Friday, June 28, 2013

Sweet and Sour Short Ribs {Guest Post by Blueberries And Blessings}

I am so excited that my friend Pam agreed to be a guest blogger {yes, my very very very first one} on The Not So Cheesy Kitchen today...take a look at this amazing recipe!  Yes, it is all dairy free :) Thank you so much, Pam!

A big hello from northeast Florida today! I’m Pam, from Blueberries And Blessings. I am thrilled to be posting on The Not so Cheesy Kitchen, we met through our mutual love for  #SundaySupper, I fell in love with Bea’s blog and her passion to educate others on issues that she and her family face when it comes to food. She does a brilliant job and her dishes are delicious! What an honor to bring a meal to her table. Without further adieu, let’s talk ribs!

I bought some grass fed beef short ribs a while back when I was on my sojourn to Whole Foods. I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. I had truly only heard of a recipe of braised short ribs where you add tomatoes, carrots and the like to them, and I wasn't really feeling that recipe, so I just tucked them away in the freezer until inspiration struck.

I was sitting at my Mom's and looking through her trusty old cookbook when I spotted a recipe for Sweet and Sour Short Ribs. It was like bells went off. I scribbled the recipe down and eagerly went to it the very next day.

I made a few adjustments for convenience's sake - I just didn't have the ingredients on hand - and it still came out perfect. Nice and tangy, with just a hint of sweet.

I have never like sweet and sour recipes that were more sweet than sour, or too sour for that matter. This one fell happily in the middle and couldn't have been more flavorful. The liquid cooked down to the most perfect sauce consistency, too.

I would happily serve these again, even to company. I served them atop some nice steamed brown rice with a side of sauteed broccoli. A perfect chilly evening meal.

Sweet and Sour Short Ribs
adapted from The Complete Family Cookbook

1 - 2 pounds beef short ribs
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 c. flour, plus 2 tbsp (divided) - I used a  gluten free flour blend, but regular AP will work also
1 leek, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 c. water
1/2 c. steak sauce (I used A-1)
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 bay leafs

heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large heavy saucepan

dredge ribs in flour, then place them in the pot and brown on all sides, then remove to a plate

add leek and saute until softened (2-5 minutes)

add water to the pan and scrape up all browned bits

add remaining ingredients to the water and stir to combine

return ribs to pot and cover

reduce heat to low to medium low and cook until tender - about 2 to 3 hours

Monday, June 24, 2013

Travel Preparation {tips - #kid travel with #dietary #restriction}

Yes, it is that time of year again.  We are getting ready for our annual visit to go to our other "home" a couple of airline rides away.  Every year we go back home - well, at least for me it is back home to the place I grew up - to Tuttlingen, Germany, a medium size city in Southern Germany.  We usually fly into Zurich, Switzerland as it is the closest and to me easiest airport to get to/from Tuttlingen.

It is also the time of year when the girlies go to school in Germany for a couple of weeks, while I work and visit with some of my clients.  Yes, the girlies do go to school in Tuttlingen; to be exact it is the school I went to as child and my Mom taught at for many years.  This year will be Mia Rosies' first time at the school, and Alena will be going to third grade.  It is a great experience for the girls and fully immerses them into the language as well culture. No worries, both girls have known many of the other children for years.  These are the same children Alena first went to Kindergarten {she started when she was three and went for a month} and has been back every single year.  Mia Rosie also has been to Kindergarten with many of the children she will meet again in her German classroom.  Let me just tell you,  that I am so grateful for my mother and the school in helping to arrange all of this.

Summer 2012
For the children it is a natural experience to travel to Europe; I understand that we are very fortunate and am so thankful for that.  Travel was something that - when Alena was first diagnosed - we were not sure how it would be possible.  We read so many scary things about Classic Galactosemia, the diet and I was at a loss to understand how it could be possible.  In all honesty, I had no idea what her and our life would be like..but let me tell you.  Travel is absolutely 100% possible without any compromise!!! Yes, it may take more work but what that most certainly is not a deterrent for us.  So this is what we do.

