Here we are again with one of my favorite winter holiday culinary ingredients — cranberries. Homemade cranberry relish is just right to tame the edges of a rich, holiday meal. But, we can do so many more things with cranberries than make a relish. So, I’m baking a bright, festive “Cranberry & Satsuma Tart with Rich Cookie Crust” this Christmas. If you are looking for an easy, yet elegant dessert to finish a holiday meal or want a change from pumpkin pie, this is it. The tart is simple to make; using only a few household ingredients. It is hard to mess up this tart. The rich, shortbread-style cookie crust balances tart cranberries which have a taste of satsuma zest (satsuma is a type of orange) added in. Plus, I made a variaton of the crust using Teff flour — an ancient Ethopina grain, so that tart is gluten-free. I will enjoy several versions of this tart from now until Christmas!Continue reading
One of my favorite memories of living in Michigan is stopping at apple orchards during autumn for a mug of fresh pressed apple cider and a hot donut. I loved Michigan in the fall with its crisp, cool weather and colorful scenery. Quite a contrast to Louisiana. In my opinion, apple orchards are one of Michigan’s best kept secrets. During apple harvest, family-owned cider mills seemed to pop up everywhere. There is nothing better than cold unfiltered and unpasteurized apple cider. As an added attraction, most of these cider mills sold fried cake-style donuts which were made on the premises. They are the best donuts ever and I am really wishing that I had some. But, I’m a long way from Michigan. This year I decided to make my own “Spiced Cake Donuts with Apple Cider Glaze.” After many attempts, I achieved a wonderful fried cake donut. My donut is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. And my recipe isn’t too, too sweet. I’m glad that I finally figured out how to make fried donuts at home. This recipe is a little tricky, follow my instructions exactly to get the same results .Continue reading
My grandmother Ida’s pride and joy was her “Oatmeal Bars” which we helped her bake every summer during our visits to her Iowa farm. She was especially proud that you could make these bars using only one bowl. I decided to bake a variation of her recipe, but making cookies rather than bars. I had a very tart apple to use up and added this to the dough. The cookies turned out great. They are soft and moist yet chewy with plenty of apple and oatmeal flavor. The cookies are very simple to make. I used a large saucepan and “dumped and stirred” in the ingredients — one at a time in order. For further ease, I adjusted the ingredients so that most of them are “one” cup or “one” item. The hardest part of the recipe is peeling and chopping the apple.Continue reading
Here’s a colorful and absolutely delicious chutney for the holiday season. This “Spicy Christmas Chutney” is hard to stop eating once you open a jar of this pungent and hot concoction. The recipe is a sweet and sour chutney which combines Louisiana satsumas, cranberries and apples with a blend of spices for a powerful mix. I ran across the recipe inspiration on a Scottish internet site — didn’t know that the Scottish cooked with satsumas or made chutneys with this much punch — but it is a great recipe for me because it is a way to use my backyard satsumas. And the recipe is mighty spicy, too, including cloves, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper. Yeah, we’re talking Louisiana, now.Continue reading
Autumn is the season for wonderful apple desserts and concoctions. In October, quite by chance, we were treated to one of these desserts: “Maine Fried Apple Hand Pies.” I was not familiar with the dessert and term, “hand pies.” Wow, these small apple pies were delicious. We sampled the hand pies during a whirlwind visit to New England to visit relatives and see the fall foliage. I loved the small “pies” and returned home to Louisiana eager to try my luck making these delicious apple treats. After many attempts to replicate the ones we ate at the Maine café, I now have my very own unique recipe for “Apple Hand Pies.”Continue reading
Passover will soon be here. My husband’s family is planning a “virtual” Seder meal and service via “Zoom.” With family is scattered all over the country and unable to travel and local folks trying to maintain 6 feet of space at a table, this seems like a good solution. We are living in a new era. One dish at the Seder meal which I particularly enjoy is Haroset which is served along with Matzah. Several years ago, a friend brought Haroset to our Seder which was absolutely delicious. The combination of apples and walnuts in a sweet sauce is good to eat anytime of the year — whether or not you are celebrating Passover or another religious observance. I made the recipe to share with you.
I have three treasured blueberry bushes in my backyard. The oldest ls loaded full of blueberries this year and the fruit ripens in May. I’ve watched the blueberries all spring, hoping I could pick them before the birds found and ate them. I’ve been thinking of recipes to make and decided on this easy dessert, “Blueberry and Apple Crisp.”
Teff is an ancient grain and a staple food in the diet of the people of Ethiopia. It has been around for thousands of years. The grain is high protein and very healthy. I’ve been searching for ways to use teff flour decided to experiment with making crackers. I served them with Golden Delicious apples for a healthy snack this winter.
Sweet potatoes grow in Louisiana and autumn is harvest season for this agricultural crop. We are lucky to have the freshest and sweetest potatoes in grocery stores which were grown in the central part of the state. Here is a very easy recipe, “Candied Sweet Potatoes,” which makes a good way cook this healthy vegetable. The twist to the recipe is that the glaze is fruit and juice; which sweetens the potatoes but doesn’t add too much sugar. Continue reading
This Halloween I’m going to spice things up with Spiked Hot Mulled Cider. I served a variation of this recipe at my wedding reception years ago which is in November. The punch recipe is hot apple cider with spices and Burgundy wine. The warm spiced apple cider is soothing and flavorful and the red wine is not overwhelming. I’ve kept the recipe for this punch all these years and made it again this week for a dinner party. Continue reading