Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Once again, Market Street Fish Markets will 

have whole cooked and live Maine lobsters 

for $11.99 each, for Labor Day feasting.

The sale runs from  Thursday-Sunday, 

Sept. 1 – 4, 10 am. to 9 p.m. 

The University 

location is open on Monday, Labor Day, but 

the other locations will be closed.

Orders must be place in advance at:

Cottonwood: 2985 East 6580 South  (801) 942-8860

South Jordan: 10702 South River Front Parkway  (801) 302-2262

University: 260 South 1300 East  (801) 583-8808

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Borscht served at Hotel Utah 100th Year Anniversary Gala.

 In June, I wrote about the Hotel Utah's 100th anniversary. During my 10 years as the Deseret News food editor, several people asked for the recipe for the old Hotel Utah's borscht. But I was never successful in getting one.
When the soup was served at the anniversary dinner, I thought I might have some luck getting the recipe this time.
Neil Wilkinson and Don Sanchez of Temple Square Hospitality emailed the recipe to me. Chef Sanchez noted that for the gala, he made some changes to the legendary Chef Girard's original recipe.
"We used chicken stock in stead of the beef stock and we pureed the beets instead of just using the juice from the cooking process. Also instead of adding the sour cream we used it as part of the garnish because I didn't like the color when we added the sour cream."
So, here's the original recipe, and you can feel free to switch it up as Sanchez did.

4 cups beet juice
31/2 cups chicken or beef broth plus 1/2 cup
Juice of 1 lemon
Sugar to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
1 or 2 egg yolks
Sour cream
Chopped parsley
Hard-cooked eggs, diced
Lemon wedges
Bring beet juice and 31/2 cups broth to boil. Stir in the lemon juice, sugar and salt. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup broth and cornstarch until smooth. Stir into soup. Cook and stir until thickened.
Combine sour cream and egg yolks. Gradually stir 1 cup of the hot beet juice mixture into egg mixture. Then, stirring constantly, slowly add warmed eggs back to hot liquid. Heat without boiling. Strain.
Serve hot or cold.
Garnish with sour cream, parsley and eggs. Serve with lemon wedges.
Makes 8 servings.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Grandma Doris Bracken Sagers  with siblings growing up in Ophir.

I spent today visiting Ophir, Utah at the Aaron Watson Bracken reunion. It was interesting to reconnect with a lot of relatives that I don't see very often, and meet some that I didn't know.  Interesting that a lot of them have ended up in Texas.  I think there were probably as many people there from Texas as there were from Utah.  I really appreciated seeing some of these old photos from the albums of my Aunt Jessie Johnson and cousin Carol Cluff.

History buff John Skinner shared with us a lot of stories from Ophir's boom town days, when the mines there were producing thousands of dollars' worth of silver. And yes, our ancestors were part of that era. 
When I was a kid, I remembered  hearing that Ophir was a "ghost town," and that sounded pretty scary to me!  I don't remember ever going there, although I probably did as a kid. 
Awhile back, the city (permanent population:16)  erected a site with the old historic buildings, school house, Post Office, etc., to show what life what like back then. I loved seeing John's collection of old bottles that he's found over the years.  Some are whiskey or beer bottles; others once held tonics and "home remedies." An interesting day!
Uncle Orson Johnson and LaVerle Bracken on the tour.

My dad, Jay Sagers, probably in the 1930s. 

Not sure if any of our ancestors used this drunk tank!

Part of the historic site.

Some of the buildings were original; I think the double outhouse is a replica!

Cousins taking the tour.

Beautiful mountains that were once full of silver...and maybe still are.
Photo of my Grandma Doris Bracken Sagers.

John Skinner's old bottle collection.

How would it be cooking on that wood-burning stove?

Ophir's town hall.

Friday, August 26, 2011


It's TOO HOT for kids to be in school! What were school officials thinking when they decided to start the year a full two weeks before Labor Day???

Maybe if they had to sit in a hot classroom instead of an air-conditioned office, they might have a clue.  Also, cutting the summer wreaks havoc on businesses such as Lagoon and Cherry Hill who rely on high school kids for their workforce, and on grade school kids as customers. There went two weeks of revenue in a season already shortened by rain during most of June.

