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THE FRONT BURNER

FLS reporter Katie Thisdell serves up news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.

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Updates on the Home Cooks

We’ve profiled more than a dozen local home cooks since the Front Burner launched. We’ve learned about must-have ingredients (olive oil is popular) and kitchen gadgets (knives were mentioned a lot). We also got a glimpse at how everybody from restaurateurs to new moms makes their home kitchens work.

Who’s our  next Home Cook? It could be you. Just download the questionnaire here or e-mail ebattle@freelancestar.com to get started. This is a fun way to get tips and share ideas about the work we all do in the most important room in the house.

In the meantime, here are a few updates on some of our past cooks:

- Laura Yagelski, who blogs about her quest to create healthy, low-calorie recipes for everyday cooking at Points in My Life, has collected 100 of her favorite recipes into a cookbook. You can find more information on “Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle, Vol. 1″ here.

- Jennifer Brooks Lane has been busy churning out new creations from her home kitchen at GreenHearts Farm in Caroline County, and seems to be finding new fans for them every day. She combined her two spice mixes–the Shebang! spiced sugar blend and Bangarang! signature seasoning–in a vegan and gluten-free chili recipe that recently won first place at a chili cook-sponsored by radio station 102.1 “The X” FM at Richmond International Raceway in April. The sweet-hot chili is now selling out at Whole Foods in Short Pump, the Farm to Family co-op in Richmond, Grapes of Taste in Ladysmith, farmers markets in Ashland and Goochland and other locations in the region. She’s hoping to add more locations–and to enter a contest with her faux barbecue–very soon.

You need not have published a cookbook or cooked for commercial distribution to be featured here, but these two ladies go to show that very good things can come from the work we do in our home kitchens.

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