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Robin McDaniel

Title: Food Columnist
Contact: | Send Robin an email

Recent Work

  • Best thing about fall? It’s chili weather Published 10/05/2011 at 3:18 p.m.

    Fall is officially here, and it’s “chili weather.” I have the perfect recipe to celebrate the arrival of our crisp, beautiful fall days: Dan Wood’s Cowpoke Chili. I have been hearing rave reviews about Dan’s chili since last fall, so ...

  • Blueberry cake brings home blue ribbon at Country Fair Published 09/28/2011 at 3 p.m.

    One of the great things about being Food Editor for Blount Today is the privilege of helping judge the pies, cakes and baked goods at the Townsend Days Blue Ribbon Country Fair, sponsored by and held at the Great Smoky ...

  • Cookbook offers hardy recipe for Fall Published 09/21/2011 at 12:42 p.m.

    I finally got a copy of the cookbook I’ve been wanting, thanks to Fred and Celeste Meunier. “Piecing A Meal,” by the Foothills Quilters Guild, was truly worth the wait. As I was looking through this new cookbook, I found ...

  • Bill’s Blazin Bielbasa heats up fire hall Published 09/14/2011 at 4:06 p.m.

    When I heard Lieutenant Bill Smock with the Alcoa Fire Department was cooking his “Bill’s Blazin Bielbasa,” I knew the firefighters were in for a treat. An invitation for me to join them followed as the lieutenant shared his kielbasa-based, ...

  • Something sweet is good treat for Grandparents Day Published 09/07/2011 at 1:39 p.m.

    Grandparents Day is Sunday, Sept. 11, a day set aside in 1978 to honor grandparents. Being that grandmothers are happiest when their grandchildren are smiling, I thought a good way to celebrate Grandparents Day was in the kitchen. One of ...

  • Ravioli and Beef Soup can set stage for fall Published 08/31/2011 at 3:52 p.m.

    It’s football season -- even if the weather still says “summer.” Get in the mood for the fall with a hearty soup that is easy to make and will fill up even the most eager player and fan. Top it ...

  • Cinnamon rolls have mission at Café Espresso Published 08/24/2011 at 3:09 p.m.

    I was privileged recently to sample a homemade cinnamon roll from the Cafe Espresso Coffee Bar at First Baptist Church of Maryville. These cinnamon rolls were made by Emily Byrd, who has been baking them now for about 18 years. ...

  • Co-workers add humor to recipe selection Published 08/17/2011 at 2:27 p.m.

    Occasionally I will ask my co-workers what they would like to see featured in “In The Kitchen.” Sometimes the answer is a moment of laughter in our day! Last week I asked my boss, Brenda Pilson, what she would like ...

  • Slide a little heat into these burgers Published 08/10/2011 at 1:03 p.m.

    A fun alternative to traditional-sized hamburgers, sliders seem to have invaded more than a few menus lately. The great thing about making these at home is you can make them in as many different flavors as you like. I was ...

  • Tangy dressing tops Layered Chicken Salad Published 08/03/2011 at 2:36 p.m.

    If you have guests coming for dinner, here’s one menu item you won’t have to worry about: The salad. This Layered Chicken Salad is hearty enough for a summer lunch or a great first course for a “company’s coming” dinner. ...

  • Fundraiser in Townsend was success for Children’s Home Published 08/01/2011 at 10:20 a.m.

    The Springtime in the Smokies 24th Annual British Car Gathering, held in Townsend, was a successful fundraiser for the Blount County Children’s Home, say organizers.

  • GalloLea owners demonstrate easy, homemade pizza at The Market Published 07/27/2011 at 1:42 p.m.

    One of the best things about getting to cover events at The Market at Washington and High is that it is such a delicious assignment to get. I get to talk to wonderfully nice people, and I get to sample ...

  • Wrap it up for a cool summer supper Published 07/27/2011 at 1:33 p.m.

    If you want a light dinner and don’t want to turn on the oven, wrap it up. Soft tortilla shells are a perfect way to keep the kitchen cool during this heat wave, especially since it is too hot for ...

  • If you need a reason… it’s National Ice Cream Month Published 07/20/2011 at 12:27 p.m.

    I scream, you scream…O.K. you get it. Apparently so did former President Ronald Reagan who proclaimed in 1984 that July was to be National Ice Cream Month. Not that many of us need any excuse to enjoy ice cream, especially ...

  • Fire up the grill for these tuna steaks Published 07/13/2011 at 3:35 p.m.

    If you don’t want to heat up the kitchen, put your grill to work. This grilled tuna is both quick and healthy and can be served on a bed of healthy brown rice and some steamed broccoli with almond slivers. ...

  • Stuffed tomatoes are super summer side dish Published 07/06/2011 at 3:59 p.m.

    Nothing says summer like a homegrown tomato. When my neighbor, Art Will, brought over some tomatoes he had grown, and I had just the recipe in mind for them. Of course, I had to have my first tomato, cheese and ...

  • Works of art take the cake at Edible Book Contest Published 06/29/2011 at 5:11 p.m.

