Spätzle and Cheese with Hot Dogs

This morning I peeled off the piece of washi tape that was holding my computer shut and began my first work day of 2018. Do you know how much of a struggle it is to type “washi” into a computer that doesn’t have autocorrect turned off yet? It’s less of a struggle than actually figuring out how to turn off autocorrect and less of a struggle than the combined first-day-back-at-work struggle, but about 60 times the struggle of sitting on the couch all day yesterday where my chief goal was to not eat the entire bag of potato chips. 

The first half of our holiday break was filled with great hiking, cross country skiing at eggsister’s with eggbrofam, and bopping down to Minneapolis for great conversation with great blog friends. We also tried an Indian restaurant in Fargo that was soooo (!!!!) good. I want to go there every day. But then the temperature got hilariously low, it was like the sun just forgot to show up for a few days, and we had to cancel our second annual new year’s eve day Bemidji ski trip and stay inside for a long time. We cleaned a lot, did house planning, and then I got into Star Wars slightly.

In cleaning I got rid of every piece of Tupperware that wasn’t a) a deli container (I now buy them in bulk, they stack really nicely, all take one type of lid, can go in the dishwasher, and are so cheap that when you make too much dinner party brisket you can send your friends home with some and not ever worry about getting your containers back), or b) very cute. We also kondo’ed our linens, props, and tote bags and now have fairly manageable storage areas for all of these things. This cleanliness will last for at least two weeks. 

Some other very enjoyable things I engaged in over break were: 

-Making Alana’s cardamom buns (added some marzipan!), Deb’s marzipan cake, Alexandra’s chocolate bread, Sofra’s feta stuffed simit

-Getting into cheese balls

-Reading Healthyish

-Beginning History of Love

-Binging Transparent

-Rewatching Virtue/Moir’s 2010 long program

-Ooing and Ahhing over the Nose Job episode of Unorthodox, which is a particularly great episode

Now I’m getting ready to hunker down for the weekend to watch the u.s. figure skating championship. I’ve got a grocery list for things to make from Healthyish that will take me through Sunday so I can make soup and zone in on some programs that I am extra looking forward to, including Nathan Chen’s short program, Ashley Wagner’s La La Land program, and both programs of Chock/Bates and the Shib Sibs. And of course Jason Brown and Adam Rippon and Karen Chen… I guess it’s safe to say I’m excited for all them. 

Alright I’ve been meaning to post this spätzle and cheese with hot dogs for forever now and figured that now would be a great time to do it, with the cold snap and the snow storms and all. (Who ever thought that the dead of winter would be a great time for diets anyway? I’ll start making more salads when the ground thaws and my garden starts allowing me to, thank you very much. *Flips hair, rolls eyes*)

This is a mac and cheese for dumpling lovers. And wiener lovers. Haha I mean hot dog lovers. I mean we all know that the only way to make mac and cheese better is to add cut up hot dogs, but did you know that the only way to make that better is to replace the noodles with little baby dumplings?? Spätzle are so chewy and soft, they deliver more textural satisfaction than an al dente noodle, I truly will never tire of them. These little guys get coated with an insanely delicious combination of gruyère and cheddar, but changing up the cheeses would totally work. (And psst… If you’re looking for a non-cheesy spätzle recipe, Molly on the Range has a spätzle, Brussels sprouts, and bacon dish that is just delightful this time of year.)

Homemade spätzle is a little bit of a process, but it’s a fun way to make homemade pasta-type things without fancy equipment. The way I make it, all you really need is a rubber spatula and a slotted spoon with holes that are on the larger side (1/4” or larger is ideal). You press the batter right into boiling water to make oblong little dumplings and occasionally if you’re lucky a massive plop of batter will fall into the boiling water, yielding a meatball sized spätzle. Those are the best. 

And while I typically preach that a casserole of macaroni and cheese should be covered in bread crumbs and baked, I find this spätzle version is at its height fresh off the stove, when the cheese is at its sauciest and the dumplings can dance freely around each other with no crust holding them in place. 

Happy new year!!!!

Spätzle and Cheese with Hot Dogs

serves 6 - 8


for the Spätzle:

3 c (384g) all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Black pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

4 large eggs

1 c (240g) whole milk

Olive oil


for the sauce:

1/4 c (67g) unsalted butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt

Black pepper

1/2 tsp sweet paprika

6 tb (48g) all-purpose flour

2 1/2 c (600g) whole milk

6 oz (170g) cheddar cheese, shredded

6 oz (170g) gruyère cheese, shredded


1 package (10 oz or 6 links) hot dogs, chopped into 1/2” pieces (beef, turkey, veggie dogs, any kind will do!)

Chopped fresh chives or scallions, for serving


To make the spätzle, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, nutmeg, a few turns of pepper, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and milk. Stir the egg mixture into the dry mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, use a rubber spatula to press the batter through a large slotted spoon or spätzle maker and boil for 2-3 minutes, until the spätzle float to the top. If you find the batter too thick to press through the slotted spoon, hold the slotted spoon closer to the surface of the boiling water so that the steam softens it a bit. Transfer to a strainer, toss in a bit of olive oil so they don’t all stick together, and set aside while you make the sauce.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion with a pinch of salt until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add a few turns of black pepper and the paprika. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add milk a third at a time, stirring continuously and allowing to thicken after each addition. Add cheese and stir until melted. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Reduce heat to low. In a separate skillet, cook the hot dogs according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Stir the spätzle and hot dogs into the cheese sauce. Top with chives or scallions and black pepper and serve. Enjoy!

(Tip: if not serving immediately or if you're reheating leftovers, stir another splash of milk into the spätzle before serving to loosen up the sauce.)


marzipan challah hedgehogs

Yogurt book is submitted and I have officially trained myself to never be able to cook with yogurt without feeling like I should be watching Pretty Little Liars and vice versa. In the same way that I wrote Molly on the Range with Sia going on full blast in the wee hours of the morning, I had nothing but PLL on while testing these recipes and I timed it pretty well because I only have about six episodes left in the whole series. I have no idea what’s going on but I do know that Aria’s hair and eyebrows just get better and better. 

In these last few weeks I kept having these moments when I’d drive all the way across town to the Super Target, the closest grocery that sells whole milk Greek yogurt that doesn’t have pectin in it, place four tubs in my cart and do a little cheer to the tune of this is my last Greek yogurt run until my deadline!! Only to have six more failed yogurt loaves come out of the oven before having to do that all over again. Luckily Classical Minnesota Public Radio really brings it and has made my long yogurt runs extra enjoyable. And also luckily, I finally made a really good yogurt loaf and am just generally extremely excited for all of the yogurt recipes in this little book!!! 

I am pretty sure it’s coming out in March but once I know more about release deets I’ll be sure to talk your ears off about it. 

Now it’s time to cook through some recipes that I’ve been wanting to make these past few weeks but couldn’t because I had yogurt chicken and yogurt pita to test. 

This week I’m helping Alana test the beef stew recipe for her book and I’m gonna eat it while it snows outside (!!!!!!). Then we’re going to take our holiday card picture, then we’re gonna put up our Chrismukkah bush, and then I’m going to practice my cookie swap cookies because I’ve got a cookie swap title to defend.

But how was your Halloween??? Did you dress up? We had very chill costumes. This whole time I was planning to be cookie salad but then I kept stressing out about the chocolate from the cookies getting on my clothes and wasn’t really sure what I would do until I woke up Saturday morning and decided to go as the little girl who walked in on her dad’s BBC interview. I dug up my yellow sweater, put on some pig tails, reached into my Quin Candy lollipop stash and taped that professor’s face on a paint stick. Eggboy went as Luke from Gilmore Girls so all he had to do was wear his hat backwards, carry a coffee carafe, and yell at you for using your cell phone. We went to Sheila and Dave’s annual party and Dave wore a banana suit and a bandana and was banana’s foster wallace, lolol.  

Here is a challah recipe that I’ve been so excited about since I first made it back in March at Nosh Berlin: marzipan stuffed challah hedgehogs! Or, as I learned there, they would be Challah Igel, auf Deutsch. They are doughy little challah rolls with a sweet almond filling and glaze on top that can either be a yarmulke or… fur…? Quills? Spiky bits. Sorry, I don’t know hedgehog anatomy. The slivered almond topping gives them a nice crunch, and these hedgehogs in fact have two lives: 

  1. When they first cool down just enough to hold their glaze and you have a fresh plump treat that’s perfect with a spot of tea.
  2. The next day when they’re no longer fresh and you’re like “what am I supposed to do with all of these dead hedgehogs?” And you make bread pudding. Zomg these hedgehogs make the best bread pudding ever. So almondy, so soft. It almost might behoove you to just make a double batch to ensure that you’ll have enough to make bread pudding. This is the basic bread pudding recipe that I use, and it wouldn’t hurt to add a small splash of almond extract in with the milk.

