Well, well, well! Look what I made! I’m so pleased. All credit must be given to Andrea Slonecker over at Food & Wine whose video on this made all the difference. These probably look like croissants, but they’re not, these are bread. The bread dough is rich in eggs and butter. Please review Andrea’s video and make sure you have enough eggs (5) prior to starting.

  • Dough Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour, divided
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast (2-1/4 tsp.)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk, heated to between 100 and 115 degrees F
  • 1/2 cup butter (4 oz. or 1 stick)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Streusel Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • Egg Wash Ingredients
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • A Variety of Jelly or Jam or Pie Filling

Dough: I used a stand mixer. Stir together 1 cup flour, yeast, and sugar. Stir in warm milk and let sit until bubbles form across the top of the mixture. While you’re waiting for that to happen, in a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter, egg yolks, and salt. Stir the butter-egg mixture into the activated yeast mixture. Mix well. One cup at a time, stir in the remaining 2 cups flour. Let it knead on low speed for about 4 minutes, only adding flour if absolutely necessary if the dough is still tacky. Add as little flour as possible, it’s supposed to be a very soft dough. Once the dough is smooth, cover and set aside to rise until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Streusel: While the dough is rising, in a very small bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, and flour. Set it aside so that once the butter cools and firms up you can break the mixture into a crumbly mixture to sprinkle on top of the Kolaches. For now, just set it aside to cool down.

Dough again: Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into a dozen equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth round ball. Place the dough balls onto the prepared sheet pan, cover with a damp cloth, and let them rise until nearly doubled, about 45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Filling: While the dough balls are doing their rise . . . In a food processor or mixer, stir together all the ingredients (cream cheese, powdered sugar, egg yolk, and lemon zest) until smooth. I used a food processor and it worked well. Set aside.

Egg Wash: In a very small bowl mix together the large egg yolk and milk.

Assembly: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Once the dough balls have nearly doubled in size, using several fingers, make a well in the center of each dough ball about 2″ in diameter. This is where watching the video comes in handy. She really dug a spread-out center in each dough ball. Make sure not to pierce the bottoms.

Once each dough ball has a well, use a pastry brush to brush the sides of the dough balls with the egg wash.

Place one tablespoon of cream cheese filling into each well and leave an imprint for the jam filling to go next.

Place one tablespoon of jelly, jam, or whatever kind of filling you’re using into each cream cheese well.

Break up the firmed streusel topping and sprinkle it across the tops of the Kolaches.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or so. Mine took quite a bit longer than that. I waited until the edges were a dark brown.

Enjoy! These are beautiful and delicious. They weren’t hard to make.

Notes: I used bread flour, but I wonder if all-purpose would have been better. This dough is like challah or brioche, so it’s supposed to be soft. I always use salted butter, but I don’t think it matters. I used my stand mixer for the dough and my food processor for the cream cheese filling. I use extra-large eggs and I think that’s one reason it took longer to bake, because my Kolaches had more liquid. I also didn’t spread mine out as much as Andrea did in the video which I think also contributed to the longer bake time, mine were thicker. Andrea didn’t put cream cheese into all of hers, she just put jam into a few of them. It still worked great. I am so, so pleased that these turned out. I love it when I have all the ingredients on hand and it goes according to plan.

I made this with a little of this and a little of that. It turned out awesome, so I’ll be wanting to make this again.

  • Ingredients
  • Olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed saffron threads
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 11 oz. can tomato puree (you could try same amount of passata or homemade puree)
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 lb. mixed fresh shellfish, shells removed (weight after shells removed)
  • 1/4 lb. white fish
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Crusty bread, optional

Swazz some olive oil around in a large pot. Stir in garlic and spices and stir fry until garlic is cooked, but not browned. Stir in wine and let it simmer for awhile. Stir in the tomato puree. Stir in enough stock to give a consistency that you like. Don’t forget the fish will lose some of its water into the pot and make everything a bit runnier than now, so a bit thicker than you like will be best. Let the sauce simmer for ten minutes. Stir in shellfish and white fish. Squeeze lemon juice into the pot. Remove from heat once the fish is cooked through. Serve with crusty bread. Serves 3-4.

