Mummy Dogs - Happy Halloween!


These Mummy Dogs are easy to make and perfect for Halloween. We made them as an appetizer for a Halloween Party... I got the idea from one of the Pilsburry classic cookbooks #362, a small mini cook recipe magazines.

Ingredients


  • 2 Hot Dog packages (bun sized, 14 oz package, 8 pieces/package)
  • 2 Crescent Dinner Rolls 
  • Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Sea Salt (or coarse salt)
  • Salsa flavored Cheese Dip


Preparation


Open and unfold the Crescent Rolls. I got confused by the name "Rolls", but basically they are just the normal Crescents croissants. The unfolded dough has 4 squares, each square with a triangular folding line. Try to mend the triangular folding line, but separate the squares. Now, cut each square lengthwise in 10 stripes. These will be the bandages that we will wrap around the hog dogs. Each hot dog will get 5 stripes.

Slice the cheese lengthwise in stripes. Hold one cheese strip onto the hot dog and then wind a dough bandage around the hot dog, try to cover the entire hot dog, stretch the dough if necessary. Keep a little space at the top of the dog on the opposite side of the cheese free of bandages, it will be the face of the mummy. Continue with 4 more dough stripes, wrap them around the hot dog like bandages.

Place the mummy dogs on a baking tray, the side with the cheese down (face up), spray the mummy dogs with oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 10-13 min.

Take mummy dogs out, let them cool for a few minutes and then "paint" the face with the salsa flavored cheese dip. I used a tooth pick to paint the eyes and mouth. You can serve the mummy dogs warm or cold, with the salsa on the side.

Happy Halloween!




Wassail




Last year, we spent the thanksgiving holiday time with my boyfriend's sister T. and her family. She has 4 little girls and it was a wonderful holiday time with lots of fun and nice food. We made this great warm holiday punch, it is called "Wassail" and basically is a mix of fruit and citrus juices and mulling spices. We followed the recipe and used a mix of orange, apple, lemon and cranberry juice with emphasize on the cranberry juice, so that we had a very reddish looking drink (see picture on top). 

This year, I couldn't wait to re-create the drink. I found this cranberry-apple juice mix that I used and the drink turned out more yellow. 

The ancient English word "Wassail" has two meanings: it can refer to the hot mulled punch, but it can also refer to a salute on someone's health, "waes hail" (literally: be you healthy). Originally, the drink was a mulled cider drink and the verb "wassailing" referred to a ceremony of drinking and singing to the health of the apple trees in hope to scare away evil spirits and ensure a good harvest. 

There are lots of variations for this drink. Mix juices you like, you can also add tea or even stronger beverages such as cider, wine, brandy, or rum. 

Ingredients

  • 1 can concentrated frozen orange juice (+ 4 cans of water)
  • 1 can concentrated frozen cranberry - apple juice (+ 4 cans of water)
  • 1 cup of fresh pressed lemon juice
  • 3 lemon slices
  • 3 orange slices
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 anis stars
  • 10 gloves
  • 1 cup cider mate mix (orange peel, dried berries, gloves, ginger, anis star pieces)

Preparation

It is up to you what kind of juices you use. A mix of orange, apple and cranberry juice works really good. The more cranberry juice, the redder the drink gets, what can be fun for the Halloween time. It works good with frozen juices that you can always have ready in your freezer. You can also add tea to the juice mix such as rose hip tea, raspberry tea or peach tea. 

This year, I used only two cans of frozen juice: orange and a cranberry-apple juice mix. Combine the orange and cranberry-apple juice mix in a small pot or slow cooker, add water to the juice concentrate and stir till the concentrate is dissolved. Add the lemon juice, the orange and lemon slices and the spices. I always put the spices directly in the juice and use a strainer in the end. Some folks like to put the spices in a cheesecloth, so that they can just take them out in the end. It's not as messy but it requires to have a cheesecloth. Heat the punch and let it cook on medium for at least 30 minutes for the spices to unfold. In my experiences, the juices are already sweet enough, but if you like it sweeter, use honey or sugar. Serve warm and use a small strainer to pour into a cup. 








German style "Curry Wurst"



The "German Curry Wurst" is one of the most famous "fast food" dishes in Germany and you can usually buy it on almost every event and outdoor food cart. The Curry Wurst goes really good with Pommes Frites (french fries) or just a good baked roll. 

All you need for a "good" curry wurst is the right sausage and the right sauce. This is easier said than done here in America. I went to a special German store that has original German meats, breads, candy and condiments. The store is called "Edelweiss" and I was so happy as I discovered it. I think this is as close to original German food as you can get here in the US. They do make their own sausage here in the US, so, it is still a little "americanized". 

However, even if it is not true authentic, the sausages are delicious. I bought a variety of different ones that in my opinion seemed to work well as a Curry Wurst: a White Wurst, a Curry Wurst, a German Wurst, a Fine Bratwurst. 

I was also able to find the right sauce: A Curry and a Schaslik Ketchup. These are flavored Ketchups, spiced with some curry, cayenne, cumin, etc. It is not the same to just use Ketchup and Curry powder.

