Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey and Sage Dressing ala ~DKBB~

Turkey with Sage Dressing ala ~DKBB~
(based in part on Lyola Brown’s Sage Dressing recipe)

We brine our turkey…it makes for a much moister bird.

Basic brine recipe (this amount per 4 pounds, increasing amounts as needed for your size of bird)
1 cup water
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar 
  • Allow salt and brown sugar to dissolve in water thoroughly.
  • You can place the bird in a large plastic bag and then add the brine – or – you can use a very large stock pot, place in the bird and then brine, then cover. Brine overnight, or at least for 8 hours.
Brine your bird overnight, removing bird from brine about 2 hours before you plan to stuff it to allow the skin to dry a bit.

1½ to 2 loaves of bread
(I usually bake my own bread – Cracked Pepper Bread, Onion Bread, Oregano Herb Bread, Rye Bread, Wheat Bread…any and/or all combinations thereof. I slice the cooled loaves, then dice each slice into ½ cubes, place the cubes in one layer on cookie sheets, and bake at 250° F for 1 hour to create my own stuffing bread. Or you can do it the easy way and buy 2 packages of stuffing bread from your local grocery/bakery.)
½ to 1 cup diced onion
½ to 1 cup diced celery
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1½ cubes of butter/margarine
Chicken broth
2 chicken bullion cubes
3 ½ tsp.* Rubbed sage
Salt and cracked pepper to taste

(* I personally use a lot more than 3 ½ tsp. rubbed sage…I’d say add this “to taste,” same as the salt and pepper.)
  • Heat 1½ to 2 cups chicken broth, the butter/margarine, and the bullion cubes in a saucepan on low heat until butter/margarine melts. Remove from heat.
  • Place dressing bread in a big bowl.
  • Add eggs, onion, and celery.
  • Pour some of the broth mixture over this; add sage, salt and pepper.
  • Mix all well until moist (with hands – it’s a good idea to have short fingernails before you start mixing, or you’ll be dealing with messy fingernails for a while).
  • Add more broth mixture as needed to get it to the point where it holds together, put is not soppy.
  • Add more sage, salt and pepper as desired. You can gauge the taste from smell (that’s my husband’s specialty) or taste (that’s my specialty).

  • Stuff the neck and body of the bird. If there’s more stuffing than will fit in the bird, bake it in a foil-lined casserole dish, adding a little broth just before baking (350°F oven for about 1 hour).
  • Put the stuffed bird in a 350°F oven until internal bird temp is 170°F and internal dressing temp is 165° to 170°F. Use the remaining broth mixture to baste the bird (make more broth mixture if needed).

  • When you put the bird in the oven, place the neck and giblets in a pan of chicken broth on the stove to simmer on lowest heat for the duration.
  • When the bird is done, use a turkey baster to remove the drippings into a large saucepan.
  • Remove the neck and giblets from the pan they’ve been simmering in; strain that liquid into the pan with the drippings.
  • If desired, strip the meat from the neck, cut up the giblets, and set aside.
  • Add Wondra flour one Tbsp. at a time to the gravy liquid; using a whip, mix well before adding another Tbsp. Plan on 2 Tbsp. of Wondra per cup of liquid. Keep adding Wondra until you have the consistency you desire.
  • If desired, add in the giblets, etc.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Snowball Cookies ala ~DKBB~

Snowball Cookies ala ~DKBB~
(“Russian Teacakes” original recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, rev. 1978)

2 cups margarine or butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4½ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1½ cups finely chopped nuts (optional)
Powder sugar
  • Heat oven to 400° F.
  • Mix margarine/butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  • Shift flour and salt together.
  • Mix in flour (and nuts, if desired) in 1-cup batches until dough holds together (I get in there with my hands to get it all mixed well).
  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place about 1 inch apart on parchment-covered cookie sheet.
  • Bake until set but not brown, 10 to 12 minutes (or 12 to 18 minutes on airbake cookie sheets).
  • Cool 5 minutes, then roll each cookie in powdered sugar while still a bit warm.
  • Roll in powdered sugar again.
  • Makes 4 to 6 dozen cookies (depending on how big you make each cookie ball).
These cookies are a favorite in my family. I usually make 4 or more batches during the course of the holidays. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mexi-Beef Cornbread Casserole ala ~DKBB~

Mexi-Beef Cornbread Casserole ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe “Chili Beef Corn Bread Casserole” from Dec/Jan 2014 issue of Simple & Delicious)

