Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Orange Sherbet

I love sherbet! I espically love orange sherbet. I was sitting on the couch on monday thinking about it and decided that it was time to give it a shot. So I went online and started looking for a recipe. I saw all sorts using fresh fruits..I had none of those in the house. I plan to make this recipe again using blueberries and strawberries and I wonder if rhubarb would work?

Anyway I settled on a recipe from Alton Brown. This is the first one I have ever tried from him and although I'm not ready to do a back flip over this wasn't bad. I've noticed that sometimes when you make something in a homemade form, it doesn't have the exact taste of the storebought version. I suspect thats due largely to the fact that we aren't using chemicals up the ying yang to produce it. This didn't have the same orange taste that I am used to but we all really loved it. I noticed there are tons of recipes out there for sherbet..using juice,fresh fruits and even cans of soda. So I think in the end I will keep trying until I find the one that works for me. In the meantime this is a great way to satisfy a orange sherbet craving!

Orange Sherbet..Makes 1 Quart
1 cup Sugar
1-1/2 TBL Finely grated Orange Peel..I left out
1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 cups Orange Juice..freshly squeezed or store bought
1 TBL Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Vanilla
1-1/2 cups Whole Milk..I used 2%

Blend all ingredients except for milk in a blender. Process until sugar is dissolved; About 1 minute. Alton suggested using a food processor but everyone complained that it leaked to much and the blender did a better job. Incase you don't have any of these or you are like me and broke your darn blender, just heat the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves:)

Pour into a bowl and whisk in milk. Cover and refrigerate until temp reaches 40 or below; About 1 hr. If you have to heat your ingredients over the stove it will of course take longer than an hour to cool down.

Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and churn until it is the consistency of soft ice cream maker runs for about 35 minutes so however long yours takes will be fine. Serve right away or transfer to a lidded container and place in freezer until firm; About 3 hours. These are best served with my Crispy Lemon Sugar Cookies :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crispy Lemon Sugar Cookies

Wow Easter is almost here...I must confess though that my easter spirit isn't what it used to be..largely due to the fact that my two sons are getting older and beyond the whole easter basket and hunting for easter eggs deal. They still want chocolate of course and a prize..that never goes away. Later on this week I will be showing you an easy dessert your kids can decorate themselves:)

  I really love lemon sugar cookies but I don't always feel like rolling it out and using cookie cutters. When that happens I turn to this recipe. It reminds me so much of my favorite lemon sugar cookies but crispy. Mine came out more fluffy but I suspect thats due to the fact that I only used butter and not half shortening. I also made my bigger so they were thicker..who doesn't like a thick cookie? Using colored sugar gives it a nice spring touch don't you think?

Crispy Lemon Sugar Cookies..4-6 dozen
1/2 cup Butter; Softened
1/2 cup Butter Flavored Shortening
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 TBL Milk
2 tsp. Lemon Extract
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2-1/2 cups Flour
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees or 200 celcius. In a bowl combine the flour,salt, and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl cream butter,shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg,milk, and extracts. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until combined.

Shape either into 1 inch balls or drop by teaspoons full onto ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Tomorrow I will show you what I served these with:)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday's In My City..

It's sunday again and you know what that means! yes it's time for me to show a bit of my life in The Netherlands. Thanks to Unknown Mami I am able to link up with her and all the other lovely people who want to show off their city! This week's theme is "The Canal". I go there alot with my husband. He loves to fish there and I love to take photos. We had a nice stretch of sunny weather last week so we wasted no time in getting out. It's alot prettier once everything come into bloom.
While driving in, we were stopped by the local geese who were looking for bread. Sadly I did not have any and the white one went ahead and crouched down and hissed at me while I took a photo!
Here is one side of the canal and as you can see nothing is really in bloom yet..but it's getting closer!
  This big guy went on by as I was snapping photos.
 When looking across you see different buildings. There is a movie theatre,a bowling alley,indoor play area for kids, and a bunch of other small places.
                                                                                                                Even the rowers were out! We had a bunch come back and forth. They were from the college here in town.
 This building is fairly new. During the winter you can go in there and ice skate and then in summer it's a regular skating rink.
 This is our stadium! We live about 10 minutes from here but whenever there is a soccer game there you can hear the cheers all the way at our place. 
   Here is another look of the canal. We drive that way when we leave.
   Lastly here is a pretty reflection picture of that purple/pink building I showed you at the top! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. See you next sunday!         Unknown Mami                                                                               

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coleen's Baked Chicken

I love baked chicken! What I don't love is cooking it in a pan and all the juices either collecting inside the cavitity wich made it un usuable to me or it would make the bottom of the chicken really soggy. Awhile ago Coleen from Coleen's Recipes posted about roasting a chicken and the best way to do it.

