Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Where Do Berries Come From? Orchard Fresh Raspberry Tart

Last weekend, Julie, Andrew, my mom and I went to Butler's Orchard in Maryland and picked our own fruits, veggies and herbs.  We had an amazing time. It was my first time at an orchard and it has been so much fun preparing food with our fresh ingredients.  With a four pound raspberry haul, my sister and I got a little addicted, I was most excited to bake a raspberry tart and share the recipe with you — and you know it's good because it's derived from my Oma's plum tart.

Look at that fresh raspberry goodness!

Raspberry Tart
So berry delicious. 

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup and 2 tbs butter 
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbs extract 

2-3 lbs raspberries (or the fruit you wish to prepare in the tart)
6 tbs sugar crystals
Melted chocolate or whip cream toppings, if desired

Sift flour.  Mix with butter and sugar — Oma always said slicing the butter made this easier. Beat in egg and extract.  Press in to a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes ... In all honesty, I forgot to refrigerate mine and it turned out fine. 

Grease pie pan or spring form pan and mold ball into crust. Pierce sides and bottom with fork. Wash berries and arrange them atop the dough.  Oma would make a flower shape when she used plums.  Sprinkle 3 tbs of sugar.  Bake for 30 - 35 minutes at 400 — covering with foil if top is browning to quickly.

Cool and sprinkle with remaining 3 tbs sugar.  Top with dark chocolate, ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy! 

So. Many. Berries. 

I just can't even.


My Orchard Adventure
Raspberries & Apples & Potatoes & More 

Raspberry picking.
I'm a little heavier than my sister and I remember ... It's been a few years.

Julie's Berry Hands.
Andrew juggles apples ... Check it out on Vine
Digging for potatoes, according to instagram.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

a BIG milestone

Next month, my blog will be hitting 100 recipes. 100! That's a lot of ingredients. And I want to do a something different to celebrate.  So, I am taking suggestions and willing to answer questions to give my 100th recipe post a dash of something special. 

via pinterest.

So ask me anything.  Request something fun.  Or give me a tip on how I can make the post more exciting. 

I look forward to hearing from you! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

The Most Addictive Cookie in my Cookie Repertoire 

I made these beauties for my friend Leah's birthday! We all concluded these were my most addictive confection. 

·      1 stick butter (I used about 1T shy of a stick)
·      8-9 T Plain Greek Yogurt
·      3/4 cup confectioners sugar
·      Slight pinch salt (depending on saltiness of pistachios)
·      2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
·      6-8 oz cup coarsely chopped pistachios
·      2T almond or arak extract
·      Sugar for dusting
·      White chocolate for dipping

Chop pistachios in a food processor.
Cream butter, yogurt, confectioners sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Beat in flour and extract until dough forms.
Form 8-inch logs with dough.
Wrap securely in plastic/foil/parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes to 1 month (I froze mine overnight).
Cut dough into ¼ slices and lightly dust with sugar.
Bake at 325 on parchment and greased baking sheets for 10 minutes, rotating twice.
Allow to cool. 

If you would like to add sweetness to the cookies, dip them in melted white chocolate.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fleischküchle & Terrifying German Children's Books


It's pretty much German Meat Loaf ... but awesome. 

1 pound ground meat, lean (turkey or ground round or ground sirloin)
2 eggs
¼ cup milk or stock (used to temper beaten eggs: can use soy, dairy, soup stock)
½ cup chili sauce (NOT CHILI!!)*, or tomato paste, or ketchup (all good choices)
1 cup panko crumbs
Chopped veggies:
2 small stalks chopped celery (I microwave the chopped celery to soften them a bit)
½ medium onion chopped (I like them either sautéed or raw: both work)
1/3 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons minced garlic or garlic paste
Dry Seasoning:
Salt (at least 1 teaspoon)
Pepper (at least ½ teaspoon)
Crushed Italian seasoning (basil, rosemary blend)
1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon canola oil to blend for heavy frying pan
Stock or water – enough liquid to cook patties at least 2 cups
Stock or water – enough liquid to make gravy, 1 to 2 cups

In a large mixing bowl, beat two eggs and milk. Add tomato ingredient (tomato paste, chili sauce, or ketchup). Add chopped vegies. Beat together. Add dry seasoning.  Add panko crumbs and blend. Let the panko soak up the liquids. Add ground meat and blend.  Stand a few minutes or chill to firm.  Form meat into balls, about hand ball size, and flatten to 1 inch thick patties.

