Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The silly Dutch guy cooks?!?!?

Now don't be too shocked, the man actually does some things in the kitchen!  9 times out of 10, I'm the cook in the family.  He's quite content on me making the majority of our meals but, every once in a while, he gets a wild hair .. and comes up with something great.
You see, Richard and his uncle Leo would have these movie marathons at home many moons ago during the VHS era.  Since they would usually get the munchies late at night, they used to gather up all sorts of edible items from the fridge and cupboards and throw them together to see if they could actually produce something edible.  In the Netherlands, this is usually referred to as kneuter koken, in which, kneuteren can easily be translated into nothing else but 'messing stuff up'.

So, one night after I came home from a long, hard day at work, I found Richard busy making this dish.  My jaw dropped immediately and I asked him what he was doing and he told me, 'It's none of your business' so, I had to wait it out.  Needless to say, I was a bit skeptic about the dish once he produced it.  He sat me on the couch (we don't own a dining table and chairs anymore), brought me this big full pan of food and told me we were going to eat out of it.  He got comfortable on the other end of the couch and with the pan between us, we dug in.

I couldn't believe it .. it actually worked out!  It was so tasty, I didn't want it to end!  Needless to say, this dish has cropped up many times in the last few months and will continue to do so ..

Here's all your ingredients ..

Spray your pan good ..

We just happen to love instant mashed potatoes but,
you can make your own from scratch.
I make ours with powdered milk and
we can't tell a difference in taste ..

See?  Looks milky, right?
If using instant, just follow the instructions on the box
to make at least 2 cups mashed potatoes.

This is what silly Dutch guy loves to use,
we find it on sale and stock up ..

Pour contents into your greased baking dish ..

Dice up your onion either fine or chunky,
whichever you prefer ..

Put on top of chili ..

Dice up your tomato ..

Put on top of onion ..

Smooth out your mashed potatoes to make a layer ..

Sprinkle with shredded colby jack ..

Don't forget the bread crumbs ..
it'll make it nice and crunchy on top ..

And after it's baked, gaze at the wonder you have made ..

It's messy but, DELICIOUS!  Dig right in ..

You'd think we didn't feed him with that pitiful look on his face .. 

Yeah, we can't resist ..
we wait until it's cooled down enough and then ....

'Yay, we get samples!'

One of the best dishwashers in this house ..
and don't worry, we 'rewash' them!

Kneuter Chili

1 19 oz.can of chili
1 small onion, diced
1 roma tomato, diced
2 c. instant mashed potatoes
2 c. colby jack cheese, shredded
1 handful bread crumbs

In a greased 8 x 8 baking dish, layer in the order of ingredients listed above.  Put into a 400F oven and cook for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and a crust has appeared on top.

And, as his Uncle Leo would say, 'We sure can't cook but, we surely can throw a lot of stuff together and make it tasty.'

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

- Valentine's Day 2010 -

Hey everybody, I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day .. what did you and your loved one do for the big day?  Go out for dinner?  Take in a movie?  Or, did you keep it pretty frugal .. a picnic in the park?  Rent videos and stay inside all nice and toasty?  Whatever you did, how fabulous for you!

So, you know you wanna ask!  What did moi and the silly Dutch guy do for V-day?  We both had to work .. ALL DAY!  Sure, someone has to be around to decorate cakes and rent out videos to all you Valentine's Day celebrators .. and that just happened to be us!  You should have come in and said hi .. *wink*

It's all good, it gave me ALL DAY to think of something special to make for my sweetheart for dinner ..

I racked my brain for something different, something sandwichy for the Dutch guy .. something that wouldn't take forever to fix ..

Folks, :drumroll: I give to you, the ..

Savory Mushroom and Swiss Marinated Beef sandwich!

Warning:  We did not harm any condiments during the eating of this sandwich but,
you could add anything you want to if need be!

I know, I know .. it's a thing of beauty, isn't it?

Look at all that cheesy goodness!

Wait for it .. waaaaaait for iiiiiit ..

BOOM!  That's what I'm talkin' about!
Look at all that meltiness!

Oh man, I can't contain my excitement!
I even amazed myself, people!

The silly Dutch guy can't contain all that excitement either!
Dig right in, behbe .. Happy Valentine's Day and I love you!

