Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bavarian Bread Dumplings - Semmelknödel

Most countries and cultures put dry, leftover bread to good use.  All forms of bread can be brought back to life with a little liquid and is a great way to stretch a dish.  The first recipe that comes to mind is Thanksgiving stuffing.  You have to have stale bread for stuffing!  Panzanella salad, French Toast and bread pudding are just a few recipes and they all say one thing - soul-satisfying comfort food.  Just the word "dumpling" creates a thought of home style Chicken and Dumplings. 

Growing up, I can remember stale bread on the counter that was usually "for the birds", but the bread was never wasted.  It still reminds me of a simpler time when something like a loaf of bread was sacred and valuable.  

These traditional bread dumplings from Austria and Bavaria are great for sopping up rich gravy from any meat dish.  They are very similar in texture to "stuffing".


5 kaiser rolls - stale and thinly sliced and cubed
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 cups milk
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup flour
Breadcrumbs (if needed)
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Hot gravy


Transfer bread cubes to a large bowl.  Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown; transfer to the bowl with the bread.  Add milk to the same saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Pour over bread.  Add parsley, flour, nutmeg and eggs.  Season with salt and pepper and using your hands, mix until evenly combined.  If the mixture is too wet, add breadcrumbs until the mixture can be formed into a ball.

Bring an 8-qt. pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Moisten hands with cold water and form bread mixture into 2" balls.  Carefully add dumplings to boiling water.  When dumplings float to the top, lower heat to a simmer and cook until firm; about 15 minutes(uncovered).  Using a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and transfer to a serving platter.  Serve in bowls with plenty of hot gravy.

Makes about 12 dumplings.
~Adapted from Saveur

Friday, January 23, 2015

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Nobody will miss the meat in this taco salad.  The rice and beans can be made ahead and just reheated slightly before serving.  I love the combination of crispy, cold lettuce with the warm bean mixture.  Semi-homemade salsa really makes this dish!


2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion chopped
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen whole kernel corn
1 - 12 oz. steam in bag brown rice, cooked
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
Shredded Pepper Jack cheese
Tortilla chips (I used Sweet/Spicy Chili Doritos)
Sour cream, lime, pickled jalapenos for garnish


Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and corn, stirring until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes.  Coarsely chop 1 tomato.  Add it to the pan along with the rice, beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt.  Cook, stirring frequently until the tomato cooks down, about 5 minutes.  Let cool slightly.

Coarsely chop the remaining 3 tomatoes.  Combine with cilantro, salsa, and lime juice in a medium bowl.

Arrange lettuce on your serving dish.  Top with bean mixture, cheese and salsa.  Serve with tortilla chips of your choice.
~Adapted from Eating Well
Makes 6 generous servings

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Meatloaf Gyros #MadeWithChiobani

Greek yogurt is packed with protein and probiotics that aid digestion and keep you feeling full.  Tzatziki is a perfect condiment for snacks and wraps.  For the #MadeWithChiobani Project, I made a delicious Greek Tzatziki sauce to use on my Meatloaf Gyro.  Who knew leftover meatloaf could taste so good!

Leftover meatloaf
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced sweet onions
Flatbread or Pita

#MadeWithChiobani Tzatziki Sauce

1 cup Chiobani Greek Yogurt
1 cup shredded cucumber
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. fresh dill or mint (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For sauce:  In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice salt and pepper.  
Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Warm flatbread or pita on a lightly greased griddle for one minutes on each side.  Keep warm.  Cut meat loaf into very thin slices.  In a large skillet, fry meat loaf in 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter in batches until warmed through and crisp.

On each pita bread, layer the tomato, onion and meatloaf slices.  Top with tzatziki sauce.  Fold pitas in half.  Serve with remaining sauce.

For more ideas visit

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Party Kielbasa

These glazed kielbasa bites makes a great appetizers for game day or any occasion.
Sweet and savory, and easy to prepare.

  • 2 rings Polska Kielbasa, sliced into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix all of the ingredients together in a 13 x 9 baking dish.  Bake for 50 minutes, turning half way through.

From: Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mexican Cornbread Casserole

This is a quick, easy weeknight dinner.  A nice change of pace from tacos!  


Cooking Spray
1 pkg. (8.5 oz) corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup frozen corn, divided
1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 can (10 oz.) Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray 8 x 8 glass baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.  Stir together corn muffin mix, egg, milk and half of the corn in a bowl.  Pour into prepared dish.

Cook beef in a medium skillet over medium high heat until crumbled and no longer pink, stirring occasionally; drain any excess fat.  Stir in drained tomatoes, tomato sauce, remaining corn and cumin.  Pour mixture over top of batter.  Top with cheese.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cornbread base is done.
 Top with scallions, sour cream or salsa.

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