Brrrr (French Fridays with Dorie: Herb-Speckled Spaetzle)

I thought that the 8 degrees the thermometer was registering Wednesday morning while I was putting gas in my car was cold. Really bad day to wear a skirt, by the way...

Then Thursday morning came. The thermometer on the car was reading -15 at the point I dropped Culinary Kid off at the front doorstep of her high school.

That is just too cold.

The kind of cold where your breath freezes in your mouth. Where you feel like you ought to give your car a hug for being brave enough to turn over.

I think my coffee was even begging to be put back into its nice warm pot instead of into the travel mug. I am sure I heard the pleas.

On the bright side, it was 40 degrees warmer this morning. Yep, 25 was feeling downright tropical.

Winter is here, my friends. Winter is here.

It's the time of year that makes me crave things that are comforting.

I didn't know going into this that spaetzle was going to be one of those foods.

This was my first time. (Yes, I was a spaetzle virgin.)

Thyme and dill flecked "pasta dumplings" were lightly sauteed in butter.

The whole spaetzle forming process was a bit of a pain - large holed Microplane grater and a spoon. Once I figured out a plan of attack, it all came together. (We liked this enough, that I am smelling a new gadget in my future...)

Instead of saucing the spaetzle, I sauteed chicken and then mushrooms in a pan. De-glazed the pan with Calvados and then simmered chicken broth and cream with the mushrooms and gravy.

It ended up being one of the best meals I have made in a long time. Simple, absolutely delicious and a total photo-bomb. Sigh.
In other news Furby-mania continues to wrangle its hold over our house. She's pink and teal and has many personalities. You'd think she was a real pet - everyone goes out of her way to get her to sing or flash "heart eyes" or giggle. On the plus side, I don't have to worry about her leaving "presents" on the carpet or scratching up the furniture.

I guess she can stay.

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year. Looking forward to another year of cooking (unless it involves chicken livers or shredded coconut - those, not so much).

Stay warm.

Peace out.
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. The recipe for Fresh Herb Spaetzle can be found here on


  1. I can't deal with that kind of cold. I applaud you, just for surviving it. Yick.

    Glad you loved your spaetzle. We're big fans in this house. We have the gizmo. Dorie's recipe is going to have to be really good to top the one Matt makes. Unfortunately, this week got away from me. Again. Maybe I can get a handle on life by next week, and do a twofer.

  2. wow, and I thought the constant rainy 38-degree weather we've been having was bad. I told husband there were perks to living in Texas!
    As for the spaetzle, it was a pain in the butt, but at least it was a tasty pain in the butt. I'll have to try it again, maybe with a nice gadget to make it easier! Yours looks (and sounds!) absolutely delicious!

  3. It has been cold here too, Cher!! Funny how 25 degrees could feel warm! We really loved the spaetzle….for me, perfect comfort food!! Your meal sounds wonderful…glad you enjoyed it!
    I need to get one of those Furbys for my granddaughter…I’m sure she’ll love it!!

  4. I´m glad you had a good first experience with spaetzle, because they are so good. The calvados and mushrooms sound awesome, the kind of thing I eat all the time. Have a great weekend Cher!

  5. Happy New Year Cher. LOL at the Furby mania. I cannot even begin to imagine cold like that - I hate even the milder cersion of winter we get here. Glad you liked tge spaetzle - I haven't heard of it til now, and I dread the task of shaping it.

  6. I remember those 8 years we lived in Upstate NY and had to thaw so moved to the other extreme, AZ, which mentally is like a dream that I'd never want to wake up from and find that I'm really still living in a freezer. Literally. I used to keep food on the back porch that required very cold refrigeration. Just yesterday I was reminding Hubby of those years and how funny he looked with icicles growing out of his nose and from his winter beard...and bringing the battery in out of the car every night to rest on the radiator and returned every morning so we could start the car...and using my hair dryer to unfreeze door locks...all those good things that I will never, ever miss. We'll be in the mid-70s this weekend. I can't imagine being in minus something and living...I know I did it, but I don't believe it.

    Anyway, great job on the spaetzle and your meal sounds fabulous. I also liked how fast this fun food gets turned into a meal. Spaetzle will be a re-do often for us. Happy New Year!

    1. Kris - I have a spot on my back deck that I call my "outdoor refrigerator". It comes in handy for holiday entertaining! (I also keep my lunch on my window sill in my office this time of year - it keeps it colder than the refrigerator...)

  7. I'm so glad we having hit the negative numbers yet...the single digits were bad enough! Mmmm...I love your idea of transforming the spaetzle into a meal. So you're passing on the chicken liver gateaux???

