knoephla soup

We have had a great big week! On Friday, we wrapped filming and ate a bunch of fried food to celebrate. It was so sad to see everyone go, but unlike the past two seasons when I didn’t know if the show would be renewed or not before wrapping, this time I knew they’d all be back in July! And they’ll be able to meet Poppy Seed! Over the two weeks of filming, Poppy Seed grew soo much and also flipped to be head down. For a little while I kept patting what I thought was her head but then we went to the doctor and confirmed that I’d been patting the butt this whole time. Hehe. Even though the counter became further and further away, my carpal tunnel symptoms luckily subsided (there will be a lot of pre-chopped vegetables in these episodes!) but then my brain turned to mush! Toward the end of the run it sometimes took me like six attempts to explain the simplest things like how to put sprinkles on the rugelach. And I dropped an entire tray of choco tacos. But thankfully I was able to hold onto my energy for the most part and avoid back pain, which were my two greatest fears other than over baking the potato bagels. On my evenings and days off, I recharged by swimming, watching figure skating, and descending deeper into my bachelor obsession. 

After wrapping, Eggboy and Poppy Seed and I were thrown the most beautiful baby shower by our moms (soon to be grandmas!), sisters (aunties!!!), and friends. It was sprinkle and hotdish themed, and they took my fear of baby shower games seriously so it was a lovely afternoon of eating confetti petit fours and tater tot hotdish, hanging out with friends from near and far, writing funny things on diapers, and unveiling the sweetest gifts that ranged from ultra practical (mountains of diapers!) to ultra homespun (like cousin Elaine’s hand knit sprinkle cupcake hats!!) to ultra hippo. I’m obsessed with this hippo. He’s sitting right next to me and I can’t stop looking at him and giggling. Eggboy and I felt soo loved and got even more excited to bring Poppy Seed into our extremely rad mishpocha. 

Continuing on with my list of foods that I plan to stock in our freezer for my maternity leave, I have to share this soup with you that is the best kept secret of the upper Midwest. Knoephla soup is right up with tater tot hotdish as my favorite new food that I’ve learned about since moving here. Knoephla (neh-fla) are little chewy dumplings that made their way to this area with German immigrants and are most commonly enjoyed in creamy potato soup, but can also be sautéed with sauerkraut and sausage or put into hotdish. They are kind of like plumper smoother spaetzle and the frozen store-bought ones look a lot like mochi bits. Knoephla soup is traditionally made without meat, just potatoes, vegetables, a bit of cream, and my favorite (from Dakota Harvest, r.i.p.) had the most warming hit of nutmeg. The texture of the dumplings and the pure comfort of it all makes this the kind of soup that I just shovel into my mouth with abandon. We had it at our wedding and for years now I’ve wondered why it hasn’t seemed to pick up that much popularity outside of the upper Midwest. The #knoephla hashtag is my favorite hashtag to follow on IG but all of the posts are from North Dakota! Many of them are from Kroll’s dinner, which has a killer version that you can supposedly buy by the bucket (?!), just in case you find yourself at one of those. This is probably one of the only areas where you can buy frozen knoephla at the grocery store, but not to worry, they are very easy to make. I have a recipe in Molly on the Range for knoephla soup but this is a new and improved version because over the past couple of years I’ve started adding more herbs to it, including an egg in the dumplings for added chewiness, and making a much bigger batch so that I can freeze some. I’m not sure if adding dill would be considered the most traditional move, but as I become closer and closer to being a Jewish mother, I’m more inclined than ever to channel severely dill-y matzo ball soup vibes into, like, everything. So while it’s still winter, make a gigantic batch of this and then eat it on the couch from under a fluffy blanket. 


knoephla soup

Serves 8-10

instructions

3 tb unsalted butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

kosher salt and black pepper

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp nutmeg

10 c chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 sprigs dill, chopped

4 sprigs parsley, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 lb (680g) red potatoes, chopped into 1/2” pieces

1 1/2 lb (680g) store-bought frozen knoephla or homemade knoephla (recipe below)

