Archive | Recipes

Issue #34: Winter, 2014-15 – Books That Cook!

Cover 34The 34th edition of Edible Iowa is now online, with a focus on books about food, Iowa authors, even a seed catalog library.  James Beard Award winner Elissa Altman returns with memories of Iowa’s most famous gourmand, Richard Olney.  There’s a book about Iowa’s craft breweries, and then there’s a feature on one of them (how’s that for a segue?).

That cover comes from one of the seed catalogs in the extensive collection at Decorah’s Seed Savers Exchange.

Please don’t forget to visit any/all of our #eiFriends, because we couldn’t bring you all this goodness without them, and be sure to tell’em we sent you.  Also please share the issue widely – we love to share good food!

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Harvest, 2014

Cover 33Issue #33 of Iowa’s premiere source for local food is now online.  It includes your invitation to the first Public Hearth event, and the new trailer to our Public Television show Edible Feast.  Tune in!

In this issue:

Field to Family — Local food festival returns to Iowa City for its 13th year

Grist for the Mill

Sweet Harvest — Hand-picking sweet corn at Dan D Farms in Knoxville — by Robert Leonard

Building Connections — Eat Greater Des Moines boosts local food efforts — by Renee Bricks

Buy Iowa —Regional food co-ops take off in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines — by Cindy Hadish

Pierce’s Pumpkin Patch  by Robert Leonard

The Future of Food in Iowa — A Voter’s Guide

The Public Hearth — Sun-dried tomatoes — by Bob Saar

Prairie Gold — An essay on honey and marriage — by Chris Wiewiora

Edible Nation — Building the soil of a restorative economy: A conversation with Slow Money visionary Woody Tasch — by Bill Giebler

Edible Imbibables — Manchester’s Franklin Street Brewing — by Tim Rask & Jeff Allen

The Last Word — Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production – The Manifesto of Read More

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Sneak Peek: Winter 2013 – The Origins of Eggnog

eggnog Winter is here in earnest, and this always gets me thinking about the ultimate holiday beverage, eggnog. Now I’m not talking about the stuff you get in the carton from the convenience store, I mean honest-to- goodness homemade nog with plenty of fat and plenty of booze.

Now of course this writer does not condone getting all schnockered on eggnog. Moderation is even more the watchword here since the blend of spices, fat, sugar and booze will not only make you unable to drive if you over-indulge but also carry a whiz-banger of a hangover as penance. As with all booze, be responsible.

Of course a nog can be made without the booze, but then not only is it alcohol-free, it is also missing a certain depth of flavor that really makes it warm the heart around the holidays. So I say spike it hard but drink it sparingly.

But what really makes a nog a nog? The rum does. It is a fairly common misconception that eggnog is a tradition imported from Europe. While it’s true that in colonial times their were some popular egg-and-wine drinks that came from the old world, it was the Yankees who developed the … Read More

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cornThe Story

Wayne and Betty Paul started farming in Laurel, Iowa in 1959. A few years into their commercial farming operation, the Pauls turned their backs on chemicals. Paul’s Grains began raising organic cornmeal, oatmeal and whole wheat flour. Their product line expanded to include seven grain flour, barley, soy, rye and other all natural grains and wheat. Now the next generation of the Paul family — Steve and Theresa, along with their six children – have continued the tradition, and things are going strong. “We’re seeing more people as they get interested in knowing where their food comes from,” Theresa Paul said.

Growing and harvesting season is followed by baking season, and this cornbread recipe is the perfect way to keep warm and cozy during the cold winters. The Paul family warns that the only trick to this recipe is to stir the batter just enough to get it moist. Over-stirring can make the bread come out flat. Pauls’ cornmeal is openly-pollinated (not a hybrid) and studies have suggested that open pollinated corn is even more nutritious than pollinated corn.

