Cooking with Kate: Destination Argentina
One of my favorite things about my job is researching different cuisines from around the world for themed events. Lately, I’ve been learning about Argentinian dishes, and one food keeps coming up over and over—quince. Argentina is one of the world’s top producers of quince, and many describe the fruit as similar in texture and appearance to an apple or pear, but usually bright yellow when fully ripe. Unlike, pears and apples, quinces are rarely eaten raw because they are too hard and sour. Because this produce is high in pectin, it is often used to make jams and jellies. Commercially, quince is produced into a sweet/tart, sticky, hard paste known as dulce de membrillo. This paste is then used in sandwiches and tarts, like the pastafrola recipe below.
 

Pastafrola

Traditional Argentine Tarts with Quince Jam
Yield: 1 (9-10”) tart or 8-10 individual tarts
 
Ingredients
For the crust:
1 cup sugar
1 stick + 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
 
For the filling:
2 cups (15-16 ounces) quince jam / paste (dulce de membrillo or membrillo casero)*
2-3 tablespoons water
 
*If you can’t find quince jam, you can make a product request with your local Brookshire Brothers!
 
Directions
For the crust:
Mix the sugar and butter together with a hand mixer until creamy. Add the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Continue to mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Using a spoon, incorporate the flour and salt, a little at a time, being careful not to handle or overwork the dough too much. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
 
For the filling:
Place the quince paste into a medium bowl. Add the water and mash with a fork until you have a smooth paste.
 
To assemble: 
Separate the dough into 2 pieces: ¾ for the crust and ¼ to make the strips for the lattice topping. Roll out the larger portion of dough to about ¼” thickness. Lightly coat a pie dish or tart pan with cooking spray or butter, and press the dough into the dish. Spoon the quince paste into the crust. Roll out the second piece of dough and cut into long strips with a knife or pizza cutter. Add the dough strips to the top of the tart in the classic lattice pattern or have fun making your own design.
 
In a small bowl, mix the egg with the water. Brush the crust with a little of the egg wash, and bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
 
 
Cooking with Kate: Fresh From the Garden

One of the best things about growing up in the country was our family’s summer garden—sun-ripe tomatoes, fresh sweet corn, carrots of all sizes, and so many different kinds of peas. As such, I’m forever disappointed that I did not inherit the family green thumb. Plants tend to die under my care with alarming frequency! Thus, I’m always grateful for the fresh produce available at my local Brookshire Brothers as one of my favorite recipes lets you use a whole garden of veggies!

My sweet friend, Valena Spradley, gave me this summer sauté recipe, and I’ve always loved how quickly this dish comes together, using whatever vegetables you have on hand. I’ve also included a recipe for cream peas, which can make a delicious addition to this recipe—or any summer meal! Lady Cream, Zipper Cream, Texas Cream, Crowders, Field Peas—take your pick and turn on the stove!

Fresh Summer Vegetable Sauté

Ingredients
6 slices uncooked bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 ears fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob
2 yellow squash, diced
2 zucchini, diced
½ - 1 cup heavy cream
1 pinch cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
 
Optional Additions
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carton grape tomatoes, cut in half
 
Directions

In a large, deep-sided skillet with a lid, sauté the bacon pieces over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and place in a paper-towel lined bowl or plate, leaving the bacon grease in the skillet. Add the butter, onions, and garlic to the skillet. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the corn, squash, zucchini, and any other vegetables you are using. Sauté over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add enough heavy cream to lightly coat the vegetables – you do not want them swimming in cream, but need enough liquid to keep the vegetables from drying out. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet, and gently simmer for 5-10 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add the crisp bacon to the skillet with a generous pinch of freshly ground pepper and a small pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes. Taste the vegetables before adding any salt – the bacon, butter, and cream will add some salt to the dish so you might not need to add any! Serve warm with your favorite grilled or roasted meats.

