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Guy's Hearty Granola Recipe

I never give credit to the originator of a recipe.  Some may think I’m plagiarizing, but my version is usually so heavily doctored that the originator probably wouldn’t recognize it, or, if he/she did, they certainly wouldn’t want to have their name associated with it.


Start by rounding up at least the following—or anything else you might like to add.  Personally, I’ve always avoided adding onions, peppers, chili power, or similar hot items trying to come up with a Southwestern granola version.  This version is pure Mid-west.


In a big tub dump in 4 cups of oats.

Then add: 1/3 cup brown sugar—sort of sprinkle it, don’t dump it in a lump.

Now pour around 1/3 cup of maple syrup—the real stuff, you’ve already added sugar.

Likewise pour around 1/3 cup of coconut oil—if solidified simply nuke it for a few seconds.

Do the same with 1/3 cup of honey.

Finally, 1 tsp vanilla extract.


Mix thoroughly trying to coat the oats as much as possible; because then you’ll want to add roughly:

1/2 cup of flaked or shredded coconut.

1/3 cup each of ground flax seeds (healthy).

1/3 cup of chia seeds (also healthy—for what, I don’t know). 


Now stir the mixture some more, trying to get the seeds to stick to the oats.  Otherwise, they will wind up at the bottom.  (See what I mean if you dumped the brown sugar in as a lump—you’re still trying to break up lumps).


Now for the really good stuff—add in:

               A cup of walnut pieces.

               A cup of raw almonds.

               A cup of pecans.

               A cup of cashews.

I like to use wholes and halfs so the mix doesn’t look too ground up.

Then I add:

               A cup of dried apricots (I chunk these).

               A cup of dried cherries (I usually cut them I half if really large).


The apricots and cherries give it a distinctive flavor, but you could also use raisins (ok) or craisins (better).


Then pre-heat the oven to 200.  Spread the mix onto a large cookie sheet with sides.  One without sides?  You’ll be sorry.


Bake for roughly 60 minutes.  If there still appears to be a lot of moisture, give it a few more minutes.  I usually stir once about mid-way and then just after I take it out—before it has a chance to set.  After cooling, pack it in a zip-lock bag, breaking up any remaining large hunks.  I store mine in the fridge, just in case it’s not totally dry.


An option is to skip the oatmeal and the seeds and then you have a batch of deliciously flavored snack food for the game.  Serve with any local micro-brewery craft beer--no watery big-brand stuff!


Pan of Granola   Bowl of Granola


Guy's Chicken White Bean Chili Recipe

Usually I try to post my annual Guys Recipe around mid-November, obviously that didn't happen, but here it is--just in time for the New Year's party.

This is one of my favorite Guys soup recipes.  Almost everyone likes chili and you can get it in just about any restaurant during the winter months.  However, it's usually the hamburger & kidney bean type, which I like, but here is something even better.

Ditch the hamburger and kidney beans and use chicken and white beans.  The chicken is certainly better for you.  I don't know if there is much nutritional difference in the bean types.  However, the taste is completely different.

It's easy to make and great while watching the games over Christmas and New Year's or after coming in from any outdoor activity.

Simply start by having the Mrs. par boil a couple of pounds of chicken breasts and cut them up into small chunks.  Then you can take over from there.  Using a cast iron pot, if you have one, makes the chili look all the more impressive.  Otherwise, any large pot will do.

Cover the bottom (of the pot) with olive oil and toss in a large onion.  Chop it first--another good job to delegate.  Also toss in several chopped cloves of garlic.

When the onion starts to turn translucent (that means clear), throw in the chicken.  Let it brown for a couple of minutes, then start tossing in the small stuff:

   Some salt--a teaspoon or so.

   Some fennel seeds--like a tablespoon (I don't know what they add, but lots of chili recipes call for      them, so may as well.)

   Some cumin--a couple of tablespoons of the ground stuff.

   Some oregano--yay--a couple of tablespoons--can never go wrong with oregano.

A little rosemary wouldn't hurt either.

Oh, and some chili power--a couple of teaspoons--how could I forget!

Then dump in a couple cans of white beans (15 oz size--the big boys have cheated us out of an ounce).  Drain them first, but don't bother to rinse--that just dirties more dishes.

Next comes a quart (4 cups = 1 quart) of chicken stock

and 1 or 2 cups of frozen corn--thawed if you think of it ahead of time.

It probably looks a little watery at this point, but there are a couple of solutions.

     First, you can go the flower or corn starch route (mix it with cold water first).

     Second, (and this is what I do) add some instant potato flakes, a little at a time, until the viscosity looks about right.

If you want to make it look a bit more upscale, add some Swiss chard leaves.  Can also add a dollop or two of Sour Cream.

Crank up the burner until it just gets to a near-boil and then back it off to simmer speed for a 30-40 minutes.  Better yet, lead off with a simmer setting just as the game starts and it will be perfecto at half-time.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with nacho chips and Spilled Grain Brewhouse craft beer.  [Bet you would never guess that's my son's Brewhouse over in Annandale, MN.]  There's no need to wait for halftime with the beer!




Guy's Cranberry Wild Rice Pancakes

Every year about this time I add a guy's recipe for the upcoming big day.  This year it's back to breakfast--the most important meal of the day.  But that's one of three, not a lot of competition.  Anyway, it's pancake time!  Everybody's favorite--even the kids--although they may not like these until they're hungry enough--they'll really love them by mid-afternoon if you use the old "you're not getting anything else" routine. 

Cranberry Wild Rice Pancakes.  What could be more Minnesotan--and also more Wisconsinite.  They get along much better in pancakes than on a football field. 

You can always buy of box of pancake mix, but to get full credit and laurels you should make your own.   There are a zillion recipes on the internet and very cookbook has a couple but I often use one from a Greek yogurt container.  For a double batch just dump together:

3 cups vanilla yogurt
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking power
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk 

Combine the dry stuff
Mix up the wet stuff
Dump the dry into the wet 

This generally comes out like cement that is starting to set up so I add more milk until it's gooey, but not runny.

Remember the Guy Cooks eleventh commandment:  Do not use a recipe without making changes.  So add a smidgen of vanilla, maybe a titch of lemon juice, perhaps a dollop of sugar.  Let me know if you try rum or brandy;  I haven't gotten that far yet.  And somehow beer pancakes don't sound appealing. 

Now for the fun part.  Use fresh or thawed whole cranberries.  The secret is to put them in the microwave for uno momento.  Then check, if soft and just starting to burst open your ready, otherwise nuke a few seconds at a time until perfecto.   Drain any juice and dump them in. 

Most recipes say to add a 1/2 cup of blueberries, chocolate chips, or whatever.  At a minimum always double up on the goodies.  Add a cup or more of the cranberries and likewise the wild rice.  You need enough batter to hold everything together but the whole object is flavor, flavor, flavor.

Word of warning--cook the wild rice first! Easy to do the night before.  Then you have an excuse if things don't turn out right.  Just simmer a cup of wild rice in three cups of water for 40-50 minutes or until soft and splitting open.  Drain well and it's all set for the morning. 

Set the griddle to 350-400 and start spooning on the batter when the itty-bitty light goes off.  Don't make them too large and let them brown up before flipping.  These things are so loaded that if you try to flip them when they are girly golden you'll have a mess on the griddle.  Make sure you have a construction worker tan under them.  Serve with real maple syrup. 

You've now had a true Northwoods breakfast.  You're ready to fire up the chainsaw and cut and split some firewood.  These pancakes will fuel you for the whole day.  Except that you're now too stuffed and tired to go outside.  So park yourself on the couch, turn on the game, and sleep through the first half. 

The tag 'Guy's Recipe' will take you to my prior recipe posts. 

2014 Guy's Potatoes Extraordinaire
2013  Guy's Caramel Corn Recipe
2012  Guy's Chips Supreme Recipe
2011  Guy's Baked French Toast
2010  Guy's Bread Pudding
2009  Guy's Baked Apples


Guy's Potatoes Extraordinaire

Long term readers know that every year I put a 'Guy's Recipe' for the holidays on the blog.  I've convinced myself that everyone remembers and is anxiously waiting for this year's taste treat.


Guys--this is one of the easiest yet--lots of credit and little work, especially if you have your spouse pick up the ingredients.  BUT, unlike the earlier recipes that dealt with breakfast or game-time snacks, this one goes mainline and takes center stage on the dinner table.  So…expect some pushback from the spouse when you say "move over--I'm doing some cooking."


And now for the advanced planning part:  Set out a 30oz bag of shredded frozen potatoes to thaw for several hours or overnight before proceeding.


 The next day dump them into a tub, throw in a can each of good old cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup (don’t add any water), also dump in a couple of cups of sour cream and most of a 16oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese.


You could also sprinkle in some white pepper and powered garlic and onion, but be brave and use some real onions--I'm partial to scallions--plus some red or green pepper for appearance sake (remember the mantra of the TV cooking shows: 'presentation is everything'. 


If you're courageous (that means more than brave) fry some bacon  and break it up into small pieces or get out some of that venison sausage that’s been in the freezer since last year.  Toss whichever into the heap.


Mix everything into a big glob and dump into a lubed baking dish.  Flatten it out and then sprinkle on the remaining shredded cheese.  It's ok to ice it until ready to bake or stroke up the fire to about 350 degrees and bake for 40-50 minutes.  Let the top get bubbly and cheese start to brown (remember: presentation).


Serve to the sound of accolades.  Dig in!


Also scroll down the blog posts to try out some my previous 'Guy's Recipes'.

2013  Guy's Caramel Corn Recipe

2012  Guy's Chips Supreme Recipe

2011  Guy's Baked French Toast

2010  Guy's Bread Pudding

2009  Guy's Baked Apples


Guy's Caramel Corn Recipe

Each year, this is year number five,  I put a Guy's recipe on the blog .  Something a guy can make to--pick one--a) help out his better half , or b) win kudos from family and buddies and boost his ego, c) just stuff himself. 


My pick of the year for 2013 is Caramel Corn.  This one is not as original as some in the past, but it is always a winner.  Tip--make lots, serve before dinner (with plenty of beer) and you won't have to buy  and prepare a turkey.  Everyone will be way too full to even miss it.  That will really help out the misses.


You have to plan ahead for this.  Two or three weeks before the big day you have to start answering "paper" to the "paper or plastic" question at the grocery store checkout.  I normally answer "you too"  because I can't hear very well and simply assume they are saying "have a good day."


This Carmel corn is to die for.  And you might.  It must have a Glycemic Index rank of 137. 


Lets get started with the raw materials list.  You will need:

The paper bags--several of them.


Popcorn--not the microwave type!  Don't be lazy, get out the popper!  I prefer an air popper.

White Karo Syrup--Translation:  High Fructose Corn Syrup.   Hey, it's in everything else that’s bad for you but good for your taste buds so why should this be any different!

Brown Sugar 

Butter--the real thing, margarine is not allowed!

Baking Soda--I still haven't figured what good this does, but it works, so I have never skipped it.

Pecans &/or Almonds--optional, but in my case, mandatory


Step 1--I'll spell it out for you nice and simple in case you have already started on the beer.

  • Pop the popcorn
  • Load up the paper bags with 12 cups of popcorn.  You could cut back on the popcorn to make it even gooey- er, but I don't recommend that.  Why?  Because I already have!
  • Repeat as necessary--I have never made less the three bags worth.  Trust me, this is "bet you can't eat just one handful" stuff.


Step 2--for each bag (bold, underlined, and italics to get the point across).

  • Place a stick of butter, a cup of brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of white Karo Syrup into a glass container.
  • Microwave 3-4 minutes, but watch it closely.
  • When it starts to boil, stop the microwave, remove and stir (also stir in the nuts), then microwave for 2 additional  minutes.
  • Add 1/2 tsp. of baking soda and stir again, but no more zapping.


Step 3--ask for assistance from someone who is willing to be left holding the bag.

  • Now with someone holding the bag open, dump in the mixture.
  • Have a spatula ready to clean out the bowl--but work fast!
  • Close (did I need to say this) and shake the bag in all directions.


Step 4--Empty the bag onto a cookie sheet.

  • Allow to cool for a couple of minutes
  • Then break up into smaller hunks so someone can't take half the bowl at one time.
  • It's ready to have at it, but you're not done, you have to repeat steps 2 through 4 for each bag.
  • Use the above spatula to whack any hands attempting to steal some of your creation before you're done.


Step 5--Invite me over.  Give me a large bowlful, pop me a beer, maybe two or three, and I'll settle back in a corner and watch the game.  You'll hardly know I'm there.


Guy's Chips Supreme Recipe

As promised, this year’s Guy's Recipe for 2012 bypasses breakfast and dessert and goes straight to halftime.  Get this ready before the game and shove it into the oven a few minutes before halftime (not responsible for overcooking due to excessive time-outs).

Spray a cookie sheet then layer it with  Nachos, Doritos, corn chips or whatever your preference—even crackers such as Wheat Thins or Triscuits will work .  Just make sure to cover all the open spaces so the toppings are on the chips, not the pan.

Now you want to load it up with toppings.  I use any or all of the following.

·         Pre-cooked bacon (for best favor),  or ham, sausage, pepperoni…

·         Broccoli (cut into small bit size pieces).

·         Cauliflower  (likewise)

·         Tomato (ditto)

·         Green pepper, scallions, olives, mushrooms…

[The Broccoli and cauliflower allow you to pretend it’s good for you.]  If you have a Packers fan in the group make one with anchovies and jalapeno peppers.

Now pretty much cover it with shredded cheese until it’s hard to see what’s underneath.  Then drizzle (not pour or soak) Ranch Dressing over it.  Tip—have the Ranch at room temp or even nuke it for 15-20 sec or it will come out in gobs.

Now you’re ready to shove it in the oven (preheated to 350) or under the broiler—if you go the broiler route remember to key your eye on it, not the cheerleaders.  It’s ready when the cheese is nice and bubbly (just like a pizza, which it sort of is)

The biggest risk is that you didn’t make enough and you miss the third quarter because you have been sent back to the kitchen to make another batch.

As always, goes best with a good micro-beer.Chips Supreme

Next year’s guy’s recipe—right now I don’t have a clue

Also check out the recipes from the last three years—just page down to them.

                Guy’s Baked French Toast (2011)

                Guy’s Bread Pudding (2010)

                Guy’s Baked Apples (2009)


Guys Baked French Toast

The past couple of years we men of the house have made desserts for the Christmas holidays (click on the keyword:recipe).  This year we are going to be unpredictable (just like you know who) and make Christmas 
morning breakfast!

We’ll go with one of my favorites—Baked French Toast.  Tip:  this goes over just as well at the hunting shack.  Butremember you have to work it up the night before!

Start with a hint from the title and get a loaf of, what else, French bread—at least an arm’s length one.  Slice it into 1 3/16th inch slices.

Take a cake pan and lube it well with spray lube (if you don’t you will be making a very sticky mess for the wife to clean up and, after all, it’s Christmas so be thoughtful (at least for today).

Then take a couple of Tablespoons of corn syrup, a stick of butter (best) or margarine (at Christmas?), and about a packed cup of brown sugar.  Simmer it in a sauce pan on the stove for a couple of minutes.  Then pour it into the lubed cake pan and spread it out so nobody gets cheated.

Add the slices of French bread—okay to squeeze them together a bit to eliminate the open areas (the French are too ornery to make their bread square).

Then in a separate bowl mix together several (5) eggs (no shell bits please), a teaspoon or so of vanilla, and, give or take, a cup and a half of milk.  Sprinkle in some salt, some nutmeg, and lots of cinnamon (personal preference).  Then spoon the gook over the French bread, making sure to give all the slices equal treatment…then sprinkle on lots more cinnamon.

Cover, shove in the fridge and go back to the game.

The next morning crank up the oven to about 350 degrees and bake uncovered for about 45 minutes or so.

When you remove it from the oven quickly flip it upside down on a plank before the caramel sets up.  (If you don’t do this the first time you make it, you will the second time.)

You can serve it with syrup, but you hardly need it.  It’s almost as much caramel roll as French toast.  The family can take a vote on which they think it really is.

Everyone will want seconds, so figure the above recipe will feed about six.  I always double it because it’s so good warmed up in the zapper.  Do you call two arms of French bread a hug?

I already have a recipe in mind for next year—can hardly wait.  Hint: think game time!


Guys Bread Pudding Recipe

Guys Bread Pudding Recipe

Bread PuddingLast year’s recipe, baked apples (see November '09 archives), was a great hit (no-one complained), so I thought this year I would share another one of my dessert recipes.  This one is for the best bread pudding ever.  I have made it at least a half dozen times.  Of course, what makes bread pudding so great is the sauce, so I'm also including directions for making a couple of them.

I wanted to get this out before Thanksgiving so you could serve it and ace out whoever brought the cranberry sauce or the sweet potatoes.  Use it again at Christmas and then again at New Years.  If people start to tire of it (hard to believe), then switch to the baked apples.

  • Lube a cake pan (the one in the photo is slightly oval and measures 14" by 11") and fill it with bread cubes.  Best to use a variety of light and dark breads.  The older and dryer the better (cut off the green stuff when no-one’s looking).


  • Scatter a half cup or more of raisins over the top.


  • Then, if you’re the nutty type (like me) scatter a half cup or more (emphasis on more) of walnut pieces.  Otherwise omit the nuts and much of the flavor.


