All Food Content

All Food Content

Coach's Cooking Team vying for barbecue championship

CHAMPAIGN – Gary Hembrough and his team are on a mission. They're using the former Centennial football coach's strategy, teamwork and delicious recipes to try to become the new Illinois barbecue champion.

Hembrough leads Coach's Cooking Team into the Illinois State BBQ Championship from Thursday to Saturday at Shannon.

Garden Fresh: Expand your repertoire with bean recipes

Some of the gardeners fortunate enough to have gotten their green beans planted early in the spring now have fresh green beans to pick and eat. Some will be getting them at the farmers' markets and produce markets and so here are some recipes to expand our bean repertoire, as they say.

In our family for years we've had green beans cooked the way my mother cooked them for years and years. The recipe consists of frying up chunks of ham or bacon with sliced onion, adding quartered new red potatoes, the fresh beans and water to cover. Salt and pepper of course and in 40 minutes or so, when the beans and potatoes are tender, I add a stick of butter. We fill our plates and call it a great, memorable summertime meal.

Civil War re-enactment will have authentic look, sound

CHAMPAIGN – For the past decade or so, University of Illinois senior Mackenzie Martin has had fun with her family, traveling on weekends to parks to camp out and bring to life the Civil War.

On Friday afternoon, Martin, her four brothers and their parents from Downers Grove will join other Civil War re-enactors to do the same, this time on the street in front of the Virginia Theatre.

Create some culinary fireworks with these picnic recipes

The Fourth is Saturday and no matter what the plans, you're sure to be eating. Traditionally revellers have backyard barbecues or pack the food and family for a picnic in the park.

We've collected a variety of recipes that will serve both sites with entrees, salads and desserts. Most of them are pretty simple and appear to be tasty. This writer predicts the Turtle Bars to be "the bomb" – meaning, all will love them.

Garden Fresh: Blueberries have health, taste benefits

The blueberries are coming on! And they're abundant in the produce section of the groceries and at the local farmers' markets. Of course you know they're good for you – their antioxidants help protect the body against chronic diseases associated with growing older. One cup of blueberries contains 14 mg of Vitamin C and 0.8 mg of Vitamin E, according to the USDA.

And now, one USDA study says that feeding blueberries every day to lab rats slowed the decline of their age-related mental capacity.

Tried and True: Bacon Cashew Salad great for potlucks

In this space each week, we feature a recipe that a reader has tried and recommends. This comes from Lisa Storm Fink of Philo.

"This is a recipe my friend, Kim Hamilton, also of Philo, often brings to potlucks," says Fink.

Garden Fresh: Lettuce can make more than salads

Since we have an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits growing in local gardens and available at area farmers' markets, we'll be providing recipes to help you put the produce on the dinner table. This Garden Fresh column will appear each Wednesday from now until the snow flies.

Previous weeks have featured peas, spinach and rhubarb. Now we're looking at lettuce. A friend said she's been overrun by all the lettuce from her garden and wondered why she planted so much. You can only eat so many salads, she said. It's a dilemma, but here we offer one recipe that cooks lettuce up with mushrooms, one for sandwich wraps, and we offer a few unique dressings to try. Let us know if you find any other great uses for lettuce from your gardens.

Indian Market and Festival to take place this weekend

The Eiteljorg Museum will present its 17th annual Indian Market and Festival this weekend on the museum grounds at White River State Park on the west side of downtown Indianapolis.

The Indian Market and Festival on Saturday and Sunday will feature more work by 130 American Indian artists; performances by native storytellers, dancers and singers; food including Indian tacos; and family activities, from mask-making to corncob-dart tossing.

One more recipe courtesy of dear old Dad

This recipe for Urbana resident Wayne Jones' apple pie was inadvertently left out of last week's special feature of dads' recipes.

Workshop shows it's easy to get things cheesy

URBANA – To most home cooks, cheesemaking might seem like an intimidating process.

But people have been making cheese for thousands of years in their homes, so it's not that difficult, says Anna Barnes, who recently led a workshop at the Common Ground Food Co-op on how to make three soft white cheeses: