Braided Bread

Breakfast Braided Bread

Braided Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

 

1 loaf frozen bread dough, unthawed

Filling of your choice

Egg glaze: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350º Line a baking sheet with parchment or spray with non-stick spray.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12” x 15” rectangle.
  3. Place filling down center of rectangle, going the long way.
  4. Use a pastry scraper to make 1/2-inch cuts along the edge of the dough on either side of the filling.
  5. Starting at one side, criss-cross the cut strips over the filling. Pinch ends together to keep in the filling.
  6. Transfer braided dough to prepared baking sheet. Brush dough with egg glaze.
  7. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

 

Sweet Fillings:

Cream cheese: 8 ounces cream cheese beaten with 1/3 cup sugar

Fruit: Solo brand fruit pastry filling (available with pie fillings at the grocery store)

 

Savory Fillings:

Sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and chopped basil

Pizza sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella

Ham and cheddar cheese

Salade Nicoise

Make this beautiful, yet simple salad for your family and friends. It’s so easy (uses canned tuna), healthful, and so interesting, it can also be your centerpiece. You don’t have to stick with this exact recipe – add any vegetables you like to eat raw with salad dressing, such as zucchini, asparagus, celery, or carrots.

Herb Dressing:
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon dried mixed French or Italian herbs
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
Salad:
1 ½ pounds new potatoes, boiled until tender
1 pound Roma tomatoes, quartered
½ pound fresh green beans, blanched
4 – 6 scallions, sliced
1 can whole beets, drained
1 cucumber, lightly peeled and thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, chopped or sliced
½ cup pitted Nicoise olives (or other black olives)
4 – 6 hard-cooked eggs, halved
3 – 4, 4-ounce cans oil-packed tuna, drained

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper, and mustard. Continue to whisk while slowly pouring in the olive oil. Store in refrigerator until time to serve salad or up to 3 weeks.
  2. Arrange all salad ingredients on a large platter. Just before serving, drizzle on Dressing. Serve extra Herb Dressing on the side.

Beer Bread

beer bread loaf

Beer Bread
Yield: 1 loaf
Your family can be enjoying a hot, crusty loaf of bread in no time with this easy recipe. Yes, beer contains natural yeast which develops from the natural fermenting process. But today, most commercial beers are pasteurized, which kills this yeast. So it is actually the beer’s carbonation that puffs up the dough and makes it rise. Your home will smell delightful and homey – just like you want!

3 cups self rising flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1, 12-ounce beer
6 tablespoons melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with non-stick coating.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and beer. Mix well. Spread into prepared loaf pan. Bake 25 minutes. Open oven door and quickly pull loaf far enough out of the oven that you can pour on the butter. Pour butter evenly over the top of the loaf. Push back into oven and bake another 15 – 20 minutes or until done in the center.

beer bread sliced

Judie’s Streuseled Sweet Potatoes

Streuseled Sweet Potatoes
Yield: 6 – 8 servings

4 medium sweet potatoes, baked until very soft and peeled
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Preheat oven to 350º. Butter 9 x 12-inch baking dish.

Use a mixer to blend all ingredients and pour into prepared baking dish. Bake 30 – 40 minutes. Top with Streusel and bake another 15 – 20 minutes.

Top with Streusel (recipe below).

Streusel:
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup panko crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Stir together with a fork until crumbly.

Fig Preserves!

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Whether it’s fig season or not, you can make these delicious fig and cheese open-faced sandwiches – actually bruschetta. If you don’t have your own home-made fig preserves, you can find jars at the grocery store. These flavors are a perfect marriage of tangy and sweet – one of my favorite combos. You have the sharp blue cheese, then the sweet preserves – oh yum! And it’s all filled in with mild chicken chunks, making it quite hearty. (Sometimes I leave off the chicken and just have the cheese, preserves, and some type of green on top which could also be chopped fresh rosemary.)

Open-Faced Chicken, Fig, and Blue Cheese Melts

Yield: 2 servings

4 slices country sour dough bread, lightly toasted

4 tablespoons interesting mustard (I used McCutcheon’s Vidalia Onion Mustard from Central Market)

8 ounces sliced cooked chicken

4 tablespoons fig preserves

4 – 6 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

½ cup dandelion greens or arugula

  1. 1. Place toasted bread on baking sheet and spread each piece with mustard. Layer with chicken, dollops of fig preserves, and blue cheese.
  2. 2. Broil 2 – 3 minutes or until blue cheese begins to melt. Top with greens and serve immediately.

