German Potato Salad

potatoes in a cast iron skillet
German Potato Salad

GERMAN POTATO SALAD Inspired by the Aces Haus in Lincoln, NE

I did not get this recipe from the proprietor of Aces Haus. I went from memory and taste, remembering the flavors that struck me most about the potato salad I had at the restaurant a few days ago. Those things were: less sugar and vinegar than what is commonly served. This truly does taste like I remembered.

2 pounds white new potatoes (or Yukon Golds) thick sliced
Salt & pepper to taste
8 bacon slices, cut into lardons
1 onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons brown sugar (opt.)
3/4 cup chicken stock (more if needed)
¼ to 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped

Directions:
Boil the unpeeled potatoes in salted water until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and reserve. Cook bacon lardons over medium heat in a high-sided saute pan until brown and crispy. Pour off about half of the fat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add ½ cup chicken stock, cup ¼ vinegar and brown sugar then potatoes (they will still be warm). Cook until liquid is absorbed. Add more broth and vinegar only if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper and add chives. Serve warm or room temperature.

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Savory Greek Yogurt Quick Bread

a white loaf of quick bread
Greek Yogurt Quick Bread

GREEK YOGURT QUICK BREAD
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
2 additional tablespoons ground flax seeds (for sprinkling on top)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat the oven to 375°. Line an 8×4″ bread pan with parchment paper. (I prefer heavy glass.) Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, add butter, eggs, brown sugar, yogurt and milk. using the paddle attachment, stir on low speed until well blended. Minimal mixing is best.

3. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and ground flax seeds. Gently add the dry ingredients to the wet ones mixing on low speed to combine.

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle more ground flax seeds on top and bake for 50-60 minutes. (In my oven, 60 minutes is best.)

For a savory quick-bread, not only is this not dry and crumbly, it has a nice spongy texture and holds together well. It is the yogurt that keeps it moist and tender, but you won’t taste yogurt, only good bread. It toasts well and freezes well. Use as a dinner bread, breakfast bread, or make open-faced sandwiches.

Black Magic Cake

chocolate cake
Black Magic Cake

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
5 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup cold, strong coffee

DIRECTIONS:
1. Make 8 ounces of espresso or strong coffee and chill.

2. Cut a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to fit the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking dish or similar casserole dish. Grease and flour the dish including the parchment paper on both sides. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Make three wells in the flour mixture. In one, put the vanilla; in another, the vinegar, and in the third, the oil.

4. Pour the cold coffee over the mixture and stir until moistened. Use a spoon rather than an electric mixer and yes, you must follow the mixing method or you will have a gooey pancake.

5. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until it springs back when touched in the middle.

6. When cooled, loosen sides and turn out onto a serving plate. Remove parchment paper, dust with powdered sugar and garnish with fruit or a sprig of mint. 6-8 servings. (Recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 pan. Bake a little longer.)

Adapted from an old-fashioned depression era chocolate cake recipe using no dairy or eggs.

Spaghetti Pie by Nadia

casserole made with spaghetti and baked
Spaghetti Pie

INGREDIENTS:
1 (6 oz.) pkg spaghetti noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces)
2 T. butter, melted
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 c. cottage cheese
4-5 provolone slices
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook and drain the spaghetti noodles according to directions. Stir in butter, Parmesan cheese, and beaten eggs. Using a spoon, pat the spaghetti mixture into a buttered 9-10-inch round, deep glass pie plate.

Spread cottage cheese over the spaghetti layer.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and stir in the sauce until heated. Pour meat/sauce mixture over cottage cheese layer.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, switch to broil.

Layer 4-5 slices provolone cheese on casserole and sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top.

Return to oven, and broil until cheese is melted and golden brown. Let this sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

To double this recipe, use a 9×12 cake pan and bake 45-min or longer (until bubbling around the edges) before adding cheese and broiling.

Quick and Easy Holiday Stollen

stollen with fruits and nuts
Quick and Easy Holiday Stollen

EASY HOLIDAY STOLLEN
Indulgence alert: This is a luscious, rich, holiday treat especially good with coffee. I’ve reduced the amount of butter (the original called for another half stick of butter to be melted and poured over along with even more confectioner’s sugar). That much butter and extra sugar isn’t necessary. I also replaced candied fruits with natural, dried fruits and nuts. Other, more complicated stollens use yeast and take hours to make, but this is a terrific quick-bread method that is worthy of praise.

Easy Holiday Stollen
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, divided into 6 T and 2 T (set aside 2 T)
1 cup Greek yogurt (the thick kind)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 tsp. dried cardamom)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup mixed dried fruits: golden raisins, cranberries or cherries, dried pineapple (chopped), apricots (chopped) or your favorites.
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Topping:
2 Tablespoons melted butter
½ cup confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut 6 T butter into the flour mixture until the butter is in pea-sized lumps (much like you would do if making pie crust). Mix in the dried fruits and nuts.

In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Stir these wet ingredients into the flour and fruit mixture. Using your hands, squeeze handfuls until dough begins to stick together. Knead 4-5 times or just until it holds together.

Place dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and shape into a log about 8-9 inches long, 4-inches wide, 2-inches high. It will spread slightly while baking. Place in oven and bake about an hour or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.

Remove from oven and brush with reserved 2 Tablespoons butter and dust with confectioner’s sugar. (To dust, place powdered sugar in a wire strainer and tap the edges to shake out the sugar.)

Once cool, wrap in plastic wrap. Will keep at room temperature for about two weeks—if it lasts that long. Give it a fresh dusting of powdered sugar when serving if desired.

Shaping and baking option 2: Line a loaf pan with greased parchment paper with edges up above the sides (to allow for lifting out later) and bake for 1 to 1-1/4 hrs. Finish with butter and powdered sugar.