Coffee Blondies

Ingredients

  • 1½ cup flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 teaspoon (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cold, plus extra for pan
  • 1½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup chopped pecan halves, toasted (Note)
  • ¾ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
  • Caramel or chocolate sauce, for garnish, optional

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder, and reserve.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, brown sugar and salt.  Remove from heat and stir in coffee until well combined.  Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add pecans and chocolate chips and stir gently.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake until the blondies are set on the edges and the tops are golden brown and just beginning to form cracks, about 18 to 24 minutes.  A wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the blondies should come out with just a couple of crumbs.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.  Use the parchment paper to gently lift the blondies from the pan. Cut blondies into squares and serve with ice cream, topped with caramel or chocolate sauce, if desired.

Notes

Yield: Makes 12 large or 24 small bars.

Note: “The combination of coffee and chocolate makes for blondies that are both unique and indulgent,” writes Minneapolis blogger Sarah Kieffer in “The Vanilla Bean Baking Book.” Find her at thevanillabeanblog.com.

To toast pecans, place the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, and cook, stirring (or shaking the pan frequently) until they just begin to release their fragrance, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Alternately, preheat oven to 325 degrees, spread the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake, stirring often, for 4 to 6 minutes.

Nutrition information per each of 24:

Calories ……………190
Cholesterol ……….23 mg
Carbohydrates …. 23 g
Sodium……………..65 mg
Protein ……………… 2 g
Added sugars …… 15 g
Fat ………………….. 11 g
Dietary fiber ………. 1 g
Saturated fat ………. 5 g
Exchanges per serving: 1 ½ carb, 2 fat.

Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 2020-03-05

Ann Bonney’s Popcorn Balls

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups molasses
  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup water
  • ¼ Cup vinegar, plus additional seen notes
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 1 Cup raw popcorn, popped

Method

  1. Combine molasses, sugar, water, and vinegar in a saucepan.
  2. Cook liquid ingredients to soft boil, 255F on a candy thermometer.  Fine bubbles will form, and the liquid should form a soft ball when dropped into a glass of water.
  3. Remove from heat, and add butter, stirring until it is completely incorporated.
  4. Pour mixture over popped corn and form into balls.
  5. Wrap individually with plastic wrap.

Notes

  • Do not make on inclement days
  • Use vinegar on your hands to keep the mixture from sticking to your hands when forming balls.
Source: Ann Bonney, Portland, Maine, circa 1960

Sliced Sweet Chili Cucumbers

Ingredients

  • 2 English Cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 18 ounces seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar, Splenda or equavilent
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 3 shakes toasted sesame oil

Method

  1. Place sliced cucumbers into 2-quart container.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.  Use less or more red chili flakes as desired.
  3. Keeps well in refrigerator for about 2-3 weeks.
Source: Diana Stone in Adams Clinic Employees cookbook, Hibbing, Minnesota, 2005

Chicken and Wild Rice hot dish

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup raw wild rice, cooked
  • I Cup long grain white rice, or quinoa cooked
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 Cup chicken broth
  • 1 can mushrooms
  • 1 Cup celery, chopped and cooked
  • 1 package pearl onions, cooked
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small jar pimentos, chopped
  • 1 small package sliced almonds
  • 2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, diced
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • 2 cups buttered bread crumbs

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix together the soups and chicken broth, stir until smooth
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well
  4. Put mixure in a casserole dish and cover with buttered bread crumbs
  5. Bake for 60 minutes
  6. Serve hot
Source: Sue Jonas, circa 1980

Notes: Great potluck dish

Baked dates in cheddar-rosemary pastry

Ingredients

  • ½ Cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • ¾ Cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1⅓ Cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons water, very cold
  • 48 pitted Medjool dates

Method

  1. Pulse butter, cheddar cheese, rosemary, flour, salt, and cayenne in a food processor until mixture resembles cornmeal.
  2. Add vinegar and water and pulse just until the mixture holds together.
  3. Turn out the dough and shape into a six-inch square. Wrap the mixture with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F
  5. Put chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 12-inch square.
  6. Cut pastry square into 48 1-inch by 3-inch strips.
  7. Wrap each date with a strip of pastry and arrange on two parchment lined baking sheets.
  8. Bake until pastry is light golden brown, about 15 minutes
  9. Serve Hot
Source: Sunset Magazine, November 2006

Dr Wingnut’s Chili

Ingredients

  • 2½ pounds sweet or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (80% lean or better)
  • 2 cans (15½ oz) dark kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cans (14½ oz) chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 2 jars (24 oz) thick and chunky salsa (Chi-Chi’s)
  • 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons Lawry’s® Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder

Method

  1. Turn a covered large Crock-Pot on high temperature.
  2. On medium heat, sweat onions and garlic in a large dutch oven, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown.  About 5 minutes.
  3. Add the following ingredients to the Crock-Pot while the onions and garlic are cooking: beans, tomatoes, salsa, and green chilies. Stir to combine.
  4. When the onions have started to brown crumble the ground beef into the onion mixture and cook covered, stirring occasionally until the ground beef is no longer raw.  About 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the spices to the meat mixture.  Stir and cook until the spices become aromatic  About 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the meat and onion mixture to the Crock-Pot, stir and cover.
  7. When the chili begins to boil, stir and turn the heat down to low.
  8. Cook overnight (at least 8 hours).
  9. Serve with your favorite toppings, (cheese, jalapeño peppers, black olives, sour cream, chopped cilantro, et cetera) and Tortilla chips or Fritos.
  • Winner of the Minnesota DNR Central Office Chili Cook-off on 2016-10-20 which advanced the doctor to the Governor’s Chili Cook-off on 2016-10-26.  Where he thankfully did not win…  they did raise $700+ for the Combined Charities campaign, however, so that was good.
  • Winner 2017-10-23, DNR Cook-off
  • Did not enter the cookoff in 2018
  • Third Place on 2019-10-30, DNR Cook-off

No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Dessert

Ingredients

  • 2 (3.5 ounce) boxes vanilla or french vanilla instant pudding
  • 3 Cups whole milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip
  • 1 (14.4 ounce) box graham crackers
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/3 Cups Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method

  1. Combine pudding mix and milk; beat until the pudding sets.
  2. Stir in the Cool Whip.
  3. Place a layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish.
  4. Spread ½ of the pudding mixture over the graham crackers.
  5. Repeat with another layer of graham crackers and the remainder of the pudding mixture.
  6. Top with a final layer of graham crackers.
  7. Make a ganache topping by bring the heavy cream to a slight boil; boil about 1 minute, stirring very frequently.  Remove from heat and cool one minute.  Add chocolate and stir until melted and there are no chocolate lumps.
  8. Spread the ganache over the top layer of graham crackers.
  9. Refrigerate overnight.
Source: Shannon Jenson