Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I haven't made pretzels from scratch for a long time. I made the dough. Then the kids and I made our own. The kids did a pretty good job. It was a lot of fun to watch them shape their pretzels. My son made tiny ones. My daughter made her pretzel bigger than her head. Of course, she dipped her pretzel into sugar cinnamon for her liking. I brought mine to work for my lunch. My children had to bring theirs into school for snack.The pretzels are soft and filling. I didn't make a dip since my daughter wanted her pretzel to be sweet.
8 cup all purpose flour
1 cup warm water
1 (.25 0z.) package of dry active yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm milk
5 Tbps butter, melted
2 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp baking soda
1 egg white
1 Tbsp sea salt

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  2. Combine 1 cup of flour with the water, yeast, and sugar. Cover loosely and set aside for 5 hours.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining flour, yeast mixture, milk, butter, and salt. 
  4. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. 
  5. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick baking spray. 
  6. Set aside to rise for 1 hour or until double in size. 
  7. Punch down the dough. 
  8. Shape the pretzels into the desired shape. 
  9. Set the shaped pretzels onto the cookie sheet. 
  10. Allow the dough to rise for 30 minute. 
  11. Bring a large pot of water to boil. 
  12. Add the baking soda to the boiling water.
  13. Gently, add one pretzel to the boiling water at a time. 
  14. Allow the pretzel to boil until they float to the top about 30 seconds. 
  15. Remove the pretzel with a slotted spoon. 
  16. Place onto the cookie sheet. 
  17. Brush with the egg white and sprinkle with the sea salt.
  18. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. 
  19. Bake the pretzels for 12 minutes or until golden brown. 
  20. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Foods.

Two years ago..........................I made Tomato Salad.
Three years ago.........................I made German Pancakes.
Four years ago...........................I made Apple Strudel.
Did you already know........................
-In the 6th century, Italian monks created pretzels to reward children for their prayers.
-Pretzels may have been on the Mayflower.
-It is believed the hard pretzel was created when a baker fell asleep and his pretzels were cooked crispy.
Whose pretzels did you like the best? My daughters? My sons? Or the first ones which were mine?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Brotchen Bread

Since I am making German foods, I had to make some bread. I will admit this is one of my favorite German foods I've made this year. I love bread so of course it is one of my favorite dishes. I will probably make these again at Thanksgiving. They taste like a roll that is served at a nice restaurant. Also, I wanted to give you a list of other German foods I have made:
Brotchen Bread (German Bread)

1 ( .25 oz.) package of active dry yeast package
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil

1 egg white
1 tsp sea salt

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a cup, combine the yeast with the water and sugar. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes. 
  3. In a large mixer, add 2 1/2 cups of flour, salt and oil.
  4. Add the yeast mixture with the flour. 
  5. Knead for 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap which had been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Allow to rest for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. 
  8. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 sections.
  9. Shape the dough into oval shapes. 
  10. Place the dough onto the lined cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. 
  11. Allow the rolls to rise for 30 minutes.
  12. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  13. Gently make a horizontal cut on the top of each roll.
  14. Gently brush with the egg white and sprinkle with some sea salt.
  15. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes or until golden brown. 
Recipe adapted from

One year ago....................................I made Pork Chops in a mushroom sauce
Two years ago..................................I made German Potato Salad.
Three years ago................................I made Plum Cake.
Four years ago.................................I made German Red Cabbage.
Did you already know.............................
-Brotchen translates to bun.
-German breads tend to be dense like pumpernickel and Volkornbort.
-Many German breads are made from rye, spelt, millet, and wheat.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rindsouladen Beef and Pickle Steak

Recently, I was discussing German dishes with my Uncle and Aunt. My Uncle told me I should make this dish. He really likes it when my Aunt makes the dish. I had seen it but never had it before. They told me how they made it. They used ham instead of bacon. The majority of the recipes used bacon. Of course, I used Black Forest ham. I really didn't know what to think. It really isn't an attractive looking dish. Since the dish cooks awhile, I could hardly taste the pickle. I did use the pickles from the refrigerator aisle since those are the ones we eat. Also, I couldn't taste the mustard at all. If you like beef, then you should try the dish. If I had to pick, I like Sauerbraten better but this is an easier to dish to make.
4 (4 oz.) top round steaks
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp Spicy mustard
4 thin slices of deli ham
2 dill pickles, chopped
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups beef/chicken broth

