Hallo! Wie geht's? Ich ziehe nach Deutschland!?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I don't know if I've even said the title of this post correctly, but we're moving to Germany! Ahh! This is such an insane new chapter in our lives, I can't even believe it!  I took German for three semesters in college, retained some, but not nearly enough as I'd like since I'm now going to be living there very soon. We won't be able to get a home until we're actually over there, so that's a little scary, but on top of that I think we move our stuff out of our current home at least 2 months in advanced? I'll also have to get a German drivers license? Crazy! I really have no clue what to expect or even where to start. I don't know how our Internet will be, I'm not sure about blogging, I'm even nervous about how we'll be able to stream our favorite shows, but I'm so excited to be able to say that we've been to Europe and get to experience a new culture. It's been a dream of mine since I was really little and for it to actually come alive is beyond amazing! I'll keep everyone posted, and hopefully I can keep up with blogging as we get our stuff packed up and out of here! I'll keep everyone as updated as I can when we're over there <3 Brace yourselves, this chica is going International! 

Brb, searching out German podcasts,videos,  textbooks, and workbooks! Any recommendations? I'm currently listening to Coffee Break German and also really enjoying this YouTube Channel at the moment!

What's Cooking Wednesday

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Italian Subs and Shakes
(Like a pro)

Today, I'm going to share with you a meal recipe I learned when I used to work at a Sandwich Shop.  I know what you're thinking, 'They're just sandwiches and shakes? I make that already?'... Yes, BUT, these are special sandwiches and shakes.... restaurant-style-sandwiches and shakes. Out-of-this-world sandwiches and shakes. 

This will wow any guests or family members you have over for lunch. There are about 4 different types of meat that go into this Italian sub, you can alter it to your taste preferences. 

You'll Need:
-Genoa Salami
-Hot Capicola 
(or regular if you don't like spicy, though you can hardly taste the spiciness.)
-4th meat of your choice

-Sub Rolls
-Sub toppings of choice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lettuce (I use spinach) tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, italian seasoning, whatever you want!

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, while the oven is preheating, cut the rolls lengthwise and open up. Add about 3-5 Genoa Salami slices lengthwise depending on the length of your sub. Basically just enough to cover the sub. 6-8 Pepperonis, 1.5-3 slices of Capicola, and for the fourth meat, I usually add a peppered salami or 1.5-2 slices of mortadella, prosciutto. You can use whatever, or opt out for none.  Once it's all layered, top off with 2-3 slices of provolone, again, all to just cover the sub, neatly. Place the sub face-open on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until edges are golden and cheese is melted. When the sub is ready, top with your favorite toppings.. In order, I use diced white/yellow onions, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, drizzle of red wine vinegar, drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of Italian seasoning, then then I close the sub, using a knife and pressing into the toppings while closing so everything stays in tact still, and cut in half.

Making a good milkshake is easy. You just need to follow this ratio 2:1.  That's 2 parts ice cream to 1 part milk. 1-2 ounces of what ever flavor you want. You can use flavored ice cream to cut out the middle man. I love getting creative with mine. To fancify the shake up for guests, you can add a drizzle of caramel or chocolate to the sides of the glass.
Lets say you have vanilla ice cream and you want a Coffee Brownie Shake:
2 parts vanilla ice cream (we'll say 10 ounces), 1 brownie square, coffee syrup, and 1 part milk(5 ounces). 
Blend away. Et voila! You've made yourself a damn fine shake, Diane! You could always crumble up the brownie and stir it into the shake for bigger chunks if you wanted too. Drizzle some chocolate around the inside of a glass cup and pour in the shake when you're ready to serve :)

Cheesecake Shake:
2 parts vanilla ice cream, 1 part milk, a slice of cheesecake, a splash of vanilla extract, & graham cracker crumbs for garnish (optional). Blend everything except cheesecake and graham cracker crumbs. Chop up cheesecake into chunks and add to shake, pulse for a few seconds until its just incorporated into the shake. Serve in a Fountain Shoppe Glass, top with whipped cream & graham cracker crumbs, and there you go! Simple! 

*You can do this recipe with a pumpkin pie slice too for the holidays ;), instead of vanilla ice cream, there are a ton of pumpkin pie ice cream flavors to use and just top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice <3

Seriously, I love getting creative with these! 

If you want to make any of these into a malt, just add a spoonful or two of malted milk powder, before blending.

Enjoy! I'd love to hear how yours all turned out!