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. chili powder
Cumin and/or turmeric to taste (⅛ to ¼ tsp. of either or both)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (Mexican style, if available)
1 can diced tomatoes w/green chilies
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup cornmeal (yellow preferred, but white will work too)
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
½ cup milk
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 can cream-style corn
1 cup shredded cheese (Mexi-blend or cheddar)

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Brown hamburger, onion, green pepper, and garlic over medium heat; drain.
  • Stir in cornstarch, chili powder, cumin/turmeric, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened; remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, and baking powder.
  • In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and oil until blended; stir in cream-style corn.
  • Add the flower mixture to the egg mixture; stir just until moistened; then stir in cheese.
  • Spread half the batter in the bottom of a greased 3 qt. casserole dish, then layer in the beef mixture; top all with the remainder of the batter, covering the beef filling.
  • Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the corn bread portion comes out clean.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with sour cream, salsa, and/or Pico de Gallo condiments.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pineapple Crock Pot Chicken ala ~DKBB~

(my version of a recipe floating around Facebook)

2 lb. chicken tenderloins cut up in chunks
1 green pepper, chunked
1 red pepper, chunked
2 to 4 jalapenos, diced
1 onion, chunked
1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup teriyaki sauce

  • Place first five ingredients in crock pot.
  • Combine remaining four ingredients, whisk well, and pour over ingredients in crock pot.
  • Cook on low in crock pot 6-8 hours.
  • Serve with your choice of rice (brown, basmati, jasmine, white, etc.).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hearty Split Pea Soup ala ~DKBB~

Hearty Split Pea Soup ala ~DKBB~
(based on a recipe by Heidi Schmidgall from
Taste of Home 2008 Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes)

This is the perfect soup for a cool fall or winter evening. Pair it with some homemade bread, and you'll have a warm, filling dinner.

1 package (16 ounces) dried split peas 2 cups
6 pieces of thick-sliced pepper bacon, diced
1 cup thinly sliced (or diced) carrots
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced (or diced)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. teaspoon salt
½ tsp. fresh cracked pepper
6 cups boiling water
1 cup hot milk

  • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, layer the first nine ingredients in order listed (do not stir). 
  • Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until vegetables are tender. 
  • Stir in hot milk. 
  • Discard bay leaves before serving.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


So what can you do with all those basil leaves your herb garden is overrun with at the end of the season? My friend Paula (who's one heck of a good cook) shared this recipe and idea with me:

2 Tbsp. pine nuts (or walnuts)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1¼  cups fresh basil leaves
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 oz. Pecorino or Romano cheese, grated
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (minus 2 Tbsp.)
  • Place pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and the cheeses in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Pulse to chop the basil.
  • With the machine running, add the oil gradually and process until creamy and smooth.
I usually double (or triple) this recipe. Then, using ice cube trays, I fill each opening with pesto, freeze it solid, food-saver each individual frozen cube, and use the pesto as I wish from the thawed pesto cubes. This way you can have fresh homemade pesto well into the winter. I use pesto not only in pasta dishes, but also as a base sauce for pizza when I want something different than a tomato sauce base.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Yogurt Fruit Soup ala ~DKBB~

I recently had the pleasure of enjoying a wonderful lunch at Sweetwater in Jackson, WY, with one of my dearest friends. We both tried the Cold Pineapple Soup and were blown away! I asked the waitress if the chef shared the recipe; she laughed and said, "No, but if we could get him to sell it we'd make a fortune!" So when I got back home I launched an online search, to no avail. The only thing that came close to what my friend and I thought we tasted in that soup was a Yogurt Fruit Soup recipe. I copied it down and then set to work massaging it into what I thought it should be. I have a feeling this recipe will evolve a lot over time, but this is what I've come up with so far:

Yogurt Fruit Soup ala ~DKBB~

  • 2 cups Greek or regular vanilla or plain yogurt
  • 2 cups fruit juice (if possible, use 1 cup juice of the fruit you are using, and 1 cup orange juice for best results; use 2 cups orange juice in a pinch)
  • ½ to 1 cup cream
  • ½ Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ to 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 dashes cinnamon (to taste)
  • 2 dashes nutmeg (to taste)
  • fresh fruit or berries (whatever is in season: apples, bananas, oranges, plums, pineapple, peaches, dates, etc.)

