The Chews Letter, Vol. 1, Issue No. 4 (Feb. 2021)

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D I G I TA L • P R I N T- O N - D E M A N D VO L . 1 • I S S U E N O. 4 • F E B / M A R 202 1

we’re sharing our favorite foods, recipes, & indulgences


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editor in chief / creative director LISA ANDERSON, PLANT-BASED editor JODI ANDERSON ideas generator CHAD TAYLOR

Jodi Anderson

DAIRY-FREE, EDITOR Jodi is an aspiring professional baker. Her specialty is dairy-free desserts. She looks forward to developing more recipes for food lovers with restricted diets.


Kelliann Frank

OMNIVORE, RECIPE DEVELOPMENT Kelliann is a chef from Babbit, Minnesota, where she has owned and operated her restaurant, Kell’s Kitchen, for over 13 years.

recipe submissions



© The Chews Letter, LLC. All rights reserved. February and March 2021, Volume 1, Issue Number 4. The Chews Letter is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December by The Chews Letter, LLC, 2024 NE 2nd Street, Ocala, FL 34470. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. For reprint or reuse permission, email



Abirami Gunasekaran

VEGETARIAN, RECIPE DEVELOPMENT/PHOTOGRAPHY | @limelightpix Abirami is a recipe developer and food photographer serving Delaware, Ohio. She loves to create recipes inspired by different flavors and ethnic foods.

Lynn Kandler

Cynthia McFarland



Lynn is a former cake decorator and coffee shop manager from Northern Wisconsin. She is now retired and happily living in North Central Florida by family.

Cynthia is a full-time freelance writer and author of nine non-fiction books. Cherished recipes and foods are woven through her favorite memories.

Angi Lassen

MODIFIED OMNIVORE, EDITORIAL Angi is a freelance writer specializing in health/dietary topics. The mother of four children with unique dietary needs, she intimately understands mealtime challenges.

Sam Maynard

OMNIVORE, RECIPE DEVELOPMENT/PHOTOGRAPHY Sam has seven years’ experience as a bartender and mixologist. He enjoys venturing into the world of culinary arts.

Katie McPherson

OMNIVORE, EDITORIAL Katie is a freelance writer and marketer who loves storytelling, sushi, and clinking glasses with her husband at the local brewery.

Nathan Whitcomb

OMNIVORE, RECIPE DEVELOPMENT | @ncc1701rventerprise Nathan travels the United States with his family. With over 25 years in the food industry, he has a passion for combining bold flavors with local fresh food.

Vol. 1 • Issue No. 4 • 2021 |


contents Features 28




In Every Issue 06



VITTLE BITS Lisa’s List of Favorites


SNACK SHEET Bakery Gift Basket Business Taps into what Really Matters

Locally Yours 11

COMFORT FOOD And Old-Fashioned Community at Silkie’s

14 16



The Green Tongue 21

MAPLE SYRUP Beyond Pancakes

24 26


Secret Meatings 33


35 37 38


Junk Mail




48 49 50







ON THE COVER 49 Vol. 1 • Issue No. 4 • 2021 |



dear readers



Photo by Lisa Anderson • Photo by Bailey Aro Hutcheson


s many magazines do, we planned this issue well in advance of the turmoil that has since taken place in 2021. We were looking ahead to a brighter and happier New Year. However, an issue full of our favorite cuisines and comfort foods may be needed now more than ever. The Chews Letter was created to not only fill our bellies, but our souls. Food is a language in and of itself, and we use it to communicate more than we probably realize. This time of year, many are seeking healthy alternatives like the Creamy Lentil Curry on page 24 and the Espresso and Oat Maple Smoothie from Tapped Maple Syrup on page 21. If you are like me when times get tough, you might be looking for items that fill your soul and provide contentment like the Keto-Friendly Vegan Mini Peanut Butter Cups on page 26 or Brownie Cookies on page 48. Favorite dishes are about more than just flavor. They are about the memories they evoke, the preparation involved, and the people who sit at our table. Chef Kenny Gilbert worried that the crowds would not come to his new restaurant when it opened late in 2020. A risky venture to open during the COVID-19 pandemic, to be sure, but where there is good food, especially with a menu like you find at Silkie’s and a local favorite chef preparing the cuisine, the people will come, as we learn in his story on page 11. Perhaps the best example of the memories inspired by food is the story of Cynthia McFarland’s potato soup found on page 28. She speaks about her mother, the recipe scrawled in her mother’s hand, and the coziness she finds when making and eating the soup. It was a simple recipe that she has tweaked to her palate over the years, but in collaboration with Chef Patrice Perron and Elodie Guinard Perron, has taken traditions from France to add more layers and memories to that humble soup. Speaking of traditions surviving the test of time, Joy Conley tells us the story of how using old world recipes has helped her to grow a thriving Etsy business in this

issue’s Snack Sheet on page 19. And what would an issue full of favorites be without a look at appetizers and cocktails from the 1920s? It may, at times, feel like this decade is overdone, but there is a reason that we keep looking back and theming parties with deviled eggs and art deco decoration. If you are as intrigued as I am with the simple finger foods and then outlawed cocktails that emerged a hundred years ago, then you will not want to miss the story on page 40. I hope this issue provides you with some newfound favorite recipes and plenty of comfort as we dive headfirst into 2021.


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WHAT: Nonstick Pans COMPANY: Misen FIND IT:

WHY I LOVE IT I was introduced to Misen by purchasing their chef’s knife. While I really love working with the knife, my top-thecharts product from them is their nonstick pans. These pans have been an irreplaceable addition to my array of cookware. Everything I make slides perfectly out of the pan. You can feel the quality just by picking them up, and I simply love their signature blue color handles.

WHAT: Website and YouTube Channel NAME: Downshiftology FIND IT:


WHAT: Cookbook TITLE: Cravings Made Vegan AUTHORS: Bianca Haun and Sascha Naderer FIND IT:

WHY I LOVE IT I went plant-based for my health, but I grew up eating and enjoying foods that my current diet no longer allows. When I stumbled upon this cookbook on display at a bookstore, I crossed my fingers and made the purchase. It was love at first bite. Haun and Naderer not only provide fantastic recipes that satisfy non-vegan cravings, but they also give you the tools to learn how to create your own flavorful dishes.

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Lisa Bryant’s website has been a go-to site since the YouTube gods put one of her videos in my feed. She helped me pick a Vitamix, and has been the source of recipe sharing between my mom and me on a regular basis. We both cannot get enough of her delicious recipes. I am hard-pressed to think of any that have not knocked it out of the park. If you think I am recommending just one more vegan product, think again. Bryant’s site is full of recipes for an array of dietary needs.

