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German Asparagus Soup

You may think of potato soup as a quintisential German dish, but did you know Asparagus soup (which typically includes potatoes) is also popular? 

Asparagus gradually made its way to Germany in the 1500’s.  Currently the Deutsch are the 4th largest producer in the world.  When you are in Germany during Asparagus season, which is  early summer, you will find it prepared every possible way in restaurants. 

Texicureans visited with Barbara Laner in the Black Forest area of Germany to learn her time honored recipe. 

German Asparagus Soup

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 cups Asparagus, (peeled if larger than 1/2 “ Diameter) and cut into 2” pieces
  • 6 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • pepper to tasts

Instructions
 

  • Melt butter in large cooking pot
  • Add chopped onions and stir until slightly cooked.
  • Add vegetable broth and heat until almost bubbly.
  • Add potatoes and asparagus, stir and let cook on medium heat for about 40 minutes.
  • Stir and use either an immersion chopper, or place in increments in a blender until smooth.
  • Stir in sour cream
  • Sprinkle in nutmeg and ginger
  • Add pepper as desired.
  • Let sit with lid on for a few minutes.
  • Ladle in bowls and garnish with chives or parsley.

Video

Notes

  • You can also substitute squash for the asparagus in this recipe!

Mexican Flan

Mexican Flan

Prep Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • tbsp Adams Extract Vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • Place the 1 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp water in a saucepan and bring to a boil until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and stir until syrup becomes a light caramel color.
  • Pour into baking pan, and spread evenly across the bottom.
  • Blend the remainder of ingredients until smooth in a blender.
  • Pour mixture into baking pan and cover with aluminum foil. Set pan in a larger baking pan and add warm water to about 3/4 inch.
  • Bake for about 60 minutes or until flan appears firm. (Flan will continue to cook after removing from oven)
  • Let Cool. Run a knife around edge of pan. Place serving plate over flan baking dish and invert quickly.

Video

Notes

  • I have also made this flan without the sugar topping with great success. It cuts the sugar a bit.
  • It’s very important to preheat your oven for this recipe.

Hibiscus Tea

We still have warm days that call for a refreshing drink.  For a change of pace, try Jamaica or Hibiscus tea.

It’s healthy for you, has a lot of vitamins and its a beautiful, refreshing drink.

Simply add the dried hibiscus flowers to boiled water with a little sugar, a sweetener like stevia, or honey and let it steep.  Strain out the flowers, let cool and pour over ice.  Serve in glasses over ice.

I have even added a little lemon juice and mint for a slightly tart flavor.

You could also add sparkling water for a little fizz.

This is a drink you find quite often all over Mexico,  Its even quite common to serve a Hibiscus Margarita!

Hibiscus (Jamaica)Tea

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package dried Hibiscus Flowers
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1-2 cups dried hibiscus flowers
  • ½ cup sugar

Instructions
 

  • Rinse and drain the hibiscus flowers.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
  • Add the hibiscus flowers and sugar
  • Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes or so.
  • Strain
  • Chill and Serve

Video

Notes

  • I cut the sugar in 1/2 from the package recommendations, so you can adjust according to your taste.
  • If you just divide the dried flowers in 1/2, one package will yield 2 pitchers of tea.

Chiles en Nogada

 

Chiles en Nogada

Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Base Ingredients

  • 8 medium poblano peppers
  • 1 pomegranate fruit
  • 1 small bunch of finely chopped parsley

Picadillo Ingredients (meat filling)

  • 2 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 red or white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 roma rip tomatoes, blended into a smooth puree
  • 1 clove garlic to blend with tomatoes
  • cups water to blend with tomatoes
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup cranberry raisins
  • ½ cup dry candied pineapple
  • ¼ cup fresh, finely chopped apple
  • ¼ cup chopped bleach almonds
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp know chicken bouillon seasoning
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Nogada Ingredients (Pecan cream sause)

  • cup pecans
  • cup water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream, creme fraiche, or sour cream

Instructions
 

Picadillo:

  • In a large deep skillet, at medium heat, add oil and quickly sauté onion and garlic. Then add ground beef. Cook until done. Drain excess water after done.
  • Blend to puree ripe tomatoes with water end garlic clove until smooth, using a strainer when adding puree to meat.
  • When the meat and sauce start changing color to orange, add 1 cinnamon stick.
  • Continue adding the rest of ingredients, stirring slowly on low heat, letting picadillo cook until all juices are completely absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Let picadillo rest completely and cool before stuffing the chiles

Roasted Poblano Peppers:

  • If you have a gas stove, use tongs to roast the peppers directly over the fire while turning them around the flames. Once the skin starts blistering all around and still hot, wrap the chiles with paper towels and set them inside a large zip lock bag and seal. Let the chiles rest for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully peel charred skin of chiles in slow running water in your sink.
  • Make a small incision on the side of each Chile to take out the seeds and veins. Pat and dry chiles.
  • Stuff chiles carefully with the prepared picadillo and set on a platter.(Note: you may also roast chiles in a 425 F oventurning them over until the skin blisters)

Nogada:

  • Puree all pecans in a blender with 1 cup of water. Add water little b y little until very smooth. Add sugar and salt.
  • Add cream with a spoon until well mixed. Refrigerate.

Pomegranate (Seeds)

  • Carefully cut the top of the fruit, then slice the sides to take the thick skin off. An easy way to collect pomegranate seeds, is to submerge the fruit in cool water. The seeds will float and you can collect and drain.

Preparing to serve:

  • For an individual serving, set one stuffed poblano pepper in a dinner plate and generously pour creamy nut sauce over all. Add abundant pomegranate seeds and banish with parsley.
  • To make a casserole style you may arrange all the stuffed chiles in a deep platter, cover totally with creamy nut sauce and pomegranate seeds. Garnish with parsley.

Video

Notes

Chiles en Nogada are generally served at room temperature, but some people like to eat them warm. So, before you serve them, you may only warm the stuffed chiles, but NOT the Nogada cream sauce. Add sauce after warming.
Enjoy!

Gazpacho with Coffee Glazed Bacon

Love tomatoes, colorful peppers, and cucumbers? Gazpacho is the combination of all those combined in an iconic Spanish cold soup. Try it for a great way to chill on hot summer days at lunch or supper.

This recipe elevates the spicy, bright and rich soup with coffee glazed bacon and sour dough croutons. You may even say that they all become best friends in your mouth! After all, what isn’t better with bacon on it?

Just save some of that morning coffee and see what happens!

Gazpacho topped with Coffee-Glazed Bacon

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Course brunch
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Gazpacho

  • 1 organic or hothouse cucumber
  • 1 each red, orange, and yellow peppers (cored and seeded)
  • 8 plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 32 oz organic tomato juice
  • ½ cup rice or white wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup Texas EVOO
  • tsp kosher salt
  • tsp freshly ground black pepper

Sour Dough Croutons

  • 4 slices sour dough bread cut into 1" square pieces
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Coffee Glazed Bacon

  • 12 oz bacon
  • ¾ cup strong coffee
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch of pepper and salt

Instructions
 

Gazpacho

  • Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell pepper, tomatoes and red onions. (Add the garlic to the red onions)
  • Pulse each vegetable separately in a food processor
  • Combine in a large bowl and add tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Chill in fridge for at least a couple of hours.

Sour Dough Croutons

  • Toss with Olive Oil and bake at 375 for 6 minutes.

Bacon

  • Cut the bacon into narrow strips about 3 inches long
  • Heat the pan and place the bacon in the pan, cooking until no longer raw.
  • Pour in the coffee and maple syrup. Add salt and pepper. Cook until the coffee completely evaporates from the pan and bacon is dark and carmelized.

Video

Notes

To Serve: Pour into individual bowls and top with croutons and bacon.

Zucchini Brownies

If you have ever raised zucchini you have probably had this happen:  You walk into the garden and discover the gargantuan of all zucchini that was previously hidden under a leaf!
So, what to do?  Here’s an idea that is a crowd pleaser and healthy at the same time:  Zucchini brownies.
Moist, with just the right amount of chocolate sweetness – you will surprise the folks you share them with when you share the secret ingredient.
The icing is great, but my friend Karen prepared it sans the icing and served it to rave reviews.  So, you choose – to ice or not to ice!

