Monday, October 16, 2017

Sage Sunflower Seed Knoedel Stuffed Red Squash

I used to be intimidated by stuffing and baking whole pumpkins or squash. I over worried about so many things. Would everything cook evenly? Would the skin be too tough to eat? 

I now sound ridiculous to myself after making this recipe. It was so easy and too much less work than I thought it would be. 

However, beware the knoedel does have to sit for an hour after mixing it. I cheated and saved a step. The cheat is instead of reducing day-old bread into crumbs, I used bread crumbs right out of the can. So sue me. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Cranberry Currant Rugelach - King Arthur Flour's October Bakealong Recipe

King Arthur Flour has done it again with this deliciously perfect rugelach recipe for this month's Bakealong challenge.

This Jewish pastry of Ashkenazic origin is a popular item in many bakeries across the USA. The name, roughly translated from Yiddish, means "little twists". Rugelach was definitely a staple in our house when I was growing up. 

The smooth sweet sour cream dough perfectly complements the cranberry nutty filling. King Arthur Flour suggests dried cranberries, currants or raisins for the fruit ingredients. I used a combination of dried cranberries and currants because I had leftover dried currants from making Bavarian Apple Fritters for Oktoberfest and because I am a baking rebel.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rutabaga Pumpkin Cream Soup with Bacon

Rutabaga or Swedish turnip is a root vegetable worthy of some love in Fall inspired dishes. Milder in taste than the garden variety turnip, It's hearty texture and slightly bitter flavor add interesting tang and heft to soups. 

This rutabaga, pumpkin soup recipe is powered by thick cut bacon, shallots and a hint of spicy nutmeg. All bring a ton of flavor to this beautiful creamy Fall dish. I love the flexibility of this dish. 

The soup is easy and unfussy enough to make for any fall or winter meal, but could also be a special addition to a Thanksgiving feast.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Star Anise Duck Fat Apple Pie

What to do with leftover duck fat in the fridge? Make a pie of course! Well, that's probably not everyone's first thought but I had some and wanted to clear it out. It almost made its way into duck fat french fries but I came up with this idea instead.  

I ended up making this pie twice. After a very smooth process of making the first one, this happened when I removed it from the oven. Butterfingers. Ugh. 

I was not deterred, even though the pie was not longer camera ready. I was going to photograph this pie so I could post it.  The broken one was given to a neighbor in crumbled form to eat with vanilla ice cream. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Butternut Squash Sauerkraut Quinoa Cabbage Rolls

When fall rolls around I like to roast a big batch of butternut squash and make soup out of it using the herbs from my garden. I've made a few other dishes with butternut squash (see the bottom of this post) but usually, I get lazy about doing anything else with it. 

Feeling motivated by the beautiful fall weather, a new butternut squash recipe was at the top of my list for this month. 

This recipe tastes great with butternut squash but you can use other squash varieties including acorn. Pumpkin would also work well. 

The result is a delicious über healthy fall roulade. Red cabbage, sauerkraut, and quinoa are the superfood heavy lifters here. Together they offer a large dose of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Baked Pears with Walnuts & Blue Cheese

It's almost criminal how easy this elegant and flavorful appetizer is to make. In under 30 minutes, you can seriously impress your guests saving yourself a huge amount of time in the kitchen. 

The pears are pre-baked for 5 minutes, then stuffed and baked for 10 minutes more and done-zo. 

Use the ripest ones you can find for the most flavor and the softest texture. The riper they are, the better the contract between their sweetness and the sharp flavor of the blue cheese. The walnuts stand in the middle, providing a mellow and smooth nutty bridge.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Homemade Fig Cinnamon Liqueur

Homemade liqueur makes a beautiful host or hostess gift and a lovely aperitif or after dinner drink for your own guests. The fig and cinnamon flavors in this version are perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's Eve/Day celebrations.

Serve this sweet fall flavored drink with an appetizer cheese platter or as a shot a shot with coffee after dinner. 

The recipe takes 10 minutes to throw together but beware the mixture has to stand for 8 days. You need to shake the mixture occasionally to help dissolve the rock sugar. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Bavarian Apple Fritters (ApfelKrapfen)

Here is something sweet for my last Oktoberfest inspired recipe in this year's series. Even though apple fritters or ApfelKrapfen are much less sweet than their American counterparts, they are still delicious.

Rolled in cinnamon sugar instead of dripping with sugary sweet glaze, these popular German pastries containing chopped candied orange peel, dried currants, and raisins can be found a street festivals and holiday all year round in Germany. 

I used a mix of golden and dark varieties but whatever you have on hand will do. If dried currants are too hard to find, double down on those raisins.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Stuffed Sweet Onions in Beer Sauce for Oktoberfest

Welcome back to my series of Oktoberfest recipes this fall. Over the past week, I've posted beautiful Bavarian inspired recipes to celebrate fall.  

