Monday, January 28, 2013

Busy weekend recap...#ChocolateCakeDay best steak ever...

How was your weekend?  Ours was very nice, and very busy....

On Saturday we went - as usual - to the German Sophie Scholl Saturday School in the morning.  It actually lasts until 12:30 so we do not get back home before after 1 p.m. Saturday has been our day to go out for lunch/dinner.  All of us are usually tired so it has been a nice change of pace.  Afterwards we went - are you ready - roller skating at the Oaks Park Roller Rink.  Let me just tell you that I do not have a lot of previous roller skating experience.  Well, maybe that one time when I got roller skates at the age of nine and broke my arm.  There was also another time - a couple of years after the arm breaking incident - that I tried again.  I skated down a hill by my grandparents house, could not stop myself and rode ride into a phone booth {yes - a big yellow phone booth they did still exist at the time I was a kid}.  So anyway,  you get the picture I really have no positive roller skating experience.  The girls wanted to hey, I can always give it a new try plus I have had never skated at a roller ring.  Wow!!!  What have I missed all those years?!  I - honestly - had so so so much fun!!!  Yup, glad the girlies like it too so we will be back...

Sunday was busy too.  Ron ran a 1/2 Marathon in the morning, and the girls along with me as well as the girl scout troupe went to see a play at the Oregon Children's Theater.  Super fun, but Mia Rosie was a little scared...

Yesterday was Chocolate Cake Day, so I made brownies {yes, I cheated by using a box from Trader Joe's but...this time I added 6 Tbl of Olive Oil instead of Earth Balance. These were the best brownies EVER!}
Alena celebrates chocolate cake day with Brownies 
For dinner Ron asked if we could have steak and you know who else loves steak?  Yes, Mia Rose.  I am always a little scared to make steak - there is nothing worth than an over cooked steak.  Anyway, I resorted to Mr. Google and found the Alton Brown method to cooking steak in a cast iron pan.  Wow - it worked like a charm.  The best steak ever...and it was super easy.
Mia Rose loves steak 

I also made Chimichurri sauce {green} topped the steak with it, oven baked potatoes, and a green salad.   Everyone was happy :)

Have a great week!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Broccoli kind of night

that is what our dinner was tonight.  And, I can not tell you how happy I am about Pinterest.  Yes, it seems silly to pin your own pins, but you know what?  I used three of them today - yes, yes super lame all linking back to my own blog...

It was time to make a fresh batch of cookies for the family again.  Yup, this is the fourth time in a two weeks...  They are a huge hit by the entire family, and the occasional guest alike...

Then Cream of Broccoli Soup {with the broccoli stems}- I will need to post the recipe yet,  next Broccoli Salad in Ginger Garlic Dressing, and lastly bread.

Yup - and take a look at Mia Rose she gave dinner tonight a thumbs up as well...

Happy Friday night!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Udon Noodles w/creamy Lentils #Vegan #Dairyfree

Tonight I am in a pinch, you know a pinch for time and needed a quick dinner.  Here it is

again, the picture really does not do it justice but it was really good. Kind of an east-meets-west kind of dish. Wide Udon Noodles, with red lentils, and a side of green salad with shredded carrots in my German style dressing.

Oh yes,  and I added Siracha to my plate :)

Udon Noodles with creamy Lentils*
1 medium onion diced
app. 1" fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 can (app. 14 oz.) coconut milk
1 C red lentils
1/2 C water
1 package of wide Udon Noodles
1. in a pot melt the cream of the coconut.  When melted,
2. add onions, ginger and coriander.  When onions are soft,
3. add lentil, coconut milk (entire can), and app. 1/2 cup of water (or more) bring to a slow simmer until
    lentils are soft.
4. Bring water to a boil and cook Udon noodles according to directions
5. In a serving dish mix Udon noodles with the creamy red lentils

So, here is the result from the family - 1 x thumbs up on salad & Udon noodles, and the other girl thumbs down for the Udon noodles, and thumbs up on the salad....

* I do know that lentils are a controversial food in the Galactosemic diet.  However, our girls eat all
   beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Our childrens GALT levels are monitored and they are doing

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Black Bean Soup w/ Chorizo for #WeeknightSupper

I love soup - the girls love soup - Ron loves soup = the perfect weeknight dinner at our house on a cold January evening.  We eat a lot of soup.  Winter, spring, summer, and fall there is always a time for soup. It is comfort in a bowl and by my book always a perfect dinner.

