One woman's adventures in cooking for her Dutch-American family.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Menu Monday: Week of April 11, 2011

So, it's actually more like Menu Wednesday. It's been that kind of week!

The construction in our kitchen will be completed tomorrow! Our new hood is in, the drywall has been replaced and smoothed, and tomorrow the ceiling will be repainted. It will be so nice to have that done...especially because we listed our house for sale on Monday, and we have our third showing tonight (Tuesday), with another to be scheduled on Friday or Saturday, and an open house on Sunday! It's hard enough to keep a house in show condition with a toddler, let alone daily construction dust! God help me!

In case things weren't crazy enough, The Hubs is having his wisdom taken out tomorrow (Thursday), so I've been trying to make lots of soup this week.

So here's what's cooking this week, soup edition.

Cream of Peanut Soup. We had our first taste of spring on Sunday. It's was almost 80 out. Gorgeous and sunny. So what was I doing? Slaving over a hot stove making soup for The Hubs. Yep, I love him.

I found this recipe on the Colonial Williamsburg website, after reading about it in The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American by Jeff Smith. (Yes, I'm now the kind of person who reads cookbooks). This particular book is both cookbook and a history of American cuisine, so I highly recommend it. You can read a bit about the history of the soup here. Peanut soup sounds a bit unusual, but it was really, really good, especially with crushed roasted peanuts as garnish!

I also decided to finally make the rest of our Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups since I've had the noodles thawing in the frig for a few days and didn't want to waste the ingredients. I'll have to play with the ratios a bit so I can make one batch that uses all the ingredients. I did add some Italian sausage this time around, and it was a really addition! The only challenge I had was that the noodles were a little wily after been heated, then frozen, then thawed, then warmed up in a pot of hot water. They had a tendency to tear, so I used the good ones for roll-ups, and used the rest of a more traditional lasagna. Still tasted great!

Spicy Tomato Soup. I discovered this recipe when I was getting ready for my surgery last year. I love the rosemary, basil, and dill. The Hubs loves the chili flakes I add in, along with the chili powder. Everyone's happy. After learning how to chop herbs at my knife skills last week, I bought fresh rosemary for this week. It smells SO good. I'm already dreaming of a little herb garden in my new house!

Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles. I was quite pleasantly surprised when we got a call for our first showing just 33 minutes after our listing went live. My mom, a former realtor, suggested I make snickerdoodles just before the showing so the kitchen smells all cinnamony...and the potential buyers would have a warm snack. Snickerdoodles were the cookie of choice in our home growing up, and I had JUST packed my old Betty Crocker cook book a few hours earlier. I looked up the recipe online and realized I didn't have any shortening, so I started searching for plan B. The recipe I made instead has no shortening and used whole wheat flour so I can try to convince myself that they are healthy. I wish they were because I had about six...and of course, some dough!

Chicken Stew with Dumplings. Well, that was the idea anyway. Our first showing got moved up an hour, and then another showing was added. We ended up using an old Applebee's gift card instead.

We scheduled a third showing for Wednesday, so I made a big double patch of cookies. I now have a big container full of pre-rolled cookies for future showings.

Rustic Tortellini Soup. Speaking of double batches, that's what I'm doing with this soup at naptime today and we'll have it after the showing tonight.

Slow Cooker Dill Potato Soup. We need to be at the dentist's office at 7am, so it seemed like a good day for a crockpot meal! My kitchen will also be a construction zone for the last time, so there's another good reason for the crockpot. The Hubs might not be up for a thicker soup like this, but he'll have plenty of other options, and I know he'll like it when he starts to feel his jaw again! (Thankfully, I put the kibosh on any potential showings for this day).

Cauliflower Soup. Like any good Dutchie, The Hubs loves cauliflower. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. We found some really pretty purple cauliflower, so the soup will have some nice color, too.

Italian Wedding Soup. One last day of soup. This is another one The Hubs' raved about when I've made it in the past. Of course, as I type this, I realize that we have a second showing to one of the buyers from Monday night, so this one might not happen either.

I may need to research some meals that can be quickly packed and eaten in a car as we drive around. Any ideas?

Eet Smakelijk!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week in Pictures: April 4, 2011

It's been a bit of a crazy week. We've had construction guys in my kitchen almost every day, which has made cooking a challenge at times. The good news is...my new hood is in!

Here's what I made this week:


We had a lazy day on Sunday and the boys slept most of the afternoon. So, I didn't make anything fancy for dinner. I did make Crockpot Apple Coffee Cake for our small group, although I forgot to add the sugar. It was that kind of day. There's no picture of that mistake!

We did snack on these yummy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles that I made last week instead.
Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken. After a busy weekend with guests for dinner on Friday and Saturday, and company on Sunday, plus all the running around and staging, I knew I needed to keep it simple. Love this meal. It's something I've made many times, so...no picture again.

