Wicked Good Licks: Grape-Nuts Ice Cream – New Hampshire

Ahhhh, summertime and who can resist the sweet temptation of an ice cream cone? A regional flavor that doesn’t get much national play is Grape-Nuts Ice Cream.The Granite State loves its dairy (it’s their top agricultural product) and this winning taste sensation can be found along the New Hampshire Ice Cream Trail and throughout New England.

Grape-Nuts Ice Cream - New Hampshire

The texture of the cereal reminded us of crushed cookies (and who doesn’t like that mix-in?) and its delicate nut-like flavor wedded well with the creamy vanilla base. Give it a try and you’ll be a convert too.

Hike, rock climb, or mountain bike in New Hampshire’s playground, the White Mountains.

Grape-Nuts Ice Cream

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 45 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal

Instructions

Heat the cream in a medium sized saucepan until bubbles appear on the edge of the pan. Remove from heat and add the sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Add the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Pour cold batter into the canister of ice cream maker. Churn ice cream for 20 to 40 minutes or until it reaches soft serve consistency. Add Grape-Nuts cereal and let ice cream maker churn until cereal is fully incorporated. Remove ice cream to a freezer-safe container and let freeze until it reaches desired consistency.

Olive U: Pimento Cheese Spread – South Carolina

Pimento cheese, that iconic Southern food, evokes images of sitting on the front porch on a lazy afternoon, munching on a sandwich while sipping lemonade and reading a good book. Made with just six or so ingredients, this creamy/zesty cheese dip elevates boring

Pimento cheese spread - South Carolina

white bread and celery sticks to something bordering brilliance. At the turn of the century, most pimento cheese was commercially prepared, but after WWII, home cooks began making this treasured cheese spread and crackers haven’t been the same since.

While the Varsity in Atlanta puts pimento cheese on their hot dogs and hamburgers, and golf enthusiasts can indulge in a cheap lunch during the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Food & Wine picked Burbage’s Grocery in Charleston, South Carolina, as having one of the best pimento cheese sandwich in the South. We’ll go with that.

Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor is the site of the first shots fired in the Civil War. Accessible only by boat, this former military post is now a national park worth exploring.

Pimento Cheese Spread

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 15 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 ounces pimentos, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worchester sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce (optional)

Instructions

In the bowl of a food processor, add first six ingredients. Pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce, if desired. Spread on bread to make sandwiches or use as a dip with crudité or crackers.

Pimento cheese sandwiches - South Carolina

Garden State Fave: Blueberry Shortcake with Lemon Curd – New Jersey

Summer is our favorite time of year here in the StateEats kitchen and that’s because of all the fresh fruit that is in season. New Jersey

Blueberry Shortcake w/ Lemon Curd - New Jersey

is known for its delicious blueberries so much so that its legislature declared the Highbush blueberry the state fruit in 2003. And didja know that Hammonton, NJ, is the self-proclaimed blueberry capital of the world? In terms of nutrition, blueberries are a good source of fiber and vitamin C and are antioxidant powerhouses.

We decided that this family recipe for blueberry shortcake was worth sharing. You can make it with all kinds of fruit if you don’t have blueberries but strawberries, blackberries, and peaches work particularly well. The lemon curd amps up the deliciousness level.

Pack a picnic and head to the beach for the Wildwood Crest Sand Sculpting Festival, July 11, 2015.

Blueberry Shortcake with Lemon Curd

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 45 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

For the lemon curd:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1-2 lemons to yield 1/4 cup lemon juice

For the shortcake:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • Whipped cream

Instructions

 For the lemon curd: Combine butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed 2-3 minutes or until mixture is combined. Add eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat until combined. Pour mixture into a saucepan and cook on low heat, stirring constantly, about ten minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let cool. Lemon curd will keep about two weeks in the refrigerator if well sealed.

For the shortcake: In a small saucepan or in microwave, heat milk and butter until butter just begins to melt. Set aside. Combine flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Set aside. In a larger mixing bowl, beat eggs on medium speed for 2 minutes. Gradually add one cup sugar, beat until mixture is thick and lemon colored. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add milk/butter mixture and vanilla and again mix until just combined. Batter will be runny. Pout into a greased 8×8 pan and bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until top just begins to brown. Let cool.

To serve, cut cake into squares, then cut each piece horizontally. Place a dollop of lemon curd on the bottom piece, sprinkle with blueberries, top with whipped cream. Place top half of cake on top, add a small dollop of whipped cream and more berries.

