A girls' trip to New York City was more than a shopping spree for Kristine Hoskins of Georgetown. She appeared on The Chew's Chewer vs. Viewer contest and came home with a trophy.
"My sister requested tickets to be in the audience of The Chew during that visit. She then learned of the Chewer vs. Viewer contest with (host Clinton) Kelly and a breakfast dish," Hoskins said.
"Two of my top favorite shows are What Not to Wear and The Chew, both featuring Clinton Kelly. This cook off opportunity was the perfect fit," she said.
Hoskins was chosen as the "viewer" to cook her sweet potato spinach frittata and pit it against host Clinton Kelly's ham and egg biscuit on May 1.
Her sous chef was Mario Batali.
"As a member of a large Italian family that loves to cook and watch the Food Network, I could not have asked for a better partner than Mario Batali," Hoskins said.
The judges picked Hoskins' frittata to receive the Chewer vs. Viewer trophy. The recipe and video are at http://abc.tv/1qj9syc.
Brussels sprouts-kale hybrid set to hit market
This fall, when local produce is waning, there will be a new vegetable at the supermarket. The Daily Meal reports that it'll be called "kalettes," a hybrid between kale and Brussels sprouts.
It's been on the market since 2010 in the United Kingdom under the name FlowerSprouts and has popped up in California under the name lollipop kale, but this fall it will make a national rollout with a brand new name, according to a representative from Tozer Seeds, the company that invented it.
The new vegetable has a core similar to Brussels sprouts but kale-like leaves, and one can fit in the palm of your hand. They're quite versatile, and can be steamed, roasted, or eaten raw in salads. They cook up faster than Brussels sprouts because they're not so dense, and can be used the same way you would either kale or Brussels sprouts.
Primitive food on display at Founders' Day fest
McConnell Springs will celebrate its 20th annual Founders' Day and Colonial Crafts Festival on Saturday. Kristi Heasley and Tina Hagee will demonstrate primitive food preparation.
Heasley, who is a reenactor and living history demonstrator, will slow cook birds on a spit over an open fire using natural materials to construct the spit and a tripod for hanging a pot of stew.
"The early settlers ate what they could kill, grow or gather from the surrounding countryside, including fowl, small game, fish, greens, roots, nuts and berries. There was often little variety in a diet that consisted mainly of meat until there was time to grow a corn crop to provide meal for bread," she said.
Other presentations include woodcarvers, blacksmiths, weavers, and quilters. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Go to Mcconnellsprings.org.
Plenty of fresh asparagus to go around this spring
Most local crops are late this spring, but there's plenty of fresh asparagus to enjoy from Central Kentucky growers. Fred Knapp has been growing asparagus for decades and you can buy it freshly picked at Knapp's Asparagus, 2420 Vince Road.
Farmers markets also have fresh asparagus, and all locations for The Lexington Farmers Market are now open. The Wednesday evening market is open from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Stadium parking lot at the corner of University Drive and Alumni Drive.
The Tuesday and Thursday market is on the corner of West Maxwell Street and South Broadway; the Saturday market is at the
Fifth-Third Bank Pavilion in Cheapside Park. Hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hours for the Sunday market on Southland Drive are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Go to Lexingtonfarmersmarket.com.
Crock-Pot unveils its latest slow cooker
Slow cookers have made dinner time easier for everyone who likes home-cooked meals. A new model from Crock-Pot is the casserole crock that is perfect size for casseroles, lasagna, and desserts for taking to parties and potlucks.
The 9- by 13-inch stoneware is also oven-safe for use in conventional ovens. The shallow 3.5 quart slow cooker has manual settings for high, low and warm. Comments on the Crockpot.com website indicate that it needs a timer that would switch to warm after the recommended cooking time. The casserole slow cooker retails for $61.99, and is available at Sam's Club for $34.98.
Handy tips from issueof Cook's Country
The July issue of Cook's Country includes shortcuts that will make summertime food even tastier.
■ Ice cream saver: To prevent freezer burn on ice cream, place a piece of parchment paper flush on top of the ice cream before putting the lids back and returning them to the freezer.
■ Better char: Keep a spray bottle filled with cider on hand. Spraying grilling items with the sugary cider (away from the heat source) helps promote browning, plus it add some extra flavor.
■ Berry saver: To extend the life of blueberries and strawberries, wash them in a light white vinegar solution: 1 cup vinegar to 3 cups water. Dry them in a salad spinner and store them in a container with the lid slightly open to allow moisture to escape. The vinegar kills bacteria without imparting flavor.
■ Greener guacamole: Before storing the dip, pour an inch of water over the top. When you're ready to serve, just pour off the water. The guacamole is dense enough that it doesn't absorb the water.
Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.