Auf Wiedersehen 2013

Man, what a year it’s been?! As we struggled to stay awake to ring in 2013 in a little cottage in Wanaka, New Zealand, we had no idea just what was in store for us this year.

{wanderlust: mt. aspiring national park, new zealand} from kiwi and peach

This blog that was only a little twinkle in my eye, it would become my full time job.

The year and a half we thought we had left in Munich, it would become just nine months.

Those places on Must-See-Before-We-Leave-Europe list. Well, they were going to have to be seen, weren’t they?

{wanderlust: istanbul, turkey} from kiwi and peach

{wanderlust: dubrovnik, croatia} from kiwi and peach

{wanderlust: berlin, germany} from kiwi and peach

{wanderlust: budapest, hungary} from kiwi and peach

{wanderlust: florence, italy} from kiwi and peach

Kiwi and Peach {wanderlust: sahara desert}

Kiwi and Peach {wanderlust: Paris}

{wanderlust: hong kong} from kiwi and peach

5 continents,

12 countries,

and one transatlantic move later…

We will be welcoming 2014 in our new town—the town where we plan to settle down and be a while.

This year, we put down roots.

Kiwi and Peach | Meet Dooley

Will 2014 be an easier year than 2013? Probably not.

Growth {individually, as a family, and professionally}, consistent learning and navigating new experiences are rarely easy but as we’ve found, almost always worth the trouble.

So here’s to a year of finding joy in hard work, of dreaming big and accomplishing goals.

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art—write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” -Neil Gaiman

Dutch Apple Cake

As a part of my Christmas gift, in addition to some amazingly awesome Wüsthof knives and the fact that he built us a freaking bed {more on that later}, the Kiwi has agreed to share the recipe for one of his family’s Christmas traditions—Dutch Apple Cake. Am I one lucky girl or what? 

But back to the apple cake, this stuff is delicious. You’re going to want to go ahead and make it immediately. It’s Christmas… in your mouth.


My Grandparents were from the Netherlands, and this recipe has always been a staple of my Dad’s baking. When I was young I used to help him make it—a favourite challenge was to try to peel a whole apple in a single continuous spiral. And then eat it likewise. Later on I learned to make it myself, and it became a staple for any occasion requiring a cake in the Autumn or early Winter, when apples are fresh and those delicious cinnamon spices taste just perfect. Dad always makes one of these at Christmas too, though of course that falls in the middle of Summer in New Zealand.

Now that I find myself in the northern hemisphere, Christmas coincides with the perfect season for apple cake, so there’s even more reason to make it. In fact, after serving it to Lauren’s family at Christmas lunch yesterday, I’ve been put on notice that this will be My Job every Christmas for the foreseeable future.

By the way, making whipped cream is trivial as long as you have electric beaters—and you don’t need to add a truckload of sugar. If your whipped cream comes out of a can you’re doing it wrong, and that goes double if the can doesn’t actually contain any cream, in the sense of having come out of a cow.

You might think of this as more of a pie than a cake. I just think of it as delicious.

Dutch Apple Cake from Kiwi and Peach

Dutch Apple Cake

The Crust
¾ cup sugar
225g {8 ounces} butter
2⅔ cups self raising flour

The Filling
5 Granny Smith apples
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp self raising flour
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg

Whipped Cream
300mL {1/2 pint} cream
1 tsp sugar

Cream the butter and the sugar. {Melting the butter in the microwave makes this easy.} Then mix in the flour until it forms a dough. Expect to use your hands. Form the dough into a blob, wrap it in Glad wrap and put it in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.

Peel the apples, remove the cores. Over a large mixing bowl, cut them into cubes of about 1cm. Add the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Beat the egg and add half of it to the filling to bind the dry ingredients. Reserve the other half of the egg for glazing at the end.

Start preheating your oven to 180°C/355°F.

Butter a 9 inch expandable cake pan, or something of roughly equivalent size {ideally with a removable bottom}. Take around ⅝ of the dough from the fridge and press it out to cover the bottom of the tin and about an inch up the sides. Pour the filling in and pat it down with a fork until it is roughly level.

