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Posts from ‘March, 2016’

An International Delight


Many years ago when our children were all still living here at home we decided to eat supper at a local Mexican Restaurant one evening. It happened to be St. Patrick's Day and it so happened that it was also the evening the restaurant had booked a Mariachi band. One of the ladies who worked at the restaurant in those days loved to decorate for every holiday so the restaurant was decked out with all kinds of green and white streamers and shamrocks.

As luck would have it the Mariachi band cancelled and there was a replacement band performing in their place. It was quite a memorable evening for us; we sat there eating Mexican food, surrounded by Irish decor, being serenaded by a German Oompah band, complete with Dirndls and Lederhosen. We have had many good laughs as we recall that meal.

This year we celebrated St. Patrick's Day here at home with Reuben sandwiches. I got the idea from Megan who made them for her family last year. I made a loaf of rye bread using a recipe from The Iowa Housewife site.

ButtermilkRyeBread

To add another dimension to the meal I served it with German Potato Salad using a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens which we have enjoyed for many years:

GermanPotatoSalad

German Potato Salad

4-5 slices of bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion (I used red this time)
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery seed
dash pepper
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
6 cups sliced, cooked potatoes (can boil and slice ahead)
fresh parsley for garnish

Cook bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. Reserve about 2 Tbsps. of bacon fat in the skillet. Cook onion in the bacon fat until tender. Blend in flour, sugar, salt, celery seed, and pepper. Add vinegar and water. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add potatoes and heat thoroughly. Garnish with crumbled bacon and parsley.


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Apple Peel Jelly and Carmel Apple Cheesecake


CarmelAppleCheesecake

Last summer while shopping at a thrift store I found a rather recent copy of Southern Living magazine which featured many apple recipes. After perusing the magazine I wanted to try making the recipe for Apple Peel Jelly so I could then make the recipe for Carmel Apple Cheesecake. 🙂

I had heard of making jelly from leftover apple peels and cores from our neighbor, Dorothy. She lived right next door when we were first married. She loved to garden, can, and cook, so we were kindred spirits in many ways.

I made the apple jelly using the magazine recipe last fall. It turned a beautiful pink color and had a nice, sweet apple taste but it did not set up properly. Fortunately I found some instructions for what to do if your jelly is too thin on the Pick Your Own website. I followed those instructions and this time the jelly set properly. I had not planned to actually can this recipe since I was just making a very small amount and would keep it in the refrigerator. In the past I have had blackberry jam which was too thin which I used for blackberry syrup or ice cream topping.

Well, since I had the apple jelly on hand I could now move on to the Carmel Apple Cheesecake. It did not disappoint! It turned out to be quite delicious and helped to use up some of the last of our fall apples when I made it a few weeks ago. I used some leftover (store bought) ginger snaps to make the crust instead of the graham crackers called for in the recipe. The pecans in the crust were quite nice. In retrospect I don't think you would actually need apple jelly since it uses such a small amount as a glaze on top of the apples. You could probably use thinned and strained apricot or peach jam if that is something you are more likely to keep on hand.

While I'm not sure I will be making the apple peel jelly often it was fun to find out that it is possible and I did learn how to salvage jams and jellies that are too thin. I do plan to add the cheesecake recipe to my file as it was very tasty and attractive. It would make a nice Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert.

Besides the changes to the crust that are mentioned above I also baked the cheesecake in a water bath. I wrapped the pan in two layers of heavy duty foil. I got this new cheesecake pan last year and really like it.

RemovingCheesecake

The one I had before was cheap and flimsy and the latch on the outside was difficult to use. Some time ago I read a tip about using a hair dryer to heat the outside of the cheesecake pan to facilitate removing the cheesecake. This large spatula also helps to remove the bottom metal plate from the cheesecake if you want to put it on a serving plate.

CheesecakeTools

If you are looking for a delicious apple dessert add this one to your file.

CarmelAppleCheesecakeSlice


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