Tag Archives: German

Gluten-Free & Egg-Free Potato Pancake (aka- Kartoffelpuffer, Latke, Hash Brown Cakes, etc.) Vegan Recipe with Baked & Fried Versions for Oktoberfest


Willkommen to a wunderbar meal of potato pancakes made without gluten or eggs! This allergy-friendly recipe is based on the fried kartoffelpuffers I grew up eating at Wurstfest in a small German town in the Texas Hill Country. Known the world over by many different names, these hash brown cakes can also be baked as a healthy and easy make-ahead dish. Serve up these tasty latkes with a variety of sweet and salty toppings for a hearty brunch buffet. Be warned… always make way more than you’ll think you need, and never expect any leftovers!


  • 6 medium or 5 large potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (I used Namaste brand this time)
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt (adjust according to sodium needs)
  • 4 servings Ener-G brand egg substitute (= 8 tablespoons warm water + 6 teaspoons powder… or just use 3 chicken eggs)
  • grapeseed oil for fried version… or olive oil for baked version
  • Optional: sweet or salty toppings like apple sauce, sour cream, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, mixed berries, cheese, fruit syrup, goulash, sugar & cinnamon, etc…



Wash and peel the potatoes and onion.


Grate the potatoes and onion. (I’ve previously made these the hard way with an old-school grater and the easy way with an electric food processor. On this occasion, I went the eco-conscious direction with a vintage hand-crank shredder contraption that has actually been passed down 3 generations… and it still works beautifully!)


Soak the grated goodies in a bowl of cold water. (This reduces the starch content and adds crispness to the finished product.)


Mix 6 teaspoons egg substitute powder well with 8 tablespoons of warm water, until it becomes opaque white (or just crack and whip 3 eggs).


Mix this with the salt and flour. (I add salt to the batter, but if you have a family with vastly differing sodium requirements, just omit it in this step and salt them individually after cooking.)


Drain the potatoes (squeezing / pressing all the water out of it), and then add in the “egg” and flour blend. Mix this up really well.


Tastier Fried Version: Heat the oil and drop spoonfuls of batter into it. (Grapeseed oil is best for frying because of its high smoke point and neutral flavor.) Spread them flat with the back of a spoon. Flip them over when the edges have browned well. Drain them on clean cloth or paper towels before serving.


Healthier Baked Version: Fill oiled muffin cups ¾ full, and then brush or spray olive oil onto the top. (Olive oil is great for baking and will some impart flavor which isn’t infused the same way as with frying.) Convection bake them in a 350ᵒ oven for 35 minutes, and then broil them for 10 more minutes to brown and crisp the tops.


As a make-ahead breakfast test… I filled a 6 muffin cup pan with batter, covered it with clear wrap, and refrigerated it. (The rest of the batter was fried up on the stove.) The next day, I baked the batter filled tin in a toaster oven. It made perfect little hash brown cakes for breakfast without any morning effort.


Though the fried version is admittedly tastier, I’m thinking that baking a whole oven full would a be much easier way to prepare them for a brunch crowd.


These kartoffelpuffers were served with all beef knackwurst sausages made in Texas, Bavarian style sauerkraut, and homemade applesauce… and pretty parsley garnish.




Faithfully Yours,


Bavarian Oktoberfest Party Décor Ideas for a Fall Tablescape


Willkommen to an Oktoberfest party where the tablescape décor will transport you to a fanciful Bavarian hunting lodge straight out of Grimm’s fairy tales. So don your dirndls or lederhosen, fill your bier steins, and raise prost to a chorus of “Ein Prosit” for a wunderbar family folk fest!


Dark brown tablecloths reminiscent of solid Alpine earth ground the tablescape. Nail-head trimmed pewter chargers topped with true blue dishes echo the pewter hinged lids and stoneware glazing of the steinkrugs. A feather motif dances around the edges of ivory salad plates.


Feathers encircle “leather” rings containing lederhosen protecting cloth. (Find the napkin ring craft tutorial here.)


Carved wooden acorns tied with feathers and nametags direct polka dancers to their seats. (Find the place-card craft tutorial here.)


