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May 7, 2024

Banana Crumb Muffins

By

by Amber King

Wedding and Event Specialist

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I’ve always loved making birthdays and holidays special for my family and friends, often by preparing one of their favorite treats.

One year, in high school, I thought I would surprise my best friend and make her some Banana Crumb Muffins for her birthday. I got up early and followed the recipe that I had made many times before. The dough started to look a little odd—I didn’t remember it looking this chunky before—but it had always turned out fine, so I figured it was probably okay. When I took the muffins out of the oven, they still looked a little funny. Before I packed them up and took them to my friend, I decided to test one, and thank goodness I did!

As any experienced (or, honestly, inexperienced) baker will tell you, there is a big difference between “¾ cup of sugar” versus “¾ cup of salt”! The muffins tasted TERRIBLE! I was so disappointed that my birthday surprise was ruined. But my friend seemed okay with skipping out on a little school to go celebrate with a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin.

Lesson Learned

To this day, I double check myself whenever I’m about to add salt or sugar to a recipe. It’s a mistake you only have to make once.

This is still one of my go-to recipes that I have perfected. When made properly, these muffins are MUCH better than any egg McMuffin. The one tip I would add is to make sure the butter for your topping (not for your muffins) is at room temperature instead of melted. You want the topping to crumble rather than spread.

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Banana Crumb Muffins

(makes 10-12)

Ingredients for Muffins

  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted

Ingredients for Topping

  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened to room temp

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease 10-12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat together bananas, white sugar, egg, and melted butter.
  4. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon softened butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until centers are cooked through.
  8. Enjoy!

April 30, 2024

Whole Wheat Waffles with Cinnamon Buttermilk Syrup

By

by Harvest Hale

Events Team

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Made With Love

My grandmother is an amazing woman!

Maren Hale—or Mun, as the grandkids call her—is always thinking of others and has charity towards all. She regularly sends thank you notes and gifts to each of her 44 grandchildren, and her gifts are always chosen with great thought, not to mention being color-coordinated, themed, and wrapped in a beautiful basket! Mun’s homemade birthday and thank you cards always have paper punched hearts and a little symbol on the back that says “Halemark: Made with Love.”

As the mother of eight children, Mun always looks for opportunities to gather her large family. Such gatherings always include a delicious meal around a beautifully set table. We spend every Fourth of July at her house for a barbeque, and we enjoy monthly family Sunday potlucks at a local city park. When I was little, Mun and Grandpa Pops also hosted Waffle Day every Friday at their home.

Waffle Day

Waffle Day started with a hug in my grandparents' entryway. Pops always added an extra few pats on the back as each child hugged him around the knees. Then it was off to the cozy kitchen with shelves lined with dishes, seasonal decor, and treasures collected through the years from all the places they lived during military assignments. Mun and Pops started the Waffle Day feast by giving us a steaming bowl of some combination of broccoli, carrots, onions, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and chard, which was topped with Pop's special lemon sauce. Eventually, every grandchild learned to love these delicious and lovingly prepared vegetables.

Once we ate our veggies, we could start stuffing our chubby, eager faces with as many whole wheat waffles as we could handle. Mun, always dressed in a 3/4 sleeve sweater and apron, would have three waffle irons running at once to feed the grandchildren army of waffle monsters. Pops would lovingly butter everyone’s crispy waffle with homemade whipped butter, and I was always amazed at how he managed to get the whipped butter into every individual waffle square. Topped with berry or maple syrup, the waffles were then distributed to children in highchairs, table chairs, or barstools while the aunts helped to manage all the chaos, sticky hands, and waffle cutting. The food, the smells, the family--those waffle days were some of the best memories of my whole childhood.

Now that the grandkids have grown up and Mun and Pops have slowed down, Waffle Days are a treasured memory of the past. But my family still loves to eat steamed vegetables and a lot of waffles! Our family loves to make homemade buttermilk syrup to go on top too. Below are our favorite homemade waffles and buttermilk syrup recipes.

