Everyday Inspirations


~ food ~

Guest Blogger: Audrey Maynard
Audrey Maynard is a fundraiser at Westminster College, a private, liberal arts school in Salt Lake City. She is finishing her Masters in Professional Communication and is writing a cookbook tentatively titled Our Living Traditions: A Culinary Celebration of Utah’s Cultural Heritage.

One of my all-time favorite cultural events in Utah is the Living Traditions Festival, which takes place each May on the grounds of the Salt Lake City and County Building. I love this festival so much, in fact, that I now host the Living Traditions Kitchen, and I’m writing a culturally-themed cookbook that will be sold at the festival next year.

Working with community organizations that participate in the Living Traditions Festival has helped me realize that I don’t have to travel long distances to experience the beauty and character of countries thousands of miles away. Dozens of ethnic groups are living and thriving in Utah, and their restaurants, markets, shops and places of worship are integral pieces of what makes up our cultural landscape.

So, today I hope to inspire you to seek out Utah’s diversity in any way you can. Try an ethnic restaurant you’ve never been to before, cook something new and shop for ingredients at locally-owned ethnic markets, or check out an upcoming cultural festival. I’ve even done the legwork for you and researched a few to consider:

June 11-12
Utah Scottish Festival and Highland Games
Utah Asian Festival

July 9-10
Payson Scottish Festival  

July 17
Llama Fest

August 21
Ferragosto: Italian Street Fair
Oktoberfest (through October 10)

September 9-12
Greek Festival

One more thing…
As a guest blogger (thank you, Ashley!), I was planning to focus on sharing recipes demonstrated at this year’s Living Traditions Kitchen. My apologies—I sort of went off on a tangent in the above commentary!

Here is my favorite recipe from Living Traditions, demonstrated by my friend Vaughn Mossman (owner of Pounders Hawaiian Island Grill). It is a fantastic twist on fried chicken and is perfect for your next summer barbeque or picnic!

Mochiko Chicken

2 lbs. chicken thighs, deboned
4 Tbsp. Mochiko flour (available at most Asian markets)
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
4 Tbsp. sugar
5 Tbsp. Hawaiian-style soy sauce (such as AlohaShoyu)
½ tsp. sea salt
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup green onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

Oil for frying

  1. Cut each chicken thigh into 2 to 3 pieces. Place in sealable container for marinating. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.
  3. Heat 1" cooking oil in skillet. Fry pieces of chicken in oil turning until evenly cooked through on all sides. Serve hot or cold.

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