December 2010


As I told y’all earlier this year I am an Air Force Brat. And lots of my food memories growing up are not of hot dogs, apple pie, or mom’s pot roast, but rather Wiener Schnitzle, curried anything, scones, and paella. We only lived in Germany and England but we visited as many countries as we could. And the food was always an adventure to us American Tourists.

I was excited when….

      ….Deutschland

….was chosen for December’s My Kitchen My World country. I could find some of my favorite dishes and just cook to my heart’s content. Well, that was the plan, but you know what they say about the ones that are best made?? It just didn’t work out that way. So here are my simple, but tasty contributions to this month’s virtual world tour.

Peter Reinhart’s Stollen

As part of the Slow and Steady BBA group {yes, we are still plugging along} I made the Stollen for my Christmas Platters. I am really not much on fruit in bread, but the Man is so I made it more for him than anyone. Surprise!! Surprise!! I really liked it, too. I remember my Mom bringing Stollen home during the holidays when we lived in Stuttgart (1965) but this is the first time I have made it. It won’t be the last.

I cannot print the recipe without permission from the author, but you can find it on The Cooking Route who did have permission.

That was breakfast.

Later for lunch {altho not really the same day!!!} We had Bratwurst and….

    Spätzle or Tiny Dumplings

This recipe came from a German cookbook that was in my Mom’s collection {which was way bigger than mine…..}

    3 cups AP flour
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    4 eggs
    1 cup milk
    1 cup fine dry bread crumbs (optional)
    1/4 lb (1 stick) butter (optional)

Combine the flour, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and the nutmeg in a large mixing bowl.
Break up the eggs with a fork and beath them into the flour mixture.
Pour the milk in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a large spoon, and continue to stir until the dough is smooth.
Bring 2 quarts of water and the remaining 1/2 tsp salt to a boil in a heavy 4/5 qt saucepan.
Set a large colander, preferably one with large holes, over the saucepan and with a spoon press the dough a few tablespoons at a time through the colander directly into the boiling water.

{I did this last time. NOT FUN!!! Since then I have purchased a handy dandy Spätzle maker.

And even if I only use 1 or 2 times a year it was totally worth it!!!}
Stir the Spätzle gently to prevent them from sticking to each other, then boil briskly for 5 – 8 minutes or until they are tender.
Drain the Spätzle thoroughly in a colander.
When Spätzle are sered as a separate dish they are traditionally presented sprinkled with toasted bread crumbs. {I served mine with some butter and parsley.}

So there you have it. Stollen, Rotwurst, Spätzle, Brotchen. The perfect German Cafe meal. Which we enjoyed many times at a little place down by the Bahnhoff. (With Bier und pommes frites sometimes…)

Visit the other members of

      and see their dishes auf Deutschland….

auf Wiedersehen, meine Freundin!!

Und ein gluckliches neues Jahr!!

Brioche is a decandently rich light crumb treat. I hesitate to call it bread because it is so rich. Now add chocolate to that decandently rich mix and you have an over the top loaf of rich delicious bread. When you add chocolate you end up with Malgieri’s Marbled Chocolate Brioche Loaf.

And talk about fun to make. Pictoral!!

After making the dough (You will have to buy/borrow/steal Nick’s book for the recipe) it is divided into 3 pieces and a melted chocolate/flour/cinnamon mix is added to on one the pieces. The dough is rolled into squares and then made into a ‘sandwich’ with the chocolate piece in the middle.

The ‘sandwich’ is then divided into three pieces.

The pieces are then cut into 1/2″ slices which are tossed in a bowl to mix them all up. {They look like little hotdogs!!} This tossing results in a swirl that is different all through the bread and different from loaf to loaf.

Once you have ‘…squeezed the dough together into a cohesive ball…’ it goes into a loaf pan to rise.

And THIS is what you end up with!!!

Did you notice the swirl was different on this slice. It’s the same loaf, just two slices further in.

One nice thing about this bread – it is made in a Food Processor, but as Kayte said…

    “…do not like making bread dough in the food processor, it’s a real mess to clean up because the dough gums up the center post, both inside and outside of the blade post hole, etc. …”

And it’s true. It makes a mess in the FP, but it does make it easy to put together.

There is still time to join in on the Modern Baker Challenge. We start the next section – Savory Tarts and Pies – January 1st. All you need is Malgieri’s Modern Baker and time to bake/cook/eat/blog/photograph. No Sweat!!!

BTW it was well worth the mess….

There were 16 recipes in this section. I managed to make 10 of them. And they were all good.

And not just any biscuits, but her Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits.

These were the 8th recipe the TWD group baked back in February 2008. I joined in 6 months later. {Lots of catching up to do on rewinds!!}

I made 1/4 recipe which gave me 3 nice sized biscuits. They had a little tang from the sour cream, a little crunch from the chopped pecans, a little caramel flavor from the brown sugar, and lots of great flavor. Perfect for breakfast. And they were mine, all mine, since I was home alone.

