Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Simple Pleasure: Respelli

Below is another recipe from our friend Lynne. Respelli is dough tied into a knot and deep fried. It's simple, yet delicious and is great as bread for the table. You can even add things inside the respelli such as anchovies, cheese, chocolate, etc.

3 small potatoes cooked (approx. 1 lb.)
1/2 large cake of yeast, + a little
1 cup warm water
1+ Tbsp salt
1+ tsp sugar
5 lbs flour
Wesson or Cannola oil

Boil potatoes. Save water. Mash potatoes and keep at room temperature. Mix yeast, salt and sugar in warm potato water. Put flour in bowl. Add mashed potatoes and blend with pastry blender until mealy. Add 2+ heaping tbsp Crisco and continue blending with pastry blender. Make well in flour and pour in yeast mixture. Add water as needed and mix with hands. Continue mixing until dough starts to pul away from bowl. Should use 2+ cups of water in total. Put dough on counter and knead. Add Crisco to loosen/soften and to get good consistency (approx. 1/2 cup or more). Dough is ready when it's soft and doesn't stick to the counter. No extra or more flour is needed. Cover with id or towel and let rise in warm place. Punch down in approx. 1.5 to 2 hours and let rise 1/2 hour more. Fill pot with oil (1/2 full or less). Fry for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden.

Bacala (Codfish) Stew

The other day we went over to our friend Lynne's house. She was making a traditional Italian Christmas Eve meal consisting of A LOT of fish! One of the recipes she made was called Bacala. It's a codfish stew that resembles chunky red sauce and it was delicious. I don't even like fish and I thought it was wonderful so I decided to post the recipe here to share. Enjoy!
Bacala Stew
2 -- 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
5 medium onions-chopped
5-6 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic minced
1/2-3/4 (max) cup dry sherry (do not use cooking wine)
2 to 2 1/2 pounds of fresh cod-rinse and remove all bones
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pot, cook onions until transparent. Add crushed tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook-simmering for about 4 hours until the sauce thickens and is not watery. This is better if done the day before so the flavors mix well. Refrigerate with lid on until afternoon of the dinner. Then return to low heat. Add the cod about one half hour before ready to serve. Add it very carefully and stir very GENTLY so as not to break up the cod too much-you want it in pieces-not all flaked apart.

Serve in a soup tureen and enjoy!
Bacala pictured towards the top of the plate

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Zuma Tex-Mex Grill

We're always in search of a good Tex-Mex place. After Marco did a quick google search, he came across Zuma's in Faneuil Hall. We decided to try it out on a Thursday night. After a few minutes searching (the map online is wrong), we finally found it located next to Newbury Comics in the basement of one of the arcades. The place was pretty dead. There were maybe 4 or 5 other tables filled but the atmosphere was comfortable and inviting and we settled in ready for our meal. Prices at Zuma's are reasonable. Meals are generally around 10-15 bucks and portions are a nice size. We were served the endless tortilla chips and ate two baskets of them. They were good, needed some salt, but good. The salsa was pretty spicy (I was surprised) but it was also good. A few of us ordered drinks. Marco, Jeremy, and Bob ordered frozen Margaritas which were $7.95 a piece. The drinks were fine, but not as good as Fajita's and Ritas and for the price, it's a much better deal over at F&R. For dinner, I ordered the enchilada verde ($9.95). It was good, but dry. Normally, an enchilada verde comes covered in verde sauce but this did not, instead, it was covered in cheese. I think if they served it with some sour cream it would have been okay. The rice was a bit dry too and the beans were just okay. It had a lot of potential and I think if it was just a bit more moist I would have loved it. Bob and Marco had the quesadillas (Bob had the grilled steak, Marco, the chicken). They both enjoyed their meals. Marco did comment that his was dry as well. Jeremy had a burrito and it came with a knife stabbed into it. He had the same comment as Marco and myself. It was good but a bit dry.

Overall, Zuma Tex-Mex Grill was enjoyable. I would definitely go back (but perhaps at lunch when they were busier so the service would be quicker and the food maybe less dry since a fast turn-over would be required). Zuma's would be a great after-work or work-lunch place. I think they might have been having an off night when we experienced the dryer food so I would want to go back before I made my final decision on this place.

