Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Superleckere Gegrillte Kaeseschnitte

Eines unserer liebsten Mittaggerichte oder schnelle Abendmahlzeiten ist gegrillte Käse Schnitte. Das knusprige Brot und der warme geschmolzene Käse…eine wunderbare superköstliche Mahlzeit. Zutaten (fuer 2 Schnitten): 4 Schnitten Butter Cheddar Käse, Scheibenkäse Gouda Käse, Scheibenkäse Notiz: Du kannst Deine Lieblingskäsesorte benutzen. Der Käse muss aber Schmelzen können, ansonsten klappt es nicht. Zubereitung: 1. Erwärme eine Bratpfanne (am besten mit Antihaftbeschichtung). 2. Schmier ein kleines bisschen Butter auf die Aussenseite der Schnitten. (Das ist die Seite die in die Bratpfanne kommt. Pass auf die Brotscheiben nicht zu vertauschen, so dass sie übereinander passen. 3. Platziere eine Bortscheibe mit der Butterseite nach unten in die gewärmte Bratpfanne. Platziere die Käsescheiben auf die Schnitte und decke den Käse mit der anderen Brotscheibe zu. Die Butter dieser Schnitte soll nach oben zeigen. Wiederhole das für die andere Käseschnitte. 4. Unter niedriger Hitze, brate die Käseschnitte langsam, so dass der Käse schmilzt. Wende die Schnitte und brate sie bis beide Brotseiten gold-braun sind. 5. Verzehre mit Suppe, so wie Tomatensuppe oder gerösteter Paprikasuppe. We forgot to take pictures of the bread with black raspberry jam. Here a picture of grilled cheese.

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Epic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

One of our favorite fast lunch or dinner meals is making grilled cheese sandwiches. The crunchy warm bread and the gooey melted cheese…it’s like a flavor explosion in your mouth.

Bakery bread is amazing but using home-baked bread is even better.

So we used bread slices from the Classic White Bread https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/classic-white-bread/ we baked and made grilled cheese sandwiches.

Ingredients (Makes 2 sandwiches):
4 slices of bread
butter, preferably organic butter
Cheddar cheese, sliced
Gouda, sliced

Note: Choose your favorite cheese. We like using Cheddar and Gouda.

Preparation:
1. Heat griddle.
2. Slightly butter the outside of the bread (This is the side that will go on the griddle. If you have OCD like I do, you want to make sure to not confuse sides, otherwise the bread slices won’t align.)
3. Slice cheese.
4. With griddle warm and on low heat, place one bread slice (buttered side down) on the griddle. Layer the cheese on the bread slice and cover with other bread slice (buttered side up). Repeat for other sandwich.
5. Allow the cheese to melt, while carefully watching that the bread doesn’t burn. Turn the sandwich over to cook other bread slice, until both of the bread slices are golden brown.
6. Enjoy with soup, such as tomato soup or roasted red pepper soup.

Note: Can be made in non-stick pan, if you do not own a griddle.

We forgot to take pictures of the bread with black raspberry jam. Here a picture of grilled cheese.


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Classic White Bread

A few years back, my mom and I were walking through an art fair in Tallahassee, FL and we came across a stand by Neal Pottery. Among the beautifully made pottery was one piece that caught my eye: a small blue round pot with handles. The inside was not smooth but instead featured a spiral. Next to the pot stood a little booklet with bread baking recipes…I was intrigued. After a few questions about the functionality of the pottery piece, in which one can bake a one pound bread.

Not so sure if I was sold because of the looks of the pot or the functionality of it.

Since the purchase I have used the pottery several times. It works great. I am sure that the recipe below that was inspired by a recipe that came with the pot can be baked in any other baking dish. The bread is small enough to finish it within a couple of days between two people.

