Thursday, October 29, 2020

Tarte à la Tomate

I know that tomatoes had their chance and we're moving into hard squash season. But I still have tomatoes coming in from Jake and D's garden and a friend dropped off a box full recently. So I took the opportunity to make a tomato tart for dinner and want to share it with you in case you still have tomatoes available.

This is based on a traditional French tart whose crust is smeared with mustard and topped with sardines. But I was the only one in the mood for sardines, so I'm not including it today. You can still see my slice - with the sardine! - at the end.

Oh, a traditional tart would have a butter crust; I decided to make one with olive oil.

Ingredients makes one 9-inch tart

Olive Oil Crust
  • 50 grams organic granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolks
  • 800 grams oil (I used olive oil)
  • zest of 1 organic lemon, approximately 1 teaspoon
  • 280 grams flour (I used all-purpose flour)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Also needed: 9" tart pan with removable bottom, parchment paper, rolling pin
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 organic red onion, peeled and sliced
  • olive oil, as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • sardines, optional

At least an hour before you are ready to bake, slice the tomatoes. Sprinkle them with salt and lay the slices on paper towel-lined platter or cutting board. You want them to expel some liquid so that your tart doesn't get soggy.

In the bowl of a food processor, place all of the ingredients for the crust. Pulse a few times until the mixture comes together. You should have pea-sized crumbles. Turn the mixture onto a parchment paper-lined work surface. Knead until you have an elastic dough that doesn't stick to your hands.

Roll the dough ball into a circle and transfer it to the tart pan. Prick the bottom with a fork. Place the crust into the freezer to chill while the oven reaches temperature and you make your filling. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place pan in the oven and parbake for 15 minutes.

Place the red onion slices in a skillet with a splash of olive oil. Cook until the onions are softened and beginning to lose their shape.

Once the crust is parbaked, smear the inside with mustard and spoon in the onions.

Arrange the tomato slices in crust in an overlapping pattern or in an even layer. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Place pan in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust looks crisp and golden. 

Let the tart cool for 5 minutes before removing the tart from the rim. Place the tart on a platter.

Top with sardines, if using. This tart is fabulous warm...and just as tasty the next day cold.

Creepy, Crawly Chocolate Chip Cookies #HalloweenEats

I love Halloween. I really do. I especially enjoy creating foods that look creepy. 

Forget heart-shaped and red foods for Valentines' Day, though I do those, too; I have the most fun creating things such as a Creepy Eyeball Martini and Cobweb Eggs!

So when I saw a friend post a photo of a chocolate chip cookie with the melted chocolate dragged out to look like spider legs, I knew I had to make them. They didn't end up being as easy as I thought. Maybe it's the kind of chocolate chips that I had, but they didn't melt into an oozy chocolate mess. I had to melt chocolate separately and draw on the legs with a toothpick. Still, they were worth the effort for a creepy, crawly chocolate chip cookie.

You can use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. This is just one of many that I make. This one ends up being more crisp and a little bit more flat than my salted olive oil chocolate chip cookies. Have fun!

makes approximately two dozen 3-inch cookies

  • ½ cup organic granulated sugar
  • ½ cup organic granulated sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (you can use extract if you don't have paste)
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping and melting
  • ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips*
  • Also needed: baking sheet, parchment paper, toothpicks, cookie scoop (I use an 1½-inch scoop)

*You can use 1 cup of whichever chocolate chips you prefer. I like mixing the semisweet and bittersweet for a less sweet cookie.


In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until lightened and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and vanilla. Then mix in the flour and baking soda. Once it's a uniform texture, fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. While the dough chills, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scoop the dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Leave at least 2 inches between the cookies as they will spread. Press at least one chocolate chip into the cookie so that you'll have at a spider on the top otherwise the chips might all be enclosed inside.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the edges have started to brown.

Remove sheet from the oven. And, if you can, carefully drag a toothpick through the chocolate chip on the top to create the spider. If, like my chips, they aren't molten enough to do that, melt some chocolate chips separately and draw the legs on the cookie with a toothpick.

Serve when cool enough to touch. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Good Ol' Shrimp Boil, A Gothic Ghost Story, and Pairing a Red Wine with Seafood #FoodieReads

During Fall Break, earlier this month, I did a lot of reading. Well, I read a lot all year long. But Fall Break afforded me full days of lounging and reading...between hikes and family dinners. One of the books I devoured was The Haunting of Brynn Wilder by Wendy Webb.*

On the Page

At first I didn't really know what was meant by the gothic literature; then I realized that Edgar Allen Poe's books and stories practically invented the genre. Okay. I'm with it now. Though that still isn't really a genre that I read regularly.

