Rotkraut mit Äpfeln

DSC02458

We served Rotkraut mit Äpfeln (red cabbage with apples) for our Oktoberfest and it was (surprisingly) wildly popular with the kids, so I thought I’d share the recipe!

1 Medium Red Cabbage
2 Granny Smith or other tart apple, peeled, seeded & cored
6 Tablespoons bacon fat (chicken or pork fat also ok)
2 Medium yellow onions sliced thin
1 Quart water
1/2 c red wine vinegar
2 yellow delicious or other sweet apple, peeled, seeded & cored
1 tsp seasoning blend (mixed salt & pepper)
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
Juice of 1 lemon

Wash cabbage, drain dry and cut as for cole slaw. Cut apples and onions into rings.

Heat fat in dutch oven and add onions, saute 3-4 minutes until fragrant, add apples and cabbage, cook on medium 3-4 minutes longer.

Add water, juice, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Bring just to boil then reduce to simmer. Cook 2 hours stirring occasionally. Add vinegar & stir well before serving. Serves 8 as a side.

Posted in Food | Leave a comment

Mucking Around

DSC01649

0106141945-01
I’m still arguing with Paypal over the GSES account. It’s highly annoying, so after my daily headbanging I rewarded myself by spending an hour on the new learning management software. It’s still a bit hinky and it’s screwed up my site navigation again, but it’s coming along. I’m thinking of how to best use it right now based on its constraints but the flexibility is intriguing. I still haven’t figured out how I’m recording/preserving my classes and need to.

Tomorrow is breakfast for lunch and our first open house of the fall. I’m doing french toast in the oven again as well as a mushroom & onion quiche for lunch, and for the open house I’m doing a spinach, onion and leek vegetarian strata, cinnamon coffeecake and fresh fruit trays:

DSC02353

Want the recipes? Leave a comment :)

Posted in Food | Leave a comment

Spätzle

DSC02447

It’s fall and that means German food is at the top of my cravings list. We’re celebrating Oktoberfest this Thursday (late, I know, but it takes time to sour meat) with the kids and one of the traditional sides with Bratwurst is spätzle. Like most family comfort foods there are endless variations on spätzle, but here is the Cline family version.

Ingredients:

3 cups sifted AP flour
1 tsp salt
4 room temperature large eggs, beaten
3/4 c milk

Sift the flour into a bowl, add salt then make a well in the center and deposit the beaten eggs. Stir to combine while gradually adding milk. Dough is very stiff. Let rest while you bring a large pot (at least 6 quarts, please) of salted water to a rolling boil.

Put 1/2 c dough into spätzle press or use colander and spatula to extrude dough into boiling water. Remove spätzle as soon as it floats to surface of pot and drain. Do not rinse!

DSC02455

Brown 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Grate in whole nutmeg (maybe an 8th of a teaspoon) to bloom the flavor. Add spätzle and toss to coat well. Cook 6-7 minutes.

DSC02456

Feeds 4-6 as a side dish. If you must be a foodie sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Posted in Food | Leave a comment

Fall Festivities

It’s been an interesting fall so far, and I thought I’d share at least the feel of it with a few videos:

There have been snakes:

Fire (from an earlier event but similar):

Franco-Canadians:

and Horns:

I’ve got at least 40 tabs open to things I wanted to share with you, so here is a sneak peek into a few of the things I’m thinking about:

Dave wants to know when do you have enough money. He starts with Bill Simmons and it only gets better from there. I have been thinking about this a lot lately – as presidential campaigns heat up I will have some hard choices to make about where I spend my time.

In the same vein, being poor (or with limited resources) is expensive. I’m getting a first hand look at that right now and I can’t believe the hidden fees on things I take for granted. Women are disproportionally poor.

Gina’s whole post is a must read (and it sounds as though xoxo should be on my radar) but this line kicks a$$:

Somehow, some way, your worst moments feed your best work, and it might well take a decade to see it.

Sadly, being female online continues to be a problem for men.

That makes me hesitant to tell stories in public and brings me back around to why I enjoy Folk Festival and First Friday so much. I have a lot of respect for people fearless enough to perform for an audience. More on that soon!

