As you may or may not know...
I am a cabbage roll junkie... But sometimes I just don't want to spend an hour trying to get the cabbage leaves peeled without tearing them and it is this huge, long winded process that I thought I wanted to cut down. It was also in the middle of the summer that I decided to go balls to the wall and make soup. Foolhardy? Absolutely. Worth it? Absolutely. I was really craving golabki, I eat the stuff nearly all year round if I can get away with it... but didn't want to wrap stuff or peel the leaves as I said, and this really is the faster way to get these flavors.
I don't have some fantastic story about how this came to be. I know it isn't an original idea, I did see something similar on YouTube by a woman named Noreen, but that was some years ago. I wanted to come up with my own idea and even maybe a little bit of goulash flavorage or stuffed pepper to add to the dish.
So there are a few things, one of which doesn't need to be pointed out at all but I am going to own up to it anyways... It doesn't look perfect. There, I said it. But looks can certainly be deceiving, right? The fact of the matter is, I did not want to change the integrity of the meat. In the original dish, the meat is placed in the cabbage raw and cooked inside... searing off the meatballs would have completely changed the flavor profile, and I have seen it done the same way for Italian Wedding Soup where the meatballs were not seared. Now, this doesn't mean to say it would make it disgusting, it just wouldn't be the correct flavor profile. If you want to sear your meatballs for presentation, by all means, I am just saying that this way is closer to the original flavor.
Second thing is that regardless of whether you make them as rolls or soup, this dish tends to get greasy from the fat that comes off of the meat. This is one soup where i don't mind it so much, but if you want to get rid of the fat, let it cool completely and then skim it off when it is solid, but leave some for flavor. Or you can boil your meatballs in water and reduce the amount of fat, but again, it would change the flavor profile.
I promise you that this will make you very happy if you are a cabbage roll fanatic like myself. The flavors are rich and hearty, and your belly will be nice and padded by the time you eat what you've served to yourself.
Prep time shouldn't take more than 30 minutes tops between the chopping and the making of the meatballs, cook time is about an hour but is more of a set and forget type of thing (You really only have to get up three times to stir). It serves at least 10 people
This was just a quick one!
I know this was just a quick blog post, but I wanted to get something up so you all didn't think I forgot any of you. My husband just had his surgery not too long ago and I am finding it a struggle to cook for one person since I am a nurturer and like to make people happy with food. Things will even out eventually.
Until then, my friends, I just hope you enjoy the recipes I am able to bring. I have a few that I need to redo from my old blog and such, plus three or four more things already made that I completely forgot about. You'll see :)
Until then... Happy eating, happy belly, my foodies.
Hey hey foodies! I know that it has been awhile again, but you should know the deal by now if you are just coming in: I have health issues and such, sometimes I’ll be gone for months. I have some exciting news in any case in that my husband just went through the gastric sleeve surgery, and I am making efforts to stick to healthier grub for the most part. As you know, my blog is not about dieting, although I will put a special diet recipe up every now and then so as not to leave people out. I will still post, but only when the mood strikes me.
Today I have for you some Scotch eggs, super easy meal to make and so very yummy. I am doing the baked version, the traditional is deep fried.
So what are Scotch eggs?
They are boiled eggs wrapped in sausage and dredged in breadcrumbs, then deep fried (or in this case, baked). They were made somewhere in England, not Scotland, around the mid 19th century and was an easy way to carry your lunch around when working. They are now a widely popular street food and pub grub in Great Britain, and in pubs about the world.
My first encounter with these puppies was when one of my best friends showed me how her dad makes his, and it is a delicious end result you get because of the ketchup and the saltine crackers he uses in the meat. I have since learned the more traditional route of making them and I shift between two different recipes.
They are actually easier than they look and have only a few ingredients. I am going to give you my version of them in a baked state. These are hardly considered diet food but if you can get away without deep frying them, I think it'll be just fine.
That flour doesn't act as a glue, and there may or may not be cracks in the exterior when one is done baking their delicious Scotch Eggs, but that flour turns the juices into a little bit of a gravy instead, which adds to the creaminess of the egg yolk. I am just going to assume that the yolk turns out a bit runnier in the deep fried version, but I never tried making that. I absolutely recommend that you give this dish a dry, even someone else's recipe, because you are missing out if you don't!
What is really cool about just one egg is that you get meal of convenience and it's also pretty dang filling.
A little bit about Shawna
Shawna and I go way back. We met in high school and chummed it ever since. We were such good friends that we drew pictures together, we drank lots of coffee at the awesome Fourth Coast Cafe, and we love each other as sisters. She and I have been through thick and thin, along with our other friends, Lacey, Inga, Kittie, Dawn, and a few other people.
She is our resident Snow White... You know, opens the shutters and sings to the birds and into wells?
Anyways, I guess I owe Miss Pegasus for some of the recipes I have learned over the years, including the eggs. I hope my rendition brings you as much joy as hers did.
Struggle Meal #2
Have you ever walked into your grandma's house and been greeted by the smell of her home cooking? Beef and vegetable soup steam is wafting in the air and causing you to salivate and think, "Damn, that smells good?" My grandma is not so fond of cooking anymore because of her joints bothering her, but I still associate the smells of her cooking with her house; it is only second after the smell of her cedar chest that makes me happy.
My grandma is famous among family and friends for a few particular dishes: the aforementioned soup, bean soup, and beef and noodles. My grandpa runs a business where he does taxes for people, and back in the day, his employees would request the beef and noodles because it is that good.
I got lucky in that my mom cooked that for my sisters, my dad, and me when we were younger. Of course, I did not have the same appreciation for it then that I have now because I was picky and loathed gravy... But as I grew older, I began to eat it with joy in my heart.
This meal is something grandma just threw together and everyone loved it. My mom told me that my Uncle Steve would eat a whole bag of noodles with the beef and gravy just on his own. It is the kind of food that you make and there are rarely leftovers if at all, which I can tell you is the truth because Bruce ate the hell out of it last night.
It is the kind of food that makes me glad for my grandma. She won't be here forever, which is a sad truth nobody really wants to think about... She says so every time I see her, though... And I want to have as many memories as I can have with my sweet, kindhearted, soft spoken, goofball of a grandma. She is one of my favorite people in the world and I am so glad to have her in my life.
She means the world to me, and so does her cooking.
Let's talk about why it's a struggle meal.
Normally people don't associate steak with struggle... After all, it's a treat, right? The great thing is that steak can be pretty cheap if you get a cut that is normally tough and have less fat or flavor than something like a porterhouse. 1 lb of beef bottom round or eye of round, for instance, is one of the least expensive cuts of beef that you can get at around $4. That is still kind of pricey, right? But think about stretching the meal.
My grandma was feeding a family of six with about a lb of the stuff at a time, and there is enough cooked that there COULD be leftovers once they are stretched out. So you have the beef, and you have a can of condensed broth, which is about $1 or so depending on what the label looks like... A bag of egg noodles is around $1, 50 cents worth of onion, 10 cents worth of garlic, pennies worth of the seasonings and flour. My grandma would use two bags of noodles, so tack on another buck and call it good. That makes it less than $8 to feed a family of 6, so just over a buck a plate. That is with inflation.
I am going to give you two recipes for this. First will be the original recipe which I highly suggest you make before you try it with my adjustments. Her recipe is simple and quick and mine is a little more complex out of experimentation to develop more flavor notes. My recipe is still cheap, it's only a difference of a few quarters.
1 lb beef bottom or eye of round, thinly sliced into strips
¼ cup flour for dredging
2 TBSP Canola oil
1 small onion, sliced
2-4 cups beef broth/stock
4 cups egg noodles, partially cooked
Salt, Pepper, Horseradish, garlic, parsley all to taste
1 lb beef bottom or eye of round, thinly sliced into strips
2 egg whites
½ cup cornstarch
1-2 teaspoons or a big dash of Worcestershire sauce (traditionally, soy sauce is used)
1 medium Onion, chopped
¼ cup bell pepper
2-4 cloves Garlic
1 TBSP Horse radish (Optional)
2-4 cups Beef broth or stock
1 bag egg noodles (Or no yolks)
2 TBSP butter
Salt, pepper, celery seed, parsley to taste
I hope you try both versions!
Even though this started off as something thrown together, it is just one of those things that feels like home. It is a gift I wanted to share with you because I felt that it deserved some recognition. Maybe it will give you good feelings and make you think about your own grandma like it does with me.
It is savory and the gravy is nice and silky, and it's sort of like eating a bowl of beef and noodle soup but with gravy instead of broth. Like I said, you should try her version first because it's the best. Mine is good too, but it isn't the same as grandma's...
