Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A look back at 2013

I am pretty sure I say this every year, but I really can't believe that it's the end of another year already... 2013 is almost over... This year though, I'm kind of glad in a way. 2013 has been a tough year on a personal level and I'm looking forward to 2014 with hope that it will be a better year! When it comes to cooking though, 2013 was great. This is the third time I've done this end of the year "best-of" post and it's always a challenge. I'm picking my favorite recipe for each month and sometimes it's difficult to pick just one. Sometimes it's based on taste, but sometimes it's based on trying a new technique or stretching my abilities and/or palate.

I wish all of you a very Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed 2013 and look forward to much more food, recipes, and conversations in 2014.

January
Italian spaghetti squash bake: I chose this dish because it was this first thing I made with spaghetti squash that really changed my mind on this winter squash. It was never my favorite winter squash - I would make it as a gratin and liked it, but when I made it this way, I loved it. Now I make spaghetti squash recipes all the time. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Spaghetti squash patties with cilantro-lemon yogurt


I'm back with a recipe for week 8 of the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash. With all the holiday recipes and general craziness of the season, I missed week 7 - hopefully I'll be able to do all the remaining weeks though. It's the time of year when we try to eat from our freezer and pantry a lot, including a big stash of winter squash and all the goodies I canned the past year. We ate these patties with some pork chops and green tomato and apple chutney. All the flavors went together perfectly! I spiced these spaghetti squash patties to compliment the chutney, but you could use other spices as well -- spaghetti squash really provides a blank canvas for flavors. The idea for these patties was inspired by a recipe I saw a while back from Sprigs of Rosemary. I thought it would be a delicious way to enjoy some of our spaghetti squash stash and I was correct.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fresh cranberry and white chocolate brown butter cookies


I had a bag of fresh cranberries sitting in my fridge that I really wanted to use to make a Christmas cookie. I also really wanted to pair them with white chocolate - not only because it's a tasty combination, but also because of the red and white colors. I found this recipe that used dried cranberries and I was sold as soon as I saw the words "brown butter." Brown butter is a magical thing that immediately lifts any recipe to a higher level. The butter gets so nutty and has a wonderful aroma - it's really perfect for the holidays. I also wanted to use some ginger in this cookie to make it even more festive (plus I love cranberries and ginger together). The result is a delicious cookie that is chewy and nutty with a hint of warmth followed by creamy chunks of white chocolate and tart pops of cranberries. Below is my slightly adapted recipe that I also halved because I was making so many other cookies! This recipe will make about 26-28 cookies.


I think this will be my last post until after Christmas. I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season full of happiness and great food!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

German cinnamon stars


I guess I'm a little behind this year when it comes to cookie baking. I have my list ready of the ones I want to make and these German cinnamon stars (Zimtsterne) were at the top. I found them in The German Cookbook and when I did a little research, it looks like they are very popular in Germany. These cookies only use a few ingredients and are gluten-free and don't contain any butter. About halfway through the process, I really thought I was going to be throwing away the batter, because it just wasn't coming together. I kept adding more and more almond meal and it was still too sticky. Just when I was about to give up, I added another 1/4 cup and the dough came together. I had to adjust the cooking time because they were getting too dark. However, once I worked out all the bugs, they turned out to be some neat cookies. If you like meringue, you will like these as each cookie is spread with a meringue topping before baking. The topping comes out crisp with a chewy cookie. 

All in all, I don't think I'll be adding these to my regular Christmas baking rotation, but every few years, I will make these. My adapted recipe is below and it will make about 30 cookies using about a 3-inch star cookie cutter.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Glazed eggnog loaf cake


This cake was supposed to be for my husband to take to a holiday potluck. But, due to the very snowy weather, it was postponed. So, we had to make a sacrifice and eat this cake so it didn't go to waste :-) - it was totally worth it. This cake is so delicious. It's moist, crumbly, and tastes very much like eggnog without being overpowering. I had an idea to make an eggnog cake for a while now and then I found this recipe, which I adapted for this version. This cake is a great dessert to make for a holiday gathering - it's pretty simple to make and it's very festive. It goes well with a hot cup of tea or coffee while sitting by the Christmas tree and watching the snow fall outside. 

Congratulations to Denise Beyers who is the winner of the reCAP Mason jar lids from my 4-year blogiversary giveaway. I used the random number generator to chose the winner. I will send you an email and ship your lids soon. Thanks to everyone who participated! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chicken, butternut squash, and spinach skillet pasta bake


I'm behind this week on my posting of something for the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash (Week 6). I was busy with my blogiversary post and giveaway (you can still enter through Friday 12/13) earlier this week, but I was hoping to squeeze in a winter squash recipe before the end of the week.

We had the hugest butternut squash I have even seen. It came from my father-in-law's garden and was just really massive. We used 1/3 of it to make a side dish for Thanksgiving (that produced leftovers) - that's how big it was. So, needless to say, we've been eating a lot of butternut squash. I threw this pasta dish together using a lot of leftovers -- more of the squash, some chicken, a hunk of mozzarella, etc. It was a really satisfying and tasty pasta dish and was a perfect meal for a cold and snowy evening. This dish will feed about 4-6 people, so we had a lot of lunch leftovers (my favorite).

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sauerkraut two ways {and a special giveaway}


Today marks my 4 year blog anniversary (aka blogiversary) and it has inspired me to do my first ever giveaway. I'm giving away two reCAP Mason jar lids (one wide mouth and one regular mouth) to one reader. The details and rules are posted below. I'm loving learning to can and preserve and have also been trying my hand at fermenting. I'm learning that it is definitely an art. I tried a couple batches of sauerkraut this fall and recently pulled them out of the back of the fridge to give them a smell and taste. They are good, and definitely have a funk that you expect from ferments and sauerkraut. I think that I still have a way to go before "perfecting" my ferments though. I'm finding that so much depends on the temperature when you start the ferment. You need to check it to make sure it's still bubbling and that it's not getting too warm (should be room temperature). I have used the recipes in Nourishing Traditions as a baseline for making my sauerkraut. These recipes make one quart and use 1 medium head of cabbage to two tablespoons of sea salt. It can come out a bit salty and I'm hoping to find ways to use less -- you definitely don't want to use a super fine grain salt, it will be too much. I discovered that you can use reCAP Mason jar lids to turn a Mason jar into a fermenting crock (find instructions here). It's great! Plus when you finish the fermenting process, you can use them to cover the jars in your fridge, or replace them with a regular Mason jar lid and use the reCAPs to make more ferments. They are also great for using your jars to make salad dressing, syrups, etc. that you can easily pour and store.

The two sauerkraut recipes I made are for jalapeno kraut (above) and caraway kraut (below). Both make 1 quart of sauerkraut. I'm hoping that these recipes and lids will inspire more people to try fermenting and preserving foods. Thank you to all of my readers and fellow bloggers who have helped me to stick with this process for four years now! I never imagined keeping this blog going so long, but now I can't imagine not doing it. You are all great and I am continually inspired by all of you! Thank you!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Concord grape tart with cinnamon crumble


I've never really liked "grape flavored" foods, but I've always loved eating fresh grapes. As I've gotten older, I've started to really enjoy foods made from real grapes like jelly or juice (or wine), but I still can't stand anything grape flavored (e.g., fake grape flavors in candy). For the past couple of years I have been wanting to make a concord grape pie. We live in an area surrounded by grape growing and wine making, and I guess grape pie is pretty common (although I had not seen or tasted it in real life before I made this tart). But, I was intrigued by the idea of it and during the peak of concord grape season, I prepared the filling and froze it to make a different pie for Thanksgiving this year. It ended up being a tart because I had less grapes than I needed to make a pie -- but it worked out well because the grapes are so sweet, that the layer was thick enough for me! Everyone enjoyed this tart and the grape flavor was so bright and pronounced. I highly recommend saving this recipe for next fall and giving it a try! If you want to have it at your next Thanksgiving dinner, you can freeze the grapes after they cool and then just stir in the remaining ingredients after they thaw. This recipe will make one 9-inch tart.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pumpkin spice steel cut oats


Delicious, creamy steel-cut oats are even better when they are cooked with pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and spices. It makes for a hearty and hot breakfast that is perfect for a cold morning. I make these oats quite frequently during the cold months - basically whenever I have leftover winter squash puree. This time I used pumpkin, but you could use butternut, buttercup, hubbard, kabocha, etc. I had some leftover fresh pumpkin puree from making my pumpkin pie, so it was a perfect time to share this recipe with the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash. This is week 5 and you can join anytime just by linking up your winter squash recipes using the linky at the bottom of this post. 