  1. Trim any excess fat from the outside of the steak. Beat the steaks thin. 
  2. Salt and pepper the steaks.
  3. Spread some mustard on top of the steaks.
  4. Spread a piece of the ham on top of the mustard.
  5. Spread an even layer of chopped pickle on top of the ham.
  6. From one side, tightly roll the steak up and secure with a toothpick. 
  7. On a plate, evenly spread the flour over it. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Roll the steak into the flour to coat evenly. 
  9. In a large skillet, melt the butter. 
  10. Add the onion and saute the onion until brown. 
  11. Brown the rolled up steak on each side. 
  12. Add the broth and cover.  
  13. Allow to simmer for one hour. 
  14. Remove the beef rolls from the broth.
  15. Whisk a little flour into the pan to thicken the sauce. 
  16. Serve the beef rolls with the gravy. 
Recipe adapted from Through the Garden Gate.

Two years ago......................................I made German Honey Cookies.
Three years ago.....................................I made Chocolate PB Cupcakes.
Did you already know................................
-In 1820, Oktoberfest was from Oct. 12th to Oct. 17th to celebrate the Bavarian Prince wedding.
-Oktoberfest was moved into September for the warmer weather but always ends in October.
-In Munich, the locals call Oktoberfest Die Wiesn since the fairgrounds are named after the Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildurghausen who Prince Ludwig married.

Monday, September 21, 2015


For the past five years, my husband goes with his best friend to the Dallas/Eagles game. While he is gone, I always think I will have extra time. How wrong I am. It is all the little things he does which I have to do. Can you tell I am missing him? Also five years ago, we went to Oktoberfest in Munich. It was a lot of fun so I try to make something Germany this time of year. While he was gone, I thought I would make this for the kids. They loved it very much. I guess I'll be making it again when my husband gets back since they told him all about it. I have made Spaetzle before but it was rather plain. This recipe is far from being plain-anything cheesy is a winner with me.
Spaetzle with Swiss Cheese and Caramelized Onions
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 cups Swiss cheese, grated
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, milk, and eggs. Mix until a smooth dough forms.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water generously. 
  5. Working in batches, press the batter through a spaetzle maker (or a colander with large holes) into the boiling water.
  6. When the spaetzle floats to the top of the water, remove with a slotted spoon. 
  7. Place the spaetzle into the prepared dish in a single layer.
  8. Top the spaetzle with cheese. 
  9. Continue pressing the batter into the boiling water then adding to the prepared dish. Then top with cheese.
  10. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  11. Add the onion and saute until golden brown.
  12. Top the onions over the spaetzle. 
  13. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  14. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Roland Radler

One year ago.................................I made Apple Cider Doughnut Glaze.
Two years ago...............................I made Stuffed Pork Chops.
Three years ago.............................I made Rocket Focaccia Bread.
Did you already know........................
-In 2015, the 182nd Oktoberfest began on Sept. 18th until Oct. 4th.
-To enter a beer tent it is free but arrive early to secure a seat. 
-Reservations can be made since once a tent is full then no more entries.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

When I was a kid, my Mom would make us Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I really liked it with the syrupy top. I forgot the cake is really sweet. The kids thought it was neat how the cake is made. It is a really simple cake to make. I tried very hard to it all the items blended but the butter still had pieced in it. When I cooked it, the cake had came together so I shouldn't have worried. My son helped me flip the cake and ta-da! The cake stayed whole. The kids loved it. My husband loved it. I thought it was a great way to bring me back to my childhood.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
1/4 & 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened and divided
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
9 slices of pineapples, drained
9 maraschino cherries, drained
1 1/3 cup all prupose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9x9 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Evenly coat the bottom of the pan with 1/4 cup of melted butter.
  4. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the melted butter.
  5. Arrange the pineapple pieces in an even row over the brown sugar.
  6. Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple slice. Set aside.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, 1/3 cup softened butter, baking powder, salt, milk, egg, and vanilla. 
  8. Beat on low with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.
  9. Turn the mixer to high speed and allow to mix for 3 minutes. 
  10. Pour the batter over the pineapples and cherries in the baking dish.
  11. Bake the cake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  12. Immediately, take a heatproof plate and place it upside down over the pan.
  13. Turn the plate and pan over quickly.
  14. Allow the cake to sit for a minute so the brown sugar mixture can drizzle over the cake.
  15. Remove the pan and serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.