With that being said...
It is coincidental that I made Schnitzel and Spaetzel in October, but it stands to reason to label this as an Oktoberfest meal that you can pair with a good, German beer. I'd been craving it for quite some time but never really thought about actually making it. The idea actually only popped up as I worked on my collaboration project, seeing as I had a bunch of lemons leftover and Bruce had picked up a bunch of pork loin in a nice sale.
The last time I even ate Schnitzel was LCB100 in Culinary School (Very first cooking class in culinary school, or rather, the introductory course.) I don't quite remember which of the three meats we were told to use, though I am sure it was not veal, but I remembered that it really wasn't that hard to make that part of the dish. Instead of the dumplings, we made sauerkraut, which I do remember was better than the jarred junk by far.
I had never made the spaetzel before... not from scratch anyhow, so I was more into making that than the Schnitzel for this post, but it would be remiss of me not to give you the recipe for both, right? If I had remembered how to do the kraut and had the cabbage to do so, that would definitely have been added and this post would have been a threefer!
What I absolutely love about schnitzel is that it is part of my heritage; I do have a good chunk of German running through my bloodline. I do like to touch into the things that are associated with different parts of my blood so that I can share the diversity with you all. The other things that I love about it is that it is comforting to eat, and that it is interactive. Make the meal, serve it, let folks squeeze their own lemon onto the finished product and enjoy it with them.
It's a delightful treat to make every now and then and so easy to make. The spaetzel is fun to make, though it is sticky and messy, yet totally worth it in the end when you taste it. The hardest part is getting the dough made, and that isn't even hard either.
Both of the foods in question are fast to cook and truly simple to make that it will be done before you know it (depending on how many batches of each that you make.) Fair warning, also, this is not a diet food, it is meant to be treated as an occasional thing just like any other fried delight.
The Schnitzel Recipe
Eat, Drink, and be Merry!
I served mine with green beans too, but that was the vegetable on hand. It's like I stated, it can be served with kraut, and it is paired well with a German stout. This month is a great month for such a meal, but don't wait for Oktoberfest to come for you to make this dish because you can make it whenever you want. That is the greatest beauty of running your own kitchen! And please, please, please don't forget the squeeze of lemon. It is what makes it pop, it brightens the flavor!
I absolutely adore the simplicity of each part of the meal. The buttery flavor of the dumplings after they are sautéed? Yes, yes, all the yes. I promise you that it might look daunting, but it really is super easy once you have everything ready to cook! It is also quite worth the effort.
I hope that this brings you as much joy as it did me, and I hope that you enjoy the recipes.
I am one of those people that eyeball things that sound odd or off putting to me. For instance, pumpkin spice might be good in my coffee (I honestly wouldn't know) but it would not be good, at least in my mind, in my chocolate pudding or some such. When I first heard about Mac n Cheese soup, there was a big part of me that was turning my nose up, and the kid in me who liked her Kraft to be soupy even though that was not how it was supposed to be made was all like, hell yes!
So I thought about it, and I decided I would give it a try. I wanted it with more stretch, however, so I got the idea to add some burger into the mix because, why not? People make chilli-mac and cheese burger mac, why not go ahead and put some burger into my soup? So I did, and I made the right call. The soup was very delicious, and my husband liked it so much that he ate three bowls. That is a compliment because he's such a picky eater.
I had the urge to throw some broccoli in because, hello, broccoli and cheese soup... But I resisted, and that was also the right call. I wouldn't eat broccoli with a hamburger, so why would I put it in a soup based off of such? I would, however, eat it with some sauteed green peppers, so that is what I did instead.
As usual, I looked around the internet for recipes, saw a bunch, and then decided just to do my own spin which I am sharing with you. Just like in all recipes that I post, I think about the flavor profile... What can I do to make it better? For instance, I didn't really look for a Mac n Cheeseburger soup, just mac n cheese soup. I threw the burger in because I thought it would stretch it along and make it taste good. I was right.
Here is my take!
I apologize for the lack of visuals, but I hadn't actually planned to blog this one. I wanted to try it before anything, and seeing as it was delicious... Well, here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
When I was a little girl, my mom tried to make cabbage rolls because she wanted us to try new things. I remember watching her prepare them in a completely different manner than I do, but only because she didn't know how to do it from scratch. She used ground beef and minute rice she didn't cook, egg to bind, maybe salt and pepper, then wrapped in the cabbage leaves and poured some off brand of spaghetti sauce over them before baking, as opposed to the way I do it. Needless to say, we were a bit young to understand cabbage rolls and it wasn't very popular in our household. Mom got discouraged and never tried it again.
