Recipe: Broccoli Cheese Mashtini
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Recipe: Broccoli Cheese Mashtini
Recipe: BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
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Recipe: Witch’s Hat Cookies
Recipe: Banana Snack Cake
So What Exactly is Oktoberfest?
In case you were wondering what Oktoberfest is.... it's a 16 day festival held each year in Munich, Germany. This Bavarian festival runs from late September to early October. The festival traditionally ends on the first Sunday in October. It officially starts with the tapping of the first barrel of Oktoberfest beer. The popular festival attracts more than six million people. 2012 is the 179th Oktoberfest. Cities around the world hold Okoberfests modeled after the Munich fest.
The festival features fabulous German foods, music and, of course, beer. Some of the foods traditionally served at Oktoberfests are roast pork, potato pancakes, sausages (Bratwurst and Weisswurst, to name two), Sauerbraten (a German style pot roast), spaetzle, red cabbage, pretzels, strudel and many more wonderful German dishes. There is even a tent that serves only veal.
According to Wikipedia,“the original Oktoberfest occurred in Munich, on October 18, 1810, for the commemoration of the marriage between the Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.”
For more information about Oktoberfest, go to Wikipedia and the official Oktoberfest site.
I would recommend you go to the official Oktoberfest site… it's a guide to all that there is to experience... the foods, the beer, the rides, the beer, the crowds of people, the beer(I think you get the idea), and information about attending, in case I’ve inspired you to hop a plane and go there. If you do, you can get some nifty official 2012 Oktoberfest souvenirs .... and send me some pictures!
Growing up in New York, we attended a yearly Oktoberfest and I loved the foods, the music and the festive atmosphere, I do miss going to it.
So to celebrate Oktoberfest... here are some classic German recipes ...
Bauernfrühstück is a hearty German Farmer’s Breakfast…
German Apple Cake is a delicious apple-rich coffee cake with a hint of cinnamon.
Chicken Cutlets with Hunter's Sauce Schnitzel smothered in a brown savory sauce with vegetables
Schnitzel - What Oktoberfest would be without a Schnitzel?
Jagerschnitzel has a wonderful mushroom sauce over the schnitzel. It’s often served with spaetzle (German dumpling noodles) or noodles.
Spaetzle are little dough "balls" or dumplings that are boiled.. delicious with sauces, a German tradition.
Roesti Potatoes - a German and Swiss tradition made with shredded potatoes, sauteed onion and grated cheese, all fried in a little butter...
German Potato Salad - served warm in a vinegar based dressing with bacon and onion
Green Beans with Onion and Bacon - the name says it all
German Potato Pancakes - these are pancakes made from mashed potatoes and onion..seasoned and fried in a bit of butter
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
And now for the Desserts...
German Apple Strudel - layers of flaky buttery pastry around an apple filling, topped with some powdered sugar
Black Forest Cherry Cake - dense chocolate cake, sprinkled with Kirsch, layered with fresh whipped cream and cherry filling
Schweinohren - a delicate flaky pastry, lightly sweet, made with honey and butter
Scampi … that wonderfully buttery garlicy dish… I usually make it with scallops or shrimp… but I decided I wanted to make it with chicken… and recently saw it on the menu at Olive Garden.. theirs has more ingredients added… peppers and onions… they use roasted garlic… I really love roasted garlic .. I like to have some in the fridge all the time… decided mushrooms would be a good addition… so the recipe was coming slowly together…
The end result was very flavorful and delicious… not a traditional scampi.. but who says you have to always be traditional anyway?
I used bell peppers.. red and green.. you can also use yellow… I was tempted to leave them out.. but I’m glad I added them in.. it gave the sauce a really nice flavor. I used, what would have been one pepper… so half red… half green…
I decided on red onion… glad I made that choice too… it needed a stronger flavored onion.. in fact I ended up adding some onion powder to the sauce as well.
Roasted garlic… what can I say about roasted garlic… it has a wonderfully light buttery flavor… so if you use roasted garlic .. you will need lots.. it isn’t a typo when I list 3 tablespoons. Keep in mind.. I make my own roasted garlic.. so if you buy commercially made roasted garlic… you may have to adjust your quantities… start small and taste… and then adjust.
Making your own roasted garlic is easy and really quick.. I highly recommend it… Click here for instructions.
If you use regular garlic cloves… figure 3-4 medium sized cloves, minced. Again.. you can always add more…
I added white wine to my recipe… I use a Sauvignon Blanc… Yellow Tail is what’s in the cupboard now. It’s not expensive and gives so many dishes a really great flavor… the alcohol cooks off and leaves a wonderful flavor.
