Saturday, November 24, 2012

My blog moved!

Apparently, Blogger is limited to 1G space, and I ran out of I moved. You can find my new blog here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Spinach bread and butter casserole

16 oz fresh leaf spinach
1 day-old ciabatta loaf, thinly sliced
4 tbsp softened butter or olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 oz mushroom, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and ground black pepper
4 oz Gruyere or Gouda cheese, grated
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups milk
fresh nutmeg, grated

Rinse the spinach well and blanch it in the tiniest amount of water for 2 minutes. Drain well, pressing out any excess water, and chop. Spread the bread slices thinly with the butter. Grease a large shallow ovenproof dish (9 x 13 in) and line the base and sides with bread.

Fry the onion, mushroom and thyme in the oil for about 5 minutes then add the cumin seeds and spinach. Season well. Layer the spinach mixture with the remaining bread and half the cheese. For the top, mix everything together and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Beat the eggs with the milk, adding seasoning and nutmeg to taste. Pour slowly over the whole dish and set aside for a good hour or overnight to allow the custard to be absorbed into the bread.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Stand the dish in a roasting pan and pour around some boiling water for a bain marie. Bake for 40-45 minutes until risen, golden brown and crispy on top.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Doggie Sunday

Our Sunday morning started with grabbing coffee and pastries at Panera, then we headed for Cool Creek Park for a morning walk - Freyja really seems to like this park. We didn't see as many squirrels as the last time, but there were still plenty of things to sniff.

In the afternoon, we walked over to Best Friends Pet Care for the doggie meetup:

This is Cooper, the biggest dog of the group. You can't miss it when he gallops across the room:

Meet Chopper, who occasionally rolls over to show his belly:

And Freyja found someone to scratch the base of her tail, which clearly made her very happy:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dark chocolate coconut cookies

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup golden yellow sugar (or brown sugar)
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup shredded sweetened dried coconut
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

1. Using a stand mixer or handheld beaters, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg until incorporated.
3. Add pure vanilla extract extract to combine.
4. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, coconut, cocoa powder and salt to combine.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until combined.
6. Add the chocolate chips until combined.
7. Using a small ice cream scoop or clean hands, dole out 2 inch round balls of batter evenly spaced on baking sheets, a dozen per sheet. Flatten each cookie with fork dipped in warm water if so desired.
8. Bake in oven for 11-14 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is, turning pans halfway through. 9. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets.

Adapted from Poppytalk

Game night with Julie, Teresa, Eric and Mike

A few years ago, we had a game night - dinner, followed by playing board games - with some friends from work. It was a lot of fun, and I've been meaning to do a follow-up since. It finally came together - after some negotiation around everyone's busy schedule, it was set for November 17th. It was pretty much the same group as last time - Julie, Teresa and Eric, but with the addition of Eric's new partner, Mike, and my partner Michael.

I made a set of new place mats from burlap in the afternoon:

Then I set the table for dinner:

The guests arrived at six - I made a large bowl of salad, and three different pizzas, and we started opening bottles of wine:

Dessert was brownies, baked by Julie, with vanilla bean ice cream and rote grutze I made for the first time. After dinner we played games and had a good time, until about 11, when the last of the guests left.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Parsnip and curry apple soup

Jennifer and Will came for dinner a few weekends ago. I made this parsnip soup, salad and Flammkuchen - Michael made his pumpkin  crème brûlée. Michael got a lot of attention from the animals that afternoon while dicing the speck:

and this is what the table setting looked like:

Finally, here is the photo and recipe of the delicious parsnip and curry apple soup, which I am planning to make for the international group's Thanksgiving dinner this year:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 cups chopped peeled parsnip (about 2 pounds)
3 cups chopped peeled Fuji apple (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 teaspoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 garlic cloves
3 cups stock
2 cups water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add parsnip and next 9 ingredients (through garlic); sauté 8 minutes. Add stock, 2 cups water, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until parsnips are tender. Remove from heat; uncover. Let mixture stand 10 minutes.
Blend until smooth with a stick/immersion blender. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hungarian hot sausage and lentil stew

I started this blog originally so that I would have a central place for the recipes I've tried and liked. You see a recipe, you bookmark it, or save it in your collection of Epicurious recipes, and a couple of weeks later you just don't remember where it came from. Then I wanted to improve the pictures that accompany the recipes, and started subscribing to different food blogs. And now, a few years later, I have decided I want to - maybe not every time, just occasionally add a few lines of the memories that go with the recipes. Or, maybe even add blog entries just for things to remember, with recipes...Let's just see where this grows and where it takes me...

The inspiration for this recipe, quite honestly, came from the fact that I had a cookbook someone gave me years ago that I have never made a single recipe from. I was looking through the cookbooks on my bookshelf, and thought it was time this book stopped collecting I flipped through it, and found this recipe - most likely the reason I was given this book...So, I decided to give it a try, with the modification of using soy chorizo sausage from Trader Joe's in place of the original Italian sausage it calls for. And the result was quite tasty, a nice, spicy, heavy winter evening warming soup. We watched a German movie with it Maybe, Maybe Not - a light comedy from the 90's.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lb. Italian sausage, or soy chorizo sausage
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 oz mushroom, diced
1 cups  diced carrots
1 cups lentils
1 large potato, peeled and diced
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons smoked paprika, or 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tsp sweet paprika and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp rosemary or 3 fresh sprigs, tied together
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups broth
4 cups kale or chard, hard stems removed and chopped

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add chopped sausage and brown for 2-3 minutes, then add garlic, onions and mushroom. Cook a few minutes then add carrots, lentils, potatoes, salt, pepper, bay leaf, paprika and rosemary. Add tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until potatoes and lentils are almost done. Add kale or chard, and cook for another minute or two. Remove bay leaves, and if using, fresh rosemary sprigs.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Spiced creamed parsnip soup with sherry

115 g/4 oz/ 1/2 cup butter
2 small or 1 large onion, sliced
1 kg/2 1/4 lb. parsnip peeled and chopped into 1 in cubes
10 ml/2 tsp curry powder
30 ml/2 tbsp medium sherry
1.2 litres/2 pints/ 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
plain yogurt, to serve

Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion and sweat gently without allowing to burn. Add the chopped parsnip, coat with the butter and stir in the curry. Add sherry and cover with a lid. Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the parsnips are softened, making sure they do not color.
Add the stock  and season to taste. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 15 minutes  or until the parsnips are soft. Remove from the heat, pure with a stick/immersion blender. Serve with a swirl of yogurt.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Flammkuchen - Alsatian flatbread with bacon and creme fraiche

3 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup lukewarm water
1 cup creme fraiche
2 medium or one large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
7 oz diced speck (or grated smoked gouda for vegetarian option)

Add first five ingredients (flour through water) in the pan of your bread machine and set on dough setting. When cycle is complete, roll out dough on a well floured surface as thin as possible. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer rolled out dough on a baking stone, spread creme fraiche, and sprinkle with speck or grated cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until done.

Adapted from My Berlin Kitchen

Pear cardamom cake

3/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
grated zest of 1 orange
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 pear, cored and thinly sliced

cinnamon sugar to sprinkle

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan or pie pan.

Pour the sugar into a medium bowl. Add the zest and blend the zest and sugar together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Whisk in the salt and the extracts. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and cardamom. Finally, fold in the melted butter.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Arrange pear slices in a circle with the top in the middle, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden and a little crisp on the outside; the inside will remain moist. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it.
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sourdough whole wheat spelt bread

sourdough starter 1-1/4 cups
water 1/3 cup
butter 1 tablespoon
salt 1 teaspoon
bread flour 1 cup
spelt flour 1 cup
whole wheat flour 1 cup
sugar 1 tablespoon
bread machine yeast 2 teaspoons

Add ingredients in bread machine. Process on dough setting, transfer to buttered pan when cycle completes. Cover and let rest for 45 minutes. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 30-40 minutes. Cool on rack.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Duck l'Orange with roasted vegetables

For duck
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 (5- to 6-lb) Long Island duck (also called Pekin)
1 juice orange, halved
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh marjoram sprigs
2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 small onion, cut into 8 wedges
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup duck stock, duck and veal stock*, chicken stock, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
4-5 medium carrots
4-5 medium red potatoes, cleaned, skin on, quartered
1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
For sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 to 2 oranges)
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup duck or chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fine julienne of fresh orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler

Roast duck:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 475°F.

Stir together salt, coriander, cumin, and pepper. Pat duck dry and sprinkle inside and out with spice mixture. Cut 1 half of orange into quarters and put in duck cavity with thyme, marjoram, parsley, and 4 onion wedges.

Squeeze juice from remaining half of orange and stir together with wine and stock. Set aside.

