It may surprise you to know that almost every state has a state insect. Utah’s state insect is the European honeybee, so designed in
1983 after the lobbying efforts of schoolchildren. What’s more, Utah adopted the beehive as its official emblem in 1959. The beehive symbolizes the industry, perseverance and thrift of Utah’s first settlers.
Fitting then, that we should feature a recipe with honey as one of the ingredients. We recently were gifted with some pure culinary lavender (thanks Mom!) and thought that it would be the perfect addition to this honey lemonade. We love how the lavender turns the lemonade slightly pink. The taste is subtle, but if you want a stronger lavender flavor, add a bit more than one tablespoon and/or steep for longer than 30 minutes.
Visit Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. The park is a red rock paradise with over 2,000 natural stone arches.
In a medium saucepan, add 2 ½ cups water and honey. On medium heat, bring to steaming or until honey dissolves. Remove from heat, add lavender. Let steep 20-30 minutes. Strain liquid into a pitcher. Add lemon juice and additional 2 ½ cups water. Mix well. Serve chilled.
Barbeque sauce takes on a different meaning depending where you are in the country. North Carolina has their vinegar based sauce. South Carolina likes their mustard based sauce. Kansas City sauce is on the sweeter side with the addition of brown sugar and/or
molasses, while Memphis BBQ sauce is a little more balanced. And the Texans, they like to add tomato sauce or tomato paste to their barbeque sauce.
Now comes Alabama White Barbeque Sauce. This mayo-based sauce was created by Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama and will elevate your barbequed chicken to something near heavenly. Bonus points for being super easy to whip up with ingredients you probably have on hand, this is one unique sauce that you need to try.
Sniff around outside in the Green Mountain state from early late March to late April, and you’ll suddenly be struck with a craving for pancakes. That delicious smell is from sugarmakers who are
processing and boiling the sap of sugar maples to make Vermont’s most famous product, maple syrup. We’ve talked before here and here about how maple is the official state flavor (pretty cool to have one of those, right?).
This apple strudel recipe calls for maple syrup both in the filling and also in the glaze on top. Using puff pastry for the dough makes it super easy, too. If you don’t like pecans leave them out or add a ¼ cup of raisins to the filling if you are so inclined.
Check out the Maple Open House Weekend, March 25-26, 2017, when sugarhouses across the state of Vermont give tours, demos and samples.
On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry and roll out with a rolling pin until it is 12 by 12 inches. Peel the apples, core them, then slice thinly. Sprinkle with lemon juice so they do not brown. In a medium mixing bowl, add sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, breadcrumbs and ½ cup of pecans. Mix well. Add apples and stir until they are well coated. Place apple mixture on one half of the puff pastry. Fold over the other half and pinch the edges closed. Gently lift onto a parchment lined baking sheet and turn seam side down. Cut 3 vents in top of puff pastry to allow steam to escape. Brush top and sides with melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
To make the glaze, in a small bowl, combine confectioners sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract (if glaze is too stiff, add a teaspoon of milk at a time to reach desired consistency). When strudel is cooled, add maple glaze, then sprinkle with ¼ cup chopped pecans.
Malasadas are the Hawaiian donut you never met but will instantly love. Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu has been making these sugary orbs of goodness since the 1950s. Originally a Portuguese
confection, these treats jumped two oceans as well as the vast expanse of North America when sugar cane and pineapple workers from Portugal immigrated to Hawaii. Created to celebrate Fat Tuesday, now you can find malasadas throughout the year and all over the Hawaiian Islands. If you are driving in Hawaii and see a food truck with a long line of people, pull a U-turn and check it out, they could be selling malasadas.
What makes malasadas different than donuts is the rich batter, fortified with eggs and half and half. The basic recipe we have used here from Leonard’s is plain sugar but on Hawaii you can find malasadas filled with all sorts of custards, including vanilla, chocolate and coconut. Super ono! Malasadas are a bit time consuming as they have to rise twice but if you make them, you will be the rock star of your household and neighborhood — if you dare give some away.
While in Hawaii, don’t miss the USS Arizona Memorial, including the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. This is one of the most heavily visited sites in Hawaii and is a very moving memorial to the sailors and service people who died there.
Combine yeast, one teaspoon sugar and two tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. Set aside until foamy.
In the bowl of a stand mixture with the paddle attachment, beat eggs. Add yeast mixture, ½ cup sugar, butter, milk, half and half, and salt. Beat until combined. Add sifted flour gradually and mix until dough is smooth and elastic (it will be quite sticky). Transfer to a clean bowl coated with vegetable oil. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch square, so the dough is about ½ inch thick. Cut the dough into 12 3-inch squares (alternatively, you can make smaller, round malasadas by cutting the dough into 24 pieces). Place each dough piece on an individual square of parchment paper on two baking sheets at least 3 inches apart. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place again, for approximately one hour.
