So, I’ve been saying I would finally catch the hell up on this blog. This is me finally committing, entirely too late in the year for my liking. I’ve mostly been sticking to stuff I know this year, with the occasional new recipe here and there, and getting back into the swing of cooking in general, and finally getting my depression and anxiety under control (meds are great, kids, as is therapy). This is me catching up on my recipe backlog.

I’ve only made these once, and that’s a damn shame, because come on – browned butter AND chai spices AND pumpkin? This is the perfect fucking fall waffle.

Browned Butter Pumpkin Chai Waffles
Makes: waffles. I honestly don’t remember how many.

Ingredients

  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 2.5 c flour
  • .33 c dark brown sugar
  • 2.25 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • .5 t salt
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t cardamom
  • .5 t ginger
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 c milk
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 c canned pumpkin

In a small pot/pan, melt the butter over low heat (pic 1). Continue cooking the butter until it turns amber and starts to smell nutty and get little brown flakes at the bottom (pic 2 is the end result of this). Pour into a separate small bowl to stop cooking, and let cool.

While the browned butter cools, whisk together your dry ingredients (everything from flour down to ginger). In a separate small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (the browned butter, and everything from the eggs down to the canned pumpkin). Then, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together until the batter just barely comes together (pics 3-4).

Heat up your waffle iron, and make the waffles according to the waffle iron’s instructions, and enjoy!

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Gulab jamun are a pretty fantastic snack.  The last time I tried to make these (a bit over two years ago), they didn’t turn out so well (just a soft mess of soaked dough), but I think this time I’ve got them figured out pretty well.  The balls look a bit overdone, but trust me, they’re not burned.  I’ve seen these in both Jewish and Indian restaurants, but this is the first time I’ve actually been able to get something close to what I’ve had at home.

Gulab Jamun
Makes about 15 to 20 balls, depending on size

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 c nonfat dry milk powder
  • .25 c flour
  • .25 t baking soda
  • 3 T butter, melted and cooled (you could also probably use browned butter)
  • .25 c milk
  • vegetable oil for frying

Syrup

  • 2 c dark brown sugar (you can also use white or light brown)
  • 2 c water
  • ground cardamom to taste
  • (optional: rose water, if you have it on hand)

To make your dough, mix the dry ingredients together, and then add the melted cooled butter, mixing together until the dough is crumbly (see picture one). Slowly pour the milk over the crumbs, and then mix together until the dough just barely comes together. Knead briefly until the dough is smooth (whoops, forgot this bit. Still worked, though). Divide the dough into equal, ping pong sized balls (you’ll get about 15 to 20 out of the dough).

Heat an inch of vegetable oil in a pot over medium high. You’ll know it’s ready when you put in a small bit of dough and it starts to easily fry.  Add your dough balls and turn frequently, until they’re golden brown (usually takes about four minutes). Fish them out with a mesh strainer to drain most of the oil off the balls, and then let them rest in a small bowl to cool.  (I couldn’t quite get them out of the oil easily, so mine were a bit on the darker side, but not burned.)

To make the syrup, mix the water and sugar together over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened.  (The original recipe recommends heating until a candy thermometer registers 225, but I don’t have one. The best you can do if you don’t is eye it.)

Stir the cardamom in once the syrup has thickened, and keep it at the simmer. Add the balls in, and let them soak until they’re soft and moist. They will swell as they soak; mine almost doubled in size. (insert jokes here.)  Remove them with a spoon and then let them cool.  

If not eating immediately, pour a small amount of syrup in with the balls in the container, and save the rest separately. 

Koldskaal, strawberries, and lemon cardamom kammerjunker biscuits may be my new all time favorite summer dessert. It’s basically strawberries and cream on crack. I was originally inspired by this post, because damn, doesn’t that look good? However, in adapting it away from the vegan focus of that post, I went with the recipe I will link below. I will be using US measurements instead of the metric measurements attached; if you want the vegan version, click the link before, and if you want metric measurements, click the link below.

Koldskaal, Strawberries, and Lemon Cardamom Kammerjunker
Lasts appx 7 servings as a dessert, mainly based on amt koldskaal used

Ingredients

  • fresh strawberries, sliced

Koldskaal

  • 1 qt buttermilk
  • 6 pasteurized egg yolks
  • 2 T vanilla extract
  • .25 c sugar
  • 2 T lemon juice

Whisk together your egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla until combined and the sugar has dissolved (see pic 2). Pour in the buttermilk and stir to combine, adding the lemon juice at the end.  Chill in fridge.

Lemon Cardamom Kammerjunker
Makes appx 18 biscuits

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 stick butter (frozen probably would’ve worked better, but ah well)
  • .25 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T cardamom

Mix together the cardamom, flour, and baking powder until combined. Add your butter and mix until it forms clumps, then add your vanilla, egg, and sugar, mixing and if necessary kneading until you have a solid ball of dough. Add in the lemon and cardamom at the very end.

Once you have your ball of dough, preheat your oven to 325, and split it in two and roll into logs, cutting off small half-inch coins from each log. This will leave you with a minimum of 15 coin kammerjunker. Put your kammerjunker on the baking sheet, and bake ten minutes, before turning off the heat and leaving the oven door open for another ten minutes to cool.

To serve, put the biscuits at the bottom of a bowl, sprinkle the strawberries over them, and then pour the chilled koldskaal over them.

This is another one of the first dishes I learned to make living on my own, and it’s always been a staple for when I’m looking for something relatively simple, cheap, and spicy.  Realistically, the most expensive part of this will be the chicken, but if you can find chicken for relatively cheap and freeze it until you need it, I highly recommend going that route.  I will give you the given amount of spices for this recipe, but know that the version I cook now is a lot more approximate in its amounts, but the proportions are relatively the same.  🙂 

Butter Chicken
Lasts 5 to 6 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small (1 inchish) cubes)
  • 8 oz greek yogurt (you will realistically not find an 8 oz container, get 2 5.5 oz containers, and if you can’t find plain yogurt, look for honey or vanilla)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 t curry powder
  • 1 t coriander
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 5 T butter
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 T honey
  • appx 2 t cardamom (original recipe recommends 4 cardamom pods, I’ve only ever had the ground stuff on hand)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream

Combine your yogurt, garlic and spices that start with c (except for cardamom) so that you have a uniform spiced yogurt, and then stir in your chopped chicken until it’s coated.  Put in a container and let sit in the fridge as little as 30 minutes (up to overnight; I will typically go overnight, for maximum flavor). 

In a pot, melt your butter over medium heat, and as soon as it’s melted, add your honey, cardamom, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes, stirring until combined and bringing to a light boil before simmering for 20 mins, until thickened and dark red (see pic 3).  Then, stir in your whipping cream and yogurt marinated chicken, until combined into an orangeish sort of sauce  (see pic 4). Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes, until your chicken is cooked all the way through, and then season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy with some naan, or, if you’re like me, after assembling a night stand with a friend and while watching Hannibal!