Monday, March 20, 2006

Texas Goulash

8 oz. elbow macaroni
3/4 lb. ground beef
1/3 c chopped onion
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained
1 small. can tomato paste
1/2 to 3/4 c cubed Velveeta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Boil and drain macaroni. In same pan, brown the ground beef and onion. Add remaining ingredients and cook over low heat until cheese is melted. Add macaroni back to pot; heat through. Makes 6 servings.

Eileen's Lemon Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c lemon juice
1/3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t salt
2 T vegetable or olive oil
1/2 c chicken broth
3 green onions, chopped (including green part)
1 T Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (or 2 T brown sugar)
1 T grated lemon peel

Cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 3 smaller pieces. Brush each piece with some of the lemon juice. Combine flour, paprika and salt in a plastic bag and shake each piece in the flour mixture until coated. Brown chicken on both sides in hot oil. Reduce heat; add chicken broth, green onions, brown sugar blend, lemon peel, and any leftover lemon juice. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Serves 2.

Roasted Vegetables

2 yellow squashed, cut in strips
1 onion, sliced vertically
1 bell pepper, cut in strips
1 c fresh mushrooms, cut in half
1 c carrots, cut in half
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed through press
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 450˚. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake 25 minutes.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Swedish Meatballs

1 slice soft bread (white or whole wheat)
1/4 c milk
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground white pepper
1/8 t ground allspice
1 t grated onion ( I take a little bit frozen chopped onion out of the freezer and mince it while it’s still frozen)
1 T butter

3/4 c beef broth, divided
1 T flour
2 T cold water
1/4 c heavy whipping cream
1 T dried parsley

Meatballs: Tear bread into very small pieces, and place in medium bowl with milk. Crumble meat into bowl, and add salt, white pepper, allspice, and onion. Mix well, using your hands. Form into small meatballs of uniform size, about 1 inch in diameter. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown meatballs. When they are browned on all sides, remove from skillet and place into a medium saucepan.
Sauce: Increase heat under skillet to high and deglaze with 1/4 cup of the beef broth. Add broth to saucepan containing meatballs, cover, and simmer about 5-7 minutes. Remove meatballs from pot and set aside. Add remaining 1/2 cup beef broth and bring to a boil. In a small dish or shaker jar, mix flour and water to form a thin paste; add to boiling sauce, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Whisk in cream and simmer another 2 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. Add parsley. Add meatballs to sauce to rewarm. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over hot noodles, boiled potatoes, or rice. Makes 3 servings.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Easy Tandoori Chicken Breasts

1 t finely chopped fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press or finely chopped
1 very small onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
dash cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/8 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground cayenne pepper
1/8 t ground black pepper
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/8 t turmeric
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t paprika
1/2 t lemon juice
2 T plain nonfat yogurt
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Blend ginger, garlic, onion, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a small bowl. In a small skillet, mix cayenne, black pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, nutmeg, and paprika. Heat for just a minute, and add to wet mixture. Add lemon juice and yogurt, and spread mixture all over the chicken. Marinate, covered two hours or more. If marinating overnight, take the chicken pieces from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to bring them to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 375˚. Place the chicken right on the low rack, and cook for 15-20 minutes. Turn over and cook for 10 more minutes or till the chicken pieces are completely roasted and golden brown. Garnish with sliced onions, tomatoes, or lemon wedges.

No-Fuss Pork Chops

2 boneless pork chops or pork sirloins, cut 3/4 to 1" thick
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/8 t onion powder
2 T soy sauce

Brown pork chops on both sides in an oven-ready skillet over medium-high heat. Combine remaining ingredients; spoon evenly over chops. Cover pan with foil. Place in oven, turn heat control to 350˚. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer, or until chops are tender. Serves 2

Southern Frank Dinner

1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper (any color), chopped
2 T butter or oil
dash salt
1/4 t pepper
2 14.5-oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 lb. hot dogs (you could try this with soy dogs), sliced
Crusty Cornbread Topping (below)

Preheat oven to 425˚. Sauté onion and bell pepper in oil until golden; turn off heat and add salt, pepper, tomatoes, and hot dogs. Pour into a greased 13 x 9” baking dish. Spoon Crusty Cornbread Topping on top in evenly-spaced dollops. Bake 30 minutes. Serves 4-6

Crusty Cornbread Topping

1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 c yellow cornmeal
2 T shortening
1 egg
2/3 c milk

Sift flour, salt, baking powder and soda. Stir in cornmeal. Cut in shortening. Add egg and milk.


