Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Green Onion, Cheese, and Sour Cream Drop Biscuits

Cheddar, Green Onion, & Sour Cream Biscuits

I made these awhile ago, and they were delicious. Then I promptly lost the recipe.

Lucky for you, the last time I pulled out the bread machine this tattered stained recipe made it's appearance. Note how you can see through the paper. This is thanks to the half a cup of oil I probably spilled on it.

Top Secret Recipe ;)Top Secret Recipe ;)

Since I am nice, I shall decipher this scribbled mess into something readable.

You will need:

1 cup flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder (don't use the Dutch kind, you will be sad)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
2 oz shredded cheese (the scribbled recipe says Cheddar, but I'm 93% certain I used gouda)
1/8 cup green onions, chopped finely
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream

In a bowl (I like to use a bowl with a lid), mix together dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or knife (or if you're untechnical like me you can use a fork) Add the cheese and onions and toss well until it's evenly mixed (if you use a bowl with a lid you can put the lid on and go crazy here). Add buttermilk and sour cream and stir until moist. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls onto a baking sheet covered with parchment and bake at 225 C (450 F) for about 15 minutes. The edges should be browned when you're done.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday- September 29, 2008

click the banner and "Menu Plan Monday" for more menu planning ideas

A rundown of last week:

The Red Pesto works really really well with whole wheat spaghetti. I imagine it will be equally delicious on other forms of pasta. I highly recommend it.

Brunch Enchiladas are also good. We put this recipe in the keep box too.

Lemon Garbanzo Bulgur Pilaf- Bleh, don't bother.

Shoarma was on sale this week so we had that instead of the Felafel sandwiches since it's easier!

For this week:

Bourbon Chicken and fried rice

Tater Tot Casserole- this recipe minus the milk. And you need to sprinkle the cheese on TOP of the tater tots for it to be truly authentic!

Macaroni Mix thingie- It's basically a spice mix for macaroni, I don't know how else to explain it!

Low Carb Pizza- I'm going to give this a try but I may make a couple substitutions because it seems awfully high in fat.

Crockpot Chicken and Brown Rice- this is a new recipe for me too, but if the Crock Pot lady says it is good, I'm gonna try it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hairy E-mail

I have a confession to make. It took a great long while before I realized that the Thunderbird icon in my quickstart tray was not a little envelope with blue hair.

An envelope with hair?! "Why would they make the icon an envelope with hair?" you are likely thinking. Well, I don't know. It never occurred to me that an envelope with blue hair wasn't a brilliant plan for an e-mail client icon. I'd even seen the fullsize icon and not made the connection.

I'm a little slow.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


This is a bit of a stretch for my "Vintage Thingie Thursday" post, but it's baked in a vintage JAJ Pyrex dish! It's a "June Rose" pattern put out by JAJ (the Pyrex guys in Great Britain).


Everyone seems to have their own method of making a peach cobbler, so I combined a few different recipes and here's what I ended up with.

3/8 cup butter, melted and slightly browned
1/2 cup brown sugar (1/4 cup brown sugar Splenda)
1/2 cup sugar (1/4 cup Splenda, or just leave it out if you use the brown sugar Splenda- it's really sweet).
1/2 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup milk
6 nice fat peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced

For the topping:
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup oats (quick or regular, not instant)
1-2 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 175 C (about 350 F).

Pour the melted and slightly browned butter into a high sided baking dish. Mix the sugars, flours, baking powder, cinnamon and milk. Pour the mixture over the butter. Don't stir it together! Spread the peaches over the top of the batter (again, don't stir it together).

For the topping, mix the oats, butter, and brown sugar together until you get a somewhat crumbly texture. Sprinkle it over the top of the peaches.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.

This is good served hot or cold and it would probably be really nice with ice cream too! It works well with nectarines too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Coveted Broccoli Salad Recipe

Broccoli Salad

Apparently this is the most delicious salad on earth because everyone asks me to make it for them. Then they ask me for the recipe and I look at them helplessly because I've made it so many times that I just throw stuff into a bowl without thinking. Well my faithful readers, you are in for a treat because I sat down and figured out what I use for this and I will now share it with you. Don't you feel special?

You will need:
1 good sized head broccoli, cut into florets (the smaller the florets the better)
125 grams (1/4 lb) bacon pieces, fried up and drained
125 grams (1/4 lb) mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup golden raisins (regular ones work too)
1-2 red onions, chopped finely (the ones here are the size of very small eggs, so I use two)
1/2-3/4 cup mayonnaise (start with a half cup and work your way up)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar (Splenda works well for this too)
1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

Toss the broccoli, bacon, mozzarella, sunflower seeds, raisins and red onion into a bowl and mix everything well.

Whisk together 1/2 cup mayo, vinegar, sugar, and liquid smoke. Taste your dressing and see if it suits your tastes. If not, add a little more mayo/vinegar until you get it how you want it. I find if you use too much dressing it makes the salad soggy, and it's better if it still has a little crunch to it. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.

This really tastes best if it's had some time to sit in the fridge for a few hours before you eat it, but I'm usually not that patient.

The picture above has little bits of cauliflower in it, which works well too.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Menu Plan Monday- September 22, 2008

click the banner and "Menu Plan Monday" for more menu planning ideas

Last week went okay. I ended up finding whole chickens on sale so the taco soup and the squash chili didn't get made. I was a little disappointed in the Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. It wasn't bad, but it was lacking a little something. That said, it was -very good- as leftovers in the chicken pot pies we had later in the week.

This week:

Whole wheat pasta and Red Pesto Sauce- maybe I'll do roasted cauliflower as a side.

Brunch Enchiladas- I made this over the weekend with chorizo instead of ham and added bell peppers. I had some leftover that I'll finish preparing and we'll have this week. It's VERY VERY good!

Taco Soup (cause I didn't get to it last week)

Lemon Garbanzo Bulgur Pilaf- this is a new recipe for me, but it looks like it'll be good!

Baked Felafel Sandwiches- because I'm sure I'll manage to over estimate the amount of chickpeas I need in the previous recipe. I don't like the sauce listed on this recipe so I use thick Greek yoghurt and garlic and onion.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Pesto Cream Cheese SpreadRed Pesto

This weekend, I explored the wild world of Pesto (in the process, I killed my good trusty sidekick Little Choppy by dropping him on the floor *sniff*).

For the Green Stuff:

2 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
85 grams (3 oz) cream cheese

In a food processor or blender (a stick blender will work for this too, as I had to learn the hard way) combine the garlic, basil, pine nuts, salt, and pepper. Pulse until everything is chopped and combined. Add the olive oil and pulse again. Then stir in the Parmesan cheese and cream cheese.

Serve spread on freshly baked bread. If you leave out the cream cheese, this is a darn good plain old pesto recipe too! I had a small amount of pine nuts leftover when I finished this, so I just stirred them in without chopping them at the end.

For the red stuff:

55 grams (2 ounces) sun-dried tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves
1/8 cup pine nuts
1/2 small onion
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 whole tomato, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Put the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl of warm water and let them soften for 5-10 minutes.

In a food processor or blender (again, stick blender will work) combine the softened sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, and onion. Pulse until well blended. Add the vinegar and tomato pieces and pulse again until well blended. Finally, add the olive oil and pulse once more! Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

This was a good bread spread, but this recipe made enough that even with 6 of us eating off of it, Martijn and I will have enough to have it over pasta sometime this week.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"NEW" Sewing Machine!

I like old sewing machines. I have 3 (well, 4 if you count the one living at my parents... 5 if you count my overlocker... *coughs6coughs* if you count the modern machine my cute husband gave me).

I have a particular love for the older Viking/Husqvarna models. My first machine was a Viking Husqvarna, and one of the first that I learned to sew on was as well. I can't be sure if the first machine I actually sewed on was my mom's Viking or my grandma's Bernina (maybe they remember, but I sure can't). Anyhow, I'm blabbering...