Since we travel international, we order vegan meals for both girls {not that great but they do get a tray}

I pack lot's and lot's of food.  Our first flight will be from PDX - JFK and I will be making sandwiches, pack fruit, some cookies and - most important - gum (!).  The girls do not often drink soda - yes, because I block it friends - but this is the time they can get their soda {lemon/lime}.

My plan is - fingers crossed - to get a "safe" sandwich plus some fries for the girlies at our stopover to make sure they are fed and - wishful thinking - tired for the last/longest leg of the flight.

Summer 2012
Oh, and yes I have found it is best {plus the most fun for the girlies} when I pack the food for each girl and they can take it out when they get hungry.  No need to ask the mothership.  Along with the food, I also pack a new book, some markers, a notebook and some other fun little games into their backpacks to be found while we are in transit...

This time we will also enjoy a family vacation at the end of the trip and we will staying in a coupel different hotels.  I will tell you more about that plus the planning involved as we get stay tuned...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Easy Black Bean Soup with Chorizo plus Yam

How is everyone? As you know this is the first week of summer break here in Portland and the weather has so far been all over the place.  You know sunny, warm, almost - dare I say that - a wee bit too hot and now back to overcast and chilly.  Well, it is still June and I am not complaining.  Everything is growing beautiful.  I am trying my luck again with tomatoes, sugar snap peas, as well as green beans - so fingers crossed it should be a good harvest. I am thinking way too far ahead and really do not want to go there yet. Now what does that have to do with Black Bean Soup?!  Yes, you are absolutely right. Nothing, nada, zilch...You may know how much we all love soup in our house, and Alena is a huge fans of beans.  3/4 of the family loves, loves, loves beans while one person - please guess - is not a huge fan; but add chorizo and that person loves it as well.

So this week, I made an Easy Black Bean Soup and since this person is now the proud owner of a slow cooker it cooked itself while I was in the office.  Now, that is what I call perfect.  Would someone please remind me why it took me so long to get a slow cooker?!
Easy Black Bean Soup with Chorizo plus Yam

Easy Black Bean Soup with Chorizo plus Yam {slow cooker}

  • 2 C dried black beans soaked overnight 
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1" fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small to medium yam, peeled, and cut into pieces
  • App. 5 C of water
  • 1 C of your favorite Salsa {I used Pineapple Salsa}
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 8 oz Chorizo {dried} - cut into bite size pieces {be sure to read the label}
  • Salt & Cayenne Pepper to taste
  1. Drain beans and place in slow cooker;
  2. In a pot heat olive oil and sauté onions with coriander, ginger, and garlic until fragrant and soft,
  3. Place onion mixture on top of beans in slow cooker;
  4. Add at least 3 Cups of water to the pot in which you cooked the onions in and stir into it all the bits and pieces. Then pour it into the slow cooker,
  5. Add more water until beans are well covered,
  6. Add yam and set on high for 6 hours
  7. After 6 hours turn slow cooker to low and  add Salsa, Lime Juice, and chorizo
  8. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  9. Leave a on low for at least another 30 minutes before serving
I served it with rice and avocado!  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Last day of school interviews....

Remember our first day of school interviews from September 5th, 2012; well here we are in June 2013 and school is over for the summer.  I interviewed both girls in the morning of the last day of school...

Mia Rose talks about First Grade - and yes, she is super excited for summer break

Alena talks about Third Grade - she is also super excited for summer break

Monday, June 17, 2013

Where did time go? School is over for the summer...