Notes: I happen to have a case of canned tomato puree. It is not tomato paste and it is not tomato sauce. It’s a different kind of thing and you will have to make a serious adjustment if you don’t have it. Don’t know, can’t help you, sorry.

I bought a pound of fresh mixed shellfish at a local fish mart. Everything was already shelled. I think the mix was sold especially for making stew. There were squid rings, surimi, small shrimp, bay scallops, clams, mussels, and other things I probably missed. This recipe would work well with shellfish still in the shells, too, just adjust the amounts.

My brother has recently gifted us several pounds of ground moose, so that’s what I used, but ground bison or ground beef will work just as well. I’m basing my recipe on fivehearthome.com‘s. This is a really quick week-night dinner for busy people.

  • Ingredients
  • A bit of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, small dice
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 lb. ground beef (or other as mentioned above)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Hamburger buns
  • Butter
  • Toppings as desired (sliced cheese, sliced dill pickles, coleslaw, etc.)

Swazz a bit of olive oil around a skillet and heat it. Saute onion and green bell pepper until onion is transparent. Remove the onion and green bell pepper to a bowl and set aside. Into the skillet, put the ground meat. Let it brown. About half way to brown, add the garlic. Drain off any fat accumulation. If using lean meat this will not be necessary.

In a bowl add the tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, brown sugar, Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper to taste. Stir well. Stir in the onions and green peppers. Stir the sauce into the ground meat and garlic in skillet. Bring to a simmer and let it simmer for about ten minutes.

Butter the hamburger buns and toast under the broiler. Dollop the ground beef mixture onto the prepared buns. Add your favorite toppings. Chow down!

FYI: we used Dill Pickle Chips as one of the topping options. You can find the recipe here. These dill chips are also awesome on hamburgers and pulled pork sandwiches or sliders. Yum!

This recipe is based upon one found in The Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook by Lois Levine (Macmillan Co, 1968). I had this cookbook from my teenage years, but didn’t really use it A LOT until I had kids. The gender role assumptions are hilarious to read now, but the recipes are very good. We have made this dessert regularly since 1998. It is super simple to make. (More better photos next time!)

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (Gluten-Free Graham Crackers work well, if needed)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 lb. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pie filling

Mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Divide evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, until set. Cool. Top each with 1 Tbsp. of your favorite pie filling.

You can remove the paper liners before adding the pie filling or have your guests remove them after serving. These are very easy to transport while in the paper liners.

This is an easy “throw it in the oven and forget about it dish.” The recipe comes from a cookbook of my mother’s. I think it’s called Main Dishes and it was compiled by the US Parent-Teacher Association, but the cover is missing so I can’t be sure of the title. It seems like we had one cookbook for main dishes and a different one for something else, desserts? Anyway, it was probably published in the late 1960s or early 1970s. It’s 382 pages, so there’s every kind of hot dish imaginable, whole sections on Beef Stews and Ground Beef Dishes, many of them just slightly different from each other. This cookbook came in very handy when we ate ground moose regularly. I would just comb through until I found a recipe that I happened to have all the ingredients.

  • Ingredients
  • 4-5 potatoes, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Small onion, sliced
  • 1 lb. ground beef (or caribou, moose, elk, or bison–I’ve used them all)
  • 15 oz. can Pork and Beans
  • 1 cup tomato juice (or tomato sauce or vegetable juice or 12-oz can V-8–I’ve used them all)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 2-quart casserole dish (I use my Dutch Oven) with non-stick spray or grease. Place a layer of sliced potatoes, salt and pepper, then a sprinkle of sliced onions. Add ground beef (just sprinkle it around on top), then the Pork and Beans. Add another layer of potatoes, salt and pepper, and sliced onions. Pour tomato juice over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for two hours. Yield: 4 servings

This recipe calls for a small can of “Pork and Beans” and I’ve always bought Van Camps, but Van Camps’ ingredient list warns there’s a potential for soy. This may be a problem for some. I looked up how to make Pork and Beans myself and it’s essentially a soupy version of my “Ranch Beans” recipe, using small white beans and no chili powder. I haven’t tried that yet in this recipe because I’m all about easy with this dish. I love to eat Potato-Bean Casserole liberally enhanced with pickled sliced jalapeno peppers.

