Product Review: Deutsche Kuche Chocolate & Raspberry Strudel

We have recently gotten on the Aldi bandwagon, and we are constantly discovering new items we love! This is one of them! I have only seen two flavors of this strudel, but there may be more. This is the first one we tried. You get two to a package, and I went ahead and made both at the same time. You bake this for a few minutes and voila! A hot, flaky, flavorful strudel! I served this with some vanilla ice cream on the side. Delicious!

rating: 9

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Homemade Italian Dressing

This dressing was really easy, but it didn’t wow me. It was good but I didn’t love it.

rating: 6

Homemade Italian Dressing



1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil OR neutral vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
1/4 cup white wine vinegar OR red wine vinegar OR a combo of the two
2 tablespoons water
1 to 2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 teaspoon dried parsley
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste



Measure all ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well-blended and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. (Alternatively, you may whisk ingredients together in a bowl, process ingredients in a mini food processor, or blend them in a blender.) Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator; allow to come to room temperature and shake well before using.

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Crock Pot Mac-N-Cheese

Man, this was some good mac-n-cheese! It was super cheesy, and we all liked it (especially me). Low calorie and low fat this is not! 😉 But this is some comfort food for sure.

rating: 9.8

Crock Pot Mac-N-Cheese


2 c. cooked, al dente elbow macaroni
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 c. shredded provolone cheese
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayo
4 oz. cream cheese
14 oz. can of evaporated milk
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1/2 t. dry mustard


1. With cooking spray, spray a large 5-6 qt. crock pot.
2. In a pot cook the macaroni according to directions, leaving al dente, about 3-4 minutes shy of being done. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place the macaroni in the crock pot.
3. Add in the cheeses, sour cream, cream cheese, mayo and seasonings, stirring to combine.
4. Pour the evaporated milk over top the mixture.
5. Cook on low for 2 hours, stirring once half way through.
6. Serve hot.

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3-Ingredient Creamy Tomato Angel Hair Pasta

This recipe is great when you are short on time. Sometimes you just have to make pasta with jarred pasta sauce, and this recipe jazzes that up a little. It comes together really fast, and was good!

rating: 9

3-Ingredient Creamy Tomato Angel Hair Pasta

makes 2-3 servings


9 oz. refrigerated angel hair pasta
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
3 oz. light cream cheese, softened

For serving (optional):
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil
Lemon wedges


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Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add angel hair and cook according to package instructions, usually 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile, add pasta sauce to a separate smaller pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer, covered. Stir in cream cheese until smooth.

Once pasta is cooked, toss with sauce. Scoop servings onto individual plates. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan and basil, and serve with lemon wedges (lemon really amps up the tomato flavor.)

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Louisiana Stranger Cake

I pinned this recipe a while ago on Pinterest, mainly because of the name. It sounded so interesting! I decided to make it this past weekend to take on my semi-annual girls weekend at the beach! This might be the easiest cake I have ever made. It’s only 6 ingredients (and 1 of those is water!). It calls for boxed cake mix AND premade frosting, which I never use. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to find the flavor cake mix and frosting, but Harris Teeter had them both. The secret to this cake? You mix the frosting IN THE CAKE MIX. Weird, right? But you guys, this was the MOISTEST cake I have ever made! We all (all 9 of us) ate this cake and we all liked it. Try it!

rating: 9.8

Louisiana Stranger Cake

time needed: 50 min.



1 box butter pecan cake mix
1 can caramel coconut pecan frosting
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 cup pecans toasted and chopped



Mix all the ingredients together. Yes, add the frosting to the cake batter!
Pour into a well-greased and floured bundt pan.
Bake at 375F for 45 minutes (depending on your oven, cook until toothpick comes out clean).
Let cool in cake pan for 10 minutes.
Remove to cooling rack until completely cool.
Dust with powdered sugar to serve or you can wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until needed.

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Quick “Beef” & Barley Soup

This was pretty good! My only gripe is that the veggies weren’t soft enough. I hate celery, but can eat it cooked. This celery was still a little crunchy. I don’t know why I don’t cook with barley more. It’s really good! I like the nutty, chewy texture. I used a bag of Morningstar Farms Steak Strips in place of the meat. My 10 year old didn’t love this, but my 7 year old did.

rating: 8.5

Quick Beef & Barley Soup
(Eating Well: Quick + Clean)

serves 4
time needed: 40 min.


8 ounces sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (I used 1 bag of Morningstar Farms Steak Strips)
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (I used 1/2 tsp dried)
¾ cup quick-cooking barley
4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth (I used veggie broth)
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar



1. Sprinkle steak with ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the steak and cook, stirring often, until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, onion and celery to the pot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add carrot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add tomato paste and thyme and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated with the tomato paste and are beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add barley, broth, water, salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juice to the pot and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vinegar to taste.

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Kale & White Bean Potpie with Chive Biscuits

Wow, this was so good! My 10 year old didn’t like it, but my 7 year old actually ate the “leaves” (the kale). Other than the chopping, this was relatively easy, and hey, I made biscuits! I could have left it in the oven another 5 minutes to get a better color on my biscuits, but they were done (and were delicious). Try this one!

rating: 9.5

Kale & White Bean Potpie with Chive Biscuits
(Eating Well: Quick & Clean)


serves 6
time needed: 1 hour 20 min.



2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 teaspoons, divided
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
½ cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ¾ teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or ¼ teaspoon dried
8 cups chopped kale (1 small-to-medium bunch)
¼ cup white whole-wheat flour
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or no-chicken broth
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
½ cup cold buttermilk




1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or similar-size 2-quart baking dish) with cooking spray.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and rosemary; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale; cook, stirring often, until tender and wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with ¼ cup flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in beans and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
3. To prepare biscuits: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut or rub butter into the dry ingredients. Stir in chives. Add buttermilk and stir until just combined. Form the dough into 6 biscuits and place on top of the vegetable mixture. Lightly brush with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Place the potpie on a baking sheet.
4. Bake until the biscuits are lightly browned and the filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

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