Goulash with Spaetzle

Goulash with Spatzel

Goulash with

German food is rare where I’m from in California. But here in our little town located in the Southwest corner of Indiana, it’s the norm. After eating at one of the best German restaurants for Valentines Day which is located in Jasper, Indiana, I decided to try my hand at making goulash. I read the description on the Schnitzelbank’s menu and I figured I could do this dish justice. Here’s my stab at Goulash served over Spaetzle, which I brought home from them.

Ingredients:    serves 4

  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 3 TB bacon grease
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • half a cabbage, sliced
  • DSC_01402 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 TB flour
  • 3 cups red wine, (use wine you would drink, not cooking wine)
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 TB tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf

Preheat you oven to 450.

DSC_0141 (2)Heat the bacon grease in a heavy bottom dutch oven over medium-high heat on your stove. I’m using my enameled cast iron dutch oven. Dry the pieces of stew meat between paper towels. Really squish the blood out of them. You want them as dry to the touch as possible so they will brown nicely. Add them to the pot of hot bacon grease and brown slightly on all sides. You may need to work in small batches, beware,the browning happens rather quickly. Once the beef is browned remove and set aside. Add the carrots, onion and cabbage into the hot pot and cook until they wilt and start to brown. Remove these and set aside. Remove the pot from the heat, add the browned beef back to the pot and season with salt and pepper, tossing well. Sprinkle the meat with flour and toss until the pieces are covered.

Bake in your 450 degree oven with no cover for 5 minutes, toss and bake for another 3 minutes. Remove and lower the oven heat to 325. Whisk in the wine, whisking will deglaze the pot. Stir in the thyme and tomato paste, add the bay leaf. Stir in the vegetables and add enough broth to cover the meat and vegetables. Bring to a simmer on the stove then cover and place in the oven to simmer slowly for about 2 1/2 hours. The dish is fully cooked when the meat is fork tender and believe me it will be delightfully fork tender.

Using a sieve, over a medium skillet, strain the liquid from the meat & vegetable mixture. Place the mixture back into the dutch oven and cover to keep warm. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat, rapidly simmering and whisking the liquid until it thickens to your liking. Pour this thickened gravy over the mixture and toss well. Your goulash is now ready to serve.

Suggestions: I served ours over spaetzle, but it would also be good over sliced boiled potatoes or egg noodles.

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Posted by on March 9, 2014 in Beef, Casseroles, Soups and Stews


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Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches

Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches

Peanut Butter
Cookie Sandwiches

I have to admit these were not my idea. Teresa from “Can’t stay out of the Kitchen” posted these and I have been wanting to make them forever. These are a complete delight and would be great as a dessert or special treat for friends. They are very rich, I promise 1 cookie sandwich will satisfy even the biggest cookie lover.

I combined my own peanut butter cookie recipe with Teresa’s peanut butter icing filling.

Ingredients:   yields about 2 dozen cookies, which will made 1 dozen cookie sandwiches

  • 1/4 cup shortening at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup salted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped

Preheat your oven to 375 and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, using an electric beater, cream together the shortening, butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar and egg. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. I generally sift all of these ingredients over the large bowl of creamed ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula stir the dry ingredients and peanuts into the creamed ingredients until thoroughly blended.

Roll a large tablespoon of cookie dough into a ball and place 2″ inches apart on a cookie sheet. Flatten the dough balls slightly by making a crisscross over them with a fork dipped in sugar. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Now for the good stuff, the peanut butter frosting/filing. Recipe courtesy of  Teresa at “Can’t Stay out of Kitchen”

  • 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp  vanilla
  • 5-9 TB milk

In a large bowl beat the peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and enough milk to make the icing spreadable. I ended up using only 5 TB of milk, so start out with a couple and add more a little at a time until you get the consistency you want. Spread the icing over one cooked and top with another. Easy, simple and oh so delightful.


Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Cookies


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Huevos Rancheros Chilaquiles

Huevos Rancheros Chilaquiles

Huevos Rancheros Chilaquiles

Oh what to make for breakfast? I needed something easy but delicious. Mark loves Huevos Rancheros so how about making them into a Chilaquiles dish. So here you have that very idea. Simple, easy and so delicious.

