Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Busy life?

For the novice, she has the simplest recipes. For the adventurous palate and experienced cook, Beatrice offers challenges, too, in any one of her 20 plus cookbooks. She is an internationally known and respected culinary consultant from Duluth MN. It is my joy to have known her many years and celebrate her successes with gratitude. I so admire her humility, dedication, professionalism and impish sense of humor. Bea is a treasure and a testimony to faith and perseverance. Through the good times and those not-so-good Bea has just been one of those who simply “keep on keeping on.”

Her latest is a true gift for the holidays: more than 500 casseroles. Many of these are “combine and cook” wonders with as little as five minutes of preparation! Other recipes have an international flavor including those with a very Scandinavian flavor reflecting her own Finnish heritage and experiences in all of the Scandinavian countries.

I can also recommend Bea’s book to you because I know her work ethic. If a recipe needed retesting…and then retesting again, I know Bea kept going until it was “perfect.”

So, if you need a hand during the busy season, I’d recommend that you buy this cookbook as soon as possible. It may have just the recipes you need for family or entertaining that makes your Christmas season just that much more joyful.

Here are a few recipes to whet your appetite….JBThe title of the recipe says it all…its easy! Beatrice said she found the recipe in her late mother-in-law’s recipe collection and doubted it would be good. However, she tried it. She and her family thought it “fantastic.”

Easiest-Ever Beef

and Wine Casserole

1 lb. lean beef stew meat

½ cup red wine

1 can (14 oz.) beef broth

1 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper (about 7

turns of the grinder)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, sliced

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup fine dry breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees if you prefer to let the casserole bake for 6 hours, or 300 degrees if you’d like it to be done in 3 hours.

Combine all the ingredients in a 2-quart casserole.

Bake, covered, for 3 or 6 hours, depending on the oven temperature or until the beef is tender. Serves 4.

“Cheese is the backbone of the Scandinavian breakfast and brunch, and this omelet is made with nuttyNorwegian Jarlsburg. It’s really quick to make!”

Norwegian Baked

Cheese Omelet

4 large eggs

¼ cup water

½ tsp. salt

2 tbsp. butter

¾ cup sliced green onion (green

and white)

1 cup diced cooked ham

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut

into rings

¾ lb. Jarlsburg cheese, cut into

1-inch cubes

Chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 dgrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, water and salt. Melt the butter in a heavy flame-proof shallow casserole or gratin dish over medium heat. Saute the green onions, ham and bell pepper for 3 to 4 minutes, until the green onions are bright green and the pepper is hot. Pour the egg mixture over them and sprinkle with the cheese cubes.

Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the egg mixture is set and the cheese is melted. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 4.

Make this ahead and have it “ready to pop into the oven the next morning,” writes Beatrice about this breakfast entrée that serves 12 persons.

Breakfast Ham

and Cheese Strata

12 slices day-old French bread,

cubed

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

3 cups diced cooked ham

24 eggs, beaten

4 cups whole milk

2 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pepper

Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or a 3-quart casserole.

Arrange half the bread cubes evenly in the bottom of the casserole.

Distribute the cheese and ham evenly over the bread cubes. Top with the remaining bread.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour over the bread cubes in the pan, cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 1 hour or until the casserole is set. Cut into

Squares and serve hot. Serves 12.

Variations:

Crab and Havarti Strata: Substitute 3 cups cooked crabmeat for the ham and 2 cups diced havarti cheese for the Cheddar cheese.

Veggie Strata: Replace the ham with 3 cups blanched and well-drained chopped broccoli.

Shrimp and Artichoke Strata: Omit the ham and add 2 cups diced cooked shrimp and 2 cups diced cooked artichoke hearts.

“According to Scandinavian tradition, a whole almond is placed into the center of this pudding on Christmas Eve, and the person who gets the almond will enjoy good luck all year. If there are young children in the family, the person with the almond gets to play Santa and distribute gifts from under the tree”

Old-Fashioned

Rice Pudding

1 ½ cups undiluted evaporated

milk or light cream

2 large eggs

½ cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Dash of salt

1 ½ cups medium-grain rice

½ cup raisins

Whipped cream or ice cream

for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1-quart casserole. Mix the milk (or cream), egg, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, rice and raisins in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

“An old-fashioned French classic, this is rich and creamy!”, according to Beatrice. This classic is a perfect accompaniment for roasts, steaks or chops.

French Potato Gratin

3 large baking potatoes, peeled

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

½ cup shredded Swiss or Jarlsburg cheese

1 ½ cups half and half or heavy

cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slices the potatoes thinly and rinse with cold water to prevent browning. Crush the garlic and work it into the butter. Spread over the bottom and sides of a shallow 1 ½ quart casserole or gratin dish.

Arrange the potato slices neatly in overlapping rows in the buttered casserole. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg and half the cheese.

In a small saucepan, heat the half and half to boiling. Pour over the potato mixture in the casserole and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes to l hour or until the potatoes are browned and very tender. Serves 6.

Raspberry glazed chicken breasts and rice make an attractive and delicious main dish. Splurge with a garnish of fresh raspberries and pinenuts.

Raspberry-Glazed

Chicken Breasts

1 cup medium-grain rice

1 ½ cups prepared chicken broth

Pinch of saffron threads

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast

halves (1 ½ to 1 ¾ pounds total)

3 tbsp. fresh thyme or 2 tsp. dried

thyme

¾ tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika

Salt

Pepper

For the glaze:

2 tbsp. seedless raspberry jam

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 tbsp. or light or dark brown

sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. olive oil

¼ tsp. ground cumin

Garnish:

½ cup raspberries

2 tbsp. pinenuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a shallow 2-quart casserole.

Sprinkle the rice into the dish evenly. Mix the chicken broth and saffron and pour over the rise. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Lay over the rice and sprinkle with thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. (You can assemble the dish in advance up to this point. Refrigerate for up to 1 day and add 10 extra minutes to the covered baking time.)

Cover the casserole and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes longer, or until the chicken is cooked through. Brush prepared glaze over chicken and bake 10 minutes longer. Garnish with the raspberries and pine nuts and serve. Serves 6.

To make the glaze: Mix raspberry jam, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, olive oil and cumin and brush over chicken.

 

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