Pho real

Who doesn’t love a good noodle soup??

Not too many people I know have heard of Pho. I had no idea what it was until a friend of mine made it for lunch one afternoon. This delicious Vietnamese noodle soup is one of my favorite international dishes. It’s simple to make, reasonably inexpensive, and very tasty. The traditional way to make it is much more complex that the recipe I’ve created.

Pho is usually served with beef (pho bo) or chicken (pho ga). This soup includes rice noodles and is often accompanied with basil, mint, limes, and bean sprouts for a garnish. If you love soup I highly recommend you give this recipe a shot.  I’ve included the full recipe and the shortened recipe if you are on a budget or time limit.


A.)   Broth

–          5 pounds beef marrow or knuckle bone.

–          2 pounds Beef chuck

–          2 pieces of ginger, cut thin, slightly charred

–          2 Yellow onions, quartered and peeled, slightly charred

–          ¼ Cup fish sauce

–          3 Tablespoons sugar

–          5 Whole star anise, lightly toasted

–          2 Cinnamon sticks

–          1 Tablespoon salt


B.)    Alternative Broth

-Substitute Beef broth from the store instead of making your own.  Include all other above ingredients minus steps 1 and 2.

C.) Noodles

– 1 package Rice noodles, soaked in warm water

-1/3 pound Beef sirloin, slightly frozen, sliced thin across the grain

D.) Garnish

1/2 Yellow onion cut paper thin

1 Bunch Cilantro, rough chop

1 Can bean sprouts

Basil, chiffonade

3 Each limes, cut in wedges


-In a Large stock pot, add in beef broth, cover and bring to a boil.

-While the broth is slowly coming to a boil char the onions and ginger.

-Once the broth has come to a boil add in onions, ginger, fish sauce, and sugar.

-Simmer for about 1 hour

-Wrap spices in a cheesecloth and add in bouquet  to broth and let infuse until fragrant, about another 30 minutes.

-Discard the spices and onions

-Add salt and continue to simmer.

-In a serving bowl add in noodles and very thinly sliced beef.

-Add in boiling broth.

-Add in preferred garnishes


The Hot liquid will cook the beef. Beef must be thinly sliced, if not beef may not fully cook in the liquid not to mention sirloin can become tough if not sliced thin enough.  I found it easier to freeze it slightly prior to cutting. You can use any cut of beef, most recipes call for sirloin. You can also substitute chicken or have no meat at all just vegetables.  Brandon and I just happened to have marrow bones left over from dinner a previous night so I added that to the broth as well. Other popular garnishes for the soup are scallions, hot sauces, chilies, Asian basil, and mint. If you decide to make your own broth, preparation instructions are below in a link.


Source: “The foods of Vietnam” by Nicole Routhier


Edible cookbook

This German cookbook is from the designer korefe and is a real cookbook that teaches people how to make a classic lasagna. This book is made of real pasta and each page tells a new step in how to make the dish. This is a book I think I would enjoy! 🙂

edible cookbook by korefe.

Source: Korefe via Designboom

Anytime chili

The Year was 1998 and the Gresbach family was all gathered around the television watching Superbowl XXXII: Greenbay Packers and Denver Broncos. With my family being from Wisconsin, this was a very big game for us. Although Denver defeated the packers in a 31-24 final, it was still a great game and another wonderful evening spent with my family.

During halftime my grandpa always had chili waiting hot on the stove along with all the toppings of sour cream, shredded cheddar, and chives alined on the counter in front. I don’t know who he got the recipe from or how he makes it but it is the best chili i’ve had. I think about that chili every day and think of all the football games and gatherings my family had when chili was the entree.  Needless to say you don’t need to wait for a superbowl or cold winter weather to make a steaming hot pot of chili.

Traditional versions of chili are made using chili peppers, garlic, onions, and cumin. The addition of ground beef is sometimes used depending on culture. Variations on geographic or personal reasons may include beans and tomatoes as well. After years of messing around with chili recipes, I’ve put together a recipe everyone will enjoy.

What you will need:

-1 Small yellow onion, small dice

-1 Stalk celery, small dice

-4 Cloves garlic, chopped

-1 15 Oz can red kidney beans, rinsed

-1 15 Oz can black beans, rinsed

-1 4 Oz can chopped green chili’s

-1 28 Oz can tomato sauce

-1 Tablespoon Sambal

-TT Cumin

-1 Teaspoon chili powder

-1 Teaspoon Cayenne powder

-TT Salt and pepper

-1 packed smoked sausage (Omit if vegan)


-Turn oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat a large sauce pot with one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.

-Once hot, saute vegetables and garlic until translucent. Approximately 3 minutes.

-Add in beans, and Tomato sauce followed by seasonings and sambal until desired taste. Stir to combine and cook over low heat stirring often for 1 hour.

-While that is cooking, cut sausage on the bias and line on a sheet tray covered in foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

-When sausage is ready add it into the chili and continue cooking for one hour.

– Serve immediately with toppings of your choice.


The seasonings in this chili can be tricky. I didn’t put up specific measurements because with my taste I prefer mine spicier. If you are unsure start with 1 Tablespoon of each and adjust flavor from there. Go light on the chili powder and cayenne because flavors continue to develop throughout cooking and those two are powerful together and may cause your chili to become too spicy. If you don’t have any dry chili in your pantry you can substitute chili sauces such as Texas Pete or Franks. Lastly, I prefer to use tomato sauce because the beans soak up a lot of the liquid throughout cooking getting it to the perfect consistency.