Thursday, June 13, 2013


As promised, I'm going to share a treasured family recipe with y'all (yes, I have permission).  My Oma brought this recipe with her from Germany.  I have done countless Google searches to see if I could find out its origin, but I have yet to find anything.  I'm going to assume it's either a recipe exclusive to the region Oma is from (near Munich), or a recipe that Oma or one of her ancestors created and named themselves.

It is somewhat similar to strudel, but not really.  It's much simpler to make, and I would argue more delicious, too.  This is one of the easiest desserts you will ever make.  And probably the most addicting--just a fair warning.

This is a nice dessert to take to a party because it's good hot or cold, but it won't last very long.  Or at least at our family reunions it's gone within 30 minutes.  It's also great at breakfast!

It's a nice recipe to make with a friend or family member.  One person takes care of the dough, while the other slices the apples.

I'm not going to put a serving size here, because honestly, it just depends on how hungry you are.  Mom and I made three pans today at around noon, and we've already eaten one and half of another between us, my sister, her four kids, and my dad.  I fully expect the rest will be eaten by dinnertime.

My family named our first miniature schnauzer after this recipe (schnauzers are a German dog breed).  When I told my niece today that we were making dachi for dessert, she looked horrified.  In hindsight, maybe it was weird that we named her Dachi, but the name really does suit her somehow.

Here's the recipe!

Makes 3 pans for sharing

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup Crisco
3/4-1 cup ice water
6 apples, peeled and sliced thin
1-1 and 1/2 sticks of butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl.  Beat in the Crisco with a pastry blender.  Slowly add ice water and combine into a dough.  Do not add more than needed, or it will stick to the rolling pin.  Roll out the dough onto a flour-covered surface, and use a rolling pin to get the dough very thin.  You should cut the dough in half to make this easier, and work with one piece at a time.  When the dough is thin enough that it is almost translucent, carefully transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet.  Put a little flour on your hands and use them to mold the dough to the sides of the baking sheet.  If there is any excess dough, cut it off from the sides and add it to the rest of the dough.  Continue this process until you are out of dough.  It should cover at least two full size, standard baking sheets and another slightly smaller pan.

Layer the sliced apples in four columns lengthwise (see photo).  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar generously over the apples.  Finally, drizzle the melted butter on top.  Place the first pan it the oven and bake for between 18-20 minutes, until the bottom of the crust is golden brown.  Repeat with the other pans.

The secret to this recipe is getting the dough and apple slices as thin as possible.  You will inevitably have some apple slices that are thicker than others, so try to alternate thick and thin ones while you layer to keep the pastry from getting too thick.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

DIY Picnic and a Family Trip

I am writing this post from my aunt and uncle's house in Tennessee!  Clarksville to be precise, where both my parents are from.  We're here for my Oma's 88th birthday/Stefko family reunion.  All nine of my dad's siblings will be here for the party tomorrow.

We went to visit Oma today for a few hours.  She was very surprised to see us, but I don't think she'll be surprised about the party we're all throwing for her tomorrow.  After having a surprise party every year for the past few, I'm pretty sure she's cottoned on by now.

We had some delicious dachi that my aunts Jane and Teresa made.  It's a German apple pastry recipe my Oma's taught us all to make.  She assures me that it's not a secret family recipe, so I'll probably share it here on the blog soon.  The secret is getting the apples nice and thin.

It's great seeing my relatives that I usually only see once a year, at most.  Even better, my sister is coming down from Indiana tomorrow with my niece and nephews for the party, and then they're coming back to Texas with us for a couple weeks.  I can't wait to see them!

Now for today's post.  I've had picnics on the mind lately.  The weather's not scorchingly hot yet, so now is the perfect time to take a blanket and a basket out to the park with some good food and a bottle of wine.  Here are some pieces that would be perfect for a picnic with your family, your partner, or a friend!

Top row:  A Perfect Day for a Picnic cookbook by Tori Finch // Circo cheese board at BB&Beyond //  To-Go Ware utensil set
Middle row:  Korken bottle from IKEA // Bamboo picnic basket from World Market // Center Border kitchen towels from West Elm (set of 4, comes with other colors)
Bottom row:  Queen hammock from Yellow Leaf Hammocks // Rustic European picnic blanket from Williams-Sonoma // Sangria from Llano Estacado

One thing I learned while researching picnic baskets:  THEY ARE EXPENSIVE.  This one, however, is a reasonably-priced and simple model from World Market.  A lot picnic baskets I saw online had pockets and lining and all sorts of nonsense inside, but I figure it's more fun to take a couple kitchen towels (like this one from West Elm) to line the basket yourself and keep food clean and protected.  I thought the clear bottles from IKEA would be great for bringing along some iced tea or water.  And if you're picnicking in the backyard, a hammock would be nice for a post-food nap.  Surely I am not the only person who takes naps after eating sometimes...

The sangria is from a Texas label (go local!) and it is delicious.  Highly recommended.

Anthropologie has a lot of great cookbooks (like the one I featured last post).  I saw this one the other day and thought it was pretty neat, because it has recipes for different themes (cuisine, occasion, etc.).  And I am pretty clueless about what foods are portable/fairly non-perishable for a picnic.

On that note, do y'all have any recipes that would be great to take along on a picnic?  Please share!