SMOKED CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

Serves 4 to 6

For the brine/cure:

4 quarts cold water
1-1/2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
10 allspice berries
10 whole cloves
2 bay leaves, coarsely crumbled
1 cinnamon stick, coarsely broken
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon pink curing salt (see Note below)
1 4- to 5-pound beef brisket, fat closely trimmed, preferably grass-fed

For the smoking:

1 large aluminum foil-roasting pan
6 large whole carrots, peeled and trimmed
6 cups hardwood chips, preferably oak, soaked in cold water to cover for 1 hour, then drained (We used peach wood chunks and maple chips)

Put 2 quarts of water in a large nonreactive stockpot. Add the kosher salt and brown sugar. Lightly crush the allspice, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, coriander, peppercorns, and mustard seed in a mortar with a pestle or in a spice grinder. Add to the brine, along with the ginger and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the salt and sugar crystals. Stir in the pink salt and the remaining 2 quarts of cold water. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for several hours. Submerge the brisket in the chilled brine, weighting it with a glass pie plate or heavy dinner plate. Cover and refrigerate for 5 to 7 days.

When ready to cook, drain the brisket—scrape off any clinging spices—and discard the brine.

Lay the carrots crosswise in the roasting pan and put the brisket, fat side up, on top. (The carrots make a natural roasting rack.)

If using a smoker, light it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 250°F. Toss 1-1/2 cups of wood chips on the coals. If using a charcoal grill, set it up for indirect grilling using only half as much charcoal as you usually would—about 6 to 8 nice lumps of charcoal per side. Toss 1-1/2 cups wood chips on the coals.

Smoke the corned beef until very tender, 6 to 8 hours or more, replenishing the coals as needed to maintain 250°F. Replenish the wood chips for the first 4 hours of smoking time, then tightly cover the roasting pan with heavy duty foil for the remainder of the cook. When done, the internal temperature of the brisket on an instant-read meat thermometer should be 195°F. Let the meat rest, still covered, for at least 20 minutes. Uncover carefully and slice the brisket against the grain into 1/4-inch slices.

Alternatively, let the meat cool to room temperature, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate it overnight or for up to three days before slicing. (We ate the brisket after 20 minutes of rest on the counter. We kept the meat wrapped in foil with a towel over the foil.)

Corned beef only, please

Note: Pink salt—also called Prague powder or InstaCure—is a curing agent that inhibits bacterial growth and gives cured meats their characteristic reddish-pink color. It contains 93.75 percent salt and 6.25 percent sodium nitrite as well as a coloring agent to distinguish it from table salt. It is available through some butchers and businesses that sell sausage-making supplies.  You can eliminate pink salt from the recipe without affecting the flavor, but your corned beef will not retain its color.  We purchased our pink salt (Prague powder number #1) from Hoosier Hill Farm: https://hoosierhillfarm.com/

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Recipe adapted from our favorite grill master, Steven Raichlen

http://barbecuebible.com/newsletter/hot-from-smoker/

Roasted Cabbage Wedges Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • (see additional ingredient options below)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Cut the head of cabbage into 8 equally-sized wedges, cutting through the core and stem end. If desired, use a knife to carefully trim off the stem on each wedge. Arrange the wedges in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Use a pastry brush or oil mister to brush/mist the top sides of each cabbage wedge with the olive oil, then season generously with salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Turn cabbage wedges carefully, then repeat on second side.

Roast cabbage for about 10 minutes, or until edges of the cabbage and the bottom of the wedges are nicely browned. Then turn each wedge carefully and roast 10-15 minutes more, until the cabbage is nicely browned and cooked through with a bit of chewiness remaining. Serve immediately, and garnish with lemon if desired.

What a lovely day of cooking, working, worshipping, and being creative!

Pecan Sticky Rolls

A huge thank you to Southern Cast Iron Magazine, January 2015 issue for this wonderful recipe. (link embedded in title of magazine)

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Before we start the journey, we wanted to share our wooden, bread board story.  My grandmother Emma Lloyd made biscuits and her famous pound cake on this board.  We were given the board as a memory, and we continue to cook on Emma’s board.  We have a legacy of good food that started its beginnings on this board.

