Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pear Almond Cranberry Dutch Oven Pie

I did a story for the newspaper about a Dutch oven convention a few weeks ago and met a woman named Carol Hokanson. She is a champion, you guys! She brought this pie, which she made in her home oven instead of coals that morning, and it tasted like heaven. I'm excited about the filling, but I'm obsessed with the crust. Carol lifted the pie out of that dutch oven and it looked EXACTLY THE SAME. It didn't crack or sag and it tasted amazing. 

6-7 pears, peeled and diced
1 ½ cups dried cranberries, reconstituted
1 cup sugar
½ cup ultra gel
1 tsp almond extract
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
¾ cup slivered almonds, toasted

3 cups flour
1 ¼ cups Crisco shortening
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 T. white vinegar
2/3 cup cold water

Egg Wash:
1 egg
1 T. water

Filling Directions:
In a small bowl mix sugar, ultra gel, nutmeg, ground ginger, salt and cinnamon together until well blended. In a separate, large bowl, blend together pears, cranberries, almonds and almond extract. Combine the two mixtures and gently toss until mixed. Set aside.

Pastry Directions:
In a large bowl, blend flour, salt, and shortening together with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, water, and white vinegar. Add the liquid mixture to the crumbly mixture and gently stir with a fork until it forms a ball. Gather the dough into your hands (DO NOT KNEAD) and divide it into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Refrigerate the small one until you’re ready to roll it out.

Roll the larger dough ball out on a cloth-covered board to about 14-inches in diameter. Spray a 10-inch Dutch Oven with Bakers Joy. Place strips of parchment in the Dutch Oven to make removing the pie easier. Place the rolled-out pastry in the Dutch Oven, making sure the edges come over the sides of the Dutch Oven. Pour the pie filling into the Dutch Oven.

Roll out the smaller ball of dough into an 11-inch circle and cut into ½ - ¾ inch strips for the lattice top, then arrange the lattice top over the pie filling in the Dutch Oven.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water together for the egg wash. Brush the egg wash onto the lattice top of the pie. Garnish with sugar crystals if you desire.

Bake at 425 degrees using 12 coals on the bottom and 15 on the top of Dutch Oven with a windshield around the bottom, for about 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and pulling away from the sides of the Dutch Oven. Cool and then lift the pie out using the parchment strips.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Crab Salad

This is a recipe from Brian's side of the family. He remembers his Aunt Sandy (Denise's younger sister) bringing it to parties, but Denise says she's the one who brought it. It's got all the things kids love; fish, olives, celery. :) Ha! It's for the grown-ups. And Nate.


3 c. macaroni (before it's cooked)

1 lb. imitation crab meat

3 c. celery, chopped

1 medium sized can black olives, sliced (the one in between 4 oz and 15 oz)


1 c. mayonnaise

1 c. sour cream

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. season salt

1/2 to 3/4 of a Ranch dressing powder envelope

1/4 to 1/2 c. milk (whisk the first six ingredients, then add milk slowly until you have the consistency you want)

Cook the macaroni to the al dente directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Put macaroni in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients on top. Pour half of dressing over the whole mixture and stir. Pour the remaining half of dressing over the salad and stir again. Chill and serve.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Waffles and Raspberry Syrup

I got a waffle iron for Christmas! I knew Mom had a great recipe for waffles because we ate them at her house earlier this year. She said she got it from Studio 5 and they called them "Christmas Waffles" because they don't know this can be Any Day of the Week Waffles. The raspberry syrup is to die for.


2 c. flour

2 T. sugar

2 T. baking powder (yes, TABLESPOONS)

3/4 tsp. salt

2 c. milk

2 eggs

1/4 c. vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients together; mix wet ingredients together, then combine. Pour into hot waffle iron and cook. (Every waffle iron is different. Ours took about 4 minutes to look like the picture.)

