Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday's are Chocolate

I'm back. Just like Arnold. Where do I begin. Who would of thought that this 50 year old woman could ride her bike through Germany. Oh the places you can go and see on a bike. I will never rent a car in Europe again. We are trying to get back on track going wasn't so bad but coming back has been tough. Each day I long for marzipan cake and a bratwurst's. Not the mention the Fourth of July in Germany fireworks and all. Or my Bavarian Birthday party. Meeting the in-laws and our adorable little Grandson. The welcome home of 400 soldiers from Iraq. I have been dealing with some major computer problems.

In honor of my Fathers Birthday I tried making the great tasting Baumkuchen Layered Cake it is a little time consuming but well worth the effort. Here is our first favorite from Germany. Stay tune for more to come. This fun cake has layers and layers cooked under the broiler. What a way to heat up the house on a day with 100 degree temps outside it was well worth every moment.
Baumkuchen Layered Cake

Parchment paper
For the cake mixture
12 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan
whites of 4 medium eggs
1 cup of soft margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 pinch of salt
2 medium eggs
yolks of 4 medium eggs
4 tablespoon rum
1 1/2 cup plain all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
3 level teaspoons baking powder

For chocolate coating
7 oz plain chocolate
4 teaspoons cooking oil

Preheat the oven grill. Grease the rectangular tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.

To make the cake mixture, beat the egg whites until stiff. Stir the softened margarine or butter with a hand mixer with whisk until it becomes smooth and homogenous. Gradually add the sugar, vanilla and salt, and stir until the mixture thickens. Add 1 egg at a time, whisking each one for about 1/2 minutes at the highest setting. Then stir in the yolks and the rum.

Mix together the flour, cornstarch and baking powder, sift and stir into the butter and egg mixture in two stages with the mixer set at the medium setting. Then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites using a flexible spatula or wooden spoon.

Using a brush, spread a heaped tablespoon of cake mixture on the bottom of the greased tin. Put the tin on a shelf in the oven ( the distance between the grill and the layer of cake mixture at the bottom of the tin should be 8 in. Grill for about 2 minutes under the preheated grill until golden brown.

Take the tin out of the oven and spread another layer (1-2 tablespoons of cake mixture) on top of the already baked layer. Put the tin under the grill again and continue in this way until all the cake mixture is used up. This means that the shelf on which the tin is placed will have to move downward to maintain a distance of 8 inches between the grill and the layer of cake mixture.

Carefully loosen the cake from the tin with a knife, remove from the tin and put on a rack. Remove the baking parchment and leave to cool.

To make the chocolate coating, finely shop the chocolate and melt with the oil in a double boiler over low heat, stirring continuously. Then coat the cooled-down cake with the melted chocolate mixture.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday's Are Chocolate

Soooo long farwell auf Wiedersehen good bye. Like Arnold would say I'll be back. This is going to be my last post for a few days. But don't stay away to long. I will be posting as we travel. Looking forward to many yummy food experiences through Germany.

I made this easy yummy dessert for the Big Daddy's in my life. Thanks to my Father who is the best ever. While I was single I just called him Mr Helper. Everyday I was calling Mr Helper with a problem. Then Big Daddy Mike he is the best husband ever just can't get enough of that Mike. Oh and I can't forget those military son and son -in-law who served our country and left their little boys at home with Mum. Happy Father's Day to you also. Hugs to all the men in my life.

Chocolate Peppermint Freeze

11/2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.9 oz)instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes; let stand 2 minutes or until soft-set. Stir in chocolate chips. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add peppermint extract; beat until soft peaks form. Fold into pudding.

Transfer to an ungreased 8-in. square dish. Cover and freeze for 2 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before cutting.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Night Specials

Short cuts. A few days ago I got my hair cut. I had to stop the stylist and remind her that I was not in the military and I didn't need a high and tight. It was a good thing I have some longer layers to fill in where she took off way to much. When we meet the in-laws I sure hope they understand I don't always where my hair this short. Once I put my bicycling helmet on, you won't see a bit of my hair that's a scary thought. I will post some pictures next week. Like I was always told the only difference between a good hair cut and a bad hair cut is two weeks.

Back to short cuts. A few months ago my friend Kristy led me to these great potatoes. I am not very quick when it comes to peeling potatoes. Simply Potatoes are perfect all peeled and ready to go. They offer many different varieties. Mr Mike whipped up this great turkey hash using the Southwest style hash browns. They really have a zip. If you can't handle the zip the plain version is perfect also. Most super markets carry Simply Potatoes they can be found by the eggs, never frozen. Simply Potatoes are always in a green bag. What a mouth watering quick and tasty dinner, lunch or breakfast.

