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March 14, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, March 14, 2012 13B Food on the Table: St Pat's Day Heather Hunsaker Chef foodonthetable.com With the fun parades, cute symbols and tasty food, everyone loves to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day! But the origin of this popular Irish holiday dates back 1,000 years and is to honor the death of St. Patricl4, Ire- land's patron saint. This re- ligious holiday is celebrated March 17 in Ireland and countries around the world with traditional festivities including Irish Mass and cel- ebrations of Irish culture. Since St. Patrick's Day cel- ebrations center around feasting, take time to explore some traditional Irish foods. Most of these foods are made with simple ingredients and are easy to cook. Corned beef and cabbage is a popular meal enjoyed by many. Cabbage has long been a staple in Irish diets but this dish was traditional- ly served with Irish bacon and not corned beef. It was not until the turn of the cen- tury, when Irish immigrants fled to America, that they learned to use corned beef as an inexpensive substitute. Shepherd's pie is a histori- cal Irish casserole that is traditionally made of lamb meat or mutton and topped with mashed potatoes. De- pending on the region, this dish is also known as hunter's pie or cottage pie. Irish soda bread is simple table bread that came about in the 1800s. It gave people the opportunity to make bread at home in a cast-iron pot cooked directly on coals. Instead of yeast, soda bread usesbaking soda to make the dough rise, which was popular because it is inex- pensive, and nonperishable. Today many American ver- siSns contain raisins, nuts and seeds, but traditional Irish versions are plain and simply adorned with a cross- like shape. This shape is to help during the baking process as well as represent a religious cross in this pre- dominately Catholic coun- try. Irish beer and: St. Patrick's Day go together like milk and cereal! The Irish are known for their rich, flavor- ful beers and brew three main types: lagers, ales and stouts. Lagers are lighter and crisper; ales tend to be darker and slightly richer; and stouts are luscious, smoky and malty in flavor. To celebrate St. Patrick's Day and honor Irish tradi- tions, make this hearty, kid- friendly version of shep- herd's pie. Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherd's Pie Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Wait time: 5 minutes Serves: 6 Ingredients: 2 large sweet potatoes, -peeled and cubed 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 large carrots, peeled and diced i cup milk 1/3 cup sour cream salt and black pepper, as needed, to taste 1.tablespoon olive oil 1 pound ground turkey o 1/2 cup chopped onion 2 stalks celery, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced . 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning 1/2 cup chicken stock 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1-1/3 cup herb-seasoned stuffing mix 1-1/2 cup frozen mixed veg- etables 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or paprika, optional for topping Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 2-quart, deep-dish casserole pan. Place the sweet potato, rus- set potato and carrot in large pot. Add enough water to cover the vegetables. Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook until tender enough to pierce with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. Place the drained potato and carrot mixture in a large mixing bowl; mash lightly. Add 1/2 cup milk and the sour cream. Blend the potato mixture with an electric hand mixer set to medium until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large skil- let over medium heat. Cook the turkey in the hot oil until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion, celery, garlic and poultry seasoning. Cook until the turkey is cooked through and no longer pin k , Increase the heat to medium-high. Pour the chicken stock into the turkey mixture. Whisk to- gether the remaining milk and flour until smooth. When the chicken stock begins to boil, add the flour mixture to the stock and stir until it thickens. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sa uce. Pour the turkey mixture into the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the stuffing mix over the turkey mixture. Arrange the mixed vegeta- bles atop the stuffing mix. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the potato mixture over the vegetables, spread- ing to cover all the way to the edges of the dish. Sprinkle with nutmeg or paprika to add color. Bake in preheated oven until top is slightly browned, about 20 - 30 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes before, serving. Chef Heather Hunsaker graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. She currently serves as a writer and recipe developer for meal planning site foodonthetable.com. How to shop like a food pro Sheri Alzeerah foodonthetable.com Without a doubt, the pro- duce section is the grocery store's most peculiar corner. It's here where shoppers turn into Animal Planet spectacles. We squeeze, squint at, pinch, rub and sniff pieces of fruit. With our bare hands and bare senses, we gather what we consider the best of the harvest, mak- ing sure our own family re- ceives only the freshest fruits and veggies. The only thing separating us from wild animals are twist ties. . But what exactly,should shoppers be scrutinizing when it comes to inspecting