Ingredients:

  • Sausage
  • Curry Ketchup
  • Schaslik and Zigeuner Sauce (if available, not necessary)
  • Curry powder
  • Hot sauce
  • side dish: french fries or role

Preparation:


The Curry Wurst tastes best, if you really grill it on a BBQ. When the Curry Wurst is done, plate it and slice it.

In the mean time prepare the sauce. Therefore, I warm up the Curry Ketchup, mix it with the Schaschlik Ketchup and Zigeuner Sauce (if I have some, but not necessary), and then I add some Curry and Cayenne Pepper, some Hot Sauce.

As soon as the sauce is warm, pour it on top of the Curry Wurst, sprinkle with some additional Curry powder and serve with French Fries/ Roll.

Guten Appetit!






FLORIDA PART III: The Three Broomsticks



Wizarding World of Harry Potter...


Seeing The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was the main reason for us to go to the Adventures of Island, and I have to admit is was really cute. Because we went there late September and it was right before school started back up, we were lucky that there weren't long lines. We enjoyed the rides and walking through the alley, checking out the Owl Post, Olivanders and his wands, Zonko's and Honeydukes and Filch's Emporium.

For more fantastic pictures and details on that day, check out M's Blog post at: http://peachesnorangesflorida.blogspot.com/2013/09/harry-potter-meets-titanic.html

At the Three Broomsticks


Of course we had to try out the "Three Broomsticks". We ordered a lunch feast for all four of us and the atmosphere, sitting on wooden banches, the castle in the background was magical. We also tried out the Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice, delicious! And for desert, we went to Honeydukes and got some chocolate frogs and chocolate cauldrons :)






FLORIDA PART II: T-Rex Cafe - Dining with Dinosaurs






Orlando... 


After Tallahassee, I went with my friends M. & J. straight to Orlando where we met up with my boyfriend.

We spent some amazing time at Disney's Typhoon Waterpark and the Islands of Adventure and its Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My boyfriend and I also visited Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot at Disney World, we played mini-golf at Disney's Fantasia Gardens and we went to a Pirate Dinner Show

T-Rex Cafe...


As you can see, I had a wonderful time. One of my food highlights here was a visit to the "T-Rex Cafe" at Disney Downtown, which is basically a "brother" restaurant to the Rainforest Cafe. This place does not just have great and tasty food and cocktails, it also seems to come alive. The entire theme of the place is prehistoric with an interactive display of dinosaurs and different dining areas. Several times each hour a short show starts in which the dinosaurs start moving, making sounds and lights are flickering.

J. and I ordered the "Woolly Mommoth Chicken" (amazing grilled chicken over garlic mushed potatoes in a tomato broth with lots of vegetables - so good), my boyfriend got the "Tribal Fish Tacos"(cute little tasty tacos, wrapped in a nice way in tin foil) and M. got the "Paleozoic Chicken Sandwich" (delicious sandwich made out of pizza dough with grilled chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, lemon aioli). I tasted them all and can recommend them :)

A fun experience, well worth the wait in line, and I have to admit we even didn't need to wait that long. And again, this is something I would have never experienced without my friends M. & J. :)

Check also out, M's Blog entry to this day at: http://peachesnorangesflorida.blogspot.com/2013/09/tropical-and-prehistoric.html

Woolly Mommoth Chicken

Tribal Fish Tacos




FLORIDA PART I: At Tallahassee's Front Porch









Last month I went to Tallahassee, Florida to visit my good old friends M. & J. from my German college time who had moved to the US about a year ago. It was M.'s B-day and we had a wonderful few days in Tallahassee before we moved on to Orlando together. It really felt like old times...

The Food Highlight...


On my last night in Tallahassee, M. & J. took me to an amazing dinner at the "Front Porch". It is a very nice restaurant with great atmosphere and outdoor dining options, cute cocktails and amazing food. However, I have to admit as they told me about the speciality at that restaurant, my first thought was, that is nothing for me... As a speciality you can order a whole fish, that is freshly fried and grilled and served for about 3 people. I had never seen an entire fish with head and tail on the plate and I couldn't imagine myself eating it. However, the more I thought about it, the more I got curious and I decided I wanted to try it. Best decision ever! The fish was so delicious, crispy and flavorful, I believe it was a red snapper. I did not touch the head, but there were nice filet pieces that we could pick out.

Thanks for an amazing time and for letting me try something new :)





Tallahassee's highlights besides food...


M. & J. did their best to present Tallahassee from its best side and they did a damn good job with that!
Next to the Front Porch Adventure, here is a brief summary of the Highlights:

  • An amazing sunset B-Day picnic at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refugee (I also have to congratulate J.'s driving skills on the way back home as somehow all the wildlife wanted to make an appearance and cross the street in front of us - raccoons, deer, alligators, opossums...)
  • A delightful boats tour at Wakulla Springs 
  • A visit to the Maclay Gardens State Park 
  • An adventurous full-moon kayak tour
  • And last but not least, an enjoyable and relaxed afternoon at M. & J.'s pool :)

St. Marks National Wildlife Refugee
Wakulla Springs
Maclay Gardens State Park

Chicken Cordon Bleu à la Adam



I do love to cook, so my boyfriend usually doesn't get a chance to do so... However, I am really lucky when he does cook, as he is an amazing cook :)

This time he decided to put his own spin on "Chicken Cordon Bleu" and it was so delicious...

