Monday, September 29, 2008

Deviled Eggs

Well hello hello! Long time no see! Sorry, but there hasn't been too much cooking going on in our home this weekend because my in-laws came to visit! We did succeed in trying what felt like every flavor of Jelly Belly's as we visited Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park, which felt like something of an accomplishment and left us all on a sugar binge!
Visiting the parks this weekend was brilliant! All of the leaves are changing colors and the weather changed from valley to valley. We went from perfect weather at 5,800 feet to rain, sleet and hail at 10,100 feet! (It was freezing!) If you have every been to Bryce Canyon you go from look out to look out . . . we would jump out of the car, get wet and start to freeze from the wind and move on to the next look out and get wet and freeze again! It was absolutely gorgeous! Everything! I just can't say enough about the landscape of Southern Utah!!! It is well worth a trip!!!
Okay onto my one true cooking endeavor in the kitchen this weekend . . . deviled eggs. My husband LOVES eggs, where as I am content without them . . . . they are just not my favorite food, or food to smell. They are a must at our Super Bowl party each year and are easy to make plus I love my hub . . . hence their kitchen debut this weekend . . .
Deviled Eggs
Recipe by:Emily
12 large hard-boiled eggs
1/3-1/2 cup Miracle Whip or Mayo
1 tsp Mustard, brown or regular
1/4-1/2 tsp Vinegar
1/2-1 tsp prepared Horseradish
1/2 tsp Paprika

Cut the eggs in half length wise and remove the egg yolks. Mix the egg yolks, mustard, horseradish, vinegar, salt, pepper, and paprika together until smooth. Pipe the yolk mixture into the egg yolk hollows in the hard boiled eggs (whites). Garnish with chives or a sprinkling of paprika. Refrigerate until serving.

I always utilize whatever I have handy when making deviled eggs and garnish them with whatever I have handy too . . . they are great with chopped tomato, crisped bacon, green onions, chopped ham etc. The filling is also made to taste. The vinegar adds something extra and makes a big difference I think!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sausage and Cannellini Soup (aka: Heaven on Earth!)

There is just no way around it and no reason to deny it . . there is simply nothing more delicious than this soup . . . so says I (for the moment)!It was just a delight to dine on with the weather beginning to change and the sights and smells of autumn sneaking in. I love the fall! I can't wait to pull out my scarves and and sweaters and bundle up against the cold . . . that is before the sky turns a permanent dreary, milky gray for winter! Living in Austria and Germany taught me that there are a million and one ways to wear a scarf and knot it. So I am now obsessed!
I would love to bake something with pumpkin in it this week if I find the time! It just sounds soooo good! Oh or homemade gingerbread, the actual bread, not the cookies. GH Bread Co has the BEST gingerbread! I swear that I could down a whole loaf myself (hopefully that will not happen) but I would really like to make some myself. I think that I found a good recipe . . . mal sehen.
Oh, I have to add this lil' bit in . . . last night I had a a message on my phone . . . from my former boss from when I first started college(hello Stacy) I was totally surprised that he had called to comment on my blog! I thought "how in the world did he find it?" . . . thanks mom . . . I think she is going to start making t-shirts and aprons with my URL address on them (unless they are already made?) Anywho if you are visiting my blog because of my mom or another family member thanks and I hope that you enjoy! If you stumbled upon it welcome, and if you have checked it out before welcome back! Okay onto the soup . . .
Sausage and Cannellini Soup
Recipe by: Emily
1 lb Sausage (Italian Preferably)
32 oz Chicken Stock
1 cup sliced Squash, (zuc's or crookneck)
1 15 oz can Italian diced tomatoes
1/2 cup Orzo Pasta
1 can Cannellini Beans, rinsed
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Sugar
1 Garlic Clove, minced
Red Pepper Flakes
1. Brown the sausage in a large sauce pan or soup pot. Once the meat is no longer pink add the onion, olive oil, and garlic. Once the onion is translucent add the sugar cook for 2 minutes then add the squash. Cook until the meat begins to brown and onions start to caramelise and squash begins to soften.
2. Pour in the chicken stock, and tomatoes. Bring stock to a gentle boil and add the orzo pasta. Gently boil for about 8 minutes then add the beans, salt, pepper and pepper flakes to taste. Simmer for a few more minutes then serve hot!
(I served this soup with our favorite pesto toasts! Shear delight!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Raspberry Truffles and an "Ode to Chocolate"

