Tag Archives: fall recipes

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

One of the many things I love about cooking is that inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. My inspiration for this recipe came from my health club. Yes, you heard that right, my trainer had just returned from a trip to Rome and brought back with her bags of the most amazing chocolate chip biscotti. These crispy little biscuits were so delicious, I was charged with creating a version as close to the original as possible. I’m sharing my version of chocolate chip biscotti, here are a few tips : italians typically use their “00” flour for baking. This flour is low gluten and very fine, used in Italy for making pasta and sweets. If you can’t find type “00” flour use pastry flour or all purpose flour. It will have a slightly different texture. It’s very important to use a high quality chocolate. I like chopping my own chocolate . These biscotti are crispy and not too sweet. You will be transported to Italy with each bite. This is a cookie you will always want on hand.

From by the bay, wishing you crispy biscotti memories!

Maryann

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Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour ( use type “00” flour if available)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus extract to sprinkle on top
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sambuca
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup good quality dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

Directions

Heat oven to 350° F.  Place almonds on a baking sheet and toasted in the oven for approximately 8 minutes as they start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Coarsely cut and set aside. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Place aside.  In a stand mixer, oil and 3/4 cup sugar together. Add the eggs and continue to mix. Add sambuca, and vanilla. Add flour until combined.  Add toasted almonds and chocolate. Mix to combine. Cut the dough in half and roll into two logs, each approximately 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Place logs side by side 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the top of the logs with extra sugar. Bake on center rack for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Take the logs out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Use a serrated knife and cut into 3/4  inch slices. Place cookies on baking sheet cut side up in oven and bake for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Store in an air tight container for 1 week.

Sausage with Pomegranate Salad with Pickled Red Onions

It’s easier to make the transition from summer to fall if I hold onto some summer in my cooking, while transitioning into fall. This recipe is still light and  usually, I still use my grill to prepare the sausages. I have provided an indoor option for preparing the sausages just in case it’s too cold, windy or rainy. This dish is definitely a feast for the eyes . The lovely crimson pomegranate seeds, accented with the warm pink hues of the pickled red onions really celebrate fall flavors. But don’t misunderstand, this dish may look like it’s all about visual pleasure but it’s really about the rich and luscious combination of flavors: slightly salty in contrast to the sweet and sour. Easy to prepare this can become a quick weekday meal.

From by the wishing you pomegranate food memories!

Maryann

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Sausage with Pomegranate Salad with Pickled Red Onions

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 8 sweet Italian  sausage
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers
  • 2 tablespoons pickled red onions ( see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses dressing ( see recipe below)

Directions

Light a grill and oil the grate, Grill the sausage over moderate heat, turning until lightly charred and cooked through 10 to 12 minutes. ( Alternately, you can cook the sausage in the a 425 degree F oven arrange sausage on a baking rack set into a baking sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until sausage are cooked through). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice on the bias. On a large platter arrange arugula, add sliced sausage . Drizzle with pomegranate molasses dressing. Sprinkle with red onion, pomegranate seeds and almond slivers. Serve at once.

Pickled Red Onion

Ingredients

  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt

Directions

In a quart mason jar add all ingredients, shake well. Let stand for at least one hour. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. Will keep for one week.

Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Place all ingredients in a covered jar. Shake well before using .

Mom’s Apple Cake, also know as Jewish Apple Cake

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For as long as I can remember, my Mom made this apple cake. At this stage of my life, this means it’s a very long time, let’s just say Mom is over 90 and we can leave it at that!  When Mom referred to this cake she called it Mom’s cake -meaning my dad’s mom or my mom called it the Jewish Apple Cake. Now for starters we are not Jewish. We also called several cake’s mom’s cake since my grandmother was an amazing baker – thus the need to further identify the cake such as Jewish Apple. I did a little on line search about Jewish Apple Cake. It seems it’s called Jewish Apple because it does not use dairy such as milk or butter. There are many versions of this recipe with slight variations but basically the same recipe. I also read that this recipe was published long ago in some women’s magazine. No matter the source,  the real testament to this recipe is that it’s so good, it had stood the test of time . A recipe passed by word of mouth from generation to generation and from friend to friend. The bottom line about this cake how good it tastes, that it is super easy to make and it’s a true celebration of fall! It’s a cake that satisfies the apple lover in each of us. You will get such joy from the wafting aroma of baking apples, sugar and cinnamon and then the joy of eating this yummy cake.

From by the bay, wishing you tasty apple cake food memories!

