Monthly Archives: January 2013

Gevulde Broodjes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gevulde Broodjes

The recipe that I am sharing with you today is one of my most favorite of our family recipes.  They’re called Gevulde Broodjes.  Translated from Dutch, it means stuffed buns.  It’s one of those dishes that I like to prepare because it reminds me of my most fondest childhood memories.  Many years ago my Oma used to make these for my sister and I whenever we visited her home.  The filling for these little rolls is the same as the filling that she used to make for her kroketten (croquettes).  Kroketten is another recipe that I need to share one day soon!

Gevulde Broodjes are small fist sized dinner rolls that are hollowed out and stuffed with a warm beefy filling.  They are generally served as a snack but I have also made them for lunch or even dinner.  Last summer my Uncle Boebi made a large batch of these rolls to share with our family.  Within a few short minutes, the Gevulde Broodjes were gone. Scarfing the rolls is probably a better word to describe what happened.  That was the only time over the entire weekend with the family that there was near complete silence in the home.  Silence because everyone was quietly devouring the rolls :).  My family loves these little beef rolls and I hope that you do too.  Enjoy!  Tessa

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Slice the top off of the roll…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gently hollow out the roll.  Save the crumbs for another dish…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stuff the rolls with beef mixture and replace the top.  Now they’re ready to warm up and serve!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup white onion (minced)
  • 1 cup celery leaves and stems (minced)
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour (use more if needed)
  • 2/3 cup water (use more if needed)
  • salt to taste
  • 12 soft french bread dinner rolls

Melt butter in a large frying pan.  Cook onions and celery on medium heat until onions are translucent, taking care not to brown the mixture.  Add ground beef and mix well and cook for a few minutes until nearly done and the beef is finely crumbled.  Drain any grease out of the pan.  Add chicken bouillon cubes, garlic, coriander, nutmeg, and white pepper.  In a separate bowl, \whisk together the flour and water until there are no lumps.  Add flour mixture to beef mixture and cook for about 15 minutes, constantly stirring until the flour taste is gone.  Add additional flour and water if needed.  Taste and correct your seasonings and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Start cutting the tops off the dinner rolls and set the tops aside.  Using your fingers, gently remove the center of the rolls.  Be sure to leave 1/2 inch of bread on all sides of the roll.  Do the same for the tops of the rolls also.  Do this until each of the rolls have been hollowed out.  Fill each roll with about the beef mixture and add back the tops.  Place rolls in a baking pan, cover with foil and bake until warmed through.  Serve with good quality yellow mustard.

A Winter Weekend in the Cascade Mountains and Chicken Lentil Soup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chicken Lentil Soup 

I love living in Southern Oregon.  One of my favorite things to do during the winter months is to visit the Cascade Mountains.  This year our family and friends stayed in some cabins up at Hyatt Lake over the weekend.  Hyatt Lake is about an hour drive from our home but in snowy weather, it may take twice as long.  There was at least 3 feet of fluffy snow on the ground and the temperature was a bone chilling 16 degrees.   The only way we could get up to our cabins was with four wheel drive pickup trucks for there was nearly 10 miles of narrow snow packed roads.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A view up towards the summit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Along the edge of Hyatt Lake.  The lake was frozen over.  During the summer months, Hyatt Lake is known for its wonderful trout fishing and camping.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A view across the lake.  The ice on the lake was only a few inches thick and covered with snow.  We would not dare walk out onto the lake for it was too risky and dangerous.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sunset in the forest.  It was eerily quiet.  The only noise that we heard was the snow dropping off the branches of the trees.  There were no birds, squirrels or any signs of wildlife. The birds either migrated south or are spending the winter in the valley below. Other animals such as black bear, skunks and squirrels are hibernating in their dens.  Deer, cougars and elk generally find their way down to the warmer lower elevations during the cold winter months.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A view from the top of the mountain.  You can see the ski resort at Mount Ashland in the background.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Snow covered Chinquapin Mountain. In late spring, when the snow has melted, Chinquapin Mountain is one of my favorite places to hunt for Morel mushrooms.  When I get some mushrooms this year, I’ll be sure to post some delicious Morel mushroom recipes.

