic Bellini for New Year’s

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I’m a firm believer that almost any party – not to mention almost any brunch – can be improved by serving sparkling wine. That’s why when I started planning this year’s New Year’s Day brunch, I didn’t start …

Downtown: Soup Gallery closes its doors, but not its kitchen

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Soup Gallery has closed its eatery in downtown Concord, but its chef plans to continue catering and selling soups at other area restaurants. Owner Natalia Strong said the cafe has been successful – but when the time …

Seafood giant is poised to reel in Bumble Bee

Monday, December 22, 2014

The American canned tuna industry is now pretty much entirely Asian-owned. Thai Union Frozen Products, already the biggest canned tuna company in the world, is on the verge of acquiring Bumble Bee Seafoods, the largest canned tuna company in North America, for a reported $1.5 billion. The deal, …