Tag Archives: German recipes

Old Fashioned Doughnuts

It took a Nor’easter dropping anywhere from 24 to 36 inches of snow in the New York area to finally make this delicious recipe- my grandmother’s doughnuts. The snowy weekend blizzard was the perfect opportunity to try out a Christmas present – my shiny new deep fryer!  The key to having a great doughnut, that is crispy and light, is getting the oil to the right temperature. The fryer makes this easy. You can also use a deep pot filled with oil and use a thermometer. Whichever way you decide to fry , this is the perfect way to show your love to your family and friends by making something this special. I think of making doughnuts a little bit of a cooking event but the results are well worth it. The winter isn’t over so you might want to consider this cooking project when you have to be spending some time indoors. You and your family will be glad you did!

From by the bay wishing you, some wintry doughnut food memories!


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Old Fashioned Doughnuts


  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter softened, plus 1 tablespoon melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon rind
  • optional: confectioner’s sugar, vanilla sugar or cinnamon sugar

*oil for deep fryer , per instructions


In a small bowl add yeast to water and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer add 1/4 pound butter, sugar and salt. In a small sauce pan scald milk. Pour scalded milk over the ingredients in the bowl. Mix well and add 1 cup of flour and beat until smooth. Add yeast, eggs and lemon rind. Add flour in three portions combining to make a soft dough. Place on a floured board and knead. Add more flour if too tacky to knead. Shape dough into a ball and place in clean bowl brushed , with melted butter. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Keep in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down and turn our on to a floured board. Pat down until about 1/2 inch thick. Let rest 10 minutes . Use doughnut cutter 1/2 thick and 2 1/2 inch round.  Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F. Don’t over crowd. Use tongs to turn when bottoms are brown. Watch as this will depend on your fryer. When both sides  are brown, remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  When cooled sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Or while warm roll in vanilla sugar or granulated sugar mixed with cinnamon. Fry the doughnut holes separately. An easy way to sugar the holes , place sugar in a brown paper lunch bag , add the warm doughnut holes , hold bag closed , shake and serve!


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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.





Grandma’s Plum Dumplings

As I was growing up, there was no finer signal that fall was near than when my grandmother make plum dumplings. The recipe was one my grandmother brought to the United States from her homeland of Gottschee, which long ago was a part of Austria. My grandfather would grow small italian plums and when they were ripe my grandmother would make dumplings which were similar to large gnocchi, filled with the plums and sugar. You would cut open the dumpling to a burst of purple sweet almost jam like filling. It was delicious!!!  Yes, making this dumpling dough sounds a bit daunting , but you can press it into shape easily with your hands and as long as you pick any holes with your fingers you’ll have the same results in taste and perhaps the look is slighlty more rustic, but the taste will still deliver. This is traditionally a dessert but by the bay this is a special dinner. The season for these sweet italian plums are short so celebrate Fall this weekend and enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you plum bursting food memories!



blog plum dumpling

 Grandma’s Plum Dumplings

Makes 16 dumplings


  • 4 yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra to roll
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 16 small italian prune plums, or 8 medium size italian prune plums, cut lengthwise, pitted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs


Peel and chop potatoes. Place in a medium sauce pan with cold water and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain and cool. In a bowl mash potatoes. Measure two cups of mash potatoes and place in large mixing bowl. Add flour and salt and mix well. Add the egg and oil and mix dough to form a ball. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky . Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.  In the meantime, bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil. On a lightty floured surface roll out the dough to about a 1/3 of an inch . Cut dough into 16 squares or pat into 16 circles, flour your hands to handle the dough.  Sprinkle the inside of the plums with sugar. Place one plum ( or 1/2 plum if the plums are medium size) to the center of each circle of dough.  Gently bring up corners of the dough to center and pinch edges to seal.  Carefully add dumplings to boiling water. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a dumpling comes out clean. In a medium sauce pan melt butter  until it starts to foam and then add breadcrumbs and saute until they start to brown. Remove from heat. Gently roll the dumplings in the bread crumbs and place on a serving platter. Sprinkle with extra sugar and serve immediately.



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For another great dessert using italian plums try Mitzi’s Plum Cake

Champagne Cookies

I was looking to make something special for New Year’s Eve and decided to adapt my German Wine Cookie recipe by using champagne in place of the wine. I cut the cookies into the shape of champagne corks and decorated them with a little edible glitz. I love the result and you will too! The recipe is super simple, so give it a try,
From by the bay wishing everyone a wonderful 2013 and a New Year filled with joyous food memories with your friends and family!

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Ingredients For Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup fine granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup dry champagne
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups  all-purpose flour

Ingredients For  Icing

1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
plus sprinkles or decorative sugar 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and champagne. Add 2 1/2 cups flour and mix well. Dough will be stiff. If not sprinkle a little more flour in and mix well. Roll out dough, on well-floured pastry sheet, to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter.  I prefer to use a champagne cork cookie cutter. Bake on a non-stick cookie sheet for 10 minute, until bottoms just start to brown. Once cookies have cooled, make icing by combining above ingredients. Frost cookies and  top with decorative sugar and or sprinkles, Let icing harden on cookies by sitting on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. 

