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Posts Tagged ‘fall’

by Sarah Steimer

Crispy kale salad with sweet potatoes, apples and cider vinaigrette

This was a very hearty salad and easily filled me up. I love a little crusty bread with my salads, for grabbing any extras at the bottom of the bowl or plate, so these grilled cheese croutons acted as my built-in sponges this time around. It was pretty, pretty great.


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by Sarah Steimer

We're still getting a lot of blueberries at the farmer's market... and I'm not ready to let go. I love adding something sweet to what can be considered an otherwise savory bread.

We’re still getting a lot of blueberries at the farmer’s market… and I’m not ready to let go. I love adding something sweet to what can be considered an otherwise savory bread.

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by Sarah Steimer

Why the candles? This was Bill’s choice for a birthday cake this year (back in October) — not a bad choice at all for a fall birthday. I always make single-layer cakes when I’m cooking for a small crowd, but this could clearly be doubled to make a more traditional double-layer cake.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Grease and flour a 9-inch or 8-inch round cake pan (I use butter to grease the pan).

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

Beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric beater until fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Alternately at the flour mixture and the buttermilk in three batches, starting and finishing with the flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let finish cooling.

For the icing:

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • about 1 cup powdered sugar

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Stir in the milk. Return to a boil, stirring constantly, and remove from heat. Let the mixture come down to room temperature.

Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until the frosting comes to your desired consistency.

Once the frosting has cooled completely, ice the cake and serve.

Serves 8-10.

Recipe adapted from: Dramatic Pancake

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by Sarah Steimer

This was the first time I ever made a pecan pie, and I had planned to head over to Martha Stewart’s website for the recipe. After talking with my mom, she mentioned my Uncle Steve makes great pecan pie (even though I don’t think she’s ever tried it). I asked him for the recipe and here we have it: The great Stephen Jameson pecan pie. And now I can officially vouch for how good it is.

For the crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water

Combine the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, mixing until coarse crumbles appear.

Whisk together the vinegar, egg and cold water in a small bowl. Add the liquids to the dry mix and combine with your hands. Form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

For the filling

  • 1 1/4 cup Grade A maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans (plus a few halves for garnish, optional)

Whisk all filling ingredients together in a medium bowl.

I plan to freeze this pie (just wrap tightly with plastic wrap and aluminium foil) and take it home for Thanksgiving.

Roll the pie crust dough into about an 11-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, allowing about 1/2-inch or so to overhang the edges of the dish — the crust WILL shrink a bit. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust and bake for about five minutes at 375 degrees. Remove the crust from the oven and carefully arrange the edges in your preferred design. I took a cue from Caitlin and made an easy criss-cross pattern with the back of a knife.

Carefully add the filling so as not to overflow the crust. Return to the oven (still on 375 degrees). Let bake for about 1 hour, checking it about halfway through. If the crust is beginning to brown too quickly, cover it with aluminium foil or a crust shield (cheap and totally worth it). The pie is ready when the center is still slightly jiggly and has puffed up.

Allow the pie to cool completely before serving. The center will mostly level out once cooled.

Recipe adapted from my Uncle Steve.

*This month we’re featuring classic pies that would be a great dessert at any Thanksgiving table. For the full list of pies, click here.

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by Sarah Steimer

This is a gorgeous, gorgeous meal that takes so little effort. What could be better? Totally a show-off meal for a date, your parents or any other person in your life you feel like impressing the socks off. Your pets do count, I suppose.

  • 2 salmon fillets, skin removed (optional if you don’t mind it)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
  • 2 medium-sized parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 8-12 Brussels sprouts (depending on their size), stems removed and cut in half
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder

    I’m still pretty much a newbie when it comes to fish. The biggest thing to remember about cooking fish is to be gentle — you’re not working with steak here.

Place the salmon fillets in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with the salt, pepper, thyme and garlic, being sure to cover

both sides of the fish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for a half hour to two hours.

Put the cubed parsnips and sweet potatoes in a small sauce pan. Add the butter, milk, 1 teaspoon of the horseradish and salt and pepper. Simmer on low until the cubes are soft enough to mash. You may need to add a few more tablespoons of milk if it all evaporates. Puree the parsnips and sweet potato in a blender or food processor. Mix in the last teaspoon of horseradish.

In the meantime, place the Brussels sprouts halves on a baking sheet or glass dish. Toss with the salt, pepper, chili powder and a few drizzles of olive oil.

In a 350 degree oven, bake both the Brussels sprouts and fish on the same rack (if

Prep ahead! Get your chopping done in advance so all you have to do is throw things in the oven or let them simmer on the stove.

you can, if not try to keep the racks close and place the Brussels higher). Bake for about 20 minutes, turning the pan once but not flipping the fish. The salmon will be ready when it is opaque and flakes easily.

Layer the puree, Brussels sprouts and fish on two plates. Garnish with additional thyme.

Makes two servings.

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by Sarah Steimer

There isn’t much physical work involved in this (cutting, blending), but it’s best to start your prep work early. My vegetables needed to be in the oven for quite a while longer than I expected. But it makes the house (or in my case, apartment) smell awesome in the meantime.

  • 4-5 cups fresh tomatoes, cut in half or quarters (about 4 regular tomatoes)
  • 4-5 medium-large carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced into large wedges
  • 5-6 medium or large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (hot or sweet)
  • 2 slices of hearty bread
  • 2 slices fresh mozzarella

Arrange the tomatoes, carrots, onion and garlic in a baking dish or pan (I prefer a baking dish for the higher sides). Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and most — but not all — of the thyme. Toss to coat the vegetables, keeping them in a single layer.

Roast the vegetables at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until a fork can be easily inserted into the carrots (my vegetables took closer to an hour for whatever reason — have patience!).

Remove the vegetables from the oven and let sit while you bring the stock to a simmer in a medium pot or dutch oven. When ready, add the vegetables and the pan juices to the stock. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, sprinkle the bread with olive oil and top with the mozzarella slices.  Place the bread on a metal pan or right on the your oven rack under the broiler. Allow the bread to toast under the broiler for about 2 minutes — always keeping an eye on it as it will toast quickly. Remove and sprinkle with the remaining thyme.

Once the vegetables have simmered, add the contents of the pot to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the paprika. Season again with salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve the soup with the mozzarella and thyme toasts.

Makes two-three servings.

Recipe adapted from: The Gouda Life

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by Sarah Steimer

This was my first attempt at risotto - the trick is to keep stirring constantly and insist to everyone that it's going to be really great.

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus 6 small leaves
  • 1 pound (2 cups) squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes – I went with an acorn squash
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons risotto rice, such as arborio
  • 5 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup tangy blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola, broken into hazelnut-size pieces

Bring the stock to the boil in a pot and keep hot over a low heat. Heat the oil and half the butter in another pan. Add the onion and garlic, cooking over medium heat until soft, but not brown. Add the sage and squash, then sauté for 1 minute.

Add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated in oil and butter. Add a ladleful of hot stock and stir until all the stock has been absorbed before adding another. Continue like this until all the stock has been used, stirring constantly, until the rice is creamy and tender but still has a little bite.

Stir in the Parmesan, blue cheese and the rest of the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Finely shred the 6 sage leaves and stir most of them in. Spoon onto warm plates and serve scattered with the remaining sage.

Serves four.

Recipe adapted from: Delicious Magazine

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