New Favorite · New Traditions

Hungarian Goulash Soup

Hungarian Goulash is different from the Midwest Goulash I grew up with.  The Midwest version was always elbow macaroni, hamburger, tomatoes and sometimes, cheese. I experienced the traditional version in a Hungarian restaurant in Denver and again in Eastern Europe.  Goulash (Gulyasleves) is one of the national dishes of Hungary.  It reminds me of our traditional Beef Stew, although not as thick as stew and uses different spices.

This recipe is an adapted version of the recipe from a tour guide, Food Tour Budapest.  We had a marvelous tour of wonderful restaurants, meandering the streets of Budapest experiencing traditional food and drink in historic and unique restaurants.  How I wish I could travel again and experience such a tour.  Some day… In the meantime, I can recreate the food memories in my own kitchen.

HUNGARIAN GOULASH

2 tablespoons lard or cooking oil (I used Olive Oil)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika; add a bit of spicy paprika if desired
1 pound cubed beef stew meat or pork shoulder
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons caraway seed
4 cups water (I added a bit more as the goulash cooked)
1 whole red pepper, chopped
1 whole tomato, peeled and chopped (or a can of tomatoes)
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, halved and sliced
1/2 cup chopped celery
Optional:  small bits of pasta

  • Add the lard or oil to the stew pot.
  • Add onions to the hot lard or oil.  Cook the onions until they are glossy and saucy.
  • Remove from the fire and add the paprika.  Mix with the onion.  Add a bit of water, to prevent from burning.
  • Add the meat cubes and put back on the fire.  Sprinkle with salt and caraway seed.  Add more or less, depending on your tastes
  • Add the chopped carrots and celery.
  • Once the meat has a bit of color, add water, chopped pepper and tomatoes. Lower heat to simmer and cover. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  • After one and a half or two hours, check the meat. Add the chopped potatoes and cook through, about 20 minutes.
  • Add the pasta pieced (optional) when the potatoes are almost done.
  • Taste the broth and adjust seasoning as desired.

Serve with bread (white or rye).  Optional: add freshly ground paprika or spicy green pepper.

Recipe adapted from FoodTour Budapest and Hungarian Cooking Goulash Soup.

 

 

Garden · Gluten Free · New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Spring Garden Vegetable Soup

Can you tell I’m in the mood for spring? My past two recipes have been all about it! This Spring Garden Vegetable Soup has also been in my ‘must make’ stack.  I like the versatility of this recipe, easily adapting to Vegan or Vegetarian (using vegetable stock and omitting the cream and chicken) and it is Gluten-Free.

This soup is light and, oh, so healthy.  Daughter Sarah served a small bowl to 10-month old grandson, Evan, and he really liked it!  I served the soup with the not-so-healthy baked Red Lobster Biscuits (which Evan DEVOURED) but a hearty whole-grain bread would be wonderful paired with this soup.

SPRING GARDEN VEGETABLE SOUP with ASPARAGUS, ARTICHOKES, PEAS & SPINACH


6 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
4-6 cups water (to reach desired thickness)
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, cut into half circles
2 ribs celery, trimmed and cut into half-inch thick pieces on the diagonal
3 carrots, trimmed and cut into half-inch thick pieces on the diagonal
1 15-ounce can artichoke bottoms, tough bits sliced off and discarded, remaining parts cut into lengths
16 ounces frozen artichoke hearts (from Trader Joe’s)
8 ounces asparagus, woody ends snapped off, skin pared off if tough, spears cut into one-inch lengths, tips set aside
8 ounces frozen peas
8 ounces frozen spinach
Generous salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
Cream to taste (1/4-1/2 cup)
Optional: 2-3 cups chopped chicken
  • In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the leek, stir to coat with butter and let cook until just soft.
  • Add the celery and carrots to the pot, stirring to coat with butter and cooking until soft.
  • Add the artichoke bottoms, artichoke hearts and asparagus lengths (leave the tips aside).
  • Add the stock and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer until all the vegetables are cooked through. (Optional: Add cooked chicken at this point).
  • Stir in the asparagus tips, peas and spinach and let cook through. Add water to reach desired thickness.
  • Taste, then season with salt and pepper. Stir in cream to taste. Best if left to rest for 24 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from ALANNA’s TIPS

Family Favorites · New Favorite

Hot Wing Dip…anytime

Hot Wing Dip came into my life thanks to oldest daughter Megan’s friend, Jacqui.  It was instant love for both of us, although Megan prefers Ranch dressing vs. Blue Cheese dressing.  Either way, it’s a hearty appetizer that is great to share at a potluck, tailgate, Olympics gathering, or just because! This time I split the recipe into two 8×8″ or 9×9″ casseroles to share at different events.

