BEVERLY - Cooks of all experience levels are gearing up to attend this year's Taste of Home Cooking School, slated for March 27 at the National Guard Armory, off Route 33, near Belington.
Taste of Home Field Editor Lori Daniels, a Beverly resident, said she is pleased the event is so close to home.
"I have traveled to Clarksburg to attend the Taste of Home Cooking Schools and when I first traveled to one, I wondered why there were not ones closer," Daniels said. "We are very fortunate that The Inter-Mountain Publisher and General Manager Heather Henline brought the Taste of Home Cooking School (here)."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Beverly resident Lori Daniels prepares cheesy skillet potatoes, an award-winning recipe that will be featured in the May/June issue of Taste of Home Magazine. Daniels, who is a field editor for Taste of Home, will lend her culinary expertise to the upcoming Taste of Home Cooking School, sponsored by The Inter-Mountain March 27. Tickets for the Taste of Home Cooking School are for sale at The Inter-Mountain’s Elkins and Buckhannon offices and the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce.
"At the Taste of Home Cooking School, you can always find inspiration for a weeknight meal or something special enough for company," Daniels said. "You might even pick up some new skills or learn about a new gadget or cookware."
General admission tickets for the Taste of Home Cooking School are $12 and include admission and a gift bag. VIP tickets are $20 and include admission, a photo with culinary specialist Cheryl Cohen, a light reception prior to the show and a gift bag. The vendor fair begins at 2 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for the Taste of Home Cooking School are for sale at The Inter-Mountain's Elkins and Buckhannon offices and the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce.
Daniels said the great thing about attending the Taste of Home Cooking School is that you get to follow recipes from preparation to finish.
"Everything is projected on the screen so you can see it all," she said. "Also, the school offers new books that are out and folks take home a little cookbook featuring all of the recipes in your goody bag. It's like having a spring preview of upcoming issues."
As a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine, Daniels' duties including writing articles, testing recipes, judging at fairs and festivals and helping with the cooking schools.
"I am not sure what my part will be, but I am always excited to help," she said. "For an everyday cook from a small town in West Virginia, it is an honor to represent a national magazine."
Daniels said another duty is submitting an original recipe each month for review.
"Last summer, I submitted a recipe for the category of 'homemade in a hurry,'" Daniels said. "This is for recipes that take under 30 minutes and feature less than 10 ingredients. I submitted my recipe for cheesy skillet potatoes."
Daniels said she received an email from Taste of Home that her recipe would be featured in the May/June issue.
"I filled out the questions that they sent me," Daniels said. "I am excited to see it in print."
The Taste of Home Magazine is available at many stores in the area. Daniels said she uses the magazine and Taste of Home cookbooks and comes up with a week's worth of menus and makes her grocery shopping list from those. She said many folks say they do not have time to cook, but she carves out the time to prepare meals for her family each night. She said they rarely eat dinner out.
"If I am going to work late, I use a recipe that I can put in the slow cooker," Daniels said. "If for some reason I am running late, the recipes in Taste of Home Magazines or cookbooks are very easy to follow, and my 15-year-old daughter or husband can follow the recipe with great results."
Daniels said she likes to use the recipes from Taste of Home publications because they use basic ingredients that can be found in stores all across America.
"You don't have to search to find the ingredients," Daniels said. "And there are step-by-step directions and pictures of the finished product. If you search the recipe database online, the recipes are rated by those who make them, and sometimes include variations others have used."
Daniels said she is confident that when she makes a recipe, it is something that has been tried and tested.
"I know when I use the recipe, I will get a great result," she said.
She said another important aspect of Taste of Home is the online site.
"Taste of Home has a great support system where you can look for old recipes," Daniels said. "They also have a place where you can make a recipe box and then print out a grocery shopping list."
Daniels said she really enjoys cooking and baking, and spends times reading cookbooks looking for new recipes to try. When she makes them, she enters a note in the cookbook designating whether the recipe is good, fair, very good or excellent. She also notates any changes she makes on the recipe to improve it.
Daniels said she hopes everyone will come out and enjoy this year's Taste of Home Cooking School.
"Cooking is a rewarding experience for me," Daniels said. "Sharing the items I cook and bake brings me happiness when I see that happiness reflected in