Category Archives: Ethnic Cuisine

Marillenknödel – Austrian Apricot Dumplings

I am an avid collector/cook of ethnic recipes so I was very happy to stumble across Goodcookbecky’s blog, featuring a great variety of ethnic recipes and, in particular, a collection of German recipes…. Yum!

The particular recipe that caught my eye are these delicious Austrian/Apricot Dumplings aka Marillenknodel (German for Apricot Dumplings) which are nothing more than glorious, fresh apricots lovingly wrapped with a cream cheese dough, cooked in simmering water, and then rolled in toasted breadcrumbs and coconut! With a summer bounty of fruit this makes a delicious recipe to add to your repertoire and one which could easily be made with other fruit , such as plums, apples, etc.

I am a true lover of fruit-based desserts and I know this is one that I will frequently be making! Thanks Goodcookbecky for a great recipe!

Goodcookbecky's Blog

My folks are in town for a few weeks.  We wanted to make some German/Austrian food while they were visiting.  Today we made Marillenknödel (German for Apricot Dumplings) for lunch.  They are apricots wrapped in a cheese dough, then cooked in simmering water for 15 minutes.  Then you roll the dumplings in toasted breadcrumbs and coconut flakes.  Sprinkle each crumb coated dumpling with a little sugar and extra breading on the side and enjoy.  It was nice to work with my mother to make these. One word of caution though, if the fruit is very juicy you need to take care or it could squirt hot fruit juice.  You could easily swap out the fruit with plums (but they would be called “Zwetschkenknödel”in German).

The dough our family used most was called Topfenteig (the closest ingredient to that is cream cheese, though not the perfect substitute it works!) Other doughs…

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Moroccan Sweet and Tangy Chicken Thighs With Rice and Dried Fruit Stuffing 

Sister Who Dish always seems to post a new recipe that just makes my mouth water! Here is a chicken recipe with Moroccan Sweet and Tangy Sauce with Rice and Dried Fruit Stuffing that I cannot wait to try. I just know it will make it to the top of my “gotta make it all the time” list! I have always loved the combination of rice and dried fruit with poultry so I just know I’m going to really love this recipe.

Thanks for sharing the chicken love, Sisters Who Dish!

sisters who dish

This is my all time favorite chicken recipe that has it all. It’s like a whole meal tucked into a juicy chicken thigh. 
The filling is mixed with Cinnamon, dried fruits, and pine nuts. The chicken is brushed with a sweet and tangy sauce with herbs, honey, and lemon. The whole dish is baked in the oven, low and slow, until juicy, sweet, savory, tangy, and tender perfection. 


Now, stop drooling on your keyboard and check out the recipe below!!! 

Moroccan Sweet and Tangy Chicken Thighs With Rice and Dried Fruit Stuffing 


-4 lbs of chicken leg quarters, with skin on (8 chicken leg quarters)  IMG_0024

For stuffing:

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-2 and 3/4 cups cooked basmati rice (cook about 1.5 cups of rice)

-4 dry figs, diced

-4 medjool dates, diced

-1/3 cup raisins

-3 prunes, diced

-1/4 cup pine nuts

-1 teaspoon cinnamon

Note: Feel free…

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Southwestern Black Bean and Pineapple Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

What to do with a can of blacks beans and some fresh pineapple?  Why, make a southwestern inspired meal beginning with a delicious black bean and pineapple salad!

This salad complements beautifully with the rest of my southwestern inspired meal which consists of my previously posted southwestern dry-rubbed grilled pork chops (nice and thick and juicy, of course) and mashed turnips with green chiles and goat cheese.  Absolutely delicious, and a meal I repeat often!

Southwestern Black Bean and Fresh Pineapple Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
Southwestern Black Bean and Fresh Pineapple Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

Ingredients for the Black Bean & Fresh Pineapple Salad:

  • 1 15-oz can black beans (frijoles negros), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 C pineapple, fresh, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded, cored, and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 C red onion, diced (soaked in cold water, rinsed and dried – see *note below)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and diced
  • 2 tbs fresh (or 1 tsp dried) cilantro
Ingredients for the Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette:
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp cumin, dried
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, grated
  • 6 tbs canola oil

To Prepare the Southwestern Black Bean & Fresh Pineapple Salad
In a medium bowl mix together the black beans, pineapple, tomato, red onion, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro.  Set aside while preparing the cumin-lime vinaigrette.

*Note:  When I use raw red onion I prefer to soak the onion in cold water for a few minutes (changing the water a couple of times) and then blotting them dry with a paper towel or a clean dish cloth.  I find that this helps mute their strong taste which can sometimes overpower other ingredients in the dish.

