turkey goulash.

Turkey Goulash with rice

During my au pair year, every weekday we headed over to Oma’s house, which was conveniently located through the backyard, for lunch. They have a very special cook and housekeeper, Dada, who prepared lunch a few times per week. One of Dada’s signature dishes was a turkey goulash served over either rice or egg noodles. After my initial dish confusion, I fell in love with it. It’s one of those dishes that you associate with comfort and home cooking, maybe because it’s just not glamorous enough to be served in a restaurant setting, yet its packed with flavor and fills you up.

I really love all goulashes, but since this one was turkey and light colored, I feel a little less crappy about eating it. Dada and I’s communication was limited to my A-level German, so it didn’t get very far, but I was able to get the gist of the recipe.  An intense craving a few days finally caused me to bite the bullet and give it a try. Somehow it turned out pretty dang close to the original, so close, that I think it’s worth sharing!  Plus it’s quick, easy, cheap, and makes excellent leftovers (really, I ate it for lunch for 4 straight days).

Homemade Turkey Goulash

Chop some onions and sauté.
Chop up turkey filets. Add to onions. Cook until outsides are cooked, but leave inside uncooked. Add some Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning to the mix if you like (because I pretty much dont’ cook anything without it).
Create thickening agent.Begin melting 2 tbsp. butter on medium heat.
Once melted, add 2 tbsp. flour.
Whisk vigorously until clumps are out.
Immediately add 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup white wine to the mixture. Stir well.
Add 1 can cream of mushroom soup. Stir well.
Add in turkey and onions and cook on low until turkey is cooked thoroughly.
Add atop serving of rice* or egg noodles.

*I personally prefer rice because I think it absorbs the sauce and gets extra delicious. However, the out of the 12 lunch attendees daily last year, the preferences seemed to be split 50-50.

**I also add some crushed red pepper flakes to the final product, but that’s because I’m a freak and add them to everything.

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Have you ever tried goulash?

Because it’s my duty as a blogger and considering I’m a wrote a whole post on Google Reader, I’m pretty disappointed about the shut down. So, you can still subscribe via RSS through a different reader or follow me with BlogLovin’.

how to: make a guess who? costume.

Guess Who Anita Costume

Our Guess Who? Karneval costumes were a pretty big hit among those who saw them, which excites me, because I loved them too and will probably do it again. I wish I could claim Miss Creativity on this one, but I definitely saw the idea on Pinterest. For those of you who missed out on your childhood and never got to play Guess Who?, here is one side of the game. You try to guess the other player’s character by asking a serious of yes or no questions like “Does your person have a beard?”. By process of elimination, you can figure out the other player’s character. It’ s simply an 80s classic. Our boards say “Wer ist es?” because that is the name of the game in Germany. The character names remain the same.

How to Make a Guess Who Costume in 5 Easy Steps

guess who how to: make a guess who? costume.

Costume Pros

Weather Friendly - you can wear whatever outfit with them you like, so whether it’s freezing cold or scorching hot, this costume does not need to be altered, covered up, or taken off.
Cheap - this costume seriously cost us 5 Euro to make
Easy - any adult can make this

Costume Cons

Frame can be obtrusive in crowded spaces
Holding the frame can be annoying

What You’ll Need

Foam board
Box cutter (handle with care)
Construction paper
Red and blue permanent markers
String or ribbon
Accessories: Once you pick your character, you might need a beret, mustache, necklace, etc.

Instructions

1. Measure and cut board. Be sure to cut out the center of the frame in one solid piece. You will use it later for the question mark.

2. Sketch question mark on remaining center frame piece in block letter style. Cut it out.

3. Trace question mark outline onto construction paper. Cut it out. Paste it over question mark for coloring.

4. Punch a hole in top of question mark. Insert string through hole and tie long enough to wear comfortable as a necklace.

5. Use markers to write “Guess Who?” on top of the frame and your character’s name on the bottom.

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Have you ever played Guess Who?

how to: set up & use rss feeds for bloggers.

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Blogger don’t just write blogs, we read them, too. Heck, I read a lot more than I write. All of you veterans out there probably already know all of this, but this post is for the new bloggers out there who are wondering how the heck to keep their blog reading efficient and organized. I realize this is a little out of my normal blogging repertoire, but I’m feeling helpful today (and I also hate when I can’t find your dang RSS feed links)! You never know, maybe I can teach you veterans something, too.