It’s at this point that Dad would let me eat whatever filling mixture was left over that wouldn’t fit in the cake. {I’m pretty sure he adds an extra apple to ensure overflow.} Don’t try this at home, kids! Remember, we’re not at home to Mr. Salmonella. {Though the risk is not high, it’s pretty unpleasant if you win the lottery.}

Roll or press out the remaining dough into a layer of about the same thickness as the sides/bottom of the cake. Cut it into strips about 1½ cm wide and lay them on top of the cake in a latticework arrangement. It’s fine to join together shorter strips, and at some point you’ll probably have to recombine the remnants and roll them out again—just beware, once it warms up the dough becomes very difficult to work with. Bonus: you get to eat any leftovers.

Sprinkle the top of the cake lightly with a little more cinnamon, then brush the remaining egg over the top with a pastry brush.

Bake at 180°C {355°F} for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve warm {outstanding} or cold {still very good} with freshly-whipped cream.

Dutch Apple Cake from Kiwi and Peach

No-Bake Date Ball Cookies

Every Christmas since I can remember my mom has made two special treats. One, so simple and straight forward that it hardly needs a recipe, is her white chocolate covered pretzels with peanuts. Those we would make multiple batches of, wrap them up, and give as gifts. The other special treat we kept for ourselves.

Each year as we were preparing to bake, my mom would get her recipe box down from above the fridge and extract the stained index card that held the recipe. Neither of us know where it came from, but we are thankful for it none-the-less. She would make the candy bit, I would mix in the krispies, she would roll the piping hot mixture into balls, and I would roll them in powdered sugar.

No-Bake Date Ball Cookies from Kiwi and Peach

Is it healthy? Certainly not, but it’s Christmas and it’s tradition.

No-Bake Date Ball Cookies from Kiwi and Peach

What’s your favorite Christmas tradition? 

Besides the baking, my other favorite tradition is having breakfast for dinner on Christmas Eve. This year the Kiwi is making his famous buttermilk biscuits, I’m making my goat cheese grits, and we’re having scramblers with bacon and the left over goat cheese. It is going to be so good!

No-Bake Date Ball Cookies from Kiwi and Peach

No-Bake Date Ball Cookies

{makes about 35-40 balls}

The Candy
1/2 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
8 ounces of dates, pitted and chopped
1 tsp vanilla
a pinch of salt

The Krispy
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup coconut, shredded
2 cups of rice krispies cereal

about 1/4 cup powdered sugar for rolling

In a medium sized pot on low heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, and dates. Stir it around to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar. Let it simmer until it begins to be frothy and bubbly. Stir in the vanilla and salt then take the pot off the heat.

{The original recipe says to simmer for 5 minutes, but you don’t want to burn it. If its really frothy and bubbling before 5 minutes go ahead and take it off the heat or your end product will be rock hard.}

Mix in the pecans, coconut, and rice krispies and let it cool for about 5 minutes or until you can stand to touch it.

Pour your powdered sugar into a bowl you can roll the cookies around in.

Once it doesn’t feel like you’re holding a handful of hot coal, roll bits of the mixture into 1 inch balls and drop them into the bowl of powdered sugar. Roll them around a bit until they are lightly covered then, being sure to knock off the extra sugar, transfer them to your Christmas cookie tin and you’re finished!

Merry Christmas y’all!

A Gift Guide For the Home Cook from Kiwi and Peach

Oh. holidays.

Despite life being seriously bonkers right now, I wanted to stop by for a little chat. What’s new with you?

We have a house! It was touch an go there for a bit {a month}, but after an impromptu trip to Asheville, losing the most perfect house, and then finding our wonderful bungalow right in West Asheville, we officially have somewhere to call home. I am completely aware that this is a food blog not a design blog, but you’ll just have to indulge a few of the home posts that are going to be coming up next month. {Or not, but I’ll be posting them regardless.}

We are staying with my folks through Christmas—making up for lost family time the past two years. We are spending the weekend working on projects for the new house, wrapping gifts, and making lots of Christmas goodies. I’ll pop back in before Christmas to share one or two of those with y’all, but until then you can be dreaming of date ball cookies and delicious, buttery dutch apple cake.

