November 27, 2008


In celebration of Christmas and my upcoming trip, I wanted to post a recipe for Glühwein / glow wine. It's a traditional hot, spiced wine drink served during winter in Germany, especially at Christmas. One of several hot alcoholic drinks in which to indulge, it is my favorite. Other drinks are Jägertee (hunter's tea), apfelwein (apple wine), Seehund (sea hound) and Punschglühbowle (punch glow bowl). 

Glühwein is available commercially. Most liquor stores in the US carry it during the holidays. But the bottled version is often too sweet and tastes flat. And it gives you one hell of a headache! Many countries have their version of mulled or hot spiced wines. Here is my recipe. PROST!


1-750 ml full-bodied red wine
1/2 c. brandy 
1 stick cinnamon, broken in half
6 whole cloves
Seeds of one cardamom pod
2 slices lemon peel (no pith)
4 slices orange peel
Half of an orange, sliced (no pith)
1/3 c. sugar
In a non-reactive, large saucepan, add wine and all ingredients except the sugar. Over medium heat, bring mixture to just below boiling point. Turn off heat, cover and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes. Remove orange slices and set aside. Remove spices and peel and discard. Return orange slices to pan and heat until hot but not boiling. Serve in pre-warmed mugs with a cinnamon stick, if you like. If you won't be serving it immediately, keep covered to preserve the alcohol.

See you all when I return in 3 weeks. Enjoy the holidays to the fullest, whatever you do and however you celebrate. Frohe Weihnacht!!! 

November 20, 2008


Thanksgiving will be a bit different here this year. With the upcoming travels, we decided to have our feast this Saturday. That way, we can enjoy the turkey and its delightful leftovers all week long, before we leave. It's become a recent tradition that my stepbrother spends turkey day with us and it was tough to tell him 'no' this time. He's in the Marines, about to start flight school, so joining us early wasn't a possibility. We'll miss him. He and I have a lot in common and have become very close in the last 5 years or so. It's nice to have a brother!  

Because of the premature celebrations, I'm going to be melting into Christmas / winter early on my page and blogs. I'm already so thrilled about spending the holiday season in Europe, I could just about *POP*! There will be lots to share when I return, but I might sneak in a couple festive recipes and such before I leave 

Whatever you do for your festivities, I wish you conviviality, love, laughter and a happy, full tummy! I am grateful for all of you, my friends. My best to each of you. 

November 1, 2008


We just finished making, for the next several days, whenever we go out with our coats on, we'll smell like a doughnut shop. Could be worse! It's a Halloween tradition around here, preceded by my family's tradition, to make these. It's a weekend late, though, as last weekend was happily taken up by the Seattle Food and Wine Expo. Well, they taste just as delicious on All Souls Day as they do on Halloween, so here is the recipe. 

Making doughnuts is time-consuming, but easy. And the time involved is the fun part of the whole process. These doughnuts have a strong flavor of nutmeg and have a fluffy texture due to having mashed potatoes in the dough. Make the mashed potatoes as you normally would, with milk, butter and salt. Just don't make them too wet. If you are one who doesn't like nutmeg, you could decrease the amount or leave it out and increase the vanilla to 1 teaspoon. But, the nutmeg is what makes them unique and makes me feel the cozy autumn nights. 

The dough is very soft ~ more of a very thick batter. Don't be tempted to add flour. It is the softness of the dough that makes the doughnuts so tender. It needs to chill for at least three hours before rolling it out, so figure that into your timing. I usually make it the night before I want to fry the doughnuts. If you don't have a traditional cutter, you can cut them into triangles of about 1.5 inches per side. Any larger, and they won't get fully cooked inside. 

For icing and such, I make chocolate glaze, vanilla glaze, colored sugars, cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar ~ sometimes "sprinkles" for holidays. Choose your favorites and decorate to your heart's delight! But most of all....have FUN!


3 lg. eggs
1 and 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. mashed potatoes, cooled (not too wet - they should have body)
2 T. vegetable oil
4 c. flour
6 t. baking powder
2 t. freshly ground nutmeg
1 t. salt
1/2 c. milk

Beat eggs with sugar and vanilla until light. Add potatoes and oil and beat briefly to combine. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to egg mixture, beating well. Chill dough at least 3 hours.

Heat a pot of frying oil to 375 degrees F., or use a deep fat fryer heated to 375. Roll out a third of the dough at a time, keeping the remainder in the fridge. Roll onto a well-floured surface to 3/8 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter or cut into small triangles. 

Transfer immediately hot frying oil. Fry approximately 3 minutes, turning over halfway. Drain on paper towels and frost and decorate as desired. 

Makes 25-30 doughnuts plus 40 doughnut holes


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Aspenglow / Buttered Lips by Gayle Nabrotzky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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