    What an honor it was to be one of the judges at this year’s Edible Book Contest at the Blount County Public Library. I was able to see some wonderfully creative displays of carefully sculpted creations. No doubt these masterpieces ...

  • Patriotic Fruit Delight is colorful treat for holiday Published 06/29/2011 at 5:06 p.m.

    If you want to serve something pretty and light for your Fourth of July celebration, this is for you. Patriotic Fruit Delight is so easy to make and can be made the day before. Serve as a salad or dessert. ...

  • Charlie Martinez finds the ‘it’ recipe for gumbo Published 06/22/2011 at 3:57 p.m.

    When I read that City of Maryville firefighter Charlie Martinez was preparing gumbo at the Maryville Farmers’ Market, I knew this was something I did not want to miss. Charlie has a reputation of being a very good cook, and ...

  • Whip up a fresh strawberry cake for Dad Published 06/15/2011 at 2:45 p.m.

    With Father’s Day coming up, we start thinking about what we can get dad -- other thqan the usual shirts and ties. That isn’t always an easy question to answer, and most dads don’t offer a lot of hints. Whether ...

  • Inaugural golf tournament for Kingdom Design Ministries sees success Published 06/08/2011 at 4:43 p.m.

    On Saturday, May 14, Kingdom Design Ministries took to the links to raise needed funds to help make some children’s dreams come true. Kingdom Design Ministries is a non-profit Christian organization that creates dream-room makeovers for children who have experienced ...

  • No leftovers when Kemp’s Pea Salad is on menu Published 06/08/2011 at 4:42 p.m.

    With the weather so hot now, a light and cool dish is perfect for summer fare. My friend Lynn Waters shared this recipe with me, explaining that it originated with her neighbor, Fran Kemp. Lynn says Fran is a fabulous ...

  • Potato salad recipe doesn't give up flavor for healthy Published 06/02/2011 at 10:31 p.m.

    For a favorite warm weather side dish, nothing beats a potato salad. Resist the urge to just visit the deli at the local grocery store, and make your own potato salad. There are certainly no shortage of recipes out there, ...

  • A day on the links yields a great recipe Published 05/25/2011 at 4:46 p.m.

    A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to cover the Kingdom Design Ministries Golf Tournament at Royal Oaks. In addition to serving the golfers breakfast and lunch, there were a large variety of homemade baked goods. One particular dessert ...

  • Diabetic dishes are still full of flavor Published 05/11/2011 at 2:43 p.m.

    When my friend Leslie Spranger told me that her boss, Bill Bailey, wanted to put in a request to In the Kitchen for a good meal for diabetics, I was happy to see what I could find. Bill said he ...

  • Natural match: Fresh strawberries need Gail’s pound cake Published 05/04/2011 at 2:46 p.m.

    Strawberries are “coming in.” In the past, my dad and brother Steven usually had a few strawberries in the patch, and I was very fortunate to pick them for my “strawberries in season” recipe. This year, however, my luck ran ...

  • Hiking Sandwich is filling addition to trail-lover’s lunch Published 04/27/2011 at 2:59 p.m.

    With the nice weather we’ve been having, some of the avid hikers among the family and friends have already “hit the trails.” My sister Gail and her son Robbie Hill and our friend Jeremy Loftis have already checked out some ...

  • No hiding this Easter special Carrot Cake Published 04/20/2011 at 3 p.m.

    You won’t need any carrots to make this fun and easy Carrot Cake. The recipe is courtesy of Food Network Magazine, and it gets its name from the shape, not the ingredients. With Easter here this weekend, this bunny-friendly cake ...

  • Craving for Bread Pudding sends daughter to recipe box Published 04/14/2011 at 10:22 a.m.

    When my dad asked me if I had a recipe for bread pudding, I was able to tell him pretty quick that I didn’t have one. Bread pudding is just one of those desserts that doesn’t sound good to me. ...

  • Cooking lesson with the Chef Published 03/30/2011 at 1:13 p.m.

    What a great treat to sit, listen and learn from a great chef! The Market at Washington and High had a Cooking Class recently, and my friend Addie and I attended. The teacher is new to Blount County, Chef Stephen ...

  • Celebrate your Irish with a Cajun flair Published 03/16/2011 at 2:05 p.m.

    I received a recipe from my friends John and Shirley Cannon a little while back that had cabbage as its main ingredient. Thinking ahead, I decided to save it for St. Patrick’s Day to share with Blount Today readers. The ...

  • Church dinner brings two great sides Published 03/09/2011 at 2:29 p.m.

    When I was invited to attend the 3rd Annual Alcoa First United Methodist Church’s Talent Show and Dinner sponsored by the church youth, I knew that I would be entertained and well fed. My nephew, Davy Hill, is the youth ...

  • Keep Mardi Gras ‘light’ with this Louisiana dish Published 03/02/2011 at 1:18 p.m.

    Mardi Gras is a time for celebrating many things, and food is certainly at the top of the list. With Mardi Gras taking place on Tuesday, March 8, I thought this would be a good time to offer a recipe ...