Two years ago.................................I made Roasted Apple Bread
Three years ago...............................I made Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies.
Did you already know............................
-In 1901, James Dole formed the Hawaiian Pineapple Company.
-By 1923, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company was the largest pineapple packer in the world.
-In 1925, Dole sponsored a recipe contest  with many entries for Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cheeseburger Pasta

Do you ever feel like you just need more hours in the day? It probably doesn't help with a ten hour work day. So, I like to find quick meals. I will admit that I am lucky since my husband makes/buys our dinners during the weekdays. Then my turn to cook is Friday through Sunday unless it is a holiday then I'll cook. My husband was going to make this meal but something came up. Since he had purchased all the items, I made it for a quick weekend meal. I was thinking about skipping the pickle juice but I had a jar of pickles in the frig. My son loves pickles. I know my husband was going to skip the pickle juice. I'm glad I didn't. It really added a nice flavor to the dish. Also, my neighbor gave us a tomato and two orange bell peppers which I added to the dish. No one could tell there were extra vegetables not even my husband. My husband even requested the leftovers since he liked it very much. I have a feeling my husband will be making this dish on a night he cooks. It looks like a Hamburger Helper but it taste nothing like a box meal.
Cheeseburger Pasta
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup orange bell pepper
2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 can (14.5 oz.) tomato sauce
2 Tbsp pickle juice
4 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
8 Tbsp ketchup
2 cups penne pasta
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 

  1. In a large skillet, brown the hamburger with the onion and garlic.
  2. Add the tomato and bell pepper. Cook for a minute.
  3. Season with the steak seasoning and the season salt. 
  4. In a bowl, combine the tomato sauce, pickle juice, mustard, and ketchup.
  5. Mix the tomato sauce mixture into the hamburger.
  6. Allow the mixture to simmer while the pasta cook. 
  7. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain well. 
  8. Mix the pasta with the hamburger mixture.
  9. Sprinkle the cheese into the hamburger mixture and mix.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

One year ago..........................I made FYI: Tomatillos.
Two years ago........................I made Peanut Butter Layer Bars.
Three years ago.......................I made Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

Did you already know.......................
-In 1971, Betty Crocker introduced Hamburger Helper.
-The product was introduced for a family to stretch a pound of meat into a meal for five. 
-Hamburger Helper is made by General Mills under the Betty Crocker brand.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Baked Potato

When I first was married to my husband, I decided to serve baked potatoes for supper. I made all these toppings for a potato bar. All the toppings were in little dishes so we could specialize our own meal. The problem was I hadn't cooked the potatoes all the way. I even tried to cook the potatoes longer but it seemed like they were never going to cook. The potatoes tasted raw. The toppings weren't going to make dinner any better. Since that terrible meal, my husband would say I can cook anything but a baked potato. He thought it was a funny joke. Mashed potatoes? No, problem. Hash Browns? No, problem. Even fries were no problem. I hadn't attempted a baked potato again. Well, now my husband said I redeemed myself. I can make a baked potato and it was good! The potato was fluffy and fully cooked. Now, he will have to find something else to give me a hard time about like maybe always being late.
Baked Potato
4 large russet potatoes
Vegetable oil for coating
Toppings: bacon, sour cream, butter, cheddar cheese, green onions, chives, broccoli, etc.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Wash and scrub the potatoes. 
  3. Dry thoroughly. 
  4. With a fork, poke 10 holes all over the potato.
  5. Coat the potatoes with the vegetable oil.
  6. Place the potatoes on a middle rack.
  7. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the skin feels crisp but the flesh inside the potato is soft.
  8. Serve hot but be careful of the steam when splitting the potato open.
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.

One year ago.........................I made Four Chip Cookies.
Two years ago.......................I made Peaches and Cream Cake.
Three years ago.....................I made White Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins.
Four years ago......................I made Ultimate Streusel Cake.
Did you already know..........................
-In the world, the potato is the 4th largest food crop.
-In Peru, the Inca Indians were the first to cultivate the potato.
-The Inca Indians used potatoes for medicinal remedies from toothaches to promote the healing of broken bones. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Banana Oat Snack Cake

Alright, you can judge me. Yes, I served this cake for breakfast. I figured it was close enough to banana bread. The kids liked it. It is moist and taste very similar to banana bread. My husband liked it. He prefers banana bread but he said it needed less oats. I had even decreased the oats from the original recipe. I think the oats would have tasted better toasted but I liked the recipe. It did make a nice breakfast and the kids didn't complain.
Banana Oat Snack Cake
6 oz. unsalted butter
1 cup old fashion oats
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 ripe banana, smashed

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Melt the butter in the microwave for 1 minute. Set aside. 
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. 
  6. Mix the melted butter into the brown sugar mixture. Whisk together until incorporated.
  7. Add the bananas and mix well. 
  8. Add the sugar mixture to the flour mixture. Whisk until incorporated.
  9. Add the batter to the prepared dish.
  10. Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  11. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.

