Tuesday, April 30, 2013


There are two options for dough here.  You can use my recipe or you can buy frozen dough rolls at the store and thaw them.  My mom uses this method quite successfully.  If you use those you will get less meat in them that I put it or you could combine two of the balls to make a larger dough circle.


1 cup warm water (120*)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg (beaten and use just 1/2)
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
3 to 3-1/2 cups flour

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups finely chopped cabbage
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 slices American cheese

To make your own dough:  Mix together yeast, water, sugar, salt, egg, and butter. Add in most of the flour and mix. If you use your dough hook on your mixer you will add more flour in as it kneads and it will take 3-5 minutes. By hand you will knead 8-10 minutes. The dough starts out sticky but after kneading and incorporating the  flour it should be shiny and smooth. It shouldn't stick to your hands but shouldn't be dry and cracked either.  Place in large greased bowl turned dough over to coat. Cover and let rise 1 hour.

Meanwhile brown meat and onion.  I had some extra carrots so I threw them in too.  Drain as needed if it is very fatty.
Add cabbage, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook until cabbage is tender.  You may need to add a little water to keep mixture moist as you go.
Break your cheese slices into halves or quarters. You will use half a slice for each if you are making larger bierrocks as I do. Quarters if you are doing the frozen roll version.
Divide homemade dough into 12 pieces. Roll out fairly thin but not too thin that your hamburger mixture will poke through. Size is approximately 4-1/2 to 5". 
Using large cookie scoop (approx 1/4-1/3c) place hamburger mixture on the dough.
Top with cheese. (I learned that if you put the cheese first then meat it doesn't leak out! So flip flop your cheese and meat from these pictures.)
Pull up edges and pinch together.
Place pinched side down on greased cookie shieet.  Let rise for 15 minutes.
Bake at 350* for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Any flour left on the dough can be brushed off with a pastry dough or... 
you can brush on a little butter. Look how they shine!
These are FREEZABLE!!  Freeze on a cooling rack and then put in a freezer gallon bag or vacuum seal bags.  To reheat place in a paper towel and microwave for 1 minute on 50% power, then flip and do the same.  I have not tried baking them to reheat.  I would be afraid the outside would get to crispy before the middle was hot.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Basil Pesto

Chef Gaby showed me how to use the abundance of basil I had.  I'll never buy pesto in a jar again!

Basil Pesto

All ingredients are approximate and be changed up to suit your taste!  Double, triple or quadruple to make extra to freeze.

2 ounces fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons pine nuts (we used and prefer macadamia nuts)
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons grated Romano cheese
salt, as needed

Throw all of your ingredients except salt into a food processor and whiz away. 
Scrape down sides as needed to be sure it all gets incorporated.  Taste as you go and add salt as needed.  The cheeses have a fair amount of salt in them.
Store in a jar in the fridge to use.  It will darken on top but it is still tasty. 
Freezes great too.  Scoop into an ice cube tray.  After they are frozen pop them into a freezer bag or vacuum sealed bag for use later.
During harvest I use our pesto for quick spicing up of my homemade marinara sauce.  To use in pasta: Cook some ravioli, gnocchi, or favorite pasta shape.  Drain but leave a little pasta water on them.  Add some pesto.  Stir, then sprinkle with Parmesan.  The little one calls this "green pasta."

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beef and Barley Soup/Stew

Hearty stew that can be cooked in a couple hours on the stove top or low and slow all day in a crock pot. The crock pot version creates a creamier stew while the stove top version is more of a soup.

Beef and Barley Soup/Stew

2 pound roast, trimmed and chunked (crock pot) or cut into 3/4" pieces (stove top)
olive oil
6 cups beef broth 
2 cups water*
1-1/4 cup chopped/sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup quick barley (more or less as you change the dish's consistency)
1 cup frozen peas

In a stainless steel pan heat oil, then brown beef pieces.  It is not necessary to sear on all sides if you do not have the time.  Dump meat into a crock pot.  Add some of the broth to the pan to get all the bits and flavor off.  Pour it also into the crock pot.  Add the rest of the broth, (*1 cup only of water,) carrots, celery, onion, and salt/pepper.
Cook on low for 8-9 hours.  The beef should be tender.  I add  in the barley about an hour before serving.  It gives me a chance to see how much liquid is in the crock.  If I think it is too much I add more barley to soak it up a little. 
Break apart the pieces of beef if they are large and add frozen peas in and give a stir.  The heat from the stew will thaw the peas. 

