Holm Family Cookbook

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Cowgirl's Foodie Blog

Dutch Oven Enchilada Pie

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on May 9, 2012 at 12:50 AM

Enchilada Pie made in a Dutch oven and cooked over coals

We had our annual Calhoun family reunion on Saturday at the family party barn and my sister Nancy and I had the Dutch ovens going. One of our cousins brought some great butternut squash enchiladas that she made in a Dutch oven at home. We normally have a lot of Portuguese dishes at this family reunion, but since it was Cinco de Mayo I guess we all decided to go with Mexican themed cuisine--plus we needed something to complement all of the tequila we had.


We had a great time at the reunion. Our great aunt Ruth celebrated her 100th birthday. And, in addition to last Saturday being Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby was also held that day. As is the tradition at the reunion, we had a Kentucky Derby contest with a little bit of wagering involved. This year when I announced the name of the winning horse, "I'll Have Another," everyone said, "OK, but what's the name of the winning horse?"  "I'll Have Another."  Badaboom. It was one of those who's on first situations.

Enchilada pie was one of the dishes that I made that day in the Dutch ovens. It was a recipe that I made at a CattleWomen's Dutch oven cook-off last November and won a first place.

Enchilada Pie – Serves 6


1 pound lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 16-ounce can cream corn

1 tablespoon chili power

1 16-ounce can refried beans

2 tablespoons taco sauce

1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce

1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies

1 package Jiffy style cornbread mix

1 egg (or amount required for cornbread mix)

1/3 cup milk (or amount required for cornbread mix)

1/2 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese and ½ cup more for serving


Brown beef, onion, and garlic in a large skillet or other Dutch oven; drain well. Stir in enchilada sauce, corn and chili powder, set aside. Prepare cornbread mix according to instructions on the package, then stir in half the can green chilies and set aside.

Use a 12” Dutch oven and line with foil. Lightly coat foil with oil. Spread refried beans evenly on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Spread the taco sauce over the refried beans. Sprinkle the rest of the green chilies over the beans. Spoon the beef mixture evenly over the refried beans and chilies. Sprinkle a ½ cup of cheese over the beef mixture. Pour the cornbread mixture evenly over the cheese and beef mixture.

Bake with 8 coals on the bottom and 12 on top for about 30-35 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown. Serve with shredded cheese. This dish can be made in a conventional oven with a preheated cooking temperature of 375 degrees F.

Dutch oven lined with foil and refried beans spread on the bottom

Corn bread mixture with chilies added and then poured over top of layered beans and beef


Cowboy Coffee

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on January 16, 2012 at 12:35 AM

Cowboy coffee brewing over the fire

When we were in junior high (that's what we called middle school) and high school, we spent a lot of time with our grandfather Dick Holm. We always seemed to have an adventure when we were with him.  Papa was born in 1900 and was in his late sixties and early seventies during those years. Every morning he would wake at about 4:30 a.m., would get dressed, make eggs, bacon, and cowboy coffee, and then be off to work in the vegetable garden, fix fence, unplug the plumbing from a spring feeding a cattle trough, gather cattle, or whatever chores needed to be done that day. In the midafternoon he would take a nap and then get up and make some more cowboy coffee. He drank his afternoon coffee with a cookie or two. Afterwards he would continue working until it was time for supper. When we weren't in school we would help him with some of his chores. Our favorite chore was anything that could be done on horseback, such as gathering cattle (if we weren't helping our Granny in the kitchen or papa with his chores, we usually spent our days on horseback). Other times we would pick rocks out of the vegetable garden or pick tomato worms off the tomato plants. He paid us 25 cents for a bucket of rocks or for one tomato worm. It was during this time in my life that I started to drink coffee. Well, it was more like a little coffee with a lot of milk and sugar. 

Our grandfather Dick Holm riding a trike with his nephews in 1928


Cowboy coffee is made by boiling ground coffee. The grounds are not filtered, but egg shells are thrown into the pot before boiling to keep the grounds at the bottom of the pot. To scoop and measure the ground coffee, Papa used one of our grandmother's Blue Denmark coffee cups, which lived inside the can of Hill's Brother's coffee and was missing its handle. He boiled the coffee in an old worn coffee pot. I can still smell the coffee as it boiled over on the stove, leaving coffee burned on the side of the pot and on the stove.

Today my sister Nancy and I still make cowboy coffee when we are camping or Dutch oven cooking, but at home I make sissy coffee with a filter in a coffeemaker and it is made with freshly ground beans. I have always hated grinding the coffee beans until I purchased a new coffee grinder at Costco in December. I bought a Krups grinder that has a coarse setting to select how coarse you want your coffee and a setting for the amount of coffee you will be making. Before I bought this grinder it was hit and miss for how my coffee tasted. Now it's a perfect cup every time. But I digress . . . .