To Prepare the Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette
In a small bowl mix together the lime juice, honey, dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, cumin, and black pepper until well blended. Slowly drizzle in the canola oil…whisking briskly until thoroughly combined. Add the vinaigrette to the prepared black bean and fresh pineapple salad, stirring gently until combined. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the flavors to blend and the salad to chill.

Nutrional Information:
Total Servings – 8 (approximately 1/2 cup per serving).
Per Serving – 110 calories, 20 g carbohydrates, 15 g fat (only 1 g saturated), and 5 g protein.

This salad is very nutritious – low in calories, carbohydrates, and saturated fat, while being high in protein and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.  Definitely a heart-healthy choice!

I hope you enjoy this southwestern inspired salad as much as I do… and do have the southwestern dry-rubbed pork chops to go with it.  Until next time my friends, be blessed in all you do and may the Gods of Good Food and Cooking smile down upon you!

Wrap It Up – Asian Honey Salmon Baked in Foil

I have to confess,  I am a fish-o-holic!  I love it and I could (and often do) eat it every day.  I know not everyone shares my passion for fish, but for those of you that do, I have a delicious recipe to share with you today. And for those of you that think you don’t like fish, I urge you to give this a try – you may be surprised and find yourself in a never-ending love affair.

It is quick and easy – great for busy weeknights when you want to put a delicious and healthy meal on the table.  The star of this show is my Asian honey marinade and I use if for more than just my fish. Not only is it great on fish, it is also a great marinade for roasted veggies and even as a dressing for salad!  It is truly one of my great work horses and I use it often.  I always have a batch ready to go at all times.

The recipe I am sharing with you today features salmon glazed with my delicious marinade.  For this particular recipe, I have chosen to wrap the salmon in foil before baking since the end result is a tender, flaky and juicy piece of fish… steamed to perfection in its marinade bath.  None of that dried out, tough-as-shoe-leather piece of fish here!  And as I said before, it is quick and easy and ever so delicious.

Asian Marinated Salmon
Asian Honey Marinated Salmon


So let’s get started!

For The Marinade:

1/4 c honey
2 tbs rice vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce (optional, but very tasty)
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 green onion, thinly sliced – green and white parts
4 – 6 oz. salmon fillets or your favorite firm-fleshed fish

In a small bowl combine all ingredients through to the salmon and whisk vigorously until blended.  (To make things even easier – grab a small empty glass jar, add all the ingredients, and shake, shake, shake – you now have it all set and ready to go – just pop in the fridge and bring it out when you are ready to use it).

Transfer the marinade and the salmon to a bowl or zip-lock bag and allow the fish to marinade for 30 minutes, turning the fish one or twice.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 deg. and create four (4) individual foil “boats” to place the salmon in, making sure to have large enough pieces of foil to completely cover the salmon (and the roast veggies if you are also preparing them).  Place each of these packets onto a large,  heavy-duty cookie sheet and remove each piece of salmon from the marinade and place onto the foil.  Drizzle each piece equally with the remaining marinade.  Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until fish is tender and flakes easily with a fork.  Serve with roasted veggies and rice or couscous for a delicious meal.

Asian Glazed Salmon with Roasted Carrots
Asian Honey Salmon with Roasted Carrots

As you can see in the photograph above, I also roasted some carrots to go along with the salmon.  And, yes, I used the same marinade for the veggies as I did for the salmon.  I told you this marinade is versatile!

If you wish to also roast some veggies, simply double the marinade and choose your favorite veggies – carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, broccoli, and squash are all great choices.    Simply rub your choice of veggies with the marinade and place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in a 425 deg . oven approximately 25 minutes – until just tender and browned, stirring and flipping the veggies once during the roasting.  Remove from the baking sheet and place into the foil packets along with the salmon.  Enclose the packets and bake as directed above for the salmon.

This is truly one of my favorite meals and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  And if you aren’t that crazy for the taste of salmon, you can easily substitute your favorite firm-fleshed fish.


Spicy Goat Cheese Polenta (with Roasted Beets and Sauteed Mushrooms)

I love, love, love Polenta!  Such an uncomplicated little gem, with its simplest form being nothing more than cornmeal that is cooked in water or broth until it thickens and the grains of the ground corn become tender. Italian in origin, with corn having made its way from the America’s to Italy in the late 16th century, polenta quickly became an important staple for Northern Italian peasants who often relied on it as a daily meal for the long winter months. Today we find a variety of polenta types: coarse-ground, finely ground, instant, white, and pre-cooked tubes found in the refrigerator section of larger stores. Once cooked, it can immediately be served soft with a silken, porridge-like consistency or, if left for a few hours to set up a bit, sliced and grilled, baked,or fried.