1/2 c (120g) heavy cream

clues

in a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. add the onions, carrots, celery, a good pinch of salt, and a few turns of black pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. add the garlic and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes, until fragrant.

stir in the stock, herbs, bay leaves, and potatoes, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. if using store-bought frozen dumplings, add them when the soup reaches a boil. if using homemade dumplings, begin making them when the soup reaches a boil and then add them for the last 20 minutes of simmering.

stir in the cream. taste and adjust seasonings as desired. remove the bay leaves before serving.

enjoy!

to freeze, let cool and transfer to freezer safe containers. freeze for up to three months and defrost in the microwave or overnight in the fridge, and then reheat in the microwave or on the stove.

knoephla

3 1/4 c (422g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp kosher salt

black pepper

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 c (236g) water

1 large egg

to make the knoephla:

in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, a few turns of pepper, and the nutmeg. stir in the water and egg and mix to form a shaggy dough. turn it out onto a clean work surface and knead it for a few minutes, adding flour as needed, until you have a smooth and stiff dough. roll it into 1/2”-thick blob, cut into 1/2”-3/4” squares, dusting with flour so they don’t stick together, and drop them directly into simmering soup.


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett! dutch oven by great jones!

everything bagel mac and cheese

Ok, as long as no one we know gets surprised engaged and decides to surprise go to Hawaii and get married at the last minute, we are done going to weddings for a few good months, which I’m kind of sad about because the Rent the Runway dresses I’ve been finding have been off the hook. And I love a good dance party. And the far off destinations that we get to go to. This past weekend we were right on the Idaho/Wyoming border for an Eggcousin wedding at a ranch that made me want to go back and watch Hey Dude reruns. (Was that a good show? Or just an obstacle on the way to Bug Juice and Double Dare? Will we ever know?)

It was my first time in Wyoming and I gasped when I saw the scenery. Mountains are so good. On our first night we stayed at the adorable Anvil Hotel in Jackson and had a delicious and inspiring crispy honey chicken with creamed corn at Glorietta. I pretty much never order chicken at a restaurant unless it’s schnitzeled but our server said get the chicken so we got the chicken and it was one of the best decisions we’ve made at a restaurant all year. The next morning we hiked up Snow King mountain, ate an apple and peanut butter at the top, and then came down and drove across a Teton to the ranch in Idaho for the wedding. Wowee zowee, it was beautiful. We rode horses, saw a bunch of wildflowers, sat around a campfire, and Eggboy played music for the ceremony!! It was the best. 

Now we’re back, just in time for National Macaroni and Cheese Day!!!! Which is the only food holiday besides donut day that I take seriously for now. It’s on Saturday. And I know, it’s kind of dumb to have it fall in the middle of summer when we should be taking advantage of fresh summer vegetables, but I don’t make the rules. So here is a recipe that I’ve been making in my low key mission to everything bagel (v.) all of the things. It was partly inspired by Alex and Sonja’s Everything Bagel Pasta, which looks sooo good. And the things that make this mac bagel-y are: 

-Cream cheese in the cheese sauce, which adds a delicious tang 

-Chives, because chive cream cheese is the best cream cheese

-Just a tiny bit of barley malt syrup, a sweet sticky substance that’s a key ingredient in making bagels taste bagel-y 

-Tons of everything bagel seasoning on top. It seems like a lot when you’re making it but it gets all crunchy in the oven and adds perfect texture. (I’ve included measurements below to make your own seasoning but you can certainly use store bought. If you use storebought: sprinkle it on to taste because some of them, like the one from Trader Joe’s, are extreeeeemely salty.)

 

-And if you’re feeling extra, sub out the panko breadcrumbs for bagel crumbs!

-And for bonus points: add hot dogs or veggie dogs and then it’s bagel dog mac and cheese.

…And there is no bagel-driven reason for the ketchup. I just like it.