This recipe will make two large servings of oats. If you haven't started using steel cut oats versus rolled or instant yet, I highly recommend giving them a try. They take a bit longer to make, but have a great texture and heartiness that the others don't have. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Persimmon cranberry sauce


It seems like almost every year I come up with a new way to make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. Whether it's using clementines and ginger or oranges, the cranberries that come to our table are different almost each year. This year I decided to incorporate persimmon, specifically the fuyu persimmon. Persimmons are an underutilized fruit, in my opinion. They are in season this time of year and can be found in many grocery stores. There are some varieties that are native to North America and they grown here as well. Persimmons are a lovely burnt orange color when ripe and are very sweet and delicious. Since they are so sweet, they provide a nice counter-balance in flavor to the tart cranberries. 

This recipe is a cinch to throw together, as are most fresh cranberry sauces. I hope that you will consider making a fresh cranberry sauce this year if you don't already. This would also make a great addition to upcoming holiday dinners and would pair nicely with many roasted meats.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Creamy jalapeno spaghetti squash and chicken bake


Welcome to Week 4 of 12 Weeks of Winter Squash! If you have a winter squash recipe on your blog this week, feel free to post it using the linky below. I love to see all the new and creative winter squash recipes each week.

This week I created a recipe that combines spaghetti squash and chicken with a creamy and spicy jalapeno sauce. Now that the snow has arrived, I've been craving casseroles, soups, stews, and all those stick-to-your-ribs type of meals. Plus, I have been looking for ways to make more frugal dishes, and that includes finding ways to stretch meat in our meals. It also helps that the spaghetti squash and peppers I used in this recipe were from my father-in-law's garden. I have been making a big effort lately to create meals around what we have at home. While there are still some things that I want to make that involve a big shopping trip, I'm trying to limit those and be creative with what we have on hand. This dish allowed me to stretch one large organic free-range chicken breast into four servings. We ate this along with a green salad tossed with oil and vinegar for a full meal. Don't be afraid of using the jalapenos (even some seeds), pepper jack, and potentially some cayenne - the spaghetti squash, chicken, and milk are bland on their own and need these bold flavors!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pumpkin gingerbread cookies


I spent some time recently with my nine year old cousin. While I was watching her, I thought she might enjoy helping make some cookies. I was partially right... she wasn't very excited about the idea at first, but once she got on an apron and starting helping me measure and stir, she become more excited. The cookies turned out pretty good, though were larger than I had planned -- it's okay though - it worked and they were delicious. These cookies have a hint of pumpkin flavor in them along with the flavors and cakey texture of a good gingerbread. So once the cookies were finished, we both enjoyed a warm one from the oven. After they cooled, I packed up some of them for her to take home and share. I always hope that cooking with kids inspires them to want to cook throughout their lives and help bring them a little bit closer connection to their food.

This recipe ended up making about 2 dozen cookies. You can make them smaller and probably get about 3 dozen out of them (decrease the cooking time). These cookies are a nice transition from fall to winter in their flavors.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chorizo and black bean stuffed delicata squash boats


This is the third week of 12 Weeks of Winter Squash and I'm happy to be now be sharing the linky tool in my posts for those of you who also want to participate. I'm glad to be part of this great group of bloggers, spearheaded by Heather from girlichef and Joanne from Eats Well With Others, who celebrate one of my most favorite foods -- winter squash! Join us by linking up your winter squash recipe at the bottom of this post.

So delicata squash has to be one of my most favorite food discoveries over the past few years. I never ate one of these little beauties until a few years ago. If you haven't tried these squash yet, please add them to your grocery list right now! They have a dense, sweet flesh that tastes like a cross between butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and corn to me. They are small and you can eat the skin once it is cooked, plus the layer of flesh is relatively thin, making them perfect for stuffing and relatively quick-cooking. The flavor of delicatas often makes me lean in the direction of southwest flavors and these boats are no exception. The sweetness of the squash paired really nicely with the spiced-up smoky filling. Plus, you don't have to scoop out the filling and squash, just cut it across with a knife and east everything! I allow one squash (two halves per person) and this filling should fill 3-4 squash.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chana masala


The weather here really changed quickly. It went from a relatively warm fall to windy, cold, and our first snow of the season a couple days ago. No matter how old I get, there's always something magical about the first snow of the year. I'm not sure I'd ever be able to live somewhere without well-defined seasons because I enjoy the changes in the weather and the changes in the natural world so much. The snow is melted now, but it is still cold an windy. The last of the leaves are getting blown off the trees and I can hear them rustling along the street. 