WHAT: Website and YouTube Channel NAME: Pick Up Limes FIND IT:

WHY I LOVE IT Sadia Badiei, BSc, Dietetics soothes you with her voice as she teaches you how to prepare healthy meals and snacks that are both satisfying and delicious.

WHAT: Vegan Dairy COMPANY: Miyoko’s Creamery FIND IT:

WHY I LOVE IT How many times have you said or someone you know has said, “I could never give up cheese?” With plant-based diets and dairy allergies on the rise, a superior brand like Miyoko’s was desperately needed. This is the brand of plant butter I turn to when I am making “butter” rolls. Before the pandemic hit, I used to serve their cheese wheels to guests who frequently ate cow’s milk cheese and they never guessed it was vegan, until they saw me eating it. I really could go on and on about the many reasons I love Miyoko’s products, but you should try them for yourself. Use their store finder to locate their products near you, or simply order directly from their website.

Vol. 1 • Issue No. 4 • 2021 |


“If you’ve tried us, you know you like us!”

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for curbside, take out and delivery only until further notice Homemade Soups • Burgers • Sandwiches • Wraps • Daily Specials

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locay yours where you live, support, and eat

Photo by Kristen Penoyer

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ooking back on the coronavirus pandemic, we have probably all found a few new favorites: favorite shows to binge-watch on weekends, favorite ways to workout at home, or new favorite hobbies that allow us to get out of the house safely. My husband took up disc golf, for example, while I have become addicted to TikTok and making cookies. I did not anticipate finding a new favorite restaurant during quarantine, but if 2020 taught the world anything, it is to expect the unexpected. And Silkie’s Chicken & Champagne Bar has been exactly the kind of good surprise my community Chef Kenny Gilbert • Photo by Agnes Lopez needed in such a draining year. It even opened on Election Day, November 3, 2020. Gilbert closed his other beloved Jacksonville restaurants, Jacksonville, Florida is called “the bold new city of Gilbert’s Social and Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen, in late the South” thanks, in part, to its booming craft brewery 2019 to focus on new ventures. Getting into the Silkie’s scene and ever-expanding list of local eateries. You could location was one of them, specifically because the brick visit for a weekend, do nothing but eat and imbibe, and building held special memories for Gilbert and his wife, barely scratch the surface of the incredible culinary finds Anna. “When we first started dating, we would go there to around here. Three Layers to have coffee with her dad, who we care for I live in Springfield, one of Jax’s historic neighborhoods, now. She wanted that space for awhile — literally had her located just outside downtown. Houses here date back sights set on it for 10 years,” he said. to the early 1900s, with a few from 1896 that somehow Opening a new restaurant concept with a new menu in managed to survive Downtown Jacksonville’s Great Fire a new location was, understandably, nerve-wracking for of 1901. People here know each other by face and name, the couple. Fear was their lend each other tools and biggest challenge, he said. helping hands, and come “Fear of the unknown. Will “Local businesses open because together often at our local people come out to eat? bars and restaurants. It is they want to share their love Will they only do takeout? the kind of old-fashioned of food and service from their Will they come at all?” community I thought did With a menu like not exist anymore, where perspective. They bring compassion Silkie’s, I am not sure how residents really know and and soul, pure and simple. We do you could keep people care about each other. this from the heart every day. That away. Gilbert describes it We have some notable as a chicken and biscuit neighbors around feeds the soul of the community. concept paired with here too. Chef Kenny Chef Kenny Gilbert champagne cocktails, Gilbert joined the a mixture of Southern neighborhood two years cuisine and continental influences. I call it comfort food ago. You may know him from Top Chef, Season 7 with unexpected, exciting flavors and the chance to see a ( or making Thanksgiving dinner talented chef at work (the Silkie’s kitchen is open to the for Oprah on Instagram ( or dining room). because his spice blends made her list of 2020 favorites My favorite dish at Silkie’s is their biscuit sampler. ( He has lived and It features four distinctly flavored biscuits — plantain worked in Jacksonville off and on since 1992 and moved ginger, truffle gouda, jalapeno cheddar, and classic to Springfield for that community feel.

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buttermilk — each paired with a house-made jam, butter, and pickled vegetables. The spiced pecan and orange blossom honey butters go well on any of them (or, if I am being honest here, on a spoon straight to the mouth). In terms of entrees, I love the truffle gouda mac and cheese with blackened chicken, while my husband opts for either the Flavor Bomb or Korean sandwiches. The Flavor Bomb is a truffle gouda biscuit with a fried smoked chicken thigh, all smothered in orange blossom honey and Gilbert’s signature Fernandina Beach hot sauce, clearly living up to its name. Gilbert himself recommends the Market Street sampler, which is a chicken lover’s dream: a fried chicken breast, fried smoked chicken thigh, jerk chicken thigh, chicken salad, hot sauce, honey, Alabama white barbecue sauce, and, naturally, biscuits and pickles to boot. If you happen to dine at Silkie’s for breakfast on a weekend, the chicken and waffles is a foolproof choice my husband never deviates from. I am partial to the biscuits and gravy, which is topped with an unconventional brown gravy instead of white and

loaded with flavor. Because I have been pregnant since Silkie’s first opened, I have not had a chance to dive into their cocktail menu just yet. That said, the mango nectar mimosas and Red Bottoms wine-based cocktail are on my post-baby must-try list. In the last five years, Springfield has seen Main Street, its commercial corridor, light up with new bakeries, coffee houses, pizza joints, breweries, a boutique, pet specialty store, ice cream shop, and more. Silkie’s is just a few blocks off that main drag. Of course, it is my selfish hope that there will always be an empty seat and no shortage of biscuits for little old me. But as each new business adds a unique personality to the area, it seems like Springfield is becoming a foodie’s dream destination for other Jacksonville residents and out-of-towners alike. “Local restaurants are the heartbeat of the community,” said Gilbert. “Local businesses open because they want to share their love of food and service from their perspective. They bring compassion and soul, pure and simple. We do this from the heart every day. That feeds the soul of the community.”

WHERE TO FIND THEM Silkie’s Chicken & Champagne Bar Social Media: @silkiesjax Website: Chef Kenny Gilbert Instagram: @chefkennygilbert Website:

Photos by Kristen Penoyer

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locay yours

M nesota Wild Rice Recipe by KELLIANN FRANK

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othing says “Minnesota” like this classic dish that has become the unofficial state meal. A hotdish is what those of you from other areas call “casserole.” Whatever you call it, this is a combination of flavors and textures you can only describe as scrumptious. We should clear up a couple of things. First, what is wild rice? And second, why is it so important to Minnesotans?