Everything Bagel Mac and Cheese

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 lb (226g) pasta, I prefer rigatoni
Olive oil
1/4 c (68g) unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt
1/4 c (33g) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c (590g) whole milk
4 oz (113g) cream cheese
4 oz (113g) white cheddar or gruyere or a mix of both, shredded
1 oz (28g) parmesan, shredded
1 1/2 tsp barley malt syrup, optional
Crushed red
Black pepper
1/2 c chopped chives or scallions
Bonus points: 2 cut up cooked hot dogs or veggie dogs

Topping

3/4 c (75g) panko breadcrumbs
1 tb unsalted butter, melted
1 tb each: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion
A few pinches of Kosher salt

Ketchup, for serving
 

Clues

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the box, cooking for one minute less than directed. Drain, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, and set aside. 

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium high. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until soft, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the milk and cook, whisking continuously, until thickened, and then repeat with another cup, and then the remaining 1/2 cup. Add the cheese and stir until melted, and then add the barley malt syrup (if using), a few pinches of crushed red pepper, a few turns of black pepper, and salt to taste. Stir in the pasta, chives, and hot dogs, if using. Transfer to an 8” baking dish or a dish that’s a similar size. In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and melted butter and then distribute it over the top of the mac and cheese. Combine the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, and salt in that same medium bowl and sprinkle it liberally over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let cool slightly and then serve with ketchup.
 


-yeh!

mac and cheese photo by chantell and brett


P.S. I have a few fun appearances on Food Network this weekend!! 

On Saturday at 11am eastern I will be making peanut butter cake on one of my favorite shows, The Kitchen!!!!

👆🏼👆🏼Feeling very at home in the presence of Jeff Mauro and his great Chicago accent.

And on Sunday at 9pm eastern I will be a guest judge on Food Network Star!

Bobby and Giada were soo nice!!!! 

And on Sunday at 11am eastern on Girl Meets Farm, we will be celebrating Eggsister's baby shower!!! There will be donuts!! And ~walking tacos~! 

behind the scenes of #girlmeetsfarm

Girl Meets Farm has been out in the world for a day and a half now and life is totally different. I’m exhausted, dehydrated, disoriented, I have a headache... oh wait jkjkjk that’s just what I get for trying to keep up with all of the young people on this bachelor party romp. But actual jk, I’m fine, not hungover, and life isn’t different at all except that a lot of people have now seen my gold Buick boat and I feel exposed. I was like... should I rent a cooler looking car? And they said no, the Buick boat is great. And I think they were pulling my leg but it’s too late to do anything about that now I guess. 🤷🏻‍♀️

One of my favorite parts about this TV process has been learning what goes on behind the scenes. Starting from weeks before the crew arrived up through, well, now, I’ve been learning so much about what happens on the other side of the camera and it’s fascinating and cool! Except for my first gigantic teenage-style breakout since high school due to wearing way more makeup than normal. But other than that, I want to tell you about the behind the scenes of Girl Meets Farm!! In no particular order, here are some of my favorite tidbits:

Every item that has a logo or brand name written on it has to be “Greeked.” I suspected this would be the case because ever since being fascinated by the groceries on 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray, which looked like they were taken directly from the Kohl Children’s Museum fake grocery store, I have not seen one branded label on a cooking show. I never knew it was called “Greeking” though and it was cool to watch the art directors and culinary team find creative ways to cover labels. For the fridge, we printed out pictures from my wedding and grabbed a photo booth shot of Michelle and me and taped them over the Smeg label. Color coordinated washi tape and gaffer’s tape covered the KitchenAid label and book titles, and tiny dots of red nail polish covered up the Our Family logo on spice bottles. After the shoot I kept most of the Greeking on as souvenirs.

My kitchen got a facelift. In the days leading up the shoot, the art directors wove their magic wands all over my kitchen and turned it into the most put together version of itself. They completely decluttered it and arranged the open shelves using a mix of pieces I owned already and new pieces that they brought that fit in with the vibe. Even though they had taken photos of what it looked like before they rearranged so that they could put it back exactly how it was when they left, I had them leave it the way they arranged it because it looked too good! 