I’m posting these guys today as another nod to my German friends in celebration of the release of Molly’s Kitchen and also because they’d be a great holiday treat! And if you haven’t started planning your holiday menus yet what are you even doing???

marzipan challah hedgehogs

makes 14 rolls


for the challah:

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

3/4 c warm water (105º-110ºf)

1/4 c (50g) + 1 tsp sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

3 1/4 c (413g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 large eggs

1/3 c (67g) flavorless oil, like canola or vegetable


for the filling:

1/4 c (57g) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 c (150g) sugar

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1 large egg, separated

1/4 tsp almond extract

1 1/2 c (168g) almond flour


Black sesame seeds, for decorating


for the glaze:

1 1/2 c (180g) powered sugar

1/2 tsp almond extract

5-6 tsp whole milk


Slivered almonds, for decorating


To make the challah dough, in a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the salt, flour, and remaining sugar. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil.

When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture immediately followed by the egg mixture and stir to combine. Knead, either by hand on a floured surface or with a dough hook for 7-10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary (but resist any urge to add too much!), until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the marzipan filling. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Mix in the salt and egg white (reserve the egg yolk for the egg wash), and then add the almond extract, and stir in the almond flour.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375ºF.

When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a clean surface (dust with a little flour if it’s too sticky) and divide into 14 balls. Fill each ball with a heaping tablespoon of filling and seal it well to shut. Place the balls seem side down on the baking sheets, spaced evenly apart. Let rise for 30 more minutes. In a small bowl beat the reserved egg yolk with a splash of water and, working with three rolls at a time, brush the egg wash onto the rolls, use scissors to make two 1/2” cuts on one side for ears, and tweezers to stick on two black sesame seeds for eyes. (If you wait too long after brushing on the egg wash, it will dry and the sesame seeds won’t stick, so that’s why you don’t want to work with no more than three rolls at a time.)

Bake until golden brown, begin checking for doneness at 20 minutes.

Let cool and then make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, almond extract, and 5 teaspoons milk. If it’s too thick to spread, add additional milk, a couple of drops at a time, until it's spreadable. Working one at a time, spread a circle of glaze onto the rolls and then top with overlapping rows of slivered almonds.



sprinkle amerikaner + molly on the range is out in german!!!!

Heute ist ein fantastischer Tag! Die Deutsche ausgabe von Molly on the Range, “Molly’s Kitchen” wurde heute geboren! Ich bin sehr glüklich! Kauf es hier!

Ok, that’s just about all I got. The other German that remains in my brain is reserved for ordering schnitzel and deciphering what bass drum sticks I’m supposed to use in German music. At one point I definitely could have told you how my day was, what I enjoy doing in my free time, and if I enjoy spaghetti or pizza more, and that point was 10 years ago. But! That doesn’t make me any less excited that Molly on the Range is out in German this week!!!! I would try to say in German that I’m really excited but I seem to remember that if you translate it literally, you actually end up saying that you’re aroused. Or something. Is this true? I don’t want to get into a naughty Ich bin ein Berliner situation. 

If you’ve read the spätzle section in Molly on the Range, you know that my love for German things runs deep. It began with a textbook teenage obsession with Mahler symphonies and a desire to understand all of the schwammschlägelns and langsamers in his music, and led to enrolling in four years of high school German class. It was so fun! I went by the name Ursula. And one schnitzel led to another, and one trip to Berlin with pops led to another with Blue Lake, and even after the excitement of the lower drinking age faded, I kept wanting to go back. I love the accents and the appreciation for opera and that the people I've met there have been so genuine and warm. 

Side note: I’m totally in possession of 10 pounds of haribo gummy bears right now. 

(it is so wild to see Lisel's illos auf Deutsch!!!) 

The first time I traveled to Germany, I got to miss a few days of eighth grade and hang out back stage at the Berlin Philharmonie during my dad’s rehearsals. I remember thinking it was so cool that they sold open faced sandwiches in the lobby and got as many butter and salami ones as I could eat in between movements of Bruckner. The other cool discoveries of this trip were: bienenstich (honey cake), pflaumenkuchen (plum cake-- make this right now before plums go out of season), and Amerikaners. Amerikaners are really similar to black and white cookies in that they’re essentially little flat cakes. They’re very soft, often flavored with a bit of lemon, and rather than having both chocolate and vanilla icing on them, most of the ones I had at bakeries around Berlin just had vanilla. I found a few that had just chocolate and, if my memory serves me correctly, I think I also had some pink ones. I basically lived on Amerikaners, salami sandwiches, and Haribo gummy things during that trip. 

