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35

Chicken-Wrapped Bratwurst in Honey Peanut Butter Sauce

Alexandra Williams, MA
picture of Bees Knees peanut butter

Whipping up some honey PB sauce

For Memorial Day, we have a lot of family coming to town, and I am the hostess who enjoys spending time in the kitchen, preparing yummy stuff for all of them. Inspired by “The Bee’s Knees” honey peanut butter that Peanut Butter & Co. sent me as part of their Yum Squad, I created a recipe that I think is a winner:  Chicken-Wrapped Bratwurst in PB Sauce.

First of all, I was just going to make chicken marinated in the sauce, but I accidentally defrosted chicken lunchmeat instead of chicken breasts, so I just defrosted bratwurst and figured it would work to wrap the chicken around the bratwurst! That’s my full disclosure on the way I create the cooking magic here at the Alexandra House of Cooking Infamy. I’m actually a vegetarian, so can be excused (somewhat) for my chicken confusion, right?!

In any case, the recipe is below, and was pronounced a delicious success by the meat-eaters in my family. So it shall be repeated for the weekend. It’s a versatile recipe, eh!! (I’m channeling my inner Canadian for no apparent reason there).

picture of uncooked bratwurst in honey PB sauce

Wrapped up and ready to bake

Chicken Wrapped Bratwurst in Honey Peanut Butter Sauce

8 slices chicken lunchmeat
4 large bratwurst

Sauce
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey peanut butter
1/2 tsp curry paste (red or green)
2 minced or crushed garlic cloves
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
zest and juice of small lime (or 1/2 of regular)

Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Put the bratwurst into the bowl and fully cover it with the sauce. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. While it’s marinating, preheat the oven to 350. Put the bratwurst into a baking dish (or on a parchment covered baking sheet) and wrap the chicken slices around the bratwurst. Pour remaining sauce over the meat and bake for 45-60 minutes.

I baked it in a covered dish, so if you bake it in an uncovered dish or on a baking sheet, the cooking time might be somewhat less. And in case you’re wondering what I ate, I had the borscht, made from beets I grew in my garden.

Serves 4

picture of pb marinated bratwurst and borscht

Chicken wrapped Bratwurst in Honey Peanut Butter Sauce, served with Beet Soup

 

 

 

 

 

This is not a sponsored post, but Peanut Butter & Co. did send me two jars of Bee’s Knees. They also will send two jars to a U.S. resident who gets randomly selected in our giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy holidays to you and yours if you’re celebrating Memorial Day. Also, if you haven’t joined our Diet Better yet, why not? Lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks and win a share of the money in the pot. Only $25 to join. It begins on Tuesday, May 27, so eat that holiday food, then get a’losin!! Read our post about it or just click to join.

21

Baking and Cooking in Seattle with Miele

Alexandra Williams, MA

First-Class Treatment from a First-Class Company

Miele Combi-Steam OvenLast week I was one of eight bloggers invited to Seattle to learn about the Miele Combi-Steam Oven. But this was not a “come to a demo of our oven” trip, noooooooo. It was a “let’s treat you as an esteemed visitor to the city and our gallery slash showroom slash demo kitchen slash restaurant” kind of trip.

Indulge me while we start at the start. In January 2013 I was part of the Modenus BlogTour to Cologne. Miele was one of the sponsors, so I learned all about their original steam oven, as well as their super-intelligent coffeemakers. Perhaps when Miele learned I had stowed away inside their booth (they had food, unlimited coffee and wifi), they decided I might be a good candidate for the Seattle junket (come on, who doesn’t want an excuse to say “junket?”). Or perhaps my famous bread-baking skills persuaded them to invite me  (I am taking license with the word “skills”).

Day One with Miele

The TV screen Welcomed me by Name. Gifts from the Hotel and Miele Awaited.

I flew into Sea-Tac airport to find my driver awaiting me. He drove me to the luxury Hotel 1000. Note the word “luxury” there. It permeated the weekend. We met up as a group for dinner at Altura Italian restaurant in Capitol Hill. We had our own menu, plus a few surprises, including the chef’s gift of squash panna cotta with black truffle and popcorn. We toasted to Miele with both red and white wine!!

A menu made just for Miele Seattle. And they added extras, including truffles & a blood orange, cardamon & apple palate cleanser

A menu made just for Miele Seattle. And they added extras, including truffles & a blood orange, cardamon & apple palate cleanser

Day Two with Miele

Color, color, everywhere

Color, color, everywhere

Yes, they really do throw the fish! And that is peanut butter encrusted ham.

Yes, they really do throw the fish! And that is peanut butter encrusted ham.

