Monday, March 28, 2016

Breakfast Hash Brown Casserole (enhanced with Bacon)

This week's theme for Monday night dinner is "breakfast foods".

I love American breakfast foods.

Growing up in Germany, breakfast was not my favorite meal.  Unlike today, where the German breakfast includes a variety of toppings for rolls (and is really good), back then it was rare to find sausage or cheese on the breakfast table.  A typical breakfast would be either Muesli (a mixture of oats, fruits and nuts in milk) or - more often - bread or rolls with butter and jam, and if you were lucky, a soft boiled egg. Today's German breakfast still differs from the American in that most German breakfast foods don't require cooking - and that it includes the fresh crunchy rolls that really are to die for.

My mother was obviously familiar with my dislike for anything sweet, so she would actually serve sausage (Aufschnitt) or cheese for breakfast at home, but I remember quite a few instances on vacations where my breakfast choices consisted of a hard-boiled egg, a roll or bread, unsalted butter and a few varieties of jam.  I'd often just put some butter on a roll and salt it for some flavor.  Sometimes I'd put egg slices on the roll, but none of it was very satisfying to me.

When I was 6 or 7 years old, my parents took me on a trip to Great Britain.  This is when I discovered the British breakfast for myself:   Bacon, eggs and the wonderful fried tomato. Not a glass of jam to be found anywhere. I was in heaven!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Potato Challenge - Potato Filled Spring Rolls

The theme for this Monday will be "Spring" - as in "light, healthy and/or indicative of a new start" (Brad, 2016).

My dish will be neither, but it will be a potato dish!  Instead of making a healthy dish, I will interpret the theme literally, because - according to Google - there is such a thing as a potato filled spring roll. Who knew?

You don't believe me? Check this out: Grand Lux Cafe Copy Cat Spring Rolls and Loaded Baked Potato Spring Rolls.  The latter was apparently inspired by the same restaurant as the former. Maybe this spring roll is more of an outlier than it is a "thing".

Either way, this sounds like something I need to try, especially because I have never made a spring roll before - also, because it involves potatoes.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Monday night dinner - the potato challenge

On Monday nights I usually join a group of friends for a pot-luck dinner at a friend's house.  In August of last year I happened to bring a potato dish 2 weeks in a row.  The first dish was German potato salad, which I deemed appropriate for an evening where the group was grilling. I didn't keep track of what I was bringing at the time, but the second time was likely a cheesy hashbrown potato for the crock pot recipe that I found on the Internet after enjoying the recipe at a party.

One of my friends, Brad, commented on the fact that people rarely brought potatoes to a potluck any more.  He really enjoyed that I brought potatoes, because he had almost forgotten how much he liked them.  (I am paraphrasing here.  He said something along those lines over 6 months ago... )