She actually split the chicken open by cutting the backbone out. Now I realise there are some people out there who have issues with touching raw chicken or any other raw meat for that matter. Thankfully, I don't share those same views so this wasnt a problem for me. I had some heavy duty kitchen scissors wich made this job really easy. When you split it open you are able to lay the chicken out flat onto cut up potatoes,carrots, and celery. The lovely juice from the chicken turns into a wonderful broth and flavors all of the vegetables.

I won't roast a chicken anyother way now. I know this isn't a new concept but it was to me so incase anyone else out there who hasn't given this a try..I really really hope you do! Thank you Coleen for yet another wonderful recipe! Coleen has photos of the process so head over there to see those. There was no way I could photograph and mess with raw chicken at the same time!

Roasted Chicken
1 whole chicken
Assorted Veggies; Cut Up

Pre heat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. Remove chicken from wrapper and sit it in your kitchen sink. Steady the chicken in the upright position, with legs pointing down. Using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors remove the backbone.  Starting at the neck and slice down, along side of the backbone, all the way down to the tail section; Repeat on the other side. Remove the backbone and discard...Because I used scissors I found it easier to just lay the chicken down and I cut one side, turned it around and cut the other.

Rinse the chicken thourougly under running water on both sides,making sure to rub down all the meat. Dry off with paper towels. Since you want the chicken to lay flat you need to crack the breastbone..if using a knife make sure to not cut through to the meat. Once you crack the breastbone it should lay out flat. Place veggies into the roasting pan and place chicken on top(season veggies aswell). Brush the skin with butter and seasonings of choice. Roast until done. I had a weenie chicken so mine only took an hour but Coleen says a 4 pounder should take around 1 hour and 30 minutes. When you take it out, cover the top loosely with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

** As a general rule you need to really be careful of raw chicken and everything it touches.Everything the chicken has touched needs to be washed down with very warm soapy water!**

Friday, March 26, 2010

My patience has finally paid off...

Wow it's friday already! I've managed to post only one recipe this week. Thats largely due to our weather. We had 3 sun filled days and I didn't want to waste them! I spent alot of time outside raking up old leaves from last year and helping my husband trim the hedges and dead braches off of one of our trees. I spent a ton of time in the back yard sweeping and pruning and getting rid of broken planters that didn't make it through our extremely cold winter. I opened up all the windows in the house and let the beautiful 65 degree weather come pouring in. I spent some time taking photos while my husband fished and managed to watch a few movies. So all in all it was a week well spent:)

Has anyone seen Julie and Julia? I'm sure alot of you have. I must confess that I only liked it a little. I LOVED the parts with Julia and although I love both the actresses I didn't like the Julie character so much. I found myself wanting to go back to Julia alot more and both my husband and I kept saying..She got a book deal and a movie out of this? I don't know. I guess I was hoping for more details in her blog about the items she cooked and what she liked about them..not just day 41 and I made this. I wanted to see photos and hear more about it. When I hear of The Pioneer Woman having a book and possibly having a movie made of her life, I think..yes of course! or Bakerella who has a book coming out..yep figured that one out too..but not so much with Julie. Thats my take anyway and it doesn't really matter because she is the one laughing all the way to the bank! 

I watched New Moon this morning. I fully admit that although it took me forever to read the books(just last year) I fell in love with them and was excited to hear they were making a movie out of them. I was excited up until the point I watched Twilight. I was so ticked off I couldn't stand still. They left all the best parts out and added in scenes that didn't need to be there. I can not stand their choice for Bella and New Moon seals the deal for me. The dialogue between Bella and Jacob just does not flow. Kristen always looks constipated to me and never brings the essence of the character out. I suppose these are going to be like most of Stephen Kings books. The books are awesome to read but rarely come across that good in a movie.

So on to the title of this post. My patience has paid off. One of the first things you come in contact with is the less than stellar customer service they have here. Think of the worst cashier or store clerk you have come in contact with..double that by a thousand and you have dutch customer service. If they don't feel like helping you,speaking to you,smiling to you..they won' all. There is no fear of having to please the customer here because you are very aware of the fact that they just don't give a rip. If you want the item you buy it regardless of how they treat you. I've been going to this same store for almost 3 years...I go in atleast twice a week. For this entire time the cashier woman wouldn't smile or look at me. After awhile she would get out a hello but that was about it. Every single time I had her I smiled big and said Hi in a cheerful voice. This went on twice a week for almost 3 years. Well Im happy to say that I have finally cracked that shell of hers.

I went in last week as usual and purchased some flowers. As she was ringing up our groceries I told her in english that I had flowers..and then smiled. She looked at me smiled huge and said ok. Then as we left she looked at me,smiled again and said goodbye. I went in this week twice and as soon as she saw me come in her line she smiled really big when I got up to her and said Hello to my husband the dutch way and then greeted me in english with another smile. My husband was even shocked and did a double Over here I hear from dutch people alot that they don't trust americans because we are to friendly. Well I'm happy to say that somewhere along the way the smiling and being friendly paid off. Now it's like she can't wait to show me that she can smile and be friendly too. Now I need to work on the other one..she's worse!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kool Aid Pie

Today was beautiful. It was 65 degrees and that might as well be 80. I sent the boys off to school this morning and got busy. I opened up all the windows after cleaning them,did laundry and started on dinner early. I wanted to make a nice spring themed meal to celebrate such a beautiful day. You become so thankful for days like these because in no time at all it will be back to rain.

I wanted to thank everyone who helped with my Cool Whip question. It turned out that I needed about 2-1/2-3 cups of it. Anyway this is what I ended up making! You can not buy cool whip here so naturally I swapped it out for whipping cream:) This is such an easy pie to make. It only takes 4 ingredients to make this and it doesnt cost a whole lot..espically if you make the crust yourself. Wich I did!
For my European peeps I used these kinds of cookies in place of the graham cracker crust. I would suggest using a sandy type cookie and in a flavor that matches wichever type of kool aid mix you want to use. If you want to use a a homemade graham cracker type crust, use this Recipe and just use crushed cookies in place of the graham cracker. 
The recipe also calls for condensed milk and I know both The Netherlands and Germany sell this because I've boughten it in both countries. Ok back to our regular scheduled program:)

This pie is super easy to make and taste great! It's a total summer time dessert espically since there is no baking required!! However eat this anytime you like:)

You can use whatever type of kool aid you like and you can get creative with what you add in. I chopped up some strawberries to add in the mixture but you could add sliced bananas on the bottom and pour the mixture on top. The possibilities are endless!
Plus if you use the strawberry packet, you get a seriously bright pink pie. I'm not much of a fan of pink but I really loved the color!

Kool Aid Pie..1 pie
1-8 ounce tub of Cool Whip; Thawed..or 2-1/2 cups of homemade whipping cream
1-14 ounce can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 packet of Kool-Aid; Un sweetened
1 9 inch Graham Cracker Crust

In a bowl add the sweetened condensed milk and sprinkle kool aid packet over top; Mix until combined. Add in whipping cream; mix until combined and pour into pie plate. Refrigerate until set and cold; About 2 hours.                                                       

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cool Whip Question..Help!!!

I need help with a cool whip question. I need to know how much an 8 oz container of thawed cool whip is in cups. I looked everywhere online and they either say 3 cups or 2..I dont want to short myself. I plan to swap out homemade whipping cream for the cool whip but want to make sure I use the right amount. Thank you sooooo much for the help!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday's In My City...

Yay it's sunday! As everyone knows Unknown Mami allows us to travel all over the place by linking up with her. Please head over there and view her beautiful city aswell as everyone else's. I'm coming to you today from the ever so lovely Holland. I had to show you these beautiful buttery yellow daffodils I bought the other day. They make me smile everytime I see them.
  I thought I would show you some funky looking homes around here. I love the brick but I really miss wooden built homes too.
I always think these look like water tower homes. I see these alot around my neighborhood.
I don't like these at all. The brick is a really depresing color and notice how everything is so boxie here.
 These ones might look like one home but each one is double occupancy.
 So much depressing brick colors! I love the red brick but these always give me a gloomy feeling. These places warm up like crazy during the summer. Our place gets so hot because of the brick and it NEVER cools down during the summer. I hope everyone has a wonderful sunday. It's currently sunny and I'm going to rush outside and work on the backyard before it rains again! See you next week:)       Unknown Mami                                                                                           