The easiest way to manage your blog reading material is with RSS feeds.

So, what’s an RSS Feed?

RSS stands for Rich Site Summary (or Really Simple Syndication, which is what I learned in school) and is a standardized way of formatting news feeds and pushing updates.

 

128px Feed icon.svg how to: set up & use rss feeds for bloggers.

When looking to subscribe to a blog, or any news sources’, RSS feeds, look for the universal RSS symbol (above). Some bloggers have made it a little more difficult and recolored and shaped this symbol. Some bloggers, like myself, have made it extra complicated and linked their RSS feed to a button that says RSS feeds or even something that just says “subscribe” (note to self: reconsider this). Anyways, the main thing you are looking for is to subscribe via RSS.

But first, you’ll need an RSS feed reader.

Note: I’m just going to leave out all other feed readers other than Google Reader, like BlogLovin’ and WordPress.com, because although these readers are sleek and beautiful, they do not function for blogs not registered through those sites and it really can leave a gap in your blog reading opportunities.

If you have a Google Account (which, if you don’t, we need to have a chat…), good news: you already have Google Reader. It can be found at http://google.com/reader and in your Google navigation bar.

If you’ve never subscribed to an RSS feed, your feed will be empty. You might not have realized you were subscribing to feeds and have plenty of unread items. What’s that you say? Why yes, have you ever signed into a blog via the some-love-but-other-hate (I’m a hater, btw) Google Friend Connect? GFC, as it will be referred to from here on out, automatically adds that particular blogs RSS feed to your Google Reader account.

Anyways, all of your RSS feed subscriptions will be displayed in your Google Reader, sorted from newest to oldest. To read a post, simply click an article title and the post will expand. If you want to comment, or in some cases, read further, click the headline to go to the Web site. Random note: if you are OCD like myself, the ‘Mark All As Read’ button will become your best friend.

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Lastly, if you already don’t feel bad about the ridiculous amount of time you spend blogging, you can click on Trends in the left sidebar and it will tell you exactly how much time you’ve wasted. Except, I’m declaring right here and now that it’s not wasted. My host dad told me last year that any time wasted that you enjoy is not time wasted, and I enjoy blogging, so there.

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And I wonder why I never get around to reading books anymore…

How do I subscribe?

Once you locate the RSS subscription button, click it. You will be directed to this page.

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Helene, used your blog, hope that’s Ok.

Select the Google button under ‘Subscribe Now!’ If you are already signed into your Google account, you will surpass the previous page and move on automatically to the next page:

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Now, just select ‘Add to Google Reader’ and you’re set!

In some cases, you may retrieve an RSS page that doesn’t look so clean, like this one:

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Hanley‘s RSS Feed

Don’t fret. Simply copy-paste the feed link from the bar directly into Google Reader. Simply click the Subscribe button, paste the URL, and hit add.

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How do I organize my feeds?

It’s up to you, you can organize them alphabetically for all I care. My best method is to sort them by topic, like travel blogs, lifestyle blogs, friends, etc. I even have a category I call “Maybe Another Day” that houses blogs I like, but haven’t quite made it into my daily-can’t-miss pile.

To add an item to a folder, hover over a particular subscription, select the downwards arrow to the right, and select a folder or ‘New Folder’ to create a new file.

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How can I add an RSS feed to my blog?

Gee, I never thought you’d ask. Although many blogs have them built in (i.e., on WordPress blogs, just add ‘.com/feed/’ to URL and you will receive it, it is best for analytics and subscribers to set up your feeds via Feedburner (yet another Google service).

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One MEGA suggestion I have when setting up your RSS feeds is to only offer a snippet, not the entire post, in Google Reader. While I know this might drive people nuts, it will help keep traffic up on your blog. Plus, once people are actually at your blog, they are more likely to comment.  Read how here.

Read all kinds of FeedBurner pro tips here.

Lastly,

I could go on forever. I love that you can email articles right from Google Reader and star your favorites. I love that I have the Google Reader app on my phone to keep me entertained on public transportation. I love my Reeder app on iOS platforms that syncs flawlessly with Google Reader.

RSS Feeds may sound overwhelming, but anyone can master it. Heck, if you have a blog, RSS feeds are a piece of cake!  Once you find your organization process, your blog reading efficiency will go through the roof, I promise.

So bloggers, what’s your method? How do you read all your favorite blogs?

Any questions? Shout ‘em out.