In a large pot brown beef in oil.  Drain off any oil.  Stir in broth, water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least an hour stirring occasionally. Add vegetables (except peas,) cover and simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour until vegetables are soft.  Stir in peas, again the heat from the soup will thaw the peas.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Carl's Wicked Awesome Bars

My husband wanted to make granola bars.  He searched for recipes that didn't contain white or brown sugar and found nothing the really suited him so he threw together this one based on several recipe ingredients he found.  He emailed me the recipe he had tested a couple times and titled the email "Carl's Wicked Awesome Bars :P" so the name stuck!  

Carl's Wicked Awesome Bars

4 cups regular oatmeal
1/4 cup milled flax seed
1/4 cup milled chia seed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup craisins
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1/3 cup sunbutter

(Feel free to change up the nuts, butters, and fruits to suit your taste!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Drizzle some olive oil on a paper towel and rub inside of 7 x 11" baking dish.

In medium bowl mix together oats, flax seed, chia seeds, and nuts.
In another bowl mix together craisins, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne, cocoa,  sunbutter.  Yes it looks a little nasty but I promise it'll be fine once added to the oats!
Pour honey mixture over dry ingredients. 
Stir until dry ingredients are completely coated. 
Dump into prepared pan.  
Press firmly into pan. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. After you remove from oven, press them again. 
Allow them to completely cool before you cut them.  Store them in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Baked Cabbage

This recipe is my husband's mom's recipe.

Baked Cabbage

1 head of cabbage, cut up
8 ounces Velveeta, cubed
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 cup bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil

Bring large pot of water to boil.  Add cabbage.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile melt the butter and mix with breadcrumbs or mix the olive oil and breadcrumbs together. Set aside.
Make cheese sauce with butter, flour, salt, milk and Velveeta.  Start by melting butter, adding in flour, then slowly adding milk, stirring until it begins to thicken.  Melt in the cheese. It will seem runny but will thicken as it bakes.
Drain cabbage.
Dump half of the cabbage into a 9x13" baking dish. Pour 1/2 of the cheese sauce over.  Repeat layers. 
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. It's ok to have color like this.  It's flavor as my husband would say.
Top with buttered breadcrumbs and bake for 15 more minutes.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Honey Mustard Parmesan Baked Chicken

Honey Mustard Parmesan Baked Chicken

3 Tablespoons homemade mustard
1-1/2 Tablespoons honey

3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
olive oil or melted butter

Slice chicken breast halves into nice strips

or leave whole. (I slice off the back to make it even and take off the tip so it bakes more evenly.)
Dip in honey and mustard mixture.
Then in Parmesan and bread crumb mixture.  (I used my homemade goat Parm which was shredded)
Lay on greased cookie sheet.  Mist/drizzle with a little olive oil spray or drizzle with melted butter. Bake tenders at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  If you do whole pieces then bake for 25-30 minutes.

Homemade Mustard

I learned this recipe from a personal cooking class with Chef Gaby.  Check her out!!

Homemade Mustard

2 Tablespoons ground mustard (start with whole seeds, toast (optional) and grind then measure)
6 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire (optional) -  I did not use
1 Tablespoon malt vinegar (optional) -  I did not use
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
2 Tablespoons sugar

Using a cast iron pan toast your seeds.  The main picture above was made with toasted seeds (your mustard will be darker).  This picture shows the seeds toasted.  They turned from golden yellows to a much more brown color.  Careful not to burn!!

This picture shows untoasted seeds.  You can mix and match toasted and untoasted to your taste/time preference.   Chef Gaby would use a mortar and pestle.  I do not have one yet so I use a coffee grinder that I use for spices only and gently pulsed until the balls were gone but not too powdery.

Place all ingredients over a double boiler.  The best is to use a round bottom metal bowl over a saucepan that has the water in it so you can whisk and get all the ingredients stirred   Whisk continuously until it thickens.  Takes only a short amount of time.  

Store your mustard in the fridge.  It will be very light and airy.  If you like honey mustard add some honey to your mustard.  Makes a great dip for chicken fingers.