Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Not just any old burger

Corinne and I bought some thick sirloin patties from our local Supermarket, we do not eat a lot of hamburgers but these looked way too good to pass up (and they were super cheap!). We were talking about what to do to them, because we figured the just looked too good to ruin these bad boys with mustard and ketchup.

Corinne suggested I add some applewood smoked bacon and the guacamole that we had recently made to mine. I suggested that she add pineapple, Teriyaki sauce and mayo to hers.

Corinne loved hers, she agreed that the mayo is what pulled all the flavors together. Corinne is not really a big burger fan but that night she finished hers before I did.

Mine was fantastic as well, the guacamole and bacon complemented each other perfectly. Both salty and sweet (thanks to the applewood bacon), the flavors virtually exploded with every bite.

The only downside was that the burger patties shrunk A LOT :-(

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Holy Guacamole! (come on, what else would I call it? lol)

I figured its time to post a couple of more directly food related entries. Although I still have hundreds of more pics from our travels over the past year (Germany, Mexico, and various states around the U.S) and I will post those in between. I love traveling and trying new restaurants and new foods and I am eager to share those experience with you.

But for now lets make some Guacamole!

Two years ago, on a cruise we took of the Mexican Riviera, I discovered I liked Guacamole. Before that, as far as I knew, I hated the stuff, I stayed away from it at all costs. I had a foodie epiphany right there when I discovered there is such a huge difference between fresh homemade Guacamole and that green slime you get at your typical Mexican restaurant that there is no way they should share the same name.

Ever since then Corinne has been making me fresh Guacamole with the simple and quick recipe below:

2 Avocados (1 firm and 1 soft: to add differing textures)
1 small clove garlic finely minced
dash onion powder
dash cayenne pepper
1 - 3 teaspoons of your favorite salsa
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
salt to taste

Start by cutting and slicing the soft avocado.
(here is a video showing the easiest way to cut and avocado)

Place the soft avocado in a small mixing bowl and mash well with a fork.

Next, cut the the firm avocado and add to the bowl mashing it lightly to your desired level of chunkiness.

Add the lemon juice to the avocado mixture to prevent it from browning

Add the remaining ingredients to your personal preference and mix well.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Overseas Pizza

Pizza in Switzerland:

The toppings are Salami mit Ananas (Pineapple).

Okay, I know what your thinking; "He's writing about pizza?" I know it sounds pretty boring for a post on this blog, but the differences between what we as Americans are used to and what we encountered in Europe, I found interesting enough to write a quick post about.

We had this combination of Salami and Pineapples a few times in Germany, because its similar to a Hawaiian (but much better!) The Pizzas there can be very different from what Americans are used to. Both in odd toppings (fried eggs, peas, corn, seafood, rocket, have fun trying to get American pepperoni! Download the menu to see for yourself some of the differences) and in sizes. German pizzas are more commonly sold as individuals rather then a family size. We ate multiple times at Panther Pizza in Markgröningen (near Stuttgart), a couple times at sidewalk cafes in Munich and once in Switzerland (only place near our hotel that would take Euros and wasn't over €60 per person! It was probably just that we were near the airport but Swiss restaurant prices are outrageous!)

Corinne and I both discovered that the German salamis are by far superior to the Swiss salamis, however the cheese in Switzerland was just phenomenal. But really, would you expect anything less from the home of Emmentaler and Gruyere?
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Leipzig, Germany

While Corinne and I were in Leipzig, Germany, we spent the first night in the Gasthof Alt Engelsdorf. We had never been to Leipzig so we took my Grandfathers hotel recomendation because he stays there everytime he is in Leipzig visiting his sister. It has a history dating back over 100 years, though it was completely torn down and rebuilt about 15 years ago (which disappointed us because we are big history buffs.) Since it is relatively new, the hotel was in good condition and nicely decorated. We were given a room on the second floor over looking the parking lot. It was actually a nice view looking out the windows at the old buildings surrounding the Gasthof (kind of loud from people in the parking lot at night though). The rooms were nicely equipped and the complimentary breakfast buffett was decently stocked (pictured below). There was even American style breakfast sausage and eggs (which we did not find anywhere else on our trip!) We got in late and left pretty early so we did not experience too much of the hotel other then the room and breakfast, though we did take a quick tour as we were checking out and we discovered there was a bowling alley, bar and beer garden as well!


The second night we stayed in Leipzig, the Gasthof Alt Englesdorf did not have any vacancy so we took the advice of my Great Aunt and stayed around the corner from her at the Backhaus. This was a wonderful three story building that houses a bakery on the bottom floor. One of the owners, Veronika Krüger, helped us out. She was incredibly friendly and hospitable. She made us feel like a guest in her home. We stayed in a two bedroom "apartment" for a few Euro's less then our single room at the Gasthof. The Backhaus was in a neighborhood so it was very quiet at night. The minibar here was the only one I have ever used in any hotel I have ever stayed in. I was very suprised, all the items were labeled with their prices which were all very close to grocery store retail.

In the morning they had a typical German breakfast waiting for us in the downstairs dining room (pictured below). It consisted of freash bread from the bakery, soft boiled eggs, cold cuts, tomatos and strawberries with an assortment of teas and coffee. It was not as much of a selection as the Gasthof, however it was much better in quality and much more satisfying! Next time we are in Leipzig we will definately stay here again.


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Friday, August 7, 2009

Hofbräuhaus Dinner

Here is just a quick look at what we had for dinner at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. It is
Spanferkel (Suckling Pig) with Klöße (dumplings) . It was very good, crispy skin, wonderful flavor, however the meat was not as tender as I anticipated. But overall it was fantastic!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Update: we are still alive

It has been well over six months since Corinne or I have had a chance to post anything new. I just wanted to apologize to all of our readers and give a quick explanation of what has been happening in our lives. Since our last post, we have moved into our new house. That has taken up so much of our time getting things in order, fixing things that needed to be fixed and just getting settled in. Corinne finished up her student teaching semester which left basically no time for any good cooking or even sit down dinners. It was take out and microwave virtually every night. After she graduated we spent part of the summer in Germany (we do have a number of pictures I want to post from that as soon as possible). Now we are back home and Corinne is starting her 1st year teaching so its still going to be difficult to find time to cook good meals and share them with all of you. I will be doing my best to post more often and not let over half a year go by without any updates. Thank you all for your continued support!

p.s. below I added a couple pics from Germany, nothing food related yet, im going to save all the for a later post.

Looking up at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig

Top floor of the famous Hofbräuhaus in Munich

View from the top of the Völkerschlachtdenkmal in Leipzig.

(according to a sign in the viewing area, the building below is labeled as a Crematorium)

Garden Temple in Munich

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