Holm Family Cookbook

Some eat to live, we live to eat!

Cowgirl's Foodie Blog

It's All in the Name

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on February 10, 2013 at 2:55 AM

My daughters Laina and Whitney at a San Jose Sharks Hockey Game

On Saturday my sister Susie and I took my daughters to our annual San Jose Sharks game and I realized that Susie and I have been going to Sharks games for almost 18 years. I attended my first San Jose Sharks hockey game in 1995. I went to the game with my sisters and a busload of Wente Winery employees and their guests. The Sharks had been at the San Jose Arena for about two years and the arena was clean, modern, had gourmet food concessions and plenty of women's restroom facilities (which was really great because you didn't spend half of the sporting event waiting in line to use the restroom). And, because the Sharks play in the Silicon Valley, in those days it was a common sight to see Silicon Valley execs in suit and tie at the game and a few of the high profile CEOs and their possees cheering on the Sharks. 

That bus trip to the arena and the game were pretty wild. Beer and wine were flowing in the bus on the way to the game and the partying continued at the game--for everyone but me.  I happened to be nearly nine months pregnant when I attended that game. For weeks my husband and I had been trying to agree upon a name for our baby who would soon be making her debut. Finding a name that we would both like was constantly on my mind. That night as I watched the players swirling around on the ice, the name on the back of one player's jersey caught my eye. Whitney. Ray Whitney was playing for the Sharks at the time. I liked that name, Whitney.

On the bus ride back to Livermore my sister Susie asked me if I had considered the name Whitney for the baby. As a matter of fact, I said, I had thought of that name for the baby. When I got home I ran the name by my husband and he liked it too.  So, Whitney it was.

Whitney is seventeen years old now. She is very sweet, empathetic, considerate, and likes to attend San Jose Sharks Hockey games. She is polite to people when they ask if she was named after Whitney Houston.

A few months ago I was getting my hair cut and the gray "sparkles" removed when Whitney called and asked me when I was coming home. She said she was cooking something for me and she didn't want it to get cold before I got home.  What she made me was a honey cloud pancake. It was like a custard or flan, but also a bit like a soufflé. The honey cloud pancake was really very good. Just like the name, it was like eating a honey cloud. The recipe is below. 

The honey cloud pancake

Honey Cloud Pancake - 1 single serving pancake


1 large egg and 1 egg white

1/4 cup of warm milk

1/4 cup flour

1 pinch of salt

2 teaspoons of honey and more for drizzling

1 dash of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of butter

Soft fruit, such as sliced strawberries, peaches pears, blue- or blackberries


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a small 6" oven proof frying pan. In a small bowl whisk one egg white until it is white and peaky. In a medium bowl, mix the whole egg with flour, salt, honey, and vanilla then whisk in the warm milk.  Gently fold the whipped egg into the batter with a metal spoon. Melt one tablespoon of butter in the hot pan. Pour the batter in and cook on the stove for a few minutes until the pancake starts to set at the edge. Sprinkle some fruit on top. Place the pan in the hot oven for 7 minutes until puffed up and golden. Drizzle with honey. 


Potato Breakfast Casserole

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on April 9, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Mushroom, bacon, and potato breakfast casserole

Instead of a fun spring break this year, my daughters and I got to experience "spring broke." My oldest daughter came home from college for spring break with a cough/cold thing she'd had for two weeks and the first Monday she had off, she went to the doctor to get a prescription for a sinus and ear infection. Towards the end of her spring break she started feeling a little better, but I got the cough/cold thing and she went back to school without getting to do anything fun. My youngest daughter started her spring break with a severe sore throat, swollen glands, chills, and a fever and the doctor told us it could be mono or strep throat. Fortunately it was neither, but she got to spend her spring break with me and my hacking cough and on and off fever, on the couch watching movies.