But, apparently nobody cares what I think. 

So, when the kids get home from school, let them enjoy these ice pops made with lots of good-for-your fruit.  These are so easy that kids can make them on their own, too.  My granddaughter Jayden enjoyed one of them while hanging out at her Grandma Angie's swimming pool -- but she couldn't lick quite as fast the fruit-sicle melted.


16-ounce package frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup strawberry jam
Mix together in a blender until smooth. 
Pour into plastic ice-pop molds, or into 5-ounce paper or plastic cups. If using cups, freeze for about 2 hours,  then place a plastic spoon in the middle of the cup so that it stands upright. Continue freezing until pops are completely firm. 

To serve, dip the outside of the container in hot water, or allow to sit on the counter for  5-10 minutes. Carefully squeeze at the bottom of the cup and pull slightly with the spoon until the ice pop comes out.  
Makes about 6 pops, depending on how full the they are poured.
FOR PINEAPPLE-PEACH POPS: Use 1 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple in pineapple juice and 1/2 cup peach jam.
FOR BLUEBERRY-GRAPE POPS: Use 1 16-ounce package frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup grape jelly (if you use a full cup, the pops will be very sweet). 
FOR MULTI-POPS, pour  2 to 3 tablespoons of one fruit flavor into the cup. Freeze 1 hour, and stick the plastic spoon into the cup, then add 2-3 tablespoons of another flavor. Freeze one more hour and add 2-3 tablespoons of final flavor. Freeze until solid. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Strawberry shortcake at The Farm Restaurant at Canyons Resort

Last week I was invited to visit Canyons Resort's  restaurant, The Farm. Opened in February, the name says all — the goal is to use seasonal ingredients sourced from growers and artisans within 200 miles of Park City. Chef Steven Musolf said that he’s able to use about 85 percent local ingredients during spring and summer. 

Of course, come winter, it's a much bigger challenge.  Some growers and chefs who are into the "farm-to-table" trend use greenhouses to stretch Utah's growing season.  

The culinary world is moving back to the concept of “knowing where your food comes from.”  Farmers are gaining name-brand recognition, with menus  proudly listing items like Morgan Valley lamb, Pleasant Creek Ranch beef, Colosimo sausage, or Beehive cheddar cheese, which all come from right here in Utah.  I think it's a good trend for both farmers and diners. 

The Farm’s produce comes local growers such as Zoe’s Garden, High Star Farm, Tagge’s Farm and Copper Moose Farm, as well as what Musolf finds at the farmers market held at the Canyons’ lower parking lot on Wednesdays. 

Mac and Cheese
During lunch you can find a a vegetable soup brimming with corn, carrots, and zucchini.  You’ll also find an “oxtail” onion soup, which speaks to Musolf’s willingness to use the entire beef — including its tail -- rather than just the choice steaks. 

The comfort classic Mac and Cheese gets a new twist with Gold Creek white cheddar cheese (produced in Woodland, Utah) and nU Nooz Artisan Pasta(specially made by chef Kyle Lore so that sauces cling to its ridges). Yes, when you are eating "farm to table," every menu item could tell its own story. Or two.

Musolf came from Charleston, S.C. He noted that although the South has a much longer growing season, “I am finding more producers here who are into the farm to table movement.” 

Cherry cobbler with ice cream.
The menu changes with what’s ripe and in season.  Every two weeks there’s a “featured ingredient” from the farmer’s market on the menu — currently it’s Tagge's Farm Summer Corn Soup with Marjoram Froth. 

A few weeks ago, it was this rich cherry cobbler studded with plump, juicy Tagge’s cherries (Tagge’s is part of Box Elder County’s “Fruitway”.)  
Unfortunately, brand names and cared-for ingredients cost more than generics. Dinner entrees range from $18 for Summer Corn Risotto to $32 for Truffle and Onion Crusted Beef Tenderloin. 

During lunch, soups are $8, lunch sandwiches $12-13. A generous helping of Mac and Cheese is $11, or $18 with Colosimo Smoked Sausage. 

Burger Trio: lamb, beef and turkey sliders.

