Taco Soup


I love Mexican food, especially a good hearty taco soup. The first time I had one, a friend of mine prepared it quickly for her kids in a slow cooker. She only added the absolut necessary ingredients (beef, taco seasioning, cans of beans, corn, tomatoes). Despite it being such a "quick" and simple dish, it just tasted delishes. 

Here is my recipe. As always, I went a tiny bit fancier than necessary (adding carrots, jalapenos, and some more spices).

** And don't forget the Toppings **

They are the fun part of this dish :) Here, I defenitely recommend the crispy taco chips, but also the buttery/ creamy avacado, light sour cream and the tangy cilantro and lime juice.

** Copycat Taco Seasoning **

(in case you do not have a fancy Mc Cormick package ready at hand)

Mix of 2 tsp chili powder, 3 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper



  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 onion - roughly chopped 
  • 300g ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 chili - sliced
  • 2 Tbsp jalapenos - diced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup bell pepper - diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots - diced
  • 2-3 Tbsp of Taco Seasoning (mix of chili, paprika, oregano, cumin, salt, oinion, garlic, etc.)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 tomatoes - choped
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 can corn
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste


  • taco chips
  • sour cream
  • avocado
  • fresh cilantro or parsley 
  • lime wedges
  • spring onion
  • jalapenos
  • shredded cheese



Brown the Beef

Heat up the oil, add the onions and let fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the beef and break it down. Give it a good stir, then add the garlic, chili and jalapenos. Let fry for about 5 minutes till the beef has browned.
Now, add the tomatoe paste and mix good. Add the small pieces of carrots and bell pepper, the taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir and fry for a another 5 minutes.

Cook the Soup

Fill up the pot with water, canned and fresh tomatoes. Stir. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add the beans and corn. Let simmer for about 10 minutes till the carrots and bell pepper are soft. The beans only need to be heated through. 
To finish up, squeeze in some fresh pressed lime juice and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.

Serve with the toppings

Add a dollop of sour cream in the middle of your soup bowl, add a few avocado cubes, sprinkle with fresh cilantro (or parsley). For some crunch add some spring onion and crumble up some taco chips.

Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Mom's "Eierkuchen" (German style pancake/ crepes)


German "Eierkuchen" are very thin pancakes, similar to the French crepes. They are often also called "Palatschinken". My Mom uses a special non-stick crepe skillet and the pancakes come out amazingly. 

 My favorite fillint its blueberry and plum jam. If you want to go more "French crepes" style, I like nutella with fresh strawberries or banana slices. My Mom likes to keep it simple by dusting the "Eierkuchen" with powdered sugar. 

Ingredients (ca. 7)

  • 330 ml milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup club soda (sparkling water)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pinch of salt 
  • 200 g flour
  • 1-2 Tbsp oil


  • jams (blueberry, plum, strawberry, apricot)
  • nutella
  • apple sauce
  • powdered sugar



The Batter

In order to avoid clumps in the batter, my mother adds the flour last.

First, mix the liquid ingredients (milk, eggs, club soda) in a large bowl. Then, add sugar and salt and give it a stir. Lastly, add bit by bit the flour while whisking. Beat till its smooth. Doing this slowly prevents clumps.

Cook the "Eierkuchen" one by one

Heat oil at medium heat in a non-stick skillet of the size of the prefered "Eierkuchen" (thin pancake). Pour one small ladle (about 1/4 cup) into the middle of the pan. Swirl the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter and so that the surface is lightly but evenly covered. The pancake is supposed to be very thin. Let bake for 1-2 minutes till you see that the edges crisp up. Losen it with a spatula. When the bottom is slightly browned, flip the pancake around and fry for another 0.5-1 minute. Repeat for the next pancakes.

Serving the "Eierkuchen"

Serve the pancake immediately. Top with jams, nutella, apple sauce, etc. Spread it evently on it and then roll the pancake. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Mom's "Schaschlik" (Shashlik/ shish kebab)


My Mom grills her shashlik skewers in the oven and uses this special shashlik seasoning. I like a mix of meat and veggie shish kebabs the best. 

As meat, I prefer lean pork meat ("Schinkenbraten/-gulasch", shoulder pot roast/steak), here you have to be careful not to overgrill it as it gets dry fast. Fattiger meats might be juicer and easier to grill. Mix up your meats and add other kinds such as pork sausage/ bologna (in German called Fleischwurst) or chicken.

The shashlik sauce is the best about the dish :) It's perfect with the meat and veggies, but don't forget a traditional side of freshly fried french fries. These also taste delicious dipped into the shashlik sauce!

If you don't use all the shashlik sauce, I highly recommend to bottle it up!

Note: Shashlik seasoning is a mix of several other seasonings such as salt, pepper, paprika, ginger, onion and garlic seasining, some herbs such as oregano, basel, thyme and rosemary, and liquid smoke


  • 8-10 skewers (metal or wood)
  • 200-300g pork (e.g., boneless shoulder pot roast/steak, "Schinkenbraten/-gulasch")
  • 100g pork sausage/ bologna (or other meat or sausages such as chicken, etc.)
  • 2 bell peppers (preferably different colors)
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 red onion
  • 5-10 cocktail tomatoes
  • 2-3 Tbsp oil
  • salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, shashlik seasoning to taste
  • side of fries

For the shashlik sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup shashlik ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp siracha
  • cayenne pepper to taste



Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius/ 400 degree Fahrenheit (grill, or possibly fan with/without grill).

