Maple-Glazed Apple Fritter Waffle

Nothing says breakfast more than pancakes or waffles to a lot of people. The allure of  hot, chewy morsels off the grill slathered with syrup or a glaze is hard to beat. Fritters also fall into that category.

Here’s a fritters recipe that take advantages of a fall favorite, apples. This recipe for Apple Fritter Waffles with Maple Glaze recipe is adapted from cookbook author Jess Thomson, who co-wrote “Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker.”

Maple-Glazed Apple Fritter Waffles
FOR THE WAFFLES:
2 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 cup very warm water
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE APPLES:
4 medium tart apples, chopped
½ cup sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
FOR THE GLAZE:
3½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1½ teaspoons corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon maple extract
1/3 cup maple syrup
¼ cup hot water, plus more if needed
The night before you plan to serve the waffles, make the batter: Whisk the yeast, water, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar together in the work bowl of a stand mixer and set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ¾  cup sugar, baking powder, mace, cinnamon salt and flour. Set aside. Add the butter, eggs and vanilla to the foaming yeast mixture. Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed for about 1 minute, breaking up and melting the butter. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients about a third at a time, mixing until blended and scraping the sides down as necessary.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (You also can make the batter an hour or two before serving and let it sit at room temperature, covered, for about 1 hour before making the waffles.)
Make the apples: Combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a frying pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts, the liquid evaporates, and the apples are soft and beginning to disintegrate, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the apples to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate them, and reheat before serving the waffles. (You also can make the apple compote in the morning.) In the morning, make the glaze: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a large bowl with a whisk), blend the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, salt, vanilla and maple extracts, maple syrup and hot water until all of the sugar has been incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary. (If the glaze seems to thick, add a little hot water, a teaspoon at a time.) Make the waffles: Preheat a Belgian-style waffle iron to the “crisp exterior” setting (or follow manufacturer’s directions). Add a heaping cup of batter and cook for 2 minutes, until golden brown. Break the waffle into 4 pieces and dip one side of each waffle into the glaze. Place 2 waffle squares glazed side-up on each of two plates and top with some of the apple compote. Serve immediately then repeat with the remaining batter, glaze and compote.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Vegetable Beef Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles

A day with temperatures forecast in the high 70s to low 80s isn’t exactly soup weather, but predictions sometimes fall short of expectations, and then all bets are off.

That’s exactly what I was thinking when the idea of making some homemade vegetable beef soup came to mind on Thursday.

I knew that meteorologists (the fancy name TV weather people now go by) were predicting summerlike temperatures for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but that didn’t stop me from going ahead with my soup-making plans.

And with some nice cabbage awaiting harvest in my garden, home-grown carrots already in the refrigerator and a package of elk meat in the freezer, I was well on my way. All I had to do was go to the store and get a rutabaga, pearled barley and eggs for homemade noodles.

The recipe that I was using was one that my dad, Hap, often made. I fondly recall those days whenever making the soup myself. And this time, it was no different.

Here’s Dad’s recipe, which I hope you will enjoy as much as my family does.

Vegetable Beef Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles
FOR SOUP:
12 cups water
1 to 2 pounds beef roast or stew meat
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1 onion, diced
1 small cabbage, chopped
3 carrots, thinly sliced
1 rutabaga, cubed
1 cup medium pearled barley
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice
1 quart tomato juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
FOR NOODLES:
2 eggs
6 to 8 tablespoons flour
Salt
For soup: Cook meat in pot of water until tender. Remove and cut up into bite-size pieces if using roast. Set aside.
Cut up vegetables and place in water along with tomato juice, meat and pearled barley. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours.
For noodles: While soup is simmering, beat two eggs in a small bowl. Add flour and salt to taste. Mix with a fork until batter is a little stiff.
Once vegetables are cooked thoroughly, add egg and flour mixture to pot, 1 tablespoon or so at a time. When finished adding batter, cook for about 10 minutes or until noodles are firm.
Serve with crackers or crusty bread.