A “sliders” trio features three cute little mini-burgers — one made with lamb, one with beef, and one with turkey, for $15. 

Well, OK.  If we can’t afford to be a regular diner at The Farm, we can at least cook like The Farm. Musolf posts his "featured ingredient" recipes on the restaurant's Facebook page on the restaurant’s Facebook page (The Farm Restaurant at Canyons Resort). 


Shepherd’s Dairy in Tooele won three awards at this year’s annual American Cheese Society competition among artisan cheesemakers.
The company entered six cheeses. It won second place for its plain feta in the category of feta made from goat’s milk. Its Bravo Heights Whisper cheese won third place in the open cold pack category, and its Funshine Hickory Garlic took second place in one of the flavored cheese categories. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Last week Costa Vida's corporate chef, Dave Prows, gave 13 local food bloggers the run of his kitchen. Guests were able to create their own unique entrées (salad, burrito, tacos) choosing from Costa Vida ingredients. Chef Dave judged each of the meals according to taste and presentation. Four winners were announced, and each of them walked away with $10 in Costa Bucks. 
Chef Dave Prows
The Costa Vida team has a photo gallery of the evening with the guests and their creations at #TACosta - Cooking With Chef Dave http://on.fb.me/qvxnDg


Sweet Tomatoes restaurants are kicking off another Passport Promotion, this time featuring   Cuban delicacies. 
Through Aug. 19, Passport to Cuba will offer items such as Havana Banana Tossed Salad and Cubano Focaccia, a take on the classic Cuban sandwich. It  incorporates citrus-marinated pork, diced ham, shredded Swiss cheese and chopped deli pickles. 
Sweet Tomatoes provided me with a  recipe of the Havana Banana Tossed Salad: 

8 cups romaine lettuce
1/2 cup chopped red cabbage
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup julienned red bell pepper
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup frozen corn, thawed
6 tablespoons cilantro
1/2 cup Havana Banana Dressing (recipe below)
 1/3 cup banana chips                                                                                    

·         Place romaine, red cabbage, red bell pepper, black beans, corn, and cilantro into mixing bowl. Gently toss together to combine all ingredients.
·         Add dressing, and toss all ingredients gently together until evenly coated with dressing.
·         Add banana chips, and toss briefly to distribute. 


1 1/2 cups seasoned rice vinegar                                                                       
1 cup orange marmalade                                                                           
6 tablespoons water                                                                                              
2 tablespoons honey                          
1 tablespoon paprika                                                                                                
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard                                
5 teaspoons green pepper sauce – Tabasco brand                                              
1 1/2 cups canola oil                                                                                           

·         Combine the seasoned rice vinegar, orange marmalade, water, honey, paprika, Dijon mustard, and green pepper sauce.  Blend until completely combined.
·         Slowly add the canola oil, while blending, until dressing is emulsified.  Do not over mix or dressing will become too thick. Makes 4 cups.