IT IS NOT RICE Wild rice is not rice at all. It is actually a semi-aquatic grass that grows in bogs, pools, and other wet locations. It is native to the Great Lakes region and parts of Canada. Wild rice is the only cereal grain native to North America and is the state grain of Minnesota. The Ojibwa Indians were the first to discover the joys of wild rice. They dubbed the plant “the good berry,” because it kept them fed through many cold winters.

GREAT FLAVOR THAT IS GREAT FOR YOU Wild rice has an earthy, nutty flavor that has made it a favorite component in casseroles, stews, and soups and as a side dish. It is also good for you, because it is high in antioxidants, folate, protein, and fiber. Minnesotans use it in hundreds of dishes, but Minnesota Wild Rice Hotdish reigns supreme. When you add wild rice to mushrooms, cream, beef, and spices, you cannot go wrong.

Illustration by noppanun/ • Daria.Ustiugova/

IT IS NOT REALLY WILD Here is another fun fact: wild rice is not all wild. Since the 1950s, farmers in the Great Lakes region have grown it commercially in bogs that mimic its natural growing places. You can still buy hand-harvested wild rice from organic growers, but most of the wild rice you see in stores comes from a farm operation. If you want truly wild rice, you can buy it from specialty sellers, which are usually Native American companies. They sell wild rice gathered by workers in non-motorized canoes who harvest the kernels by hand. Many Ojibwa harvesters follow the traditional practice of harvesting wild rice in September, which Native Americans have dubbed the Wild Rice Moon.

M nesota Wild Rice Hot-dish INGREDIENTS 1 lb. hamburger 1 cup celery, chopped ½ cup onion, chopped 1 cup wild rice, rinsed well 4 Tbsp. soy sauce 2 cups cold water 1 can (15 oz.) cream of mushroom soup 1 can (15 oz.) cream of chicken soup 1 can (4 oz.) of mushrooms, drained Lawry salt, to taste garlic salt, to taste salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS 1. In a skillet, cook onions and celery until soft. 2. Brown hamburger and season with black pepper, garlic salt, and Lawry salt, to taste. 3. Mix all the rest of the ingredients in large bowl. 4. Add cooked hamburger mixture to soup mixture. 5. Pour whole mixture into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. 6. Bake casserole at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 ½ hours, or until heated through.

GET WILD FOR WILD RICE Wherever you get your wild rice, we know you will enjoy every bite of this wild plant that has been feeding Northern eaters for centuries. Start with this traditional Minnesota Wild Rice Hotdish. It will make you a believer.

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e recently visited North Dakota for a few weeks. At a local diner in Fargo, I was first introduced to knoephla soup, a creamy chicken and dumpling soup brought over by German-Russians. This group had originally moved from Germany to Russia before eventually migrating to the US. The word knoephla (pronounced “neff-lah”) means “button” or “knob” in German and is descriptive of the size and shape of the dumpling itself. This soup is hearty and full of farmhouse flavor. In keeping with the farmhouse tradition of the recipe, we will start with a whole chicken. If you are not comfortable breaking down a whole chicken, ask your butcher to do it for you or substitute an equal weight of bone-in chicken of your choice.

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Photo by paulistano/ • Photo by elenathewise/




Chicken 4 to 5 lbs. whole chicken, skinless, cut up 2 Tbsp. oil 2 bay leaves 6 cups water 1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper

Chicken 1. Season the chicken while heating the oil in a dutch oven.

Knoephla 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp. salt 2 eggs 4 Tbsp. cold milk

4. Return all the chicken to the pot, cover with water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

Soup 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced ½ cup carrot, finely diced ½ cup celery, finely diced 4 cups yellow potatoes, chopped into ½ inch chunks (about 5 small potatoes) 2 Tbsp. butter 10 cups reserved broth plus chicken stock 2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper 1 tsp. dill weed 1 tsp. parsley prepared knoephla cooked chicken, chopped 2 cups half-and-half 2 tsp. chicken base or equivalent bouillion ¼ cup flour

2. Sear the chicken for a few minutes, just until lightly golden, working in batches. 3. Remove the chicken. Fry the bay leaves for 1 minute.

5. Remove the chicken and let cool. Skim the broth and set aside. 6. After the chicken has cooled, remove it from the bone and chop. Knoephla 1. In a medium bowl, stir salt into the flour. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture. 2. Crack 2 eggs into the middle. Stir the eggs into the flour with a fork until just mixed. 3. Add in milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until a stiff dough is formed. 4. Knead in the bowl for a few strokes until all flour is incorporated. 5. Roll to ⅜-inch thickness and cut into ¾-inch squares. Soup 1. Sauté the vegetables in butter until onions are translucent. 2. Add broth and additional stock, season, and simmer for 1 hour. 3. Bring to a boil, drop dumplings into stock, and cook for about 10 minutes. 4. Add the chopped chicken. 5. Whisk flour and chicken base or bouillon into half-andhalf. Stir cream mixture into the soup and let thicken.

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Have a

Favorite Recipe? Share it with our readers:

snack sheet

Bakery Gif t Basket Bus e TAPS INTO WHAT REALLY MATTERS Story by CYNTHIA MCFARLAND • Recipe and Photos submitted by JOY CONLEY


f anyone is an expert on making lemonade from lemons, it is Joy Conley. Despite the pandemic of 2020, her long-time dream of launching a bakery became reality. San Diego Coffee & Bakery Shop, the online enterprise she operates with 16-year-old daughter, London, is busier than ever. Using cherished European recipes from her grandmother and great-grandmother, Joy creates gift box magic, filling both U.S. and international orders with delectable bakery items, coffees, and teas. A feast for the eyes, as well as the tastebuds, each order is meticulously presented with lavish ribbon, printed napkins, and even a

“Food is so personal and so meaningful. Joy Conley recipe. Vegan options abound, and gluten-free items are big sellers. It has been over 20 years since Joy worked at the Pentagon on ballistic missile defense, but the detailoriented nature that served her well in that capacity is now brilliantly displayed in her hands-on attention to every bakery gift basket. “I loved my work in defense. It was an amazing feeling working for the safety of our country, but I love the sentimental and creative work of baking for this time of my life.” Joy and her children, Brant and London, lived in Naples, Florida, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming before settling in

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snack sheet

“Creating individual baskets that are passionately prepared and put together is my favorite part of this. Joy Conley

California 15 years ago. Husband Mark has been in the Del Mar Horse Park (a riding school/show facility and show jumping competition team) in Del Mar for over 30 years. Joy and her kids joined this exciting world when she and Mark married in 2011. Already well-versed in the e-commerce world, due to her online jewelry shop, Joy of London Jewels, Joy designed her bakery to compete in that realm, rather than open a brick-and-mortar shop. “With the pandemic, a lot of superficial things seemed not as important. As much as I love the jewelry business, it wasn’t what people were missing in their lives,” observes Joy, who saw a dramatic increase in bakery gift box orders when shutdowns led to working from home and restricted people from seeing family. It is not easy to choose one favorite bakery item, but the vanilla Madagascar pound cake appears in almost every basket. It is one of the original recipes her grandmother made throughout Joy’s childhood. Pound cakes freeze beautifully, but Joy says she has had many recipients admit they ate everything within 24 hours. “No judgment here!” she laughs. While coffee gift baskets remain popular, Joy is creating more tea boxes lately. Among her most indemand bakery treats to accompany tea are Scottish shortbread cookies, with their intricately stamped tops and blueberry vanilla scones, complete with traditional clotted cream (pre-packaged for safety by a British company). While you will find a seriously diverse assortment of gift baskets at, the originality does not end there. Joy encourages customers to let her customize orders. “Food is so personal and so meaningful,” says Joy. “Creating individual baskets that are passionately prepared and put together is my favorite part of this. People’s lives are busy, but they slow down for this and appreciate the details.”

