A night to remember – and the food that goes with it! | TheUnion.com

A night to remember – and the food that goes with it!

Jan Fishler

On June 12, nearly 400 Nevada Union High School graduates are expected to attend Grad Night – a safe and sober all-night event celebrating the successful completion of 13 years of school.

While the event is sanctioned by the high school, it is hosted by the Grad Night Club – a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring Nevada Union High School’s graduating seniors by creating a night that will be remembered for years to come.

This year, the event will again take place at Club Sierra, which will be transformed into an Egyptian Oasis complete with music, dancers, games, ongoing raffles, prizes and food – lots and lots of food.

Heather Urban, who chairs the Grad Night Club and also runs a day-care program out of her home, has noticed how much teen tastes have evolved over the years. She explains, “Kids want more than burgers and fries. They want food that not only tastes good, but looks good, too.”

While the usual pizza and donuts are on the menu, there is also sushi and a latte cart! But what is most astonishing is not what is served, but how much of it.

According to Lindsey Kremple, chairperson of the Food Committee, graduates at last year’s event managed to polish off 41 large pizzas, 338 pieces of sushi, 12 six-foot long submarine sandwiches, 12 gallons of ice cream, 20 dozen donuts, four dozen bagels, 20 cases of bottled water, 20 cases of soda, five large trays of brownies and cookies, and seven large platters of fruit and vegetables.

The total cost – approximately $3,200 – half of which was donated by businesses in the community.

While it is unlikely that you’ll be serving this many hungry mouths at your house, it’s always nice to have some recipes on hand that have passed the teen taste test, can be easily stretched (doubled or even tripled) to feed more guests than you were expecting, and are affordable and easy to prepare. If it weren’t for recipes like the following, members of the Grad Night Club wouldn’t have time to organize the event.

To find out more about Grad Night, visit http://www.nugradnight.org. If you would like to help raise funds for the event, join a committee or chaperone at the event, please contact Carolyn Grace at 272-2265.

Breakfast Smoothie for Two

Contributed by Carolyn Grace, secretary, Grad Night Club

1 very ripe, banana, peeled

1 cup pineapple or orange juice

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1 cup strawberries or other berries, rinsed and stems removed

5-6 ice cubes

Put ice in blender. Break banana into small pieces and put in the blender with juice, yogurt and berries. Secure lid and blend until smooth.

Whole-Kernel Corn Bread for 12

Contributed by Tina Skrunkrud, Entertainment Committee chair

3 tablespoons plus one-half teaspoon vegetable oil, divided

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup fresh corn cut from cob or frozen thawed

2/3 cup yellow corn meal

1/3 cup whole-wheat flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 cup milk (skim or soy)

1 egg

Coat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with one-half teaspoon oil. Place the skillet in a 425 F oven for 10 minutes. Combine remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and remaining ingredients in a bowl, stirring well; pour into skillet. Bake at 425 F for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cut bread into wedges.

Caribbean Rice and Beans

Contributed by Pauline Walker, Decorations Committee chair

2/3 cup water

2/3 cup uncooked instant rice

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Cooking spray

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup coarsely chopped tomato

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

Bring water to a boil in saucepan, and stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed; set aside. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add chopped tomato, salt, crushed red pepper, and cumin, and sauté 2 minutes.

Stir in cooked rice, cilantro, and black beans, and cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Divide the bean mixture evenly among 4 plates and sprinkle with cheese.

Oriental Pasta Salad

Contributed by Franne Anthenill, Prizes/Tickets/Web site chair

2 cups broccoli florets

2 cups cooked spaghetti or other pasta (about 3 ounces cooked)

3/4 cup thinly sliced red or green bell pepper

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

Steam broccoli, covered, 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Rinse under cold water. Combine broccoli and remaining ingredients; toss gently. Cover and chill.

Banana-Walnut Shortbread

(Makes 28 pieces)

Contributed by Shari Connel, Bulk Mailing and Thank You chair

These “cookies” stand on their own, but are even better when served with fresh berries or ice cream.

21/2 cups whole grain pastry flour (you can also use white flour)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

11/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 large, very ripe banana, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy.

Add the banana and vanilla extract, beating just until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and beat just until well blended. Stir in the nuts.

Divide the dough into quarters. Press one-quarter of the dough into an 8-inch circle on a large baking sheet. Using the dull side of a knife, press into the dough, forming 12 pie-shaped wedges. Crimp the ends, if desired. Repeat with a second quarter of the dough on the same baking sheet.

Shape the remaining quarters of dough on another large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the shortbread is lightly browned and has risen. Place on racks to cool.


Jan Fishler has been involved in the Grad Night Club for a few years.

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