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Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

I love teaching during the colorful days of autumn.

Over the past week, the students in my class have been busy finding autumnal inspiration to include in their poetry.

We’ve spoken a lot about letting our senses speak through poetry.

We can see the lovely bold colors and the days getting darker.

We can feel the days getting cooler.

We can hear the leaves tumbling in the howling wind.

What about the taste of autumn?

How are they to understand the smell?

Don’t worry, I’ve got that one covered.

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Covered in puff pastry, that is!

Any excuse to get these kids in the kitchen, people.

During my prep lesson yesterday, I practiced baking these delicious caramel stuffed, pastry wrapped baked apples.

I photographed the steps in hopes of preparing a guide for my students, but once all was said and done, I realized this wasn’t the recipe for my class. 

I ended up going with a simpler baked apple recipe, but I still wanted to share this gem of a dish with all of you!

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The ingredients were pretty basic: puff pastry, caramel, brown sugar and cinnamon, an egg and apples.

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To prepare, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

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Create and egg wash by beating an egg and 1 Tbsp. water together.

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Slice off the top of the apple, leaving the stem intact.

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Remove the core, being sure not to go all the way through the bottom of the apple.

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Carefully get in there to get out all of the seeds.

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Peel the whole apple. I did the cutting and coring first because I didn’t want the kids working with knives on slippery apple flesh.

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See? Core removed but base intact!

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Remember that bowl of cinnamon sugar? Now’s its time to shine. Roll the apple around in the brown sugar to coat completely.

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Carefully place two caramel cubes into the hollow of the apple core. Again, be sure you don’t push too hard and pop out the bottom of the apple.

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Is your mouth watering yet?

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Next, I joined strips of puff pastry and wrapped them around my prepared apple.

By this point, I realized:

  1. Cutting, coring and peeling would be a bit too much for my kiddos.
  2. Our school kitchen wasn’t equipped with enough peelers for each student anyways.
  3. Making long snakes of puff pastry, an item which needs to be kept cool, would be difficult for my hot-handed pupils.
  4. There were simply too many steps to remember and rewrite in recipe form later in the week.

Even though I knew by this point that my students wouldn’t be making this recipe, I still wanted to finish it off.

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Create two leaves out of the puff pastry.

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Carefully place the leaves on the apple so they look like they’re coming from the stem.

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Brush the pastry with the prepared egg wash.

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Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, being sure to leave space between the pastry and foil. Place in the refrigerator to cool for half an hour before baking.

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Bake the covered apples for about 20 minutes before removing the foil and continuing to bake until the pastry is puffed up and golden, about 20 minutes longer.

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Gosh darn it, the puff pastry idea may have been out, but those leaves were too cute not to include in my students’ version!

The flaky, crumbly, sweet and gooey qualities of these baked apples were incredible! Almost like a personal-sized apple pie, I highly recommend this recipe.

So, my practice apples turned out great but weren’t going to work for my students. You may be wondering what they did during our baking lesson today.

Well, let me give you a sneak peak into our school kitchen. I’d love to share the photos of these beamingly proud kids, but can’t, so their busy little hands will have to do.

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After watching my “demonstration,” the kids cut, cored, stuffed and decorated their apples on their own.

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When he saw my fully wrapped apple the previous day, a little boy said with amazement, “Wow, Ms. Brady, that looks like a professional cook! You should go on TV!”

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Creating their own “professional cook’s” pastry leaves was a highlight of the activity for many of the kids.

Who knows, maybe I’ll be watching them on Food Network one day!

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They were all so very proud of their apples.  PA121863

Two of our baking dishes, ready for the oven!

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Sadly, my battery died before capturing the final product, but I assure you, the apples were stunning… and tasted as good as they looked!

Baked Apples with Puff Pastry Leaves

If 8 year olds can make this dish, so can you!

