Friday, July 5, 2013

Midwest Nature Quote of the Week

I have spent forty years in the basin of the Upper Iowa, a stream that winds from the flat farm fields of southern Minnesota through the wooded valleys of northeastern Iowa to the Mississippi. As a child I fished and swam in the river. As an adult I cross the river every day. My office overlooks the river, winding out of sight in two directions; with my windows open on warm days, I hear the raspy crowing of pheasant cocks in tall grasses along the river’s bank. On the map, the Upper Iowa is a blue line that, together with the crossing of two state highways, explains the position of the town I call home.

David S. Faldet, Oneota Flow: The Upper Iowa River and Its People

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July Dinner Recipe Ideas #3

Peach Shortcake

2 cups flour                                            2/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt                                    fruit or berries (for filling)
4 teaspoons baking power                     whipping cream (for topping)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar                 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, cut in pieces

Sift all dry ingredients, including sugar, together and put into a large mixing bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk all at once and stir with a pastry fork until dough just follows fork around the bowl. Pat the dough firmly into a buttered 8-inch round cake pan. Bake in a hot oven (425 to 450 degrees) for 15-18 minutes or until dough is a lovely golden brown on top. Turn out on rack to cool. While still a little warm, split shortcake in half, lengthwise, spread between the layers fresh, sweetened peaches (or raspberries, strawberries, etc.) and top each serving liberally with freshly whipped cream that has been sweetened with a little sugar and vanilla.
Serves 6.

Banana Bread

4 medium bananas, mashed (2 cups)                   1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil                                            2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar                                    1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar                                      1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs                                                                   1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

Combine bananas, oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer until smooth. Sift dry ingredients together and add, mixing well with a spoon. Add nuts. Pour batter into two approximately 7 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch well-buttered loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out dry. (If baking in glass, lower heat to 325 degrees.) Turn out on racks to cool and serve sliced, with plenty of soft butter.
Makes 2 loaves.

Prairie Cooks, by Carrie Young with Felicia Young

Monday, July 1, 2013

4th of July Dinner Recipe Ideas #2

Annette's Zucchini Casserole

1/2 large or 1 medium zucchini, chopped or cubed (unpeeled)
2 cups whole-wheat bread cubes                               Dash garlic powder
1 stick butter or margarine                                         1 1/2 teaspoons dill weed
1 large onion, chopped                                               1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons parsley                                                 1 cup cubed mozzarella or Colby cheese
Salt and pepper

Brown bread cubes and onion in butter until bread is toasted. Mix all ingredients together. Put in casserole and top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until all cheese melts.

Oven-Fried Chicken with Honey Butter Sauce

1 frying chicken, cut up                          1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup flour                                               2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt                                      1/2 cup butter or margarine

Honey Butter Sauce
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey

Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a shallow baking pan. Combine flour, salt, pepper, and paprika; dip chicken into flour mix and then in the butter, turning each piece. Arrange, skin side down, in a single layer; bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn and pour honey butter sauce over all; bake another 30 minutes at 350 degrees until chicken is tender. To make sauce, melt the 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan; blend in honey and lemon juice. Do not boil.

Neighboring on the Air: Cooking with the KMA Radio Homemakers, by Evelyn Birkby