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‘Eat and Explore Washington’ serves up mix of history, recipes

Quick look: This collection provides recipes from – and quick looks at – restaurants, resorts, festivals and other events and businesses from the Olympic Peninsula to Spokane.

What’s inside: Fisher Fair Scones are a favorite at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. So is anything with lavender in Sequim or lentils in Pullman.

This softback book features recipes for each, plus many more.

The Mississippi-based author explores the Evergreen State through some of its favorite dishes as well as community celebrations, inns and eateries. Recipes are divided in chapters by appetizers and beverages, bread and breakfast, soups and salads, vegetables and other side dishes, meat and seafood, and desserts and other sweets. The more than 250 pages are sprinkled with bits of trivia – Washington is the only state named for a U.S. president, for example – which are set against pale green state maps.

Separate indexes itemize statewide events and destinations as well as recipes. Inland Northwest recipes come from events like the National Lentil Festival – Rose’s Bad-to-the-Bone Beer Bread, Spicy Lentil Crackle and Lentil Love Sticky Toffee Pudding – and places like the Artisans at the Dahmen Barn – Bacon Cheesecake, Wheat Berry and Vegetable Salad, Lentil-Turkey Spaghetti Sauce, Huckleberry Pie and Palouse Grains Bread.

But the number of recipes compared to the size of the destinations seems lopsided. There are more recipes representing Pullman and Uniontown than the much larger Spokane, for example.

Also, this round-up of recipes is by no means comprehensive. Many large community festivals – from Seafair in Seattle to Cinco de Mayo in Sunnyside and the Wooden Boat and Rhododendron festivals in Port Townsend – are missing. And many communities seem under-represented or aren’t represented at all, including Olympia, the state capital.

Breakout boxes spotlight a smattering of resorts, restaurants, festivals and other happenings, like Spokane’s Lilac Bloomsday Run. But they’re presented in ways that look a lot like advertisements.

Some recipes list their contributors, like Robert Karl Cellars and Famous Ed’s in Spokane. Others lack attribution.

What’s not: Most recipes aren’t accompanied by photographs.

Artichoke Dip

From Robert Karl Cellars in Spokane, via Eat and Explore Washington

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cheese, mayonnaise, spices and onion. Fold in artichokes. Pour into casserole dish and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with chips or raw vegetables.

Bacon Cheesecake

From the Artisans at the Dahmen Barn in Uniontown, via Eat and Explore Washington

3/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons butter, melted

4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup evaporated milk

11/2 cups crumbled, cooked bacon

1 cup seeded and chopped tomatoes

1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

2 greens onions, sliced

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 eggs, lightly beaten

Chopped cherry tomatoes and additional crumbled, cooked bacon for topping

Assorted crackers

Place greased 9-inch springform pan on double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 inches square). Securely wrap foil around bottom of pan. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan and butter. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and evaporated milk until smooth. Add bacon, tomatoes, Gruyere, onions and pepper. Add eggs; beat on low speed until just combined. Pour over crust. Place springform pan in large baking pan; add 1 inch boiling water to larger pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on wire rack 10 minutes; loosen edges from pan with knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove rim from pan. Serve cheesecake topped with chopped cherry tomatoes, bacon and crackers, if desired.

Lettuce Wraps

From Bridgid Kardong, wife of Spokane’s Lilac Bloomsday Run director Don Kardong, via Eat and Explore Washington

1 pound ground pork or turkey

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1/3 cup lime juice

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup cilantro

1/2 cup chopped peanuts


Shredded cheese (optional)

Brown meat with onion; drain if needed. Remove from heat and add ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, cilantro and peanuts, mixing well. Spoon mixture evenly onto lettuce leaves, sprinkle with cheese (if desired) and roll up.

Note: Good types of lettuce to use are iceberg, red lettuce, radicchio or large spinach leaves. Wash lettuce and dry well before using in the wraps.

Max’s “Sticker Party Shock”

From Max Bischoff, board member of Spokane’s Lilac Bloomsday Run, via Eat and Explore Washington

Max Bischoff prepares this special treat for volunteers at the race’s annual “sticker party,” where name labels are affixed to bib numbers for all 50,000-plus participants.

11/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

11/4 sticks butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided

4 tablespoons peanut butter (may use chunky-style for variety)

1 to 2 cups crumbled candy bars (Bischoff uses Butterfinger or Nestlé Crunch.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In separate bowl, beat butter and sugars to creamy consistency. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly in lightly greased 12-inch pizza pan. Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over cookie and spoon peanut butter on top of chocolate chips. As chips soften, use knife or spatula to blend the two into a frosting-like mixture, spreading evenly. Sprinkle crumbled candy bar on top of the warm frosting.