Archive for the 'Grains & Potatoes' Category

Aug 13 2009

Shrimp Fried Rice – recipe update

Last year I made a really delicious fried rice from my Taste&Create partner’s blog The CookMobile. Every time I make the recipe I expand it just a little more.

A few months ago I asked my husband to cook it for dinner and he ended up throwing in other ingredients that I hadn’t even thought of adding. The verdict: it tastes even better! So, when I had a chance to make it again, I added his expansions to the recipe. I also used half the shrimp that the recipe calls for since I only had half available, but to make it feel like we still had enough, I cut each piece of shrimp in half and butterflied it. It ended up working really well, and since shrimp is very expensive in the part of the world I live in, I think I will stick to half the amount.

For those of you who would love a quick homemade meal in less than 30 minutes, this is a great recipe for you. Just think, by the time to you drive to a restaurant, wait to be seated, order your food, and finally get to eat, it’s been over an hour. This way you will be done from start to finish (including prep time) in less than 30 minutes. And, the more practice you have with the recipe, the quicker it gets. I can make it in 20 minutes flat!

Oh, and yes, it does taste just as good as take out…in my opinion, even better! Continue Reading »

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May 31 2009

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Attention! Grill-Season has begun – Achtung! Die Grillsaison hat begonnen

I really love throwing a party – and I never need a reason to throw one for friends and/or family. So, with Foodbuzz’s 24,24,24 monthly event, I have an even greater motivation to throw put together some sort of event centered around food.

For this month’s event I have chosen to throw a grill party for family and friends visiting from out of town. My title “Achtung! Die Grillsaison hat begonnen” (“Attention! Grill-Season has begun” translated into English) is a favorite German phrase that you will see and hear everywhere once grilling season starts – which is about mid-May. So, with my grill party I decided to showcase typical German foods that you would find at a grill party. Naturally, there are many many more dishes and meats that are grilled at a German grill party, but these are my favorite that I can get my hands on here in Bavaria.

Our menu consisted of:
Potato Salad
Tossed Salad
Tzatziki Sauce
Noodle Salad
Grilled Vegetables
Chicken legs
Bratwurst Kebabs (Bratwurstspieße)
Crunchy Kebabs (Knusperspieße)
Pork Steaks
Pork Belly
Rostocker Bratwurst
Poultry Kebabs (mixture of chicken, turkey, and duck)
Vanilla Pudding with Rote Grütze (red fruit jelly dessert topping)

Let’s just say we had a lot of food and a lot of leftovers! We were expecting some more friends to come by, but after a pipe burst in their home they were busy with more important things. So, there were 9 of us. I prepared everything..well, I do have to add that most of the meats and the potato salad were all marinated/made by the butcher…and my husband grilled with help, every once in a while, from my father-in-law. The rest of our guests enjoyed themselves, relaxed in our garden, and ate until they couldn’t eat anymore.

Our guests wished not to have their photographs on my blog, so here are some pictures of my family:

me “helping” with grilling

Bellow are the dishes that I made, including recipes, and bellow that are the dishes that we didn’t prepare ourselves. On top of all this I had planned a German creamy cucumber salad, but ended up forgetting it at home. We had it the next day for lunch and it was fantastic. But, it went so quickly that I never got a photo of it! Continue Reading »

4 responses so far

May 25 2009

Arroz con Leche – Rice Pudding – recipe

This recipe takes me back to my childhood. The sweet smells that fill my kitchen while cooking this just brings a smile to my face. I find that when I am pregnant I am more homesick for the foods that I grew up with, especially desserts…which I would otherwise rarely eat.

There are plenty of ways to make rice pudding, but the best way is never the quick way…ever. This dish requires time – you will need about 1 hour to prepare it – and you will have to stir it often, so you won’t be able to leave the kitchen.

There are 2 “secret” ingredients that this recipe cannot do without: cinnamon sticks and lime peel. Save the ground cinnamon for sprinkling on afterwards, the sticks will give them a much deeper flavor and the lime peel gives it a special hint of the tropics.  Always remember that “time and lime make it fine”.

I believe this recipe was passed down to my mother from my father’s uncle’s mother who is Cuban. Continue Reading »

One response so far

May 22 2009

Chicken Frarej – Taste&Create – recipe

Well, this is the last Taste&Create I will be participating in until August. I am on vacation as of this Sunday when the in-laws arrive.

This month I was partnered with Temperance from High on the Hog. It was a tough decision deciding what to make. I really wanted to try to make her Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels, but knowing that my in-laws would be arriving soon and the tons of things I had (and still have to!!) accomplish before they arrive made me chose a dish that I could make as a meal.

I chose to make High on the Hog’s Chicken Frarej - a blackened chicken with lots of lemon, garlic, and potatoes. I figured it would be easy and very tasty.

I do have to say that the meal was very tasty, but only after some major tweaking.

I decided to take Temperance’s recommendation of baking a whole chicken (this would give us a meal for a few days and allow me to get more accomplished around the house). I prepared and baked it according to her directions, but after 1 hours in the oven, the chicken was quite tasteless, the potatoes still hard, the chicken was swimming in juice, and the skin not blackened. I am pretty sure this would have turned out differently had I used the chicken breasts because they are a drier meat and would have soaked up much more the the liquid and flavors of the marinade.