Zuma's Menu

Zuma Tex-Mex Grill on Urbanspoon

Orange Balls

The next installment in the Advent Cookie Countdown on this 4th Sunday of Advent is the recipe for "Orange Balls." I wish there were a more original name for these, but I suppose you know right from the get-go what you are going be eating.

Orange Balls

1 12-oz. package of vanilla wafers, crushed (Again, any inexpensive plain cookie would be fine.)
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 16-oz. package of powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 6-oz. can of Orange Juice concentrate, undiluted!

Combine all ingredients in a food processor in the order in which they are listed. Form into walnut-sized balls. Roll in powdered sugar and allow to "dry" for at least an hour before serving.


Variation: Orange "Truffles"

The last time I made these, I halved the recipe...but I think I goofed and did not half one of the liquid ingredients since the cookies seemed to be softer than normal. So, after forming the balls and letting them dry for a day, we covered them in melted chocolate and then let those dry for day. We then wrapped the individual "truffles" in little squares of wax paper and put them in a candy dish. Everyone LOVED them!

Since it was a "save" from a mistake in the recipe, I don't know exactly how I did it, but I think basically, just add little extra OJ concentrate to make the mixture a little more moist and go from there!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bourbon Balls

Growing up, we always made different kinds of "balls" during Christmastime: Orange Balls, Date Balls, Crème de Cocoa balls, and Bourbon Balls. They are no-bake formed cookies that are quick, easy, and delicious. Below is the recipe for Bourbon Balls.

Bourbon Balls

2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (any inexpensive "plain" cookie would be fine)
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
2 Tbsp corn syrup (both light or dark will be fine)

Mix the ingredients together in a food processor in the order in which they appear. Shape into walnut-sized balls. Roll in powdered sugar. (This last step is important; don't skip it!)

Yields 3 dozen.

The Villa

We were so excited to try the Villa the other night. We'd hear good things about if from the Dean, and she and Adam have been before and loved it. So, on a rainy night, hungry for Italian food, we made our way over to Wayland. As we walk in, we were greeted and immediately sat in a small booth. Taking a look at the full parking lot, I was worried we would have to wait, but luckily we didn't.

Peter and I both were craving chicken Parmigiana for some reason, so that's what we ended up getting. Sometimes, you just want comfort food! Peter got the Chicken Parm special, and I got a combo with Chicken Parm and Baked Lasagne. The Chicken Parm was good, but my favorite was their Lasagne.

Adam got the Prime Rib special and absolutely loved it--and it was only around $14!
Also, for dessert, they had quite an assortment of desserts "made in the North End." I also saw that they had Spumoni, which is one of my (and my family's) favorite Italian desserts. Their version was not my favorite, but it was still good.

The Villa Restaurant
124 East Plain Street
Wayland, MA 01778
Tel: (508) 653-8570

Friday, December 19, 2008


Here is a quick, simple, and good recipe for Rosenmunnar, a type of Swedish thumbprint cookie. It's a buttery tasting dough with a dollop of jam in the middle. We used our own jam made of raspberries from our garden in the Fenway as well as some fancy strawberry jam we bought at the store. Both were great.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup any flavor fruit jam

1. Cream butter & sugar together
2. Add sifted flour
3. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet. Press your thumb in the middle of the ball to create a divot in which to put some of the fruit jam. Fill the divot with the fruit jam. Depending on the jam type, you will need to alter the amount so it doesn't bubble over, out of the cookie. Although, this does create a nice homemade look if it does happen so don't worry about it too much.
4. Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees or until golden brown around the edges.

Makes about 20 cookies

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Junior's - NYC

Junior’s Deli – Expensive and Blah.

With only an hour left before leaving NYC, we decided again to have a quick lunch around the hotel before driving back to Boston. Kristine had noticed a place called Junior’s Deli, on west 45th street, across the street from our hotel. It looked like a old fashioned deli, and seemed kind of fun. So, we stopped in.

Sunday was an exceptionally warm afternoon (65 degrees) and when we walked into the restaurant, it was SO hot, we started to sweat. Seriously, it must have been 80 in the room. The host sat us, and everyone seemed to be fanning themselves. We were miserable, and almost walked out, but saw a seat on the patio open. Yes, the patio was open in Mid December. Thanks, Global Warming. They were nice enough to reseat us.

