Northwest NEWS

June 25, 2001

Home & Garden

Dining In

Fourth of July
   Flag Cake
   1/2 c. canola oil
   1-1/2 c. granulated sugar
   4 eggs
   2 tsp. vanilla extract
   2 c. mashed ripe bananas (about 6)
   4 c. all-purpose flour
   4 tsp. baking powder
   1 tsp. baking soda
   1 c. non-fat buttermilk
   3 c. confectioners' sugar
   1/4 c. plain, non-fat yogurt
   1-2 tsp. non-fat milk (approximately)
   1 qt. (approximately) hulled strawberries, cut in half-lengthwise (enough to decorate cake)
   1 pt. (approximately) fresh blueberries (enough to decorate cake)
   Coat 13 x 9-inch cake pan with canola oil spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
   In bowl, beat oil with granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract and bananas.
   Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. With electric mixer, add and beat in dry ingredients to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk as follows: 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 c. buttermilk, 1/3 flour mixture, remaining 1/2 c. buttermilk and remaining 1/3 flour mixture. Beat well after each addition. Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
   Bake about 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake's center comes out clean. Let cake cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on rack.
   To make icing, mix together confectioners' sugar and yogurt until smooth. Slowly beat in just enough milk to thin, a little at a time, to make icing thin enough to spread. Use to ice cake.
   With berries, make flag design on top of cake. Place blueberries side by side in upper left corner to creat 4 x 5 inch rectangle. For red stripes, arrange strawberry halves end to end in rows, with pointed ends facing the right side of the cake.
   Makes 24 servings.
  
   Red, White and Blueberry Cookie 'Shortcakes'
   Cookies:
   3/4 lb. (3 sticks) butter, softened (no substitutes)
   3/4 c. powdered sugar
   1 tsp. vanilla
   3 c. all-purpose flour
   1/2 tsp. salt
   Additional powdered sugar for rolling dough
   Fruit Toppings:
   2 c. blueberries divided
   1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
   1 c. red raspberries
   8 scoops (4 c.) vanilla or French vanilla ice cream
   For cookies, heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter with electric mixer in large bowl until creamy, about 5 minutes.
   Gradually add sugar and beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt. Add flour: mix until no streaks of flour remain (do not overmix: dough will be soft).
   On well sugared surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with 4-inch round cookies cutter into 12 rounds. (It will be necessary to gently combine dough scraps and re-roll. If dough becomes too soft, cover and refrigerate until firm enough to roll.) Cut 4 rounds in half. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
   Bake cookies 13 to 15 minutes, until somewhat firm but still pale in color. (Do not overbake.) Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack with wide spatula. Cool completely; store tightly covered at room temperature up to 3 days. To freeze, put cookies in airtight container, separating layers with waxed paper. For fruit toppings mash 1/2 c. blueberries with fork in medium bowl; stir in granulated sugar. Gently stir in raspberries and remaining blueberries. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
   To assemble each dessert, place a whole cookie on dessert plate.
   Place 2 small scoops ice cream on cookies; arrange cookie half between ice cream scoops. Spoon fruit topping over ice cream. Serve immediately.
   Makes 8 servings.
  
   Flag Waving Peanut Butter Cookies
   1/2 c. butter, softened
   1 c. creamy peanut butter
   1/2 c. granulated sugar
   1/2 c. brown sugar packed
   1/2 tsp. vanilla
   1 egg
   1-1/2 c. all-purpose floour
   3/4 tsp. baking soda
   1/2 tsp. baking powder
   1/4 tsp. salt
   Combine first six ingredients. Beat unitl light and fluffy. Stir the dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture. Blend thoroughly. Shape into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Flatter with a fork tines. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
   Makes 4 dozen.
  
   Classic Bacon Cheeseburger
   6 slcies bacon
   2 lbs. ground chuck (80% lean)
   Kosher salt
   Freshly ground black pepper
   6 thin slices extra sharp Cheddar cheese
   6 hamburger buns
   6 slices ripe tomato
   Ketchup (optional)
   Mustard (optional)
   In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the bacon and set aside on paper towels to drain. Remove the pan from the heat.
   Gently shape the ground chuck into six burgers of eual size and thickness (about 3/4 inch thick). Season both sides of the burgers with salt and pepper.
   grill over Direct Medium heat until the internal temperture reaches 160 for medium 8 to 10 minutes, turning halfway through grilling time. Top each burger with a slice of the cheese during the last minute or two of grilling time and allow the cheese to melt. During the last 30 seconds, grill the buns over Direct Medium heat until lightly toasted.
   Serve the cheeseburgers hot on the toasted buns with a lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato, topped with a slice of bacon. Serve with ketchup and mustard on the side, if desired.
   Makes 6 servings.
  
   Best Ever Onion Rings
   3 large onions (about 9 to 11 oz. each, peeled and trimmed
   1 c. flour
   1 tsp. paprika
   3/4 tsp. salt
   1/4 tsp. pepper
   1 c. non-alcoholix or regular beer
   Vegetable oil
   Cut onions crosswise into 1/2 inch slices; pell apart into rings. (Refrigerate broken or end pieces for other uses.) Mix flour, paprika, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add beer, stirring with wire whip until foam is gone.
   Toss onion rings with batter and transfer to plate, letting excess drip off as you transfer. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in large skillet (11 or 12 inch) over medium high heat. Place about half the onion rings in single layer in heated skillet and cook until browned, turning once, about 1-1/2 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining onions. Transfer to ungreased shallow baking pans or cookies sheets, arranging in single layer. Bake at 425 degrees for 6 minutes or until crisp.
   Makes 6 servings.