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Crevolyn Wiley: Food trends to look out for in 2017
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Slow cooker loaded potato soup

6 medium potatoes, about 7 cups

1 large onion, chopped

16 ounces diced ham

1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of celery soup

1 (14.5-ounce) can vegetable or chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can white hominy, drained

1 1/2 cups water

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon flour

1 (12-ounce) package of bacon slices, cooked and crumbled into bits

Wash, peel and dice the potatoes and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add onion, ham, soup, broth, hominy, water, garlic and black pepper.

Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low 7-8 hours, ensuring the potatoes are tender.

An hour before serving, add 1 1/2 cups of cheese.

Whisk together the milk and flour and pour into the soup. Stir gently.

To serve, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon bits.

It’s the beginning of a new year and with it comes all kinds of predictions of how the year will play out.

This is especially true in the food world. Different foods become trendy and then they’re seen in recipes and on restaurant menus. Throughout the years, we’ve seen bacon incorporated into everything.

In addition, we’ve seen the likes of kale, quinoa and dandelions become popular. Yes, dandelions. Apparently, they are full of vitamin A and can easily be chopped or sautéed into your favorite salads and casseroles. I think I’ll pass.

A few trends I can definitely get on board with for 2017 are tacos, coffee-flavored everything and comfort foods.

Tacos might not sound like a trendy food, but when they’re outside-the-box tacos, it’s setting a new standard. For example, brisket tacos with jalapeno barbeque sauce; Southern fried chicken tacos with honey-mustard mayonnaise; and coconut shrimp tacos with mango salsa.

Of course, dessert tacos are popular, too. They are super easy to make at home by dusting the tortillas with cinnamon, then adding fruit such as strawberries with ice cream, chocolate and nuts. I vote for tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Coffee has been popular for several years, so it’s a natural progression that it enters into the food world. It’s been combined for sweet treats such as tiramisu, brownies and even coffee-flavored Oreos. But now it’s making its way into the savory side.

Epicurious, a popular recipe website, lists coffee-flavored main dishes as some of their top-rated recipes. Some examples are New York strip steak with spicy coffee rub, short ribs marinated in coffee and cheeseburgers with a coffee glaze. Coffee is a natural meat tenderizer and gives an interesting flavor and dimension when cooked into a main dish.

Ah, comfort food, one of my favorite subjects. The South has known for years comfort food is good for the soul, but apparently the rest of the world is catching on.

One of the most versatile of all comfort foods is macaroni and cheese. Current recipes are including a variety of ingredients such as lobster, bacon, cauliflower, tomatoes, artichokes, spinach and even Brussels sprouts into this traditional dish. There are mac and cheese pizzas, burgers and quesadillas. It’s also been fried into balls, baked in potatoes and stuffed in grilled cheese sandwiches.

No matter how you do it, it’s still giving comfort. And isn’t that what we all need sometimes?

Last week, I was feeling a little under the weather and just about the only thing that sounded good was potato soup. My grandmother always made me potato soup and that memory, as well as the soup, brings great comfort to my soul.

Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at


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