How to Make Self-Rising Flour

Learn how to make your own self-rising flour with this quick and easy recipe

We don’t have self-rising flour in Germany. It’s a shame because so many great recipes like my recipe for scones call for it so, I just make my own.  All you need are three simple ingredients and a minute or two!

Homemade Self-rising Flour

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Servings: 1 cup

Instructions

Measure all ingredients and whisk to combine. You can double or triple the recipe if you more self-rising flour.

Note: The shelf life of baking powder depends on the ‘best by date’ and how it is stored (a cool, dry place such as a cupboard). With this in mind, you may not want to make large batches of self-rising flour if you don’t plan on using it soon.




A Deprived Expat’s Fish Taco Recipe

It’s not easy being an expat, especially when you’re deprived of fish tacos.

This post is mainly for any of my readers deprived of your favorite home foods, especially since you are living the ‘good life’ across the pond somewhere. Therefore, today’s post is about fish tacos. Why? Because it’s Cinco de Mayo of course. And because fish tacos rock!

We don’t have access to fish tacos around these parts and when I first heard about them, the idea sort of turned me off. Yes, I like fish. In fact, I eat fish at least twice a week, but fish and tacos just didn’t seem a likely combination. But then on a recent trip to California, I decided to try them. I was hooked from the first bite and took every chance I could to eat them.

Fish Taco Recipe

As I was looking for recipes for our Cinco de Mayo celebration, the idea of a plate of fish tacos made my tongue jump for joy (again).

 

So, What is a Fish Taco?

It’s simple math really. Fish + taco = Fish taco. Hee-hee, let’s break it down even further.

Fish tacos were reborn in Baja, the second earth’s second-longest peninsula off the Northwest coast of Mexico, but have been extremely popular in Southern California for many years.

Let’s step back a bit and give credit where credit is due. Anthropological evidence shows that the indigenous people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate tacos filled with small fish. Praise for fish tacos, now onto the recipe. 🙂

A Simple Fish Taco Recipe

You can make fish tacos (Tacos de Pescado) with a hearty white fish such as, salmon, cod, tilapia, or even with shrimp (Tacos de camarones). The taco filling generally consists of shredded cabbage, a sour cream or Greek yogurt-based dressing, and fresh cilantro. Interpret your own fish taco recipe as I have below.

Ingredients (Makes 4 medium-sized tacos)

  • 1 pound (450 grams) salmon fillets (cod, tilapia, or shrimp)
  • Flour
  • Creole seasoning
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Sunflower oil
  • Cooked corn kernels (roasted adds an intense flavor)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh basil
  • 1 lime
  • Mexican oregano
  • Chipotle (optional)
  • Soft shell tacos
  • 1/2 red or yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • Arugula

Fish Taco Yogurt Salsa

In a medium bowl, mix together Greek yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon each of ground Mexican oregano and fresh lime juice until the consistency is not too runny. Add sea salt and chipotle to taste.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat a heavy pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Season fish on meat side with Creole seasoning or salt and pepper.
  3. Lightly dust the fish with flour and shake off the excess.
  4. Add a tablespoon of sunflower oil to the pan.
  5. Cook fish pieces until lightly golden brown, break into chunks, and set on a paper towel.
  6. Remove excess oil from pan and lightly fry the tortillas, they should still be soft to handle.

To serve, place fried fish pieces in a tortilla, add the healthy colorful toppings of your choice such as roasted corn, red pepper slices, fresh cilantro, fresh basil, yogurt sauce, and arugula. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by cooking some healthy fish tacos served with a glass of refreshing Aguas Frescas.

¡Buen provecho!

 




Basic Homemade Poultry Seasoning Recipe

An easy basic homemade poultry seasoning recipe for stuffing or any dish that needs a woodsy aromatic Thanksgiving flavor.

Oops!… I Did It Again. It’s almost Thanksgiving and I nearly forgot about one of my favorite holidays. I blame it on my expat life in Germany. After 15 years of life in Germany I’m so accustomed to the German holidays that Thanksgiving crept up on me. No time for excuses this year, I’m celebrating with about 70 American colleagues and volunteered to make dressing (stuffing for you city folk). Darn!… I Did It Again. I forgot to share my basic homemade poultry seasoning recipe with you.

Basic Homemade Poultry Seasoning Recipe
Ingredients needed to make a basic homemade poultry seasoning.

I gave up on buying store-bought poultry seasoning because it contains too much of what I don’t need and too little of what I do need. Too much salt ruins the dressing and too little of the other ingredients makes my stuffing lack that Thanksgiving flavor I love.

The difference between stuffing and dressing has nothing to do with where you place it (in or outside of the bird), but more to do with where you’re from.

The term ‘dressing‘ is used more by Southern folks. Think cornbread dressing. Yum, my mouth is watering already. The term ‘stuffing’ is more likely to be used by folks outside of the Southern states. Whatever you call it make sure it’s packed with good-old homemade poultry seasoning.

If you’re a vegetarian like me, don’t let the word ‘poultry’ scare you. The basic homemade poultry seasoning is vegan and not only tastes great on bread and potato-based dishes too, but your bird too.

Here’s a simple homemade poultry seasoning recipe you can make in a snap. With a few seasonings you probably already have in your cupboard, you can make a basic poultry seasoning in a jiffy. Don’t forget to double the recipe so you have some leftover for Christmas.

Basic Homemade Poultry Seasoning Recipe
Crush homemade poultry seasonings in a mortar and pestle.

Homemade Basic Homemade Poultry Seasoning Recipe Ingredients

This is a basic recipe, so as you experiment with it change the quantities to your taste.

  • 1 tablespoon marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed celery salt (or celery seed for a low-sodium version)
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon (optional)

Place the herbs in a mortar and pestle and crush them. A food processor or spice grinder works well too (I don’t have one yet, but maybe Santa will surprise me this year.).

Note: No birds were harmed in the making of my basic homemade poultry seasoning. 🙂




Almost Roasted Blue Potato Recipe

Blame it on the moon. I had to substitute yellow taters for my almost roasted blue potato recipe, but it’s all good.

My plan was to head to the Blue Danube River, listen to Johann Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz, eat blue potatoes, and see the blue moon, but the stars had another plan. Instead of a blue potato recipe post, using blue potatoes, I’m substituting yellow taters.

Almost Blue Pan Roasted Potatoes
Almost Blue Pan Roasted Potatoes

The problem with being a travel/food blogger is that you can’t always get the picture perfect photo and you can’t always get the ingredients when you need them. The latter is the case with my Almost Roasted Blue Potato recipe. I went to five grocery stores in Germany and couldn’t find a single blue potato. I did find French blue cheese and Persian blue salt though. 🙂

Persian blue salt is a natural mineral rich rock dotted with blue crystals and has a hint of sweetness.
Persian blue salt

Like any good cook, sometimes you just need to substitute ingredients which is what I did and it turned out wonderfully delicious.

Pan Roasted Blue Potatoes with French Blue Cheese and Thyme Recipe

  • 1 pound (500 grams) blue or yellow potatoes
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried thyme (I like Penzey’s)
  • 3-5 cloves fresh purple garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Blue Persian salt or Fleur de sel (more if needed after cooking)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Crumbled blue cheese

Almost Pan Roasted Blue Potato recipe.
Almost Pan Roasted Blue Potato recipe.

Pan Roasted Blue Potato Instructions

  1. Wash the potatoes in cold water only removing the skins if there are imperfections.
  2. If the potatoes are large, quarter them or dice them into 1/2-inch cubes.
  3. Blanch the potatoes and make sure they are completely dry before placing them in hot oil.
  4. Heat the large pan on medium heat, add the olive oil, potatoes and some salt.
    You can always add salt but you can’t take it away.
  5. In the uncovered pan, gently turn the potatoes browning both sides until half done.
  6. Turn up the heat to medium high and add the garlic cloves and thyme. Continue to roast for approximately 10 minutes or until the garlic and potatoes are done (cooking time varies depending on the potato variety).
  7. Add more thyme, salt, and pepper to taste.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and top with crumbled blue cheese.

When I get my hands on some blue potatoes, I’ll update the post with a picture of blue potatoes.

Enjoy tonight’s blue moon and this recipe!




Homemade Prague Citrus-ade Recipe

This homemade Prague Citrus-ade recipe is simply refreshing and simple to make.

We spent a wonderful hot and muggy spring vacation in Prague and although the local beer looked inviting, it contained too much alcohol to safely quench my thirst during our long hours marveling at the wondrous sights of Prague.

As we walked around town, I noticed many restaurants were serving a lemonade-type drink. Since I was parched, I ordered a pitcher for our table and as soon as I took a sip of the refreshing drink made with lemons, limes, and oranges–I became hooked on homemade Prague Citrus-ade.

Lemon Limeade
Homemade Prague Citrus-ade

Most Prague restaurants have their own recipe for making homemade Prague Citrus-ade, so since my visit, I’ve been trying to replicate it. It’s actually fairly easy to prepare; you begin with simple syrup and a combination of citrus fruit juices.

Homemade Prague Citrus-ade Recipe (Serves 6-8)

Simple Syrup Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown or white, granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water

Citrus-ade Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (1-2 oranges)
  • 3 to 5 cups cold water
  • Ice cubes
  • Sparkling water
  • Lime or lemon slices
  • Fresh mint sprigs

Method

Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.

If the citrus fruit is waxed, lightly scrub the peel with a cloth or kitchen brush to remove the wax. Next, roll the lemon and limes on the counter top to ensure you’ll be able to release as many juices as possible.

Pour the citrus juices and about 1 cup of the sugar water into a serving pitcher.

Add about 2 cups of cold water to the citrus-ade mixture. Now taste; adding more simple syrup and water if needed. Any remaining simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Lemon-lime aid recipe
Homemade Prague Citrus-ade ingredients

Fill tall glasses halfway with ice cubes and pour the citrus mixture over the ice cubes. Add a splash of sparkling water and garnish with a lemon or lime slices and mint sprigs.

If you want to add a bit of “wow” factor to the table, use a Bohemian crystal pitcher and matching glasses. I personally don’t have any Bohemian crystal glassware, but if I did, I’d follow my own suggestion. 😉

The variations are limitless with this basic recipe, so get creative with flavors and enjoy.

Prague Citrus-ade. It’s easy to make, refreshing, and the perfect drink to cool down and celebrate summer.