One year ago...........................I made Basil and Tomato Pasta.
Two years ago.........................I made Corn Salsa.
Three years ago.......................I made Mussels.

Did you already know......................
-Since 7,000 B.C., ancient China have been eating oats.
-The ancient Greeks were the first known to make porridge from oats.
-In the U.S., 75% households have oatmeal in their kitchen.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Peanut Butter Cupcakes plus a giveaway

Last year, I was preparing to move from Maine to North Carolina. What a hectic time! I was nervous about changing locations. I was sad to leave my friends and family. I was thankful my husband was ready to move. Also, my kids didn't complain much. They did like the warmer weather. We had to pack up a whole household in a crazy amount of time. Even with the move, we have seen our family often. We keep in touch with our friends back home. We still like the weather here.

To celebrate my daughters birthday, I made her some peanut butter cupcakes. They are moist and my husband loved them. My daughter requested chocolate frosting for the peanut butter cupcakes.
Peanut Butter Cupcakes
8 oz. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut powder
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
  4. Add the honey. Mix until well incorporated.
  5. Add the 2 eggs and mix until incorporated.
  6. Add the baking soda, salt, peanut powder, and flour. Mix until just incorporated.
  7. Add the milk and mix until incorporated.
  8. Evenly distribute the batter between the dozen muffin tins. 
  9. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago................................I made Almond Chocolate Tart.
Two years ago.............................I made  Green Smoothies.
Three years ago...........................I made Peanut Butter Brownies.
Did you already know....................
-The average person moves eleven times in their life.
-Less than fifty percent of moves occur during the summer.
-A typical household move weighs about 6,000 lbs.

Contest closed.

Friday, September 4, 2015


Having to say good bye to another summer is hard. Being in North Carolina, summer lasts a little longer than when we were in Maine. I know there is always a surprise Indian Summer.In celebration to a fun summer, I wanted to share another post of our summer trip. These photos are our trip to New Hampshire.
Since I was a little girl, we have been visiting this pond. I remember doggie paddling out to the dock. I remember many attempt to learn how to water ski. I remember being at the pond for many 4th of July celebrations.The best part of always visiting the pond is spending the time with family.
The girls enjoying the paddle boat.
My sister and my niece taking a quick rest before swimming back to the dock.

A retired boat turned into a planter.
We were lucky to visit with our oldest daughter. Unfortunately, our oldest son couldn't make it due to work but we did get to see him.

Our very wet daughter giving my husband a nice hug! Isn't she so nice. He must have looked hot and needed to get wet. As you can tell, my husband wasn't expecting it.
All the kids having fun on the dock! 
 Did you already know....................
-Ponds are smaller and not as deep as lakes.
-A pond is shallow enough that sunlight can reach the plants at the bottom where plants grow.
-Some ponds are home to fish, leeches, and frogs.

Good bye summer until we meet again next year. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Raspberry Almond Bundt Cake

My daughter told me the raspberries were soft. Upon my review, the raspberries weren't soft but I knew she wasn't going to eat anymore. Since my raspberries were going "soft", I figured I better bake something with it. A cake was the perfect solution. My daughter liked my solution. The cake received nice reviews from my two guys. Anything with raspberries and almonds are great to me.
Raspberry Almond Bundt Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups raspberries
1/2 cup almonds, toasted
powder sugar, for topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray and coat with flour. Sprinkle half the almonds into the pan. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, Cream the sugar and butter until fluffy.
  5. Add one egg at a time and mix to incorporate.
  6. Add the almond extract and vanilla extract. Mix to incorporate.
  7. Add a little flour mixture and then mix in some buttermilk. Mix until just incorporated.
  8. Gently fold in the raspberries. 
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. 
  10. Sprinkle the remaining toasted almonds on top.
  11. Bake the cake for 1 hour or until an inserter inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. 
  12. Allow the cake to cook for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. 
  13. Sift powdered sugar over top before serving. 
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

One year ago........................I made Mabel Sandwich.
Two years ago......................I made Peach Scones.
Three years ago....................I made Shortbread Cookies.
Did you already know...................
-Raspberries are native to Europe.
-In North America, black and golden raspberries are found in addition to the red raspberries.
-Raspberries belong to the rose family.