Carrot and Zucchini Bread

Baking is one of those activities where it’s easy to get on a roll. One reason is that so many recipes call for the same ingredients, so if you already have them out on the counter for one, it’s not much work to jump into another.

And that’s exactly what I did today.

With several yellow summer and zucchini squash in the refrigerator vegetable crisper, I decided to do some baking. After throwing together the ingredients for zucchini bread and putting two pans in a 325-degree oven, I took a look at a carrot and zucchini bread recipe.

The recipe, which follows, is quite similar to the one for zucchini bread, with the exception of substituting brown sugar for white and the addition of about 1/2 cup of golden raisins.

Carrot and Zucchini Bread
2 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup raisins
½ cup carrot, grated (about ½ carrot)
1¾ cups zucchini, grated (about 1 large zucchini)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup light brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 365 degrees. Grease an 8-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and the oil; mix well.
Add the raisins, carrots, and zucchini; mix.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix (be careful not to overmix!).
Lastly, fold in the brown sugar.
Pour the mixture into loaf pan and bake for around 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow cooling for 5 minute.
Yield: Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 320 calories, 16 grams fat, 55 milligrams cholesterol, 310 milligrams sodium, 40 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 5 grams protein.

Perfect Apple Pie

Home-grown apples are abounding just about everywhere you look these days. If you don’t have an apple tree in your backyard, your neighbor probably does. If not,  you know someone who has one — or two —or three.

What are you going to do with the apples on your tree or the ones your neighbor has given you?

If you decide on make an apple pie, you’re not alone. A recent survey from AmazonLocal.com found that apple pie was considered the “Most All-American Food,” with 28 percent of the vote. Apple pie beat out hamburgers (25 percent), hot dogs (20 percent) and barbeque (17 percent).

Here’s an apple pie recipe, courtesy of Pillsbury, which I hope Therese might try with some apples from one of three trees my neighbor and friend, Henry Tweten, has in his backyard.

Perfect Apple Pie
CRUST:
1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box (0r your own)
FILLING:
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom.
In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.
Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 230 calories, 6 grams fat (2 1/2 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 200 milligrams sodium, 43 grams carbohydrates, 1 grams dietary fiber, 27 grams sugar, 1 gram protein.

Homemade Carrot Cake

Anyone who has carrots in their garden knows that this is the time of the year to dig them. It’s the general consensus among gardeners that carrots should be harvested after the first hard frost and before the ground freezes.

That’s usually my standard operating procedure. This year, however, I won’t have as many carrots to harvest as in the past half-dozen or so years.

Maybe it was the lack of moisture and the layout of my garden this year that kept my carrot crop to a minimum.

Luckily, a friend secured two 5-gallon pails of carrots for me, which Therese and I have proceeded to pressure can minus a few for eating. I’m also keeping a few so we can have fresh carrot cake, one of my favorites.

Here is a tasty-looking carrot cake recipe from Land O Lakes that I may give a shot.

Homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
CAKE:
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs
1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, undrained
2½ teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut
½ cup chopped pecans
4 medium (2 cups) carrots, grated
FROSTING:
3½ cups powdered sugar
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
Chopped pecans, if desired
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 cup butter, brown sugar, sugar and eggs in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add mandarin oranges, 2½ teaspoons vanilla and orange zest. Continue beating until well-mixed.
Reduce speed to low; add flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Beat, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Stir in coconut, ½ cup pecans and carrots.
Pour into greased and floured 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, combine all frosting ingredients except chopped pecans in medium bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth. Frost cooled cake. Sprinkle with pecans, if desired.
Yield: Serves 15.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 520 calories, 24 grams fat, 100 milligrams cholesterol, 440 milligrams sodium, 72 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 6 grams protein.

Pheasant Noodle Soup

Soup is hard to beat when the weather starts to get cold. And that’s what happens as summer turns into fall, and the days keep getting shorter and the nights longer.