Zucchini Brownies

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • cups white sugar
  • 2 tsp Adams vanilla (can use up to 1 tbsp)
  • 2 cups Texas flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and vanilla.
  • Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Spread evenly in to the prepared pan.
  • Bake 25 - 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched.

Frosting

  • Melt together 6 tbsp cocoa and butter (or margarine, but I always suggest butter)
  • Blend together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.

Video

Adventure Ready

Texas is a plethora of adventures waiting to be explored. Rivers, lakes, hills, forests, and trails all await our discovery. Being physically ready to tackle a hike, navigate a river in a kayak or enjoy a day walking the beach, simply makes it more enjoyable.

Below  Jessi Oehler shares with you some key exercises that you can do in your own home for a few minutes a day thereby developing muscles ready to tackle a fun outing.

5 Rounds

10 – 15 squats to bench or chair

5 – 10 push ups to bench or chair

10 -20 Alternating Lunges

10 – 15 Knee Raises

View the video below for a demonstration

Meal Prepping

Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins

Ingredients
  

  • Chicken Breasts - Number dictated by # of Meals
  • Whole Pork Butt or Shoulder
  • Low Sodium Canned Black beans and corn
  • HEB prepared Pico
  • 2 - 3 Veggies of choice

Instructions
 

  • Baked Chicken: Dice raw chicken breast, season with your favorite seasonings and place in oven on 375 for 20-25 minutes.
  • Crockpot Pulled Pork: Place pork butt or shoulder in crockpot with 1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce. Cook on high for about 4 hours
  • Pico: Combine low sodium canned black beans and corn with HEB prepared pico. Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Roasted Veggies: Chop veggies of choice and place on a baking sheet. Season with your favorite herbs. Can toss with a little EVOO if desired. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for about 10 - 15 minutes.

Video

 

Grandma’s Cucumber Salad

It’s Summer in Texas, Y’all! One of the first crops in the garden in cucumbers.

This recipe holds a special memory of staying with my Grandma on her farm and walking out into her huge garden to pick veggies for supper. (Dinner is the term for lunch on the farm).

Since her farm house wasn’t air conditioned, this cool cucumber salad was literally an elixir for the heat. I love the creaminess of the sour cream and the tartness of the vinegar in this recipe. If you keep greek yogurt on hand, you can also substitute for the sour cream.

Organic, hydroponic or cucumbers from your garden don’t need to be peeled. I use a mandolin that can be adjusted for thickness. My grandmother sliced them razor thin; I tend to go slightly thicker.

Also, Texas sweet onions can be substituted for the red – you just won’t have as much color. My friend, Cathy, adds pimientos for color.

Keep a couple slices to place on your eyes for a quick spa treatment!

Grandma's Cucumber Salad

Prep Time 15 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Combine cucumbers, onion, vinegar, honey, sour cream, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 20 minutes or so.

Video

Notes

  • If you use organic cucumbers, or pick them from your garden, you don’t need to peel.
  • I use a mandolin to slice the cucumbers, but a food processor will work as well.
  • Greek yogurt can be substituted for the sour cream.

RV Cookin’

Tangy Honey Slaw

This tangy Cole slaw can be used as a side dish or you can add protein for a complete lunch.

I use local Texas honey, Texas olive oil, and a good apple cider vinegar with the “mother”.

A huge plus of this salad is that it will last two weeks in the refrigerator! Talk about a time saver!

So, invite some friends over ( it serves 12) or enjoy it as a quick side on summer nights for you and your specials.

Tangy Honey Slaw

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 2 large Texas sweet onions
  • 1 cup Texas local honey
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¾-1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • ¾ cup EVOO

Instructions
 

  • Shred cabbage and onions in a food processor.
  • Mix Honey, vinegar, salt, mustard, and celery seed and oil in a saucepan and bing to a rolling boil.
  • Pour over cabbage and cover immediately.
  • Chill 2-4 hours

Video

Notes

Will keep up to two weeks refrigerated.