babka straws

Happy Tuesday, friends!! We had a very delightful, very chill weekend at home which I am going to tell you about in list form:

-Watched Whip It, an under-celebrated movie! I was really craving a teen-y bopper early-2000s movie and this hit the spot.

-Visited the New Flavors Food Truck, which had a new chef on board who was cooking up the tastiest Mexican food. Our big yellow town food truck makes me the happiest.

-Engaged in my favorite Saturday routine of Gym and Jimmy Johns, which is something I haven’t been able to do that much with all of our traveling this past month! It was perfect in every way. I listened to Radical Face cover “Jolene,” lightly dipped my toes back into jogging, brainstormed new recipes, and then got cheese and mayo on my regular Turkey-Tom-With-Onions-And-Mustard. Really living life on the edge. 

-Made a brunch for some fronds, which included recipes that I am testing for Unglued Camp: a kale and swiss sourdough strata and a party breakfast sandwich. You know, like a party sub from Subway but a breakfast sandwich. It’s going to be so good!!!! I can’t wait for camp. I will definitely be posting both of those recipes soon. Also, Nile straight up brought a Jell-O salad with sour cream to brunch. We Midwested so hard.

-Supported Eggboy’s Tour de France fanboyness. He really put his all into watching the cobblestone stage and woooooooweee, was it stressful. That’s all. 

-Went on a bike ride with our friend Keith and saw a bunch of spots in Grand Forks that I had never seen before!!! There were beautiful parts of the Red River, cool new houses, and the butt of the golf course which is apparently about to employ a beer drone delivery service?! I love living in the future. We also kept getting whiffs of everyone grilling outside so the whole ride smelled like a burger. Afterwards we had two options: rush home and try to catch my judginess on Food Network Star or go eat burgers at JL Beers. We chose a combination of both and facetimed our friend Zach who held the phone up to his TV so we could watch it from the parking lot of burgers. 

-Saw Girl Meets Farm for the first time in real time on the TV! It was so much fun. I loved reading your posts, comments, and questions about the episode as they came in on IG and Twitter, it was like we were all hanging out!!! A+ Sunday morning, totally worth waking up way earlier than I normally wake up on a Sunday. 😜

Ok so one of the things I served at brunch was a new brilliant invention from the brain of my friend Chani. Yes, Chani of hasselback salami fame!! I’ve long known she was a genius but when I opened up her new book, Millennial Kosher, and found the Malawach Egg-in-A-Hole, I heard a mic drop, all the way from Brooklyn. And then I flipped further and found these babka straws which are absolutely perfect because if I had a dollar for every time I wanted babka but did not have the patience to make a dough, knead the sucker, and let it rise, I would have enough money to charter an airplane directly to Russ and Daughters.

Babka straws use store-bought puff pastry and are covered with crumbly stuff!!! Like an avalanche of crumbly stuff. Inside the pastry is a super simple and delicious chocolate spread which I feel like could be improvised upon if, like, you wanted to stir in tahini or peanut butter or add nuts or--wait for it--sprinkles. The options are endless. They take less than an hour to make and when they’re all baked up, they’re crunchy, flaky, and not too sweet, which I feel like is an under-appreciated characteristic of babka: it’s distinct not-too-sweetness that leaves you wanting more. 

Also, bonus: they freeze well! I made some a while ago, froze them for a few weeks, and then defrosted them and they were perfect!

So bottom line, make these any time you need a quick babka fix or an easy cute dessert or want to experience a crunchy flaky babka. And buy Chani’s delicious book!!!! I am giving away a copy over on Instagram later this week too :)


Babka Straws

yields 4 dozen

from Chani Apfelbaum’s Millennial Kosher

Ingredients

for the chocolate filling:

1 c (120g) powdered sugar

1/2 c (40g) cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp cinnamon 

pinch sea salt

1/4 c (50g) canola oil

3 tb water

 

for the sweet crumbs:

1 c (130g) flour

1 c (200g) sugar

1/2 c (100g) canola oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

pinch sea salt

 

2 sheets (490g) puff pastry, thawed

1 egg + 1 tb water, for egg wash

Clues

line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper (work in batches, if necessary). set aside. preheat oven to 375°f. 

prepare the chocolate filling: in a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt, oil and water. stir until creamy.

prepare the sweet crumbs: in a second bowl, combine flour, sugar, oil, vanilla, and salt. mix until crumbly.

prepare the babka straws: working with one sheet of puff pastry at a time, roll the dough out to form a large rectangle, about 12x17 inches. with the short side facing you, spread half of the dough with the chocolate filling; fold uncoated half over chocolate side.