My new Krups coffee grinder

A good strong cup of cowboy coffee

Next time you are feeling a little droopy, give cowboy coffee a try--just be sure to check your teeth for grounds before going out in the public!

Cowboy Coffee


2 quarts water

3/4 cup ground coffee

1 egg shell


Put all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil and boil for about 5 minutes. Let coffee sit for a minute or two for grounds to settle.


I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee. ~Flash Rosenberg

Warm Buttery Beer Bread

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on January 8, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Warm buttery beer bread

In November my sister Nancy and I participated in the Alameda County CattleWomen's Dutch Oven Gathering. The bread that won the bread category was a beer bread made by the Alameda County CattleWomen's president, Allison Batteate. Her beer bread was some of the best bread I have ever tasted. I made the bread at our New Year's Day get together at the party barn and it was a hit. Besides being delicious, I think this bread has to be some of the easiest to make. There are only five ingredients in the bread and the hands on preparation time is less than 10 minutes.  In addition to baking it outside in a Dutch oven, it can also be baked in the kitchen in your conventional oven.

There are only five ingredients in the beer bread

The blob of beer bread dough before it has risen for 20 minutes

Preparing the coals

The bread is baking on the right

Drizzling the bread with butter while it's baking

Beer Bread – Serves 6-8


3 cups self-rising flour

3 – 5 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 can or bottle of beer (warmed)

1/4 cup melted butter


Warm a well oiled 10” Dutch oven. Mix the dry ingredients together. (You did use self-rising flour, right?) Add the warm beer and mix until all of the dry ingredients are mixed in with the wet ingredients. The batter will be sticky. Lob the dough into the middle of the Dutch oven. Cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Place 7 coals under the Dutch oven and 14 coals on top. Drizzle melted butter over the top every 15 minutes while cooking. Rotate the lid every 15 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the bottom coals. Continue cooking with the 14 coals on top of the oven. The total cooking time is about 1 hour. The bread is done when the top is golden and the bread sounds hollow when patted.

Directions for baking in a conventional oven:  Mix the dough according to directions above. Place the dough in a warm well oiled 10" skillet or Dutch oven. Cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes. While the bread is rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Drizzle some melted butter over the top every 15 minutes while the bread is baking.  I have found the baking time in my oven is about 45 minutes, which is about 15 minutes less than over the coals in a Dutch oven.

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” ~Robert Browning


Beef Stew - The Ultimate Comfort Food

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on February 8, 2011 at 10:01 AM

For weeks my friends and family in Texas, the midwest, and the east coast have been posting on Facebook their fears and concerns about the big storms coming, the record low temperatures, and pictures of their homes and neighborhoods covered in snow.  Although we have been experiencing record high temperatures here in the Bay Area for the last few weeks, it was sympathy cooking that drove me to make beef stew on Saturday. For me there is nothing more comforting on a cold blustery day than a good beef stew.

I have a favorite stew recipe that I make in a large cast iron dutch oven. It’s a very simple recipe and can be made for a fairly large gathering. I can also put it in the oven in the morning and forget about it until it's time to eat. I received this recipe from a former coworker, Sue Wolfe, who grew up in Coalinga, California (home of the Harris Ranch feedlot--for you non-ranching folks, that's the stinky place on I-5 with the cows). This recipe is one of Sue's favorite comfort foods and a family recipe that has been handed down through the generations. She loves potatoes and carrots and always ends up overstuffing her Dutch oven with them.

Comforting beef stew

All of the ingredients you will need to make the stew

Coalinga Beef Stew - Serves 8

The amounts of vegetables listed are just suggested amounts and can be adjusted to your preference.


6 russet potatoes

8 carrots, cut in thirds and then sliced lengthwise

1/2 - 1 sliced onion (amount depends on your taste)

3 chopped celery stalks

1 cubed slice of bread

4 tablespoons uncooked tapioca

1 tablespoon sugar

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into pieces

2 14.5-ounce cans stewed tomatoes


Preheat oven to 250° F. Combine the cubed potatoes, sliced carrots, sliced onion, and chopped celery into a large Dutch oven. Top with tapioca, sugar, and bread cubes. Add the stew meat by distributing it evenly over the top of the vegetables and then cover with the stewed tomatoes. Put in the 250º F oven for 6 hours.  Stir after three hours and then occasionally until done.


If you add the ingredients in the order listed above, then stirring during cooking is less necessary (you can put it in the oven with the start timer and don't have to worry about going home to stir it if you are working). However, if you forget to add the tapioca and put it in on top, you will need to stir it while cooking, otherwise you end up with the stew the wrong consistency and all the tapioca stuck to the lid.

All of the ingredients in the dutch oven and ready to go into the oven.