On the way to our seat, a waiter pushed Jon out of the way carrying a tray of food, and only said sorry when he was practically out of earshot. The waitress took our orders. Jed asked for a hamburger, but asked if the bun could not be toasted. She said, “If they’re busy, they’re just going to toast it anyway.” Ok. Jon and Kristine got a salad and half sandwich combo, and I got a chicken salad sandwich. No sides came with any of the meals. A communal serving of cole slaw, pickled beets and pickles were served to the table in lieu of bread. All were good.

My sandwich was great. Big thick chucks of chicken, with not a lot of mayo. It was kind of weird not having fries or anything, but I managed. Jed’s hamburger bun was of course buttered and grilled and soggy even before the burger touched it. Exactly what he didn’t want. Poor Jon picked up the pepper half way through his meal, and the top came off, spilling the entire shaker onto his meal, ruining it. The waitress cleared our plates, looked at Jon’s plate with a mound of pepper, and didn’t say a word. Didn’t ask if everything was ok, and didn’t ask if she could get him something else. We left quickly, and Jon got a delicious chicken-on-a-stick from a street vendor.

The food at Junior’s was satisfactory, the service was minimal, and I ended up paying $14.00 for a chicken salad sandwich, with nothing on it.

Do not go to Junior’s. That’s my humble opinion. You’ll have a much better time at O’Lunney’s across the street.

Junior's Cheesecake on Urbanspoon

When you want touristy Dublin in touristy New York

O’Lunney’s Time’s Square Pub

My friends and I got to NYC around 12:30, and had a 3pm showing of Equus in Time’s Square. We had a couple of hours to walk around, and decided to have lunch in the area. I’ve had my fair share of Time's Square food (i.e. TGIFridays for $17 a hamburger), but were were crunched for time. We found this small Irish pub on West 45th street, and decided to take our chances.

The pub was decorated just how you would expect an Irish pub to look. Lots of green, brown, and beige. We were seated promptly, and drinks were served. They had all the major import beers on tap, and most of my friends got pints. I got a traditional Irish Onion Soup, which was finished with a touch of cream and topped with a garlic crouton and melted mozzarella cheese. It was intense, but tasty.

Lunches were served quickly. I got a Cobb Salad Wrap with vegetables instead of fries. Jed got the Yankee Pot Roast which was sliced tender beef with rich pan gravy, mashed potatoes and a braised red cabbage. The potatoes looked amazing, and Jed couldn’t stop raving about the cabbage, even though he said he doesn’t normally like cabbage. Jon got a buffalo chicken wrap with no complaints.

I’m telling everyone about this place because I’ve been to Time’s Square a few times, and the food is always hit or miss. Always expensive, and sometimes not worth it. Well, I would say this place is reasonably priced, and has good food, with a nice staff. If you’re stuck in Time’s Square, you can’t go wrong with O’Lunney’s.

O'Lunney's Times Square Pub on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tao in the City

On the recommendation of two friends, I went to Tao for dinner in New York City on Saturday night. I Must say, I was more than impressed by everything.

Tao is a converted movie theatre located in 42 E 58th St in Manhattan. One could say it's PF Changs meets 28 Degrees. It was a loungy, fun, hip restaurant with great atmosphere and superior service. We arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule, and our host just smiled and led us upstairs. We passed a large open area with a 16 foot Buddha in a coy pond. Other tables were spread around an upstairs balcony, and there was also a third level even higher has a glassed in “Sky Box” for private dining. There was traditional Tibetan decorations around the whole restaurant, and a small sushi bar was located to our left.

Our service, though late when greeting us, remained constant, professional and fast all night. Not a single napkin or toothpick remained on our table more than 2 minutes.

For drinks, we ordered an apple martini, pear martini and something called a Tao #9, which was vodka, cranberry, and energy drink. All were great.

For appetizers, we got a Satay of Chicken with Peanut Sauce, Crispy Tuna Sashami Roll with Edaname, and Bamboo Steamed Vegetable Dumplings with Crunchy Cucumber. Everyone enjoyed their appetizers. I LOVED my sashimi. It was the thickest chuck of tuna I’ve ever had in a sushi roll. Kristine loved her dumplings, but said they were too spicy for me to try.

Dinner arrived right after appetizers. Jon and I got Pad Thai, which put every restaurant in Boston to shame. Kristine got the Red Curry Coconut Chicken, but was not a huge fan of the amount of coconut milk used. Jed decided on a medley of appetizers, and got a side of steamed vegetables with and a small plate of lacquered Roast Pork.