Brynn Wilder arrives in the tourist town of Wharton, on Lake Superior, to regroup and refresh after a year of taking care of her dying mother, the split from her longtime boyfriend, and being on sabbatical from teaching; she isn't sure that she wants to return to her old life at all. Her friend arranges her stay at a guesthouse with a motley cast of characters who are also in town for the season - Jason and Gil, a gay couple who have Alice, Jason's ex-wife who is declining from Alzheimer's and still believes she is married to Jason, staying with them; LuAnn, the guesthouse proprietress; Dominic, a heavily tattooed, mysterious man who has been the last person to be seen with two different people just before their deaths.

From the moment she arrives, Brynn has vivid, bizarre dreams of ghosts and hauntings within the guesthouse. And Alice seems to have odd insight into these dreams, commenting to Brynn as is she was also there. Still this is more love story - between Brynn and Dominic - than ghost story. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon. And it inspired me into the kitchen for both nachos and a tuna melt!

Not surprisingly, there are quite a few passages about food as the characters get to know each other during the daily happy hours or during shared meals. "He leaned over the counter. 'Everything on the menu is good here, because I make it myself when those kids who call themselves my cooks aren’t around. But for the special tonight, I’ve been roasting a pork shoulder all day with Mexican spices, and it smells like heaven. It would make a mean burrito if you’re wanting one.' 'Ooh, that’s tempting.' 'LuAnn herself likes a concoction she calls a taco salad burrito,' he went on. 'It’s basically a taco salad, with the pork, lettuce dressed with chipotle ranch, tomatoes, and onions, along with refried beans and melted cheese, wrapped in a tortilla. Sour cream, guac, and salsa on the side.' That was all I needed to hear. 'Yes, please,' I said, not remembering the last time I had eaten anything that decadent."
 "After we finished our first beer, he popped out back to get us some tacos with all the fixings and a decadent plate of nachos with guacamole and salsa. “If I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life, it would be nachos,” I said, peeling a cheese-laden chip off the mound."
 "'This is for you,' Jason said, pointing to a big plate of hors d’oeuvres—cheeses, meats, veggies, dips, crackers—on the kitchen counter. Two bottles of wine sat in an ice bucket, with three glasses nearby. I hadn’t noticed it when we came in. 'Jason, you didn’t have to do this,' I said. 'Of course, silly,' he said. 'If you feel you want some lunch downstairs, just put it on my tab. Alice likes the tuna melt.' 'Oh!' Alice piped up. 'It’s wonderful. They put avocado on it.'"
" I saw our 'linner' was already on the table, served family style. Two chickens, roasted with rosemary and lemon; pasta with fresh basil, tomatoes, lemon, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts; a mixed-greens salad; a basket of hot bread."

In the Bowl

But what inspired me into the kitchen was the guesthouse's weekly fish boil. Brynn was helping with the prep. "As we sliced the potatoes and Gary worked with the fish, he told us the history of the fish boil. 'It started back when this place was new,' he began. 'We’ve got a little rivalry going with Door County on Lake Michigan over which area actually did it first. We did, obviously.' He snorted and went on. 'It started as an easy, fast, and cheap way to feed a crowd of people, like the loggers and fishermen who worked these shores. Now people think of it as a regional delicacy, which is sort of funny. It’s turned into something of an event at resorts in this area of the lake and in Michigan, too.' 'What kind of fish are we talking about here?' Dominic asked as he sliced. 'It’s whitefish—Lake Superior whitefish caught today and delivered half an hour ago. We boil ’em up with potatoes and corn on the cob in a pot. We serve it all with coleslaw and bread. And voilà, fish boil! We do it here every Friday during the high season. The timing of the boiling really is an art, which I have perfected, if I may say so myself.'"

It reminded me of when I went to a local restaurant with some gals that I know from the food world. We shared a ridiculous amount of food, but it was the seafood boil with a local-to-me red wine that stuck with me. The match was divine; so I thought I'd share this super simple, relatively speedy dinner: the good ol' shrimp boil. Yes, I know it's not the guesthouse fish boil, but it's a favorite!

