brisket by Honey

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brisketFirst  let me just go ahead and say this is not a smoked brisket…this is a brisket cooked in the oven.   If you have a smoker, I still think this spice combo would work great, but I am not familiar with cooking times or techniques for this way of cooking.

 OK, now onto Honey’s brisket.  Over the last several years I have learned that sometimes simpler is better and this is definitely true for this brisket.   For me it is so easy to get overwhelmed with all my spice options that I can sometimes get too many going and make things too complicated.  Well, when I finally learned Honey’s secret to her brisket I was once again reminded just how good simple can be.

When I was growing up Honey would fix brisket quite a bit.  It was a favorite among our family and friends for sure.  It was always so juicy, flavorful and tender…it was a perfect bite each and every time.  As I started cooking Honey’s brisket was always something I wanted to try but I kept putting it off because I thought it was so complicated that I would just wait until I was more “experienced”, then once I was “experienced” I just always let her do it because it is just that good why would I mess with that.  So a few weeks ago she said she was going to fox it for family dinner and I thought this was the perfect time to learn all her secrets so that I could fix it next time…boy was I surprised.

 As I got ready with my pen and paper to write down all of Honey’s secrets to her brisket I was shocked when all I got was: a good brisket, salt, pepper and seasoning salt.  I looked at her and laughed and then asked for the real list and then she laughed and said she promised that was it…simple is better sometimes she reminded me.  I have to say though as we ate dinner that night the brisket tasted better then ever before.  I could taste each ingredient, and Honey was right…simple is better sometimes!!

  

Honey's Brisket
Serves 16
A brisket that falls apart every time and is so full of flavor you just cant stop eating it...and sometimes the most simple recipes are just the best
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
7 hr
Total Time
8 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
7 hr
Total Time
8 hr
Ingredients
  1. 6-7 lb beef brisket
  2. 1 tbsp. salt
  3. 1 tbsp. pepper
  4. 1 tbsp. All Purpose Seasoning (I used Lowrys)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300
  2. Line a large roasting pan, with high sides with several layers of foil (trust me you will thank me when it comes time to clean it up)
  3. Let brisket sit out on the counter for 10-15 minutes to let the chill begin to wear off
  4. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper and season salt
  5. Evenly spread seasoning on all sides of the brisket
  6. Wrap brisket, with the fattier side on top, in several layers of foil
  7. Place in prepared roasting pan
  8. Roast in oven for 6-7 hours (about 1 hour per pound) or until meat is falling apart and you just cant wait any longer
  9. Serve & ENJOY!!
Each serving is 7 WW+ points
  1. Nutritional Info
  2. Calories 317 Calories from Fat 95 Total Fat 10.6g Saturated Fat 4.0g Cholesterol 152mg Sodium 686mg Potassium 690mg Total Carbohydrates 0.3g Protein 51.6g
  3. Vitamin A 0% - Vitamin C 0% - Calcium 0% - Iron 178%
  4. Nutrition Grade B
The Half Baked Life http://www.thehalfbakedlife.com/
Go simple and create something special!!

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Happy (half) Baked Day – MJ

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The MeeMaw would love these

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 pecan pie barsGrowing up my sweet MeeMaw made the best pecan pie.  The crust was flaky and buttery while the filling was sweet and gooey…the only problem was I could not stand the pecans.  Being the best MeeMaw in the world she started making us kids a pecan pie without the pecans each time she would make a normal pecan pie.  It was so good and so perfect without those pesky pecans messing everything up. 

Well as I grew up I started to appreciate the pecan more and more, and now I actually love them.   Recently I was at a local store and they had pecans so I grabbed a big bag and started dreaming about all the things I could do with them…and pecan pie bars were on the top of my list.  I love these bars because they have a buttery shortbread crust with a ooey, gooey filling and pecans on top, but not just plain ‘ole pecans I decided to toast them first. I know my MeeMaw would love these!!

I love toasted nuts of any kind really, but I especially love toasted pecans.  I have toasted them on the stovetop and in the oven both, they both work great, it just depends on what you feel most comfortable with.  Just make sure that you keep an eye on them as you are toasting them so they don’t burn.

These bars are perfect for any get together you may have coming up, I recently made them for a Premier Jewelry Party for my mother-in-law and they were a huge hit.  I also plan to make these for Thanksgiving this year as well, I know pecan pie may be the more traditional route but trust me once you taste these bars you might just change your mind.

