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US Cooking Tour Stop One: NORTH DAKOTA

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have been making my way thought the United States via my kitchen. In November I had the idea to "cook through the states," where each week I choose the dessert and meal that best represents whatever state we land on and then make it! I also film as I go each week and post it to Instagram so you can follow along with me. I bought a scratch-off map of the USA, my boys take turns rolling the dice, and wherever she lands is wherever we "go". You guys. It has been so much fun.

What started out as just a fun challenge for myself has in turn created some of the sweetest family memories for us. My kids get so excited to see where we are "going" each week and my husband comes home from work more than ready to dig in. We have encountered some of the most interesting dishes, all (so far) which have been absolutely delicious! 

Our first stop back in November was North Dakota. The Peacegarden State. I've never been to North Dakota, let alone had any of their food. I like to spend a couple days researching the state and finding recipes that are truly native to the land and/or best represent. I also like to poll my Instagram and get the input and advice from people who actually live there. It's interesting - some states have an array of things to choose from, some I have to dig and dig, and my favorite is when a state has an "official state meal", or "official state dessert". That cuts my research down by a landslide!

North Dakota was a pretty quick search - everyone agreed I had to make Knoephla Soup and Kuchen for dessert. Not gonna lie - I had to look up how to pronounce both. 

Knoephla soup is similar to a potato soup, but with homemade savory dumplings. It's of German descent and hands down the most interesting soup we've ever had. When I say it is good, I mean it was great. We are currently ten states in to this challenge and this soup still sits at the top as my husband's favorite challenge food yet. 

KNOEPHLA SOUP

½ cup butter, cut into cubes 

3 potatoes, peeled & cubed

1 onion, diced
3 cups whole milk 

6 cups water 

2 tablespoons chicken bouillon 

salt & black pepper 



Knoephla (Dumplings):


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour  

7 tablespoons whole milk, or more as needed 

1 egg, beaten  

2 teaspoons dill weed 

2 teaspoons parsley 

1 teaspoon ground black pepper 

½ teaspoon salt 


  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; saute potatoes, onion, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper until tender, about 20 minutes. Stir 3 cups milk into potato mixture and heat until almost boiling, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
  • Bring water and chicken bouillon to a boil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot.
  • Combine flour, 7 tablespoons milk, egg, dill, parsley, 1 teaspoon pepper, and salt together in a bowl until dough is stiff. Add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Roll dough into ropes about 1/2-inch thick on a work surface. Cut ropes into 1/4-inch pieces and drop into boiling broth. Reduce heat, cover Dutch oven with a lid, and simmer until knoephla begin to float, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir potato mixture into broth and knoephla; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
The dessert was one I had never heard of either: Kuchen. That one was a doozy to pronounce. I kept wanting to call it "koo-chun", but it's really pronounced "koo-ken." Also a German recipe (kuchen means cake), it was fun to research but even more fun to eat. I made a peach version, and it turned out great! It is kind of custard-like, and I felt like it was more of a pie than a cake. But hey, who am I to argue with the pros? 

KUCHEN


Crust:

1/2 C cold butter

2 C flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp sugar


Peach slices (I used thawed from frozen)


Work crust together & pat into round 8 in. dish. It will go up the side. Place peaches on top of the crust and sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar. Bake for 15 min. 


Filling:

1 C sugar

2 egg yolks

1 C heavy cream


Mix filling and pour over peaches. Bake 30 minus longer. 


It was certainly memorable and exciting first stop on our tour. The boys got to scratch off our first whole state on our blank map. So fun. Stop two recap coming soon! 

{You can find my step-by-step video directions in the highlights from each state on my Instagram: whitney.at.home}
I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.

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