produce? Ask yourself the five questions below to hone your senses and choose fruit as skillfully as the Ving (or queen) of the animal king- dom. Should I go organic? Though it's easy to pass off this craze as a passing phase, organic is an essen- tial factor to consider, espe- cially when it comes to pesti- cide-prone produce. It's obvi- ous that harmful chemicals and Mother Nature don't get along, so avoid pairing the two when shopping for fruits and veggies. Organic foods are free of nasty preservatives and fer- tilizers, Fewer chemicals in the land and air mean a hap- pier, healthier planet. Still, organic produce of- ten means expensive pro- duce. Knowing when to go organic is key. To help you decide, the Environmental Working Group's 2011 Shop- pers Guide to Pesticides in Produce points a finger at the most and least pesticide- ridden fruits and vegetables. Apples, celery, strawberries, spinach and peaches top the "dirty dozen," so it's a good bet to go organic with these. On the other end, onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avo- cado and asparagus top the .list of.the '.'.Clean. 15." ....... Where was this grown? Basically, the closer to the store something is grown, the riper the produce will be at the time of picking. And riper means tastier. And even better, when fruit and veggies are obtained fresh, they're more abundant in natural nutrients. In addition to flavor and health benefits, going for lo- cal fruits and veggies trans- lates to fewer miles of trans- portation allotted to getting from farm to store. But supporting local farm- ers can only go so far. If you live in the middle of America, locally grown pineapple might be hard to come by. Support the cause when possible, but a simple lesson in geography is enough to realize that you can't be too choosy. Is this in season? Check online to see what's growing in your area right now. When a fruit or veg- etable is in season, the crop yields aplenty, which means lower fresh prices for con- sumers. If something's out of sea- son, consider the frozen sec- tion for some of your pro- duce needs. These veggies will be less costly and are normally pre-cut. The only downside here is less fresh means less nutrients. Still, flavor fares surprisingly well in frozen produce. Are the color, texture and smell right? ' It's easy to see. Just follow the guide, courtesy of rachaelray.com, below: --Apples should be bright and firm. Be wary of bruises and bumps. --Oranges should be even- ly colored, firm and round. --Bananas, unless used for baking, should have no dark spots. --Melons should be ripe when eaten, so look for a soft stem and a sweet scent. --Tomatoes should be firm and smooth. --Grape stems should be green. (Yes, even for red and black grapes!) -wStrawberries should have deeper, darker colors and minimal white near the stem. --Stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, apricots) ripen more quickly when stored in a brown paper bag at home. Feeding your family with the best produce is simple, if you ask yourself the right questions. Soon enough, you'll prove that you're fit to survive the jungle that is the grocery store. Sheri Alzeerah is a freelance writer and journalist for meal planning service foodonthetable.com. I'i' I'i" Ninja is a Main Coon X neutered male about 2-1/2 years old I'i" Beautiful big boy The owner is moving [ .. and can t take him Mooshu is a Main Coon X neutered male about 21/2 years old He s buds with Ninja and is hoping they find a new home soon : i,::i::jiliii  Palin is a young adult black and whitish female. From the Claremont Drive area in Quincy, she would like to set up new headquarters soon. r OPEN SATURDAYS FOR VIEWEING ONLY 10am-2pm Shelter hours are Monday, Wednesday & Friday 8om-5pm, closed l-2pm for lunch and (Iio closed weekends. Rumas Animal Services charges a $10 fee and license fees are $5 per year. An officer will deliver a pet to the adopting parh/'s veterinary of choice to have the animal altered in completion oi the adoption requirement. For more information, call 283-3673 or visit countyofplumas,com or petfinders.com.. Sponsored by: INCY 283-0480 F.ST 1875 Your local downtown full service pharmacy including veterinary compounding 'l" Republican women meet The members of Plumas County Republican Women Federated an- nounce their upcoming March meeting to be held Thursday, March 22, at the Nelson residence at 61 Tolowa Trail in Graeagle. The business meeting will commence at 10:45 a.m. with a delicious lunch of homemade soups at noon. Following lunch we will hear from guest speaker Rick Bosetti. Bosetti is running for California AssemblY for District I and lives in Red- ding. He has played major league baseball, owned and operated his own business, been mayor of Redding and currently serves on the Redding City Council. Cost to attend the meet- ing is $15 and reserva- tions can be made by call- ing Marlene Nelson at 836- 1547. Feel free to attend just for the luncheon and speaker. All are welcome! Plan your wedding in Plumas County.w To help promote our local businesses offering wedding services we are posting the Plumas County WEDDING PAGES online at plumasnews.com for 12 weeks! (March 14 through May 50) To support our local businesses, we are including this value-added service for free! B00i00L00Ti:N 287 Lawrence Street, Quincy, CA 283-0800 RECORD Greenville , CA 258-3115 .. /'9 "" ":-... *"'''-- .... " -" "" " " .: ..'" -'" ,.. ...... .. - - -". :d ": :" 135 Main Street, (2hester, CA 258-3115 00=P01TOLI II0001TII 96 E. Sierra (Hwy 70), Portola, CA 832-4646