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Chocolate Chip C kies Servings: 4 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, unsifted 1 tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. salt 1 cup butter or margarine, softened ¾ cup sugar ¾ cup brown sugar, packed 2 large eggs 2 tsp. vanilla 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate baking chips 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. 3. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color. 4. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time to butter and sugar. Mix on low speed until incorporated. 5. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. 6. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. 7. Drop by the tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. 8. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.

• TCL •

Green tongue a focus on plant-based foods & lifestyle

Photo by Leah Knights

green tongue that sustains both forests and rural communities. Jeremy explains that, while many people think of New England when it comes to maple syrup, the Upper Midwest actually has a higher density of sugar maples than the Northeast. “We’re right in the heart of the country’s sugar maple region. Wisconsin is fourth in the country in production of maple syrup, producing 250,000 gallons per year. We want to expand past the idea that maple syrup is just for pancakes.” In addition to their namesake pure maple syrup, which is rich and slightly smoky, Tapped produces an intriguing line of craft-infused maple syrups in an array of flavors: • Black Umami Garlic infused • Spicy Black Umami Garlic infused • Cardamom • Cinnamon • Espresso • Ginger • Hibiscus • Hops • Red Pepper • Ginseng • Turmeric



hen Jeremy and Abi Solin step into the sugar shack on their family’s northern Wisconsin maple syrup operation, Tapped Maple Syrup, they are continuing a centuries-old tradition. “Native Americans were the first to make maple syrup,” says Jeremy, who co-owns the farm with his wife. “They’re the ones who really created the process, although they mostly made maple sugar because it was more stable and transportable.” The first Solins settled on the farm in 1917. “Our kids are the fifth generation of family on this land,” he observes. Tapped is all about craft-infused, barrel-aged, and pure maple syrup from sustainably managed forests. In addition to tapping about one thousand trees on their own land, the Solins work with other producers in their growing effort to use maple syrup to build an economy

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The Solins will never try to talk anyone out of maple syrup on pancakes, but it is too versatile to be confined to that use alone. Maple syrup can replace refined sugar when baking and cooking. Add it to oatmeal, yogurt, and ice cream. Make grilling glazes, or add a touch of sweetness to salad dressings and sauces. Use it to impart sweetness and flavor to coffee and tea. Jeremy routinely enhances his coffee with cardamom-infused maple syrup. Tapped has also created two unique cocktail syrups: Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters and Old Fashioned, which add complexity to both alcoholic and “mocktail” numbers. The process of making syrup is essentially the same today as centuries ago: get the sap out of the tree and heat it to remove the water. It takes 35 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. All the sweetness comes naturally from the tree. Sugar is never added. Maple syrup is a low-glycemic index food with numerous health benefits. It contains antioxidants known to fight free radicals and even has anti-inflammatory properties.

WHERE TO FIND THEM Tapped Maple Syrup Social Media: @tappedmaplesyrup Website: Leah Knights Creative Social Media: @leahknightscreative

Espre o Oat Maple Sm ie Recipe submitted by TAPPED MAPLE SYRUP

INGREDIENTS ½ cup plant milk, warmed ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats ¼ cup Tapped Maple Syrup, Espresso Infused 1 banana 1 cup ice

DIRECTIONS 1. Combine warm milk and oats in a small bowl. 2. Let stand 10 minutes or until oats begin to soften. 3. Place oat mixture, syrup, banana, and ice in a blender. Process until smooth. 4. Serve immediately.

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green tongue

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Creamy Veg Lentil Cu y Recipe and Photos by ABIRAMI GUNESAKARAN

Curry is full of spices that will warm your belly and your heart. Curl up with a steaming bowl and some fresh naan, and you will stay toasty through these final winter months. Prep time: 10 min Cooking time: 20 min Total time: 30 min

INGREDIENTS 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 tsp. cumin seeds 1 tsp. garlic, minced 1 tsp. ginger, minced â…“ cup shallots, chopped 1 medium tomato, chopped ½ tsp. turmeric powder ½ tsp. cayenne pepper 1 Tbsp. curry powder salt, to taste 1 cup dried red lentils 2 cups water ½ cup full fat coconut milk 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat a large dutch oven; add olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add cumin seeds, garlic, ginger, and shallots. SautĂŠ for 2 to 3 minutes. 2. Add the tomatoes and cook until they turn mushy. Add in the spices one by one. 3. Once the raw flavor is gone add in the red lentils and water. 4. Cover and cook the curry for 15 minutes on medium low flame. Once the lentils are softened to desired consistency, add the coconut milk and simmer for 2 more minutes. 5. Finally, add the cilantro and serve the creamy lentil curry with naan or rice.

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wanted to send my mother a gift box of goodies for Christmas. She is tough to bake for, as she is diabetic and is really careful about her sugar intake. I have found some great refined sugar-free products and adapted my vegan mini peanut butter cup recipe to give her a treat. She called them “delicious and dangerous.�

INGREDIENTS 2 Tbsp. coconut oil 9 oz. vegan, refined sugar-free dark chocolate chips (e.g. Lily’s) 6 oz. creamy peanut butter 2 ½ Tbsp. allulose liquid sweetener or maple syrup 1 tsp. vanilla extract mini muffin liners


5. Remove tin from freezer. Place a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter mixture into each cup. Dip a spoon in water and evenly spread the peanut butter towards the sides of the cup but not all the way. Place the pan back into the freezer to chill for about 2 hours. 6. If your chocolate has solidified in the double boiler, simply place it back on the heat until it is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Take muffin tin out of the freezer. Scoop 1 tsp. of chocolate into a cup and gently nudge the chocolate until it goes down the sides to cover the peanut butter. Repeat with all cups. 7. Place the pan back into the freezer to set for another 10 minutes.