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Apple Pie Quick Bread

Thursday we had a beautiful burst of warmth and sunshine. It was about 60 degrees and for us that might as well be 80 degrees. I opened up all the windows and headed outside to work in the yard. I  must confess that although I do love having a hard..I hate the upkeep part of it. I've never felt anything other than annoyance when I need to get out there and sweep up dead leaves or weeds. I love watching everything sprout up and grow but thats the extent of it.
The next day and today have been the complete opposite. We have the rain again and everything is grey out..BLAH! It's not fair to give me a taste of whats to come..Im greedy and want it all now! So to cheer myself up, I made a quick bread. I haven't met a quickbread yet that I didn't like. They are so easy to make and come out tasting so moist and flavorful. I spotted this recipe over at Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms and bookmarked it for a day like today.
I apologise for the lack of super clear photos. Although it's always my aim to take a perfect shot my family gets tired of waiting around for me sometimes..and I can't blame them. This is a great loaf,super moist and the struesel topping is wonderful. The only slight problem I had was when it came time to take the loaf out of the pan. You need to turn it over to get it out but that means your topping is going to come off. I fixed this by wrapping the top tightly with tinfoil and when I turned it over the foil kept everything in place. 

I hope you try this..I think you will love it as much as we do!

Apple Pie Bread..1 loaf
1/2 cup Butter; Softened
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Milk
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 cups Shredded Apples
2 cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar
3 TBL Flour
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
2 TBl Cold Butter;Diced

Pre heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Grease a 8x4 of 9x5 bread pan and set aside.

In a bowl combine the flour,baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; mix and set aside.

In another bowl combine the streusel topping and cut the butter in. I always find that using my hands work best. I squish the butter and other ingredients in my hands until its well blended.

In a mixing bowl,cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed. On low speed add in the milk, eggs, vanilla, and apples; mix until smooth.

While still on low speed combine the dry ingredients into the apple mixture and beat until combined and smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Sprinkle streusel topping over batter evenly. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Place tinfoil on top of bread making sure to mold the foil with your fingers all over the top of the bread. Gently invert the loaf onto the counter top with the foil staying on the whole time. Gently place onto wire rack and take off the foil.                                                

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fried Mozzarella Slices

I've been meaning to try this for a few months now..but I forgot about it. I was chatting with another expat on facebook and we talked about the lack of mozzarella here. The only type we can find are these little balls that come packed in water.(I am aware of the fact that they sometimes sell it in shredded form at different stores in the netherlands, but where I live I am unable to find that so Im bringing this version incase someone else can only find the wet form aswell)
 She mentioned that maybe by draining it, it would become more dry and therefor easier to shred or in my case bread and fry. I decided to give it a go. I used a small colander and drained it in the fridge for 3 days and then allowed it to sit out for another 2 days. I wanted to get it as dry as possible. Today I finally set my plan into action. I think it worked.
I sliced the ball up wich ws kind of hard. The mozzarella is soft and getting clean slices isn't easy. I was able to get 4 slices out of it but the last one needed to be divided because of how thick it was. I floured both sides with flour,dipped it into egg and then into bread crumbs. I left it in the refrigerator for a few hours and then fried it on the stove with some olive oil.
 They tasted grate! just like a stick but in patty form. It would of been equally good topped with red sauce or dipped in ranch. I would say for sure to either use seasoned bread crumbs or season plain ones yourself. I didn't bother to do that and wished I had. Im going to buy some more at the store and serve these as a side dish sometime next week for dinner.

Fried Mozzarella Slices
Fresh Mozzarella Slices(if using the wet kind,you need to drain it really well or it will be to wet to slice and fry up)
Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1 Egg; Lightly Beaten
Seasonings of choice

Place bread crumbs in a small bowl or dish and set aside. Place egg into small bowl and lightly beat it. Sprinkle flour onto each slice of cheese. Dip cheese then into egg, shaking of any access and then into the bread crumbs; coating both sides. Place on plate and repeat until done. Place in refrigerator for up to 2 hours. Pour some olive oil into a pan or medium heat and fry slices until it's golden brown on each side..about 2-3 mins per side. My cheese started oozing out a bit at the end so don't worry about that. Serve with marinara sauce or ranch dressing.                                                              