Maryann

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Mom’s Apple Cake a.k.a. “Jewish” Apple Cake

Ingredients

For Apple Filling

  • 5 medium apples , preferably those good for baking such as macintosh
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For Cake Batter

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use nonstick cooking spray to grease tall tube pan, then lightly dust with flour.  Peel and core the apples, then cut into 1 inch cubes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the 5 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat the apples evenly. Set aside. In another bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl add the oil, juice, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. the batter will be thick. Pour half the batter into the tube pan, make sure the batter is spread evenly. Top with half the apples. Pour the remaining batter into the tube, again ensuring the batter is spread. Arrange remaining apples over the top.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely ( at least 25 minutes). Run a clean knife between the cake and pan to loosen the cake before turning onto a plate.

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Fresh Roasted Figs with Gorgonzola

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Loving this time of year and one of the best things available in early September is figs! I just picked up some Black Mission Figs at the market and was deciding how to prepare them, when my mother recalled some of her fond food memories about eating figs as a young child in Brooklyn. Her parents had a few figs trees in their small backyard. My grandmother prepared the figs with honey. I found this recipe from Emeril Lagasse , loving that the figs are roasted stuffed with blue cheese for a salty note and finished honey for additional sweetness. We loved this recipe, especially my mother remembering her childhood with this food memory!

From by the bay, wishing you sweet fig food memories!

Maryann

Fresh Roasted Figs with Gorgonzola

Adapted from Food Network Recipe by Emeril Lagasse, 2004

Ingredients

12 ripe figs
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Gorgonzola
1/3 cup good-quality honey
4 pinches finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Using a paring knife, carefully trim any tough portion of the stems from each fig. Rub each fig all over with extra-virgin olive oil, then slice down through the stem about 3/4-inch. Make a second cut perpendicular to the first cut, so that you have an X-shaped cut in the top of each fig. Gently pry the edges apart and stuff each fig with about 1 teaspoon of the Gorgonzola. Place the figs upright on a baking sheet and bake until the figs are plump and shiny but have not burst, about 10 minutes.
Drizzle equal amounts of the honey on each of 4 serving plates and place the figs on top of the honey. Sprinkle each plate with a pinch of the chopped rosemary and some of the remaining Gorgonzola. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, 2004

 

Apple Crostata with Fig Glaze

Wondering what do do with those apples you just picked or bought at the farm stand ? This is a delicious and easy to make apple crostata with an easy glaze made from store bought jam. I picked fig jam for my glaze but apricot work work just as well. I love making this recipe the crust is simple and the rustic shape of the pie is part of the charm. You can use a box grater of a mandoline to slice the apples, but if you don’t have either just slice the apples as thin as you can with a knife. This is quick to assemble , bake , eat and enjoy!

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

Maryann

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Apple Crostata with Fig Glaze


1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 stick butter diced and chilled
3 tablespoons ice water (approx.) mixed with 1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 large apple, like honey crisp
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fig jam
2 teaspoons water


Directions:
To make pastry place into a food processor the flour and 2 tablespoons sugar. Pulse to blend. Add the chilled butter and pulse until the texture is grainy . With the motor running add the water and vinegar mixture slowly, stop just when the dough comes together.  Remove dough onto parchment paper, flatten into a disk and cover. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour. While the dough is chilling cut apple in half apples from the stem down. Using a mandoline slicer and slice apples thinly. Please apples in a bow ,adding the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix well. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Once the dough is chilled, remove  from the refrigerator and  keep dough on parchment paper and lightly flour top of the dough. Quickly roll out into a circle approximately 10 inch diameter. Transfer parchment paper with dough onto a baking sheet. Leave a 1/2 inch border of dough from the outer perimeter and arrange apples in a circle working from the outside in a concentric circle continue  towards the center until filled in.  In a small sauce pan heat jam and 2 teaspoons water and heat until combined. Remove from heat and brush the apples with the glaze. Place in the over and bake foe approximately 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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!

Maryann

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Pumpkin Corn Bisque

Serves 4

Ingredients

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

Directions

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!

Maryann

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Pear soda

Ingredients
3 pears
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

optional: pear slices to garnish

Directions

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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Ginger Pear Cake

On the weekends, it’s nice to complete a meal with something sweet.  This is a really easy cake to make and the perfect finish to any meal. This recipe started as Mitzi’s plum cake a family favorite. The recipe was given to my grandmother over 50 years ago from her friend Mitzi and my whole family makes this recipe each end of summer using plums. I decided to use Mitzi’s recipe for the fall /winter using  pears on their own or with cranberries with great results. This is the perfect quick cake.  Enjoy!