using a pizza cutter, cut the pastry into 1/2-inch strips. twist the ends in opposite directions to give the straws a spiraled look. transfer each strip to one of the baking sheets, spaced an inch or so apart. refrigerate for 10 minutes. while straws are chilling, repeat with second sheet of puff pastry and the remaining chocolate filling.

remove pans from the fridge; brush straws lightly with egg wash. sprinkle with sweet crumbs.

bake until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.

note: if the dough becomes too soft to twist, place into refrigerator about 10 minutes to firm up.


french onion yogurt

Is French Onion Dip Actually French is what I just googled and it turns out that it was invented in California! So that’s a fact that you can rattle off if ever you’re standing near the dips and need something to talk about that’s not the weather. This here is a French Onion dip that is made with—wait for it—yogurt. Predictable! I know. But I just wanted to put this somewhere since it was cut from Short Stack Yogurt and I love it so much. In the first draft of my manuscript, it was paired with butternut squash tots which were tasty! But I never wanted to make them. I dreaded having to test them because that meant peeling a big dumb squash, shredding a big dumb squash, molding like a hundred dumb tots, and frying them. And for what? So I could slow down the acquisition of my bikini bod??

I liked the sound of the words “Squash Tots with French Onion Yogurt” all strung together, but if I was dreading making them then chances were that you would too. So it fell to the cutting room floor and unfortunately dragged this great dip along with it. Oops! It’s ok now though because here it is, and I’ve served it here with sweet potato fries but it is good with anything fried because fried things and yogurt go together like peanut butter and jelly. The fried thing provides the oomph, the crunchy satisfaction, the bulk of the dish, while the yogurt cools it down, offers a bit of creaminess, and takes some weight off of an otherwise heavy bite. It’s a perfect partnership, and pretty much whenever I fry up a vegetable or fritter, my first instinct is to grab some dollops of yogurt out of the fridge.

This sweet onion yogurt dip bursts with a nostalgic flavor that will take you straight back to junior high basement parties. It's very simple to make and cooking it will make your house smell ~amazing~. 


French Onion Yogurt

Ingredients

2 tb unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 c white wine

3/4 c (170g) whole milk greek yogurt

1/2 tsp onion powder

Black pepper

Chives, for topping

Clues

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium and add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and sugar. Cook, stirring, until golden brown and caramelized, about 30-40 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine: add it to the pan, scrape off any bits that have stuck to the pan and continue to cook until the wine is mostly reduced. Let cool and then stir with the yogurt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, onion powder, and a few turns of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped fresh chives. 


I’d also like to include some shoutouts to friends who have blogged about Short Stack Yogurt and posted recipes!! Thank you sooo much, sweet friends!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ (If you’ve blogged about Short Stack Yogurt, let me know in the comments or by tagging #shortstackyogurt on social!!) 

challah french toast with sumac yogurt and pickled onions on kale + caramel

pita on rose water and orange blossoms

lazy b mac and cheese on chatelaine

Pistachio Rosewater Cake With Labneh Frosting on buzzfeed

yogurt-marinated ras el hanout chicken skewers on a cozy kitchen

yogurt ranch salad pizza on a couple cooks

pita on fig and bleu

yogurt cookies with strawberry and thyme on oh curious rose

yogurt pita and baked chicken shawarma on joy the baker

dulcey yogurt pretzels on hummingbird high


a proper good first weekend home

or: the yummiest camp food detox ever
berries! berries of all sorts, large and small, frozen and smashed, locally grown and flown from far farrrr away. watermelon, yogurt, smoothies galore. a whole wheat pizza night with pineapple and zucchini courgette! hold the cheese. from scratch: black bean hummus, sesame noodles, zingerman's carrot top, whole wheat sourdough, a plan for cornmeal pancakes {but maybe next weekend!} caramelized onion + chive jam. apples, tangerines, apples, tangerines. brown rice sushi, baked oatmeal. a bit of arugula and some cheese at edi & the wolf... and a nice warm cup of red velvet tea. get it while it's hot. 

oh and that hot dog. is not a hot dog. it is a suicide dog from the meathook stand at smorgasburg. "it's all the leftover meat from this week, made into a sausage!" says mike. and there was more flavor in one bite of that than in all of the food that i ate this summer combined. {welcome home, me!}

also: some quality hours spent by the river with the molly mobile, and the {just about} end to a week-long cleaning + organizing session of my little apartment. phew!

-yeh!