Toasted Pecan Pie Bars
Serves 24
These bars take pecan pie to the next level with toasted pecans on top and a buttery shortbread crust
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
For the Shortbread Crust
  1. 1 cup butter, softened
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 1/2 cup powder sugar
For the Filling
  1. 1 cup pecan halves
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 cup light corn syrup
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 2 tsp vanilla
  7. 1/4 cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, set aside
Make the crust
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine butter, flour and powder sugar until well combined
  2. Spread shortbread into bottom of the prepared pan, using your fingers to get it even
  3. Bake for 15 minutes
To make the filling
  1. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Spread pecan halves onto pan, place in oven while crust is baking, and bake for 10 minutes or until pecans are fragrant, making sure they do not burn, remove and set aside
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and brown sugar until well combined
  4. Add in corn syrup, salt, vanilla and melted butter, whisking until well combined
  5. Stir in toasted pecans
  6. Pour filling over baked crust
  7. Return to oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the center is set
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting
  9. Store in refrigerator if not serving the same day
  10. ENJOY!!
Each square is 5 WW+ points
  1. Nutritional Info
  2. Calories 194 Calories from Fat 124 Total Fat 13.8g Saturated Fat 4.9g Cholesterol 31mg Sodium 83mg Potassium 58mg Total Carbohydrates 16.9g Dietary Fiber 1.2g Sugars 6.3g Protein 2.3g
  3. Vitamin A 4% - Vitamin C 0% - Calcium 1% - Iron 4%
  4. Nutrition Grade D
The Half Baked Life http://www.thehalfbakedlife.com/
Get nutty with these Toasted Pecan Pie Bars…trust me they will become a favorite for sure!!

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 Happy (half) Baked Day – MJ

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who needs potatoes

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loaded risottoOver the last several years I have fallen in love with risotto.  It started a while back when I had it at an amazing seafood restaurant here in Houston with grilled shrimp.  It was so creamy, rich and delicious that I immediately started experimenting with it at home. 

Ok, I won’t lie I was a little nervous the first time I made it.  The directions for the recipe said to stir continuously, which is no problem except when you have 2 other pots on the stove needing your attention as well.  I learned a very important lesson that night, risotto needs to be served when you don’t have a 1000 other things going at the same time.  Most of the time I will serve it with something grilled (that way The Hubby is responsible for the grill) or something that is roasting in the oven…that way my attention can be on the risotto.

Last week The Hubby was fixing steaks and he was hoping for a loaded baked potato…only problem was I didn’t have any potatoes.  So the hunt started in the pantry for something that would work in place of the potato…I just didn’t want to go to the store.  As I was hunting in my pantry, and thinking how bad I need to clean it out and organize it, I found risotto…then it hit me, I could make a loaded risotto with all the flavors of a loaded potato and The Hubby would love it.

I have made several different risotto’s over the years but this so far is a favorite for sure.  I love the tang the sour cream brings to the dish and then the crispiness and hint of smoke from the bacon creates a great texture with each bite, and then of course with the cheese it is super creamy and very rich.  If you have never tried risotto, this would be a great starter recipe…everyone will love it.

Loaded Risotto
Serves 8
Everything you love about a loaded potato blended with creamy risotto...a fun new side your family will love
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups fat-free Chicken Stock
  2. 4 slices bacon, chopped
  3. 1 onion, chopped
  4. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
  6. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1 tbsp. pepper
  9. 3/4 cup Cheddar Jack Shredded Cheese
  10. 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan heat chicken stock over medium-low heat
  2. In a large saucepan, with high sides, cook bacon pieces until crispy, making sure to not let the bacon burn
  3. Remove bacon to a towel lined plate to let drain
  4. Drain all excess bacon grease reserving 1 tsp in the saucepan
  5. Over medium heat, add in chopped onion to the bacon grease and cook until onions start to become translucent, 3-4 minutes
  6. Add in garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute, stirring constantly to keep from burning
  7. Add in rice, cook until it begins to brown
  8. Add in wine, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of warm chicken stock, stirring until all the liquid is absorbed
  9. Continue adding in a 1/2 cup of chicken stock at a time, stirring very often, waiting until each addition is completely absorbed, and all chicken stock is used. Risotto will be tender and creamy, process should take about 30 minutes total
  10. Stir in 3/4 of the reserved bacon, 1/2 cup of cheese and sour cream stirring until well combined and cheese is melted
  11. Serve immediately with additional bacon and cheese sprinkled on top
  12. ENJOY!!
Each serving is 6 WW+ points
  1. Nutritional Info
  2. Calories 254 Calories from Fat 71 Total Fat 7.9g Saturated Fat 3.5g Trans Fat 0.0g Cholesterol 19mg Sodium 791mg Potassium 136mg Total Carbohydrates 32.5g Dietary Fiber 1.5g Sugars 1.2g Protein 10.7g
  3. Vitamin A 3% - Vitamin C 4% - Calcium 12% - Iron 7%
  4. Nutrition Grade C-
The Half Baked Life http://www.thehalfbakedlife.com/
Forget the potato and go with risotto, it will make your next dinner something to remember for sure!

cupcake-crop

 

  Happy (half) Baked Day – MJ

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