Babushka Delight

As a child, Liz’s father did the bulk of the cooking in their home. Norm Robinson was a creative and resourceful culinary artist, never cooking from a recipe and always applying the creativity required when feeding a family on a meager budget. As a hungry child, when Liz began smelling tasty aromas waft from the kitchen she would consistently ask, “Dad, what’s for dinner?” And much to her chagrin he would he would respond, “Babushka Delight…and then insert a random number.” A variation of Baked Ziti would be called Babushka Delight #14 and Pork Chops and Rice entitled Babushka Delight #982…no rhyme or reason for the numbering system and never a dish or number repeated. Night after night, meal after meal, our table and stomachs were warmed with a series of meals made by a loving father each entitled Babushka Delight. As a child, anxious for dinner, Liz found his predictable answer a bit silly. Now, as an adult, when contemplating the daily questions, what shall we have for dinner?” she hears the trusted words of her father ringing clearly in her mind…”Well, tonight we are having Babushka Delight.”

Burke grew up working inside the delicious walls of a professional kitchen at his families business, Jacob Lake Inn nestled near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. While standing on milk crates Burke joined his parents to help peel potatoes, crack eggs, flip burgers, and sling hash. Through this process Burke developed the confidence of a chef, the speed of a line cook, and the creativity of a working mans Iron Chef.

Growing up in a foodie family has real benefits for a newly married couple. For Burke nothing brings a bigger smile than the potential of a handful of chopped onion, celery, carrot, and garlic sautéing in a few hearty splashes of a fine olive oil…and Liz is more than happy to sample the tasty outcomes.

Together Burke and Liz enjoy nothing more than a fine meal shared with family and friends. In keeping with tradition of both families, Babushka Delight is a collection of their favorite recipes and culinary creations.


The Texas Rich’s

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Babushka Delight #2.5: Turkey Day Magic


1 Butterball Turkey Breast (in brine) 3 to 4 lbs, thawed.
1 loaf roasted garlic (garlic baked in) artesian bread
1 loaf rosemary olive oil artesian bread
1 large yellow onion
1/2 red bell pepper
1 small sweet onion
6 Tbs minced garlic
1 honeycrisp apple
6 stalks celery
2 cans chicken broth
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 stick butter
3/4 cup flour


Simon and Garfunkel Spice Mix (parsley, rubbed sage, rosemary, thyme)
smoked paprika
chile powder
garlic powder
onion powder
sweet basil
sea salt
fresh ground pepper medley


the night before, slice olive oil rosemary and baked garlic bread into thin slices and place on cooling racks to dry out.

The next morning at about 10:30 or noon...whenever you get up...turn the oven on to 325 degrees and then cut onions in half and slice them. Chop the red pepper, celery and apple. Place the onions, apple, red pepper and 4 of the 6 Tbs of garlic in the bottom of your roasting pan. Place the Butterball Turkey Breast on top of the chopped vegetables. Dust the top of the turkey breast with the smoked paprika, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, etc...then place the sliced sweet onion and the other 2 Tbs of garlic on top of the turkey breast. Pour one can of chicken broth around the turkey breast (but don't pour it on the turkey breast or you will undo all of the spices that you placed on the turkey breast just now). If the oven is at temperature, place the lid on the pan holding the turkey and place it in the oven. If it isn't at temp, you can place the lid on or not as you choose...but you will want the lid on when you place it in the oven.

During the meantime, cut up the dried bread into cubes and place in a bowl.

Check the temperature after a couple of hours. When the temperature is at 170 degrees, remove the turkey from the oven. Remove the turkey breast and place on a plate. Pour the liquid and vegetables through a strainer. Save the liquid. Place the turkey back in the cook pan and place on the burner that vents the oven to keep the turkey moist and warm.

Place the vegetables in the blender. Add several Tbs of liquid back in and blend them together. Then add 1/2 stick of butter to the mix and blend together one more time. Pour the mixture into the bowl of dried bread. Mix it together in the bowl. Taste a bit of it. If it needs it, feel free to add some of the spices listed above to taste.

Put the stuffing in the oven at 350 degrees covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and place back in until the top browns up and gets all crispy yum.

Turn the liquid into a gravy using the flour and the remaining butter to make a roux and then add the liquid and the other can of chicken stock to the pan. Add the milk and cream and bring to a boil. Then remove from the heat. Make sure that you whisk consistently all through this will thicken and be yummy. Season to taste.

If done correctly it should look something like this:

Serve and enjoy!


  1. Allright I'm a believer. Email me some of that!
    How is TAyxas?
    Wish I was at Jacob

  2. So I have a Babushka's Delight to add of my own. This one is based on a Dominican chicken and bean recipe that I used to make.

    In a crock pot combine:
    6 skinless Chicken thighs, trimmed of fat (bone in is best)
    3 heaping teaspoons of Goya Sofrito (or you can make your own)
    1 tbs diced garlic (at least)
    1 15 oz can of crushed or sliced tomatoes
    1/2 an onion large dice
    1/4 cup chicken stock (optional)
    1/2 tsp salt
    Pepper to taste
    1 tsp dried basil
    1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
    1/4 tsp curry powder (just cuz I'm crazy like that)
    1/2 tsp cumin
    a dash of celery seeds
    a little of any other herb you would like to add

    stir around to ensure that the chicken is coated in the sauce. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, you could also do this on the stove top or baked, but I don't have times. If baked, cover with tin foil. After it is cooked, taste and adjust flavors as needed. (maybe a little more cumin, a little salt, perhaps you want a little heat?)
    10 minutes before serving, drain and rinse 1 can of pinto beans. Add to sauce and stir in to heat beans. Chicken will be fall apart tender, so be gentle.
    Serve over rice with sauce and beans on top flavoring the rice. Chicken can either be shredded (mix around with a spoon until if falls apart and then you fish out the bones) or served as whole thighs.