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Whole Wheat Waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Instructions

  1. Blend together egg yolks, buttermilk, and oil in large bowl.
  2. Add wheat flour and baking powder. Beat briskly for 2 minutes until barely smooth.
  3. Beat egg whites in small bowl and fold into mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated waffle iron that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Cinnamon Buttermilk Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Add sugar, buttermilk, and butter to medium saucepan. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  2. Add baking soda, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir well.
  3. Serve over waffles, pancakes, French toast, or ice cream sundaes.

April 23, 2024

Falafel Cucumber Hors D’oeuvres

By

by Chris Riding

Sous Chef

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When I was younger, I always wanted to be one of two things, either a general contractor or a chef. Plenty of people in my family had worked in construction, but no one had ever been a professional chef before. I wasn’t ever told that I couldn’t be a chef, but it just seemed kind of impossible. So I took the more familiar route and decided to go into construction.

The Long Road to the Kitchen

As I earned my construction certificates, I took a job as a meat clerk at a grocery store to pay my way through school. The longer I worked in that job, the more I learned about food, and the more I wanted to keep learning. After a few years, it occurred to me that I could just stop school and become a butcher instead, so that’s what I decided to do.

Before long, I’d become assistant manager in the meat department and was training new people who came to work for us. One day, a crazy thought came into my head. What if I did that thing that had always seemed impossible ever since I was a kid? What if I became a chef?

Of course, becoming a chef meant going back to school, so I moved to Utah and enrolled in the Culinary Arts Institute at UVU. I learned from some amazing chefs who had dedicated their lives to the art, but I also learned that there’s a lot more to the job than just making great food. I had to learn how to work in front of house, how to function as part of a team in back of house, and how to handle all the logistics of the warehouse. It wasn’t easy, and I had some pretty embarrassing moments like on my first event when I broke a glass wall box and the head chef yelled, “Anyone need a job? We’ve got an opening.” I wasn’t sure if he was joking.

Coming to Culinary Crafts

I was lucky to get a working internship at Culinary Crafts, and after I graduated in May 2022, I went to work there full time. Learning from Brandon, Hunter, Robert, and so many people who are masters in their field has been the best part of my education so far. Even though it took me a long time to decide on my career, I feel lucky to be doing what I love.

For my recipe, I’ve chosen the falafel cucumber hors d'oeuvres we were serving that night I broke the glass wall. They’re delicious, but I also love that they remind me of how far I’ve come.

cucumber, falafel, falafel cucumber hors d'oeuvres

FALAFEL CUCUMBER HORS D’OEUVRES

(serves about 40)

Falafels

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. Add first nine ingredients to a food processor and pulse a little bit at a time until coarsely ground. Be careful not to grind too much. It should have a nice gritty consistency.
  2. Squeeze the falafel into firm 1.5” balls, then flatten them into patties about ½” thick. Place falafel patties in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat vegetable oil over medium high (around 375° F) in a pot that is deep enough for falafel patties to be completely submerged in the oil. The oil is hot enough when a drop of water dropped into the oil will sizzle and pop.
  4. Carefully lower several falafel patties into the oil and let them fry 1.5 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pot.
  5. Use slotted spoon to remove falafels from oil and let them cool on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.

Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1½ teaspoon fresh dill chopped (save some dill sprigs for garnish)

Instructions

Whisk ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper.

Assembly

  1. Make 40 slices of cucumber cut ¼ inch thick on a bias.
  2. Arrange cucumber slices artfully on serving tray. Top with falafel balls and a dallop of sauce.
  3. Enjoy!

March 22, 2024

Rice Pudding

By

by Robin Kocherhans

Field Kitchen Manager

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I was nine when my dad died.

My brain dealt with the grief by shutting down, and over two decades later, I still struggle to find memories of him. But every once in a while, I get pieces:

Him helping me deliver newspapers.