Hot Wing Dip has the same impact as hot wings but 1) not as messy and 2) easier to prepare. What’s not to love?

HOT WING DIP

2 bricks cream cheese, softened
16 oz. bottle Franks red-hot BUFFALO sauce
16 oz. bottle Blue Cheese dressing (or Ranch dressing)
6-8 cooked chicken breasts (depending on if you like it creamier or a bit drier)
1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • Bake or steam the chicken, cool. Cut into smaller pieces. At this point you can either shred the chicken or place in a food processor to chop.

  • Combine chicken with cream cheese, sauce, dressing and 1/2 of chopped green onions (white portion). Sprinkle top of dip with chopped green portion of onions. Place in greased 9×13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes.

Serve hot with corn or tortilla chips, Ritz crackers, and celery.

Family Favorites · My Roots

Thanksgiving Turkey and Dressing

Turkey and Dressing baking the morning of Thanksgiving is such a sensory experience, bringing back fond memories of Thanksgivings past while creating new memories.

This photo of my Uncle George carving our Thanksgiving turkey in the 1960s while my Dad and Aunt Wilma watched (or snitched pieces of turkey) transported me back to the Smaha farmhouse and large family gatherings.

Uncle George carves Christmas turkey while Aunt Wilma and Archie watch 1961

Traditionally, my family made the dressing from only white bread. When I married, Karl introduced me to cornbread dressing and I’ve become a big fan. The texture and flavor of the cornbread are a great addition.

Roast Turkey and Dressing
Roast Turkey and Dressing

ROAST TURKEY AND DRESSING

1 bag dried bread cubes
1 pan cornbread, crumbled
Chicken or turkey broth
Chopped onion
1 egg, beaten
Sprinkle of sage & poultry seasoning
Celery leaves
salt & pepper

  • Put bread cubes and crumbled cornbread in large bowl and saturate with broth.
  • Add onion, egg, salt & pepper, sage & poultry seasoning. Season to taste. Add chopped celery leaves.
Turkey Dressing ready for the oven
Turkey Dressing ready for the oven
  • Make sure stuffing is moist!
  • Stuff mixture in and around the turkey or chicken.
Stuffed Turkey ready for the oven
Stuffed Turkey ready for the oven
  • Cover with aluminum foil tent until last 2-3 hours of roasting.  (Note for stuffing as a side dish, cook a minimum of 1-1.5 hours at 350 degrees.)
Family Favorites · My Roots

Old Fashioned Potato Salad…just like Mom used to make

Potato Salad was a must-have side dish for every picnic and barbecue.  My Mother made THE BEST potato salad ever and I can replicate it pretty well. There are no measurements, just a ‘pinch of this and a pinch of that’ type of preparation. When my Mother made it, she used onions from the garden and eggs from our farm.

My Potato Salad is pretty darn good, but you can never top what Mom could do!

POTATO SALAD

SALAD:
Boiled, peeled and cubed potatoes
Boiled, peeled and chopped eggs
chopped green onions (or sweet white onion)
celery seed (or chopped celery)

DRESSING:
mayonnaise
milk
prepared mustard
sugar
salt

  • Mix together potatoes, eggs, onions (and celery if desired).  Sprinkle with celery seed.
  • In separate bowl, mix mayonnaise with enough milk to thin to consistency of salad dressing. Add sugar and salt to taste.
  • Refrigerate for several hours before serving. The flavor is best the next day.
New Favorite · Vegetarian

Apple Pear Salad or is it really a Dessert???

My good friend, Jan, was telling me about her favorite Fall salad.  It sounded so yummy and had all the things in it that I love.  I made, I shared, I loved.  This is great as a side dish but it’s so yummy, it could easily be a dessert. Thanks Jan for the great idea!

APPLE PEAR SALAD

Fresh crisp apples, chopped
Fresh ripe pears, chopped
Celery, chopped

  • Chop the above into bite sized pieces and place in bowl.

Pecans
Sugar
Butter

  • Melt butter in saucepan and add brown sugar.  Stir together.
  • Add pecans and stir frequently under sugar is melted.
  • Pour mixture over fruit mixture. Stir & serve immediately.