Saturday, October 8, 2016

Auf Wiedersehen - Bavaria, Here We Come!

To my dear readers and friends, In just a few hours, my husband and I will board our non-stop flight to Frankfurt. We will take a bus-tour, including a Rhine River Cruise, and then travel through Germany, Switzerland, Austria and ending our trip to Munich-- with a few of King Ludwig's Castles throw in. My husband is thrilled that he can enjoy the scenery, and not have to worry about focusing on driving. Win! Once the bus tour ends, we'll pick up a car rental and drive to my mother's hometown of Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria.

Our family lived there, in our early years, while my father was stationed there at an Army base. I've gone back to visit family, but it's been 25 years since I was last there. My Oma was very old and ailing, and I knew this would be my last chance to say goodbye to her.

I have no desire to attend the big Oktoberfest (too many people, a bit too much drinking for my own taste). However, we will go to the famous Munich Hofbräuhaus for some beer, Bavarian food and music. That's a must!

I so wanted to find some time to post recipes, over the last few weeks, but it never happened. I was focused on making sure my work desk was tidy and my projects were finished. Our house sitters arrived, from Rhode Island, and we've been busy spending our evenings catching up on our 25 year friendship. So, I will leave you with a photograph taken from a web cam of my mother's home town.

We will return in two weeks-- but I will be posting photos on my Instagram Account, and on my Facebook Page.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Root Beer Baked Beans with Bacon

Hello Friends! Today, I am sharing a very simple recipe for one of the tastiest beans I've ever made.

I almost didn't post this recipe, because I didn't take pictures of the cooking process, and only two quick shots of the finished recipe.  I made these beans as a side dish when I made Jamaican Jerk Chicken, for the second time-- it's that good!

It's funny, but root beer isn't my favorite beverage of choice, unless you serve it in a frosty mug with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream.   With this recipe, root beer is deglazed just enough to give a sweet and savory flavor to these beans.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Italian Style Sloppy Joe's - Another Manly Dinner

The men in my life (aka: my husband and adult son) are so easy to please, when it comes to what I cook for them. They lovingly express their appreciation for my culinary achievements with more "sophisticated" fare, such as "Osso Bucco" or classic "Beef Bourguignon with homemade egg noodles".

Yet, one of their favorite recipes that I still make for them is "Sloppy Joe's".   It's certainly not fancy, but it's comfort food that never fails to please them. There's something about ground beef, tomato paste, tomato sauce, bell pepper, onion-- and a few other goodies-- served atop a hamburger bun that they sink their teeth into with gusto.  While my son no longer lives here, officially, he is a frequent guest for meals-- and I'm absolutely fine with that. 

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bavarian Zwetschgendatschi – German Plum Sheet Cake (Tart) Recipe

That's a mouthful of a recipe name, isn't it? "TCH-VENCHKEN-DATCHI" is as close as I can get to teaching non-Bavarians how to say that word. German Plum tart is probably a lot easier to remember.

My Bavarian Mutti made this dessert for as long as I can remember.  This dessert is as traditional to Bavarians as apple pie is to Americans.  To keep things authentic, I wait until August-- when I call my local produce store and ask "do you have Italian prunes in stock"?  I hold my breath-- and I feel a sense of joy when the answer is "yes".  

Italian plum/prunes have a very short season-- pretty much between August and September.  Last year, I waited too long, and there were none to be found.   

This year, I got really lucky!  Craig and I drove 90 minutes to Los Altos Hills to visit my Bavarian cousin.  Her Italian plum tree was full of ripe fruit-- ready for the picking!  (The pink ribbons is an effort to keep her  neighborhood squirrels from stealing her fruit.)

She generously filled a big bag full of those precious fall fruits, so I could go home and make my own Zwetschgendatschi.

These two "cousins" (left and right of me) are 100% authentic Bavarians and haven't lost their spunk being 95 and 80, respectively! They are very active ladies, with a hilarious zest for life.

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