Posted in Links | Leave a comment

Pretzel Classes

Just in time for your fall feasts and cooler weather!

Just in time for your fall feasts and cooler weather!

I’m teaching Homemade Pretzels twice next week, on Monday, October 6th and Wednesday, October 8th. Both classes run 3:45 – 5:45 pm. If you are interested in attending just download the class registration form and drop it off at the Good Shepherd school office.

Posted in Classes, Food | Leave a comment

Mushroom Gougère (Gluten, Dairy Free)

I do a lot of gluten and dairy free cooking, both at school and home due to food allergies and sensitivities.

One of the staff & student’s favorite dishes is a medley of mushrooms served within a savory Gougère ring of pastry. Because choux pastry uses very little flour it was easy enough to convert it to a GF version – stripping out the dairy was a little harder but this solution worked nicely. If you can tolerate it, the Earth Balance soy free sticks (use the equivalent of 4T) works well also.

This is a very versatile staple as the Gougère ring can be filled (as in the images shown) with anything that contains at least 1/2 to 2/3 c of liquid after preparation. I’ve done this version with carmelized onions, mushrooms, chicken, venison and mixed vegetables and it’s always a reliable hit. Just make sure to get as little liquid as possible on the choux as it will prevent it rising to its full potential.

Gluten, Dairy Free Mushroom Gougère

DSC01640

Choux Pastry

1/2 c flour mix provided
2/3 c water
4 T fat (canola oil, bacon fat, coconut oil, etc)
2 eggs
3 oz nutritional yeast

Filling

2T EVOO
1m onion finely diced
8-12 oz mixed mushrooms (fresh or frozen sliced)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T gf flour or cornstarch to thicken (I’d use cornstarch, it’ll work better)
2/3 c stock (mushroom, vegetable, chicken – use what you have)
3/4 c chopped walnuts
salt & pepper to taste

Put water and fat onto stove, heat until fat is melted but NOT BOILING. Once fully melted, add flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mix is smooth and silky looking. Cook while stirring about 1 more minute to lightly dry mixture. Remove from stove and let cool, 10-15 minutes.

Beat in eggs one at a time, being sure to completely incorporate them into the mix. The last egg will not want to go in, stir vigorously. Mixture will be smooth and glossy at this point.

Add cheese after 2nd egg is completely worked in, stir well to distribute.

Spread all around the diameter of a greased 8 or 9″ round oven safe dish. You can use a pie plate, tart pan, etc, just don’t exceed 9″. Spoon dough out in dollops and spread to create continuous ring around pan with hole in center.

DSC01637

Set aside and cook filling.

Saute onions in Eevo until soft, 3-4 min. Add garlic and mushrooms, season and cook until mushrooms are browning. Keep stirring! Sprinkle with flour or cornstarch and stir to incorporate. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes, then gradually add stock and bring to boil. Stir constantly 2-3 minutes until mixture thickens.

DSC01638

Remove from heat and stir in all but 3 T of walnuts. Pour into open center of choux pastry and garnish with remaining walnuts.

DSC01639

Bake 35-40 minutes in 400 degree oven until pastry rises and is light golden in color. Rest 10 minutes before serving or cutting!

DSC01640

Posted in Food | Leave a comment

Baby Steps

A chicken gougère but imagine this filled with mushrooms, instead! Same theory :)

A chicken gougère but imagine this filled with mushrooms, instead! Same theory :)

Some days it seems as though it’s all I can do to maintain forward momentum. I have to remind myself that sometimes things come in baby steps and what’s critical is getting something done even if it isn’t precisely what I thought I’d get done.

That’s sort of why I’m blogging again, actually. Kim got me hooked on the concept of showing your work over the summer and it got me to thinking about how very little of my work (and life) I was actually showing. And oh well hey, I’ve got a blog for just that sort of thing!

Work today was not the soaring joy I’d like for most days. Instead it’s the grind of emailing paypal about the GSES account (in old staff hands, not current) so I can get the new event system I built for them working and move forward on the donation system for their annual fund. There is 1/4″ of emails and notes about the state of this account – I’m not hopeful I can fix it in time to use for cooking classes, so I’m falling back on my old friend paper, which thankfully is still fashionable with school ages. Oh and building forms on publisher – joyful!

