Thursday, January 12, 2017

Taking a Break

I will be taking a break to spend with family due to a medical emergency.  I will be back as soon as I can.  I hope you will look for my posts in a week or two.  Thank you for your loyalty!

Beth(and Jenna and Kathleen)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Banana Blondies

I made these for Jenna to take to work.  I tripled the recipe and put it in a jelly roll pan.  I used 4 bananas when I tripled it.  I made 2 tripled batches.  Everyone liked these.  See my notes in bold.

Banana Blondies


½ cup butter, melted and if desired browned
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
1 cup flour
½ cup mashed banana (1 medium banana)

Brown Sugar Frosting

¼ cup butter, browned
½ cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8x8 baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside
Beth tripled the recipe and made it in a jelly roll pan.

2. In bowl of stand mixer combine melted (or browned) butter and sugar. Mix until combined. Add in egg and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated. Stir in salt, flour and banana until batter is smooth and even. Spread in prepared pan.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes until center is set.

4. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool.

5. Frost the blondies when they are mostly cooled.

Brown Sugar Frosting

1. In a medium saucepan melt butter and cook until browned. Add brown sugar and milk and stir until mixture comes to just a boil. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 5 minutes.

2. Stir in powdered sugar with a whisk.

3. Spread on top of blondies and allow frosting to set and blondies to cool completely before cutting into squares.


If you choose to brown the butter, melt butter in saucepan and continue cooking, once it's melted by swirling the butter in the pan until butter reaches a deep golden brown color.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Easy Egg Bake

I made this for breakfast while my parents and sister were here over Christmas.  It was very good.

Easy Egg Bake
Beverly Lee North Cape Lutheran Cookbook

18 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 pound cheddar cheese
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 c milk
1 pound ham or other breakfast meat-Beth used 1 # bacon, cooked and crumbled

In a blender or food processor, mix the eggs, sour cream, butter and milk together.  (We just beat it all by hand)  Add the cheese and meat and refrigerate over night in a bowl. 

In the morning, grease a 9 x 13 pan and pour the mixture in.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

It will puff up while it bakes.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Texas Brisket

We made this in my new smoker for Christmas dinner.  It does involve some prep the day before hand.  I followed the instructions on how to get authentic bark( at the end of the recipe and it WORKED)   We cooked it all night---ah hour per pound and I had a 13 pound brisket.    See what we did in BOLD.  My sister, Karen said that this was better than Rudy's brisket!  It was so very good. 

exas Brisket

1 beef brisket, about 10 pounds fat trimmed
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup coarsely ground pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
Barbecue sauce for serving

1. Remove the brisket from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking. Season generously all over with salt and pepper, packing the coating on well. Sprinkle with garlic, if using, then gently rub over seasoning.

2. Prepare a smoker or a charcoal or gas grill for smoking over low heat. The grill temperature should be 225 to 250˚F (107 to 120˚C). If using charcoal, bank lit coals on either side of grill bed, leaving a strip in the center without heat. Place a drip pan in the center strip and fill with water. Add 1 to 2 cups soaked wood chips to the fire just before grilling. (Keep remaining chips in water until ready to use.) If using gas, fill smoker box with about 1/2 cup chips, then preheat grill. The wood chips should begin to smolder and release a steady stream of smoke. To get more smoke without increasing grill heat, add a few dry chips to the soaked ones. Turn off one or more of the burners to create an indirect-heat zone. Brush and oil grill grate.

3. Place the brisket on the grill, fatty side up, as far away from the fire as possible. Cover and cook 4 to 6 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 150 to 170˚F (66 to 77˚C). Check the wood chips every 30 to 45 minutes, adding more chips by the 1/2 cup to keep smoke levels constant. If using charcoal, add lit coals every few hours to maintain heat level. We put this on at 10:30 p.m. and I added more wood chips at 3:30 am  We wrapped the brisket at 7:00 in foil.

4. Remove the brisket from the heat and wrap it in aluminum foil. Return to the smoker or grill or place in a 250˚F (120˚C) oven an additional 4 to 6 hours. The brisket is ready when fork tender and an instant-read thermometer registers 195 to 205˚F (91 to 96˚C), 8 to 12 hours total.  Beth did this on 1/2 of the brisket and we decided next time we WILL do this.  Made for tender, juicy brisket.

5. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and remove the foil. Let rest at least 30 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, arrange slices on a platter, and serve at once. Serve with BBQ sauce, whether warm or at room temperature.   We let the brisket rest, wrapped in foil and a towel in a cooler from 10am until noon. 

How to Get Authentic Texas Brisket Bark

If you like a nice crusty “bark” on a finished brisket, here’s how to get it: After seasoning the brisket with salt and pepper, don’t pop it on the grill just yet. Place it on a wire rack situated on a rimmed baking sheet, cover loosely, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (or up to 36 hours). The seasoned coating will dry slightly, leaving a nice crisp exterior on the brisket.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin

We made this for Christmas dinner.  We halved the recipe and put it in a 7x11 pan.  Very good.
Cauliflower Bacon Gratin

10 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
8 cups of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
6 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. butter
4 cups 1 % milk (thicker sauce, use light whipping cream)
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese plus a little more for topping
1 tsp. nutmeg
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
Fresh parsley, chopped

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy and browned. Set aside on paper towel.

Heat a large pot of salted water on high until boiling. Add the cauliflower and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly. Stir in the milk, and stir constantly until thick and creamy. Stir in the cheese, nutmeg, and salt & pepper to taste.

Add the cauliflower and bacon to the cheese mixture and toss to combine. Pour into an 9x13 baking dish and top with bread crumbs and a sprinkle of cheese.

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sicilian Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This was another new recipe for Christmas day.  They are great reheated, too.

Sicilian Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 1/2 pounds Brussels Sprouts
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, separated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Cut off the ends of the brussels sprouts and slice them in half, vertically. Toss them in a large bowl with the olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour them out onto the prepared

Shake the pan every 10 minutes or so to ensure they brown evenly. Once removed from the oven, transfer sprouts to a large serving bowl, stir in balsamic vinegar and cheese, mixing well to coat.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (I typically add a little extra salt and lemon juice). Serve warm.

    Friday, January 6, 2017

    Raspberry Torte

    We made this for our Christmas dessert.  The recipe only called for 2 T butter in the crust and it just didn't hold together.  I will add more butter next time.  This was a tasty dessert.

    Raspberry Torte
    Mary Rusch North Cape Lutheran Cookbook

    2 1/2 c vanilla wafer crumbs
    2 T melted butter Beth suggests using 1/4 c
    1 1/2 sticks butter(3/4 c) room temperature
    3 c powdered sugar
    2 T powdered sugar
    2 eggs
    2 pints fresh raspberries
    1 pint heavy cream

    Crush the vanilla wafers and mix with the 1/4 c butter.  Pat into a greased 9 x 13 pan. 

    Cream the 3/4 c butter well.  Add the 3 cups of powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Add 2 eggs and beat well.  Drop by tablespoons and spread over the crust. 

    Lay the raspberries over the powdered sugar layer.  Beat the whipping cream with the 2 T powdered sugar until stiff peaks. Spread on top of the raspberries.  Keep refrigerated.