Or the times he’d bundle my sisters and me in layers of snow gear and blankets and pile us into a cheap plastic sled hitched to his snowmachine. He’d drive us around for hours over frozen streets and across icy rivers into the silent forests of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Most of all, though, I remember his joy for food. A surprising number of the few memories I do have of him revolve around his culinary experiments.

Dad's Rice Pudding

One of my most cherished memories is of him turning leftover dinner rice into bowls of piping hot rice pudding. We’d scarf it down, and then, with our bellies full of its comforting warmth, he’d send us off to bed.

But when he died, that recipe died with him.

It had only ever been written inside his head and in the motions of his hands stirring rice that bubbled on the stove. I tried to recreate it over the years, but it never quite turned out the same.

Still, I persisted. Whenever the weight of missing would become too heavy, I’d give his rice pudding another go. Experimenting, just like he did, made him feel closer and the sadness less overwhelming, until eventually the act itself of making—of using my hands to stir a bubbling pot of rice—was enough.

So now, every time I make the rice pudding recipe I created and cobbled together from my attempts over years and decades, I remember.

I remember how much my dad loved me. I remember his hands, stained with grease, holding a wooden spoon as I stood on a chair, my hands on the counter so I could lean in and watch. And even though grief never really fades, making this rice pudding stills its waves and keeps me from forgetting.

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Rice Pudding

Ingredients

  • 3 cups uncooked rice
  • 4 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 4 ½ cups whole milk
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • allspice or clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice with the water, either over the stove or in a rice cooker. If using leftover rice, skip this step and replace these two ingredients with 8-9 cups of cooked rice
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add this mixture, plus the milk, to the cooked rice in a large pot and place on stove over medium to medium-high heat. Heat to a boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
  3. Slowly temper the eggs by adding about 1 cup of the hot rice mixture to the beaten yolks. Once mixed, add the tempered eggs back into the rest of the rice mixture along with any spices you might prefer. I usually start with a ½ tsp of clove or allspice, ¼ tsp of nutmeg, and 1 tsp of cinnamon and then bump it up from there. Mix everything until fully combined and return the pan to medium heat.
  4. Let your rice pudding heat up until it thickens and starts to bubble. Remove from the heat and divide into ½ cup portions (or more, if measuring with your heart). Eat plain or finish with your favorite toppings. Mine usually consist of fresh blackberries with an additional sprinkle of spices.

March 6, 2024

Texas Sheet Cake

By

by Kira Rasmussen

Baker and Proud Texas Woman

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A friend of mine asked me the secret to making a great Texas sheet cake.

“Ask a Texas woman to make it,” I said. "Just kidding."

(I was not kidding.)

I grew up in El Paso where my mom (also a Texas girl) taught us how to bake. Every Sunday afternoon we made cookies, brownies, pastries, or cakes, including one of my favorites, Texas sheet cake. When I took a job at Target Bakery, it was a huge step down from my mom’s kitchen; Target didn’t make anything fresh, and it was honestly pretty boring. I was glad to move to The Chocolate in Orem where I got to make way more fun recipes, including their awesome pretzel cake. Now I’m at Culinary Crafts, which is about as far from Target Bakery as you can get!

But of all the great pastries and desserts I’ve tried, nothing beats the old classic Texas sheet cake.

The recipe below is my mom’s tried and true cake. However, I have found that in Utah the consistency and fluff are a bit different. I find you need to reduce the baking soda by ⅛ teaspoon. This helps the rise.

But it’s no surprise that sheet cakes made in Texas taste better. Everything from Texas is a little better! (Kidding, not kidding.) 😊

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Texas Sheet Cake

Ingredients


Cake

  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda (reduce by ⅛ tsp at high altitude)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 6 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup water

Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 6 Tbsp buttermilk
  • 6 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 lb powdered sugar

Instructions


Cake

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and baking soda. Whisk until smooth and then set aside.
  2. In another mixing bowl, combine and sift flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Bring butter, vegetable shortening, cocoa, and water to boil in saucepan.
  4. Pour hot mixture over flour mixture and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Add buttermilk mixture and stir to thoroughly incorporate.
  5. Pour batter into buttered and floured half-sheet-cake pan (about 15 in. x 10 in.) and bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until edges of cake pull away from the pan and the cake springs back when you touch it.