I cannot believe that school is over.  What happened to the time?  Everyone tells you when your kids are little, that time just flies by.  Honestly - probably like many others - I really did not believe that.  But it is so true; especially since both girls entered school.  You know, elementary school.
First day of school 2012/13 {left} and 2011/12 {right}
To me it is a little like a double edged sword it is hard at times to let go, then again I am so proud to see how both of them are growing up becoming amazing girls. Do you know what I mean?
Last day of school 2013

So it is, as my friend Isabel says, about building memories, memories that last a life time.  I think we have been doing pretty well at that thinking back at all the things we have done during this past school year.  Let me see...Seattle, several day trips to Mt. Hood for snow shoeing and sledding, Cross Country Skiing in Sunriver, a couple of day trips to the Oregon coast, many urban hikes, roller skating, birthday parties and lot's and lot's of family time...

Interviews of both girls about the last day of school are coming your way later on this week :)  Thank you so much!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Chicken Wings for Dad #SundaySupper {#Dairyfree}

Sunday Supper Movement


Happy Father's Day to all of of the Dad's! Today for #SundaySupper we celebrate Father's Day.   Our host today is no other but the amazing Isabel a.k.a. Family Foodie plus the founder of the #SundaySupper movement. Thank you so much!

Father's Day is not a holiday we celebrated growing up in Germany as there it is usually a day for the men to go out on a hike, and bring along a keg {or two} of beer. Let's just say that then men are pretty happy by the end of the day :).  My Dad never participated in that tradition...since our girls have entered preschool we have embraced Father's Day and it is now part of our year. Well, I must admit we do not have a gigantic celebrations, or presents besides the best present of all - homemade cards by the girls - and it's  a low key day.  No parties, just good old family time and a special fun dish...that is why I am bringing Chicken Wings for Dad to our #SundaySupper party today.  Yes, Chicken Wings so easy, delicious, and fun; plus - as always 100% dairy free :)  Chicken Wings is something we order on that rare date night and it is something that I have never made before.  Yes,  it is absolutely true...this girl has never made Chicken Wings before well that was until now.  These were absolutely perfect; adapted from this recipe served with delicious Oven Pommes Frites {this time plus garlic}, a side salad and a pint of beer...
Happy Father's Day!
Chicken Wings for Dad
  • 20 Chicken Wings {cut at the joint plus wingtips removed}
  •   1 Tbl Safflower Oil {or other high heat oil}
  •    Salt
  •    Pepper - Paprika {about 2 tsp.}
  •   1 C Ketchup
  •    5 Tbs Orange Juice
  •    1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper {or more/less to taste}
  •    3 Tbs  Maple Syrup
  •    Hot Sauce to taste - I actually used plenty...{Tabasco, or any other hot sauce you like}
  •    1/8 C Mayonnaise
***Preheat oven to 450 F***
  1. Place chicken wings in a large bowl and mix - using your hands with Safflower Oil, Salt, Pepper, and Paprika. Mix until all wings are thoroughly coated;
  2. Line baking sheets with aluminum foil and place wings in a single layer;
  3. Once oven is preheated place wings in second, third, or top rack of your oven.  Do not place in the bottom rack;
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn wings over and bake for another 7 minutes
  5. While wings are baking combine the sauce by mixing Ketchup, OJ, Cayenne, Maple Syrup and hot sauce.  Adjust Cayenne, hot sauce, and maybe salt to your liking. Reserve 1/4 Cup, and place the reminder of the sauce in a large mixing bowl;
  6. Remove wings from the oven, place them in the large mixing bowl containing 3/4 C of sauce , and mix the wings with the sauce.  When all the wings are fully covered with sauce return them to the foil lined baking sheets;
  7. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes then promptly remove them for serving.
  8. Mix the reserved 1/4 Cup of sauce, with the 1/8 Cup of Mayonnaise and serve along for dipping the wings and/or Pommes Frites.
Chicken Wings for Dad

Now check out what all the other #SundaySupper contributors are bringing to celebrate Dad today...such an amazing spread...

