Family recipes from around the world

Recent Posts

Coleslaw

Coleslaw

This is a very simple, very light version of the classic  side-dish. Ingredients: 1 small cabbage 6 carrots – finely grated 1 lime – juice 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1/4 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon salt pepper to taste Directions: Add the salt to the finely […]

Cheese Fondue

Cheese Fondue

Still cool enough to make Fondue one more time, although we even used to make Fondue in Venezuela –   I  remember once eating Fondue at the Beach after bringing the air conditioner to the max, so it would be cold enough to survive eating […]

Sauerkraut – Latvian style

Sauerkraut – Latvian style

My mom has always made sauerkraut this way.  I am assuming it is the way it is made in Latvia, since she learned how to make it with her grandmother.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1 can sauerkraut
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 dried juniper berries
  • 1 cup water or you can make my version with apple juice
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar – to make a dark caramel

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, fry the chopped onions slightly in a little bit of oil.
  2. Add the sauerkraut, cabbage, salt, bay leaves, juniper berries and apple juice (or water), and cook at medium heat for at least 45 minutes.
  3. Now comes the tricky part.  You need to make a dark caramel with the sugar in another pan. Use a deep one, because you will need to dilute the caramel in water, before you add it to the sauerkraut.  I like to wear nice, long kitchen gloves while doing this, because I have a lot of respect for making caramel!
  4. Add the diluted caramel to the sauerkraut and continue cooking the sauerkraut for another 30 minutes.
Pork Roast with banana sauce

Pork Roast with banana sauce

I started to make this dish in Germany. It is not particularly German style, besides the fact that I do use German cumin for this recipe. I did mention in earlier posts that the cumin tastes different here.  Now this might be a tricky one […]

Rosemary Potatoes

Rosemary Potatoes

The rosemary adds a really nice touch to the potatoes.  It’s a great side dish when making a roast! Ingredients: 2 lbs (1 kg) potatoes 1.5 teaspoons salt 1 rosemary stem 2 tablespoons olive oil pepper to taste Directions Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Slice the […]

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

This recipe is a combination between the way roast chicken is made in Venezuela and the way I used to make it in Florida… It’s also an easy recipe when the kids have friends over – I still have not met a kid yet that didn’t like lemon chicken!

(This recipe serves 8 – adjust for 4)

  • 2 chickens
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 – 3 lemons – juice
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 onions – quartered
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstrch – optional

Directions:

  1. Wash and pat dry the chickens.
  2. Place them in a large pan.
  3. Squeeze the lemons over the chickens.
  4. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.
  5. Sprinkle a little bit of olive oil over the chickens.
  6. Place the garlic cloves in the chicken cavities.
  7. Place the quartered onions around the chickens.
  8. Add the water to the pan.
  9. Lemon Chicken 1Place in an oven at 350ºF  (180ºC) covered for about 40 minutes.  Uncover, make sure that it has enough water, and continue baking uncovered for about another hour. Make sure it is thoroughly cooked before serving!
  10. Add 1 teaspoon cornstarch diluted in water to the sauce and let it boil for just a sec if you would like a thicker sauce.
Chocolate Gugelhupf

Chocolate Gugelhupf

I adjusted one of my great-grandmother’s cake recipes to please my kids… they wanted chocolate! I will eventually post the original recipe. Ingredients: 7 oz (200 gr) Butter 1 cup sugar 4 eggs 1.5 cups flour 1/2 cup milk 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon […]

Schnitzel – cordon bleu style

Schnitzel – cordon bleu style

This is a Schnitzel variation served here in Germany.  I used to know it with chicken only, but this is also very tasty! 4 pork chops (boneless) 4 ham slices 4 cheese slices 1 cup bread crumbs 2 eggs – beaten Salt and pepper to […]