Frosting

  1. About 10 minutes before the cake is done baking, start the frosting. Bring buttermilk, butter, and cocoa to a boil.
  2. Quickly remove from heat (it will not be pretty) and add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Once you’ve removed the cake from over, spread frosting over cake. (It’s important that the cake still be hot to help the frosting spread evenly.) Allow to cool, then cut into squares and serve. (The frosting tends to stick to a metal knife, so using a plastic knife can help you make cleaner cuts.)

February 22, 2024

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

By

by Madison Oliveria

Wedding and Sales Specialist; Kimball Terrace Venue Manager

I’ve always had a huge sweet tooth.

My parents love to tell the story of when I was five years old and our Basset hound, Elvis, stole my cookie. They heard a commotion in the backyard and came running to see what was wrong. Apparently, I had grabbed Elvis by one droopy ear and shoved my entire little arm down his throat (past my elbow), screaming, “GIVE ME BACK MY COOKIE!”

Lucky for the poor dog, my parents came to the rescue. “It’s okay, sweetie! It’s okay!” they assured me. “We’ll get you a new cookie!!”

Since then, I’ve had a lot of cookies and sampled a lot of recipes, but the absolute best are these chocolate macadamia nut cookies that I found at Culinary Crafts. In fact, I had these cookies served as favors when Culinary Crafts catered my wedding. They don’t use much flour, so these cookies have a gooey, fudge-like texture. Seriously, it’s almost like eating brownie batter in cookie form!

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Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

(makes three dozen cookies)

Ingredients

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 ⅛ cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened chocolate chips
  • 2 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup butter
  • 5 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ¾ cups macadamia nuts, roasted
  • 3 cups white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Whip eggs and sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Melt unsweetened and semisweet chocolate over a double boiler. Melt butter in a separate pot. When butter is melted, pour over chocolate and stir until completely melted.
  3. Add melted chocolate and vanilla to the egg/sugar mixture. Beat until thick and glossy.
  4. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together and add to mixture.
  5. Fold in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips.
  6. Refrigerate the mixture for several hours or overnight.
  7. Let cookie mixture soften at room temperature before scooping.
  8. Scoop dough with a #24 (red) ice cream scoop onto baking sheet. Each cookie will have approx. 1.5 oz of dough. Slightly flatten the balls of dough.
  9. Bake at 325° for 7 minutes or until set and cracked on top. Cookies should have no glossy spots when taken out of the oven.
  10. Enjoy!

February 8, 2024

Chinese New Year Pineapple Tarts

By

by Tricia Garside

Kitchen Manager

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When I was a little girl in Singapore, ong lai was the name of the delicious pineapple tarts that people would enjoy on Chinese New Year. In the Hokkien dialect, ong lai means “pineapple,” or it can also mean “fortune comes.”

Pineapple tarts are still a very popular pastry during the festive season in Asia because they taste amazing and they are believed to be an omen of good luck and prosperity in the coming year. We would bake batches of these signature mouthwatering treats and give them as gifts to friends and neighbors...if we didn’t eat them all first!

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Chinese New Year Pineapple Tarts

(makes about 50 tarts)

Pineapple Filling

(to be made the day before)

Ingredients

  • 6 ripe pineapples
  • 3 cups of coarse sugar
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 3 segments of star anise

Instructions

  1. Remove skin and eye (the core) from pineapples.
  2. Grate pineapples and place them in a large aluminum saucepan. Add cloves, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens, then spoon out the cinnamon, anise, and cloves.
  3. Let the pineapple filling cool. Store in the refrigerator overnight until ready for use.