Interesting story about the men’s room. I walked behind the Buddha downstairs to the restrooms. The stairwell was decorated like a Tibetian monastery, with chant music playing softly. I went downstairs and saw two doors. “Ying” and “Yang.” That’s it. No man or woman picture to help. Just “Ying” and “Yang.” I had to stop for a full 20 seconds weighing my option and trying to remember anything I remembered on the careful balance of the universe. I choose “Yang” and was gratefully correct, since a bathroom attendant greeted me instantaneously. The sink was cool, as it was a huge empty steel barrel with a ton of polished stones to collect the tap water. Fun. Although bathroom attendants almost always make me nervous. A quick poll of my dining companions found that one person would have in fact went in the wrong room, while the other would have waited until they saw someone else either come or go.

I didn’t take pictures, because I was told I was sitting 2 feet from a famous baseball player named AJ Something, and didn’t want him to think I was snapping photos.

All in all, GREAT restauarant. We had a fantastic time, good food, and I just loved the loungy Tibetan atmostphere. I would recommend this place to anyone. Try the Sushi, and just avoid the coconut curry chicken!

And yes, this was also featured in Sex and the City.

Tao on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weihnachtsmarkt! Translation: Christmas Market!

These are free outdoor street markets that are in almost every German town square during the advent season. Vendors set up in stalls decorated for Christmas. There is usually a large Christmas tree trimmed and lit in the market place. The custom is common to Germany and parts of Austria and dates back to the 1300’s.
I had the opportunity to be in Germany for the first advent and toured the Christmas Markets in Moers, Düsseldorf, and Cologne.
In Moers, there was a stage with a band playing music, a skating rink, pony rides, and lots of Glühwein! This is one of my favorites! It is a warm spiced red wine, usually served with a shot of something sweet, like amaretto!
At Düsseldorf’s Christmas Market I had the best treat I’ve ever had in Germany, Flammkuchen! This is a wonderful comfort food! It is bread covered with Crème fraîche and bacon and then placed into a very hot brick oven. There is also a potato version, which I could not help but shove in my mouth!
As one would expect, there were bratwurst vendors as well! They use the original charcoal grills to get the best taste. There were hearty spicy Karkauer, original bratwurst, curry sausage, and roasted mushrooms with garlic dip. The brats are served on a delicious roll with optional mustard. I would highly recommend any mustard from Germany!
In Cologne, we tried many different sweats. They sold crepes with toppings like nutella, waffles with toppings, glazed almonds, roasted nuts and the Kartoffelpuffer with applesauce or sugar. Kartoffelpuffer is a fried potato pancake that is normally enjoyed with applesauce.
Another popular vendor is the Stollen Stall. Here you can buy Stollen, which is a bread-like cake made with citrus, nuts, marzipan, and covered in icing sugar. Stollen dates back to the 1400’s in Germany and is often given as a gift during the Christmas season. Germans even use a special knife called a Stollenmesser to cut and serve the Stollen.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Chocolate-Drizzled Coconut Marshmallows

Here is a recipe for home-made marshmallows. I was first introduced to making marshmallows by my friend Adam and fell in love with the idea once I saw how easy and good they were to make! You can experiment with different colors and flavors but the basic recipe stays the same.

Note: You will need a counter-top mixer for this. A hand mixer will not work!

Step 1: Mix 3 packets of gelatin powder with 1/2 cold water in a mixing bowl.
Step 2: In a medium sauce pan mix together:
1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup water
Stir on medium heat until the sugar melts in the mixture. Then raise the heat and keep heating mixture until the temperature reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Step 3: Once temperature is reached, carefully pour the hot mix into the mixing bowl with the gelatin and water. Have the mixer going (with the whisk) on low speed. You may want to use a guard so it doesn't splatter on you.

Step 4: After all the hot mixture is in the mixing bowl, turn the mixer up to high and whisk the mixture for about 15 minutes adding 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract about halfway through.
Step 5: As this is mixing, toast a bag of shredded coconut. After it's toasted, spread 1/2 of the coconut on the bottom of a 8"x12" pan (I like to use a Pyrex or ceramic one).

Step 6: After the 15 minutes is up, take a WET spatula and scoop the mixture into the coconut covered pan. Wet your hands and use them to smooth out the mixture in the pan, covering the whole bottom.

Step 7: After the mixture is smoothed out, take the rest of the coconut and sprinkle it over the top of the marshmallow, pressing down so they stick.

