Monday Meal Review: Germany


My friend Amanda has the same philosophy as I do when it comes to kids and food: they’ll learn to love good food if you feed ’em good food.

That doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Recently Ava’s been turning her nose up at anything that looks funny – green, purple – whatever. The girl is simply not interested.

The other day I made her spinach ravioli and she didn’t want any part of it. After fifteen minutes of practically begging the girl to take a bite, I finally just asked her:

“Why won’t you eat it? Because it’s green!?”

Ava nodded her head violently. Then she laughed.

Then, most incredibly, she took a bite. And, then, another.

This week, as I spooned the mustard and pickle-filled beef rouladen and a small pile of red cabbage onto Ava’s plate, she looked skeptical. I thought I’d try the same tactic: to giggle at the unusual until she was curious enough to take a bite.

Ava’s Corner:


Mini Beef Rouladen [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

I love anything with tang, but combine it with a bold red wine gravy and I’m in bliss. Tucking a pickle into the rouladen amused me because I know how much Mr. Picky hates pickles (but loves mustard – I’ve yet to figure that one out). However, I told him there was also bacon, so that made up for it.

What I liked least about this dish:

I wish I could have found a butcher with a slicer so I could make bigger rouladen (I was shopping on Easter Sunday though, so very little my choices were limited). The pickle slices kept poking out the ends.

Eastern European Red Cabbage [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

I love tangy cabbage. Case in point – I ate half of this dish by myself for lunch. Any dish that I can throw in a pot and forget about for an hour and a half (other than tossing it once or twice in the beginning) gets my vote.

What I liked least about this dish:

I had a hard time tossing the cabbage at first – it was stiff and filled up the entire pot. Spoons are useless; tongs are definitely the way to go. Ava wouldn’t touch this, even though I pointed out how the purple matched her purple pants. As for Mr. Picky? I encouraged him to eat an entire serving. He did, but confirmed he was still not a fan of the vinegar loaded cabbage.

How to homebrew: German Altbier (Beer) [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

I made my own beer!

What I liked least about this dish:

Making my own beer.

German Tree Cake (Baumtorte) [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

Every. Single. Thing. Even Keith is no “Mr. Picky” when it comes to this cake – it’s a favorite around these parts. Tip: slice it up and freeze the baumtorte if you don’t have 12 people to feed. The slices thaw quickly.

What I liked least about this dish:

Fact: I can’t have this every day for the rest of my life. Simply criminal.


  1. mom says

    What an effort to get her to take a bite of “MEAT”….funny…she’s quite the character….

  2. Joe says

    Worry not young mom! Another 20 years or so, she’ll eat anything again. Until then – well…. 🙂
    Been there done that!
    (5 kids) (4 grandkids)

    • Sasha Martin says

      Ha ha, thanks for the encouragement Joe. Although, I have to say – I was pleased she made 180 and actually tasted the meat. I didn’t think it was going to happen.

  3. Jessica Bennett says

    Obviously I can’t speak for Mr. Picky, but pickles and mustard are very different in terms of texture, so perhaps that’s why he likes one and not the other. I love all kinds of mustard, but I’m not a big fan of pickles (in terms of cucumbers, I mean- I like pickling other things).

    • Sasha Martin says

      He always complains of the vinegar – Keith, care to chime in?? xo

    • Pickles? Not a fan. At all.

      I tolerated it this week since… well I had too. Truth be told it wasn’t too bad. My complaint is the vinegar but Sasha says “Mustard is mostly vinegar and you like mustard”.

      Still don’t like pickles 😛

      • Jessica Bennett says

        All tastebuds are different. At least you’re trying different things and even enjoying some of it. Like I’ve mentioned before, my Mr. Picky tries things maybe once or twice a year and refuses the other times. But that’s just his way. There are worse things.

  4. Just discovered you through Caffettiera Rosa. Ava is beautiful and I love that you give her grown up food. I do the same with my children, I never cater to them. My daughter, who is now 5, ate everything at Ava’s age. I am not exaggerating. Since she started kindergarden she has become pickier, especially about vegetables. My 22 month old son is much more difficult when it comes to veggies and has texture issues. Dinnertime can take a lot of patience these days (which you seem to have tons of) but I try not to give in. The house rule is to taste everything before saying we don’t like it. What keeps me going is knowing that one day they will appreciate and enjoy food because, as you say, they grew up eating it.

    • Sasha Martin says

      I’m so glad you’ve joined us 🙂 Your kids are so lucky to have such a caring mother. I’ve heard many times that kids become more picky when they go to school, I suppose because they run into kids that are pickier and so they try to get away with more at home. It’s hard – and she doesn’t always go for it (she wouldn’t try the cabbage), but she is getting better. It helps if she is hungry and I treat it casually. For example, she wouldn’t try stuffed artichokes so one day I made them and we ate them on the couch, while she milled around. There was no other food option, so she eventually started chowing down on them. She loved it! I think if we had strapped her into her chair, with other food options, it would have never happened. Sometimes they have to think it’s their idea lol. Anyway, keep in touch!

  5. Caitlin says

    I lived in Germany for 4.5 years of my life. My dad is from Bayern. Rouladen is one of my favorite dishes (that and Maultaschen). My family recipe for Rouladen uses diced pickles and onions – I believe we often cook it in a bit of bacon grease too. I have had really big Rouladen (the size of softballs) and the smaller kind like you made. I prefer the smaller, always! Rouladen is one of those meals that brings back lots and lots of memories. The best side dish for them is Knoedel, I prefer Semmelknoedel (bread dumplings) – deliciously sticky bread dumpling rolls. They are so good!

    Germans have such great desserts too! We used to have tea every weekend in Germany, often with multiple fruit based crumble cakes. I swear everyone brings these to tea!

    Loved this week’s choices!

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