Winter Olympics Cooking ~ Day #13 – ITALY!

I’m Italian. Oh my goodness…are you shocked!? Which means that our country last night was Italy!

A part of me wanted to try a brand spanking new Italian recipe, but an even bigger part of me just wanted some good old fashioned spaghetti and meatballs. Spaghetti always wins!

Dinner consisted of spaghetti, meatballs, salad, and mascapone brownies.

Confession time: I’m typically a jar sauce kinda girl. It’s just so much easier than waiting an hour or whatever to simmer some tomatoes. However, for the Olympics I made my own sauce. I just had to. For this I turned to Jamie Oliver’s Basic Tomato Sauce recipe.

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Plum tomatoes getting ready to simmer

Meatballs are honestly pretty straight forward. I really only glance into my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook to refresh my memory on the temperature and cook time. You can really add whatever you want to your meatballs. I’m a green pepper and onion person. My mom loves garlic in her meatballs. And guess what? I still think she makes the BEST meatballs! I don’t even try to attempt making her meatball recipe because I would just do it all wrong.

The beaten up falling apart cookbook

The beaten up falling apart cookbook

Now I know everyone was expecting some fresh pasta from me. Yeah…that’s not happening. We do own a pasta maker but man! It’s just too much work! It’s a 5 person job! So the boxed stuff it was!

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Dessert was supposed to be tiramisu but I could not find lady fingers anywhere! So instead I made Mascapone Brownies. They were amazing!

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So what will our next meal be? Something I’m kinda scared of!

Do you want to try some of these yummy recipes?? Just follow the links below! 

Sauce – http://recipecircus.com/recipes/carolyn/PASTA/Jamie_Oliver39s_Basic_Tomato_Sauce.html

Meatballs – http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-make-Italian-meatballs/

Mascapone Brownies – http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-one-bowl-mascarpone-bro-84470

Winter Olympics Cooking ~ Day #12 – Great Britain

I know you have been driving yourself absolutely crazy thinking about Ziti all day! Admit it…you’ve been walking around thinking, “So if Ziti is half Polish…I wonder what his other half is?!” Well worry no more my friend…he is also half English. Which means that our country for tonight was Great Britain!

Our main dish was Bangers and Mash. Which sounds like something you crazy kids do in the pit at a Dropkick Murphys concert! Bangers and Mash is simple. It’s a pile of mashed potatoes with sausage thrown on top. Beef gravy with onions and mushrooms is poured on top of the potatoes and sausage. Carrots and peas is served on the side. It is a fantastic combination and you have to make sure you have every component on your fork in order to truly enjoy this dish.

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We had to eat quite early because Stelline had a basketball game at 7. Which by the way, she totally kicked butt! She scored 7 points with 3 of those points belonging to a beautiful 3 pointer!!! Anyway…after the game we came home and enjoyed an English snack.

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Very sweet cheese and crackers!

Then of course shortly after that we had to have dessert. We just visited the International aisle at the grocery store.

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Hoping that tomorrow will be one of my favorite countries. Hmm…I wonder what that will be?!

Winter Olympics Cooking ~ Day #11 – Poland

It is a general rule that we must cook dishes from our heritage during our Olympics cooking challenge.

Ziti is half Polish which means that we kicked off Heritage Week with Poland!

We ate a yummy meal of Gołąbki (Stuffed Cabbage), Surówka z marchewki i jabłka , (Salad with Carrots and Apples), Pierogies, and Kelibasa.

The Stuffed Cabbage consisted of ground pork, rice, onions, and mushrooms rolled into red cabbage. It was then topped off with tomato sauce (YUM!).

The Salad with Carrots and Apples was just that! Grated carrots and apples mixed with sugar, heavy cream, lemon, and a pinch of salt. It was like eating dessert for dinner! Ziti said that it reminded him of something his grandmother would have made.

The Pierogies were frozen…we weren’t going to try to make that from scratch! And the Kelibasa was just cooked up in the frying pan real quick.

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Ice cream was for dessert. Is it truly Polish? We don’t know. However, when trying to decide on what to eat for dessert Ziti said, “Well…My grandfather was 100% Polish and he ate ice cream pretty much every night!”

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Breyer’s chocolate, vanilla, strawberry ice cream

Would you like to try some of Ziti’s yummy Polish food? Just follow the links below!

Gołąbki – http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pl&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fallrecipes.pl%2Fprzepisy%2Ftagi-4%2Fgolabki.aspx&sandbox=1

Surówka z marchewki i jabłka – http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pl&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwegefuzja.pl%2Fsurowka-z-marchewki-jablka%2F&sandbox=1

Winter Olympics Cooking ~ Day #10 – Austria

Our Austrian meal was quite impressive! All of the thanks goes to Ziti since he was the one with the courage to pull this meal off.

