Inside Out Caramel Apples in Puff Pastry

One of these is actually enough for two

One of these is actually enough for two

We make as many desserts for two in this house as possible. If you’re cooking for more make sure to adjust as needed. Making caramel is in theory simple, but in practice sucks. At least the first time. Be patient. Don’t stir. Work quickly. Keep an eye on the stove. If you mess up, it’s just sugar. And maybe a pan or two. Not that we’re speaking from experience. If you want to use store-bought caramels (which we didn’t try but surely would work!:) or caramel sauce go for it.

Inside Out Caramel Apples

  • 2 medium apples, we used gala
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk, warmed but not hot
  • 1 tsp rum (optional)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar
  • egg yolk, beaten

Cut puff pastry in half. Peel and core each apple, reserving a bit of skin or a flat disk of apple to plug the holes on the bottom. Roll each in half the cinnamon sugar and set in the center of the puff pastry squares. Slide your apple plugs under the bottom of each apple so the sauce will stay in the holes. Spray a baking sheet or casserole dish large enough to hold the apples without touching. Now for the part that requires patience. Pour the sugar in a wide bottomed sauce pan. (We used a four-quart pan.) Have your whisk and a rubber spatula at the ready. Set the pan over medium heat and do not leave the kitchen. Do not stir the sugar. Once it starts to liquify (at least five to eight minutes) you can use the rubber spatula to gently toss any dry sugar into the wet sugar. Once it turns amber, and this will happen very quickly pull it off the heat and whisk in your milk and rum making sure to work quickly. Fill the cavities with half the sauce and reserve the rest for drizzling over the baked apples. Wrap the apples in the puff pastry making sure to seal them thoroughly. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg yolk over the puff pastry. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until pastry is golden. Serve with caramel sauce and ice cream.



Posted in Dessert, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Gobble Day

Simple table presentation creates more time for cooking

Simple table presentations create more time for cooking

Happy Turkey Day. Hope everyone is sated, drunk and happy.

Drunk on life of course.

And on happy thoughts of rainbows and moonbeams.

And booze most of all.

Started at 9 this morning thanks for waking me so early Mingus

Started at 9 this morning. Thanks for waking me so early Mingus

Posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Rufus Turns Four

Today marks four years since we started our blog. We’d like to thank all of our regular readers, those who’ve been with us since the start and those who joined a bit later. You’ve been a wonderful source of encouragement and inspiration. If you’re new to the blog, or only stop by occasionally, we appreciate that too. We look forward to year five, although we’ve realized there are so many great recipes we’ve made and never remade that we’ve pledged to try to revisit those. That means we might not post every day, but we’ll just have to see. We should probably be more sentimental, but instead we’re just going to raise our glasses. We’ve each picked four of our favorites to mark the occasion. Greg’s are the first four and Katherine’s the second.

No we won’t be drinking them all in one go. But only because some of the ingredients aren’t in season!

The Godfather

I know it was you fredo and you broke my heart

I know it was you Fredo and you broke my heart

Blackberry Mint Juleps


Creme de Menthe

I detect a bottle somewhere

I detect a bottle somewhere

Blackberry Thyme Martinis

It is summer now

It is summer now

Grapefruit and Rosewater Margaritas

Either the fence is leaning or I have had too many of these

Either the fence is leaning or I have had too many of these

Fig Manhattans

I need to plant a fig tree

I need to plant a fig tree


Gin and Juice

Snoop wishes he sang about this

Snoop wishes he sang about this

Posted in Spirits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

All Our Thanksgiving Recipes in One Place (Take Two)

And we didn't even have guests

And we didn’t even have guests

We hope you all have a great holiday. If you’ve forgotten a recipe or still have room on your table for one more dish, we hope this roundup helps.

Not from a can

Not from a can

Cranberry Sauces

Brandied Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce with Raspberries

Cranberry Gelee

Gingered Cranberry Sauce

Mulled Wine Cranberry Sauce

Orange-Pecan Cranberry Sauce

Pomegranate and Rosewater Cranberry Sauce

That cookie needs to cool off so it went for a dip

That cookie needed to cool off so it went for a dip


Apple Bread Pudding

Apple Pie

Cranberry Apple Pie with a Crumb Topping

Cranberry and Pomegranate Cobbler

Cranberry and Pear Bundt Cake

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Lemon Chiffon Pie with a Cranberry Glaze

Maple Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Whipped Cream

Pumpkin Biscotti

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Dip

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Pumpkin Molasses Bread

Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate, Cider and Pecans

Spiced Apple Cake

Sweet Potato Pie

Add a liquor of choice and it is easily adult

Add a liquor of choice and it is easily adult


Apple Cider

Apple Punch

Brandy Milk Punch

Caramel Appletinis

Cranberry Almond Fizz


Fall Mimosas

Ginger Ale

Hot Buttered Nog

Hot Cider with a Honey of a Kick

Mulled Cider

Mulled Wine

Pear Hot Toddies


Pumpkin Pie Martinis

Rosemary-infused Lemonade

My oh my potato pie

My oh my potato pie


Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Dry Aged Prosciutto

Classic Mashed Potatoes

Duchess Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes with Truffle Oil and Porcini