Christmas is drawing closer and wish lists for the folks on my shopping list are seemingly nonexistent. What does one buy for the cousin you haven’t seen in two plus years that has no obvious hobbies and an aversion to alcohol? {Seriously, what?}

While I might not be able to solve my own gift dilemmas, I certainly can help you out with yours. I spend a ridiculous amount of time daydreaming about kitchen gadgets, pots and pans, etc. There are some beautiful, practical, and lovely things out there that might just be the perfect gift for the cook in your life. Most folks already have their basics, but I assure you everyone also has their ‘nice to have’ list. You know, the pretty stuff that they might not buy in their own, but you would be champion of the day if you got it for them. It’s all under $30 and any of it would be a sure fire hit in the Kiwi+Peach household. Here does.

A Gift Guide For the Home Cook in you Life from Kiwi and Peach

A Gift Guide For the Home Cook in you Life from Kiwi and Peach

1. Tupelo Honey Cafe{$29}
Love Southern food with a twist? Love farm-to-table? Love beautiful photography? If you only buy one cookbook, get this one. It’s hands-down my favorite cookbook of all time. Full of practical recipes that you can and will actually make at home, it’s a staple in our house.

2. Squirrel nut cracker from Target {$14}
Seriously, just look at it. It doesn’t get much cuter than that, right? While it might not be the most practical of nutcrackers, it will certainly look cute on their counter.

3. Copper measuring spoons from West Elm Market {still available in stores, $16}
These would make me smile every time I used them. Classy and a little fancy with some precious typography, they would be the perfect thing for all this Christmas baking!

4. Stoneware egg crate and fruit basket from Anthropologie {$12, $20}
The perfect things to store your farmers’ market finds in.

5. Goat tote from West Elm {$18}
This bag cracked me up. Perfect for toting groceries and your farmers’ market haul.

6. Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman {$14}
This beautifully illustrated paperback is full of informative diagrams of anything you ever wanted to know about farms and farm animals. It’s certainly on my list.

{This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. That means that if you head over to Amazon from the link and choose to buy the book, a tiny bit of the money you spent on the book will come back to me for the referral.} 

Orange Honey Glühwein

As November becomes December, a wonderful thing starts to happen in Munich. Little stalls adorned with branches of pine and probably a few deer antlers start to pop up in squares, fields, and courtyards all over the city and really, the country. Selling everything from Christmas kitsch to handmade treasures, lebkuchen, and stollen, these stalls always seem to be buzzing with people enjoying the season and getting a bit of Christmas shopping done.

After wandering about in the freezing cold for a bit, folks naturally make their way to the most important stand at the market—the ever-present Glühwein stall. Nothing warms your hands, tummy, and heart like a nice long chat with friends over a piping cup of this hot mulled wine which, as Casey says, is the nectar of the gods. Though there are some variations like Nürnburg’s famous blueberry version or the white wine version, the standard is the red with a slight orange taste thanks to the fresh squeezed OJ and mulled peel.

Moving to Germany made me a much better Southern cook, so it stands to reason that the move back to the States will motivate me to learn the German treats we are going to miss so dearly. When brainstorming ideas for our family Christmas party, the thought of sharing this tasty part of German culture with my family gave me the kick in the tush I needed to make it. It’s not even hard, y’all.

Orange Honey Glühwein from Kiwi and Peach

Orange Honey Glühwein

serves 8

juice from 3 oranges {1 1/2 cups}
1 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
20 cloves
1 bottle {750 mL} of a slightly dry red wine, room temperature

Let’s get started by juicing your oranges. Wash them thoroughly. Roll the oranges on the counter to start breaking the membranes inside there. Then cut them in half and squeeze all of the juice into a bowl.

Heat a pot on medium heat. Pour the orange juice through a sieve into the pot and add the honey. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to low.