Ingredients:  yields 4 servings

  • 1/2 pound of ground sausage
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas, cut into strips or pieces
  • about 2 cups of leftover tomato salsa
  • ground cumin, garlic salt, ground black pepper
  • 5 eggs, whisked well with a little bit of water
  • shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • DSC_01113 green onions, green and white parts sliced

In a medium size skillet, brown the sausage, remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside to drain. Add about a half-inch of vegetable oil in the skillet and heat over medium. Add the tortilla strips and cook until lightly browned and crisp. In a large bowl combine the sausage, cooked tortilla strips, salsa, a couple shakes of cumin, garlic salt and pepper. Add in a handful of the shredded cheese blend and gently toss it all together.

Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a 9 x 9 baking dish or a glass pie pan.

Spread the mixture into your prepared baking dish. Pour the whisked eggs over the mixture and bake for 15 minutes. Now top that mixture with a couple of handfuls of shredded cheese and sprinkle with the green onions, bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and melted and the eggs are completely cooked. Serve with some Cilantro Crema or sour cream.

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Posted by on February 23, 2014 in Breakfast, Casseroles


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Ham & Vegetable Porridge

Ham & Vegetable Porridge

Ham & Vegetable Porridge

As with a lot of our country we are experiencing an unusually cold winter. Unfortunately it’s been filled with lots of ice. So on those days that you just can’t get out of the house, let alone out of the driveway to get to the store, making porridge is a good way to bring up the mood in the house. For this porridge I used up vegetables that were on the edge of going bad and some leftover ham that I had in the freezer.


  • 1 bag of Cajun 15 Bean Soup Mix
  • 2 Fennels, white part only, sliced
  • 12 Brussels Sprouts, quartered
  • 16 Baby Carrots, cubed
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • half a yellow onion, diced
  • half a bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 5 handfuls of kale, chopped
  • 3 cups or more of ham chunks
  • 2 quarts chicken broth

First of all rinse the beans the night before you’re going to make the porridge pick any debris from them. Then soak the beans over night in a large bowl covered by water. The next day drain and rinse and add with the other ingredients to the cooking pot.

In a heavy bottom large pot combine all of the ingredients, stir in the Cajun spice packet. Heat over medium heat until it starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer slightly covered for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. The porridge needs to maintain a simmer and the moisture needs a place to escape. Stir a few times during the cooking process. The porridge is finished when the bean are extremely tender and fall apart when pressure is put on them. Generally my porridge is thicker than a stew.


Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Beans, Rice, Pork, Soups and Stews, Vegetables


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Chicken Empanadas

Chicken Empanadas

Chicken Empanadas

It’s taken me a while to post another recipe. I’d like to say I was to busy, but the truth is I’ve been too lazy. A couple of weeks ago I was wondering what I would serve for the Super Bowl Game. I decided to surprise Mark with something I had never made him. Chicken Empanadas won and he loved them. Just another recipe from my California past life.


  • 5 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on (you really do want all that wonderful flavor the bone and skin bring)
  • All meat seasoning (or if you prefer just use salt and pepper)
  • DSC_00902 TB vegetable oil
  • 1 heaping TB of salted butter
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano, ground (please don’t substitute for Italian, it’s just not the same)
  • 2 cups Green Tomato Enchilada Sauce (you can find my recipe for this on this blog)
  • a couple handfuls of shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 box of Pillsbury Pie Crust (by all means make your own, I was just being lazy again)
  • 1 egg, whisked with a splash of water
  • a bit of flour

DSC_0092Season all sides of your chicken thighs with the all meat seasoning. Make sure the seasoning is thoroughly rubbed into the skins. Using a heavy bottom pot, I use my dutch oven, melt the butter into the oil over medium heat. Brown the thighs to a golden color on both sides and set aside. You may need to work in batches as not to overcrowd the pot. Once all the chicken is browned and removed from the pot add in the celery, carrot and onion and stir until just becoming fragrant. Stir in the chicken broth, Chipotle peppers, cumin and oregano. Return the chicken thighs to the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Stir about half way through this cooking process.