Dad’s Favorite Main Dishes:
Dad’s Favorite Appetizers and Sides:
Dad’s Favorite Desserts
Be sure to join our Twitter #SundaySupper chat party starting at 7:00 pm EST today. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag throughout the day to see the amazing recipes. We look forward to see you :) to join all you need to do is follow[ the #SundaySupper hashtag and please do not forget to include the hashtag in your tweets as well. Be sure to check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board 

Look what we’re sponsoring! Come join us in sunny Orlando, this July!

Learn more at


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kale Leak Tart & Classroom parties....

It really is my hopeful goal to post every single day....ahm, but yes or jaaaa as I like to see we all know that is not really happening.  It certainly is happening in my head, but there is this once piece missing - you know getting it out of my head onto paper  a post.  So yes,  I have the most delicious Pasta with Broccoli just waiting to get out of my head oh, yes my thoughts about what happened to time plus not to forget year end classroom parties and Kale Leak Tart.

So today it is - tadahhhh - okay I know, I know this is being so lame, you already now Kale Leak Tart and Classroom parties.  First let me talk about the Classroom parties and then food. Sound good?!

As the end of the school year approaches there are parties in the classroom and of course I want our children to be included in the parties. Right?! That would be just plain mean to have them sit at the sidelines and not participate because of my uncalled fear about dairy exposure. Would it not?! So today, Alena's class is playing kickball followed by a huge ice cream party.  Yes, you read that right ice cream as in real ice cream for all kids.  The teacher asked me about if it was okay if she brought ice cream instead of popsicles for the other kids and of course it is.  There is no harm to Alena when other kids eat ice cream, but of course we wanted to make sure that Alena has the treat that she wants.  So yesterday after school we went to the store, and Alena picked out her treat for today.  And you know what she picked?  Tofutti - chocolate / chocolate - sandwiches...everyone is happy :)

Mia Rosies' class is going to have a popcorn party. Now, do you know that I have not been able to find one brand of microwave popcorn that does not contain dairy?  Yup, that is right and we therefore - plus we do not have a microwave - always air pop.  In any case, Mia Rosie will also have pop-corn and at the store yesterday she picked out a big bag of it as well as juice boxes for everyone.

So, yes classroom parties will be celebrated by all and the best party?  Well, of course our kids will not be excluded but zero - yes zero - anxiety for the mothership :)

Okay, I will get off my soapbox now and tell you about last night's dinner.  Kale Leak Tart - if you have been here before you know that Leak Tart makes a frequent appearance at our dinner table.  I have added bits of bacon before, or bits of ham, but never ever ever before Kale.  I had half a bunch of fresh delicious, red Kale left and added it to the mix.  The result....oh yes, absolutely fantastic.  Take a look at our taste testers....

The recipe for the Leak Tart is here, the only changes are as follows

Kale Leak Tart
  • Follow recipe for the Leak Tart - you can make it vegan by using Daiya mozzarella shreds and an egg replacer}
  • Add 1 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence to the flour when making the dough 
  • Add 1/2 bunch - about six stems or more - of red Kale to the leaks, once they are soft.  They will need to turn nice and dark in color.  FYI - I use all parts of the Kale and first add the stem, then the rest of the finely chopped leaves.
  • Add 2 cups of shredded Emmenthaler

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Creamy Mushrooms on Pasta for #SundaySupper {#Dairyfree}

sunday supper Sneak Peek: 45+ Fabulous Summer Berry Recipes for #SundaySupper
Happy Sunday friends!  The day of the "Free for All" #SundaySupper event has finally arrived.  Yay - I am  so super duper excited - ahhhhhmmmm yes, this may have been mentioned before....but I just cannot contain myself.  Our kitchen - and my recipes - is dairy free, well for the exception of some aged cheeses, and I have been cooking dairyfree for close to ten years now.  The choice for our almost dairy free kitchen was not by us, but thrust on us when Alena was diagnosed with Classic Galactosemia.  The learning curve was steep; not only to find the best substitutions but also know which ingredients on the label are "unsafe".  Shopping took so much more time; today label reading has become second nature to me and it is just something that must be done when grocery shopping.  We adjusted, I adapted recipes taste is not compromised, and it has become part of lives :).  So yes, I understand how challenging it can be to adjust your diet....