 A skillet of various vegetables that have been sautéed

The Rudasills’ Fresh Cream Peas

Ingredients
½ pound uncooked bacon, diced
½ stick salted butter
1 medium-large white onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ - 2 pounds shelled cream peas, preferably fresh but frozen can be used
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Directions

In a large pot with a lid, sauté the bacon pieces over medium heat until the bacon grease begins to render and the bacon is barely cooked. Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and reserve for later. Increase the heat to medium-high, and add the butter to the pot. Add the diced onion and garlic to the pot and sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the peas, cooked bacon, and chicken broth to the pot. Add enough water so that the peas are covered by about one inch of liquid. Bring the peas to a low simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot halfway with the lid, and continuing cooking for 1 to 1 ½ hours until the peas are soft, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Taste the peas and season with freshly ground black pepper and salt, if needed. Serve warm with fresh cornbread!

Hope y’all are having a great summer!
 
Cooking with Kate: Something New to Beat the Summer Heat

Summer is here and so is the heat! Cool off with this fantastic version of chilled gazpacho – a cold soup originating in Spain made with fresh fruits and vegetables. This recipe will be featured at Lufkin's Farm Feast dinner, a parntership with Lufkin CVB and Brookshire Brothers. It includes sweet strawberries, tangy cucumbers, and vine ripened tomatoes, and gets a slight kick of heat with a fresh jalapeño or two. Brookshire Brothers is the place for all of your fresh produce! If you ever need help finding anything, be sure to ask our friendly produce employees. Stay cool this summer and enjoy this recipe with me!

Sweet & Spicy Strawberry Tomato Gazpacho with Citrus Goat Cheese

Ingredients

1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
5 small vine ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
½ cucumber, chopped
1-2 jalapenos (depending on heat), seeded and chopped
½ bunch fresh mint, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
2 limes, zested and juiced, divided
¼ - ½ cup honey
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish

2-4 ounces goat cheese, softened
zest of 2 limes (from above)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Directions

For the gazpacho

Place strawberries, tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeños, mint, lime juice, honey, and salt and pepper into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour soup into a large, covered container and chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Stir well and adjust seasonings, adding more honey for additional sweetness and more salt and pepper, if needed.

For the garnish

Place goat cheese, lime zest and pepper into a small bowl and stir together
until fully combined.

Serving

Ladle chilled soup into each bowl and top with a small dollop of prepared goat cheese and snips of fresh mint leaves.


Click here to see other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.

     

Cooking with Kate: An Easy Summer Meal

With things heating up outside and the summer season upon us, I’m often looking for quick and easy meals that do not take much thought or cooking. Avocado toast is all the rage and with good reason – nutrient-dense avocados, from our farm-fresh produce selection, are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats (the good kind), Vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, folate, magnesium, potassium, and beta-carotene. Adding protein-rich eggs makes this a great meal for a quick breakfast or a busy weeknight. Enjoy!

Avocado Toast with Poached or Shirred Eggs
Makes 2 breakfast servings or 1 dinner serving

Ingredients

2 slices whole grain bread
1 tablespoon salted butter, softened
1 ripe avocado
1 lime, juiced
2 eggs, room temperature
pinch smoked paprika
a sprig fresh thyme or pinch of dried thyme leaves
salt and pepper

For shirred eggs                                                                                          

2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan or gruyere cheese

For poached eggs                                                      

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread softened butter on sliced bread; lay on cookie sheet. Set aside. As soon as you begin cooking the eggs, place the buttered bread in the oven to toast for 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.

Scoop avocado flesh into a small bowl. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Mash and mix well. Set aside.

For shirred eggs

In a small greased ramekin, mug, or baking dish, add eggs (not beaten). Drizzle with heavy cream, sprinkle with cheese, and season with salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme. Bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes (7 minutes for runny yolks; 10 minutes for a firm yolk).

For poached eggs

Crack the eggs into 2 separate small bowls or cups. Bring a small, deep saucepan of water to a low simmer (small bubbles barely breaking on the surface). Salt the water and add 1 tablespoon vinegar. Use a spoon to create a swirling whirlpool in the water. Slowly lower the egg into the center of the whirlpool. This will help the egg white to wrap around the yolk. Add the second egg. Cover the saucepan and let the eggs cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the water. Carefully drain the eggs on paper towels.

Serving

Spread mashed avocado on buttered toast. Add shirred or poached eggs. Sprinkle with additional salt, pepper, and paprika. Serve immediately.