Perhaps no food brings back better memories of Germany for DH and me than Schwenkbraten. It's basically a tender cut of pork that's marinated and then grilled on a hanging griddle over wood or coals. Go here for an explanation in German plus a picture of the special hanging grill.

When we were stationed at Zweibrücken Air Base, DH and his buddies in POL (aircraft refueling) were in charge of the schwenkbraten booth at all the base events. He and Lee would go to Globus, a great big grocery store in Zweibrücken, and buy dozens of pounds of already-marinated schwenks. They'd then put them in big foil pans next to the grill, and add beer to keep the meat moist until it was cooked. No matter how many schwenks they bought, they always sold out.

Schwenkbraten is a regional specialty from the Saarland-the area of Germany that's southwest of Frankfurt, northwest of Karlsruhe, along the French border. I believe it was part of France once-correct me if I'm wrong on that. But you can go elsewhere in Germany and look for schwenkbraten, and no one will know what you're talking about.

The basic meat for a good schwenk has got to be pork sirloin. If you use boneless pork loin chops, they're too tough. Pork sirloins are not only tender, but are just the right size to put on big crusty rolls.

There's a mixture (schwenkbraten gewurz) that's the same concept as a rub. It is reminiscent of curry, since it's a lot of spices and herbs mixed togther: garlic, paprika, onion, oregano, thyme, parsley, nutmeg, and mustard. I've added curry powder, since curry powder reminds us of the marinade they used at Globus.

So, here's how you make it: in a flat dish, lay down a thin layer of vegetable or olive oil, a layer of very thinly sliced onions, and a layer of the herb/spice mixture. Then put in some pork sirloin steaks, sprinkle with more of the herb/spice mixture, and top with more onion and oil. Cover and marinate overnight. You can also try this in a large ziploc bag, or in a Foodsaver marinating canister.

When you're ready to grill, you can either try grilling the onions on the grill,too, using foil, or grill them on an indoor grill (I use my little George Foreman). Either way, you've got to have the grilled onions on your sandwich, too.

Grill the meat until done through, and serve with the onions on crusty sandwich rolls. I use a litte mayonnaise, DH eats his plain, and my daughter likes hers with mustard.

Try this mixture:

2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried mustard
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Mix together and store in your cupboard.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

MIxed Berry & Coconut Slice

2 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour
3 tablespoons ground almonds
3/4 c Splenda, divided
1/2 cups caster sugar*
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, chilled
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t baking powder
4 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 T lemon juice
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries (I used the triple berry blend of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries from Costco)
1 cup dessicated coconut (this is unsweetened-I purchase mine at the local vegetable market)
Preheat the oven to 350˚. Grease a 12 x 8" baking dish and line with parchment paper.
Sift 1 3/4 cups flour into a bowl. Add the ground almonds and 1/4 cup of the Splenda and stir to combine. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Press the mixture into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Reduce the oven to 300˚.
Sift the nutmeg, baking powder and the remaining flour into a bowl.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla and remaining sugar with electric beaters for 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Fold in the flour with a large spoon. Stir in the lemon juice, raspberries and coconut and pour over the base.
Bake for ~1 hour, or until golden and firm. Chill in the pan, then cut into pieces. Makes 24 pieces.