Its versatility is truly endless.  It can be used as a base for so many things; topped with roasted/grilled veggies, enrobed with a slow-simmered chunky tomato sauce, as an accompaniment for soups and stews, and even as an alternative to lasagna noodles and sandwich bread, but often the greatest pleasure of all is simply enjoying it with a rich slathering of butter and a liberal sprinkling of cheese such as this delicious polenta recipe shared by Jacob’s Kitchen (pictured above)!

The recipe I am personally sharing with you today is one that I have adapted from Alton Brown’s Savory Polenta recipe.  His recipe is my go-to recipe when making polenta since it is baked in the oven.  This is a rather non-traditional method since it is usually made on top of the cook stove and requires more vigilant attendance. Indeed, I was a very happy girl when I stumbled across his recipe one day and gave it a go.  The end result was all that I had hoped it would be and allows me to make a relatively quick and delicious dinner on even the busiest of days. It can also easily be given a different flavor profile by swapping out ingredients, such as using beef or vegetable broth (or water) instead of chicken, adding your favorite herbs and cheeses, etc. The list is endless!  For this version, I am using chicken broth along with chipotle pepper and goat cheese. The creaminess and slight tang of the goat cheese, along with the smoke and heat of the chipotle pepper, really provide a delicious way to transform ordinary cornmeal into something elevated and truly tasty.

Please forgive the horrible pic!  One of these days I am hoping to have the camera of my dreams to capture truly beautiful photos of my food to share with all of my foodie friends.  Until that time, please bear with me and believe when I say that even though the photos may be lacking, the recipes truly aren’t! 🙂

Spicy Polenta with Roasted Beets and Mushrooms
Spicy Polenta with Roasted Beets and Mushrooms

If you have never before tried polenta, please give it a go.  You will not be disappointed, as it offers a great change-up from pasta, potatoes, and rice. Buon Appetito!

Spicy Goat Cheese Polenta (with Roasted Beets & Sauteed Mushrooms)


1-1/2 T olive oil
1/2 C red onion, finely diced
2 serrano chiles, finely diced (jalapenos may be substituted)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 C chicken broth (for a vegetarian version substitute vegetable broth)
3/4 C stone-ground Polenta (do not use quick-cooking for this recipe)
2 T butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chipotle chili pepper (cayenne pepper may be substituted)
3 oz. crumbly goat cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.
  2. In a large oven-safe saucepan heat the olive oil on medium heat.  Add the red onion and saute until they begin to turn translucent.  Turn the heat to low and add the serrano chiles and garlic, saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat to high and add the chicken stock, bringing it to a boil.  While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the coarse cornmeal, stirring until the cornmeal is incorporated and beginning to thicken slightly.  Cover the pan and place in the heated oven.  Allow to bake for 30 to 40 minutes until mixture is creamy, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps from forming.
  4. Remove from the oven and stir in the butter, salt, black pepper, chipotle chili pepper, and the goat cheese.  Serve as is or spread into an 11 x 7 baking pan and refrigerate until firm.  Once chilled, cut into desired shapes, brush with olive oil and either saute until browned or place on a grill.

This tastes especially well the next day when the flavors and spices have had a chance to mingle. One of the ways in which I enjoy this is with roasted beets and sauteed mushrooms drizzled with my go-to vinaigrette (pictured above)… a great vegetarian recipe which I will be sharing with you in an upcoming post.

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Cake and Cheesecake – Day 5

Welcome to Day 5 of Christmas Holiday Cake and Cheesecake.  For those of you who read my Day 4 post I left hints at what I would be sharing today with the words “Daring Baker”, “French” and “Chocolate”.  For those of you who guessed Buche De Noel you were right! 🙂

For those of you who would like to know the history behind the Buche De Noel visit fellow wordpress blog Why’d You Eat That. Come to find out the Buche De Noel actually can be traced back to ancient Celtic history when the cake become a replacement for the burning of logs.  Hey, I didn’t know that!

Buche De Noel
Buche De Noel via Saveur

The cake recipe I have chosen to feature is posted on Saveur and it is a very good representation of a more traditional Buche De Noel. This delicious and beautiful cake features a chocolate roulade (French for roll), chocolate filling, and meringue mushrooms.   Instructions are included for all of the components of this rich confection.

For those of you who may like to try a different filling here is one for Chestnut Cream (yum!) at

And here’s a delicious Cherry Cream Filling (another yum!) at

And last, but by far from the least, here are recipes for many, many different fillings and frostings at  (oh my, decisions, decisions…. coffee cream, french cream, strawberry, lemon, orange, coconut…)

So now, head to the market and off to the kitchen you go! And, let’s bake…this….cake!!! I’m not gonna lie, this cake is not for the feint of heart, but I can tell you that if you carefully follow the instructions you too can do this! You can, you can, you can…yes, you can! So go bake…this…cake and share your creation with all of us here at Dibbles and Dabs!