Spread remaining 12 onion wedges in roasting pan with carrot and potatoes, then place duck on top of vegetables and roast 30 minutes.

Pour wine mixture into roasting pan and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue to roast duck until thermometer inserted into a thigh (close to but not touching bone) registers 170°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more. Turn on broiler and broil duck 3 to 4 inches from heat until top is golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Tilt duck to drain juices from cavity into pan and transfer duck to a cutting board, reserving juices in pan. Let duck stand 15 minutes.

Make sauce:
While duck roasts, cook sugar in a dry 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel. Add orange juice, vinegar, and salt (use caution; mixture will bubble and steam vigorously) and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel is dissolved. Remove syrup from heat.
Add 1 cup stock to pan.

Stir together butter and flour to form a beurre manié. Bring pan juices to a simmer in a 1- to 2-quart heavy saucepan, then add beurre manié, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add orange syrup and zest and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened slightly and zest is tender, about 5 minutes. Serve with duck.

Adapted from Epicurious

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Roasted pear salad with goat cheese and pine nuts

1 firm, almost-ripe pear (Bartlett or Bosc), peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 cups mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
3-4 oz crumbled goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, toss the pear, sugar, and butter. Arrange the pear in a single layer in a baking sheet or pie pan. Bake, turning once, until the pear is barely tender, 10—15 minutes. Dry roast the pine nuts in a skillet for 5 minutes, until toasty brown. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a glass cup measure, prepare the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and mustard. In a large salad bowl, mix the salad greens with the dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salad onto two chilled plates. Arrange the roasted pears in a fan around the center, and sprinkle with the cranberries, goat cheese, and pine nuts. 

Adapted from Epicurious

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cinnamon swirl brioche bread

3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup milk (70º to 80ºF)
3 tablespoons water (70º to 80ºF)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes

Add first 8 ingredients (through yeast) to breadmachine and process on dough setting. When cycle is complete, transfer dough in a large oiled bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
Transfer refrigerated dough on flat surface and roll out to about an 18 x 24 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter, spread with cinnamon sugar mixture and sprinkle apples. Roll up dough and place in buttered 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Let rest for 2 hours or until doubled in size. 
Bake the loaf in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on top, about 30-40 minutes.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lamb stew with wheat berries in red wine sauce

Wheat berries
2 cups water
1 cup wheat berries

Garlic Yogurt
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
fine sea salt

1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 cup dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 lb. lamb cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 lb. carrots, cut 1/4 inch thick (about 3 cups)
3/4 cups dark raisins
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

T prepare wheat berries, bring the water and the wheat berries to a boil in a medium pan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the wheat berries are tender with a slight chew, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside to steam for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain,, reserving the cooking liquid (about 1/2 cup)
Meanwhile, prepare the garlic yogurt. Beat the yogurt in a small bowl with a fork until smooth. Stir in the garlic and season with sea salt. Chill covered until ready to serve.
To make the stew, place the tomatoes with their juices, wine, vinegar and paprika in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, gently crush the tomatoes and combine the mixture.
Pat the lamb dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pan over medium heat until shimmering. Working in 2 or 3 batches, cook the lamb until browned on all sides, adding a bit more oil if the pan goes dry, about 5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a plate. Decrease the heat to medium; add the onion, garlic, cinnamon, bay leaf and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the tomato mixture (it may splatter), the meat with its accumulated juices, the carrots, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, scraping the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Add the raisins, the wheat berries, and if needed, enough of the reserved cooking liquid to just cover the vegetables (the tips of the carrots will show). Return to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the lamb is fork-tender, about 40 minutes. Add more cooking liquid or water to thin, if you like.
To finish, season with the brown sugar and pepper, as well as a dash more balsamic vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve with the garlic yogurt.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tomato-rye risotto with cumin and chorizo

1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup rye berries

4 oz cured Spanish chorizo sliced 1/4 inch thick (casing removed) - I used Whole Foods spicy tofu chorizo
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion (about 1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
2 small bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, or cumin powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup drained and chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
about 1/2 cup water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar

For rye, bring the water and rye berries to a boil in a small pan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the berries are tender but still lightly chewy, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid.
While the rye is steaming, start making the ryesotto. Have a plate with paper towels ready. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook, turning once with a spatula, until the slices are lightly  browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the slices to the paper towel-lined plate. Remove the pan from the heat. If you like, drain much of the rendered fat, leaving 1 tablespoon in the pan (or drain all and use olive oil instead).
Return the saucepan to medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook, stirring frequently (stir constantly if using cumin powder) until the onion softens and just starts to brown at the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover  and cook until the flavors come together, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, rye berries, and chorizo. Add water if needed, up to ½ cup (depending on the tomatoes you use), to get a slightly saucelike consistency similar to a risotto. Bring to a boil, stirring. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the flavors come together, 10 to 15 minutes.To finish, add 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Taste for sugar and salt and adjust, adding a few twirls of pepper if you like, and serve.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Falling Water lace scarf


Length after blocking: 70-74 inches, width after blocking: approx. 6 inches
(Length and width before blocking: 48-52 inches x approx. 4 inches)

2 skeins Patons Classic Wool in Royal Purple
US #7 straight or circular needle


 = knit on RS, purl on WS 
• = purl on RS, knit on WS
\ = ssk (slip 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit those 2 stitches together)
/ = k2tog (knit 2 together)
O = yarn over


Loosely cast on 34 stitches. Work four rows in garter stitch (knit every row). Begin working lace pattern, following the written instructions or the chart below. Complete 20-25 repeats of the stitch pattern, ending with Row 15. Work four rows in garter stitch and loosely bind off.
Note: Every row begins and ends with a border of 3 knit stitches. These border stitches are NOT shown in the chart, but are included in the written instructions. You may want to place a stitch marker after the first 3 knit (border) stitches on each row and before the last 3 knit (border) stitches, to distinguish them from the lace pattern stitches.

Row 1 [RS] k3, *p2, k6, rep from * 2 times, p2, k3
Row 2 [and all WS rows] k3, *k2, p6, rep from * 2 times, k5
Row 3 [RS] k3, *p2, yo, k2, ssk, k2, rep from * 2 times, p2, k3
Row 5 [RS] k3, *p2, k1, yo, k2, ssk, k1, rep from * 2 times, p2, k3
Row 7 [RS] k3, *p2, k2, yo, k2, ssk, rep from * 2 times, p2, k3
Row 9 [RS] k3, *p2, k6, rep from * 2 times, p2, k3
Row 11 [RS] k3, *p2, k2, k2tog, k2, yo, rep from * 2 times, p2, k3
Row 13 [RS] k3, *p2, k1, k2tog, k2, yo, k1, rep from * 2 times, p2, k3
Row 15 [RS] k3, *p2, k2tog, k2, yo, k2, rep from * 2 times, p2, k3


Weave in ends. Soak scarf in cool water until thoroughly wet. Place between two towels and squeeze out excess water. Block by pinning on a flat surface. Allow to dry.

Adapted from Bonnie Sennott

Apple cinnamon muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 medium apple - peeled, cored and chopped

1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 200C / 400F.
Sift flour then add baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon and mix through. Beat egg well then add oil, milk and apple and stir well.
Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and combine quickly. Take care not to overmix or the muffin will be dry. Ladle spoonfuls into greased or lined muffin tins, about 3/4 full.

Combine topping ingredients in a bowl then top mufins with a spoonful of mixture.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Whole wheat, rye, spelt and flax sourdough bread

3/4 cup + 1 tbsp. water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup sourdough starter (room temperature)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup rye flour
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Add ingredients in order in bread machine, program for dough. When finished, place in buttered bread loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sourdough apple cake

1 cup sourdough starter
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 cups chopped apples ( I used two large ones)

Combine the sourdough and the eggs and oil, stir well. Add the dry ingredients stirring well and then stir in the apples and walnuts. Pour into a greased square pan or 9 inch cake pan with removable sides.


1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon flour

Mix these ingredients together, cutting the margarine into pea sized pieces.

Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the batter spreading to cover the whole top of cake. Preheat oven to 350º and bake for 40-45 minutes or until tester inserted comes out clean.

Recipe adapted from 

Soba noodles with shrimp and cilantro

6 ounces soba noodles
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon agave syrup
2 large shallots, thinly sliced and separated into rings
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Lime wedges, for serving

In a bowl, combine the lime zest and juice with 1 tablespoon of oil. Stir in the shrimp and season with salt. Marinade in the refrigerator for an hour.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring, until tender, 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoons of the oil with the soy sauce, tamari and agave syrup. Add the noodles and toss.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden brown and crisp, 3 minutes. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook over low heat until golden and crisp, 2 minutes. Add shrimp and sautee until no longer pink.
Arrange the noodles on a large platter. Sprinkle with the scallions, cilantro, and crushed red pepper. Arrange the shrimp on top and serve with lime wedges alongside.

