Tuesday, September 25, 2012



It is Oktoberfest in Germany right now until next weekend. So I thought what better to celebrate then with a German inspired dinner. My whole family is German. My parents, nor my grandparents were born there, but my heritage is German. I did not really pay much attention to nationalities until I moved to California and then now Chicago area because nationalities are much more prevalent here. Looking back at some traditions that we had growing up, I now realize that we did them because my family was German. Around Christmas time we always got Advent Calendars from my grandma. The ones that you countdown to Christmas by opening each numbered door, and inside were chocolates. I never knew that those were started by Germans. I find it really cool now to look back at things I never would have thought twice about and realize now why we did them. 

I found this whole menu put together in the most recent issue of Food Network Magazine. I was thumbing through the magazine and the picture just caught my eye. I wanted to make every item on the plate, which does not happen very often. I knew Oktoberfest was coming up so I looked to see exactly when it started and saved it to make this week. On the menu is: Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Pumpkin Seed Pesto, Herbed Spaetzle, and Sweet and Sour Cabbage. 

I have seen several recipes for Spaetzle and have always wanted to try to make it. What a mess! Definitely isn't as easy as it looks or sounds. You are supposed to use a colander to press the dough through into the simmering water to make the dumplings. Well my colander is more like a V because it folds up for easy storage. So I did not think it would work well, so Phil and I tried like 5 different tools to try to get it to work and we ended up just making more dishes then anything else. We ended up getting the V shaped colander to work out. Not a dish that will go into our regular rotation, not because it wasn't good but because it was a pain to make. Nonetheless, the dinner was really great!

Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Adapted from Food Network Magazine

5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup chopped parsley
4 Cornish Game Hens ( I made 2)
1 tablespoon garlic spread
1/2 cup water

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in skillet. Add the pepitas, salt and paprika and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. 

Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool transfer to food processor and add parsley and water and pulse until pureed.

Slide your fingers under skin of Cornish hens. Spread pesto under skin of hen. 

Mix garlic spread and remaining 2 tablespoons oil together and spread all over the outside of hens. 

Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight ( I did overnight). 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Place hens in a shallow roasted pan and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Roast, rotating the pan halfway through until the skin is golden brown about 1 hour. Let rest 15 minutes. 

Print Recipe

Herbed Spaetzel
Adapted from Food Network Magazine

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 cup seltzer
3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh dill and parsley
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter

Bring a pot of salted water to a simmer.

Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. 

In a separate bowl whisk sour cream, seltzer, eggs, and herbs until well mixed. Mix in with flour mixture. 

Fill a large bowl with ice water. 

Working over the simmering water, place 1 cup of dough in the colander and push the dough through with a spatula. Cook the spaetzle for 1 minute after they float to the surface and then remove with a slotted spoon and place in bowl with ice water. Continue this until all the dough is used. 

Drain the spaetzel and spread out on a baking sheet and pat dry with paper towels. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. 

Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. 

Increase heat to high and add the spaetzel in an even layer. Cook until golden brown on bottom, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. 

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Sweet and Sour Cabbage
Adapted from Food Network Magazine

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons minced garlic
4 cups shredded purple cabbage
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup water

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minutes. 

Add carrots, water, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. 

Stir in 4 cups cabbage and season with salt. Cook for 5 more minutes. 

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This Recipe is linked on:   Mix it Up MondaysMelt in your Mouth MondaysMust Try MondayOn the Menu Monday,  Makin You Crave Monday Slightly Indulgent TuesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayTrick or Treat TuesdayTotally Tasty TuesdaysTasty Tuesday PartyTalent Show Tuesdays,Foodie Friends Friday,  Foodie Friday, Full Plate ThursdayTastetastic ThursdayLink it up ThursdayThriving on ThursdaysCreative ThursdayFantastic Thursday


  1. My Mother is from Northern Germany and I grew up eating a lot of German food! I am happy to see you are celebrating Oktoberfest! I love purple cabbage and am glad you shared a recipe for it!

    Thank you for joining Foodie Friends Friday! Please come back on Sunday and vote.

    Cynthia at http://feedingbig.blogspot.com/

    1. I will definitly check out ur blog and watch for those....thanks!

  2. Hi Stephanie,
    What great recipes, I can't wait to give them a try. Happy Oktoberfest! Hope you have a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. This looks amazing! Love Cornish Game Hens. I can’t wait to try the recipe. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you share this week! Have a wonderful week.