Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

I was off to a late start this year. We went to a farm to pick our pumpkins two weekends ago but it wasn't until last night that I gutted them and it wasn't until this morning that I cooked the seeds and carved the pumpkins. 


I usually just rinse and roast the seeds in the oven with a little olive oil and salt. This year I tried a different approach I found on Simply Recipes where you simmer the seeds in salted water (1 Tablespoon salt and 2 cups water for every 1/2 cup of seeds) for 10 minutes and then bake them at 400 on an oiled cookie sheet for about 20 minutes. I had enough seeds for 2 cookie sheets so after I took them out of the oven I tossed half the seeds with salt and the other half with cinnamon and sugar. 

Then it was time to carve the pumpkins. 

I usually really enjoy looking at the pumpkin and deciding what it "wants" to be but this year I felt a time crunch and decided I would try using some tools to create simple patterns and speed up the process. I used a large chisel and a drill with a variety of bits. 

Now we just need some trick-or-treaters!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Oktoberfest Foods

Hello October! We planned to have some friends over and since it's October I decided to try out some Oktoberfest foods. The links are included below for the recipes I tried. 

Most importantly, beer in an authentic German stein

We made spent grain pretzels with a traditional German cheese dip called obazta.
And also had mustard to go with them.

Potato pancake with homemade applesauce and sour cream. To make the apple sauce I peeled a few apples and chopped them in cubes then put them in a pot on the stove with some cinnamon and a little maple syrup and let it cook down. I cut the apple in varying sizes so some would cook and be very mush and some would stay a bit chunky.

German potato salad 

Braised Red Cabbage although I used some green cabbage as well because I used the cabbage I had growing in the garden. 

A German inspired corn dog. My first attempt at a corn dog.

Grilled ham and cheese. I did not find the recommended Cambozola cheese but I read that it was similar to a camembert or brie with blue cheese in it and I found d'affiniod brie at my local grocer so I used that instead and it was lovely.

I also tried a cheese soup which got mixed reviews. It seemed to be a bit of an acquired taste and seemed much better the second day than on the day I made it.

And of course beer boiled bratwurst with sauerkraut and mustard.

Then I tried a few recipes to satisfy every sweet tooth.

Pfeffernusse cookies which had the flavors you'd expect from a Christmas cookie or gingerbread. They were quite tasty.

A German rum ball with chocolate and hazelnuts.

And of course an apple strudel . The fillo I had was about half the sheet size as that in the recipe so I made two strudels instead of cutting the filling recipe in half.