Are you ready for these fantastic gluten free, egg free, soy free, dairy free, and nut free choices? Oh, and yes I am bringing Dairy Free Creamy Mushrooms on Pasta to the table.  Delicious, earthy, meaty mushrooms in "cream" on Pasta - and yes the mushrooms shine in this dish....

Creamy Mushrooms on Pasta
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces {I used Porcini & Maitake from the Farmer's market}
  • 1/4 C dry white wine
  • 1/2 C Soy Creamer {or more}I prefer Wildwood brand
  • Optional 1/2 C Parmesiano Regiano
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 6 garlic spears, diced
  • 1 box Rotini pasta prepared according to directions
  1. Heat olive oil to pan and when hot,
  2. Add onions with a pinch of salt and sautee until soft then,
  3. Add mushrooms and sautee until they brown,
  4. Add wine and let it reduce down,
  5. Add "cream" and mix it carefully to the mushrooms.
  6. If using add Parmesiano Regiano - adjust taste with salt & pepper 
  7. Place cooked pasta on top of the mushrooms and toss it together adding the diced garlic spears

And here are all the other fantastic recipes...for all of you to enjoy!!!
  • Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Nut & Soy Free Brown Rice Breakfast Pudding by girlichef
  • Dairy & Nut and Sugar Free Blueberry Tangerine Muffins by Vintage Kitchen
  • Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Nut, and Soy Free Homemade Mango Jam Recipe by Masala Herb
Main Courses

sunday supper Sneak Peek: 45+ Fabulous Summer Berry Recipes for #SundaySupper
Be sure to join our Twitter #SundaySupper chat party starting at 7:00 pm EST today, June 9th, 2013. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag throughout the day to see the amazing recipes. We look forward to see you :) to join all you need to do is follow[ the #SundaySupper hashtag and please do not forget to include the hashtag in your tweets as well. Be sure to check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and photos.

Look what we’re sponsoring! Come join us in sunny Orlando, this July!

Learn more at

 You really DON’T want to miss it!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Red Leaf Lettuce + Strawberries in Strawberry Vinaigrette {#TheSaladBar}

Happy Saturday, friends! Yay it is the first day of the weekend and summer vacation is almost here.  It is so close that I can almost taste it - yes, literally as we usually go strawberry picking on the very first day of summer break!  Well, this year is a little different as we have already gone strawberry picking.  Okay, yes we can most certainly pick strawberries again...

Today is the first event of The Salad Bar a monthly blogging group started by Wendy of The Weekend Gourmet. Once a month you will be posting our favorite salad recipes and yes, there will always be a different them.  Do you love salad as much as I do?

The inaugural theme is berries; to me I have generally only used fresh berries in sweet treats and have just started to venture out into adding them into savory salads.  Early June is strawberry time in Oregon - the most delicious strawberries ever.  Really, I am not kidding and as I already told you above we have already gone strawberry picking.  We picked delicious, sweet, amazing Hood Strawberries.  That is the sweetest of them all...just amazing.  So I could not resist to experiment with these beauties and the result?  Red Leaf Lettuce mixed with Hood Strawberries in Strawberry Vinaigrette.

Red Leaf Lettuce + Strawberries in Strawberry Vinaigrette
  • 1 head red leaf or green leaf lettuce washed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 C fresh strawberries cut into quarters
  1. Make the dressing first - in the first step mash up your strawberries in the salad bowl {I always make my dressing in the bottom of the salad bowl, but you can of course also make it in a separate bowl}
  2. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamico.  Whisk carefully after you add each ingredient.  The dressing will emulsify - adjust salt, and pepper to taste.
  3. Add - if using - garlic shoots and whisk carefully
  4. Add red leaf lettuce, and strawberries to the salad bowl. Carefully mix it all up {I use my hands} - In the alternate, you can place the salad in the bowl and pour the dressing over the salad

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Free for All #SundaySupper coming your way June 9th, 2013

sunday supper Sneak Peek: 45+ Fabulous Summer Berry Recipes for #SundaySupper                                                     
I am so excited to be the host for the upcoming #SundaySupper event.  The theme this week 'Free for All" - a topic that is near and dear to my heart as many of you may or may not know :) - We will feature more than 30 recipes that are gluten free, dairy free, nut free....

