Apple Cider Braised Pan Seared Bratwurst and Apples with Red Cabbage Slaw

To welcome Fall and celebrate my German heritage, I made this platter of cider braised bratwurst and then pan seared both the brats and some crisp apples all served on a red cabbage slaw, It was the perfect autumn dish a study in contrasts : slightly sweet and salty, softened apples mixing with the crispy slaw. It’s my modern take on the more classic brats with sauerkraut.

From by the bay, wishing you Fall German food memories!


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Apple Cider Braised Pan Seared Bratwurst and Apples with Red Cabbage Slaw

Serves 8


4 cups apple cider

8 bratwurst

4 apples , skin on cut in half

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 cup white wine

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 recipe red cabbage slaw ( recipe follows)


In medium sauce pan add bratwurst and cider, bring to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes remove from heat. Remove bratwurst remove brats from pan and set aside. Heat oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples, cut side down, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 5–8 minutes. Prick brats with a fork, add to skillet with apples, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add wine and vinegar to skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened (liquid should coat a spoon), about 4 minutes.

To serve place red slaw on a platter , add apples and brats and enjoy!

Red Cabbage Slaw


For the Slaw
1 small head of red cabbage, cored and shredded
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)
Sea salt, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste

For The Dressing:
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Sea salt, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup canola oil


In a large mixing bowl add cabbage, onions, caraway seed, salt and pepper.  In a large covered jar add ingredients for dressing and shack vigorously. Pour dressing over cabbage and mix well. Set aside.





Pumpkin Corn Bisque

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This week is unique in that the first half of the week is summer and the second half is fall. The local farm stands look the same way, one side is the last corn of the summer and on the other side you the start of fall, filled with pumpkins and winter squash. This soup does the same thing by mixing the flavors of summer corn and fall pumpkin. It’s a perfect combination that you can celebrate this time of year.

From by the bay, wishing you pumpkin corn filled food memories!


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Pumpkin Corn Bisque

Serves 4


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups fresh corn kernels ( approx. three ears), or thawed frozen corn
1 small chopped onion
1(15-oz.) can organic pumpkin puree
2 cups unsalted chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup half and half

Optional : pinch of cayenne along with other spices

Optional : garnish shelled, roasted and salted pumpkin seeds, chopped chives


In a dutch oven or stock pot  melt butter, add onions and saute until softened, add corn and saute another minute. Add remaining ingredients, except the half and half.  ( include the cayenne).  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Let cool, then puree in a food processor. This can be made head and refrigerate.  When ready to serve heat, once heated add half and half. Stir and serve. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and chopped chives.


Homemade Pear Soda

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First weekend after Labor Day and  the signs of fall are here by the bay – the beach parking lot is no longer filled with sunbathers but antique cars for the annual fall show, acorns are falling on my back deck with a few brown leaves , the evenings are getting cooler but the day are still warm. There is an abundance of pears and apples at the farmer’s market.  With the days still warm I wanted to make something refreshing to drink after my walk to the antique car show, then I  remembered a pear soda a tried just a few weeks ago. Pear soda is not easy to find, so I took advantage of the pears I bought at the farm stand to make my own soda. So much simpler than shopping for it in stores. It’s perfectly refreshing! Enjoy!

From by the bay wishing you delicious fizzy pear food memories!


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Pear soda

3 pears
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

optional: pear slices to garnish


Peel, core and cube pears. Place in a medium saucepan with water and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.  Use a potato masher to mash pear.  Use a fine mesh sieve to strain mixture pressing the liquid through with a back of a spoon and cool. Pour 1/4 cup pear syrup in a glass and top with soda water. Enjoy!

Note: if you don’t want to throw the pear mash out put back in saucepan, add a 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and a 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen whole cranberries and cook stirring ocassionally, until cranberries burst. Cool and serve it’s like a cranberry pear sauce.

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Blueberry Plum Crumble

I love fruit desserts and this one is a real favorite! Using plums and the last blueberries of the summer give this crumble an autumnal feeling. You can make the crumble without blueberries, I happened to have some leftover when I made this dish and just decided to throw them into the mix, as you can with most crumbles you can alter the fruits you use to suit your own tastes. In the same way you can use pecans instead of walnuts. I’ve made many crumbles over the years, but what I like best from the recipe I choose from Huckleberry is the addition of the maple syrup and I used my favorite steel cut oats from Anson Mills that added a great crunchy texture to the crumble topping. Enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you some autumn crumble food memories!


