Tag Archives: Goals

Cheers to 2017! This year I had a hard time deciding what type of resolutions I would like to focus on for the new year. I used this first week to gather ideas from others and to mold my own thoughts into resolutions that would be realistic but also lasting, sustainable. Here are a few contenders:

  1. Learn how to play piano. I already have a gold star here as I already set up my lessons to begin this summer!
  2. Spend quality time with my daughter. So many times I find myself zoned out into social media that I don’t truly devote myself to her. This year I want to create quality memories with full attention.
  3. Exercise more. My exercise level this year has been at a solid -2. With the biggest excuse being: when do I have time with a 1-year old! Well I have discovered that early morning before she gets up is my only option, so here’s to 6 AM workouts!
  4. Devote more time to my blog. Do you see a common theme here, lack of time? Posting once a week during the school year is my goal, and really pushing more focus during the summer is a secondary step. 

I wanted these resolutions goals to be long lasting and worthwhile, much like this delicious  Knoephla soup. During the past few weeks in North Dakota, our weather has rivaled that of Antarctica. We have copious amounts of snow and sub-zero temperatures daily. This soup is the perfect answer. 

Knoephla, also spelled knephla is a type of dumpling, commonly used in soups. The word is related to the modern German dialect word Knöpfle, meaning little knob/button. Traditional knoephla soup is a thick chicken and potato soup, almost to the point of being a stew. I stumbled upon this soup with my migration to the state of North Dakota. It is a quintessential North Dakota (German) soup that can be spotted all over Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota in the winter. I have loved learning about the German cuisine in North Dakota and I hope to share more of that with you all this year. 

I looked to my brother-in-law to help me master this soup. He is exceptionally qualified to depict this soup just for the simple fact that he is an “old farmer” at heart and his German, North Dakota roots run deep. 

When I asked him about the history of this soup he noted that many farmers were known for this soup, for the simple fact that the ingredients were readily available to families, thus making it a soup that provided nourishment and comfort to families across the midwest. 

Today this soup still offers the same sustainability, by providing comfort and delicacy to families in the cold depths of North Dakota winters. I hope you are all staying warm and working towards goals of your own in 2017!


Knoephla Soup

Soup Base
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 c. celery, diced
3 c. carrots, peeled & shredded
3 c. potatoes, cubed
4 T. chicken bouillon
1 pint of heavy cream
2 c. milk

Knoephla Dough
3 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
2 t. salt
2 eggs
2/3 c. water

Combine all vegetables and chicken bouillon in a stockpot. Cover with enough water so that all of the vegetables are covered. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile prepare dough in a stand mixture. Let rest. Form dough into log shapes. Cut quarter size pieces of dough into the soup base mixture. Add heavy cream and milk. Simmer 1 to 2 hours until soup has thickened. Make sure to stir consistently as simmering. Enjoy!



Creating goals is an important element of a successful life. Goals drive you towards your passions and motivate you to embrace challenge, change, and perseverance. Beginning this blog has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember! See I was the kid who woke up early to watch Martha Stewart bake a cake, the one who entered a gazillion 4-H food projects, just so I could hear that my crust was perfect and that it tasted amazing, the one who scoured garage sales for any cookbook I could find and the one who dreamed of becoming a brilliant chef when I grew up. I studied French in high school, so I would be better adept at speaking French, but it seems the only word I came out of french class with was le beurre (butter). I stayed up late watching Jamie Oliver and Iron Chef, thinking maybe I could pick up one trick that would help me in my cooking endeavors.

But through life’s twisty turns, I became a COUNSELOR. Yes, it’s a scary word and it has nothing to do with cooking or does it? Cooking has always been my therapy, my place of hunger, and my craving in life. I think cooking is therapeutic in so many ways and I hope to share this with you through my cooking.

Let’s talk about goals baby. Goals need to be smart.


So I ask myself, is this lofty goal of mine SMART? I hope we can find out on this journey.

To start I want to share a recipe for a simple cake from one of my original idols: Martha Stewart. This cake is yummy and easy to make. The frosting is a sweet, gooey candy like frosting that is melt your mouth delicious. Cheers to goals and making those goals SMART!


Vanilla Layer Cake with Easy Penuche Frosting

Cake adapted from Martha Stewart Living, July 2013


1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for cake pans and parchment
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar


For the cake preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment as well. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat well, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, beating until combined. Add milk and vanilla and beat until just combined. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, 33 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely.

For the frosting, melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in brown sugar. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the milk and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set pan in cold water bath. When you can hold your hand on the bottom of the pan, the syrup is cool enough. Keep pan in iced water bath and beat in confectioner’s sugar until thick enough to spread. If frosting is too thin add more confectioner’s sugar. If too thick, add a few drops of hot water.

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