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Restaurants serving local food a win for everyone

By Dixie Burmeister

April was a beautiful month. The much-needed rain brought out the clean and brilliant colors of spring and a scent that only rain can produce. The topping on the April cake was the news that valley fruit crops, including cherries, apricots and peaches look like they are going to be early and plentiful, according to growers at the Heritage & Agritourism: Want to Know More? event on April 23 at Grande River Vineyards. The event was presented by the Colorado Tourism Office’s ...

A variety of foods to test your taste buds

By Dixie Burmeister

Who knew beets, carrots and macaroni and cheese would be my chosen topics for today. And it’s not an April Fools’ Day joke!  Starting off, a few weeks ago, my husband Fred and I attended a Palisade Chamber’s Business After Hours gathering at the Wine Country Inn. We were greeted by others with this question: “Have you tasted the mac and cheese?” Really? So we found the warming unit with ramekins of large plump macaroni encased in a creamy white sauce ...

ON FOOD: A variety of foods to test your taste buds

By Dixie Burmeister

Who knew beets, carrots and macaroni and cheese would be my chosen topics for today. And it’s not an April Fools’ Day joke! Starting off, a few weeks ago, my husband Fred and I attended a Palisade Chamber’s Business After Hours gathering at the Wine Country Inn. We were greeted by others with this question: “Have you tasted the mac and cheese?” Really? So we found the warming unit with ramekins of large plump macaroni encased in a creamy white sauce and a ...

The Potluck Club mixes good food, community

By Dixie Burmeister

My husband Fred and I recently accepted an invitation from good friends and Fruita residents, Donna Stratton and Bill Holstein, to join them at the Copper Club Brewing Co.’s Monday Night Community Potluck Club. Intrigued by this potluck club, we walked into the Copper Club, 233 E. Aspen St., in Fruita about 5 p.m. on a Monday, where we were warmly welcomed by owners, Daniel and Michele Collins. As Michele busily arranged buffet tables for the potluck, Daniel told me how it all got ...

Go Red for Women Dinner combats heart disease

By Dixie Burmeister

Valentine’s Day is over, but wearing red is still a fashion statement for February with The American Heart Association’s February Go Red for Women Campaign. The campaign is designed to raise awareness that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in women. The women from St. Mary’s Hospital’s Cardiac and Vascular Services will join the effort with their Go Red for Women Dinner on Feb. 26 at the DoubleTree by Hilton. There will be free screenings, education, a ...

Go Red for Women Dinner combats heart disease

By Dixie Burmeister

Valentine’s Day is over, but wearing red is still a fashion statement for February with The American Heart Association’s February Go Red for Women Campaign. The campaign is designed to raise awareness that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in women. The women from St. Mary’s Hospital’s Cardiac and Vascular Services will join the effort with their Go Red for Women Dinner on Feb. 26 at the DoubleTree by Hilton. There will be free screenings, education, a ...

New Top Chef: Jackson Oviatt at Spoons bistro

By Dixie Burmeister

I recently sat down with Jackson Oviatt, who became the executive chef at Spoons bistro and bakery in December. Spoons, 3090 N. 12th St., is a great place to eat if you like a comfortable, warm and welcoming atmosphere that highlights fresh, delicious and creative culinary delights. Who can say no to that, especially with the talented and dedicated Oviatt on board? From what I learned about Oviatt, it seems like he was destined to become the executive chef at Spoons, a position he ...

Learning to eat healthy with help from a friend

By Dixie Burmeister

Today’s column got its start with a Facebook message from longtime friend and media associate, Kim Robinson, telling me someone finally got him to eat healthy. That person is 17-year-old exchange student and Fruita Monument High School junior Anniken Ruud from Oslo, Norway. She is staying with Kim, his wife Shirley and their children Michael and Kimberly, who are both Colorado Mesa University students. The Robinsons invited Fred and me to meet Anniken and experience an authentic ...

