Daisy Bars

This recipe from the 1966 Minnesota Catholic Daughters Cookbook was submitted by someone from my hometown, so I knew I wanted to make it.  I ended up bringing them to the office one day when there were far too many meetings and I wanted to help us make it through the day.  So, this recipe that had been hanging out in my “to-make” pile for months made it to the top.

Daisy Bars

Daisy Bars

1st Layer:
1/2 c sugar
1 beaten egg
4 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 lb butter
2 c graham crackers
1 1/2 c coconut
1 c walnut meats

2nd Layer:
1/4 lb butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 c powdered sugar
Small amount of cream

3rd Layer:
7 plain Hershey bars

For the first layer, mix sugar, egg, cocoa, and butter in a double boiler and cook until smooth.  Take it off the stove and add the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and walnuts.  Pat in a 9×13 buttered pan.

For the second layer, cream the butter, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough cream to spread easily.  Spread on the first layer.

For the third layer, melt the Hershey bars.  Spread on top of the bars, making sure the first and second layers are chilled really well before putting on the melted chocolate.


Cinnamon Apple Flatbread

In addition to my refrigerator going out a few weeks ago, I had a giant branch fall off one of my trees in my backyard.  Most branches I have lost have been a size that I can drag to the front yard, but this was one where I didn’t have that as an option.  I was talking with one of my neighbors about it and he said he’d come take a look.  The next day when I came home at lunch to let Meg out, there he was, cutting apart my branch and hauling the pieces up to the front yard.  I felt like the luckiest gal in the world.  So, despite it taking a few weeks, I wanted to thank him for it, and so I made this cinnamon apple flatbread to take to him and his wife.  I continue to use my sourdough starter in new ways — do you have any must-cook recipes with sourdough?  This cinnamon apple flatbread recipe came from the King Arthur’s Flour website, which is an awesome resource for sourdough and other recipes.

Cinnamon Apple Flatbread

Cinnamon-Apple Flatbread

1 c sourdough starter, fed or unfed
3/4 c lukewarm water
2 tsp instant yeast
3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp dry milk
3 Tbsp olive oil


4 very large firm apples, about 2 pounds
1/4 c boiled cider
1/4 c maple syrup


1/4 c Baker’s cinnamon filling or cinnamon-sugar
1/4 c syrup, reserved from cooked apples
2-3 Tbsp coarse white sparkling sugar

Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth, fairly soft dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and let it rise for 1 hour. Gently deflate it, and allow it to rise for another hour; it should have at least doubled in bulk, or come close to it. While the dough is rising, prepare the topping.

For the topping: Core the unpeeled apples, and cut each into 8 wedges; an apple corer/slicer works well here. Cut each of the wedges into 3 pieces; you’ll have 7 to 7 1/2 cups (about 27 ounces) of apple chunks.

Put the chunks in a shallow microwave-safe bowl, and drizzle with the boiled cider and maple syrup. Don’t have boiled cider or maple syrup? Drizzle with 1/3 cup honey, 1/4 cup agave syrup, or the sweetener of your choice.

Microwave the apples till they’ve softened, but still hold their shape. In our microwave here, that took about 9 minutes.

Drain the apples, reserving the juice. Set them aside to cool while the dough is rising.

Lightly grease an 18″ x 13″ rimmed baking sheet (half-sheet pan), or two 9″ x 13″ pans. Drizzle olive oil atop the spray; the spray keeps the bread from sticking, while the olive oil gives the bottom crust great crunch and flavor.

Gently deflate the risen dough, then pull and shape the dough into a rough rectangle, and place it in the pan. (Or divide it in half, and put in the two smaller pans.) Pat and stretch to fill the bottom of the pan. The dough will shrink back; as soon as it doe, cover it and walk away for 10 to 15 minutes. Return, and pat it towards the edges of the pan again. You may have to give it another rest; that’s OK. Your ultimate goal is to stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan, with perhaps just the very corners uncovered.

Arrange the apple chunks atop the dough.

Mix 1/4 cup of the reserved syrup with 1/4 cup Baker’s Cinnamon Filling or 1/4 cup cinnamon-sugar. The Baker’s Cinnamon Filling will yield a richer, creamier topping. Drizzle the syrup over the apples.

Cover the bread, and let it rise for 1 hour, till it’s nice and puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Uncover the bread, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired. Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, till the crust is golden brown around the edges and feels set in the center. Remove it from the oven, turn it out onto a rack, and serve warm.

Bacon, Chicken, and Mustard Pizza

In the process of the refrigerator move, I found a half-eaten jar of mustard sauce that went well with the pulled pork I made recently.  Between that, the leftover bacon from Nick’s, I started to think about the combination of mustard and bacon on a pizza crust.  I went to the store to find some pulled pork to put on the pizza as well, but couldn’t find any.  I did see a small container of rotisserie chicken, and I thought that would suffice.  This worked out well, minus the fact that when I was having a leftover piece of pizza one morning, some mustard dripped on my shirt and I needed to change clothes.  I did, however, love this flavor combination.

