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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Classic "ApfelStrudel" or AppleStrudel!

So after a long long time on break, I am finally starting to cook again. We currently have some guest in our spare room that we have been renting out on AirBnb  and they have some European Heritage, I thought I take this opportunity to make a classic ApfelStrudel! We ate Apfelstrudel as kids all the time as my grandma and my aunt were experts in getting the dough really really thin and we just loved it as dessert or main course.

Here is what you need for the dough:
200 g fine flour
125 ml water
1tablespoon oil
sprinkle of salt
flour for dusting
butter, melted to brush on
oil to brush on

I always prepare the dough first and then work on the rest of the ingredients, but that is entirely up to you.

For the filling:
1kg apples, peeled, quartered and sliced in 3 mm pieces
150 g breadcrumbs
150 g sugar
80 g butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla-sugar
2 tablespoons rum (I used Amaretto  this time)
80 g raisins, I don't like them so I left them out

Ok lets start:

On a clean surface, make a mound with your water and create a little indentation, add the oil and the salt and start combining these ingredients with a fork, little by little add the water until everything is combined and you have a smooth dough. Dust your hands with flour and kneed the dough until smooth and no longer sticky. Transfer the dough on a plate, brush with oil and let rest for at least 30 minutes (or as long as it takes you to prepare the remainder of the ingredients.

Now the filling:

In a big bowl, mix the sliced apples with the sugar, cinnamon and the rum, add the raisins if you are using them and set aside for a while. In a small pan, melt the butter and roast your breadcrumbs until they are golden brown, set aside to cool.

Preparing the dough for filling:

Take a large kitchen towel and dust with flour, place the doug in the middle and roll into a square with a rolling pin (dust the rolling pin with flour so the dough doesn't stick to it), roll out as thin as possible, then brush with melted butter and let it rest for 5 minutes, once you are done you can pull the dough thinner by moving your hands underneath the dough with the backs of your hands up and pulling slowly away from the center without getting any wholes in it.

Once the dough is thin enough, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, then add the apple mixture and roll up tightly using the kitchen towel. Tuck under the ends and transfer carefully onto a buttered baking sheet. Be careful to not make any holes.

Brush generously with melted butter and bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 40 minutes. It should be golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar!

Serve hot or cold on its own or with vanilla sauce or icecream!

Bon Apetite!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Vegan Chili

So my friend Casey is vegan and it's hard for her to cook, as she is so busy with caring for 45 horses, a dozen dogs and donkeys that she just doesn't have the time.... so whenever I visit her at the ranch I try to bring her something I make at home....

It's cold up in Anza so I made her a

VEGAN CHILI and here is the recipe:

1,5 cups Bob's Red Mill High Protein TVP(Textured Vegetable Protein) rehydrated,
1 can chopped tomato
1 large onion chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic chopped
2 cans tomato juice ( I used spicy)
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 cup Barley
1 can black beans (more if you like more beans)

spices: paprika, black pepper, chili, cayenne, salt, italian herb blend and a little ground cumin

chop the onion and garlic set aside

rehydrate the TVP according to package instructions

put a little oil in a large pot, and add the onions cook until translucent, then add the garlic and cook a little longer
add in the TVP, the tomato juice, the chopped tomato and the tomato puree and stir well
then add in the barley….. if the consistency is too thick add some water…. as the barley needs it to cook and absorb

add your seasonings to taste

cook until the barley is "al dente" (so it still has a little bite to it) about 20 minutes

then add the can (or more) of beans….. this should be enough for 3 big portions

DONE! Bon Appetit!

Monday, June 3, 2013

June Visit to the Golden Carrot

As most of you know, one of my passions are horses, I don't ride much anymore, ever since my beloved Zeppelin crossed over, but his passing led me to the many deserving horses at The Golden Carrot.

It was time to go up and check on the guys and gals up there and do some physical labor and get tanned in the process. I feel so good after a day of hard work, it makes you realize that you actually did something else than stare into a computer screen all day.

When I got to Anza, Casey had done a lot of the stall cleaning already, the day was gorgeous and we went over the plan for the day. Exercising a few different horses, giving them baths and then do whatever else is needed. I met little Shelby for the first time, fell in love with him right away and will give him a partial sponsorship. He needs a couple more sponsors and you can give a little by clicking on this link:

Make a One Time Donation!


