Kohlrabi, Apple and Carrot Slaw

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I love this time of year. As the season changes, so does my palate. I look forward to every Tuesday as I go to pick up my CSA box. We’re still getting some sweet corn and tons of tomatoes, the apples are starting to come in and the greens are coming back. This past week, we had some fabulous kohlrabi and granny smith apples in the box.

I love the crunch of kohlrabi and it goes so well with apple. I decided to make a slaw out of it. We were having veggie burgers for dinner and I knew this simple slaw would top them well.

I julienned some carrots, apple, and kohlrabi. I also cut some of it into matchsticks. I then tossed everything with some fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. I let it sit for a bit at room temperature before eating. Delicious! Perfectly crisp and great as a side dish or as a sandwich topper,

I think I’m going to serve some of the leftovers with sloppy joes this week!

Simple salad success!



 

Kohlrabi, Apple and Carrot Slaw
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • ¾ Granny Smith apple, peeled
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Instructions
  1. Using a julienne peeler, cut up the veggies into matchsticks. You can also use a knife to cut the veggies up.
  2. Mix together in a bowl with the lemon juice and olive oil. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

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Chocolate, Caramel and Marshmallow Biscoff Cookie Bars

I first encountered Biscoff cookies several years ago on a Delta flight. I immediately fell in love with these cinnamon and ginger spiced cookies. They melt in your mouth and are so fantastic with a cup of coffee. At the time, you couldn’t find the cookies anywhere except for Europe and the plane. I can now purchase the cookies at my local store, and the cookie butter or Speculoos is available everywhere. It’s all so good! If you haven’t yet tried Biscoff or Speculoss, both the spread and the cookies, you’re missing out.

Biscoff Cookies

I recently picked up a package of the cookies and decided I had to turn it in to something else. I love cookie bars. I came up with two different recipes. One of which I am sharing with you today.


Chocolate, Caramel and Marshmallow Biscoff Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 – 8.8 oz package Biscoff or Speculoos Cookies
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 stick Butter or Earth Balance Buttery Stick, melted

Caramel Layer:
14 oz or 1 package Kraft Caramel Squares, peeled
3 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Marshmallow Layer:
1.5 cups Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter or Earth Balance

Chocolate Layer
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. Earth Balance Shortening
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the cookies in the bowl of your food processor and process completely. Add in the brown sugar. Slowly pour in the melted butter to incorporate. Press crust ingredients in to a greased or parchment-lined 9×13 baking pan. Bake in oven for 17 minutes. Cool.

For the caramel layer, melt the caramel in a saucepan with the heavy cream. You must stir this often. You should be melting the caramel at a medium-low hear or it will burn.  Once the caramels are melted, stir in the sea salt and the cinnamon.

Pour the caramel over the cooled cookie crust. Let the caramel cool completely. I recommend chilling in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

For the marshmallow layer, heat up the marshmallow fluff, cinnamon and butter in a microwave or on the stovetop. You only need about 40 seconds in the microwave so it is easily spreadable.  Spread over the chilled caramel. Place back in fridge for another 30 minutes.

Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the shortening, stirring frequently. Stir until smooth. If the chocolate is too thick, you can thin with some additional shortening. Spread the chocolate over the chilled marshmallow. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Return to the fridge and chill for at least an hour.

Once everything is set, it’s time to slice. It can get messy. Use a sharp knife. When not eating, keep these bars in the fridge for optimal conditions. These bars are very rich, so I recommend cutting in small pieces.

Enjoy!

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Vanilla Kipferl Cookies

This happens a couple times a year. My lovely daughter volunteers me to make something for the class. In December, it was latkes. She wanted to teach her class about Chanukah. This time around, she offered a German baked good. Or rather – anything German and cooked. I had no idea what to prepare.

I researched German baked goods on the interwebz a bit – trying to find something that my grandmother used to make. So many things are variations on recipes most likely handed down in her family. I finally came upon an authentic German cookie that I remember her making. The buttery, almond & vanilla cookies shaped in a crescent shape. These were always among the bags of baked good that she would hand deliver to Minnesota. This seemed easy enough.