Ingredients:
1 1/8 teaspoons dry yeast
1 cup very warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter (use vegan butter to make vegan)
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½  to 3 cups organic all-purpose flour

Preparation:
1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Cover and allow time for the yeast to “bloom” (about 20 minutes).
2. Add the butter and half of the flour. Work the butter and the flour in with a fork. Add in the remaining flour (it is very dry where we live, so I only used 2 ½  cups flour). Knead the dough for about 3 minutes.
3. Shape the dough into a ball, and place in a greased Neal Pottery bread baker (I used a little bit of olive oil to grease it). Cover loosely with plastic wrap (also greased) and allow the dough to rise until the top of the dough is about ½ to 1″ over the rim of the pot (approximately 60 to 75 minutes).
4. Uncover and place in a cold oven and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the pottery and tap the bottom of the loaf–it should sound hollow.
5. Allow the loaf to cool (on a wire rack, optional) before slicing. Enjoy with jam (we forgot to take a picture 😦 ). Bread also works great to make grilled cheese https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/epic-grilled-cheese-sandwich/.

 

Neill's White Bread_6_small

 


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Crochet: Snowflake Christmas Ornaments

Of course, some times you have to dream big.

After having mastered the first steps of knitting and “knowing” how to crochet (or so I thought)…I figured I can easily learn how to crochet snowflake ornaments and send them as Christmas presents. So Hans and I went to the public library and I checked out “Crocheting: For Dummies” and “Christmas Crochet”. This book contains instructions for a snowflake pillow. I used the patterns for several snowflakes and turned them into ornaments.

crochet-christmas-book

The snowflake crocheting patterns were rather overwhelming at first. It was like looking at images of hieroglyphs. And once I started reading the Crocheting for Dummies book, I realized how little I truly knew about crocheting. WAIT?! There is more than just the two stitches I used to make the little woolen squares?! It took a bit of patience and practice but eventually, I succeeded in making snowflake ornaments.

Below you can find images of my snowflake ornaments.

Snowflake Ornaments_small

Ornaments on the Christmas tree =)

 


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Stricken: Schal mit Karomuster

Meine Tante ist ganz begabt mit Häckeln und meine Mama (liebevoll kleenes Muttel genannt) ist ganz begabt mit Stricken. Bis auf kleine Wollquadrate, die ich aus Wollresten gehäckelt habe als ich 15 Jahre alt war und zu einer Decke zusammengenäht habe, verstand ich vom Häckeln nicht viel. Und vom Stricken noch viel weniger.

Als mein kleenes Muttel mich letzten Sommer besuchen kam, hatte ich mir vorgenommen zumindest die Grundschritte fürs Stricken zu lernen.

Sie zeigte mir also wie man mit einer Rundstricknadel anfängt zu stricken und wie man gerade (G) und linke (L) Maschen strickt. Bewaffnet mit diesen Fähigkeiten, habe ich glatt beschlossen bis Weihnachten mehrere Schäle als Geschenke fertig zu haben.

Mit abwechselnden geraden und linken Maschen habe ich dann auch die ersten Schäle gestrickt.
Anleitung werde ich in den nächsten Tagen noch ergänzen. Hier sind schon mal die Bilder. 🙂

Karomuster Schal

Karomuster Schal

Weihnachtsgeschenk fuers kleene Muttel: Schal und gehaeckelte Schneeflocken

Weihnachtsgeschenk fuers kleene Muttel: Schal und gehaeckelte Schneeflocken

Also hier nun ENDLICH die “Anleitung”:
1. Reihe: 30 Maschen anschlagen

2. Reihe: gerade Maschen

3. Reihe: 4 gerade Maschen, dann 4 linke Maschen, und so weiter bis Reihe fertig ist
4G 4L 4G 4L 4G 4L 4G

4. Reihe:
4L 4G 4L 4G 4L 4G 4L

5. Reihe:
4G 4L 4G 4L 4G 4L 4G

6. Reihe:
4L 4G 4L 4G 4L 4G 4L

7. Reihe: Wechsel hier die geraden und linken Maschen, um das Karomuster zu erreichen.
4L 4G 4L 4G 4L 4G 4L

8. Reihe:
4G 4L 4G 4L 4G 4L 4G

Aller vier Reihen musst Du die Reihenfolge von linken und geraden Maschen vertauschen. Folge dieses Muster bis der Schal lang genug ist. Viel Spass =)

 


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Tasty Curried Lentils (aka Yellow Dal)

After the success (taste) of the last lentil dish (as well as failure as those green lentils did not become as soft as I remembered from brown lentils)…I was excited to come another recipe idea that used lentils.

