Chad’s Soft Molasses Cookies

Aunt Lola, my great-aunt, made wonderful, soft, chewy molasses cookies that I loved as a child – almost as much as the date pinwheel cookies, or her apple jelly.  Somewhere along the way, well after she passed, I came across her date pinwheel recipe, and make those on occasion, but they are a ton of work.  I never did find her molasses cookie recipe, though.

So, about 10 years ago, I conducted a 6 month long series of trials, attempting to re-create her recipe.  My mentees and colleagues at Culver ate lots of bad cookies in the process!  What I came up with is not the same as Aunt Lola’s.  But they’re really darn good. Continue reading

Crockpot Chicken Tika Masala

Chicken Tika Masala with Jasmine Rice

Crockpot Chicken Tika Masala

Who doesn’t love Indian food?  And, among Indian food lovers, Chicken Tika Masala must be one of the absolute favorites.

I was sure it would work well in the crockpot, but it took me several tries to get a result that had the flavor I liked.  In the end, I actually found the answer in a cookbook I already owned, Neela Paniz’ The New Indian Slow Cooker.   Continue reading

Cream of Asparagus Soup

 

Bowl of Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Asparagus.  Harbinger of Spring.  One of the first harvests from the garden.  The flavor of green.

We grow a bit over an 1/8 of an acre of asparagus, which gives us 800-1000 pounds of harvest each year.  Even though it comes in before the farmers’ market opens, we usually sell all that we produce.   Because, Asparagus!

When dealing with such an iconic food, it’s usually best to prepare it simply.  It’s a treat, so make it shine that way.  This very simple soup brings out the best in asparagus. Continue reading

Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Chad's version of a philly cheesesteak sandwich

Chad’s Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak

I’ve had Philly Cheeesesteak Sandwiches in many places, though ironically never in Philly…  Nonetheless, the combination of beef and cheese with a flavorful au jus, peppers, and onions is certainly a winner.

My version uses the slow cooker to braise the steak all day.  Then you can simply assemble and broil the sandwiches and be eating in just a few minutes. Continue reading

Chad’s Pizza Crust

Pizza Crust

A partially-baked pizza crust, ready to top and freeze for homemade frozen pizza (if you were making fresh, you would’t pre-bake it)

This is the recipe I use to make homemade frozen pizzas.  Of course, it also works well for pizza made fresh!   Continue reading

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread is a must with ham and beans, great for breakfast (with apple butter on top, of course!), and just one of those great dishes you need to have at the ready from time to time.  I bake mine in a cast iron skillet, which gives it a much better crust, and works well in the wood burning stove oven.

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Pizza Sauce

Pizza crust with sauce

Saucing a pizza

This is the sauce I used when I made homemade frozen pizza last week.  Yes, I’ll probably post the parts and pieces to make a frozen pizza recipe, but mostly, I’m experimenting with a new recipe format/features for this blog.  I’m hoping for feedback, either as comments here, or via email, Facebook, in person, whatever. Continue reading

Chad’s Bagel Recipe

Chad's Bagel

One of Chad’s famous bagels

I love my bagels.  My wife loves my bagels.  People love my bagels.  I’ve often been asked for the recipe for them.  So I’ll share here. Continue reading

Pesto Schmear

A schmear is a bit of cultural appropriation, and probably shouldn’t be used.  But it’s also a yummy topping for bagels.  Schmears are simple and perfect for improvisation, so you can use this same process for different ingredients.  They can be very seasonal: basil-sun dried tomato-seranno pepper is a favorite summer schmear.  They can be savory: oregano-sundried tomato.  They can be sweet: toasted walnut-honey.  You get the idea.

My most frequent schmear, especially in winter when I need a reminder that summer will be back someday, is pesto schmear.

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