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Blueberry Plum Crumble

Recipe adapted from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan



1/2 cup steel cut oats

1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


3 red plums , halved and pitted

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

pinch of fine sea salt

Preheat over to 375 degrees F. To make the crumble add all ingredients in a bowl and blend with your finger tips until butter is incorporated. Place in the refrigerator. In a small baking dish approximately 5″ by 8″ arrange the plums, cut side up, sprinkle blueberries. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon light brown sugar. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the fruit, letting a little of the outer edges visible. Bake in the hot oven until the topping starts to brown and plums are tender, approximately 50 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Salad

Enjoying the fresh bounty of fresh juicy tomatoes and eggplant is this delicious salad . It’s a great side dish or toss on to some pasta with a little more olive oil and cheese and you have a yummy dinner. Mangia!!

From by the bay, wishing you tomato food memories!


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Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Salad


1 small eggplant, cubed with skin on

1 small onion, chopped

1 large heirloom tomato, chopped

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

fresh grated parmesan cheese

fresh basil leaves


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. To one sheet at the eggplant and the second the onion. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over each sheet and season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Toss eggplant and onions with the olive and place in the oven until onions start to brown and the eggplant is softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.  Place in a bowl the eggplant, onion and tomatoes. Drizzle with remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar and sea salt and pepper to taste. Place in a bowl or serving platter. Add fresh chopped basil and grated cheese and serve.


White Sangria

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Inspired by the abundance of fresh peaches here on Long Island , I made a white sangria perfect for me. I prefer my sangria to be crisp, cold and not too sweet. This recipe is my perfect sangria with no sugar and just letting the sweetness comes from the fruit and orange liquor. I like using one a favorite sauvignon blanc for this sangria and then add some sparkling dry white wine. I love using California wines for this sangria. Enjoy the fresh, light taste of this sangria.

From by the bay, wishing you sunny sangria food memories!


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White Sangria


1 bottle sauvignon blanc

3 cups fruit, such as peaches, cut green grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe

1/2 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup orange liquor

1 bottle sparkling white wine

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Mix all ingredients together and chill. When serving fill 1/2 the glass and top off with the sparkling wine and serve.


Summer Fruit Refrigerator Jam

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I love this time of year and the abundance of fresh fruit. Sometimes though you might not finish all the fruit.  If you are like me, you might have few lonely raspberries left in the fridge, you know the one’s that have been squished or a few over ripe peaches sitting on  the counter. Give these fruits new life by making this delicious and easy refrigerator jam.  This jam has only three ingredients. It’s perfect to eat with toast, on top of ice cream or try making these little yogurt parfaits for breakfast, the recipe follows below. Starting looking for some fruit now and make yourself some jam!

From by the bay, wishing you jammy food memories!


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Summer Fruit Refrigerator Jam


2 cups fruit, such as peeled, pitted stone fruit chopped and or berries

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Toss fruit and sugar in a non reactive medium sauce pan and let sit an hour. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. It’s ready when it’s thicken and runs off the spoon in big drops. Place in clean jam jar , cover and let rest to room temperature. Leave in the refrigerator until ready to use up to two months.

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Yogurt Parfait with Jam and Pine Nuts

1 serving


2 tablespoons  summer fruit refrigerator jam

6 ounces low fat greek yogurt

1 teaspoon toasted pine nuts


In a small jar layer the jam, yogurt and top with pine nuts. Serve immediately or cover overnight and serve for breakfast the next day.



Chocolate Sponge Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream

My grandmother had a birthday tradition – she would make a sponge cake and serve it with whipped cream or chocolate whipped cream depending on whose birthday it was and their favorite! I went through all my grandmother’s recipes and never found her sponge cake recipe. After trying many recipes, I finally stumbled on  this recipe from Cake Boss, it’s as close as I could get to grandma’s recipe, it’s delicious, especially with whipped cream. I made this version, this past July 17th in honor of my father for his birthday!  It was wonderful to relive those special food memories from my childhood!

From by the bay, wishing you whipped cream food memories!


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Chocolate Sponge Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream

One recipe chocolate sponge cake, one recipe chocolate whipped cream, 1/2 cup crushed chocolate wafers to decorate the top of cake.


Ice cake with chilled chocolate whipped cream. Sprinkle crushed chocolate wafers one top of the cake and serve.


Chocolate Sponge Cake

Adapted from Cake Boss recipe


4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole milk, less 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons fresh brewed coffee
1/4 cup butter (lightly salted)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl with paddle attachment for 4 minutes. Do not skip this step!

2. Add sugar, and continue beating for another 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and stir on low until just combined.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add to eggs and sugar on low speed until just combined.

