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Food Notes: Jan. 9, 2013

Rockin' cupcakesThe Rock Camp 4 Girls Appalachia Cupcake War will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 301 Piedmont Road. Last year, more than 2,000 cupcakes were donated, raising $1,500 for camp scholarships.Rock Camp 4 Girls Appalachia is a residential summer camp held at West Virginia State University. The summer camp operates at no cost to attendees and involves 60 to 80 girls statewide, many who are from foster homes or low-income backgrounds.To enter the cupcake competition, like Rock Camp 4 Girls Appalachia on Facebook or contact roundupLast week's food column on risotto compared the traditional stir-heavy method to a method that required only a little stirring. Both were made on the stovetop. Several readers wrote or called to say they made risotto in either the pressure cooker or the oven and had good results.Jim Olson is a proponent of pressure cooker preparation and included the following instructions from The instructions start after the risotto is toasted to translucence in a skillet. This method involves a bit of math."After the rice toasting step, the hot broth is added all at once. The amount of liquid is exactly 2.5 times the weight amount of rice. For example, 100 g of rice requires 250 ml of broth.The pot is closed and brought to high pressure. After only 7 minutes, the risotto is ready."Several other readers advocated a baking method. Domestic guru Martha Stewart's baked risotto recipe also takes up after the rice has been toasted, but it must be done in an ovenproof saucepan or Dutch oven. Her instructions are to stir in wine until evaporated, then stir in stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and bake in a 425-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Her complete recipe is below. Baked Risotto1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 cup finely chopped onion 3/4 cup Arborio rice 1/4 cup dry white wine, optional
2 to 2 1/4 cups hot water 1/2 cup homemade or low sodium canned chicken stock 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, optionalHEAT oven to 425 degrees. In an ovenproof saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring to coat the grains with oil, about 1 minute.STIR in the wine and cook until it has completely evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water, the stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, transfer to the oven, and bake, until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, 20 to 25 minutes.REMOVE from oven. Stir in 1/2 to 3/4 cup water, butter, cheese and parsley. The consistency of the risotto should be creamy. Serve immediately.Source: marthastewart.comPillsbury Bake-OffThe good folks at Pillsbury are accepting entries for the annual Bake-Off. The grand prize for the event, held in November in Las Vegas, is $1 milllion.The contest has a few twists this year. The first is that the 100 finalists' recipes will be selected by a public vote. Also, recipe submissions must include no more than seven ingredients and take 30 minutes or less to prepare, not including baking or cooling time.This year's contest includes three categories - dinners, sweets and starters, and breakfasts, all with staggered contest entry dates. For details, visit

Reach Julie Robinson at or 304-348-1230 with information to be included in Food Notes.

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