I’m also trying to fix the weird jQuery theme dependency on the FHNA site. For some reason the theme developer has the theme using its own jquery file (v1.6.1), instead of the one installed in WordPress (v1.11.0) so of course it’s throwing off bizarre javascript errors. Bug hunt!

School today was awesome, though. The lunch program has grown (again) and today I fed 60 and a bonus parent. I had 2 helpers today, 1 experienced, 1 a middle school student doing community service hours. The menu was baked Parmesan & Herb Chicken Tenders, Italian roast potatoes, maple glazed julienned yellow, white, purple and orange carrots and a gluten free, dairy free mushroom gougère as entrees with sliced peaches and grapes for our fresh finish.

Yesterday I realized 4th, 5th & 6th graders are getting ready or going through a growth spurt so I over-prepped today thinking if kids were hungry we’d have plenty. We breaded 16# of hand cut tenders, roasted 18# of potatoes and 8# of carrots. That fed all 61 and I had 2# of chicken and 1# of potatoes left which will go into some potato & leek soup tomorrow. I also made a gallon of chicken tortellini soup and have a cup or two of the broth left for starting the potato soup off. We snacked today on D’s banana bread – it was delicious and I’ll try to get recipes up soon!

More steps, now!

Posted in Change, Projects, School Food | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Benny Drops

Just a heads up that we’ve begun updating client sites to WordPress 4.0 or the “Benny” release.

As usual I’m all late and wrong about updating the site itself here, but I can confirm 4.0 is nifty and squashes some nasty bugs so it was worth the time to load it all up.

Something fun for my print buddies –

New work:

Fresh face for Kim at KimOvitt.com.

Fresh face for Good Shepherd Episcopal. Still in progress but all up in production. One of these days I’ll update my sidebars ;)

In progress:

Learning management module for online courses (still need a beta tester, email me if you’re interested) and Event Scheduling tools.

TTFN!

Posted in Makers, Projects, WordPress | Leave a comment

Creating a Link in WordPress

To create a link, select the text that you want as a link anchor by highlighting it with your mouse.

createALink

Click the icon that looks like a paperclip (next to the left justify icon in the visual editor) and you’ll see a box like this:

createAHyperlink

Enter the address of the web page you want to link to after the http://. For example, the proper URL formation of the FHNA website is: http://foresthillneighborhood.com. It is no longer necessary to use the www before the domain name in creating a hyperlink. You do not need to enter anything into the Title field, and you can check the box to have the link open in a new window so that the FHNA site remains open in the background.

Also, this video may be helpful –

Posted in WordPress | Leave a comment

Meringue Cookies

merengitos

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup regular or superfine sugar (I use a bit less — 1/2 cup — they’re plenty sweet)
6 ounces chocolate chips, miniature chips or finely diced semi or bittersweet chocolate
1/4 chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted first is even tastier

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar and vanilla, and beat mixture again until it holds soft peaks. Add the sugar, gradually, beating the batter until it is stiff. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon batter onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes. Undersides of cookies should be golden or lightly tanned.

Note: There are two approaches to baking meringues. This shorter cooking time at a higher temperature yields a cookie with a crackly, crumbly exterior and an almost hollow center. A more traditional approach is a longer baking time, 200 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours. Take the longer-baked version out when they are slightly golden and firm to the touch. They will be more soft and fluffy, like miniature pavlovas.

Lemon Meringue Cookies

3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cups of super fine sugar (if you don’t have it, put regular sugar in a blender for 10-15 seconds until a fine powder forms)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer (standing or hand-held) with the whisk attachment, start beating the egg whites. When they start to foam, add the cream of tartar and beat until loose peaks form with the meringue.

Add the extract and sugar in small amounts and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. You can either spoon meringue onto cookie sheet or, for a more uniform look, you can put meringue into a pastry bag and pipe using a round tip into 2 inch wide by 1 inch tall circles.

Bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours at 200. Open the oven a crack and let come to a cool slowly. It will take about 2 hours. Do NOT use higher temperature method with citrus flavors unless you want a chewy cookie.

Posted in Food | Leave a comment