Thursday, September 30, 2010

Plum Cocktails & September's LOL Food Blogger Posts

After Oktoberfest, I was over drinking Radler. So, to celebrate the last of the season’s plums I made cocktails!


Plum Martini

1 Shot Vanilla Stoli (preferable from the freezer)
2 tablespoons of plum syrup*
Ice

Shake all ingredients together with ice.
Pour into a martini glass.
Garnish with sliced plum


Plum Margarita

1 Shot tequila
1 splash triple sec or orange liquor
2 tablespoons plum syrup*
Ice

Blend all ingredients together in a blender.

 Pour in a margarita glass.

Garnish with sliced plum or mint.

Enjoy!

*Plum Syrup

4 cups of sliced Plums
1 cup sugar

Puree plums in a blender.
Push puree through a sieve to extract the juice.
Discard plum pulp or save for another recipe.
In a small saucepan bring sugar and plum juice to a boil.
Turn seat down and simmer until the mixture has the consistency of syrup-
Let cool and pour into a clean jar, seal and  refrigerate.

Here are the posts that made me laugh out loud this month…

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dirndl and Lederhosen Octoberfest Cookies


One of the fun parts of Oktoberfest is shopping for and dressing up in trachten or traditional costume, (dirndl and lederhosen.) As I said in a previous post, getting the right clothing is crucial for enjoying the Oktoberfest. It doesn't hurt that a good Bavarian bride has "Hoiz vor da hüttn ham" which is Bavarian for "wood before the house"...meaning a generous bustline. Of that I have plenty, naturally.


However, they do look fake in this picture with Margaux.


People watching at the Wies'n is fun but I like dirndl watching, loving the style and personal flair each woman brings to wearing her dirndl. 


Dancing on the table with Virginia
The boots make the dirndl at a gay Oktoberfest event
Pink and Blue with Erin

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Radler Flavored Pretzel Cookies for Oktoberfest


Oans, Zwoa, Drei, G'suffah...goes the Bavarian chant after you sing "Ein Prosit"with your maß (liter sized beer mug) in the air.  Then you clink it with everyone at the table making sure to look each person in the eye as you do or you will be the unlucky recipient of bad sex for the next seven years. Unless of course you have had too many maß and you can't see much anymore.

This year is the 200th Oktoberfest in Munich Germany. It is my 11th. Those first few years of living in Munich, I resisted the entire experience. I was a serious NYC/LA snob and thought the entire festival was filled with drunk idiots. However, once I caved in, bought my first dirndl and learned the songs, I look forward to it every year. So call me a drunk idiot too.


Oh and one more thing. I hate beer. I know, that's got to be come sort of cosmic joke for someone who has lived in Germany all these years. But I do. hate. beer.

Because I have no love for a Helles or a Weissbier, I always drink a Radler which is half beer and half lemon drink. I know, a disgusting idea for you beer aficionados. And even after 11 years, I'm still only a two maß girl.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Plum Custard filled Eclairs With White Chocolate Glaze


Continuing on the plum theme, I was inspired when I saw this recipe at Tish Boyle.


I used her recipe for the choux pastry, which is excellent btw, and switched up the flavors for the rest.


Because of our plum bounty I thought a creamy plum filling would be interesting to try. I had previously made plum sauce by pureeing 2 cups of plums in a food proceesor and then simmered them, adding about half a cup of sugar.  


I followed this recipe for Empress Plum Custard except instead of adding the plums, I substituted the puree and an extra half cup of sugar.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

German Plum Tart - FLA la la la la


This tart has many names depending where in Germany you live. Pflaumenkuchen in some places. In Bavaria it's called zwetschgendatschi.Here in our corner of Nordrein Westphalia, it's called Pflaumenfladen and in our region it's just shortened to "Fla."


We have three gorgeous plum trees on our property. The Mirabelles are over now but we still have these little late summer purple prune plums, or zwetschgen aplenty. So this will be the first of a few plum-centric posts until the end of the month.





My mother in law, Fine was making several of these tarts so I got all up in her baking business to "help". Of course, she really doesn't need my help. She has been making this treat for the last 60 odd years. I was just using "helping" as an excuse to learn from the master plum tart maker in the family.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Red Gooseberry Cream Almond Torte

Fine, my mother in law made this torte for a family celebration in June and I just about fell on the floor when I tasted it. It was that good.

I begged for the recipe because I just had to make this torte. Stat. Unfortunately, the gooseberry season here in Germany is in late July. Fine used fresh ones she had frozen. Well tough luck for me because I was leaving the following week for the States and would not be back until September.



When I returned to Germany last week, Fine greeted me with a surprise. While I was away over the summer, she bought me a box of these beauties and froze them so I could make the torte upon my return. How thoughtful. I was so touched she remembered.



Apologies for posting a recipe made with out of season berries but if you are in a place where you can still get red gooseberries - Make. This. Now.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ballerina Dreams Macarons with Standing Ovation Rose Buttercream - A Mactweets Challenge


This month's Mactweet's Challenge was Long Ago and Far Away.  Jamie and Deeba tasked us with creating a macaron inspired by a favorite childhood summer memory.


I grew up by the beach in a city located on a sandbar outside of NYC but my childhood summers were spent in the Berkshire mountains in Lenox, MA.

While other kids were working summer jobs, horseback riding and swimming at the lake, the summers of my youth were spent in a leotard and tights stretching and sweating and losing myself in the music.

So proud of my 70's "wings" hairstyle, I would wait until the last minute to gather it all up into a ballet bun.

With exception of the summer I worked as an Assistant Baker at Alice's Restaurant, I was in ballet camp or taking classes all day with a local ballet company for the entire summer.

I would stretch and practice BEFORE going to dance classes all day. Obsessed much?    

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Burnt Honey Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich Bears


When I saw this incredible recipe for burnt honey ice cream from So Many Recipes..., I knew I had to make it.  I just added the chocolate chips because I'm over the top like that..


It was severely hot out when I made this ice cream so while it was hardening in the freezer, I had some time on my hands.

Time and baking ingredients.

Not good.

Back to the over the top issue I have...I couldn't just stop at making the ice cream.

Using this recipe for the Best Ever Chocolate Cutout Cookies, I decided to make ice cream sandwiches.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Kumquat White Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies


This was the last thing I was able to make out of my friend Trudi's orchard in Temecula, CA before I had to fly on to NYC.

Boo hoo.

Like I said previously, I could have baked out of her orchard every day for a week. I had just finished the Vanilla Cupcakes filled with Pink Grapefruit Curd and Topped with Pomelo Buttercream and was gazing off the kitchen balcony when I spotted the kumquat tree.


Trudi's husband George suggested I bake something with them, since they were falling off the tree at a rate no one could keep up with. As I scrambled outside to pick some trailed by two of Trudi's little ones who wanted to "help", a vision of a kumquat cookie danced in my head.


Even though they were scrumptious, After tasting one of these little orange beauties, I felt they needed something sweet to further balance out the tartness. So white chocolate chips it was.