I said hello to Corazon, look at this gorgeous mare, how could you not love her.

I worked with four horses in the round pen, Montego (Arab and Ex-Show Horse), Pepe Grillo (Chestnut Pony) and his side-kick Keller (Thoroughbred) they are inseparable, and Dominic (possibly Azteca). Working with them was quite the experience.

First to go was Montego! I'm not new to horses, but fairly new to working with them in the round pen and Montego picked up on this immediately. He tried to test me a few times, by trying to change direction, speed and doing anything all together. I had to proof to him first that I was the boss and he needed to do what I told him. I got the hang of it after a few little hick-ups and he worked fine for me. We got him to sweat a little and then he was given a well deserved bath. What a gorgeous boy he is.... and he knows it too!

Next were the inseparable duo of Pepe and Keller.... It was clear from the start that the smaller (only in stature not in personality) Pepe was the boss of the two. Both of them also knew what to do in the pen, listened to me very well, but there was no mistaking on who was in front and who was to be behind. If Keller ever got in front of Pepe, he got put in line with a nip to the rear, or got pushed to the fence so he had to fall back. After working up a little sweat, both of the gentlemen got a nice cool shower, while their girls looked on. A couple carrots for each and back into the herd they went..... Nevermind that each of them rolled right after being cleaned.

Last but not least was Dominic. He was easy to lead into the pen, with his harem of girls following him all the way down, curious as to what was going to happen to him. This gorgeous ladies man has a big following. We actually did not know if Dominic knows what to do in the round pen and I found out very quickly that he doesn't know much. He pretty much just stood there and looked at me.... However as soon as I took up the lunge whip, he started to fall apart.... I only moved it toward his hind quarters and he started cantering full speed away from me, trying to break out of the pen.. freaked him out. I'd just hold the whip, he canter and trot around me not knowing when and what he should do, trying to find  way out.....

I put the whip on the ground, he would stand there, look at me, come over and just try to nuzzle like a big baby.... panting with anxiety, but a nice hug and soft words, he'd breathe normal in 30 seconds. So it is very clear he is frightened of the whip and I suspect that someone must have beaten him up pretty badly. I tried this out a few times with the same result. Pick up the whip and move it.... PANIC! I want out! Run to gate! Put the whip on the ground, he looks, walks up and nuzzles me, if I move he walks behind me like a puppy. He's a complete love bug that wants nothing more than a person that loves on him... Breaks my heart that he has been mishandled by people he trusted. Shame on you whoever you are! I hope Karma gets you! You can find Dominic's history here!

Dominic got his well deserved carrots and a shower and it was time to start putting horses away and preparing feed. The day moved by so quickly and it was time to head home. I wish I'd live closer and I could work with Dominic more, pamper little Shelby and make myself more useful. I'll come back after my travels back home to Switzerland.

If you want to help us, consider volunteering your time, donating or sponsoring, if you can spare 3 gourmet coffee's a month.... you'll buy us a bale of hay or a bag of feed! We appreciate it and the horses will LOVE you!





Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Check out the Blog of my friend Rachel Lamb.... it sheds some light at Dog Rescue

It's All About the Dogs: The first time I was reprimanded by the woman I af...: The first time I was reprimanded by the woman I affectionately call Mien Frau (MF) was for posting on Facebook pictures of dogs that I was w...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Do you have unclaimed Money too?

I really didn't know that there is a search engine out there for this purpose. Do you think you might have forgotten an account you had somewhere, or maybe someone didn't pay you in time? Had a pension, bought a stock.... Here is a search you can use to check if you have money somewhere..... and then you can claim it!

GO to the NAUPA (National Association of Unclaimed Property Administration) website, by clicking on this link http://unclaimed.org or check out MissingMoney.com !! Get your $$$

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chicken-Salad Spring Rolls

Do you sometimes wonder what to do with your left-over chicken? Sure you do and so do I. A lot of times, I'm sure it's Chicken Salad, but how about making a quick easy to take along snack or meal with that Chicken Salad.

Add a avocado, some sprouts, maybe some quinoa or wild rice, and salad, roll it up and Voila!

Chicken Salad Spring Rolls! Yum!

Just shred your left over chicken finely, mix it with rice and quinoa (if you want some carbs in your filling) and then add a tablespoon or two of mayo, season with salt and pepper (or whatever you fancy) and maybe some lemon juice for a bit of acidity. Set aside.

Prepare your other items, like avocado slices, lettuce leaves, sprouts, shredded carrot and arrange them in bowls.

Cover your counter with cling film, set out a plate with water to soak the rice paper wrappers. Just place the rice paper wrappers in the water maybe 30 seconds or less, then lay them onto the cling film.

Starting with the lettuce begin filling your wrappers and roll them up like a little burrito. Start by folding down the top, then fold in the sides and then wrap as tightly as you can. Put on a plate and EAT!

These stay fresh for a day or two, just place in a container with a moist paper towel.

Bon Appetite!

You could do this as well with tuna, crab, tofu, salmon or whatever other filling comes to mind.



PS: My next favorite hobby are horses.... volunteering at this rescue is one of my favorite things to do. Can you help us to keep these seniors well? Check us out at The Golden Carrot  or if you like to donate to the cause and support The Rescue Train Race for the Rescues.



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Visit to "The Golden Carrot"

Wow it has been a long time since I wrote something here, but honestly I was busy and also distracted. We bought a house, we moved and we did some renovations with the help of my parents. They were so gracious to come visit and actually did most of the work, while Patrick and I were at work. Thank you so very much!

I also had some very sad things going on..... My favorite horse "Zeppelin" is no longer with us. I tried my best to get him to a sanctuary, but I was lied to and even though I tried my best, I never really had a chance at making it happen. The time I was told to find a "Retirement Home" for him, the owner had already scheduled the vet, for him to be put down..... It might sound strange to people, but it was devastating to me, it's like loosing a friend.... Had I know this, I would have just put a halter on him and take him across the street to a different stable and boarded him there for a few weeks, because the rescue just needed a little bit of time.

But good things can come out of bad situations, which now brings me to "The Golden Carrot"! While I was looking for a Rescue to find "Zeppelin" a new home, I discovered their website and started communicating with Casey. What a wonderful person she is! She immediately contacted her supporters and many of them were willing to help me! People I never met, were willing to pull together for a horse, that wouldn't be of any "use" to them... Amazing!

SO, even if I couldn't save Zeppelin, it brought me to this awesome Charity and I want to help them in any way I can. Regular visits to help with whatever is needed, raising funds, building awareness.... we cannot just discard our animals after a lifetime of service.... They love you, depend on you and trust you, how can you betray them??

Well I want to help out and my friend Jocelyn and I went to Anza, what a pretty drive, to meet Casey and the Horses! Some great dogs too! What a warm welcome! Casey showed me around the ranch and then we started mucking out stalls, not a small feat in the scorching sun. It must have been 90 degrees up there, well it was a great workout! After working a little, we got to cool down a little and started bathing some of the horses... They just loved it! And Gideon the new pup, loved rolling around in the mud. And he dried of clean.... don't know how that worked, but he didn't have any visible dirt on him after drying off.... go figure!

After all the hard work, Casey rewarded us both with a riding lesson... she is an amazing teacher and so kind! I can't wait to visit again.

In the meantime, help me help them! Can you donate a $1 or $2 (or more) to save the life of a horse? Buy some hay? Some grain? Help with vet bills? Even a small donation helps! We're not asking you to give a large amount..... but if you do that' be awesome!

Please check out my fundraiser at crowdrise 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cold or Warm Cabbage Salad

Grilling Season is here and 4th of July Celebrations are only a week away, so I thought I'd post a recipe from Austria, that will give you an alternative to the true and sometimes tired Cole Slaw everyone serves with BBQ.

A "Krautsalat" or Cabbage Salad is something you would find everywhere in Austria, maybe even Bavaria and it just goes great with any kind of grilled meat, but especially well with ribs and sausages. You can even prepare it a day in advance and it's going to be even better.

Krautsalat, is somewhere in between a Cole Slaw and a Sauerkraut, it's not entirely raw, but also not cooked fully. Its still crunchy! It's slightly tangy, but not sour like Sauerkraut, it has a refreshing taste and isn't loaded with Mayo! I think you'll have to try and you will love it.





Here is what you need:

1 1/4 lbs of finely cut white cabbage
3 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
6 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1 TSP Cumin
1 TSP Salt
2 fl oz water

Bacon bits (optional)

Place the finely cut cabbage in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and mix well with your hands (kinda knead it a bit like a dough), let stand in the fridge for about an hour.

Then again, using your clean hands, squeeze out some of the liquid and drain the excess water.

Mix the water, vinegar and cumin and bring to a boil. Then pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage and add the oil, mix well and maybe add some pepper if you like. Or toss in some bacon bits and serve with your favorite BBQ.

 You can make this the day before and just do the marinade the day of the BBQ.

A variation to this is a warm version, it differs from it in the way that the cabbage is blanched/boiled. And it definitely calls for the bacon.

You'll need:

1 1/4 finely cut white cabbage
3 oz of smoked bacon cut in small cubes
4 oz water or soup stock (any kind you like)
3 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
3 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1 TSP Cumin
Salt

As in the previous recipe, add the cabbage to a bowl, sprinkle with salt and knead. Set aside. Bring the stock or water, the cumin and vinegar to a boil, then add the cabbage and let cooking the covered pot at a rolling boil for about a few minutes. Remove and drain the excess liquid.

While it is boiling, render your bacon in a pan, then pour all of it (even the fat) over the cabbage, add the vegetable oil and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Delicious!



Monday, June 11, 2012

Gluten Free Crepes ~ Savory and Sweet



I love Crepes, who doesn't? As Children we would often eat them for lunch or dinner. Mostly the sweet variety. Spending summers at my Grandma's in Austria, we had the all the time, because they were easy to make and she would let us eat them with our fingers.... Ah she was so quick making them too.....

In and out of the pan, filled and in our hands in 3 minutes flat.... and the leftover ones, were kept plain, cooled down, cut in thin strips and then added to a broth the next day or so...... Delicious. "Palatschinken" is what we call them in Austria!

Here's what you need for the gluten-free version:

1 1/4 cup rice flour (I use Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour from Koda Farms)
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter (or you could probably use coconut oil too)

Put all above ingredients in a blender and blend well, or you can do this in a mixer too, then let the batter sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes. It thickens a bit!

For the savory filling I used:

1 large leek, cut in rings
8 oz chopped mushrooms
2 shallots minced (you can use chopped onion)
3 cloves garlic minced
dash of gluten free soy sauce (try Kikkoman)
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes

 In a lightly oiled pan, sautee the minced shallot and garlic, add the mushrooms and the leek, and sautee until the mushrooms are cooked, if it gets to dry add a little white wine or broth. Season with salt & pepper and a dash of soy sauce, add the red pepper flakes if you like it spicier, turn down the heat as far as you can to just keep the filling warm.

Make your crepes. Its best to use a flat crepe pan, as its easier to flip your crepes, but you can use any nonstick pan you have. Heat the pan with just a little bit of oil and pour in a little bit of batter, swirl it around so you have a very thin layer of batter. Let cook until the crepe batter has no more "liquid" spots and the edges look golden brown, then flip over and let cook on the flipside.. once cooked transfer onto a warm plate.... do so with all of the batter.

Once you are done, fill the crepes with the prepare filling, transfer on dinner plates, garnish and serve.

For dessert I filled mine with Nutella and Raspberries! Yummy!




You can fill these with anything you like, all veggies, meat, chicken, tofu or any kind of preserves, applesauce, fruit, whatever.... the variations are as limitless as your imagination.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake




I've been juicing a lot lately with my new Breville Juicer and I've always had such a bad conscience to trow away all the fruit and vegetable pulp, so I thought there must be a way for me to at least use some of it.

So I thought of making a carrot cake, as you'll need shredded carrot for it anyway, might just as well use the pulp right.... So if you are juicing carrots and you want to use your leftovers this is for you.


You will need the following:

200 g butter softened/cubed
100 g finely shredded carrots (or more if you like)
100 g ground almonds
200 g superfine sugar (I like C&H Sugar Products)
100 g sweet rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
5 eggs
1 lemon (finely grated zest)

Grab a large mixing bowl and start out by beating your softened butter until it makes little peaks, then add the sugar and keep beating, mix in a little bit of lemon juice and the lemon zest, then while beating on medium speed add one egg at a time. Once you added all your eggs and everything is nicely combined you will slowly add the shredded carrot and the almond meal.

Make sure to scrape down the edges of your bowl so you get all the buttery taste into your batter.

Then slowly and gently fold in the rice flour (I prefer Koda Farms Mochiko Sweet Rice Four), which has been combined with the baking powder.
 
I do this by hand, as over mixing will make the cake rubbery. Then transfer the batter into a 8" / 20cm spring form pan and bake at 375F/200C for about 60 - 70 Min or until wooden pick comes out clean.

If in doubt it's better to bake gluten-free recipe's a bit longer especially the ones without any gum (guar gum / xanthan gum) in them.

Once your cake is done, let it cool and you can either frost it or do a glaze like I did.

For the white sugar glaze you'll need:

200 g powdered sugar sifted
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix the above ingredients to a very thick syrup (think thick honey), set a little aside and color with a few drops of food coloring or with some cocoa powder (you might have to add a little liquid) so you can draw circles on top of the cake to create the "Spiderweb".

To create a smooth surface for your glaze, take about a spoon of apricot jam or any jelly you like, heat in the microwave and brush on the cake with a pastry brush.

Add the with glaze and smooth with a large knife or spatula and tilting the cake. Before it sets, pipe circles in the reserved colored icing on the cake and with a wooden pick pull lines across the cake, just like you would cut your slices. If you like you can add little Marzipan Carrots too.

Let the frosting 'dry' and enjoy!




Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I know it's been a while

and I haven't posted yet this year. Well things are a bit busy around these parts. My husband and I have finally found a house we're in the process of buying and any homeowners out there probably know how stressful it is to buy one's first home.

On top of that I got in a car accident, yep, on the 405 freeway! A 18-Wheeler misread the speed traffic was going at and BAM...... slammed in the car behind me, which in turn slammed into me. So ever since then I'm at the doctors office 3 times a week, for electromagnetic treatment and all that fun stuff. I could have done without it. Thank GOD, nothing worse happened. I'm also sending good vibes to the lady in the small car that got wedged between the truck and I, she broke her wrist and I don't know what else, but she got the short end of the stick as her car was just done for.

I applaud DODGE for their great product, my Magnum only needs a new bumper and some paint.... End of story. Too bad you took that beautiful car out of your line-up!

A big Thank You also goes out to Progressive Insurance that handled the claim speedily and professionally.

All there is to do now is fix the car and get all the expenses paid the the other insurance company!

Hope none of you have to deal with anything like that, an accident on a busy freeway is very scary!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gluten Free "Amaretti" / Almond Cookies Crispy on the outside and soft in the Center!

Thanksgiving is almost here and Christmas is not far behind, so it's time to bake cookies. Loads and loads of cookies. This year I'll be making many varieties and most of them will be GLUTEN FREE. Oh and we're making Amaretti to start, let me tell you, these babies are super delicious, easy to make and yippeeh they are gluten free too.

Amaretti are a staple in Italy, they have a distinctive Almond aroma and are nice and crispy on the outside but have a wonderful soft and chewy center. Wonderful with some hot chocolate or a hot cup of java.




Here is what you need:

400 g ground almonds
300 g superfine sugar
3 tbsp sweet rice flour (I use Koda Farms Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 large eggs
2 tsp almond flavor
1 sprinkle of salt

powdered sugar to roll your cookies in


Pre-heat your oven to 325F / 150 C

Once you've weighed out all your ingredients, start by separating your eggs and whip the egg-whites with the salt until very stiff.

Combine all the dry in ingredients in a large bowl, mix the almond flavor and the egg yolks well and ten add to the dry ingredients. Then add the egg whites, combine everything well and form a big ball of dough.

Pour some powdered sugar into a shallow dish and prepare your cookie sheets (I like to line them with wax paper). With moist hands start forming walnut size balls and roll lightly in the powdered sugar, then set them on your baking sheets.

Once you used all your dough and placed the little balls on your bakin sheets, take a glass or a spatula and press down the cookies slightly. Then bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes. The cookies should be nice and crispy on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside.


These cookies are great fresh but keep beautifully for up to a week in a tin or other storage container.
Oh and if you don't have to eat gluten free, you can use regular flour, no need to buy rice flour just to make cookies one time.

ENJOY! And let me know what you think!

Tip: if you want a little surprise inside, put little morsels of chocolate on the inside of the balls and bake as normal.