December 30, 2014

Sauerkraut & Potato Stew

If you ask most of my friends where I am from the chances of them telling you Germany are much higher then them telling you where I was born. I guess I can't blame them though, I did spend most of my life growing up in Germany, speak German fluently and even graduated High School from a German speaking school so besides the fact that I was born in Texas and am a proud American I pretty much am as German as it gets.

The best things about living in Germany (besides family & friends) has got to be the food! I miss the local bakeries and butcher shops the most. Or maybe it's the "Turkish" Döner Kebabs you can't actually get in Turkey. Wait, I do really miss eating the best gummy bears ever....Haribo made and sold in Germany are the best!

I have made this stew a number of times and have had all intentions on sharing it with you sooner....but for some reason I always forget to take a picture before it's gobbled up!!

Taste of Germany Stew

2 TBS olive oil
14 oz. smoked sausage, cut into thin slices
1-1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle of lager beer
2-3 potatoes, peeled & cubed
2-1/2 cups chicken broth, divided

1-1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 TBS fresh parsley, finely chopped

In a dutch oven or large stew pot heat oil, add sausage and brown. Toss in onions; cook & stir until tender. Add cabbage and 1/2 cup of chicken broth; cover and let steam for 5-10 mins. Stir in spices and garlic. Slowly pour in the beer, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes before adding the potatoes and the remaining broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 40 minutes or until the potatoes and cabbage are soft.

Turn off heat, stir in the apple cider vinegar & fresh parsley....enjoy!

**I like adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to my bowl before I eat it.

Optional: add 1/4 tsp of caraway seeds.....I personally don't like caraway seeds and feel like they aren't missed in the stew but you could add them for a little more "taste of Germany" if you care to.

December 28, 2014

Coconut Curry Soup

It doesn't matter where we live we still try to find the best Thai restaurant in town. In Tucson, AZ we had a little mom & pops place we really enjoyed going to called "Saing Thai".....I REALLY miss the fresh spring rolls from there. Here in Dhaka, Bangladesh we have a Thai restaurant right down the road from us (within walking distance) called "Soi 71" favorite things on the menu are the "Green Papaya Salad" & "Sticky Mango Rice"....yum.

Now even though we could walk to our local Thai restaurant and get decent priced & fresh food anytime, I still much rather make this bowl of goodness at home in my own kitchen where I know exactly what I am stirring together and can smell the magic happening.

My husband actually told me that he doesn't think its "normal" for the cook to "ooh & ahh" over their own food as much as I did while we were eating this soup the other night. So what if I think it was well worth the multiple "oohs & ahhs".....let's just say him and the kids were lucky I didn't pull a "When Harry Met Sally" moment like Meg Ryan did while I was eating this!!

Coconut Curry Soup

1 TBS olive oil or coconut oil
2-3 carrots, peeled & sliced into thin coins
1 large onion, cut in half & sliced
2-3 chicken breast, cubed
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 TBS red curry paste
1 tsp salt
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
2 cans of chicken or veggie stock
1 + 2 tsp curry powder *
1 tsp turmeric
2-3 lime leaves (these add such a great flavor)


Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook them until they are soft, do not burn them. Add carrot slices and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger; cook for 1 minute then scoop out the veggies but leave as much of the liquid in the pan as possible.

Now add the chicken in the pot and cook until mostly cooked through. After 5 minutes of cooking sprinkle the chicken with 1 tsp of curry powder, 1 TBS red curry paste and salt. Return cooked veggies back to the pot. Pour coconut milk and stock in your pot. Stir in the remaining curry powder and turmeric. Heat to a simmer then add the lime leaves. Cook for 15 minutes. Taste to season (if you are using a low sodium stock you may need to add a bit more salt but I wait until right before serving to add this since it takes a little cooking to release all the flavors)

You could serve this with steamed potatoes or rice OR eat it just as is.

*use more or less curry depending on how spicy you what type of curry blend you are using, we use the mild curry powder so our kids can enjoy it.

If I am feeling like I need a bit more heat I like to add a few drops of sriracha to mine but trust me this is not a must when it comes to needing flavor enhancing!

December 21, 2014

Hot Buttered Rum

Is it just me or are the beginnings of blog posts the hardest? The beginning of the post should be what grabs your attention, it's what is supposed to lure you in to wanting more but what if the picture I am sharing should be getting all the attention and not the words I am typing before it?? I think that is why I am drawing a blank with this first paragraph today, the picture below speaks for itself (at least for me it does today).

Who would have thought adding butter to a hot drink would work!? Or what about adding coconut oil? I was pleasantly surprised that both actually work and taste GREAT. I tried both and have to say I preferred the coconut oil mixture more that the butter. I think the hint of coconut mixed with the pineapple juice pleased my tastebuds more then the butter mix did. 

Give it a try....who knows you may be adding a new beverage to your Holiday must-haves. If you would like more Hot Holiday Drink ideas jump on over to FitCakes to see my Hot Buttered Rum featured in a 12 Days of Christmas Special Day 2: Hot Drinks to Warm the Soul.

Do you have a favorite Holiday Drink you make every year?

makes 1 drink

1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 oz. Spice Rum (like Captain Morgan's)
1/2 vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cinnamon
a dash of nutmeg
1 Tablespoon butter or coconut oil 


Before you plan on making and serving this Hot Drink I suggest to prep your butter/coconut oil in advance.....whip together the butter or coconut oil with the vanilla extract, cinnamon and dash of nutmeg and put it in the fridge to chill.

When the butter has firmed up you are ready to mix up this hot cup of goodness.

Heat the pineapple juice, rum and brown sugar just until it is hot and steaming a bit but do not bring it to a boil; you could do this either on the stove in a small pot or in the microwave.

Pour the hot concoction into your coffee mug and then top it with your prepared butter. Enjoy!