If you want to leave out the wine.. I suggest you use chicken broth or stock as a replacement.
Use my quantities of spices as a guide.. keep in mind… depending on the quality and the age of your spices.. yours may be stronger or weaker than mine… that also goes for the garlic and onion powders. Start with the low range and taste it… adjust as you go… that’s what I do. I started with the low amount and ended up with the high amount.. you may like it somewhere in between.
Because I dredged my chicken in seasoned flour first.. my sauce thickened up.. I ended up adding more butter… while it is loaded with fat… that … my friend is Scampi.. you could substitute with margarine.
This recipe makes 2 large servings… with a little extra… or 4 average servings. If you’re serving bread and salad with this.. figure 4 servings.
Serve this on a bed of spaghetti or angel hair pasta… let the excess sauce coat the pasta.. yummmm!
Recipe: Chicken Scampi
All you need:
4 thin boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
½ cup seasoned flour (flour, sprinkling of pepper, salt and garlic powder)
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons roasted garlic (See TIPS)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1-2 teaspoons dried basil
½ - 1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
½ - ¾ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced (See TIPS)
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced (Optional)
½ -1 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
½ -1 teaspoon onion powder (or to taste)
Grated Parmesan cheese
All you need to do:
In a large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium high heat. Do not let the butter brown.
Add the roasted garlic.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dredge the chicken in seasoned flour.
Add the chicken to the hot butter and oil. Add the parsley, basil and oregano. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until chicken is white.
Add the peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Stir well and cook for about 5 minutes.
Lower the heat and add the white wine and lemon juice. Simmer about 10 minutes.
Taste the sauce and add garlic powder and onion powder to taste if needed.
Serve over cooked pasta with grated Parmesan cheese.
Who doesn’t love Cream Cheese Brownies? Making them into bite sized is… well… perfect! Perfect for snacks … perfect for a party dessert tray… perfect to bring to a food day at work….
You can use my Brownie recipe… or yours.. or even a boxed mix…. whichever way you prefer.
The cream cheese needs to be softened…. I made the mistake of letting it soften too much and the cream cheese mixture got too runny…. If that happens to you… store it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.. give it a good stir … if it’s creamy but not runny .. you are good to go.
If it did get too runny.. don’t be tempted to use it anyway without stiffening it up in the fridge.. I did that and while they tasted good.. you could barely taste the cream cheese swirl… they just tasted like brownies.
If you forget to set the cream cheese out of the fridge to soften.. you can soften it quickly…. click here for instructions.
Make sure to use non-stick mini muffin tins… the newer ones are the better ones to use.. their coating is much better and the bites pop out easily.
I used a melon baller to put the batter in the mini muffin well… it made it much easier to put it neatly in the well…. I didn’t fill the melon baller completely up.. you will need to adjust how much to scoop into the melon baller based on the size of the baller and your tin’s well.
This recipe makes approximately 48 Cream Cheese Brownie Bites.
Although I also listed the instructions to use mini paper cupcake wrappers… I recommend you don’t use them…. they sometimes stick in the wrappers… I, personally, have better luck just using non-stick mini muffin tins that are sprayed with cooking oil spray.
These are quick and easy to make… great for tail gate parties and party trays… a great addition to an assortment.
Recipe: Cream Cheese Brownie Bites
All you need:
Brownie Batter (my Recipe or yours or boxed)
For the Cream Cheese Swirl portion:
4 ounces Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
All you need to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray 4 mini muffin tins (12 mini muffins each) with cooking oil spray (butter flavor preferred)
Fill each mini muffin tin with a mini paper cupcake cup.
Prepare the brownie batter according to the instructions of the brownie recipe you are using. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the sugar, butter, and cream cheese until smooth.
Add the egg and beat the mixture.
Add the flour and the vanilla extract, mix well.
Fill each 1/3 full with brownie batter.
Using a small spoon or melon baller (see TIPS), drop cream cheese batter on top of the brownie batter… the mini muffin well should be about 2/3 full.
Using a small blunt knife… swirl the chocolate and cream cheese batters. (I usually stuck the knife in toward the bottom and pull up so the brownie batter comes up to swirl in the cream cheese layer).
Bake 18 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes.
Remove them from the pan and allow to cool on a rack.
For Stroganoff lovers… whether it’s beef, chicken or mushroom.. it’s all good… This recipe for Mushroom Stroganoff is a quick and easy meatless meal… and delicious too!
I use mostly Portobello mushrooms.. I love the earthy flavor they have… If you’ve ever had a Portobello Burger.. you know what I mean.. they almost have a beefy flavor.
You can use an “exotic” blend of mushrooms for added flavor… substitute some of the mushrooms with them.