  1. In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, juices, lemon juice, cream, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. 
  2. If you are using large fruit (like pineapple), cut it into smaller pieces.
  3. On low speed, blend soup mixture and fresh fruit. You do not want to puree the want some chunkies left in the soup.
  4. Chill for 2 to 4 (or more) hours.
  5. Add cut (or whole) fruit as garnish on each bowl served (optional)
While this is a delicious cold fruit soup, it also serves as a great breakfast dish!

New Places, New Ingredients

We recently relocated from northwestern Nebraska to western Wyoming...back to the Wyoming mountains we love and the State we were both born in. This is the view from our back deck:
© 2013 ~DKBB~

There is a Farmer's Market each Thursday afternoon/evening in the town nearest us. The first 2 times I went, every stall had an overabundance of garlic scapes. (Garlic scapes are the shoots that curl up out of the garlic bulb as it grows; you cut them off once they have curled up.) These were something new to me...we asked folks what they were used for, and most folks said they could be used like garlic. I bought a few and used them in my Butter Garlic Green Beans and they really made the dish pop! I was so impressed, that I next used them in my homemade goulash (should have sauted them first, though).

The next time I went to the Farmer's Market, I bought a boatload of garlic scapes. I sliced them small, blanched them, and froze small packages to be used in veggies dishes, soups, and casseroles over the coming winter months.

I love trying new things, and I am so lovin' livin' in this (new) mountain paradise!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Big Bacon Breakfast Cups ala ~DKBB~

This makes a perfect Sunday breakfast or brunch entree.

Big Bacon Breakfast Cups ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe by Karen Burkett in the April/May 2013
edition of Taste of Home magazine)

6 to 12 slices of thick-sliced pepper bacon, cut in half
1 ½ cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
3 eggs
3 tsp. milk
Dash salt and pepper
3 tsp. butter
Shredded pepper jack cheese
Chopped green onion and fresh parsley (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • In large 6-cup muffin ban, line muffin cups with bacon pieces, criss-crossing them in each cup.
  • Loosely crumble pieces of tin foil (4 inch strips) and place 1 each in bacon-filled cups to keep bacon from sliding.
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes (the longer you cook it, the crisper the bacon will be).
  • While bacon is cooking, cook potatoes according to package directions.
  • In a small bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
  • In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat and pour in egg mixture; cook and stir until eggs are thickened and no liquid egg remains.
  • When the bacon cups are done, transfer* them to a backing sheet; remove foil from each cup.
  • Spoon hash browns into each cup; spoon egg mixture on top of hash browns; sprinkle cheese on top of each cup.
  • Broil the full cups for 3 to 5 minutes (until cheese is melted).
  • Top each cup with chopped green onions and fresh parsley, if desired.
*You can leave the bacon cups in the muffin pan, fill them, and broil them, but the result will be a bit greasier than if you remove the bacon cups from the muffin pan and place them on a baking sheet to complete.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Everybody's Favorite Peanut Butter Brownies

Everybody’s Favorite Peanut Butter Brownie Bars
(original recipe from a zillion different ranch wives and church ladies)

1 pkg. of your favorite brownie mix, prepared as directions state and cooled

Peanut Butter Topping:
1 c. creamy peanut butter
½ c. butter (softened)
3 c. powdered sugar
4 to 6 Tbsp. half n’ half -or- milk
  • Mix all topping ingredients together on low speed.
  • Spread on top of cooled brownies.
  • Chill for 2 hours, then cut and serve.
  • Add some melted milk chocolate to the topping and mix well before spreading on cooled brownies.
  • Drizzle chocolate syrup over chilled brownies before serving.
  • Cover the topping with chopped peanuts.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Chicken with Sweet Jalapeno Sauce ala ~DKBB~

Chicken with Sweet Jalapeno Sauce ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe by Jay-Lynn Baublitz in the 2013 Feb/Mar edition of Simple & Delicious magazine)

4 boneless chicken breast halves
Salt & pepper
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 small onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
½ cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp. orange juice
¼ tsp. dried thyme leaves
½ cup jalapeno* pepper jelly (regular or fruit)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. dried parsley
  • Flatten chicken to ¼-inch thickness; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Cook chicken in canola oil in large skillet over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until meat is no longer pink.
  • Remove cooked chicken from skillet and keep warm.
  •  Sauté onion and celery in the same pan in the chicken leavings until crisp-tender.
  • Add the chicken broth, orange juice, and thyme; bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by half.
  • Stir in the pepper jelly (regular or a fruit-based jalapeno pepper jelly) until melted.
  • Stir in butter and parsley, stirring until butter is melted.
  • Add chicken back into pan, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Serve sauce over chicken.
*You could also use a habanero-pepper jelly.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Spaghetti Pie ala ~DKBB~

