Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bavarian Comfort Food: "Schnitzel" Wiener Art with Brown Butter Spätzle

My love story with German food started in high school.

I took German as foreign language and loved the class. (Mr. Cozy happened to also be in that class and went on to take it in college, so he's much better than me!) Our teacher is originally from Germany and is now a friend of mine.  She made that class so authentic and fun--especially whenever she cooked for us!  Her warm German potato salad and creamy cherry cheesecake were two of my favorite dishes she made.  I really need to try my hand at that cheesecake!  Anyways, she introduced me to authentic German food and I immediately loved it!

Fast forwarding a few years, Mr. Cozy and I went to Europe with her and some other friends and were able to experience the cuisine first hand. It was this magical European trip where my husband proposed to me on a mountain top in the Swiss Alps. 

Can you say, "The Hills are Alive!!!..."

With the sound of "Yes!"

Wiener Art or Schnitzel may sound strange, but German and Austrian comfort food is actually quite similar to some of ours. This particular dish is basically chicken breast pounded out thinly, breaded and pan fried. Simple and good!  I've eaten it with yummy lemon sauce before, but here I just drenched it with a lemon wedge and it's complete.  That's usually how you'll find it served.

Spätzle is delicious homemade pasta/dumplings/yumminess.  I did not make these homemade, but found some at (my fav!) Fresh Market specialty grocery.  They cook up so light and tender making them a perfect pairing with the crispy schnitzel wiener art.  

Served with summer roasted vegetables, this Bavarian meal brings back some of my favorite memories that I'll always treasure!


"Schnitzel" Wiener Art
 (Forgive me! This is not a precise recipe.)

Olive oil


Chicken Breasts



Italian seasoned Breadcrumbs

Dried Thyme

Salt and Freshly Cracked Pepper

Start by laying out your chicken breasts on a cutting board.  Using a very sharp knife, I cut my chicken breast horizontally making two breasts out of one. 
(You don't have to do this, but if not you will have huge portion for each one and a lot of pounding to do!)
Place aluminum foil or wax paper over top, and using a rolling pin I just pound them out to about thin.  Not so thin that they begin to fall apart, but about 1/4 inch or so.

Squeeze some lemon juice over the top and season with some dried thyme, salt and freshly cracked pepper. 
(You can use regular pepper, but you really should consider buying a pepper mill.  It's worth it! Love mine!)

Get out 3 flat dishes with sides.  Pie pans work great, too.

In one, put enough flour to coat your chicken.  Season this salt and pepper

In another, put your egg(s) and add a smidgen of water.

In the last, and closest to the pan, put your seasoned breadcrumbs.
I added more salt and pepper and a bit of paprika to this for color.

Add about 1 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tbsp oil to the pan.  Heat to medium-high heat.

When pan is hot and after dredging through the three pans of flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, carefully place chicken in the hot skillet.

After a couple of minutes, flip over the chicken to cook the other side until golden and crispy. It doesn't take long, because they're so thin.

~ Don't nearly burn them like I did! ~

Once cooked, place them on a stack of paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt.  Serve hot with a large lemon wedge and enjoy!

Brown Buttered Spätzle
Cook spätzle according to diretions.  (Usually boiling it for about 13 minutes.)  Easy!!!

In a saute pan on low heat, melt about 1-2 Tbsp of butter, depending on how much spätzle you are making.  Cook until butter slightly browns.  Take pan off the heat now.  It may look curdley (is that a word?) but it's so good!

Toss the cooked spätzle in the butter, and add salt and pepper to taste.  YUM!!

Serve on the side with the Schnitzel and congratulate yourself on cooking German/Austrian food!

I'm linking up with:



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Family Farmhouse Breakfast

I. Love. Country breakfasts.

Especially when my mom is doing the cooking and we're eating in her cozy farmhouse kitchen.  On this particular morning, it was delightful to wake up to the aroma of warm muffins and bacon frying.  We drank the first cup of coffee on the front porch while Mom was finishing breakfast.

