Plan to Declare Nevada State Drink Goes Down Drain

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A plan to make a Basque cocktail the official state drink of Nevada has officially been canned.

Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick said Friday that the Assembly backed off the proposal, which was slapped onto another bill as a last-minute amendment. The idea got a frosty reception in the Senate earlier this week.

Assemblyman William Horne had backed the measure, saying the beverage popular among northern Nevada’s sizeable Basque population is the only one he knows of with a distinct Nevada tie.

The alcoholic drink includes grenadine, club soda, brandy, and Amer Picon – a bitter, orange-flavored aperitif – served over ice with a twist of lemon.

Bills to create new state emblems fared poorly this session. Lawmakers earlier buried a bill that would have made the Blue Weimaraner the state dog.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Say it With Food

I have the best father in the world. Not only does he take care of me, but he’s starting to enjoy cooking/baking with me.

Recently (while bringing me my forgotten cell phone charger), he whipped up this little spice cake for me and my co-workers. I had no idea. He beamed as he walked into my workplace, and told everyone, all 4 of us, that he created this.

“Wow!”

“Oh my God dad. You didn’t have to do this.”

“I know.”

“As my co-workers say dad ‘say it with food!'”

I later found out he woke up at 6:30am to start baking our scrumptious surprise. I couldn’t be more proud of him. It’s the thought that really counts on this one.

And my co-workers loved it! The cake was so nice and fluffy, oh my God, I would have eaten it all if I could have.

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In December, we both started this little snazzy creation, but he ended up finishing the whole thing for me instead.

I wanted to say thank you for all the goodies other people bring to work. I too can contribute to the fatness of the company, and not just take, take, take.

He was a hit. People took photos and posted them online. He even made a special wooden board to bring it on to work. He’s always taken enormous amounts of pride in his work!

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To give you an idea of how big it really is… oh yeah, we’re not screwin’ around! It’s seriously the size of a toddler.

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For years I’d look up on my parents’ wall and see this giant copper cookie cutter. But then my mother got sick…so I finally made the decision around last year’s holidays to finally bake one.

But I of course have to make this process even harder, like not allowing molasses in the recipe, because well, I don’t like the taste. So for two months I searched for that elusive recipe, then found it.

Next – how do we bake it? I consulted many fellow bakers/cookers as how to bake it – and in one piece. I finally decided we could cut him neckwise, and add a frosting scarf later. No one would know!

But that didn’t work out. While I was at work, he baked it, but broke it at the tip of the shoulder, leaving an awkward line to disguise. He baked another batch of gingerbread, from another recipe, just to cover the mistake.

When I came home to see what he’d done, he showed me he even attempted baking several 2’s – for the news station I work for. He wanted to put it on the man’s shoulder. I almost burst into tears over the show of affection.

He also told me that every five minutes he’d open the oven and turn the pieces so they could cook more evenly. He did that for 2 hours straight.

He’s always liked to surprise me with things like this. When I worked the morning show, he’d visit me and bring the entire crew McDonald’s apple pies. Because he wanted to.

I can’t believe my fortune, that I chose these two people to be my parents. I am so lucky.

I now look forward to coming home and seeing what he’s doing. We still even bake/cook together sometimes.

And that’s really the best gift I could ever have – quality time and wonderful memories.

USDA: Non-Approved Modified Wheat in Oregon Field

The Agriculture Department says a non-approved strain of genetically engineered wheat has been discovered in an Oregon field.

USDA officials said the wheat is the same strain as a genetically modified wheat that was tested by seed giant Monsanto a decade ago but never approved. Monsanto stopped testing that product in Oregon and several other states in 2005.

There is no genetically engineered wheat approved for U.S. farming, and the discovery is a potential threat to trade with other countries that have concerns about genetically modified foods. The United States exports about half of its wheat product.

The USDA said the genetically engineered wheat is safe to eat, but it is investigating how it ended up in the field. Officials would not comment on how it may have gotten there. (AP)

Website Wednesday: National Food Holidays

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Foodimentary is as the web name implies – elementary food thoughts. Below each item are a few fun facts and other interesting tidbits about the specific date. Think of it more as trivia for your next cocktail party. For instance I found this under May 25: ‘2007 Coca Cola created a 3,000 gallon, 15 foot high ice cream float with Vanilla Coke and ice cream, and set a new world record for the largest ice cream float. The float was certified as drinkable by health inspectors, but it was disposed of by a garbage company. Coke also held the previous record from 1998 with a 2,085 gallon float.’ Now, come on, tell the truth – who else will know this!