These are truffles in the loosest sense of the word. I didn't have any cream, (which is the key to great truffles) but after a long week and today being the only opportunity that I had/have for the rest of the week to make any goodies . . . I made them!
The recipe is easy, 1 bag of milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/3 cup raspberry jam. Mix the two ingredients and microwave until the chocolate begins to melt. (Always watch chocolate carefully when heating it!!!) Stir until smooth, reheating a few seconds more if needed. Freeze until it is completely cool and firm (it will still be a but pliable). Make into teaspoon size balls and roll in cocoa powder. Wa-lah . . . hits the spot for chocolate cravings and I hear eating chocolate reverses the process of graying hair!
Ode to Chocolate!
-To have one's diet defeated by chocolate is a delectable defeat.
-God sends no stress that prayer and chocolate cannot handle!
-When the going gets tough, the tough get chocolate.
-There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.
-I am a woman of many moods, and they all require chocolate.
-Warning! I have PMS and I'm all out of chocolate!
-Warning! Chocoholic in Residence.
-If God had meant us to be thin, He would NOT have created chocolate.
-I'm going on a starvation diet. No chocolate for 24 hours!
-In heaven, chocolate has no calories and is served as the main course.
-Sisters share laughter, tears and lots of chocolate.
-Money may talk, but chocolate sings!
-The best things in life are chocolate.
-Some things in life are better rich. . . coffee, chocolate, men.
-In the beginning there was the word, and the word was chocolate and it was good. Confec. 1.5 oz. 340 cal.
-I eat anything as long as it is chocolate.
-Q. How many calories are there in a piece of chocolate?
A. Who cares?
-Anything tastes better dipped in chocolate.
-I love you as much as chocolate itself!
-So much chocolate. So little time!
-Give me chocolate or give me death, for to live without chocolate is not living!
-Anything is good and useful if it is made of chocolate.
-If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose.
-If there is no chocolate in heaven, I'm not going!
-It's never too early or too late for chocolate.
-When my time is up, let it be death by chocolate.
-I only eat chocolate for you, so there will be more of me to love.
-Promise me anything, but give me chocolate.
-Do Not Disturb: Chocolate fantasy in progress.
-Forget the fruitcake, give me chocolate.
-There's no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.
-When life gets you down and nothing is going right, you always have a friend ... in chocolate.
-The future is uncertain. Eat your chocolate first.
-The best over-the-counter prescription to perk you up is chocolate.
-The way to a woman's heart is through a box of chocolates.
-Will do anything for chocolate!
-Hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt.
-Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.
-I never met a chocolate I didn't like.
-Forget love! I'd rather fall in chocolate!
-The key to my heart is chocolate.
-Don't send me roses, unless they are chocolate!
-If life is a box of chocolates, I want the cherry-filled!
-There are two food groups: Chocolate and fruit. And if it is fruit, it should be dipped in chocolate.
-I'm a Chocoholic's Anonymous drop out.
-There is no Chocolate's Anonymous because no one wants to quit.
-Chocolate is worth its weight in gold.
-A chocolate bar is better than a gold bar.
-Chocolate is an essential nutrient.
-If it's chocolate, it's sending out messages for me to eat it.
-I'd stop eating chocolate, but I'm no quitter.
-There's never a wrong time for chocolate.
-Chocolate is to die for. Only it's so sinfully good I'd never get to heaven!
-Money can't buy love, but it can buy chocolate.
-A day without you is like a day without chocolate.
-Chocolate satisfies all my cravings.
-Man cannot live on chocolate alone, but woman can.
-One never outgrows the need for chocolate.
-Chocolate solves everything!
-Chocolate is the answer. Who cares what the question is!
-If at first you don't succeed, have a chocolate!
-Things are bad. Send chocolate!
-S.O.S. Need chocolate!!
-If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.
-Chocolate-covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you like.
-Eat a chocolate before each meal. It will take the edge off your appetite and you will eat less.
-If you can't eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can't eat all your chocolate, it may be a sign of a deeper problem.
-Store your chocolate on top of the refrigerator. Calories are afraid of heights and will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.
-Chocolate is the food group they don't tell you about!
-Who says chocolate isn't a food group!!
-Equal parts of dark chocolate and white chocolate make a balanced diet.
-The preservatives in chocolate will make you look younger.
-If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control-top pantyhose and an entire garment industry would be out of business.
-A nice box of chocolate provides your total daily intake of calories in one place. Isn't that handy? -Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way at least you will get one thing done.
-Question: Why is there no such organization as Chocoholics Anonymous? Answer: Because no one wants to quit.
-Problem: How do you get two pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car? Solution: Eat it in the parking lot.
-One of life's mysteries is how a two-pound box of candy can make a person gain five pounds.
-Make mine chocolate!
-You are some bunny special. (Put with a chocolate bunny)
-Crafting is my passion. But chocolate comes in a very close second! (Substitute any hobby.)
-Boost the economy. Skip dieting, buy larger clothes, Twinkies, Bon Bons, chocolate...
-Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but she can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake.
-Those who say "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels" haven't tasted real chocolate!
-Milk chocolate is a dairy product.
-Another deep breath take, and do without that chocolate cake! NOT!
-Food used for medicinal purposes, such as hot chocolate, brandy, toast and Sara Lee Cheesecake, do not have calories.
-The four food groups: Brownies, Chocolate Cake, Fudge, Diet Coke
-Save Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.
-Good friends share their chocolate chip cookies.
-Friends are the chocolate chips of life.
-In the cookies of life, friends are the chocolate chips.
-A grandma is admired for her wisdom, patience, understanding and her chocolate chip cookies.
-Dear Lord: So far today, I am doing all right. I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self indulgent. I have not whined, complained, cursed, or eaten any chocolate. I have not charged on my credit card. However, I am going to get out of bed in a few minutes, and I will need a lot more help after that. Amen
-If the world was fair, a VCR would program itself, chocolate would not be fattening and men would give birth to babies.
-Life is like a box of chocolates. . . full of nuts.
-Men are like a box of chocolates. You never know when you're going to get a nut.
-The calories in white chocolate are negative and cancel out the positive calories in dark chocolate.
-Those calorie-free sweets taste great dipped in chocolate!
-There's nothing wrong with me that a little chocolate won't cure.
-Life would be so desolate without any chocolate!
-The two major food groups:
A) The foods that you put cheese on.
B) The remaining foods that you put chocolate on.
-Sisters and chocolate make life bearable.
-Chocolate comes with its price. . . control-top pantyhose.
-What came first, woman or the chocolate bar?
-Chocolate. . . it isn't just for breakfast anymore.
I picked up these drool inducing post cards in Germany! I should blow them up and wallpaper a wall with them . . . it would be great if there really was lickable wallpaper!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Summer Tortellini

Okay bear with me for just a second while I gush about my sweet hubby . . . to say that school has been more than a little stressful this semester would be the understatement of the century for me right now, but my guy has been a trooper everyday . . . in fact I came home from a work meeting tonight (knowing that hours worth of homework was waiting for me) and my handsome man had cleaned the kitchen like a champ! It was just super welcome so I have to say thanks hottie(!!!) for your skills and for eating your veggies!
Okay onto the d-lish Summer Tortellini! Thank you Aunt Carol for sharing the wealth of your garden with us! I just LOVE fresh veggies! Especially when you grow them yourself and look forward to all of the things that you will make with them! (hint Mom: you should grow Jalapenos to make jelly with next year!)
This little jewel of a concoction was a "Pan Toss": where you toss what you have on hand into a pan and it makes something incredible! It really was a delight to make and eat! I just love adding colorful veggies to pasta! It is the best! Especially when they are not "canned soup" mushy, but have a little crunch to them! (oh baby, oh baby!) This dish is like eating sunshine! Enough said!
Summer Tortellini
Recipe by: Emily
1 lb Sausage, (Use your fav, I like the lower fat Jimmy Dean myself, I am not a big italian sausage fan but it too would be good! My hubby would say its meat, whats not to like?)
2-3 Crookneck Squash, cut into bite size chunks
1 (14.5) can Italian Stewed Tomatoes
1/2 Red Onion, coarseley chopped
8 oz package 4 cheese Tortellini, (or whatever pasta you have handy)
1/2 cup Alfredo Sauce
1/4 cup Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
1 clove minced Garlic