Raspberry Syrup

2 c. frozen raspberries (I used fresh because that's what I had - it turned out great)

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 c. water

3 T. cornstarch in 1/2 c. cold water

1 T. lemon juice

Cook raspberries, sugar and water together in a saucepan on medium heat until raspberries are thawed. Bring to a boil. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water, then add a little of the raspberry mixture and combine. Add cornstarch mixture to saucepan. Add lemon juice. Simmer on low heat until ready to serve, stirring often. (Syrup can be cooled and strained, then reheated.)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Yes, I stole this picture. These are amazing! I ate a dozen for dinner tonight (and then took a dozen Tums). That was a bad idea. But if you can manage to just eat 1 or 2, you'll be fine. 

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For Rolling:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside. 
2. In another mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until combined. Mix in egg yolk, then mix in pumpkin and vanilla extract. With the mixer, gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Keep covered in the fridge for at least 45 minutes. 
3. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Scoop dough into about a 2 Tbsp sized ball, forming a ball with your hands, of course. Toss ball of dough in the cinnamon and sugar mixture until covered. Then place on a baking sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. 
4. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Do not under bake. They're still gross hours later. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hamburger Soup

A classic from the Woods Cross cookbook. That thing was published in 1988! Aaron and Lori weren't even born! I went into panic mode today when I realized it's not in any of the cookbooks we've made together and it's not on this website (well, now it is). Just in case your copy of the Woods Cross cookbook is disintegrating or you don't even have one to begin with, here you go. This soup reminds me of home and the old days. :)

1 lb. hamburger

2 c. diced carrots

2 c. diced potatoes

1 c. diced celery

2 T. parsley, chopped fine

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt (I used 2 cloves fresh garlic)

1 tsp. sugar

2 1/2 c. tomato juice

1/2 c. beef broth

1 T. tomato paste

1 large bay leaf

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

5 c. water

3 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 c. pearl barley

Brown the hamburger until almost all the pink is gone, drain. Add onions and garlic to the hamburger and cook until onions are translucent. Transfer meat mixture to a large soup pot. Add the rest of the ingredients to the soup pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for at least one hour. Stir occasionally. Before serving, remove bay leaf. (I made a few changes out of necessity, but it ended up making the soup taste even better so I included my changes. Also, I never have pearl barley.)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Chicken and Bacon Fettuccine Alfredo

This recipe is in the first Sisters' Cookbook as "Judy's Fettuccine." I added some stuff. I have to admit I was totally sweating when I finished making this. It's one of those recipes where you have to time everything just right. I think the end result is worth it, though. (Btw, Judy was my co-worker at the COB. Remember Judy?!)


1 lb. bacon, cooked until crisp, drained and crumbled

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 c. butter

1/4 c. snipped, fresh parsley

1 c. heavy cream

1 lb. fettuccine noodles, cooked al dente, drained

1 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (I used a Costco rotisserie chicken - as always)

6-8 mini bella mushrooms, chopped and sauteed in butter (optional) (Allyn)


Heat an oven-safe serving dish at 250 degrees while you're cooking.

Heat cream in a small saucepan until just warm. Remove from heat and add beaten eggs. Whisk together until smooth.

Take the serving dish out of the oven and put the butter in it. When the butter has melted, add the drained pasta and toss. Pour egg-cream mixture over buttered pasta and toss until it's well coated. Add bacon, chicken, mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese, then toss together. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and pepper. Serve immediately. (I used a coated cast iron braising pan with a nice tight lid. The pasta stayed warm and saucy. It was surprisingly good when warmed up for lunch the next day, too. I've had bad luck with alfredo making it as leftovers.)

Greasy Tacos

You can stop putting off making Cilantro Lime Rice, because here are the greasy tacos to go with it. Chef Mo helped me with the shells.


1 lb. ground beef mixed with 1 pkg taco seasoning mix

Canola Oil

Corn Taco Shells (we're using white corn shells here)

Shredded Colby Jack Cheese (about a cup)


Heat a griddle at 250 degrees. Pour a tablespoon of canola oil on the warmed griddle and spread it with a paper towel or a spatula. Place taco shells on the griddle and cook for about one minute. Turn the shells and sprinkle a little shredded cheese onto each shell. Put a small amount of taco meat on one half of the shell on top of the melting cheese. Fold each taco in half (still on the griddle) and press down with the flat of the spatula until it sticks, about 10 seconds. Remove tacos from griddle and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice, guacamole, and sour cream.