I’ve got one of those fancy ovens that you can set it to come on and then turn off at specific times. I can’t tell you how many times I put this in the oven with partially frozen meat, set the oven to come on and then cook for two hours, and arrived home from soccer practice to have a wonderful meal all ready for hungry people to eat. Press the easy button!

This food adventure started when I saw a FB post from my pastor saying his son like “bap” better than turkey dinner. I wondered, “what is bap?” Google and Pinterest settled that question rather quickly. Not being a huge fan of turkey dinner myself, I just had to try it. I’ve “tried” this now about five times. Please bear with me. We rarely eat meals that I don’t prepare myself, so I’ve never tried this delicious Korean dish other than what you’re reading here. Who knows if it’s authentic. It’s probably not, but do I care? It’s easy to make and tastes great. The marinade is super sweet, so if you aren’t a fan of sweet meat, best to move along. For me, the sweet meat makes the dish.

Essentially, this is a rice bowl. The ingredients are prepared separately and then placed into the bowl. It’s okay for it to be served room temperature. I use a medium skillet to stir-fry each vegetable, one after the other, then stir-fry the meat in the same skillet. I fry the egg in a smaller saute pan at the very last, trying to keep it intact as the runny egg should be considered part of the sauce.

  • Meat Marinade for Four
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion

Either pork or beef strips will do. I’ve been buying these boneless pork chops from Costco and slicing two of them (2 servings) into thin strips and then dropping into this marinade. The marinade makes enough for four servings. Let the marinade work for about an hour.

  • 1. Prepare enough rice for the number of people you are feeding, white rice or brown rice.
  • 2. Stir-fry any of the following sliced ingredients in a little bit of oil, separately, and set aside into separate bowls: mushrooms, bok choy, carrots, cabbage, spinach, kale, chard, snow peas, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, orange squash, peppers, sweet potato, any kind of vegetable should be okay. I usually stir-fry four different kinds.
  • 3. Pull the meat strips out of the marinade. Discard marinade and stir-fry meat in oil on high heat until cooked. Set aside.
  • 4. Divide the rice, and then the stir-fried ingredients, equally between serving bowls, one bowl for each person.
  • 5. Last thing: fry one egg per person, sunny side up. Place egg gently onto top of each serving bowl.
  • 6. Make sure you have Gochujang Sauce (mine comes from the grocery store) available for each person to sauce their own bowl.

In my opinion the best way to eat Bibimbap, after it is served, is to crack the yolk and stir the whole thing up. Enjoy!

I’ve been buying these frozen chicken quarters from the grocery store in 10 pound bags. Once it arrives home, I use my vacuum sealer to split it into freezer-bags with 2 pieces in each. What I’ve learned is, one hour of roasting, uncovered, at 425 degrees will cook the thawed chicken. So the decision is what to put with it. This time I tried red onion, mini sweet pepper, grape tomatoes and a home-grown zucchini. I’ve been using this spice blend called Kahuna Garlic Salt Spice Blend by The Spice and Tea Exchange here in Anchorage, Alaska. It’s got Hawaiian red sea salt, garlic, onion, and parsley in a grinder. I’m on my third jar of it this summer. I put it on nearly everything, including this dish. Wonderful!

  • Ingredient quantities depend upon how many people you will serve
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Peppers, sliced (I used mini sweet peppers)
  • Grape tomatoes, sliced
  • Zucchini, sliced
  • Garlic salt blend (or garlic powder and salt)
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken Quarters

Layer the vegetable ingredients into a baking dish, or a sheet pan with sides, so as not to crowd them. I used a 9×13″ pan for two chicken quarters. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt blend and pepper. Run a swazz of olive oil across the vegetables, not too much, about a tablespoon. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt blend and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for one hour. Serve.

