For the love of food

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens*Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens*Brown paper packages tied up with strings*These are a few of my favorite things*Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels*Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles*Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings*These are a few of my favorite things*Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes*Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes*Silver white winters that melt into springs*These are a few of my favorite things

Rosh HaShana Madeleines September 17, 2009

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 11:29 pm

Those are Rosh HaShana inspired madeleines, to those of you who don’t know it is the Jewish new year which is celebrated this coming Friday September the 18th. One of the traditions for Rosh HaShana is to eat apples dipped in honey for a sweet year.

So, after the cultural perspective let’s go back to cooking…I substitued some of the sugar in the traditional madeleine batter with honey, some of the butter with apple sauce and I actually went as far as injecting some of them with more apple sauce…and I am really getting ahead of myself here…So back to the beginning…

You need (for about 60 mini madeleins or approx. 15-20 regular ones):

1/3 cup sugar (can be reduced to 1/4 cup in my opinion, husband disagrees)

1 tsp lemon juice (some lemon zest would be nice too)

2 eggs

2 Tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla extract or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean

pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup flour

3 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp apple sauce

How to:

Step 1: melt the butter and let it cool while you do the rest

Step 2: mix sugar and lemon juice together, add the eggs, honey and vanilla and beat on a low speed for a couple of minutes

Step 3: carefully fold flour, baking powder and salt into the batter

Step 4: mix butter and apple sauce

Step 5: add butter and apple sauce to the rest of the ingredients

Step 6: butter your madeleine mold, divide the batter and bake @ 400F for 10-12 minutes

*** it is better to let the batter sit for a while in the fridge before you actually make the madeleines anywhere between an hour and two days is fine :) Just cover it with a plastic wrap so it is touching the surface of the batter to prevent a skin from forming.

*** if you wish to inject the madeleines with apple sauce like I did – use a pasty bag; use a tip with a small opening to puncture a small hole on the non-fluted side of the madeleines (after you baked them…) and inject away…the quantity you inject is very small but it gives a bit of moisture and freshness and coolness to the right out of the oven fresh madeleins, which is by the way, the only way to eat them! 

*** feel free to add spices either to the batter itself or to the apple sauce – cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pumpkin pie spice etc…

Have a great year!

Honey Madeleins


The best Strawberries & Cream ice-cream September 16, 2009

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 2:42 pm

Strawberries & cream ice creamThis is something I whipped up this afternoon because I needed to use up some strawberries, I was contemplaiting between a strawberry sauce and strawberry ice-cream…the ice cream won :)

It is dead simple but the flavor is just amazing and to me it tastes like strawberries and cream, though there is no real cream there…hmm…

So you need:

1 lb (1/2kg) Strawberries – pureed in a food processor

1 lb light sour cream (why light? its more liquid and thats what I had so thats what it is!)

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract (or seeds from one vanilla bean)

5 Tbsp sugar (maybe a bit more or less depending on your strawberries) 

The rest I assume is a given…? Mix everything together and churn :)


Bubbies kosher dill pickles at home September 4, 2009

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 3:11 pm

Bubbies, in my opinion, are the best pickles available in stores today; they are crunchy, they do not have any vinegar in them, they are a bit spicy and overall are delicious the way Russian or other Eastern European dill pickles should be. Apparently it is incredibly easy to make them at home especially now that the farmer’s markets are swamped with the beautiful little bumpy pickling (and eating fresh!) cucumbers.

Bubbies dill pickles at homeWhat you need:

2 lb (1kg) pickling cucumbers – fresh and firm

5-7 grape or horseradish leaves (some use cherry or oak) – I got mine from a local winery; the leaves keep the pickles crunchy

1/2 bunch dill weed

3-4 flowering dill heads

1/2 head of garlic (about 8 cloves or so) smashed with a back of a knife

5 allspice berries

5 cloves

1 tsp yellow dry mustard

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp chili pepper flakes (use more or less depending on how you like your pickles)

1 bay leaf – crumbled

2 quarts (=2 litres) of cold water, I use bottled water to avoid any aftertaste from tap water (i.e. chlorine etc)

6 Tbsp salt

What you do: Put the leaves, spices and dill on the bottom of a clean non-reactive dish (I use a large bowl which is actually meant for the times I make yeast dough that needs a lot of room to rise), arrange the cucumbers on top as tightly as you can, they do not have to be in one layer two is just fine :) Dissolve the salt in the cold water and pour the solution over the cucmbers until they are covered, completely.

Place a large plate, fitting just right, into the bowl (or pot or crock) and put a weight on it (I use a gallon, 4 liter, bottle of water). Make sure the brine covers the plate – if it doesn’t add more!

Put the cucumbers in a cold dry place in your house, the colder the place the longer the fermentation process will take. A pantry, a garage, a basement are all fair game :) Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel to prevent dust or anything else falling into it. Check every day, if there is any mold forming on top, its perfectly fine, just remove it with a spoon. Start tasting in about one week, mine took 10 days to be just perfect but it may vary due to humidity and temperature. If you like half sour pickles you just start eating them earlier after 2-3 days they should be good to go :) To halt the fermentation process when the pickles reached their perfect state just transfer themwith the brine  to a jar with a lid and into the fridge.