By the time Easter weekend rolled around, we were feeling better and were ready to entertain our cousins from Yuba City for the weekend.  We usually have a family event on the Saturday before Easter at the party barn and on Easter Sunday at cousin Wendy's house, so on Friday night my sister Nancy and I try to show them a good time in Livermore and fit in as many places as we can.

On Friday night we met Nancy in downtown Livermore a little after 5:00 and went straight to Demetri's for flaming saganaki and shots of ouzo. Demetri stopped working for a moment and had a shot with us. That ouzo is great for hacking coughs (Nancy has the same hacking cough as I do).  Next, we stopped at the First Street Ale House for salads (ok, I had a Paulaner hefeweizen too). The Black and Bleu Salad is our favorite. It has strips of thinly sliced marinated tri-tip on top and crumbled bleu cheese mixed with red onions, tomatoes, carrots, and mixed lettuce. After a bit of shopping, we headed out to the Underdog at Concannon Vineyards for dessert and wine. As usual, the desserts were fabulous.

On Saturday morning I planned to make apple French toast casserole, but discovered I did not have brown sugar, which is a required ingredient for that dish (note to my kids: when you use something up, put it on the shopping list!). So, I decided to improvise my favorite potato and ham bake casserole with a lower fat mushroom and bacon version.  I keep of bag of crumbled bacon in my freezer for moments like this. 

The bag of crumbled bacon from my freezer

The casserole can be made the night before and heated before serving in the morning.  I have provided my improvised recipe directly below and the original recipe at the bottom.

Mushroom, Bacon, and Potato Casserole - Serves 9

Non-stick spray or olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 package frozen hash browns, thawed

Salt and pepper to taste

1 8-oz. package fresh sliced mushrooms

1 chopped shallot or 2 tablespoons chopped onions

1 - 2 tablespoons of crumbled bacon

1 to 1 1/2 cup 2% milk shredded Mexican four cheese blend

4 eggs

1 1/3 cup non-fat milk

Cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 425˚F.  Sautée the mushrooms and shallot until brown in olive oil or in a skillet sprayed with non-stick spray .

Use the non-stick spray or olive oil to oil a 8 1/2 - by 11-inch baking dish. Season the thawed hash browns with salt and pepper.  Line the baking dish with the thawed hash browns, pressing them firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan as you would when making a graham cracker pie crust. Spray the hash browns with oil or brush with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until crispy. 

While the hash browns are baking, whisk together the eggs and milk. Season the egg and milk mixture with salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper.

Remove from the oven and put the sautéed mushrooms and shallot into the browned crust. Sprinkle on the crumbled bacon. Cover with the cheese. Pour on the egg and milk mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and an inserted knife comes out clean.

The browned hash browns on the left, finished version on the right

Here's the original, fully loaded recipe

Potato and Ham Bake Breakfast Special - Serves 6

This recipe was given to me and my sister, Susie Calhoun, by Raelene Vieux. The Vieux family are local cattle ranchers who are used to serving large meals to many people. You can double the recipe to serve twelve people—use a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. When I make this dish, I use hash brown patties and omit the butter.

1/2 (30 ounce) package frozen hash browns, thawed

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

1 1/2 cups diced ham

1/2 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained

1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 ounces)

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 2 ounces)

2 eggs

2/3 cup half-and-half

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Line a 12-inch pie pan or an 8- by 8-inch baking dish with the thawed hash browns, pressing them firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan as you would when making a graham cracker pie crust. Pour the butter around the edges. (If using patties, omit this step.) Bake for 20 minutes or until crispy. Remove from the oven and arrange the ham, chilies, and cheeses in layers on the browned crust.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and half-and-half and pour the mixture over the layers. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and an inserted knife comes out clean.

Here's to a happy and healthier spring!