Spring Cooking Classes!

Join Judie to learn fresh new recipes and meals that will add joy and great memories to your spring and summer.

You will be welcomed with wine (or tea) and hors d’oeuvres. Then sit in Judie’s new kitchen to learn tips and tricks to make you a star in your own home. The first lesson will be a bonus recipe – one of Judie’s favorite “grocery bag to dinner table” dishes. Then a complete dinner including salad and dessert. You will learn many techniques from these recipes that will help you cook myriad recipes with confidence and ease.

Whether a beginner or a seasoned cook, you are sure to leave inspired and encouraged to create beautiful, fabulous dishes for your family and friends. The class includes all recipes. Come hungry! We will feast on all the dishes we prepare.

Monday, March 24 (waiting list only for this class), 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

OR

Tuesday, March 25, 6:30 – 9:30 PM

OR

Wednesday, March 26, 6:30 – 9:30 PM

Cost: $45.00. Send check to Judie Byrd @ The Culinary School of Ftw. 6100 Camp Bowie, 76116.

INCLUDE PHONE NUMBER and E-MAIL. Your check is your reservation and upon receiving your check, we will give you further details via e-mail or phone.

 

 

Judie’s Holiday Classes!

cropped j rolling dough

Opening Additional Classes!

Judie’s holiday classes have filled so we are opening two new dates:

Wednesday, November 20, 6:30 – 9 PM

OR

Friday, November 22, 10 AM – 12:30 PM

Kick off the season with Judie’s exciting, festive, cozy classes where you will meet friends, sip mulled cider (recipe included), and sit at pretty tables to learn fabulous holiday cuisine.

 “I can’t wait to teach you my new best holiday recipes!” -Judie

Holiday Food and Entertaining 

with Judie and Fort Worth, Texas Magazine

Join this fun, festive class where Judie will show you fabulous recipes that you can cook up to delight and impress family and friends.

You’ll learn TWO stunning meats: Glazed Turkey with the best Sage Dressing ever, and an elegant Carved Roast with Yorkshire Pudding. We’ll teach you all the best sides including an elegant soup, homemade yeast rolls, a spectacular dessert, and more.

As usual, Judie’s class is packed full of tips and tricks to make cooking in your kitchen quicker, easier – and actually enjoyable!

You’ll want to make our snazzy Velvet Pumpkins for your centerpiece and to give as gifts – all instructions included. (Pictured below)

The class will begin with hors d’oeuvres and end with a full meal – so come hungry! With Judie’s holiday class, you’ll be ready for the season . . . and so inspired, you’ll wish it could last all year!

Dates:

Wednesday, November 13, 6:30 – 9 PM

OR

Friday, November 15, 10 AM – 12:30 PM

Location:

The Culinary School of Fort Worth

6100 Camp Bowie Blvd. (above La Madeleine Restaurant)

Fort Worth, Texas 76116

$55.00 each, if you are a subscriber to Ft.Worth, TX Magazine

$60.00 each, non subscribers

To register, call 817.737.8427 

Velvet Pumpkins

velvet pumpkins 195187_475145829184511_701849002_o

Seven-Minute Icing

seven minute icing on cake photo 2

Seven-Minute Icing

Yield: Frosting for two- or three-layer cake with lots of fluff on top

4 egg whites (1/2 cup)

3 cups white sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

pinch of salt

2/3 cup water

2 teaspoons vanilla

Whisk together egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and water in the top of a double boiler. (If you don’t have a double boiler, use a stainless steel bowl placed on top of a saucepan of simmering water.) Before placing egg white mixture over simmering water, use an electric mixer (a hand-held mixer is essential here) beat on high speed 1 – 1 1/2 minutes.

Place over simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bottom of pan with egg white mixture). Beat on high speed for 7 minutes, while water simmers. This will cook the egg whites and thicken the icing.

