With spring and the coming of summer I am always in the mood for something cool and light. So, after cruising around in Slovenia with Matthias all day a few weeks ago, we came home and devised this salad for dinner which I am only just now getting around to posting. We all know my poor food blog is very neglected.
Keep in mind this is a salad. It’s difficult to mess it up and is easily adjusted to a meal for one or two or for a family so keep that in mind and adjust it accordingly!
First marinate your chicken. The longer the better. I prefer overnight, but sometimes that’s just not possible so try to at least give it an hour to get some flavor.
This is the amount per chicken breast so increase the amount for however many chicken breasts you plan on using.
-1 large spoonful of soy sauce
-1 finely chopped garlic clove
-1/4-1/2 finely chopped onion
-Handful of basil chopped finely
Pinch of salt
To add some kick we always add a pinch of cayenne. Add more or less depending on your love of heat.
Cube your chicken and put it in a container to marinate or in a plastic bag, remove the air and let it sit.
The salad base:
-500g fresh baby spinach (Americans: one big bag of spinach)
For the American Version use a few handfuls of arugula instead of bärlauch the chances of finding Bärlauch is slim so we decided arugula would be an acceptable flavor replacement (and also for when Bärlauch is out of season). A few spring onions would also probably be nice. What we’re going for is that peppery oh what is that little hint of something I just tasted along with my spinach. Levels of flavor!
-Cherry tomatoes to the level of your tomato love. I usually get one big package.
And lastly you’re going to want a dressing for all of this:
-1/2 cup olive oil
-1 soup spoon of spicy mustard
-Drizzle in balsamic vinegar while you are stirring the oil and mustard until it starts binding together nicely.
-Pinch of sugar (the higher quality your balsamic vinegar the less sugar you will need)
Cook your cubed chicken in a skillet while you prepare the salad base and the dressing. I usually prepare salad while Matthias makes dressing and chicken. The key is to put the chicken into the salad while it is still warm. It lightly wilts everything and gives it this really fantastic feel. It feels like comfort food while still being light and healthy.
So, on that note. Good luck. Enjoy and I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
I don’t like gulasch because I hate the type of meat that is used in it. In most cases it’s kind of fatty, which is probably my worst meat nightmare. When I found this recipe, it solved the problem by giving me a tasty gulasch without the meat. It’s definitely one of my favorite dishes at the moment.
What you’ll need (Austria):
250g of soja schentzel
2/3 tube of tomatenmark (tomato paste)
1/3 bottle of red wine
200g fresh mushrooms
3 medium sized potatoes
3 cloves of garlic
2 paprikas (bell peppers in your prefered color)
2 liters gemüsebrühe (2 liters of vegetable broth)
Paprika and cayenne pepper to taste
Slice the onions into strips or chunks depending on your preference. Cut up the garlic. In a large pot add a shot of oil, the soja schnetzel, onions and garlic and cook them down a bit. Let the soja schnetzel get a little brown, but not burnt. Then add your 2 liters of vegetable broth. I let that cook while I peel and cube the potatoes, cut up the 2 tomatoes, the bell peppers and slice the mushrooms. Then I add all of these items to the pot along with 2/3 of the tube of tomato paste and the wine. I let this cook down for an hour or so. Then I add my paprika spices and cayenne pepper to taste. Put it in bowls and serve!
What you need (America):
2 cups of TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1/2-3/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 bottle of red wine
1 package fresh mushrooms
2 medium sized potatoes
3 cloves of garlic
2 paprikas (bell peppers in your prefered color)
8 cups of vegetable broth (68 oz)
Paprika and cayenne pepper to taste
Slice the onions into strips or chunks depending on your preference. Cut up the garlic. In a large pot add a shot of oil, the TVP, onions and garlic and cook them down a bit. Let the TVP get a little brown, but not burnt. Then add your vegetable broth. I let that cook while I peel and cube the potatoes, cut up the tomatoes, the bell peppers and slice the mushrooms. Then I add all of these items to the pot along with the tomato paste and the wine. I let this cook down for an hour or so. Then I add my paprika spices and cayenne pepper to taste. Put it in bowls and serve!