Adapted from Food and Wine

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lamb sish kebab

1 lb cubed leg of lamb
1 yellow squash
1 medium onion
1/2 of an  oz package mushroom
1 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
1/4 C olive oil
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

In a large bowl, mix oil, vinegar, rosemary and oregano. Add lamb, onion and mushroom. Marinade for 24 hours. Add all ingredients on skewers and grill.

Couscous with orange and cranberries

1 cup dried couscous
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1 bouillon cube
1 tsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds (optional)
1 teaspoon olive oil


In a sauce pot, bring the orange juice, water, bouillon, parsley, salt and grated ginger to a boil. Add the couscous, olive oil and the cranberries and stir well, cover and allow to reconstitute for 10-15 minutes.

Adapted from

Peach cake tatin

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish
2-3 large fresh peaches, pitted and sliced into approx 1/2″ pieces
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the peaches in the dish.
Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color. Swirl the pan but don’t stir. Pour evenly over the peaches.
Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.
Pour the cake batter evenly over the peaches and bake for 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If a peach sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hortobagyi husos palacsinta - Hungarian savory crepes with lamb

500 g (1 lb.) ground lamb
2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 tsp Piros Arany
1 onion, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 Hungarian pepper, diced
2 dl sour cream
vegetable or olive oil 
salt and pepper 

Make crepes according to recipe. Brown the diced onion on some oil. Add the meat, Hungarian paprika, salt, the tomato, and the Hungarian pepper. Braise in little water until done. Filter through a colander. Add 100 ml of sour cream to the gravy. Add enough gravy to the meat to make a paste, and keep the rest for serving. Roll the paste in the crepes. Pour some gravy on the pancakes and put them in the oven at 200 C (375 Fahrenheit) for about 15 min or until slightly crisp. When serving, pour more gravy and sour cream on them.

Zip-neck sweater

Pattern is from Lion Brands website
Material: Wool of the Andes in cobblestone heather from Knit picks, about 12 skeins
circular knitting needles size 7 and 8
9 inch black zipper

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Watermelon martini

2 Cups diced watermelon
1/4 cup orange juice
1.5 ounces triple sec
3 ounces vodka
squirt of lime juice

Puree the watermelon in a blender. Combine all ingredients in a mixer with ice, shake and strain into a martini glass. Makes two drinks.

Cold soba noodle salad with cucumber and shiitake

1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
8 scallions
3 tablespoons peanut oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili oil
7 ounces soba noodles
1 large cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and cut into thick matchsticks
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (optional)

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms and scallions with the peanut oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms over moderate heat, turning once, until cooked through and tender, about 4 minutes; transfer to a plate. Grill the scallions, turning once, until softened and blackened in spots, about 2 minutes; add to the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms and scallions cool, then thinly slice them. (or sautée mushroom and scallions in a pan in the peanut oil)
In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the ginger, garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar and chili oil.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the soba noodles until al dente, about 4 minutes; drain. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl. Add the mushrooms, scallions, cucumber and dressing and toss well. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine magazine

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Southwest spelt berry salad

1.5 C spelt berries
3 cups water
12 oz corn (frozen or fresh, cooked)
12 oz cooked black beans, or 1 can, rinsed
1/2 red pepper, diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
8 oz feta, cubed
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Cook the spelt berries in a large pot until cooked, about 50 minutes to an hour. Drain any excess water from berries, and cool in a large salad bowl. When berries are cool, mix in veggies (corn through tomatoes) and cheese. 
Combine rind and next 4 ingredients (through sugar) in a small bowl; gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss well to coat. Let stand at least 30 minutes; serve at room temperature.

Amaretti cookies

1 cup whole blanched or unblanched almonds
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon amaretto or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line large cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil. Lightly grease foil, if using. In a food processor combine 1 cup almonds and the powdered sugar. Cover and process until finely ground. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites, amaretto, and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually beat in 1/2 cup granulated sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold half of the almond mixture into the egg egg white mixture. Fold in remaining almond mixture.