1. Line a mini-muffin tin (24) with mini liners.

8. Store in refrigerator for immediate use or freeze. If they are frozen, set them on the counter for 3 to 5 minutes before eating.

2. In a double-boiler, melt coconut oil. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.


3. Scoop a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the first liner. Carefully, swirl the chocolate so it evenly comes up the sides. It will not come up very far, but that is okay. Repeat with all liners. Place tin in freezer and let the chocolate set for 10 to 15 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, add the allulose liquid sweetener or maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.

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1. You must swirl each cup immediately after scooping in the chocolate. If you wait until you have filled all 24 cups, your chocolate will have started to set and will be difficult to swirl. 2. Use an all-natural peanut butter to avoid fillers and extra sugar. 3. This can be made paleo by substituting almond butter • TCL • for peanut butter.

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Artwork from

ost of us have a specific dish or two that we turn to for comfort. Sometimes you just want — or need — the assurance of familiar flavors that will not disappoint. If ever there was a year that cried out for comforting reassurance, it was 2020. For some, that dish is a “guilty indulgence,” a treat you would not, in good conscience, eat regularly because of its nutritional content. For others, it is a meal that satisfies on levels that go beyond mere hunger or superficial desire.

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There is a reason that commercials feature smiling family members baking chocolate chip cookies together or sitting down to a holiday meal at a table laden with festive dishes. Food is about so much more than survival and nutrition. This is true, whether we recognize it consciously or not. For decades, my mother’s potato soup has been the cold weather dish I crave for multiple reasons — not the least of which is that hot soup makes an ideal winter lunch or dinner. But it is also familiar and unpretentious. The fact that it was a Christmas Eve staple for many years carries sentimental weight. This probably explains why even when I eat it alone, I almost feel like I have spent

of a connection to her than I have in a long while. There are many variations of potato soup; my mother’s was not fancy. I never knew exactly where she found the original recipe, but it soon became a family favorite. Over time, I took her basic recipe and tweaked it enough to put my stamp on it: more milk, a little more butter, freshly ground black pepper, and lots of fresh chopped parsley instead of the two tablespoons of dried parsley flakes she used. And then, of course, there are the embellishments. By the time I sit down to eat and dip a spoon into my bowl, it more closely resembles stew than soup. I load it up with crumbled saltines and chunks of sharp cheddar.

Food is about so much more than survival and nutrition. This is true, whether we recognize it consciously or not.

time with family, which is indeed comforting. I have made this soup from memory for many years, but when I began to write this article, I pulled out my old recipe box to look for the card in my mother’s neat cursive handwriting. There, in the top left corner she had written “Mama.” As if I could ever forget where this favorite dish came from. I do not know the last time my mother made potato soup from scratch. In her later years, dementia put an end to her cooking and baking. She passed away last June — on my birthday, no less. But sitting at my desk to work on this story, holding that recipe card in my hand, I felt more

There is no liquid freely moving about when I am done “garnishing” my soup! What would a professional chef do with my mother’s old recipe for potato soup? How could this simple favorite be elevated to still impart the memorable elements of the original but step beyond the ordinary? To discover how, I reached out to Patrice Perron and Elodie Guinard Perron of La Cuisine in Ocala, Florida, the charming French restaurant they opened in 2009. Remarkably, in

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this time when shutdowns over COVID-19 have devastated so many small, independently-owned eateries, La Cuisine has survived. Although Patrice is a professionally-trained chef, his love of cooking was ignited at a young age, while helping his mother in their kitchen in Lyon, France. He recalls that if she was not happy with the results of a recipe, she would simply add more cream or butter, or, as she said, “put some love into it.” Now, that is a woman after my own heart. “There are so many different ways of making soup, and soup in France is completely different than in the United States,” says Elodie. “American soup, I think, is inspired from Italy and uses broth. In France, it’s more like a purée, especially vegetable soup,” She explains that when she makes vegetable soup, she sautés everything together in butter with garlic and onion before adding vegetable or chicken broth. “Then, we add cream and puree it all together so there are no big pieces of vegetables.”

Elodie notes, “Some of this is due to different regions in France. Each of the four regions has its own tradition of cooking and special dishes. For example, my mother, who lives in the countryside of Bordeaux, wouldn’t completely puree her vegetable soup.” The French also use salted butter for everything, says Elodie, whether sautéing garlic and onion, or searing scallops or a beef filet. I was delighted with La Cuisine’s elevated version of my old family favorite. (For anyone who does not eat pork, the soup is still delicious if you eliminate the bacon.) Like Chef Perron’s mother taught him early on, you cannot go wrong with adding cream and butter, and, of course, “putting some love into it.” That is what I have now with this “professionally polished” recipe: a dish that still reminds me of home and family, but with a level of sophistication. And to that I say, “Soup’s on!”

otato Soup

cut into large chunks , es to ta po ng ki ba 6 cups peeled thin 1 large onion, sliced milk 2 cans evaporated 4 Tbsp. butter ley, chopped 1/4 cup Italian pars k pepper, to taste ac bl nd ou gr y hl es fr salt and rve 1 to 2 cups of se re d an in ra D t. up po n ion until tender in so on d an es to chunks to break dow ta to po ta l po oi ed 1. B ok co h us masher to slightly cr cooking water. Use tally. somewhat, but not to re. Add reserved tu ix m n io on d an to to the pota st of the ingredients 2. Add the re ver. cooking water to co 3.

Heat on low, stirring

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Artwork from

Cynthia’s Family P

Potato Soup, Elevated


INGREDIENTS 6 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces 3 Tbsp. salted butter 1 yellow onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced ⅓ cup all-purpose flour 6 large gold potatoes, peeled and diced 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 2 cups water 2 cups whole milk 1 cup heavy cream 1 to ½ tsp. sea salt 1 tsp. ground pepper ¼ tsp. chili powder 1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream Optional Toppings fresh chives white truffle oil additional sour cream additional bacon

DIRECTIONS 1. Place bacon in a large Dutch oven or soup pot and cook until bacon is crisp and browned. Remove bacon pieces and set aside; leave the bacon fat in the pot. 2. Add butter and chopped onion and cook over medium heat until onions are tender. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour in the pot and stir until smooth. Add diced potatoes with the chicken broth, water, milk, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Stir well. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender (pierce with a fork). 3. Reduce heat to simmer and purée with an immersion blender until smooth. (You can remove ⅓ of the potatoes and mash them with a fork to leave chunks in the soup.) Add crème fraiche or sour cream and the bacon pieces. Stir well. Simmer the soup for another 15 minutes before serving. 4. Add fresh chives after plating and the optional drizzle • TCL • of white truffle oil, bacon, and sour cream.

