Friday, March 31, 2017

Marzipan Peanuts - April Fools!

I admit I'm milking this marzipan food thing for April Fools. Last year I made Marzipan potatoes and posted a video I made with Debbie Mitchell to show how easy they are to make. 

A few months later I came across some Marzipan peanuts in a market in Germany and filed the idea away in my head.  

Admittedly, these did not turn out to be the marzipan peanuts of my dreams in the looks department but I thought they were darned cute and definitely post worthy.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Easter Egg Spring Vegetable & Curry Appetizer Spreads

This appetizer creation is more of an idea than a recipe. However,  if you don't want to create your own, I've posted three versions below to follow. You can use one recipe to make three egg-shaped spreads (just triple the ingredients) or make one giant egg-shaped serving. Up to you. 

This Easter appetizer is a great way to get creative with all the leftover bits and bobs in your fridge and cabinets. If you dig deep in your pantry, I'm sure you can collect not only leftovers in small amounts but a jar or bag of something you bought but never used. Something that once seemed like a good idea to purchase at the time. Sound familiar?

Use combinations of fresh or frozen veggies, dried fruits, meats and spices. A good way to plan out your custom version is to lay ingredients out on the counter and keep rearranging them to see what might taste good together. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Pork Chops Smothered in Pineapple Sauerkraut

Ananas or Pineapple flavored sauerkraut is extremely popular in Germany. Most Americans have never heard of it. I'm sad for them. 

I added carrots for color and additional flavor. I know my last post was carrot-centric but we're ramping up for Easter posts and I've got bunnies and carrots and holiday recipes all flying around in my head. Leave the carrots out if they offend you. 

The chops are seared separately and then combined with the kraut mixture.  and theI believe this recipe works best with pork chops but you can try substituting lamb or chicken if you wish. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Carrot Hazelnut Cake with Black Tea Cream Cheese Frosting

Let's pre-game our Easter menu, shall we? Those of you who have been stressing and sweating it out in the kitchen right up until the big meal, raise your hand. We all know from experience, it's never too early to start planning any holiday menu. 

This carrot cake has it all hazelnuts, cream cheese and a spike of black tea flavor. Additionally, because I revamped it from a German recipe, it's not too sweet. 

You can make this cake in a brownie pan and frost it as a rectangle. I cut it in half lengthwise and stacked it into a two layer deal. It's an unusual shape but it makes for a little zshuz for your Easter table in addition to being a space saver on a dessert table. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Creamy Potato Spring Vegetable Soup with Sunflower Seed Pesto Croutons

If you like to cook with fresh seasonal ingredients, the early months of spring can be a bit frustrating. Scouring the markets usually only turn up the last of winter's root vegetables.

This in between seasons soup uses a potato cream base that's hearty and adds early spring vegetables, lie asparagus and cauliflower to brighten up the flavor. 

For a little extra sunshine, I made sunflower pesto out of sunflower seeds, extra virgin olive oil and fresh parsley and baked it onto cubed multigrain bread for croutons.

You can lighten the soup's calories up by substituting any version of milk you prefer or  Half and Half for the heavy cream. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Plated Stories Food Photography & Writing Workshop Chinon, France

Once again, I proved to myself, some of the best experiences I've had both professionally and personally are the result of going on impulse. Score another point for Last Minute Lora.

It went down like this: I was home in Germany for several weeks and had just returned from a houseboat trip to the Mecklenburg Lake District with my family. I was planning to return to NYC a few days later and suddenly the TV show I was Executive producing was put on an extended hiatus.

That day, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I came upon Jamie Schler's post about having one space left in this workshop. Before I even realized what I was doing I had spontaneously emailed her to see if the slot was still open. 

It was.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Four Leaf Clover Butterflake Herb Rolls - March's King Arthur Flour Bakealong

The people at King Arthur Flour posted another winner recipe for this month's bakealong.  

The basic recipe is for a pull apart bread loaf which looks perfect. However, those clever folks added several variations including a clover shaped roll version which I turned into a lucky four leaf clover version in honor of St. Patrick's Day. 

There is a significant rise time for this recipe, almost tow hours in total. However, all the other steps are very easy and the result is a juicy bread bursting with different flavors. 

Basically, you made a bread and then season butter with a combination of fresh and fried herb, garlic and seeds. This part you can be the master of by substituting your favorite ingredient combination or take as a good excuse to use up what you have laying around or in your fridge. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Orange Oregano Chicken with Bratwurst

I saw a version of this in a German cooking magazine, I tweaked it a bit and added the bratwurst. The original recipe used chorizo. 

I put the German back in the dish by adding bratwurst. It's also what I had in the freezer. 

This is one of those dishes cooked on a large deep baking sheet that goes on the table right from the oven and looks beautiful. With all these big flavors going on, there's something here for everyone at your table. I added some sprigs of fresh oregano for garnish. 

The recipe calls for the chicken and wurst to be cooked on a bed of potatoes so no need to add a side dish.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Pear Almond Brownies

Pear is one of my favorite flavors. I love it in all forms, fresh, jelly, cooked, poached or baked. I even love the scent in cosmetic form, perfume, soaps, etc. Ima pear girl.

This combination of pear and brownie is divine. The brownies are fudgy and the pears are crisp and sweet. The batter uses half all purpose and half almond flour for a nutty flavor bump.

The best part is how guilt factor of this dessert is dialed down because, your know, fresh fruit. lol. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Hibiscus Sloe Gin Fizz for Rock the Red Pump Day

It's that time of the year to Rock the Red pump to bring awareness to Women, Girls and HIV.  The Red Pump Project is committed to educating women about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and decreasing the stigma around this disease. The organization wants women of all ages to be empowered with information that could potentially save their lives

Every March, The Red Pump Project asks women across the country to participate in their Rock the Red Pump® (#RocktheRedPump) campaign in recognition of National Women and Girls’ HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD). The mission of the campaign is to start conversations and to motivate social media-savvy women to use their platforms to talk about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, specifically its effect on women and girls.

The Red Pump Project also conducts prevention outreach and educational workshops across the country. Red Pump participates in health fairs, panel discussions and community events focused on improving health outcomes in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, and Washington D.C. You can help out by making a donation.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Sauerkraut Apple Potato Casserole

I've never been much of a casserole person. I mean that on the making one side, as opposed to the eating one.  

Over the past years of food blogging and writing, I've developed a new appreciation for the pedestrian casserole and how one can be the perfect combination of creativity and practicality in one dish.

This is a tasty workhorse version with a German flair that fits any occasion from potlucks to dinner parties to holiday meals. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Ginger Bourbon Almond Cookies

So about that Spring-like weather that was happening here on the East Coast?  Epic fail. Over the weekend I got snowed in in Western Massachusetts. 

Time for a shot.  Of bourbon. In cookie form with a ginger almond chaser. 

These flourless sweet and spicy cookies are chewy and flavorful, and a bit addictive. I used almond flour instead of all-purpose and chopped up some leftover crystallized ginger.

Adding the Four Roses bourbon was just a cold weather inspired extra flavor boost. Use amaretto if you want to keep going with the almond theme or leave the booze out entirely.

The best part is, they take only a half hour to prepare and bake. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Two Must See Prussian Castles in the Mecklenburg Lakeland, Germany

This is the last installment of three posts covering our houseboat trip through the Mecklenburg Lakeland in former East Germany. A destination rich in history, nature and culture, the area features 75 miles of interconnected lakes, canals and waterways. 

My husband and I spent a week onboard the Potsdam with our German extended family cruising this beautiful and interesting destination. 

As I detailed in my previous posts, there is so much to do and cover in this area, one could spend months discovering it.