Days like this make you want a warm and comforting meal and my version of Chana masala is perfect for a cold evening. This dish is simple and is another one that is pretty frugal while not skimping on flavor and quality. As with most Indian dishes, it does require a lot of spices, so if you don't already have these spices on hand, they can be expensive to buy all at once. But, a well-stocked spice rack is a good investment for cooks who want to try different cuisines. This dish is made with dried chickpeas, but you could skip that part and use canned if you want. I am finding that dried are tastier and cheaper, so I've been trying to use them more often. This dish will serve about four people.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pumpkin swirl brownies


Autumn is my favorite time of year, as I have said many times before. I feel like everyone is rushing to Christmas the past few years as soon as Halloween is over. On my drive home from work on Halloween, I saw that the local mall had hung up all their outside Christmas decor and even a couple radio stations began playing nothing but carols the day after Halloween! That is unacceptable to me. It is still fall and there's still another holiday before we get to Christmas. I enjoy Christmas, but it's still harvest time, there are still leaves on the trees, it is still pumpkin and winter squash time. I'm taking back fall! I have no desire to rush away the autumn breezes and crispy leaves. Last weekend we had our nephew overnight and one of the things we had during his stay were these pretty wonderful brownies that combine pumpkin and chocolate together in one dense and chewy treat. These tasty brownies are adapted from Martha Stewart and were a big hit. I adjusted the spices because the original recipe calls for cayenne pepper and I didn't think a 5 year old would like that (I do use it in  these Mexican brownies though) and I lowered the sugar and changed the oil. I also changed the pan size which resulted in thinner brownies (but I thought they were a nice size).

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chinese five-spice pork over spaghetti squash


So I have this bottle of Chinese five-spice that has been lurking around my spice rack since I bought it to make this super delicious recipe. Recently, I started using it in oatmeal with apples and love it. I've been trying to come up with more ways to use this delicious spice blend. I decided to try it out with another pork recipe. We have a ton of spaghetti squash to use, so I thought the pork and spaghetti squash would be an interesting pairing along with the spices of cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger, and clove - plus very seasonal. The flavor profile of this dish turned out great. My only complaint was the texture -- the pork came out too much like the spaghetti squash. The next time, I think I would cube the pork and then stir fry it like in the recipe I referenced earlier. This way it would be chunky and have some crispness to it. Either way, it was delicious and is another dish that is making me enjoy spaghetti squash a bit more... This recipe will serve about four people.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Green tomato and apple chutney


I have one last canning project to share with you for the season. This was one of my last canning projects and it is one you can still do if you have some green tomatoes lingering on your plants and some tart apples lingering in the refrigerator. It was driving me crazy that we had so many green tomatoes on our plant. I pickled a few jars, but wanted to try something different with them as well. In the past, I've made this plain green tomato chutney and froze it, but I wanted one that was canning safe (no freezer room plus I want to gift them) and I really wanted to incorporate apples because we had so many. Chutney is something that is easy to make. You really just chop and measure the ingredients and then cook it down in a pot for a while, giving it an occasional stir. These jars of chutney will make lovely holiday gifts as they are perfectly spiced to enjoy during the winter. I am aiming for a simple holiday season this year and part of that is homemade gifts. This chutney pairs beautifully with roasted meats, especially pork, turkey, and chicken, and I think it would be excellent with duck. It's perfect for a cheese plate or on a grilled panini with your favorite meat and cheese. I used this recipe from SB Canning. I am putting the whole recipe below with some minor modifications (I also made a half batch, which yielded 3 pints). As always, you should follow directions carefully when canning and use trusted recipes.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hot German potato salad


We celebrated Oktoberfest a little late this year, but that's OK because we still got it in before October faded away. As part of our dinner we had delicious sausages from Spar's European Sausage and Meats, German sweet and sour red cabbage, and this Hot German potato salad along with some German beers. All in all, a very tasty meal! I can't believe that October is almost over. October and November are my favorite months of the year and I'm trying to make sure I enjoy them fully (before the craziness of December takes over everything).

