Snick Snack: Zweiback – Kansas

Forget what you think you know about zwieback. This is decidedly not that hard toast stuff you give to babies when they are teething. When folks talk zweiback in the Sunflower State, they are referring to delicious rolls, a little bit richer and saltier than the usual Zweiback - Kansashomemade bun. The Mennonites brought these from Russia, presumably because they traveled well, especially when toasted (thus the name in German which roughly translates to “double baked”). These rolls have a unique shape with a little ball on top of the base of the bun. They are great for Sunday brunch with some butter and jam or to hold your sandwich innards. They also freeze very well.

History buffs will love Fort Larned National Historic Site, which houses a complete and authentic army post from the 1860s. Various living history events will take place Labor Day weekend, September 5-7, 2015, including lectures, carriage rides and artillery and  blacksmith demos.

Zweiback - Kansas

Zweiback

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 2 hrs, 30 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup margarine, butter, or lard
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 3/4 to 6 cups flour

Instructions

Heat milk, water and butter or margarine together in a microwave safe bowl or cup until warm, about 100 degrees. Do not let the liquid boil as the yeast will not proof. Sprinkle with yeast and sugar. Let set a few minutes until mixture is bubbling.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture with salt. Gradually add 3 cups sifted flour and beat with an electric mixture for 5 minutes. Add the additional flour and beat until thoroughly combined. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and knead by hand for about 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough into a large bowl coated in oil and cover with a tea towel. Place in a warm spot for about 75 minutes or until dough is doubled in size. Punch down and let dough rise again, about 30-45 minutes. Punch down again. Remove dough to a well-floured surface and knead out any air bubbles.

To form the rolls, divide dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece by hand until round, then pinch off a large marble sized piece. Place bigger piece on well-greased baking sheet, flatten slightly. In the middle of the roll, make an indentation, then place the smaller ball on top (this will ensure the top will not slide off during baking). Continue until all rolls are formed, making sure to spread out the rolls 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

Feeling Crabby: Crab Crostini Melts – Delaware

Delaware is the second smallest state, and while only 30 miles wide, it also has 117 miles of coastline. Beaches and the shore make up a big part of the state’s culture and we’ve talked before about how the blue crab is a vital part of the state’s economy.

Crab Crostini Melts - Delaware

We created this this lovely little appetizer for a recent pool party and it was a big hit. You can spend a lot of money on crab meat but since this is basically gussied up crab salad topped with tomatoes and Parmesan cheese, save your money for good cocktails.

If bird watching is your thing, check out Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Dover, with its stellar interpretive programs and photography opportunities.

 

Crab Crostini Melts

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Time: 20 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 12 ounces crabmeat
  • 3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper, diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Pepper
  • Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced and cut in half
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Paprika
  • Small baguette, sliced

Instructions

Preheat broiler. Slice the baguette and place pieces on a baking tray. Broil both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Combine first five ingredients. Season with pepper. Add crab mixture onto crostini. Top with a half tomato slice and then Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on paprika. Broil again until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

Pucker Up: Key Lime Pie – Florida

Key Lime Pie is one of those dishes that reminds you of that fun beach vacation every time you taste it. The official state pie of the Sunshine State since 2006, the origins of this pie are murky.

Key Lime Pie - Florida

Historians tend to agree that the recipe was created in order to push a new product called sweetened condensed milk which was brought to Florida in the 1850s by a ship salvager named William Curry. This canned milk was shelf stable, important for an area of the country that did not get refrigeration until the 1930s.

Folks like to quibble over the type of crust (regular or graham cracker?) and the type of topping (whipped cream or meringue?) but one thing everyone agrees to is that the filling must be light yellow and not green. We stuck with a pretty traditional recipe here, from Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach, and we have to say, it’s the best we’ve tried.

Grab your old milk jugs and duct tape for the Anything That Floats Race in Key Largo, August 15, 2015. Homemade vessels rule in this race that awards the fastest teams, the best decorated boats and the best looking crew.

Key Lime Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 60 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1 sleeve graham crackers (or 1¼ cup graham cracker crumbs)
  • 5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar

For filling:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • Zest from 2 limes, grated
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (use key limes if available, if not, use regular limes)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Instructions

For crust: In the bowl of a food processor, add graham crackers, butter and sugar. Pulse until completely mixed. Press crust into a greased 9-inch pie pan, pressing firmly into the bottoms and sides of the pan with a bottom of a measuring cup. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Remove and let cool.

For filling: Add egg yolks and lime zest into a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on high speed, about 5 minutes. Mixture will expand and be frothy. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk, beat about 5 minutes longer. Add lime juice and mix by hand. Pour into the cooled pie crust. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees or until filling is set. Let cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cold with whipped cream.

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
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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
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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.

Highlighting food from our 50 states

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