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secret meatings a “meating� place for omnivores

Photo by Sam Maynard

secret meatings

Wake N’ Smoke Ribs Recipe and Photos by SAM MAYNARD

These ribs are perfectly balanced with sweetness up-front, spice on the end, and smokiness throughout.

INGREDIENTS 1 rack pork ribs ½ cup finely ground espresso ½ cup brown sugar 1 Tbsp. salt 1 Tbsp. cayenne powder 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika 1 Tbsp. black pepper 2 tsp. cinnamon

DIRECTIONS 1. Start by peeling off the membrane on the inner side of the ribs. Find a soft spot between bones with your thumb and work the membrane free. 2. In a bowl, combine all the spices. 3. Coat the entire surface of the meat with your rub and wrap in foil. Reserve the foil for later use.

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4. Let the ribs sit overnight or for a minimum of 2 hours. 5. When ready to smoke, preheat grill to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 6. Place ribs on the grill away from the heat. 7. Let sit on grill for 1 hour. Turn the ribs over and let them continue cooking for another hour. 8. Remove the ribs from the grill and wrap in the reserved foil. Place back on the grill for an additional 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn half way through. When done, the fat will be fully rendered and the ribs will have a caramelized exterior while the interior remains juicy.

TIP 1. Take advantage of your hot coals and leftover rub by seasoning and grilling pork chops. Grill them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas Recipe by LISA ANDERSON


Artwork by StudioIA/

ince starting my plant-based diet, I have dreamed of this recipe. Try as I might, I cannot make an identical vegan version that satisfies my cravings for it. Growing up in the Midwest, cream of chicken, celery, and mushroom soups were a large part of our comfort food cuisine. This recipe, masquerading as an enchilada, is no exception. It was introduced to us through family friends. Over the years, my mother added her own spin, and I followed suit. It has been poked and prodded so many times, I am not even sure where the original recipe ends and my version starts. What I am certain of is that the cream of chicken soup is the secret to this sauce.

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secret meatings INGREDIENTS Chicken 4 medium to large chicken thighs or breasts, boneless and skinless grapeseed or avocado oil salt, to taste pepper, to taste ½ tsp. garlic powder ½ tsp. onion powder pinch of cayenne pepper chili powder, to taste (enough to cover chicken thighs) Enchiladas 1 bunch scallions, green and white parts, chopped grapeseed or avocado oil salt, to taste 1 clove garlic, minced 24 oz. container sour cream 22.6 oz. can cream of chicken soup 4 to 4.5 oz can green chilis, diced or chopped prepared chicken thighs, chopped 16 oz. Mexican blend cheese, shredded and divided 8 to 10 medium to large tortillas, soft (flour preferred)

DIRECTIONS Chicken 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Enchiladas 1. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. While chicken is cooling, using oil if desired, sauté chopped scallions in a non-stick frying pan on medium-low heat, until the white parts become translucent. Season with salt. Add garlic and sauté 1 to 2 minutes more, just until garlic is fragrant. 3. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and green chilis. Mix well. 4. Add scallions, chopped chicken, and 8 oz. shredded cheese. Stir until well combined. 5. Grease a lasagna pan. Place a few spoonfuls of the enchilada mix into a tortilla. Fold in the sides and roll the shell to form a burrito. Place in the greased baking dish. Repeat, forming rows, until the pan is full. There should be enough room for 8 to 10 enchiladas. 6. Spread the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with the last 8 oz. of shredded cheese. 7. Cover the pan with tin foil. Bake for 15 minutes.

2. Rub oil over all sides of the chicken thighs.

8. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through.

3. Place chicken in an oven-safe baking dish. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and chili powder.

9. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.

4. Cover and bake 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove cover for last 10 minutes of baking. 5. Allow chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes, allowing the juice to absorb and the internal temperature to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 6. When chicken has cooled enough to touch, chop into bite-size pieces.

TIPS 1. Add your favorite Mexican blend of seasonings to the thighs instead of the suggested spices. 2. If you are in a hurry, chop the thighs while still raw and sauté them with the scallions and garlic. 3. Use any blend of shredded cheese and adjust the amount as desired. 4. I prefer most of the sauce mix on the outside of the shell, but you can adjust how much you put inside the tortilla to fit your tastes. 5. Top with taco sauce.

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hen the pandemic struck and the restaurants closed down and had not yet reopened for takeout, I began to yearn for my favorite baked BBQ wings. I adapted a recipe that I started making in the oven. And then I got an air fryer. I feel like I leveled up in adulthood and with these wings. The BBQ sauce is just as important. I prefer a thick, dark, sweet sauce — the darker, the better. This recipe balances the tomato element with plenty of rich molasses.



4. Working in batches, place chicken wings slightly apart. Cook for 12 minutes.

Chicken Wings 2 lbs. chicken wings 1 Tbsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt olive oil BBQ Sauce ½ cup molasses ½ cup ketchup ⅓ cup dark brown sugar ¼ cup apricot preserves 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp. grapeseed or vegetable oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 ½ tsp. chili powder ½ tsp. pepper pinch of ground cloves pinch of ground allspice salt, to taste

Chicken Wings 1. Coat the air fryer grill with olive oil. Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. With a sharp knife, split the chicken wings at the joint. 3. Place chicken in a large bowl. Add baking powder and salt. Toss to coat evenly.

BBQ Sauce 1. In a small saucepan, add all ingredients, except salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. 2. Once it is boiling, give the sauce another stir and remove from heat. Season with salt to taste. 3. Serve the sauce on the side or toss with the chicken wings.

TIPS 1. To save time and effort, you can buy wings and drumlets that are already prepared. 2. Toss with sauce when you are ready to eat. Otherwise, the wings will lose their crispy skin.

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secret meatings

Thai Pe ut Roast Pork Recipe by NATHAN WHITCOMB

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Artwork from


y family loves to eat! If pressed to name their favorite dish that I have ever made, I think they might all have different answers. However, one dish that everyone agrees is amongst the favorites is my Thai Peanut Roast Pork. About 11 years ago, my brother Jason got married in Mississippi. The whole family drove there, and we wound up sharing a vacation home with my sister and her husband. I made this pork dish for dinner one night, and it became an instant hit. All of us love Thai food; the spicy, peppery flavors and the reliance on fresh vegetables all blend together to make a cuisine that is unique and approachable. Peanuts are also very common in Thai food and provide a rich counterbalance to some of the spicy aromatic notes. Similar to a peanut satay, the Thai peanut sauce blends the rich flavors of the pork roast with the umami-rich notes and subtle heat of the curry paste. This versatile recipe works well with lamb as well as pork, and is as delicious on chops as it is on a whole loin. If working with chops, I would recommend grilling them to medium or medium rare. Any longer over an open flame, and the peanut sauce will burn.

