First coffee chat of this year: thoughts & favourites

Happy New Year!  Let’s begin with that.  I am so excited to begin another year here on the blog.   Also, I can’t believe it is 2018.  Maybe since I was born in a year beginning with 19– I still have a hard time wrapping my head around saying 2000’s for the past well… 17 years.  Anyways, trudging on….

Yes, I have been a bit scarce here lately.  I will be posting more regularly very soon.  There seemed to be an urgent need to re-organize the kitchen, move some furniture, clean out old receipts (from yes, 2014) and de-clutter my little office area and make it my own.  I have done that and even shabby-chic’d an old desk!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite posts from over the years for you to enjoy or re-enjoy until I get things cooking and baking again in my kitchen.

The best peanut butter cookie ever!

Delicious baked camembert &  old Leipzig Gastronomy

Delicious, light, creamy and vintage Butter Cream frosting.

 

Asparagus, Basil & Parmesan Pasta

I hope you enjoy them & see you soon!

 

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My first time…. making an omelet.

Finally getting back on track with the cooking-through challenge, I decided to try my hand at an omelet.  Not just any omelet but a french omelet aux fines herbes found on page 259 of the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.

I never attempted making an omelet before because it holds a bit of an intimidation factor for me.  I was amazed to find out it is not complicated at all!

This is how my first omelet ever turned out.

I  toasted  some Brioche on the side.

Not bad for a first try.  Now the recipe for “aux fines herbes” I was drawn to as I love anything french.  It seemed quite glamorous, even for an omelet.

I honestly did not quite care for the taste.  It was a big too “herby” for my liking, if there is such a thing.  I even admit to adding barbecue sauce to it.  (blushing)

The good thing is that I tried something new.  Won’t Happily Mr. be surprised when I whip up a ham and cheese omelet for him this weekend!

Keep or Toss?:  I will definitely keep making omelets from now on.  In fact the picture instructions for the french omelet key recipe were easy to follow.  I can’t believe I was so scared to make them before!! As for the Aux Fines Herbes part? Sadly, I must toss.  It just wasn’t to my liking.  Maybe if I added a bit of cheese to it, it would have been better. Next time!

Merken

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Cake, Challenge & June first

There is more to June 1st than I thought.  Not only do we find out what Mary over at Chaotic White Space has chosen for our next category for month two of the Cooking-Through Challenge, but today is also National Hazelnut Cake Day!  I never knew it existed but If I had, I would have baked a hazelnut cake in honor of June 1st.

Hazelnut anything is my most favorite flavor.  So if anyone has an easy hazelnut cake recipe, please feel free to share it below.

Happy Hazelnut Cake Day!!

p.s. – Hopefully next year I will actually have a photo to share with you of a hazelnut cake. 😉

 

 

A Bavarian Staple – The Pretzel

In Bavaria, you are apt to see this as a side dish to just about everything.  The Pretzel  (Bretzel, Bretzen or Brezn it’s all the same) has been around Southeastern Germany since the 1400’s and it may be surprising to learn the fat and calorie breakdown of this Bavarian staple.  These shown above,  I made here at home.  You can buy them pre-made in the freezer section of any grocery store and  pop them in the oven.

Not only is it a nice snack by itself, they are also used instead of bread for a sandwich even.  Lunchmeats or cheese are just layered on top of one.  Another common way to find them in the bakery instead of plain is sliced in half horizontally, with butter spread in the middle then replaced.  Just like a sandwich.  Instead of butter, I enjoy a bit of cream cheese in the middle like you would do with a bagel.  Really, the options of what you can do with a pretzel are endless.

Here is the breakdown:

1 Brezel (85 Gramm):

  • 804 kJ / 192 kcal (Calories)
  • 6,1 Gramm Eiweiß (Protein)
  • 1,6 Gramm Fett (Fat)
  • 38,5 Gramm Kohlenhydrate (Carbs)

Of course they are very popular at the Volksfests and Oktoberfest too.  Although they have a bit more calories as they are quite larger, but oh so good!

So, the next time you plan on using bread for a sandwhich, why not try replacing it with a pretzel?

 

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Betty Crocker’s potato salad & what we ate for dinner

There are hundreds of different variations to potato salad but today I’ll be sharing one specifically from my Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook; part of the cooking-through challenge.

Interestingly enough, the French Dressing I just happened to try a few weeks ago, so it was quite easy to whip up a batch.

Potato salad is such an easy make ahead dish and a great accompaniment to those summer barbeques.

As you know, I am trying to stay true to the ways things were done in that decade, so I went to my number one source, my Mom who was married in 1950, to find out if I am supposed to peel the potatoes after boiling or before.  I had vague memories of her peeling them after.  She confirmed that is how she did it, but it was no big deal to peel them before.

