Tips for choosing fresh garlic, an easy recipe for Lemonade Pie, a review of Nature Valley Granola Thins, and more.

Tip of the Week: How to choose garlic

Garlic is best purchased fresh in bulbs. Pickled and preserved garlic, while longer lasting, lacks the intense flavor.

Look for firm cloves about eight to the bulb. Don’t buy garlic that is soft, dried out or sprouted. Remove and peel only as much as you need, as the garlic skin helps keep it fresh for months.

Peel garlic cloves by flattening them with a knife blade until the skin cracks, then remove.

-- The Repository

Easy recipe: Lemonade Pie

The pie shares its history with key lime pie, which may be made in the same way if you can find frozen limeade.

Ingredients:

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 6-ounce can frozen lemonade
12 ounces whipped cream or Cool Whip
2 graham cracker pie crusts, 9 inch
Fresh berries (optional garnish)

Directions:

Thaw the lemonade concentrate and mix with the milk (do not dilute the lemonade). Refrigerate for 30 minutes — this is important.

Fold whipped cream into lemonade. Load into two pie crusts. Decorate with fresh berries.

Refrigerate for at least four hours to set filling. Keep refrigerated until serving and afterward. Makes two pies.

-- The Repository

Did You Know?

Research shows that fast food chains have significantly decreased trans fats in cooking oils since 1997. -- University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Critic’s Cupboard: Nature Valley Granola Thins

I liked the thin part. Granola bars of regular thickness can be tooth-breakingly hard. And the price isn’t exorbitant.

But Granola Thins are difficult and messy to eat. The chocolate coating melted the second it came into contact with my fingers. The sticky granola adhered to my teeth like barnacles.

And the taste didn’t knock me out. If I’m going to eat an 80-calorie dessert or snack, I’d like it to be richly indulgent. A fine dark chocolate mint. A warm, home-baked cookie. Or a small scoop of silky ice cream.

-- Saimi Bergmann, The Repository

Food Quiz

What does it mean when a chef scores something?

A. To cut into twenty equal pieces.

B. To quickly sear a raw roast by using a kitchen torch's flame on its surface.

C. To cook a steak or chop on a grill and then rotate it sixty degrees to produce a diamond-shaped char pattern.

D. To cut slits in the surface of food for decoration, to allow fat to escape or to allow a glaze to penetrate.

(www.funtrivia.com)

Answer is at bottom of column

Works Well: Splatter screen

Microwaves cook with energy intensity. That can expand food and sauces so fast, they explode. The solution is a mesh fabric that catches the popping food. This one by Maverick Ventures rinses easily for the next job.

-- The Repository

Number to Know: 77.5

Calories in 1 cup of pitted sour cherries – calorielab.com

The Dish On …

“Making Whoopies: The Official Whoopie Pie Book” by Nancy Griffin

Whoopie pies could be declared the official Maine dessert, and many assert that the rotund chocolate confection originated there, although Pennsylvania actually has an equally strong claim to that honor.

No matter -- aficionados in both locales never tire of the giant sandwich cookies, and the comfort-food treats are enjoying a renaissance as bakeries offer gourmet versions on the Internet.

This little book is a wide-ranging, lighthearted look at whoopie pies and the folks who love them. This book contains 16 recipes including healthy, gluten-free and zucchini whoopie pies.

-- Amazon.com

From the Beer Nut’s Blog: Ommegang does it again

Brewery Ommegang from Cooperstown, N.Y., has always been one of my favorite breweries, so I was extremely happy when I heard they were coming out with several new beers this year.

The first two were great, and the brewery is on a roll with the release of its latest, the Zuur, a Belgian Flemish sour ale.

I had a bottle of this last night, and it was amazing. It was sour, but not over the top. It really did a good job of being a thirst-quencher on a hot night.

I’m really excited about the next Ommegang release: the Belgo-Scotch Ale, expected in September.

To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/

Food Quiz Answer

D. To cut slits in the surface of food for decoration, to allow fat to escape or to allow a glaze to penetrate.

GateHouse News Service