Food allergies don’t mean recipes have to be bland

By Dixie Burmeister

We knew our New Year’s Eve celebration would be fun as we prepared for the arrival of my nephew Tim Matthews, his wife Cindy and daughters Sophie, 14, and 10-year-old twins Melanie and Emilie. All three girls were born with numerous, serious food allergies. Although we knew the vegetables and meat that were on the OK list, we weren’t sure what to serve with those items. So once they arrived, it was off to the supermarket. Sophie and one of the twins can’t have dairy. ...

Gingerbread creation part of trying new holiday fun

By Dixie Burmeister

This year I decided challenge myself and try my hand at creating something in gingerbread for the Palisade Olde Fashioned Christmas Gingerbread Contest and Showcase. Since I love Palisade peaches, I decided to build a large gingerbread Palisade peach and have it sitting by a small peach (an example of a peach from those other peach producing states). What was I thinking? Peaches for my first ever gingerbread project? Well, my gingerbread story is a long one, and I won’t bother you ...

‘Tis the season to bring on the figgy pudding

By Dixie Burmeister

The day after Thanksgiving while visiting our family, Christmas music was everywhere. Soon I was humming, “Oh, bring us some figgy pudding. Oh, bring us ...” Well, you know the rest. We sing about figgy pudding, but have you ever made it or even tasted it? As I pondered this, my daughter’s best friend, Sandy, (a dietitian and vegan) casually mentioned that I might like a healthy fig recipe she makes. Next day, I ran into (literally) a huge display filled with bags of ...

Here’s a look at ‘What’s On Your Thanksgiving Table’ answers

By Dixie Burmeister

Thanksgiving talk is swirling around as much as the fall leaves right now. How do you cook your turkey? Cranberry sauce in the can or fresh? In a recent Parade magazine in The Daily Sentinel, I discovered that The Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) thinks the way I do regarding cranberry sauce: It must be fresh! Also on the minds of many cooks are pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, potatoes and more. This got me to thinking, what will be on your Thanksgiving table? It was time to ask you, ...

Gingerbread houses held together with royal icing

By Dixie Burmeister

Given that today is Nov. 5, there is definitely time to immerse yourself in the fun of the Palisade Gingerbread Contest and Showcase, presented by Guild Mortgage supporting all home builders, on Dec. 6. This olde fashioned holiday tradition is growing as we continue to ensure there’s something for all ages, girls, boys, men and women and all levels of skill, from beginners to the experienced. This year there are seven categories plus the addition of a “just for display” ...

Pumpkin will spice up recipes for the fall

By Dixie Burmeister

Are you one of us, a member of the Pumpkin Passion Party? It starts with the first cool, autumn-feeling day and an urge to set a pumpkin on the porch and put some pumpkin bread in the oven. True members start grabbing cans of pumpkin as soon as they appear on store shelves, afraid they won’t have enough at the end of the holiday season to last through the winter for holiday pies and dishes to pumpkin custards and more. I’ve used Libby’s pumpkin puree for years, and pie ...

Salute the almighty potato in September

By Dixie Burmeister

September is National Potato Month, which is timely given the cooler weather and all those cooler weather comfort foods including traditional potato dishes. But wait, have you noticed what’s been happening in the spud world? The bar definitely has been raised on the varieties of this American favorite as well as on the culinary creativity showing up in many appealing and enticing recipes. Needing to catch up on my goal of trying a new recipe each week this year — I was three ...

Honey heaven: Get ready for Palisade’s International Honeybee Festival

By Dixie Burmeister

Trees are blooming, honeybees are busily buzzing as visions of local fruits, vegetables and sweet honey come to mind. It is nearly time for the Palisade International Honeybee Festival, which will be April 11–12 in Palisade. Considering a third of our food supply depends on honeybees, there is plenty to learn about bees and honey. And at the festival there will be seminars, entertainment, tours, a spelling bee and more. Look for details at Recently, I ...