Brown the sausage in a large sauce pan. Cook the pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking and sausage is browning prep the veggies. Once the sausage is no longer pink and beginning to brown add the onion and garlic, cook for 3-4 minutes then add the squash. Cook meat and veggie mixture until the squash begins to soften slightly. Add the canned tomatoes, alfredo sauce, and roasted red peppers. Add the cooked tortellini and cook for about 2 minutes. Season with Salt and pepper, serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped grape tomatoes to garnish! Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Schnitzel, Hot German Potato Salad, and Apple Strudel

Gruesstig! It was German night in our home this evening, for supper anyway . . . the only thing missing was our lederhosen! My little sister called needing my German Potato Salad recipe . . so I decided to make it for dinner and post it for her. I love to reminisce and dive into the food that I grew to love so much while living in Deutschland! Now if only we had the gummy shops and chocolate available that they have . . . I did find red cabbage (rotkohl) though and thoroughly enjoyed it! My comp's and I ate jar after jar of this yummy concoction! I made it homemade once . . . it was quite the process! (I just buy it now, since I am the only one in my home that will eat it) I love it when I'm motivated to make something Deutsches! Heads up this is a long entry . . . 3 recipes here. My high school German teacher was the most amazing woman in the world! She is Austrian and started my love for the Germanic countries, language, culture and FOOD! I tried many different versions of potato salad while their but this one is my favorite!
Hot German Potato Salad
6-7 medium sized potatoes, peeled and sliced
3 strips thick cut Bacon, chopped
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
2-3 tsp Sugar
2-3 Tbsp Vinegar

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain the potatoes reserving 1/2 cup of the boiling water.(Be careful or you will end up with mashed potatoes!) Cook the bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside, add the onion to the frying pan and cook in the bacon drippings until soft. Once the onions has cooked for about 6-8 minutes add the sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper and reserved water. Simmer for a few minutes, taste and add more sugar, vinegar, salt or pepper to taste. Add the bacon to the potatoes and pour the vinegar and onion mixture over the potatoes and bacon. Stir potatoes to coat. Sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy!

In Germany and Austria schnitzel is eaten with fresh squeezed lemon wedges or mushroom gravy. Leftovers (if you have any) are also great for sandwiches. They often take up the entire plate and are traditionally served with pommes (fries) or kartoffel (potato) salad. Schnitzel is easy to make and simply delicious!
Step #1 Pound it thin!
Step #2, Flour the pork.
Step #3 Dredge the pork in egg.
Step #4 Coat the cutlet in bread crumbs.
Wiener Schnitzel
Recipe by:Emily
4 boneless pork or veal chops
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup fine ground bread crumbs
2 eggs

Pound the chops thin between two pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Beat the two eggs with a little salt, and pepper in a bowl large enough to dunk the meat into. Spread the bread crumbs on a plate and sprinkle with a little more salt, and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Take each cutlet and dip each side into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs to coat evenly. Lay the coated cutlets onto a plate once coated. (They cook in only a few minutes so it is best to have them all ready). Fry each piece in the hot oil until browned and cooked through. (2-3 minutes per side) Place browned schnitzel on a plate with paper towels to absorb any excess grease. Serve the schnitzel with lemon wedges or gravy. Enjoy!