Click here to see other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.

     

Cooking with Kate: Summer Grilling

Summer is almost upon us, and that means time to fire up the grill and keep your kitchen cool!

Brookshire Brothers' Market carries a wide array of Angus Pride steaks and Trident Alaskan salmon fillets perfect for a special dinner or a family get-together. A little herb compound butter right at the end of cooking steaks or salmon fillets will add some extra richness and flavor! Our favorite compound butter recipe below includes lemon zest for a burst of freshness in every bite and is also fantastic spread on toasted crusty bread. Look below for some great tips on cooking the perfect steak or piece of salmon. Happy Grilling!

Lemon, Herb, and Garlic Compound Butter

1 lb salted butter, softened
2 lemons, zested and juiced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch fresh parsley, stems removed and finely chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

In a medium bowl, add softened butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped parsley, and all seasonings. Beat with a whisk or large spoon until completely mixed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

NOTE: For easier slicing – Lay a square of Saran Wrap or cling film flat on the counter. Add softened butter and shape into a log with a 1” to 1 ½” diameter. Roll up in the cling film keeping it in the log shape. Refrigerate until ready to use; or freeze for up to six months.

7 Tips for Grilling the Perfect Steak!

  1. Buy good quality meat! If you are unsure about what cut of meat to use for grilling, ask any of our friendly meat cutters, and they can help you find the perfect steak!
  2. Season the steak with salt and black pepper and let come to room temperature before grilling so it cooks more evenly.
  3. Preheat your grill to high heat before cooking!
  4. Sear steaks over high heat for 1 minute per side before moving steaks to indirect medium heat to finish cooking to desired doneness. Searing locks in the juices and will give you great grill marks.
  5. Use tongs to turn your steaks instead of a grill fork. Puncturing the steak with a fork allows juices to escape causing a dry steak!
  6. In the last 1 minute of cooking, lay a piece of herb butter on each steak and allow to melt.
  7. Remove steaks from grill and cover with a piece of foil. Allow steaks to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to absorb juices, butter, and seasonings.

7 Tips for Grilling the Perfect Salmon!

  1. Before grilling salmon, rinse the fillets with cool water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. If your salmon fillets have the skin on, cook the fillets with the skin side up first, leave the skin on while grilling and remove it after cooking. This helps the fillets stay together during cooking.
  3. Preheat your charcoal or gas grill to medium heat before grilling.
  4. Place salmon on well-greased grill racks, in well-greased grill baskets, or well-greased sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil directly over coals or heat. This ensures that the fish doesn’t stick and fall apart during cooking.
  5. Turn the fish only once halfway through cooking to limit the chance it might fall apart.
  6. Test the fish with a fork at the thickest part to check doneness. Salmon will be opaque and flake easily when fully cooked.
  7. Remove from the grill and add a piece of herb butter on top of each fillet right before serving.

 


Click here to see other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.

     

Cooking with Kate: March into Spring

Texas might have skipped winter this year, but I could not be more excited for the sunshine and flowers! This is the season for fantastic fresh produce, so take a look at all of the new fruits and vegetables at your local Brookshire Brothers and enjoy these two produce-packed recipes!

Strawberry Pineapple Green Goddess Smoothie
Makes 2 servings

1 cup whole or 2% milk
2 cups fresh spinach
1 banana, peeled and frozen
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks, frozen
1 cup fresh strawberries, stemmed and frozen
½ avocado, peeled and seed removed

In an electric blender, add milk and spinach and pulse until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately!

Broccoli Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Makes 8-10 servings

2 cups broccoli florets, blanched and chopped into small pieces
1 lb. sliced bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 (8 ounce) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
8 ounces mini pasta shells, cooked according to package directions, drained and cooled
1 cup of your favorite ranch dressing*

*OR
¾ cup mayonnaise

½ cup milk
2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix, or more to taste

In a large bowl, combined chopped blanched broccoli, chopped cooked bacon, whole cherry tomatoes, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, cooked sweet peas, and cooked pasta shells. If making the dressing from the mix – In a small bowl, combine mayo and milk and add dry ranch dressing mix. Blend well and taste to see if more mix is needed. Add half the salad dressing to the pasta salad and toss. Add additional dressing if pasta salad is too dry. Chill until ready to serve.