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

Maryann

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Ginger Pear Cake ( adapted from my Mitzi’s Plum Cake)

Ingredients
¼ pound unsalted butter softened plus 1 tablespoon
½ cup fine sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for topping the cake
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Bosc pear
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel, core and slice the pear. Place pear slices in bowl, cover with lemon juice, mix and set aside. Using electric mixer combine ¼ lb butter and sugar until fluffy, then add egg and combine. Next add the flour and baking powder and combine. This makes a soft dough. Take an 8” non stick cake pan line with parchment and butter and flour the pan. Press the dough into the pan covering the bottom of the cake pan. Use a spatula to spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Press plums into dough with the cut side facing up in a concentric circle. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with ½ teaspoon ginger, mix and sprinkle on top of the pears. Dot with extra butter. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until cake tester is clean.
Variations: replace pears and ginger with plums and cinnamon.

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Sausage, Collard Greens and Brioche Dressing

You’ll love this southern inspired dressing for your Thanksgiving table!  Buttery brioche is the base of this dressing mixed with italian sausage, leeks, collard greens and lots of fresh herbs. It’s super easy to toast your own bread for this dressing and layer your flavors. I love using leeks in place of the onions for a more subtle onion taste. Just be sure to clean them well before using them, they can have some dirt. I suggest soaking them a  little in water before cutting. When cooking with leeks use the white parts only and discard the green tops.
From by the bay, wishing you collard green food memories!
Maryann
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Sausage, Collard Greens and Brioche Dressing

Serves 12

16 cups brioche bread, cut into ½ inch cubes with crust

2 ½ pounds Italian sausage meat

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 bunch leeks, sliced in rings approximately 2 cups chopped

1 bunch collard greens

3 stalks celery, minced ( include the leaves)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

2 teaspoons rubbed sage

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

4 to 5 cups low sodium chicken stock

½ cup parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Place bread cubes in a single layer on two rimmed large baking sheets. Bake until toasted about 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large skillet cook sausage meat, crumbling the meat with a fork until fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and place into a large mixing bowl. Add butter to the same skillet, melt butter and then add leeks, celery, thyme and sage. Saute together until softened about 10 minutes, separating the leek rings. Remove from heat and add to the bowl with the cooked sausage meat. Use the same skillet to add the collard greens and wilt about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups chicken stock and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Add collard greens and stock to the bowl.. Add the toasted bread cube, rubbed sage and parsley to the bowl. Add 2 cups of chicken stock. Mix the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. If dressing is not moist add the additional cup of stock. Mix well. The dressing can be made up to this point one day in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake. To bake the dressing, remove from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes, until dressing is heated through the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.

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Sage Gravy

There is nothing like homemade gravy for your Thanksgiving Turkey and you’ll love this sage gravy. You can make most of this gravy in advance by making a flavorful stock as your base and then flavoring the gravy with the turkey drippings at the end. This gravy is perfect used with my  Apple Sage Roast Turkey.

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From by the bay wishing you turkey gravy food memories!

Maryann

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Sage Gravy

Gravy Base

6 cups chicken stock

Giblets and neck from turkey

1 carrot peeled and chopped

1 onion, not peeled and quartered

1 celery stick, chopped

2 bay leaves

6 sage leaves

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Gravy

1 cup white wine

6 tablespoons flour

6 cups gravy base

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoons fine grey sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped sage

Directions for gravy base

Combine into a soup pot chicken stock, carrot, onion, celery, bay leaves, sage, peppercorns, giblets and neck from turkey. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 1 hour. Cool and strain broth and keep refrigerated until ready to make gravy. This can be done one day in advance.

Directions for gravy

Place seasoned broth into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Take melted butter in a bowl and then add the flour, whisk until a smooth paste. Take one cup of hot broth and whisk into flour mixture until smooth. Sieve back into the broth and whisk to blend. Add bay leaves, salt and pepper and whisk again. You can have this prepared as the turkey is roasting. Once the turkey is done and removed from the roasting pan pour pan juices into a measuring cup. Spoon off fat and discard. Add remaining juices into broth in the saucepan. Place roasting pan back on heat and deglaze with the wine. Scrap pan to get all brown bits, let reduce to half , about 2 minutes. Add to the gravy. Whisk together and let simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency. Remove bay leaves, mix in sage adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey.