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MAHOMET – The food industry has long been savvy about combining narrative, visually pleasing images and positive emotions to attract children to certain foods – say Froot Loops, Pop-Tarts and McDonald's Happy Meals.
Thanksgiving is inching closer, and you're probably starting to plan your holiday meal – and how you'll use your oven space.
We've compiled a few slow cooker recipe for Thanksgiving staples to ease the stress. After all, you can prepare these in your cooker's removable crock a day or so in advance, and store it in your refrigerator until you're ready to cook it. You could even cook it the day before or overnight and warm it up before you serve it. (Remember, warm slow cooked dishes in your microwave or oven, never the slow cooker.) Plus, slow cooker recipes are generally less work, and your guests will never know you used your slow cooker – unless you want to share your success.
URBANA – Daniel Harry Schreiber is fairly positive he's the only person in Illinois who makes his own chocolate.
That's right, he buys fair-trade, organic cacao beans (his most recent investment came in the form of a 110-pound bag from Panama) and, through processes full of careful calculations and obvious passion, carefully transforms them into chocolate.
Lisa Morgan, the author of food blog Champaign Taste (check it out at www.champaigntaste.com), submitted this recipe for Serebyanka, which is also known as Lecso. She originally published it to her blog in March 2007.
Here are a few excerpts from Morgan about the recipe:
Whether you're ready or not, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
Using a slow cooker is a great way to take some pressure off your oven – and your nerves. Here are some recipes for stuffing, and one that includes slow-cooking the turkey as well.
Many times, homemade sauces are better than the ones you buy at the store in a jar or can.
But who has the time to start sauces from scratch? Well, fire up your slow cooker because sauces (and one salsa) are easy and healthy with these recipes from the "Fix-It and Forget It Big Cookbook."
Champaign resident Jennifer Wilson's simple Chicken Paprikash reminds her of her childhood.
"It is the type of dish my mom would make following an afternoon of playing outside on a crisp fall day," Wilson said. "The creaminess with a touch of spice is comforting."
URBANA – If you're looking to eat healthy on a reduced budget, try mainly beans and grains and buy in bulk, advises Jacqueline Hannah, general manager of the Common Ground Food Co-op.
A former cook, Hannah dispensed that advice during her monthly Eating Healthy on a Budget class in the Lincoln Square Village hallway behind the co-op.
The slow cooker is a smart choice for food, but it's also a great way to whip up warm beverages perfect for cold mornings or chilly evenings.
You'll find a lot of flexibility when you're using your slow cooker for drinks. You could mix up the ingredients for hot mulled cider and warm them up overnight in time for a welcoming breakfast treat.