How to make your own vanilla sugar

Alongside saffron, vanilla is probably the world’s most expensive spice. This is mostly due to the elaborate cultivation and maturing process of vanilla and also to its undisputed popularity. The fragrant aroma of fresh vanilla enhances and refines many desserts and sweet dishes. But what to do with the scraped pod? It’s too good to throw…

Homemade Pizza Margherita

Living in New Jersey means that I can get an outstanding pizza pretty much at every corner. Nevertheless, once in a while, I like making my own pizza at home and from scratch. To me a perfect pizza starts with a perfect crust; thin, crispy and light. But to re-create this typical texture at home,…

How to make your own applesauce (recipe without sugar)

Applesauce can be a delicious addition to a variety of dishes; the German Potato Pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer) with applesauce come to mind immediately as the most famous mélange. But you can also mix it with plain yogurt or granola, spread it on a slice of crispy bread or enjoy it pure and simple.   To make…

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

The classic combination of Brussels sprouts with crispy bacon is a festive flavor sensation. Whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving or a dinner party with friends, these mini cabbages with their nutty, very distinct flavor are a perfect accompaniment to meat dishes, poultry in particular.      

Old-Fashioned Cornbread (recipe courtesy by Paula Deen)

I have to admit that it took me a little while to appreciate the good old southern cornbread. Mostly because many of the cornbreads I have tried were simply not that good; they were either dry and crumbly or sweet and greasy. But a few months ago my mother-in-law gave me one of Paula Deen’s…

Southern New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas

I wasn’t familiar with black-eyed peas until I have married into a Southern family. Those small, creamy-flavored beans with a ‘black eye’ where they were joined to the pod are a Southern good luck tradition for New Year’s Day, one with deep roots in African-American culture. People in the South will tell you that the…

Gingerbread Cookies

I didn’t plan to bake any Christmas cookies this year since we are spending Christmas abroad, but my kids just wouldn’t stop talking about baking gingerbread and kids can be VERY persistent.    

Christmas Roast Goose

A Christmas goose is the epitome of a Christmas dinner and Gordon Ramsay’s Christmas roast goose is a fantastic choice! I didn’t change anything in the recipe, except for skipping step 8 (browning the skin in a frying pan, before putting the goose in the oven). The Chinese Five Spice Powder – a blend of…

Kefir Rolls

Soft, fluffy, and impossible to resist; I just had one for breakfast.