Tuesday, October 25, 2011

USO Asian Cooking Course

Those of you who know me well, KNOW that I love to cook.
The kitchen is my favorite place in the house.
My goal living in Europe again, is to take as many cooking courses as I can.
I picked up the USO Kiosk magazine and discovered
an Asian cooking course on offer.  I'd never taken a cooking course with the USO
but thought, "Why not?"
I am so glad that I did!
Our teacher for the day Cecile was from the Philippines.
She taught us how to make pork egg rolls.

She had precut the ingredients to save time and

combined them in front of us in the USO kitchen.

She then showed us how to place the mixture on the egg roll
shell and
how to carefully roll the mixture up.
She finished by sealing with egg mixture.
That was the glue to hold the roll shut.

We all got "stuck in" and had great fun rolling
our egg rolls.

Cecile even gave us a bonus lesson in banana rolls.

She sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon over the banana
and rolled it the same way as our pork egg rolls.

Cecile then fried the egg rolls in about three cups of
Cannola oil.

Here she explains the technique!

The finished product!
OH MY, were they good!

I didn't want to give out Cecile's recipe, because people
paid a nominal fee for her course but, if you want to try
your hand at homemade egg rolls, you will find the
Lumpia wrappers in the frozen section at the commissary, near the frozen pizza.
On the back you'll find a pork roll recipe that is quite similar to
Cecile's recipe. If you don't have access to a commissary,
I'm told that any Asian market will have what you are looking for.

Last night I made these for Mac and he "raved on" about how good they were.
He gives them three thumbs up and says, "Give it a try, they were even better than the ones I've  had in restaurants!"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Marienhof, Flemlingen, Germany

If you want the best tips on excellent places to go in Germany,
always ask a local.
 We asked our friend Helmut where we should go that was pretty, interesting and
had good Neuer wine and Zwiebelkuchen.
This is the time of year for this yummy treat in Germany.

 Zwiebelkuchen is part of the autumn tradition in the Black Forest/Rheinland Pfalz area of the Germany. This onion tart was the very German food I sampled when we moved to Germany in September 1996. Our landlady made a divine Zwiebelkuchen to welcome us. It's similar to a quiche and besides the onions it also sometimes contains ham and sour cream.

Helmut told us we'd find what we were after at Flemlingen's Marienhof .
He said if you choose to sit on the terrace outside you enjoy a lovely view of the  mountains and the vineyards.

If you choose to sit inside the restaurant, you'll find it's honeycombed with interesting and
charming little rooms.

We loved walking through and seeing the different rooms.

It was hard to make a choice of where we wanted to sit and eat.

They even offer a playroom for children in a special little alcove.

I ordered up my Zwiebelkuchen and Neuer Wine.
New Wine is just that, new young wine, it's a bit sweet and not very alcoholic. 
It goes well with the onion tart.
It tasted wonderful and as always,
the first bite makes me wax nostalgic about our first four wonderful years in Germany.

Mac had the beef in a Spätburgunder wine sauce with
potato knödel. He said it was excellent.
This restaurant serves many of the typical
dishes from the Rheinland-Palatinate region as well, as being a

They even had their own song written in 1968 about wine from
Flemlingen up on one of the restaurant walls.
Mac says he gives this place a thumbs up.  Sorry I can't take his picture with his normal thumbs up,
he's busy wandering through the vineyard singing his new song!
Here's the info you will need.
Marienhof- Sylvia and Georg Minges
Bachstrasse 16
D-76835  Flemlingen

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thai RAINBOW GARDEN, Böblingen

Mac knows how much I enjoy Thai food and
he found a real treat for me.
Set in this unobtrusive building near Panzer,
you'll find a lovely surprise.

This delightful little restaurant, decorated in bamboo

gives the impression, you've wandered into a tropical hut
in Thailand.
We shared an appetizer of
Mag Kea Yeat Sai
This was a deep-fried eggplant (aubergine for you Brits)
stuffed with prawn (shrimp).
It was served with a sweet and sour sauce.
Number 5 on the menu.
We thought this was very good.

Mac had the Ped Pad Kimau.
This is  a spicy dish of stir-fried duck
with bamboo shoots, green beans and Thai vegetables.
Number 46 on the menu.
If you like spicy, this was excellent!

