Curried Apple Fritters – Fall Flavors

We’re all moved in and the kitchen has been unpacked so I’m back!  We’ve changed seasons since we closed on our new home at the beginning of September and I couldn’t be more happy about it.  I love fall.  One of the reasons I love it so much is apples.  Nothing says fall to me like the overflowing bins of apples in the markets.  There are so many things you can do with apples.  Since I’m just getting settled in the new kitchen I thought I’d ease back in and try my hand at something extremely simple: curried apple fritters.  Simple, yet reflects the new season.  And yes fritter batter is one of those easy to remember ratios. (more…)


Simple Homemade Dill Pickles Using Basic Brine

As you may have been reading, lately I’ve become a bit obsessed with curing food.  I’ve made bacon (and successfully done it a second time) and duck prosciutto which both turned out well.  From reading through Ruhlman’s Charcuterie I’ve found it amazing what salt can do.  Behold the power of salt!  Ok, next up in the salt lessons, simple brine.  Salt and water.  And yes, there’s a ratio for basic brine.  What can you do with brine?  Lots of things, but for starters since I’m easing my way into this whole curing thing I thought I’d make some simple dill pickles.  All you need is salt, water, cucumbers, some dill, and patience. (more…)

Strawberry Ice Cream – Another Easy Ratio

Having celebrated our wedding anniversary this week (the cotton one) I decided to dust off one of our wedding gifts and whip up a batch of strawberry ice cream.  Strawberries are really coming into season now and I was further encouraged by a posting I saw about how the strawberry picking season has arrived early in Wisconsin due to the milder winter/spring.  Needless to say I didn’t leave Wrigleyville and head north to Wisconsin for my strawberries but it did give me the idea to make Strawberry Ice Cream in our ice cream maker.  Cheryl came home from work on Tuesday (our anniversary) and saw me over the stove with milk and a bowl full of egg yolks and started guessing what I was up to.  She figured it out when she checked the freezer to see if the special bowl was in there and was pretty happy about it when she saw she guessed correctly. (more…)

Mixed Berry Custard Tart – Simple Ratios

On Mother’s Day we went over to our friends Erik and Jen’s for some grilling.  It was a beautiful, sunny day in Chicago and we offered to bring some dessert.  No idea why since I’m not much of a baker.  Well not much of cake baker at least.  If I had to rank my dessert making skills I’d say I make pies the best with cakes way down on the list.  Tarts are somewhere in the middle since they’re pie-like but require some extra ingredients.  That said, I really can’t believe how simple it was to make this delicious tart.  Minimal ingredients and minimal time. (more…)

Red Pepper and Artichoke Pizza

As you may have read, we were away last weekend so the fridge was a little bare when we returned Monday.  Normally I do the shopping on Mondays but this week has been crazy with real estate work (I can hear some faint cries of  “about time you did some work”).  I’ve got a couple deals scheduled to close at the end of the month and some other business development so I’ve been hopping around making sure everything is in order.  Needless to say the groceries had to wait a bit.  (more…)