These salad dressing recipes come from Joyce Sigler of rural Villa Grove. She got them from Hellman's, the makers of mayonnaise, and has used them ever since. As you'll see, it starts with a basic recipe and then offers options for adding ingredients to make creamy cucumber and Thousand Island dressings.
Here is the base: "It is easy and good – cheaper and better than any store bought! I always make my own. It really only takes a second once you have the base down pat," Sigler said.
You either love 'em or hate 'em. And for those who love them, beets are in abundance now in our gardens and farmers' markets. These beet roots are good for us and high in potassium, fiber and folacin, and only have about 58 calories in one medium-sized beet.
They're easy to fix if you have access to fresh ones. Trim off the beet greens, leaving about 1 inch of stem. You can leave the root tail, too. Cover with water and cook on top of the stove for about 30 minutes or until you can easily insert a fork into them. Then rinse with cold water and peel holding them under cold water. The peel slips right off.
URBANA – A tapas bar and lounge named after the Spanish painter Picasso is coming to downtown Urbana.
Victor Fuentes, who also runs the El Toro regional chain of Mexican restaurants, is hoping to open V. Picasso restaurant in the former Office bar space, 214 W. Main St., in mid-September.
GIBSON CITY – Baking entries for the Ford County Fair is definitely a family affair for the Ertel family of Gibson City. This year they created 45 entries between the four of them – mom Jean, plus grown children Elizabeth, Molly and Matthew.
In addition to preparing their fair entries, all three children are enjoying time off from their college studies. Elizabeth, 23, will begin student teaching next fall with a dual major in elementary and special education; Molly, 21, is in her final year as an early childhood education major; and Matthew, 19, is in his second year as an accounting major.
A few days before the judges assign the ribbons in the Champaign County Fair baking contest, you might want to drive down West Main Street in Urbana with your windows rolled down.
You'll probably be able to pick up the wonderful scents of lemon, cinnamon, chocolate and other baked goods wafting from the kitchen of blue-ribbon winner Phyllis Williams.
In this column each week, we feature one of our reader's favorite recipes – one that's been tried and is highly recommended.
This week Champaign resident Dan Cedusky, who goes by the name Colonel Dan, sends us his tried-and-true recipe for Barbecue Pizza.
(can use store-bought)
ATWOOD – When Ericka Crist tells her husband he's eating the best pie in the state, she's got the blue ribbons to prove it.
The Atwood resident won the Best Pie award for her cherry pie entry at last year's Illinois State Fair. Her daughter, Samantha, was awarded Grand Champion in the cake-decorating contest as well.
MAHOMET – The Illinois State Fair may be five weeks away, but Linda Cifuentes already has spent weeks poring over the food categories so she can enter nearly every one.
The rural Mahomet woman has won numerous awards for her recipes and food – small appliances, $200, supplies of food – but her favorite prize was a weekend last October in New York City. She was one of five winners out of some 500 entries in a cocktail recipe contest sponsored by Canadian Mist whiskey.
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.
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.