All that is old is new again when it comes to eating kale

By Dixie Burmeister

I’m hooked on versions of the “green drink” with one of the hot items of the day, kale, along with some spinach, other veggies and fruit thrown in the mix. A few weeks ago, after having enjoyed this drink made by others and looking at various recipes, I checked the fridge and freezer and put fresh, chopped kale, frozen blueberries, half a frozen banana, water and a couple ice cubes into the blender. I really, truly, liked it a lot. It became totally obvious, as I sipped ...

Want to spice things up? Try this

By Dixie Burmeister

My 2014 list of culinary adventures includes visiting area chefs and cooking classes. I did both at the Level One Cooking Class taught by Marcelo Marino, executive chef at the Wine Country Inn in Palisade. Marino and his six students — they were Bill and Diane McClelland, Cynthia Priddy, Linda Arnos, Pattie Dravis and Anne Mueller — were each armed with a chop board, a large and sharp culinary knife and a huge unpeeled carrot. They were perfecting their knife skills as part of ...

Local author spreads wealth 
of knowledge on healthy eating

By Dixie Burmeister

“One thing leads to another” sure applies to me this year with this column. First came my informal survey asking what “go to” cookbooks, websites and other sources you use for recipes and culinary questions and instructions. Responses were many and varied, and diets or eating plans included Paleo, Mediterranean, diabetic, vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, raw food, Atkins and My Plate (USDA). Some shared details of diets prescribed by dietitians and health ...

February full of super foods you can enjoy to be healthy

By Dixie Burmeister

February is about matters of the heart with American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day. Wear Red Friday, which is part of The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, is this week. It’s all about raising awareness that for women, as well as men, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in this country. St. Mary’s Cardiac and Vascular Services’ 4th annual Go Red for Women Luncheon with great speakers, education, screenings and fun will be Feb. ...

A sampling of some of your favorite places to find recipes

By Dixie Burmeister

Last fall, I began an informal survey to find out about your go-to recipe/culinary information sources. Responses came in fast and furious and are still coming, especially after reminding you again of my search in my last column. Thank you for taking time to write and for your interesting and fun comments. On a recent Saturday, my mother and I stopped for coffee at the bagel shop. it was filled with young families, all having a great time. Not one to miss a survey opportunity, I grabbed a ...

Some holiday gifts to help Santa in the kitchen

By Dixie Burmeister

A mere week from today, the stockings will be down from where they were hung with care or propped under the tree, against furniture legs, in corners of the couch and chairs, or in any other designated spots (dictated by Santa), for each family member. What, helpful(?) kitchen tools would you suggest Santa bring the cook (and the not so much a cook)? I asked around and here are some answers I received. Some wouldn’t fit in a stocking. Some are very helpful. And some are just plain ...


By Dixie Burmeister


Infuse your holidays with some sugar and spice blends

By Dixie Burmeister

This Thanksgiving, as Chris and Michele McCoy and their combined family of five children reflect on their lives since last Thanksgiving, they’ll no doubt be thankful for a dream come true. Last April, the dream, A Country Cupboard opened all because of Michele’s idea. The family store at 2412 F Road, Unit 5, includes some hard-to-find items Michele couldn’t seem to find on this side of the mountain. They’re items that give those holiday and everyday dishes a ...

Our homes are filled with culinary memories

By Dixie Burmeister

When the announcement came about Taste of Home’s Cooking School coming to Grand Junction — the event is set for Thursday evening — I began thinking about Taste of Home’s amazing popularity. There are the magazines, the cookbooks and the cooking schools, which send culinary specialists over the United States to whip up easy, delicious recipes. Wherever the school goes, there are packed audiences. Why? Well, here’s an explanation from Frances, a drafter, and ...

Sprigs and Sprouts makes new ‘room’ for good taste

By Dixie Burmeister

I recently attended a “tasting” that was truly unique, tasteful and educational. Something new has been added to our valley with a Gourmet Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Room. Linda Bailey and Ruth Elkins, owners of Sprigs and Sprouts Lavender and Produce Farm, decided it made sense to find natural and flavorful tasting ingredients to pair with all that local goodness. After extensive research, studying and soul searching, they created the valley’s first (that I ...