This time red lentils. I still do not know what the difference between brown, green, and red lentils are. Obviously the color…but is one type of lentil better to use for one kind of dish over another?

Well, this recipe with some modifications turned out great.

 

Ingredients (3-4 servings)
1 cup red lentils, sorted and washed
2 cups vegetable broth (2 cups water and 1 veggie bouillon cube)
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ghee (if not at hand use another “fat”, such as olive oil or butter)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large chili, seeded and finely chopped (optional, we left it out as we only had jalapeno pepper or green pepper)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ cup coconut milk

Preparation:
1. Place the lentils, water, veggie bouillon cube, and turmeric in a medium pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer covered for 10 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Keep checking the mixture to make sure it does not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, if you are planning on eating rice with this dish, cook rice (we used Jazmin rice) according to package instructions.

2. While the lentils are simmering, heat the ghee in a small frying pan and add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft and golden, before adding the garlic, chili, cumin, and coriander. Cook, stirring 2-3 minutes and fragrant. Stir the onion mixture into the lentil mixture and then add the tomato. Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Season to taste and add the coconut milk. Continue heating the mixture, until heated through. Stir frequently.

4. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread.
See two recipes for homemade Naan bread: plain https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/supereasy-homemade-naan-indian-flatbread/ or with garlic https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/supereasy-naan-bread-with-garlic/

 

Flatbread served with Dal

Yellow Dal with Homemade Naan

Curried Lentils_5_small


Health benefits of this dish:
* It is homecooked, therefore you get to choose all of the ingredients for this dish.
* Tumeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also has antioxidant properties.
* Lentils are rich in fiber, copper, phosphorous, manganese, and iron. Additionally, they are a good source of protein.
* Coconut milk is rich in fiber and vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6. It also contains iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.


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Delicious & Easy Chickpea Curry

So the semester has started…I am teaching four upper level division classes plus wanting to start a science outreach project at local high schools…oi…very busy.

I am supposed to be working on a review paper…but I am sitting in the train right now, commuting home from work and decided to write up a couple of recipes that we recently tried.

I love chickpeas…it’s a bit weird but I could eat them straight out of the can. So when I came across another chickpea recipe, of course I had to try it. I like the Curried Indian Chickpea recipe https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/curried-indian-chickpeas/ that I blogged about earlier. However, this current recipe suggested very different spices to experiment with. I modified the recipe to our liking and here is what I made:

Ingredients (3-4 servings):
1 tablespoon ghee (if not at hand use another “fat”, such as olive oil or butter)
1 yellow onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ to ¾ teaspoon chili powder
½ to ¾ teaspoon salt
½ to ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ to ¾ teaspoon paprika
½ tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon ground coriander (as we thought we did not have any at home, we left this spice out, turned out we did have it…I will add it next time)
2 (14.5-ounce) can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can organic chopped tomatoes
½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala (available as powder at Whole Foods)

Preparation:
1. Heat the ghee in a medium pan. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, using medium heat until onion is soft. Add all of the spices (except garam masala) and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Stir in the chickpeas and tomatoes. Simmer over low-medium heat, covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you are planning on serving the dish with rice, start preparing the rice. Rice usually takes about 20 minutes to be made. We used Jasmine rice following the instruction on the package.

3. Stir in the garam masala and simmer, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.

4. Serve with rice and naan bread. Enjoy =)

 

Note: This dish stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator and can easily be reheated in the microwave.

 

 

Curried Chickpeas_3_small

Costco sells really yummy naan bread

 

Adapted from a recipe book that I used to own but rarely ever used, since I thought that most of the recipes wouldn’t taste good to me.