Corned Beef Brisket

I've never made brisket before and spent a good portion of the morning scouring the internet for recipes.  I didn't find one that would work for me, so I took ideas from a few of them.  This is what I came up with.  It turned out amazing.  And the best part?  Excellent stock for soup.

1 (2 lb) beef brisket
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
a pinch of rosemary
1 medium onion, chopped
1 c red wine
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
Worchestershire sauce

Heat oil in a large, deep pan (or a large pot).  Cover both sides of the brisket with the above spices to your taste.  Brown both sides of the meat until just shy of being burned.  Remove from pan.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine.  Add the onion, cooking until almost translucent.  Remove from pan.  Return the brisket to the pan and add enough water to almost cover the meat.  Return the onion to the water (put half of it directly on top of the meat) and add the bay leaves and garlic.  Add about 2 Tbsp of Worchestershire.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 4 hours.

Remove from pan, slice thin and serve.  Remember to save the stock for soup!

A Healthier Oatmeal Cookie

I've been trying for the last 6 months to feed my family more healthy meals and treats.  My mother found this recipe in the January/February 2011 issue of Food Network magazine.  For once, I followed the recipe without adding anything (but, I did omit the walnuts as I didn't have any).  I think they have too much salt, so you may want to adjust the salt to a lesser amount. The cookies are slightly nutty in flavor, which is complimented by the raisins and chocolate.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

1 1/4 c brown sugar
1 egg and 2 egg whites
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 c chocolate chunks
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c walnuts

Whisk the brown sugar, egg and egg whites in a large bowl.  Add in the vegetable oil.  Stir in the oats, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt.  Mix well.  Add the chocolate chunks, raisins and walnuts.

Drop large spoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet.  Gently flatten.  Bake at 350 degrees for 11-14 minutes or until lightly browned.

Easiest Fudge EVER

Actually, it's called Sugar Cookie-Chocolate Crunch Fudge, and it's from the website.  It was so easy to make.  It has crushed granola bars in it, making it different than your typical fudge.  I make my father something sweet once a month, and this was what I made him for February.  I had to practically beat my family back with a wooden spoon while I was cutting it into squares...they wanted the whole pan!

photo courtesy

2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies, cut into small chunks (I used the pre-cut kind)
2 bags (12 oz each) semisweet chocolate chips
5 teaspoons vanilla
6 Nature Valley® pecan crunch crunchy granola bars (3 pouches from 8.9-oz box), coarsely crushed (heaping 1 cup)* (I used the almond crunch as I couldn't find the pecan)
In 3-quart heavy saucepan or deep 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook corn syrup, butter, salt and condensed milk over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until well blended. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in cookie dough chunks. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and candy thermometer reads 160°F. Remove from heat.

Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Add crushed granola bars; stir until well blended. Cook over low heat 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is shiny. Spread in ungreased 12x8-inch or 13x9-inch pan.** Refrigerate uncovered at least 2 hours or until firm.

Cut into 8 rows by 6 rows. Serve in decorative candy cups or mini paper baking cups on platter garnished with mint sprigs.

*To easily crush granola bars, do not unwrap; use rolling pin to crush bars.
** To easily cut fudge, line pan with foil so foil extends over sides of pan. Lift candy from pan using foil.  Make sure you do this!  I didn't and it was a nightmare getting it out of the pan!