Ovenschotel met gehaktballetjes en winterpeen. This is officially my new favorite Dutch recipe. WOW!!! So SO good. It translates to Casserole with Meatballs and Carrots, and the secret ingredient is Ketjap Manis, which is a sweet Indonesian soy sauce. You should be able to find it in an Asian or Dutch store. You can also make it yourself. YUM!
Such a fun night! My Valentines Day gift from The Hubs was a knife skills class with a friend. We had a blast, and totally rocked our Greek Panzanella Salad. There was lots of cutting and lots of learning.
Thursday: I was wiped. We had leftovers.

Crockpot Coconut Beef. This one was a total experiment, and The Hubs actually liked it more than I did. I forgot to start the rice, so I made couscous instead and added a big handful of flaked coconut (unsweetened). I thought it had a bite, but The Hubs thought it was just right.
BBQ Chicken Pizza. I was a little afraid, but I made my first homemade pizza dough to go with this recipe. It took a little time, because the dough needed to rise, but WOW, so, so good. I'll definitely make this again. Maybe next week because my dough recipe made enough for two pizzas.

I'll have to make a separate post about the dough because I found the recipe in a book, but here's a sneak peak: 4.5 cups flour (I used 1 c. whole wheat, the rest AP), 2 t. yeast, 2 t. salt, 2 T. sugar, 2 T olive oil and 1 3/4 cup COLD water (I thought it was odd that it wasn't warm, but it worked). Combine all dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Stir together until mixture becomes dough. Knead 10 minutes (a great workout if you don't have a mixer!). Form into 2 balls, place in lightly oiled bowls. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours. When doubled in size, punch down. Let rest 20 min. Roll or pull dough to size of your pizza pan. Add toppings and bake. (Dough lasts in frig for 6 days).
Eet Smakelijk!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Casserole with Meatballs & Carrots

Ovenschotel met gehaktballetjes en winterpeen
(English: Casserole with Meatballs & Carrots)

translated from the Albert Heijn website

When we were in the Netherlands over the holidays, I was happy to notice that most of the groceries stores provided free magazines filled with recipes. I brought about four of these home and dog-earred all sorts of possibilities. Even though my Dutch has improved quite a bit since meeting my husband, I still needed a little help translating the recipes.

I've had my eye on this one for awhile and WOW! It's is SO good. It has quickly become my favorite Dutch meal. It's not complicated, though you will save a LOT of time if you have a food processor. It's basically (turkey) burger, carrots and potatoes seasoned with thyme, salt and pepper.

The secret ingredient is...
...ketjap mantis, which would I would describe as a thick, Indonesian sweet soy sauce. It's a bit tricky to find here in the States, so we brought some home with us. I would think you could maybe find it in an Asian grocery store, otherwise you can find a good homemade recipe here or here.

• 2 Tablespoons olive oil
• 2 onions, chopped
• 1lb (2 cups)meatballs ( used ground turkey)
• 1 clove garlic
• 2 teaspoons thyme
• 2 Tablespoons ketjap mantis or soy sauce (I think if I used soy sauce, I might add 1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar and a pinch of coriander).
• 700g carrots, sliced.
• 700g potatoes (about 5), sliced
• Pepper and salt to taste
• 5oz cold water or broth

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Use a food processor to chop up your veggies.
Use big fat carrots so you don't have to peel this many carrots.
  • Heat up the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onions in about 3 minutes.
  • Add the meat balls/burger and cook until the meat balls are nice and brown.
  • Add the garlic, thyme, soy sauce, pepper and salt.
  • Add 150 ml water (or broth) while stirring and deglazing the pan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add the mix from the pan into the oven dish using a slotted spoon, so the juice remains in the pan.
  • Add the carrots.
  • Then the potato slices.
  • Spread the frying liquid over top.
  • Cover and bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown.
Eet Smakelijk!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Menu Monday: Week of April 4, 2011

The crockpot is my friend. Busy day? Dinner in the crockpot. Not feeling well? Dinner in the crockpot. Kitchen getting torn up? Dinner in the crockpot. Are you sensing a theme?

Last week, I wrote that we're getting an island hood installed in our kitchen. Slight hiccup in that our hood was back ordered, so we cancelled that order and ordered another one from a different vendor. THAT one is scheduled to arrive either Wednesday or Thursday, and we're planning for it to be installed on Thursday afternoon. With a little bit of luck, the drywall guys and painters can be back on Friday. Friday night, our realtor is coming over with the paperwork, and hopefully Saturday we'll hang the ol' For Sale sign out in the yard. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, it's a bit of challenge planning meals when I'm not sure how much access I'll have to my kitchen on any given day. In other news, I'm SO excited that my knife skills class in on Wednesday night. The hubs will have leftovers, and I will learn to chop chop!