So, tonight we had black bean soup - I like all beans, but currently black beans are my absolute favorite; pair it with a loaf of no knead bread and it is a perfect dinner.* Yes, that is what we had for dinner.  I prefer dried beans over canned beans.  They taste so much better, have better texture, {at least I think so} have better flavor, and are - yes - so much more economical. The only downside - one could argue -  is that dried beans need a little planning.  Either soak the beans the night before, or quick soak them on the day of.  In a pinch canned beans work too - but to me there is nothing better than dried beans :)
Black Bean Soup with Chorizo 

The picture does not give the soup justice; it was so delicious....

Black Bean Soup with Chorizo

  • 2 C dried black beans; either soaked overnight or quick soaked
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1    onion diced
  • 1    carrot cleaned, cut into slices
  • 1    piece of celery diced
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes
  • 2 C broth {any type you like Vegetable, Chicken, Beef}
  • 3 C water
  • 8 oz dried chorizo cut into slices
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado for garnish

1. In a large stock pot heat splash of olive oil and when hot add onions with a pinch of salt. When
    onion is soft,
2. add rest of the vegetables and salt.  When carrots begin to turn bright orange,
3. add coriander and mix it under all the vegetables, after a minute or so
4. add tomatoes, broth, and water.  Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer - covered -
    until beans are soft.  When beans are soft,
5. Using an immersion blender - blend soup to desired consistency
6. add chorizo to a hot pan. Once the fat has rendered a little remove from the pan and add to the soup.
7. Add cayenne pepper, hot sauce, pepper, and adjust salt.
8. Serve with slices of avocado in the soup.

* I am aware that beans is a controversial food and that many families are avoiding them.  Our kids eat
  all beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Easy Gnocchi w/ Pesto & Salad for #WeeknightSupper

Alena & Ron at the Rhododendron Garden
We had a lovely long weekend.  School on Saturday, friends for dinner on Sunday, and Monday we spent with a nice walk at the Rhododendron Garden, visit to the playground, and finished the day with a soak in the pool at the Kennedy School.  Yes,  I can say we had a very nice weekend, and food-wise we were well taken care of as there was plenty of leftover Jubelale Stew from our Sunday night dinner party. Enough for Monday dinner, and everyone's lunch today...

Mia Rose enjoying the slide on the playground

For dinner tonight I needed something easy and quick.  Gnocchi is often a dish that fits that; I have not made it in a while plus there were still plenty of potatoes left.  Homemade Gnocchi is really - trust me - easy.  You can cook the potatoes the night before, in the morning, or whenever you have time.  Put together the dough - it is really done in a snap, then top it with pesto and it is one delicious meal...You prefer a vegan dish?  Just leave out the Paremsiano Regiano.

1 1/4 lbs potatoes {I use Russets for Gnocchi}
1-3/4 C  flour {generous}
1-2    tsp Salt
   2    Tbl Olive Oil

1. Peel potatoes and boil in salt water until done
2. Pour flour into a large bowl - Push potatoes through a ricer onto the flour; add salt & Olive Oil
3. Mix everything gently together with a dough scraper {or by hand} until you have a firm dough
    {the process takes about 5-6 minutes}
***Bring a large pot of water with salt to a boil***
4. While water is warming up, divide dough into four equal parts Form, and shape each one into a long
     rolls.  Cut each roll into equal gnocchi, each about 1 inch, or longer (2.5 cm)
5.  When water is boiling, add the entire Gnocchi batch at once to the boiling water at once. Turn heat
     down to a simmer.  Cook for about another minute once they float to the surface and remove with a
     skimmer from the water to a serving dish.
6.  Top with your favorite topping

Tonight I topped the Gnocchi with Pesto I made this summer.  I froze the pesto {made with walnuts} into individual "cubes" {are they not pretty flower & hearts} and take them out when I start making the Gnocchi.  By the time the Gnocchi are done, the Pesto has defrosted - I added Parmesiano Regiano {do not freeze with cheese in it} to the Pesto.

This is a perfect, delicious dinner :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dairyfree Toast Hawaii for #SundaySupper

This week for #SundaySupper the theme is "Retro Recipes"; food memories that take you back in time. These are recipes that some of us make exactly as they were made back then, or others made changes to them.  

When the theme was first announced, I just knew that it will be Hawaii Toast {or Toast Hawaii} for us. Toast meets ham - pineapple - and a slice of cheese.  It is really good and in Germany you can find it on the menu in many restaurants. Something I grew up with,the girls so far have not not "met" Hawaii Toast.  

