Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Champignon Spaetzle

Spaetzle (pronounced "shpets-la")is a German tradition especially in Bavaria and is so versatile you could really make a million recipes with it. It consists of tiny boiled dumplings and can be comparable to pasta. It's typically served with mushrooms and mushroom sauce. My mother in law who is German made sure I knew how to make this when I got married years ago and I'm glad she did!

I created this recipe tonight on a whim and my son said, "Mom this is the best dinner ever!" It hits the spot for sure. I chose the maple syrup breakfast sausages to add a delicious sweetness to the creamy, cheesy, Alfredo, mushroom and onion flavor. This is a family favorite!!

Champignon Spaetzle

Champignon Sauce
  • 12 maple syrup flavored breakfast sausages
  • 2 cups slices mushrooms
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • fresh ground pepper

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 quart cold water
Stir spaetzle ingredients together. Make it to the consistency of pancake batter. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Place a strainer with large holes over the pot and pour batter through. Batter should create little droplets as it falls into boiling water. The batter droplets will sink and then rise to the surface when they are ready. Once they float to surface drain water and rinse in a strainer. Set aside.

In a large frying pan brown sausages on medium high in 1/2 stick of butter. Set sausages aside. Add mushrooms and onions to sausage grease and saute until brown. Add flour 2 Tbsp at a time to mushrooms and quickly stir. Add remaining butter and the rest of flour to get a paste. Add milk one cup at a time and stir. You may add more flour to thicken. Add sour cream, cheese, onion powder, salt and pepper. When sauce is thick and bubbly pour over spaetzle and top with sausages and green onions. Enjoy!

Funky Kickin' Chicken Salad

This is chicken salad with a kick! Every bite has creamy sauce, juicy chicken and crunchy peppers. The cilantro, garlic and lemon flavors give it that unique southwestern twist. This is delicious as a tortilla wrap with lettuce and shredded sharp cheddar. Place your chicken salad on a platter and bag of tortillas and shredded cheddar cheese and let your family assemble their own wraps!

Funky Kickin' Chicken Salad

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup red onion diced
  • 4 tsp mild green Tabasco sauce
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Boil thawed chicken breasts for 20 minutes. Drain and run under cool water for 5 minutes. Shred chicken into medium bowl. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Chill and serve on a bed of lettuce. Garnish with green onions or cilantro. Tastes great with shredded cheddar cheese on a wrap.

Hollywood Salad

I love this salad! It is bursting with flavors. Something about the creamy citrus dressing with the grilled chicken and hints of feta cheese and sweet strawberries is spectacular. I was first introduced to strawberries on salad years ago from a friend in Beverly Hills. This reminds me of her so I thought the name was fitting.

Hollywood Salad
  • 1 bag fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 grilled chicken breasts sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 12-15 strawberry slices
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds or honey roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup thawed orange juice
Rinse and drain spinach. Decorate strawberries on top. Place grilled chicken strips on top. Blend orange juice and mayo together and drizzle over salad. Sprinkle cheese and nuts/seeds on top. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fiesta Dressing

I created this on a whim and it's now my favorite!! Perfect for any Mexican or Southwestern salad.

Fietsa Dressing
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
Blend ingredients in Magic Bullet or blender. You may add more salt or lemon juice to taste depending on your liking. Chill before serving.

Crispy Chimichangas

Mmmm...I could eat these forever if they weren't so filling. Didn't use a recipe for this just created it as I went along. I love the crispy, flaky outer layer and then the gooey, cheesy center. This is so great with a side of fresh guacamole, pineapple peach salsa, and sour cream. I also created my own dressing. Here is the link to Fiesta Dressing.

Crispy Chimichangas
  • 6 large tortillas (burrito size)
  • 1 lb taco seasoned ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1-2 cups oil
Heat a skillet and cook ground beef, cilantro and onions in taco seasoning. Spread refried beans on a tortilla. Spoon beef mixture, pinto beans, 1 Tbsp tomatoes and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese onto each tortilla. Fold like a burrito tucking all sides in. Heat a skillet to medium high and pour oil in. Fry burritos until golden crisp on each side (about 2 minutes per side). Serve right away with favorite toppings and a side salad.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Strawberry Shortcut Cake

(Photo: Food Network)

My sister made this for Valentine's Day and these are her photos. It was so delicious I just had to post it.

