A recent graduate of Prairie Valley High School, Allie Lansman will be participating in her last Webster County Fair this week.
A nine-year member and current president of the Elkhorn Earlybirds 4-H club, Lansman has pushed herself to be involved in as many project areas throughout her 4-H career including communications, photography, home improvement, horticulture, clothing, visual arts, and food and nutrition. She has earned her way to the Iowa State Fair each year since she started and is proud of the fact that she has taken many food projects as well.
Lansman said she practically grew up in the kitchen alongside her mother, Angie Petersen, and grandmother, Wanda Brelsford. This has provided her with a love of cooking and is the main reason why she loves the food and nutrition project area in 4-H.
-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson
Allie Lansman has been successful throughout her 4-H career in a multiple areas, but especially in the food and nutrition competitions. The Webster County Fair begins Wednesday.
She was the helper in the kitchen as a small child and began really cooking on her own when she joined 4-H.
"I had my own little station on a cutting board; had my apron and rolling pin. I was always in the kitchen with my mom and grandma," she said.
Her 4-H career has allowed her to branch out on her own, she said, by not having to rely on her mom and grandma.
"It helped me learn what I'm best at," said Lansman.
Lansman said she has entered everything from bread to flavored popcorns but her she is mainly known for her chiffon cake. An item she has entered for the last five years since she began making them.
"I love the complexity of making chiffon cakes, every time it poses a new challenge and I love that about them," she said.
Lansman said another good thing about making the chiffon cakes is she gets to use her family's farm-raised eggs from the chickens she raises for the fair. The best part of entering chiffon cakes is the competition between her and her mom, she said.
"This craze that I have, started with my mom giving me a recipe for a chiffon that she had taken to the fair when she was in 4-H in Greene County, so I definitely wanted to prove my skills and beat her," she said. "I lucked out by making it to the state fair with the chiffon cake, and I have never stopped making them since."
Among Lansman's signature chiffon cake flavors are peppermint, maple, spicy, lemon and chocolate.
Next week's county fair will bring a different challenge.
"I made all the recipes I could find in cookbooks, but I decided that this year I would really challenge myself, I decided that I would invent my own chiffons for the county fair," said Lansman. "With lots of trial and error, I am creating six chiffons of my own creation that I can take to the fair for my last time."
Lansman is the daughter of Angie and Jeff Petersen, of Fort Dodge, and David and Paige Lansman, of Grand Junction. She is planning on attending Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge in the fall and eventually transferring to Iowa State University majoring in family and consumer sciences with plans to become a county youth coordinator.
"I hope to be involved with 4-H the rest of my life," she said.
She plans to continue keeping up the work in the kitchen and has always considered opening a bakery someday down the road.
Maple chiffon cake
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cooking oil
7 eggs, separated
3/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center. Add oil, eggs, yolks, water and maple flavoring. Beat with mixer at low speed for one minute.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gradually poor egg yolk mixture over whites, folding just until blended. Pour into ungreased 10-inch pan. Cut though the batter with a spatula.
Bake in 350 degree oven for one hour and 10 minutes or until cake tests done. Turn pan upside down to cool. When completely cook, remove from pan. Makes 12 servings
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cold butter
1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup mild-flavored molasses
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon water
Course sugar (optional)
In bowl, combine flours, brown sugar, baking powder, ground ginger, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Using a pastry blender cut butter until mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in crystallized ginger. Make a well in center of mixture.
In bowl stir together egg, whipping cream and molasses; add all at once to flour mixture. Using a fork, stir until ingredients are combined.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough for 10- to 12-strokes or until nearly smooth. Divide dough in half. Lightly pat or roll dough into five to five and a half inch circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut each circle into six wedges. In a bowl, combine egg white and water. Brush the tops of scones with this mixture and sprinkle tops with sugar.
Bake in 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 12 scones.
Poppy seed muffins
2 cups flour
1/4 cup poppy seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lightly salted butter, softened
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Grease 3x1 1/4-inch muffin cups.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, poppy seed, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter with electric mixer for two minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time until blended; beat in sour cream and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well combined.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and bake 15- to 20-minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center of muffins comes out clean.
Remove muffin tin or tins to wire rack. Cool five-minutes before removing muffin from cups; finish cooling on rack. Serve warm or cool completely and store in air tight container at room temperature. Muffins freeze well.
Zach and Allie's chocolate brownies
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
Melt butter in two-quart pan, remove and add sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. Put in greased 13x9 inch pan and bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Rosemary Asiago-laced bread
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup of the warm water (105 degrees) in a glass measuring cup. Stir in 1 teaspoon of sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes. Mixture will be foamy.
Stir together 3 1/2 cups flour, salt, rosemary, minced onion, cayenne pepper and remaining teaspoon sugar. Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture. Add remaining 1 cup warm water and the olive oil. Stir to form a ball.
Mix together the cheese and add 3/4 cup to the dough. Turn out onto a well-floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, adding additional flour as needed until dough is smooth and elastic.
Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
Punch down dough. Roll out dough into a 20-by-8-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Can also divide dough in half and make two mini loaves.
Roll up from a short side. Fold ends under loaf and place seam-side down in a greased 9 -inch by 5-inch by 3-inch loaf pan or two mini pans. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush top of loaf with egg wash. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Remove from pan to rack to cool. Makes 1 loaf or two mini loaves or 12 servings.