We came in for the weekend for a fun visit and a hike around Hematite Lake. This big breakfast was not for any particular occasion.
Mom is just "the best" like that!

When fixin' a big breakfast, my parents pour the milk into one of their antique, glass milk jugs for a old fashioned experience. (Besides, who wants a gallon of milk on the table?)  We are a very nostalgic family!  :)

Look here at the extra crispy, thick cut bacon and homemade hash browns.

Wow, this looks good right now!

Unbelievably moist, spiced apple & pecan muffins on one of her beautiful cake plates that she collects.   Her kitchen is full of pretty things.  I love the cherry branch photo in the background, and the china cabinet you see is mostly filled with family kitchen heirlooms. 

I bought Mom this cream & sugar set at a little shop in Asheville, NC.
Look how dainty they are!

Toast and strawberry jam.

Golden scrambled eggs lie on a Currier & Ives plate.  This is a beloved family collection that was passed to my parents.

This adorable cherry tablecloth is one of my favorite's of hers.  Simply sweet.

You can see the refreshing fruit salad on the table filled with blueberries cherries, and kiwi! 

I wish you could see the beautiful view outside of  rolling farmland through this picture window.  It's lovely to sit at the table and eat breakfast with a view like this.  I often sit at this table and talk to mom while she is cooking.  Thinking about times like this reminds me of how blessed I am with my family.  God is so good! 

 I like the way mom didn't use all the same dishes here.  It's more casual to use ones that just coordinate.  Look at these pretty napkins and rooster plates-- nothing says French country more than these!  They are in her favorite color, red!

The morning sunlight was streaming in on our delicious, country breakfast table!

Now do you see why I call their house a Bed & Breakfast?!? 

Thanks so much to my wonderful parents for always making our stay so warm and inviting- and fun!!!

I'm linking up with:


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Homegrown Cucumber Salad

Good Morning Friends!

This is a very simple recipe that will give you possibly a new way to use some of the abundance of your garden!  We are blessed with grandparents who have big "family gardens", so they love to share their harvest with everyone!  We've had home grown tomatoes and cucumbers growing out our ears (so to speak!).   Just knowing that our loved ones used their hands to plant and tend to these beautiful vegetables in family soil makes every bite seem a bit tastier.  

This salad is so simple. No really, it's almost embarrassing how few ingredients there are.  We love to eat this  with just about anything in the summertime, especially when we are grilling or have a platter of fried chicken.  This salad is not only bright in color, but flavor as well with the simple ingredients and addition of the fresh basil.  When peeling the cucumbers, I do what my mom and granny has always done--I like to leave thin  stripes of the peel so that when you slice them, they have pretty two-tone green cucumber in your salad.  It's the small things remind me of home.

I'm going to take advantage of the fresh vegetables and fruit while they still last.  In a few months we will only be dreaming about taste of the fresh summertime harvest that we now have at our fingertips!

Homegrown Cucumber Salad

3-4 Cucumbers, peeled and sliced

2 Slicer Tomatoes, rough chopped

Newman's Own Olive and Vinegar Dressing

Fresh Basil
(shredded, torn, however you like)

Salt & Pepper 

In a bowl, put the cucumbers and tomatoes.  

Add enough dressing for the vegetables to be completely saturated, plus some.  

Add salt and pepper to taste.  

Mix all of this together and allow to sit for at least 2 hours covered on the counter or overnight in the fridge.  

Before serving, stir again and add the fresh basil to the top.  
Serve with a slotted spoon and enjoy!

Serves 6-8

Thank you to Kim at Savvy Southern Style for featuring my peanut butter cookies.  Please check her beautiful home out if you haven't already!

Linking up with:



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Decadent Peanut Butter Cookies!

Wow, the weather has been just perfect these past few days!  Sunshine and highs in the low 80's with a constant breeze....is this really August??  I'm lovin' these summer days!  

