October 27, 2014

Whole Wheat Maple Scones

Whole Wheat Maple Scones

Whole Wheat Maple Scones

I've had many scones that are nearly indistinguishable from muffins—soft and fluffy with a top that is just slightly firmer than the interior. That's not what I'm looking for in a scone. I want a scone to be very crisp and even a little dry so you can break off chunks and pop them in your mouth to be followed by a sip of hot tea or coffee. 

I've been on a maple kick lately so my pantry has an arsenal of maple essentials; syrup, sugar and extract—and using all three in a recipe really punches up the maple flavor which is kind of hard to achieve with just one of these elements.

I used whole wheat pastry flour which subs so well for AP and delivers heartier flavor while still staying tender, and made a maple glaze with butter and cream to spoon over the top of the finished scones. You can skip the glaze, if you like. Still good—lightly sweet and less sticky.

October 21, 2014

"New Midwestern Table" Milk Cabbage

"New Midwestern" Milk Cabbage

"New Midwestern" Milk Cabbage

Last weekend I read Amy Thielen's cookbook, The New Midwestern Table from cover to cover and I really can't say enough about it.

I'll try and make nearly everything (perhaps not the headcheese although she manages to make it look and sound delicious) but the recipes aren't even the best part of the book. The best part is the way she writes, with a voice that is sure of itself but not show-offy and laced with affection and appreciation of her roots that, like mine, aren't sexy Mediterranean or Latin but stolid German, Slovakian maybe with a little French Canadian thrown in. The food reflects the sensibilities of these people—straightforward, thrifty, nourishing and delicious. Meat, potatoes, gravy, lake fish, seasonal vegetables, preserved foods.....done simply and really well.

Photos by Jennifer May

October 14, 2014

Spinach Arugula Tart with a Potato Crust

What's the difference between a tart and a quiche? It seems like a tart has less filling than a quiche and possibly fewer eggs.  Also, tarts are usually baked in a pan with removable sides and may or may not have an 'e' on the end. So I'm calling this a tart(e). 

I pinned a pretty picture of a potato crust herb tart from the Sweet Daily Blog about a year ago and have finally gotten around to giving it a whirl. Excellent. Just the thing for anyone who craves the comfort of a warm, savory tart but could do without the pastry crust. The potatoes are soft and crispy and the filling fresh, tangy and flavorful from the cottage and feta cheese and not too eggy ('cause it's not a quiche, right?). 

October 8, 2014

Apple Dumplings with Cider Cream Sauce

Apple Dumplings with Cider Cream Sauce

I won't lie. There's a boatload of butter in this recipe. But, man, it makes for delicious, flaky, flavorful crust and these little guys have a lot of it. A crispy personal apple pie with a sauce that tastes like melted apple cider ice cream.  An idea from Vanilla Bean blogger Sarah Kieffer. Taste like autumn, plus I get to practice making pastry which I'm steadily improving at, even enjoying.

October 3, 2014

Roasted Tomatoes — Because summer is over and we can turn the oven on now.

Roasted Tomatoes

Every fall I try and hit that sweet spot where the tomatoes are still fresh and cheap at the Farmer's Market and the weather has cooled enough to allow me to run the oven all day. When that happens I roast tomatoes to freeze for winter. I use them in sauce and soup and pizza. They're so much better than canned or the hauled from afar on a truck variety. Put them in freezer bags in one cup portions for long-term frozen storage or cover with olive oil and stash in fridge for a week or so to use on sandwiches, bruschetta, quesadillas and salads. 
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