Stillwater News Press

February 9, 2014

Sounds delicious! OSU Friends of Music cooking up recipes for fun musicales

By Elizabeth Keys
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Oklahoma State University Friends of Music Musicale hosts are cooking up fun with international recipes to flavor the presentations of faculty and students in solo and ensemble performances.  

One of those groups is The Knoblock Project featuring Curren Myers, Caleb Shannon, Grant Eisenmenger and Eric Stults under the tutelage of Jeffrey Loeffert, OSU assistant professor of saxophone and theory.

“The saxophone quartet is comprised of both undergraduate and graduate music students,” Loeffert said. “These students perform in the OSU Wind Ensemble as well as the OSU Jazz Ensembles.”

 Some of The Knoblock Project’s accolades include winning the state round of the Music Teachers National Association Competition in November. The Knoblock Project has also advanced to the final round of the North American Saxophone Alliance Saxophone Quartet Competition, becoming the first ensemble from the state of Oklahoma to have ever advanced to this point in the contest. They will represent OSU in the final round of this event in March at the University of Illinois.

The Knoblock Project is the featured entertainment at the Meet Me in Rio “Saxophones and Samba” Musicale in the ranch home of Patty and Steve Armbruster. Patty, along with other musicale hostesses, shared recipes that will get their parties started.

“Candied bacon may sound wrong, but it’s oh so right!” said Jeri Seefeldt who is hosting the My Funny Valentine “For the Love of Music” Musicale with opera and Broadway love songs. Her co-host, Dixie Ehrlich, said all you need to make this easy recipe is to coat bacon with a sugar and spice mixture and bake it until it’s crispy. The resulting treat is simultaneously chewy and crunchy, sweet and salty — and completely addicting.



One pound sliced bacon

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

Sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil, then place an oven-safe wire rack on top of the pan. Spray the rack liberally with nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl, combine the brown sugar and coarsely ground black pepper.  Toss them together until well-distributed.

Take a strip of bacon and press it into the sugar mixture, then turn it over and coat the other side with sugar. Place it on the wire rack, then repeat until all of the slices of bacon are covered with sugar on both sides.

If you have any remaining sugar, sprinkle it over the top of the bacon.

Bake the bacon in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. When it is done, it will be firm and crispy and dark along the edges.

Soon after you take it out of the oven, use a spatula to lift the bacon off the rack. (Sometimes the sugar and fat cause the bacon to stick and, if it’s not removed when it is still warm, it’s difficult to get off of the rack.)

Let the bacon cool completely and then enjoy! Candied bacon can be eaten on its own, crumbled to use as a salad topping or incorporated into your own creative imagination.

Any treats can be washed down with  Brazilian Lemonade. Meet Me in Rio ‘Saxophones and Samba” co-host Barbara Dunn said this recipe is “very refreshing and unusual, calling for limes instead of lemonade.”


Serves four to six depending on the size of the glass


2 limes

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

3 cups water



Wash limes thoroughly. Cut off the ends and slice into eight wedges.   Place limes in a blender with the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, water, and ice. Blend, pulsing five times. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove rind pieces. Serve over ice.

Jan McSwain, a co-host for the Stringing You Along “Bring on the Bach” Musicale has adapted a traditional chicken salad recipe with some modern twists — perfect for listening to the classic and contemporary music of Meredith Blecha-Wells and her cello studio students in the home of Martha and Roger McMillian.



4 cups grilled chicken breasts

3/4 pound red grapes

1-1/2 cups pecans chopped

1-1/2 cups celery chopped

1 cup chopped onion

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon curry powder

1-1/2 cups mayonnaise (Add only enough to hold ingredients together.)


Cube chicken and place in a large bowl. Add grapes, pecans, celery and onion. In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, soy sauce, curry powder. Let this mixture stand for one hour, then combine with the chicken mixture. Salad should be well chilled before serving. The chicken salad can be used for sandwiches or served in papaya, cantaloupe or avocado.

Fashion consultant Lynda Hillier created an empanada recipe with Barbara Dunn to complement the jazzy sound of The Knoblock Project.



Pie crust dough for 24 three inch circles or prepared pizza dough

2 pounds ground sirloin with or without ground pork

1 medium to large onion finely diced

1 cup raisins

1 red or green pepper finely chopped

2 tablespoons cumin

Salt and pepper to taste


Brown meat and onion. Drain to dry.

Add finely chopped vegetables and seasonings and cook until tender. Add raisins.

Refrigerate overnight for seasonings to seep through.

The next day, roll out dough and cut into three inch circles. Fill with two tablespoons of filling, fold over and press with fork. Bake until brown.


The Armbrusters plan to sweeten the afternoon with Brigadeiros,  Brazilian candies, and Brazilian Coffee Cookies, ginger snap-type sweets with a coffee flavor.



1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon butter or margarine (with extra butter or margarine needed for shaping)

6-10 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles

25 small aluminum foil or paper cups, for serving



In a two quart saucepan, mix together the sweetened condensed milk, the cocoa powder and the butter. Cook over medium heat for seven to eight minutes, stirring constantly until the candy forms a ball and the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.

Cool to room temperature.

With buttered hands, shape the candy into one inch balls. Roll each ball in chocolate sprinkles to cover and place in a paper or foil candy cup.

Place in a container, cover and refrigerate to chill before serving.   Refrigerate any leftover candies.


  Makes three dozen



1/3 cup shortening

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons instant coffee powder



Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, egg, vanilla and milk until fluffy.

Stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and instant coffee. Add to sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.

Shape dough in one inch balls. (If dough is too soft, chill for awhile.)   Place balls two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten to 1/8 inch thickness with a fork or glass dipped in sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for eight to ten minutes until lightly browned.



WHAT: OSU Friends of Music Musicales Feb. 16 and Feb. 23

DETAILS: Two afternoon and two evening music performances by OSU students and faculty with food in beautiful private homes. Three events are offered at $50 per person. The premiere event ticket is $100 per person.

CONTACT: Reservations are required and must be made in person at the OSU Music Department office, 132 Seretean Center for the Performing Arts. The deadline is Monday.