Remove pan from heat and add vanilla. Beat 2 more minutes on high speed (off the simmering water). This will thicken and cool icing.

Use an 8-inch metal, offset spatula to fill and thickly frost cake. Pile remaining frosting on top of cake.  Yes! All of it!

Fig Preserves

This batch is made from whole figs. Beautiful and jewel-like when they cook down and get transparent.
This batch is made from whole figs. Beautiful and jewel-like when they cook down and get transparent.

My faithful fig tree is giving us a bountiful crop this year. Which means my faithful stove is cooking away, producing jar after jar of beautiful preserves. A jar of this golden goodness offers endless possibilities for good eating. Serve it over goat cheese with a sprinkle of freshly chopped rosemary. Sure, it’s suppose to be spread of crackers, but often my guests just want to eat it with a fork. Homemade biscuits become ethereal when filled with a spoonful, and chicken or turkey sandwiches are over-the-top with a thick layer smeared on the bread.

And making them is so rewarding – you start out with a plain, soft fruit. You end up with what my dad would have called, “nectar of the gods.” Here’s my recipe:

Fig Preserves

Yield: about 10 cups preserves

8 cups chopped figs

8 cups sugar

½ cup water or fresh lemon juice

half a lemon, thinly sliced

  1. Place figs, sugar, water, and lemon slices in a Dutch oven or other large pot and stir to combine. Place over medium heat and cook carefully until mixture begins to simmer, stirring every so often. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring very often, until figs are translucent, and syrup is thick. This will take 2 – 6 hours.* As mixture thickens, be sure to stir and scrape down the sides of the pan often to keep mixture from settling to the bottom and burning.
  2. Fill hot, sterilized jars with boiling figs and syrup to within ½ inch of the top. Wipe sealing edge clean and put on lids and rings. Tighten rings just to “finger tight” or just to snug. Process in boiling water bath for 12 minutes.

*I like to cook my fig preserves until they are very thick, up to 6 hours. You might like yours thinner. Sometimes I pick the figs, cut them up, and start the cooking process – maybe an hour or more of cooking. Then if I get busy, I take them off the fire, cover the pot, and just leave it on the counter overnight. The next morning I continue the cooking process, until they are really good and thick.

I also like to make some of my preserves “caramelized.” For this, I simply cook the fig mixture until it is dark and almost gooey. Just be very careful not to burn them – keep the fire very low and stir often.

 

There's something very satisfying about a stack of just-put-up jars of Fig Preserves...
There’s something very satisfying about a stack of just-put-up jars of Fig Preserves…

Fig Preserves

The beginning of my yummy Fig Preserves.
The beginning of my yummy Fig Preserves.

 

This batch is made from whole figs. Beautiful and jewel-like when they cook down and get transparent.
This batch is made from whole figs. Beautiful and jewel-like when they cook down and get transparent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig Preserves

Yield: about 10 cups preserves

8 cups chopped figs

8 cups sugar

½ cup water or fresh lemon juice

half a lemon, thinly sliced

 

  1. Place figs, sugar, water, and lemon slices in a Dutch oven or other large pot and stir to combine. Place over medium heat and cook carefully until mixture begins to simmer, stirring every so often. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring very often, until figs are translucent, and syrup is thick. This will take 2 – 6 hours.* As mixture thickens, be sure to stir and scrape down the sides of the pan often to keep mixture from settling to the bottom and burning.
  2. Fill hot, sterilized jars with boiling figs and syrup to within ½ inch of the top. Wipe sealing edge clean and put on lids and rings. Tighten rings just to “finger tight” or just to snug. Process in boiling water bath for 12 minutes.

 

*I like to cook my fig preserves until they are very thick, up to 6 hours. You might like yours thinner. Sometimes I pick the figs, cut them up, and start the cooking process – maybe an hour or more of cooking. Then if I get busy, I take them off the fire, cover the pot, and just leave it on the counter overnight. The next morning I continue the cooking process, until they are really good and thick.

I also like to make some of my preserves “caramelized.” For this, I simply cook the fig mixture until it is dark and almost gooey. Just be very careful not to burn them – keep the fire very low and stir often.

Fig Preserves, sitting in my kitchen window.
Fig Preserves, sitting in my kitchen window.