Spoon almond mixture into 1-inch diameter mounds, 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Place a whole almond atop each cookie. Sprinkle lightly with coarse sugar.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until tops are set and lightly browned. Cool completely on cookie sheets on wire racks. Peel cookies off parchment paper or foil when cool. Makes about 48 cookies.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cucumber lime granita

1 tablespoon grated lime rind
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound chopped English cucumber (about 1 cucumber)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute; remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Place juice mixture and cucumber in a blender; process until smooth. Cool completely. Pour mixture into an 11 x 7–inch baking dish. Cover and freeze for 45 minutes; scrape with a fork. Freeze. Scrape mixture every 45 minutes until completely frozen (about 3 hours). Remove from freezer; scrape with a fork until fluffy.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Deep dark chocolate cookies

1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces), divided
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.
Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme. Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff).

Place 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Carrot and chickpea salad

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 garlic clove, minced
    1/2 cup slivered almonds
    2 packed cups cilantro leaves and stems
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded

    In a food processor, combine the lemon juice with the minced garlic and let stand for 15 minutes. Heat a skillet, add the almonds and toast over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Spread the toasted almonds on paper towels and let cool.
    Transfer half of the almonds to the food processor. Add the cilantro, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper and pulse until chopped. Add the olive oil and process to a chunky paste. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to a large bowl. Add the chickpeas and carrots and toss. Garnish with the remaining almonds and serve.
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wheat berry salad with goat cheese

1 1/4 cups wheat berries
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped English cucumber
    2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
    1 1/2 cups loosely packed chopped arugula
    6 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
    1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

    1. Place wheat berries in a medium bowl; cover with water to 2 inches above wheat berries. Cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain.
    2. Place wheat berries in a medium saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above wheat berries. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, uncovered, 1 hour or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well. Place wheat berries in a large bowl; add cucumber and next 4 ingredients (through tomatoes).
    3. Combine rind and next 4 ingredients (through sugar) in a bowl; gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss well to coat. Stir in cheese. Let stand at least 30 minutes; serve at room temperature.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yogurt spelt cake

3/4 cup (about 3 and 1/2 oz) spelt flour
3/4 cup (about 3 and 1/2 oz) whole wheat pastry flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
6 tbsp (3 oz) butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup raw sugar, plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling (I used 1/2 cup, but think the cake could use a little more sweetening and structure)
1/2 cup yogurt
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb plums, pits removed and sliced
2 tbsp raw sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees convection). Butter a 10-inch pie pan (or a 9-inch deep dish pan).
In a small bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar, beating on high with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes. Add yogurt, egg and vanilla; blend until just combined. Gradually add flour mixture and beat just until smooth.
Spoon batter into prepared pie pan and smooth with a spatula. Spread plum slices evenly over top, pressing down lightly to even out the top of the cake. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of cinnamon sugar evenly over the berries.
Bake cake in the 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 325 degrees F (300 degrees F convection) and continue to bake until the middle is firm, the top is golden brown, and a tester (inserted in the most berry-free middle spot) comes out clean, about an hour. Cool in pan on wire rack. Decorate with a dusting of powdered sugar and/or serve with whipped or ice cream.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pizza margherita with arugula

1 1/4 C AP flour
1 1/4 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 C water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) yeast
1 tsp cornmeal
8 oz sliced fresh mozzarella
1 large slice tomato
1 bunch arugula
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Add all ingredients in your breadmachine except cornmeal. Process on dough setting.
Preheat oven to 450. Sprinkle large baking stone with cornmeal. When pizza dough is ready, spread on baking stone, layer tomatoes and cheese and bake for about 10 minutes, until dough is almost done. Set oven on broil and broil until cheese melt and browns according to desired doneness. Take pizza out of oven and spread fresh arugula and chopped basil on top. Add freshly grated pepper according to taste.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Paella with rabbit and artichokes

1 lemon, halved
2 large artichokes
2 large tomatoes
1 (2- to 2 1/2-lb) rabbit, cut into 12 pieces
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sweet Spanish smoked paprika*
4 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
2 cups short- or medium-grain rice

Squeeze juice from 1 lemon half into a bowl of cold water, reserving remaining half. Keeping stem attached, cut off top 2 inches of 1 whole artichoke. Bend back outer leaves until they snap off close to base and discard several more layers of leaves in same manner until exposed leaves are pale green at top and yellow at base.