Toast Hawaii was "invented" in 1955 by the first German TV Chef Clemens Wilmenrod. The original version includes slices of cheese {like Kraft Singles}, butter, and a maraschino cherry on top. It is sweet, creamy, and salty all at once. I loved it growing up. My Omi would make Hawaii Toast for all of us grandkids for lunch. I remember one lunch when one of my cousins was clearly upset, that the cheese of his Hawaii Toast melted into to pineapple instead of forming a dome...

So now, finally it is time for our girls to meet a dairy free version of Toast Hawaii

 Dairyfree Toast Hawaii 

I decided to use Tofutti American Slices for the dairy free version; for the dairy version I used Emmenthaler {which the girls can also eat}.

As this is such an easy dish to make,and Mia Rose loves to work in the kitchen she pretty much made all of them.

Dairyfree Toast Hawaii {recipe is calculated for 4} 

  • 8  slices of toast {I used whole wheat}
  •    Earth Balance Margarine {or other vegan margarine} to   "butter" the bread
  • 8  large (or 16 small) slices of ham {make sure it does not have any hidden dairy}
  • 8  slices of canned pineapple
  • 16 slices of Vegan Tofutti American Style Slices {or Emmenthaler}

***Preheat oven to 350***
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or use individual 
   ovensafe dishes,
2. Toast the bread and "butter" one side of the warm bread. Put
   onto baking dish,
3. Top each "buttered" toast with 1-2 slices of ham,
4. Top each toast with 1 slice of pineapple,
5. Top each toast with 2 slices of cheese
6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes

Be careful it will be hot - enjoy!!!

Now check out the fantastic Retro Recipes by the other contributors of the #SundaySupper team.  There are so many fantastic, fun dishes... 

Sunday Supper Retro Appetizers:
Sunday Supper Retro Salads:
Sunday Supper Retro Breads and Sandwiches:
SundaySupper Main Dishes:
Sunday Supper Retro Sides and Veggies:
Sunday Supper Retro Desserts and Cocktails:
What fun to read the stories about the recipes! There’s lots of great food in the list. I admit I still make and enjoy many of them. Nice to see some updated versions too. Which one is your favorite?
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.

Sunday Supper Movement

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oatmeal Cookies w/ Raisins Chocolate Nuts {#Dairyfree} or Seeds

I have never, ever made Oatmeal Cookies...well, that is until this week.  This week I  we have made them twice. Yes, from never to twice just like that...I really wanted to name them "Everything but the Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies" as it is so much more appropriate.  So first why have I not made them before?  Well, honestly it never sounded that appealing to me.  So why out of a sudden?  Okay - rolled oats in bulk were on sale this week at New Season's Market so on a whim I decided to some.  Little did I know just how much we would all like Oatmeal Cookies....I found this fantastic recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Alena and I made the first batch - with walnut pieces; and Mia Rose and I made the second batch - with  pumpkin seeds.  They turned out fantastic - and the first batch did not last the night - and were quick and easy to make.  
Alena making Oatmeal Cookies

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies {#Dairyfree} - Rasins - Chocolate - Nuts/Seeds
   1 C  flour
1/2 tsp baking solda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
   1 stick {1/2 C} Vegan Margarine {I use Earth Balance} softened
1/2 C sugar
Everything but the Kitchen Sink Oatmeal cookies
1/2 C light brown sugar
    1    egg
    1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 C rolled Oates
   1/2 C raisins
   1/3 C dairyfree chocolate chips {generous}
   1/4 C chopped walnuts, or any type of seeds 

***Preheat oven to 350F***
1. Mix together all the dry ingredients {flour through salt}
2. Cream together the margarine, sugars, egg, and vanilla
3. Add dry ingredients to the margarine/sugar/egg mixture at once.  Mix in until all the flour mixture is just incorporated {do not over mix}
4. Add Oates, raisins, chocolate chips, nuts and/or seeds. Carefully stir it in until just mixed.
5. Using a ice cream scooper - or two spoons - drop the dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
    Leave plenty of space between each cookie
6. Bake for 11 minutes {until golden - do not over bake}
7. Take out of oven, let them cool down.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kale & Orange #Salad for #WeeknightSupper

Here we are in the middle of winter and the four of us crave fresh dark greens. Fresh, earthy Lacinato Kale meets that purpose for me.  The texture, the is the perfect winter salad; and I have not made it in a while.  This time - a first for me - I added in a delicious, fresh heirloom orange.  A burst of sushine in the middle of winter.  It not only is pretty but tastes fantastic.  Take a look

