Tuna Noodle Casserole

I love tuna casserole. Unabashedly. My mom’s is stellar, but because she uses cream soups (that I can’t get here) and a special, frozen big thick noodle (which I’ve never seen ANYWHERE outside of Kansas City), I can’t really reproduce it. Every so often, I would trawl the internet for tuna casserole recipes with all ingredients that I could get here. Because it’s a holiday weekend and we’ve got the time, we embarked on a tuna adventure, only to be met with abject SUCCESS! It was stupid good. The original recipe is here, but I made some adjustments.

1 T olive oil
1 T unsalted butter
2 small cloves garlic, minced
3 celery stalks, small dice (about 2/3 cup)
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 small hot green chili, minced
1 t Old Bay Seasoning (I’ve never had this, so I made my own with this)
2 T flour
1 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
500 ml milk
50 g sour cream
1 T Dijon mustard
500 egg noodles (I used schwäbische Landnudeln because they looked pretty rough – they did not disappoint)
2 cans high-quality imported tuna packed in oil, drained and flaked
300 g coarsely grated aged cheddar cheese
2-3 T finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 t dried parsley
4 T french-fried onions (Röstzwiebeln)

  1. Heat oven to 350°F/175°C and butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm oil and butter. When butter foams, add garlic, celery, scallions and chili. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, then add seasoning, flour, salt and pepper. Stir until vegetables are coated and raw smell of flour is gone, then start pouring in milk, stirring all the while, making sure there are no lumps. After it simmers and thickens, remove it from the heat, stir in sour cream and mustard, and adjust seasonings if necessary.

  3. Cook the noodles in well-salted water to just over half of the package-directed cooking time. You want them pretty firm in the middle, as they will continue to cook in the oven. Drain and mix with the sauce, tuna and cheese until everything is well distributed. Pour into buttered casserole and spread evenly. In a small bowl, toss together Parmesan, parsley and onions. Sprinkle mixture over top of casserole. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

WEBMU 2014: Nürnberg!

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The votes are in and Nürnberg ended up running away with WEBMU 2014, but we still need to settle on a date. The dates that are best for the organizers (full disclosure: we’re a couple of the organizers) are up over in the forums now. Go take a look and choose the date or dates that are best for you and we can nail this thing down.

Need access to the forums? Let us know that you’re not a bot and we’ll take care of it. Have local Nürnberg knowledge that you’re just dying to share? Leave a comment and we’ll get you involved.

Bridge Update, End of March 2014

Big developments on the bridge this week! They’ve closed off the main archway, diverting all foot and bicycle traffic through the secondary arch leading past the entrance the UNESCO World Heritage vistors center and onto the stretch of auxiliary bridge. Scaffolding has replaced the side rails on the south stretch of the bridge. Only the middle section of the bridge and the ramp from there down to Müllerstraße, Alte Linde and the rest of the Oberer Wöhrd are available at the moment. Wonder when they’re finally going to re-open the north end (the Stadtamhof side)…it’s been inaccessible since they first started this project.

View South

View South

Main arch closed

Main arch closed

View North

View North

View West

View West

WEBMU 2014 Location Voting Open

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The nominations are in and it’s time to vote! There are a quite a few more cities and regions to choose from than last year, including a couple of repeats and one far-flung locale.

What is WEBMU you ask? Why, it’s the Whiny Expat Bloggers Meet Up. Click the link for a little history on the event.

Voting will close on March 31, 2014. That’s two whole weeks to see what’s on offer, find out more about the options, engage in some campaigning and debate and cruise the blogs of potential participants. To vote, go check out this thread in the Expat Bloggers in Germany Forums. Can’t access the forums? Let us know here or on Twitter (@ExpatBloggersDE) and we will get you taken care of.

Happy voting!

India, Part 4: Epilogue

We flew to India on a package tour in January 2014. It was our first time in that country; we hope it won’t be our last. This is the epilogue of the story. Catch up via Part 1 or Part 2 or Part 3 if you need to.

Our trip through three big cities in India was fast and furious. So far we’ve blogged about the tourism destinations, but not a lot about the travel package itself, or the people we met, or life happening around us there. Continue reading

Avgolemono (Greek Egg & Lemon Soup)

I got this one from here and it’s harder to explain than to make. It looks a little intimidating, what with the tempering, but it is quite simple. I suggest you have someone help you with the tempering, but it is possible to do it alone if you have a stick blender w/whisk attachment and a steady hand.

2 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 c chicken broth
1 c water
3/4 c rice
salt to taste
2 c chicken, cooked and chopped (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 t black pepper, coarse grind
1 t dill, dried (or 2 t fresh)
3 eggs
1/2 c lemon juice

In a deep soup pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Sauté onion and garlic until tender and slightly translucent, 3-5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and water and turn heat to medium. Bring to a gentle boil and add rice. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add salt, chicken, pepper and dill and continue simmering 5 minutes.

While the broth is simmering, in a heatproof bowl (I used a large pyrex measuring cup) beat eggs while slowly pouring in lemon juice. Taste a grain of rice; when it’s almost completely cooked, it’s time to temper the eggs. Add hot broth by the ladle (3 will probably be enough) to the eggs while whisking. Once the eggs have warmed up, take the soup pot off the heat and stir the egg mixture into the soup until completely integrated. Serve immediately.

…what's happening on our side of the pond