Tasty Tuesday–Cooking with “A Trip Around the World”

As part of Chickadee’s geography lessons this year, we’ve added some cooking and baking to our school days. We just finished A Trip Around the World…Before we start Another Trip Around the World, here’s a look at the recipes we’ve made so far, either found in or inspired by the first book:

Here’s the full list:

  • Brigadeiro (chocolate truffles) from Brazil
  • Palace Bread from Egypt
  • Tapioca Pudding with Pineapple from Kenya
  • Dutch Egg and Cheese from The Netherlands
  • Pflaumenkuchen (plum cake) from Germany
  • Cucumber Salad from China
  • Hummus from Saudi Arabia
  • Damper Bread from Australia
  • Meat Pie from Australia
  • Blueberry Crumble with “snowballs” (vanilla ice cream) from Canada

I can’t wait to start the next book and try even more new recipes!

Tasty Tuesday–Jäger Sauce

I don’t always make Jäger sauce to go with schnitzel, but when I do, this is the recipe I love!

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 8 oz. can sliced mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 beef bouillon cube or 1 tsp. bouillon granules
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 4 oz. sour cream

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Sauté a few minutes until onions are soft. Add water and bouillon and simmer for about 20 minutes. Combine cornstarch and sour cream and stir into sauce. Cook over low heat until sauce thickens, taking care not to boil. Serve with schnitzel.

Tasty Tuesday–C and C Food for Your Soul

I always love trying out a local restaurant. Way back before the pandemic hit (can you remember a time pre-pandemic?!?), I read about C and C Food for Your Soul in our local paper, and I knew that a restaurant that advertised fresh-made comfort food was a place I wanted to try. And then time lost all meaning, and for a while, I forgot that there were places outside of our house. But Ryan recently happened upon the restaurant’s Facebook page, and I finally remembered that I really wanted to try it out, so on Sunday, he picked up lunch. I got the mojo burger and fries and he had the meatloaf with mac & cheese and deep-fried corn on the cob (yes, you read that right).

The burger was excellent. It had the best qualities of both a smash burger and a thick burger…crispy edges, but still pink inside. It was served on Texas toast, which was different for me, and I really liked the pairing. I also enjoyed that the burger was topped with different lettuces, which was a nice change from the usual piece of iceberg (not my favorite member of the lettuce family). Ryan equally enjoyed his meal…he said the meatloaf was wonderfully BBQ-y, and the piece was big enough for two meals (helpful information when we place an order for a meal for the whole family in the future!). He also loved the sides, especially the corn on the cob. I’ve been told the staff at the restaurant is also excellent, and very friendly…I’m looking forward to going in there myself eventually!

I’m really glad that this relatively new place is hanging on through the pandemic, and I’m looking forward to trying out more items on the menu (I’m really interested in their desserts!), and seeing what other specials they have in the future!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: Fried Onions

It’s been a while since I tried something new at Beast Craft BBQ, but I’m back with one of my favorite items on the menu yet!

I am a sucker for fried, or tobacco, onions. Not onion rings (although I do like those, too), or the gross ones in the can, but fresh, fried onions that are thinly sliced and breaded and hot and get tangled together when you try to pull one out of the pile. Pretty much anytime I go anywhere that has good fried onions on a sandwich, I comment that I would buy a box of just those, and Beast made my dreams come true. Perfect as a starter or a side dish to share (I mean, if you can…I can’t!), their fried onions are topped with cotija cheese, cilantro, and their awesome fry sauce. They’re crunchy and salty and have just a bit of a kick from the sauce. It’s seriously the perfect side dish! (Or lunch, as the case may be.)

In case you’ve missed it, David Sandusky, the genius behind Beast Craft BBQ, has been competing on BBQ Brawl on the Food Network. Next week is the final episode, which means he’s in the final four, and I can’t wait to see what happens, and what kind of amazing dish he comes up with next!

Tasty Tuesday–Linguine with Clam Sauce

It’s been so long since I made linguine with clam sauce, I had to start from scratch on the recipe. I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I’ll definitely be making it again!

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 8 cloves garlic. minced
  • 1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 10 oz. cans clams, undrained, plus 1 10z. can drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or you can cheat like me and use a few Tbsp. dried)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 16 oz. linguine, cooked and drained
  • Parmesan cheese

Melt 1/2 cup butter in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté until golden. Stir in salt and pepper, then deglaze the pan with white wine. Add clams and juice and cook until heated through. Add parsley, remaining 1 Tbsp. of butter, and lemon juice and cook until butter is melted. Serve over linguine and top with parmesan cheese.

Tasty Tuesday–Portillo’s Chocolate Cake

This recipe for a copycat of the famous Portillo’s chocolate cake is hardly new…you can find it all over the internet. And the special ingredient, mayonnaise, is hardly unique to Portillo’s…I’ve seen decades-old cake recipes use mayo as an ingredient. But just in case you’ve never run across this recipe for an amazingly moist chocolate cake with tons of frosting, I thought I’d share it here, too! It’s perfect for a birthday or other celebration!!!

  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup ice-cold water
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tubs milk chocolate frosting (yes, canned frosting, and you really can’t use too much!)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease and “flour” (since it’s a chocolate cake, I used cocoa powder) two cake pans.

Combine cake mix, eggs, water, and mayonnaise in large bowl. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase to high and mix for 5 minutes more.

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness.

Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Turn out cakes and cool completely.

Level cake tops and frost the cake with lots of chocolate frosting. Seriously…Portillo’s uses two pounds of frosting in each of their chocolate cakes, so use more than you think you should! Top with sprinkles if desired.

Tasty Tuesday–Breakfast for Dinner

We have always enjoyed having breakfast-for-dinner, and for the last year, I’ve tried to make it a regular item on the menu (once or twice a month), instead of just an occasional treat. But I definitely didn’t want to make the same meal over and over, so I’ve tried to expand our breakfast-for-dinner options to include things like omelettes, breakfast sandwiches, waffles, breakfast casserole, breakfast burritos, shakshuka, and French toast, in addition to the traditional bacon and eggs. I also often make smoothies to go with dinner, and that has been a huge hit…we’ve really enjoyed trying different fruit, juice, and yogurt combinations. One thing we haven’t had, though, is pancakes, which seems like a weird omission…I should probably work on that!

Tasty Tuesday–Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

If you’ve never had a Chicago-style hot dog, you’re really missing out!

What makes a Chicago dog so special? It’s an all-beef hot dog topped with mustard, white onions, a pickle spear, sliced tomatoes, sport peppers, neon relish, and celery salt (in other words, you “drag it through the garden”), and served on a poppy seed bun (which are hard to find around here, so I had to settle for plain old hot dog buns this time). The most important step? Never, ever put ketchup on your hot dog! I’m not a huge fan of regular hot dogs, but there’s something really fantastic about the flavors of the Chicago dog…I’m very thankful I can usually find most of the ingredients locally!

Tasty Tuesday–Carrot Fritters

I adapted this recipe from Mount Vernon’s website…their recipe is for a more sweet carrot fritter, and I wanted something a bit more savory…no matter how you look at it, though, they’re basically carrot donuts!

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup cooked, mashed carrots
  • vegetable oil for frying

Mix together flour, baking powder, egg, salt, lemon juice, and carrots. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Carefully drop mixture by spoonful into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, turning once. Drain, sprinkle with additional salt, and serve.

Tasty Tuesday–Perfect Party Punch

I don’t have a lot of occasions to make punch (really, just for confirmation celebrations), but when I do, it’s the perfect punch. I’ve been making it so long, I don’t even remember where or when I found the recipe, but I sure am glad that I have it! I think the lemon juice is what makes it really special, and the Jell-O is another unusual and delicious addition!

  • 2  1/2 cups white sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 3 oz. packages strawberry Jell-O
  • 1 46 oz. can pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 2-liter bottles 7-Up or Sprite

Bring sugar, water, and strawberry Jell-O to a boil in a large saucepan; boil for three minutes. Stir in the pineapple, lemon, and orange juices. Divide mixture between two containers (I like to use a bundt pan to get a nice ring shape) and freeze.

Combine one container of frozen juice mixture with one bottle of soda in a punch bowl and allow to become slushy (you want to prepare this at least an hour before you plan on drinking it). Repeat with remaining portions, or save for another event.