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Home Cooking with Nancy Farrell

Home Cooking is a regular feature on The Front Burner that offers a peek at how home cooks around the Fredericksburg area work in their kitchens. If you’d like to answer our questionnaire, download it here and return your responses to with a digital photo of yourself, or pass it along to anyone you think would like to participate.

Name: Nancy Farrell

Tell us who you are and why you cook.

I am a Registered Dietitian and I have a private nutrition counseling practice in Fredericksburg. I am also a college instructor. I cook as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Describe your cooking style in three words.

Simple, traditional, healthy

How did you learn to cook?

When I was a young girl, my mother allowed me time in the kitchen, with and without her, to prepare an assortment of food items. Later, as part of my 4-H experience, I enrolled in cooking and baking courses, which laid the basis for preparing meals for my family.

Favorite cookbook?

My red, worn Betty Crocker cookbook that has seen better days, but is reliable until the end. In fact, my girls are vying for who eventually gets the book. I have notes written throughout indicating which recipe was good and which needed adjustments.

What is one dish on your menu this week that you’re excited about?

Homemade lasagna. The no-boil noodles really help to make this effort easier.

What is one thing that must be in your pantry at all times?

This is a hard question to answer, but I always have walnuts in my cupboard. Walnuts are an easy, tasty addition to cereals, yogurt, muffins, homemade cookies and on tossed salads and chicken salad. They provide satiety for weight management and heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.

What one kitchen gadget could you not live without?

My Crock-Pot.

It’s 6 p.m., the people in your household are hungry and you just walked in from work and need to get something satisfying on the table as soon as possible. What’s your favorite thing to whip up in this situation?

Breakfast for supper, and that means pancakes.

It’s a snowy Sunday, you’ve just done the grocery shopping and have the rest of the day to spend in the kitchen cooking a meal that will bring comfort. What’s for dinner?

I would use my Crock-Pot and make stuffed cabbage.

What is your favorite dish to make for pot-luck dinners?

I usually bring a vegetable dish, as those seem frequently to be forgotten. It could be a vegetable platter, vegetable casserole, etc.

Do you have a favorite food source in the Fredericksburg region?

Wegman’s supermarket has been a nice addition to town, especially since Ukrop’s is no longer. I also enjoy making annual trips to Westmoreland Berry Farm and Snead’s Farm.

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  • Frank Jandrowitz

    Being of slavic exraction I can relate to Nancy’s selection of stuffed cabbage. I was a popular joice in my home growing up and it was quite a contest among my mother and her sisters as who could make the best. As time has passed I have come to realize what Nancy has emphazed in keeping in simple and healthy. Eating to live rather than living to eat is a wise saying. The article was very well done and informative.