Once again, thanks for stopping by – it’s been fun!  I wish I could offer you up some hints for tomorrow’s cake date, but alas, I myself have yet to figure out the featured cake…decisions, decisions, decisions…so many to choose from!  I can promise you though that it will be AWESOME! So til’ then have a wonderful Christmas season filled with lots of love, gratitude, and of course….great food!

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Cake and Cheesecake – Day 3

So for day 3 of my Christmas Holiday Cakes and Cheesecakes I am offering two cakes with fruity, boozy goodness (optional for one of the recipes)…and if you guessed fruit cakes, yep, you are right!

Wait, come back, don’t run away!

I realize that fruit cakes are one of those things that you either really, really love or really, really hate! And, for all you fruit cake haters there seem to be a million jokes to champion and further support your dislike of this poor little beleaguered cake. So, heck, to join in the holiday spirit of things, even though I happen to love fruit cake, I couldn’t resist getting in on the action by sharing with y’all this cute little video below…

Grandma’s Killer Fruitcake – A Holiday Song  for All You Fruit Cake Despisers (and those of us fruit cake lovers with a sense of humor)!

Grandma's Killer Fruitcake Music Video
Grandma’s Killer Fruit Cake YouTube Music Video

I hope you enjoyed the song! 🙂 So now back to the business of  fruit cakes…

Since there seems to be no middle ground for the love of fruit cake, I decided that perhaps for the first cake I could offer a popular Jamaican version called Black Cake .   While Jamaican Black Cake also contains the dreaded citron and other dried fruits that seem to be the root cause of why people despise fruit cake the fruit for this cake is processed into mushy goodness through the use of a food processor, so what remains are smaller bits of the dried candy rather than usual big chunks as is the case for regular fruitcakes.

Luckily, I happen to have been blessed with the gift of receiving one of these delicious cakes from a Jamaican friend returning from Christmas holiday a few years ago. Her mom had lovingly made several of them for her to bring back to the states to share with her friends. What a blessing those cakes were! A true gustatory experience… one which I still lovingly dream of to this day… (sigh, licking my lips, relieving that delicious first bite of her mom’s cake which quickly led to another bite, and another, and…) Oops, sorry! I’m back from dreamland!

So anyway, since I don’t have her mom’s secret recipe, I have found a version which is very similar and uses the same ingredients. I’ll warn you now, though… there are a lot of ingredients and, yes, a lot of booze too (two kinds to be exact)!  But the end result of this cake is truly worth the time and effort, I promise you!

For those of you who watch the cooking channel’s “My Grandmother’s Ravioli” with Mo Rocca (he is such a nut!) you may have seen this popular episode – everyone loved Venetta Lurine Williams as she served up this delicious Jamaican Black Cake recipe in the Island Eats episode.  Since the video does not contain the complete recipe, I am also including a link to the actual recipe which contains the list of ingredients and step-by-step  instructions:

Grandma Venetta’s Jamaican Black Cake Recipe Video with Mo Rocc from Cooking Channel TV’s “Not My Grandmother’s Ravioli – Island Eats”

Mo Rocca and Grandma Venetta - Jamaican Black Cake Video
Mo Rocca and Grandma Venetta cooking up a delicious Jamaican Black Cake in “Not My Grandmother’s Ravioli – Island Eats”

Visit this link for the full recipe and instructions for this delicious Black Cake!

Grandma Venetta's Jamacain Black Cake Recipe
Grandma Venetta’s Jamaican Black Cake Recipe

Finally, my 2nd and final fruitcake choice is a light fruitcake that has received great reviews and is the perfect recipe for those of us who LOVE fruitcake.  The addition of alcohol in this cake is entirely optional (but oh, so good!).

Golden Fruit Cake
Tools For Kitchens – Golden Fruit Cake

This golden fruit cake recipe featured on Tools For Kitchens is noted as being moist and delicious – just the way a fruitcake should be.  Plan on making this cake two weeks ahead of time (you might want to get started now 😉 ) if you wish to soak the cake in brandy or cognac (oh, please do!).

Okay, I know I’ve certainly given you lots to think about in this post.  I do hope you will give one of these delicious fruit cake recipes a try – I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

And before you go, please tell me… are you a fruit cake lover or a fruit cake hater –  ‘cuz their seems to be no in-between! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit me again tomorrow for Day 4 of my Christmas Holiday Cake and Cheesecake recipe roundup.  For a hint on tomorrow’s recipe, think “easy and fun to make with the kids”!  Take care ’til then, y’all!