Saturday, December 28, 2013

Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Bacon


  • 10 cups water
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 5 or 6 pieces bacon, minced
  • 1 red onion, medium dice
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh or dried cranberries
  • Freshly ground black pepper


In a large pot, over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Generously salt the water and add the cleaned Brussels sprouts. Cook the sprouts until medium tenderness has been reached, about 8 to 10 minutes.

In the meantime, in a large saucepan over medium heat fry the bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from the pan to a plate lined with a paper towel. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Leave the bacon fat in the pan and add the red onions and 3 tablespoons of the butter. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the red wine vinegar and brown sugar and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Drain  the Brussel sprouts from water and add to pan with the onions. Stir to coat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir in the reserved bacon and cranberries. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste, and transfer to a serving bowl to serve. 

Honey Wheat Pizza Dough

1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105º to 110º)
3 cups bread flour
1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Dissolve the yeast int he water and set aside for five minutes.  Combine all other ingredients with the dissolved yeast   in the mixing bowl.  (Do not pour the salt directly into the yeast water because this would kill some of the yeast.)  Allow these ingrediets to mix gradually; use the lowest 2 speeds to mix the dough.  Mix for 2-3 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Overmixing will produce tough, rubbery dough, and friction will cause dough to rise too fast.  Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough ball in the bowl and seal with clear food wrap and set aside to rise until double, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Punch down and and place bowl in the refrigerator overnight, covered and airtight.  About 2 hours before you are ready to assemble your pizza, remove dough from refrigerator.   You can divide dough into balls at this point and let rise until double and ready to roll into pizza crusts.

Pizza Dough with Semolina flour

  • 7 cups strong white bread flour or 5 cups strong white bread flour, plus 2 cups finely ground semolina flour
  • 1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

In mixer bowl combine 5 cups of flour with salt.  In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix until dough all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.

Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands - this is called punching down the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straightaway, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas - this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas. 

Blue Cheese and Cabernet Sauvignon Demi Glace

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 cup Demi Glace*
  • 2 ounces Maytag Blue Cheese, crumbled

    1. In a sauce pan heat olive oil. Sauté shallots and garlic until transparent.
    2. Add Cabernet Sauvignon to pan and reduce by half.
    3. Add Demi Glace to pan and slowly bring to a boil.
    4. Stir in blue cheese.
    5. Serve with Beef Roast or Steak.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Caramel Bars


2 c. butter (I know a lot, just don't think about it:)
2 1/4 c. brown sugar
3 c. flour
3 c. oats (quick or regular)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 bottle Mrs. Richardson's Butterscotch Caramel Topping (ice cream
topping-I find it at Winco and Albertsons) I also like to nuke it for
20-30 seconds and find it spreads easier on top of the mixture warm.
16 oz milk chocolate chips

Soften butter. In large bowl mix butter, brown sugar, flour, oats,
salt and soda, using a pastry blender. Do not over mix, mixture
should be crumbly, not cookie dough-like. Take 3/4 mixture and press
onto a cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden
brown. Pour caramel sauce on top of hot crust, spread evenly.
Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Then sprinkle remaining oatmeal
mixture on top. Bake an additional 10-12 minutes or until golden
brown. Let it cool completely and enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Giant Ginger Cookies


½ cup butter (or shortening)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ginger
¾ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
2 cups flour
sugar for rolling

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and molasses and mix well. Add salt, soda, and spices and mix well. Add flour and mix until combined. Roll dough into large 2-inch balls, you should have 10-12 total. Place on a baking sheet with plenty of room between each. (Only 6 on a large cookie sheet at a time) Bake at 350F for 11-14 minutes. Let sit on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

From Jen's Favorite Cookies