Strawberry Shortcut Cake

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box strawberry cake mix
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (3-ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin (recommended: Jell-O)
  • Fresh strawberries, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Follow cake directions as written on cake mix box.

Remove from oven and cool cake completely. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine strawberries, cognac and sugar. Let macerate 20 minutes. Invert and release cake onto a decorative platter.

Whip cream with confectioners' sugar and vanilla at medium-high speed until it reaches stiff peaks. Do not over whip.

Mix gelatin as directed on box. Refrigerate gelatin mix but do not let it harden, it should cool to a liquid consistency.

Using a straw, poke holes all over the cake. Pour gelatin into holes and spread over the top of the cake.

Spread layer of macerated strawberries on top of cake. Spread layer of whipped cream on top of the strawberries, making pretty swirls and ripples. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Calzone Pizza Pockets

These hot pockets are warm and flaky with a gooey pizza center. Dip them in marinara or ranch dressing and serve with fresh veggies or crisp salad. Here is my personal recipe. Add your favorite pizza toppings inside to make it your own.

Calzone Hot Pockets
  • 1 can refrigerated biscuit dough
  • 1 can spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup pepperoni slices
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Roll out biscuit dough into thin round circles. Spread 1 Tbsp sauce, pepperoni slices and 2 Tbsp cheese on top. Fold dough over and seal all around edges. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Yummy Garlic Breadsticks

These go perfect with any Italian dish. They are hot, gooey and cheesy in the center and they just melt on your tongue. They make your whole kitchen smell like an Italian bakery. Mmmmm!!

Yummy Garlic Breadsticks
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 can refrigerated biscuits
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian herbs
Mix cream cheese and garlic powder. Unroll biscuit dough and roll into wide ovals. Spread 1 Tbsp of mixture on each piece. Fold in half and twist. Brush melted butter and Italian herbs on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Country Apple Dumplings & Vanilla Sauce

These are very addicting and great for breakfast or desert. I created this vanilla sauce which is a popular desert topping in Germany. My husband loves apples, dumplings and vanilla sauce so of course he loved this recipe. These didn't last more than 20 minutes.

Apple Dumplings and Vanilla Sauce
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple
  • 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls (8 rolls)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp sugar
Vanilla Sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Grease a 9x11 dish. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Slice apple in 8 slices removing seeds. Wrap each slice with a crescent roll. Place all rolls in dish. Melt butter, add apple juice, cinnamon and sugar. Heat this until mixed well and then pour mixture over the rolls adding raisins. Bake 35-40 minutes. Mix vanilla sauce and spoon over each serving.

Black Forest Cake

I have been wanting to make a black forest cake for quite some time. I couldn't think of anything more appropriate for Valentine's Day. I had to try it completely from scratch to see if homemade cakes really are better. The answer is yes. Don't think I can go back to cake mixes now. My son told me that this was the best cake he ever had. Something about the juicy cherries, real chocolate ingredients, moist cake layers and sour cream filling, really hits the spot. This tastes even better the second day when it is chilled and completely solidified.

Black Forest Cake

  • 3 cups of cake flour (cake flour is finer, tastes better and is very cheap)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups hot chocolate
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Sour Cream Frosting
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup melted chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Milk
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • canned whipped cream
  • Maraschino Cherries
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bottom of 12 inch round cake pan. In large bowl combine all cake ingredients on low speed until moist and runny. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Test center with toothpick. Insert toothpick in center - if it comes out clean allow cake to cool. Cool for 20 minutes before releasing from pan.

In small bowl combine powdered sugar, sour cream and butter. Blend until light and fluffy. Blend in chocolate and vanilla on low speed. Add milk 1 tsp at a time until right consistency.

