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Sunday, March 1st, 2015
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Becky's Food Tales - A Taste of Changing Seasons


By Becky Hoff

Fri, Sep 13th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists



Leeks and carrots arrived in the CSA box today. These lovely vegetables were accompanied by equally lovely warm weather chili peppers and tomatoes, but leeks and carrots are... fall vegetables. Fall vegetables? Is it really that time of year already? Wanting to double check before sounding the alarm, I stepped outside to inspect my grape arbor. Sure enough, the grapes are starting to turn purple. It appears as though fall is on its way!

Once you start looking around, it really is hard to deny that the seasons are changing. Children everywhere are suffering through the first humid weeks of school, hostas are starting to look shabby, and the first few leaves have already fallen off of some traitorous trees. Though it is 84 degrees and humid as I write this, I know that cool nights, sweatshirts and end of the year garden chores are in the near future.

Happily, fall does have a lot to offer- I am looking forward to scenic drives filled with autumn color, eating locally grown apples, and warming the kitchen with baked treats on chilly fall mornings. Before you know it pumpkins and mums will be making colorful front porch displays, and a carpet of leaves will grace every yard. But the most obvious sign of fall will be the ribbons of toilet paper decorating the trees of certain yards throughout our communities- nothing says fall *quite* like homecoming ‘decorations’!

Yes, our summer pasta salads will soon give way to hearty stews, casseroles, and my favorite- baked acorn squash! Though I hate the idea of giving up the summer season, (Summer, I hardly knew you!) I will embrace the new season and hope that it hangs on for a good long while.

To get into the spirit of the autumn season, I am sharing a recipe for an applesauce spice cake. The warm flavor of cardamom really makes this cake, so don’t be afraid to use the full amount! I adapted this recipe from PBS Everyday Baking. The only thing I have changed in this recipe is the amount of sugar- I cut it from two cups to one cup and have found that no one misses that extra cup of sugar! For an extra flavor boost, you could try making this recipe with apple butter instead of applesauce.

This cake looks very pretty dusted with powdered sugar. It’s easy to do- no special tools are required! Just spoon a small amount of powdered sugar into a fine mesh strainer, and gently tap it while holding it over your cake.


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A View From The Woods - Why Garden?

By Loni Kemp

Fri, Sep 13th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Most mornings I grab a small bowl and walk out to the little ever-bearing strawberry patch I started last year. I make my way around the edges of the bed, plucking red berries that apparently like our hot and humid summer just fine. Pushing the co ..... 
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Yum-m-m - September 9, 2013

By Katie Van Sickle

Fri, Sep 6th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

This dessert recipe is over 30 years old, but a great one to fix ahead. I got it from my sister-in-law (I have five) while we were living in Bismark, North Dakota. The most I ever made at one time was eight. Our youngest son was a senior in high sc ..... 
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Becky's Food Tales - September 2, 2013

By Becky Hoff

Fri, Aug 30th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Tomato Season - A Tale of Irrational Gardening Tomatoes are easily my favorite thing to grow in the garden. Every year I have to try new heirloom varieties in my quest for ‘The Perfect Tomato.’ This year I have no less than 11 varieties plant ..... 
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The Working Mom - What’s Your Definition of Camping?

By Tammy Danielson

Fri, Aug 23rd, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

I will apologize up front for concentrating a column strictly to camping but, hey, who doesn’t love it? Now, when I say camping, that does not include a tent. It also avoids dewy air mattresses, your food along with grass and dirt floating in da ..... 
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Postcards from the Windy City - Doing Summer

By Abby Stocker

Fri, Aug 16th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Hi, Readers. Well, we’re reaching the point in the summer when even the most nonchalant among us will soon be forced to reckon with The Question: what have you done this summer? For some I know, this question doesn’t seem to cause much stre ..... 
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A little of this, A little of that.

By Kathy Little

Fri, Aug 16th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Uno, dos, etc. Yes, I did take Spanish in high school long before Taco Bell became a restaurant chain. Mrs. Worley, our Spanish teacher, wanted us to learn not only the language but also about the culture of Spain and Mexico. So we had a Spanish par ..... 
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Postcards from the Windy City - Art in the City

By Abby Stocker

Fri, Aug 9th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Dear Readers, This week, I found myself on the train once again, tumbling into downtown Chicago. Beautiful Saturday afternoon, plans in the city, what more could you want? Art. And people to share it with, of course. My trip downtown a few w ..... 
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Country Coffee Talk - August 12, 2013

By Jeanette Schmidt

Fri, Aug 9th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Don’t you just love the summer! There’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting on the porch in the morning with that first cup of coffee, ignoring what’s ahead for the day. How did that jingle go...“The best part of waking up...”? Did you kno ..... 
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