Monday, November 24, 2008

Baked Pecan Maple Apples
This recipe is for Mandy. I was trying to Twitter her instructions, but realized this recipe deserved it’s own blog post. In addition to it homey apple flavor, the brown sugar and pecan topping becomes unbelievably crunchy. I haven’t experimented with it yet, but have been considering drizzling them with a little molasses along with the maple syrup.

  • Apples, cored and not peeled
  • Equal amounts brown sugar and chopped pecans, mixed
  • Maple syrup, for drizzling
  • Cinnamon
  • Little nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice off the top and bottom, to create a flat surface and place in a 2-4 inch deep baking dish.
Drizzle apples with maple syrup, then pack the core with pecan and brown sugar. Top with more of the sugar mixture, packing it on.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and a little nutmeg.
Pour enough water to come up to about ½ an inch up the apples.
Bake in the lower part of the oven until quite soft, about an hour. Press the side of the apple to test.

The apple you choose is key. Here’a link to choosing baking apples.
This is great served as a side dish during a turkey or ham dinner. It’s also a delicious served hot with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Funny Old School Lunchroom Manners Film

I stumbled on this video at An amazing repository of free movies, films, and videos. This library contains thousands of digital movies which range from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to videos of every genre uploaded by Archive users. Many of these movies are available for download. My favorites are the films made for schools in the 50's and 60's.
The best line is a narration moment is "Phil always enjoyed the lunch in the cafeteria. It tasted good and was good for him." Too bad that is no longer true.

Friday, November 07, 2008

I Go Casserole Crazy in Brooklyn!
Eric Rochow of and I trekked out to Williamsburgh to celebrate the publication of the new cookbook Casserole Crazy with the lovely author Emily Farris. We tasted her delicious casseroles, debated the merits of ramen and just generally food-geeked out at The Brooklyn Kitchen (a totally kickass cooking goods store).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ale and Cheese Soup
That’s right, beer and cheese brought together in a creamy soup. Great for the first few cold days of autumn or save it for a snow day. Use any of the leftovers for a cheese sauce over steamed broccoli or an omelet.

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
7 cups of chicken broth, I think Better Than Bouillon is the best tasting one on the market
1 stalk celery, shredded
1 onion or 1 leek, shredded
1 turnip, peeled and shredded (optional, I use it to thicken the soup)
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
2 Bay leaves
3 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, I used ½ tangy São Jorge and ½ Kraft Sharp Cheddar
1 bottle of beer
If I make this for company a few chive sprig on top of each bowl would be nice

  1. In a large stock pot, melt butter and sauté onion and celery over medium high heat until softened.
  2. In another pan heat up the stock.
  3. Stir in the flour into the onions and sauté for a minute or two. You’re cooking the raw flavor out of the flour.
  4. Stir in the hot stock and remaining vegetables/seasonings/beer. Bring up to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  5. When all vegetables are tender remove bay leaves and puree either with a stick blender or a traditional blender.
  6. Over medium heat, stir in handfuls of the shredded cheese stirring all the time. Wait for each handful to mostly melt before adding another.
  7. You can add a little more beer or milk at this point if it seems too thick or pungent, but just a very little at a time and keep tasting.
  8. Sometimes top with shredded sharp cheddar or chive sprigs on top of each serving.

  • I find it easiest to put all the vegetables through the shredding disk of a food processor, taking care to set aside the onion and celery as they are sautéed first. Then you can run your cheeses through the same shredding disk.
  • Clean your pots after pouring the leftover(if there is any) soup in to a storage container. The cheese will congeal and be difficult to clean after a few hours.
  • Feel free to substitute just about any other vegetables for the carrot and turnip. The key is the beer and cheese. I’ve used Pete’s Wicked and Bass Ale in the past, and for cheese Dubliner and extra sharp Tillamook.
Voting in Brooklyn!
I voted today and found out that if folks knew their district they could bypass an initial 30-40 min. line. I was lucky enough to have brought my voter confirmation form that stated mine.