Click here to see other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.

     

Cooking with Kate: An Adventure in Food and Wine

Brookshire Brothers and the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau is on its third round of
Pour & Explore: A Trip Around the World of Wine.

So far we've visited several wine-producing vineyards including Washington, Oregon, and coming up soon, California. This partnership with the Lufkin CVB is long-standing and has several events under its belt. After recent Pour & Explore Events, several requests have been made for recipes that were served by Brookshire Brothers Catering. As we continue our trail down the West coast, we don't want to ruin the surprise of California's recipes, but we want to share a past recipe from November's Pour & Explore: Destination Oregon. These cheese puffs were a favorite that night and will be a hit when you serve alongside soup or as a snack for your guests!

Gougères - French Cheese Puffs
Makes 24 medium cheese puffs

1 cup (8 ounces) water
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) grated cheese, like gruyère or sharp cheddar

Combine the water, butter, salt, and dry mustard in a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Once all the butter has melted, remove the pan from heat and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously until the mixture comes together and resembles mashed potatoes. Return the pan to medium-low heat and stir for 3-5 minutes to dry out the dough. The dough is ready when it glistens and is thick enough to hold a spoon upright. (Some starch buildup on the bottom of the pan is normal.) Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the dough on a medium-low speed for one minute until it stops steaming and is just warm to the touch. Continue beating and add the egg in four additions. Wait for each addition to be absorbed and for the dough to smooth out before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed between additions. In the end, the dough should come together in a very smooth, creamy batter. Stir in the shredded cheese.

Heat the oven to 450°F. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto sheet pans lined with silicone mats or parchment paper. Space them at least an inch apart. Bake the gougères for 5 minutes and then turn the heat down to 350°F. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans once during baking. The finished gougères will be puffed, deep golden-brown, and dry to the touch (the cheese may still be bubbling a bit). They will also feel light and hollow when picked up. Transfer the sheet pan to a cooling rack. Serve warm or room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and re-crisped in a warm oven before serving or frozen for up to three months.

Additional Notes:

Freeze for Later: To have gougères on hand for later, try freezing them shaped but un-baked. Scoop and then freeze them directly on the baking sheet. Once frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer storage container. Bake them directly from the freezer while still frozen; just add a couple of extra minutes in the oven.

Bigger or Smaller Gougères: Make the gougères any size that appeals to you. Teaspoon scoops are a fun party snack or soup topper while double-sized gougères are nice for making sandwiches or as part of a brunch spread.


Pour & Explore: Destination California will be held at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center on Thursday, February 23rd, at 6:30p.m. As we “tour” the California wine regions, the renowned winemakers will be on hand to walk you through the wines they’ve selected to accompany each of the five courses. This specially designed menu includes ingredients native to California, like wild mushrooms and hazelnuts, and the fusion cuisine that has made California a destination culinary hot spot. Seating is limited, and tickets are available through the Lufkin CVB, (936) 633-0359, for $65 a person or $550 for a reserved table of eight.


Click here to see other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.

     

Cooking with Kate: It's Always Soup Weather

I’ve decided that Texas has taken a rain check on winter weather this year…and while the spring weather and sunshine in January is appreciated, it’s depriving us of one of my favorite times of the year – soup weather! So if you’re like me and can eat soup any time of the year, here are two of my all-time favorite soup recipes! Enjoy!

Tuscan Bean and Kale Soup
makes 6-8 servings 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup dry white wine - Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio
    (Check out our Beverage Depot for great wine suggestions)
  • 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
    (Frozen, cooked shrimp can be used – just thaw before cooking)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh kale, rinsed and torn into small pieces
  • ½ cup fresh basil, torn into small pieces
  • 1 wedge Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook an additional 2 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes and dried oregano; stir and cook for another 30 seconds. Add wine to deglaze the pan and whisk, scraping the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce, cooking until the wine is reduced by half.  Add canned tomatoes, rinsed beans, and chicken broth. Stir to combine and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the kale to the soup and stir well. Add the torn basil and simmer for another 5 minutes, tasting and adding salt and pepper (or even more red pepper flakes), as needed.