 

Ingredients (for 2 people):

  • 4 Chicken breasts
  • 4 slices of prociutto (air dried ham)
  • 4 slices of pesto-parmesan ham (thinnly sliced from the Deli bar)
  • 4 slices of swiss cheese
  • Parmesan cheese (finely shredded)
  • Panco's breadcrumps (parmesan flavor works great)
  • 2 Eggs and 2 cups of Flour (for the breading process)
  • salt, pepper, red pepper to taste
  • oil 
  • side dishes: quinoa and baby carrots and peas

 

Preparation:

First, he cut open the chicken breasts and flipped the side open, so that it created a big flat surface. He pounded the chicken breast to thin cutlets by placing a plastic wrap on top of the chicken, so that the pounding does not damage it.
Then he placed the following slices on each cutlet, covering up as much of the cutlet as possible: 1 slice of Prociutto, 1 slice of Pesto-Parmesan Ham and 1 slice of Swiss Cheese. Now he rolled each cutlet and secured it with a toothpick.

He prepared 3 bowls for the breading process: 1 bowl with flower, 1 bowl with eggs, 1 bowl with Panco's breadcrumps. He beat the eggs and spiced them with salt, pepper and red pepper. Each cutlets was first dusted with the flour, covering all sides of it. Then it was dipped into the eggs. And lastly the cutlets were coated with the bread crumbs.

 Lightly spray a baking pan with oil and place the cutlets in there. Sprinkle some parmesan on top of them and bake them in the pre-heated oven at about 390 degree for about 20-25 min until they are golden brown. 

In the meantime, prepare the side dishes. My boyfriends prepared some quinoa and baby carrots and peas, but you can also serve it over some rice or salad.






THIS YEAR'S camping experience - Dinner à la Crab Pot

This meal was inspired by: Seattle's famous Crab Pot  http://www.thecrabpotseattle.com/

And the adventure continues...

Friday, 13th 2013 (more or less) - THIS Year

And again we went camping with our good friends J. & S., this time it was S. birthday. We went to the Beverly Beach State Park at the Oregon Coast. While setting up our tents on the 13th and celebrating the B-Day with Hot Dogs, Beer and Whiskey, we had a very sophisticated B-Day dinner planned for the 14th.

The Crab Pot...

We bought fresh seafood including entire Crabs, Oysters, Clams and Andouille Sausage from one of the coastal stores. Prepared with additional Corn on the Cobs, Potatoes and Crab Boil spices, we were able to prepare an authentic Crab Pot dinner. The only challenge left, was to try to get all the incredients in one big pot... After cooking all the ingredients that same big pot of boiling water, we drained the content and poured it on the with newspaper prepared table. Armed with hammers and fondue forks we went for it... So delicious...










LAST YEAR'S camping experience - Camping & Breakfast?



What comes to mind, if you think about camping? 


I think about sleeping in a tent, outside in the forest or at a lake and open fires. Food would be an adventure, meals would be planned based on a limited supply of cooking equipments, spices and basic food options. Grilling sausages on a stick or steaks on a grill, hamburgers or hot dogs would be typical, and of course s'mores as a crowning finish. If you want to get a little more sophisticated, you can also roast some potatoes and vegetables on the side and corn on the cob.

2012 - Last year however... 


I discovered how amazing breakfast can be while camping. We went camping in South Oregon, at the Lost Creek Lake to catch a Shakespeare out-door play in Ashland and to see the famous Crater Lake with its Wizard Island. Beautiful places! And thanks to my good friends J. & S. and their iron cast cooking equipment I was surprised what you can do on an open fire. We prepared an amazing breakfast with everything that a typical American breakfast includes:

Blackberry Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Fried Bacon and Fresh Fruits 


As we are already talking about Camping & Amazing Food, wait till you see THIS YEARS camping experience....



Crater Lake and Wizard Island

Elizabethan Stage in Asland, OR

Rainbow Fruit Cups



Ever wondered how to make a fruit salad look pretty? Well, fruits are so delicious and exoctic that it actually is not a big challenge. However, for my work colleague's baby shower I thought to try something special. I googled "fruit salad + baby shower" and found this really cute idea:

Rainbow Fruit cups

Ingredients: 

  • Nice cups (I actually bought plastic wine cups from the dollar store and they worked perfectly)
  • Rainbow colored fruits
  • Whipped cream
  • Cookie sticks (or as my Mom suggested, these little cute cocktail umbrellas if you can find them)
I used the following fruit, however, all those fruits can be exchanged for fruits of the same color:
Red strawberries, Orange tangerines, Yellow pineapple, Green kiwi, Blue blueberries


Preparation:


Just cut the fruit in slices and layer them up in the cup in the order of the rainbow colors:
RED - ORANGE - YELLOW - GREEN - BLUE


  



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