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Homemade Whoopie Pies for St.Patty's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I actually have a hard time keeping up with holidays now. I'm in a weird time warp over here. I forget certain holidays now wich I suppose is normal. Only americans celebrate the 4th of July:) I got up this morning and got busy with some whoopie pies!! These are not normal whoopie pies. These are seriously ginormous pies..and thats after going smaller than the original recipe called for.
You can't tell in the photo but I used green food coloring in the cream filling. I wanted these to be a surprise for my 3 guys tonight so I had to bake them,frost them,take photos, and wrap them all up before the boys got home at noon. I washed all the dishes,cleaned the counter tops and vacuumed using a lemon scented capsule you can stick in the bag so it smells good. I didn't want there to be any lingering chocolate smells to give me away. I'm pooped now!
  These are huge hamburger sized. The original recipe only wanted you to make enough for 8 main servings..You would of had to serve those on a plate with a knife and fork! The whoopie pies are really soft with a nice mellow chocolate flavor. They puff up really big in the oven so keep that in mind when baking them. I placed only two on each row so in total I baked 6 at a time. I used an ice cream scoop and came away with 22 whoopies wich made 11 pies. You can also make them smaller of course just make sure there is an even amount.They suggested that you allow the little cakes to mature over night to bring out the chocolate flavor even more. There's no way that was going to happen but Im sure tomorrow we will eat another one and find out if it's better the next day!(Update,I ate one this morning and it takes on a even better intense chocolate flavor..the chocolate has time to settle down and become really moist and the flavor is more deep and complex..worth waiting overnight  if you can:)

Whoopie Pies..11 pies
2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Dutch process Cocoa Powder
1-1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup well shaken Buttermilk
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter; Softened
1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg

Pre heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. In a bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa,baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. In another small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla.

Beat together the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy,about 3 minutes in a stand mixer and 5 if using a hand mixer. Add in egg and beat until well combined. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed until mixture is smooth.

Take a cookie sheet and either butter or line it with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop,scoop dough and place onto cookie sheet and place 2 inches apart. If baking more than one sheet at a time place them in the upper and lower thirds of the oven making sure to switch places half way through cooking time. Bake until tops of the cakes are puffed up and spring back when touched..about 10-13 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely. Frost with favorite filling. You could use a mint filling aswell.

I did not use their filling recipe because it calls for marshmallow creme and thats not something I can get on a regular basis. If you want that filling you can find the entire recipe HERE. Store in airtight container.                                            

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Macaroni Salad

My husband and I were on a lucky streak with the cold season. We managed to escape the Notorius P.I.G flu twice when the boys got it a week apart from each other. We blew right on through the sniffles,coughs, and fevers that everyone else was getting. It's finally come to an end. I suppose we should be thankful. This is the healthiest we have ever been during the winter cold season and thats saying alot. My husband has a sore throat and I'm avoiding the poor man like the plague. As a mother I know that if I get sick the whole freaking world might as well stop turning. Everything grinds to a hault,nothing gets done, and if you're anything like me, you're vaccuming with a full on fever. So please send me good vibes so that I can keep on truckin!
Macaroni Salad is super easy and cheap to make. You can add any sort of ingredients you like. It's great as a side dish or a quick lunch. I actually think the taste gets better the longer it sits in the fridge. I prefer my macaroni salad not drenched in mayonnaise. However if you like more with yours then by all means add more of it:) I'm also including possible add ins. You can make this salad many ways. You can turn it into a Tuna pasta salad by adding in a can of tuna. You can also add in onions,bell peppers,pickles or cheese. The recipe comes from a Taste of Home cookbook called Dinner on a Dime. They have so many great money saving recipes and who doesn't love that!

