Texas Connect


Miss your department potluck? Enter the Texas Connect Recipe Contest

Two color orange horizontal divider
Kitchen utensils and spices
Photo by Calum Lewis

For many of us, spending more time at home has meant spending more time cooking. Have you discovered a new go-to recipe or rediscovered an old family favorite? We’d like to share some of these kitchen creations with colleagues through our Texas Connect Recipe Contest. Go to utmedia.org/texasconnectcooks to submit your recipe in one of four categories. A committee that will include members of University Housing and Dining and Texas Student Media will pick the top recipes to be published in a future issue of Texas Connect.

Here, our Texas Connect staff shared some favorite recipes so you can have your own holiday office party at home. Happy cooking!

Mom’s Clam Dip

When I was growing up in landlocked Montana, my mom’s clam dip was a holiday staple in our family from Thanksgiving to the New Year. Even though I steer clear of most fish and seafood, this concoction was always a welcome sight. Shortly after I joined UT in 2014, my mom passed away unexpectedly during the holidays. I dug up this recipe and have continued the tradition ever since. Oh, and my mother-in-law is also not a fan of clams but eagerly requests the dip each holiday visit.
— Gerald Johnson, co-publisher, Texas Connect

16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
One or two 6 oz. cans of minced clams, drained (reserve liquid)
4 Tbsp. minced onion
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp garlic salt (to taste)
Juice from ½ lemon
Italian parsley, to garnish
Ridged potato chips

Add drained clams (one or two cans, depending on your taste) to softened cream cheese, saving liquid. Add onion, Worcestershire, garlic salt and lemon juice. Gently fold and mix all the ingredients together and garnish with some chopped Italian parsley or the green herb of your choice. If mixture is too stiff, you can add some of the reserved clam liquid to soften the dip, so as to not break all of your chips. It’s better served closer to room temperature.

Stuffed Cabbage

Years ago, my mom gave me “Jennie Grossinger: The Art of Jewish Cooking.” I remember her saying the recipes were very similar to how she’d remembered my grandmother’s cooking. I still have the small paperback cookbook, with its yellowing, frayed pages, and while I have yet to tackle many of its recipes, this one has become a favorite. It can be served as a side dish or main meal. I tend to make it around different holidays to go with something my husband, the better chef, has made — such as potato latkes for Hanukkah or black eyed peas for New Year’s Day.
— Emily Cohen, advertising manager, Texas Connect

Large head cabbage
2 Tbsp. fat or oil
2 yellow or white onions, sliced
3 cups canned tomatoes (28 oz. can)
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Beef bones (Chicken works, too)
1 lb. ground beef
3 Tbsp. uncooked rice
4 Tbsp. grated onion
1 egg
3 Tbsp. cold water
3 Tbsp. honey
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup seedless raisins (I use golden)

Pour boiling water over the cabbage to cover and let soak for 15 minutes. Carefully remove 12-18 leaves. Heat the fat in a deep, heavy saucepan or cast iron Dutch oven and lightly brown the sliced onions in it. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and bones. Cover over low heat 30 minutes. Mix together the uncooked ground beef, rice, grated onion, egg and water.  Place about a tablespoon of the meat mixture on each cabbage leaf, tuck in the sides, and roll up carefully. Remove bones from the sauce and add the cabbage rolls. Cover and cook over low heat 1 ½ hours. Add the honey, lemon juice and raisins and continue cooking for 30 minutes. Serve warm. Reheats well the next day or two also!

Grandma Walker’s Quick Kolacky

As a child, I looked forward to special occasions when my Polish grandmother and my mother would make these cookies. We called them “kolaches.” When I moved to Austin as an adult, I was excited to hear co-workers talk about kolaches — and then confused when they handed me a large pastry. I’ve grown to love both sweet treats, but my family’s cookies will always be No. 1.
— Emily Quigley, editor, Texas Connect

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
Fruit filling (we used Solo brand raspberry, apricot or poppyseed; fruit preserves would work as well)
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and cream chese together. Sift together dry ingredients and then work into the butter and cream cheese. Mix to form a stiff dough; put in the refrigerator for a bit if it feels too soft. Lightly cover your work surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar and roll the dough to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut with a biscuit cutter or glass and place cookies on a baking sheet. Place 1 tsp. filling in center of each cookie. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cookies are light brown around the edge. Cool cookies on a rack; sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about two dozen.