Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal for Breakfast means you can work ’till lunch! Yum!

I love the flavor of oatmeal.  But I loathe its texture.  And texture is an important thing!  So, when Xenia raved about the baked oatmeal at the dining hall, I was a bit reticent to try it.  But, when I did, I could see what all the fuss was about!

Filled with apples, dried fruit, and oaty goodness, baked oatmeal is tasty, satisfying, and a breakfast that will stick with you.  It’s great for breakfast before heading out to cut firewood on a chilly day.  Continue reading

Pecan Rolls

Pecan Rolls

Yummy, sticky, sweet, spicy… Pecan Rolls!

I wish I could make pecan rolls as good as Joann McCormack, “The Cinnamon Roll Lady.”  Alas, I must limit myself to those little sticky plops of ambrosia to summer, when I can get them at the Tuesday evening Culver Farmers’ Market.  Mine, though, are still pretty durn sticky-good.   My version is also easy and quick to make.  I can put it together in time for breakfast even on a busy Sunday with parade, chapel, or other commitments. Continue reading

Refrigerator Brioche Dough

Brioche Dough

Make and refrigerate (or freeze) a large quantity of brioche dough, and you can make a wide assortment of fresh goodies in little time

Things have been a bit really crazy lately, allowing not so much time to cook, let alone bake.  Yet the ducks kept laying eggs, even as the days get shorter and colder.  Normally they would have slowed nearly to a stop by now.  The result?  I’m running out of egg storage space!

So, on a stormy Sunday with no work duties(!) and a lot of studying to do, I decided to do something about it.  I made up about a 4 1/2 pound batch of refrigerator brioche dough!

Brioche is a (very) enriched bread dough, with lots of egg and butter, and sweetened with a bit of honey.  It’s often baked in a typical loaf shape, but can be substituted for challah, made into cinnamon rolls, or beignets filled with chocolate or jam (though that requires deep frying,  a mess I seldom want to deal with). Continue reading

Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle

I’m  not sure where my blueberry buckle recipe originates from.  I think it might have been 7th grade home economics class…  Nonetheless, I’ve been making it for years, with a few alterations along the way.  It’s a great way to celebrate blueberry season!

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Black Iron Black Raspberry Cobbler

Wild Black Raspberry Cobbler in a cast iron skillet

Black Iron Black Raspberry Cobbler: a decadent celebration of early summer, baked in a cast iron skillet.

Nature provides us with many wonderful and important things.  Among the most important are oxygen and wild black raspberries.  Truly, I can’t think of many things better, and nothing that makes a better celebration of early summer than Wild Black Raspberries.    Yes, that’s in title caps intentionally.

Picking them is a metaphor for life.  Good things don’t come easy, and some of the best come with a good deal of itching: our raspberries grow in the same niches favored by poison ivy, stinging nettle, wild blackberry, wild roses, and mosquitoes, and the tiny berries take a long time to pick.  But the reward is wonderful.  This cobbler takes a bunch of berries, so I tend to reserve it only for special people, like myself and my wife.  I bake it in a 9″ cast iron skillet, because I like it that way! Continue reading

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

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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