Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Please, does anyone have a good "Hamburger Goulash" recipe. We had some on our trip that had tomatoes in it that was delicious. Thanks.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Swiss-French Salad Dressing

This is my sister's French salad dressing. I post it here mostly for my own benefit as I will not lose it if the blog is keeping it for me. For those of you that have had her salad dressing and enjoyed it you may replicate it as well. The biggest problem that you are going to have is that it calls for Mirador or Aromat spice which as far as I know you can only get in Switzerland. I haven't tried it without.

1/3 cup vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
1 teaspoon Mirador/Aromat
1 tablespoon beef bullion
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon chives
1 teaspoon curry
1 teaspoon paprika
1-2 dashes of cayenne pepper
scallions and or green onions

I used the spring mix salad and pour the dressing in the bottom and add salad to top and mix right before you serve.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Candy Bar Fudge

This is a favorite of ours to pass out on Christmas as a gift. My mother gave this recipe to me and I am hooked. (Tastes a lot like a snickers bar!)

1/2 c. butter
1/3 c. unsweetened baking cocoa (the good stuff)
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. milk
3 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp van extract
30 caramel candies, unwrapped
1 Tbsp water
2 c. salted peanuts
1/2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. milk chocolate chips

In microwave bowl put butter, cocoa, brown sugar and milk- put on high for 3 mins.
Stir in confectioners sugar and vanilla.
Pour into greased square baking pan.
In another bowl, heat caramels on high until melted with the 1Tbsp water.
Stir in peanuts and spread over chocolate layer.
Put chocolate chips (both semi and milk) in bowl and microwave with 1 Tbsp butter, until melted.
Spread over caramel layer.
Chill until firm.
Makes about 2 3/4 pounds of fudge!

Sorry I forgot to take a photo of the finished product but it is good! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day - Review

In January I posted about this book and put it on hold at the library. It is obviously a popular book because it is now May and I finally got notice from the library. So I have done a quick read and tried the master recipe. I think it is fantastic and I highly recommend it. It makes good bread and the amount of time and effort is minimal.
The idea is to make up a large batch of dough and store it in the refrigerator using a chunk whenever you need it. The author is big on the minimal effort part so there is no kneading or or other fussy instructions.
I have stolen a review from Amazon and post it here.

From Publishers Weekly
While the phrase artisan bread typically evokes images of labor-intensive sessions and top-notch ingredients, for authors Hertzberg and Fran├žois it means five minutes. An intriguing concept—high-quality, fresh bread in less time than it takes to boil water. The authors' promises of no kneading, no starter, no proofing yeast and no need for a bread machine is based on the concept of mixed and risen high-moisture dough stored in the fridge for up to two weeks (dough is cut into pieces and popped in the oven for fresh loaves as desired). Note: for those tracking minutes, the five-minutes doesn't include the 20-minute resting time for dough or 30 minutes for baking. After concise, introductory chapters on ingredients, equipment, and tips and techniques, readers are presented with the master recipe, a free-form loaf of French boule that is the model for all breads in the book. Three main chapters—Peasant Loaves, Flatbreads and Pizzas and Enriched Breads and Pastries—are filled with tempting selections and focus on ethnic breads and pastries including Couronne from France; Limpa from Scandinavia; Ksara from Morocco; Broa from Portugal; and Chocolate-Raisin Babka from the Ukraine, but the basics (Oatmeal Bread, Bagels, White Bread) are all here, too. A smattering of companion recipes such as Tuscan White Bean Dip and Portuguese Fish Stew are peppered throughout. While experienced bakers and true gourmands will skip this one, those looking for an innovative approach to making bread just might find it in these recipes. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

I made the French boule and a baguette and they turned out very good and so easy. I do have a pizza stone I use for baking bread and I think that does help the crust quite a bit. One of the other interesting things that the author suggests is to check your oven with a thermometer to see how closely it matches what the dial says. we have 2 ovens one was off by about 5 degrees and the other was about 70 degrees off. No wonder things don't always work in that upper oven. I suppose the other downside to the idea is it takes up refrigerator space. We happen to have a spare in the garage so It really isn't too big of an deal. I am definitely sold on this idea and plan on making bread on the days I am home using this recipe.
My recommendation is to order the book from your library (it may take 6 months) or order from or (runs about 17-18$)

There is also a website:

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Creamy Rice or Barley Chicken Soup

Soups are always good for this time of year and I feel as if I have to get in all my soup recipes before the warmer season comes. This soup is one my dad made up (he is a gourmet chef) and it is delicious! We had it for dinner tonight.