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Ingredients
  1. 3 1⁄2 to 3 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 (1⁄4-ounce) package active dry yeast
  3. 1⁄2 cup whole milk
  4. 1⁄2 cup sour cream
  5. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  6. 1⁄3 cup sugar
  7. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  8. 1 large egg, lightly beaten

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pecanrolls

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The next day, Parish made the Orange Sweet Rolls.  If you click on the link at the beginning of the post, you will see the recipe.  I could not decide which one I like better–they are both DELICIOUS!

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This was a definite snow day hit!

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Adelaide Louise tried her hand at softened apples.  I look forward to the day she can help her Ace (or grand noodle) cook.  🙂

Cajun Pork Chops with Cheese Grits

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Recipe created by my personal chef and husband, Parish.

Ingredients

4 Thin Cut Pork Chops, boneless or trim off the bone

Enough of your favorite oil to coat the pan generously

Enough flour to coat your pork chops

Zatarain’s Creole seasoning to taste, or your favorite Cajun style seasoning

1 medium onion

Bob’s Red Mill Polenta Corn Grits, or your favorite style of grits

Water with chicken bouillon cubes, or chicken stock

1 cup of shredded Cheddar Cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

Pound the pork chops thin if they are not already.  A piece of plastic wrap over the meat keeps the meat juice from splashing around. I made them about less than a half of an inch.

Dredge the pork chops in the flour. Put a generous amount of oil in the frying pan.  Heat the oil to medium.

Cut the medium onion into thick rings, and then cut the rings in half.  Saute the onions until soft in the medium heat oil. Remove the onions and save for later.

Put flour-coated pork chops into the savory onion flavored oil. Cook them two minutes per side.  You are not cooking the pork chops all the way at this point. Take the pork chops out of the pan and place on a plate, set aside.  With the remaining oil in the pan add 2-3 Tablespoons of additional flour, turn heat up a tad to medium high, stirring until bubbly.  After it’s bubbly, turn the heat down to medium low.  Let the flour in the oil turn to brown while stirring. Add a half a cup of chicken stock (or chicken bouillon with water).  Cook  down until it’s a thick gravy.

Toss the pork chops back into the thick gravy.  Add a generous shaking of the Creole seasoning in the pork chop, gravy mixture.  Cook the chops 2-3 minutes per side. This allows the chops to get coated with the gravy.

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Make the grits according to the package.  Stir in the cheese once the grits are done.

Make the grits along with the pork chops so they finish at the same time. Grits typically take about 5 minutes.

Place the grits in a deep, single dish bowl. Place your yummy pork chop on top of the warm grits. Add extra gravy to the top, and place a serving of onions as a finishing touch to each serving.  If you love seasoning, place a little more of the Creole seasoning on top of the dish.

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This savory, Cajun dish was a great recipe for a Sunday brunch. A great breakfast in bed with your spouse.

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Our youngest daughter had a sleepover, in which, they enjoyed a lovely picnic breakfast in my prayer garden.

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Farro & Broccoli Salad

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We bought our first bag of farro at Aldi grocery store!

The farro grain was introduced to our home on a cooking show.  The next day during our first trip to Aldi grocery store we found this magical grain!  The recipe below doesn’t seem like much, but you will fall in love with the texture. I loved how the grain absorbed the olive oil, lemon, and feta flavors.  ENJOY!

Ingredients

I cup of Farro & 3 cups of water with 2-3 chicken bouillon cubes
I cup of broccoli cut up small, you can saute with oil, salt, and peper to slightly soften (like a quick stir fry, so it’s soft but firm)
1/2 cups feta cheese crumbles
2 ounces of fresh Parmesan shaved, large pieces
1 Tablespoon of dehydrated onions (re-hydrate them in water)
lemon (about 2 Tbsp juice)
1/2 cups olive oil
tablespoon Dijon mustard
pepper
salt

Directions

  1. Cook farro according to package instructions.
  2. While the farro is cooking, saute broccoli in 1 Tbsp olive oil for 2-3 minutes, just to soften.
  3. Mix together vinaigrette: lemon juice, zest, ½ cup olive oil, mustard and salt and pepper, whisk
  4. Combine farro, broccoli, feta, onions and dressing and toss to combine.
  5. Salt & pepper to taste.

Chewy Sugar Cookies

If I post a recipe, it’s because it’s divine!  My second favorite cookie is the sugar cookie, especially with sugar crystals. Oh happiness! My most favorite cookie is the Mexican Wedding Cookie.  I had to post this sugar cookie recipe.  With the holidays ahead, you will want to give this one a try!  The best!

Ingredients

 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups margarine
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup white sugar for decoration

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until just blended. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and roll the balls in remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets and flatten slightly.

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Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned at the edges. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Make some hot chocolate

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Chewy delicious on the inside!

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What goes great with sugar cookies and hot chocolate? Listening to Christmas music and writing your Christmas list!

Taken from:http://allrecipes.com/recipe/22850/chewy-sugar-cookies/

 

 

Cannelloni/Rigatoni Cake

This recipe was inspired by Vivian Grace for our family night.  We developed our own recipe by utilizing several recipes on the internet. Our mealtime has become a way to reconnect as a family and enjoy fellowship around the table. Making spaghetti is one of the easiest meals to make, and we found this recipe to not only be easy, but a delicacy!  Wait until you see the unveiling video.

 

Ingredients

Two pounds of cannelloni or rigatoni, or adjust to your needs

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Your favorite spaghetti sauce (1 jar)

1 pound of ground beef, browned

1 onion

1/2 cup ricotta cheese or more (we ended up with a cup of ricotta due to pan size)

Grated Parmesan and slices of fresh Mozzarella to taste

1 egg

1/2 tsp of lemon zest

Garlic to taste

You can add your favorite Italian spices to make it your favorite, we used an Italian blend

Directions

Boil the pasta for five minutes or so, you don’t want the pasta fully cooked

Set aside pasta in a bowl and toss with a little grated Parmesan and Italian spices

Chop the onion and cook until soft, add garlic and spices to taste

Add ground beef to the onion mixture and brown, drain fat

Add your favorite spaghetti sauce, or you can make your own family recipe

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In a separate bowl mix together ricotta, egg, and lemon zest

Grease a spring form pan

Put a layer of the sauce in the bottom of the pan (save some for  the top)

Arrange the noodles in the pan standing up

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Pack them in the pan tight

Spread the ricotta mixture on top and try to gently push some of the mixture inside the noodles

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You can tap the pan on the counter top and get gravity to help you

When you are done with the ricotta, then use the remaining sauce for the top (remember to tap it down and push the meat sauce into the noodles)

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Coat the top with Parmesan cheese

Place slices of the mozzarella cheese on the top

Cover with tented foil and place in a preheated oven of 400 degrees

Cook for 30 minutes

Remove foil for the last 10-15 minutes

The best part of making this dish is the unveiling!  See the video below:

We added a caprese salad along with bruschetta  and olive oil/Italian spiced toast

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We had six for dinner, and we had leftovers

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Meal time has become a way for our family to try new recipes, join together in love and fellowship, and watch Adelaide grow…

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Lemony Coconut Macaroons

My husband left our Taste of Home magazine open to this page. I love coconut. He loves lemons.  My girls love macaroons! We had to make these.  We made them for our annual Woman of Worth Picnic.  The recipe yields quite a view cookies, so we were able to keep a batch at home, too.

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Lemony Coconut Macaroons Recipe

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 These chewy gems have refreshing lemon flavor. They freeze well and thaw easily in the fridge, so you can cure a craving anytime. —Karla Johnson, East Helena, MT (Great recipe Karla!)
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling  YIELD:36 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites
  • Dash cream of tartar
  • Dash salt
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 package (14 ounces) plus 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

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Directions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a small bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until stiff peaks form. In a large bowl, beat milk and lemon juice on high until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in coconut, lemon peel and baking powder; fold in beaten egg whites.

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  • 2. Drop coconut mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

When we visited Manteo, NC, we went shopping at the Tanger Mall Outlets.  The kitchen store had this wonderful invention!  It’s called a non-stick silicone baking mat by Mrs. Anderson’s Bakery.  I only had one mat, so I had to use parchment paper for the other cookie sheets.  The Baking Mat was awesome!  A must for your kitchen, or a thoughtful, unique gift for a friend!

I gave you the link within the title of the product above so you can order!

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  • Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
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    Freeze option: Freeze cookies, layered between waxed paper, in freezer containers. To use, thaw before serving. Yield: about 3 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

1 cookie: 119 calories, 7g fat (6g saturated fat), 4mg cholesterol, 109mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein

A lovely picnic…..

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