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Bratwurst Sandwich with Horseradish Cream and Onion Marmalade

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The leaves are falling, football season is well under way, homecoming queens and kings are in parades ( including my Mom) and the Octoberfest has started in Germany. What better way to celebrate fall than with a terrific bratwurst sandwich , kicked up a bit using some seasonal flavors, such as fresh horseradish  and grated apple! The bratwurst preparation is very traditional but the horseradish cream dressing gives it the modern twist. Don’t be daunted by the instructions. If you are looking for shortcuts, buy some caramelized onions in a jar and use prepared horseradish. Reduce the amount used and adjust according to how much kick you want in the your dressing, Enjoy!

From by the bay wishing you happy fall memories!


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Bratwurst Sandwich with Horseradish Cream and Onion Marmalade
Serves 4

4 bratwursts
2 bottles dark beer

1 teaspoon olive oil
4 6 “  Sour dough baguette pieces sliced ¾ through  in half or some hot dog size rolls

1 tablespoon olive oil

Onion Marmalade Topping
3 large sweet onions slices
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Horseradish Cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons grated granny smith apple
1 tablespoon  grated fresh horseradish
1 tablespoon  grainy mustard

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

½ teaspoon caraway seeds



To make onion marmalade:

Take  a large sauté pan to medium heat. Heat both oil and butter  then add the sliced onions and salt. Keep at medium heat stirring often until the onions are well browned and caramelized about  15 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and sauté another 30 minutes continuing to stir. The onions should be a deep brown color and have a jam like quality.  Remove onions from pan and keep in bowl until ready to serve. 

To make horseradish cream :

Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to make the bratwurst sandwiches.

To make bratwurst:

Place into dutch oven with the beer, bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for about 15 minutes. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the bratwurst and brown on all sides and remove from pan. .

To prepare the sandwich:

Preheat oven to 400F. Place the sourdough bread slices on a baking sheet. Brush cut side of the bread with olive oil. Bake in the oven for ten minutes until golden  brown. Spread horseradish cream on side slice of bread, add the bratwurst and top while onion marmalade.


Grandma’s Coleslaw with Warm Dressing

When I think about perfect no fuss side dishes for the summer my grandmother’s coleslaw always comes to mind. My paternal grandparents were Gottscheers, descendents of a small colony founded in 1350 with only 300 families. Gottscheers lived in a small area within the Austro- Hungarian Empire only 331 square miles. Customs and ltheir own dialect was handed down generation to generation, as were recipes. My grandparents were part of the large emigration from their homeland to the United States in the early 1900’s. Gottscheers remained close once they arrived in the United States. My grandparents were part of the Gottscheer group living in Ridgewood, Queens. My grandparents and their friends would socialize often, which included Sunday night card games. this coleslaw was served many, many sunday nights and it brings to mind love, friendship and just having a good time.
From by the bay wishing you happy food memories with your friends and loved ones!

foodgawker coleslaw

Grandma’s Coleslaw with Warm Dressing
Serves Six

1 medium head of cabbage, quartered removing core
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup fine granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Using a mandoline over a large mixing bowl, finely shred one head of cabbage. Set aside. To make dressing bring to a boil in a small medium sauce pan  the vinegar, sugar and sea stirring occasionally. Boil until the sugar and salt have dissolved.  Slowly add the oil and bring back to a boil. Remove pan from heat and pour dressing over the cabbage. Add caraway seeds, celery salt and pepper. Mix well. Place into a mason jar or container. Store at room temperature or
in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Mitzi’s Plum Cake

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Mitzi’s Plum Cake

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

6 italian plums

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Split plums and remove pits. Place plums 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 cinnamon, mix and sprinkle on top of the plums. Dot with extra butter. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until  cake tester is clean.

Variations: replace plums with apricots or peaches

Potato Soup with Small Dumplings

There is nothing better on a blustery cold day then a warm bowl of soup. I have fond memories of my grandmother taking out her dutch oven on such days and making this soup from the staples she always had in her pantry. Her original recipe didn’t include the bacon. I happened to have some bacon leftover in the fridge and decided to use it. You could just as easily not use the bacon and just throw all the ingredients for the soup into the pot and simmer away, making this about as easy as any soup you could make. If you are feeling up for it by all means take the extra steps to fry the bacon and saute your onions and celery, the results were delicious. What really makes this potato soup so magnficent to eat, is not the bacon, it’s the dumplings you simmer into the soup at the end. Again, these are no fail dumplings just stir and drop into the hot soup to simmer into yummy small white balls soaked with the flavor of the soup. It’s the perfect comfort food to warm you from the harsh cold of winter.From by the bay wishing you warm potato food memories!
blog potato soup
Potato Soup with Small Dumplings
Serves 6
Ingredients for soup
4 ounces thick bacon, chopped
6 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
5 cups water
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3-4 cloves
optional: chopped parsley for garnish
Ingredients for drop dumplings
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
In a Dutch oven cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon onto paper towel and set aside. In the bacon fat saute the celery and onion until softened. Add the potatoes, water, salt, pepper and cloves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove the cloves out of the soup. With a potato masher, puree most of the vegetables.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick for your preference you can add some water and continue to simmer. To make the dumplings, combine the egg, water, salt and flour mixing until smooth. Drop by teaspoonfuls into the boiling soup. Cover and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and crisp bacon pieces.