These turned out to be successful. The class enjoyed – several kids even asked for the recipe! Glad the 4th graders approve!







Vanilla Kipferl Cookies
Ingredients


2 cups of flour
2 sticks of butter, softened
1/3 cup of sugar
3/4 cup ground almonds
2 tsp. vanilla
vanilla scrapings from 1/2 vanilla bean
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 365.

Mix all of the ingredients together except for the powdered sugar.

The mixture will be crumbly.

Use your hands to form some semblance of a dough.

Pinch of 1-2 tablespoon size pieces and shape in to a crescent or horn shape.

Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake for around 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet.

Roll in powdered sugar and cool on cooling rack.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

One of the first cakes I ever made, that didn’t come from a box, was a coffee cake. It was snowing in New Jersey and we were stuck indoors. We decided to warm up the house with some baking. Being a non-baker, I had none of the ingredients. I crawled my way through the snow to the store at the foot of our housing development. I picked up whatever was needed and headed home to bake. That cake was awesome! Ten-and-a-half years later, and I still don’t bake too many cakes. I can handle cookies and brownies, but not cakes.

I had some plain yogurt that needed to be used up. I decided to pull out that wrinkled coffee cake recipe and adapt for what I had on hand. While I am not a cake fan, I love coffee cake. The cinnamon-sugar middle and topping…yum! I decided to up that yum factor with some chocolate chips. You can’t go wrong with chocolate!

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Cake Ingredients:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup plain yogurt (can also use sour cream)
2 tbsp. half and half
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips




Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and eggs. Add in the vanilla, half and half and the yogurt.

In a smaller bowl, mix up the dry ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well.

In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients.

Spray a 9×13 baking pan and dust with flour.  
Spread half of the batter in to the pan. 
Sprinkle half of the topping ingredients over the batter.
Spread the rest of the batter over this.
Add the rest of the topping ingredients.
Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 or until done.
Cool for 30-45 minutes. Slice and serve.
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Enjoy!

Homemade Caramel Corn

I have always hated shopping. As a kid, even more so. I was the worst companion at Dayton’s or City Center. I just wanted to get out of there. I do remember though, that at the end of each shopping trip to Dayton’s, the experience was sweetened by a trip to Candyland. This old school candy and popcorn emporium was some sort of tastebud paradise. A bag of popcorn or caramel corn for my sisters and I, and a bag of jujubees for my mom. Life was good.

I don’t think I have had real caramel corn since once of those shopping trips, but I was reminded of the crunchy sweet goodness of the stuff the other day. While browsing the kosher grocery store on Thursday night, a woman next to me had cart full of tubs of caramel corn. I mosied on over to the aisle and saw that the tubs were $5 and that they also contained pretzels and peanuts. Huh? We didn’t need the glutens, and $5 for a small tub of popcorn and sugar seemed pretty overpriced. We always have popcorn in the house. There’s always sugar and butter as well. What more did I need?

I set out to make it motzei shabbat. J is the expert at the popcorn making  – so I put him to work at the stovetop. We don’t do microwave popcorn. I find it too chemical tasting. I was surprised by how easy it was to make the caramel corn. Just a few ingredients, and a few easy steps! It really is as good as I remembered. Even the kid who doesn’t like caramel loved the stuff.

Homemade Caramel Corn
Ingredients:

6 quarts cooked popcorn (stovetop, storebought, or microwave)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cups corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Place the poprcorn in the biggest mixing bowl you have. I have a few of those restaurant sized stainless steel bowls. If you don’t have them, then just throw them in to a couple of baking pans. The disposable foil 9×13’s are perfect for this.

Preheat the oven to 250.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter at a medium-low heat. You do not want the butter to burn.

Whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup, and the salt.

Keep stirring.  Turn the heat up to medium high. Let the mixture come to a boil for a few minutes. Keep stirring.

Turn the heat off after a few minutes. Add in the baking soda and the vanilla.

Pour the mixture over the popcorn.
Stir the popcorn to coat it entirely.  If you haven’t already done so, dump the popcorn in to the baking pans.

Place the baking pans in the oven at 250.

Stir the popcorn every 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven after about an hour and let cool for aout 10-15 minutes. 

Break up the popcorn and store in an airtight container. Or eat it all up. It was be hard to fight the urge to keep eating. It’s that good! Enjoy!

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Popsicles

I rarely succumb to impulse buys. Especially when the ads show up in my inbox. I will blame the heat. These 90+ degree days are doing something funky to me.  I keep getting emails advertising a variety of popsicle makers and popsicle stores. There’s even a popsicle food-truck! 


I haven’t been in to popsicles since I was pregnant with my older daughter. Popsicles were my crack. I am not a fan of most store-bought popsicles. I like the occasional Fudgsicle or pudding pop. Do pudding pops still exist even? Trader Joes and Whole Foods make some pretty tasty fruit juice popsicles.  When I am there though, it’s just not something I reach for. When my sisters and I were kids, we used to pour juice into dixie cups and then stash them in the freezer. Only to have my mom open the freezer to half-frozen cups of juice pouring on to her. My parents stopped buying dixie cups at some point. They did buy popsicles.  They weren’t evil. They just didn’t like the sticky mess all over the freezer. I get it now.

Anyhow, those emails worked.  Good marketing, Amazon! Good marketing, Williams Sonoma! You got me on an online popsicle search. They have these handy dandy electric popsicle makers now! I’ll admit, that appliance was tempting. I don’t need my popsicles to be ready in 5 minutes, though. I also don’t really need another big appliance. I want more than 3 popsicles at a time. The old-school plastic popsicle molds are great, but you end up losing the pieces.  I decided to buy this one. I like the familiar shape of the popsicle and I like to use the traditional wooden sticks. It’s very easy to use. Highly recommended. It also showed up in my inbox, on sale, on a 100 degree day. Once again – good job, Amazon! 

It showed up in my house 2 days later and I had to make something. I knew that coffee had to be the star of my first shot at popsicle making.  We had just cleaned our pantry and noticed three cans of sweetened condensed milk.  3 cans? I never use that stuff? Good thing those cans have a long shelf life.

When I was in college and high school, I used to spend the majority of my time (when not in class or work) at a local coffee shop. Cafe Wyrd was the best coffee shop around. I used to sit with my school books, a pack of American Spirits, and a big pot of coffee. Being that I was a regular there, the baristas used to push special drinks on me every so often. They introduced me to Vietnamese Iced Coffee. I could get hooked on that drink. If it weren’t for the fact that I was a poor college student at the time – I probably would have been hooked.  I am not usually a fan of sweet coffee, but that stuff was good and it stuck with me, in the back of my coffee addicted mind. It’s so easy to make.  A good espresso and some sweetened condensed milk over some ice. It’s perfect popsicle fodder! I didn’t even need a real recipe!

Vietnamese Ice Coffee Popsicles
Ingredients:
2 cups espresso
1 small can sweetened condensed milk

I brewed up some super strong espresso. About 2 cups.  I let it cool for a bit. I poured the sweetened condensed milk into a small mixing bowl. About 3/4 of that small can. Add in the cooled off espresso. Mixed it all up. Let the mixture chill in the fridge for about a half hour. The poured everything in to the molds.  Put the mold in the freezer for an hour. Stuck the sticks in when partially frozen. Let freeze overnight.  



This made for amazing popsicles! What’s my next popsicle flavor?


Chocolate Cookie Brownie Ice Cream

I screamed for ice cream!

I used to do many product reviews. Product reviews come with free stuff. Sometimes that stuff is worth it, like 409 cleaning spray, and sometimes the free stuff sucks, like crappy drugstore makeup. Some of my coworkers will remember the endless supply of microwave popcorn that I had to test, even though I can’t eat popcorn.The Cuisinart ice cream maker I received a few years ago, was definitely the upside of the whole product review era.