I was running my old blog and was looking for ideas on what to do for a post, and then I fell asleep while watching Martha Stewart. The episode I woke up to was the one where she was making cabbage rolls, and I thought back to my childhood when mom was trying to get us to eat them. So thus, I went looking for a good recipe through my family, as opposed to online, because I really wanted to pay homage to my mom and my great aunts. My grandmother ended up handing me a cookbook that had a receipt in it, and I opened it up... It was right on the page with cabbage rolls! Thanks, Grandma! It was funny because she didn't put the receipt there knowing that I wanted to do this.
I brought the cook book home, and then I took the recipe there, the methods I saw Martha doing with blanching the whole head of cabbage and peeling leaves, added seasonings I thought would work besides just paprika and parsley, and cooked it on the stove instead of in the oven (another method I saw Martha use). If you cannot tell, her shows are my guilty pleasure. Don't hate.
What ended up happening was beautiful. Not only did I make something that I used to loathe and really liked it, but I bonded with my mother over it, as well as my grandmother. It just goes to show that food isn't just about sustenance, but also the joy that it can bring and the memories. The best part of having done these that first time was the look of enjoyment on my mom's face, she ended up liking my version so much that sometimes she would go and buy the ingredients and say, "Hint, hint."
Fair warning to those of you who have never made these before, they are a labor of love. You have a lot of prep work to do just to get them from point A, to point B, but it is completely worth it in the end. Golabki (Pronounced Golumki) are made different by people in Poland, as well as those of us in the US who love to make it. The recipe I saw on a youtube channel ran by an infamous former talk show host, well... She used mushrooms in hers. I wrinkled my nose but to each their own (besides, I am allergic).
Either way you look at it, these are high on the list of comfort foods to eat and enjoyed by many.
I hope you enjoyed this reblog as much as I did with making it. Please do enjoy this comfort food, it is one of the tastiest things if you like cabbage!
Flank steak is something I rarely get to work with due to the cost. It's a really delicious cut of meat, but it can be more than $7/lb, which is more than I can afford. I was lucky enough to get a hold of a 2 lb slab of it for free, which made me very excited and delighted; I had not tasted flank steak since I was a culinary student. I remember it well, that first taste... It was the first time I tasted what a rare steak was like, and it changed my thoughts about steak in general. This was one of several things that helped to shape my pallet into what it is today.
I wasn't sure what to do with it at first, considering the many possibilities you are presented with this particular cut... I could have done Philly Cheesesteaks, or Fajitas, so many things would have worked ut I chose to do something I just came up with.
I took the steak and cut it into two across the grain, thinking I could make one more done than the other. I ended up with both of them being a little too rare even though I had cooked them on the highest temperature I could with the indoor grill (which I am sure I am ready to do a review on soon) and I do not know if if was hot enough or if I simply didn't leave it on long enough (I flipped in ten minutes). It still tasted pretty good when paired with the pasta and ala minute.
This turned out to be super flavorful. The sauce was light and just the right amount for the pasta, and the steak was juicy. They definitely complemented each other very well and I only wished that I had some fresh parmesan cheese to shred over the top, I think it would have taken it to perfection, as would adding just a tiny bit of tomato sauce to make it slightly more robust.
I hope you enjoy this brainchild of mine... Feel free to use a cheaper cut of steak, I know how it goes!
Good eating, foodies
Back when I was a little snot, my mom used to make cheesy potatoes, which, of course, was a hit. That is... unless she called them "au gratin," which would cause my sisters and I to recoil with horror and yell out, "ALL ROTTEN POTATOES! EEEEEWWW!!" Seriously, we thought our mom was talking about rotten potatoes, so she started calling them Cheesy Potatoes, which other people call them too. Later in life, she told me the story of how we used to react and I still find it amusing to this day. In fact, yesterday when I took my taters to potluck, I had to laugh because my brother in law teased me and called them "Potato's All Rotten," and I explained that was what I used to call them. Apparently, it has been a nickname through many generations where kids would call them "All Rotten" and such, at least in our family!
