Smoked Brisket

I smoked my first brisket, even though I’ve had my wood pellet grill for almost two years now.

And by I, I mean my brother mostly. I made up the rub, using brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, hot chili, cumin and oregano.  But my brother did most of the smoking, setting the temperature and watching over it.

I paid close attention and asked lots of questions, so I think I could do it myself next time.


 

Instant Pot: Turkey Noodle Soup

I found a really good deal on lean ground turkey and packaged most of it up to store in the freezer. While I was there, I decided it was time to make some space, so I pulled out the turkey broth I made from Thanksgiving leftovers.

Ground turkey ✔
Turkey Broth ✔

Time for some turkey noodle soup! And it was mmmm, mmmm, good.

Turkey Noodle Soup

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 8 cups of liquid – a combination of turkey or chicken broth and water
  • 16 oz frozen vegetables – you can add a bag of mixed veggies. I used carrots and green beans
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery leaves, chopped (opt)
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 10 oz egg noodles
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 3 tsp poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste (you’ll probably need 1/2 tsp of each for the ground meat and more for the soup itself)

Add salt, pepper and 1 tsp poultry seasoning to turkey and mix well. Continue reading

Sunday Pot Roast: Instant Pot and Slow-Cooker Recipes

Sunday Pot Roast In my quest to update some of my older recipes for Instant Pot style cooking, here is one of my favorites. I love being able to set this up and an hour and a half later have a perfectly cooked pot roast – tender and flavorful – along with all the sides.

Sunday Pot Roast

  • 4 lbs Pot Roast (chuck roast)
  • ¼  cup good whiskey (or red wine)
  • ¼ cup beef broth or water (more if needed)
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • ½ tsp salt & pepper
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 6 medium potatoes, quartered
  • 1 lb bag baby carrots

slow-cooker or Instant Pot Continue reading

Gadget Post: French Bread Pans

I know JeffreyW has had one of these for years, including one for baguettes,  but just before the holidays, I finally took it out of my wishlist and put it into my cart to purchase.

For only fifteen dollars, this is a great addition to my baking tools. It effortlessly makes two perfect loaves of French bread.  Paired with my favorite bread recipe (here), bread was a hit on Christmas Eve.

What I really like is how simple it is. After the first rise (12 hours in my case) you shape the loaves, place them in the lightly oiled French bread pan, let rise again for ninety-minutes, do an egg wash and bake. No proofing cloths, no flat, shapeless loaves on a baking sheet. Just yummy, perfectly shaped loaves, golden brown on all sides thanks to the perforations.

I also made loaves to give away in my holiday food packages with berry jam.

Just writing about it makes me want to put together another batch.


 

Christmas Eve Dinner: Spinach Lasagna, Cheesy Garlic Bread and Lemon-Butter Green Beans

One of my favorite nights of the year. Friends come over for Christmas Eve dinner and then we watch a movie. Tonight: Strictly Ballroom, a quirky Australian treat by Baz Luhrman.

This year I had a request to make Spinach Lasagna again, I haven’t made it for a few years. I really like it because I can prep it ahead and the night of the party I’m not stuck in the kitchen.

On the board:

  1. Spinach Lasagna
  2. Green Beans Tossed w/Butter & Lemon Pepper
  3. Garlic Cheese Bread
  4. Ice Cream Sundae Bar

This recipe takes about an hour to prepare and another hour to cook. It easily serves 6 – 8. I made it on Sunday and refrigerated. It will need additional cooking time to bring the center up to temperature.

Spinach Lasagna

Sauce:

  • 3-15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2-6 oz cans tomato paste
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp oregano, crushed
  • 2 tsp basil, crushed
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled & finely grated
  • pinch of sugar (reduces acidity of the tomatoes)
  • Optional: ½ lb ground beef and ½ spicy Italian sausage, browned

Saucepan Continue reading

English Muffin Toast

This bread is so easy to make and even at this altitude, it’s moist and fluffy.  No kneading and a quick mix and it’s ready to rise. I’m making it again tomorrow.

English Muffin Bread

  • 12-3/4 ounces bread flour
  • 1/2 ounce sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 8 ounces milk
  • 2 ounces water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
  • cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan

bowl, loaf pan

Continue reading

Tahini Walnut Rolls

I have included a little Turkish Cafe in my newest novel Underway (available in June) and I wanted to try out a few pastry recipes to use in the book. This was one of the simpler (and not deep fried) that I decided to give a try.

This is not the definitive recipe – if you Google Tahini Rolls you’ll find dozens of variations. Everyone’s grandma must make her own version. This one seemed the easiest to replicate.

These are much different than I expected. Light, crisp, flaky and not too sweet, they go great with coffee.  I really liked them.  This recipe makes about 2 dozen: Continue reading