Spaghetti Pie ala ~DKBB~
(based on an original recipe for Spinach-Beef Spaghetti Pie by Carol Hicks from

 6 oz. uncooked  angel-hair pasta
2 eggs, slightly beaten
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheesed
½ lb. ground beef
½ lb. Italian sausage
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup diced green pepper
1 jar (14 oz.) meatless spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. Creole seasoning
¾ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried oregano
8 oz. whipped cream cheese
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Cook pasta; drain.
  • Mix eggs and Parmesan cheese together, then mix in with drained pasta.
  • Press pasta into the bottom of a greased  deep-dish 10-inch pie dish (or divide into 2 smaller pie plates).
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown hamburger, sausage, onion, and green pepper; drain well.
  • Stir in spaghetti sauce, seasonings, and whipped cream cheese.
  • Heat thoroughly.
  • Place a layer of the spinach on the cooked spaghetti crust(s).
  • Top with meat mixture.
  • Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake at 350° F for 25 minutes.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Crockpot Asian Ribs ala ~DKBB~

Crockpot Asian Ribs ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe by Julie Ko, in the Feb/Mar 2013 edition of Simple & Delicious magazine)

6 lbs. (boneless) pork baby back ribs, cut into serving-size pieces
1⅓ cups packed brown sugar 
1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce 
¼ cup rice vinegar 
¼ cup sesame oil (or vegetable oil) 
¼ cup minced fresh gingerroot 
6 cloves garlic, minced 
1 to 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 
¼ cup cornstarch 
¼ cup water 
Fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks 
½ to 1 can water chestnuts, diced 
Thinly sliced green onions 
Sesame seeds (optional)

  • Place ribs in 6-qt. crockpot.
  • Combine brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, oil, minced gingerroot, garlic, and pepper flakes in small bowl and mix well.
  • Pour mixture over ribs and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  • Remove meat to covered dish while you create the sauce.
  • Skim the fat off the sauce remaining in the crockpot and transfer skimmed sauce to saucepan.
  • Add diced water chestnuts and pineapple chunks; bring to a boil.
  • Combine cornstarch and water in jar; shake very well; add mixture gradually to saucepan. 
  • Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened.
  • Serve ribs on a bed of rice, covering all with sauce. Garnish with green onion slices and sesame seeds, if desired.
 (You can cut this recipe in half and have more than enough to feed 2.)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Madame Audier's Roast ala ~DKBB~

Madame Audier’s Roast ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe from Madame Helen Audier, French and World History
Cody High School teacher, mentor, and friend extraordinaire)

1 4-to-5 lb. beef roast
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Veggies if desired (potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, cabbage*)

The secret to this scrumptious roast is the slow roasting; cooking time is 4 to 6 hours. Preheat oven to 260° F.
  • Stab the meat randomly and insert garlic slices (do this on both/all sides of the roast).
  • Salt and pepper all surfaces of the roast.
  • Place the prepared roast in a roasting pan and put in oven uncovered.
  • After 1½ hours, check the roast and adjust the temperature if needed (a larger roast may need a bit hotter oven – 275° F); add 1 cup water; cover and return to oven.
  • Check hourly, adding water as needed.
  • If you want to roast veggies with it, add them at least 2 hours before you expect the roast to be done). *Add the cabbage (if desired) about 1 hour (or less) before you expect the roast to be done.
  • You can add cornstarch mixed with cold water to thicken the juice for gravy if desired, or just use the au jus as is.
Way back in the day, Madame used to make several of these roasts each year for basketball and/or wrestling districts in Cody, and the Broncettes pep club members would use them to make roast beef sandwiches to sell in the concession stand. I can remember coaches telling me they looked forward to districts in Cody because of Madame’s roast beef sandwiches. When I got married, Madame asked me what I would like for a wedding gift – I told her I wanted her roast beef recipe and her lemon meringue pie recipe (those pies were always the first to sell at the Broncette bake sales…for $10 each in the 1970s, they were THAT good!). She was kind enough to grant my wish (though it did take me about a year to decipher her handwriting…). The smell of this roast cooking all day fills the house and evokes Madame for me…it is one of my favorite dishes because of that.