Pear, Riesling and ginger sorbet

_MG_23073 ripe pears (about 1 1/4 pounds, 2 1/4 cups chopped)
1 1/2 cups Riesling
3 tablespoons ginger, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, combine pears, Riesling, and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to very low heat and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Carefully transfer pears, wine, and ginger to blender and add sugar. Cover very tightly and purée until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour through a strainer into an airtight container and stir in lemon juice and salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, about 4 hours.
Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to airtight container and chill in freezer for at least 4 to 5 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from

Whole wheat and rye bread

_MG_22521 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon bread machine yeast
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional, but helps with rise)

Add all ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Process on whole wheat setting.

Cheese sticks with caraway seeds

It was Sunday, the World Cup final – Germany vs. Argentina at 4PM. We had two bottles of beer lined up to accompany the match, and I wanted to have some snack to go with the beer. These cheese sticks with caraway seeds are often served in Hungary to munch on with beer – so I looked up a recipe that sounded like it was close to what I remember my mom baking. They were actually really quick and easy to make – much more simple than I expected. And they went really well with the beer. And Germany won. :-)

_MG_44873 tablespoons warm milk
a pinch of sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
4 ounces all-purpose flour (a little less than 1/2 a cup)
4 ounces butter (1/2 a stick)
4 ounces farmer cheese or ricotta
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, whisked with 1 tsp water and a small pinch of salt, for washing
coarse salt, caraway seeds

Sprinkle yeast grains and pinch of sugar on top of the warm milk in a cup and let sit while you are working the dough. In a bowl, cut butter, cheese and flour with a pastry cutter, until uniform fine crumb forms. Make an indentation in the middle of the crumb mass, and pour mil-sugar-yeast mix into it. Aiding yourself with the pastry cutter, mix everything together. Don’t over knead — you want the ingredients just combined to form the dough. Resist the urge to add flour, unless the cheese is very wet. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick. The short side of the rectangle should be about 6-7 inches long (the desired length of the stick). Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut off uneven edges of the rectangle and reserve the scraps. Spread the egg wash carefully over the dough. Sprinkle caraway seeds and coarse salt (if desired) evenly over. Using the knife or pizza cutter, cut the sticks to about 3/4 inch wide. Transfer the sticks onto a parchment covered baking sheet, leaving about 3/4 inch interval between them. Roll the dough scraps into a sheet and proceed cutting as before, until all the dough is gone. You want to cut off the uneven portions before egg washing every time, to keep the dough nice and clean. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Bake the sticks for about 15 minutes, until puffy and nicely golden. Cool on rack until manageable and enjoy.

Adapted from

Chocolate cherry cake

This cake is now one of my favorite cakes. It is very quick and easy to put together, and the end results is rich, dense, chocolate-y goodness. I made it with sweet cherries, because that’s what I had at home, but it might be even better with sour cherries, or tart blackberries.

choc_cherry_cake1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c almond milk
3/4 c chocolate chips or chunks
1 1/2 c sweet dark cherries, pitted, halved

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 9″ spring form pan. Line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper. (You can also use 9″ square pan).
Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, cinnamon, soda, baking powder and salt), set aside. Beat sugar and butter to light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla – beat 1 min. Add dry ingredients alternating with milk, mix until just combined. Pour into pan and sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
Bake 25 minutes, then arrange cherry halves on top of the cake and push them in the batter. Bake 20 more minutes (cake should not wiggle in the center) and test the middle for doneness, then cool completely.

Adapted from

Watermelon margarita

_MG_40713 1/2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
1/2 cup tequila
1 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Triple Sec

Combine watermelon and next 4 ingredients (through Triple Sec) in a blender; process until smooth. Fill each prepared glass with 1/2 cup crushed ice. Add 1/2 cup margarita to each glass. Garnish with lime wedges or melon balls, if desired.

Recipe adapted from

Watermelon sorbetto

_MG_40503 cups of seedless watermelon puree*
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs lime juice
4 tbs vodka (optional)
pinch of salt
2tbs of mini chocolate chips (for seeds!)
*To get 3 cups of watermelon puree, you’ll need approximately 3 lbs. of watermelon.

Remove the watermelon rind and cut the fruit into small pieces. Puree the watermelon in the blender until smooth.
Pour 1/2 cup of the watermelon puree and 1/2 cup of sugar into a pot. Turn on the stovetop, heat, and stir until sugar melts. Turn off the stove and pour the rest of the 2 1/2 cups of watermelon puree into the pot. Add 1 tbs of fresh squeezed lime juice.

Refrigerate the mixture until chilled completely – 4 hours, or overnight. Add vodka to mixture, pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Approximately 2-3 minutes before done churning add in the chocolate chips for “seeds”. Scoop the mixture into a freezer safe container and freeze.

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop

Savory cheddar herb cornmeal waffles

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1-3/4 cups milk (I used soy)
6 tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs

Place flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl; stir to combine. Add shredded cheddar, chopped chives and rosemary, stir. Place the milk, oil, eggs, and hot sauce in a separate bowl, stir with a whisk to blend. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Let batter rest 5 minutes before using. Preheat your waffle iron.

When preheated, pour batter (mine uses about 1/4 cup for each waffle) onto waffle iron grid and allow batter to spread towards edges for 5 seconds. Close lid of waffle iron – green indicator light will turn off. When green indicator light turns on again, waffle is ready. Open lid and carefully remove baked waffle. Repeat with remaining batter. For best results, serve immediately. You may keep waffles warm until ready to serve in a 200° F oven. Waffles can also be frozen for later use.

Recipe adapted from