Sausage-Apple Dutch Baby

My next “New Thing” comes out of desperation to use up shipments of Harry and David pears from my generous father-in-law.  The first box contained 12 pears and then we received a treat basket with 5 more…

What to do with so many pears?

This recipe from Midwest Living magazine caught my eye since I’ve never made (or had) Dutch baby pancakes before.  The recipe calls for apples but I figure pears will work when one has a surplus.  

  • 3 ounces fully cooked smoked chicken-apple sausage, sliced crosswise
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium red cooking apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup 


Cook the sausage in 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter using a cast iron or oven safe skillet.  In a medium bowl, beat eggs well.  Add flour, milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon, whisking vigorously. 

Pour the pancake batter over the sausage.  Transfer to an oven preheated to 425 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes, until browned and puffy.

While the Dutch Baby is cooking in the oven, cook the fruit, pears in this case, in the remaining butter.  Cook for about 5 minutes until the fruit is browning on the edges.  Add brown sugar and maple syrup, cooking 2 – 3 minutes more.  

Serve the Dutch Baby topped with the cooked fruit.  The finished product is so tasty.  I would definitely make this again.  Any recipes for the rest of the pears??


Clare’s Wheaten Bread

If you’re going to be inside on a fall day, it’s nice to have the kitchen feel warm with the smell of baking bread.  For my next “new thing” from Diana Henry’s A Change of Appetite, I try Clare’s Wheaten Bread.  

The ingredients are:

  • 5 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

I build on a previous “new thing” by finding another recipe using buttermilk. 

The bread mixes up fairly easily into a sticky dough.  You sift the flours and baking soda together, mix in the sugar and rub in the butter with your fingers.

Add the buttermilk.  The recipe says you may need to add more liquid or more flour but I find the recipe measurements work well.  Bring the dough together with your hands and put it into a loaf pan.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and oats and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

With oats sprinkled on top, the bread is attractive enough to make a hostess gift.

I enjoy some with afternoon tea.

Chicken and Squash with Soy and Star Anise

With the switch off Daylight Savings Time, the days seem shorter in the Midwest since it’s dark while I’m driving home.  The mornings are cooler and it definitely feels like fall.  As I cook through Diana Henry’s A Change of Appetite, I try another “new thing” as an ingredient- this time it’s star anise in a chicken and squash recipe.

This recipe is easy to make, possibly since the intro says it is adapted from an American recipe so the process is familiar to me. Start by browning the chicken in a sauté pan.  Remove the browned chicken, reserving about 1 Tablespoon of the fat.  Then mix soy sauce, vinegar and fish sauce with dark brown sugar.  Heat the reserved fat and add chile, ginger and garlic.  Add some scallions and cook over medium heat for a couple minutes before adding the soy sauce mixture.   

Return the chicken to the pan plus the butternut squash, orange zest, orange juice and star anise.  Add 3-4 Tablespoons water to the pan, cover and finish in the oven set at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.    

These are great fall flavors. What do you want to cook on a fall day?

Almond Turmeric Potatoes 

My next “New Thing” ingredient is turmeric which I’ve been reading about but never cooked with.  I intended to use it in a lentil recipe.  Then this recipe from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper caught my eye.  It is so easy – a definite keeper!

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and thin sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and sliced as thin as possible
  • 2 Tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds

Film a 4-quart saucepan with the olive oil and set over medium-high heat.  Layer the onion, turmeric, salt, pepper, and potatoes.  Let the mixture cook, without stirring, until the onion starts to soften and brown. 

Add the broth, cover, and reduce the heat to low.  Don’t stir, but shake the pan periodically and check that there is still some liquid in the bottom.  Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, until there is a syrupy brown glaze on the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle with the almonds just before serving.  


Here is the link to the recipe on the Splendid Table website which you should follow if you make this.  The Splendid Table recipes are detailed and I find them to be foolproof.  Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar

One of my original 50 new things during my 50th year was getting my two sisters to join me on a Sisters’ Weekend.  I’m happy to say that this has become a tradition that we really look forward to. 

Our 2016 fall Sisters’ Weekend finds us in Dublin, Ohio.  We shop and eat and visit together during this beautiful weekend. One of the stores we check out is Green Olive Company.  I usually check out olive oil boutiques when traveling to try new flavors and regional pairings of oil and vinegars.  This time, I come home with a small bottle of dark chocolate balsamic vinegar.  

I’ve experimented drizzling it over vanilla ice cream and found it to be delicious. The sweetness of the ice cream smooths out the sour of the vinegar and everything balances so the chocolate flavor comes through to finish.  What else should I try with dark chocolate balsamic vinegar?

Spiced pork chops

My next “New Thing” is inspired by Diana Henry’s recipe for Spiced Pork Chops with Ginger and Mango Relish except I only make the pork chops and serve them with fresh mango.

The marinade is simple:

2 Tablespoons peanut oil

Juice of 3 limes

2 red chiles, seeded and chopped (I used dried flakes)

2 garlic cloves, crushed

3/4 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and grated

I marinated the chops in the refrigerator while I went to Pilates class and came home to cook them for an easy weeknight supper.  I quickly seared them in a skillet, then finished them in a 400 degree oven while making the glaze in the skillet with the remaining marinade.  

The marinade cooks into a glaze that is delicious on the chops.  I served with coconut milk rice pilaf (a previous post of a “new thing”) although you can’t see it in the picture!

I didn’t use any new ingredients – just a delicious recipe using ingredients you probably have in your pantry.  

Raspberries with Basil and Buttermilk Sherbet

It’s time to try a summer dessert for a “New Thing” from Diana Henry’s A Change of Appetite. It’s the last weekend of summer and next week I’ll start exploring the fall section of this cookbook. 

The recipe for the sherbet is simple.  You heat 1/3 cup water with 2/3 cup sugar until the sugar dissolves and then you let it cool.  Stir in 1 cup buttermilk and the juice of two lemons and churn in an ice cream machine according to its directions. 

A few minutes before serving, prepare the raspberries by heating 1 1/4 cups water in a sauce pan with 1/3 cup sugar and 3 strips of lemon zest.  Boil for 2 minutes, then add the juice of one lemon and 3 sprigs of basil.  Let cool as the basil flavors the syrup.  Put 2 2/3 cups raspberries in a bowl and strain the cold syrup over them.  Serve within 15 minutes.

I don’t take many photos since there aren’t many steps.  The berries are delicious with the sherbet which is perfectly tart and very refreshing.  This is a perfect dessert for the last weekend of summer.

Now it is autumn – time for chili, pumpkin, squash and pot pies!