What's Cooking Wednesday

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Welcome to a new weekly blog post of mine that will allow me to share some of my recipes with you! Every Wednesday I will share a new recipe of mine that I love to cook, or maybe just some neat cooking tips and tricks you might not have heard before! Today, I wanted to kick off the "series" with one of my favorites that I, personally, love to make whenever I'm too lazy to actually cook, and lets be real here.. I make this entirely way too much. Seriously, it's so easy that I've debated even posting this, but who knows, maybe it'll remind you to make it this week when meal planning! Today I'm sharing 3 pizza toppings with you using Trader Joe's Garlic & Herb Pizza Dough!

**If you don't have a Trader Joes near you, fear not! Just use your favorite pizza dough recipe :)
I don't have exact measurements for any of these recipes, I usually just eye it all out. Do the amounts you feel like you'd personally enjoy better. There's no harm in altering a recipe <3

1.) BBQ Chicken Pizza

This just happened to pop into my head when I realized, one day, as I was rolling out the pizza dough, I didn't buy any marinara sauce for this said pizza... As I was frantically looking for anything tomato I could possibly use in replacement, I came across an unopened bottle of BBQ Sauce (Sweet Baby Ray is the only way!) and thought, 'Hey! That's normal!' and thus, BBQ Chicken pizza became the new fave. Now, I didn't have any red onions which I highly recommend you use if you have them on hand- but if not, regular yellow/white onions work too, just keep in mind white/yellow onions are a bit stronger than red!

You'll Need:
-1 bag of Trader Joe's Garlic & Herb Pizza dough
-1 cup bbq sauce 
-1/2 a red onion thinly sliced
-1 bag of mozzarella cheese
-1 package of cooked chicken strips (or if you make your own go ahead and use that! I used Trader Joe's Balsamic & Rosemary cooked chicken for mine)

1.) Follow the pizza dough instructions- set at room temp for 20 minutes, preheat oven, roll out into desired length, etc., etc..

2.) Eye the amount of BBQ sauce you want.  I just a think layer coating the top of the pizza so you get the bbq flavor but not the heavy amount of sauce. If you want more, just add two more minutes to the pizza cooking time, but watch closely so it doesn't burn the pizza.

3.) Add some onions, a little bit of chicken strips on top of the sauce, then cover with cheese.  Then top the cheese with more onions and chicken for a nice "garnished" look. 

4.) Cook for 6-8 minutes, then let rest for 3 before cutting up.

2.) Sundried Tomato and Goat Cheese (pictures to come)

This one is my absolute favorite. I've never been a fan of goat cheese but once its cooked and paired with sundried tomatoes...ugh, so good!  I tried it once on a Disney Cruiseline at this restaurant called 'Palo', if you ever have the opportunity to go, try it out! It's amazing!

You'll Need:
-1 bag of mozarella
-small bag of sundried tomatoes (a jar is okay, but just make sure to pat the excess oil off so it doesnt make the pizza greasy!)
-1 container of marinara sauce
-crumbled goat cheese
-italian seasoning

1.) Follow the pizza dough instructions- set at room temp for 20 minutes, preheat oven, roll out into desired length, etc., etc..

2.) Layer the pizza with a coating of marinara sauce- not too much but enough to cover the dough.

3.) Cover sauce layer with mozzarella cheese, then top with crumbled goat cheese. If you're unsure about goat cheese, just sprinkle a little to try, but if you love goat cheese, I won't judge! Cover that bad boy in goat goodness! Then add a dash of Italian seasoning.

4.) Bake 6-8 minutes- around 3 minutes or four minutes in, top the pizza with sundried tomatoes.  If you put the tomatoes in too early you risk them burning once the pizza is done, so just keep an eye on them while baking.

3.) Pesto, Spinach, Mushroom (pictures to come)

Now, halfway through writing this, I changed my mind on making all three pizzas with pizza dough.  I wanted to share one of my other favorite ways to make a delicious pizza without using any dough! Instead, this recipe will call for Naan bread.  Trust me, you're going to love this one.

You'll Need:
-A bag of Naan bread (my favorite is the Garlic Naan bread Trader Joes carries, but its completely up to you which kind you want to use!)
- A container of your favorite basil pesto sauce
-A bag of Spinach, washed and pat dry
-Mozarella Cheese
-Sliced Baby Bella mushrooms, washed and pat dry
-Italian seasoning


1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

2.) using a baking sheet, cover with tin foil and spray a non stick spray on top

3.) Place Naan bread on baking sheet, coat with a layer of pesto sauce, add spinach, then top with mozzarella cheese, then finish with mushrooms on top of the cheese. Sprinkle a dash of Italian seasoing. Repeat steps for each Naan bread you use. 

4.) Bake 5-10 minutes, just until the cheese has melted and the mushrooms shrink. 

 *Placing the spinach under the cheese will allow the cheese to hold it down when cooking.
* You could also use pizza dough instead of Naan bread! Just follow the dough instructions when making.  I've just not tried it that way, but I have a feeling I will be in the near future ;)

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