Huron Interagency Federal Employees Program Council to host Collective Goods gift and book fair

Everyone is invited to come enjoy the “Collective Goods,” formerly known as Books Are Fun Book and Gift Fair.
The event, hosted by the Huron Interagency Federal Employees Program Council, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, at the Huron Federal Building, Room 300.
Collective Goods is renowned for offering high quality products, books and gift items at discounted savings.  You can still purchase items offered by Books are Fun but will have the opportunity to purchase the many new products available.  With unbelievable prices, you are sure to find something for everyone on your list!  
Product categories include name brands such as Marvel, Lego, Sharper Image, Melissa & Doug, Nickelodeon, Gund.  In addition there is a selection of exclusive labels such as Multitech Solutions, Sofia Vitali, Cool Builders, Kitchen Envy, Whimsical Garden, and Boredom Busters.  Products from the Books Are Fun, including the variety of books, stationery, music collections, learning products and gifts for all ages are still available.
With unbelievable prices, you are sure to find something for everyone on your list!  Soooo much more than just books….check out these great values:  with a $25 purchase the Collective Goods Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is $9.99 (regular price $15.99) and/or COB lightbulb is $5.99 (regular $9.99).  
The public is welcome to stop by for great values.  Purchases may be made by cash, check, and most major credit cards.  Merchandise available day of sale.  No pre-ordering necessary.
The Huron Interagency Federal Employees Program Council consists of representatives from federal agencies.  
Officers are Beverly Helm, president; Carolyn Bloodgood, vice president; Tiffanie Kouf, secretary; and Tara Houck, treasurer.  
The Council approves donations to local charities including the Huron Area Salvation Army, Jan Manolis Family Safe Center, YWCA Family Violence Program, and National Active and Retired Federal Employees for Alzheimer’s research.  Federal agencies and their employees are committed and actively involved in volunteer community service.  

Surprise Cupcakes

From Beverly Helm, Western Area Power Administration
    1 package chocolate cake mix
Mix batter according to directions on box.
Mix in bowl:
    8-ounce package Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
    1 egg, beaten
    1/3 cup sugar
    Pinch of salt
    1 cup chocolate chips
Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full with cake mix. Put a rounded teaspoonful (or more) of cream cheese mixture on top of each cupcake.
Bake as directed on box. Makes about 30 cupcakes.

Kid-Friendly Rainbow Fruit Platter

From Dianne Gropper, U.S. Geological Survey
    8 ounces 100-calorie Greek vanilla yogurt
    1 Tablespoon chia seeds
    1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    4 cups whole strawberries, hulled
    4 cups cantaloupe, cubed
    1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed (about 4 cups)
    3 cups green grapes
    4 cups blueberries
    3 cups purple grapes
    3 cups blackberries
Mix together yogurt and chia seeds. Refrigerate overnight. Mix in 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon.
On a very large platter, place strawberries at the top row forming the top of a rainbow pattern.
Place cantaloupe cubes as the second row underneath the strawberries. Continue this process with the pineapple through blackberries making the rainbow pattern.
Get your kids involved in making this platter. They will love it and it will teach them that healthy food can be fun too!

Easy Mexican Casserole

From Tara Houck, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    1 pound lean ground beef
    2 cups salsa
    16-ounce can chili beans, drained
    3 cups tortilla chips, crushed
    2 cups sour cream
    2-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
    ½ cup green onions, chopped
    ½ fresh tomato, chopped
    2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink. Stir in salsa, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in beans and heat through.
Spray 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread crushed tortilla chips in dish and then spoon beef mixture over chips. Spread sour cream over beef and sprinkle olives, green onion, and tomato over the sour cream. Top with Cheddar cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Peanut Butter M&M Bars

From Tiffanie Kouf, M-O Federal Credit Union
    2 cups oatmeal (uncooked)
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    Dash of salt
    1 cup butter, melted
    1 cup M&M’s
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    1/3 cup peanut butter
Mix oatmeal, flour, sugar, soda and salt.  Add melted butter, mix thoroughly until it looks like course crumbs. Set aside 1 1/2 cups  and mix this with M&Ms. Press the rest of the mixture into 9-by-13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes.  
Meanwhile, combine milk and peanut butter. Pour over baked crust. Sprinkle remaining crumbs with M&Ms on top. Bake at 350 degrees F for another 20 minutes.

Beef Stew with Dill

From Carolyn Bloodgood, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development
    2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces    Salt
    1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth    Pepper
    6 shallots, halved
    ½ pound carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths
    1 ½ cups frozen peas                5 ounces curly spinach
    2 Tablespoons chopped dill            Crusty bread for serving
In large saucepan, heat olive oil until simmering. Season meat with salt and pepper and add to saucepan in a single layer. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Add stock and shallots and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the meat is tender, about 1 ½ hours.
Add carrots to saucepan and simmer until tender, about 12 minutes. Add peas, spinach, and dill and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Ladle stew into bowls and serve with crusty bread.