I've had my eye out for my dream machine, but the only ones that I've found have been 200€ and as much as I love these machines, that's too much! In my searches, I've stumbled upon some interesting ones. My favorite was the one that advertised it was stuck in reverse, but that wouldn't be a problem since you could just sit on the backside of the machine and sew from there. I think it was pretty obvious that person hadn't had much experience sewing things.

My latest acquisition is this Husqvarna 6020, which was made sometime in the early to mid 70s.

Husqvarna 6020

She needed some love. So, in true husbandly fashion, the first thing that happened to her when I walked through the door was this:

Sewing Machine Repair Man

This machine has nifty little cams that you poke into the back and then turn the knobs to the corresponding colors to get the patterns. The reverse button was sticking a little bit, and that was causing the pattern formers to not work as they should, so Martijn did his magic and got that taken care of. We also had a very blown up capacitor during this process, but that's fixed now too.

One of the best parts though, is in the case of this machine there was a slightly battered old envelope.

Picture 1390-1
(text on the envelope says "Husqvarna Patterns for nice little presents.")

Picture 1397

I want to make the little frog, I think he's hilarious.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Martijn and I went to Germany last weekend. Our plan was to go to Movie Park Germany on Friday, and then spend Saturday doing some geocaching.

We woke up bright and early Friday morning and packed up the car and headed over the border to the park, which opened at 10. We thought we needed to get there early so we could make sure to see everything there and not miss out on things! Well... as it turned out, hardly any of the attractions opened at 10, so we spent a good hour wandering the park trying to figure out what we wanted to ride on. Martijn rode on this scary rollercoaster while I watched from behind the fence as someone's cell phone flew out of their pocket and landed about 30 feet away. I was pretty glad it didn't hit my head.

Picture 1331

I'm happy to report I did ride the scariest roller coaster in the history of the world without dying. I don't have a picture of that because I was too busy holding onto my glasses and screaming in Martijn's ear to take a photo ;) Speaking of photos, I don't have any other photos of the park, because shortly after that it was raining SO HARD that I didn't dare take out my camera. We spent the next few hours in very fashionable rain ponchos until we decided we'd really ridden all of the rides we wanted to and went to the hotel. If you want to go to a theme park in Europe, I probably wouldn't recommend this one. It was small, expensive, and they didn't open all of the attractions or have shows to watch. It wasn't HORRIBLE, but I think you could spend your money elsewhere and have more fun!

We then took our soggy soggy selves to the little town of Schermbeck, where our hotel was. Martijn checked in and we went to our room to discover...

Picture 1342

BUNK BEDS! The hotel had bunk beds! Now just to give a little history here: Every hotel we've stayed at here in Europe has some weird strange sleeping arrangements. I guess they just don't want people sleeping together. When we stayed in Amsterdam we had these two little funny cots on opposite sides of the room. When we went to Eerbeek last summer we ended up with two single beds that we unsuccessfully pushed together. This time? Bunk beds. There was an extra single bed in there that we shoved up against the side of the bunk bed so we could at least be close enough to say hello, but there was a silly board in between us so it wasn't too comfy to try to snuggle on top of it.

On Saturday, we took a nice drive around the countryside while we waited for the weather to clear up. We even found a micro geocache (they're tiny ones in film cannisters) along the way. Then we headed back to Schermbeck to have lunch and do the longer cache we'd printed out. We had to find certain waypoints in the city and then match them up to a series of pictures.

Picture 1336

The city was really cute. We walked up and down the "main drag" a little bit.

Picture 1335

And then went slightly off the beaten path to find some of them.

Picture 1341

Once we got to all the different waypoints and identified which picture belonged to which waypoint, we were able to find the final location and get to the loot!

On Sunday morning we woke up early again because we'd seen a sign that said there would be a flea market in Schermbeck. We ate breakfast and walked across the street to discover it was a very tiny flea market, and that hardly anyone was set up. After discussing it, we decided to go to Wesel (another city nearby) since I'd seen a similar market sign there the day before on our drive. Once we got there we drove around and around and around trying to find it, but it was worth it! It was a nice big one in the center of the city. We didn't buy anything, but it's always fun to browse.

After we'd seen the flea market and eaten an early lunch, we hopped back into the car and headed back towards The Netherlands. We were on a mission to pick up my new sewing machine! By new I really mean "rather old" (60s/70s era). I'll post more about it in another post.

Anyhow, that was our weekend! It was pretty laid back and fun and I hope we can continue doing something like it every once in a while.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Slop on a Plate

Picture 1349

This is the slop on a plate that I mentioned in yesterday's menu post. I think that Slop on a Plate is a terrible name, but it has grown on me, so I am going to call it this from here on out!

You will need:

250 grams minced meat (any type you like- this is pork and beef)
250 grams green beans (fresh or frozen are tastiest in this, but canned will work too)
1 onion, sliced thiny
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 carrots, diced
1/2 red bell pepper (any color will work though)
1 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used light soy sauce, but dark would work too)
1 tsp sugar (or Splenda)
enough corn starch to thicken the sauce to your desired thickness

Steam your green beans and carrots. I am currently having a love affair with those Ziploc Zip 'n Steam bags. They're magic and wonderful.

Brown your minced meat and drain off any excess fat that you don't want to eat. Toss in the onion and bell pepper and cook for a couple minutes before adding your garlic. Stir it up well to get it nice and mixed and then add in your beans and carrots.

Next add the water, soy sauce, and sweetening agent of your choice. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. You can add in some corn starch if you want the sauce to be thicker, but if you serve it over rice or potatoes that's not really necessary.

I think this is a pretty versatile recipe. You could make it with beans instead of meat, toss in a can of corn, use broccoli instead of green beans and so on. I highly recommend it. I smashed up some new potatoes to serve it over, but I think it'd be really yummy on top of brown rice too- and it's good on it's own as well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Menu Plan (it's still) Monday (somewhere)- September 15, 2008

click the banner and "Menu Plan Monday" for more menu planning ideas

I made the Herbed Cauliflower Casserole last week and it was really dull. Martijn and I both decided we'd probably be okay if I didn't make that one again. It wasn't -bad- but it wasn't very flavorful, which was disappointing since I'd hoped to find a cauliflower casserole recipe that didn't involve tons of cheese.

On the schedule for this week:

Tonight I made something that looked like slop on a plate. It was good though, so I'll make a separate post with a recipe later.

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic looks good for tomorrow. I have some chicken quarters I will use for it.

Taco Soup and my version of this cornbread

Chicken Pot Pie (no recipe, I'm just going to wing it with leftover chicken from the crockpot)

Squash Chili with Quinoa- Making this will 100% depend on if I get my giant pumpkin roasted and taken care of (which may or may not happen because I really don't feel that fabulously right now).

I hope everyone has a good week =)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In a Pickle

Canning and food storage don't seem to be terribly popular here, so finding supplies to do so is a little daunting. From what I understand, Germany has a little more to offer, but my German is worse than my Dutch so that leaves me a little baffled on what to look for. Aside from it being hard to find supplies, storage space is an issue. BUT... I have been really wanting a -good- dill pickle. The Netherlands has 'zure augurken' (sour pickles) but they're just not -that- sour. They also don't have any dill in them whatsoever.

Fridge Pickle Project

All of this rambling leads me to my latest endeavor- Refrigerator Pickles. They don't require any processing in the traditional sense and are supposed to stay good for several months in the fridge.