  • Separately,  scald a couple of cups of milk.  (That means bring it just to a boil without having it boil over and making a mess for your spouse--this is not the time to go check on the game).  Then remove from heat and


  • Drop in a half a stick of butter


  • Also scramble a couple of eggs with a fork and add them in.


  • Then add like, say, a half cup of sugar.


  • Plus a tich of salt--maybe a fourth of a teaspoon.


  • Plus a big T of cinnamon.


  • Pour the mix over the bread cubes trying to hit them all.  Then sprinkle on some more cinnamon.  And then some more--that's what makes it really good.


You should put this cake pan into a larger one with hot water in it before putting it in the oven.  The bread pudding  will stay much more moist.  It will still work without the water, but it will be more of a bread bake than a bread pudding.  Even so, the sauce can fix that.
Usually 45 minutes or so at around 350 degrees will do the trick.  Stab it with your pocket knife, if nothing sticks, you're done and back to the game.

The Sauce

Here are the directions for making two different sauces.  The first one, Lemon Sauce, is for the teetotalers of the family (and the kids, but they never eat this stuff anyway).  The second one is for the people who like to party.  Of course, if there is a really good game on, you can always cheat and serve it with whipping cream (there are limits to cheating--whip your own from real cream, don't use the canned or frozen stuff)

Lemon Sauce:  Believe me this good, good, good.

  • Start with a couple of cups of boiling (not just hot) water.


  • Add in a cup of sugar


  • Add in 2 tbs. of cornstarch


  • Now for the tricky part.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens and gets bubbly.  Try to get the lumps out as you stir.  When you think it's ready (not when you're ready), remove from heat and stir in:


  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (again, don't cheat--squeeze the lemon, don't use the bottled stuff.)   Place lemon in your workshop vice, turn the handle while holding a cup underneath.


  • Grate the lemon rind and add in as much as you can get.  Since you're in the workshop anyway, just use a rasp.


  • Bonus tip:  I like it as lemonly as possible so I also dig out the insides (pulp) of the lemons and throw that in.  It also helps hide any remaining lumps.


Rum Sauce:  Believe me this is better, better, better.  And easier to make.

Over low heat, combine:

  • A one pound tub of sour cream


  • 3/4th cup of sugar


  • 3 Tbs of water (or more if you want it thinner--but wait until you have added the rum and then see).


Remove from heat then add a half cup of rum (more if you're brave, less if you're chicken).  Be sure the heat is off!  What's the point in adding the rum if you burn off the alcohol!  Sure the flavor is great, but you also want the zing.

One last tip--double the sauce recipes and serve the bread pudding in a cereal bowl, not a dessert plate.  Then you can drown the pudding the way it should be.  I hate to order bread pudding in a restaurant and have a drizzle of sauce over it, I want a ownpour.  Better yet, put the sauce in a pitcher and let everyone add their own (just don't let me go first).

ENJOY!!!      Phil


Guys Baked Apple Recipe

Hey guys–here is how to take credit for the highlight of the christmas dinner!

I have made baked apples several times.  Serve them before the gifts are distributed and everyone will say how great they are. 

  • Take the required number of apples (I use Granny Smith, but whatever your preference).  Cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. 
  • Set each half in a cake pan, but put a canned pineapple ring underneath it to hold it flat (neat trick huh).  Dump the pineapple juice into the pan. 
  • Fill the scooped out hole with maple syrup and rub some around the entire top of the apple (I use the real stuff–a finger works better then a brush).  
  • Spread some brown sugar on the flat  part of each apple and let a lot also fall off into the pan.
  • Also mix together some cinnamon (a lot) and nutmeg (a little) and sprinkle it on.
  • Place several canned Manderan orange slices on top of the brown sugar.  If you have any left also dump them and the juice into the pan.  Plus maybe a little more brown sugar to be on the safe side.
  • That should be enough liquid, but you could also add apple cider or apple juice (good) or bourbon (better) or brandy (best).  I have never skipped the other liquids and used beer; if you try it let me know how it tastes.
  • Throw some dried fruit–cranberries, cherries, blueberries, etc., and some large walnut peices over the top.
  • Bake at around 350 for about 30-40 minutes or until your pocketknife slides in easy.
  • Or, if you’re really in a hurry to open your new toys, nuke them for a couple of minutes.
  • Remember to take the credit.

They’ll want you to make dessert again next Christmas.  So come back next year for another winner.