Potatoes are a much softer, floury consistency and the skins are quite thin here in Germany, I found it was easier to peel them before boiling.

Here is a picture of the potatoes  after mixing in the French Dressing.  I then let them chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours, like the recipe states.  They really don’t look “cubed” to me, I probably could have done a better job there but I was in a bit of a hurry.

I then added the salad dressing and eggs just before serving and of course garnished it with some parsley.

This particular evening I needed a quick dinner so I just served it up with some mini würtschen(frankfurters) and this is what our light, evening meal looked like.

Keep or Toss? Happily Mr. said definitely a keeper.

My Thoughts?  It had a nice creamy texture and the taste was very mild which is a switch from the vinegar taste of many potato salads in our region.

Thats it for this week!  Be sure to pop back in next week as I am going to attempt one of the more difficult salads in this cookbook.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Merken

Merken

The perfect salad topper – It’s as simple as French Dressing!

Last week, for the cooking-through challenge, I shared Betty’s version of the basic green salad.

Of course every salad needs a dressing and as I was looking through this section of the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook (my book for the challenge), I thought, why not try the recipe on page 335 for French Dressing.  Typically, I am not a fan of it but… I felt like trying it this time.

My guess as to why I like it now, because it is a basic key recipe.  Nothing extra added to tweak it and most likely I don’t care for the taste of those “tweaks”?  I don’t know, I am making this up as I go along and it sounds right to me.

Anyways, on with the ingredients needed.

Sugar, salt, paprika, mustard, pepper, lemon juice, salad oil and onion juice.  I have a glass jar that I always use for dressings.  Funny thing, a creamy french dressing came in it and we didnt’ care for it, but I liked the jar.

Mix everything together and shake and voila!

You have a really tasty salad dressing!

Keep or Toss?  Another keeper!

My Thoughts?  I  definitely could have found a better way to photograph the dressing for you, now that I think about it!

Be sure to stop by Mary’s blog to see what recipes she is cooking up during this month.  She is using the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. 

 

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Basic Green Salad – “There can always be a salad!”

As I am cooking my way through the “Salads” category this month, I thought why not go back to the basics.  Today I am preparing a  green salad just as Betty Crocker suggests.  Although she states, “There can always be a salad”, meaning just by glancing in your refrigerator, cupboard, or garden, will convince you that you will always have the available ingredients.  Of course she is very considerate and gives the housewife a general plan on how to use what you happen to have on hand.

For this salad though, I took the amounts suggested for 3 people and used only the ingredients mentioned in the Amounts for Green Salads section, found on page 339 of the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.

Since I am trying to stay true to the recipes for this challenge, I used romaine and a little spinach.  Those were on the list of  “A Variety of Salad Greens gives interest to salads” list, found on page 337.

Before I show you my result, can I just add, I thought it was interesting that onion was not mentioned in the vegetable amounts for green salads and have never added celery before either.   I am learning so much  this month, even the proper way to wash and prepare lettuce, add the dressing and so much more.  Yes, I did say we will be discussing salad etiquette and don’t worry, we will as manners and etiquette are a favorite subject of mine.  Okay… I know, I can get chatty when I talk about something I enjoy.

Here is my very basic, Green Salad.

I chose to make French dressing to go on it and I will happily be sharing that adventure with you next week!

Funny thing, I can’t find my salad tongs anywhere!

I’m curious… Do you put onion in your green salad?  Or celery for that matter?

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A new casserole idea- asparagus, turkey, bacon & hollandaise sauce

We are well into our asparagus season here as you may know, if you read my “Not your mothers asparagus” post.  I love finding new ways to cook  seasonal vegetables other than serving them as a steamed or sautéed side dish, not that there is anything wrong with those.

I do have to give my husband credit for finding this new recipe in the paper.  It did not have exact measurements, just the ingredients and cooking temperature, that’s all.

So, kicking into creative cooking gear, I put on my apron and took a stab at making this casserole.

Here are my ingredients:  Turkey schnitzel, white asparagus tips, bacon, and hollandaise sauce and some water for half way through the cooking.

I put the turkey in the bottom and I did spray the dish first with a little vegetable oil, peeled the asparagus of course and wrapped them in the bacon strips.

Next, I added the hollandaise sauce.

I then baked it in a 180 C degree oven (or 350 F) for half an hour. At that point,  I added about 1/3 cup water over the top, covered it in foil and baked 20 more minutes.

I served it up with some rosemary baked little potatoes and you know what?

It was absolutely delicious!  The turkey tender, bacon crisp and asparagus very tender.

We decided to add this recipe to my growing card file of recipes.

It is so nice when a recipe actually turns out not only edible but tasty too!

Merken