Archive for the ‘In the Kitchen’ Category

We’re trying something new this summer — food-themed weekends! We pick a cuisine and eat it all weekend long.  As a family, we pick the fare. To date, we have done Mexican and German, with an All-American theme planned for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

The goal is multifaceted: it makes meal planning and choosing recipes much more fun, as it includes all of us, and it’s different.  Second, the kids are trying things they wouldn’t normally try.  Third, you can do a little home school geography and/or genealogy to go along with it.

Here are a few recipes we used for our German weekend:

German Pancake

Spaetzle —  Yum!

Red Cabbage…..this was not a hit with the kids.

The weekend would not have been complete without beer and brats and schnitzel, which were also served.

Looking forward to Italian, Thai, Chinese, Indian………

Gotta go! I’m hungry!


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Cinco de Mayo marks the anniversary of Mexico’s “Battle of Puebla” in 1862 when a Mexican army defeated the invading French forces. Cinco de Mayo festivals throughout the United States honor this historic part of Mexican history, and also celebrate Hispanic/Latino culture and tradition.

Art project: Paper Bag Poncho – http://www.kinderart.com/multic/poncho.shtml

Recipe: Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos

This recipe is one of my families favorites. It is quick and very versatile. While the recipe calls for pork and it is good that way, I have also substituted turkey, beef or black beans instead of the pork.

Use the same pan to brown the pork and make the rave-worthy sauce. Browning the pork improves its color, and the browned bits enrich the sauce’s flavor. Add more jalapeño pepper if you enjoy spicy food.


  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and black pepper. Add oil to pan. Add pork, and sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove pork from pan; place in a bowl. Add onion and jalapeño to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add broth; reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in tomato; simmer 2 minutes.
  • Return pork and accumulated juices to pan. Stir in cilantro and lime juice; cook 1 minute or until pork is done.
  • Heat tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/2 cup pork mixture into each tortilla; roll up

Learn more about Cinco de Mayo: http://www.mexonline.com/cinco-de-mayo.htm

Local Celebrations

El Nuevo Rodeo – Minneapolis

The stages will be rocking with Tejano, reggaeton and mariachi tunes this weekend. Performers include Banda Prezizza, Sueño de Mexico and others. Danzas Folkloricas will provide fancy footwork. Vendors will have food for sale.

    • Noon-8 p.m. Sun. Free. El Nuevo Rodeo, 2709 E. Lake St., Mpls. 612-728-0101. www.elnuevorodeo.com.

District del Sol – St. Paul
The Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in District del Sol on St. Paul’s West Side features six blocks of live music and authentic food,  Lowrider Car Show, Children’s Area, Cinco Sports Zone, Community Wellness Village, Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Parade, People’s Choice Salsa Tasting Contest, Photo Contest, History Area, and craft vendors!
Friday’s Fiesta will be held from 4pm to 9pm.
Saturday’s Fiesta will be held from 9am to 6pm.

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This Minnesota winter has been brutal for all, even for us hardcore folks that actually love living here.  Now that Spring has shown itself (I have sunburned cheeks today to prove it) I need to make the most of the nice weather while it lasts. This means spending as much time possible out of doors!

I can help you get dinner on the table in less time than it takes to dial your local pizza parlor for take-out. Two words for you: slow cooker…or two other words: Crock Pot. Whatever you want to call it, it is a lifesaver.

Here’s the plan.

Get up in the morning, have coffee —  or chocolate, whatever vice gets you moving in the morning — and haul your slow cooker out of the pantry.  Dust it off.

Put 2 lbs. chicken breasts, (1) 16oz. jar of salsa (I use mild), 6 cloves of pressed garlic and (1) packet of taco seasoning in your slow cooker.  Give it little stir.

Turn it on low. Leave that baby going for 8 hours or so while you frolic in the sun. Come back with two forks and shred it.

Serve it over rice or put it on a tasty bun and serve some fruit on the side. It makes a lot.

Back outside you go!!

Notes:  I would use a 4 gallon Crock Pot for this recipe. I usually double it when I make it, so I use my 6 gallon. Just make sure it is at least half full, so it cooks properly.  You can use medium or hot salsa if your family likes their food a little spicier.  Sometimes I cheat and use jarred minced garlic and it turns out just fine.

Happy Spring!

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