2-3 boneless chicken breasts (cut up into 1/2 inch cubes)
2 T butter
1/2 cup each chopped onion, celery and carrots
1 qt. chicken stock (I like to use reduced fat and reduced sodium broth or my own homemade broth)
approximately 1/2 cup rice or barley (depends on how thick you want your soup)
1 pt. heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2
chopped scallions to garnish on the top when serving

Melt butter in your soup pot. Put cubed chicken in and brown or sear for 4-5 mins. Then take it out and put aside. Put in your chopped onion, chopped celery and chopped carrots. Saute' until translucent. Add chicken stock and cook 10-15 minutes. Put the chicken back in. Put in rice or barley. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Add heavy cream. If need it thicker, you can add cornstarch mixed with a bit of water. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle some chopped scallions on top for presentation and taste.


D-I-Y Popcorn!

We try not to eat microwave popcorn anymore because of the partially hydrogenated everything...but sometimes (especially on a Sunday evening!) nothing sounds better than a big bowl of popcorn. So, guess what? You can make your own microwave popcorn. Here's how:

--Get a bunch of lunchbags--those brown kind like the cool kids had when I was in middle school
--dump a little bit of popcorn into a bag--I probably put in 1/8 cup, and it was a little bit too much.
--bend the end over and tape it good with scotch tape
--microwave it on high for 3 minutes, listening until the pops lessen.

That's it! It worked, and now we'll experiment with seasonings and so on. It's hardly even a recipe, but I thought I'd pass it along since we're excited to have this super-cheap, sorta healthy (hey, I'll dump *real* melted butter on it!) snack.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Homemade Ginger Ale

The kids and I have had fun making a few batches of ginger ale. It is very easy and in my opinion very good but if you think of it in comparison to other commercial ginger ales it is not going to tasste the same. It is a lot easier to make then root beer. Here is what you need:

1) Empty clean 2 ltr plastic bottle with cap
We use our left over 2 liter bottles from club soda for bottling our ginger ale. Wash them out and they are ready to go. It is not recommended to use glass because it is much harder to judge the fermentation. Exploding glass bottles are dangerous. You also need a funnel and a grater with fine teeth.

2) Ingredients for each 2 ltr bottle include:
-sugar 1 cup
-freshly ground ginger 1.5 to 2 tablespoons
-1/4 tsp of yeast
- cold fresh pure water
-optional juice of 1 lemon

3) Use the funnel and pour 1 cup of sugar into the bottle. Add 1/4 tspn of yeast. Cap and shake.

4) Use the funnel and add your ground ginger. If you add the lemon then you should add this to the ginger when you put it in the funnel.

5) Pour water into the funnel and the ginger will wash down the funnel into the bottle. It it gets stuck use a plunger (not from the bathroom it would be too big). I used a skewer to get the ginger moving. Add about half a bottles worth of water then cap and shake to mix the sugar yeast with the water. Continue to add cold fresh water until 1 inch from the top of the bottle.

6) Cap the bottle and let sit for as long as you dare. For the last batch I went about 10 hours or so but you can probably go 48 hours before it explodes. You can experiment. You can easily judge by squeezing the bottle to see hard hard it gets.

5) Open slowly and easily unless you like to clean up a mess. I like to strain off the major ginger sludge with a strainer and pour it back in the bottle. If you think it needs more fizz then you can let it sit out for 8 hrs and it will fizz back up. Put in the refrigerate and enjoy your homemade ginger ale.

Warning: this can contain some alcohol somewhere in the range of 0.4%.

You can experiment with the amount of sugar, ginger, lemon and also how long to ferment it. We haven't tried it yet but it would be fun to see how long it takes to explode the bottle.