Cheesy Brussel Sprouts

Cheesy Brussel Sprouts

Cheesy Brussels Sprouts


4 slices of Bacon

1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped 

1 clove Garlic, minced

2 lbs. Fresh Brussel Sprouts, cut in half

1 1/2 c. Whole Milk

1 c. Chicken Broth

4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter

5 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour

3/4 c. Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Tablespoon Dried Thyme

Ground Pepper to taste

1 1/ 2 c. Grated Sharp White Cheddar

Paprika for Garnish

Step 1 :

Heat a large skillet and crisp cook the bacon.  Transfer to a plate and cool.  Pour off all but approximately 2 Tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan.  Add the onion and minced garlic.  Cook until onion is translucent.  Scrape the onions and garlic into the bottom of a large shallow 9×13 baking dish.  Spreading evenly across the bottom.  Set aside.

Step  2:

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.  Bring large pot of salted water to a boil then add the sprouts and cook until tender.  Drain thoroughly and transfer to the baking dish.

Step 3:  

Combine Milk and Chicken Broth in saucepan Bring to simmer, remove from heat.

Step 4:

Melt butter in a large saucepan .  Add the flour and cook at medium heat for approximately 1 minute until golden brown.  Whisk in half of the hot milk and broth.  Heat and whisk for another minute or so until mixture is thickened.  Add the remaining liquid and cook for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.

Step 5:

Whisk in the parmesan cheese , mustard , thyme, salt and pepper.  Pour the sauce mixture evenly over the sprouts.  Crumble the crisp bacon over the top and then sprinkle evenly the white cheddar cheese.  Dust lightly with paprika.

Step 6:

Bake at 375 degrees in center oven for approximately 30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.


Fall Treats – Just in Time for Trick or Treat

Fall Treats – Just in Time for Trick or Treat

Simple recipes are the best.  My Grandma Swenson lived in Minnesota and my family would travel each summer to visit her along with the rest of my Dad’s family who lived simply on farms and in small towns.  I remember the wonderful home cooked meals served by my grandma and aunties.  They also made the best desserts and treats. I have an old church recipe book that my grandma gave me when I graduated from high school.  I love to look through this treasure of small town Minnesota and I always bring it out this time of year when I make snacks for Halloween night.  The caramel corn is so yummy.  It stores well, but we usually never have any left to store.  The Goblin punch was fun to make when my kids were little and was a favorite at the elementary school parties each year.  And of course, who doesn’t love a warm apple crisp on a chilly fall evening.  Enjoy!


Old Fashioned Caramel Corn


6  cups popped popcorn

2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup butter, cubed

1/2 cup Karo light corn syrup

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda


Place popcorn in a large bowl and set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat. Stir in vanilla and baking soda; mix well. Pour over popcorn and stir until well-coated. Pour into two greased 13×9-in. baking pans.

Bake, uncovered, at 250° for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

Goblin Punch

1 quart chilled orange juice

1 quart orange sherbert

2 quarts chilled ginger ale

Apple Crisp


8 medium apples, peeled and sliced

1 1/2 c. brown sugar

1 c. flour

1 c. oats

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. butter


Grease 9×13 pan. Layer apples in the bottom of the pan.  Mix remaining ingredients well and sprinkle over apples.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until apples are tender and the topping is golden brown.  

I like to serve this warm over french vanilla ice cream.

Reflections on a Cold Winters Day

As I sit at my desk on this snowy December morning, the snow continues to lightly fall outside my window and the evergreen branches look like they have been dusted with powdered sugar.  I am baking Stritzel bread today, a recipe that has been a family tradition for us for over 100 years.  When my grandma died at the age of 94, she had never had a Christmas without Stritzel.  She told me once that her mom and her grandma also had never had a Christmas without Stritzel.   I love that she taught me how to make this yummy treat and I am passing the recipe  and tradition down to my daughter.  My daughter  is only ten but I hope one day she will make it with her children.  How fun and unique that is to our family.  I love Christmas traditions and I enjoy talking to other friends about what is important to them during this time of year.

I was having a chat with some friends this past week and we were all  sharing our family traditions.  What I loved most about this was the fact that  it is not only the tradition itself that we love but those family members that came before us and either started or continued the tradition.  As I mentioned earlier, for me the tradition of baking Stritzel bread makes me think of all the fun times I did this with my grandma.  I called her Momo and I loved her dearly, and still miss her terribly; especially this time of year.  One friend shared how they cut down their Christmas tree from their property up in the mountains and then drink hot coco out of their special Christmas mugs.  Another lady shared how they sit around the tree on Christmas Eve and read from the BiBle in the book of Luke where the birth of Christ is retold.  Many had baking memories and sledding stories.  One family buys matching hats and carols around their neighborhood.  Each tradition shared brought a smile to the face of the person sharing, sometimes giggles, and sometimes tears.  Christmas traditions are priceless.

Each person and their family story is unique, just like the snowflakes falling outside.  I believe snowflakes reveal both God’s creative genius and his concern for the smallest details on earth. Snowflakes form in a variety of shapes and sizes, each a unique creation from heaven, just like you and I and just like our family traditions.  A snowflakes journey begins high up in the clouds and continues as it slowly falls to earth where it makes a brief and sparkling appearance on a child’s mitten. In the big scheme of things, our lives are similar, we are only here for a brief moment in time.  I encourage you today to embrace your unique self and all that makes up your family traditions. Hoping one day someone I will never get the chance to meet this side of heaven will be baking Stritzel bread.

Enjoy this wonderful holiday season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Merry Christmas and God Bless –