Sunday afternoon cooking class

Authentic Mexican food is one thing that is hard to come by here in Germany.
So when I came across an event posted on the facebook page,  Muy Bueno Cookbook Germany , I signed up!
On Sunday, a girlfriend and I shared the afternoon cooking with the lovely Veronica, co-author of Muy Bueno Cookbook. She hosted an intimate, 8 person, cooking class in her home.

cookbook

The menu included: Black Olive Tapa with Tomato Tapa Crostini, Chicken Paella with a Mexican twist, Lemon & Raspberry Sorbet and Mexican Sangria.

menuboard

 

beginning-of-paella

adding-the-rice-and-stock

rice-is-cooked

time-to-eat

gutenappetit

raspberry-sorbet

chickenpaella

It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. The recipes came together effortlessly and were delicious.

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Here is the recipe for Seafood Paella. We just substituted chicken breast cut into medallion size. The twist that makes it ‘Mexican’ is the addition of cayenne pepper and chile powder for that added kick!

Seafood Paella

Here is the recipe for Mexican Sangria. It was mentioned that a variation of the recipe is to make it with canned fruit including the juice.

Mexican Sangria

The class inspired me to try my hand at making homemade flour tortillas today. Elsa was right there to help me roll the tortillas out!

Flour Tortillas

 

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I also tried the Chicken Fajita recipe from the Muy Bueno cookbook blog with the fresh, warm tortillas!

Chicken Fajitas 

…Delicious!!

 

xoxo,

Mel

in our kitchen :: rhubarb & apple crisp

Springtime for me means dirt under my finger nails, the smell of freshly turned compost, and discovering what has awakened in the garden as the ground warms.

In our garden, one of the early delights is harvesting rhubarb.

Rhubarb, pronounced roo-barb, is not actually a fruit, but a stalk vegetable. It is available for harvest from late March until June. The stalks are rosy in hue and topped with big, deep green leaves. When picking, gently snap the stalk at the ground and cut off the leaf. The leaves should never be eaten as they contain a poison, oxalic acid. I usually cut the leaf off and place it under newly sprouting stalks. After washing and trimming the top and bottom of the stalk, use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to thinly strip off the stringy ribs. Much like you do with celery. Rhubarb wilts quickly. Store it in the fridge and eat within a couple of days. Some people recommend keeping the leaves on the stalk until you’re ready to eat it, as they’ll help keep it fresh.
rhubarb_patch

Rhubarb is tart and while it can be used in many delicious recipes, I have only ever used it as a dessert or made it into a simple syrup that I later add to drinks.

This year with the first picked stalks, I made a crisp. I added apple to give it a little more texture and sweetness that would balance out the tartness of the rhubarb.  I usually think of crisps and crumbles as autumn desserts, but this one is a perfect springtime delight.

Rhubarb & Apple Crisp

Prep :: 15 min. Bake: 45 min.
Yield :: 8 servings

Ingredients ::
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
3 cups chopped fresh rhubarb (3-4 large stalks) or frozen rhubarb, thawed (see note)
2 cups chopped peeled apples (I used a large honey crunch apple)
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Vanilla ice cream, optional (ok, not really…you need to enjoy this with ice cream!!)

Directions ::
In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add rhubarb and apples; toss to coat. Spoon into an 8-in. square or oval baking dish.

For the topping ::
In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon, and maple syrup until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until bubbly and fruit is tender.

Serve warm. With ice cream!!

Note :: If using frozen rhubarb, measure while still frozen, then thaw completely in a colander, but do not press liquid out. The addition of 1/3 cup of your favorite chopped nuts to the topping would be delicious.

rhubarb&applecrisp

Have tried rhubarb? Do you have a favorite rhubarb recipe?

xoxo,

Mel

{Recipe adapted from :: Taste of Home}

in our kitchen :: pecan pumpkin cream cheese roll cake

The air is crisp and the red, yellow & burnt orange leaves crunch under foot. This means it is that time of year again where we start to enjoy all things pumpkin. In our house, that includes a Pumpkin Roll Cake. Oh yes, this cake is well worth the mess in the kitchen with it’s buttery, creamy filling and spicy, moist spiral. Feel free to substitute walnuts for the pecans if that is what you have on hand, but be sure to include this cake in your baking line up this season. Perhaps for Thanksgiving!?

pumpkinrollwm

PecanPumpkinCreamCheeseRollCake

Click here to view printable recipe card :: Pecan Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll Cake
Enjoy!

 

♥♥♥

Mel

 

Recipe adapted from BH&G

in our kitchen :: ultimate strawberry-lime margarita

If you are planning to munch on tacos, enchiladas, tamales or slurp some chicken tortilla soup today, you are gonna want to wash it down with this Ultimate Strawberry-Lime Margarita.

