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Much Ado About Nothing

Bourbon Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

This recipe is pretty easy and has become an Easter favorite for our family.  I’ll be making it again this year as usual, although since we’ll be helping our church staff 5 services across the weekend, I might scale the celebration back some.  I’m thinking ham, dill potato salad, green beans, biscuits, and deviled eggs should do it.

Bourbon Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Alton Brown's original recipe, called "City Ham" includes a coating of crushed gingersnap cookies. That didn't work to well for me, so I modified the recipe a bit to exclude them and to tone down the spice of the mustard for our kiddo.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 fully cooked smoked bone-in ham, not spiral cut (about 10 pounds)
  2. 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  3. 3/4 cup dijon mustard
  4. 6 tablespoons bourbon
Instructions
  1. Trim all but 1/4 inch of fat from the ham, and score remaining fat in a criss-cross pattern, just deep enough to reach the meat without cutting it. Place ham, fat side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Add 2 cups of water to the bottom of the pan. Tightly cover ham with foil and bake as directed on the package.
  2. Mix brown sugar, mustard, and bourbon well, and set aside.
  3. When the internal temperature of the ham reaches 100 degrees, begin basting every 20 minutes with the glaze. Continue baking until internal temperature of the ham reaches 160 degrees. Remove the ham from the oven and let stand 30 minutes before carving. The glaze in the bottom of the roasting pan can be used as a dipping sauce or thickened into a gravy for serving.
Adapted from Alton Brown
Adapted from Alton Brown
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Patti’s Unfamous Chocolate Walnut Fudge

A smooth and creamy fudge with just the right balance of bitter and sweet. Unlike a lot of fudges that have a gritty texture, most of this recipe’s sugar comes in the form of marshmallow creme (you may know it as “marshmallow fluff”), which gives it the creaminess that people seem to love so much.   This is a recipe that I’ve developed over years of trial and error — hope you enjoy it.

Patti’s Unfamous Chocolate Walnut Fudge
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  2. 1-1/2 cups white sugar
  3. 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  4. 1/4 cup butter
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  7. 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  8. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (pecans work just as well, if not better!)
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. 1. Line an 8×8 inch pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
  2. 2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. 3. Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.
Notes
  1. You may be tempted to leave the heat on while stirring the chips. While this would normally be ok, you really shouldn’t do that in this recipe. If the mixture stays at a boiling temperature, you may be in for a nasty surprise when you add the vanilla. Bottom line: it’s safer for you and better for the fudge if the mixture cools down just a tad before the vanilla goes in. As long as you keep stirring, the chips will melt just fine.
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Rhubarb Cobbler

Rhubarb Cobbler is one of those things in life that is strangely satisfying — so tart that your lips pucker just thinking about it, and sweet at the same time.  I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I can’t.  It’s the work of Pioneer Woman, and it is amazing.

Rhubarb Cobbler
Serves 6
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups Chopped Rhubarb
  2. 1-1/2 cup Sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  4. 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  5. 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract (optional)
  6. 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  7. 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  8. 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  9. 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  10. 1/4 cup Vegetable Shortening Or Lard
  11. 1/4 cup Butter
  12. 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  13. 1 whole Egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine rhubarb, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, and almond extract if using. Stir and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and baking powder. Stir together. Add shortening and butter, then cut together with a pastry cutter.
  4. Beat egg and milk together. Pour into flour mixture and stir with a fork until just combined.
  5. Pour rhubarb into a buttered baking dish. Tear off pinches of dough and drop it onto the surface of the fruit, creating a “cobbled” texture. Sprinkle additional sugar over the top.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
Adapted from Ree Drummond
Adapted from Ree Drummond
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Colder Weather Means Chili Season

This chili provides great combination of spicy and sweet to please every palette! Don’t let the long ingredient list fool you; it really is very easy to make.

Patti's Sweet and Sassy Chili
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 2 onions, chopped
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 pound ground beef
  5. 1 pound beef sirloin, cubed
  6. 2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
  7. 1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle dark beer; Honey Brown, Newcastle, and Nut Brown work really well
  8. 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  9. 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  10. 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
  11. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  12. 3 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  13. 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  14. 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  15. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  16. 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  17. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  18. 1 teaspoon salt
  19. 3 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans
  20. 4 fresh hot chile peppers, seeded and chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions, garlic, ground beef and cubed sirloin in oil for 10 minutes, or until the meat is well browned and the onions are tender.
  2. Mix in the diced tomatoes with juice, dark beer, coffee, tomato paste, brown sugar, and beef broth. Season with chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, coriander and salt. Stir in 2 cans of the beans and hot chile peppers. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Stir in the remaining can of beans, and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Notes
  1. Serve buffet-style with fresh shredded cheese, jalapeno pepper slices, chopped onion, sour cream and hot sauce for topping. Goes great with a nice big salad and some corn bread.
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Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits baked in a cast-iron skillet.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

Buttermilk Biscuits
Serves 8
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 4 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 tablespoons butter
  6. 2 tablespoons shortening
  7. 1 cup buttermilk, chilled
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
  3. Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits in a 10-inch cast iron pan so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that’s life.)
  4. Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. If you don’t have buttermilk, add 2 tbsp vinegar to 1 cup milk.
Adapted from Alton Brown
Adapted from Alton Brown
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