Saturday, May 27, 2017

Golden Beet Feta Tarragon Tart in a Whole Wheat Crust


This started out as a radish torte recipe that I found in a magazine but I could not find the radish variety I wanted to use for the tart (watermelon). Then I saw these gawgeous golden beets in the market and made up my own recipe.


The original recipe called for store bought pie crust. I made my own whole wheat version. I added feta and tarragon to the egg-based filling. 


Before placing the beets in the tart shell I painted the slices with olive oil and roasted them to bring out their flavor. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Red, White & Blue Hummus for Your Next Holiday Barbecue


Since I am back from Israel I have had hummus on the brain. There was a LOT of hummus consumption on that trip as well as a hummus making class in Jerusalem. 


One of the ah-ha moments I had in that class I took was the practice of thinning out the hummus with water. I always add more oil. The water gives the hummus a much better consistency. Sounds simple but I never got it until now. I love learning new things. The simple ones make me happiest.



Regular visitors here know I love to do terrible, well, some would say, delicious things to hummus. Only terrible if you are a stickler for the traditional variety. I add all sorts of herbs, veggies, and flavors. I've made nutty hummus and squashy hummus. I've carroted, olived, herbed and caramelized it. 


Don't judge. If you are a hummus purist or have an aversion to blue foods click away now. Don't say I didn't warn you. 



We throw a lot of parties at our Pennsylvania house. Many times I have wonderful foodie and food blogger friends join me in the kitchen and we cook up a storm. They contribute all sorts of creative and delectable dishes. 


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kleckskuchen - Cherry Poppy Seed Streusel Cake


I am not going to lie. This cake is a production. There are 5 different elements to create to pull this thing together. However,  it's a cake with benefits. 


Not those benefits. Get your minds out of the gutter.

This dessert's benefits include: 1) It feeds a crowd 2) its unusual beauty  3) streusel 4) of course, it's delicious. 5) Did I mention streusel?


The best benefit of all is, you can say you made a "blob" cake.  The cake is called a Kleckskuchen in German which translates to something like "blob cake" which makes me giggle like a hyena. Say it with me, "Blob Cake. Blob Cake. Blob. Cake."




Kleckskuchen is a specialty of Oberlausitz or the Upper Lusatia region of Germany and Poland which dates back to the 1400s. Like most German desserts, it is comparatively low in sugar than it's American counterparts but does not sacrifice flavor. 




The recipe consists of a yeasted cake base and the four separate topping elements added on top of the cake base in blobs on to create the patchwork effect. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Nazareth: A Whirlwind of Delicious Foods and Warm Hospitality


Nazareth is many things. A city packed with historical and religious significance, a place where unique unifying efforts are being made between religions and cultures and a great foodie destination.




Located in the lower Galilee region of Israel and best known for its historical sites such as Mary's Well and Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth has been traditionally a day destination for many travelers. 




A mistake, in my opinion. There is so much more to this fascinating city aside from the checklist Jesus and Mary sites. The arts and food scenes are thriving. The people are wonderful and friendly. Nazareth is worth a few days stay.  


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Berry Blitz Torte: King Arthur Flour's Bakelaong May Challenge


This month's berry bakealong was a delicious combination of cake, meringue, berries and custard, all packed into one delicious torte.



When I first scanned the recipe. I thought, "Whoa. This is going to be a whole day affair. " Not so. The layers come together quickly. Make the custard ahead of time to make it all go much quicker.




Monday, May 15, 2017

Nettle Spätzle Gouda Nests


For most of you, this recipe is probably one of the most unusual you've seen in a while. Basically, it's homemade späztle and cheese folded into homemade bread dough, shaped into nests, brushed with sour cream, pan fried and then baked.


This recipe is something special and especially delicious, sort of a comfort food to ward off the spring chill that's in the air here on the east coast of the USA. 

You can use prepackaged unflavored spätzle and store bought bread dough to make these. However, I wanted to try out a new flavor for spätzle, it had to be nettle. I have been trying to work nettles into a dish for a while. If you want to switch out the cheese for another type, feel free. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Asparagus with Creamy Ramp Goat Cheese Sauce


Here's a lovely way to celebrate spring and Mother's day at the same time in one dish. Just cooked bright emerald asparagus dousing in a creamy goat cheese ramp sauce. A perfect addition to your Mother's Day brunch table.


The ramps and fried in oil with shallots. Add the cream and the goat cheese, season and let the sauce thicken. While that is happening boil the asparagus for 5 minutes. You're done. I love easy dishes with complicated flavors. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Carrot Chervil Cream Cheese Tart


Chervil is abundant in most markets in Germany. However, I have a heck of a time finding chervil in the USA. What's the big deal? it's just fancy parsley, right? I've heard some other food bloggers complain about this as well. First world problem.


Instead of running from store to store in a frantic search, I decided to grow my own. I picked up a pot of chervil at my local farmer's market, plucking the leaves off to made this tart before I planted the rest in my garden.


If your store or market does not have chervil, make it easy on yourself and substitute curly parsley if you can't get your hands on what is basically French parsley. 


Monday, May 8, 2017

Strawberries & Cream MOM Almond Pastries


This easy peasy dessert is basically a riff on strawberry shortcake. Instead of a shortcake base, I used puff pastry. I made these for my husband's birthday a few weeks ago. I was a bit wary of serving something so simple but they were a hit with guests. 


In addition to a birthday brunch dessert, they make a great idea for Mother's Day. For my husband's gathering, I made heart shapes. I took it a bit further this time customizing the pastry with large cutters to spell out MOM. 


Friday, May 5, 2017

Fresh Spearmint Frozen Margaritas


It's Cinco de Mayo, a serious holiday celebrating Mexican military victory over the French. For many of us non-Mexicans (I'm looking at you Americans), it's become an excuse to chug solidarity margaritas. I am here today to perpetuate that stereotype with these minty margaritas. 




Many people are squeamish about spearmint flavor foods believing they taste like toothpaste. That may be true for some. I happen to love spearmint flavor. A big fan of spearmint lifesavers and spearmint leaves gummy candies since childhood.




In the past, I have experimented with sexy spearmint flavor in several incarnations. Vanilla Spearmint French Macarons, Spearmint Chocolate Truffles, and even Spearmint Fudge Ripple Ice Cream were all results of my spearmint recipe adventures.