Taking a trip through time in land of food

By Dixie Burmeister

Priscilla Mangnall’s fascinating history updates celebrating The Daily Sentinel’s 120 years was my motivation for this column. (If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, please check out this feature on page 3A.) I hope you enjoy these food history bits that go up to and include the ‘60s, where that series in now. Let’s first look at 1893 to the early 1900s. By 1893, Oscar Mayer and his brother’s meat market in Chicago was 10 years old. Calumet ...

September dishes to welcome fall

By Dixie Burmeister

The recent cool, wet weather has us all in the mood as September takes us into fall on Sunday. Pumpkins and fall decorations are appearing throughout the valley. Crock-Pots that were stashed away for summer are reappearing as ovens are being turned on again. Our kitchen island is displaying the cutest “baby acorn squash” that my husband Fred’s garden produced. And our tomatoes suddenly decided to ripen at a rate of dozens at a time, which means our oven was on all night ...

add crunch 
to quinoa

By Dixie Burmeister

It’s August and that means our local summertime vegetables and fruits are luscious, abundant and awakening our taste buds to the healthy delicious flavors of garden fresh. Home gardens, orchards and farmers markets are bursting with tastes of August bounty: peaches, corn, tomatoes, summer squash, fresh herbs, egg plant, peppers, onions, melons and so much more. But don’t forget cucumber. When I was a child, a cucumber was a cucumber. The small ones were made into pickles, and ...

Sizzle up 
the Fourth with these BBQ ideas

By Dixie Burmeister

My husband, Fred, recently suggested we have some simple grilled hamburgers smothered with slowly sautéed onions and mushrooms. Just plain, good old-fashioned goodness. We had forgotten how good it is. Fred dressed his up with a little barbecue sauce. Not me. I had a little Dijon mustard. And I decided it was time to look through my archives of summer holiday recipes. I sat with binders full of recipes and computer files. My search took hours, but it was actually fun. Here’s ...

Summertime treats can 
make great childhood memories

By Dixie Burmeister

It’s time to celebrate the official start of summer by making some tasty memories that the children in your life will remember forever Here are some that our kids, grandkids and their friends remember. I’ll bet a dollar to a Popsicle that you’ll enjoy them, too. Maybe these will motivate you and yours to create your own “Kool/Cool” ideas. Enjoy! ■ Melon slush: In a blender, process one 10-ounce can of frozen non-alcoholic margarita mix, 3 cups cubed ...

Get ready for Father’s Day with delicious rhubarb dishes

By Dixie Burmeister

This Father’s Day, we’ll be eating my husband Fred’s favorite steak (always beef for Father’s Day) with his Iowa childhood favorite, rhubarb pie. Or will it be the sauce or Grandma’s Rhubarb Cake? Since grilled steak with a little Montreal Steak Seasoning is Fred’s steak recipe, I’ll devote the rest of this column to another Fred favorite: rhubarb. Many of you know from my moaning and groaning over the years, I just can’t grow rhubarb here. ...

Having fun with tomatoes

By Dixie Burmeister

I hear that click and I know what he has been up to ... sneaking through the gate and looking every time I come home with more tomato plants. Oh, yes, he knows where they are hidden, waiting to be planted. He’s serious. He built more raised garden beds. Last summer, I beat him by a 1/4 of an ounce in size of tomatoes harvested. He’s never come to terms with that. He planted tomatoes weeks ago (during the cold and snow). And he laughed at the size of my 2- and 3-inch tall ...

Slather mustard on burgers off the grill

By Dixie Burmeister

Happy May Day! Here we go, kicking off a busy month with JUCO frenzy, graduations, fishing for the big ones, picnics in the park and in the backyard. It’s also the official beginning of summer barbecue and burger season. The aroma of burgers on the grill that spreads through the neighborhood says it’s so. Who cares about the calendar. Let’s celebrate this time-honored season with mustards: Honey, Spicy Brown, Dijon, Honey Dijon, Wine Dijon and so many more. For well ...