While that’s coming to a boil, go back to your orange peels. Take two of the halves and scrape the insides out. Stick the cloves through the peel. {This just makes it easier to fish them out later.}

Add the clove studded orange peel and cinnamon sticks to the pot and let it simmer on low for 30-40 minutes. {Some folks add star anise too, but I cannot abide that licorice flavor so clearly, I don’t. Up to you, just throwing it out there.}

Once it’s looking like a syrup, add your wine. Keep it on low and simmer until its steaming. You don’t want to boil it because then you’ll start losing alcohol content, and obviously, we want the alcohol content. Remove the the orange peel and the cinnamon sticks. Once it’s steaming, serve it up as is or, depending on the occasion, add a shot of rum.

Orange Honey Glühwein from Kiwi and Peach
Orange Honey Glühwein from Kiwi and Peach

Meet Dooley + Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza

We have a little addition to the Kiwi+Peach family. Meet Dooley.

She is five years old and likes long runs, chasing tennis balls, staring at you while you eat, cuddling and popcorn.

Kiwi and Peach | Meet Dooley

While she certainly isn’t a new addition, she hasn’t been living with us for about two years. For lots of logistical reasons, Dooley living in Germany was not going to work out. My sweet, sweet parents volunteered to look after her while we were away, but now that we are back, she will obviously be coming with us to Asheville.

I mean, I’ll try not to turn into a crazy dog lady, but seriously, look at that face. No promises.

Kiwi and Peach | Meet Dooley

So, so lucky to get to be her human. It’s safe to say she’s going to be a regular around here.

You know what else is going to be a regular around here, this pizza. {see what I did there}

A couple weeks ago I was trying to use up the last of food and clean out the pantry when inspiration hit in the form of pizza. As soon as it starts getting the least bit cold, I put sweet potatoes on just about everything. Why not pizza?

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza from Kiwi and Peach

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza + Roasted Red Pepper, Hazelnut, and Fig Pesto

The Potatoes
1 sweet potato
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper

The Basics
1 batch of whole wheat pizza dough
1 batch of pesto {recipe below}

The Toppings
1 cup of spinach, packed
5 oz goat cheese
drizzle of maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

Wash your potato and dry it well. Slice it into rounds about the width of you pinky finger, about a 1/4 of an inch think. Lay them flat on a baking sheet, brush both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and a bit of pepper. Pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. When they are finished transfer them to a bowl and set them to the side.

Once you put the potatoes in, proof the yeast for your pizza dough and set it to the side. When the proof is done, go ahead and finish the dough. By the time you’re finished mixing that up the potatoes will be finished. Take them out of the oven and turn the heat off. Leave the door of the oven open so the oven can cool down a bit.

Put the pizza dough in a well greased skillet and pop it in the oven to rise for about 15 minutes.

While the dough is rising, whip up that pesto.


Roasted Red Pepper Pesto with Hazelnut and Figs from Kiwi and Peach

Roasted Red Pepper, Hazelnut, and Fig Pesto

makes about 1 cup

1/2 of a roasted red pepper
2 tsp tomato paste
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 clove of garlic
3 dried figs, stems cut and quartered
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil

In a food processor, combine all of your pesto ingredients except the olive oil. Give it a whirl and then start slowly adding the olive oil as the machine is running. When you get it to a consistency you like, you’re done!

{Quick note about the pesto. The freshness of the hazelnuts you use have a huge effect on the taste. Some hazelnuts, usually ones meant for baking tend to taste slightly stale when eaten fresh. Once baked, that stale aftertaste disappears and it is delicious, so using not-so-fresh hazelnuts is okay for the pizza since you’ll be baking it. However, if you wanted to use this same pesto on say a crostini, or as a pasta sauce, you’re going to want to use fresher hazelnuts to avoid that unpleasant, stale aftertaste.}


When the dough is finished rising, transfer it to the baking sheet. Crank the oven back up to 400°F/200°C.

Roll the dough out to the size you’d like your pizza. Leaving space around the edge for a crust, slather the dough with an even layer of pesto then layer up the spinach, sweet potatoes, and finally the goat cheese. Drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the whole thing and pop it back in the oven for 20 minutes to bake the crust and melt that delicious, delicious cheese. Enjoy y’all!

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza from Kiwi and Peach

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza from Kiwi and Peach