Friday, September 30, 2011

The Circus Comes to Town

Cole Bros. Circus TigersCole Bros. Circus of the Stars is in Pensacola for the weekend. Out at the Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds.

Beautiful new tent, 12 huge tigers and much more. It's "The World's Largest Circus Under the Big Top." With free children's tickets. And free parking, too.

Free children's ticket

Saturday, September 24, 2011

James Beard's Quiche Lorraine

The James Beard Quiche
The only quiche I have ever made is from the old paperback James Beard Cookbook. First published in 1959, it is still in print. The copy I have now, my second, is from 1979 and it is the 26th printing.

Here's a link to the original recipe for his Quiche Lorraine. Lots of eggs, cream and crisp bacon. I have adapted it slightly. I use a frozen pie shell, the 9-inch deep dish size. And usually I don't have real Gruyère cheese on hand so I use a blend of fresh grated Parmesan and Vermont white cheddar.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Celebrate the First Day of Autumn...

The traditional red tin...with Nyåkers Ginger Snaps. Possibly the best cookie I have ever eaten, they are made in the village of Nyåker in the north of Sweden.

World Market has a big stack of them. There's a new seasonal tin with brown and orange fall leaves. I am sure the festive traditional red tins will be there before Christmas. Check out this link to the official Nyåkers Pepparkakor web site.

Here's what J. S. Marcus said about these cookies in the Wall Street Journal on December 12, 2008:
The farther north you go in Europe, it seems, the more cookie-like becomes the gingerbread.

Panforte, gingerbread's Italian cousin, is dense and gooey and chock full of dried fruit; think fruitcake-flavored candy. Lebkuchen, Germany's contribution, really is a bit like bread—sweet and airy and chewy all at once. Swedish "pepparkakor," or gingersnaps, are thinner and less sweet than other variations, and that makes all the difference.

Pepparkakor—literally "pepper cookies"—are a highly spiced version of a simple rolled cookie: just flour, shortening and sugar, flavored with cloves, ginger and cinnamon. Eaten year-round, pepparkakor are especially popular at Christmastime. At their best, they have a rich but delicate crispiness, with just a trace of sweetness, allowing the punch of the spices to stand out.

The thinnest and richest of all come from the north of Sweden, from a firm called Nyakers, named after the village they're made in. One of a few premium Swedish brands, Nyakers pepparkakor are a featured brand in the food halls of Stockholm's NK department store. They can also be found on many Swedish supermarket shelves and are distributed to Scandinavian specialty stores and gourmet food shops around the world (

Christine Olson-Giebel, a Wisconsin native of Scandinavian descent, discovered Nyakers after she moved to the San Francisco Bay area, where a Swedish acquaintance offered her a sample. "I bought them immediately," she recalls. Although she had grown up eating gingersnaps, Nyakers' version was a revelation. "I like that they're incredibly thin and crisp," she says. "They're like catnip for humans."

She also recommends using the cookies as the lone ingredient in a fine cheesecake crust. "You just put them in the blender, turn it on, and you're done," she says.

Nyåkers ginger snap