Hummus with Avocado 

Ingredients

1 can (15oz) Chick peas, well drained

1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp Thaini

2 Tbsp Oliveoil

2 garlic cloves

Salt and black pepper

1 supergood avocado, just ripe 

Lemon or lime juice to taste

Cummin to taste

1 handful cilantro leaves
Tools:

Food processor

Utility knife 

Lemon juicer 
Place the chick peas into the food processor, blend for 1 – 2 minutes add the tahini, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic and continue to blend. 

 Cut the avocado in half, take the seed out and peel the avocado and add with the lemon or lime juice and the cilantro leaves to the hummus. Blend for another 1-2 minutes, add spices, oil or juices as needed and enjoy.

  

You could add another avocado what would most likely makes it the smoothest Guacamole with hummus, must be a sin to eat alone.

I made the dip, just to try and no chips in the house. But I had tomato wraps. I took one out brushed the wrap with a little bit of coconut oil and fried it in a non stick pan from both sides, broke into small pieces, added some spiced salt and it worked well. The dip is pretty filling and my homemade chips are a little bit lighter then the store brought ones.

  

Posted in Recipes

Oven Roasted Cauliflower

For 6-8 people

2 Cauliflower heads

4-6 Garlic gloves 

6 Tablespoons olive oil  

Salt, freshly fine ground pepper and dried Italian herbs

Utensils

Cutting board

Cook’s knife

Large zip lock bag

Large rimmed roasting pan

Silicone spatula

Wash and dry the cauliflowers. Cut the cauliflower heads into small florets and place into the large zip lock bag. Chop the peeled garlic cloves into small dices. Add oil, garlic and spices to the florets, close the bag tightly and shake the content until everything is well mixed up. 

  

Place the bag into the fridge until you need to roast the vegetables. This can be done hours before the actual roasting time, just turn the bag from time to time.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and pour the cauliflower-florets on the rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Place into the oven on the middle rack and roast for  30-40 minutes. Stir carefully once or twice with a spatula. Check the cauliflowers with a small knife, as soon as they are soft take them out of the oven and serve. 

The vegetables can be roasted right after you have finished roasting a turkey or any other roast. The meat will need resting time and the oven will be already hot. Furthermore you will have more space on the stove top finishing mashed potatoes, the gravy and whatever else you might want to serve. 

Variation: add some bread crumbs, if you want mixed with some olive oil. I also like to make my own crunchy panko mix with oil and spices. Even grated Parmesan works well. I also add sometime other vegetables like my favorite butternut squash. But then without bread crumbs or cheese. 

  

 

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Oven Roasted Vegetables for 2 Days

1st day: 

Oven roasted Vegetables with Tortellini

For the vegetables:

2-3 Sweet Potatoes

1 Butternut Squash

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil 

Salt, Pepper and dried 1 Tablespoon dried Italian Herbs

Utensils:

Cook’s and Utility knife

Cutting Board

Ovenproof dish

For the Pasta:

1 Package Tortellini (fully cooked pasta) or dried pasta like linguini or even bow tie pasta

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

3-4 oz Heavy Cream

Grated Parmesan  

Utensils:

6 quarts Cooking Pot

Strainer

Silicone Cooking spoon

Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Peel and dice the sweet potatoes, fill into the roasting dish and stir in the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and Italian herbs. Place dish into the oven. Peel, clean and dice the butternut squash, after some 15 minutes add the squash to the potatoes and stir well.

Roast for another 30 minutes, or until vegetables are soft roasted. 

Meanwhile heat 4 quarts of water in the cooking pot. Add the pasta and the oil to the boiling water. Reduce the heat and let carefully cook for 7-9 minutes. Pour the cooked pasta into the strainer, place the pot back on the stove. Add the heavy cream into the pot and heat up carefully. Add the pasta and half of the vegetables. Season to taste with salt, pepper. Add parmesan and serve.

  

2nd day:

Oven Roasted Vegetable with pan fried smoked pork chops

2 Pork Chops

1-2 Tablespoons Butter

1 or 2 Frying pans and a turner

Heat up the frying pan on medium high heat. Add the pork chops and fry for 2 minutes on each side, cut down the temperature and continue frying the chops for another 3 minutes on each side. Add the butter.

Meanwhile reheat the vegetables, in the same pan or another pan, or even the microwave. 