4. In a saucepan, heat milk, coffee and butter on low heat just until butter is melted. Add to batter, beat just until combined.

5. Pour into two greased and floured 8″ round cake pans.

6. Bake at 325 until the middle springs back when touched, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand in pans for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto wire cooling racks and cool completely.

Hint: Cakes are close to being done when you start to smell them about 45 minutes

Chocolate Whipped Cream


2 cups chilled heavy cream

1/4 cup Hersey Chocolate Syrup


In a medium metal mixing bowl add the cream and using an electric mixer beat until cream is in stiff peaks. Fold in chocolate syrup gently until chocolate is incorporated through out.

My Favorite Blueberry Recipes

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Celebrate Summer with some of the best blueberry recipes!!

From by the bay , wishing you blue food memories!


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Blueberry Merlot Sauce with Vanilla Gelato

2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup Merlot
½ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon vanilla


Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Cool and place in a container. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
Serve as a topping to vanilla gelato.

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Sweet Corn and Blueberry Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart


  • 4 ears fresh young corn, shucked
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 cup whole fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar


Cut kernels off each ear of corn and place into a large saucepan. Break cobs into pieces and also add to pan. Add to the pan the milk, cream , 3/4 cup sugar and xanthan gum. Place on medium heat , bring mixture to a low boil for 5 to 10 minutes until mixture is thicken slightly and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, remove cobs. Using an immersion blender, puree kernels. ( You can also use a blender to liquidfy but the immersion blender is quickest and easier clean up). Let corn mixture infuse for about an hour and then pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. When straining make sure you are using the back of a spoon to push the liquid through. Also scrap the liquid from the bottom of the strainer in the bowl. Place bowl in the refrigerator to chill for 2 to 3 hours. In the meantime, to a small sauce pan add blueberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan . Place on medium heat until the blueberries start to pop and mixture thickens. Set aside to cool. Make the sweet corn mixer in an ice cream maker according to directions. Right when the ice cream is ready slowly pour the blueberry sauce into the ice cream to swirl one or two times. Pour into a freezer safe container and store in freezer until ready to serve.


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Blueberry Boy Bait
From Smitten Kitchen , which adapted it from  the Cook’s Illustrated version, which was adapted from the original


Serves 12, generously

2 cups (250 grams) plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks, 8 ounces or 225 grams), softened
3/4 cup (145 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup (235 ml) whole milk (though buttermilk, which was all I had on hand, worked just great)
1/2 cup (about 85 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)

1/2 cup (about 85 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

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Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon lemon zest

4 tablespoons melted butter

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 egg

3/4 cup fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 400 F. Take a 12 muffin pan and line with paper baking cups. Put  tin to the side. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and lemon zest. Add melted butter and stir. Add the egg to the buttermilk , mix and pour into the flour mixture and combine.Add blueberries and then fill each muffin liner about 3/4 filled. Place tin on baking sheet and bake  on the center rack for 20 to 25 minutes until cake tester comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes then remove muffins to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or room temperature.


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Pan Fried Veal with Spinach, Blueberries and Hazelnuts

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds veal scallopini

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup chicken broth

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons  whole hazelnuts

2 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 tablespoons fresh blueberries

1 pound steamed fresh spinach


Toast hazelnuts and breadcrumbs on a baking sheet in a 400F oven for 2-3 minutes. Take toasted nuts and bread crumbs along with garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and red chili  flakes and process into coarse crumbs. Place in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, mix and place to the side.  Flatten each scallopini between plastic wrap with a rolling pin until even. Coat veal with oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a medium frying pan and saute veal 2 minutes per side until browned. Place on a platter and cover with foil. In the same frying pan add the stock , balsamic vinegar and bring to boil and reduce for 2 minutes. Whisk butter in pieces into the sauce. Remove from heat and add blueberries. Divide spinach  between four plates with veal on top. Spoon sauce on top of veal. Sprinkle top of veal with the hazelnut mixture and serve immediately,

Favorite Sugar Cookie

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Inspired by one of my favorite flowers, sunflowers, I grabbed my favorite sugar cookie recipe, thank you Alton Brown, and created a sunflower cookie to serve here by the bay while entertaining! Of course this recipe could be made in any shape that inspires you. Find the right cookie cutter and colored sanding sugar and start creating!

From by the bay, wishing you yummy sunflower food memories!




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Sugar Cookies

From the Food Network, Alton Brown

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Watch how to make this recipe
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat. Sprinkle with colored sanding sugar and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

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