Janet Tharpe

Food Editor for Just A Pinch Recipe Club

In her Test Kitchen, Janet, along with her daughter-in-law Krissi, prepares, samples, and awards blue ribbons to recipes submitted by Just A Pinch® Members. Each week, Janet shares some of those standout recipes in her blog, Janet's Notebook.

Creamy Chowders Warm Body and Soul on Cool Winter Evenings

Controversy is not usually my cup of tea. (I'm more of an Earl Grey gal)....more
Mmmm, chowder. Potatoes, bacon, crab, corn, some more bacon and lots of cream and onions. Dinner!more

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

There's been big news around the Test Kitchen: pumpkin is back! Like wearing white after Labor Day, we have been needlessly - yet religiously - bound by the culinary conventions of the seasons... abstaining from all things pumpkin since that very first day of Spring so many moons ago. Happily, I can once again celebrate my love of pumpkin in the open... and I do believe we are starting the season off on a very promising foot!...more

Hearty Pastas That Heat Up the Kitchen.. and Your Imagination

While I am a firm believer that pure and simple is often best, there are times when a gal just needs to mix things up a bit! Such is occasionally the case in the world of pasta. Marinara is my rock. For years I have relied on it to carry me through Little League spaghetti dinners and church potlucks. It's a staple in my recipe repertoire, but recently it's gotten some tasty company in the form of jazzy pasta dishes that veer far left of your standard fare. ...more

Going Nuts for Sweet Almond Desserts!

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, I had kringle. And not just any kringle, but the most deliciously creamy almond kringle ever made. These traditional Scandinavian pastries are a delicacy in the northern part of the U.S With layers of flaky pastry and a variety of sweet fillings, I have long been trying to recreate that perfect bite from so many years ago....more

Grandma's Table: Creating A Legacy of Love Through Food

It's official... September brings us National Grandparents Day! While technically observed on September 11 this year, I see no reason whatsoever to limit ourselves! Granted, this grandma may be a wee bit biased, but I think we should be celebrating these folks every day of the year. I honestly feel that every meal I make is an homage to the lessons learned from those who have gone before...never mind the countless other ways my life has been enriched by that older generation....more

Award-Winning Recipes Straight From The County Fair

People tell me there's a whole lot to do at county fairs - rides, games, music, crafts - but I never can seem to stray far from the FOOD! And I don't mean those rich-smelling food trucks (although those are mighty good too.)...more

Savoring the Goodness of Homegrown Tomatoes

Growing up, my friend's grandfather always told us girls that to enjoy a fresh tomato, all we needed was a sharp knife and a pinch of salt. Indeed, there were tomatoes served at every one of their meals during those hot, sticky summers. And as he wouuld slice in to the fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes, juice would flow like a rolling creek. It was a wonder to my youthful, wide eyes. As a frequent dinner pest - er, I mean dinner guest - I was always first in line to sample his latest garden finds....more

Back to School: Brighten Up Your Lunch Boxes with Surprising, Kid-Friendly Recipes

Shhhh...don't tell the kiddos, but it's nearly back to school time again! I can hardly believe it myself. It seems just like yesterday that I finally got all the summer clothes ironed and hung up. (Oh dear, I think that WAS yesterday!) Well, no matter -- Summer wasn't meant for chores anyway. And as school days inch ever close, I want to help make sure that lunchtime doesn't become a chore for you either....more
That's a very good idea! I always do cold cuts with crackers and cheese. It's a nice way to ...more

Adventures in Cooking: Discovering Dutch Ovens

Much of my childhood was spent in the kitchen...watching my mom cook up wonderful meals. Many of those meals were made in her ancient Dutch oven. She used it all the time; it was no more special than, say, frying something up in a skillet. Little did I know that mom was actually carrying on a ritual rich in tradition...and intimidating to many!...more

Elevate Dessert Time with Deceptively Simple Mascarpone Cheese Recipes

They say that once you become aware of something you'll see it plain everywhere. Well, true to form, mascarpone cheese has been cropping up in about every delectable recipe I come across lately!It turns out that mascarpone is a deceptively versatile - and simple - cooking ingredient. It is, in fact, a triple-cream (yes, TRIPLE-cream) Italian cheese that is so rich it's sometimes used as a substitute for butter or cream cheese....more