Ingredients serves 4 with leftovers
  • 4 Tablespoons spice (we use Old Bay) + more for sprinkling
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red chili paste
  • 2 pounds tail-on shrimp
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound potatoes (we used baby potatoes, so I didn't cut them at all)
  • water
  • 2 ears of corn, shucked and chopped 1-1/2" chunks
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 2" pieces 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • organic lemon wedges, for serving

In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tablespoons Old Bay, garlic paste, olive oil, and red chili paste. Mix in the shrimp until they are well-coated. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Place large pot on stove. Melt butter and add in the diced carrots, celery, and onions. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, then stir in the potatoes and 2 Tablespoons Old Bay. Pour in enough water to cover the potatoes by at least 2" of water.  

Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 10 minutes. The potatoes should be cooked, but not mushy. Add in the corn and sausages. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the shrimp and boil until they turn opaque; ours took approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

Wrangle the food out of the broth onto a newsprint-lined table or a baking tray.

Once the food is out on the table, squeeze lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle with more Old Bay. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and melted butter...and lots of napkins.

In the Glass

And if you're curious about the red wine pairing with the seafood, I squirreled away a bottle of the 2015 Le P'tit Pape from I. Brand & Family Winery a couple of years ago. I decided now was the perfect time to uncork it. It's a Rhône-style red wine blend comprised of 62% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 14% Mourvédre, 3% Counoise, and 2% Cinsault.

If you're thinking that red wine doesn't go with seafood. Nonsense! Get yourself a bottle of this wine and prepare to dazzle your tastebuds.

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.

Click to see what everyone else read in October 2020: here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Black Cod Tacos with Kimchi and Avocado-Sriracha Mayo #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Quail & Olive.
Complimentary product was provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

Do you do 'Taco Tuesday' in your household? Ours is not every week, but we do love our tacos. I enjoy repurposing leftovers into tacos such as my Duck-os (Leftover Duck + Tacos). And in recent weeks Spiced Smashed Potato Tacos with Homemade Purple Corn Tortillas have made a showing because Jake eats plant-based during the week. But when I had some fresh local black cod this week, I decided to make some fresh fish tacos. And I always have homemade kimchi in my fridge, so I went with an Asian-spiced fish.

I used the Winter Ambrosia vinegar from The Quail & Olive* which has become my go-to for a tart, but bright vinegar; plus it balances the saltiness of soy sauce nicely.

Ingredients serves 4 with leftovers

  • 1 to 2 pounds fish, deboned and cut into pieces (I prefer two-bites versus smaller chunks)
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Winter Ambrosia vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sriracha, depending on level of heat desired
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (I used the Doctor's Blend)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Avocado-Sriacha Mayo

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ripe avocado, mashed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 teaspoon Winter Ambrosia vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sriracha, depending on level of heat desired

For Serving

Whisk together marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add in the fish and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature. Make the mayo sauce while the fish marinates.

To cook, heat a grill or grill pan and cook until firm to the touch and completely opaque. Usually, I cook it for 4 to 5 minutes, skin-side down. Then, I flip and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Avocado-Sriacha Mayo
Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl until well-combined. It ends up looking a little like creamy guacamole. Set aside.

For Serving
Scoop some kimchi onto your tortilla. Place fish on top of the kimchi. And top with avocado sauce. Serve immediately. 

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*Disclosure: I receive compensation in the form of complimentary products for recipe development 
and generating social media traction. All opinions are my own.

Smoked Trout Paté

Last week a friend dropped off freshly smoked trout. Uh-huh. I was torn between saving it for a special dinner and tearing into it right away. I did both.

I made two recipes as part of an appetizer course. This Smoked Trout Paté is the first recipe. It's super easy and big on flavor with the addition of fresh horseradish. Also, if you don't have smoked trout, use whatever you have on-hand - smoked salmon, smoked herring, or smoked mackerel would work just as well.

Ingredients serves 4 to 6 as part of an appetizer board
  • 3 to 4 ounces smoked trout
  • 3 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • milk, as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared white horseradish, drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, snipped or chopped plus more for garnish
  • freshly ground salt, to taste (my trout was salty enough without any more)
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Also needed: crackers or flatbreads for serving


Remove the skin from the fish and discard. Crumble or flake the smoked fish into a small mixing bowl.

Add mascarpone cheese and horseradish to the fish and mix in with a fork. If the consistency seems too dry, add a splash of milk until you get the consistency that you want.

Gently fold in the chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. As I mentioned, mine was plenty salty from the curing brine. But I did add in some freshly ground pepper.

Spoon the paté into a serving bowl and sprinkle chives on top. Serve immediately with crackers or flatbread.

If not serving right away, refrigerate the paté, but take it out about 30 minutes ahead of time so it can come to room temperature which will make spreading onto crackers easier.