The day started with a behind the scenes tour of Pike Place Market with Savor Seattle. Our tour guide Brett had even worse puns than I do, so I adopted him. Pastry chef Dianne of Dianne’s Delights joined us, and later taught us how to make jam-filled pastry tarts! Yup, our very own pastry chef. We got to taste test all kinds of delicious Market items, from salmon to donuts to coconut lime balsamic vinegar to cheese to cabernet pepper jelly to, to, to, Infinity and Beyond!! And even though I don’t eat meat, a special shout-out goes to BB Ranch, where owner Bill has gone to great lengths to use every single part of the animal in a way that takes care of the land and animals (humans included).

Fresh Water all Lined Up

Fresh Water all Lined Up

The Combi-Steam Oven Belongs to Whomever Last Touched It

The Combi-Steam Oven Belongs to Whomever Last Touched It

The Main Miele Event took place in the afternoon and evening. The pictures tell the story of the roasting and baking we all did, including my stint rolling out dough when they asked for someone with muscles!!

Roll It & Make It &  Bake it with Some Jam!

Roll It & Make It &
Bake it with Some Jam!

What the pictures don’t tell you is how I broke up with my former boyfriend the Miele Steam Oven once I had this first date with the Combi-Oven. As a bread baker, I went ga-ga (drool included) over the steam and convection combination that makes it possible to cut two-thirds of the proofing time off. We didn’t make bread though; we made galettes, and the crust was perfect – crisp, flaky, golden-brown and melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Okay, Team Galette Girls (my team of three) made the crust, so I might be biased. And we actually had to do some troubleshooting after overwatering our dough, but the combi-steam oven fixed our almost-mistake.

The Galette Girls

The Galette Girls

For people like my sister, this “Immer Besser” oven is “Always Better” (Miele’s slogan), because she is not a cook, and the oven knows that. It is Immer Smarter, so has over 100 automated programs, plus five specialty gourmet programs for turkey, chicken, baby back ribs, salmon and beef tenderloin. If you can work a smartphone, you can follow control panel instructions. Miele cleverly hides something behind the control panel. Can you guess what it is?

We made the chicken, ribs and salmon, as well as two different types of galette, pumpkin pot de crème, roasted fingerling potatoes with carrots, and cookies. This was all after we made the jam tarts. To fortify ourselves for the excruciating chore of cooking all this deliciousness, we drank German coffees all day. A few of the bloggers had wine and champagne too, but I am sworn to secrecy (they posted a lot of pictures on Instagram, in other words).

Top Quality From German firm Miele. I thought they said, "Choose a vacuum on the way out." They Didn't.

Top Quality From German firm Miele. I thought they said, “Choose a vacuum on the way out.” They Didn’t.

When dinner was over, someone else did the dishes (say, does that feature come with the combi-oven?), then we sort of rolled ourselves into the shuttle van for the ride back to the hotel. On the way out I tried to stuff a dishwasher and orange vacuum into my bag, but it didn’t work. I need a bigger bag! Oh, to demonstrate how quiet their dishwashers are, one of the Miele team members put her phone into the machine. Even though she had music playing on Loud, we heard nothing once the door was shut. I volunteered to put my boys into the machine.

Day Three with Miele

The public relations specialist for Miele invited us to breakfast. I ordered oatmeal. Please don’t hate me because I love oatmeal. It got me all fortified up for the walking and shopping I did before my flight home. And even though all my flights both to and from Seattle were delayed (hey, Miele, next time can you invent a fog-lifter machine?), I was cheery. Skipping and hopping were involved! Why? Because who wouldn’t be grateful for such an adventure with Miele? I got to visit a city I love, make new friends, and learn more about a quality product that I’ve loved since I lived in Berlin in the cough cough 1980s.

A decaf macchiato toast to the public relations team at White Good!! They recognize the value of hard-working ethical bloggers, and went way beyond the expected to make this a truly first-class experience that exemplified the “Immer Besser” Miele slogan.

A perfect decaf Miele Macchiato

A perfect decaf Miele Macchiato

Need some bread baked? Or just some all-around great info?

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Photo credits: All were taken by Alexandra’s magical skill-improving phone. And I was not paid to write this post. All opinions are my own. Miele did cover all my expenses in a very generous fashion, yet did not ask for anything in return. They are fully aware of my undying love for their high-quality products. Besides, I like to say, “Immer Besser.” It just sounds cool. 

8

Food, Glorious Food: What do a Steam Oven and Cologne Cathedral Have in Common?

