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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Quadruple Berry Crumble

Some desserts are decadent, elaborate, and call for a lot of careful planning and effort. This isn’t one of them. Some times, you just want something quick, simple, and delicious. This rustic-looking treat fits just the bill and is very easily tweaked to whatever fruit you have handy. With a crunchy, nutty, crisp top layer, and a gooey, temptingly sweet mix of red currants, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries, this Quadruple Berry Crumble will hit the spot.

The berries are delicious in their own right and I love the balance of sweet and tart achieved by this mix, but I also wanted to add a few other subtle flavors to the mix. I love the mix of strawberries and balsamic vinegar, so the dark, sophisticated sweet flavors of balsamic were in. I also chose to enhance the sweetness with a bit of ground black pepper (it sounds strange, but try it!… click to read more…

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Lamb Chops with Blueberry Sauce

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed my quiet love for blueberries (unlike my less quiet love for strawberries), and so I thought it would be nice to enjoy them in a savory dish rather than the sweets I usually flock to. In my mind, two proteins go beautifully with fruit: pork and lamb. Based on the randomness of my cravings, lamb it was, and so for this dish, we have Lamb Chops with a Blueberry Sauce.

If you’ve never had a savory application of blueberries like this, you might make a face at the thought of this, but I promise, this is a surprisingly great match. Aside from lamb chops being delicious, the dish as a whole was gamey and rich, the sauce tannic, full-bodied, dark,… click to read more…

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