One of my favorite soups to make this time of the year is pheasant noodle soup. It’s especially tasty with carrots fresh from the garden and homemade egg noodles — the German type from South Dakota — courtesy of a co-worker and friend Paulette Tobin. (I trade homemade sauerkraut for the noodles.)

Another ingredient that I really sets the soup apart from traditional noodle soups is ground savory, which we’ve really come to enjoy.

I had a hankering from the soup the other day and just happened to have some of the noodles in the cupboard,a big bag carrots and a half-dozen cooked pheasant legs — along with some broth in the refrigerator.

Pheasant Noodle Soup
6 pheasant legs (minus thighs), cleaned well and skinned
8 to 12 cups water (depending on how thick you want soup)
3 teaspoons salt
3 celery ribs, diced
onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons ground savory
1 8-ounce package egg noodles
1 cup frozen peas
Put pheasant legs in large kettle and cover with water.
Add salt and cover. Cook until pheasant is done.
Remove pheasant, debone and put meat back in kettle.
Add remaining ingredients except noodles. Cook until vegetables are tender.
Add noodles. Cover and cook till noodles are soft.
Note: This is also good with chicken instead of pheasant.
Yield: Serves 6.

Pheasant with Mushrooms in Wine Sauce

Poultry cooked in a butter and wine sauce can make a flavorful dish. Add some mushrooms and onion, and you have something really special. I discovered that firsthand the other night.

I tried the following recipe with some of our last wild pheasant from the 2011 hunting season in dish that was so simple to make and so doggone tasty that it certainly will become a  regular at our dining room table.

Paired with a baked potato, sliced cucumbers in cider vinegar and some garden-fresh steamed carrots, it was a meal that I’ll not soon forget.

Pheasant with Mushrooms in Wine Sauce
3 pheasants, split
½ cup butter
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Saute pheasants in butter 10 minutes.
Remove from skillet and saute mushrooms in butter remaining in skillet 10 minutes Return pheasant to skillet.
Add wine, lemon juice, onions, salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer 1 hour or until tender.
Yield: Serves 6.
Note: If oven is used, bake at 375 degrees for about 2 hours.

Sesame Salmon

Salmon is an immensely popular fish these days. It’s found on menus in almost every restaurant, and the benefits associated with eating salmon are well-documented. But there is a debate about what’s better, wild or farm-raised.

Farm-raised is cheaper, but personally, I’m in favor wild-caught salmon, especially if it’s from Alaska. There, salmon come from a well-managed fishery and are low in contaminants. And that’s where the majority of salmon that I eat originates.

A cousin, Paul Hendrickson, lives in Anchorage, so I occasionally am the recipient of salmon from our 49th state. I haven’t received any lately from Paul, but a call from an old friend from my hometown leads me to believe my next meal of  Alaskan salmon isn’t that far off.

Ron Capistran called this morning to say that he and his wife, Penny, had a package of Alaskan salmon as well as one of halibut for me. I knew that some fish from Alaska might be coming my way after running into Penny at a July youth baseball tournament in Fargo.

Penny said their son, Derek, is a chef in Alaska, so they occasionally got up there to visit him. And she had a deal for me: some Alaskan salmon and/or halibut for some of my homemade vegetable beef soup that she liked and I had shared with her and Ron years ago.

I told her a swap could easily be arranged, and the call from Ron was meant to firm up the trade.

When I get the salmon, the following recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research looks like a possible candidate for its use.

The pan-fried salmon is coated with a glaze made up of mirin, a Japanese wine, and along with the honey, provides a nice contrast to the salty soy sauce. A bit of cornstarch helps thicken and bind the mixture together. The sesame seeds add a subtle nut-like flavor and a crunchy crust.