Heat blended oils in fry pan over med-high heat.  Lay patties in pan.  Let those brown, covered 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Add stock and let it reduce to dripping, and add more if needed, to cook patty all the way through: 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove patties from pan.  In a small bowl, mix cornstarch or flour in ¼ cup cold liquid to make gravy base. Add gravy base to drippings in pan and thoroughly blend.  Add 1 cup liquid to drippings, blend again. Heat dripping/stock mixture to boil for 1 minute.  Simmer and stir until reduced to desired thickness.  Add patties to gravy and serve hot.

*Chili sauce does not taste like chili – it is a lot different!


Bite Sized and Seasoned Garlic Red Potatoes

1 ½ pounds Bite-sized or cut-up red potatoes (Ping-Pong ball sized or smaller)
2 Teaspoons freshly crushed black pepper
1 Tablespoon crushed dried Italian spices (Rosemary, basil, etc.)
½ package Good Seasons Zesty Italian seasoning packet
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 Tablespoons minced garlic or garlic puree
½ cup Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Rinse potatoes. Microwave wet potatoes for 9 minutes on High setting. Toss pepper, dry spices, Good Seasons powder and 2 tablespoons crushed garlic in a large bowl.  Stir in olive oil and lemon juice. Add potatoes and toss until coated in oil, garlic and seasonings.  Spread potatoes in casserole dish and bake 15 minutes. Turn potatoes over in dish and toss them in 2 more tablespoons of crushed garlic. Sprinkle garlic-coated potatoes with Panko crumbs.  Set oven to broil. Broil the potatoes (about 2-3 minutes) until the crumbs just start to brown.  For crispier potato skins, bake at 475 degrees instead.

So, we have meat loaf and potatoes ... German style!

Everything Dwight Schrute said on the office is true ...

Well, about his German culture.

Whenever I would see an episode of the office where Dwight did something German, I had a huge laugh and thought, someone on that show has a German Oma like me. From singing Schlaf Kindlein Schlaf, to Pelznickel, to his horrifying children's books, Dwight was spot on.  I wanted to take a minute today to reflect on Struwwelpeter and his terrifying tales that are a right of passage for kindern across the world ... with German Omas.

Look familiar? Like a nightmare from the past? Struwwelpeter is a collection of cautionary tales meant to terrify educate children about manners, hygiene and general safety.  Some of the highlights include the girl who plays with matches and incinerates herself, the boy who won't stop sucking his thumbs so they are cut off and the boy who won't eat his food so he withers away until he starves to death. 


What? You read the Three Little Pigs for subtle inferences about hardwork, forethought and politeness? Germans don't do subtle. 

Now, you may be saying, that is just an old school/out of date representation of the time.  But, not only are these stories old as the hills Alps, they are still being printed now.  Exactly. As. They. Were.  I have seen new copies in German stores that look just like my Oma's retro books.  When my German friend was staying with me in college, I took her to my Oma's house and showed her the books. She explained that everyone has a copy of Struwwelpeter and that the illustrations, however disturbing, never change.  

As much as I gripe about the little boy who appears — based solely on the cover — to have undergone electro shock therapy,  I have a weird endearment to him.  When we were clearing out my Oma's house this year, we all fought over Struwwelpeter. That's right, everyone wanted that little freak.  Because, for some reason, kids begrudgingly love him.   

And, I guess, not all the stories are that bad. I mean one kid just flips over the table at dinner and his parents are mad at him. 

Actually ... he may have died too? 

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