Tag Archives: cheese

Nostalgia for a German/Austrian/Dutch breakfast.


Kim and I often feel nostalgic for our times abroad – the scenery, the people, the culture – and of course the food.

The other day, we were longing for the traditional breakfasts of central Europe. Or at least German, Austrian and Dutch breakfasts. We did a good job putting together a fantastically reminiscent meal of pretzel rolls, meats, cheeses, homemade Preiselbeeren jam (cranberry jam), homemade appelstroop (thick apple syrup), with tomato and cucumber.

When I was visiting a friend of mine in Cologne, Germany, her family’s breakfast table had an assortment of dense rolls, jams, chocolate spreads, cheeses and meats. My friend said she normally ate Meusli for breakfast during the week, but this was a special occasion, so they brought out the goods!

While Kim and I were eating our dinner, Kim said she could be in Austria right then, sitting in her host family’s kitchen. The only thing missing was the liverwurst pate!

Kim’s breakfast at our friend Barbara’s in Tettnang, Germany

When I was in Amsterdam for work, our hotel breakfast included slices of bread, salamis and ham, cheeses, tomato, cucumber, and of course Appelstroop.

Breakfast at my hotel in Amsterdam

A terrible photo of Appelstroop

So anyway, our dinner:

The Preisselbeeren jam and Appelstroop both turned out to be ridiculously easy to make.

Preiselbeeren Jam (Cranberry Jam)
On stovetop, cook cup of cranberries on medium heat. Spritz about half a lemon’s juice (a tablespoon) and add cinnamon, sugar. Cook until the cranberries have burst and become a spreadable delicacy!

preiselbeeren jam (with ricotta on bread)

Appelstroop (Apple Syrup)
The appelstroop is made of apple juice, lemon juice, whole anise, cinnamon and sugar. In a saucepan, add 6 cups of apple juice, two anise (seeds?) and a teaspoon or two of cinnamon. Boil until it’s 1/3 the amount, then add 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to boil until it’s a syrupy mass. BUT DON’T BOIL TOO LONG 0r the sugar will thicken too much, and you and that pan will be spending a lot of time with each other, you scraping off incredibly goopy syrup with a knife.

Anise – similar in taste as fennel, liquorice or tarragon. Pairs well with cinnamon.

Review: It was delicious of course! I love discovering food, or new ways of eating the same food, in this case, from different regions of the world!

-Beth

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Cherry Cheese Scones



A rare occurrence, but Kim and I followed this recipe exactly, and guess what? They turned out amazing! Many times, when we’re just cooking for the two of us, we skimp on or swap ingredients, to make it healthier, and the dishes (usually) turn out tasting good, but nothing to rave about. THESE are rave-worthy!

Kim was craving the scones we had while in London, specifically the ones from our hostel cafe, which were fantastically buttery and rich. (with clotted cream and jam!) So she insisted we follow the recipe to see how close our Joy of Cooking got to English scones.

The English, historically and/or traditionally, have something called Afternoon Tea or High Tea (or just Tea, actually) that is served with little biscuits, scones and light sandwiches. We wanted to have a traditional “Afternoon Tea” while there, but they’re quite expensive – cheapest was £19 per person!

Kim had these juicy dried cherries – they were halfway between normal cherries and dried cherries. I’ve never seen that before, but I’m glad I’ve been introduced to them – they’re delicious! Very sweet on their own, but delicious.

Kim and I LOVE to mix sweet and savory, so of course we opted to make cherry cheese scones, so we swapped out the blueberries from the Joy of cooking recipe and added the cherries and cheese, hoping the consistency wasn’t changed too much by the cheese, and nixed the streusel topping. (Okay, I lied, I guess we did change the recipe…) Oh, and we forgot the vanilla extract too, but I think that worked in our favor, with the cheesiness.

Cherry Cheese Scones (altered from this recipe in Joy of Cooking cookbook.)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend with flour mixture until it’s crumbly. You can do this with a pastry cutter, grinder, or with your hands (my favorite way!) But we ground in in a grinder this time.

In a second bowl beat the egg, then add the cream. Add to flour mixture and stir/blend until dough comes together. Don’t overmix the cough, or your scones will be tough.

Spray the pan and transfer dough to pan. Knead the dough 4 or 5 times and mold into a flat round shape and cut into eighths, and separate the triangular pieces so each side bakes with a crusty exterior.

Bake for about 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. I’d check after 15 minutes though, to see how they’re doing. Scones are best eaten fresh, but they were alright the next day too.

What we thought: DELICIOUS! I raved about them to everyone. I already remade them for co-workers and will make them next week when my friends and I have our own little afternoon tea! Cheers!

I know what a scone is, but what is clotted cream, cumpets, or lemon curd???
A brief history of the scone.
Wait, the English don’t pronounce it scone as in cone?

UPDATE: And speak of the devil (scones), a new YouTube food channel, Sorted, I started watching, literally yesterday, posted scones today! And they look so good, I think I might just have to make them tonight, for dessert!

-Beth


Chili Cheese Bread



Kim here with another savory recipe! This recipe is from my Savory Cooking Cookbook by Mary Cech, that I absolutely love. Like I’ve said before, I want to bake, but I don’t necessarily want something sweet. Well, this bread did not disappoint. It’s very moist, tender, cheesy, and, although I used whole wheat flour, it really did feel more like white flour, which is what I told my Dad I used when he asked. Whenever I bake with whole wheat, my dad, before eating whatever it is, will ask, “Is this white flour or no?” I’ll lie and say it’s white flour, then he’ll eat it and say it’s great.

This is great for brunches, breakfasts, or a side-dish at dinner. Or sliced for a great lunch or a snack anytime. Peckish at midnight? Slice yourself some chili cheese bread for a midnight snack. If you’re a hobbit, have a little, or a lot, at elevenses. If you’re a trucker, why not pack some on the go to eat during those long stretches of nothingness (in Ohio)? Going on a picnic? This literally screams picnic food! If you just ate another meal, have some bread anyway. And for elves, it’s a great alternative to lembas bread. (Why? Don’t know, but I challenge you to try it, elves!) It’s literally always a good time to eat this.  It’s so tasty, it’s hard not to eat the whole thing. The only time I would not bake this bread is during Thanksgiving, simply because I’d rather eat the sweet potatoes, and I would resent you for putting me in such a dilemma.

A/N: I think when I made this I used 2 cups shredded cheese, when it only calls for one. I remember telling everyone that is has the same amount of cheese as it has flour. Um… oops? Add as much cheese as you want, I’m sure it’ll come out great no matter what!

Here’s the recipe

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

one 4 oz can peeled green chiles, drained

3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapenos

1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and butter an 8X3 inch loaf pan. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, pepper, salt, and cheese together until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, oil, egg, green chiles, jalepenos, and red pepper in another bowl. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Pour the moist batter in the prepared loaf pan and place in oven for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and springs back when gently pressed.

Technically, you’re supposed to let it cool – but who does this?