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Monday, September 15, 2014

Grape and Apple Sharlotka

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Sharlotka is an apple cake that is very popular in Russia. It is simple and inexpensive to make, and it is undeniably delicious. It is a marvelous fall dessert that can be made well ahead of serving and requires only 30 minutes to prepare. The version I'm featuring tonight is a riff on the classic cake. I was fortunate enough to find Canadice grapes in one of the markets I frequent and I love to bake with them. This is an early ripening seedless grape that is unique because its wonderful grape flavor also carries a hint of spiciness. It is smaller than most supermarket varieties, and, while it is small, it can stand up to mixing without bleeding into the surrounding batter. I decided to make the cake with grapes as well as apples to see what would happen. The sharlotka is a sponge type of cake that typically envelops an apple filling, and I thought the grapes would make a good cake really interesting. It worked. I really like this version of the cake. I prefer to serve it warm from the oven, but the cake can be made early in the day and reheated for serving if you know you will be pressed for time. In Russia the cake is served as is, but a scoop of ice cream will do it no harm. I do hope you'll try this simple peasant-type dessert. I suspect you'll really enjoy it. Here is how the cake is made.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Table for Two - Buttermilk Waffles

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Waffles have been a fixture on American tables for years. Thomas Jefferson so loved the waffles he had in France and Belgium that he had irons shipped to his home in Virginia, so he could continue to enjoy them. Pancakes remained more popular with most folks because no special equipment was needed to make them and recipes for their preparation were generally less involved. All that changed during the 1950's as wages and lifestyles improved. Small appliances and gadgets swept the nation and middle class kitchens proudly displayed a "wired" array that included electric mixers, frying pans and waffle irons. For a period of time, waffles were the craze for Sunday night supper. Folks who had a large meal at 1 or 2 in the afternoon still needed a light supper and waffles were a perfect and novel solution for many families. Perhaps it was too much of a good thing, but whatever the root cause, the waffle craze ran its course and irons fell into disuse and became found objects in most homes. There has been, of late, a rash of new recipes for waffles, and some of them are really marvelous. Unfortunately, they do not lend themselves to quick preparation and they are scaled to feed way more than two people. The Silver Fox and I are children of the 50's, so it is no surprise that we love waffles. I've developed this recipe so the two of us could enjoy them whenever we have the urge. It takes about 30 minutes to get these to the table. They are delicious and I know those of you who try the recipe will love the waffles, so, please dust off your irons and give them a try. Here is how they are made.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Frugal Foodie Friday - Game Day Snack Crackers

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I live in a sports crazed community where boosters can be found on every corner and adults have special outfits to wear on game days. Needless to say, the love of team sports trickles down, and in some of our smaller communities it's not unusual to see the same boys playing on the football, basketball and baseball teams. It makes for some very interesting varsity jackets and a civic spirit that takes great pride in the success of college and high school teams. Tickets to home games at the University of Oregon are pricey, but large screen televisions make it possible for groups to gather in basements or church halls to enjoy the game in the company of other like-minded souls. Snacks are always available, but they are, by necessity, low key and inexpensive. This past week one of our local grocers had oyster crackers on sale for a dollar a bag and I immediately thought of the cracker treat I made when my children were in scout troops. These seasoned crackers are simple to make and surprisingly good to eat. Once you are familiar with their taste, you can modify the seasonings to your own liking. If you are in the market for an inexpensive game day snack, I hope you'll give these crackers a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Here is how they are made.


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