Apple French Toast Casserole with a Surprise Ingredient

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on November 27, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Apple French Toast Casserole with apple syrup spooned over the top

If you are like me and like to entertain, you are probably always looking for the perfect recipe to feed to guests. Last week I found the perfect breakfast/brunch recipe on the Tasty Kitchen Website (you should check out the Tasty Kitchen Website, there are a lot of great looking recipes there). The ingredients, description, and photo of this Apple French Toast casserole made the recipe sound and look fantastic, so I made two batches of it the Wednesday before Thanksgiving just to make sure it was as good as it looked. I took one batch to work and left the other for my kids and their friends to eat. I received rave reviews from both groups. We were leaving on Thanksgiving Day to stay at my cousin Becky's house in Yuba City for a couple of days, so I made another batch before we left. I figured we could pop it into the oven when we got back from our early morning shopping escapade on Black Friday. 

The two batches that I made the day before Thanksgiving were made with pre-sliced Texas toast. The batch I prepped on Thanksgiving was made with sourdough bread. While the casserole was good with the Texas toast bread, it was exquisite with sourdough bread.

Now about the surprise ingredient . . . It's Jack Daniels Whiskey. The original recipe called for bourbon, which I did not have, so I used the closest thing to bourbon that I had on hand. Just in case you're thinking Jack Daniels is bourbon whiskey, it's not. The Jack Daniels website set me straight: Jack Daniel's is not a bourbon - it's a Tennessee Whiskey.  Anyway, about the Jack Daniels in this recipe--it complements the butter and adds richness to the flavor. However, if you don't have or can't have whiskey or bourbon, I think the recipe would be fine without it.

Jack Daniels is the surprise ingredient in this decadent French toast casserole

This dish can be made the day before and refrigerated overnight or you can make it the day you plan to serve it. You do not need to serve it with syrup; the apples and brown sugar make a syrup that you can spoon over the top of each serving.

On Black Friday when we returned from shopping we did pop the casserole into the oven and it sure hit the spot for us hungry shoppers! By the way, I want to set the record straight about the shopping--Becky, Laina, and I were not some of the bad shoppers you might have seen in the news on Black Friday. We were on our best behavior and did not shoot, pepper spray, push or shove, or rip anything out of the hands of any of the other shoppers . . .

Apple French Toast Casserole - Serves 6 to 8


½ cup butter (one stick)

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons Jack Daniels Whiskey

4 to 6  baking apples (e.g., Granny Smith), cored, peeled, and sliced

1 loaf sour dough or French bread, cut into 1 inch slices

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Dash of salt


If you are making this dish the day you are serving it, preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Melt the butter and sugar together over medium heat in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine. Cook until slightly thickened. Add the whiskey and whisk again. Continue to cook for about 1 minute.

Spray a 9″ x13″ pan with cooking spray. Pour the butter and whiskey mixture into the bottom of the pan. Arrange the sliced apples on top.

The butter, brown sugar, and whiskey mixture covering the bottom of the pan

Sliced apples arranged in the pan

In a medium or large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Dip each side of the bread into the egg mixture and arrange the bread on top of the apples. Pour the leftover egg mixture over the bread. 

Sour dough cut into 1-inch slices works best for this recipe

Dip both sides of the bread into the milk and egg mixture

If you plan to serve this dish the following day, cover the dish and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the uncovered casserole dish in the heated oven. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until apple slices have softened and bread is golden brown (one of my casseroles took about 70 minutes to cook). 

The casserole is cooked until the bread is browned and apples soft

To serve, use a large serving spoon or spatula to remove a slice of the bread and the apples below. Flip it over onto a plate and spoon some of the apple syrup from the casserole over the top.

I'm planning on serving this Christmas morning.


The last time I turned down a whisky, I didn’t understand the question.  ~Unknown

Breakfast Burritos for a Crowd

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on July 9, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Several years ago I would occasionally make breakfast burritos for a group of people that I supervised and I served the burritos at our Wednesday morning meeting. My group members loved them, but as my group grew to 30 plus people and our meetings were scheduled in the afternoon, I phased them out. Over the years a few of my group members would remind me how much they loved the breakfast burritos and that they would sure like to have them again.  I supervise a smaller group again and decided to surprise them with the burritos last Friday morning. This new group loves to eat, so they were happy to get them.