Tiny acorns scatter across the table acting as yesteryear confetti.


An Alpine “horned” tray befits the base of a centerpiece glowing with candles, scattered feathers, and a large vintage steinkrug of gathered fall branches and long feathers. (Find the centerpiece tutorial here.)


Green foliaged trees and a one-of-a-kind European armoire, refit with a placid oil painting, set the background scenery.


A vintage wooden sign carved with a German message of welcome stands in greeting. A carven hare guards an antique pewter pitcher festooned with colorful plumes. A tiny bierkrug sits feather-filled alongside it.


A toast is proposed… may our hearts forever be filled with merriment just as the kartoffelpuffers, knackwurst, sauerkraut, and apfel sauce fill our bellies this very evening! Gemütlichkeit!

Faithfully Yours,



P.S. Wondering how to prepare such a hearty meal for your own wunderbar gathering? Try my Gluten-Free & Egg-Free Potato Pancake (aka- Kartoffelpuffer, Latke, hash brown cups, etc.) Recipe with Baked & Fried Versions for Oktoberfest!

Feather & Vegan Leather Napkin Ring Craft Tutorial + Easy DIY Centerpiece & Fall Place-card Holders for Oktoberfest

070LeighMaking your own feather and vegan leather napkin rings is an inexpensive way to bring an element of elegance to any gathering, but especially an Oktoberfest celebration of German heritage. Use a stein as a vase for feathers and fall foliage along with feathered wooden acorns to transport your guests to a fanciful fairytale version of a Bavarian hunting lodge. Then reuse the rings and acorns with a different centerpiece for Thanksgiving!


Start with finding a remnant of realistic appearing vegan leather and feather ribbon trim (these are available from Le fidèLe Design’s fabric affiliates whose links appear in the sidebar). Use a pen to mark the underside of the fabric into 6 inch long strips that are about 2¾ inches wide (vary according to the width of your feather ribbon). Cut them carefully to make a smooth self-sealing edge.


Cut the feather ribbon into 6 inch strips as well. (If you’re feeling super-crafty… you make this from scratch by gluing individual feathers onto a strip of ribbon, overlapping them as you go.)


Use fabric hot glue to adhere one end of the vegan leather to the other end, forming a ring.


Lastly, glue a feather ribbon strip around the middle section of the ring you just made. (How easy was that?!)


This would’ve cost so much more if purchased from a department store or boutique!


Next, make place-card holders using simple decorative acorns. (I found these carved wooden types in a 6 pack at 40% off this summer.) I’ve seen various types from burlap and fabric to glittered and beaded… just pick those which suit your linens and dishware best.


Use a punch cutter to make small gift tags from a parchment-like cardstock, and punch a hole in them (or just buy readymade tags). Use a brown calligraphy pen to scroll on the names of your guests.


Use a few inches of jute cord (I get mine super-cheap at the hardware store) to tie the name tag and a small handful of feathers onto the stem of the acorn. (Think about adding brighter feathers to the typical fall colors… so that your ensemble doesn’t resemble mulch. I included some teal feathers to tie in with my other décor.)


Set them into place, and you’re done! The best part is that they can be reused with a different theme because the feather decoration and tag slip right off… however, feel free to glue them into place for a permanent set.


Make a centerpiece by simply using a steinkrug in place of a vase. (I used my grandfather’s, but a new one would look great too!) Fill it with a few boughs of natural or faux fall foliage and some gathered branches. Tuck in long feathers from the local craft store.


I set this onto a faux horned tray and placed shorter candles around it. (I got the tray 90% off because it had some broken tips which were easily camouflaged with paint.) Any decorative tray can visually contain the elements into a cohesive appearing centerpiece.


I then distributed feathers around the outer edge of the tray to coordinate with the others. (Look in the children’s craft section of your local craft store to find a larger quantity of bagged feathers much cheaper than those in other aisles.)


Time to go download some “oom-pah” music… so kidding! (Click here to see more Bavarian Oktoberfest Party Décor Ideas for a Fall Tablescape)

Faithfully Yours,