Check the Cupboard: Coffee Cabinet – Rhode Island

A coffee cabinet is a delicious concoction, only it’s too bad no one outside of Providence or Warwick knows what the heck it is. Let us elucidate. In other parts of the country, a cabinet is simply a

Coffee Cabinet - Rhode Island

milkshake or a frappe. This ice cream drink is called a cabinet, supposedly because it is made in a blender which is stored in the cabinet. Who knew?

A key ingredient of a coffee cabinet is coffee syrup and in the Ocean State that syrup  is usually made by Autocrat, a company based in Lincoln. Autocrat is sometimes hard to find outside of New England but don’t despair, you can easily make coffee syrup at home in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Family Guy. Simply boil coffee with sugar and then simmer until the liquid reduces.

The cabinet recipe can easily be adapted if you’re vegan by subbing out the regular ice cream and milk for soy or almond milk products. And if you want to hold the ice cream and just mix the coffee syrup with milk, you’ll have what’s called a coffee milk, which is the official beverage of Rhode Island.

If you want to see how the other half lived during the mid to late 19th century, check out the Newport Mansions, many situated on beautiful Bellevue Avenue in Newport. Tour Marble House, The Breakers, The Elms, Chateau-sur-Mer, and get your Vanderbilt on.

Rhode Island Coffee Cabinet

  • Servings: 1 drink
  • Time: 15 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

For the coffee syrup:

  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cabinet:

  • 2 tablespoons coffee syrup
  • 1 large scoop coffee ice cream
  • 3/4 cup milk

Instructions 

For the coffee syrup: Combine coffee in sugar in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until boiling. Turn down to low and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and let cool.

For the cabinet: Place coffee syrup, ice cream and milk in a blender. Puree until frothy. If too thick, add a bit of milk, or if too thin, add a bit of ice cream. Pour into a tall glass for serving.

Hey Hun: Berger Cookies – Maryland

If you grew up in or near Baltimore, you are well-familiar with the Berger cookie. A cousin to New York’s black and white cookie, this confection is a soft vanilla cookie heaped with chocolate frosting. And we do mean heaped. In fact, some would say the cookie is just a vehicle to deliver more frosting.

Berger Cookies - Maryland

Berger Cookies began in the mid-1800 when Henry Berger emigrated from Germany and shortly thereafter opened his eponymous bakery in East Baltimore. The recipe has only changed slightly since that time and today Berger Cookies employees hand dip 36,000 cookies per day.

These cookies are very easy to recreate at home. We slightly adapted the King Arthur Flour recipe. The StateEats kids killed a half gallon of milk gobbling these up.

If a visit to Charm City is in your future, check out Fort McHenry National Monument, widely regarded as the birthplace of the “Star Spangled Banner. ” You can visit all summer and listen to ranger talks on artillery and the flag, participate in children’s activities, hear fife and drum concerts and more.

Berger Cookies

  • Servings: 2 dozen cookies
  • Time: 50 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup milk

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions 

For the cookies: Cream butter and sugar together using a mixer set to medium speed. Add salt, vanilla, egg and baking powder. Beat one minute. Gently add in flour alternating with milk until thoroughly blended.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop spoonfuls of dough, about 1 ¼ inches in diameter, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Flatten cookies with palm of hand or bottom of a glass coated with cooking spray. Bake cookies at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or just until the edges begin to brown. Do not overcook. Let cool on pans.

For the frosting: Place the chocolate chips, corny syrup, vanilla and cream in a large bowl. Microwave in short bursts about 90 seconds, stirring in between, until chocolate begins to melt and the cream bubbles. Stir until chocolate mixture becomes smooth. Add in the confectioners sugar, mix until incorporated. Let cool to room temperature.

Spread frosting on top of the cookies. If frosting slides off the cookies, allow it to set a bit longer.

Summer Staple: Cobb Salad – California

The Cobb Salad was supposedly invented by the owner of the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, California. Legend has it that late one night in the 1930s, Bob Cobb threw some leftover ingredients

Cobb Salad - CA

together to feed theatre owner Sid Grauman. Alas, the Brown Derby, with its kitschy architectural appeal (shaped like a brown derby hat, natch) is no longer, but fans of this delicious summer salad can easily make it at home. The beauty of the Cobb is that it’s readily customizable. If you’re vegan, sub in tofu and chick peas instead of the chicken, eggs, cheese and bacon. The traditional Cobb is great, but even better is adding some extra veggies like cukes or radishes. We’ve even tried it before with grilled shrimp and added some freshly shucked corn. See? Versatile!