Turnip Greens

2 c water
1 large bunch turnip greens, thoroughly washed and then chopped coarsely
1 slice bacon, cut in 1/2” pieces (or you could use 1/4 cup diced salt pork)

Put water in a large s tockpot. Add the turnip greens and bacon, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer about 2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure water hasn’t boiled off. Add water if necessary. Salt to taste. Serves 2

Cyndi's Meatloaf Muffins

3/4 lb. lean ground beef
2 slices soft whole wheat bread, torn into very small pieces
3 T milk
2 T finely minced onion
1 egg, lightly beaten or 1/4 c Eggbeaters
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t rubbed sage
1/8 t ground pepper
1/3 c ketchup
1 T Splenda Brown Sugar blend
1 t yellow mustard

Preheat oven to 400˚. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread, milk, onion, egg, Worcestershire sauce, sage, and pepper. Divide into equal portions in 6 muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine ketchup, Splenda Brown Sugar blend, and mustard. Spoon evenly onto each “muffin.” Bake another 10 minutes. Makes 6 (3-4 servings)

Fried Okra

1 lb. fresh young okra
2 eggs
1/4 c milk
1/2 c flour
1 c yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Slice okra into 1/4” slices, throwing away the caps (but keeping the pointed ends). In a large bowl, mix the eggs and milk. Add the okra, and stir to coat. Sprinkle with flour and cornmeal, and stir until all pieces are well coated. Fry in oil, covered, stirring occasionally, until golden and crispy.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Erika's Romaine Salad

1 head romaine
1/4 c thinly sliced yellow onion
1/4 c white vinegar
1/4 c water
3 T vegetable oil
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper

Chop romaine coarsley. Put in a large bowl with the onion. In a small jar with a lid, shake together the vinegar, water, oil, salt, and pepper. Toss with romaine and onion. Serves 4.

Käse Spatzle mit Zwiebeln


2 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c water (approx.)

Combine flour and salt. Add eggs and 1/4 c water. Mix until the dough is stiff. Continue adding water until the mixture is of the correct consistency--that is, until it comes away easily from the sides of the bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes. Process through spatzle machine into boiling water. If you don’t have a spatzle machine, you can press it through the holes of a metal colander. Cook for about 5 minutes. Makes enough to feed 6-8 people.

Käse Spätzle mit Zwiebeln

3 onions, chopped
1/4 c butter or margarine
1 batch spätzle
1 lb. Swiss cheese, grated

Saute onions in butter until golden. Mix spatzle with cheese and place in baking dish. Top with onions. Bake at 350˚ for about 20 minutes, or until bubbly. Serves 6-8.

Lemon Chicken Diablo

1/2 c all-purpose flour
dash salt
dash pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced horizontally
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 T grated lemon peel
1/4 c lemon juice
2 T dried or fresh chopped parsley

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a bag. Shake chicken in flour mixture to coat. Sauté in olive oil and butter, about 8 minutes on each side, until cooked through and golden. Sprinkle with garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon peel. Cook another 2 minutes, turning chicken over a couple of times. Add lemon juice to skillet, pouring over all pieces. (This is where you try not to breathe the steam!). The chicken will absorb the lemon juice. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 2

Thursday, March 02, 2006


2 T vegetable oil
1 very large potato, or several smaller ones, shredded as if for hash browns

Heat oil in a large skillet. Spread shredded potatoes in a single layer and cook, covered, until bottom is browned. Using the lid of the skillet, transfer the entire layer, intact, to the lid, and then flip it over back into the pan. Cook, uncovered, until crispy on both top and bottom. Cut in wedges or serve with spatula. Makes 2 servings.



1/2 lb. boneless pork, cut in 1” x 1/2” pieces (or use veal or chicken)
2 T vegetable oil
6 oz. fresh mushrooms (or 2 4-oz cans)
2 T all-purpose flour
3/4 c chicken or vegetable broth
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t Dijon mustard
1/2 c heavy cream or half & half
salt & pepper to taste

Brown pork in oil; remove from pan. Add mushrooms, and sauté about 5 minutes. Add flour and toss mushrooms to coat. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Add broth, Worcestershire, and mustard. Simmer gently, about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Add cream, salt and pepper, and meat. Heat another couple of minutes (to reheat the meat). Serve over rösti. Makes 2 large or 3 regular servings.