Prepare the skewers:

Cut the meat (pork, pork sausage, etc.) into two inch cubes. Cut the bell pepper in 1-2 inch squares and the onions into wedges. Prepare the meat skewers by repeating putting on a piece of meat, bell pepper and onion. Keep a few pieces of bell pepper and onion for the sauce.

I always like to add a few veggie skewers. Prepare a few tomato skewers, red onion skewers,  and skewers with a mix of tomatoes, bell pepper and onions. 

Season the skewers with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and shashlik seasoning.

Grill the shish kebab:

Pour oil in a baking tray so that it covers the the entire tray. Place the pork skewers on the tray and put the tray in the middle rack of the oven. Add the lose pieces of bell pepper and onion to the baking tray. Grill for 30 minutes. Check the skewers a few times, turning them around and base them with the pan oil. 

If you also use other meat (e.g., pork sausage, bologna, chicken, etc.) and veggie skewers, you might want to add them about 15 minutes after the pork skewer to the oven. They do not need as long.

Don't grill the pork too long, as it could get try. If you have especially lean meat, grill a bit shorter, you can always try the meat with a fork.

Prepare the shashlik sauce:

Take the shish kebabs out of the oven, keep the baking tray with the oil and pan trippings and the lose pieces of bell pepper and onions.

In a separate bowl, add the ketchup, shashlik ketchup, the siracha sauce and cayenne pepper to taste. Mix everything. Pour the sauce in the baking tray that still has the oil/ pan trippings and some pieces of veggies. This will add some flavor and give it the special kick. Add a bit of water (if sauce gets too thin, add more ketchup). Mix everything again in the baking tray and heat up in the oven for a few minutes. 

In the end, put the skewers back in the sauce and heat up again for a few minutes.


Remove the meat and veggies from the skewers and place on a plate. Add a side of fries. Top with the shashlik sauce and add a bit in a separate bowl for dipping.

Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Mom's "Paprika-Hack-Makkaroni Pfanne" (bell pepper - ground beef - macaroni pan)

This is a simple and fast dish that easily gets addictive. I like the bright colors, so I usually use several different colored bell peppers. You can adjust the flavor by playing around with the paprika seasoning and also adding a bit more canned or fresh tomatoes.

I like to keep the onion rings still a bit crisp, so I add them quite late to the dish. If you like them softer, just add them early on with the bell pepper.


  • 100g long macaroni 
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 300g ground beef
  • 1 chili (sliced)
  • 2 bell peppers, different colors (cut in stripes)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp passata or canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 small onions (cut in half rings)
  • 1/2 cup water (possibly more)
  • 1-2 tsps paprika seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt, pepper to taste



  1. Break the macaroni noodles into 5 cm long pieces. If you have already cut/smaller pieces, it's ok as well. I prefer the long straight macaroni. Cook the pasta till al dente in salt water. Drain and set aside. 
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil. Add the ground beef, break it down. Add the diced chili and fry for about 5 minutes. Keep stiring. Fry, till ground beef is browned.
  3. Add the sliced bell pepper, the tomato paste, passata, harissa, salt and pepper and give it a good stir. Fry for another 5 minutes, till bell pepper starts to soften (not too much!).
  4. Now, add the halved onion rings, stir and keep frying for a few minutes. Add some water, not too much. The beef-veggie mix should not completely swim in the water. Put on the lid and let the beef-veggie mix stew for another 5-10 minutes till veggies are soft, but not overcooked.
  5. At last, add the macaroni and mix well. Season with paprika seasoning, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Heat up the noodles with closed lid for a few minutes. Serve in a bowl.  



Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Easter Bunny (sweet yeast bread)

This is another Easter recipe :) Like my Easter Lamb last year, these Easter Bunnies are sweet yeast bread. The recipe is almost the same, a little sweeter.

I did accidently use a little too much yeast and the dough rose a little too much (especially during shaping the Easter Bunnies), so they may not look as smooth and detailed as they should...



  • 200ml milk (warm, not hot)
  • 30g yeast (fresh - or substitute with 1 package instant or active dry yeast)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 500g flour
  • 70g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon peel
  • 1 egg (lighly beaten)
  • 75g butter (melted, but not hot)
  • 1 egg (beaten, as egg wash)
  • 2 Tbsp hail sugar or pink sprinkles ;)



Use all ingredients at room temperature.
Preheat oven at 180 degree celsius (Ober- und Unterhitze) / 350 degree Fahrenheit (convection oven).

Dough and First proofing

First, activate the yeast. Don't use a metal bowl as it will prevent/ slow down activation. Warm up the milk in a glas or plastic bowl to about 30 degree celsius. It should not be too hot for your own skin if you try to dip in your finger. Add 1 Tbsp sugar and add the yeast (not too much). Stir (with a wooden spoon) till it is dissolved and let stand for about 10 minutes. It will activate and you will see bubbles, the volume will increase.