A Cake Flop for a Fun Read #FoodieReads

Let's start with this: There is no recipe in this post. I wanted to be able to share a Hidden Heart Loaf Cake with this book post, but I ended up with a gooey, misshapen chocolate heart in most of the slices. So, I'll skip the recipe until I can produce a cake that not only tastes good, but looks pretty!

Okay, if you're still with me, I'll be sharing my thoughts on The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister* and recapping how my hidden heart loaf cake completely flopped. It tasted great, but it was unevenly baked. So, I'll be trying that again soon. For now, let's talk about the book that inspired this attempt.

On the Page

I didn't actually know that this was a sequel when I bought it. But, now that I've entered the world of Lillian and her restaurant, I will definitely be ordering that first book! This isn't a plot heavy novel; it's just a compelling series of character-driven narratives that intersect in a satisfying book. 

There's Lillian, a driven chef; Tom, Lillian's widowed live-in boyfriend; Chloe, Lillian's sous-chef; Finnegan, Lillian's dishwasher and aspiring boyfriend to Chloe; Al, Lillian's accountant who is in a deadend marriage; Louise, Al's angry, suspicious wife; and, finally, Isabelle, Chloe's Alzheimer-afflicted roommate.

But the real beauty to this book is Bauermeister's lyrical prose. I am definitely a fan of her writing now. Just a few examples that illustrate how the aromas waft right off the page and why I wanted to stick my fork right into the book a few times!

"Mrs. Cohen cooked, too—beef stew that had simmered all day, pancakes that weren’t pancakes but a combination of potatoes and onions and warmth that floated through the apartment and snuck into the pockets of his coat. And something she called a kugel, its name as playful as the smell of vanilla and sugar and cinnamon that came from the oven" (pg. 11).

"Al waited a moment, and then picked up the spoon and carefully tasted the soup. It smelled good, but he wanted his first reaction to be unobserved. The taste flowed across his tongue, a mix of sea and sky, warm cream and softened onions" (pg. 30).

"She looked at the produce stalls, a row of jewels in a case, the colors more subtle in the winter, a Pantone display consisting only of greens, without the raspberries and plums of summer, the pumpkins of autumn. But if anything, the lack of variation allowed her mind to slow and settle, to see the small differences between the almost-greens and creamy whites of a cabbage and a cauliflower, to wake up the senses that had grown lazy and satisfied with the abundance of the previous eight months. Winter was a chromatic palate-cleanser, and she had always greeted it with the pleasure of a tart lemon sorbet, served in a chilled silver bowl between courses" (pg. 73).

"When Lillian was young, clementines had been a highlight of winter, the boxes arriving in stores in early December, a gastronomical equivalent of Christmas lights. Expensive, foreign, longed for throughout the rest of the year, they were something to be saved for a special occasion. She could remember the thrill of eating the first one of the season, the way her thumb would slip under the loose peel, pulling it away from the squat, juice-filled fruit inside. She would ration out the box until it was clear that mold would beat her to the rest, and then she would eat one after another until it felt as if summer ran through her veins" (pg. 78).

Such vivid images that always succeeded in making me hungry.

On the Plate
I had recently seen a process for making a "hidden" design inside a differently colored cake. And it seemed easy enough. It wasn't. Or maybe I just didn't pick the correct kinds of cake.

I'll try again soon! I refuse to be bested by a buttermilk brownie and a buttermilk vanilla cake.

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.

Click to see what everyone else read in October 2020: here.

SweetTart Drizzle #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Quail & Olive.
Complimentary product was provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

I am not big on eating candy. But if I had to pick one, I'd choose SweetTarts every time. I love the tartness that makes my mouth pucker with a kiss of sweetness at the end. 

I feel the same way about salad dressings or any kind of drizzle. This is one that I've been making for years...with whatever vinegar I happen to have in the house. But my recent collaboration with The Quail & Olive* has given me an army of delicious vinegars with which to play. 

For this version, I opted for the earthy sweetness of the Star Anise Vanilla Bean Balsamic and the crisp tartness of the Winter Ambrosia vinegar. Also, I change the herbs based on whatever is on my counter at the time. Yesterday, I had dill. During the summer, I add in basil most of the time.

Ingredients makes approximately 1/2 cup

  • 1 small shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar (I used 1 Tablespoon Star Anise Vanilla Bean Balsamic and 1 Tablespoon Winter Ambrosia vinegar)
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil (I used the Doctor's Blend)
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Also needed: lidded mason jar


Place all of the ingredients in a mason jar. Cover and shake to emulsify. 