The term "comfort food" (first used, according to Webster's Dictionary, in 1977) refers to foods consumed to achieve some level of improved emotional status, whether to relieve negative psychological affect or to increase positive. ~Wikipedia

Hoping this stew can be of comfort to others,


The Dutch Oven Gathering

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on October 3, 2010 at 12:31 AM

We recently hosted a Dutch Oven Gathering at our family "Party Barn." A Dutch Oven Gathering or a DOG is a cooking event where people bring cast iron Dutch ovens and cook over fire or charcoal. They can be competitions or just a group of people getting together to cook and have fun--or both, like our event. The Alameda County CattleWomen sponsored the event by providing cash for prizes and the charcoal.

My sister Nancy and I recently bought Dutch oven cooking tables and brought them to the gathering for their maiden voyages. I bought a Lodge brand Dutch oven cooking table and Nancy bought a Lewis and Clark brand. The tables sure worked great compared to the aluminum turkey tray I had been using!

The difference between the two brands is:

- The wind guard on the Lodge brand is about 6 or more inches above the top of the Dutch oven, therefore the wind doesn't blow directly on the charcoal on the top of the oven. The Lewis and Clark brand wind guard is just a hair below the top of the oven therefore the wind may blow directly on the charcoal, which will make it burn faster.

- The Lodge brand has folding legs, the Lewis and Clark brand has legs that you connect and tighten a screw on.

- The Lodge brand has a handle to carry the table with. While cooking you can also hang your lid lifter, tongs, and other tools from the handle.

- The Lodge brand is heavier than the Lewis and Clark brand.

- The Lewis and Clark brand is much cheaper than the Lodge brand.

Lodge Brand Dutch Oven Table

Lewis and Clark Brand Dutch Oven Table

We sure had a great time at the DOG. All of the food turned out great. Some of the winning recipes included a pineapple upside down cake, Gravel Gerties biscuits and gravy, and blue cheese sliders. Below is the recipe for the blue cheese sliders.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Made in a Dutch Oven

Uncooked Patties and Cooked and Assembled Blue Cheese Sliders

Blue Cheese Sliders

Blue Cheese Sliders - Will make 36-48 sliders depending on size

Prepared by Linda Fields Stiehr


3 pounds ground beef (chuck beef was used)                                  

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes                                               

1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

5 ounces bleu cheese                                                                       

1½ teaspoon salt

½  tablespoon A-1 Sauce                                                                       

1 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce                                                           

Hamburger mini rolls


Mix all of the ingredients, except the rolls and chill meat mixture for two hours. Make small patties out of the meat. The patties should be small enough to fit into the mini hamburger rolls. Oil the bottom of a 12-inch Dutch oven with cooking oil. When the Dutch oven is heated, place the patties on a single layer to cook. Brown one side and flip, don’t keep flipping—they will dry out.  Serve immediately.

These sliders don't need to be made outside in a Dutch oven, but can also be made inside on the stove or on a grill.


Dutch Oven Cooking

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on March 21, 2010 at 11:35 AM

I love Dutch oven cooking. For those of you that are not familiar with it, Dutch oven cooking is done outdoors with cast iron cookware and hot coals. This method of cooking is a great way to have a good hot meal when you are out in the middle of nowhere without electricity or don’t have an oven or stove available.

To keep things simple and easy to clean up, I use the match light or the light in the bag coals. I light the coals in a disposable aluminum turkey pan. I use another aluminum turkey pan by lining the bottom with a specific number of coals, place the Dutch oven on top of the coals, and then put a specific number of coals on the top. The disposable turkey pans are fairly sturdy and I have used the same ones for a few years.

Dutch oven in aluminum turkey pan

Some Dutch oven chefs use special equipment for heating the coals and holding the coals and Dutch ovens while the food is cooking. A Dutch oven table is an example of that equipment.

Dutch oven table

A favorite dessert that I make for special occasions at the family party barn is a caramel apple crisp. I found this recipe a few years ago on Byron’s Dutch Oven Cooking Page website.

Caramel apple crisp

Caramel Apple Crisp Serves 16


8-10 large granny smith apples; peeled, cored and sliced

2 Tbs. lemon juice

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

3/4 tsp. salt

1 (12 oz.) jar caramel sauce


2 cups brown sugar

2 cups flour

1 cup instant oatmeal

1 cup butter; melted

½ cup chopped walnuts

In a buttered 12" Dutch oven add apples and lemon juice; stir to coat apples. In a separate dish combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt; stir to mix. Pour dry ingredients over apples and stir until apples are well coated. Spread out apples and pour caramel sauce over the top. In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, and walnuts; stir to mix. Using a fork, mix in melted butter to form coarse crumbs. Spread topping evenly over apples. Cover Dutch oven and bake using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 16-18 briquettes top for 60 minutes. 

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