As a kid there was only one type of potato I would eat: Arby's curly fries. And that was because they could barely be called potatoes. To me, a carb-a-holic and veggie-phobic, potatoes were lumped in with peas and carrots and other nasty things my mother could not persuade me to eat.
When I discovered garlic mashed potatoes 3 years ago, I wanted to kick myself. 21 years of living without potatoes? What a waste!
Now these starchy spuds are a regular part of my diet, in various forms. And my new favorite are these roasted, golden brown, flavorful fries.
Holy cow, how is it almost September?!
I had so many plans for this summer, and I was well on my way to accomplishing them in June. Then July rolled around, and brought with it that horrible heat wave that drove all motivation from me. Then work picked up, and I've been busy designing a logo, a website, business cards, and operating manuals for work. Which means a lot of time spent on the Adobe help website, looking up answers to all of my problems.
I have also been working like a dog on my novel, so that I can get it on Amazon by September (back to school presents for everyone you know? Just sayin').
So basically my summer has turned into an eyes glued to a computer screen and butt falling asleep in my chair kinda summer. Boo.
I did set aside time to make some fabulous corn chowder though, because it's the best time to find these guys at your local farm stand (try Knickerbocker Farms in Pittsford, NY for the best sweet corn ever!) ...continue reading
I dont know much about German food (or German culture in general), and what I do know is limited mostly to stereotypes:
Epcot didn't teach me much
But I'm always open to trying new foods, so when I was at Disney we ate at Biergarten. The food was exciting, the people were nice, and the music was lively! So when Ken and I were deciding what cuisine to tackle next, I thought, "why not German?"
This proved a little more difficult than we imagined, and while I'm fairly certain our methods were as unauthentic as you can get while still calling it German food, I think it turned out well!
On our menu we had:
- hot German potato salad
- Spaetzle dumplings
- and of course, beer
I knew right away I wanted to make spaetzle. When I had it at Biergarten, I was blown away by how tasty it was, even though I didn't know what was in it. Making it at home was a bit of an adventure, because the recipe we used called for a spaetzle maker, which obviously I don't have. So we had to get a little creative.
Constructing the rest of the menu was a challenge, because German food apparently consists mostly of side dishes. After searching for recipes for days, we gave up on trying to find a big main dish and instead chose to make a spicy potato salad, and fry up some sausages to round out the meal.
To round out French week, here are the final recipes that we used to complete our delicious meal.
To recap, we had French onion soup for an appetizer, steak au poivre for our entree, and herbed fingerling potatoes and asparagus with French vinaigrette for our sides.
It's hard to pick a favorite part of this meal. A lot of work went into each step, and I'm very proud of the way everything turned out. The steak was bursting with flavor, and we did a pretty damn good job with the French onion soup. The potatoes are delicious, but to be honest they're potatoes, and it's hard to really mess those up. What really surprised me, however, was how much I liked the asparagus!
Herbed fingerling potatoes:
These reminded me a lot of roasted potatoes in their texture, but cooking them on the stove was a new method. The key to these are the fresh herbs. I didn't have any sage, but the rosemary and thyme gave it an awesome boost of flavor. ...continue reading
What do you do when you mother goes shopping at BJ's and comes home with 10 pounds of potatoes and 6 quarts of chicken broth? Why, you make potato cheddar soup, of course!
So a few weekends ago, while I was puttering around the house in my pajamas, I started looking at what else I had in my cupboards that I could use to make the soup.
Bacon? Now we're getting somewhere!
I apologize for all the soup recipes that I've been posting, but I just can't stop making them!
You will need:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 white onion, chopped (the recipe called for 1/2 but I added a little extra. Sorry Ken!)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups water
- a handful of baby carrots, diced (or 2 large ones)
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- several cloves (5-6) of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons chicken soup base
- 1 cup warm water
- 5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (I added close to 1 and 1/2)
- 6-10 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then add the diced onions and sauté until translucent.
Don't you just love that smell? ...continue reading
I have a confession. Until today, I have never eaten a cauliflower.
I mean, look at it:
It's weird looking. Like an alien plant.
Or like God opened up his vegetable coloring book (I like to imagine him with the box of 64 crayons) to the broccoli page, got bored halfway through and said "screw it, it's finished."
It doesn't even taste as good as broccoli, in my opinion. But now that I've cooked with it, I'm willing to cut the poor albino veggie some slack. It's not his fault he isn't as delicious as his green cousin.
I digress. Cauliflower mashed potatoes! I got the idea from Can you stay for Dinner? but realized I didn't have quite the right ingredients, so I read through her recipe and another one I found online, and then just combined them all and made some steps up. And to my surprise it worked!