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Quick cooking for a busy lifestyle

The cover story of this week’s Rim Review is about the many events and activities coming up over the next several weeks. There are also the celebrations associated with Mother’s Day, graduations, and all those June weddings, plus Father’s Day. So, there may be a need to get a good meal on the table in record time. To help meet that need, here is a guide and recipe for making the most of a freezer to work ahead, plus some meal-worthy salad suggestions.

Grilled to perfection

Tender, juicy, flame-kissed and seasoned just right — there may not be anything more satisfying than a perfectly grilled steak. These recipes and grilling tips from the steak experts at Omaha Steaks will help you put the perfect steak on your plate any time you want. Get more grilling recipes at You can also download the free Steak Time app to get exclusive recipes and an innovative grilling timer.

Easy, memorable spring recipes

Spring is here and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate — Easter has just passed, but Mother’s Day is a little more than a month away; graduations are coming up; with June come weddings, so in advance of that, there will be bridal showers and more. Each celebration creates its own special memories.

An elegant Easter feast

Bring ease and elegance to your Easter feast with a classic roast ham served up with a sweet twist. Thyme-Basted Ham with Roasted Grapes is a sophisticated centerpiece that pairs deliciously with inspired brunch ideas. For time-strapped cooks, this refined recipe is a breeze to create - all that’s left to do after purchasing the ham is to prepare a quick grape jelly glaze and finish heating the ham in the oven. Sumptuous sides celebrating the flavors of the season make it a meal. Ham and Peas with Mint and Tarragon, and savory Ham, Bacon, and Caramelized Onion Tart require less than 20 minutes of prep time in the kitchen, elevating taste and simplicity for an effortlessly elegant Easter brunch.

Native American Recipes

Saute onions and peppers in oil, medium heat for 4 minutes. Add beans, corn and water. Simmer until hot and tender, 15 minutes. If too watery, pour off excess. Season with butter and salt. Serve warm.

First winery in Gila County holds open house

The Pleasant Valley Winery, Gila County’s first, will hold an open house Saturday, April 7 to kick off their business. Although the winery only received its license a year ago, its already winning awards. Jim Petroff learned the secrets of making wine from his Hungarian Gypsy uncle, who always had a 50-gallon barrel in his cellar. At all family gatherings, the men would sneak down to sample the wine. During the summer when Petroff was 15, his uncle taught him how to make wine. In 1978 Petroff and his wife Marie brewed their first batch of wine. “We lived in northern California and had a bumper crop of blackberries,” said Marie.

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Chefs give Taste of Rim Country a healthy twist

For those who thought restaurants in the Rim Country only served meat and potatoes, the 2012 Taste of the Rim fund-raiser for the Payson Public Library offered pleasant surprises. “This year we have more chefs with more selections,” said Bessie Tucker, reference librarian and chair of the event. Feeding people these days is fraught with peril, with so many suffering from food allergies, intolerances, health issues or lifestyle choices. The 250 guests at the Taste of the Rim event learned that in Payson, restaurants offer several options to make the dining experience pleasurable — and possible. Going gluten free? It’s available.

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Taste Temptations

Taste, sip and help the library

This is your chance to sample the wares of some of the Rim Country’s best food professionals — and those aspiring to a career in the culinary arts. And while you enjoy yourself, you can also benefit the Payson Public Library. At the annual Taste of Rim Country, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, March 3, the Payson Public Library becomes sample central with food from 12 providers and students in the Payson High School culinary arts program. Plus there will be a selection of wines to try.

A savory springtime brunch

Warm breezes, blooming flowers, pretty pastels — spring has not arrived quite yet (the first official day of spring is March 20), but it has been unusually nice for this time of year, so bring family and friends together for a welcoming brunch to celebrate. When planning your menu, be sure to have plenty of savory dishes on hand to satisfy your guests. And rest easy — you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to prepare your feast. Using ingredients already full of flavor, such as Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage, lets you create memorable brunch dishes without a lot of work.

Budget-friendly family fun

These days, enjoying one another’s company on a budget is even more important for families. So take a break from the ordinary and settle into the comforts of the best playground around — the home. Remember that family time should be silly, lighthearted, and above all, about creating special bonding moments. Here are a few entertaining at-home activities the entire family can enjoy without dipping into savings.

A Taste of Rim Country returns on March 3

The always popular Payson Public Library benefit, A Taste of Rim Country, is planned for 5 p.m., Saturday, March 3. Up to 12 stations arranged around the library in Rumsey Park will feature some of the area’s best chefs showing off great taste treats. Guests will also have an opportunity to enjoy wine or sparkling cider with the food samples.

Dynamic dinner duo: smart and simple

After a long day, preparing a healthy and delicious meal doesn’t always come naturally. Busy schedules and unlimited recipe options can make cooking nutritious “from scratch” meals seem like a daunting task. Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, author of “Read It Before You Eat It,” director and owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants and former spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, believes that cooking with simple and quality ingredients is critical to keeping your health in check. “Learning to prepare a few quick and healthy meals will help you eat better and motivate you to continue to stay on track,” says Taub-Dix. To help you prepare smart, quick and simple meals your family will enjoy, Taub-Dix offers these tips: • Use what you like — pick a few meals that you enjoy eating out and learn to make them at home using fresh vegetables, lean meats and reasonable portions.

Healthy Weight Week

Healthy Weight Week is Jan. 15 through Jan. 21. Do you know what your healthy weight is? For years our doctors and an occasional magazine article, based on data provided by the insurance industry, doled out that particular piece of information. With today’s boom in the health and diet business, you can get the information in a blink of an eye from the Internet, out of hundreds of books on the market, from gyms and weight loss programs.

Liven up game day festivities

As the 2011-2012 college and professional football seasons come to a close and you want to show off that new, big screen TV Santa left under the tree, it’s time to have a game day get together. When it comes to game time, what’s on the menu can be as important as who is on the field. Delight your fellow fans with a game time menu that’s sure to please everyone. Here’s a list of items to consider when preparing for your party: • 1-Step Buffalo Hummus - Simply combine a tub of classic hummus with one and a half tablespoons of Tabasco Buffalo Style Hot Sauce and serve with fresh veggies, crackers or pita bread.

A beautiful brunch for the holiday

Since Christmas is on Sunday this year, that means most likely there will be company on Saturday and possibly Monday, when many of us get our “holiday” and that means there will probably be an opportunity to serve a special brunch. “There’s something revitalizing about friends and family coming together in the late morning, enjoying great food, coffee and conversation. Brunches are good for the soul,” said chef and Hollywood caterer Paul McCullough. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to host a fabulous brunch gathering. To get you started, McCullough shares some hosting tips, menu ideas and delicious recipes that will help you make your brunch memorable. Hosting tips and menu ideas