Midwest Brats


This dinner used brats and beer. I used Miller 64 in the recipe because the idea of cooking with three Boulevard Oktoberfest beers just about gave my husband a heart attack. The salad was meant to counteract the butter and brat.


Apple Pie

Tonight, for dinner, I bring to you…. apple pie/turnover with wine! Yes, I am considering this a main dish :)

On another note, I think the overall balance of my diet has taken a turn for the worse. 

~Morena Uno






It’s the month of October! Morena A has issued the following challenge:

Make two main courses and one side dish, breakfast, bread, dessert or salad using five of these six ingredients: 



Oktoberfest beer




September wrap up

So, September got away from me a little there, but here’s the wrap up:

Thailand: Take out pad thai with a ton of chopped peanuts on the side. It was delicious!

France: Brie on a multi grain baguette with red wine! Can’t get more French than that, right?

Delicious month! Can’t complain about a reason to eat cheese 🙂

~Morena Uno


France – Steak with Bearnaise, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and String Beans with Shallots

Ok the real question is why are the French not fat. This was the real deal – heart attack on a plate – and the yummiest thing I’ve made in years. We all decided that for the rest of the week we’ll be eating salads. But – it was worth it!

The Barefoot Contessa Steak with Bearnaise – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/steak-with-bernaise-recipe/index.html

Easy French Food – Garlic Mashed Potatoes – http://www.easy-french-food.com/garlic-mashed-potato-recipe.html#.Ukjle4ZOOSo

The Barefoot Contessa String Beans with Shallots – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/string-beans-with-shallots-recipe/index.html


~ Nana Morena


Thailand – Sukhothai Pad Thai

This was a hard one for a girl in Idaho. I couldn’t find tamarind pulp or oriental radish in our stores. I don’t know how much they would have changed the dish. This one I’d say is just OK. It was a little sweet for me. I’m not familiar with Thai food, so maybe that is what it was supposed to be like. I’m sure it would help to live somewhere with an oriental grocery store. 

This recipe was from allrecipes.com  

Sukhothai Pad Thai



~ Nana Moreno (Grandmother to the cutest grand-baby)

Argentina – Steak Gaucho-Style with Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce and Homemade Fries

I got both of these recipes from the Food Network. They were both just as good as you would expect. Ryan would love the steak. (I did!) The sauce is well worth the effort.

Argentina  –  Steak Gaucho-Style with Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/the-surreal-gourmet/steak-gaucho-style-with-argentinian-chimichurri-sauce-recipe/index.html

Emeril’s Perfect French Fries – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/perfect-french-fries-recipe/index.html


~ Nana Morena


Israeli Sarah’s Sabih

I made this Sabih which was billed as “The Best Pita Ever!” I don’t know if it is the best pita I’ve ever had, but it may be the best one I’ve ever made. The only drawback is the eggplant. I do love eggplant, but it really soaks up the oil when you fry it. That made the dish higher in calories than I’d like. I honestly think you wouldn’t miss it if you left it out. Then it wouldn’t be a Sabih, though. I think all the recipes I found had eggplant. Does anyone know how to fry eggplant so that it doesn’t soak up all the oil?

Sarah’s Sabih or “The Best Pita Ever!”


~Nana Morena

Israeli Chicken Sandwiches



This recipe is just a slight variation of this Rachael Ray recipe:


I have no idea how authentically Israeli this recipe might be, but as with absolutely every Rachael Ray recipe, it is deeelicious. Also not exactly what you would call healthy, but that’s because the two of us ate the entire recipe.
Finally, this was quick! Yay for an easy weeknight meal!
Serves 2 people who like to eat.
2 chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 red tomatoes
1 yellow tomato (I was so excited to find this at Kroger, but it just tasted like a tomato)
1/3 red onion
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 naan breads
Rachael recommends grilling, but we don’t have a grill. AND I really wanted to play with my new toy: this 12 inch cast iron skillet!
Preheat the oven to 400. Dip a paper towel in vegetable oil and wipe the inside of the skillet so it glistens greasily. Place over burner on medium heat. While it heats, mix up paprika, cumin, oregano, pepper flakes, and salt. Rub olive oil into chicken thighs. Rub spices into both sides of chicken thighs. When you can smell the pan (but before it smokes!), place thighs in pan. Cover loosely with foil. After about 2 minutes, flip the thighs. Give them another 2 minutes, and then put the whole pan in the oven. Set timer for 15 minutes.
While those thighs bake, chop tomatoes and onion. Mix with parsley, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, and olive oil. Add more salt to taste.
Check the chicken. If done, pull out the pan and place the naan in the oven. Use tongs to pull the meat off the bones. I also removed the huge chunks of skin because they gross me out. Swirl the chicken meat around in the spicy juice in the bottom of the pan. 
Fix up some sandwiches! 
p.s. In case you’re wondering what that sauce in the picture is, it’s an Idaho classic: fry sauce. Mayo, ketchup, and a dash of cayenne. It’s a way to make oven fries a bit healthier!

French Chicken Cassoulet and Peasant Bread


This meal definitely needs a good red wine!

Cassoulet (recipe adapted from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-and-Delicious-Slow-Cooker-Cassoulet/Detail.aspx)

Serves 4


5 ounces smoked sausage (1/3 off a big ring), cut into little rounds and then into fourths

4 slices bacon

2 chicken breasts, diced into small pieces

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp bay leaf flakes

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup water

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cans Great Northern Beans


Six hours before dinner (or the night before). Fry bacon until crispy. Set aside for later. Add onion to pan. Cook until soft. Add chicken. Cook until browned. Add sausage, garlic powder, bay leaves, pepper, and salt. Stir in water, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes. Dump entire mix in crock pot. Turn on low.

One hour before dinner, add beans and crumbled bacon to the pot. Stir. Serve when beans are heated through.

Peasant Bread (not my recipe, but I don’t remember where it came from!)


For the Poolish:
1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water (not hot! You don’t want to kill the yeast!)
3/8 cup flour
For the Dough:
1 1/4 cups warm water
1/4 tsp yeast
3 cups flour
1 tbsp salt


The night before, mix poolish ingredients until completely combined. Cover and store in the fridge.

Bring poolish to room temperature. Place in bread maker pan. Add dough ingredients in the following order: water, yeast, salt, flour. Cook on french bread setting.