INGREDIENTS 1 cup peanut butter ¼ cup ketchup 2 Tbsp. red curry paste 2 Tbsp. soy sauce 2 Tbsp. fish sauce 1 Tbsp. mirin 1 Tbsp. lime juice 1 ½ tsp. garlic, minced 1 tsp. ginger paste 1 cup chopped cilantro, divided (about 1 bunch) 3 to 4 lb. boneless pork loin ¼ cup rice vinegar ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Place the first nine ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. 3. Add ½ cup chopped cilantro and pulse a few times, just to combine. 4. Rub about ⅔ of the peanut mixture over the outside of the pork loin. Reserve the remaining mixture. 5. Place pork on a roasting rack and bake 25 minutes per pound or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 6. Remove roast from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. This will allow the internal temperature to reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit. (For a more well-done roast, increase cooking time as desired. Monitor the outside of the roast and cover with foil if the peanut sauce starts to caramelize.) 7. Drain the pan drippings into a small saucepan. Add the reserved peanut mixture, rice vinegar, chopped peanuts, and the remaining ½ cup of chopped cilantro. 8. Whisk until smooth and simmer over medium heat to make the gravy. 9. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

• TCL •

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hen planning a party with a 1920s theme, more than just a flapper dress and some jazz music are needed to make it the cat’s meow. Filling the party with the right hooch and eats will really get the joint jumping. From favorites of Jake Gatsby to delicious delectables created in modest and ritzy speakeasies alike, read on to find everything needed to set the mood.


SETTING THE MOOD Fresh off the constrictive atmosphere of the first world war, America in the 1920s was a world in constant motion, marked by paradoxes and excess. Women were given the right to vote but everyone lost the right to drink alcohol. Consumerism and capitalism flourished as an influx of wealth after the war led to innovations and rampant spending at all rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. It is little wonder, then, that the landscape of party foods changed from what had previously been commonplace. With the spector of Prohibition looming over the entire decade, Americans found new ways to entertain inside their homes. Electricity became commonplace and, with it, refrigeration, further altering the method and menu of parties.

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a party from time to time, but another gelatin-based delight from the 1920s did not stand the test of time: aspics. While Jell-O has held its place in American kitchens over the last century, the aspic has essentially faded into the annuls of history. These gelatin concoctions made use of meat bouillon to create a savory mold that could suspend nearly anything. They often contained meat and vegetables, much like a chilled casserole, and were adorned to add to the décor of the table. Fruity molds were served as appetizers, side dishes, and desserts, while aspics were served as a side dish or even the main course of a meal.


Photos by samodelkin8/ • vpardi/

SWANKY APPETIZERS FOR EVERYONE Before Prohibition, party guests would have been served oysters on the half shell with champagne by well-dressed waiters in a ritzy club. By the second decade of the 20th century, however, the appetizer had evolved into a simpler fare. Speakeasies — so called for the “easy” way patrons would speak at the back door to gain entry — were all about selling illegal alcohol and making money. As such, they commonly served cheap and simple snacks such as pretzels, peanuts, and salted ham to increase patrons’ thirst. However, with fancy clubs and restaurants losing money from the ban on alcohol, high-end speakeasies opened, as well. These establishments were known to serve lobster and mushroom toast, salmon and caviar rolls, cheese balls, and shrimp cocktails to their guests, along with the salty finger foods that cheaper places served. Dinner parties became a mishmash of the elaborate and the simple. Relish trays with pickles, celery, and olives were served alongside tea sandwiches and the newest rage: deviled eggs. Crackers with a variety of interesting relishes became the mainstay of the cocktail party, while fancier hosts offered pimento-stuffed mushrooms, shrimp patties, and oyster cocktails.

GELATIN MOLDS APLENTY Refrigeration brought an easier way to make and serve gelatin which led home cooks to create elaborate molds. Jell-O became a household name because of this, and people were soon serving colorful molded gelatin with a wide variety of fruit suspended inside. One of those fruity Jell-O molds may still pop up at

Regardless of whether a main course would be served, side dishes played a big part in dinner parties. In fact, it was common for a variety of sumptuous side dishes to be the only meal served. This kind of cafeteria-style dining became highly popularized during this period. One of the most interesting side dishes that became popular in the Twenties was timbales. Consisting of finely minced meat, fish, veggies, herbs, breading, etc., these unique treats are held together by a mixture of egg and cream. They are either baked in a pan that resembles a cupcake pan or deep-fried. Hosts often decorated them with cutouts or truffles before serving.

SALADS EVERYWHERE Salads saw a huge surge in popularity during the second decade of the 20th century as vegetarianism began to grow in popularity, although many still contained meat. The Caesar salad was invented in 1924 when the owner of Caesar’s Casino in Tijuana, Mexico threw together what he had left in the kitchen to feed a horde of celebrity celebrants. Soon after, the Brown Derby created the now famous Cobb salad and the Palace Court Sheridan whipped up the first-ever Green Goddess salad to compete.

FOREIGN INVASION The influx of immigrants that came into America, after the end of World War I, brought with them the foods of their homelands. Americans of the Prohibition Era were more than happy to embrace and Americanize these tasty dishes. Chinese, Italian, and French foods quickly made their way into homes across the nation and soon were being served at the newly created cocktail parties that popped up around the country. The French croquette was one such treat. Served as appetizers, the following recipe is typical of one from the 1920s.

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CHICKEN CROQUETTES INGREDIENTS ¼ cup flour 1 cup chicken stock 2 cups chicken, cold and chopped ¼ cup mushrooms, chopped 1 tsp. salt ¼ tsp. black pepper ¼ tsp. paprika 1 tsp. parsley, finely chopped 3 Tbsp. fat or lard 1 to 2 eggs fine breadcrumbs

DIRECTIONS 1. In a saucepan, melt the fat/lard and stir in the flour until it is well blended. Then, add the paprika, salt, and pepper to it. In a separate pan, heat the chicken stock until warm, but do not boil it. Add the warm stock to the first pan and stir continuously until the sauce has thickened. Add the parsley, mushrooms, and chicken, stirring to ensure the mixture is well-blended. Set aside to cool. 2. Once the mixture is cold, form it into egg-shaped balls and roll it in the beaten egg before covering it with breadcrumbs. Deep-fry the resulting croquettes in fat or oil at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.

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THE WONDER BREAD YEARS With Wonder Bread bursting onto the scene in 1921, the sandwich became a staple of dining for both the wealthy and the working class. In fact, entire cookbooks were dedicated to recipes for sandwiches. By the time sliced bread became available commercially in 1928, the sandwich was all the rage. What went into a sandwich in those days was a little different from what is offered now. Many sandwiches had elaborate whipped fillings. Ingredients often included things like nuts, figs, sardines, and various fruits. Some sandwich recipes even called for soups and juices to fill the bread.