Here's what's cooking this week:

We were supposed to have the rest of our Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups, but the boys were sleeping all afternoon after a crazy weekend of staging and I was pretty tired, too. We ended up snacking and making sandwiches.

Crockpot Apple Coffee Cake. I did manage to get this coffee cake going in the afternoon for our small group. We ended snacking on the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles instead, which turned out to be a good thing because I forgo the sugar in the coffee cake. Some days you wonder why you get out bed.

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken. After a busy weekend with guests for dinner on Friday and Saturday, and company on Sunday, plus all the running around and staging, I knew I needed to keep it simple. Love this meal.

Ovenschotel met gehaktballetjes en winterpeen. Casserole with Meatballs and Carrots. When we were in the Netherlands over Christmas and New Years, I noticed that the major grocery stores produce really nice cooking magazines. Think Taste of Home or Cooking Light. I brought several of these home so I could practice my Dutch as well as make Dutch meals from The Hubs. This casserole is one I've been wanting to make for awhile, but needed a little help with the translation. I'll post the directions in English a little later.

Leftovers. I have knife skills class!!! The Hubs can have Dutch leftovers. Everybody's happy!

BBQ Chicken Pizza. I haven't made pizza for awhile and this one sounds really good. I'm going to look for a homemade pizza dough recipe as well. Hopefully. If I have a kitchen on Thursday.

Crockpot Coconut Beef. No idea how this one is going to go over with The Hubs, but I have some coconut milk I need to use up, and it's made in the crock pot.

Rustic Tortellini Soup. I can't get enough of this soup. It's SO good. I was really excited to find six 8-oz. packages of tortelli at Sam's for $7.50. I'll be making double batches of this from now on.

Eet Smakelijk!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Week In Pictures

I'm going to try something new: a weekly review of the recipes I made each week, possibly with commentary.

Frittata. I didn't actually take a photo of my frittata this time since I've made it before, although I did take some cute pictures with boys during dinner. Like this one.

I think this recipe will become one of those great catch-all recipes. Got some eggs, some greens, some cheese, some veggies? How about a frittata!? As a bonus, frittata is really fun to say. Frittata, frittata, frittatata...

Chicken Stew with Dumplings. This was really, REALLY good. I have been looking for a good crockpot-chicken-and-dumplings recipe and found this one for the stove. But it has the perfect comfort food flavor and texture so I forgive it. Only think I'll change is to add a little extra broth, because the leftovers were a little low on liquid. Actually, next time I'll double the recipe so I have more leftovers.
Paasbrood. I'm quite proud of my first attempt at making this Dutch Easter bread. It's very similar to the cinnamon raisin bread I've been making every week, but it has almond paste and orange peel instead.
Rolling up the paasbrood.
Indian Spiced Oats with Coconut Milk. I have steel cut oats most every morning. Usually I make a big batch early in the week and then portion it out. I had a little extra coconut milk so I made this version. It was quite good, so I'll definitely keep it in the rotation.
Indonesian Pilaf. Big Day! We signed the contract for our new house. While our builders were here, I was able to introduce them to one of my favorite new meals.

Mint Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies. I was intrigued by the oat flour in this recipe. I have some in my pantry from something I made before, so I'm always looking for other oat flour recipes. I also had some leftover cream cheese so this seemed like a good use-thing-up recipe. I didn't have mint chips so I added about 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract instead. I thought the cookies turned out well, but I still like this recipe for mint chocolate chip cookies better.
The first shuffle of the week came on Wednesday. I forgot we had a play date/pizza party with our small group. I scrapped the Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups.

Broccoli Brunch Braid. This recipe has been in the binder for awhile and never disappoints. Best of all, even though it looks complicated, it's quite easy and very tasty.
Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles. There's a local coffee shop that makes these amazing healthy-ish cookie dough things called Morsi. I was trying to find the recipe (still am) when I found these not-at-all healthy cookie concoctions. There were really fun to make--although I really need to get a candy fork to make my life easier--and even more fun to eat!

Greek Chicken Pasta. I switched this meal around too because we had some new friends in town over for dinner, and this looked like it made the most of anything I was making. It was a new recipe to me, which made me a little nervous, but either they liked it or are very polite! I used regular cubed chicken, which I seasoned with rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper before cooking separately. Other than that, the only other change I would make is too cook the pasta a little less.
Pasties. This classic UP recipe was a big hit last time I made them. I had some leftover veggies all cubed and ready to go, so this will be an easy meal. I put a little garlic salt in the dough for a bit of a bunch. I consulted the FB universe to learn what I should serve with them, and based on the collective wisdom I gleaned, offered them up with dill sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce, gravy and mashed potatoes.

No picture this time since it was leftovers.

Eet Smakelijk!
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