Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

A creative way to enjoy eggs, hash browns and bacon…and cheese. There has to be some cheese. 


3 Cups shredded hash browns, thawed and drained

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

3 Large eggs, beaten

1/2 Cup half and half

1/2 Cup milk (I used whole milk)

1/2 Cup of bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used about 4 big strips and fried them extra crispy)

1/4 to 1/2 Cup diced green onion

1 Cup cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a bowl, mix together the hash browns and melted butter. Put mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan to form an even crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and the edges are starting to get crispy.

While the crust is baking, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. When the hash brown crust is finished, pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the Quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.

From: Life Tastes Like Food 


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Previously I’ve written about the thousands of recipes our friend Rusty left behind. His life’s work was our Easter dinner. Like the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” I may start calling these posts “Meals with Rusty.”  

This ham is unbelievably easy to make and bake. Carving it up is especially simple.

Serves…a lot with leftovers.


6-8 pound bone-in ham

1 tbsp ground mustard

1 tsp ground allspice

3/4 cup of orange marmalade

oven safe thermometer


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Score ham in a cross pattern. Combine mustard and allspice and smear all over the ham.  Place in a shallow pan, insert thermometer at least 1 inch deep making sure not to make contact with a fat pocket or the bone under the surface.

Bake uncovered for 2-2/12 hours or until the internal temperature reads 140 degrees. During the last hour of baking smear the orange marmalade all over the ham. Baste occasionally.  Carve.

From: Rusty Banker

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The recipe below is for those days where you might want the flavor of a latte or mocha without all of the heavy milk or cream. It also works well if you have some plain robust beans that are unflavored and you are in the mood for some flavored coffee.  Be careful as the chocolate syrup tends to settle out. So make sure you give it a stir before you pour or ladle. The recipe says to make it in a crock pot. But I imagine it would work just fine in a saucepan or camping coffee pot on the stove on low heat.


8 cups of brewed coffee

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup chocolate syrup

1/2 teaspoon anise extract

4 cinnamon sticks, halved.

1-1/2 teaspoons whole cloves

Additional cinnamon sticks, optional.


Brew coffee and add to crock pot with the sugar, syrup and anise. Using a double piece of cheesecloth add the cloves and the cinnamon sticks. Gather the ends and tie them off into a bag and steep in crock pot for 2-3 hours. Discard the bag, ladle spiced coffee into mug and garnish with an additional cinnamon stick if you desire.

*Anise extract may be hard to find. McCormick makes some, but I couldn’t find it in my spice aisle. I tried grinding anise seeds with a mortal and pestle. I think that released too much anise and made the flavor overwhelming. To make your own fill a 1/2 pint canning jar with whole star anise. Fill with vodka, leave indefinitely. Star anise also stores well in sugar to make anise flavored sugar. From: Askville 

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This is a fantastic dish that you can dive into for breakfast or lunch. This version is savory and salty. It would go great with a smooth cup of coffee and maybe some juice or fruit slices. I made mine with prosciutto tips but you can also cut up some slices of this fabulous meat.

A friend of mine deletes the cheese and meat and instead adds some cinnamon and tops with powdered sugar to make a sweeter version. Change the meat and cheese and this is so versatile you should be able to make it with whatever is in your fridge.

Serves 4


3 tbs butter

3 eggs

3/4 cup of milk (warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds)

3/4 cup of flour

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp almond extract

pinch of salt

1 cup of cheese (gruyere or other sharp cheese)

4 ounces of prosciutto


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butter in a cast iron pan or stone baking dish as oven pre-heats.

Blend until frothy the eggs, hot milk, sugar, almond extract and slat until smooth and a little frothy. Stir in gruyere and prosciutto.

Carefully remove hot pan and swirl around butter. Pour in mix and lightly shake to evenly distribute. Cook 15-20 minutes until the top is golden. Don’t open the oven while it is baking.

This recipe comes from Genie Maybank’s Bacon Class at New Pioneer Co-op in Coralville, IA.


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Cheese Straws

These have been around for a long time. But it seems that the internet and foodies are starting to rediscover them. This recipe from the fine folks at the Splendid Table doesn’t disappoint.


1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Sift together the flour, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper. Put the butter and grated cheese in a mixing bowl, and mix for several minutes, until thoroughly blended. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and cheese, and mix until completely incorporated. Add the water, and mix for one minute longer.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead five or six times. Roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick, and cut into strips 1/4 inch wide and 4-6 inches in length. Place the strips on un-greased cookie sheets 1/2 inch apart, and bake in the preheated oven for 12-16 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Cool completely, and store in airtight containers.

From: The Splendid Table

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I tried to impress my wife by telling her about the divine treat I had planned for dessert. 

My coolness quickly faded when I learned that my French is horrible and I was mispronouncing the name of this decadence.

Serves 2


1/2 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup whole milk

2 large egg yolks

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

2 Tbs. granulated sugar

Kosher salt


Heat the half-and-half and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until scalding hot. Scalding is when tiny bubbles form all along the edges of the milk and it coats the back of a spoon. It should take on a cooked butter smell. Don’t boil it.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the eggs. This is called tempering. If you didn’t do this you would scramble the eggs when you added them to the total mixture.

Return the egg-milk mixture to the pan, reduce the heat to low, and whisk until it thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips, sugar, and a pinch of salt; whisk until melted. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Divide the mixture between two 6-oz. ramekins or serving glasses. Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour.

From: Fine Cooking

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This not only screams Valentine’s Day it also yelps a little on the decadence front.

I went through several recipes and found that both recipes for the cakes and the toppings didn’t always appeal to me. So in this post I’ve combined two recipes. You’ll find links at the bottom to both and a third.

Ingredients for the cakes

1/2 of an 18.25 oz box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Red Velvet cake mix (about 2 cups lightly filled)

2 large eggs, beaten (see Cook’s Note)

2 Tbsp oil

1/4 cup + 1 tsp water

3 Tbsp butter–to cook the cakes in on the griddle


Ingredients Cream Cheese Glaze:

4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk, if needed



Combine the cake mix, eggs, oil and water in a mixing bowl until just thoroughly blended (don’t overmix). If batter seems too thick, add another tablespoon of water.

Cook the pancakes in a non-stick pan over medium heat. You want to cook these a little slower than regular pancakes because you don’t want them to brown too much. Keep them warm in a low oven.

Cook’s Note: To make these (or any pancakes) lighter, separate the yolks and whites. Combine the beaten yolks with the other batter ingredients; beat the whites to soft peaks and gently fold them into the batter.


To make the glaze:

In a small bowl, use a fork to stir together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

Add a little milk if needed to make a glaze that has a thin enough consistency to drizzle.


From: Wandering Educators

From: Cooking Equipment

One More: The EBell of Los Angeles

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