Ingredients

1 tart apple

1 heaping teaspoon raisins

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1 dash nutmeg and cinnamon

1/2 Tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Puff pastry

1 egg + 1 Tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Cut off the top of the apple, being sure to keep the stem intact.
  3. Carefully remove the core of the apple. Take care not to cut all the way through the bottom.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the raisins, brown sugar, nutmeg and dash of cinnamon.
  5. Stuff this mixture into the hollow of the apple, again, be sure not to push the stuffing through the bottom!
  6. Top the stuffing with the butter.
  7. Place the apple in a baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  8. Replace the top of the apple.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut two leaf shapes from the puff pastry. Add the veins of the leaves by gently pressing half-way into the pastry with the back of a knife.
  10. Next, place the leaves on the apple.
  11. Whisk together the egg and water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the pastry with the egg wash.
  12. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving room between the foil and pastry.
  13. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes.
  14. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the pastry has puffed and is golden brown.
  15. Cool before serving.

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I was so proud of the way these kids worked today. Even when two other teachers came into the kitchen and started making a racket, my students were so focused in apple baking mode that they didn’t even look up. I find this photo so funny!

If you’re a parent, I beg you, get in the kitchen and get to cookin’ with your kids. You will both leave the kitchen with happy hearts, full tummies and wonderful memories!

Happy Fall, Y’all!

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I woke up yesterday morning to news that my Grandpa passed away. He’s been very sick and unable to care for himself, so his death comes as a blessing.

I’m not really sad about his passing as I believe in the hope of Heaven, but I do feel very far from my family right now.

I wish I could be there to talk to my mom and hear happy stories about her childhood; to celebrate his life with whole family.

It may sound ridiculous, but one thing that brought comfort yesterday morning was my breakfast. The flavors in these pancakes remind me of my mom’s pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

Although I might not have been sitting in my mom’s kitchen yesterday morning, I brought her here to join me through pumpkins and warm, comforting memories.

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups flour
  • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 whole eggs beaten
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 150 grams roasted pumpkin (or puree)

Method

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. The color will be a fantastic bright orange.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until combined.
  4. Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the prepared skillet. Flip when bubbles begin to rise and the bottom of the pancakes are golden brown.
  5. Serve with maple butter icing.

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We’ll miss you, Grandpa.

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Mmmm… homemade pasta!

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We make the best pasta right in this tiny German kitchen.

Topped with tomato sauce absolutely loaded with fresh, CSA veggies, this meal hit the spot!

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CSA Tomato Sauce

Feel free to alter the vegetables depending on what you have on hand.

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons olive oil

3 shallots, finely diced

2 celery stalks, finely diced

2 carrots, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely diced

1/4 cup red wine

1 zucchini, diced

6 crimini mushrooms, diced

2 tomatoes, diced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

2 dried chili peppers, crushed

dried basil, oregano, marjoram, salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat with the olive oil. Add the shallots, celery and carrots. Cook until the shallots begin to release their liquids. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  2. Stir in the red wine and cook until the liquid reduces by about half.
  3. Add the zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes. Continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried chilies and herbs. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low.
  5. Continue to cook over a low heat until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency. Taste then season as needed.
  6. Serve over hot pasta with fresh basil and graded parmesan cheese.

I’ve been busy working away at school in an attempt to finish my classroom before going to Budapest.

The school hausmeister is away this week so the projects I needed his help with will have to wait until I’m back.

My biggest project this summer has been to reorganize the classroom library.

I bought two extra book shelves at IKEA and Sebastian helped me put them together this morning. The books are all in their new homes and the labels are designed and waiting to be printed tomorrow. 

I can not wait to have my new and improved classroom library up and running!

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If I told you that the trees are already changing colors in Bonn, would you believe me?

I’ve only worn shorts once this year and have spent most of the days in blue jeans and long sleeved shirts.

The weather this “summer” has been unbelievable, and to accompany this cold weather, I’ve come down with a terrible cold.

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Luckily I had two cuddly cats who have been doing their best to help me feel better.

Getting well has been my top priority for two main reasons:

1. I have to completely prepare my classroom by Wednesday afternoon.

2. Thursday morning, Sebastian and I are off to Budapest, Hungary for our summer vacation.

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Sadly, this has been my view from the couch since Friday. After three days out flat with this terrible cold, today is the first day I’ve felt human again.

Now that I’m feeling more like myself, I am back in the kitchen!

This recipe for zucchini, squash and ricotta galette had me at hello.

