Wednesday Funny.

Instructions for Microsoft’s New TV Dinner Product:
You must first remove the plastic cover. By doing so you agree to
accept and honor Microsoft rights to all TV dinners. You may not
give anyone else a bite of your dinner (which would constitute an
infringement of Microsoft’s rights). You may, however, let others
smell and look at your dinner and are encouraged to tell them how
good it is.
If you have a PC microwave oven, insert the dinner into the oven.
Set the oven using these keystrokes:
Then enter:
If you have a Macintosh microwave oven, insert the dinner and
press start. The oven will set itself and cook the dinner.
If you have a Unix microwave oven, insert the dinner, enter the
ingredients of the dinner found on the package label, the weight
of the dinner, and the desired level of cooking and press start.
The oven will calculate the time and heat and cook the dinner
exactly to your specification.
Be forewarned that Microsoft dinners may crash, in which case
your oven must be restarted. This is a simple procedure. Remove
the dinner from the oven and enter:
This process may have to be repeated. Try unplugging the
microwave and then doing a cold reboot. If this doesn’t work,
contact your oven vendor. The oven itself is obviously on the blink.
Many users have reported that the dinner tray is far too big, larger
than the dinner itself, having many useless compartments, most of
which are empty. These are for future menu items. If the tray is too
large to fit in your oven, you will need to upgrade your equipment.
Dinners are only available from registered outlets, and only the
chicken variety is currently produced. If you want another variety,
call Microsoft Help and they will explain that you really don’t want
another variety. Microsoft Chicken is all you really need. Microsoft
has disclosed plans to discontinue all smaller versions of their
chicken dinners. Future releases will only be in the larger family
size. Excess chicken may be stored for future use, but must be
saved only in Microsoft approved packaging.
Microsoft promises a dessert with every dinner after ‘98.
However, that version has yet to be released. Users have
permission to get thrilled in advance.
Microsoft dinners may be incompatible with other dinners in the
freezer, causing your freezer to self-defrost. This is a feature, not
a bug. Your freezer probably should have been defrosted anyway

Tandoori made easy.

I was raised with a somewhat bland type of cuisine. Meat, potatoes and a vegetable. Spicy was extra pepper at the dinner table.
The Dutch do have Indonesian cuisine but it wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I started to appreciate the complex flavors of both that way of cooking as well as Chinese. When we moved to the US in 1989 a whole new world opened up for me, I never knew this all existed before!
Where we live Asian and Indian restaurants almost outnumber the Latin and fine French restaurants. We love Indian food and it’s been one of the easiest ones to make at home because a lot of the spices are used in the Indonesian recipes and can be found in many Dutch spice cabinets.

Today I’m going to share with you:

Tandoori Chicken
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
salt and pepper to taste
4 chicken breasts or 6 bone in chicken thighs.
Combine yogurt and all the spices and turn to coat the chicken thoroughly
Cover and refrigerate, you can leave the marinade on as long as you want but be advised the longer you leave it the spicier.
Wipe off excess marinade and grill on the BBQ for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Turn the BBQ burners to low or move the chicken up a level if you have a BBQ like that and cook until done, 10-15 minutes more. Cooking the chicken on high heat will make them dry.

Serve with brown rice and

Cucumber Raita

1 cucumber peeled and grated
1 cup yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
1 or 2 gloves of garlic
parsley for decoration
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate.

Swedish Chef Sunday

Turkey Leftovers?

We survived Thanksgiving with only a pound of turkey left over.

Now what to do with the left-overs?
One thing I do every year is make a big pot of soup.
You can do this the day or so after or freeze the carcass and at a later date defrost and use.

I see the stock as a blank “slate” you can add ingredients to or keep it traditional.

Turkey “chicken” soup

Carcass, wing and thigh bones
Enough water to cover the bones
Cut up carrot,onion, salt and pepper
A bouillon cube, this you can find in any grocery store. Mine is from Knorr.
Noodles, those big fat ones would be good.

Poultry seasoning, I buy mine for the bird and keep some aside.

Cover the carcass with water
Add carrots, poultry seasoning,onion, salt, pepper and bouillon cube.
Let simmer on stove or crock pot 6-8 hours
Remove bones and strain the soup into a clean pan, I use a clean dish towel
Clean the meat of the bones
Return the meat to the soup and add noodles
Flavor with salt and pepper to taste and simmer on low heat until the noodles are cooked


Somewhat made from scratch, Baked Brie

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and somehow I don’t think you need me to blog about a turkey? Right?
It is my intention to blog about how we cook the bird, next year.

I’m going to take tomorrow off, unless the mood strikes me and I get a moment to myself.
New Adult is flying home tonight and her 3 days at home are looking like a grocery/wish list of foods and shops.
Starting with dinner tomorrow, Turkey, Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with bacon , peertjes, Scalloped potatoes and gravy.

I’m throwing this quick appetizer in the oven tomorrow, it will be a first for us as I’ve not tackled this dish yet.
But it looked good in my mind.

