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Beef and bread — they just go together

By Staff | May 6, 2011

Chrissy Larson removes a loaf of bread from the oven.

By KRISS NELSON

Farm News staff writer

ROCKWELL CITY – Growing up on the Panhandle of Florida, it was the long visits from her grandmother from New York that taught Chrissy Larson much about cooking.

“She got me to where I liked it,” Larson said.

Larson, her husband, Brent, and children Isaac, Abram and Micah, live on a farm outside of Rockwell City where Brent is employed at Sunderman Farm Management in Fort Dodge.

May is Beef Month and to help celebrate that, Larson shares her recipe below for this beef sausage and potatoes dish which, she said, is a family favorite.

Chrissy Larson spends much of her time caring for her family, is website manager for the farm management firm, is active at Badger Lutheran Church, does scrapbooking and enjoys making cards and blogging.

Baking bread, Larson said is one of her favorite things to do in the kitchen, and in fact, over the last year has been baking the bread her family consumes in order to get more whole grains into their diet.

“It’s easier than I thought it would be and we’ve only had to go to the store for bread a few times,” said Larson.

She likes to try different ingredients and even used a March Madness basketball bracket theme last year during planting with the men in the field to help decide which chocolate they like the best.

“It was fun,” said Larson. “We called it the Brownie Bracket.”

Chrissy Larson bakes her own bread to get more whole grains into her family’s diet, including her brioche braided bread, left, and other loaves.

Larson is busy with her three boys and in order to keep organized and prepared for meals throughout the week, she will take time on the weekend to plan meals.

“On the weekend, I’ll sit down, plan supper for three or four meals so I know exactly what to get and what to prepare ahead,” said Larson. “It’s been a lifesaver for us to plan ahead.”

Beef sausage and potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 potatoes, cubed (Larson leaves the skin on)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 red bell peppers, diced

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 16-ounce beef smoked sausage, cut in to bite sized pieces

Heat oil in skillet or Dutch oven on medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until tender and golden.

Add potatoes, salt and bell peppers to pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in black pepper and place sausage on top of the mixture. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Stir sausage into mixture and cook an additional 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Turn stove to low and allow to cook for 10 minutes longer before serving.

Brioche bread

1/3 cup warm water

3 eggs

2 egg yolks

3/4 cup butter, softened

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 egg white

2 tablespoons water

Place the first seven ingredients in bread machine in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough cycle.

Turn finished dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead five to 10 times and separate into two or three pieces.

Roll with hands into strips and braid or twist strips together. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together one egg white and the water. Brush onto the top of the loaf. Bake in the preheated oven until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Almond cloud cookies

10 ounces almond paste

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon lemon oil

Powdered sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Blend almond paste, sugar and salt until mixture is crumbly. Add egg whites while mixing to make a smooth paste.

Add flavorings. Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheets and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Press cookie down with three fingers. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until they are brown around the edges. Allow to cool on the pan.

Contact Kriss Nelson at jknelson@frontiernet.net.

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