Curried Cran-Orange Snack Mix

Since I had some chex cereal for the Party Mix recipe I shared last week, I knew I wanted to make some other treats.  I found this recipe hand-written with a bunch of recipes when I was going through them, so I’m unsure where I had previously found it.

Curried Cran-Orange Snack Mix.jpg

Curried Cran-Orange Snack Mix

2 c wheat chex
1 1/2 c corn chex
1 c chow mein noodles
1/3 c shelled pistachios
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp orange peel
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 c cranberries

In a large bowl, combine cereals, noodles, and pistachios, set aside.  In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Drizzle over cereal mixture.  Toss to coat.

Transfer to a 15x10x1 baking pan, coated with spray.  Bake at 275 degrees for 40 minutes until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes.  Stir in cranberries.  Cool on a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container.

Restaurant Rosemary Bread

In the ongoing bread-making that I’ve been doing since my dad and I took a bread-making class together a few months ago.  If you are a loyal reader, you may have noticed an increase in the breads I’ve put together over the past several months.  Everything from cranberry multi-grain bread to wild rice bread, to old-fashioned milk bread.  This is probably the last bread I’ll throw together for a little while, but it is a tasty one.  I recommend anyone who loves rosemary throw this together.  The recipe was originally adapted from Food Network Magazine, April 2011.


Restaurant Rosemary Bread

1 1/4 oz packet active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 c flour
4 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Stir the yeast, sugar, and 1/4 c warm water in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer).  Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, flour, 1 1/2 Tbsp rosemary, salt, and 3/4 c warm water; stir with a wooden spoon (or with the dough hook if using a mixer) until a dough forms.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting lightly with flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Or knead with the dough hook on medium-high speed, adding a little flour if the dough sticks to the bowl, about 8 minutes).

Brush a large bowl with olive oil.  Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled, about 2 hours.

Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil.  Generously flour a work surface, turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle some flour on the dough, the fold the top and bottom portions into the middle.  Fold in the sides to make a free-form square.  Use a spatula to turn the dough over, then tuck the corners under to form a ball.  Place seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough, putting two balls on each baking sheet.  Let stand, uncovered, until more than doubled, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the loaves 10 minutes, brush with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with the kosher salt and remaining 1/2 Tbsp rosemary.  Continue making until golden brown, about 10 more minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool.  Serve with olive oil seasoned with fresh or dried herbs, salt, and pepper.

Party Mix

Ten years ago, one of my high school friends married her husband and the reception was completely their style.  She’s not a fan of cake, so they served rice krispie bars.  Rather than having a specific meal, her family and friends of the family made all the snacks.  I, of course, asked for copies of all the recipes and have had them tucked away.  Earlier this fall I came across the recipes and thought I should start cooking some of them.  This party mix is something I remember being present at almost every gathering we had at their home while growing up, especially at New Year’s and other events we celebrated together.  As you gear up for the holiday, consider bringing this party mix to your gathering.

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Party Mix

3 c Crispix
3 c Wheat chex
2 c pretzels
1 c cashews

Melt in microwave:

1/2 c margarine
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp seasoned salt

Heat oven to 250 degrees.  Mix cereal and nuts.  Drizzle butter over mix evenly.  Spread in one layer on a cookie sheet.  Heat for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Spread on paper towel to cool.

Bean Dip

One day I noticed I had a variety of things in the fridge that needed to be used up and I thought mixing them together might prove to make a great dip, so I melted it together over the stove and it had a nice mix of spice and creaminess.

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Bean Dip

1 can refried beans
5 oz cream cheese
5 oz pepper gouda
1/2 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 jar salsa
1/2 c mozzarella cheese

Melt together on the stovetop.  Eat the deliciousness.

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Do you ever find yourself making recipes that are good?  Like, really good?  As in, I’m going to eat this for dessert, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and then make it again in the same week because it was so good?  A friend of mine was traveling through town last month and he stayed with me for a few days.  I had some leftover milk bread and made us fresh milk bread to have with some curried squash soup, so I needed to use up the milk bread.  I once again turned to the Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland cookbook and found this recipe for chocolate bread pudding.  So, we ate it.  And when it was gone, we walked up to the Lincoln Wine Bar for dinner one night (a delicious oyster mushroom, goat cheese, and chile pizza), and as we talked about going home to watch the World Series, we were laughing about how much we wished we had the bread pudding leftover at home.  I jokingly mentioned that if we could find some chocolate chips, we could probably make some more — so I texted a neighbor to see if they had chocolate chips — it was a no go.  Then we walked to the pharmacy in town.  They didn’t have chocolate chips — but they did have m&ms.  So, we melted them down and made round two of the bread pudding.  It was so good.  I know it’s the time of season when we use stale bread for Thanksgiving dressing, but if you’re looking for a different type of dessert, you probably can’t go wrong with this deliciousness.

Chocolate Bread Pudding.jpg

Chocolate Bread Pudding

1/2 loaf unsliced homemade-type bread, cut into 1-inch squares (about 4-5 cups)
1 1/4 c heavy cream
1 1/4 c whole milk
3/4 lb chocolate, shaved or chocolate chips
3 eggs
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

Put the bread cubes into a large bowl.  In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the cream and milk to a boil, turn off the heat, and stir in the chocolate until it has melted.  Pour this over the bread and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes so that the bread absorbs the mixture.  Beat the eggs and sugar with the vanilla and almond extracts.  Pour over the bread, tossing gently.  Dump the bread mixture into a large, greased 2-quart pan or an 8×8 inch cake pan.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until the edges are firm but the inside is still soft and moist.  The pudding should seem underbaked.  Serve hot with ice cream or whipped cream.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, and Parmesan

I’m sure it’s not at all surprising that I was looking for another brussels sprouts recipe with it being fall and sprouts season.  I pulled out the America’s Test Kitchen 2013 TV Companion Cookbook and flipped to the roasted brussels sprouts page.  There was a variation that included garlic, red pepper flakes, and parmesan, and it sounded worth trying.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, and Parmesan

2 1/4 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
Salt and pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.  Toss Brussels sprouts, 3 Tbsp oil, water, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper together in a large bowl until sprouts are coated.  Transfer sprouts to rimmed baking sheet and arrange them cut sides down.

Cover baking sheet tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 10 minutes.  Remove foil and continue to cook until Brussels sprouts are well browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes longer.

While Brussels sprouts roast, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes; cook until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Toss roasted sprouts with garlic oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to platter and sprinkle with 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

Buttermilk Cranberry Muffins

One of the things I love in the fall is not the pumpkin spice that seems to spread far and wide with the unveiling of the first pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks in late August and continuing through Thanksgiving.  Instead, I get pretty excited about the tart flavor of the cranberry, as has been evidenced throughout the last few months.  When preparing to  host Thanksgiving again this year, I knew that breakfast was the meal no one thinks about.  I actually went searching for a salad or vegetable recipe, when I accidentally came across this recipe for buttermilk cranberry muffins in our family cookbook, and I knew I wanted to throw it together for Thanksgiving morning.


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