Dinner with Kirsten

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Grandpa’s New Cardamom Sour-Cream Waffles

January 16th, 2009 · 45 Comments

cardamom waffles

The undisputed pancake and waffle king in my family is Grandpa Chuck. Now, Grandpa has been making breakfast feasts using the same tried-and-true pancake recipes for as long as I can remember. So I was amazed when we got into a conversation about pancake recipe experimentation – debating the merits of sour cream vs. buttermilk and whipped egg whites vs. non-whipped.

And I was even more shocked when he recommended a recipe from Gourmet. Grandpa? Grandpa making a different waffle recipe?! My mind reeled! But now, having made these Cardamom Sour-Cream Waffles myself, I have to admit that the recipe was a great find.  [Read more →]

→ 45 CommentsTags: breakfast · quick fix · recipes

Poppy Seed Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

January 11th, 2009 · 82 Comments

poppy seed torte

This recipe is a classic in my family, part of long-standing tradition. I don’t know where it came from exactly, but Grandma Lois used to make this Czech dessert a couple times every year. It’s one of my Dad’s and Grandpa Ernie’s favorites. [Read more →]

→ 82 CommentsTags: baking · dessert · recipes · weekend project

Healthy Breakfast: Banana-Walnut Oatmeal

January 1st, 2009 · 66 Comments

banana walnut oatmeal

Okay, I’ll admit it. A steady diet of Christmas cookies and holiday buffets has made my favorite pair of jeans a little snug. So, I decided to start 2009 right, with a healthy bowl of oatmeal and a banana – mixed together! [Read more →]

→ 66 CommentsTags: breakfast · quick fix · recipes

Ostakaka (Swedish Cheesecake)

December 30th, 2008 · 73 Comments

ostakaka cheesecake

Christmas Eve is the one day a year when my family embraces Swedish customs. When I was young, Grandma Lois would make a light dinner of salmon loaf with dill gravy (an American stand-in for Lutefish, the traditional dried codfish served in Sweden). She would try to force-feed me pickled herring from the relish tray. And for dessert we would have ostakaka, a Swedish cheesecake or curd-cake, topped with whipped cream and lingonberries.

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→ 73 CommentsTags: baking · dessert · recipes

Orange Pistachio Crescent Cookies

December 24th, 2008 · 57 Comments

crecent cookies

I wasn’t sure if I should (or could) make these cookies. The prospect of small pastries filled with candied orange peel was just plain intimidating. Nevertheless, I went out and bought a new 3-inch round scalloped cookie cutter, just in case the urge struck.

crecent cookies

Then I made a batch of macaroons. And as I was trying to think of a way to use the extra egg yolks, I saw the perfect opportunity. Turns out, this recipe worked wonderfully – for using up egg yolks and producing amazing best-I’ve-ever-made cookies.  [Read more →]

→ 57 CommentsTags: baking · dessert · recipes · weekend project

Slow Cooker Success: Pulled Pork Sandwiches

December 19th, 2008 · 63 Comments

pulled pork

Years ago, as an undergraduate, my roommates and I threw many a meal into the crock-pot before classes. Then we would returned home to succulent scents of dinner, ready and waiting. I loved it!

When I bought a new New York crock-pot, I couldn’t wait to show off the magical wonder of slow-cooker dinners to Geoff. So, imagine my surprise when everything I put into the machine came out tasting weird, over-done and generally bad. Geoff stoically ate it all, but his protests when I proposed a crock-pot night grew louder and more explicit. [Read more →]

→ 63 CommentsTags: dinner · quick fix · recipes · salad

Chocolate Butter Cookies

December 18th, 2008 · 38 Comments

chocolate cookies

I sometimes like flipping through old magazines, revisiting old recipes that I once tried (or meant to try). In the Nov/Dec 2005 issue of Cook’s Illustrated, I came across a recipe for Chocolate Butter Cookies that claimed to be “the best,” combining strong chocolaty flavor with classic butter-cookie texture. I decided to try. [Read more →]

→ 38 CommentsTags: baking · dessert · quick fix

Dinner for One: Pasta with Greens and Goat Cheese

December 15th, 2008 · 63 Comments

pasta with greens

An evening alone. . . Sigh. . . I love being alone sometimes. There’s no pressure to “do” anything, there’s no struggle for the remote, there’s no need to brush my hair or take a shower and, most of all, there’s no need to compromise over dinner. So, when Geoff made last minute plans to go out with his guy friends for all-you-can-eat hot wings, I changed my mind about what to eat for dinner five times on my way home after work. [Read more →]

→ 63 CommentsTags: dinner · italian · quick fix · recipes · salad

Lemon Sandwich Christmas Cookies

December 13th, 2008 · 70 Comments

lemon christmas cookies

I made these glittery cookies from Gourmet for a cookie party at work. The recipe is a little weird – it uses cornstarch for some of the flour, powdered sugar instead of regular and not a single egg. But hey, I wanted something different and these didn’t disappoint. The texture was perfectly light and crumbly and the lemon filling had a great zing to it. But the best part was the crunchy sugared outside. They look like Christmas ornaments! [Read more →]

→ 70 CommentsTags: baking · dessert · recipes · weekend project

Cardamom Christmas Cookies

December 8th, 2008 · 67 Comments

cardamom cookies

It’s cookie season!! I’m starting out slow this year, with a simple recipe my sister made a few years ago. I remembered it because of the distinctive cardamom spice. There’s no other flavor like it, really.  [Read more →]

→ 67 CommentsTags: baking · dessert · recipes