News Date: 
Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Source: Athens Banner Herald

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 120507

Courtney Alford-Pomeroy - Athens Banner-Herald,, Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Recipe from Laura Bennewitz

When parents and students converge on the University of Georgia's dining halls today, one area mom will take heart in a special honor.

For the fifth year in a row, Watkinsville resident Laura Bennewitz has had a recipe chosen for the university's annual Taste of Home.

The competition, sponsored by UGA's food services, asks parents to send in their children's favorite recipes. Out of more than 1,000 recipes sent this year, around 100 were chosen to be served for today's Taste of Home event.

The authors of winning recipes receive a commemorative Taste of Home plate as well as meal passes for today's Taste of Home event, when the dishes are served to students.

Bennewitz's recipe, Walnut Apricot Rice, will be offered at the Village Summit for lunch. It's a dish that can be served as a side, a stuffing or dressing, the mother of four notes.

This year, Bennewitz sent in her recipe on behalf of her youngest son, John, who is a freshman at UGA.

John is the third of Bennewitz's four children to follow in her footsteps at UGA, and she notes her children have experienced far different dorm food than she was served when she entered the university in 1969.

That may be due to a closer attention to health and nutrition as well as evolving tastes.

Food services director J. Michael Floyd notes more recipes with ethnic flair have appeared in recent years, adding it's not just "meat and potatoes" any more.

That variety is one of the reasons Bennewitz looks forward to the yearly Taste of Home event, where parents who've sent in winning recipes are invited to join their students for a meal. Trying new dishes and picking up ideas keeps her out of a rut in the kitchen, something any mom can understand.

And, though she's the first ever to score five of the plates given to Taste of Home winners, there's one challenge still in store. Bennewitz notes she still hasn't "broken the code" to getting a recipe on the permanent menu at UGA.

But you can rest assured this driven mom, who created homemade teething biscuits for her first born and uses friends and family as testers, will keep trying. She needs a few more commemorative plates to hold a dinner party, she says with a laugh.

Walnut Apricot Rice

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon margarine

3 cups cooked brown rice

2/3 cup chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup raisins (cover with 1 cup boiling water for 1 minute, then drain)

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon sage

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup chicken broth

Melt margarine in large pan and cook onion and celery until tender but crisp. Add rice, apricots, walnuts, raisins, parsley, thyme, salt, sage, pepper and chicken broth.

Pour into 2-quart dish, cover and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Note: This can be used as stuffing inside a chicken or turkey.