I was able to assemble my own wardrobe. I don’t know how this works on other shows but I am very picky about clothes so I was glad that I could waffle and hem and haw by myself in the Gap dressing room in the weeks leading up to the shoot. I had to get two of everything in case I spilled. Pretty much everything I wore came from Gap or Old Navy, and then I wore a bunch of new aprons from my friends at Enrich and Endure.

Each recipe was filmed twice. The first time going through the recipe was focused on getting clear lines from me describing the steps and talking about the dish, and the second time was focused on getting closer shots of my hands adding specific ingredients, mixing, chopping, etc. Before getting started on filming a recipe, we shot “grabs.” Grabs are closeup shots of my hands grabbing tools and ingredients. So if you see me say something like “I’m going to grab the harissa” and then you see my hand grabbing the harissa, those two shots were actually taken like 20 minutes apart. 

After filming a recipe, the cameramen took beauty shots of the dishes. These are the styled closeup photos that you’ll see in the recipe teasers and online with the recipes. Since I wasn’t in these shots, this gave me about 15 minutes to go outside, review my recipe notes for the next recipe, stuff my face with Trader Joe’s mini crackers, and hydrate.

Every morning I spent an hour in our guest room having my hair and makeup done by Jane! It was the best start to the day. We listened to Rex Orange County, I’d sip my coffee, and she told me all about working as a makeup artist in Los Angeles. She had the coolest stories. About halfway through hair and makeup, Kelsi, a production assistant, would come in with my breakfast, a green smoothie. I was such a Healthy Hannah compared to the pilot shoot, when every morning I got a breakfast sandwiches delivered to me. 

Dinner was usually leftovers from the shoot or takeout, often eaten in bed because we had nowhere else to sit. Our dining room was filled with cameras and monitors and our living room was set up with props. So we’d eat like meatball sliders and watch Mad Men in bed, cause that was another thing, we got to move the TV from our kitchen into the bedroom! Eggboy is completely against having a TV in our bedroom but because we had to move it out of our kitchen, I convinced him that there was no other logical place for it to go. I felt like a kid on a sick day watching The Price Is Right, it was the best thing ever. After dinner I’d get ready for bed and then review all of my recipe notecards for the next day. 

Ok so speaking of recipe notecards, I had a lot of fun organizing all of my notes. Like, straight up school-supply-shopping-on-steroids fun. The weekend before the crew arrived it occurred to me that the best way to keep my recipe notes in order would be to have them in a binder, so I went directly to Target and Michael’s and got all of the prettiest binder making materials. Omg it was so fun. I went with a pink and purple theme and got enough stickers to hand out to the crew in case any of them had any sticker emergencies. And then I bought Gelly Rolls for the first time in 20 years and nearly cried in nostalgic happiness. I made one binder section for each episode and at the beginning of the section I included a page protector for all of my notecards and stickers and then within the section I kept the script that had a flow of the episode all written out and any other related materials, like the sheet music for the Bach that I played with my dad for the episode where he visits. Each section also had a designated Gelly Roll color. During the filming I kept my binder in a designated spot on a table behind the cameras and then would bring just the notecards with me to the kitchen and keep them in a drawer close by so I could reference them at a moment’s notice. 

Alight, those are all of the things I can think of for now! If I think of anything else, I’ll tell you in my upcoming Girl Meets Farm posts, where I plan to share recipe outtakes!! And if you missed the premiere on Sunday, that same episode will be playing again tomorrow! Check your local listings!

-Yeh!

All photos except for the cell phone photos by Chantell and Brett!

#girlmeetsfarm peanut butter cup cake

My show is premiering on Food Network on Sunday and even just typing out those words makes me wanna vom and cry. But like in a good way!!! It’s really weird how there is no word to describe equal parts nervous and excited, or is there? Maybe it’s just this string of emoji 🤗🙈 over and over and over 🤗🙈🤗🙈🤗🙈. 