Macaroni Salad..serves 6-8 with leftovers
2 cups Dry Small Macaroni Noodles; Cooked and Drained
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
1 TBL Lemon Juice
2 tsp. Prepared Mustard
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Pepper
Seasoning Salt as needed

Possible Add Ins
1 Large Carrot; Shredded
1/4 cup Onion
1/2 cup Chopped Bell Peppers
1 can Tuna: Drained and Flaked
1 tsp. Dill weed..if using tuna
1/2 cup or more Chopped Dill Pickles
1/2 cup or more Diced Cheese
1-2 Hard Boiled Eggs; Chopped
1/2 cup Peas

In a large bowl combine the pasta,mayo,lemon juice,mustard,salt,pepper,seasoning salt, and any adds in that you want. For the photo above I added in tuna,diced up pickles and cheese. Mix everything together and store in the fridge covered, for atleast 2 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Honey Butter Sauce for Chicken and Baked Rice

It's a start of another new week. My weekend was spent taking care of two sick kids and that didn't leave me much time for anything else. I had high hopes of heading into germany to buy a few baking items and to take some photos. However sick children have a way of putting a hold on everything:)

 I decided to try the honey butter sauce from Katy over at Food For A Hungry Soul. She told me about it when I mentioned that I was looking for a honey lemon chicken recipe. If you like the taste of citrus on your chicken then I hope you try this. The great thing about it is that it only has 3 ingredients and you can control how much you flavor you want from each part. She has a recipe on how to use it with baked chicken so head over there if you want that version. My lovely oven only comes with one oven rack and I needed that for the baked rice so I decided to make the chicken on the stove.

I've been searching for new side dishes to make. They don't have rice a roni or flavored pasta side dishes so I'm left to come up with my own. The rice is baked in a lovely cheese sauce and it was a real hit in my house. 

Honey Butter Sauce
1/4 cup Melted Butter
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Lemon Juice

4 Chicken Breasts
Unflavored Bread Crumbs
1 Egg; Beaten

Dip the chicken breasts into the egg and then into the bread crumbs. Place into heated frying pan with small amount of oil. Combine the sauce ingredients in another bowl and mix until combined. When you flip the chicken over, take a spoonful of the sauce and cover each breast. I went ahead and basted it one more time before flipping it over again. I basted that side and then pour the whole amount over the chicken and allowed it to soak in until the chicken was cooked.

Baked Rice..serves 4
3 cups Cooked Rice
1 Cup Milk
2 TBL Butter
2 TBL Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Sauteed Mushrooms
1/4-1/2 cup Sauteed Onions
1 cup Shredded Cheese
Seasonings of Choice

Pre heat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Lightly grease either a 1 or 2 quart baking dish and set aside. In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and salt; Whisk for one minute. Add in the milk and bring to a boil stirring constantly until thickened. Lower the heat and add the shredded cheese and mix for 30 seconds. Turn the heat off and add in the rice,mushrooms and onions. Mix everything together and pour into the casserole dish. Bake until heated through, about 20-25 mins.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday's In My City...

Hello from cloudy Holland:) Thanks to Unknown Mami we can all link up and share our cities. Head on over and check her beautiful city out aswell as everyone else's. Last sunday we went on a really nice long walk through the woods in Sallandse Heuvelrug (Click on the British flag to read it in english). It was so crowded that we decided to take a path that was less traveled and was able to snap photos and drink all the beauty in. Living a city life drys my eyes and well being out. It's only when I'm able to get out into nature that I'm able to experience peace of mind.
 I always have to stop and take pictures of the amazing looking mushrooms they have here.
 We had a perfect sunny day. It was still very the lower 40's and snow patches could still be scene along the path.
I  miss being surrounded by trees like I was in Oregon.
You can't really tell in this photo but we were walking up a hill and I turned around to take a photo. It's pretty amazing to see any hills at all in this country because of how flat it is. As we got to the top we saw this.
                                                                                               I wish my camera could of captured how big this area is and how far it went. The ground brush you see is actually Heather but it wasn't in bloom.
The reason this area is covered in hills is because of the ice pushing up against it during the Ice Age.
 There are several walking paths you can take to view different areas and we plan to go back to each one and hopefully capture something new each time.
 The wooden squirrel is the closest you will get to the real deal. Since living here I have only spotted 3..and they were a beautiful red! Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful week and see you next sunday!      Unknown Mami                                                                     