I am not good at blogging, it’s a fact, but after hearing a few comments from friends I am going to try harder at keeping more of my recipes here.
Which brings us to tonight’s experiment…sweet potato chili. I had seen a recipe similar to this before on Pinterest and I thought to myself hmm…well there’s an idea especially since I am starting to really get excited about all the possibilities sweet potatoes have to offer (and since I don’t really like meat).
Since it was an experiment I have to admit that I made 1. way more than I planned ( I fed 5 and still have leftovers so you may want to adapt my recipe accordingly) and 2. didn’t keep very good track of exact measurements, but let’s be honest…it’s not hard to make a good chili it’s difficult to mess it up too badly. So, it’s also a danger free recipe!
What you’ll need (if you live in Austria):
3 sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
3 carrots (peeled and cut into small pieces)
1 onion (diced)
1 can corn
750g rote indianer bohnen or kidney beans (it doesn’t matter-drained and rinsed)
1 500g can of canned tomatoes in their juice (+500g water)
1 690 g jar or can tomato puree (passierte tomaten) for the (+690g water)
1 chili pepper (with seeds…that’s where the heat is! if you are Austrian maybe no seeds or a paprika to cut down on spice…I can usually find these at Interspar or at something like the Naschmarkt in Vienna)
salt to taste
chili powder to taste (don’t have chili powder..it’s not quite the same, but try adding some crushed red pepper or paprika until it’s how you like it)
Bringing it all together:
I started out by giving the onion a quick cook in the bottom of the soup pot just until they were cooked and clear-ish. I threw in the carrots next to let them mingle and get started with the onions. Then in went the tomato puree and the can of tomatoes with juice. I filled up the jar of tomato puree and the can of tomatoes with water and added that as well. Then the beans came next followed by the corn (beans and corn drained and I rinsed them too for good measure). I cut up the chili pepper into small pieces and added it in to cook with everything else. I cut and peeled the sweet potatoes. I had planned to let the chili cook down without the potatoes, but gave up on that idea and added it all in. I didn’t have a problem with the potatoes getting overcooked like I had thought so no problems there. Then I brought everything to a nice boil and let it go for a few minutes. After it was nice and hot I dropped it down to low and left it to simmer for about 2 hours stirring every once in a while to make sure everything got nice and mixed and that nothing was sticking to the bottom of the pot. The spices are something I add as I go. Don’t forget to add just a little at a time because you can always put more in, but you can’t take it out. It’s also important to remember to let whatever you put in mingle for a bit before you add more because it’s going to cook down AND sometimes it takes a bit before the flavor gets into everything. I ended up adding about 3 tablespoons of chili powder to a batch this size and then salted it until it tasted awesome!
Top it with shredded cheese, sour cream or nothing (my method of choice). Also, if you are a meat lover feel free to add in some meat like ground hamburger or chicken. I served the chili along with a loaf of beer bread from one of my other entries so have a look at that as well if you want a simple, quick and easy bread!
3 sweet pototoes (peeled and cubed)
3 carrots (peeled and cut into small pieces)
1 onion (diced)
1 can corn
3 cans of kidney beans (campbell soup sized)
2 (campbells soup can sized) canned tomatoes in their juice
2 (soup can sized) cans of tomato puree or approx (if you have an extra or bigger cans it’s not a problem)
1 chili pepper (you are welcome to add more if you like it spicier)
salt to taste
chili powder to taste (I used approx 3 tbsp.)
It is September 2, pumpkin and Oktoberfest beer is on tap, Halloween decorations are out, my Pinterest is exploding with pumpkin recipes and candy corn is in stores…I declare it officially fall…despite what the weather seems to be saying about that.
In honor of September, fall and candy corn here’s a quick and simple candy snack mix that you can mix up in less than 5 minutes and set out for guests, family, yourself or stick in some goodie bags to pass out to trick or treaters or as autumn gifts to give to friends, family or neighbors!
To make a small batch (about the amount in the picture above):
10oz bag candy corn (250g) Good luck finding candy corn in Austria though!
5.3 oz bag of m&ms (150g)
8oz can of dry roasted peanuts (250g)
approx. 1/2 cup dried cranberries (100g or to taste)
To make more just double, triple, quadruple for however much you might need and enjoy!
All I can say is make this…if you like peanut butter…make this RIGHT NOW! Sheet Cake isn’t something I am usually excited about, but I stumbled upon this recipe and thought of my Mom who happens to be a huge peanut butter lover. Since her Birthday was coming up, I decided to give it a go and see if it was worth adding to my recipe collection. Turns out it is probably the best sheet cake I have ever had and my Mom who is not a fan of sweets kept talking about (she even made me make it for my Dad’s Birthday).
It reminds me of a good peanut butter cookie or peanut butter fudge. The point is it’s awesome and I love this recipe. It’s also pretty simple which is just one other plus.
I found the original recipe for this cake from this great site submitted by Nina Jones. I made a few slight modifications of my own.
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup butter
6 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
Tip: Creamy peanut butter is important to have here or else you will have peanut bits in what is supposed to be a nice smooth peanut butter frosting.
- Oven at 375 degrees.
- In a medium pot add the peanut butter, water, and butter and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda with a fork. Add to the peanut butter mixture. (I just cut corners here and add it all straight into the peanut butter mixture.)
- Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla to the bowl and mix well.
- Stir well and pour into greased. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.
For the Frosting:
- In a small pot get the butter, milk, and peanut butter creamy. I don’t let mine boil. Once it boils it starts to separate on me once it is creamy and mixed take it off the heat.
- Once the pan is off the heat add the vanilla and powdered sugar. The original recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups. I reduced it to 3 because I think it gets too sweet. I also just approximate on the 3 cups.
- Pour your frosting over the top of your warm cake.
- Let it cool and enjoy.
I have considered making the chocolate sheet cake icing to go on the peanut butter cake. I haven’t had a chance to give it a try yet, but it’s an experiment I am going to try eventually. I think it might make a nice Reese’s cup style cake. Yum!
Since I am currently in America and haven’t tried this recipe out with metric units I don’t have that recipe for you at the moment. :)
Another vegetarian lasagna with an Indian flavor twist.
Firstly, this recipe is a slight adaptation of a recipe found in Das Ox-Kochbuch Band 4, rote-linsen-lasagne mit schafskaesesauce, which can be bought here at Amazon if you’re interested.
I would say this recipe would feed about 4 people.
Things you’ll need:
1 box of lasagna noodles…whichever you prefer…we used spinach lasagna noodles.
2 campbells soup sized cans of diced tomatoes
1 large can of lentils (or 2 campbells soup sized cans)
4 cloves of garlic…or more or less to taste
400g (2 packages) approximately 2 cups feta cheese…if you aren’t a fan of this kind of cheese we will discuss what to substitute it with later.
1 package mozzaralla cheese
1 package mushrooms
2 kitchen tablespoons of tandoori masala (we weren’t able to fine this so we made a mix of spicy paprika powder (cayenne), cumin and tumeric)
Suggested Optional Additional Ingredients:
Carrot, Spinach, Zucchini
So, now that we’ve got the ingredients sorted out let’s talk about getting it all put together.
If you have noodles that need to be precooked get those started now or turn them on while your red sauce is cooking together.
Preheat your oven to 180-200 C or 375 F.
Chop your onion and garlic into small pieces. Put them in a skillet with a dash of olive oil and begin cooking on medium heat. Then add your lentils, tomatoes and spices. Let that simmer for about 20 minutes. If it starts to dry out some add some water to the mixture. Careful not to get it too wet though…otherwise you will have a runny lasagna. You can also add some salt and pepper to this mixture to taste. I added my fresh mushrooms after about 15 minutes so they had a little time to suck up some of the sauce, but didn’t get over cooked either.
While the red sauce mixture simmers together you can start the white sauce mixture which is very easy. In a different pan melt down the feta cheese with some milk…there is no exact measurement. Just enough to make it saucy. When that’s melted together it’s finished.
If you absolutely hate feta:
1 pkg cream cheese (frischkaese)
2 packages cottage cheese
1 smaller container of sour cream
1/2 carton cottage cheese (the larger size)
1 pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Mix that all together and you have a different white sauce
Now, take out your casserole dish that you would usually use for a lasagna and start layering your pasta. I always begin with a layer of pasta on the bottom then red then white sauce and repeat with pasta. I continue that until I run out of stuff. If you’ve decided to add any extra ingredients you can just layer them in with your sauces between the pasta. Then top the whole thing off with your packet of cheese and a little oregano. You can add however much or little as you’d like. Put it into the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the cheese is starting to brown slightly.
Slice and enjoy.
These are what I would consider to be a type of traditional American Christmas cookie. They’re also great for other holidays since you can cut them into any holiday shape you like.
1 1/3 cup shortening/butter
2 tsp vanilla
8 tsp milk
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
I combine all of the wet ingredients first…or pretty much everything that’s not flour. Then I stir everything together until it’s well mixed. After that, I add the flour one cup at a time until it’s all mixed in. Chill the batter for one hour. On a lightly floured surface roll out your dough..I like it to be about 1/4 inch thick. Cut them into shapes…if you don’t have a cookie cutter on hand then just use a cup or glass to make circles. Bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes. I cook mine for less time because I like them to be soft.
Metric Measurements/Austrian Adjustments:
320g butter (I just used all of a full sized package of butter)
10g vanilla sugar (I might add a little bit extra)
9g baking powder
a pinch of salt
I combine all of the wet ingredients first…or pretty much everything that’s not flour. Then I stir everything together until it’s well mixed. After that, I add the flour in a little bit at a time until it’s all mixed in. Chill the batter for one hour. (If you have a small refrigerator like I do set it outside with a towel covering it..if it’s cold, but don’t let it freeze if it’s really cold!) On a lightly floured surface roll out your dough..I like it to be about 6-7mm thick. Cut them into shapes…if you don’t have a cookie cutter on hand then just use a cup or glass to make circles. Bake at 190 C for 8-10 minutes. I cook mine for less time because I like them to be soft.
If you want to ice your cookies:
I honestly think they are better with icing and it’s pretty simple to whip up an icing.
My recipe is milk mixed with powdered sugar (and a color if you want it to be anything other than white). 2:1 sugar to milk. If you like it thicker add more sugar. I never measure it I just add sugar until it has the right thickness. Then add coloring if you want. Ice after the cookies are out of the oven and cooled or your icing will melt right off. It will probably drip off of the cookies some anyways if it’s a thinner icing, but enough will stay on so don’t worry if you’ve made a thinner icing.
You can also add things to this icing if you’d like to…almond extract or maybe orange or lemon flavoring for a few ideas.
If you aren’t icing your cookies decorate with sprinkles or sugar before you bake. If you are using icing decorate once you’ve added the icing, but before it hardens otherwise you’re out of luck and the sprinkles will bounce right off!
Getting the seeds out of a bell pepper (or a mango if you’re a specific kind of Ohioan) was something that made me want to die a little inside. It usually involved me randomly cutting into a pepper and removing chunks to get at the seeds and then having to wash it all off because there were seeds everywhere. Not your ideal vegetable situation. Just this past summer I learned this little tip (maybe I’m a bit behind in the pepper game) that has made my life and my relationship with bell peppers so much better.
First, lay your pepper out on it’s side on your cutting board and remove the top. Just cut right through.
Then to take the seeds out you just reach in and grab the cluster of seeds and pull them right out. You’ll get them all out in one quick go maybe two if your pepper is not cooperating.
Now, you have a nice empty pepper that you can use to stuff or you can cut it up and put it in something else.
Now, what about the top?
If you want to use it as a lid for something like a fancy looking stuffed pepper just clear the seeds out in the same way, by pulling them right out. If you want to get the stem off here’s what you do.
Grab it by the stem and just pull the pepper bits right off. Then you’ve used every bit of the pepper and you haven’t nearly cut off all of your fingers trying to get it apart.
I’ve decided that Autumn is soup season and since my soups usually come from a can or packet I’ve decided it’s time to learn how to make a few.
My current favorite is my version of a tomato soup I found in Jamie Oliver’s “Genial Italienisch”. (I have no idea what the name of the book is in English, but I am sure you can find out easily enough.) It’s easy to make and also pretty low in cost.
What you’re going to need:
Cherry tomatoes (about 20 - you can also have more/less)
6 cloves of garlic
Basil or Oregano (fresh or dried)
2 cans of peeled tomatoes in their juices
Salt, pepper and other spices to taste
First, set your oven to 200 celsius or 390 fahrenheit. Poke holes in the cherry tomatoes with a fork and place them on a cookie sheet. Put a little bit of olive oil over the tomatoes, 2 cloves of chopped garlic and a little bit of the oregano or basil over them as well. Place them in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Now, take out the pot you would like to use to make your soup. Put a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of the pan and add the rest of your chopped garlic. Cook it until it’s soft. Don’t let it get brown. Once you are satisfied with how the garlic is cooked add the cans of peeled tomatoes and juice. Refill the cans that the tomatoes came in with water (so add 2 cans of water to the mix). Let that cook together.
Once it’s been 20 minutes, remove the cherry tomatoes from the oven. You can add everything from the cookie sheet to the soup (garlic, oil, basil/oregano). Mash up the tomatoes a bit. If you like a chunkier soup mash them less or for a less chunky soup…more mashing. Let it all cook together a bit. Then add a little bit of salt to taste and maybe some more of your oregano/basil. I also like adding chili powder or chili flakes sometimes. I also suggest adding about a tablespoon of sugar to the mix to help add a little sweetness to the tomatoes, but you can do as you like.
Serve with a tasty white bread and of course enjoy!
The soup will taste a bit like a spaghetti sauce…so I imagine if you’d like you could add no water to the mix and have a nice homemade spaghetti sauce instead. Just do some experimenting.
If you’ve ever thought about making apple strudel in your life and were put off because you thought it might be too difficult you’re going to be kicking yourself because it’s one of the easiest things in the world to make…especially with a couple extra little tips that make something easy even easier.
This recipe has no real measurements. It’s all kind of done to your own preferences so you can’t mess it up.
The basic ingredients you will need are these:
1 Puff Pastry Sheet (Blätterteig) each box usually contains two.
Apples (3) cut and peeled or approx 3 cups of frozen sliced and peeled apples (thawed)
White Sugar (and Brown if you prefer)
If you have access to them you can also add these things:
Nuts (any kind you like)
Crushed Pumpkin Seeds
Rum or Amaretto
Now for the steps to make it:
I put raisins in mine so we’ll start with what to do with the raisins because you’ll want to prepare them ahead of time because they will taste better if you do. I like to soak my raisins in rum or amaretto before putting them in my strudels. I usually do this at least the day before I make a strudel, but you don’t have to soak them in anything if you forget. If you’re not sure how much to soak them in just stick them in a little cup or dish and fill it up until you’ve got all of your raisins under the liquid. Simple as that.