Slice cooled cake evenly through middle to get three layers. Spread frosting in between layers and stack. Frost entire cake. Top with cherry pie filling, whipped cream and cherries. Chill for 2-4 hours.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Creamy "Yellow" Chicken

I created this dish a few years ago. It is quite tasty and very mild. I have said before how much love yellow curry. It is in a lot of German food and most people have no idea. Curry is one of my top 7 spices. It is delicious on potatoes and chicken. My kids love this stuff too. This is a great meal!

Creamy "Yellow" Chicken

  • 4 grilled chicken breasts
  • 1 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
Place grilled chicken breasts in baking dish. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken (the curry powder creates yellow color. If your curry does not add enough yellow, add 6 drops of yellow food coloring). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until bubbling. Serve over rice and grilled stir fry veggies. Sprinkle parsley on top. (Tip: when making your rice replace water with chicken broth). Enjoy!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Berries & Cream Hot Chocolate

This pink goodness is perfect for Valentine's Day. I was wanting to make white hot chocolate from scratch and I thought to myself how yummy it would be to add berry flavor, so I went with raspberry. You could use strawberry as well and serve with a dish of fresh mixed berries and chocolates. I like to dip shortbread cookies in this delicious drink. This tastes even better cold as I found out the next day when I took it out of the fridge. Enjoy!

Berries & Cream Hot Chocolate
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp raspberry extract
  • 8 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • Fat free Ready Whip in a can(tastes like it's not fat free)
  • Fresh raspberries for garnish
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine white chocolate chips and heavy cream. Stir continuously until white chocolate chips have completely melted. Stir in the half-and-half, vanilla and raspberry extract. Add food coloring. Stir occasionally until heated through. Pour into mugs and top with a dollop of whipped topping and raspberries.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Asian Slaw Burgers

I love these burgers - gourmet all the way. They have just the right amount of flavor. I infused Asian flavor into the ground beef and then of course added it into the coleslaw. You get a mouthful of crisp, crunchy slaw coated in creamy ginger dressing on a juicy beef patty on a delicious bun! No need for condiments with this burger it has an act all of it's own!

These are great with sweet potato fries.

Asian Slaw Burgers

Asian Slaw
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 bag freshly cut coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 cucumber thinly sliced
  • 6 radishes thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Kraft made with Olive Oil)
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
Combine coleslaw, cucumber, radishes and onion in a medium bowl. In a frying pan saute garlic and ginger. Pour over coleslaw and toss. In a small bowl combine mayo, rice vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Blend until creamy. Pour over coleslaw and toss until evenly coated. Chill for 1-2 hours.

Asian Burger
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp Teryaki sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Combine ingredients in order as listed above. Stir egg into mixture very well before adding bread crumbs. Shape into patties and grill until well done in centers.

Serve patty hot on bun or roll and top with Asian slaw. Enjoy!

Super Bowl Dip

Okay, I don't watch the Super Bowl but I created this dip about 4 years ago and thought the name would be fitting. This dip is my absolute favorite dip in the whole world! I combined a lot of my favorite flavors. It's creamy, chunky, and smokey. Anything with bacon in it is always good! (It's not spicy so don't worry about the Tabasco sauce part)

Super Bowl Dip
  • 1 bag of bacon bits (the real bacon kind)
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Smokey Chipotle Tabasco Sauce
  • 1 large tub of sour cream (I use fat free)
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise (I use Kraft made with olive oil)
  • 1 cup diced roasted red peppers
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
Mix all ingredients together and chill for 2 hours. Serve with crackers and pretzels. Also great with celery sticks and cucumber spears.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pepperoni Salad

I whipped this together tonight for a quick and easy meal. It sure was tasty!

Pepperoni Salad
  • 1 box of Rigatoni (I use wheat kind)
  • 1 container of grape tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup pepperoni slices halved
  • 1 package of sliced Munster Cheese (cut into squares)
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 3 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Kraft made with Olive Oil)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Italian Dressing seasoning
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • dash of seasoned salt
  • Dash of fresh round pepper
Boil pasta according to directions of box. Drain and place in large salad bowl. Add onion, spinach, tomatoes, pepperoni and cheese. In a small bowl mix together Italian Dressing seasonings and mayonnaise. Stir into pasta. Add vinegar and oil to salad and stir well. Add salt and pepper and stir again. Cover and chill for an hour.