I use a dry white wine… Sauvignon Blanc is my wine of choice … it doesn’t have to be expensive… the current one in my cupboard is by Yellow Tail.
The alcohol cooks off and leaves a wonderful flavor behind … I highly recommend it.
I use butter .. it also adds to the flavor… be careful adjusting this recipe’s ingredients… otherwise your meal can end up bland.
I used beef broth with this.. you can also use chicken broth.. but again… I feel chicken broth just doesn’t have the same flavor punch that beef does.
You can use a vegetable broth … however.. it will change the flavor of this recipe.. vegetable broths tend to have a strong carrot flavor.. which really isn’t what this recipe is about.
This recipe only uses a half cup of sour cream.. I recommend the real deal… it is so much creamier than the lower fat ones.
Try this.. it’s delicious!
Recipe: Mushroom Stroganoff
All you need:
3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups chopped onions
1 large garlic clove, finely diced
1 pound Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
½ pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups beef broth, divided
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot buttered noodles
All you need to do:
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat.
Add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Take care not to allow them to brown. If they begin to brown, lower the heat a little.
Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft, stirring occasionally.
Add the 1 cup of white wine.
Add 1 ½ cups of the beef broth (reserve the remaining ½ cup broth). Simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the 2 tablespoons of flour to the remaining ½ cup of beef broth. Stir well until all lumps disappear.
Add the flour mixture to the pan and stir well. Simmer until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and add the sour cream. Stir until the sour cream is well blended into the mixture and the mixture is to desired thickness.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over hot buttered noodles.
For the play by play recap....
Arghh! I'm sucha dip....I forgot to take a picture of the onions and garlic... so close your eyes and pretend you see them cooking... butter melted.. onions cooking... add the garlic... ohhh smell that aroma....that's it.. I knew you could do it..
Okay now we add the mushrooms....
They're getting soft...
In goes the wine...
Now for the beef broth...
Mix the flour and the remaining 1/2 cup beef broth... let it simmer.. let all those flavors mingle.. get to know each other... party a little...
Pour the flour mixture in ...
Give it a good stir and let it simmer...just until it thickens .. it should be a little runny still..
Off the heat it goes.... now for that sour cream.. gotta have sour cream.. yummmm... give it a good stir...
Now for those buttery noodles... and yes... we're ready...scoop some of that mushroom goodness over them... yummmmm
This English version of Steak and Mushroom Stew is a hearty meal … served with warm fresh bread and side salad… an easy meal to prepare… perfect for a fall night.
I use sirloin beef for this stew meat… the meat, when cooked at a low simmer is melt in your mouth tender.
You can start this meal in a pot on the stove and then transfer it to a crock pot to finish cooking or just cook it on top of the stove… either way works fine.
I used about a tablespoon of my Cajun seasoning mix… before you dismiss this.. my seasoning mix contains salt, oregano, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder and onion powder…. nothing too exotic. After cooking for hours you really can’t taste each individual spice.. it blends into the pot… trust me on this one…
I make up a jar of the spice blend and use it in many meals.. this is one of them.
If you chose not use my seasoning mix... season with your own seasoning to your taste.
I used Guinness Draught for the dark beer… you can use another dark beer if you prefer.
Try this …. an outstanding English stew.
Recipe: Steak and Mushroom Stew
All you need:
4 slices thick sliced bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
About 2 pounds sirloin beef stew meat
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning See TIPS
1 cup chopped onions
2 large garlic cloves, finely diced
1 pkg. (8 oz.) mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Sprinkling of salt
Sprinkling of black pepper
3 tablespoons flour
1 bottle (11.2 oz) Guinness Draught (dark beer)
2 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Chopped fresh parsley
All you need to do:
In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium high heat until light brown and fat has rendered but bacon is NOT crisp. Remove the bacon to drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
Season the beef with the Cajun seasoning. Add the beef in batches to the hot bacon fat in the pot. Brown on all sides and remove to a plate before adding next batch of beef. Repeat until all the beef is browned. Remove the beef to the plate.
Add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes, then add the chopped garlic. Cook for another couple of minutes until onions are soft.
Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and flour. Stir well.
Add the beer and beef stock and mix well, scrape any bits off the bottom of the pot.
Add the beef back into the pot. Add the bay leaf, thyme and some chopped parsley (about 1 tablespoon).
Bring pot to a low simmer and simmer for 2 hours and add the bacon back into the pot.
Continue to simmer for another ½ - 1 hour until meat is extremely tender.
Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning.
Ladle into soup bowls or plates and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.
White Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling and White Chocolate Coconut Frosting
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