If you want to see some amazing works of art, check out the 23rd Annual Pasadena Chalk Festival, June 20-21, 2015.

Cobb Salad

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 20 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 Ingredients

For the salad:

  • Romaine lettuce, half a head, rinsed and torn
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 2-3 hard boiled eggs, diced
  • 4-6 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 chicken breast halves, grilled or oven baked, cut in cubes (or sauted firm tofu)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup chick peas (optional)
  • Other vegetables (optional – carrots, celery cucumber, green onion, radishes, chopped)

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red vine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

Make vinaigrette by placing all ingredients into a glass jar or cruet. Cover and shake well. Place romaine lettuce and watercress on serving plate. Add in rows egg, bacon, blue cheese, chicken, tomatoes and avocado. Sprinkle with chopped chives. Dress with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

T-rav is All the Rage: Toasted Ravioli – Missouri

Toasted ravioli is one of those regional dishes that hasn’t made the jump to national prominence. And it should, because these fried pillowy pasta pockets are easy to like.

Toasted Ravioli - Missouri

The origins of toasted ravioli are unclear, with several restaurants making the claim that they were the first including Angelo’s (now Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill) and Oldani’s (located where Mama’s on the Hill now stands). The underlying theme with these stories is that T-rav, as it’s affectionately known, was an accident of a hapless cook who mistook boiling oil for boiling water. Funny that St. Louis’ other famous export, Gooey Butter Cake, also was the result of a blunder.

This dish is typically served as an appetizer. If you want to get all fancy and hand make your ravioli with all sorts interesting fillings like these restaurants, knock yourself out. But frozen work just fine, too.

The 9th Annual St. Louis Brewers Guild Heritage Festival brings together 35 local breweries and over 100 types of beer, along with music and food trucks, June 12-13, 2015.

Toasted Ravioli

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 20 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 10 frozen ravioli (half of 16-oz. package)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1 cup marina sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2-3 teaspoons parsley, minced
  • Vegetable oil

 

Instructions

Whisk together the eggs and milk in a shallow dish. In another dish, place the flour. In a third dish, place the breadcrumbs. Take a frozen ravioli and place in the egg wash, covering it completely. Place in the flour. Coat thoroughly. Place in the egg wash again. Remove, then dip in the breadcrumbs, coating thoroughly. Place on a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining ravioli. Place ravioli in batches in oil heated to 400 degrees, making sure not to crowd them. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes until both sides are golden brown. Remove onto a plate lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan. Serve with warm marina sauce.

Spicy is Nicy: Kicked Up Peanut Brittle – Georgia

 America has had a love affair with the peanut for nearly 250 years but you can thank WWII and its accompanying meat shortage for making peanut butter a household staple.

Kicked Up Peanut Brittle

Georgia is the country’s top producer of peanuts. Along with peaches, which we talked about here, and pecans, peanuts make up the three Big Ps in the Peachtree State. At 1.7 million tons in 2012, Georgia produced half the peanuts in the country. George Washington Carver is considered the father of the peanut. This brilliant botanist discovered over 300 uses for the little legume. And don’t forget about Jimmy Carter, the country’s 39th president. He hailed from Plains, Ga. and took over his family’s peanut farm before embarking on a political career.

If you like peanut brittle as much as we do, you’ll love this super easy and quick microwave recipe. The addition of baking soda makes the candy more chewy than crunchy. We used cayenne and cinnamon to add some pizazz, just leave them out if you don’t like it spicy.

The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, May 28-31, 2015, features the best of the South’s food and drink and highlights the agricultural products of the region.

Kicked Up Peanut Brittle

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 20 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil or butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

Instructions

Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, toss the peanuts with the cayenne pepper and cinnamon until the peanuts are coated. Set aside.   In a microwave safe bowl, add sugar and corn syrup. Microwave on high for approx. 3 minutes. Add nut mixture and microwave 3-4 minutes longer or until the mixture turns a light copper color. Add coconut oil or butter and vanilla and stir. Add baking powder, taking care as the candy will foam up. Stir to incorporate. Spread out onto baking sheet and spread as thin as possible with a spatula sprayed with cooking spray. Let cool. Break into bite sized pieces.

Giddy Up: Cowboy Caviar – Oklahoma

The Sooner State is lucky enough to have designated an entire state meal which consists of fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbeque pork,

Cowboy Caviar - Oklahoma

biscuits, sausage & gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, black eyed peas, and pecan pie. Quite a list, isn’t it? All of this food reflects the history, culture and agriculture of the state.