Serving suggestions: I use this almost weekly on grilled or plancha'd veggies. Last night I had mushrooms and roasted delicata squash and potatoes. The SweetTart Drizzle was delicious on all of it! The boys spooned it over their roasted chicken, too.

on the web, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter

*Disclosure: I receive compensation in the form of complimentary products for recipe development 
and generating social media traction. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Mummy Dogs #FoodNFlix

Kelley of Simply Inspired Meals is hosting this month's Food'N'Flix; she has asked us to watch Halloween movies - anything Halloween related - and be inspired into the kitchen. Read her invitation here.

On the Screen
Earlier this month, I posted A Shrunken (Apple) Heads Tart + The Indiana Jones Movies for this event. I must really like archaeological action flicks because I decided to watch The Mummy*, the 1999 version with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz.

Well, I thought it might be a fun trilogy to spread out throughout the weekend. My younger son, who is a teenager, didn't make it through. He said it was too creepy. So, I don't even have a movie review other than to report: yes, it was worthy of a few Halloween shrieks.

But I do have a recipe for you. In honor of The Mummy, I made homemade mummy dogs. A little bit about hot dogs first...

My favorite podcast is FoodStuff. And Anney and Lauren got frank about hot dogs; you can hear that here, but I'll give you a few snippets.

Let's start with a definition: "A hot dog is a tube of fine-ground meat, usually beef or beef and pork, seasoned with stuff like coriander, mustard seed, pepper, nutmeg, cloves, paprika, garlic, sugar, and salt. Usually cured. Sometimes smoked. ...Savory, salty,'s simply a type of pre-cooked sausage." Frankfurter or wiener or wienie are other names for them, too.

As far as the meat goes, all-beef, beef and pork, turkey, and caribou have all been turned into hot dogs. Anything goes.

The average American consumes 60 hot dogs. I find that stunning. I have maybe two a year.

Many Americans believe there is a "proper hot dog" and everyone else is wrong. "Ketchup is 'unacceptable'." According to Lauren, it's only a hot dog if it's on a toasted bun with brown mustard and sauerkraut. So this doesn't qualify as a hot dog. Hmmm...

On the Plate

This dough is my go-to for everything from dinner rolls to the actual rolls, Danish Fastelavnsboller. It's quick to make and such a great texture. I do skip the milk and the cardamom for regular uses.

  • 13 grams active dry yeast 
  • 250 ml water, warmed to steaming but not boiling
  • 100 grams butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 40 grams organic granulated sugar
  • 450 grams flour + more for kneading
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 egg

Assembly and Serving
  • hot dogs (prefer organic, 100% grass-fed)
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • Also needed: rolling pin, baking sheet lined with parchment paper and silicone mat

Pour warm water into a large mixing bowl, stir in sugar, and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let bloom for 10 to 15 minutes. It should be foamy and frothy. Add in the butter and egg. Whisk to combine.

Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Knead until a scraggy dough forms. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes. It should be doubled in size.

Dust a workspace with flour and turn out the dough. Knead the dough, dusting to prevent sticking if needed. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a rectangle, approximately 12" x 16". Cut the dough into strips to wrap the hot dogs. I reserved the rest and made dinner rolls!

Wrap the hot dogs with the strips to create a mummy and place it on parchment paper or silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Let them rest and rise for 20 to 25 minutes. While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 395 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Place the dogs in the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with ketchup and mustard on the side.

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Shrunken (Apple) Heads #CulinaryCam

Though I have shared how to make shrunken apple heads in previous posts, we decided to create a Shrunken (Apple) Head video for the Culinary Cam YouTube channel this weekend. So, I am creating an updated blogpost and you can watch the clip here.

It was a quick, easy, and fun family activity to get us ready for Halloween. That new hashtag - #CulinaryCam - will appear on all my blogposts that have a YouTube accompaniment.


  • medium-sized apples
  • water
  • juice from one citrus fruit (I used limes in this case because that's what I had)
  • also needed: knives, peeler, wire rack that fits over a baking sheet


Prepare a bowl with water and lime juice. Peel the apples and carve the faces in each apple.

Then drop the creations in the water bath. 

They don't need to be perfect. Remember you're baking them and they will shrivel. So, imperfect is perfect!

Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat apples dry and place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet. 

Bake for 2 to 3 hours - until apples are starting to shrivel. They should be shriveled yet still soft inside, yet not hard and dry. 

Here are a few closeups of our shrunken apple heads!

Have fun and get creative. If you make any shrunken heads, please share a photo with me!