Alexandra Williams, MA

Just as Kymberly returns from a week at Rancho la Puerta spa in Mexico (please sing, “Welcome Back Kymberly” to the tune of “Welcome Back Kotter”), I’ll be leaving for Cologne and Amsterdam as part of an event known as BlogTour.

Miele_PR_009_2012_002We are going to see a lot of beautiful, trend-setting, functional products there. I am not a designer. The other 13 bloggers are. I probably don’t even wear the right shade of lipstick for my coloring, and my house is decorated in Post-Modern Dust Kitty! What I am is a baker, a cook, a person who gets sweaty, and I live in a home. More importantly, all of you like to eat, bathe and live in comfort, and all of us care about leading healthy lives. This includes buying products that reflect our values and take the earth into consideration.

While I’m in Germany and Nederland (I cannot bring myself to use the English “Holland” or “the Netherlands,” due to my Dutch ties), I will take a lot of pictures so I can share all the cool stuff I see with you. For now (I depart on Saturday), I’ll just mention one product that I’m really curious about. Judging from the comments I’ve gotten from many of you, we are mutually curious about the steam oven from Miele that I mentioned in our post BlogTour: Cologne, Amsterdam and Gifts for Your Home.

I wrote to Miele to get more info, with a particular request to know if I could do baguettes in the steam oven. Rather than reword her answer, I’ll quote directly from Julie McCrary, Miele’s local PR rep.

Food, Glorious Steamed Food

Food, Glorious Steamed Food

I too am a baker and have enjoyed trying out lots of new recipes in the steam oven. This year I’ve made Banana Bread and Molten Chocolate Cake in the steam oven, as well as fajitas, steamed meatballs and a fabulous seafood stew. Oh, did I mention that one of the great things about cooking with steam is that you can cook multiple things at the same time without the fear of flavor transfer? As for the nutritional value, vegetables cooked in the Miele Steam Oven retain about 20% more nutrients than vegetables that are boiled on a cooktop.

The steam oven is also great for reheating leftovers. Because it uses steam instead of direct heat, moisture is reintroduced to the food and unlike when you reheat food in a microwave, the food is moist and doesn’t dry out.

You are correct about the baguettes, you can proof dough in the steam oven. There’s even a specialized program within the Miele MasterChef settings which help set the right time and temperature.

I am now trying to figure out if I can sell my sister in exchange for one of these! Oh, wait, it’s under $1000, so I could maybe just sell her hair. Short red hair is valuable, right?

Always Better - Does that Refer to Me or Miele?

Always Better – Does that Refer to Me or Miele?

There is a recipe link on the Miele site, with over 100 recipes for the steam oven. I’ve linked it for you, but a few of the recipe titles are making me really hungry: Vanilla Bean Custard with Blackberry Coulis, Smoked Paprika Roasted Scallops with Asparagus and Dill Sauce, and Steamed Lobster and Corn Dumplings with Mushroom Puree. You see where I’m going with this? – Straight to the kitchen!!!

Lobster & Corn Dumplings with Mushroom Puree sounds good to meeeee

Lobster & Corn Dumplings with Mushroom Puree sounds good to meeeee

Sooooo, um, yeah, I want to break out in the song “Food, Glorious Food,” from “Oliver,” skipping the gruel!

I’ll be doing further posts about some of the other cool stuff, but in the meantime, did I mention we’ll be taking a tour of the Köelner Dom (Cologne Cathedral)? My undergrad degree was in European Medieval History, so I’m pretty dang excited about this special event too. If you want to follow along, we’ll be on Twitter using the #BlogTourCGN hashtag. And the BlogTour itinerary is right here.

Cologne Cathedral (I want to sound erudite, so I'll call it Kölner Dom)

Cologne Cathedral (I want to sound erudite, so I’ll call it Kölner Dom)

 

If you’re curious about Cologne (Köln for the German speakers), Amsterdam, kitchens, baths, design, furniture (especially Scandinavian) or want to meet the sponsors, my fellow bloggers, and perhaps even a few of the European bloggers, join our Twitter chat today, January 10, 4:00 pm EST/ 1:00 pm PST, using the hashtag above. Bring your questions. I’ll be bringing my fork, wit and curiosity!

 

You can mock our sense of  fashion by subscribing to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Click now on the icons above or below. We make it easy to share, subscribe and have fun leading a healthy life!

P.S. While I do have more dust kitties than I might like, I actually am a snob (according to my sis), and have some truly fab furnishings. All the products made by the sponsors of BlogTour would match them perfectly!

Photo credits: All photos are from the Miele site, except the Dom. 

I received no compensation or products for this post, although I will happily mention that Miele is one of the sponsors of BlogTour.