Sesame Salmon
GLAZE:
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin (any sweet white wine may be substituted)
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
SALMON:
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pound (4 4-ounce) salmon fillets
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Whisk together soy sauce, mirin, broth, honey, ginger and garlic in saucepan. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Set aside.
Whisk egg white and cornstarch in small bowl. Liberally brush skinless side of each fillet with egg mixture and sprinkle with seeds evenly, pressing gently to coat.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Gently place fillets, seed side down, and cook until the seeds are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Very gently turn over and continue cooking through, about 3 minutes.
Over medium heat, simmer soy sauce mixture, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and continue simmering until sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
Spoon glaze over fillets. Serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 290 calories, 15 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 12 grams carbohydrates, 27 grams protein, 1 gram dietary fiber, 528 milligrams sodium.

Garden-Fresh Borscht

There is nothing more satisfying than making a meal that’s made up largely of food that you have raised in your garden. But getting time to do it in September can  be difficult when you are in the midst of canning nearly every day.

That was the dilemma that faced me today when I decided to make some borscht. I already had canned four more quarts of dills pickles (we now have 76 on the pantry shelf) and picked some other veggies from the garden before making the decision to do up some borscht.

I got my inspiration from a friend and former co-worker, Candace Decker, who now lives in Ohio. Candace commented on her Facebook page that she was “going to attempt to make a few unfamiliar recipes with some garden bounty I was given — beet perogies or maybe borscht soup, refrigerator pickles plus cucumber salsa, diced peppers for chili and pizzas this fall/winter.”

That was all I needed to get me on the way to making some borscht.

Here is the recipe I decided on for the delicious, deep purply red soup filled with beets and several other veggies.

Borscht
8 cups beef broth (see note)
1 pound slice of meaty bone-in beef shank
1 large onion, peeled, quartered
4 large beets, peeled, chopped
4 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into ½ -inch cubes
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
¾ cup chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring 4 cups of the beef broth, the beef shank, and onion to boil in large pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Transfer meat to work surface; trim fat, sinew and bone and discard. Chop meat; cover and chill. Cool broth slightly. Chill in pot until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
Spoon fat from top of chilled broth and discard. Add remaining 4 cups broth, beets, carrots, and potato; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Stir in meat, cabbage and ½ cup dill; cook until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in vinegar.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sour cream and remaining ¼ cup dill.
Note: Use gluten-free broth if you are cooking gluten-free.
Yield: Serves 6.

Peanut Butter Jammie Dodgers

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches could be the most popular sandwich in America. Undoubtedly, over the past 50 years, and perhaps longer, many kids grew up eating them.

I have fond memories of eating P&J sandwiches as a kid. I especially liked them when they were made with homemade jelly. Things haven’t changed much over the years. I still love the combination a lot.

Each fall, we can several jars of jelly and jam, so all I need is peanut butter to satisfy any of my cravings for the all-American favorite.

Here’s a British twist on the P&J sandwich. In the recipe, crisp peanut butter biscuits are sandwiched with jam to create a sweet chewy center.

Peanut Butter Jammie Dodgers
4 ounces butter, softened
2 ounces crunchy peanut butter
4 ounces soft brown sugar
5 ounces flour
3 tablespoons jam
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 3 or 4 baking trays.
In a bowl, cream together the peanut butter, butter and sugar until well-blended then add the flour and mix thoroughly.
Divide the mixture into 2 pieces and roll each one on a lightly floured surface into a cylinder shape about 4 inches long. Use a large sharp knife to cut each roll into 8 slices.  Don’t attempt to roll out the dough.
Cut a small hole in the center of 8 of the biscuits using a minicutter or a small sharp knife.
Space the biscuits well apart on the prepared baking trays, pressing them down lightly to make them slightly larger and bake for 10 to 13 minutes. They won’t spread a lot during baking.
Remove from the oven (they will still be soft), then place some jam on the top of the biscuits without holes but do not try to spread it, and allow to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, they should have started to firm up. Carefully place the holed biscuits on top of the ones with the jam then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool and harden.
Yield: 8 3-inch sandwiched biscuits.