The recipe comes from foodgoblin.com. Since there are only two of us regularly eating meals, I reduced the recipe by half. That is the way I will tell it to you. For the first time in my life, I had a little herb garden growing this summer and dill is one of the main plants. I’ve fallen in love. In an effort to save some of the precious herb, I took many sprigs and put them into a quart jar of white vinegar about a month ago. Now I just need something to do with it. I did use it in this recipe, but the first time I made this I stuck to the white wine vinegar as listed here. I doubt many of you have a dill-infused vinegar on hand. I think mustard sauce on salmon is wonderful and this is the BEST. Seriously.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill weed, chopped
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Whisk together mustard, honey and vinegar. Whisk in olive oil until it is emulsified and has thickened. Whisk in salt, sugar, dill, lemon zest, and juice. Serve.

I need to remember how I did this. I bought a 2# bag of Sweet Pointed Peppers at Costco the other day. They are like Anaheim chiles in respect to size. The bag contained both orange and red peppers. I’ve never pickled peppers in this manner before, but I really do like pimientos and roasted pickled red peppers, so I thought I’d give this a try. It turned out good. Next time I will try using a white or red wine vinegar instead of the cider vinegar because I think the cider vinegar overwhelmed the peppers a bit.

  • Ingredients
  • 2# Sweet Pointed Peppers
  • 3 cups vinegar (I used cider vinegar, next time wine vinegar)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 clove garlic

Prepare the peppers by slicing off the tops and then cutting a slit down one side, top to bottom. Open the pepper flat. Discard seeds and loose membrane. Place the peppers in a single layer, skin side up, onto an ungreased baking sheet and slide them under a broiler. I had two batches. Move them around as they char, so that all parts are charred as evenly as possible. As you remove them from the broiler, place into a very large bowl with a cover and let them steam for 10-15 minutes. This helps the skin loosen and makes it easier to remove the skin. I found that the more char and the longer they sat in the bowl, the easier it was to just peel the skin off in one go.

While they are steaming, mix remaining ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes.

Fill your water-bath canner with water and set it over heat to prepare for canning. Set a tea kettle of water over a flame, too, in case you need more water. The recipe only makes four half-pints, so the water displacement in the canner is hard to judge and I ended up needing more boiling water; thus the tea kettle.

Remove and discard the skin from the peppers. Cut the peppers into pieces. Some of mine I cut into thin strips, like pimientos and the others I cut into larger rectangles. Drop pieces loosely into half-pint jars. Each jar should take about 2 roasted peppers.

Remove the garlic clove from the vinegar mixture. Pour vinegar mixture into the jars, leaving a 1/2″ of head space. Run a knife around the edges of each jar to release the air bubbles and then add more vinegar mixture as needed. You will probably have leftover vinegar mixture to use or discard.

Screw the lids on the jars and place them in a boiling water-bath canner., making sure there’s 2″ of water over the top of the jars. Bring to a boil again and then set the timer for ten minutes. At the ten-minute mark, remove from the canner. Voila! Done.

The lids should not be flexible once cool. If you press on the lid it should not pop back. Those that do not seal properly should probably be kept under refrigeration and eaten first.

Yield: 4 half-pints

This is inspired by a recipe found in my new cookbook Carpathia by Irina Georgescu (Interlink Books, 2020). Completely delicious! I served my little salads with roasted salmon and mustard-dill sauce along with Irina’s Cauliflower au Gratin. It was a meal fit for kings and queens.

  • Ingredients
  • 3/4 tsp. prepared horseradish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 very large, or 2 small, beets, cooked*
  • Fresh dill, optional garnish

In a medium bowl, stir together horseradish sauce, honey, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Slice the beets into little sticks. Gently stir the beets into the horseradish mixture until the beets are thoroughly coated. Distribute into two serving dishes and garnish with fresh dill. Serves 2.

*Find out how to cook beets here.