Saturday, March 13, 2010

4 Expat Kitchen Tours!!!

I have teamed up with 3 other expat bloggers who will take you inside their kitchens:) European kitchens are different from what we are used to so we thought we'd all share a bit of whats going on in ours. At the end of my post I will include the 3 others and please stop by to check their kitchens out and say Hello. We've got 3 americans and a canadian. 
  Well thats my kitchen! that is also my only's very small. It's not uncommon to hear me cursing like a sailor because of the lack of space I have in there. I can not roll anything out. The counter tops are this awful bumpy surface. I don't usually have my blinds open either. Our place is next to a sidewalk and street so anyone who walks by can see right in. We were at one point going to put a large fence in to give us privacy..but we're moving and prefer to save our money for that. Two people max can fit in's really small.
When we fist moved here..this was my fridge. I actually thought it was a joke. I kept saying..we have a beer fridge, why do we have a beer fridge? I didn't realise that this is very much the norm here. We had to shop every few days to restock everything because barely anything fit in there. It was such a shock to me. I had to deal with that fridge for a year. When it came time to buying a new one I wasn't going to settle for anything less than a BIG one. My new one is still very basic in my opinion but atleast I can fit more in now.
My fridge now is tall but still skinny. The top part is the refrigerator. As you can see I keep the milk both on the side of the door and the extra one laying on the shelf. So lets take it from the side of the door. The bottom one has milk,juice and juice concentrate. The second shelf up has Bailey's,homemade maple syrup, soy milk(I never buy it but my father in law bought to much and gave me some),oyster sauce and whipping cream. Next I various squeeze bottles with garlic sauce,ketchup and then some lime juice. At the very top I keep the butter.
In the fridge itself I have butter,eggs,the boxs on the second shelf down to the left is called Slagroom and that is to make homemade whipping that stuff. I've got pickles,ketchup,mayo,eggs,and the bottom pull out drawers holds veggies on the left and cheese and sandwich meats on the right. Lets take a look at my freezer!
 My freezer has 3 drawers..but they are small. There is no stocking up for me. The dark blue pieces above the drawers are for freezing ice cubes. Lets look inside a drawer!
The top drawer has pizza and egg rolls. To the left you can see my ice cubes. You wont really find ice cube trays here. Instead you get these plastic bags that come with pouches where you fill it up with water,tie it off and then freeze it. You pop the cubes out from the pouch and into your drink. It's kind of a really neat thing. You can stack them and it gives you more room instead of having a tray. 
Next to my fridge I have a long white cabinet that has two shelves,several drawers and then another shelf on the bottom. At the top I keep extra goodies I find at the store,Tokos or from home. You can see pudding,various bottles of sauces and an extra container of Lawry's Seasoning Salt from home.
The bottom shelf has alot of my baking items. There are more seasoning from home,a bag of light brown sugar,the yellow box in the back is cornstarch and the box next that is cocoa powder. I had my Dad send me over measuring spoons and cups since I couldn't find them here and when making food from home you need to have those measurments.
 Aahh this is my goodie drawer. There is all the bags of chocolate chips,peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, and puddings my Dad and step mom sent to me for christmas. I love that drawer.
This is my coffee maker! I've never seen one like this in the states. It can make one or two cups(there are to small spouts right above the cups that pour out coffee for one or two). The neat thing about this is that it takes seconds to make coffee. There is no waiting around for the water to get warm. You fill the detachable part from the back with water. You press the middle button and it takes maybe 30 seconds in the morning to heat the water up. You open the top,place the number of coffee pads you want in there, close it and hit the one or two're done! Coffee in under a minute.
                                                                                               Here is what the top looks like when you open it. It has a detchable handle that you can switch out for one or two cups. That one is for 2 and you can see the coffee pad aswell(One coffee pad for 1 cup and 2 cups you place one pad on top of eachother and close the lid). The downside to this is that if I buy ground coffee I can't use it in there. You would need to buy a regular one wich you can do aswell. Coffee drinking is very different here. You never see people walking around with their Starbuck's never see people drinking it in their car. Our car doesn't even have drinking cups in there. When you want coffee, you stop and sit down while you drink it. There is no rushing around.
Last up we have spices! I thought I would show you what I use when cooking. Starting at the top left.
1. Italiaans..Italian Seasoning
2.Zwarte Pepper...Black Pepper
3.Knoflookpoeder..Garlic Powder
4.Lawyr's Seasoning Salt:)
5.Uien Poeder...Onion Powder
8.Provencaalse...this comes from a Trader It's Herbs de provence.

Well there you have it. My tiny little kitchen and some of the items you will find in there. Please head over and visit the other expat bloggers.

1. Candee . A Canadian living in The Netherlands

2. Rena . An American living in Germany

3. Lytha . An American also living in Germany

I think I'm probbaly the first to post so please check back to their blogs incase they havent been as quick as me!