Heat oil to 350 degrees. Place remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl. Working in batches, remove dough from parchment paper and drop gently into hot oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Toss in sugar when cool enough to handle. Serve while warm.
Everyone likes chile relleno and who doesn’t like eggrolls? Combine the two, and you’ve got a chile relleno eggroll. As ethnic foods go, it’s as mashed up as America. A traditional Tex-Mex dish, chile relleno is
a usually a poblano pepper, stuffed with cheese, covered with an egg batter and then fried. The chile relleno eggroll, a Denver dish, features all of the cheesy goodness of chile relleno within the crispy confines of an eggroll wrapper. We used sweet mini peppers as two of these fit nicely in the eggroll dough. We used Monterey Jack cheese but feel free to use cheddar, havarti or whatever is your favorite.
We thought these would be more challenging to make and were surprised by how easy they were. The trickiest part is wrapping the eggroll, but it’s a breeze if you follow our video tutorial (see our Instagram video here).
You only have a few more weeks to check out “Star Wars and the Power of Costume” exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, closing April 2, 2017.
Cut stem from peppers. Make a small slice vertically down each pepper (do not cut in half) and remove seeds. Stuff with a chunk of Monterey Jack cheese, enough to fill the cavity of the pepper. Lay eggroll wrapper out like a diamond. Place two peppers on the dough horizontally, leaving a half inch of eggroll dough on either side. Apply water along the bottom two edges. Fold bottom point up. Fold in edges. Apply water so that edges adhere to dough. Roll rest of eggroll up tightly like a cigar and apply water to remaining point until it adheres to the dough. Repeat with remaining peppers. Cook in vegetable oil heated to 350 degrees until golden brown, approximately 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Eat as soon as eggrolls are cool enough to handle while cheese is still gooey.
The parades! The parties! The food and drinks! Mardi Gras is in full swing down in New Orleans and will culminate on February 28, which is when Fat Tuesday falls this year. King Cake actually refers to the three kings who visited baby Jesus in his manger as the
season extends from Epiphany until the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. The French likely brought the King Cake tradition to New Orleans and it always includes inserting a plastic baby
or dried bean in the cake after it is baked. The person who receives the piece with the trinket is said to be blessed with good luck and must host the next Mardi Gras party or buy the King Cake for the next party.
There are literally dozens of variations of fillings for this cake including cinnamon, praline and strawberry. We opted for a cream cheese and apricot filling which is a family favorite. The cake is
usually decorated with icing or sugar in the traditional Mardi Gras colors which signify justice (purple), power (yellow) and faith (green). We can’t lie, this cake is time consuming to make. To break up the steps, feel free to make the dough the day before. Let rise and then put into the refrigerator. So worth the effort and waaaaay cheaper than a plane ticket to NOLA.
If you are lucky enough to live near New Orleans or plan to visit in the next week, check out the Mardi Gras parade schedule so you don’t miss a moment of the action.
In a small bowl, mix yeast with warm water. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon flour. Let sit until mixture begins to bubble. Meanwhile, heat milk in a medium saucepan until just boiling. Add butter and remaining sugar. Remove from heat and let stand until lukewarm. Add egg, egg yolk and yeast mixture. Beat with wire whisk until incorporated.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add liquid. Then add 1 cup flour. Beat using dough hook attachment until dough smooth. Add additional flour gradually and continue to beat until dough is elastic and glossy. Turn dough out into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let sit in warm place until dough has doubled in size, approximately 1.5 hours. Punch dough down and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Dough can be made day ahead and left in fridge overnight).
In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, flour, egg yolks and vanilla. If apricot filling is watery, drain in colander.
Shape cold dough into a log. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough until it is a rectangle shape, approximately 30 X 9 inches. Spoon the cream cheese mixture down the middle of the dough, longways, about 3 inches from the long edges but almost to the ends. Add the fruit filling right next to the strip of cream cheese. Mix the egg with the water to create an egg wash. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash. Fold one long edge over the filling, do the same with the other long edge. Turn seam side down onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently form into a circle, joining the ends together. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for approximately 30 minutes.
Brush cake with remaining egg wash. Cut several slits to allow heat to escape. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
Mix confectioners’ sugar with milk and vanilla. Spoon over cake. Sprinkle cake with colored sugars. Before serving, insert baby or bean into bottom of cake.