There are many reasons for choosing a "free from ..." diet; for some it is by choice while for others it is due to medical needs and for others yet it is out of curiosity.  As I can attest the change to a "free from dairy" diet was not always smooth sailing.  It is a journey that takes time; it takes time to get aquatinted to read food labels for every single food item, time to determine which substitutes work {to eliminate the "offensive" items}, and - most important of all - what tastes good :) So whatever your reason be rest assured that we have fantastic recipes coming your way for this #SundaySupper.   Take a look at this amazing line-up...

  • Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Nut & Soy Free Brown Rice Breakfast Pudding by girlichef
  • Dairy & Nut and Sugar Free Blueberry Tangerine Muffins by Vintage Kitchen
  • Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Nut, and Soy Free Homemade Mango Jam Recipe by Masala Herb
Main Courses

sunday supper Sneak Peek: 45+ Fabulous Summer Berry Recipes for #SundaySupper
Be sure to come back on Sunday for all the amazing "Free For All" recipes! We would love to have you join our Twitter #SundaySupper chat party starting at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag throughout the day to see the amazing recipes. We look forward to see you :) to join all you need to do is follow[ the #SundaySupper hashtag and please do not forget to include the hashtag in your tweets as well. Be sure to check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and photos.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Oregon Strawberry Sundae {#Dairyfree} for #SundaySupper

This week's #SundaySupper theme is Berries....oh yes,  indulgent, delicious, juicy summer berries. Oh, how  I we love all of you. Our host today is Nicole of the Daily Dish Recipe.  Thank you so much for hosting.

Strawberry, Blueberry, Marionberry, Blackberry, Salmonberry, Raspberry...oh yes, all of them are just super delicious. We love all of them and we live in the land {state} where berries grow like weeds. Before moving to Oregon I just knew strawberries and had no idea about all of the different varieties.  Oh yes,  Hood Strawberry you are may favorite super sweet, and the most delicious of them all! I have heard that they never offer these outside of the state just because they are so sweet and therefore spoil super fast.

Yes, I could sing to the ode to the Oregon Strawberry all by myself...this is why today I bring you an Oregon Strawberry Sundae.  Truth be said, this is the very first time both of our children had a Sundae and I think they like it. What do you think?

So what makes this an Oregon Strawberry Sundae - well, it is the Oregon Strawberry but do not fret you can make this even with a California Strawberry or from any other state ;)  First we made the strawberry sauce

Oregon Strawberry Sundae 

  • 3 pints of strawberries
  • 2 Tbl of fresh mint {I used chocolate mint that grows in my yard}
  • 1-1/2 tsp sugar
  • Pint of Dairyfree Ice Cream - we used SoDelicous Turtle Ice Cream
  1. Clean, slice the strawberries, and put in a bowl
  2. Add mint, sugar, and toss it
  3. Cover and let it rest for at least a couple of hours
  4. After two hours assemble the sundae's
  5. In dessert dishes place Strawberries, then add ice "cream", and top with Strawberries

Now take a look at all the other berry deliciousness from the other #SundaySupper contributors...

Breakfast & Brunch

Sweet & Savory Berry Recipes

Jams, Jelly, Sauces & More


Cocktails, Drinks & Smoothies

Party Planning

Summer Berry RecipesPlease join our #SundaySupper chat on Twitter today we’ll tweet throughout the day and share all of our recipes. Then at 7:00pm EST we'll start our weekly chat. Please jump in anytime and join us! To join in, just follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets. You can also check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and photos.


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