Be inspired by Easter hams, yams and more

By Dixie Burmeister

Happy Easter! Happy spring! Appearing in refrigerators all over the valley, spring’s fresh asparagus and strawberries plus all the makings for that holiday dinner: fresh green beans, peas, pineapple, citrus, and sweet potatoes/yams, at good prices. And let us not forget the star: ham! I went to and was I inspired. A recipe using plums with ham caught my eye and taste buds. I also checked North Carolina’s and they ...

Freeze frame: 
Flavors last 
in frozen flash

By Dixie Burmeister

Time for another salute to Clarence Birdseye, who discovered the deliciousness of frozen foods by tossing some fish into a snow bank. He then noticed people living in the Arctic throwing fresh fish and meat in barrels of sea water and quickly freezing them in the arctic’s frigid temperatures. The creative thinker soon developed his “flash freeze” preservation method for foods in 1923. He sold his patents and trademarks in 1929 for $22 million, which led to frozen foods ...

Quick soups to celebrate our new year the right way

By Dixie Burmeister

Happy new year and happy national soup month! The Burmeister clan actually got started early on the January Soup Celebration with our family tradition of having soups and appetizers on Christmas Eve. Every year it’s Julie’s Mexican Meatball Soup and Cynthia’s Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (I shared her recipe in previous column). To kick January off, while taking down holiday decorations and to make my life easy, I fixed my husband, Fred’s, favorite version of an old ...

On food: Make a mix in a jar to give as gift

By Dixie Burmeister

A few Christmases ago, our granddaughter started making gifts in jars — jars containing dry ingredients with recipe cards telling how to use the mixes and what other ingredients need to be added. There were soups, hot drinks, snacks and dry spice mixes, cookies, bars, cakes and even smoothie mixes. She hints that those jars will appear this year and we’re ready! You can get as elaborate as you want or keep them simple as the recipes I have in this column. Carry this idea a ...

2012 Palisade Peach Festival Recipe Contest winners

By Dixie Burmeister

2012 Palisade Peach Festival Recipe Contest winning recipes CATEGORY: Home preserved First place and grand prize winner PEACH PEPPER JAM By Jill Young 3 pounds of ripe peaches (about 9 medium-sized peaches, enough to make 6 cups) 6 cups sugar (divided) 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper 1/2 cup finally chopped jalapenos or hot red chili peppers (I used fresh jalapenos) 1 cup white vinegar Peel peaches, cut up so you have 6 cups. (I leave some large chunks in mine) Sprinkle with ...

On Food: Honeybee here to stay in Palisade

By Dixie Burmeister

The fourth annual International Honeybee Festival in Palisade last weekend brought the importance of the honeybee, not only to our local produce, but to the world’s food supply, into clear focus. This festival can do nothing but grow, as appreciation and awareness of the impact bees make, is realized by all. My friend Chuck, started his “beekeeping” adventure with one bee hive. I’ve been on the receiving end of some awesome honey and were fortunate to take part ...

On Food: What the devil makes these so eggcellent?

By Dixie Burmeister

Just like spring, Easter is making an early appearance this year and it certainly fits, with all the fruit trees in bloom, happy tulips of all colors and those adorable daffodils. As I started this column, a young electrician was doing some work at our house…. having no pride, I asked him for his favorite Easter recipe. Then he turned around and asked me for interesting deviled egg recipes. After that I had four people ask me for Easter brunch ideas, so here you go. (And thanks ...

On Food: Strawberries and asparagus, yes, it’s spring

By Dixie Burmeister

It is officially spring, the time of year when it feels cold and windy so you put a wintertime comfort food in the Crock-Pot and by dinner time the clouds are gone and it’s in the high 60s and you’re ready for a light spring meal. Such is spring. But whatever the weather, have you tasted the wonderful fresh asparagus and strawberries now in stores? Both of these signs of spring taste pretty darn good to me, and they go well together in some tasty dishes. Speaking of asparagus ...