The Shakers were a Christian sect that began in Great Britain and made their way to the Northeast of the United States in the middle of the eighteen century. By the 1840s, several communities in Ohio
existed. Shakers were a very thrifty bunch and this pie presumably came about in an effort to use every part of the lemon. Yes, indeedy-doo, this pie uses the lemon pulp, the juice AND the skin. Use Meyer lemons as the flesh is sweeter than a regular lemon and the skin is more aromatic. The bitterness of the skin is tempered by the two cups of sugar that the lemons macerate with overnight. We have seen recipes for this pie with a top crust as well, but we liked the single crust version – all the better to see and taste the sunny yellow filling. Just the thing to brighten these gray winter days.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is a mecca for rock aficionados. With five levels of exhibits including sound booths, interactive opportunities and a U2 3D film, this museum is not to be missed.
For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use. (Can be made a day ahead).
For filling: Over a medium mixing bowl to catch the juice, slice the lemons very thinly (can use a mandolin), discarding the ends. Reserve 3-5 slices of lemon for center of pie. Chop the remaining lemon slices into small pieces, then add to the mixing bowl, along with any lemon juice. Discard any visible seeds. Add 2 cups sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for at least 3 hours or overnight in fridge.
Roll out crust onto a floured surface. Gently lift onto a 9-inch pie plate. Finish edges by fluting or forking them.
Add beaten eggs and salt to lemon mixture. Add flour and vanilla and mix. Pour lemon mixture into pie crust. Array reserved lemon slices in center of pie.
Bake at 425 degrees for the first 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for approximately 30 minutes more or until crust is golden brown, the pie is set and the filling is bubbly. If necessary, cover edge of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning. Let pie cool on a wire rack before serving.
always said we could eat an entire meal of just appetizers. Lucky for us, the big game is this weekend where we intend to do just that.
Deviled eggs are a standard at football parties across the country but deviled eggs with crab? Oh, that brings it up to a whole new level. This is a more decadent deviled egg with a nod to the First State’s most cherished product that brought in a dockside value of $3.76 million in 2014. We used sriracha mustard to amp up the spice but if you can’t find it, just use equal parts Dijon and sriracha sauce, or skip the sriracha altogether if you don’t want the heat.
Check out the Johnson Victrola Museum in Dover. This small but quirky museum is named for Delaware native Eldridge Reeves Johnson, who founded the Victor Talking Machine Company.
Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop out egg yolks and place in small mixing bowl. Add mayo, mustard, relish and chives. Mix well. Gently add in lump crabmeat and stir just until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture back into the egg whites. Top with Old Bay seasoning and chive tops if using.
We’ve talked before about Arizona’s unique state symbols. Any state that has an official march song, an official state neckwear and an official state fossil also needs an official state snack. We suggest Cheese Crisps.
Purportedly first invented in Tuscon at El Charro Cafe, this tasty treat is sort of an open faced quesadilla. It works best with thin flour tortillas so leave those thick tortillas for your burritos and fajitas. Use whatever cheese you like — we used a combo of cheddar and asiago — and top with mild (or spicy if you dare) chili peppers.
Lightly butter both sides of tortillas. Place them on a wire rack and then place on top of baking sheet. Place in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until tortillas are crisp and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and place one cup of grated cheese on each tortilla and then add chopped chili peppers. Change to broil setting and then return tortillas to oven until cheese is melted and bubbling on the edges.
Connecticut’s unofficial nickname is the Nutmeg State. This comes from the alleged practice, in the 18th and 19th centuries, of shrewd Yankee peddlers who sold unsuspecting customers wooden nutmegs instead of real ones. Then again, some claim that certain less
culinary-inclined customers might not have realized that whole nutmeg (which indeed looks like a little wooden bead) needed to be grated to be used. Swindlers or not, the moniker stuck.
We consider ourselves to be cookie connoisseurs but we had never even heard of these Nutmeg Logs until a few weeks ago. They use a generous amount of nutmeg and make your house smell like all kinds of Christmas when you bake them. And nothing goes better with nutmeg than eggnog, thus the eggnog icing. The fun part is running the fork tines over the icing before it sets to create a log effect.
Visit the Mark Twain house in Hartford, a terrific example of American High Gothic style, where Twain lived from 1874 to 1891. One writer has described this house as “part steamboat, part medieval fortress and part cuckoo clock.”
In the bowl of the electric mixer, add butter and sugar. Mix on medium speed until fluffy and light. Add egg and nutmeg. Mix until just combined. Add flour. Mix until incorporated. Take batter and divide into thirds. On a lightly floured surface, form dough into three logs approximately ½ inch in diameter. Cut each log into 3 inch pieces. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown.
For the icing:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and confectioner’s sugar. Mix on medium speed. Add vanilla, then 1 tablespoon eggnog. If icing is too thick, add another tablespoon of eggnog until desired consistency is reached.
Once cookies are completely cooled, spread icing on cookies. Run the tines of a fork over the icing to make the “log.” Top with grated nutmeg. Let icing set before packaging cookies.