They'll be ready to eat in a week or so, so I'll post an update (and a recipe if they don't kill us) then. I really need to start making stuff I can eat RIGHT AWAY! I hate waiting!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Menu Plan Monday- September 8, 2008

click the banner and "Menu Plan Monday" for more menu planning ideas

I didn't make the "curry" last week because I was too lazy to soak my chickpeas, but strangely enough I wasn't too lazy to soak black beans for the Black Bean Taco Salad... which wasn't even on the menu. I still had everything for it in the fridge and pantry so I don't feel -too- bad about that. I made little tacos with won ton wrappers with the leftover beans and a little bit of ground beef one night too, and those are definitely yummy.

This is a short week. Martijn is going out to dinner tonight with his work, and we're leaving Friday morning for Germany so I don't need to cook that day either! It's also very possible he's having his weekly dinner meeting, but that's not set in stone yet. So I have two meals planned for sure, plus one maybe.

Herbed Cauliflower Casserole- I have been pigging out on roasted cauliflower lately, so I thought I'd try something slightly different. This looks taaasty.

Sloppy Joes and veggies (I'm going to the market tomorrow- I'll see what's on sale). We should have leftovers of this if Martijn doesn't have his dinner this week. If not I'll eat it for lunch or we'll toss it in the freezer.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Today I mailed off my absentee ballot request form. I think I'm going do a write in vote for Martha Stewart.


Outgoing mail doesn't get picked up here like it does in the US. We need to hunt down a red postbox like this one (well it seems that in some places they're changing to orange, but we still have the red ones) and toss it in the appropriate slot. This is mildly inconvenient when it's pouring buckets, or when the wind is blowing so hard you're actually walking backwards as you try to go forward. I hope we get orange mailboxes soon, I'd find an excuse to mail a letter EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I haz cheez

I'm sure all of you have been waiting with baited breath to see how my cheese turned out... so now I will tell you in one word or less: AWESOME!

The Final Result- wheel with slice out

The Final Result- wedge

It's just a tiny little baby wheel of cheese, so that wedge there was only about 2 inches (if that) big. We tasted it and it had a nice ripe distinctive flavor. I think it'll be even better when it's cold.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Menu Plan Monday- September 1, 2008

Well, last week I made some adjustments to the menu because chicken wasn't on sale and I had no intention of paying €7.49/kg for chicken breasts.

CrockPot Tamale Pie worked out really well! I used my own recipe for the cornbread topping, and it was nice. I'm going to make it again.

Tater Tot & Green Bean Casserole- I realized you don't really need a recipe for this, so I just winged it and Martijn really liked it. He requested I make it again!

click the banner and "Menu Plan Monday" for more menu planning ideas

This week:

Meat & Pitas with veggies- I have some shoarma and kebab meat in the freezer that is really looking like it's ready to be used. I tried to make whole wheat pitas, but that was a disaster... so we'll just use store bought ones tonight.

Slavinken & veggies- still cleaning out the freezer

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad- I checked this time and chicken is on sale!

Lentil Spinach and Chickpea Curry- It's been a little while since I made this, and it was really quite good!

We're having an apartment building BBQ on Friday, so I won't need to cook that day. Yay!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Lentil, Spinach and Chickpea "Curry"

Lentil, Bean and Spinach Curry

1/2 cup lentils, rinsed
1 tsp bullion (whatever flavor you desire, I used veggie bullion)
1 small can (70g- about 1/4 cup) tomato paste (puree)
1 cup plain yogurt
Spice mix*
olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1 inch (2.5cm) piece fresh ginger, grated
2-3 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped or torn
1 sun dried tomato, chopped finely
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

*Spice Mix
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp crumbled bay leaves
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Place lentils and bullion in a pan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain when done cooking.

While your lentils are cooking:
Stir together tomato paste and yogurt. Add your spice mix and stir until creamy. Stir in the tomato.
Heat a little oil in a skillet and stir in your onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until the onions start to brown (just color, not burn!). Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted slightly. Gradually stir in the yogurt mixture.

Stir lentils and chickpeas into the mixture until well combined. Heat through (about 5 minutes).

Serve over rice, or with naan bread.
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