On Food: Recipes for springtime

By Dixie Burmeister

As I was welcoming winter — March 1–2 — by shoveling snow, I was thinking about March happenings and how to tie them together. There’s spring, National Nutrition Month and the appearance of Chef Glenn Smith of the Aspen Culinary School at Edesia, a celebration of fine food and spirits on March 18 at The Wine Country Inn. After some research, I learned that Smith, resident chef at the Aspen Culinary School, is also a professional fly fisherman, a stand up comedian, ...

Pillsbury Bake-Off finalist vying for $1 million prize

By Dixie Burmeister

How would you feel if you had a 1 in 100 chance of winning a million dollars? Not bad odds, wouldn’t you say? Frances Blackwelder of Grand Junction knows how it feels. Last August, while grocery shopping, she got the magic phone call that informed her she was a “potential finalist” in the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest for a million dollars. “Potential finalist” meant paperwork, affidavits, forms to fill out and other details to be checked before she ...

On Food: Super Bowl worthy grub

By Dixie Burmeister

Ready for more Big Game Platter Chatter for the event that captures the “heart” of every football fan, even the once a year football fans? Yes. And although we are saddened by our Broncos loss, the parties will continue. It’s the biggest consumption Sunday of the year for pizza, snack foods, chili and avocados (guacamole). This year, include some foods of New England or New York. Enjoy and be good — include vegetable and fruit platters. Hot dog! New York Hot ...

Sensible foods for January

By Dixie Burmeister

A number of foods have January designated as “their” national month. Other foods have a National Day in January. I’m avoiding the days for cream puffs, blonde brownies, chocolate cake, croissant, whipped cream and so it goes. Hey, it’s January. We’re making efforts toward healthy eating and exercise So we’ll also forget that January is National Candy Month ... who came up with that between Christmas in December and Valentine’s Day in ...

Let citrus fruits spark your meals

By Dixie Burmeister

It always seems that our taste buds are ready for some fresh, wake-us-up healthy foods after the holidays. As I’ve said before, I think January should be National Citrus Month, and, by supermarket ads, it certainly looks like it could be. I have been consuming Cutie Oranges since early December. Often thought to be a tangerine variety or “baby” oranges, Cuties actually are two varieties of mandarin oranges: Clementine Mandarins and Murcott Mandarins. The Clementines ...

Holiday dishes, with a dash of pomegranate

By Dixie Burmeister

Years ago, we were invited to join a friend’s family tradition of having a holiday soup buffet with family and friends. Some were asked to bring a pot of a favorite soup along with the written recipe. The hosts had wonderful salads, crackers, veggie trays, and we all brought holiday goodies. The holiday lights and soft music made it warm and inviting as we enjoyed good food, lots of laughs and we went home with some new recipes. It has become our Christmas Eve family ...

Prepare for Olathe sweet corn bounty

By Dixie Burmeister

We haven’t had our first ear of local sweet corn yet, because like a variety of local produce our fabulous sweet corn is delayed due to the same reason I didn’t get to enter tomatoes in the fair this year, the weather. Look at it this way, we’ll savor the flavor of that first ear even more. Our area sweet corn is so sweet and tender we need to remember a few things: • Don’t overcook it. • It’s good uncooked or just blanched. • A simple way ...

Slaw: Best of summer

By Dixie Burmeister

Potato salad lovers may claim potato salad is “the No. 1 outdoor summer salad,” but is there any salad that seems to complement barbecues, picnics and any form of outdoor eating better than the good ole’ coleslaw?  And, I would venture to say there are as many ways to make it as there are to make potato salad. So move over potatoes, today it’s all about the slaw. Easy to fix and easy to serve, coleslaw goes well with just about all grilled foods. It’s ...

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