What’s Next on my Plate:

Hawaiian Mahi Mahi rolls stuffed with mango and macadamia nut stuffing

Æbelskiver (Danish Filled Pancakes)

Chicken Canzanese with Polenta Cakes

Lillet Poached Pears with Thyme & Pepper

Triple Lemon Baked Doughnuts

(German Braised Rabbit Stew)

Pesto Goat Cheese Chicken Cordon Bleu

Rahmspinat mit Spätzle
(German-style Creamed Spinach with Spätzle)

Oct 25th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

(my recipe for Spätzle can be found here. Alternatively you can make noodles or even potatoes)

1 pound fresh spinach or 1 package frozen spinach, chopped
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 teaspoon chicken or vegetable bouillon concentrate (or one cube)
2 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
splash of heavy cream

Wash and soak fresh spinach thoroughly and drain. Blanch spinach in boiling water for about 2 minutes; drain and rinse in cold water. Squeeze spinach to remove moisture and chop well. If using frozen spinach, thaw directed, then drain well. Put in blender and puree until very smooth. You may have to add a little water if you removed too much, but better to have to add more than have it too liquidly.

Heat large heavy skillet on medium, melt butter until lightly browned and add the bouillon concentrate and stir together. Add flour, stir until smooth. Slowly add milk, stirring until mixture thickens. Be careful that your roux does not become lumpy so stir well.

Combine spinach with the white sauce and taste to re-season. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer briefly and remove from heat. Add the pinch of nutmeg and splash of heavy cream. Serve with spätzle, noodles or potatoes.

Tomato-Thyme Shortbread Crackers

Oct 23rd, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of finely ground black pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cubed

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, tomato paste, sugar, parmesan cheese, thyme leaves, kosher salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Pulse the mixture until the tomato paste is evenly distributed throughout. Add the butter and pulse until the dough starts to come together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Roll out your shortbread to about 1/4 think and using a small cookie cutter, cut out your crackers. Bake the shortbread for about 14 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Serve as an appetizer with cheese or olives.

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Spiced Pumpkin Seed, Sunflower Seed and Cashew Crunch

Oct 22nd, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoon light agave syrup (nectar)
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 300F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and then spray with nonstick spray.

Whisk egg white, agave, garam masala, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add nuts and seeds and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to baking sheet, letting excess egg drip back into bowl. Bake, tossing once, until mixture is golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.

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Fallen Leaves Cupcakes

Oct 19th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

(Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting and Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds)

for the cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sour cream

for the frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
harvest colored chocolate covered sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350F; Line a muffin pan with liners.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together, set aside. In your stand mixer, whip sugar and eggs together until light, approximate 2 minutes. Stir in the oil, pumpkin puree and sour cream until smooth. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture until smooth by hand.

Fill eat muffin cup approximately two-thirds full (do not overfill). Bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, cream butter, vegetable shortening and salt together until smooth. Beat in sugar, adding by a tablespoon at a time. Finally, add in the vanilla bean paste. Chill butter cream for 20 minutes before filling a pastry bag.

Pipe a swirl of frosting using a large plain pastry tip on each cupcake. Sprinkle with the sunflower seeds. Chill for a minimum of 20 minutes before serving.

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Oatmeal Fig “Newton” Bars

Oct 17th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cup fig preserves

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a foil sling for your 13 x 9 baking dish and spray generously with baking spray.

Blend together flour, sugars, and salt in a food processor, then add butter and blend until a dough begins to form. Transfer to a bowl and knead in oats and half of the walnuts until combined.

Reserve 1/2 cup dough, then press remainder evenly into bottom of the prepared baking pan and spread the fig preserves over it. Crumble reserved dough evenly over jam, then sprinkle with remaining half of the walnuts.

Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes, then cool completely in pan on a rack. Cut into 24 bars.

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