We tested this recipe, multiple times, over the weekend to ensure we are sharing a delicious, and easy Cinco de Mayo inspired margarita. We hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did!

strawberrymargarita

Ultimate Strawberry-lime Margarita

recipe adapted from All-Recipes.com

Serves :: 4 (or in our house 2 large servings)

Ingredients ::
6 fluid ounces silver tequila (with blue agave)
2 fluid ounces Cointreau (or triple sec if that is what you have)
4 ounces frozen sliced strawberries in syrup
4 ounces fresh sliced strawberries
4 fluid ounces frozen limeade concentrate
For serving :: ice, salt for rim of glasses, fresh strawberries or lime slices for garnish

Directions ::
Add strawberries, tequila, Cointreau and limeade concentrate to a blender. Pulse until smooth.

Prepare the glasses :: run a lime wedge around the rim of each glass. Then dip the top of the glass upside-down in a bowl of coarse salt. Garnish the glasses with fresh strawberries and/or lime slices if desired.

Serve On The Rocks ::
Fill each prepared glass half full with ice, pour the margarita mixture over ice and serve.

Serve Frozen ::
Add about 2-3 cups of ice to your blender with the margarita mixture, and pulse until smooth. Pour into prepared glasses and serve.

Cinco_De_Mayo_Printable
free printable from Sasha at Creations by Sasha

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

♥♥♥

Mel

in our kitchen :: easy oven baked chicken wings with homemade bbq sauce

I made these Easy Oven Baked Chicken Wings with Homemade BBQ sauce to share with friends during our New Year’s Eve celebration.

My friend called today to say she has been craving these wings since having them and that she just HAD to have the recipe.  So I am sharing it here with all of you, too.

I hope you try them…maybe this Sunday night while watching “The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles” or on Superbowl Sunday while cheering on the Broncos!

ovenbakedbbqchickenwings

Continue reading

in our kitchen :: christstollen

After years of living in Europe and enjoying the baked holiday goodies, I still find myself intimidated to make our favorites myself.  This year when a friend gave me her family Christstollen recipe I realized just how easy this “German Christmas Cake” is to make at home.

Christstollen1

So what is Christstollen?

The Christstollen, or “Stollen,” is a formed cake filled with dried fruits and nuts and covered in powdered sugar. The dough of the Stollen is heavy and thick. Its main ingredients are butter or margarine, flour, candied lemon and orange peels, and dried fruits, such as raisins.

It is available only during Advent and Christmas time. Its shape is supposed to resemble the Christ Child wrapped in a blanket.

stollen2

Christstollen

This recipe makes two loaves.

4 cups Flour
1 ½ Tbsp Baking Powder {1 envelope Backpulver
}
1 Tbsp Vanilla Sugar {1 envelope Vanille Zucker}
1 cup Sugar
3 tsp Rum Flavoring
1 pinch of Salt
2 Eggs
3/4 cup Butter or 1 ½ sticks (12 Tbsp) (plus some for brushing on the baked Stollen)
3/4 cup Quark (can be substituted with greek yogurt)
1 cup Raisins (optional:: 1 cup chopped candied fruit pieces)
1 cup finely chopped or ground Almonds
1 cup roughly chopped Walnuts
Lots of confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, butter, quark, sugar, rum flavoring until smooth.

Sift dry ingredients and blend well.

Add wet mixture to dry. It will be very stiff. This will help the cake to keep its shape.

Add the fruit and nuts, mix well.

Divide dough in half to make two loaves.

Now we are going to shape the dough into a stollen. On a floured surface and with floured hands, roll dough into a rectangle. Starting with the long side, roll up dough and make a depression lengthways using a rolling pin. Fold the left side onto the right side to create a staggered effect. Using your hands, form the center of the stollen lengthways into a ‘bulge”. Repeat with second half of the dough to form another loaf. Place on baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 1hr 25min. The top will be a nice golden brown.

Melt butter and coat the warm stollen with it. Transfer to a cooling rack and dust a thick layer of confectioners sugar all over it.  After the stollen has cooled, wrap in several layers of plastic wrap.

Download/Print this recipe here ::

Christstollen

sliced stollen

Stollen

Stollen is best eaten a few days to a week or so after it is baked so that the flavors and texture has set.

There are many variations of Stollen. My absolute favorite has marzipan (ground almond paste) baked into the center.

What is your favorite baked item to make during the holiday season or maybe you will try a new recipe this year too?

in our kitchen :: broccoli salad

My dear mother-in-law originally shared this recipe with me.  I first made it in the summer of 2002 when Jay and I hosted a baby shower for my sister.  Over the years I have adapted it a bit and it is always my ‘go to’ salad for potlucks and gatherings.

The poppy seed dressing, for sure, is what makes it so delicious.  I have tried a few other dressings, even attempted to make it from scratch, but it never tastes ‘just right’.  If you can’t find the dressing locally and would like to try it, you can find it online here and here.   I always have it stock piled in the pantry.  It is that good!

Viola..Broccoli Salad

I am often asked for the recipe and thought I’d share it with you here. Click on the recipe card below to enlarge it.

Broccoli Salad Recipe Card

So tell me, what is your favorite ‘go to’ potluck dish?

♥♥♥

mel

blank recipe card via