We ate Weiner Schnitzel (Of course! What else?!), Viennese Cucumber Salad, and Sachertorte (chocolate apricot cake).

The most labor intensive part of the meal was not the Weiner Schnitzel itself, but the Sacherotorte. Melting chocolate for the glaze, mixing brandy with apricot preserves, beating egg whites to get soft peaks?? Woah! That is WAY above my “just add butter and water to cake mix” abilities. Ziti had the patience to deal with this cake and it turned out delicious! We’ve already eaten all of it!

Weiner Schnitzel is not something that I have eaten before. Just the name kinda scares me off. Turns out I was scared all these years for nothing. It was extremely flavorful and the coating on the veal was yummy!

Weiner Schnizel, Cucumber Salad, potatoes, and a slice of lemon with Romaine lettuce.

Weiner Schnitzel, Cucumber Salad, potatoes, and a slice of lemon with Romaine lettuce.

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Sachertorte with the apricot filling

Do you want to try some of these yummy recipes? Just follow the links below!

Weiner Schnitzel – http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.chefkoch.de/rezepte/932451198676837/Original-Wiener-Schnitzel-mit-Petersilienkartoffeln.html&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dwiener%2Bschnitzel%2Brezept%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26biw%3D1083%26bih%3D933

Viennese Cucumber Salad – http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Viennese-Cucumber-Salad-11024

Sachertorte – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/wolfgangs-sachertorte-recipe.html

Winter Olympics Cooking ~ Day #9 – Canada

This Canadian dish is perhaps the craziest combination of stuff that we’ve ever eaten. It is called Fries with the Works and apparently the folks living in Prince Edward Island really dig this stuff.

It all starts with french fries. You then pile on ground beef, beef gravy, fried onions, peas, carrots, and mushrooms. It is then topped off with green onions, tomatoes, sour cream, and grated cheese. Sounds pretty simple, right?

I don’t know what my expectations were of this dish, but I LOVED it! I mean…LOOOOOVED it!!! I feel like I could eat this once a week and not get spi//ck  (<—that word is “sick”. The things a 19 month old will do to words) of it. It was like eating a really big baked potato but even better!

Never judge french fries by their cover. Scary looking but in reality DELICIOUS!

Never judge french fries by their cover. Scary looking but in reality DELICIOUS!

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Anne of Green Gables having a Fries with the Works picnic…maybe?

Winter Olympics Cooking ~ Day #8 – France

France was our country of choice this evening. Mainly because we are totally hooked these French Brie and Ham Baguettes! We also ate Pommes Aligot (fancy mashed potatoes) and Garlic Lemon French Green Beans.

The Baguette may not look like much, but it is bursting with all kinds of yummy flavors. Raspberry Preserves are spread on each side of the baguette. Ham (the sliced kind from the deli) and Brie are then smashed in the middle. Throw it in the oven for a few minutes to heat it up and then prepare yourself to be hooked on this FOR-EV-ER!

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I wasn’t expecting much from the Pommes Aligot and the Garlic Lemon Beans. I was wrong! The Pommes Aligot turned out so creamy! My only wish? That we would have added MORE cheese to it. The Garlic Lemon Beans made me realize that I’ve been eating beans all wrong. From now on every time I eat beans I need to be drowning them in butter, garlic, and lemon zest.

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Would you like to try these yummy foods? Just follow the links below for the recipes! 

French Brie and Ham Baguette – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/french-brie-and-ham-baguette-recipe0.html

Garlic Lemon Green Beans – http://frenchfood.about.com/od/sidedishes/r/lemgarlicgrnbn.htm

Pommes Aligot – http://www.marthastewart.com/334293/pommes-aligot

P.S. Many thanks to Ziti for rescuing me in the kitchen tonight. He assembled to baguettes and put the finishing touches on the Pommes Aligot.

Winter Olympics Cooking ~ Day #7 – Mexico

Of the last 6 meals we’ve eaten 4 of them have had potatoes! Time for a break!

That’s why tonight we ate some Mexican! Which we consider Ziti’s adopted country because that boy is hooked on Mexican food.

We kept the meal fairly simple. We ate shredded beef tacos, spanish rice, and refried beans.

The shredded beef tacos recipe is for the crock pot. Which was perfect for this snowy day. It made the house smell delicious! I did have to brown the meat first and make a sauce from the left over meat juices. It scared me a bit at first but it wasn’t that bad.

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All of the yummy ingredients ready to cook for 6 hours!

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Shredded beef, lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream, and cheese.

The spanish rice was out of the box and the baked beans were out of the can. Sorry folks…no recipe there except for buy Rice-A-Roni and beans!

The finished product

The finished product

Do you want to try some yummy shredded beef tacos? Follow the link below! 

Shredded Beef Tacos – http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/slow-cooker-shredded-beef-tacos/