The greatest display of democracy in action in the history of the world used to be the election of the president of the United States. Every four years, the population of the country as a whole gets together to cast a vote to determine who will lead it.
That is still important, I guess. But now, the spotlight of democracy has found a new object to illuminate and to draw our attention: The Pillsbury Bake-Off finalists are now chosen by popular vote.
The category that is currently being determined is the all-important Simple Sweets and Starters. Sixty semifinalists from 30 states are vying to be deemed to have the best recipe and thus to win, as the folks at Pillsbury put it, “$1 million in dough.”
The category covers bite-sized treats, appetizers, and small desserts (the other two categories are Amazing Doable Dinners and Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts). All submissions must have seven ingredients or fewer (one just has four) and they can take no longer than 30 minutes to prepare.
The contestants in this category range in age from 32-82, and only five of the 60 semifinalists are men. The competition is particularly tough — 24 of them have been finalists in previous bake-offs.
To vote for your favorite recipe, go to www.BakeOff.com and exercise your right to vote. But you’ll have to act fast — the deadline for voting in this category is Thursday. Meanwhile, if you want to try your luck at winning the 1 million large, you can submit a recipe in the category of Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts from July 4-Aug. 8, at the same Web site.
Just because it’s summer, that doesn’t mean the Terrace View Café at Owens Community College is shut down for the season. Its Tuesday-only lunches will be available beginning this Tuesday and running every week through July 25.
Ah, but there is one difference, proving that in life there is always change. The change in this case is specifically 50 cents, which is how much more the lunches are now going to cost. The price jumps this summer to $9.50 — still a good deal.
The increased cost of food nationwide is being cited for the increase, but there is also this (which we had not considered): disposable takeout ware is also going up in price.
These summertime meals are take-out only. Tables will be available in the dining room and on the patio, but there will be no table service (in the Culinary Arts world, that means “waiters”).
Each meal comes with an appetizer, a main course, a dessert, and a specialty drink (regular drink service will not be available). All the food is prepared by students in the Techniques of Healthy Cooking course, so you can expect the food to be good for you.
The summer’s menus are:
Tuesday — Seared Atlantic salmon with corn, potato, and arugula salad, served with an appetizer of chilled gazpacho with garlic crostini and a dessert of a chocolate-ricotta Bavarian (it’s a pastry) with fresh strawberries. The drink will be a raspberry lime rickey (sparkling water with raspberry puree and lime juice).
July 2 — Curried chicken with mint-scented couscous and tomato-peanut chutney, with an appetizer of Tunisian chickpea salad with spicy harissa vinaigrette and a dessert of a lemon tart with a dark chocolate meringue cookie. The drink will be a cucumber mint agua fresca.
July 9 — Medallions of pork with sherry vinegar and brown sugar accompanied by beans and greens sauté, with an appetizer of kale, cashew, and cranberry salad with balsamic reduction and carrot cake with cream cheese icing for dessert. The American Cocktail will be the specialty drink; it is white grape juice with lime and sparkling water.
July 16 — It’s Asian day, with an entree of grilled garlic shrimp and radish salad paired with soba noodles and a peanut-tahini vinaigrette, preceded by an Asian-style consommé with chicken won tons, and a dessert of green tea and ginger ice cream with an almond cookie. The beverage will be orange-infused iced tea.
July 23 — Summer lunch service ends with a smoked chicken with red lentil salad with golden beets, a fruit salad appetizer with orange blossom syrup, and a honey vanilla cheesecake with candied walnuts. The drink will be an orange-pomegranate cooler.
The meals will be available to be picked up from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. only, and reservations must be made at least one week in advance.
For reservations or information, call 567-661-7359.
You’ve heard of farm-to-table dinners, right? That’s where the food, particularly at a restaurant, all comes from a specific farm or farms.
The Happy Badger restaurant in Bowling Green is taking that idea and improving on it. On July 12 at 6 p.m., they will be holding a farm-to-table-to-farm dinner. That is a dinner that is being held on the farm where much of the produce was grown.
The farm is Schooner Farms in Weston. It will be a six-course meal, and the food, as you can imagine, is ambitious. The fifth-course entree is a chilled, butter-poached salmon with honey, chili, and a citrus glaze. And the rest of the meal looks just as enticing.
First course: smoked trout with fennel, cilantro, and cherry tomatoes. Second course: gazpacho made with strawberries, blackberries, and sweet basil. Third course: wood-oven bruschetta with fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh herbs.
Fourth course: fire-grilled sweet potatoes, eggplant, sweet onion, blackened black-eyed peas, and spicy mango chutney. And dessert will be fresh berries on shortbread with chilled lavender whipped cream.
Along with the food will be a bonfire, berry picking, live music, and farm tours. But if you want wine, you’ll have to bring it yourself.
The cost is $50, and seating is limited. Reservations are required at 419-352-0706 or HappyBadgerCafe@gmail.com.
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