cinnamon

Happy Thanksgiving! One Last Bite, Homemade Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Pie for ThanksgivingHappy Thanksgiving!  Pumpkin pie has always been my favorite Thanksgiving dessert, ever since I was a little kid.  As I was making this the other day I was reminded how quickly pumpkin pie can be put together.  The dough takes about 2 minutes to make and 20 to chill.  In that amount of time you can have the filling all prepared and still have time for a cup of coffee.  I know a lot of people buy pies but there’s nothing like baking your own. (more…)

Since it’s Apple Season – Homemade Apple Pie

Homemade apple pie from scratchI looked back among all of my posts and discovered I’ve never posted about making an apple pie.  I’m not surprised as there are probably a million apple pie recipes out there, so why add another one?  I’ll tell you why.  Firstly, because I made one for Sunday Dinner this week; secondly and more importantly there’s a really good story to go with the apple pie and how it helped me woo Cheryl. (more…)

Garden Fresh Zucchini Bread

Zucchini BreadI hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing Labor Day weekend.  Fall is right around the corner and my vegetable garden is really producing right now.  I am amazed at how vegetables just decide to grow.  For what seems an eternity they just plod along and then all of a sudden it’s like a switch gets thrown and you’ve got fruit on the vines.  However, there’s only so much grilled zucchini and zucchini salads we can take though, so what’s left?  That good old stand-by: zucchini bread. (more…)

St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef (Part 1 – brining the beef)

beef brisket in brine - corned beef

Sorry, there’s just no way to make meat sitting in brine look like a supermodel. But it’s going to taste really good.

Corned beef.  A staple of St Patrick’s Day here in America, along with green beer and a green river, at least here in Chicago.  This year instead of buying the supermarket corned beef I decided to make my own.  Armed with a brine recipe from Ruhlman’s Charcuterie I picked up a 4 lb slab of beef brisket (flat cut) and set about getting started. (more…)

Baked Ham with Apple Cider Glaze

Baked ham with apple cider glazeBaked ham.  A staple of the Christmas season.  You see one at almost every party you attend, usually a spiral cut ham for easy servings, with a small dish of mustard next to it.  By the time Christmas rolls around you’re sick of it.  Unless of course you’re my wife.  Cheryl loves ham.  And by “loves ham” I mean I think I could probably bake one every week and she’d never complain.  Ok, maybe not every week.  Anyway, a baked ham on Christmas day is her family tradition and it’s one we’ve incorporated into our annual celebration.  (more…)

Homemade Peach Pie

You can tell we’re really getting into summer by the types of fresh fruits and vegetables now filling the produce aisles in abundance.  Cherries, green beans, and the newcomer of the past couple weeks, peaches.  Time to make one of my favorite summertime desserts: Peach Pie!  I’ve been discovering many people are secret peach pie fans.  We were out on our back porch when our landlord stopped by last night and Cheryl let him know he was just in time for dessert.  He asked what were we having and upon hearing freshly baked peach pie he exclaimed “peach pie, I love peach pie!”  My feelings exactly. (more…)

Strudel – The Old Fashioned Way!

Way back in October Cheryl and I attended a hands-on strudel making demonstration at Dank Haus (German-American cultural center here in Chicago).  When we lived in Washington DC Cheryl used to get strudel from Heidelberg Pastry Shop in Arlington (they’d also have grilled sausages on the weekends which were great after my men’s league soccer matches) so we decided to see how to make it firsthand.  At the demo we made apple, sweet potato, cheese, and butternut squash strudels.  The tricky part, of course, is the dough.  You’ve got to get it paper-thin without tearing.  I was really intrigued by this demo since I’d heard stories of my Hungarian great-grandmother making strudel and how she’d spread a huge cloth on the dining room table, flour it, and pull the dough out in a huge sheet.  The demo was great and I’m keeping my eye on their event list because they also have a sausage making demo over the winter.  (more…)