Monday, April 14, 2014

dinner idea: brats and kraut

I grew up hating sauerkraut, but my brother loved it. And we both loved brats so our grandpa would go to great lengths to ensure we had grilled brats - and sauerkraut for Brian - whenever we came over. I still picture him with a winter coat out slaving over the grill just because he loved us that much and wanted us to eat that for dinner.

Fast forward twenty years... my husband introduced me to a recipe that makes me like it! Crazy! :-) You put a can of sauerkraut in the crock pot with a bunch of bratwurst, cook them for dinner, and eat them over mashed potatoes!

Tonight, that was the plan. I realized halfway through the crockpot's cooking time that we didn't have 'tatoes. What I did instead was based on a recipe from Karen Hurd's Bean Queen cookbook. I sauteed onion and garlic because every good recipe should start with sauteed onion and garlic (in butter). I added baby bella mushrooms; I thought they would add a nice earthiness. After that had cooked a while, I added two cans of great northern beans. I let them cook a while, and then mushed them up with a potato masher and added pepper and salt.

Overall, not too shabby of a potato replacement! The strong flavors of the sauerkraut and then brats dominated the dish, so it might need some tweaking if it stood on its own as a side dish, but if you are avoiding potatoes and want a potato-like dish, you may want to try it! :-)

just another day in the life...

So it's a little too chilly to go outside. That means it's time to put on the thinker cap and figure out how to keep Brayden entertained at home. :-)

As some of you have seen on FB, here are some recent ways we've done so....

taking family selfies... (or just "self" selfies if you're Brayden)

playing with cornstarch, water, and food coloring

playing in the sink

Today, I decided it would be a grand idea to make cookies with him. We could bake a batch and then freeze the rest of the cookie dough in premade balls. That went pretty good, although he was very anxious to pour in the oatmeal, which wasn't called for until the end. By the time I had gotten to pouring in the oatmeal, he was much too preoccupied with the raisins and dried cherries I was adding in and wanting to pour those in... and of course, eat them! 

So after we poured the raisins and oatmeal in, we were ready to put the dough on the cookie sheets, but Brayden's plan was different than mine. After he put up a fit when I put the raisins away, I decided I didn't want to fight that battle and I wanted to continue enjoying making the cookies... so he sat there eating raisins while I loaded up the cookie sheets. Then, out of the blue, he decided to try a cookie dough ball... then I had to explain to him one cookie dough ball was enough.... 

Well, the cookies are in the oven now and Brayden is eating a half a PB&J sandwich before the cookies are done. 

I do love living with a two-year-old. They always keep you on your toes! Such an adventure! :-)