Monthly Archives: March 2016

Almond Plum Crostata

Almond Plum Crostata

It’s Pi Day today and that’s an excuse for pie.  For those not in the know, Pi Day is March 14 or 3.14.  For those of us that studied math, it’s a common number.  Not that I use it much in everyday life, do you really want to know the area of a pie?!

Like I said, it’s an excuse for pie!  My mom is usually visiting my brother in Seattle this time of year since his birthday is the 16th.  She is the one who told me about Pi Day years ago during one of her visits.  It’s a bigger deal out there, especially since they have several pie food trucks and pie bakeries.  I live in a small city and am deprived of these wonderful things.

No fear though, you too can celebrate Pi Day by baking your own pie if you don’t have access to a pie bakery or food truck.  This year I’m taking a little leeway with the definition of pie.  As a person who has struggled with pies over the years, I opted to bake a crostata.  It’s basically a rustic pie so why not.

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Chocolate Almond Granola

Chocolate Almond Granola

I know what you’re thinking, another granola recipe?! Yes, another granola recipe. What can I say, we LOVE our granola. What isn’t to love, salty, sweet, crunchy, nutty, oat goodness.

The boys have been scavenging for snacks lately and then it dawned on me. We didn’t have granola. I try to keep it around since they eat it all the time, yet somehow life got busy and we haven’t had any for a while. It was time to make a new flavor combining my beloved dark chocolate gingerbread granola and the boys’ favorite vanilla almond granola.

In our house granola is good any time of the day. It all starts at breakfast, either plain or with yogurt and fruit. Then for Sean’s second breakfast. Ya know, after big brothers have left for school and he’s hungry again before he goes to school.

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Spicy Beer Mustard

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Josh and I were meant to find each other, we’re both condiment people. Especially mustard. When our fridge  was on the fritz a couple years ago I had to move everything to the fridge in the garage. In the process I found a lot of condiment jars. Call us the King and Queen of Condiments!

If you have a good selection of condiments you can cook anything, right?! After finding lots of half empty jars I managed to narrow down the collection to what we use most. With three growing boys in the house I can only sacrifice so much fridge space to condiments.

One of the mustards we use often is a Bavarian sweet and spicy mustard. It’s great on sausages like bratwurst or weisswurst. It takes a homemade soft pretzel to a new level. Since we’ve been eating more German food lately I figured it was time to make our own mustard.

Then Josh found this Shock Top twisted pretzel wheat beer. Combine a beer mustard with a sweet and spicy Bavarian mustard and this is what you’ll get. Plus I only need room for one jar in the fridge, not two. Score for me!

As with everything else you make from scratch, you can customize this mustard. If you aren’t into a big kick cut down the horseradish or even omit it. Want it sweeter, add more honey. Try using different beers for a different flavor. Dark beer, IPA, wheat…whatever you have in the house and want to drink the last couple ounces of. As for me, it’s time to go to the German meat market for more sausages.  No need to buy the expensive mustard though,  I’ve got my own.

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Spicy Beer Mustard

1 c. beer
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. yellow mustard seeds
1/4 c. black mustard seeds (brown would work too)
1/4 c. ground mustard powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. prepared horseradish

Pour the beer and cider vinegar in a small bowl, add both mustard seeds. Cover and soak overnight.

After 8+ hours of soaking add the rest in the ingredients and whisk to combine.  Blend the mustard to desired consistency using an immersion blender, food processor or blender. I like mine with some whole mustard seeds left.  Pour in a jar and store in the fridge.

Yields: A little less than a pint

Quark with Blackberries

Quark With Blackberries

Last week we shared some big news with the boys….we’re going to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  That’s right, watch out Europe, the boys are coming!  Josh took the day off work (already planned for other reasons) and he went to the German Meat Market here in town.  Among the sausages bought he also got some authentic Bavarian pretzels.  We gave the boys pretzels for their snack when they got home from school and had them make the connection to figure out where they were going.

The rest of the weekend was spent eating other German food, practicing German vocabulary and talking about travel in general.  Jack is my worrier so he wasn’t thrilled at first, fearing the plane could crash over the ocean.  After more talk about all the food they could eat he is warming up to it!

Sunday morning after having weisswurst for breakfast the guys were all outside.  Josh was working in his garage and the boys were playing in the yard.  I took advantage of the quiet and poured myself some prosecco with pear liqueur.  After all, we had breakfast and not brunch so I didn’t get my morning bubbly yet!

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In My Kitchen – March 2016

Spring is nearly here, can you feel it?  We survived February and I’m quite looking forward to a new month.  I wasn’t feeling up to full strength much of the month due to a cold that wouldn’t go away. Add in digestive issues and it just wasn’t a fun food month.  It was survival mode for a while, keep the boys fed and don’t fall asleep during the day! I’m finally feeling close to 100% and looking forward to another In My Kitchen roundup with our lovely hostess Maureen at The Orgasmic Chef.

In my kitchen, before I got sick Valentine’s weekend, I managed to whip up some gingerbread love shacks.  We didn’t get around to making gingerbread houses for Christmas so I figured some love shacks for Valentine’s Day would be perfect.  They were great, just the right size.  It’s a new cookie cutter, nice and small. Each house is pretty much a single serving, the boys were thrilled with these.

Love Shacks

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