Bacon, Chicken, and Mustard Pizza.jpg

Bacon, Chicken, and Mustard Pizza

sourdough pizza crust
cooked bacon
rotisserie chicken
maple mustard sauce
provolone cheese

Start to cook the pizza crust according to the directions.  Spread with maple mustard sauce.  Layer with slices of provolone cheese, sprinkle rotisserie chicken and bacon on top.  Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Roasted Fresh Corn, Poblano, and Cheddar Pizza

To cook with the sourdough pizza starter I’d made, I decided to throw together this corn, poblano, and cheddar pizza.  I think it’s been on my list of pizzas to make since I first saw the recipe in a Cooking Light magazine back in 2006 and it’s been flagged in the annual cookbook since I got it.  So, with corn in season in August, I decided to finally make this.

Roasted Fresh Corn, Poblano, and Cheddar Pizza

Roasted Corn, Poblano, and Cheddar Pizza

2 poblano chiles
Cooking spray
2 c fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
1/2 c chopped green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 c low-fat milk
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can refrigerated pizza crust dough*
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat boiler.  Place poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 10 minutes or until blackened and charred, turning occasionally.  Place in a heavy-duty ziploc plastic bag; seal.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Peel and discard skins, seeds, and stems.  Chop peppers.

Lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees.  Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add corn, green onions, and garlic; saute 2 minutes or until lightly browned.  Stir in milk; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.  Cool slightly.  Place egg whites, egg, salt, and black pepper in a bowl; stir with a whisk.  Stir in poblano peppers, corn mixture, and cheese.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Unroll dough onto parchment paper; pat dough to form a 13×8-inch rectangle.  Spread corn mixture over dough, leaving a 1-inch border.  Fold 1 inch of dough over corn mixture.  Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes or until set.  Serve with sour cream; sprinkle with cilantro.

Peanut Butter Bacon Pizza

It’s been a few weeks of continuing to make pizza.  I had my refrigerator freezer go out on me a few weeks ago and I found myself cooking up the leftover pizza dough in the freezer, cooking with my sourdough starter, and trying to make sure I didn’t have too much extra.  One item I found in the freezer was some bacon from Nick’s Country Meats in Hayward, Minnesota.  I had seen someone suggest on Reddit that people put peanut butter, provolone, and bacon on pizza, so I thought it was time to try it.  Overall, I thought it tasted okay, and probably would have been better if I had heated the peanut butter to help it spread a little bit more on the pizza and be a little more even.

Peanut Butter Bacon Pizza

Peanut Butter Bacon Pizza

sourdough pizza crust
peanut butter
provolone cheese
cooked bacon

Partially cook the pizza crust, according to the instructions.  Spread peanut butter on the crust, lay the provolone cheese slices on top, and sprinkle cooked bacon on the top of cheese.

Cheese Apple Bread

With harvest in progress and fall here, one of the activities we often take part in is the visit to the apple orchard.  Because of that, I have been searching for some apple recipes to heighten the tastebuds.  In addition to the birthdays I mentioned with the berry cobbler, I have a friend who is a little bit more of an adventurous eater who had a birthday and I thought she would be appreciative of this cheese apple bread.  I found it when looking through the Cedar Rapids Women of the Moose Cookbook from 1979 and set it aside to save it for the apple season.  It looks delicious, doesn’t it?

Cheese Apple Bread.jpg

Cheese Apple Bread

2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 c sugar
1 c grated apples
1/2 c grated cheese
1/2 c oil
2 eggs

Blend oil, sugar together.  Add eggs.  Mix well, add apples and cheese.  Mix flour, soda, and powder together and mix into mixture.  Put into a greased bread pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until done.

Berry and Buttermilk Cobbler

A few weeks ago I had a number of friends who had birthdays in quick succession.  I wanted to do something to acknowledge their days, and so one Saturday morning when Meg and I awoke far too early in the day, we found ourselves making these individual cobblers and delivering them around.  I looked for a few different recipes for consideration, and the recipe from the Small Victories cookbook looked to fit the bill.  Don’t they look great?

Berry and Buttermilk Cobbler

Berry and Buttermilk Cobbler

2 lbs mixed berries, rinsed (strawberries are not ideal)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly butter the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with the butter wrapper.  Put the berries in the prepared dish and drizzle with the lemon juice.  Add 1/4 c of the sugar and a generous pinch of salt.  Use your hands to combine all the ingredients. (Taste the berries to check the sugar and lemon levels.  Cut too much sweetness with more lemon juice.  Cut too much tartness with more sugar.)  Mix in the cornstarch and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 c sugar, the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Whisk everything together.  Drizzle the butter and buttermilk over the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Use two teaspoons to dollop the dough evenly over the berries.  Put the baking dish on a parchment-lined baking sheet to catch any drips and make clean-up a breeze.

Bake until the topping is dark golden brown and the berries are bubbling, about 1 hour.  Let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving so that the juices collect themselves and don’t run everywhere.