Journal Of A Long Strange Trip
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  • Cinnamon Pull-A-Parts

    Posted on March 25th, 2016 Dirk No comments

    Cinnamon Pull-ApartsLast night our neighbor had some leftover dough. She brought it over to share with us. The dough inspired me to make Cinnamon Pull-A-Parts.

    Since it was late in was late in the evening, I just put the dough in the refrigerator until morning.

    The next morning I took a castiron skillet and melted some butter in it.  I topped the butter with a cup of vanilla sugar.  I could have used cinnamon sugar, but I wanted to tame the amount of cinnamon.  I then divided up the dough into golf ball or smaller pieces.  I dipped each piece into some melted butter and then rolled it in some cinnamon sugar.  Any sugar I had left went on top of the rolls.  I let the rolls rise for about an hour.  I baked them at 375° F for about 25 minutes. Once they were out of the oven I turned the rolls out of the castiron skillet to cool.  Once the sugar had cooled below molten lava temperatures, I served them up.

    My crew agrees that I can do that again.Cinnamon Pull-A-Parts

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  • Dutch Baby Pancake

    Posted on February 13th, 2016 Dirk No comments
    Dutch Baby Pancake with Apple Slices

    Dutch Baby Pancake with Apple Slices

    I really enjoy using my cast-iron cookware.  I have had plenty of cast-iron dutch ovens, the camp style, over the years.  I really like cooking outdoors with them. A few years ago, I was given two 12 inch Lodge cast-iron frying pans for my birthday.  That was the day that the cast-iron moved inside.

    One of the recipes that I like to make to show off how easy cast-iron cooking is, is the Dutch Baby Pancake.  It is a German pancake that is baked in the oven.  The traditional way to serve them is with a squeeze of fresh lemon and sprinkled with powdered sugar.  My wife likes hers plain with just butter.  I like mine either traditional or with a sliced apple sauce.


    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 2 Tablespoons sugar (I like the Rock Iris vanilla sugar)
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 2 Tablespoons butter to melt in pan
    Dutch Baby Pancake straight from the oven

    Dutch Baby Pancake straight from the oven


    1. Pre-heat oven to 425° F with your cast-iron pan.
    2. Combine the first four ingredients together and blend until smooth.  (I use a blender.)
    3. Once the oven and pan are to temperature, remove pan from the oven.
    4. Melt the butter and coat the pan surface.
    5. Pour the batter into the pan and return to the oven.
    6. Bake at 425° F for 15 minutes or until puffy and browned.
    7. Top with additional butter and powdered sugar and let the sugar heat in the oven briefly.
    8. Squeeze some fresh lemon on the top and serve.
    Sliced Apple Sauce

    Sliced Apple Sauce

    Fresh Sliced Apple Sauce


    • 1 apple, peeled, cored & sliced
    • 2 Tablespoons butter
    • 2 or 3 Tablespoons sugar (I like the Rock Iris vanilla sugar)
    • 1 or 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice.


    1. In a small saucepan melt the butter.
    2. Add the apple slices and lemon juice.  Saute apples until they begin to give up their juice.
    3. Add the sugar and cook until the apples are tender and the syrup has reduced to a nice consistency.
    4. Serve over hot Dutch Baby Pancake.

      Dutch Baby Pancake with butter

      Dutch Baby Pancake with butter

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  • Oven Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    Posted on August 10th, 2014 Dirk 2 comments
    Macaroni and cheese

    Cast Iron baked macaroni and cheese

    I was talking with my youngest daughter about comfort foods that she found while she was living in China. While we were talking about that it reminded me of a favorite comfort food.  Macaroni and Cheese.  Many times we find ourselves reaching for the blue box.  I was wanting something like that, but maybe a little more homemade and more attention to the details.

    I remembered a Macaroni and Cheese recipe that I found on the Reddit cast-iron forum.  One of the features of this dish is that it is baked in a cast-iron pan to help the dish develop a crisp crust on the bottom and sides.  This crisp crust contrasts nicely with the tender pasta and the creamy sauce.


    • 1 lb macaroni, cooked and drained
    • 1/2 stick of butter
    • 4 Tablespoons flour
    • 3 cups milk
    • 1/3 cup pre-cooked bacon bits
    • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 cup parmesan cheese
    • 8 to 10 ounces medium cheddar cheese, grated
    • dried breadcrumbs

    While cooking the macaroni, make the cheese sauce.  In a medium saucepan melt the butter and add the butter to form a roux.  Cook over a medium heat until the flour begins to turn to a golden brown.  Slowly whisk in the milk and cook over a medium heat.  Add the onion powder and cook until the mixture begins to thicken.  Add the bacon bits, 1/2 of the parmesan cheese and the grated cheddar cheese and mix until melted and combined.  Grease a cast-iron skillet and pour the drained pasta into the pan.  Mix the cheese sauce into the pasta and top with a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.  Bake in a 400° F oven for 30 minutes or until the top and edges have started to crisp.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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