Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Midwest Connections

Two authors with Minnesota connections share the same birthday.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura was a novelist, school teacher, columnist and farm wife. She spent some of her growing up years in Walnut Grove, MN. Her daughter Rose encouraged Laura to publish her life's experiences in a series of books called Little House on The Prairie.  It is amazing that all of her books in this series have remained in print continuously since first publication in 1935.  Wilder once said the reason she wrote her books in the first place was to  preserve the stories of her childhood for today's children to help them understand how America had changed in her life time.

Sinclair Lewis  is an American novelist, playwright and social critic. He was the first American to win Nobel Peace Prize in literature in 1930. It was interesting to note that 16 out of 22 novels involved Midwestern towns or Midwestern protagonists. Lewis is well know for his first book Main Street.  He won the Pulitzer prize in 1925 for Arrowsmith.  He refused the honor of due to philosophical differences with Pulitzer Prize committee. Several of his books were made into movies including  award winning Elmer Gantry. 

Garden Fresh Primavera
cook's note: this recipe has a great flavor with loads of healthy ingredients
  • 8 oz. uncooked linguine
  • 1-cup (1/4 inch pieces) green beans
  • 1 cup white mushrooms-cleaned and patted dry-sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half and drained on a paper towel
  • ½ - 1-cup carrots diced
  • ½ cup green pepper diced
  • ½ cup red onion cut in strips
  • 1 small bottle of Zesty Italian dressing mix or try Ken’s Steak House Lite Northern Basil and Romano (its really good)
  • To boiling water add linguine and green bean pieces simmer on medium heat covered about 5 minutes
  • Drain and rinse with cold water
  • Toss linguine and beans with rest of vegetables
  • Toss with enough dressing to moisten will not need whole bottle
  • Refrigerate several hours to blend flavors
  • Add fresh cracked pepper before serving and some dressing if needed and sprinkle with generous amounts grated parmesan cheese

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