Mr Mike's Turkey Hash

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup lean turkey breast cubed
1/2 red onion cut in thin strips
1 (20 oz) Bag of Simply Potatoes Southwest Style Hash browns
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in large skillet add potatoes cook thoroughly until lightly browned. Add onion and turkey cook until onion is transparent in color about five minutes. Serve immediately.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dinner and a Movie Friday

I can not take credit for the picture I borrowed it from my daughters blog. While we were playing Grandma and Grandpa we took our little buddy to see Up. This is exactly how we had him positioned between the two of us. I can honestly say I have not seen very many animated movies, I can count them on my fingers. Up is a Disney Pixar film and it was very enjoyable from start to finish. It is about an elderly old couple who has saved all of their lives to travel. When suddenly the woman passes away. The county tries to make the gentleman sell his house and he wont. All of his life he has sold balloons so he hooks his house up with balloons, and takes off not knowing he has a young boy as a stow away knocking at his front door. Typical Disney with the bad guys but a happy ending. I can honestly say I loved it. Our little buddy was perfect until the last 20 minutes darn those 30 minutes of previews.

We are trying to use up everything in the fridge. Still had a few very ripe bananas. I made these fun and healthy miniature muffins. Don't let their miniature size fool you. Loaded with flavor and crunch and high on the fiber. Perfect little low cal treat.Banana Bran Muffins

Cooking spray
3 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
1/4 cup dark honey
2 large egg whites
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoon stone-ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons freshly ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts toasted
1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly coast 16 miniature muffin cups with cooking spray.

In a bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, egg whites, bananas, and vanilla. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the bran, flours, cornmeal, flaxseed, baking soda, and salt. Stir to mix well. Add the banana mixture and stir just to combine. Place about 2 tablespoons batter in each muffin cup. Bake until the muffins are puffed, golden, and firm to the touch 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stary at Home Thursday

Each week I search for a way to get our omega three's into our diet. I have seen this recipe several times and but never taken the time to give it a try. This would be perfect for a book club or a special formal dinner. Quick and easy any one could produce this wonderful dish. The salmon was cooked perfect and the cheese adds so much flavor. We both agreed that the next day was even better. The flavors had married and it only to four minutes to warm in the microwave. Let everyone think you slaved for hours. I found this recipe in the Feb & Mar Taste of Home magazine.
Spinach Salmon Bundles

2 tubes (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent rolls
4 salmon fillets
1/4 steak seasoning
1/3 cup garlic-herb cheese spread
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Unroll crescent dough and separate into four rectangles; seal perforations. Place a salmon fillet in the center of each rectangle; sprinkle with steak seasoning. Spoon cheese spread over each; top with spinach. Fold dough over filling and pinch edges to seal

Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 20- 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve bundles immediately.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Low Cal Wednesday

Ever since I was a teenager I have had a craving for chocolate for breakfast. I can remember in high school my Dad would wake me up and he would say your breakfast is ready. What that meant was he had poured a glass of milk and mixed in the Carnation Chocolate Instant Breakfast. I still love the chocolate in the morning about three times a week I have it. Last week as I was opening the package I found a smoothie recipe. I added a few extra ingredients. Perfect just the way I like it, low in calories and tons of chocolate flavor.

Milk Chocolate- Banana Strawberry Smoothie

1 packet Rich Milk Chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast
3/4 cup fat free milk
1/4 cup non fat plain yogurt
1 small frozen banana, sliced
2 large strawberries
1/2 cup ice cubes

Place milk, banana, strawberries, yogurt and Carnation Instant Breakfast powder and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Veggie Tuesday

For lunch one day a few weeks ago Mr. Mike whipped up theses Teriyaki bowls. He always seems to find just the right spices. He found a little bowl of left over pineapple juice mixed with a little cornstarch to thicken. After he was finished he asked what the surprised ingredient was. I guessed it right a way sweet potato. The veggies were perfect with just a little crunch. What a colorful and happening lunch.
Mike's Teriyaki Bowls

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup Kikkoman's Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup of broccoli
1 cup of cauliflower
1 sweet potato
1 cup asparagus cut into 2 in pieces
1 cup carrots diced and whole

Cook sweet potato in microwave bag for two minutes. In small mixing bowl mix cornstarch, pineapple juice, and Teriyaki sauce let set while cooking vegetables. Heat oil in large skillet or wok add garlic, and red pepper flakes. Thinly slice and peel sweet potato. Add all of the vegetable to oil and cook for ten minutes on medium heat. Cover mixture with sauce and cook an additional five minutes. Garnish with sesame seeds.