Baked Brie with Raspberry Jam

1 brie wheel
2 containers of Croissants (the kind you need to bake)
1 tbs butter
2 tbs of raspberry jam
egg yolk, mixed

Lay out the croissant dough in a circle
Put the brie on top
Fold over the dough covering the brie.
Brush with egg
Finally cover the top of the brie with jam and the rest of the dough sealing the brie in the dough.
Brush with egg again
Place on cookie sheet

Preheat the oven at 425
Bake the brie for 10 minutes
Brush with egg
Bake for another 10 minutes
Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.


You’ll love this side dish, I promise.

Ask any Dutch person about “peertjes” and they might very well drool.


Growing up this was the one dish my mom could cook to perfection, maybe because she was the queen of all things simmered/cooked forever.


I’ve always made it for Christmas, and for the last 21 years for Thanksgiving as well, because it is a bit of a fancy side dish. One that doesn’t really fit well with an every day meal for us.


Peertjes or Pears in Red Wine sauce.
(this will serve up to 6 people)


6, hard Anjou pears
Bottle of cheap red wine
1/2 cup sugar
2 cloves (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Peel pears and cut in 4 parts
Bring pears, wine and all other ingredients to a boil
Lower heat and let simmer until pears are soft.


You can bind the wine sauce with a little bit of corn starch if you want to eat it warm.
I always let the pears cool off and we eat it cold.


If you do bind it with corn starch, take a little bit of the sauce and stir a table spoon of corn starch until smooth.
Transfer to pan with pears and gently mix corn starch mixture in with pears/wine sauce.




Countdown to Thanksgiving is on.

Are you tired of the same potato dishes for the Thanksgiving menu?

We love Gratins, Scalloped potatoes as they are called here.

This dish was traditionally eaten by the peasants in the Dauphiné region which is a mountaineous region around Grenoble where we used to live.
This is an old favorite tweaked a bit to add shallots and make it a hit with The Boy.

It has been decided that while I am allowed to write up the recipe, Himself is the one who will make it.
My version is not up to the taste of the kids, go figure.

Gratin Dauphinois

6 medium sized yellow or new potatoes
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs butter
salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
1.4 cup heavy cream

Peel potatoes
Cut potatoes in thin wedges, 1/4 inch
butter an ovenproof dish and layer potato slices in a single layer
quickly saute the garlic and the shallot, do not brown.
evenly put little pats of butter on the potatoes and cover with the shallots and garlic
Season with the salt.pepper and nutmeg
cover with heavy cream

In a 325 oven cook until potatoes are soft, about 40 minutes.

If you want to be adventurous you might want to try adding cut up and cooked bacon, swiss cheese and chives.

Either way this dish is perfect for a holiday meal.


Swedish Chef Sunday

Crustless Quiche with bacon and Spinach

After proteins Quiche is the next best thing in our house.

The Boy has a perfect lunch to bring the day after and it tastes even better the next day.

Swap out the ingredients if you want, salmon or tuna for the protein. 

You can prepare this ahead or really fast. It’s tasty and also makes for great leftovers if you are so lucky.

Crustless Quiche

  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms, we like the mini portabella’s
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 package of frozen spinach
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbs parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup and 2 tbs Heavy cream
  •  1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt
  • 4 large or 5 small eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray oven proof quiche dish with cooking spray.

  • cut up bacon in small pieces
  • dice shallot 
  • cut mushrooms in small pieces
  • saute bacon until crisp, drain fat and set aside.
  • saute shallot and mushroom together until cooked.
  • defrost spinach well ahead and squeeze all water out of it
  • whisk eggs together and mix all the ingredients into the eggs.
  • bake on 400 for 15 minutes and then lower until 325 and bake until quiche is set. Generally that is 20-25 minutes.


Happy Birthday Martin, here is some Dutch food for you.

There is such a thing as Dutch comfort food and this dish is just it for a cold afternoon.

I cannot recall how many times I have made it in my life. It’s a bar type of food, we serve it at parties too. Easy to make ahead and very popular, trust me. It’s the original tapas!

Bitterballen (roughly translated “bitterballs”

They are not bitter though. The name derives from the drink they were used to be eaten with, “bittertjes”.

3 tbsp butter
4 tsp gluten free flour, or amount needed to thicken the roux
1  cup broth
2 cups thinly chopped meat, I’m using left over steak
1 tsp parsley
1tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup fine gluten free breadcrumbs
1 egg
Enough high heat oil, avocado or safflower oil, so that the bitterballen are submerged

Melt butter on low heat, you are making what is called a Light Roux
Add flour, make sure to stir well. You’ll get a mixture that looks lumpy
Let it cook for a minute and then slowly add milk
Stir until smooth and lower heat, keep stirring until it becomes a thicker mixture (thicker than cream of wheat but not as solid as oatmeal)
Turn off heat and add the spices and the meat.
Mix well and pour mixture onto a plate, refrigerate until cooled down and set, I leave it for a day.
With wet hands make 1/2 inch balls.
Roll in flower and put in a single layer on a plate
Mix eggs and dip balls in eggs and in breadcrumbs.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to fry

You can fry the bitterballen in 2 inches of oil in a pan or in the deep fryer until golden.(about 1-2 minutes)
Serve warm with mustard, the Dutch way.
Be careful as these will be HOT on the inside. Break open for kids so they don’t burn their mouths.


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