Step 8: Take a handful of semi-sweet chocolate and melt it in a double boiler with about 2 tablespoons of milk. This will make a nice chocolate glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the marshmallows and coconut mixture.

Step 9: Leave pan out in the open air for 24 hours. After, wet a knife and begin cutting out the marshmallows. Keep wetting the knife so the marshmallows don't stick to it. After you cut a marshmallow, roll the sides in confectioner's sugar so they aren't sticky.

Step 10: Serve & Enjoy!

Note: Seem like a huge mess to clean up? Not at all! Everything dissolves super easily in warm water. Barely any scrubbing required.

Marshmallows before being cut into pieces. Looks like a Jackson Pollock painting!

Friday, December 12, 2008


It's that time of year again. My favorite time. Every Christmas Eve growing up, my Grandma would zoom over to our house, in her little blue car, to drop off our family's share of struffoli. Struffoli was and is my most favorite dessert of all time. How could you not love deep fried dough balls drenched in honey and covered in sprinkles?!

Struffoli is a traditional Neapolitan dessert served at Christmas time originating in southern Italy. While my Grandmother is not with us anymore to make us this special dish, she did leave behind the family recipe which, for the past two years, I have been in charge of making. Our struffoli is a simple (but secret!) recipe (I'm sure you can find a decent one online) consisting primarily of a ton of eggs and flour with a bit of sugar and oil and other small things thrown in.

Once you have the dough mixed together, you kneed it a bit and roll it into cigar-size ropes, cutting them into small pieces.

After you have cut up the dough, toss it into hot oil (around 350 degrees works best) to deep fry.

After the balls float and turn golden "honey" brown, let them drain and cool on a paper towel and then drench them in a TON (like a whole bottle, the more the better) of honey and cover with small rainbow ball sprinkles.

Struffoli tastes best after about a day of sitting in the honey. Before serving, make sure to stir up the balls since the honey tends to pool together on the bottom of the dish. My grandmother served them on a Christmas paper plate and covered them in wax paper. They last for a long time and seem to get better with age. Don't leave them out too long or else they might just disappear!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Lucky Wah!

Tonight on the way home from work, we decided to run a few errands in Coolidge Corner. After we were done, Adam had a hankering for Chinese food--and I, of course, never pass-up a chance for Asian food! Luckily, we were parked right across the street from Lucky Wah restaurant on Beacon St. We decided to give it a try.

Peter and Adam both got the General Gao's Chicken (a.k.a. General Tso's outside of New England) combination plate. Peter said the boneless spare ribs he got as his appetizer were fantastic. He said the chicken was also quite good. I'm interested to see what Adam has to say about his meal...

I was in the mood for something spicy, so I decided to get the "Hunan Beef." I've never had that dish anywhere before, and I did enjoy it. This particular dish seemed to be sliced brisket dredged in a very light breading and lightly fried. They then put a nice spicy sauce on it. My Egg Roll was also very good.

Now that they've done away with the place we used to go to for fast Chinese when we're at BC, we're happy to have found a new place!

Lucky Wah Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 5, 2008

Greek Koulourakia

This is a recipe for Greek cookies (that I got from my great-aunt, Ciocia Stella...who's Polish) that reminds me of my Italian grandmother's Easter Pigna. They are great every day cookies, you can even serve them at breakfast.

Greek Koulourakia
A.K.A: Braided cookies.
Yields 50-60 cookies.


½ lb butter (at room temperature)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
½ cup orange juice
6 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda

Topping Ingredients
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk

1. Preheat oven to 350º F
2. Cream butter with mixer until it becomes white & fluffy (about 4 minutes)
3. Add sugar gradually and continue mixing
4. Add eggs one at a time
5. In a separate bowl, combing flour, baking powder, and soda.
6. Alternating, add the dry ingredients and the orange juice a little at a time to the mixing bowl and continue mixing until ingredients become doughy enough to handle (mixer will start to struggle).
7. While still in the bowl, knead mixture until it’s stiff enough to shape.
8. Break off enough dough to make a 1 ½ “ ball
9. Roll this out on a clean surface to form a 9” strand. Take each end of this strand, bring them together, and criss-cross each of them over each other twice.
10. Place on greased cookie sheets.
11. Combine topping ingredients and beat well. Use a brush to coat the top of each cookie lightly once.
12. Bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving In Germany!