This potato salad recipe is just slightly adapted from The German Cookbook. Since receiving this book for Christmas last year, I have really come to love it and the process of learning more German recipes. If you are at all interested in German cooking, I highly recommend it! When my husband tasted this potato salad he said it reminded him of what his grandparents would serve when he was a kid. I previously posted the cold version which we also enjoy. This recipe will make enough to feed about four people as a side dish.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Salsa verde


As you may have seen on my Facebook page, I came into a bushel of organic tomatillos for a good price from a local farm. A bushel of tomatillos turned out to be more than I thought! I made a couple batches of this recipe for salsa verde and it felt like I hardly made a dent (but I was running out of all the other vegetables that go into it). So I also canned some plain for stews/soups and made a couple batches of hot pickled tomatillos. I haven't tried those yet, but we have tried the salsa verde and it's really delicious! My husband commented that it is much better than what we usually get at the store. I have made this small batch of roasted salsa verde before, but that recipe only makes enough for one snack and isn't canning safe. This recipe comes from Ball (as found here and a couple other places for verification) with only one small modification noted below. This recipe will yield about 4-5 pints of salsa verde. This salsa verde is so bright tasting. Of course, it's perfect for eating with corn chips, but you can also use it in white chili, enchiladas, scrambled eggs, tacos, and much more. 

I've really been enjoying this harvest season and learning more of the skills to preserve, especially can, food for the winter. While we certainly can go to the grocery store in January and buy almost anything we want, I'm really trying to make sure we are eating as locally as possible and also frugally. We have a lot of winter squash in the basement, blueberries in the freezer, sauerkraut curing, and other things like that in addition to the canning.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Slow cooker sticky Asian drumsticks with sesame savoy cabbage


Lately, I've been trying to come up with ways to eat more frugally while still using high-quality ingredients (organic, local, pastured/grass-fed meats). As you know, I've been canning a lot this year. We also bought a 1/4 of a grass-fed organic cow and will be getting 1/2 of a pastured pig soon. While these meats are expensive, they are cheaper to buy in bulk. One thing I've been finding in my grocery store lately is good deals on bulk packages of organic chicken drumsticks. I bought up a few packs and have been coming up with ways to use them. This meal came from my love of using the slow cooker and that we had some savoy cabbage in the fridge. I bought a giant head of savoy cabbage at the farmer's market for only $2.00 and have ended up using it in about six different meals - it was a great bargain!

This meal is quick and easy. The sauce ingredients are all things that we have in the fridge and cupboard all the time (mainly because I like to cook a lot of Asian food). This meal will feed three to four people, but is easily adjustable to more people. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Apple and pork macaroni and cheese


This past weekend was a fun and food-filled one. On Saturday I spent the day at the 10th Annual World on Your Plate conference. I attended some workshops, listened to speakers, ate delicious local food, and met some great people. Then on Sunday I canned (again) - this time applesauce and a hot & sweet chili-garlic sauce. Last weekend we went apple picking at LynOaken Farms where they have a lot of heritage apples - so we were able to pick and sample all kinds of different apples this year.  It was a lovely day and it is definitely one of my favorite fall activities. Even though I make a bunch of applesauce, and we eat an apple a day after picking, we always end up with a lot to use. Of course, I'll make a pie, but I like to try out apples in other dishes as well. Hence this super decadent autumn mac n' cheese. I was left with a bit of applesauce that wouldn't fit in one my my jars, so I used it in this dish along with some local pastured pork, spices, and creamy cheese sauce. It's autumn in a dish. I served this mac n' cheese with a side of roasted romanesco. It's a really rich dish, so a vegetable is highly recommended. It will easily serve about 6 people.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cabbage roll soup


Galumpkis (cabbage rolls) are a favorite meal of ours; however, they can be time consuming to make on a weeknight. I saw this sauerkraut cabbage roll soup and was inspired to create a soup version of our classic family dish. As you've already seen, I've been canning and preserving a lot this year. This has provided me with an abundance of diced and crushed tomatoes - so I already had those on hand. I've made a couple small batches of sauerkraut, had some cabbage in the fridge, and ground beef in the freezer (from our 1/4 grass-fed organic cow we ordered this year). I've been making broths as well. I'm really trying my hardest to cut our food costs while ensuring that we are still eating healthfully, seasonally, organic, etc. as much as possible. Since we are in the harvest season, this is the easiest time of year to do that and that's why I'm canning, freezing, etc. more than before. This soup is a great example of a relatively easy and inexpensive dinner that utilized ingredients that were already in my home. This recipe will make about four to five main dish servings of soup. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hot and spicy refrigerator turnip pickles