  8. I thought it was cold here, single digits most of yesterday, but it's definitely colder at your house. When I walked the dog before bed last night, it was sad to think I was excited because it was warmer than it had been all day. It had warmed up to about 25. Ugh! I'm in trouble because I'm sick of winter already. I agree that spaetzle is a reasonable antidote for this weather. Your meal sounds amazing. I was a spaetzle virgin too, but I loved it. This will be my new thing to make for 2013. Maybe you'll feel the same about the chicken liver gateaux?

  9. This spaetzle was actually pretty comforting in the cold weather. Great post!

  10. We had 8 degrees this week, which is very cold for here. Brrrrrr! This was a very comforting dish - perfect winter food. Your entire meal sounds wonderful!

  11. Well yours look a lot better than my big fat old spaetzle… I could not for the life of me work the grater to make little ones. I loved this though and will make it again. With a but of cream in the sauce it was heavenly served with a steak!

  12. Cher!
    Keep reminding yourself of those dreadful summer months! The other notes here on making the outside a "fridge" are brilliant! Happy New Year! (Umm, this recipe would have NEVER appealed to me, but now that it has your blessing, I may pull down the AMFT book this afternoon.)

  13. Wow, 15 below is a bit much, I'm complaining now and we have only had temps in the 20's.
    Your spaetzle looks good and the addition of thyme and dill sounds interesting.
    Happy New Year.

  14. Cher, your Spätzle look perfect and delicious and just wonderful - it is so nice that you enjoyed this wonderful recipe!
    Do keep warm and have a great weekend!

  15. Your spaetzle looks delish. i like how you prepared it and agree it is a great comfort food. It will be fun to play with this recipe a bit more.

  16. Vancouverites don't know how to deal with cold - I'd be bundled up like the kid in A Christmas Story!

    I think the spaetzle-maker is worth it. Those who had them had a much easier time of making these. I made quite a mess pushing them through a flat grater, but they're quite tasty. I really like what you made to go with them!

  17. Wow, the grater thing was a mess from me- yours looks fabulous; I am suitably impressed & aren't you the trooper dealing with that kind of cold. Brrrrr; it never gets that chilly down here in N. Texas. But, paybacks are hell- our summers are grueling!

  18. Stay warm! I wish I could shave ten degrees off our temperatures and send them your way. I never got around making the spaetzle, but from what I gather it is totally worth the effort.

    I never got into the Furby and Tamagotchi crazes in the nineties; those were my little cousins' toys and I was a serious high schooler, ahem. Looks like I missed out! :)

  19. Oh, spaetzle - the food of my grad school days (when you're studying in the German dept, you host a lot of German-cuisine dinner parties :). I didn't look up the recipe in FFwD to see what the technique she calls for, but I always made it using my metal colander - dump in the dough and press it through with your palms or fists. Probably the same idea, just covering more area more quickly. Ach, mein Liebchen, Spaetzle....

  20. I just read an article this morning that last year was this country's hottest year. Guess that isn't rolling over into 2013. At least not in the East where Winter is biting back. You're getting some serious Cold, that's for sure. Although this spaetzle was a pain to "shove the hell through something", we all seemed to report that it was delicious. On the hunt for the perfect spaetzle maker that I don't have to pay $60-plus dollars for. Or, then again, maybe I will. As for leaving comments, we took the stuff about having to verify your very existence off my Site. Sorry you still cannot get into it. It must be that your people don't like my people. However, I like posting your stuff via e-mail!

  21. It was 43 degrees celsius here yesterday and google tells me that translates to 109 farenheit. I am jealous of your cold weather!!!
    I had no idea what spaetzle was so I buried my head and hid for this recipe.
    Sounds pretty amazing though, I'll have to try it when I'm feeling braver!

  22. What a difference a few states make, in distance that is! We've not had any day near that cold! Anyway, the spaetzle looks good and from what I've read, is a hit. I will be begging my part-German neighbor-friend to do this one up since she's made it before. Meanwhile, I will try and get the apples done this week. Yeah, that chicken liver thing....don't think I will be doing that.

  23. Egads Cher! I was just complaining about today's temp of 42 with a 20 mph northerly wind! Its uncomfortable but my breath doesn't freeze in my mouth and my coffee isn't begging to go back in the pot! Congratulations on your fabulous dinner! We really liked it too.

  24. Had to google "Calvados". This sounds delicious. We need comfort food above all else these days. Thank goodness it hasn't been really cold here yet. Barely even dipped below freezing so far. But I've been to Norway in February and know that cold that makes your nose stick together when you breathe. Bless your heart.


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