Monday, March 31, 2008

the best fake german dinner ever

Okay, so Matthew and I love German food. I have a great and very authentic german food cookbook but the recipes are often time consuming, although scrumptious. Last monday, I made a random cauliflower casserole with ham and swiss cheese but i didn't bake it until wednesday or thursday. Anyway, I thought it needed a bit more to go with it so I made a delicious pork roll with paprika and parsley. After I had that in the oven, I realized that the pork would taste delicious with some red cabbage, so for this I took an actual, authentic recipe from my german food cookbook. Anyway, by the end of it all, I had a delicious, but not not very authentic german meal and a very late dinner. Probably it tasted so good because we were starving.

Cauliflower casserole
1 head cauliflower cut into bit size pieces
1-2 cups chopped ham
a cup of swiss cheese, grated
2 cups white sauce*
a few tablespoons thyme leaves(a total pain, but well worth it)
a couple tablespoons ground nuts(I'm not sure what I had in the freezer, almonds or hazelnuts, I think)
salt and pepper to taste

Layer half of the ingredients into a dish, in this order:
cauliflower, salt and pepper, ham, cheese, thyme, white sauce, nuts. Then repeat. you can save a little extra cheese for the top if you want. I ended up cooking mine for way too long and I forgot to take the lid off during cooking. But it was still incredibly delicious. Anyway, cook at about 350 or 375 for 40-50 min. You can cook it longer if the cauliflower doesn't feel done. And you can take the lid off, or not depending on if you want it soupier or not. Mine was a total soup but so so good.

Pork roll
cut a pork loin into a nice sheet of meat. Then, salt and pepper it and sprinkle tons of paprika on it(probably use a tablespoon or more), then sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over it and finally lay thin slices or garlic all over the top with about 1/2-1 inch between each slice of garlic. Then roll tightly and tie with string.
brown roll on all sides in an oven proof pan and bake along with the casserole.

Just use any jarred red cabbage or find a sweet and sour cabbage recipe.

* Okay, so my white sauce is always just thrown together on the fly. I don't have exact recipes for all the different amounts you might need, like my grandmother has. Also, I don't buy milk so I always end up using almond breeze or buttermilk.
So, my rough recipe for white sauce
Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan. whisk in a sprinkle of flour and keep sprinkling and whisking it in until it makes a bubbly paste. Pour in milk or almond breeze(usually about two cups) until it looks right, which is to say, until it looks thicker than regular milk. I don't know, just spend years watching your grandmother make white sauce and you'll know how it should look. Then cook the sauce over medium-low heat, all the while whisking it until it thickens. You can salt and pepper the sauce if you want.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The new puppy

Well, the new computer seems to be fitting right in with the family. The two lappies have met and seem to get along alright. I'm still using the old one as my primary computer while we're setting up the new one.

Monday, March 24, 2008

a new addition to the family

Recently, Matthew and I broke down and ordered a new laptop to replace my 8 year old behemoth that it still going strong, but slow. My old Hewlett Packard Pavilion was a high school graduation gift from my parents. It is the most expensive thing they've ever bought me and one of the most useful gifts I've ever received from them, or anybody for that matter. After the first 6 months of working out the kinks, my lappy and I have always maintained a fantastic relationship and I dearly love it, which is why I get teary eyed at the thought of replacing it.

Now that my new lappy is on it's way I've grown increasingly anxious about how the two lappies will get along. Actually, I avoided buying a new one for quite some time because of that very reason. I didn't want to hurt the old lappy's feelings and I really expected it to die years ago. It has been a good and dutiful computer for ever so long and to just casually toss it aside for something new and shiny and light(yes the old lappy weighs at least 10 pounds) seems too cruel. Admittedly, for the past 2-3 years, my baby lappy has only worked while plugged in and during this past year it has taken a good 2-4 minutes for Firefox to start up every morning. And starting up any other program is just a joke. But still, I worry about it's little feelings. I'm just sure it's going to start acting up the very minute the new one gets here. Just like an old dog does when a puppy joins the house hold. Either that or the old lappy will give up and decide his little sweet life isn't worth living.

Either way, I worry about it's sad little fate.