I've been in the mood to make some really good peanut butter cookies lately.  You know, that over-the-top kind with lots of peanut butter morsels and crunchy peanut butter, the kind that are chewy on the inside and a bit crumbly on the outside--indulgent peanut butter cookies!  Well, I finally found that perfect recipe over at Sugary Sweets, a great food blog that I've enjoyed following!  (Please check her recipes out, because she has some fabulous ones!) This is exactly the peanut butter cookie Mr. Cozy and I were craving!  I decided to make a batch while we were watching a movie Saturday night.  (I love my weekends with my husband!)

I know I say this a lot, but I love the aroma of something tasty baking in the oven.  There is nothing better, in my opinion, that says "home sweet home" than freshly baked cookies, warm bread or a bubbly pie sitting on the stove top when your family gets home or friends come by for a visit.  I am all about a comfy, cozy home that stimulates all the senses!  These delicious peanut butter cookies certainly gave me that warm fuzzy feeling!

I have a wonderfully easy family recipe, that I've always loved, for peanut butter cookies.  They are simple and delicious and I'll have to share them with you another time!  These peanut butter cookies that I'm sharing with you today are a bit more involved, but are filled with all that extra goodness!  Please give yourself the opportunity to make your home waft with welcome and your taste buds dance with delight with these decadent peanut butter cookies!  

Don't you love my fresh sunflower arrangement?   

As Mom has always said, they are a "happy" flower!

Decadent Peanut Butter Cookies

2 1/2 c. brown sugar

1 c. butter flavored Crisco

1 1/2 c. crunchy peanut butter

1/3 c. milk

2 tbsp. vanilla

2 eggs

3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 bags peanut butter morsels

Combine sugar, Crisco, peanut butter milk, vanilla.   Add egg.  Beat in flour salt, and baking soda.  Mix in morsels.

Drop by large Tbsp on cookie sheet.  Flatten with fork, making criss-crosses.

Bake at 375 for 10-13 minutes.  (I found that 9-10 minutes worked best for me.)

These make a large batch (about 4 dozen), so I divided the recipe in half for us.  

I'm linking up with:


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Finger Lickin' Good, Sticky Slow Cooker Drumsticks

This recipe is sooo good and incredibly easy!  Spicy, sweet and sticky chicken legs that have been slow cooking for hours for fall of the bone, tender goodness that basically just melt in your mouth!  This is truly a dish that the whole family will enjoy eating together.  I made this during a very hot spell we had last week whenever I wanted a grilled chicken taste without having to go outside in the heat and sit by a hot grill.    

You may ask, what's the crumpled foil for?  Well, it keeps the drumsticks more crispy and "dry-rubbed", rather than the usual braised crock pot meat.  (I love braised, but maybe not for this recipe.)  I heard about this trick, and I decided to try it here for the first time.  It worked out great!  They had more of the look and taste of bbq or smoked chicken legs.  I made these with some baby potatoes that I also put in the crock pot and delicious molasses baked beans--my mouth is watering as I speak--they are that good!

For an easy family meal, please try these finger lickin' good, crock pot drumsticks and don't forget to wash it down with some fresh lemonade or sweet tea! 

Sticky Slow Cooker Drumsticks

2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. thyme leaves

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. black pepper

4 lbs. chicken drumsticks, skinned if desired
(I skinned mine)

1/2 water

1/2 c. chicken broth or stock
(Or use can just use water if you don't have this on hand.)

foil for crumpling up in crockpot

Mix the spice ingredients together in a small bowl.

Rub into the chicken legs.

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat.  When hot, place the chicken in the skillet to sear on all sides, for a crispy crust.   You don't want to cook it through, just brown the meat.

Place the foil in the bottom of your crock pot.  Pour the water and chicken broth (or like I said, just water if that's all you have) in the bottom of the crock pot, underneath the foil.  This will allow more steam to come up and keep the chicken moist.

Place the chicken legs on the foil.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, until very tender.
 (Mine were just right after about about 7.)

Serve with additional bbq sauce if you like.
Eat and enjoy!

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