**Giveaway closed as of 8:00 p.m., May 25, 2011**
You guys. I need a break. I spent a good portion of the day yesterday scraping bumble bee stickers off a bedroom window with my old library card. Bumble bee stickers. As if I needed another reason to dislike bees. Stingy and sticky. We’re not currently not on speaking terms.
How about you? Could you use a break? A pick-me-up? Maybe of the cool, refreshing, sweet/tart variety? Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Ahhh. Yes. The sound of tinkling ice cubes is like music after a long hard day. Is it blazing hot where you are? Then get out of here, I’m mad at you. Please take our cold, clouds and rain with you.
I’m kidding. You can totally stay. If you stick around, we can relax in a couple of virtual rocking chairs, have a cool glass of refreshing, rosy lemonade and I’ll tell you all about a fabulous GIVEAWAY coming at ya right now!
My little corner of the internet turns three on Saturday. Awww. My baby is growing up. I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. We’ve been through a lot together and I’m so grateful for all of you, especially while I was on hiatus there trying to move. Twice. So, just to say hey, thanks for playing, I’m offering you a chance to get your hands on a pretty cool cookbook.
A couple months ago, I got an email from a rep from Andrews McMeel Publishing asking if I’d like a preview copy of a new book called Heartland: The Cookbook by Judith Fertig to mention here on the blog.
Would I? HECK YES, I would. I jumped all over this one like white on rice. First, I was so humbled and honored that someone took the time to read my blog, learn a bit about me and offer me a product that totally fits with what I’m all about. How refreshing! I’m a Heartland girl born and raised and it’s no secret how much I love Midwest. I was excited to get my hands on a book featuring food and stories from my little slice of the country. And second, I got an additional copy just for YOU!
Oh my goodness, friends. This is a beautiful book. You don’t have to be in the Midwest to appreciate the wonderful fresh ideas, gorgeous photos and nostalgic stories. Judith is clearly passionate about Midwest, it’s people and it’s food history and tradition. It’s wonderfully written and full of Heartland goodies. I will say a few of the recipes contain ingredients that even I, smack dab in the middle of the middle west, may have a hard time locating, but they are easily substituted for something more readily available. For example, I’m not sure where one would procure pheasant (less one shoots it themselves) but the recipe could easily be made with chicken, as noted.
This book is full of delightful pantry basics like jams and sauces; hearty, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast fare; versatile bread recipes that can be made into loaves, rolls, coffee cakes, pizza crusts and more; soups, salads and main dishes brimming with the best of the Heartland harvest; and mouthwatering desserts that are perfect for sharing. In addition, it’s packed with resources on where to find the best of the best in ingredients, food and experiences right here in the Midwest!
I jumped right in by trying the Porch Swing Lemonade (recipe follows), and the Sunflower Cookie Brittle (coming soon!) and both were wonderful. I’m officially in love with this book. If you live in and love the Midwest like I do, if you’re a former resident transplanted elsewhere and looking for a little taste of home, or if you’re just curious about the people, food and culture of this (highly underrated, in my humble opinion) part of the country, please consider checking out this book!
Here’s how to enter:
Leave me a comment telling me about a favorite food or food tradition from your city or state (even if you’re not in
You have until 8:00 p.m. central time, Wednesday, May 25 to leave your comment and I’ll use random.org to pick a winner! Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (my apologies to international readers). Sorry, family…you’re not eligible either.
Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by Andrews McMeel Publishing – they provided me with two copies of Heartland: The Cookbook by Judith Fertig. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU for reading and GOOD LUCK!
Now, the lemonade. As a rule, I’m not a big fruit juice person, but if there is one thing I absolutely cannot resist, it’s fresh-squeezed lemonade, especially when it leans toward tart. It’s so refreshing. When I spotted this recipe featuring fresh lemonade kicked up a notch with a syrup made from an early spring Midwest favorite – Rhubarb – I knew I would love it.
And I did! Rhubarb, sugar and water cook down into a thick, perfectly pink syrup and from there it’s mixed with lemon juice and water and garnished with a bit of fresh rosemary. The result is an all-natural, rosy-cheeked lemonade with subtle rhubarb and floral notes. Depending how sweet you like it, you can add additional sugar to the finished product. I found that just the addition of the rhubarb syrup made it plenty sweet for my taste (and I actually decreased the sugar a bit when making the syrup) but remember I’m all about tart so adjust accordingly to your taste.
Like I said, I need a break. If you do too, whip up a batch of this, grab a good book or a good friend and hit the porch. Stay there all afternoon. You’ll be relaxed, refreshed and recharged in no time.
PORCH SWING LEMONADE (Recipe adapted from: Heartland: The Cookbook by Judith Fertig, pages 34 & 127)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 7 large lemons)
- 1 1/2 cups Rosy Rhubarb Syrup (recipe follows), Fresh Herb Syrup, or Blackberry-Lavender Syrup (you’ll just have to win the book to get these recipes which sound DIVINE, by the way!)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Sugar, for sweetening (if desired)
- Fresh lemon slices for garnish
- Sprigs of fresh rosemary, for garnish
In a large pitcher, stir together the lemon juice, syrup, water and sugar, if using. Add lemon slices and rosemary. Taste, and add more sugar if necessary. Serve cold and poured over ice.
ROSY RHUBARB SYRUP:
- 4 cups chopped rhubarb, fresh or thawed frozen
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups sugar (I used only about 1-1/4 cups)
- Juice of two lemons (because I used less sugar, I used only the juice of one lemon)
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the rhubarb and water to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer the rhubarb until tender and pulpy (it will basically fall apart), about 10 minutes.
Strain out the pulp over a bowl, reserving the juice. Measure the juice and add enough water to equal two cups. Return the liquid to the saucepan and stir in sugar. Bring to a boil once more and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Allow syrup to cool (it thickens as it cools). Strain the syrup again, and pour into an airtight container or bottle. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Ready, set, ENTER! Good luck everybody!