Kale & Orange Salad
2 bunches Lacinato Kale, washed & diced
1 med orange, peeled & cut into bite size pieces
2 Tbl toasted Sesame Oil
1-1/2 Tbl Rice Vinegar
1 Tbl Soy Sauce
1 garlic pressed
 2 Tbl Seeds {I added pumpkin seeds}

1. Add garlic to a salad bowl, and mix in oil.  Stir for a minute before adding vinegar, and soy sauce.
    Continue stirring for another minute or so
2. Adjust vinegar, and/or soy sauce before adding the Kale
3. Mix Kale with dressing, add orange pieces, and seeds.  Toss thoroughly until everything is lightly
   coated with dressing; let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Take a look at a couple members of the family...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Easy Italian Wedding #Soup

How is everyone?  It has been quite cold here in Portland and the perfect dinner to warm up with is soup.  You may know, that I have been frequently contributing to the weekly #SundaySupper posts.  The mission of the #SundaySupper movement is to bring families together to eat dinner around the table.  The founder of the group is Isabel also known as Family Foodie.  Just last weekend we all celebrated the one year anniversary by making dishes from 2012 #SundaySupper events. One of those dishes is Isabel's Easy Italian Wedding Soup.  I have wanted to make it since the first time I saw her original post.  So now was the time...

First I made the meatballs, and - why had I never done this before - baked them at 375F for 10 minutes.  They turned out amazing, plus the house did not smell like fried meat {yay!!!}, then I put the rest together.  And yes, I followed Isabel's recipe almost to a "t" {I did add a little bit of nutmeg to the spinach mixture}.  I was a little hesitant about the four quart's of soup {it will be great again tonight}, and was wondering why it needed to be on the stove for a minimum of three hours.  Well,  let me tell you something magical happens with the soup when it simmers for that long.  The meatballs were amazing, the flavors just all melted together.  Wow!!!  Everyone loved it - including Ron, the girls, well and me :)  An easy - not quick - but very easy recipe.  The house smells fantastic, and the result it just amazing.  Oh, and in case you are wondering I used Parmesiano Regiano.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

#Undeclared #Milk Boba Direct #Allergy #Alert BD Flavored Powders #Recall

Please click on link for details...

Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts Boba Direct Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in BD Flavored Powders

Kale w/ Sage Sausage on Pasta for #WeeknightSupper

We needed something simple, delicious, and filling for dinner.  Pasta is always the go to meal for us...but you know red sauce gets boring, so does pesto {and yes, we still have home made pesto from last summer in our freezer}, but Kale?!  Yes, it is the perfect addition to pasta, and it is in season plus it is on sale at New Season's.  Yay!!!

Let me just tell you that it was a total dinner success.  Mia Rosie had three helpings - she is a huge Kale lover...This was easy, filling, and the Kale just adds a wonderful flavor to any dish.  It is earthy - full of flavor, plus it is just beautiful

Kale with Sage Sausage on Pasta

Kale with Sausage on Pasta
1 box of pasta {any short type will work - Penne is probably the best with this}
1/2 lb. of bulk sage sausage {or other sausage / vegetarian sausage you like}
1 small onion diced
1 large garlic clove minced
pinch of salt
1/4 C of white wine
1/4 C of Tofutti Sour Cream
1 bunch of Kale diced {cleaned and all parts cut up}
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 C grated Parmesiano Reginao {optional}

1. Cook pasta until al dente and set aside
2. Break sausage up in to pieces and add to hot pan {I use a cast iron pan}. Stirring it frequently - when
    almost cooked through,
3. Add onions and sautee until onions are soft. Next,
4. Add the garlic stirring frequently and sauté for another minute or so.  Then,
Step # 7 - a
5. Add white wine scraping up all the bits from the bottom of the pan and once it is reduced,
6.  Stir in Tofutti Sour Cream
7.  Put Kale on top of the mixture and cover.  After a couple of minutes - Kale will be bright green - stir Kale into the sausage mixture.

Step # 7 -b
8.  Cook for another couple of minutes until Kale is cooked through to your liking.
9.  Adjust salt, add pepper, and add *optional* Parmesiano Regiano
10. Place pasta in a big serving platter, top with Kale/Sausage mixture and toss it together.