Savory Mushroom and Swiss Marinated Beef sandwich

1 lb. top round roast, thinly sliced
2-3 T. soy sauce
1 T. dried parsley
1/2 t. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
 2 T. olive oil

8 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
 2 T. butter

1 large loaf of ciabatta bread
4 slices baby swiss

  1. In a large ziplock baggie or bowl, add first 5 ingredients.  Mix well and let set for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat.  Put contents of beef mixture into pan and fry until meat is no longer pink.
  3. Add mushrooms and butter, stirring to combine ingredients.  Turn heat down to low and cover, cooking for 30 minutes. 
  4. Slice ciabatta loaf longways and toast in a 400F. oven for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Take meat mixture and pile onto bottom half of ciabatta.  Take your swiss slices and lay across top of mixture.
  6. Put back into the oven and broil until cheese is melted.
  7. Top with other half of ciabatta and slice down the middle or into fourths.
Feeds 2 hungry, hard working Valentine's or 4 not so hungry, everyday folks.

Savory Mushroom and Swiss Marinated Beef Sandwich on FoodistaSavory Mushroom and Swiss Marinated Beef Sandwich

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Aldi, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways ..

I must admit, ever since we had to tighten our belts around the ol' Manintveld homestead, we decided not to waste our gas on any spur of the moment car trips.  Sad but, true!  Now here's the thing, we live in such a tiny town here in Missouri, sometimes we have to make our way to the big city every now and then.  The big city I'm talking about is about 30+ miles away.  Usually, we have to travel to the city of Springfield for certain reasons .. doctor visits for my Mama and ourselves, shopping excursions, dining out, visit my brother, etc.  We'll map out our trip to ensure we get more done with less running from one end of town to the other.  Then, there are days when we're really getting low in our pantry and need to restock it and where do we go for that?  You guessed it .. 

I bet you're thinking, "Why go ALL the way to Springfield when you have a perfectly good Walmart Supercenter in your tiny little town .. and, you're employed with Walmart, why not stay true to the one handing out a paycheck to you every two weeks?"  I do stay true to Walmart where certain items are concerned.  There's a plethora of items we purchase from my fabulous store!  But one thing's for sure, I can stretch the rest of that money out better at Aldi!  Sure, it takes gas to get to Aldi .. no doubt.  But, here's my theory .. I stock up!  I don't go on a whim, I go when our cupboards are getting bare.  And even though the silly Dutch guy is finally working again, he only gets about 6 hours a week.  It helps us get through the rest of the week before I get paid again but, it's still not enough and we still have to be frugal!  Not to mention that my insurance at work changed and they're taking out even more per pay period so, I'm bringing home much less than before.  These reasons makes my decision to go to Aldi even stronger .. and their products are fabulous!

I first heard of Aldi when we were living in the Netherlands but, we had a closer and much better grocery store called Lidl .. it was the first place we went to when our money came in the first of the month, it was within walking distance and we had to pass a petting zoo along the way so, it was just so pleasant making that trip to get groceries.  Even when we moved to the next town over, we still made the trip by bus for our necessities while our other 'closer' grocery store (a block away) was for little things like meat and such.

Sweet, sweet memories of Lidl .. *sigh* How I love thee!

Lidl and Aldi are practically the same, hence, me loving to go to Aldi!  Even during Christmas this past 2009, we made quite a few foodie gift purchases .. various chocolates, coffee items, cookies .. they have it all!

We've been hitting the pantry pretty hard during the past month or so and we ARE starting to get low on toilet paper and paper towels .. the silly Dutch guy ought to start getting the car geared up for another run!  Anyone want to car pool?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thanx, House Party!

I received a confirmation email to my inbox today from House Party notifying me that I was chosen amongst many others to host a 'Sandwich Revolution House Party' using Oroweat Sandwich Thins!

Yippee! How exciting, I just joined and it's gonna be my first House Party ever!!

Since I was confirmed as a host, I'll be receiving a free party package to share with my guests shortly before the party. They've also set up a party page of my own for things like a guest list, a message board, a place to upload a video and photos of the event, I can even change the date and time of the party to suit me better.

I just need to iron out some minor details and come up with a plan in which to throw this shindig!

I can't wait to get together with some really great people and make some yummy sandwiches!!!
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