“I wish I could cook everything I had
here at home. On second thought,
I'll just come back here.”
— Evelyn Montros - Waco, TX
Looking for a great way to take home a taste of the Cotton Gin Village and Cabernet Grill? You’ve come to the right spot. Be sure to include a large helping of relaxation.
Cotton Gin Village Granola
Cotton Gin Village Granola is a sweet way to greet the morning, whether you’re waking up in the Texas Hill Country or your own home. It’s loaded with rolled oats, cornflakes, coconut, nuts and seeds, baked in a spiced brown sugar and honey coating, then mixed with a generous amount of dried fruits. It’s so good that I’m asked for this recipe more than I’m asked for any other recipe. I’ve been told it’s addictively delicious and a sweet reminder of a relaxing visit to our Hill Country spot. Be sure to make enough to give as gifts!
Makes 3 1/2 pounds
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 box cornflakes
1 cup baker's unsweetened coconut (threads)
1/2 cup white sesame seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup walnut pieces
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups mixed raisins, golden raisins, currants, sun-dried cranberries, dried peaches, dried pineapple, dried papaya
1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Place all ingredients for wet mix in a small sauce-pan and bring to a simmer. Allow to cool a bit, but keep it still very warm
3. Pour wet mix into dry mix and work with hands to evenly disperse the coating and eliminate any large lumps. Be careful not to burn yourself with the wet mix.
4. Place on several parchment lined sheet pans in a thin layer and bake in 350 oven about ten minutes, stir and cook for an additional ten minutes or until lightly toasted.
5. Allow cereal to cool and mix in dried fruit.
6. Place in ziplock bags or quart size canning jars for gifts.
Ramekins of Vine Ripe Tomatoes with Hill Country Goat Cheese
and Texas Toast
This dish really shines in the summer when tomatoes and basil are both at their peak.
2 cups ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chiffonade cut
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces local goat cheese, crumbled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 loaf crusty peasant bread, thickly sliced
For the ramekins:
1. Preheat oven broiler.
2. Mix the tomatoes, oil, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, shallots, garlic and basil in a large bowl. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
3. Spoon tomato mixture into small ramekins and top the mixture evenly with goat cheese.
4. Place ramekins under broiler, heating until the cheese starts to bubble and brown lightly.
For the toast:
1. Place the garlic cloves in a small saucer and mash with olive oil.
2. Brush garlic/oil mixture on one side of each slice of bread.
3. Grill or broil bread with oily side to flame until toasted.
Serve each ramekin on a large plate with a slice or two of toast on the side. Sprinkle the toast with any additional basil you may have for an extra pop of flavor.
Texas Blueberry Buckle
The old saying goes that "all things are bigger in Texas!” take a look at a pint of Texas blueberries and I am sure you will agree. Monster Texas blueberries are very sweet and make a wonderful contribution to pies, muffins, pancakes etc... However, my favorite tribute to the berry season is hosted in this blueberry buckle recipe. The ultimate addition to any brunch menu or picnic basket lunch. Yields 9 squares.
5 oz butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
4 cup blueberries
1 cup cinnamon streusel, recipe follows
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
5. Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately to the creamed egg and butter mixture and continue mixing until smooth.
6. Spread mixture in a 9x9 baking pan that has been lightly oiled.
7. Top with blueberries then streusel.
8. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the buckle comes out clean.
9. Allow to sit for at least ten minutes before turning out of pan.
10. Cut in squares and serve.
Yields 1 cup — Use this streusel to top cobblers or buckles.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 oz butter, softened
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in butter with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly.
The Cabernet Grill