We were hungry, so we ate some for lunch, and since the oven was still warm, I decided to make some adjustments and put it back in for some more oven time. The changes I made were: I removed 3/4ths of the juices in the casserole dish, and added lots of pepper to the chicken. I baked it another 45 minutes and it came out fantastic.

I will definitely make this dish again, but with further adjustments. Bellow is the recipe I would use when I make this again: Continue Reading »

One response so far

May 05 2009

Baked Sweet Potato Fries – recipe

The other day, while looking for sweet potato fry recipes, I came across a recipe from Our Best Bites that was not only baked, but looked very crispy!

The problem with my past attempts at making sweet potato fries in the oven have always ended with limp results. These fries came out perfect.

I did change-up the spice mixture a bit since I was not in the mood for cumin or coriander at the time, and my husband liked it so much he kept asking me all day if I had written down the spice mixture yet. Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

Apr 30 2009

Sprout Sushi – 5 recipes

The other day I blogged about a great new sushi rice recipe that I found on VideoJug. I decided to go ahead and give it a second try and make some exciting sushi with some new ingredients.

Yesterday I went walking through a store that I had never been to before and I found lots of new ingredients to play with…so I brought home 4 new ingredients to try out in sushi:
-raw salmon
-chive sprouts
-red beet sprouts
-wanton-wrapped shrimp

I am not going to reproduce the sushi rice recipe here because it’s perfectly written up in text form and has a great video here on VideoJug. Instead, I will tell you all the combinations I came up with and what I thought of them.

Side Dishes: How To Make Sushi Rice

Each recipe makes 1 roll: Continue Reading »

3 responses so far

Mar 05 2009

Garbanzo Soup – recipe – And Some Happy News

Well, I have some really exciting news to share with you all today. I am now 15 weeks pregnant with my second child!

Most of you have noticed that I don’t post as frequently anymore and being pregnant is one of the reasons why. When I’m not doing my household chores or playing with my son, I am napping from utter exhaustion!

About a week ago I started to become less tired and have taken up more cooking myself. Up to now my husband has been doing most of the cooking.

One major downside I found to being pregnant this time around is my inability to cook or look at food on websites like Tastespotting. Some dishes look tasty and then others just make me want to puke…and dishes I would normally like otherwise. Luckily, that part is over and we are on to happier more food-filled days…along with warmer and sunnier days I hope! This winter is driving me crazy! Every time I saw snow start to fall I felt like puking…I need Spring!

Ok, so the recipe I am sharing with you today is for a Colombian soup that my mom would make for me on my birthdays because it is a bit time consuming. The last time I took the time to make it myself I was pregnant with my first son…that was over 2 years ago!

The great thing about making such a big pot of soup is that we were able to eat it for a whole week. Otherwise, you can freeze potions in freezer bags and just warm-up to eat at a later time.

I hope you all enjoy this soup recipe as much as I do! Continue Reading »

7 responses so far

Jan 02 2009

For the Love of Food’s Best of 2008 – 47 Great Recipes

Happy 2009 everyone!

I decided to analyze my blog from January 2008 – December 2008 to see what you like.

I want to see more of you around my blog more often. And, that means finding out what you like.

I looked at all my posts and saw what you commented most on and I learned quite a lot.

What? Continue Reading »

5 responses so far

Dec 15 2008

Rice with Mushrooms & Noodles – recipe

Rice with mushrooms and noodles is a take on a favorite recipe of mine that my aunt makes called Mushroom & Almond Rice.

Since I have a guest over for Thanksgiving this year who was allergic to nuts, I omitted the almonds (only to find out she was not allergic to almonds!!) and substituted with dry soup noodles that soften when cooked.

Continue Reading »

4 responses so far

Nov 30 2008

Inter-Cultural Thanksgiving – Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 – 22 Thanksgiving Recipes

This is going to be a loooong post, so brace yourself. If it gets too long for you, just skip to the “bottom” where all the recipes, with individual pictures, can be found.  Bellow (above the recipe section) are my individual thoughts on what I made this year.  Every year brings something new – even to “old” recipes.

I’d like to thank Foodbuzz for accepting me to the November 24, 24, 24 event. Because of them, I was able to make my Thanksgiving grander than ever. Thank you.

This is what the menu looked like:

Appetizers: Bacon Wrapped Date, Texas Deviled Eggs, and Rumaki
Main Dish: Rosemary & Lemon Turkey with American Cranberry Sauce
Side Dishes: Bread Stuffing, Rice with Mushroom & Noodles, Garlic Bread Rolls, Bacon Green Beans, French Mushrooms in Crème Frâiche, and a Seasonal Salad
Dessert: Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, S’more Tart, and Whipped Cream

The bacon wrapped dates were a huge hit – as always.  Our guests ate them up pretty quickly.

The Texas deviled eggs were something I thought-up this summer.  The individual flavors really melded well with one another, and even though this was a spicy dish, they were gone before the meal started!