Now, I don't make these very often because peeling almost a whole, 3 lb bag of potatoes for this can be tedious... Add to that, there is a lot of love you need to put in the dish. The dish is totally worth all the work, so every now and then I will get a bug up my butt to do it. This time, it just happened to be that I had an invitation to a potluck, pretty much last minute due to certain circumstances, and I didn't have money or time to plan something out. I had planned to make these potatoes for my birthday because I have been craving them, but I can do something else to go with that particular dinner.
We've all been there, last minute invitations or unexpected company coming over and you need to whip up something awesome but don't have cash or time to think. Potatoes are a pantry staple, and cheese... Well, I always have cheese, but I don't know about the rest of you. I told my husband that whatever cheese we had left (block and shredded) would be for this, and then the potluck came up.
I spent an hour on prepping and another hour at home just to bake, a half hour to set, lastly, another bit of time to heat back up (although, they would have tasted okay cold, just sayin'.) So I spent 3 hours making them, and they were nearly gone in fifteen minutes. I guess when taters are good, they are good!
Before I get to the recipe, let me warn you that although my recipe is reduced fat, it is still not diet food and you should proceed with full disclosure. Normally, they are made with heavy cream and butter, and my recipe does not use either, yet they are still pretty fantastic and rich enough without them that I am sure you wouldn't miss those things.
It's such a comfort food to eat, and it is one of those things that you know everyone will eat unless they can't do dairy. This dish is great to serve with pretty much any protein, and could even become a main dish when you add a protein. I would suggest bacon or ham, though roast beef would work lovely as would roast chicken. Broccoli would be awesome as a veggie to go in there (or cauliflower)... I am sure that peas would be pretty good too. It is up to you, really! With the richness of the cheese, you definitely won't miss the heavy cream and the butter if you are looking to cut at least a little bit of fat out. The great thing about potatoes is that they are better for diabetics to eat than bread and rice, though you still want to eat in moderation because of all that cheese.
I had a lot of fun serving this to my family last night and was delighted at how quickly it was eaten. I hope you enjoy this recipe too!
Happy Eating, my Foodies,
I have already established to you all that Spaghetti is my all time favorite, or one of my favorite meals to make and eat. Sometimes, though, you have to change it up so it's not always the same thing. Sometimes I like to change how I cook the onions and the green peppers, caramelizing the one and roasting the other in order to elevate the flavor. Sometimes I like to add fennel seeds or use the sauce for a different pasta with different meals in mind. Once you have the sauce down, you have many possibilities for what you can do with it. One thing that I do upon occasion is make meatballs.
Making meatballs is an artform. If you know how to make meatballs, you pretty much know how to make a good meatloaf as they are similar in how you prepare them. The key to a great meatball is to make sure they aren't rubbery or crumbly, and that is all in how you work the mixture. It's like a good biscuit, you don't want to overwork it!
Either way you look at it, this is a good recipe to have under your belt (or any good meatball recipe) just for the sake of opening up new doors in your list of things you can do with dishes.
I wish I had some awesome story from my past I can tell you about these, but I just like Meatballs. That's all.
As I said, I wish I had some cool story to tell you about how I learned to make meatballs, but I don't, I just... like them. Although, I did dislike them as a kid. I guess tastebuds change? Anyways, I hope you enjoy this short blog post.
Oh, Canada... I thought you guys were nuts when I first saw Poutine becoming a trendy food, but then again? We have our weird things too... I mean, we do have sausage gravy and biscuits in America... It took me a long time to decide whether I wanted to make this dish or not, and obviously, my curiosity won out because, well, you see the picture above, don't ya?
I consulted one of my friends, Jake, who lives in Canada, just to make sure I got as close to traditional as I could. I had decided to make this when I saw cheese curds at Wally World. I was all excited, I planned this out for two months, and then I got to Wally World and the curds were gone. So I had to make due. I ended up using shredded cheese.
This was a fun dish to make, and pretty easy even if it takes time to do it. Of course, I made mine mostly from scratch. I will tell you this, you will not want to make a big batch for yourself, you'll want to start small because this dish is so filling, but so worth every bite of it.
I had so much fun eating this... It's super yummy! I suggest you try it the home made way before you go out and try them elsewhere or making them the short way with frozen fries and such. It is so fun! Enjoy this one, Foodies, and give a salute to Canada!
The Eccentric Foodie
Cooking bacon in the oven is the easiest way.
These are various recipes that either I created, or I found and adjusted to what I thought would be awesome or even healthier.