You can use regular sugar instead, but I love the way that the brown sugar creates an incredible creamy filling!
Apple Strudel
Recipe by:Emily
6 Sheets Phi lo Dough
1/2 cup butter
5-6 Apples peeled, cored and sliced thin (Granny Smith, Jonagold, whatever you have, I like to mix mine up!)
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional)
1/2 cup Golden Raisins (Optional)
1 1/2 Tbsp Flour

Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a pan and add apples. Once the apples start releasing their juices add the brown sugar. Cook for about 2 -3 minutes and add the cinnamon and flour. Remove from heat and set aside. Layer the 6 sheets of philo dough; brush each sheet with melted butter and then lay another sheet on top. Pour the apple filling down the center of the dough. Spirinkle the filling with the bread crumbs and fold the dough over the filling, fold each end over and roll strudel onto a baking sheet with the seam side down. Bake in a preheated 350degree oven for 18-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Allow to sit for a few minutes before slicing. Serve plain or with whip cream or ice cream. Enjoy

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Holy Guacamole Che-Che-Cheezy Nachos!

I was talking to my older sister this morning between classes, she said that she was talking to my mom the other day about how dedicated I must be to school since I haven't been blogging as much . . . keep thinking that ladies! Its true . . . I am the eternal scholar . . . but you know I love to blog . . . so heres a college entree for ya . . . Nachos!
Lets be honest, nachos are easy to make . . . but they are a fun indulgence at our house. Since I have been married I think I have only made them twice, both times totally different but equally d-lish!
My measurements are just "guesstimates" so add more or less of whatever, also I use leftovers for tacos salad, burritos, etc . . . so two meals come from one time cooking! (Time saver!)
Holy Guacamole Che-Che-Cheezy Nachos!
Corns Chips
3/4 cup Queso Cheese
1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp Taco Seasoning
2 Green Onions, Sliced
1/2 cup Tomatoes, chopped
Jalapeno slices
3/4 cup Guacamole
1/2-3/4 cup Salsa (I love extra Chunky!)
1/3 cup Sour Cream (I use fat free)

Brown the ground beef in a frying pan, add the taco seasoning and black beans and mix. Pile corn chips on a plate and top with desired amount of beef and bean mixture, heat the queso cheese dip and pour over the chips, dollop guacamole and salsa over all the chips, sprinkle the tomatoes, green onions and jalapenos over the chips. Dollop the sour cream in the middle. Chow down! Serves 3-5 people.

You can honestly add or subtract anything to nachos, I also like to use chicken, corn, re fried beans, grated cheese, etc. We like nachos for movie nights!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Shrimp Jambalaya

I can honestly say that I have never made Jambalaya, until today! This spicy dish filled with amazing ingredients was a hit with my hubby who is the cayenne king! (He seriously puts cayenne on practically everything he makes . . . it's his "secret ingredient"!)
I love cooking things that require a little prep work, some chopping, slicing etc . . . cooking is just very calming for me and just a release after a long day!
This spicy stuff was d-lish! I really liked the combination of chicken, shrimp, and sausage. It was just a great hearty meal at the end of a never ending day! (It was also so easy to make and only one pot . . . who can complain!?!)
A bowl of Jambalaya just hits the spot! I also LOVE these soup bowls! (Thanks Mutti!)
Shrimp Jambalaya
Recipe from: Lion House International Recipes
2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 cup sliced Celery
1/2 cup chopped Green Pepper
1/2 cup chopped Onion
1/2 tsp finely chopped Garlic
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain Rice
1 cup Water
1 cup cubed cooked Chicken
1 can (16 oz) Tomatoes with liquid
1/2 pound Smoked Sausage, cooked and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 1/2 tsp Chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/8 tsp Thyme
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1 small Bay Leaf
1/2 Pound fresh or frozen raw Shrimp, shelled, deveined and rinsed.
Hot Pepper Sauce

Melt butter or margarine in a 3 quart saucepan; add celery bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, until vegetables are tender (4-6 minutes). Stir in rice, chicken, water, tomatoes with liquid, sausage, bouillon granules, paprika, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and bay leaf. Over high heat, cook until mixture comes to a full boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender (20 -25 minutes). Add shrimp; continue cooking until shrimp is pink (4-5 minutes). Remove bay leaf. Serve with hot pepper sauce. Serves 6.