The moral (or morel) of today's column is that mushroom hunting can be risky business, from what I heard while attending “Gathering Wild Mushrooms,” a University of Utah Lifelong Learning class. 
First of all, you could wander off and get lost in the woods, as did a student from last year’s class outing in the Uinta Mountains.  Instructor Tatyana Golub said that although the student was found unharmed, it underscores the point that you shouldn’t go  foraging for mushrooms alone, and you should take a whistle, compass and plenty of water with you. 
Secondly, you’re poking around in leaves and under trees, etc. where snakes tend to roam. “Oh, yes, there are snakes everywhere up there,” she said when I asked about that. 
And then, there’s the chance that what you think are chanterelles or porcinis are actually one of the poisonous varieties. The white "Destroying Angel" might be mistaken for a white puffball, for instance. 
But if you’re adventurous and learn how to identify the safe from the scary ones, the flavorful payoff is pretty great.  Golub pointed out that   in California farmers markets, wild mushrooms are selling for $18-$24 per pound.  These flavorful fungus add an earthy taste and meaty texture to soups, sauces, and are wonderful eaten on their own, either marinated or sauteed. 
There seem to be plenty of people intrigued with the idea, as the class was completely filled, with a waiting list. 
Mushrooms are the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The main body of the fungus lives under the ground, said Golub.
Like all fungi, mushrooms are not plants and do not undergo photosynthesis. Most mushrooms that are sold in grocery stores, such as white button mushrooms, crimini, portobello, shiitake and oyster have been commercially grown on mushroom farms in controlled, sterilized environments.   
Golub who grew up in Russia, has been picking wild mushrooms for as long as she can remember, “Because in Russia this is what people do for fun and to get food supplies. Mushroom hunting is like a treasure hunt for the whole family. By every bus stop in Russia, you will see grandmothers selling mushrooms by the roadside.”
Her know-how was passed down from her grandparents, and she in turn has passed it on to her son, who helped teach the class last year.  
It’s true, though, that one wrong mushroom can be deadly. “I have lived so far, so I guess I’m making the right choices,” she said. 
Every year, Golub's does a classroom presentation about mushrooms, what to look for and what to avoid, and where and when to find them.  The second part of the class is a field trip to the Uintas, where the group forages for mushrooms together.  
Since mushrooms like heat and moisture, with this combination there’s not a long season in the Utah mountains. Golub advised that if it rains, wait a couple of days and then hunt for mushrooms.
She advised novices to start out looking for oyster mushrooms, because they don’t have any poisonous look-alikes in the U.S. They grow on dead wood, and are shaped like an oyster.  Porcini mushrooms are also fairly safe, because the poisonous look-alike, called “devil’s boletus,” is easy to identify because of its red stem and red pores.  
Other mushrooms that she has found in Utah include the spongy honeycomb-shaped morels, puffballs, wood ear, meadow mushrooms, porcini, and chanterelles. Chanterelles may be confused for the poisonous the jack o’lantern variety, which glows in the dark. 
She has found many puffballs in the Uintas, but they can be mistaken for the pigskin puffball, which is tough and ridged like a football, and purple instead of white inside. It’s not deadly, but causes nasty gastrointestinal symptoms.  They can also be mistaken for the “Destroying Angel,” another white, puffy look-alike. 
Golub said that once she cut into a “Destroying Angel,” and didn’t notice she had a small cut on her finger.  “My finger swelled up the size of a hot dog for several hours,” she said.
This is why it’s important to invest in a good guidebook, or go with an expert, she said.
“Don’t get lost, and don’t eat what you don’t know.” 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Thirty years ago, Frank and Georgia Hickingbotham founded TCBY, The Country’s Best Yogurt, the company credited with pioneering the fro-yo industry. Based in Salt Lake City,  TCBY now has  more than 600 locations around the world and more than 70 flavors of frozen yogurt.  To celebrate its anniversary, TCBY is doing a Facebook Sweepstakes to give customers a chance to win free  fro-yo, throughout the month of September.  All who enter will also receive a coupon for 30% off a single item to be used anytime in September.

The Facebook sweepstakes begins on September 1, 2011 and can only be accessed through the “30th Anniversary Sweepstakes” tab on the TCBY Facebook page, www.facebook.com/tcby.  Monday through Friday, of each week in September, fans will have the chance to win one of two $30 gift certificates.  On the final day, September 30, TCBY will pick one lucky winner who will receive a year’s worth of free fro-yo, a $300 value.  Each fan that enters the contest will receive a coupon, via email, for 30% off a single item which they may use throughout the month of September.  Contestants can only enter once through the sweepstakes submission form, but may gain more entries for each friend they “share” the contest with who enters.
 How to enter:
1.    Visit the TCBY Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/tcby and become a fan, or if you are already a fan…
2.    Click on the “30th Anniversary Sweepstakes” tab on the left hand side of the page.
3.    Enter your name, email address, address and phone number into the form, agree to the terms of use and hit submit. (One entry per person)
4.    Receive an email confirmation with your coupon for 30% off a single item during the month of September.
5.    “Share” the contest with your friends by clicking the share button at the bottom of the confirmation image.  For every friend who enters your name in the “Who shared this with you” box, you’ll get another entry into the sweepstakes.
 To learn more about the TCBY company, check out www.TCBY.com

Monday, August 22, 2011


As I mentioned before, I've been getting a steady supply of zucchini from a community garden that I'm participating in, as well as my one prolific plant growing in my flower bed. But not everyone in the family is as excited about sauteed zucchini as I am.  So I'm finding some more creative ways to work them into some of our better-liked dishes, such as my Easy Low-Fat Scalloped Potatoes.  

