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DIANE’S DELIGHTS: A bang-up day for flag-waving... and food

On the Fourth of July, Independence Day in the United States, we are reminded again of the liberties we enjoy. Fly your flag high — it’s Independence Day!  For these, we should be deeply grateful. Most of us, however, take them for granted, displaying little concern of how abundantly blessed we are. This holiday, as we all enjoy the day, let’s take a moment to thank the one above who made America, the country whose birthday we are celebrating.

Judy’s Cool Whip Frosting

 1 small package instant pudding mix, any flavor

 1/4 cup powdered sugar

 1 cup milk

 8 ounces Cool Whip

 Beat the above ingredients except the Cool Whip until well blended. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over angel food cake and decorate with strawberries and blueberries.

Wild Rice Salad

3 cups cooked wild rice, about 2/3 cup uncooked

1 cup cooked chicken, diced

1 1/2 cups green grape, halved

1 cup cashews, chopped

1 cup water chestnuts, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoon season salt

1 cup mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients-toss gently to blend. Chill before serving.


Crispy Independence Day Fried Chicken

Serving Size: 8     

1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour for coating

1 teaspoon paprika salt and pepper to taste and whatever seasonings you prefer

2 quarts vegetable oil for frying

Take your cut up chicken pieces and skin them if you prefer. Put the flour in a large plastic bag (let the amount of chicken you are cooking dictate the amount of flour you use). Season the flour with paprika, salt and pepper to taste (paprika helps to brown the chicken and whatever seasonings you like.

Dip chicken pieces in buttermilk then, a few at a time, put them in the bag with the flour, seal the bag and shake to coat well. Place the coated chicken on a cookie sheet or tray, and cover with a clean dish towel or waxed paper. Let sit until the flour is of a paste-like consistency. This is crucial!

Fill a large skillet (cast iron is best) about 1/3 to 1/2 full with vegetable oil. Heat until very hot. Put in as many chicken pieces as the skillet can hold. Brown the chicken in hot oil on both sides. When browned, reduce heat and cover skillet; let cook for 30 minutes (the chicken will be cooked through but not crispy). Remove cover, raise heat again and continue to fry until crispy.

Drain the fried chicken on paper towels. Depending on how much chicken you have, you may have to fry in a few shifts. Keep the finished chicken in a slightly warm oven while preparing the rest. This is also good served as a cold crispy chicken.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Never let the seeds keep you from enjoying the watermelon.

GARY’S TIP: To cook any type of macaroni to the perfect tenderness, put your noodles in boiling water for five minutes, remove from heat and cover, let set 15 minutes, drain and serve.