While unpacking the zucchini and eggplant from my CSA box on Friday, I knew I wanted to put my own spin on Erin’s mouthwatering recipe.

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I quickly put together the pastry dough in the food processor this morning before heading out to the local flea market.

Flea markets in Germany are fantastic. More like a good, community garage sale in the US than a crappy parking lot flea market.

Today I bought two items, a spaetzle maker and this wonderful bag of giant butterflies that I will use to decorate my classroom.

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With these giant butterflies suspended from the ceiling, I hope my new students feel like they’ve walked into a magical world on their first day of school!ubahnbutterfly

I’ve become a bit partial towards nylon butterflies since last year’s Carnival costume.

Once back home, I cut up the vegetables and made the ricotta filling for the galette.

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I followed the original recipe with only one substitution. I used an eggplant in place of the yellow squash.

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Beautiful!

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This dish is light and delicate. My only complaint is that the moisture of the zucchini and eggplant created a slightly soupy center even though I thoroughly drained the sliced veggies before baking.

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I absolutely adore the pastry in this recipe. It is so flaky, tender and perfect!

If these photos have grabbed your attention, please head over to Naturally Ella to find the recipe.

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Served with a mixed salad, this was a wonderful recipe to get me back on my feet again.

I hope to finish a few projects at school tomorrow. I am so eager to share what I’ve been up to, but want to wait until the whole class is prepared.

I hope all of you are well and have had a great weekend!

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*I found this prepared post deep in my drafts. It may not be spring and there is certainly no white asparagus available at the moment, but I still wanted to share a simple, elegant, delicious recipe. I hope you all have had a wonderful start to your work week.

I love Italian and Indian food, both of which are very vegetarian friendly.

In the land of sausages and salami however, being a vegetarian doesn’t make traditional food very accessible.

I sometimes feel a bit guilty for refusing to eat the food that is so important to the German culture.

Luckily, there are a few traditional German dishes that I adore, in all their meat-free ways.

This simple, spring soup is one of my favorite traditional dishes, spargelcremesuppe or cream of asparagus soup.

Using the white asparagus from my CSA box, this recipe was not only traditional, but local, too.

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White Asparagus Soup

Adapted from this recipe

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

1/2 c. chopped onion

2 Tablespoons butter

1- 1 1/2 pounds white asparagus, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces, heads reserved

2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

Dry white wine, to taste

Parsley for garnish

Method

  1. Peel the asparagus from the head down. Remove the heads and reserve for later. Cut off and dispose the woody ends of the asparagus then cut the remaining asparagus into small pieces.
  2. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in the butter until soft. Add the pieces of asparagus (minus the heads) and the potatoes, steam for 5 minutes. Add the broth and boil gently for about 30 minutes, or until the asparagus is very soft.
  3. Purée the soup using a hand blender.
  4. Bring the soup to a simmer and add the reserved asparagus heads. Cook at least 5 minutes, or until they are fork-tender. Remove from heat and add the cream.
  5. Taste and add salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Stir in a splash or two of white wine or vermouth. Garnish with parsley.

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Good things come to those who wait.

This phrase couldn’t be more true than when it comes to shopping in Germany. Generally, most products are much more expensive in Germany compared to the USA.

Luckily, there have been several times when waiting has proven to provide excellent discounts and savings on products I desperately wanted.

A few weekends ago, it happened again.

I found the pasta maker that I’ve been eyeballing since October for almost half the price.

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Rather than the original €130 price tag, this beauty was reduced to €70.

Admittedly, €70 is still a lot for a single kitchen appliance, but this is one of those items that time has not crossed off of my wish list.

Just a day later, I put my new toy into action.

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9 months after taking my Italian cooking course, I finally was able to use the recipe for homemade pasta.

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I cut the prepared dough into four portions then started running the dough through the pasta maker one portion at a time.

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Fresh, homemade tagliatelle.

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I boiled half of the fresh pasta in salted water for dinner and dried the other half to be given as a gift.

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A wire hanger makes a great drying rack for pasta. I imagine a thicker wooden hanger would be even better.

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I enjoyed my homemade pasta with a spicy tomato cream sauce, similar to this recipe.