But the one I refer to most is The Nibble.

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First of all – what a great name! Meaning why didn’t I think of it?!

This site even gives product reviews. Which may be good for wedding gift registries, just a thought.

There are also videos loaded right onto the homepage. The day I looked at this site, it included information for frosting a cake.

And for those who truly need help, it contained sushi, pasta or beef glossaries. Thank God. I was getting confused about my sushi cut shoulder meats! A link takes you to even more glossaries, like holy crap! there’s a lot of glossaries, which is nice to see.

The site just gives off a fun vibe. Like the people behind the webpage really enjoy their job and want to share their knowledge with you.

Oh, and did I mention the free e-card section?!

Just in Time for Grilling Season….

While sifting through several handwritten recipes from my deceased mother, I came across a lined notecard, presumably from my (also) deceased grandmother, Kellene, of barbecue sauce.

She loved cooking, and I loved her chicken noodle soup the most. Simple, yet flavorful and equal in salt and vegetable taste. It was the only great thing about being sick!

But I never thought barbecue! Who knew?! What a great discovery – and extremely easy to make.

Barbecue Sauce

1/2 cup catsup (which also shows its age!)
1 bouillon cube dissolved in one cup hot water
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion juice
cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon mustard
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon parsley

Bring all ingredients to boil before pouring over meat.

Can’t get any simpler right?! I’m assuming it works for everything from beef to pork, and everything in between, since there were no linear notes indicating so.

There’s no date on the card, so I don’t know when this was written, but no matter – a surprise discovery makes for another great personal stepping stone.

On that same note, I stumbled across a recipe for ‘Potato Salad, Cold’ from the 1894 White House Cookbook. It was included in the updated 1996 version. I picked up the cookbook during the Association of Food Journalists conference in Washington, D.C. in September 2012.

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I’m including it here because once again – it can’t be simpler. And what barbecue would be complete without some lemonade and potato salad?

Potato Salad, Cold

Chop cold boiled potatoes fine, with enough raw onions to season nicely; make a dressing as for lettuce salad, and pour over it.

Even without exact amounts given, it still sounds great, and gives the cooker more control to decide how much they want/need, unlike the sauce recipe above. And as any cooking enthusiast can tell you, sometimes experimentation can be a gift in itself.

Brewers Team Up on Beer to Help Military Families

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Craft breweries from around the country are teaming up to raise money for military families by selling a beer aged on baseball bats.

The Hops for Heroes project began in 2011 as a collaboration between Center of the Universe Brewing Co. in suburban Richmond and Fremont Brewing Co. in Seattle.

This year, the list also includes breweries in Florida, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado and California.

Homefront IPA is being released in time for Memorial Day. It is brewed with orange peel and aged by soaking with unfinished Louisville Slugger maple bats.

Using the same recipe, the participating breweries will sell the beer in bottles and kegs in their areas.

All proceeds are being donated to local chapters of Operation Homefront. The national organization provides emergency financial assistance to military families.

Other adult beverage makers also support projects that benefit the military.

Several wineries a have created wines to support military groups like Operation Homefront.

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Bourbon bottler Jim Beam has partnered with Operation Homefront for the past five years to raise money and awareness through promotional events such as concerts. And whiskey company Wild Turkey has teamed up with The Boot Campaign, which supports veterans through the sale and promotion of combat boots. Its “Boots and Bourbon” initiative raises money and highlights returning veterans’ issues.

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Online:

http://www.hopsforheroes.com and http://www.operationhomefront.net

(The Associated Press)

Snapple Co-Founder Leonard Marsh Dies at 80

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Leonard Marsh — the co-founder of the Snapple beverage brand — has died at age 80.

Snapple was founded in New York as Unadulterated Food Products in 1972, selling natural fruit juices to health food stores. Marsh started the business with his brother-in-law Hyman Golden and his childhood friend Arnold Greenberg. The now well-known brand name didn’t appear until 1980.

Marsh was a window washer when he launched the business and ultimately served as Snapple’s CEO for many years.

Snapple’s popularity soared in the 1980s as consumers clamored for healthier beverage options. The Quaker Oats Co. bought Snapple in 1994 for $1.7 billion and Marsh stayed on for some time after the acquisition.

The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. of Plano, Texas, now owns Snapple and confirmed Marsh’s death. (The Associated Press)