Monday, January 14, 2013

#Dairyfree Pecan Pancakes - Fruit Salad & Snowshoeing Fun

How about this title?  It sums up our Sunday fun :)  For breakfast we had fresh, hot pancakes, along with a fruit salad and then we headed for  Mount Hood again to go snowshoeing.  Snowshoeing for the parental entertainment and lot's of sledding for the girlies after the hike.  So much fun...and a gorgeous day up on Mount Hood with blue skies and lot's of snow.

Dairyfree Pancake with Pecan & Fruit Sala
For breakfast both girls requested pancakes - and I decided to "dress" some of them up a bit with leftover pecans in my pantry.  The girls, preferred the plain ones...but let me tell you the addition of pecans was fantastic.  And yes, the body needs more than pancakes for breakfast and there are not many things more delicious to accompany pancakes than fruit salad.
Dairyfree Pancakes - adapted from Joy of Cooking
1-1/2 C Flour
       3 Tbl Sugar
1-3/4  tsp  Baking Powder
       1 tsp  Salt
1-1/2 C     Soy/Oat/Hemp/Almond "Milk" - use Vanilla flavored for extra sweetness
       3 Tbl Canola Oil
            2   Eggs
    1/2 tsp.  Vanilla Extract
    1/4 C     Pecan pieces {optional}

1. In a big bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together {first 4},
2. In another bowl mix all the wet ingredients together.  Mix them thoroughly.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix it up into a smooth batter.
4. Heat a little bit of canola oil in a griddle. When hot add batter - I add it in 1/4 C per pancake. Flip
    when the first side is baked, and brown the second side.
5. Optional if adding pecans - add a couple of pecans to each pancake just before flipping it to bake that

Fruit Salad
At least 5 pieces of different fruit (this time I used kiwis, apples, orange)
1/4 C Sunflower Seeds {or pumpkin seeds}
1/4 C Raisins {optional}
1/4 C Pecans or other nuts {optional but so good}
      Juice from 1/2 lemon
1. Peel {I do not peel apples, pears, etc.} fruit if needed, and cut into bite size pieces. Mix into
    a salad bowl,
2. Add other ingredients and toss together

Before you go, here are a few pictures from our fun at Mount Hood.  This time we went to the White River West Sno-Park which is about 15 minutes from Government Camp. Amazing sledding hills,  snowshoeing, and cross county skiing.  Highly recommended for some winter snow fun by us :)


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lentils and Chorizo Stew for #SundaySupper

Happy Birthday, #SundaySupper!  Congratulations, go out to Isabel the founder of #SundaySupper.  I remember when first noticing tweets with the hashtag #SundaySupper in early 2012 and was intrigued; a virtual dinner table once a week with amazing dishes.  It is the connections we make around the table with our family, and friends that are so important in making us whole.  Dinner around the family table just once a week on Sunday's is a wonderful way for busy families to connect at least once a week. Food, and conversation is what makes the connection.  I am so excited to be part of this wonderful movement. - So, in order to celebrate the #SundaySupper movement each contributor had to choose one recipe t from a 2012 #SundaySupper event.  There are so many fantastic choices...and I choose Lentils and Chorizo Stew from the "Recipes that keep you warm" event by Paula of Vintage Kitchen Notes.  

You may know that in this house everyone adores lentils; I just make them the Northern European way. Lentils soup with bay leaf, onion, carrots, potatoes, salt, pepper and accompanied by Wieners.  But, paprika, red peppers, and chorizo...that is a completely different flavor to me.  This is Paula's recipe and she lives in Buenos Aires - a long way from Northern Europe.  I was intrigued by this recipe from the time I first saw it.  Lentils, chorizo, paprika, and red peppers...all the flavors I {the entire family} loves. So finally, I have the perfect opportunity to make this amazing dish.

I followed Paula's original recipe but used chicken broth instead of veal broth, plus I left out the bacon but used the entire package of chorizo {6.5 oz.} instead.  The flavors of this dish are full, bright, flavorful, and to me unexpected. Perfect on a winter day; it is an amazing dish that I certainly be making again this winter.   I served it with crusty bread, and a large bowl of salad. Take a look how beautiful it is 

This is what the girlies think about it.

Please take a look what everyone else is bringing to the #SundaySupper celebration today:

Sunday Supper Appetizers:
 Sunday Supper Soups and Breads:
 Sunday Supper Main Dishes: 
Sunday Supper Veggies: 
Sunday Supper Desserts and Snacks: 
 Sunday Supper Breakfast Faves:
Sunday Supper Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.


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