Then the weirdest thing happened this last time that I went to Berlin, back in March, I could not find a single Amerikaner!!! I wouldn’t shut up about them the whole way there and then I dragged Eggboy into every bakery that we passed to try and find one but they were nowhere to be seen and Eggboy thought I was making the whole thing up. WTF!!! So I came home and made a bunch. And funfetti'ed them to celebrate the release of German Molly on the Range (which is actually called Molly's Kitchen since I guess "Range" doesn't really translate into both a farm and a stove...)!! So these are for you, dear German friends!! They are the child of two of my favorite childhood sweets, Amerikaners and Funfetti® cake and I am pleased as pflaume to share them with you!!! 

Ooh and stay tuned for a couple more German-American recipe mashups :) 

Here is the link to order Molly’s Kitchen! And if you live in Germany and are like was ist clear imitation vanilla?! here!

sprinkle amerikaners

makes 18


2 c (254g) all-purpose flour

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 c (113g) unsalted butter, softened

1 c (200g) sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp clear imitation vanilla (or vanilla extract)

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/2 c (113g) whole milk yogurt

1/3 c (64g) rainbow sprinkles, plus more for decorating


for the glaze:

2 c (240g) powdered sugar

2 1/2-3 tb whole milk

1/2 tsp clear imitation vanilla (or vanilla extract)

pinch of kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the yogurt and dry ingredients in 2 or 3 alternating additions and mix until just combined. Fold in the sprinkles by hand. Scoop out 2” blobs of the batter onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until the bottoms are just beginning to brown, begin checking for doneness at 18 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, 2 1/2 tablespoons milk, vanilla extract, and salt. If it’s too thick to spread, add additional milk a few drops at a time until it's spreadable. Spread the glaze onto the flat side of the Amerikaners and sprinkle with sprinkles. Enjoy!


recipe: chickpea spätzle with shallots and collard greens

you're all in so much trouble for not telling me how good the carrie diaries is. (it is good, right?) since i finished season one of orange is the new black i've been swimming in bedtime story loneliness because there are only so many passable made-for-tv christmas movies. 

i have scotch eggs to make this week. and potstickers. the kinds of things that i can't have distractions for, so part of me wishes that i had saved my discovery of the carrie diaries until next week when i make the long ass trek home (!!!). 

in other equally as exciting news, i combed my dreadlocks out! actually eggboy did. on friday, i tried to curl my hair, and when i found myself wrapping one massive dread around the curler, i decided enough was enough. and it was good timing, now that i don't have to wear my hair up to work at the bakery every day.  

it was a swell way to spend our extra hour yesterday. (how did you spend your extra hour?) 

eggboy is good with that kind of stuff... combing out dreads, tolerating girlie tv shows, helping me with my dirty donut dishes even though he's probably never eaten a donut. his generosity makes me want to reciprocate with gluten-free goodness. i'll substitute all the all-purpose flour in the world for a few good dread-combing sessions. 

so today in gluten-free goodness: chickpea spätzle.

chickpea flour is one of my favorite gf flours. it's so versatile and it adds a great new depth of flavor. it's also very healthy!  

soon, i'll need to do a gf schnitzel to go with this. 

chickpea spätzle with shallots and collard greens 

makes 2-4 servings 


olive oil

2 large shallots, chopped

2 large leaves of collard greens, stemmed and cut into ribbons

1 1/2 c chickpea flour

salt and pepper, to taste

a pinch of nutmeg

1/2 c milk (i use almond milk) 

2 eggs 

chili flakes, to taste


in a large pan over medium low heat, heat a bit of olive oil and add the shallots. blanch the collard greens by placing them in a large pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. remove them with a slotted spoon and then add them to the pan with the shallots. keep the water boiling for the spätzle.

turn your attention to the spätzle, but keep an eye on the pan so that the shallots don't burn (turn the heat down to low if needed). 

in a medium bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. in a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. whisk the milk mixture into the flour mixture.

using a rubber spatula, press the batter through a slotted spoon or a colander (or a spätzle maker if you real fancy) and straight into the boiling water. boil for 2-3 minutes, drain, and then add to the pan with the greens and shallots. 

toss with a bit more olive oil, add the pinch of chili flakes, and then more salt and pepper if needed. cook for a few minutes and then serve with schnitzel or all on its own.