Homemade Tagliatelle

Recipe reposted from the original post which contains photo instructions for making the dough and rolling/ cutting the pasta by hand.

Ingredients

For 4 servings

  • 200 grams. all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • good pinch of salt
  • drizzle of olive oil

Method

  1. Create a large circular well in the flour which goes all the way down to the cooking surface. Crack the eggs inside the well and add the salt and a little olive oil.
  2. Using a fork, begin to whisk the eggs pulling in flour from the side as you go. Keep the well sturdy and continue pulling in flour. Continue to whisk in the flour until you have only a small well-wall left.
  3. Begin to knead in the remaining flour with your finger tips. Work gently at first and then, as the dough starts to harden, knead regularly.
  4. The dough will be quite dry. Keep kneading for about 10 minutes or until your dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Make a ball with the ugly sides under and then squeeze out your dough until it is like a thick pancake. Dust your working table very lightly and dust the top of your ball of dough.
  6. Using a rolling pin, start in the center and push all your weight into a back and forth motion until you reach the ends. Rotate the dough 45 degrees and then repeat.
  7. Keep rolling out the dough and when it becomes too big, have a friend hold down the ends for you or simply fold some of the dough over the edge of the table and lightly lean on it. Roll until your dough is about 2 mm thick.
  8. Fold in two inches of the ends of your dough on both sides. Dust with flour then fold over again on both sides. Dust and repeat until you reach the middle. Fold the two ends on top of one another.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut straight down through your pasta to create a uniform width of about 1/2 cm. Keep slicing without moving your already cut pasta.
  10. Grab a hold of the first layer of pasta and shake out to separate the strands and remove excess flour. Pile up.
  11. Cook your pasta in a pot of boiling water which is very well salted (as in one whole handful of salt.) When you add the pasta the water will stop boiling. Once it begins to boil again, your pasta is cooked.
  12. Remove the pasta from the water and add directly into your prepared sauce. You may need to add a little more pasta water.
  13. Serve your pasta with more parmesan, salt and pepper.

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Last week, Sebastian came home with a BBQ Chicken pizza. It smelled fantastic. Right away, my mind started on a recipe for a completely homemade, made from scratch, vegetarian version.

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I’m so glad he gave me the inspiration, because this BBQ Chickpea Pizza with sourdough crust turned out exactly as I’d hoped.

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I made the sourdough pizza crust earlier in the week. The recipe made enough dough for two very large pizzas. I immediately used one half for the veggie pizza I posted here and simply placed the remaining dough in the refrigerator.

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The dough continued to slowly grow in the fridge, holding up exceptionally well for this recipe which was made three days later.

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I also made a homemade barbecue sauce for the pizza. I find the bottled sauces in Germany to be way too sweet. After tossing a bunch of ingredients in a pot and letting them cook together, I was left with a delicious, tangy, smoky and sweet barbecue sauce.

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I used a bit less than 1/4 cup of the sauce directly on the pizza dough then used another 1/2 cup to cook the chickpeas in. I was left with enough sauce to fill a medium sized jar which is now hanging out in the fridge, waiting to be used.

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I topped the sourdough crust and BBQ sauce with freshly shredded gouda cheese.

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As mentioned earlier, I cooked about 1 cup of drained and rinsed canned garbanzo beans in 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce. I let the sauce cook until it had reduced and thickened around the chickpeas.

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On top of the cooked BBQ chickpeas, I placed a few plain chickpeas, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, thinly sliced red onions and fresh mozzarella cheese.

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The pizza was cooked at a moderately high temperature until the crust and cheese were golden brown. Sprinkled with finely sliced basil leaves, this pizza was good to go!

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Delicious!

Homemade BBQ Sauce

(I sort of tossed in ingredients as I went along so this is more of an estimate than an exact recipe. Adjust the spices to fit your tastes.)

Makes about 2 cups BBQ sauce

Ingredients

1/3 cup molasses

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion

1 cup ketchup

1 tsp. tamarind paste

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/ tsp. ground mustard

1 tsp. smoked paprika

red pepper flakes to taste

Method

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small sauce pan. Heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce reaches a desirable consistency.

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