I'd like to share my "Traditional" German Thanksgiving with you! We began the meal with a nice pumpkin squash soup. It is similar to the Autumn Bisque recipe posted earlier but with more cream and no apples or potatoes. The soup was served with brioche, which were a bit hard by the time we ate.
Since turkey is not very common in Germany my fiancé and I decided to cook goose. This goose was cooked for 8 hours and was coated in maple syrup. We had chestnuts roasting in the pan.
Our vegetable was homemade red cabbage. Michael cut the cabbage in small strings; cooked it with some apple vinegar, some red wine, added some pieces of apple and some red currant jam and spices. We had potato dumplings and a rich gravy. The chestnuts were pan seared for a few minutes in butter and served. They were amazing mixed with the red cabbage! For desert, we made my mother's apple pie. It was a hit! I was very nervous about the pie since we had to convert the oven temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius and the pie was cooked in a small microwave convection oven instead of a large oven that I am use to in the US. But my worries were calmed as soon as I took my first bite. The pie was delicious! The crust was flaky and the apple filing was sweat and tart. Here is the recipe we used:

MOM’S Apple Pie

¾ Cup of Sugar
¼ Cup of All-Purpose Flour
½ Tsp Nutmeg (Alternate use Cinnamon)
1 Tsp Cinnamon
Dash of Salt
7-8 Large size Peeled Apples, Cut in Quarters
Note: Use Tart Apples (Firm not Soft)
1 or 2 Tbls Butter

Stir Together: Sugar, Flour, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Salt and Mix in Apples. Set aside and prepare crust.

PIE CRUST: 8” OR 9” Two Crust Pie (Top and Bottom)
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Tsp. Salt
2/3 Cup + 2 Tbls. Shortening (Crisco) or Alternate 2/3 Cup of Lard
4 to 5 Tbls. Cold Water

Measure flour and salt into bowl, cut in shortening, mix thoroughly, sprinkle in water 1 Tbls at a time mixing well until all the flour is moistened.

Gather dough into a ball and roll ½ for the bottom. Note: sprinkle flour on the board or use waxed paper to prevent sticking and then roll. Then put board in freezer for 5 mins, it makes it easier to pickup and place in pan. Prick dough in pan with a fork then put in Apples. Put a little pad of butter (1 Tbls) on top. Then apply the crust on top and prick the top with a fork also. Place a 2” wide strip of Aluminum Foil all around the edge so the edge does not burn. Remove in the last 5 mins of baking.

Fill Pie Crust and add Butter on top of Apples. Cover with Top Crust

Mix 2 Tbls of Sugar and a 1Tbls of milk and mix together, then spread on top of crust. Make sure to prick top of crust then bake for 40-50 minutes at 425F (218C) until juice comes to the top.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Autumn Bisque

What better way to warm yourself during a cold, hard Recession then with soup? Below is a wonderful recipe for our friend, Tim's, Autumn Bisque. My family had it this Thanksgiving as an appetizer (see picture below). This bisque is not as "bisque-ous" (pardon the pun) as the other Autumn Bisque we posted about--nor as sweet, but I think this one wins out!

Autumn Bisque

1/4 cup butter
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped
4 tart red apples, cored and diced (do not peel)
10 cups chicken broth
2 whole bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat; add onion, celery and potatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until onions and celery are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add butternut squash and apples. Cook for 3 minutes more, stirring constantly; add chicken broth, bay leaves and cinnamon.

Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and mash the vegetables until smooth. (Of course, an immersion blender works wonders--just be careful!!) Add cream, then season with salt and pepper.

Makes 12 servings.

Recession Recipes

As our Country tries to work it's way out of this Recession, we all are feeling a tightening of our belts and as we all know, gourmands loosen their belts, not tighten them, so this has been especially hard on those of us who love to dine out. While it's important to support your local restaurants in times like these, it's more important to make sure you are being conscious of your money.

That being said, you may notice that recently we have scaled back on a lot of our restaurant reviews. Instead, in these next few months, you will see a plethora of recipes that you can make at home; recipes that we have tried and enjoyed. It's a perfect time to bring out that old copper pot and brush up on your cooking skills. We hope you enjoy exploring these new recipes as much as we enjoyed cooking them!

Bon Appétit!

Y'all need moonshine for your fruitcakes this year?

This feller might be able to help...