After spending a cold day in the snow, my Chicken Lentil Soup is a perfect way to warm up. My Chicken Lentil Soup is made with locally grown organic green Laird Lentils, carrots, onions, celery, chunks of tender chicken and flavored with my homemade Garam Masala Spice Blend.  It’s easy to make, tastes delicious, and as an added bonus, it’s really good for you too!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Laird lentils (washed and picked over)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 Tbs Garam Masala spice blend
  • 1 12 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound cooked chicken (chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan with a lid, saute onion, carrots, celery and red bell pepper in olive oil.  Cook until onions are translucent and tender.  Add lentils, Garam Masala, tomatoes, garlic and chicken stock.  Cook on low heat until lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes.  Add cooked chicken about 10 minutes before lentils are done.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Serve hot with crusty bread.  Makes about 4 servings.

*Note:  I used precooked chicken that I found in the deli section of my favorite store.  I added the chicken towards the end of the cooking process because I wanted the chicken to stay tender.

Sesame Seed Beer Bread

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sesame Seed Beer Bread

Beer Breads are some of my favorite loaves of bread to bake.  They’re easy, require few ingredients and taste delicious.  For years I have made the same Whole Wheat Beer Bread and it has always been my “go to” recipe.  “Go to” until now…  My favorite Whole Wheat Beer Bread recipe now has to share the spotlight.  I have a new recipe that is equally delicious but with a different spin.  I call it Sesame Seed Beer Bread.  It’s made with all purpose white flour, Oregon brewed beer, and black and white sesame seeds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My Sesame Seed Beer Bread has a pretty black sesame seed speckled center with a lovely mixed sesame seed top crust.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It slices nicely and goes great with leafy green salads and piping hot bowls of soup.  I had a couple of slices toasted this morning for breakfast.  It’s easy to make and tastes fabulous!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz beer
  • 1/2 Tbs black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 Tbs white sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mix together flour, sugar, 1 Tbs black sesame seeds, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium sized bowl.  Add beer and mix until lumps are gone.  Don’t over mix.  Add mixture to greased 9 x 5 inch baking pan.  Sprinkle top with 1/2 Tbs black and 1/2 Tbs white sesame seeds.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done.  Makes one fabulous loaf!

Wheat Berry Salad and a walk along Bear Creek

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wheat Berry Salad with Kalamata Olives and Feta Cheese

I’m not a big fan of making New Year’s resolutions.  All my resolutions such as losing weight and exercising more, historically have been destined for defeat.  So, since I despise failure, I don’t do resolutions anymore.  Nope, none, nada…  I look at it this way.  I make New Year’s expectations. Expectations for me are doable and achievable.  This year I expect to take smaller steps to improving my life and health.  I’m certainly not a perfect person but when I expect something out of myself, I do it.

One of the first things that Bruce and I did for the New Year was to take a long walk along Bear Creek here in the Rogue Valley.  Bear Creek is home to many species of birds, aquatic mammals and fish.  During the spring and fall months you may see large salmon or steelhead swimming up the creek on their way to their spawning grounds.  In the winter, the water in the creek is too turbid from the rain and snow to see much at all.  However, it is a great time to go birding.  So, I grabbed my camera and out the door we went.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A great egret hunting for fish in the marshy area near the creek.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A pair of mallard ducks on a log.  This is my favorite picture of the day.  The brightly colored drake is on the left and the plain colored hen is on the right.  It won’t be long before they start nesting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A closeup of a drake Mallard duck.  Notice the beautiful blue wing bar and bright orange legs?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When we got back home from our walk along the creek, I decided to make a bright and flavorful Wheat Berry Salad.  My Wheat Berry Salad is simple to make and tastes delicious! It’s made with tasty little wheat berries, red bell pepper, Kalamata olives, green onions, parsley, feta cheese and my favorite red wine vinaigrette.  In just a matter of hours, I’m already living up to my expectations.  A lovely walk and a healthful salad.  That was easy.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  •  3 cups cooked wheat berries (1 cup dried = 3 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 cup red bell (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinaigrette (click on link for recipe)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives (pitted and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup green onions (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
  •  4-  6 cups lettuce, watercress or your favorite leafy greens

Mix all ingredients (except lettuce or watercress) in a medium sized bowl adding the feta cheese last…  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Chill and serve on a bed of lettuce, watercress or other leafy greens.  Garnish with additional feta crumbles and chopped parsley.  Makes 6 servings.