We decided we needed to highlight one of these products. We chose black eyed peas, the main ingredient in this lovely little salad/appetizer dip known as Cowboy Caviar. Black eyed peas, also known as cowpeas or southern peas, are grown in Oklahoma and all over the south as it tends to do well in hot and dry climates. This legume is high in fiber and a good source of protein.

If you are hosting a gathering for Memorial Day or need to bring something to a potluck this weekend, this is a great dish especially because it can tolerate being at room temperature without refrigeration. Just double the amounts if you are feeding a large crowd. As an added bonus, this dish gets better with time. Make it the night before and let the lime Sriracha dressing permeate the veggies so the flavors meld.

If you need to get your cowboy on, check out the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The museum is the host for the 25th Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering & Children’s Cowboy Festival on May 23-24, 2015.

 

Cowboy Caviar

  • Servings: 4-6 as a salad, 8-10 as a dip
  • Time: 20 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 Ingredients

  • Juice from 2 limes, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave syrup or honey
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce, depending on your heat preference
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) black eyed peas, drained
  • 1/2 can (15.5 oz.) yellow hominy, drained
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red or yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

In a large bowl, mix lime juice, honey, and Sriracha sauce. Add black eyed peas, hominy and all vegetables except the avocado. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and place in fridge at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. Add avocado right before serving. Serve as a side dish or with tortilla chips as an appetizer.

Clamoring for More:- New Haven White Clam Pizza – Connecticut

The Nutmeg State’s second largest city, New Haven, is identified with the white clam pizza.  If you’ve never tasted the savory sensation that is white clam pizza, well then friends, you’ve been missing out. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana on Wooster Street claims

New Haven White Clam Pizza

to be the originator of this dish which dates back to the 1960s when the restaurant served little neck clams as an appetizer.  Presumably, Frank didn’t think it much of a stretch to toss some clams and parmesan cheese on top of dough and call it “apizza” (ah-beets as the locals still say).

A couple of tips about white clam pizza: We don’t recommend using canned clams. They will be way too chewy. Frozen will work in a pinch but your best bet, as usual, is freshly steamed. We’ve told you before here and here how to steam clams. It really is easy so don’t be intimidated.  Also, please note that the recipe below makes enough dough for two pizzas but the amount of clams and cheese is for only one pizza. Just double the amounts if you want to make two pizzas.

If you dig all things nautical, check out Mystic Seaport, the nation’s leading maritime museum with four national historic landmark vessels including the 1841 whaleship, the Charles W. Morgan, the country’s oldest commercial ship still in existence.

New Haven White Clam Pizza

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hour, 30 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

 

Ingredients

For crust (will make enough for two crusts):

  • I package yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray

For pizza (double these amounts if you will be making two pizzas):

  • 25-30 little neck clams
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely minced
  • Olive oil

Instructions

To make crust: In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in ½ cup warm water. Let sit until mixture begins to foam. Add rest of water and olive oil.  Add 3 ½ cups flour, salt, and remaining sugar. Mix with a stand mixer fitted with dough hooks until well combined. If dough is too sticky add a quarter cup of flour at a time, until dough is smooth and elastic and pulls away from the bowl. Transfer dough to a large bowl that has been coated with cooking spray. Cover with a tea towel and let rise, about 40-55 minutes. Divide into two. Set aside one crust for a different kind of pizza or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

To steam clams: Pick through clams and discard any with cracked or damaged shells. Soak for 20 minutes in fresh water. Lift them out of the water bath (do not strain) and brush them vigorously to get rid of any excess sand. Heat 3 to 4 cups of water in a large pot. Turn down heat to medium. Add clams and cover. Steam about 4 to 6 minutes or until the shells just start to open. Do not overcook as clams will cook again on the pizza. Remove from heat and let cool. Discard any clams that do not open. Once shells are cool enough to handle, open shells, extract and chop meat coarsely.

To make pizza:  Preheat oven to 550 degrees with pizza stone inside if using. Place the ball of dough down on a well-floured work surface. Using the heel of your hand, press down to flatten. Lift the dough onto a round pan or pizza paddle sprinkled with corn meal. Continuing pressing and shaping the dough.  If dough is too springy, let rest about 10 minutes until the gluten relaxes, then proceed. Once dough is the appropriate size, press and shape a ½ inch crust on the edge. Brush dough with olive oil. Add Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic and then clams. If using a pizza paddle, transfer pizza onto baking stone that has been preheating in oven. Bake at 550 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until the dough is browned and the cheese is golden. Finish with additional olive oil if desired.

Highlighting food from our 50 states

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