The Rumaki was something that my father-in-law recommended I make.  I thought it sounded disgusting, but it was so absolutely fantastic!  My guests had never heard of anything like it and everyone wanted the recipe!

This year I decided to try something completely new with my turkey. That is, I am taking my favorite recipe for chicken (Rosemary Lemon Chicken), and fitting it for a whole turkey. I have never been a big fan of turkey, so I attempted to make it taste better than “the usual”. And, the turkey came out juicier than ever.  The lemon acts as a tenderizer and really helped moisten the turkey, especially the breast meat.

The the stuffing, I used is my favorite stuffing that my mom has been making my entire childhood. This year, for the first time, in keeping with my “absolutely everything is homemade” for my Thanksgiving feast 2008, my husband made a large loaf of bread for our stuffing in advance.  This is a really big hit.  Many of our guests said that they had aways heard about this on TV, but could never imagine it.  We ended up sending many guest home with extra stuffing – always a good sign!

The cranberry sauce is my father-in-law’s recipe. And, this is the only part of our meal that we didn’t actually make ourselves. While we can find (expensive) cranberries here in Germany -yes, Ocean Spray to be exact – my father-in-law sent us some of his homemade cranberry sauce as a gift, and it would have been a shame not to use it – since it tastes so good. I did not grow-up eating cranberry sauce. I’m not sure how old I was the first time I tasted it – maybe I was already in college. So, I am not as “in love” with it as my husband is. Our guests enjoyed the sauce with their turkey, but, my husband, as usual, pulled out a spoon and finished it off after he finished his meal.

The rice with mushrooms & noodles is a take on a favorite recipe of mine that my aunt makes called Mushroom & Almond Rice.  Since I have a guest who is allergic to nuts this year, I have omitted nuts in all recipes possible, and, in the case of the rice, have substituted with dry soup noodles that soften when cooked.

The garlic rolls are my favorite roll recipe of all time.  It actually came about by accident and is a modified pizza dough recipe!  While cleaning up the house in the morning, I found my son had sneeked one and had the entire roll half way in his mouth.  When I caught him, he promptly pulled it out of his mouth and put it back in the muffin tin as if nothing had happened!  It was so cute.  Of course, I let him eat one ahead of time.  He loves the garlic rolls so much.

The French Mushrooms in Crème Frâiche is always everybody’s favorite dish and there’s never enough – no matter how many times I double and quadruple this recipe!  So, how did French Mushrooms become part of my yearly American holiday menu??  When I was in high school, in French class, we were all given the task of finding a French recipe, reproduce it, bring it to class, and share with one another.  I was so head-over-heels for this recipe that I asked my mom to let me make it at our next Thanksgiving meal, and it was such a hit…and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Bacon Green Beans are, in my opinion, a true southern staple in the US.  This year I decided not to make a green bean casserole since most of my German guests don’t like it.  So, instead, I made my favorite green bean dish.  They went over very well, and no one realized that I forgot to add the salt!

The Greek Salad was a hard choice for me this year.  I really wanted to make this from items that are only in season, and I really wanted to use my favorite homemade Greek salad dressing – which put me in quite of a pickle.  So, I decided to go with a Greek salad – however untraditional – because many of its ingredients can be found year-round and have no season (ie: feta cheese, olive, onions).

This year I decided to change dessert in a few ways.  I still served pumpkin and pecan pies, but I decided to make my pumpkin puré from scratch (this is so easy and quick you will barely believe it!), I decided to make a maple peacn pie instead as well as a s’more tart for the first times.  And, this year I also went ahead and made the pies a few weeks in advance, frozen them, and defrosted in the refrigerator so that I could have a more relaxing cooking day(s).  The pumpkin pie was a bigger hit this year than in previous years.  I guess this year I had pumpkin-lovers over!  The pecan pie was ok.  I felt that the new recipe had too strong of an alcohol tase to it and not enough of the traditional pecan pie flavor that I have grown to love.  And the s’more pie..don’t get me started on this!  It was a baking desaster when it came to the topping.  I think my egg whites were not stiff enough and I just endded up with a mess.  It was the most eated pie, but I really felt that it was not worth making.  Which is a shame since it looked like it was going to be so pretty and I hoped it would be a big highlight of the evening.

As I do every year, this year I made my whipped cream from scratch.  It’s so quick and easy – and tastes WAY WAY better than the store bought version.  This year I made 2 flavors: vanilla and almond.

The appetizers were a last minute always…I worry that my guests won’t have enough to eat- crazy huh?  And, as always, there was too much to eat.  This year we even have too many leftovers, which has never happened to me before.  6 of my guests ended up not showing!  So, there were only 11 of us.

We also did sugar cookie decorating in between the meal and the dessert.  The children really liked this.  I think nxt time I will have to hold Thanksgiving in the late afternoon instead of the evening.  It was too late for a lot of the kids.  The cookies tasted fantastic, and I loved the hint of almond in the recipe.  But, the icing was just way too sugary, and I like my cookies without.

On to the recipes: Continue Reading »

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