Once you’ve got the raisins thing sorted, you’ll want to begin with your puff pastry. If it’s frozen make sure you thaw it out. It’s best if you put it onto baking paper or parchment paper because it sticks to stuff. I thought it wouldn’t stick to aluminum foil when I made mine this evening, but they also stick to that so make sure you have a good non stick surface for it.
Before you begin putting things in your strudel. Keep in mind that you have to close this thing together. Make sure you keep your stuff in the middle. If you aren’t sure how big your middle should be think of your pastry as being divided into thirds. The middle third is the only third that should have stuff on it. Everything else should be left alone. You should also leave about 1/2 inch at the bottom and the top of the pastry so you are able to seal the ends shut!
Lay your pastry out. You can take a rolling pin to it to get a little extra length. The ones I used (Pepperidge Farm brand) were a lot smaller than I was used to dealing with so I rolled it to get an extra inch or so out of it. Then, in the center you are going to coat it with bread crumbs. The bread crumbs are going to suck up some of the apple’s juices so you don’t have a soggy strudel bottom so make sure you are generous with the amount of bread crumbs you use, but don’t go too crazy because you aren’t supposed to notice the bread crumbs when you’re enjoying your dessert.
After you’ve got your base set up layer apples onto it. You’ll need to cut and peel your apples before you put them into the pastry. You can make them chunky and thicker if you like or you can use a grater and get them potato chip thin if you like. It’s all up to you. If you really want to make this recipe and perhaps your life easier buy a bag of frozen pre-cut and pre-peeled apples (thaw the apples first!). The peeling and slicing is the hardest part of this recipe so having that done for you will make this recipe even easier. If you’re from my area go to GFS. They have bagged and frozen apples for sale there. Otherwise, I’m sure it’s not hard to find them and if you can’t cutting and peeling a few apples wont kill you.
Make sure you get plenty of apples in your pastry. Don’t skimp. It’s called apple strudel for a reason so you’ll want to taste those apples! Just make sure you don’t get it too full. You will have to close the sides and you wont want to rip and tear your pastry while trying to stuff all of those apples in there.
So, we’ve got a pastry with a bed of bread crumbs and now apples are on top. Next, take your white sugar and put it over the apples. As much as you like. Keep in mind though that apples are already sweet. You don’t have to overdo it with the sugar. I usually put two to four kitchen teaspoons (not measuring spoons) worth over the top. If you like, you an also add a teaspoon or two of brown sugar over the top. Then add your cinnamon. I like cinnamon so I load the cinnamon on. Everything is coated and brown once I’m finished with the cinnamon.
Once the spices are in, the last thing to add is the raisins or any of your other little extras…walnuts, vanilla sugar, pumpkin seeds, etc. If you’ve soaked your raisins give them a little squeeze to get some of the extra alcohol off of them and then sprinkle them over the top of the apples, sugar and spices.
The last thing to do is seal it all up. Wet all of your edges with water. You will overlap one side of your strudel with the other side. You don’t have to crimp it together or pinch it together. Just lay it on top of the other side and let the water seal it up. It may reopen a bit if you’ve got a lot of filling, but it doesn’t really matter. Then seal the two ends by folding them over. Make sure you use water there as well to seal it all shut. The last thing you should do is give the entire strudel a light coating of water. The point is to keep it from getting brown too fast. (At least that’s what I’ve been told.)
The last question is how hot should the oven be and how long should you cook this strudel with no exact recipe? For the heat, you should check the puff pastry box and go with what it says on the box. I heated my oven to 400 degrees F. The strudel is done once the top is golden brown. That will take approx. 15-25 minutes, but just have an eye on it and pretty soon you’ll know what the right amount of time is for you and your oven.
Once it’s baked let it cool and serve with vanilla ice cream, powdered sugar or whipped cream or if you’ve got a sweet tooth maybe all three!
The next time I make this I’ll try to add some pictures so that the steps will be clearer. For now, all I’ve got is the picture of the finished products.