Second, in another big bowl, add the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, salt and lemon peel. Mix. Create a little well in the middle. Pour in the beaten egg and the melted butter. Now, pour in the milk-yeast mix. Give it a stir with a fork by adding the flour from the sides, bit by bit. Either continue mixing with the fork or use the machine with a dough hook. Keep mixing for about 5 minutes, the dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl any more and be realtively smooth. Take it out of the bowl and keep kneading and stretching it by hand for another few minutes.

Kneading and stretching the dough will result in very fluffy bread and helps the yeast to activate and rise. Do not cut down on that step, it does take several minutes to knead.

Now, form a smooth dough ball, place it in a bowl and cover it. Let it rest in a warm place till it doubles in size. This will take about 30-60 minutes. If you do not have a warm place, you can put warm water in a tray and place the bowl in it.

Shaping (Second proofing)

When the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and quickly beat it down again. Now, cut the dough in 8 pieces (see picture). First, cut the dough in half, then each half again in halves, and the same one more time. Take each piece and form a dough ball (instruction on how to form a smooth dough ball can found in the recipe of my Easter Lamb).

Roll each dough ball into ropes/ strips of about 30 cm. Cut off a piece of 2 cm at the end and form a little ball out of it (it will be the Easter Bunny's tail). Form an Easter Bunny with each rope (see pictures): Overlap one end of the strip over the other to form a loop, bring the end that's underneath up over the top end (a double twist), letting one end extend on each side to make ears, pat tips of ears to shape in point.

Place the Easter Bunnies on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Add the little tail balls on the Easter Bunnies. Use the egg wash and brush on the Easter Bunnies (this will result in the golden brown coloring during baking). Now, sprinkle hail sugar or other colorful sugar sprinkles onto the little tail balls. 
Let the Easter Bunnies rest and rise for another 20 min before baking. They won't dry out thanks to the egg wash.


Place the baking sheet with the Easter Bunnies in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes till they are golden brown on top. Exact time depends on your oven, so keep an eye on it. Best served fresh and warm :)


Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Mom's "Minuten Steak mit kleinen Ofenkartoffeln" (Spicy fillet with small oven roasted potatoes)


The spiced pork loin fillets taste deliciously tender (when not overdone) and are very lean cuts of the back of the pork. 
However, my highlight of this dish is the spicy gravy/ sauce from the marinated fillets. My Mom uses her traditional spice mix here with harissa, biber salcasi and sambal olek. It gives it an exotic kick. 
The sauce tastes great with the oven roasted potatoes. Another great side dish are My Mom's Spicy Cauliflower
The sauce is also delicious if you scrape out the frying pan with some bread. If you have leftover sauce and fillets, you can also eat it cold in the evening, just spread the sauce on a slice of bread and top with cut pieces of the meat.


  • 4-6 "Minuten Steak" (thin fillet) 
  • salt, pepper 
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • mustard
  • biber salcasi (Turkish hot red chili pepper paste)
  • sambal oelek (Indonesian style chili-based sauce with garlic, lime, ginger)
  • harissa
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 4-6 flakes of margerine (for each fillet piece)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-2 Tbsp "dunkler Soßenbinder" (z.B. Mondamin) 
  • salt, pepper to taste


  • 4-5 medium seized potatoes (waxy, not starchy)
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • salt
  • margerine flakes 


Preheat oven to 190 degree Celsius ("Umluf mit Oberhitze" - fan with top grill/ top heat).

Marinade the Fillet:

Tenderize the fillet a bit by pounding it quickly from both sides with a meat mallet. Lay them all out and marinade them from the top side only. First, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, mince the garlic and spread on each fillet. Lastly, add  abit of mustard, biber salcasi, sambal oelek, and harissa on top of each and spread evenly out.

Small Oven Roasted Potatoes:

Peel potatoes and cute in small 1-1.5 inch cubes. Pour oil in a roasting pan so that the bottom is slighly filled (a few milimeters). Place the potatoe cubes on it. Sprinkle with salt and some margerine flakes on top. Roast for 10 minutes, than flip the potatoe cubes. Roast for another 30 minutes till the potatoes are slighlty golden brown, cripsy on the outside but still soft inside.

Fry the Fillet and Prepare the Sauce

Heat oil in a frying pan. Make sure that the pan's bottom is covered well with oil. Add the fillet with the marinated side facing up. Top each fillet with a margerine flake. Quickly fry it from one side for only a short time, about 2 minutes, till the ends get darker. Then flip the fillets and fry for another 2 minutes. Not too long as they are very thin and you don't want them overdone. 
When done, take the fillets out of the pan and prepare the sauce. The frying pan should still have a layer of oil in it with some of the spiced marinade from the fillets. Add some water to the sauce, heat up and stir well. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Use the thickening agent ("Soßenbinder") to thicken up the sacue a bit. 

Serve the fillets with the oven roasted potatoes, possibly some additional vegetables and/or a side salad.

Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...