I wonder what Sunday will be like. I’ll be in Amsterdam, celebrating Rob’s bachelor party with a bunch of dudes. We’ll probably ride bikes and then eat fries and drink beer and I’ll probably have nervous tummy until the evening time when it’s 11 am eastern, and then I’ll probably do a shot. Is that the move? I won’t be able to actually watch Girl Meets Farm so I feel like the second best option would be to do a shot with my bridesmen, Rob and Brian.

At any rate, I made a cake to celebrate the premiere and it’s in my deep freeze right now waiting to be thawed for episode four, the first episode I’ll actually get to watch from home. It is a peanut butter cup cake! It’s very similar to the crazy moist party trick peanut butter cake from Molly on the Range and it’s covered in sweet milk chocolate frosting, cookie dirt, and marzipan vegetables. When articles came out recently defending milk chocolate I rejoiced because milk chocolate tastes good and has nothing to prove. The frosting requires melting chocolate, which, in the past has been one step more than I’ve been willing to take on the journey to frosting (I’ve historically stuck to dumping cocoa powder in with the powdered sugar to avoid dirtying up a chocolate melting pot), but adding melted chocolate makes the frosting like a luxurious rich chocolatey mousse. The cake itself is wildly easy to make and only requires two bowls and a whisk, making up for all of the work I’m making you do for the frosting.

Also (!) my friends made viewing party snacks for the premiere!!!! They are the sweetest most supportive fronds a girl could ever ask for and I’d give anything to have them with me in Amsterdam for my celebratory shot. I am so touched that they spent the time to make these delicious treats and can’t wait until the next time we can hang out irl and eat these and take mirror selfies all together.

Stephanie made a donut version of the grapefruit olive oil loaf cake from Short Stack Yogurt, which I will definitely be making soon. That loaf cake took me about a thousand test runs to master and it was worth it. A donut version is next level!

Lily made a surprise thing that I don’t yet know about but there’s tahini in it! She also interviewed me in the most Matt-Damon-Poop-Centric interview I’ve ever participated in. 

Alana made a stinkin beautiful plate of all of my favorite foods. Give me that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for the rest of my life and I will be happy.

And Michelle made tahini magic shell!!!!!!!! On a hangover!!!!! 


Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Makes one 4-layer 6” cake

Ingredients

Cake

2 c (400g) sugar
2 c (260g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 c (240g) buttermilk
1/2 c (100g) flavorless oil
3/4 c (178g) water
1 c (270g) creamy unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter

Frosting

6 oz (170g) milk chocolate, chopped or milk chocolate chips
1 c (225g) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 c (360g) powdered sugar
A good pinch of kosher salt
2 tb heavy cream

Assembly

Crushed chocolate cookies, optional
Marzipan kneaded with food coloring, optional
 

Clues


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease four 6” round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment. If you don’t have four pans you can bake this in batches. You can also make two 8” layers.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil, water, and peanut butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into the pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes.

Cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes and then remove to the rack and cool completely.

To make the frosting, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave, heating for 30 seconds at a time and stirring between each increment until it is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly until it is no longer hot to the touch. Meanwhile, combine the butter, powdered sugar, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until smooth and combined. With the mixer running, gradually drizzle in the melted chocolate. Lastly, mix in the heavy cream and continue to mix, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until smooth.

To assemble, stack up the layers with a layer of frosting in between each and then frost all over. Decorate with crushed chocolate cookies and marzipan molded into your shapes of choice. Enjoy!
 


-yeh!

Photos by Chantell and Brett! Top from Of A Kind

P.S. I hope you guys like the facelift on this site! If you haven’t already, scroll over the logo at the top to see some sprinkles :) Also, the logo is now my handwriting and not a free font! This design was created by Hello Cereal!! 

P.P.S. For those who were wondering how to watch GMF without cable, you will be able to watch online at watch.foodnetwork.com or on the Food Network app on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung, Android TV, and mobile devices. You just need to log in with a provider (or your mom's provider like I do for HBO).