At the end of the 2 hours remove from heat and cool for about 20 minutes uncovered. Now shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl. Combine the Green Enchilada Sauce DSC_0096with the shredded chicken and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Working on a slightly floured surface and using a rolling-pin, roll the pie crust out just to flatten it a bit and make it a tiny bit thinner. Cut out a 6″-inch circle. I use a small bowl for this and usually can get 2 cut outs at one time. The 2 prepared DSC_0098pie crust in the box will yield you 7 Empanadas. Place the 6″-inch circles of crust on the baking sheet. Brush each crust with the egg wash. Place a heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture in the center of one side of the crust. Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese and fold the crust over the mixture until the sides meet. Using a fork, press the sides together to form a seal in the dough. Brush the tops of the Empanadas with the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes.

DSC_0100Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with sides of sour cream, guacamole or salsa.

Tip:  You will have enough chicken to make 14 Empanadas, but you can also put any leftover shredded chicken in a zip lock freezer bag and freeze for future use in tacos, enchiladas, tamales or nachos.

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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Chicken


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Breakfast Pie

Breakfast Pie

Breakfast Pie

Breakfast Pie? Yes I know it’s a Quiche. But you have to understand, Mark doesn’t like Quiche. Mark will tell you he will never eat a Quiche. According to Mark Quiches are horrible. So…. I call this breakfast pie and watch his eyes light up when he smells the aroma hit the kitchen. He enjoys every piece of it, from his first bit to the very last and even part of mine. So even though Mark will tell you he hates Quiche, he loves my breakfast pie. I use Betty Crocker’s basic Quiche recipe then add flavors we enjoy.

Ingredients:  serves 2 to 4 people

  • 1/2 pound ground sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 @ 9″-inch pie crust
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream, (whipping cream)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • half of an onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • one big handful of Kale, shredded

Preheat your oven to 425. I used 2 small cast iron skillets, they’re about 5 1/2″-inch diameter. You surely could use a 9″-inch cast iron skillet or a 9″-inch pie pan. (If using the large pans increase the heavy cream to 2 cups.)

Place your pie crust into your pans or pan. In a bowl stir together the cheeses, onion, garlic, kale and sausage, place this in your pie crust. Then whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and ground mustard. Pour this over the other ingredients.

Bake for 15 minutes on 425, then lower the oven temperature to 300 and bake for another 40 to 45 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the pies or pie and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.



Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Breakfast, Casseroles


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Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas with a Butternut Squash Chicken Sauce

Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas with a Butternut Squash Chicken Sauce

Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas with a
Butternut Squash Chicken Sauce

While we were enjoying our “Leftover Delight” dinner of Butternut Squash & Chipotle Chicken Stew Mark said “This would be great in an enchilada type thingy.” So that’s exactly what you have here in this recipe. We absolutely enjoyed this new spin on enchiladas.


  • about 3 cups of butternut squash soup that has been combined with shredded chipotle chicken. (Both recipes you can find here on my blog) OR  just use the leftover soup as the sauce.
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas
  • about 3 cups shredded spinach
  • a handful of parsley, chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cups re-fried Black Beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ground black pepper
  • about 2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese

Pre-heat your oven to 350 and butter a casserole dish. You can use a non-stick spray if you want.

Mix together the spinach, parsley, tomatoes, onion, re-fried beans and garlic. Season with a bit of black pepper. Make sure your corn tortillas are warm and soft to ensure easy assembly. I microwave mine for a few minutes working with 6 at a time. Put a heaping tablespoon of the bean mixture in the middle of the tortilla and roll up. Place each one side by side in your casserole dish. Once all 12 have been assembled, spoon the butternut squash soup over them and top by sprinkling the shredded cheese. Cover with foil that has been sprayed with a non stick spray, this will keep the cheese from sticking. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Serve over a bed of shredded spinach and kale with a dollop of sour cream on top.

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