Photos by MKPK/ • ivanmateev/

Prohibition may have made drinking illegal, but it did not slow its popularity. In fact, the consumption of alcohol and drive to party only increased as Prohibition dragged on through the Twenties and into the Thirties. Coupled with the increase in organized crime at the time, that boost in popularity is one of the main reasons Prohibition was repealed in 1933. These intrepid partiers were bound to find a way around teetotalism, with bathtub distilleries springing up everywhere. The speakeasy where these low-grade liquors were sold needed to find a way to disguise the horrid taste of the cheap spirit. Many of the cocktails known today were the result. • Bee’s Knees: A concoction that uses honey and lemon juice to cover the taste of bathtub gin. It is chilled and served neat. • Mint Julep: One of the old Southern favorites that made its way into the mainstream. The sweetness of the sugar and mint masks the flavor of homemade bourbon well. It is served over ice and garnished with a sprig of mint. • Southside: This cocktail also uses mint. It is combined with simple syrup and lemon juice to conceal the flavor of the gin. Served chilled and neat. • Clover Club: This cocktail came from a speakeasy in New York by the same name. Unlike other gin cocktails, this one uses an egg white to make it fizzy. Raspberry syrup and lemon juice were used to cover the taste of the gin. • Colony Cocktail: Another drink named after the Speakeasy in New York that created it, this cocktail utilized cherry flavoring and grapefruit to contain the tang of the bathtub gin. • Gin Rickey: As the name suggests, another gin offering, which uses soda water and lime juice to improve the flavor. • The French 75: While not an American creation, this

drink rose to huge popularity among the celebrity crowd. It consists of the ever-present gin and lemon juice with the addition of champagne to really make it zing.

WRAPPING IT UP Throwing a party with a 1920s theme should be, more than anything else, fun! Toss some nuts in a bowl. Put out some sandwiches and a relish tray. Or go all-out and whip up some Chicken Croquettes, a Green Goddess salad, and an aspic. Do not make your own gin, though. • TCL •

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TAKING A GIRL’S VOICE IS THE SAME AS TAKING HER POWER A compelling, lyrical memoir that will rip your heart open and then stitch it together again, page by page.


junk mail

foods that satisfy cravings and provide comfort

Photo by Abirami Gunesakaran

junk mail

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hat goes better with Valentine’s Day than chocolate? Absolutely nothing. Add some red food coloring to get the traditional holiday color. Give to your loved one or keep them for yourself. No judgment here! Prep time: 10 min Cooking time: 12 min Total time: 22 min

INGREDIENTS 2 cups all-purpose flour ½ cup cocoa powder 1 ½ tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt ½ cup unsalted butter, softened 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 2 eggs, room temperature 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 3 to 5 drops red food color ⅓ cup granulated sugar ⅓ cup powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients together. Set aside. 3. In a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. 4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and red color. Mix it well. 5. Combine the dry ingredient mixture slowly, until well combined. Do not overmix it. 6. Scoop a tablespoon of cookie dough, roll it in the granulated sugar, and cover it with powdered sugar. Place the cookie balls on the prepared parchment paper spaced apart. 7. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes until they crinkle on top. 8. Allow the cookies to cool and then serve with a glass of warm milk.

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junk mail

Brownie C kies Recipe by LYNN KANDLER

These delicious, chocolate brownie-like cookies definitely rank in the favorites category for my family.

INGREDIENTS 2 cups unsalted butter, softened 3 cups sugar 1 ½ tsp. vanilla 3 eggs 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup cocoa powder, heaping 1 ½ tsp. baking soda ¾ tsp. salt ½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped 12 oz. package chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat conventional oven to 365 degrees Fahrenheit or 360 degrees Fahrenheit for a convection oven. 2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until smooth. Set aside. 3. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. 4. Mix dry ingredients with the creamed butter slowly by adding 1 cup of dry ingredients at a time. Continue until all the flour mixture is thoroughly combined with the creamed butter. 5. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies are done. 8. Remove from oven and cool slightly on baking sheet before placing on cooling rack or counter.

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Artwork by Khaneeros/ • Artwork by shoshina/

6. Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Leave space between each cookie. Using your hand or a glass, press down on each rounded cookie to slightly flatten it.

Fresh Strawbe y Mou e Recipe and Photos by ABIRAMI GUNESAKARAN


pring is just out of sight, and warmer days seem a long way off. Here is a refreshing dessert that brings a little taste of summer to brighten a gloomy time of year. Prep time: 10 min Chilling time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hour 10 min

INGREDIENTS 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced Âź cup granulated sugar 1 cup heavy whipping cream â…“ cup powdered sugar ½ tsp. vanilla extract additional sliced strawberries for garnish

DIRECTIONS 1. In a blender, purÊe strawberries and granulated sugar. Reserve ½ cup of purÊe for later use. 2. Add the remaining strawberry purÊe to small serving glasses and set aside. 3. In a stand mixer, beat heavy cream for 4 to 5 minutes until stiff peaks form. 4. Slowly add powdered sugar. Fold in the reserved strawberry purÊe and vanilla extract to create a mousse. 5. Transfer the mousse to a piping bag and pipe onto the prepared strawberry purÊe. Refrigerate for an hour. 6. Garnish with fresh strawberry slices.

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junk mail



n my family, peanut butter reigns. My son spreads it over his pancakes, and my brother scoops spoonfuls directly from the jar. To say there is a peanut butter addiction would not be far from the truth. If you have someone in your family with the same addiction, then they are sure to love these cookies. Give them an added boost by adding chocolate chips or dipping them in more peanut butter.

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Photo by urban_light/ • Photo by Melica/

Pe ut Bu er C kies

INGREDIENTS 1 cup butter-flavored shortening ½ cup butter, softened 2 cups peanut butter, creamy or crunchy 1 cup brown sugar 2 cups sugar 3 eggs 4 to 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp. baking soda 1 ½ tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. salt 12 oz. package peanut butter chips or chocolate chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat conventional oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 365 degrees Fahrenheit for a convection oven. 2. In a large bowl, cream shortening, butter, peanut butter, sugar, and eggs until well mixed. Set aside. 3. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 4. Mix the dry ingredients with the peanut butter mixture slowly by adding 1 cup of dry ingredients at a time. Continue until all the flour mixture is thoroughly combined with the creamed butter. Stir in chips, if using. 5. Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Leave space between each cookie. Using your hand or a glass, press down on each rounded cookie to slightly flatten it. 6. Press a fork lightly onto the top of the cookie. Turn the fork and press again to create a crisscross pattern. 7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies are done. Remove from oven and cool slightly on baking sheet • TCL • before placing on cooling rack or counter.

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