Saturday, January 20, 2007

Arsenal of Family Recipes

Last week Jack had a brilliant idea. He employed his love of cooking breakfast to host a pancake playoff breakfast last Sunday. Eleven of us gathered around the television to watch a very close game in which our charismatic Seahawks lost to the Chicago Bears. Yes, I did use the term "charismatic"to describe a pro football team. We've got nice guys Josh Brown, Matt Hasselbeck, and Shaun Alexander. In fact, once you've seen Shaun Alexander's smile, you'll realize there's no argument. Ah, I digress. What to do when your team must exit the playoffs? Employ your best emotional eating techniques and enjoy the food. My humble opinion tells me there is no better way to get over that 49 yard field goal in sudden death overtime, making the score 27-24. Jack's blueberry pancakes were in our bellies to aid in adjusting to the end of the season.
For my part, I sought out my best Midwest brunch recipes; Cheese Strata and Sticky Buns. I usually try to eat healthy, but I bring out these recipes for special get-togethers and holidays just as my extended family does. When you're part of a 20-member, Midwest family with German-Catholic roots you can expect congregating for nearly every birthday and first communion. This presents many opportunities for testing recipes on a broad range of tastes and ages. Winners will emerge. Since I've moved to the West coast, my mother has been supplying me with hand written or typed instructions for the tried and true, the food of my memories.

Cheese Strata
Grandma Lucile Bohr

1/2 cup Margarine or butter
10 - 12 Slices of bread, trim crusts and cut/tear into cubes
1 cup Crab meat, canned or frozen, drained
1/2 cup Old English cheese, cut into cubes (I doubted this cheese could be found in Seattle, so I used the almighty Cheddar)
4oz of Canned or fresh mushrooms
5 Eggs
2 cups of milk
Salt, pepper, dry mustard, red pepper (I guessed a teaspoon of the first 3, & a conservative 1/2 teaspoon of the red pepper)
I added cubed red bell pepper (1 small pepper)

Melt butter in a 9 x 13" pan. Put half of bread cubes and cheese cubes in pan. Sprinkle crab meat and mushrooms over top. make another layer of bread and cheese cubes. Combine eggs, milk, and seasonings; pour over all. Let stand overnight in fridge. Bake at 350 about 1 hour. Serves 8 to 10.

For variation in tastes and budget, try substituting ham, chipped beef, tuna, shrimp, or lobster for crab.

Sticky Buns
Kris Bauman

2 dozen Frozen dinner rolls
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Nuts
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 (3.5 oz) box Butterscotch pudding (not instant)
1/2 stick Butter

Grease a 9 x 13" pan well. Melt butter and brown sugar together and spread on bottom of pan. Sprinkle nuts, then dry pudding mix. Mix white sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on top of mixture in pan. Place dinner rolls in pan. Cover with foil and let stand in a warm place overnight.
Bake uncovered, at 350 four about 30 minutes. Invert on plate immediately.


Karen said...

Beautiful presentation (picture)!

Dad said...

Damn! There goes the diet.
Remember your cousin Dans reaction at age four when he thought we said "stinky buns"!!! Ya! more for us. He's nearly 21 and no one has ever told him what he is missing.

Mom said...

YUMMMM ! Now I am hungry for Sticky Buns!! Gotta have em....just gotta have em!

Love the photo and recipe layout...awwww!