  • ‘School food’ was never like this Published 02/23/2011 at 2:48 p.m.

    There are some culinary masters in our midst, and I had the pleasure of enjoying the fruits of their labor recently at a basketball tournament at William Blount High School. Believe me, “school food” was never like this! The occasion ...

  • Maryville Firehall serves up chicken enchiladas Published 02/16/2011 at 3:56 p.m.

    When I learned Station 1, A shift, at the Maryville Firehall was cooking something special for dinner the other evening, I got a invitation for myself and my friend Brenda Pilson to join them. At the firehall, you can be ...

  • Try French cuisine for an elegant Valentine dessert Published 02/09/2011 at 1:58 p.m.

    For Valentine’s Day I wanted something a little “over the top,” so I once again turned to the Food Network and one of my favorite chefs, Emeril Lagasse. This is an impressive and elegant dessert, but I found it easy ...

  • Football ‘skins’ make a great Super Bowl party treat Published 02/03/2011 at 11:01 a.m.

    With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, it’s time to be creative with football-friendly food choices. Whether you are a football fan, or a fan of the Super Bowl commercials like me, a variety of good finger food helps ...

  • Wrap it up with a money-saving meal Published 01/19/2011 at 4:16 p.m.

    This week’s recipe is courtesy of Food Network’s Sandra Lee. I watched a show of her’s called “Money Saving Meals: Fast Fix Family Favorites.” The show’s title perfectly describes these Chicken Strip Wraps. As you know, a “wrap” is like ...

  • Creamy comfort can be found in soup Published 01/12/2011 at 2:38 p.m.

    One cold weather soup that I like to make is Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup. I decided to give a nod to all of us who are trying to cut calories by adjusting this recipe to make a lighter version. Of ...

  • Délicieux! French crepes are an elegant dessert or breakfast addition Published 12/30/2010 at midnight

    This week’s recipe is courtesy of Emeril Lagasse and the Food Network. I have stayed away from making crepes because they were just a little too intimidating, and I assumed they were going to be difficult to prepare. What I ...

  • Football games, New Year’s gatherings call for finger foods with a punch Published 12/27/2010 at midnight

    In 2010, there are 35 bowl games being played on fields and in living rooms all across the country. Add in the fact that the University of Tennessee is just down the interstate in the Music City Bowl on Thursday, ...

  • It’s what’s on top that makes cheesecake special Published 12/22/2010 at midnight

    As many of you have learned from reading In the Kitchen, I have a couple of weaknesses when it comes to baking. One is pasta, and the other is cheesecake. Over the years I have featured several different kinds of ...

  • Warm up with Lemon Chicken Soup Published 12/15/2010 at 4:06 p.m.

    Soup and cold weather, just go hand-in-hand. If you want a great recipe for evenings when you are short on time but want to prepare a delicious, home-cooked meal that tastes like you spent hours preparing it, let a pre-baked ...

  • Warm up your football parties with Addie’s Touchdowns Published 12/09/2010 at 9:41 a.m.

    When my birthday rolled around last week (we’ll not mention which one), my friend Addie Loftis and my boss and friend Brenda Pilson wanted to “bring in” lunch that could be shared with everyone at work. Brenda suggested a Petro-type ...

  • Layer up the goodies for Breakfast in a Glass Published 12/01/2010 at 2:52 p.m.

    During the holidays, a delicious and easy breakfast or brunch idea combines all the good food of breakfast in an easy-to-serve, easy-to-eat format. Breakfast in a Glass even has an elegant look for your holiday guests. Grits, sausage, eggs, cheese ...

  • So many choices… Published 12/01/2010 at 2:51 p.m.

    What a treat! My stepson, Kirk, Jr., is a big fan of The Market at Washington and High, so he invited me to go along for the Taste of the Market in November. I had no idea what to expect, ...

  • Stack up a sweet holiday tradition Published 11/24/2010 at midnight

    Make a family memory with a old-fashion stack cake. An apple stack cake is a traditional Southern food. Like many Southern foods, the stack cake is rich in history and tradition. Studies have shown that the stack cake got its ...

  • Enjoy last of fall harvest with Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes Published 11/18/2010 at 10:38 a.m.

    Sweet potatoes have “cured out” very nicely by now and are at their peak of sweetness. If you are lucky enough to have some fresh sweet potatoes and a pecan tree in your yard, as does my sister Gail, this ...

  • Alcoa firefighters heat it up for United Way Published 11/10/2010 at 2:33 p.m.

    I had the privilege of attending the Chili Lunch presented by the City of Alcoa to benefit United Way. Now while chili is a treat most anytime, and there are probably as many recipes for chili as there are families ...

  • Café Le Reve serves up delicious lunch as students learn restaurant basics Published 11/04/2010 at 10:58 a.m. 1 Comment

    For this week’s In The Kitchen, I returned to one of my favorite places -- Café Le Reve on the campus of Maryville High School. A quiet, relaxing atmosphere greeted me at the student-run café. This made for a nice ...

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