So this ice cream maker arrived from kitchen appliance heaven on my doorstep. I had some visions of making all sorts of cool ice cream flavors. Heck, I could be the next Ben or Jerry. The reality is that this little machine has been used maybe three times each year. We don’t even buy ice cream that much. Either we eat the tub too fast, or it just sits in the freezer gathering ice crystals.

I pulled the machine out of the abyss of my pantry the other day and put the bowl in the freezer so I could make some yummy ice cream this week. I bought the cream and some whole milk. I hadn’t really thought out the whole flavor thing though. I decided to wing it. I had some cookies and leftover brownies lying around. I figured that would be perfect for the stuff. I decided on chocolate “oreo” brownie ice cream with a touch of cinnamon to kick up the flavor.

The recipe is as follows:

Chocolate Cookie Brownie Ice Cream

2 cups heavy or light cream – icy cold
1 cup whole milk – icy cold
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 big squirts dark chocolate syrup
1.5 cups smushed up oreos/sandwich cookies
1.5 cups smushed up leftover brownies

In a mixing bowl, whisk the milk, cream, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, choco. syrup, and vanilla until blended.

Pour in to the chilled bowl of your ice cream maker.

Turn the machine on. Mix the creamy mixture for around 20 minutes. When you start to see it thicken, add in the mixins. Mix for another 5-7 minutes. It will be the consistence of Carvel or other soft serve ice cream. You can sample a bowl now if you would like. It is preferable to freeze. Enjoy!

Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach

I own a rolling pin, but never use it. It’s not that I am afraid of it, I just don’t really like using recipes that seem to have way too many process transitions. I use my rolling pin maybe twice a year. As you have seen by my carrot muffins, I am in some sort of wierd baking mood. I decided to get all brave and try to make some rugelach. I don’t like most bakery pastry, and I wanted to see if I could “have it my way.”

I used Ina Garten’s recipe for the rugelach dough and then came up with my own filling. The rugelach came out super tasty and they were suprisingly easy to make. My fear of baking is slowly fading.

Is rugel the singular of rugelach? I’ll go with it…

Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach (Dairy)
Dough Recipe – from The Barefoot Contessa by Ina Garten

8 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
2 sticks of butter – softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 egg mixed beaten, mixed with 1 tsp of milk for brushing later on
2 tbsp sugar and one tsp. cinnamon, mixed for dusting
In your mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix up the cream cheese and the butter until well mixed.

Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla. Continue to mix on low speed. Slowly add the flour with the mixer running. Do not over mix the dough. The dough will be sticky.

Turn the dough out on to a well floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball into quarters. Wrap each quarter in plastic wrap and chill in the refridgerator for at least an or…or you could freeze the dough for future use. The dough works best the colder it is.

While the dough is chilling, get your filling ready.

My chocolate/raspberry filling ingredients are as follows:

1 cup of walnut pieces
3/4 cup of chocolate chips – semisweet
1/4 cup of light brown sugar
Raspberry Jam – I used seedless
In a food processor, chop the walnuts and chocolate until ground well. Mix in the brown sugar.

I love my mini cuisinart. It’s petite,adorable, and cute. It was sitting lost and lonely in a cabinet behind my giant cuisinart. It should have a permanent place on my counter, but I dislike the clutter.

Once the dough is chilled, we are ready to roll up some rugelach.

On a well floured board, roll each ball into a circle, around 9 inches. Spread a very light layer of jam on to the dough circle. Do not add too much jam, as there will be too much oozing when baking. Sprinkle the nut/choc filling onto the jam. Cut the dough circle into wedges, around 12-16 equal wedges. I find it cuts best with a pizza slicer.


Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Put the rolled up rugelach on to a baking sheet lined with parchement paper or a silpat.
Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Brush each rugel with the egg wash. Dust with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Be thankful that I am not including any nutritional information on this one.

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