Being the curry lover I am, I opted for the
Gang Kiow Wan Ped
This was a stir-fried duck served in coconut milk, green curry paste with vegetables.
Number 47 on the menu.
I've never had a green curry I didn't like, it was wonderful.

We enjoyed the nice touch of the warm towels after our meal.

Deciding to share a dessert, we threw caution to the wind and tried something that sounded a bit strange.  It was a warm concoction of coconut milk with what we thought was
tapioca and corn.

Yes, CORN.  It didn't taste bad at all and while I wouldn't order it again
Mac was quite taken with this.  I am sorry I didn't get the name of it.

They even have this back room that seats 60 for larger functions.

Mac gives Thai Rainbow Garden two thumbs up and says to tell you,
We found the restaurant child-friendly.  The owners and wait staff are
polite, friendly, attentive and speak excellent English.
If you like Thai food, don't miss this restaurant
located at Postplatz 8
Böblingen, Germany

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Did you know you can buy DEER Meat in Germany?

 Did you know that you can buy Deer Meat at some supermarkets here in Germany?
I am from Maine and I love venison.
My grandfather was a hunter and we often had venison growing up.
For those of you who hate the thought of eating a "Bambi"
avert your eyes and read no farther.
I should point out that in our defense, we were from a poorer family and if Grandad didn't get a deer, we sometimes went without meat on our plates in the winter.

Look for REH- that means DEER.
I picked up this package at one of our local supermarkets in Nagold.
The deer is pre-cut into small pieces which are perfect for
my Venison Goulash Recipe.


Brown the venison in 4 tablespoons oil oil

When the meat is browned add:
                                                           1 teaspoon rubbed thyme (use dried thyme if you can't find the ground.)
1 teaspoon of Lawry's Seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons flour
Mix until the meat is evenly coated

Add it to an oven proof dish.
I use my cocotte. Place the cocotte in the oven, uncovered

Cook the venison in a 500 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
The meat should become slightly crusty.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan. Add 1 large clove of garlic
one onion, cut into small pieces. and 1 tsp. parsley. Saute until the onions are translucent.
I added onion powder to this mix instead of the onion because Mac
doesn't like the texture of onions which, is why you don't see onions in this pan.
Add this to the meat in your cocette.
Now add in
3 1/2 cups water
1 Knorr beef or lamb stock cube
1 14 oz can of diced tomatos
2 cups of fresh mushrooms

Cover the cocotte and place in a 350 degree oven for two hours.

I serve the Goulash over egg noodles.
This was Mac's first time having venison.
He loved the sauce but, thought he was eating a
drier version of beef........I thought it was really

Lichtenstein Castle, Germany

Mac loves castles. Last weekend he asked me if I wanted to go to a fairytale castle in  Lichtenstein.
"Honey," I said, "I think it's a bit too far away for a last minute trip to Lichtenstein."
He laughed, "Mimi, I am not talking about the Principality of Liechtenstein
between Austria and Switzerland.  I am talking about Lichtenstein Castle in the Schwäbische Alb region.
"Oh, that's only about an hour from us, sure, I'd like to do that," I agreed.
So we set our GPS to 72805 Schloss Lichtenstein Strasse

This castle is a fairly new castle in the scheme of things.
However; history tells us that there was a fortress there
in the 1200's.

King Frederick I of Württemberg came into possession of the ruins in 1802.
He passed the land to his nephew Duke Wilhelm of Urach in 1837.
Being inspired by the novel LICHTENSTEIN written by Wilhelm Hauff, he had the current
castle built in 1840.

The views from the castle gardens were amazing.

It was an enchanting place to walk around.

Do take the tour inside the castle where you will see the
 Knight's Reception Hall, Chapel
and various other rooms.

The present owners the Duke of Urach, his sisters and brothers have made this
into a place where there is something to do for all ages. 
They have an Adventure Park where you can swing through the trees
on ziplines.

There are walking trails, a grilling/picnic area and a playground
for the kiddies.

There is even a restaurant if you don't want to
It's called Altes Forsthaus

The castle even boasts a "Grill" cooking course.
will give you that information.
I love to cook and it's offered in the private garden, so
I am going to give it a try.
Here's my Mac giving our day at
Lichtenstein Castle the thumbs up.
Do go see this fairytale castle!
Do note that November, February and March the castle is
only open Saturdays and Sundays.
Lichtenstein castle is CLOSED December and January.