If you haven’t made these, what are you waiting for. They rose beautifully. The list of ingredients is very basic and they were super simple to put together. Oh, and did I say the ROSE BEAUTIFULLY!!! That is usually my problem with biscuits, they don’t rise. Not a problem here!!!

A whole new year of TWD is coming. Hope you enjoy the recipes that follow.

And the recipe for these biscuits, originally chosen by Ashley of Eat Me Delicious can be found on Laurie’s blog.

I love biscuits!! With gravy!! With butter and jelly!! Toasted!!

But I have never really been able to make a GOOD Biscuit. I don’t mean good in taste. Mine have always tasted good. I mean biscuits that look like good flaky biscuits.

THAT changed Christmas morning when THESE….

… came out of the oven!! Good. Flaky. Biscuits!! These are probably the best biscuits I ever made. Thanks to Nick Malgieri’s Bake!!

The recipe is the same recipe (almost) I have used often. Except it called for buttermilk (which I now keep on hand). And folding the dough over itself envelope style – twice.

This was supposed to be part of a TwitterBake with Phyl and Kayte, but time just wasn’t on my side.

So we had them with presents on Christmas Morning.

These are Malgieri’s Buttermilk Biscuits (pg 180). It was my turn to pick for the 3 of us who are baking from Bake! I chose something simple because of the hecticness of the season. Glad I did. Good Stuff.

Pecans!! Walnuts!! Mixed Nuts with Peanuts!! Salty Mixed Nuts with Peanuts!! Doesn’t matter what you use, Dorie’s sweet/spicy seasonings make them good.

    A little bit Spicy!! – Chili Powder
    A little bit Sweet!! – Sugar
    A little bit naughty!! -Cayenne Pepper.
    A little bit nice!! – Cinnamon

A little taste for everyone. I decreased the chili powder, increased the cinnamon, and left out the Cayenne. Spicy is just not on the menu right now!! They were tasty. Much better than the roasted spicy/sweet nuts you buy out. And all it took was an oven, the spices, a little egg white.

I am basically lazy so I didn’t pick out each nut one at a time. I put them on the cookie sheet and seperated them.

What I ended up with was a kinda course brittle.

These got rave reviews from the members of French Fridays with Dorie so I had to make them. And they were so simple I actually found time to make them between cookies, candy, cakes, chex mix, pies, bread. I would like to try them with the Five Spice or a little curry powder. There was lots of variety out there, so go check out the other member’s take on these.

…are. Especially if it is her Cardamom Crumb Cake.

If you like Cardamom you will love this cake. If you don’t like it make this cake with cinnamon and nutmeg instead because the Cardamom flavor is VERY strong. I decreased the amount to 1 Tbl from 1 1/2 and it was still a lot of flavor. I enjoy the flavor of cardamom which is why Chai masala is my favorite tea. In fact I used tea in this cake instead of the coffee Dorie recommends. Unfortunately the tea was not noticeable in the flavor. Ah, well!!

The only change I made (you knew THAT was coming!!) was to make these as small individual cakes instead of the 8″ x 8″ baking pan. The recipe gave me 12 2″ cakes and 3 small cuppys.

This wasy I can include the cakes on my Christmas platters.

These were really tasty. The crumb topping included more Cardomom along with orange zest {I used satsumas ’cause that is what I had} and chopped walnuts. Since I made little cakes they only took 20 minutes to bake. Quick and easy!!

Thanks to Jill of Jill’s Blog. This was her pick today for Tuesdays with Dorie!! Nice one, Jill. You can find the recipe on her blog or in Dorie’s Baking From My Home to Yours.

Just found out it was supposed to be 1 1/2 TEASPOONS not TABLESPOONS. No wonder the cardamom was so strong. Read, Margaret, READ!!!

Christmas came a little early this year. For me anyway. I just could not resist Malgieri’s newest book – bake!. Not just a cookbook but a collection of techniques to make your baking better.

So!

I wanted this book because Kayte and Phyl were baking from it and raving about the recipes. They have been taking turns picking a recipe and the last one was Kayte’s.

      A tasty Spinach and Bacon Tart

Before I made the tart, I had to make the Tart Pastry. (I found the recipe here if you want to try it.) It is so easy to put together because you use a Food Processor. I divided the batch into 3 pieces and used one to make the tart.

Making 1/3 of the recipe gave me enough filling for two 4 1/2 ” tarts. And I was excited to make this because I was able to use the first young spinach leaves ever picked from our first ever winter garden.

Add some Gruyere and nutmeg to the egg/spinach/bacon mix and you come out with a wonderful dish. There is only 1 egg in the 1/3 recipe. That means it is not a quiche and it is not eggy. It is delicious. And it is easy.

Thanks to Kayte and Phyl for recommending Malgieri’s newest addition. The next pick is mine. Decisions Decisions Decisions!!!!

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