Serve and enjoy. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Roasted Christmas Goose

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6-8 Servings

8 lbs. goose, best a free range goose

Salt, spiced salt – I used salt that I had mixed with some Italian herbs, but not too much of the herbs

Pepper

Broth

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 Onion, halved

2 Celery stalks, cleaned, halved and cut into pieces

1 Carrot, peeled and cut into pieces

2 Garlic gloves, chopped

Other root vegetables are optional

Bay Leaf

Marjoram, dried

Filling

2 Apples (Golden Delicious), washed, cored, quartered and cut into medium sized pieces

1 Cup pitted prunes

Optional to be added: chopped walnuts and other dried fruits and a bit of rum or cognac

2 Tablespoons of butter

Salt

Pepper

Marjoram

Heavy saucepan

Strainer

Oval roaster w. lid

Open roasting pan with rack

1 Large sauté pan

Copping board

Tweezers

1 Fork

Utility Knife

Cook’s Knife

2 strong meat forks

1 Spoon

Carving board and carving knife and fork

2 ½ days before dinner:

Take the goose out of the freezer, remove the foil and place the bird in a roasting pan on top of a rack. Let the goose defrost for 1 ½ days.

24 hours before cooking the dinner:

Remove the bag with the giblets, cut off the end of the wings and dry the goose with paper towels. Remove all excess fat and pluck out any remaining quills (by using the strong tweezers). Salt and pepper the goose generously in and outside and place it on the cleaned rack in the roaster. Place back into the fridge for the next 24 hours. We call this dry brine, it does not add any water to your roast and the skin will be really nice colored and very crisp.

Heat up the olive oil in a heavy sauce pan or the oval roaster and brown the wings and the giblets. Add the vegetables and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cut down the temperature. Close the pot and let simmer for 2 hours. When cooled down strain the broth trough a cheese-cloth and strainer; keep some of the vegetable pieces and store everything in the fridge.

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Dinner day:

Calculate your needed cooking time: 40 minutes steaming time, cooling down time 20 minutes, 20 minutes per pound roasting time (2 hours and 40 minutes for 8 lbs.) and another 30 minutes resting time. All together you will need some 4 hours and 10 minutes.

Take the goose good 5 hours before serving time out of the fridge.

Prepare the filling; I did it this time after the steaming time. But I would suggest to briefly sauté the filling first; it taste a lot better. Heat up the butter in the sauté pan; add the apple pieces, sauté for some 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the prunes, marjoram, salt and pepper to taste and add a little bit of cognac or rum. Take the pan from the heat and let the filling cool down.

Fill the oval roaster 2 inch high with the broth and place the goose if possible on a rack, but it works also without a rack in the roaster. Bring the broth to a boil, cut down the temperature and let it simmer for some 30 minutes. This moist heating phase will help to melt away a good amount of the goose fat and will make the meat even more tender.

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Carefully remove the lid and let the goose cool down some 20 minutes before further roasting of the goose in the oven.

Heat up the oven to 325 degrees.

With two strong meat forks remove the goose from the oval roaster, be careful to let all liquids drop back into the oval roaster. Lift the goose on the roasting rack; with the spoon stuff the filling loosely into the cavity. Skim fat of the broth and add two soup ladles of the broth into the roasting pan and placed the roasting pan into the oven. Roast for another 2 hours and 40 minutes. Try to remove as much fat as you can during the roasting time and in the last 30 minutes baste the goose often with some cold saltwater.

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Be sure to keep the goose fat, it is one of the best fats for cooking.

If you are using a thermometer, the tight meat should be about 180 degrees, if the goose is stuffed, then the stuffing should reach 170 degrees.

If the skin should be not brown enough you could increase the heat to 425 degrees and let the goose roast for another few (5 -7) minutes on higher temperature. Keep an eye on the goose; you do not want to ruin the goose in the last moment.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil. After 20 minutes lift out the goose – again with the help of the two meat forks and place it on a carving board.

Prepare the gravy, fill 1 cup of broth into the roaster and loosen up the drippings. Pour the liquid into a measuring cup; try to separate the fat from the rest of the drippings, either by using a sauce separator cup or you have to scoop off the fat first. Add some of the kept vegetables and if you like 1 or 2 tablespoons of the filling, place this all into a blender and puree the mixture. Spice the gravy to taste with salt and pepper and a bit of cognac. The gravy should be very silky and rich in flavor. I stopped adding flour and even sweet or sour cream. We love it like it is. And do not worry, you will always think that the sauce is messed up, but at the end the gravy will be great – like the rest of this feast.  And by skipping the flour or starch you are escaping one big problem with the sauce, nothing is worse than a lumpy flour sauce.

I served the duck with red cabbage – cooked with apple, a handful of fresh cranberries and the usual spices and seasoned it at the end with a good tablespoon of black currant jelly. Furthermore I was unable to resist cooking scalloped sweet and Idaho potatoes with heavy cream and some grated parmesan. The oven is already hot and it is easy to prepare and cooks while the duck is resting. Those potatoes are my favorite comfort food – at the moment.

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What a feast, enjoy it.

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Where is the time gone

Today is the 4th Advent, and I am wondering where the time went. I baked a lot, but have not found the time to post the recipes. But now the Christmas Dinner, we enjoyed our feast one week early, just to be able to make the pictures and write everything down. And I must admit that I had my perfect guests available. They loved it.

Good luck with your Christmas Dinner.

Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas Cookies

It’s December, high time for some serious baking. Forget to look for some fancy decorated cookies on my blog site. I do not make those, but my cookies are still very good. Some of my recipes are from Home and Garden magazines and other ones are from my family and some I do not even remember where I found them. And it is all still a work in progress.

I often try to get more than one recipe done in one afternoon; therefore I will try to keep the cookies that could be done at the same day together.

I always work with butter, no shortening or margarine. Never ever. By the way, every American recipe will say that the cookies will be good for up to 2 or 3 days. Hm, man, I am so lucky that I am still alive! That would not work for me. I am therefore happy to call a strong and well trained stomach my own that allows me to eat cookies several weeks after baking them. While now living here in the tropics I often store them in the fridge.

And here are now the first 2 recipes.

Pumpkin-Spiced Balls

Recipe Home & Garden

Ingredients:

1 cup softened butter

½ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup pecans

For the glaze:
¾ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Half-and –half cream or milk

Utensils: Kitchen machine, spatula, bowl, teaspoon, cookie sheet and cookie rack, for the glaze a small bowl and a wire whisk

Preheat the oven to F 325°. Spread the pecans evenly on a cookie sheet and roast them for 8-10 minutes until they are slightly golden brown, stirring once or twice. Cool completely. Chop the nuts.

(You might want to roast the double amount of pecans, there will be another recipe below asking for the same amount and with a similar dough and very yummy too.)

Preheat the oven to 325°. Place butter into the kitchen machine and beat the butter on medium speed with the wire whip for some 30 seconds. Add the sugar and vanilla until combined, scraping the inside of the bowl.  Blend in the pumpkin spice and as much flour as you can with the machine. Cut off the machine and manually work in the rest of the flour. Blend in the pecan nuts.

Form small 1 inch balls, place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake them for 16-18 minutes or until bottoms are slightly brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

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For the glaze with a little whisk blend the sugar, pumpkin pie spice and milk together, it should not be too liquid otherwise the glaze will run down on the cookies. Dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze, place them again on the wire rack, glazed tops up and let them stand until set, at least for 1 hour.

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Chocolate Balls

Recipe Home & Garden

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

1 ¼ cups powdered sugar

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

Additional ingredients for the coating mixture:

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup pecans

Utensils: Kitchen machine, spatula, bowl, teaspoon, cookie sheet and cookie rack, for the coating mixture a small bowl and a wire whisk

Preheat the oven to F 325°. Spread the pecans evenly on a cookie sheet and roast them for 8-10 minutes until they are slightly golden brown, stirring once or twice. Cool completely. Chop the nuts.

(You might want to roast the double amount of pecans, there will be another recipe above asking for the same amount and with a similar dough and very yummy too.)

Preheat the oven to F325°. Place butter into the kitchen machine and beat the butter on medium speed with the wire whip for some 30 seconds. Add the ½ of the powdered sugar, ¼ cup of the cocoa powder and the vanilla until combined, scraping the inside of the bowl.  Beat in as much flour as you can with the machine. Cut off the machine and manually work in the rest of the flour, ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon and the pecans.

Form small 1 inch balls, place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake them for 16-18 minutes or until bottoms are slightly brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

With a little whisk combine the remaining ¾ cup powdered sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll the cooled cookies in the sugar mixture.

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Happy First Advent

Today we celebrate in my home country Germany the 1. Advent. And with every of the 4 Advent Sundays we are moving closer towards Christmas. I always enjoyed the Advent celebrations. As little kids we did created our gifts for the parents and grandparents. My mother must had the most terrible memory, every Christmas she was so surprised about the gifts while having helped us a few weeks earlier to create them. On those Sundays we enjoyed often oven baked apples, the smell is just too good.

I started early on to help my mother with the Christmas bakery. Let me tell you, you need plenty of cookies if you have 3 brothers and the tradition in the family that you have to feel sick on Christmas eve otherwise it is not a real Christmas. And a few years later we started with our Advent Teas. The first Stollen from my step dads mom arrived just in time. Grandma was from Dresden and made the very best Stollen. I think she made some 20 Stollen per year each of them with a weight of up to 2kg. I have never tried to make Stollen myself, I do not even dream about to get it done properly.

Anyway, we enjoyed coffee and tea together with the Stollen, our homemade cookies and sometimes also the Bremer Klaben, a very special cake-bread from my hometown. Sure enough with 4 kids at the table there was a lot of stress involved, often with tears, but today I must say, I loved this time. The smell and the candle lights and good music in the background. And that is exactly the reason why I will go now into my kitchen again and continue to bake some more Christmas cookies and I should try to make a Klaben this year.

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An Advent Wreath is the usual table decoration and the wreath holds for each Sunday one candle. On the first Advent we light up one candle, on the second Advent 2 candles and so forth. Today I found the pictured advent wreath with candles in red mugs. I just love it.

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