Monday, January 25, 2016

Chocolate Red Wine Gugelhupf


Snow on the East Coast be damned, we are screaming our way toward Valentine's Day.  So I will cut to the chase and offer up my first Valentine's Day dessert. 




A gugelhupf is essentially a bundt cake and can be savory or sweet in variety. This one contains lots of chocolate, red wine, chocolate chips and a chocolate glaze. spike with red wine.


It's rich and dense and full of semi-sweet chocolate goodness. Of course, this cake is also perfect for the Christmas holidays or for any special occasion. It's all on how you dress it up.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Winter Vegetable and Cheese Strudel


I used to think winter was a wasteland when it came to vegetables. Then I learned about parsnips and leeks, savoy cabbage and rutabaga, among others. 

This lovely strudel is a fantastic way to showcase delicious winter vegetables. The vegetables are sautéed with shallots and fresh garlic and then rolled in a puff pastry crust and baked to crispy golden goodness.


This recipe contains savoy cabbage, parsnips, rutabaga, celery root and carrots for color, I admit. Mix up the vegetable combinations to suit your palate or the season.  This recipe is also a great fridge cleaner . Throw in all the leftover bits and bobs in your vegetable crisper to create a kitchen sink version.


All the vegetables in this recipe are shredded, except the leeks which I cut into thin rings. I used the grater attachment on my food processor to do the work which significantly cut down the prep time. If you are grating everything by hand, add a half hour to the prep time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pear Camembert Sage Tart


Pssst. I have a secret to tell.  We'll not exactly a secret. More like a confession. My January recipe posts for about.com were designed to get rid of all the extra cheese I bought for my New Year' Eve fondue dinner which was tons of fun, btw. 


The plan was to serve the three traditional fondues, cheese with cut up baguettes, marinated meat pieces cooked in hot oil with homemade sauces and instead of a chocolate fondue, my friend Jackie Gordon lent me her small chocolate fountain. We never got to the fountain because people were so stuffed from the meal, they just grazed the platter of German, Swiss and Belgium chocolates I had just brought back from a trip home to Europe.


I served sides of cinnamon rosemary potatoes with garlic and fresh broccoli roasted in tahini sauce.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Roasted Garlic Elephant's Foot Potato Bread


I saw a version of this recipe in one of my German cooking magazines and immediately fell in love with the idea of  an elephant's foot shaped bread.


My version amps up the flavor with whole wheat wheat flour and deliciously fragrant roasted garlic.

The bread takes quite a bit of time to make, including several rise times as well as cooking and grating the potatoes and roasting the garlic. Consequently, it takes some planning from baking to serving. However, the flavor result is worth the effort.


You can shape the bread any way you like. I couldn't resist the elephant's foot version. I think it adds a bit of fun to any dining table.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Eating the Berkshires Round 3: A Mediterranean Bistro, The Apple Barn and The Freight Yard Pub


There was another whirlwind visit to the Berkshires in June. Links to my first two rounds are at the bottom of this post. However, I managed to squeeze in some visits to worthwhile restaurants and a big Vermont barn full of wonderful goodies and treats.



Our first stop was the Pera Bistro situated on the main drag in Williamstown.  There are several reports on Yelp about a rude, abusive owner of this place. We did not have that experience. The owner was not around to our knowledge and our waiter was delightful. The food was wonderful, if a bit pricey.



Pera is the old name for Beyoglu, a district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.  The food here is meant to have both Turkish and European influence.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Caramels topped with Prosecco Salt for New Year's


Happy New Year!  

These soft caramels, sprinkled with homemade prosecco salt, make a festive twist on traditional homemade caramels for your New Year's celebration, a nice addition to any New Year's Day Brunch Table. They also make a great hostess gift.  There's still time to make them today if you have caught this post early enough.


A few years ago I saw a fantastic post on Well Preserved on how to make wine salt with leftover holiday wine. I immediately wanted to try it with champagne or prosecco. It took awhile for me to get here but finally the time was right.