Just to recap,  those recipes are Fried Obatzda, Bavarian Kraut and Chicken Pretzel Schnitzel.

This fourth addition is another delicious main dish flavored with beer. 

These large sweet onions are stuffed with seasoned ground beef, chopped cherry tomatoes and Swiss cheese then baked in a dark beer sauce. Hearty, flavorful and low in carbs. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Chicken Pretzel Schnitzel for Oktoberfest

In my third out of five Oktoberfest inspired posts, I'm deviating geographically  southeast of Bavaria to Austria. 

I've already covered an appetizer of Fried Obatzda and a side dish Bavarian Kraut. Here is the first main dish of the series. 

I'm giving schnitzel the pretzel treatment and marrying Austrian and Bavarian flavors in one dish.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bavarian Sauerkraut for Oktoberfest

I've had a few visitors here request a recipe for Bavarian style sauerkraut. I saved this recipe to be part of my Oktoberfest Recipes 2017 series. I'm posting five recipes inspired by Oktoberfest.

This recipe is the second in the series. The first was Fried Obatzda, a twist on a Bavarian cheese spread appetizer. 

This Bavarian kraut is a bit of a cheat. I did not ferment the cabbage, I used store bought sauerkraut as a base. 

A cheat, yes, but the honest news is it makes the recipe come together in a minute. Well, maybe not a minute but in a much shorter amount of time, under an hour as opposed to 4 weeks. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fried Obatzda Oktoberfest Appetizer

The next five post on this here blog will be a series of Oktoberfest inspired recipes. 

Last minute circumstances prevented me from attending the Wies'n this year so I decided to throw my own Oktoberfest on my blog.


The first dish in my Oktoberfest Recipes 2017 series of recipes is an appetizer. I'm offering up a fried twist on Obadza.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread - King Arthur Flour's September Bakealong Recipe

Twist bread reminds me of the baked goods of my childhood. Every week, my grandmother would buy sweet glazed braided loaves filled with sweet apple and nuts from the local Jewish bakery.

These bakery beautiful and sweet seasonal apple cinnamon bread loaves from this month's King Arthur Flour's Bakelaong are perfect for your weekend brunch. Keep one and give the other as a gift. Hopefully, to someone deserving of this deliciousness. 

This classic, beautiful recipe, perfect for those just picked apples or if you are just feeling in a Fall baking mood. I love fall baking moods. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Herbed Potato Horseradish Crusted Turkey Breast Over Zucchini Noodles

These roasted turkey breasts are covered with an herbed potato mash that is spiked with horseradish. For the herb combinations, I used fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley. Use whatever fresh herbs you still have left in your garden or have on hand.

To balance the carbs in the potato crust, I paired this recipe with zucchini noodles. The yellow variety adds beautiful color. Using both yellow and green zucchini for the noodles would be even lovelier.

If you do not have a spiralizer, mandoline slicer or similar machine to make the zucchini noodles, use an ordinary vegetable peeler. The spiralizer cuts a good 10-15 minutes off the prep time.

This dish is a wonderful, colorful combination of flavor and color. A great fall menu option.The zoodles lighten up the dish and the potato crust adds just enough to satisfy a carb craving.  

Boneless chicken breasts would work just as well in this recipe. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Buttermilk Oatmeal Whole Wheat Bread

There always seems to be a few cups of pesky leftover buttermilk in my fridge. I buy it for one recipe then it sits. Me = racing time to come up with another way to use it before it spoils.

I usually collect buttermilk recipe ideas just for this purpose. So I was pretty smug when the half carton was peeping out at me from the fridge and I knew just what to do with it. 

This lumpy but loveable loaf of bread is dense and sour in a good way. The oatmeal adds more heft to the recipe. I will tell you, a little piece goes a long way. 

Just be aware this bread takes a significant amount of time to make. It has a one and a half hour rise time and takes an hour to bake. Everyone's oven is different so I recommend checking the bread at the 45-minute mark. Tap on the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow, it's done. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Chocolate Chip Toasted Walnut Spelt Cookies

Today is always a tough day, especially if you are a New Yorker. Every year tears spill over as I listen to the heart wrenching live reading of the names of the people who died on September 11, 2001. 

This past week before, twin beams of light illuminate the night sky marking the place where the world famous twin towers once stood. An unavoidable reminder of what happened that day.

Doing my best to shake off the undercurrent of sadness permeating the city today. Chocolate chip cookies are comfort food in my book so in the spirit of solace, I am posting this version today. 

In full disclosure, these were supposed to be chocolate-chocolate chip cookies. I wanted to double down on the chocolate for obvious reasons. I was so distracted (lots happening at home lately) I didn't realize I forgot to put the cocoa powder in until I started photographing them. Distracted much?