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Friday, April 18th, 2014
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Becky's Food Tales - Longer Days Require Quick Cooking


By Becky Hoff

Fri, Apr 11th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

The days are growing longer, and I am having no trouble at all filling up those extra daylight hours. Yard work, spring cleaning, part time jobs, taking walks, meetings, appointments, clubs and more! Gone are the endless and empty days of winter, and good riddance I say! Still, it has become clear that I need more quick and easy meal ideas. A meal of grilled cheese and tomato soup is great, but only the first few times you serve it. After that, you need to dig out the cookbooks, fire up the search engine and consider your options.

The crock pot is always your friend when it comes to quick meals. A few minutes prep time in the morning and you will reap the reward of a tender roast, a stewed chicken or a satisfying batch of chili for dinner. Yet these all sound like cold weather meals, and it is SPRING! Let’s leave the crock pot in the cupboard and clean off the outdoor grill, shall we?

Boneless skinless chicken breasts are a great choice for grilling. They’re lean, tasty and convenient! But, they do have a tendency to dry out when grilled, and they can stick to the grill if you’re not careful. A quick brine, and oiling the grill grates will take care of these problems for us. I suggest grilling up several chicken breasts at one time and using the leftover chicken to fix quick salads, pasta dishes and sandwiches throughout the week.



Basic Quick Brine

for Chicken Breasts

(This makes enough for four decent sized boneless skinless chicken breasts.)

2 quarts water

¼ cup kosher salt (use half that amount if using standard table salt)

¼ cup sugar

Mix brine ingredients, taking care to dissolve salt and sugar.

If you would like to have your chicken cook evenly, it is best to pound your chicken breasts to a uniform thickness before putting them in the brine solution. Pound them to about 3/4 inch in thickness. When I do this, I stick them in a plastic bag and give them a good whack with a heavy bottomed skillet. If you are having a bad day, this is exceptionally satisfying.

Add your chicken breasts to the brine and soak them for 30 minutes. You can use this time to fix some side dishes, such as a salad or sautéed vegetables. Oil that grill, and be sure to have it good and hot when the brine time is up. Remove the chicken from the brine, give it a quick rinse, and pat dry. Grill chicken over direct a .....
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The Working Mom: The never-ending winter

By Tammy Danielson

Fri, Apr 4th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Oh Mother Nature…Give us Minnesotans a break, please! We have shoveled, plowed, and scraped long enough and it is time to let spring take center stage---we are tired of Old Man Winter hogging the spotlight. Have any of you put your winter boots a ..... 
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Cheesy Mushroom Casserole

By Kathy Little

Fri, Mar 28th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

“Never say never” is a saying I should always remember. When I forget this saying, I look like a liar or a fool. For instance, as a teen-ager I hated the message “kissing don’t last; cooking do” that was immortalized on a plaque in my gra ..... 
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Crustless Asparagus Quiche

By Jeanette Schmidt

Fri, Mar 21st, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

When I started to write this, it was a beautiful day at the end of February…one of the few above zero with no wind or snow!! I decided to dust off my X-country skis and try out the snowmobile trail in the ditch, made especially for me. As I’m ..... 
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Let’s call it spring

By Loni Kemp

Fri, Mar 14th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

As the Winter That Drove us Nuts began to wind down, I found myself ecstatic at the first March day to attain 40 degrees. I put on my gardening overalls and a sweatshirt, with no jacket or hat, just to get in the mood. I was about to uncover a bi ..... 
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Bubble and Squeak

By Judy Thomas

Fri, Mar 7th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

“St. Patrick’s Day”. It’s the day one and all claim to have a touch of the IRISH so they can celebrate with the shamrocks and the music of the harps, parades, dances, parties, singing the Irish ditties, stories and, of course, the “drinkin ..... 
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The grand exodus

By Sue Ommen

Fri, Mar 7th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

It is winter in Minnesota and the grand exodus has begun. Temperatures have been frigid, freezing our spirits and tempers. We should be used to our northern clime by now, but after balmy summer breezes and breathless fall landscapes, we fool ourselv ..... 
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Waiting for Something to Happen

By Becky Hoff

Fri, Feb 28th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

This is the time of year in which we are all waiting for something to happen. That ‘something’ is of course, spring. We’re all eagerly awaiting signs that the arctic landscape has not become a permanent fixture in our lives. Here is what I ..... 
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Bacon Rice Bake

By Kathy Little

Fri, Feb 14th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Move over Arnold S., “The Baconator” has replaced “The Terminator” in American pop culture! The pulse of the nation is on bacon, and it’s not just for breakfast anymore. Bacon frying is one of my favorite smells.....right up there with b ..... 
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