While the soup is simmering, cook the shrimp. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and chopped parsley and toss to cook until no longer opaque, about 4 minutes. Season with salt. Set aside. (If using frozen shrimp – thaw well before tossing with butter and parsley in the skillet. Heat until warm and then add to the soup.)

To serve – transfer soup to a large serving bowl and top with the shrimp, or ladle into individual bowls and top with 3 or 4 shrimp. Just before serving, use a vegetable peeler to shave large pieces of parmesan cheese on top of each bowl of soup. Enjoy!

White Chicken Chili
makes 6-8 servings

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15 ½ oz) cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 oz) chicken broth
  • 2 (4 oz) cans chopped green chilies
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • For serving: shredded cheddar, sour cream, salsa, chopped green onions

Cook chicken by sautéing or boiling. Let cool slightly and shred or cube into ½ inch pieces. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add cooked chicken, beans, chicken broth, corn, green chilies, and seasonings. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.  Add sour cream and heavy cream; stir well. Return to low heat until ready to serve. White Chili is great with cornbread, crackers, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, sour cream, and chopped green onions.

NOTE: This is a great crockpot recipe – Add cooked chicken and all ingredients except sour cream and heavy cream to a large crockpot. Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours. Add sour cream and whipping cream, and heat on low for another 30 minutes before serving.

Click here to see other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill. 

 

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.

     

 

Cooking with Kate: Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful...

Our East Texas weather sure isn’t predictable, but one thing is certain – the winter-ish temperatures will surely be back soon. If nothing else, the cold, wet weather gives you a great reason to bundle up, stay close to a crackling fire, and warm up with one of these great winter drinks! Happiest of New Years to you and your family!

Spiced Irish Coffee

For the spiced whipped cream:
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

For the Irish coffee:
- 1½ cups freshly brewed hot coffee
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons whiskey

In a large bowl, whip heavy cream, sugar, and pumpkin spice to stiff peaks. Set aside.

Divide coffee, sugar, and whisky into 2 mugs. Add dollops of the whipped cream and sprinkle with additional pumpkin spice. Enjoy immediately.

Slow Cooker Holiday Mulled Wine

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • ½ cup cranberry juice
  • ½ cup whole fresh cranberries
  • 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 4 star anise
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • 5 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed with the back of a spoon to expose the seeds
  • ½ vanilla bean, slit down the center
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Garnish: a sprig of rosemary and a few cranberries

Add the water and sugar to a large crock pot and turn on high. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the remaining ingredients and heat until the wine just begins to simmer. Turn the dial to the 'keep warm' setting, and continue cooking for about 30 minutes before serving. To serve – ladle into mugs and add a sprig of rosemary and a few additional cranberries.

Note: When doubling this recipe, there is no need to increase the amount of whole spices.

Click here to see other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill. 

 

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.

     

 

Cooking with Kate: A Thankful Heart

This year, more than ever, there seems to be a rush to skip over November and Thanksgiving and get right to the Christmas season. I am, however, clinging to my pumpkins, waiting for the leaves to fall and working on being thankful daily for this season. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so I'm looking forward to spending time with my friends and family. I hope you take time, as you make your Thanksgiving plans, to gather around a table with your loved ones, share why you are thankful this year and enjoy this quick and easy recipe. Many blessings for a Happy Thanksgiving! 

 

 Pumpkin Seed Pecan Oat Granola                        

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 12 ounces pecan pieces
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 12 ounces roasted pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine rolled oats, pecans, flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Add the softened butter and use a fork or pastry blender to combine until the oat mixture is crumbly and the butter is evenly distributed. Spread onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-15 minutes in the preheated oven until golden brown and toasty. Watch closely as the pecans tend to burn easily. Remove from the oven, cool completely, and mix in the roasted pumpkin seeds. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

NOTE: This granola is fantastic sprinkled on yogurt, fruit, and ice cream; or eaten with milk as a cold/warm cereal. You can also add your favorite dried fruit for an extra kick of flavor.

Click here to see other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill. 

 

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.

     

 

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