Friday, February 5, 2016

Valentine Tortilla Chips

I have book club tomorrow and we are having Mexican food so thought I'd play with Valentine Mexican dessert.  Here is what I came up with.  I'm making my chocolate covered strawberries and serving sweet tortilla chips on the side for a Valentine finger dessert.  I've posted my stuffed strawberries before so you can do a search using the search tool up in the left hand corner by just typing stuffed strawberries.  Today I'm showing you how to make a very simple dessert that anyone can make in minutes.

Take small flour tortillas and using a kitchen scissors and quarter them.  It is easy to turn the quarter piece into a heart by just making 3 simple cuts.  Round the two corners and one more cut to cut down into the top making it a heart.

Make a bowl of just powdered sugar and a bowl with sugar and cinnamon to your taste.  I like lots of cinnamon.  Set aside.

Put vegetable oil in a large fry pan and heat on medium.  Once the oil is hot, drop your hearts into the hot oil. Do not over crowd and do not walk away.  It does not take long to brown.  Flip after you see browning starting.  

Take out of the oil when both sides are golden brown and drain on  paper towel.  While still hot, dip your warm chips into the sugar of your choice.  I like to make both but you can just stay with one if you like.  Because it does not take long to make you can serve these while they are still hot.  Serve them with chocolate syrup to dip in or as a cookie with ice cream.  They are great just to eat alone.

Variation - Not a dessert person then use corn tortillas and make corn chips and serve with your favorite salsa.  

You can also take a large tortilla and cut larger hearts.  For Valentines Day try make quesadillas or tostadas piled high with your favorite toppings.  

Try making a taco salad using your heart chips.  

Hope I gave your some new ways to celebrate Valentines Day via the tortilla.

Have a great day and may God bless you and yours.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Spaetzel Dumpling Casserrole

Today is one of those days calling for comfort food and I'm going to my German roots to be comforted on this Groundhog Day with sleet and grey skies outside.

We Germans love our noodles and pastas.  I had a foreign exchange student back in 2007 who made us a noodle casserole that we fell in love with.  I'm playing with his recipe and making it a spaetzel casserole and using bacon.  He used ham.

To make the little spaetzel dumplings you need a tool to make the tiny things.  I use an old metal colander but you can use an actual tool designed for it or get creative.  You can also use an old potato ricer and push the dough through and then cut off with a knife.

I'm too cheap to buy a new tool so am very happy with my method of pushing the dough through the metal colander with a spatula.  It has always worked fine.

To make the spaetzel:

4 eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tbs. butter
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Combine the eggs, milk, salt, flour. The batter should not be too thick.  It has to go through the holes in the colander.

Bring a big deep pot of salted water to a boil.  Put your colander over the boiling water.

Once your batter is mixed well pour half the dough in the colander and using a spatula push it through the holes allowing the the mixture to drop into the boiling water into tiny dumplings.  Push it all though and then add the 2nd half of the mixture and push it through.

Take the colander away and let the little dumplings boil, stirring them.  When they are all floating on the top, they are done.

Pour them into a pan and let cool.  Melt your 4 tablespoons of butter and pour over the dumplings to keep them separated.  Add you nutmeg and pepper to taste.

Pre-heat oven to 350°.

In a bowl add together:

2 cups milk
1 cup grated cheese of your choice (You may mix mozzarella cheese, Monterey and/or cheddar)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs 
12 strips of pre-cooked bacon cut into 1 inch pieces (or you can used cubes ham)
Lightly salt and pepper

Mix all of the above together.  Pour over the buttered spaetzel.  Top with a little more cheese if you like.  

Bake for 30 minutes.  

Serve hot out of oven with a salad or veggie.


You don't want to make the spaetzel, just substitute noodles of your choice.  That is what Johannes did.

You can also just make the spaetzel and serve it as a side dish with German sausage and sauerkraut. You can use the spaetzel like potatoes.  Make pork chops or a pork loin and make milk gravy and pour over the side of spaetzel.

Make a double batch and once you have boiled them, freeze and use on another occasion.  You can pull out of the freezer and just put in a frying pan with a little butter and sprinkle it with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg and serve it as a side with meal.  

Hope you enjoy it.  This recipe has bacon so it has to be good :).

Have a warm and cozy evening and may God bless you and yours.