Mashed Potatoes with Gruyere and Olive Oil

Potatoes Au Gratin

Scalloped Potatoes with Rosemary

Slow-cooked Mashed Potatoes

Smashed Red Potatoes with Sage Brown Butter

Sage advice: Start with soup

Sage advice: Start with soup

Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Balsamic Sweet Potatoes

Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Pecans

Sweet Potato and Fennel Bisque

Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar and Pecan Streusel

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

Getting to the bottom of this dilema

Getting to the bottom of this dilema


Chestnut Stuffing

Cornbread and Biscuit Stuffing

Cornbread Stuffing

Sausage, Apple and Bulgur Stuffing

Don't eat the core

Don’t eat the core


Brussels Sprouts with a Honey Glaze

Fennel with Blue Cheese and Pecans

Roasted Fennel

Green Beans with Pancetta and Mushrooms

Green Beans with Basil

Not your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole

Green Beans in a Lemon Vinaigrette

Green Bean Salad

Green Beans with Toasted Almonds

Roasted Lima Beans with Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Modern-Day Succotash

Mushroom Gratin

Rutabaga and Parsnip Puree

Pumpkin Bisque with Shrimp

That brine looks fine

That brine looks fine

Turkey and Ham

No lumps Gravy

Brining a Turkey

Carving a Turkey

Turkey with Herb Butter

Smoked Turkey

Baked Ham with Molasses and Bourbon

Honey-Glazed Ham

Ham with Pineapples

Someone’s stealing a treat


Posted in Dessert, Dinner, Food, Grilling/Smoking, Sides | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Turkey “Pizzas”

Not really pizza but still yummy

Not really pizza but still yummy

This is a white pizza in the best possible way. The “sauce” is mashed potatoes. To really make things decadent, drizzle a bit of truffle oil over the top before serving. No need to worry about leftovers.

Turkey Pizza

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, or prepared pizza dough
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped turkey, preferably white meat
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sherry or white wine
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 4 oz sliced brie
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and salt and pepper. Let cook for about three minutes, stirring often. Add sherry and let mushrooms cook a few minutes longer. Throw in spinach and allow to wilt. Once spinach is wilted and mushrooms are tender, remove from heat. The sherry should be evaporated. Roll out the pastry dough to about one and a half times its original size. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Heat the oven to 400. Spread the mashed potatoes into one layer on the dough. Spread the vegetable mix over it and then the turkey. Bake until the pastry is starting to get golden and the toppings are hot. Remove from oven and spread the brie on top. Return to oven to melt cheese. Once the cheese is melted and the pastry is golden brown, you’re good to go. Drizzle with truffle oil or sprinkle with cracked black pepper before serving.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Italian, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Turkey Pineapple Curry

Using up leftovers is fun

Using up leftovers is fun

This is a great way to use up some leftovers and take advantage of all the fresh pineapple on sale during this time.

Turkey Pineapple Curry

  • 3 cups dark meat chopped small
  • 1/2 large pineapple chopped into small bites
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 carrots diced small
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add curry paste and fry for 1 minute. Add onion, carrots and ginger and cook until softened, about three minutes. Add pineapple and deglaze pan. Add cooked turkey and season with salt and pepper. Add water, cover and turn heat to medium low. Cook until pineapple is soft, about 15 minutes. Remove cover and simmer over medium heat until sauce is thick, about five minutes. Serve over brown rice.

Posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food, Indian, Recipes | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Sunday Suppers: The Thanksgiving Leftover Edition

We know that the holiday hasn’t even happened yet, but you’ll probably want this list by Friday morning so we’re planning ahead. Here are some of our favorite ways to use up leftovers, from turkey and gravy to mashed potatoes. (Not that we ever have leftover mashed potatoes.)

Use up that turkey: Turkey Tetrazzini, Fettucine with Artichoke Hearts and Marinated Tomatoes (pictured below), Turkey Shepherd’s Pie, Phyllo Pot Pies, Smoked Turkey Tostadas, Smoked Turkey Salad, Turkey and Black Bean Burritos.

As close as we get to premade food

As close as we get to premade food

Finish Off those Potatoes: Potato Puffs (pictured below), Sweet Potato flapjacks, Ham and Mashed Potato Rolls

They can be used as pillows. Tasty fluffy pillows

They can be used as pillows. Tasty fluffy pillows

Polish off those cranberries: Cranberry Quick Bread, Crangria, Cranberry Brie Bites, (pictured below)


The perfect bite

We’ll have more ideas later this week!

Posted in Appetizers, Breakfast, Dessert, Dinner, Food | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments