Christmas Dinner

Hey guys, so I know it’s been a long time since I posted last, but I am taking advantage of the fact that I am home to share with you. My family has some unique traditions when it comes to Christmas one of which has to do with food. When it comes to food my family likes to try things that might not be considered traditional for a Christmas dinner. I was given the task of making Christmas dinner so I accepted the challenge. What did I make you may ask. I made Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta, Baked Egg Shakshouka with butter beans and Flat bread. All of which were very delicious, and let me tell you, they were very filling.

I was a little worried going into making these recipes because I was making them all at the same time and I always struggle with time management when it comes to cooking. However, these recipes timelines coincided perfectly with each other. I finished each of the recipes within minutes of each other. I would recommend these to anyone, they were super easy to make and were a crowd pleaser! The links to the recipes are below

Happy Holidays to everyone!


Chicken Parma and Damper

Hey everyone! I am back, I recently finished my first semester of college where there was not a lot of free time that would allow me to cook. Being home, it came to my realization that my parents had been eating out a majority of the time, so I am taking advantage and have a new recipe to share or two to share.

I came home to a Christmas card from some family friends that had recently moved to Australia and that inspired me to make this recipe. The main star of this dish is not the Chicken Parma, but the Damper. Damper bread was originally made by people called drovers who would cook this bread in their campfire with only flour water and salt because that was all that they had available. When they would cook this bread they wouldn’t put it directly into the fire, they would put into damped coals. This is how the name Damper is believed to come about.

The making of Damper itself is relatively easy to do, as you could imagine since it consists of a primary three ingredients. The recipe that I used also included butter and milk, nonetheless, it was still relatively easy to make. I did add a little bit extra water to this recipe because it was very difficult to get all of the flour to mix into the dough with out it. This bread did come out very well though. The texture of the bread was fairly smooth and it was very filling. I would give this recipe a 8/10, because it had good flavor and texture, but it was kind of on the drier side which could be my error.

Now on to the protein of this dish, the Chicken Parma. This recipe was also relatively easy to make, the main difficulty that I faced was breading and frying the chicken. I am a huge fan of breading so of course I wanted to make sure I was not skipping out on any of it. To my demise, it was very difficult to do that well. I overcame this and decided I would have to live with uneven breading. When it came to frying, I was in sure of how much oil to use, so I put what I thought was a lot and realized that it wasn’t enough to get the sides crispy. I added more oil to the pan and realized that the oil was too hot because the breading was burning before the chicken was able to be cooked. What I decided to do was to fry it long enough that the breading was crispy and then I let it cook in the oven for about an extra 10 minutes. In the end, the chicken was perfectly cooked and it had excellent flavor. I would give this recipe an 8/10 as well for those reasons.

Damper Bread


  • 4 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) Grease a baking sheet.
    2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and the salt. With pastry blender or your hands, cut in butter. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk and water. Stir until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a round loaf 8 inches across. Place the loaf onto the prepared pan and using a sharp knife, cut a cross in the top.
    3. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and continue to bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. The loaf should be golden brown and the bottom should sound hollow when tapped.

    Chicken Parma



    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon water
    • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus 4 Tablespoons for topping
    • 3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    • Grapeseed or pure olive oil
    • Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
    • 1 pound mozzarella, shredded or fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
    • Fresh basil or parsley leaves, for garnish

    Tomato Sauce

    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
    • 1/2 cup dry red wine
    • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 Tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
    • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil



    1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
    2. Place the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag. Close the seal, leaving about an inch unsealed to let air escape.

    3. Pound the chicken with the smooth side of a mallet or a rolling pin until chicken is about 1/4” thick. If the chicken breasts are too thick, using a sharp knife, slice the chicken breasts on the bias into smaller thinner pieces before pounding.

    4. Combine flour, salt and pepper on a plate or shallow bowl.

    5. Beat the eggs with water and pour onto another plate or shallow bowl.

    6. Grate the cheese and combine with the bread crumbs on another plate or shallow bowl.

    7. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, shaking off any excess, then cover with the egg, then finish with the bread crumb and cheese mixture.

    8. Place breaded chicken breasts on a baking rack in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will make for crispy chicken and help keep the breading from falling off when cooking.

    9. Heat 2-3 Tablespoons of oil in a large heavy skillet or cast iron-skillet over medium heat. Oil should be about 1/8″ deep.

    10. Cook chicken breasts, adding more oil if needed, until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.

    11. Transfer chicken breasts to a baking sheet and top each breast with some tomato sauce and a few slices of the fresh or grated mozzarella cheese.

    12. Bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 6 to 8 minutes.

    13. Remove from the oven and garnish with basil or parsley leaves.

    Tomato Sauce

    1. Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
    2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5-10 minutes.

    3. Add the wine and cook on medium-high heat until almost all the liquid disappears, about 3-4 minutes.

    4. Stir in tomatoes, salt, pepper, parsley and basil.

    5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    6. Reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.


After my bunny chow recipe, I have realized how amazing cardamom is. I wanted to make something else that was involved it. Since I had so many friends saying they wanted me to bring them whatever it is I make, I decided to make Sweedish Cinnamon Rolls.

I am of Sweedish decent so I thought that these would be very fun to make. However, I knew that making cinnamon rolls takes a long time since you have to let the bread rise twice. But, it didn’t cross my mind that I should start working on them before 6.

Now let me tell you the story of how this recipe went for me.

When I first started making the bread, the recipe called for a cup and a half of butter. My tired self instantly thought oh that’s a stick and a half of butter. So that is what I did I melted three-quarters of a cup of butter and went on with the recipe. I didn’t really see any problems with it until I was adding the flour. The recipe says that you should add 8-9 cups of flour. That was not happening for me, there was no chance.  I continued to not think anything of it and said that it was fine and let it rise and I punched it down. It was when I started rolling it out to make the rolls that I realized that I had messed up.  At this point, there was nothing I could do so I just kept going and was hoping they would still taste good.

When I took them out of the oven, they smelled amazing. I wanted to eat them right away so I took it right off the pan only slightly burning my hand and scarfed it down. It was still really good even missing the butter. I would give this recipe a 9/10 and if I had added all the butter I was supposed to it most likely would have received a 10/10


What You’ll Need

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups melted butter plus 1/3 cup melted butter for filling
  • 1 cup sugar for dough plus 2/3 cup sugar for filling
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground cardamom(from about 25 cardamom pods)
  • 2 pkg. dry active yeast (4 1/2 tsp.)
  • 8-9 cups all purpose or bread flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 egg plus 2 Tbsp. water, lightly beaten together into an egg wash
  • pearl sugar (or crushed sugar cubes) and / or chopped or slivered almonds

    How to Make It

    Prepare your Basic Cardamom Bread Dough using the first 7 ingredients listed above (this takes about 1 1/2 hours).

    After punching down dough following its first rise, remove from bowl and knead lightly on floured counter until smooth and shiny. Divide dough into two halves.

    Roll each half of dough into a 12” by 18” rectangle. Brush each rectangle well with melted butter. Combine 2/3 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp.

    cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over the 2 rectangles. Roll each rectangle crosswise, like a jelly roll, to form an 18”-long cylinder.

    Using a sharp or serrated knife, cut each cylinder into 20 equal slices.

    Place each slice into a paper cupcake wrapper and place on baking sheet. Cover with towel and allow to double in size, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 425º.

    Brush risen cinnamon rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar and / or almonds. Place in the middle of a preheated oven and bake for 7 minutes, or until done.


I absolutely love sweets of any kind. If you were to plop it down in front of me, I wouldn’t think twice. If that sweet involves chocolate, all bets are off, I’m climbing over that table to get what is rightfully mine. These Brazilian chocolate fudge balls will not only leave you jumping from plate to plate, they will leave you craving this stuff day in and day out.

I have to admit, I did have a little problem the first time I made the batter. The recipe says to add butter before you heat the mixture, but I forgot about that step. I didn’t think that it would be too big of a problem, and it wasn’t. What I did was, I still added it while it was hot. The taste of this batter was still really good but it just wouldn’t solidify.

My second try I made sure that I followed the directions exactly. As well, I cooked it a little bit longer just to make sure it wouldn’t be runny. These things together seemed to work absolute miracles. Taking it off, I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be right.

This recipe was incredibly easy to make. All you were really doing was making watching a pan of sweetened condensed milk and cocoa get thicker. After that, the whole recipe was a breeze. I personally ate about 15 of these bad boys and my family another 10. Everyone I gave them to absolutely loved them and gave me compliments. Flavor wise I would give this recipe a 10/10. As well, I would give it a 10/10 because I feel like it had a good flavor that wasn’t ever overpowering or too much. For me, this is very important because I don’t want to eat something that makes me nauseous it is so sweet.IMG_2372IMG_2373IMG_2375IMG_2378

  1. Whisk the condensed milk and cocoa powder together until obtaining a homogeneous mixture (without lumps of cocoa powder). Then, stir in the butter.
  2. Stove: Cook in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium-low to medium heat (large burner), stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and starts to peel away or show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with your wood spoon (about 5-8 minutes). The chocolate fudge mixture should be thick enough to show you the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again.
  3. Microwave: Pour mixture into a deep microwaveable bowl. If 900 watts, let cook on full power for about 6 minutes — removing and stirring at least every 2 minutes, or until thick enough to be rolled (remember that when it cools down, mixture will be thicker). While it is cooking, do not leave the microwave unattended because mixture will rise and possibly bubble over, making a mess. Every time it rises, pause until mixture settles back down. If 1100 watts, cook at 80 % power. Double batches take more time to cook.
  4. When chocolate fudge is ready, remove either from the stove top or microwave, mix in the vanilla extract and spread mixture onto a greased plate.
  5. Let cool to room temperature before starting to roll them into balls with greased hands. Use a 1/2 ( or 1 ) Tablespoon as measurement. Then, dredge gently in the chocolate vermicellis until totally covered, and place into paper bonbon cups.

American Treats

This past week I have had to help run a cookie business at my school. We had to find the way to raise enough money to be able to purchase all of the ingredients to make these cookies. My company made an array of cookies varying from cookie dough balls to what we called bay bars. Every one of these cookies made me want to eat batch after batch, which I really couldn’t do.

The first cookie that I fell in love with is the bay bar. This crazy thing has devils food cake, chocolate chips, and Oreos. If you don’t like chocolate then this isn’t the recipe for you, but don’t fret there will be. This is actually a really simple recipe to make. You have to mix a stick of butter and an egg with a box of devils food cake mix. It turns into almost like a dough that is very thick and you should be able to hold it without it getting stuck to your hands. This is probably my favorite part since I enjoy using my hands for things. After I successfully made a ball that could be used as a football, I put it into a 9×13 cake pan and pressed it down so it was like a sheet. I then sprinkled crumbled Oreos all over it and poured sweet condensed milk over that and then topped it with a cup and a half of chocolate chips. Watching the milk pour out of the can was strangely satisfying.

Once I had all of the ingredients in the pan I popped that sucker into an oven that had been pre-heated to 350 degrees for about 25. The one thing about these that is hard is that the sweet condensed milk makes it hard to tell if it is done. The top will still seem to be kind of liquidy when you take it out, but I promise that it will get harder as it cools.

My second type of cookie that my group made is what is called a lemon cake ball. They are pretty much exactly what they sound like, cake in ball form. We didn’t do any of that sneaky machines that they have come out with recently, I wouldn’t recommend those. What we did allowed us to get our stress out at the same time.  We baked the cake in a sheet pan so that it could cool faster and cook faster. Once the cake was cooled we got to crumble up the cake. It was almost like we were making sand with our hands, it was so soothing. We took that crumbled cake and mixed it with lemon frosting and formed medium sized balls. This process can get pretty messy, but it is well worth it in the end. We then put them in the freezer for an hour to make it easier to dip them in the candy melt.

In the past when I needed to melt candy melts I would put it in the microwave and I would almost always overcook it. We decided to put the melts into an oven safe pan and put it in the off, but warm oven and allow heat to do its job. This worked really well to get all of the melts to melt at the same rate. We then quickly dipped all of the balls and put them on parchment paper. That’s it they are done.

Overall, I would recommend these cookies to anyone. The recipes are really easy to make and I would give them both 10/10.20170407_175622

Modern Masala: South African “Street Food” Durban Bunny Chow Recipe

My school just got off of what we call spring break. Almost all of my friend went to some place far away and worry free, I was stuck at home doing nothing. This week I was inspired to make this dish by my boyfriend’s trip to South Africa (I was a little jealous). I wanted to feel like I had gone on the trip with him so I began researching and stumbled upon this amazing dish.

Before I begin talking about how great this dish was, I want to talk a bit about its history. In South Africa, this dish is often referred to as simply Bunny. Bunny originated around the time of WWII in a town called Durban. There are many stories behind how this dish came to be and one of my favorite is about an Indian immigrant that came to South Africa to work in sugarcane plantations. This story states that the immigrants needed to find a way to bring their lunch to work and they found that bread bowls were the easiest way to transport it.

Now as someone who is in love with bread, no shame. I don’t see any problems with using bread as a bowl, in fact, it is freaking genius. In my opinion, it’s more of a question as to why don’t we have silverware made out of bread. Anyway, when I found out that this recipe was more of an Indian dish that originated in Africa, I was all for it. After my Monsoon Black-Eyed Pea Curry dish, I was up for the challenge of making a better curry. This recipe does use chicken in it; however, the original dish from what I found used beans instead. To imitate what it may have been like in the 40s, I substituted the chicken with a can of chickpeas.

This dish had more spices listed as ingredients than I know colors, but that is beside the point. Once I gathered all the spices and mixed them together in a bowl, I felt like I could have easily been in a plain of Africa. I did this first because I wanted to be able to make my house smell like spices, and this actually worked to my surprise. Next, I cut up the onions and potatoes and through them in a pot with the whole spices (cardamom, curry leaves, and cinnamon). While I let those cook and make my house smell even more delicious, I diced up some tomatoes and minced some garlic. Once everything was cut and thrown into the pot, it was a waiting game. I have experienced some long 30 minutes before in my life, but this was one of the most excruciating 30 minutes I had experienced in a while. It was like sitting in a field of puppies and not being allowed to touch them.

After being tortured, I was finally able to touch my bunny. Into the bowl, it went, though it didn’t stay there very long. The minute that this curry touched my lips I felt like all of my worries had just melted away. Trust me I have got a lot of them. The only thing that I didn’t like was the fact that I feel like there was too much potato. This could easily be fixed by using less potato. All in all, I would give this recipe a 9.5/ 10 because there were just too many potatoes.IMG_2332IMG_2329IMG_2323


Whole Spices Step 1

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled curry leaves
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly diced
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

Durban Masala

  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 treaspoon ground mace

Bunny Chow Curry

  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 450g chicken, skinned and boned, breasts of thighs (cut into cubes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 large curry leaves
  • 150mls chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 whole loaf of white bread (cut in half and the into quarters, with the middle hollowed out to make a)


  • fresh coriander to garnish


My take on the traditional South African street food dish, “Bunny Chow”; although this was originally made with beans and vegetables, and it more often than not made with lamb or mutton nowadays, I have made this recipe with chicken. This recipe is fun to serve and is extremely filling and tasty. I created this recipe as part of my contribution as a “Spice Ambassador” for Schwartz UK and The Flavour Forecast with McCormicks’ Flavour of Together campaign, as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations. My Flavour Story can be seen here: Karen Burns-Booth Flavour Story


Step 1 Put the oil, whole spices, onion and potatoes into a large pan with a lid and fry over a gentle heat until the onion is soft and translucent.
Step 2 Mix the dry Durban Masala ingredients together.
Step 3 Add the chopped tomatoes, chicken pieces, garlic, curry leaves and the Durban masala mix to the whole spices, onion and potato mixture and mix well. Heat over a low heat for 1 minute before adding the stock (water can be used too). Cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and the chicken is cooked.
Step 4 When you are ready to serve the Bunny Chow, place the prepared bread on a plate or a large napkin and ladle the curry into the cavity of the bread “bowls”. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with sambals on the side.
Step 5 The bread: the best loaf for the bread bowls is a unsliced, rectangular white loaf (called Government Sandwich Loaf in South Africa). Cut the top off the loaf, and keep to one side and then cut the main loaf into quarters or halves, depending on the size. Serve with the top of the bread (cut into handy pieces) which is used as a “dipping” utensil. Bread rolls can also be used. Cut into the bread with a knife to make a border and then scoop the inside bread crumbs out – keep them for other recipes. I made my own small white loaf for this recipe.


I am incredibly fond of pasta and after my spaetzle recipe, I wanted to try another pasta dish. Where else would you go other than good old Italy? This dish brought out my inner Italian and made me want to only eat pasta for the rest of my life. A small disclaimer, this dish does contain pistachios so if you have a sensitivity to nuts, you can easily leave the pistachios out completely. My family loves pistachios so I made sure to put a hardy serving of them on the plate. The recipe that I used was incredibly helpful. It had the recipe split into four different sections. It made me feel not as rushed as in other recipes.

Now for my tips and mistakes that I made this week. Beginning with the pistachio pesto, the recipe tells you to use a mortar and pestle, many people do not just have this on hand in their homes. Don’t worry, there is a solution, what I did was I stuck the garlic and pistachios together in a heavy duty Ziploc bag and took a heavy rolling pin and got my anger out on the bag. The pistachios broke very easily this way and turned into a fine particle and when combined with the olive oil made a very good pesto.

Another thing that I did because I didn’t have the time to make homemade pasta like this recipe calls for, as much as I would love to. I used pre-made strozzapreti that said it tasted like a homemade pasta. In my opinion, I think it really did taste like homemade pasta, this is a good replacement if there just isn’t enough time in the day for making pasta.

One thing that I would have changed is how I made the herb pesto. I threw the basil, parsley, and olive oil in a food processor, but there didn’t seem as though there was enough of anything for it to cut. The herbs ended up being very large chunks. I don’t really know how I would change this, but I definitely will.

Overall, this recipe was phenomenal. It satisfied my need to have pasta and was fresh and healthy. I was surprised at how quick and easy this was in general. I would have to give this recipe a 9.5 out of 10. Only taking points off because I feel like it could have had a little more flavor. If you would like to make this recipe follow this link read the recipe below.


Original recipe by Manuela Zangara

Ingredients for 4 persons:

For the sauce:
6-7 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp of tomato purée
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

For the blended herbs:
1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp of basil
1.5 tbsp parsley

For the pistachio pesto:
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 small clove of garlic
3 tbsp of unsalted pistachios

For the crunchy zucchini:
1 big zucchini, cut into thin sticks
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

360 gms of home-made busiati (or strozzapreti or fusilli)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano thinly grated to serve

Start by making busiati.  You can follow this step by step tutorial.

To make the crunchy zucchini:
Cut the zucchini into thin sticks and put it on a baking dish layered with baking paper.  Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and broil in a very hot oven for a few minutes, until golden and crisp.  Keep aside.

To make the sauce:
Crush the garlic and put it in a frying pan with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.  Let it fry on a low fire for a minute.  Then add the halved cherry tomatoes, the tomato purée, a pinch of salt and 3 tbsp of water.  Let the sauce cook for 5 minutes on a slow fire.  Then put the fire off and keep it aside.

To make the blended herbs:
Blend the basil and parsley leaves together with the 1.5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and keep it aside.

To make the pistachio pesto:
Crush the pistachios with the garlic clove in a mortar and pestle.  Add the extra virgin olive oil and keep it aside.

Cook the busiati following the steps on How to cook pasta “al dente” in the Techniques page of this site, but drain it 1 minute before it is fully cooked as it will finish cooking together with the sauce.  Before draining the pasta, put 2 tbsp of the pasta water in the tomato sauce.  Put the drained pasta in the frying pan with the tomato sauce and add 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.  Mix well.

Vegetarian Pozole de Frijol (Bean, Hominy, and Chili Soup)

My family is very into participating in our religion, last week began what we call the Lenten season in the Catholic faith. As part of the Lenten season, we are supposed to abstain from eating meat on Fridays. Being the family vegetarian and now the chef of the house, I was given the assignment of making dinner every Friday for the next six weeks. I could not be happier about this. This week I made a Latina soup that originated in Mexico. I did this because my family tradition was eating out at a local Mexican restaurant every Friday but we decided against doing that. I brought the authentic Mexican taste to them with this recipe.

I hadn’t ever made soup by myself before this recipe so I was very excited about this endeavor. This recipe, surprise, called for onions but I was not about to let the waterworks flow this week. I took a pair of lab goggles and snapped them on my face and started chopping away. I used a Spanish onion in this recipe and it had great flavor, I would recommend using this type of onion in this recipe rather than a plain yellow onion. One part of this recipe that I was very on edge about was using hominy. I, at least to my knowledge, had never used this ingredient before. I was unsure of how it was going to taste or even the texture it had, but I was going to stick with the recipe and I threw it all in the pot.

This recipe had so many layers of flavor that I haven’t found in many of my other dishes. The chili that was put in the soup didn’t hit you with a sudden wave of heat, it was more of a slow burn that could warm you up on a snowy day. The hominy that I was worried about added such a great balance of texture to the soup. It didn’t feel like I was just drinking a sauce. I would give this recipe a 10/10 because it had such an array of flavor and texture. I also liked this recipe because it cost under $15 which is really good since it made enough soup for a large family. Everyone that tried this dish, including my boyfriend, absolutely loved it on the first bite. I strongly recommend this recipe to anyone looking to add a splash of spicy in their life.IMG_2259[1]

2(or more) dried chilis de Arbol, ancho, or guajillo to suit your preference
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 can(15 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
6 cups mild vegetable broth
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (15 ounces each) hominy, drained and rinsed
*juice of 2 limes
Soak the chilis in a bit of boiling water for 20 minutes or so, then puree in a mini food processor.
In a large soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in the oil for 2 minutes over medium heat.
Add the tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of salt, the oregano, and 6 cups of vegetable broth or water and bring to a simmer.
Add the pinto beans and hominy and bring back to a simmer. Allow to simmer for ten minutes.
Add the pureed chilis, lime juice, stir, then add salt and more lime juice or more of the tomatoes as needed to produce a piquant broth. (You might like to add the chilis a little at a time and taste to make sure you aren’t exceeding your heat preference. You can always serve the remainder of the chili sauce on the side).
Serve it forth, with a good selection of garnishes.


If you are unaware of where this recipe originated just by trying to say the name, rest easy knowing that it is a German dish. My family has a lot of roots tying us back to Germany. In fact, my father was born in Germany on an American army base in 1974. Due to this I have always had an interest in Germany and learning various things about it. In turn, I thought there would be no better way to learn about a country than by making an authentic meal. It was decided, I would embark on a voyage to my German roots.

The preparation for this dish was fairly easy compared to some of my other dishes. However, I seem to continue to fall into the trap of picking recipes that have a lot of onions in them. This recipe was no exception, considering it had called for 2 whole onions, not only did I feel like crying, I was literally crying. Now being the smart person that I am, I put all of the onion in a small saute pan and expected them to brown. They will not, I repeat, they will not brown in that size of pan. Moving on to the dough, it was really easy to prepare. I would say I finished it in about 2 minutes. The only hard part that I faced was actually making the spaetzle. This is because I don’t actually own a spaetzle maker, if that is the case, don’t worry. What I did to solve this problem is, I took a colander and shoved the dough through the holes and the end product turned out just as good.

In the end, I feel like this was one of the easier recipes I’ve made but also one of the more bland recipes. While I am aware that this could be because of my doing, I would like to blame it on the fact that this recipe didn’t really have anything to give it the flavor I wanted. Next time I make this recipe I will most likely add spices of my liking to the onions while they are cooking so there is a wider range of flavor. Overall I would give this recipe a 7/10 because it didn’t have a crunch factor that I like nor did it have much flavor.



  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced
  • 3 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, combine eggs, flour, salt, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/2 cup water. Mix until smooth, then let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion slices until golden brown; set aside. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place 1/3 of the dough into a spaetzle maker or coarse sieve or collander with holes about 4 millimeters in diameter. Let dough drop into boiling water. Boil until spaetzle rises to the top, then transfer to a 9 inch casserole dish with a slotted spoon. Cover with 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat layers with remaining spaetzle and cheese. Spoon fried onions over top.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is thoroughly melted. Before serving, sprinkle with 1 or 2 tablespoons vinegar, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.



Chocolate Salami – Шоколадная Колбаса and Trubochki – Cream Filled Pizzelles (Трубочки с Кремом)

My brother came home from school this week, he has been taking Russian as a foreign language and that inspired me to try and make Russian food. Now it has come to my realization that it is common in Russia to take food and shape it into various other objects. One of these things that I found to sound the most interesting was chocolate salami. When I first heard the name I thought, “What the heck, why would anyone in their right mind combine salami and chocolate, that’s just disgusting.” Upon further research I discovered that there is no real salami in the dessert, I was relieved that that monstrosity was not a real thing.  Beyond this delicious sounding dessert, I stumbled upon a dessert that reminded me much of an Italian dessert, it is Trubochki called and is a pizzelle filled with cream.

I began my journey to Russia by making the chocolate salami. The recipe wanted you to crush the vanilla wafers and it stated that you could use your hands or with a rolling pin. Being the young child that I am at heart I thought it would be fun to crush them with my hands. Let me be the first to tell you, crushing that many vanilla wafers kill your hands. I am pretty sure my hands were sore the next day if that is any indicator. But I went on to mixing the chocolate and all that sweet stuff and combined it. I got to the point where I needed to shape the mixture into sausage and I struggled with getting it to stick to the parchment paper. This stuff would stick to just about everything much like gum on a hot day.

Now at this point, I was tired but… you can’t give up on making cookies! Everything was going exactly as planned in the cookie making department until I went to make the cream filling. I went to open the can of sweetened condensed milk when I felt a pain go up my arm and I realized that I had cut my finger. Being the good cook that I am I immediately put the can down and went and cleaned my wound, I even dressed it with a nice star wars band aid. One piece of advice that I would give for this recipe is instead of using a marker, use something like a handle of a whisk. You run less chance of somehow getting ink in the pizzelle.

I would give both of these recipes a 10/10 because they had such great flavor and I wasn’t able to stop eating them. I ate an entire roll of the chocolate salami by myself as a snack one day. If you are looking for a quick dessert to bring to a family gathering I would definitely recommend the chocolate salami. The pizzelle took a bit longer but they are well worth the wait


Chocolate Salami

1 1/2 packages (about 11 oz each) of vanilla wafers

2 sticks of butter, melted

3 Tablespoons cocoa

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Most boxes of vanilla wafers are approximately 11 oz each. For this recipe, you’ll need to use 1 and 1/2 packages of vanilla wafers.

Crush the cookies so you have some coarse pieces and smaller. You can use your hands, or use a rolling pin or a mallet to crush the cookies right in the bag that they are packaged in.
In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, cocoa and a can of condensed milk.
Add the crushed cookies to the bowl and mix to combine
Scoop out part of the mixture onto parchment paper or aluminum
Shape the cookie mixture into the shape of a log and wrap it tightly inside the parchment paper or aluminum foil. You should have 4-5 chocolate salamis.
Chill in the refrigerator or the freezer. When you’re ready to serve, sift some powdered sugar over the Chocolate Salami and slice into pieces.



  • 6 eggs
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter melted, (2 sticks)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese softened
  • ½ – ¾ can condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 oz container Cool Whip or 8 oz of whipped cream


  1. Whisk the eggs and the sugar until pale yellow, thick and frothy.
  2. Add the melted and cooled butter and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together. Add to the batter. Mix to combine.
  4. Heat the pizzelle press until it’s hot. Using two small spoons, place about a Tablespoon of batter slightly behind the center of each pizzelle design. The batter will spread forward as it bakes. Bake for a few minutes, just until the pizzelles are slightly golden.
  5. Working quickly, wrap the hot pizzelles around a clean marker. You won’t be able to shape them into a cylinder if they cool even a little bit, so work really fast. You don’t need to use a marker, but it’s easier for me that way. Repeat will all the batter.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the filling, using a paddle attachment on a standing mixer or using a hand mixer, cream the cream cheese and condensed milk until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Add the vanilla. Fold in the Cool Whip or whip up some cream in a separate bowl and fold into the cream cheese.
  8. Fill a piping bag with the filling and fill the pizzelles.