Trim dark green fibrous parts from base and sides with a sharp paring knife, then rub cut surfaces with reserved lemon half. Trim 1/4 inch from end of stem and trim sides of stem down to pale inner core (don't worry if remaining flesh is very thin), then cut artichoke lengthwise into 8 wedges and cut out choke.
Rub cut surfaces with reserved lemon half and drop artichoke pieces into acidulated water. Trim remaining artichokes in same manner.

Cut a shallow X in bottom of each tomato with a sharp paring knife and blanch in a 3-quart saucepan of boiling water 10 seconds. Transfer tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to cool. Peel tomatoes, then discard seeds and finely chop.

Heat oil in paella pan until oil is hot but not smoking. Using pot holders, swirl oil in pan to evenly distribute it, then brown rabbit well on all sides, turning, about 8 minutes total.

Move browned rabbit pieces to outer edge of pan to slow down cooking while artichokes and bell pepper cook.

Add artichokes and bell pepper to center of pan and cook, stirring and turning artichokes frequently, until artichokes are golden brown, about 4 minutes. (Turn rabbit pieces occasionally while cooking artichokes and bell pepper to prevent burning.)

Add tomatoes, garlic, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until mixture is thickened, about 6 minutes.

Sprinkle mixture with paprika and let cook, undisturbed, 1 minute, then bring rabbit in from sides of pan and stir into tomato mixture. Stir in stock and saffron.

Bring mixture to a boil, then sprinkle rice evenly around pan, avoiding pieces of rabbit. With a wooden spoon, gently agitate mixture to make sure rice is evenly distributed and all rice grains are submerged. (Do not stir again.)

After rice has been cooking for 10 minutes, reduce heat to medium and, continuing to turn pan a quarter turn every 5 minutes, cook until all of liquid is absorbed and each grain of rice is distinct and just tender (similar to al dente), 10 to 15 minutes more. (If all liquid has evaporated and rice is still not tender, sprinkle tepid water, a tablespoon at a time, over rice where needed and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.)

Carefully remove pan from grill, then cover with a clean kitchen towel and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cinnamon rolls

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups bread flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bread machine yeast
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 -2 tablespoon milk

Place water, 2 Tablespoons butter, bread flour, 3 tbsp white granulated sugar, salt and yeast in the bread machine and start on dough cycle.
Once dough is complete, roll out into a 9" square on a lightly floured surface.
Mix 1/3 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon together. Spread 2 Tablespoons softened butter over the dough and sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture. Roll up tightly into a log and pinch the edges to seal. Cut into 1" slices and place in a greased 9"x9"x2" square pan (brownie pan) or 9 in pie pan.
Cover with kitchen towel and let rise 1 hour or so until double, OR in refrigerator overnight if making for breakfast.
Preheat oven to 375°F and bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Mix powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to make glaze, drizzle over rolls and serve warm.

Peach and berry pie

3 lbs. fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced (about 9 medium size peaches)
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 double pie crust
2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 tablespoon coarse granulated sugar
1 double pie crust

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Place peaches and berries in a colander for about 15 minutes to drain any excess fluid , then transfer to a large bowl. Gently toss with sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Transfer to a pie crust. Dot with butter, and top with remaining crust. Cut vents in top crust, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until crust is golden brown.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Orechiette with garlic, kale and parmesan

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large bunch greens (such as spinach, mustard greens, kale, or broccoli rabe; about 1 pound), thick stems removed, spinach left whole, other greens cut into 1-inch strips (about 10 cups packed)
12 ounces orecchiette
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Mix cilantro, lemon peel and garlic in small bowl; set aside.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook just until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, drain. Add oil to pot and heat until hot. Add garlic, sautee for a minute then add greens, salt and ground pepper according to taste and sautee until soft. Mix greens with pasta in serving bowl, add cilantro mix and grated parmesan.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sauteed lamb chops with onion gravy

Lamb chops
4 loin lamb chops
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion, peeled and grated
1/2 cup (100 ml) red wine
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey

Heat olive oil in saute pan. Place lamb chops in pan, add salt and pepper. Sauté chops for about 3 minutes, then turn - add a little salt and pepper on other side. Saute for another 3 minutes, or until done. Place chops on a plate and keep warm.

Add the grated onion to the juices in the pan. Stir over medium heat for about 4 minutes, then add the wine, mustard and honey. Stir, and simmer for about 1 minute - or reduced to 5-6 tbsp. Add salt and pepper. Place chops on serving plate, and spoon gravy over chops.