Is it obvious yet that I am really enjoying canning, pickling, and all sorts of preserving this year? My husband and I dream of having a little self-sufficient green home and farm someday, so I've been practicing my homesteading skills. Plus, we are trying to save money and eat as local as possible, so when we get a bunch of free produce from our family's garden, or score a good deal at the farmers' market, I want to find a way to make it last and not go to waste. I had seen this recipe for quick turnip pickles a while back and when we got a big bag of turnips recently, I decided it was time to try pickling them. I only discovered turnips a few years ago, and now I love them. Since they have a bit of a bite, I thought that using some fresh jalapenos and increasing the Indian spices in them would be a good experiment. I was right. These pickles are spicy and a bit hot, but not over-the-top hot. They would be a great addition to any Indian dish or part of a relish tray (I like to just grab one out of the fridge every once in a while - but, be careful, they are full of turmeric and will stain!). This recipe will make one quart jar of pickles.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Spiced pickled sugar pumpkin


Recently, my husband was visiting with his aunt and she mentioned that her grandmother used to make pumpkin pickles. She said she hadn't had them since she was a kid - so as soon as he told me about this, I was on the job! I had never heard of pumpkin pickles before, so at first I turned to Google and came up with a few recipes, including this one that I partially used as a guide. I also have this little Heinz pickling book from the 70s that my mom gave me. Low and behold, there was a recipe for pickled pumpkin in there as well. The main differences in the ones I read were the spices people used. For me, I wanted to go with spices I associate more with fall and pumpkins, so my adapted recipe is below. I tasted one of the pumpkin pieces before putting them in the jars and it was pretty good. They need to cure in the jars for at least two weeks before you eat them though, so I expect that the flavor will continue to improve and they will take in more of the spice flavors.

This recipe will make 4 pints of pickles. I think these will be a nice fall treat and a great addition to a holiday cheese plate or relish tray. I also think they are pretty unique and would be a lovely gift to bring to a fall dinner. I'm definitely enjoying learning more about canning and preserving foods this year. Our stash is growing every week!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Peach and pecan streusel bread


This bread was a result of leftover peaches from canning. I canned seven quarts of peaches over the weekend and ended up with some peeled/cut peaches that I couldn't fit in a jar along with a few more extra whole peaches that were getting super ripe and very sweet. I spiced the bread with a little cinnamon and ginger and added pecans, making it a lovely combination of flavors and scents to make the transition from summer to fall. Also, whenever I have the opportunity to add a streusel to something, I tend to take it. I love the way it makes the top of the quick bread golden and crisp while the inside is soft and moist. I always cut down the sugar in my baked goods. Most quick breads call for about 1 full cup of sugar per loaf. Since we don't eat a lot of sugar, that's just too much for us. If you want a very sweet bread/more like a cake, feel free to increase the sugar. I think the streusel and using sweet seasonal fruits make this bread pretty sweet already.

This recipe will yield one 9x5" loaf. It would be adaptable to other fruits like pears and apples as well. You can change up the nuts and spices to have a new combination each time. Fall is my favorite season and I'm happy to welcome it with a warm slice of bread featuring the last of my summer fruits and a hot cup of tea.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hungarian mushroom soup


I always get excited when soup season arrives. To me, soup is such a comforting dish to have on a cool day. Plus, there are so many different possibilities when it comes to soup. I think it's impossible to ever run out of ideas and recipes! This Hungarian mushroom soup is inspired by this recipe at All Recipes, the container of Hungarian paprika I had in my pantry, and my huge tarragon plant. I've made roasted cream of mushroom soup before, but I wanted to incorporate the spicier paprika into a soup along with some fresh tarragon. This soup is really delicious. It's also very rich from the milk and sour cream. I think it's best served as a cup of soup with a larger meal or as a lunch with some bread and a salad. I could have eaten the whole pot though. This recipe will make four servings and is a lovely way to warm up after being outside on a crisp autumn day!