Breakfast burritos can be made the night before and reheated before serving. They are also a mobile food that someone can grab as they are running out the door and eat in transit. They are great to make when you are camping. They are also a good choice to serve to a crowd of people.

As for the breakfast burrito filling, eggs, potatoes, cheese, and meat are the core ingredients. I use linguica, a Portuguese sausage, in my burritos, but you can use chroizo, any other breakfast sausage, or even bacon. In the interest of time I used frozen hash browns last Friday, but you can use fresh potatoes that you boil or sauté. A lot of people use bell pepper in their breakfast burritos, but bell peppers and I don't get along, so you won't find them in mine.

Breakfast Burritos - Serves 10 (double, triple, or quadruple the recipe depending on the size of your crowd)


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 onion chopped

1 32 oz. package of frozen hash browns or country potatoes

12 eggs

2 sticks of linguisa or 13 oz. of any breakfast sausage

10 flour tortillas

8 oz. Mexican four blend shredded cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Taco sauce or salsa


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion to the olive oil and sauté until translucent. Break the eggs into a large bowl and add a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs until they are evenly colored. Add the eggs to the sautéed onions. Scramble by cooking on medium heat and using a spatula to push egg mixture towards the center of the skillet. Tilt the skillet to distribute the runny egg, allowing it to cook. Continue pushing and tilting until the eggs are cooked.

Scrambling the eggs with sautéed onions

Cook the frozen hash browns according to instructions on package.

Hash browns

Quarter the sticks of linguisa lengthwise and then cut the strips into bite sized pieces. Sautee the linguisa until slightly browned around the edges.


Mix the hash browns and linguisa with the scrambled eggs.

Eggs, hash browns, and linguisa

To heat the flour tortillas, wet two paper towels and squeeze out the excess water. Place one paper towel on a plate. Place the tortillas on top of the paper towel and then place the other paper towel on top of the tortillas. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Place a heated tortilla on a plate. Place a large scoop of the egg, sausage, potato mixture in the middle of the tortilla. Sprinkle on the shredded cheese. Fold the left and the right sides of the tortilla towards the middle. Fold the bottom of the tortilla towards the middle and roll towards the top.

A large scoop of the egg, potato, sausage mixture in the middle of tortilla

Cheese sprinkled on the top

The left and right sides of the tortilla are folded towards the middle

The bottom of the tortilla folded and then rolled towards the top

The finished breakfast burrito

The breakfast burrito wrapped in foil

The burritos can be wrapped in foil or placed unwrapped in a large covered casserole dish until ready to serve. To keep burritos warm, store in a 150 to 200 degree oven.

Serve with salsa or taco sauce.


Buenos dias!

Aebleskivers - The Danish Pancake

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on February 19, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Many of the families of Danish heritage I know make aebleskivers for special breakfasts. It's very common to find aebleskivers being made on Christmas morning at the homes of these families. The Rasmussen family of Pleasanton would host a large New Year's Eve party every year and start making aebleskivers for the revelers after midnight. At my house it's aebleskivers with a side of linguisa on Christmas morning to keep up with our Portuguese and Danish heritage traditions.

Aebleskivers - The Danish Pancake

Most of these families of Danish descent have cast iron aebleskiver pans that have been passed down the generations and I wouldn't be surprised if there are families that have been divided from fights over grandma's cast iron aebleskiver pan. I bought my pan at William-Sonoma and it works just fine for me.

A couple of weekends ago I made aebleskivers for breakfast for my daughter Whitney and her friend that had spent the night. Her friend is a swimmer and always has a voracious appetite. I couldn't make the aebleskivers fast enough to keep up with the demand. They loved the aebleskivers I filled with Nutella. My daughter Laina grabbed  a few aebleskivers on her way out to a school event and my husband ate a few. By the time I was done cooking and cleaned up the mess, they were all gone and I didn't get one!