Meatloaf

Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 Onion – finely chopped and fried in a little bit of oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Slices of sandwich bread
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Chop the onion finely and fry it for about 10 min at low heat.
  2. Put the bread slices in a bowl, add water and let it soak. Then take the crust off and squeeze the water out.
  3. Frikadellen
    In a big bowl, add the ground meat, bread, sour cream, onions, eggs, salt and pepper and mix well.
  4. Place the meat in a meatloaf pan (or a pound cake pan).
  5. Pour a thin layer of ketchup over it.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 350º F (180ºC) for about 1 -1.25 hours, or until meat is well done.
  7. Let stand for about 10 minutes before slicing.
Carbonara

Carbonara

I think I learned how to make this dish in the US – I guess that’s why I add cream to it…  I’m still categorizing it as Italian, although the original should not have any cream in it! Ingredients: 7 oz (200 gr) bacon – […]

Chupe andino

Chupe andino

This is one of my favorite Venezuelan soups.  It is really nice to make when expecting guests that are traveling and are not sure when they arrive, because it is a main dish, and you do not have to worry about any last minute cooking! […]

Swiss salad dressing

Swiss salad dressing

This salad dressing I learned to make in Switzerland.  It is really so easy to prepare, that my kids are the ones in charge of making the salad dressing!

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons mayo
  • 1 teaspoon dijon style mustard
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons oil

Directions:

  1. Blend the mayo with the mustard.
  2. Add salt, chives, pepper, and garlic powder and mix well.
  3. Add vinegar and mix.
  4. Add oil and blend well.

That’s it!

Geschnezeltes

Geschnezeltes

This dish I learned with my grandmother (father’s side). I remember watching her make it when I was a kid, and I was truly amazed to see that you could make a sauce by just adding cream to a pan after frying the meat.  It […]

Arepitas

Arepitas

This is basically the same as the arepas, but formed very small in order to eat them as appetizers.  They are also served along with parrilla (barbecue).

Rösti

Rösti

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium potatoes (peeled and shredded)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil
  • butter

Directions:

  1. Put a little bit of oil in a large pan.  Add the shredded potatoes, and fry for about 10 minutes on medium heat..
  2. Shake the pan occasionally to make sure that the potatoes do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
    Add a few butter flakes, and sprinkle some salt on top of the potatoes.
  3. Place a large plate on top of the potatoes, and then turn the pan upside down, while holding the plate with one hand.
  4. Slide the potatoes back onto the plate in order to fry the other side.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper.
  5. Fry for another 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are done.
Filet with peppers

Filet with peppers

This dish I made up once because I wanted to make something similar to my mom’s roast beef.  It is really easy to make! I’ll post the roast beef eventually, but I must warn that it is a little bit more complicated to make but […]

Bratkartoffeln – Roasted Potatoes

Bratkartoffeln – Roasted Potatoes

This is a nice side dish you can make with “leftover” potatoes. Ingredients: 1 lb (500 gr) boiled potatoes –  peeled and sliced 1 onion – finely chopped 3 oz (100 gr) bacon – sliced, and cut in thin stripes salt to taste Oil Optional: […]

Tafelspitz

Tafelspitz

This is a typical dish of Bavaria (Germany).

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs (1 Kg) tri-tip (bottom sirloin, tafelspitz or punta)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 Tablespoon salt

Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons horseradish
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons of the broth you boiled the meat in.
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch diluted in a little bit of water
  • nutmeg
  • Pepper to taste

Extras:

  • Pasta (tagliatelle) or Spätzle.

Directions:

  1. Boil the beef for 2 hours.  Add salt, peeled carrots and celery, and continue boiling for at least another 2 hours, or until tender.
    TIP:  I usually make this dish and carne mechada at the same time.  I boil 4 lbs instead, and then make both dishes out of it at once!
  2. To make the horseradish sauce, add the heavy cream, horseradish, nutmeg and broth. Cook for 5 minutes.  Add the cornstarch and adjust salt and pepper.  Let boil for a little bit, so that the sasuce thickens.
  3. Serve with spätzle or with pasta.
Carne Mechada – Shredded Beef

Carne Mechada – Shredded Beef

This is a Venezuelan favorite.  It is usually eaten for breakfast with arepas: Ingredients: 2 lbs beef (sirloin or skirt – skirt shreads easier! – I cannot buy in Germany, but if I could I would prefer it) 2 peppers – chopped 2 onions- chopped […]

Guacamole

Guacamole

Now this is the original mexican guacamole. My comadre Wendy – from Mexico – made it, and was happy to share the recipe with us! “Comadres” in spanish is what  godmother and the mother of a child become after the christening –  “Compadres” refer to […]

Hungarian Salad

Hungarian Salad

This is a nice alternative to coleslaw.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small cabbage- thinly sliced
  • 2 onions – thinly sliced
  • 2 peppers – thinly sliced
  • 1 large cucumber – thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Add the sliced cabbage and the salt to a large bowl.  Mix well with your hands, crunching it as you turn it.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Salsa

Salsa

My Comadre tought me how to make this recipe. It’s much tastier than the commercial salsas, healthier, and you can make it as hot or mild as you want.  Since I learned how to make it, I refuse to buy the ready made alternative! Ingredientes: […]

Arepas

Arepas

This is a Venezuelan delicacy I was happy to grow up with.  There is nothing better than to eat an arepa and have a nice “cafe con leche” for breakfast.  I’ll break any diet for them! I’ll happily skip crème brûlée – no problem – […]

Schnitzel with white asparagus and spring potatoes

Schnitzel with white asparagus and spring potatoes

Ingredients:

For the Schnitzel:

  • 4 pork chops (boneless)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil

For the asparagus:

  • 2 lbs (1 Kg) asparagus
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the potatoes:

  • 2 lbs (1 kg) spring potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Hollandaise sauce or melted butter for the asparagus

Directions:

Asparagus:

  • Peel the asparagus. I like to do this on a large cutting board.  Leave the asparagus on the board, and then peel the upper part of the asparagus.  This way you avoid breaking the stems.peeling asparagus
  • Cut about 1/2 inch (1 cm) off the bottom part of the asparagus.cutting asparagus
  • Place in an asparagus cooker, filled with hot water, add the salt and sugar, and boil for 30 minutes.cooking asparagus

Potatoes:

  1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly.
  2. Boil the spring potatoes in hot water (with 1 teaspoon salt) for about 1 hour. Adjust cooking time according to the size of the potatoes.  If they are very small they may require less time.  To check, just insert a fork.  If they feel soft, then they are ready.
  3. Let cool down for 10 minutes.
  4. Peel the potatoes with a small knife.  You can hold the potatoes with a small fork, in case the potatoes are too hot.

Schnitzel:

  1. Place the cutlets on a board, and using a meat hammer, pound them until they are about 1/4″ (1/2 cm) thick.
  2. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Pass the cutlets through the egg, and then, on a separate plate, cover them well with the bread crumbs.
  4. schnitzel
    Fry the cutlets at med – high heat for about 8 minutes on one side, then turn and cook again for another 8 minutes. Cook on low heat further in case they are not thoroughly cooked.
Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash

In Venezuela my family had many friends from Hungary, so once in a while my Mother made this dish… I think you are supposed to eat Goulash with gnocchi, but pasta or rice also taste good with it. Ingredients: 2 lbs (1 kg ) beef […]

Chili

Chili

I like to make chili on a “lazy” day – a day where I know I’ll be at home, and I do not want to spend too much time preparing something, but don’t mind the cooking time.  It takes long to cook, but the preparation […]

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush

This is very similar to the Hummus, but made with roasted eggplants.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggplants
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/2 lemon (juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (if you are in Germany, buy the cumin for this recipe at an Asian Market – German cumin tastes different)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash allspice or four spice mix (Quatre-épices)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil

—-

  • sweet paprika and olive oil to decorate
  • Pita bread to serve with

Directions:

  1. eggplants roasted
    Place the eggplants on a pan, and roast them in the oven at 350º F (180º C) for 1 hour. Check every now and then to turn them to make sure that the eggplants are roasting evenly.
  2. Let the eggplants cool down in the fridge for about 3 hours.
  3. Slice the eggplants and then use a spoon to take the flesh out and place in a food processor.
  4. Add the rest of the  ingredients and blend to a paste.
  5. Spread some Baba Ghanoush on a Plate (see above image), and then sprinkle some sweet paprika on top.
  6. Pour around 3 Tablespoons olive oil over the Baba Ghanoush.
  7. Serve with Pita bread.
Hummus

Hummus

This is a dish we learned to make in Venezuela, but the original recipe came from a Lebanese family.  I have made some minor changes in order to be able to make it quickly… Ingredients: 2 cups canned chickpeas (drained) 2 Tablespoons Tahini (sesame seed […]

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

This salad I learned to make with Chris, a dear friend of mine from Cyprus, while going to school at Indiana University. Ever since, it has been a favorite of mine, specially at large gatherings, for its ease of making, and because it is a […]

Angemachter Camembert – Camembert Cheese Spread

Angemachter Camembert – Camembert Cheese Spread

This is a nice appetizer, usually served at a “Beer Garten”  in the southern part of Germany.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small Camembert cheese (around 9 oz)
  • 1 small onion quartered
  • 1/2 small onion chopped very finelly
  • 1/2 small onion in thin slices (for decoration)
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1.5 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dark bread
  • Small pretzels for decoration

Directions:

  1. How to prepare Angemachter Camembert
    Cut the Camembert in small chunks and place in a food processor or in a bowl.
  2. Add the butter and the 1 onion in small chunks, and mix well with the food processor or with a stick mixer until a paste is formed.
  3. Add the salt, sweet paprika and finely chopped onion and mix with a spoon.
  4. Let the Camembert Spread cool in the fridge for about 1 hour.
  5. To serve, use an ice cream spoon to form it into a ball.
  6. Add the sliced onions on top to decorate and serve with pretzels and dark bread.
Bolognese

Bolognese

This is my version to make a Bolognese sauce very quickly!  It needs lots of time to cook, but the “putting together” does not take long at all. For those of you who make it the “old fashioned way”, just give it a try… Ingredients: […]

Pesto

Pesto

This is a very simple yet delicious pasta sauce. Ingredients: 3 cups basil leaves 1 teaspoon salt 3 garlic cloves 3 Tablespoons olive oil Directions: Mix all ingredients in a food processor. Serve with your favorite pasta and add lots of parmesan cheese.  You can […]

Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread

A very simple recipe, but always a favorite!

  • 1 – 2 Baguettes
  • Butter
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Dried parsley

Directions:

  1. Making Garlic Bread
    Cut the Baguettes in half lengthwise.
  2. Spread with butter.
  3. Sprinkle some salt, garlic powder and dried parsley.
  4. Place in oven at 350ºF (189ºC) for about 10 minutes.
Frikadellen – Meat Patties – Albóndigas

Frikadellen – Meat Patties – Albóndigas

These meat patties can be found all around Europe with small variations from country to country. They taste great alone with some mustard or ketchup, or eaten with a bun “hamburger style”. Ingredients: 2 lbs ground meat (1/2 pork, 1/2 beef) 2 Tablespoons sour cream […]

Chicken with Turmeric

Chicken with Turmeric

Turmeric is the ingredient that makes curry yellow.  If you check out its health benefits, I’m sure you’ll love this recipe! Ingredients: 1 Chicken 2 Onions, peeled and quartered 2 Carrots, peeled and sliced in 4 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder 3 teaspoons Salt Pepper 3 […]

Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans tuna (in water)
  • 1 Tablespoon Mayonaise
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks – finely chopped
  • 1 hard boiled egg – finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix the mayo and the ketchup
  2. Add yogurt, onion, celery, egg, and tuna
  3. Mix well and a little bit of salt and pepper

Serve with bread or with celery stalks to eat as a dip.