The Recipe


1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. oil
1 c. milk
1/8 c. honey (optional)
1/3 c. whole

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The Story

After years of cooking in other people’s and other restaurants’ kitchens, Kristina Arnold developed a fondness for international flavors. The sights, the tastes and particularly the smells of herb and spice blends delighted her in everyway.

Arnold left restaurant scene and has her own shop at Cocina Del Mundo (Kitchens of the World) in North Liberty. The shop, filled with spice blends, soup mixes, dips and other culinary treasures, is a hidden – and fragrant — gem. Inspired by the cuisines of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, Arnold started making her own spice mixes perfect for the exploratory home cook. Most of the herbs Arnold uses are home grown, and many of the spices are sourced from Iowa’s own Frontier Natural Products Co-op, the world’s largest supplier of organic herbs and spices.

When winter sets in, Arnold likes to bring a touch of summer to her roast meats with window-grown thyme and summer-gathered lavender buds.

The Recipe


2 tablespoons lavender buds
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme leaves
1/4 of a lemon’s finely grated zest
4 Cornish hens
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon minced candied ginger … Read More

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onionThe Story

The word “locavore” may have just made the Oxford University Press “2007 Word of the Year”, but it is not a new concept to Iowans, as the staff at Urbandale’s Living History Farm ( would be proud to prove. Food heritage is a critical part of their historic interpretation at their re-created 1700 Ioway Village, 1850 Pioneer Farm and 1900 horse-powered farm.

This winter, the Living History Farm is offering special dinner events featuring historically accurate recipes from the late 19th century. The menu is driven by things grown and gathered during the summer months on the farm, and then cooked on wood-burning stoves by staffers who have spent the morning churning butter and grinding flour. The meals are literally just like Grandma used to make, if Grandma happened to live on a working Iowa farm when horsepower revolutionized Iowa’s agriculture industry. Either way, Grandma was certainly a locavore, even before Oxford University Press knew about it.

For more information about the dinners, visit the Living History Farm Web site at

The Recipe

4-5 whole, peeled onions
1 lb ground pork
4 c. dried breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. sage
2 beaten eggs … Read More

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keg of chocolateThe Story

While chocolate is certainly not local to Iowa, it pairs perfectly with locally made River City Port from West Branch’s Wallace Winery. Wallace Winery opened its doors in November, 2005 with the oak barrel aged River City Port on the shelves. Since then, it’s really become a signature bottle for the winery. But this is not just any Port. “I like to describe it as fresh, with undertones of cherry.” Says Melody Wallace, one of the co-owners of Wallace Winery. “And it’s not as sweet or syrupy as other ports”. In other words, Wallace Winery’s port is a local surprise – a local surprise that pairs perfectly with chocolate.

This particular chocolate biscotti was developed by the winery for the Iowa Wine Trail’s open house weekend earlier this month. Wallace Winery even suggests forgoing coffee or tea, and go straight to dipping the biscotti in port for a super holiday treat.

The Recipe


4 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt … Read More

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beetsThe Story

Beet borscht, one of my Grandmother’s signature dishes, came straight from her Russian roots into my father’s heart. He loved the stuff. So, when the weather got chilly, my Grandmother went into borscht overdrive. She always made the soup in her own kitchen, and always alone. The recipe seemed to be shrouded in secrecy. Even my father, who was a pretty good cook and a quick culinary study, couldn’t figure it out.

One day, my father finally sat his mother down to crack the borscht code. After some lengthy interpretation and negotiations, my father wrestled a recipe out of her, which was eventually handed down to me.

I’ve been toting around the recipe, with reverence, for about two decades. With Iowa’s beet bounty in hand, I finally mustered up enough courage to try it. Things didn’t go so well however. I had some problems reading the recipe off the scrappy paper, finding the right cut of meat, and getting the lima beans prepped. Nor am I not sure that my Grandmother wasn’t tricking my father when revealing the proportions. But the beets were fresh and flavorful, and brought my Russian heritage a little bit closer to my current … Read More

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