Left: Aebleskivers almost ready to turn. Right: Aebleskivers turned.

Below is the aebleskiver recipe that's in our cookbook and was submitted by our cousin Carol Jorgensen Miller.


This recipe was given to me by my dad, Stanley Jorgensen, who always made aebleskivers at Christmastime. Now we make them for our grandchildren on Christmas morning because they were one of our children's favorites. Aebleskivers are cooked over medium heat on the stove in a special Aebleskiver pan.

Carol Jorgensen Miller


3 eggs, separated

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups buttermilk

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Butter for oiling the pan

Applesauce, nuts, jam, raisins or other fillings

Maple syrup, jam or powdered sugar


Beat the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Add the sugar, salt, and buttermilk and mix

well. Sift together the flour, soda, and baking powder and combine them with the egg mixture. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold them into the egg flour mixture.

Heat the aebleskiver pan over medium heat and butter it, being careful not to burn yourself. The batter will sizzle when added. Fill each hole of the pan 2/3 full. Cook until bubbling, then add a tablespoon of applesauce or other fillings on top of each one.

Turn the aebleskivers with a fork or small knitting needle and cook the other side until

medium brown. Serve with butter and maple syrup or jam, or generously sprinkle with

powdered sugar.

Merry's note: When I make Aebleskivers and fill them, I fill the holes less than 2/3 full. I drop the filling in the middle and cover the filling with a little batter.  Since I don't knit or crochet, I use a shisk kabob skewer to turn mine.

Danish Proverb:

"Kryds ikke vejen når du ikke kan finde ud af køkkenet"

Translation: "Don't cross the road when you can't find your way out of the kitchen."

Not sure what it means, but I reckon there's alcohol involved. Those Danes love their schnapps.


Crepes: A Versatile Treat

Posted by holmfamilycookbook on January 25, 2010 at 2:29 AM

During the summer my kids love to get crepes at the Livermore Farmers Market on Thursday nights. This morning I decided to try my hand at making crepes at home to serve to a daughter and one of her friends for breakfast. Instead of quickly finding a recipe on the Internet, I decided to look for one in the plethora of cookbooks I own. After consulting about five cookbooks, I found a recipe in an old Fannie Farmer Cookbook

1965 edition of Fannie Farmer Cookbook


I found the crepes fairly easy to make and there are many things you can stuff them with or spread on them. The ingredients for a crepe itself is very basic and found in most homes. They are versatile--depending on the filling, crepes can be made for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. For a breakfast filling, I spread Nutella on the crepes and put a row of sliced bananas on them and then rolled them up (the crepes my kids eat at the Farmers Market also have strawberries in them, but I did not have any this morning). Then I dusted them with powdered sugar. While eating them my 14-year old daughter told me I should be a chef, so I'm pretty sure she liked them.

Crepe with strawberries, Nutella, and bananas


Another of my kids’ favorite crepes at the Farmer’s Market has chicken, mushrooms, and pesto in them.


Below is the recipe from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook where they are also called French pancakes. The cookbook says that these crepes are "the basis for some exceptional luncheon dishes and an epicurean way to use leftovers."  ~merry carter~


Crepes or French Pancakes


2 eggs

1 cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup all purpose or pastry flour


In a medium bowl, beat eggs only until well blended. Add the other ingredients. Stir until smooth. Cover and let stand at least ½ hour. The batter should be thin—just thick enough to coat a spoon dipped in it. If the batter is too thick, stir in a little more milk.


Heat a 5 or 6-inch frying pan and grease lightly with salad oil. Pour in just enough batter to cover the pan with a very thin layer. Tilt the pan so that the batter spreads evenly. If there is a little too much, tip the pan over the mixing bowl and pour the extra back.


Cook on one side, turn with a spatula, and brown the other side. Cook the pancakes one by one. Roll up or fold in quarters.


Keep warm if you are serving them immediately, or set aside and reheat in the oven. Makes 18 to 24.



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