Linzer Augen (Linzer Cookies) w/Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Have you ever had a linzertorte? I thought I had–growing up, I relished cookies that looked just like these. I always thought were called “lindsay tarts,” but nope, no such luck. Even if I did spell it correctly, these cookies are not the torte (kind of obvious once its spelled out since a “torte” is a cake), but rather a close cousin of this Austrian/Hungarian dessert. When the linzertorte is presented in cookie rather than cake form, its cut into a round shape and is instead known as Linzer Augen (“Linzer Eyes”). Whether cake or cookie is your poison, they both share very similar flavors: ground nuts (hazelnut and/or almond), seed-specked fruit preserves, and they are both simply amazing.

Linzer Augen (Linzer Cookies) w/Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

I mentioned fruit preserves. Typically, you’ll find black currants or raspberry preserves making an appearance in a more traditional linzer, but really, go with whatever floats your boat. I used click to read more…

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Pork Chops with Honey Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

I’ve wanted to experiment a bit more with cranberries since these tart little fruits are too good to relegate solely to Thanksgiving dinner, never to be seen again until next year. I’ve gotten a lot of suspicious reactions to all of my cranberry endeavors thus far (since its not traditional cranberry sauce), but the versatility of these berries continues to impress me. So today, I wanted to see how they’d fare with a bit of a stronger, South-western style kick to them by making a honey chipotle cranberry sauce to go with some pork chops.

The sauce itself was surprisingly potent: tart, dark, acidic, spicy (in both heat and flavor), sweet, and smoky. Simply put, the sauce was tasty, a fun change, and a very… click to read more…

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Apple Cranberry Tart with Walnut Streusel

Apples and cranberries are a natural, delicious combination, and between crumbles and pie, I was inspired to enjoy the apple/cranberry combo in my dessert routine as well.

I knew I’d enjoy this and it was also a way for me to scratch my apple pie itch while making something new. You have the familiar comfort food flavor of apple pie, but also the tart of cranberries, the tang of sour cream, the crunch of a walnut topping, and the spice of the graham cracker crust–a great twist on a fall favorite. So if you’ve also got an apple pie itch to scratch, give this a try!

  • Graham cracker crust
  • 4 apples (I used 2 honey crisp and 2 gala)
  • 1.5 cups cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • dash cardamom
  • splash orange juice

click to read more…

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Roasted Duck with Spiced Ginger Cranberry Sauce

Duck is a rare treat for me. I’m not sure why, but given how infrequently I have it, it just always stays in a special place for me. I had been craving the roast duck with orange sauce I’d prepared a few months ago, so I thought I’d revisit it with a seasonal twist and get started on working with one of those autumn-only fruits: cranberries! So today, Roasted Duck with Spiced Ginger Cranberry Sauce.

And just like my memories of the duck with orange sauce, this was simply amazing. The duck was incredibly rich and the sauce was had a deceptively simple appearance while packing a very, full, well-rounded flavor–fruity, spicy (the cloves and anise give a great finish), and acidic–the perfect compliment to cut through the duck. The tartness of the cranberries was balanced by the sweetness of the wine caramel (yeah, you read it right)… click to read more…

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Braised Short Ribs with Plum Sauce

I love ribs. Absolutely love them. Beef shortribs are a different animal (no, er, ok, some pun intended), but still, they’re ribs! A beautiful but tough, rich and fatty cut, that with a bit of time and slow cooking, can be transformed into the most tender, flavorful, delicious meat. With that being said, I wanted to enjoy these with some plums before they disappear for the season, and so the result was a dish that seemed like a blend of homey comfort food and some Asian flavors: Braised Short Ribs with Plum Sauce.

Braise dishes just scream late autumn/winter to me, and this is the kind of dish that will keep you warm but still have surprisingly bright, full flavors. After hours of slow cooking, the ribs will be fall apart tender and the sauce will take on a very full body with surprisingly complex flavor. The plums lose some of that bright… click to read more…

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Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream

Are you tired of pumpkin yet? Of course not–sweet, savory, or whatever–this is a versatile fruit. So I indulged in one of my usual instincts when it comes to making dessert: ice cream! So today’s addition to the freezer is a batch of Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream.

Just like with pumpkin pie, I chose to pair the flavor of pumpkin with the usual spice suspects (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger). I’ve mentioned before how I love the flavor you can extract from cinnamon (and friends) as compared to the ground stuff we’re all used to, and this is another place where the sultry side of the spices gets to shine without stealing the show from the true star:… click to read more…

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