Pastry

(to be made the day before)

Ingredients

  • 1½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 pound of butter
  • 4 beaten egg yolks (set aside ½ egg white for glaze)
  • 2 oz of iced water

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture turns into course crumbs.
  2. Make an indentation in the middle of the dough and pour in the egg yolks and water. Press the ingredients together gently with your fingers. Be careful not to knead the dough too much or it will lose its flakiness.
  3. Gently roll the dough into 1-inch balls, wrap in plastic, and chill them in the fridge overnight.

Pineapple Tarts Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Lightly flour a flat surface and roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut 50 2-inch rounds. Place them on a cookie sheet.
  3. Place a spoonful of pineapple filling on each dough round. (Some bakers like to decorate their tarts with thin strips of dough in a crisscross pattern over the filling.)
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow tarts to cool before you transfer them off the cookie sheet.

January 5, 2024

Cauliflower Bacon Penne

By

by Michelle Hamby

Event Team and Reluctant Chef

Cauliflower bacon penne, favorite recipe, skillet, parmesan, skillet meal

I consider cooking a Necessary Evil. If I’m the one making a meal, it’s probably going to be hamburgers or grilled cheese sandwiches, and maybe, if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll add tater tots. My husband, on the other hand, is an excellent cook and actually likes doing it. He even teaches cooking at a local university . Our children, and pretty much anyone who eats at our house, are very grateful I did such a good job picking a husband.

Early in our marriage, my husband made a pasta dish for me that I absolutely LOVE. Unfortunately, I got pregnant six months after we got married. That came out wrong. Actually, I was thrilled to be pregnant. It was only unfortunate that becoming pregnant nearly ruined this dish for me. As most people who have been pregnant (or had to deal with someone who was pregnant) can confirm, pregnancy plays havoc with your eating habits. I have been pregnant three times, and I can tell you that I ate more corndogs in those 27 months than I have in the entire rest of my life. On the other hand, I used to love V8 juice, but in the twenty years since I became pregnant with our daughter, not a drop of the stuff has passed my lips.

This dish was banned in our house

The pasta dish my husband made for me has two main ingredients: bacon and cauliflower. Now, the smell of cooking bacon is one of my love languages, but the smell of cooking cauliflower is like Hell just burped in your face. I could tell from the very beginning of my first pregnancy that if I were to smell this dish being made, I would never be able to eat it again, so I banned it from the house. Each time I became pregnant, the ban was reinstated, which is how this dish has remained my absolute favorite.

You don’t get more authentic than this dish. My husband learned it from a little old lady in Favara, a tiny town just south of Agrigento, when he lived in Sicily. The way he tells the story, the first time she made it for him, he ate “an embarrassing amount.” Afterwards, he begged her to teach him how to make it. Over the years, he modified the recipe slightly. It’s much harder to find good quality pancetta in America than it is in Italy, so he substitutes bacon in its place. The smoky flavor of the bacon complements this dish very well. Just be sure to find good, thick-cut bacon, and cut off the end parts that are just fat.

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CAULIFLOWER BACON PENNE

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 large head cauliflower, broken into 2-inch florets
  • 1 lb thick cut bacon, with the fatty ends trimmed off, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1-2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • salt

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Put in the cauliflower florets to cook.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Drain most of the fat.
  3. When the cauliflower florets are cooked, but not yet soft (around 10 minutes depending on your preference), remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and put them in the hot skillet with the bacon.
  4. Fry the cauliflower with the bacon until it is lightly browned.
  5. Meanwhile, put the penne to cook in the still boiling water that the cauliflower was in.
  6. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it in a colander. Do not rinse it.
  7. Put the pasta back into the pot that the water was in, and pour the bacon cauliflower mixture over the pasta. Stir gently until well mixed.
  8. Add in the parmesan cheese, and stir gently until well mixed.
  9. Salt to taste and serve while still hot.

December 19, 2023

Plättar

By

by Nick Bergstrom

Reception and Events Team

Nick Bergstrom, Culinary Crafts, chard, swiss chard, rhubarb, greens, armful of greens, armful of chard

Mom and Dad are both the youngest of eight kids, so when my extended family all get together for Christmas, it’s huge!

Each year, the task of hosting the big family get-together rotates between the aunts and uncles. On the day before the main event, my siblings and I meet at my parents’ house for a much smaller celebration of our own, where we swap stories, enjoy each other’s company, and…who am I kidding? We get together to eat Mom’s plättar.

Plättar are Swedish pancakes, basically a lighter and fluffier version of crepes. Like crepes, they can be enjoyed as a savory meal with eggs, ham and cheese, steak and mushrooms, etc., but the true and righteous way to eat them—the reason God put plättar on this good green Earth in the first place—is as a dessert! Drown them in buttermilk syrup, spread them with Nutella or a mixture of whipped cream and jam, sprinkle powdered sugar, add orange liqueur sauce or vanilla ice cream or mascarpone…you can’t go wrong with plättar.

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A Family Secret

Anyway, one year as we were gathering at my parents’ home in anticipation of our annual plättar pig-out, there was a knock at the door. My aunt was standing there with a big bowl of Swedish meatballs. She walked in and started setting up in the kitchen, chattering about her day, as the rest of us looked confused and wondered which of us was going to tell her that the big event wasn’t until the next day. Then there was another knock at the door and another relative walked in carrying food. And another. And another.

My dad dipped into another room and came back with panic in his face. He whispered to us that he’d checked the invitation, and even though we’d printed the right date, we’d given the wrong day of the week. “Well,” Mom sighed, “I guess we’re ready with one dish.” She got out her special pan and started cranking out plättar.

For years, no one outside our immediate family knew about our mistake. All they knew was that they’d been treated to the most delicious non-Christmas Christmas food ever!

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Plättar

Serves 6-8 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix until batter is smooth.
  2. If you have a special plättar pan, heat it up and coat inside of each individual mold with melted butter. If you’re using a regular griddle, spread butter on the hot griddle.
  3. Spoon batter into the plättar pan molds or onto the hot griddle. Use only 1-2 TBSP of batter for each plättar.
  4. Cook for about 1 minute until light golden brown on the bottom. Then flip and cook for an additional minute.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you’ve used all the batter. Rebutter your pan or griddle as needed.
  6. Enjoy your delicious (and always timely) plättar!

December 12, 2023

Christmas Breakfast

By

by Megann Brimhall

Event Team

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I was raised by a single mom who worked full time, so she wasn’t home in the mornings to send us off to school or make us a hot breakfast. But Christmas was always extra special for me because I knew Mom would be there in the morning, and we would share a hot breakfast as a family.

A few days before Christmas, Mom would make what we call, "Tomorrow's Breakfast." It’s a tradition I continue to make for my family. Since you can prepare it in advance, it can bake in the oven while you open presents together on Christmas morning. Your home will be warm and cozy with the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen. It is the perfect way to begin Christmas Day!

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My mom’s "Tomorrow's Breakfast" always made plenty to fill us up, but since she only had two kids and I have six, I also complement it with a sweet dish to feed my small army. My go-to is the Overnight Crème Brûlée French Toast Bake that I borrowed from the fabulous online site, Mel’s Kitchen Café.

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Christmas Breakfast

from my grandma, Maurine Jorgensen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2½ cups (1 bag) croutons
  • 2 cups hand-shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 lb breakfast sausage, cooked
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ tsp dry mustard
  • 2½ cups milk (or 1 can of cream of mushroom soup + ½ cup of milk)
  • salt and pepper to liking

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place croutons in a grated 9x13 pan. Top with cooked sausage and cheese.
  2. Combine eggs, dry mustard, milk/soup, salt, and pepper. Pour over croutons.
  3. Refrigerate at least overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 300° F.
  5. Bake at 300° for 1.5 hours or, for a better crisp, bake for 30 minutes at 300° and then 40 minutes at 350°.

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