What makes these  easy is that I use a hand-held mandolin that cuts both the potatoes and zucchini into super-thin slices in a few minutes. My son Lonn has become pretty good at this. 

What makes them low-fat is that instead of butter and cream, I use reduced-fat margarine (I Can't Believe It's Not Butter is my favorite), and either 2% milk or fat-free half-and-half. 

Once you've got the zucchini and potatoes in those nice thin slices, pile them in layers, sprinkling them with salt, pepper, dried onion flakes and a few dots of butter before adding another layer. It's probably best to end up with the potatoes at the top, if you don;t want to broadcast their presence.  Then  pour 2 cups of milk, or fat-free half-and-half over it all. Don't be dismayed if it seems like there's a huge pile of potatoes and zucchini; they do "cook down," and the zucchini will shed a lot of moisture. Don't leave out the onions; they add a lot of flavor.  If you have fresh onions, use them instead of the dried flakes.  

Most scalloped potato recipes call for an hour of baking, but I'm usually short on time. So I pop the dish in the microwave for 10-12 minutes to get things started. Then I stir them around to make sure all the slices get evenly covered with the milk; sprinkle on grated cheddar cheese and bread crumbs, and place it in the oven at 350 degrees. The thinly sliced vegetables are fork-tender in about 20 minutes.  If you turn the heat up higher, they may get done faster, but the sauce is also likely to boil over and leave a mess in the oven.

I mentioned something about the zucchini to my husband, Kim, as we were eating this dish last week.  "There's really zucchini in this?" he asked.  Mission accomplished.

3 medium potatoes
2 medium or small zucchini
1/4 to 1/3 cup reduced-fat margarine
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 pint fat-free half-and-half
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (reduced-fat if desired)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Peel and slice potatoes into thin slices. Layer about 1/3 of them in an 8-inch square, or 2-quart round casserole dish. Sprinkle salt, pepper and 1/3 of the onion flakes. Dot with a third of the margarine. Repeat layers. Pour the half-and-half over the potatoes. Microwave on high for 10-12 minutes, stopping to stir potatoes once or twice to make sure they are immersed. Sprinkle with cheese and bread crumbs, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and topping is crunchy.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Goo Goo Dolls performing at Deer Valley Amphitheater.

Parachute, performing at Deer Valley Amphitheater.

My daughter Amy and I attended a rockin' concert at Deer Valley last Thursday.  Nearly four solid hours of music, headlined by the Goo Goo Dolls.

At 6 p.m., Parachute came out. Never heard of them before, but Amy has, and they were great! Lots of energy!  

Michelle Branch, performing at Deer Valley Amphitheater.

Then we heard from Michelle Branch, including new song, "Loud Music."  
She told the audience that she actually graduated from Provo High (through a correspondence course). I didn't  realize until she mentioned it that her husband Teddy Landau is her bass player. Their daughter, Owen, was sitting at the side of the stage during the show, playing video games.

Then it was time for the Goo Goo Dolls, and they didn't disappoint!  The concert concluded around 9:30 or 9:45, but the night wasn't over yet. 
Parachute acoustic jam after the concert.

Near the ticket booth, Parachute was doing  an acoustic jam, which was fun and kind of up-close and personal.  It was also a convenient way  to let some of the traffic clear out -- otherwise we would have just spent that half hour sitting in our car waiting to get out of the parking lot.  Thanks, Parachute!

Amy finds a comfortable post to listen to Parachute.

  The only damper was these people sitting in front of us who decided to smoke a joint, and the aroma spread pretty quickly. Interesting that the father -- who had to be in his 50s,  was sharing it with what we assumed to be his wife and 20-something son.  Didn't most people my age grow out of that a long time ago?  

In 2007, Amy and I saw the Goo Goo Dolls at the Minnesota State Fair, so it was a fun mom-and-daughter thing to get to see them again.  

Amy  Phillips waiting for concert to begin.