French Riviera - sweep of Mediterranean shoreline


European Dinner Parties for Germany

Welcome to Rosemarie Sauermann’s German Dinner

Rosemarie SauermannThe cuisines of the regions of Bavaria, Austria and South Tyrol (the Alpine region of Italy) have been intertwined for centuries. Their “sweet tooth” is reflected not only in their heavenly desserts, but also in the prominence of Süss-Speisen as entrees. These baked main dishes of soufflés or crepes filled with fruit are outstanding dinner treats. Hungarian goulashes, venison, pork and chicken dishes also abound.

Rosemarie's choice of Chicken Isar is healthful and easy to prepare with either Rhine wine or a north Italian Pinot Grigio. She includes a recipe for a Bavarian Cheese Ball as an appetizer, although extended pre-dinner cocktail hours with hors d’oeuvres and drinks are less customary in southern Germany. Cooks like to be ready upon the arrival of their guests, who may help fill glasses and light candles. (The Isar is the name of the river that flows through Munich from Austria)

Rosemarie Sauermann and her husband Gerhard have been U.S. citizens since 1968. They had left their beloved home town of Munich, Germany, for a three year assignment at the request of a Boston aerospace company. Much to their own surprise, they eventually decided to make the USA their permanent home. Although they will always miss the Bavarian and Alpine landscapes, they feel enriched by with the knowledge that they are doubly blessed by calling two countries their home.

Before coming to the U.S., Rosemarie had spent several years of her educational and professional work in England and Geneva, Switzerland. Now retired, she looks back on a forty-year career as a simultaneous and consecutive conference interpreter and cultural mediator in Europe and the U.S. Her long-time work on this side of the Atlantic for representatives and members of the German parliament and cabinet kept her close to developments in industry, politics and society in her former home country and, at the same time, spanned all branches of industry, medicine, science, education and research in the U.S.

In Germany leisurely social time is savored around the dinner table as friends and families share food, wine and conversation.
And...that's exactly what the European Dinner Parties hopes to do for you and your friends…once a month.

Next month...enjoy a festive dinner from Denmark.

Mahlzeit…or guten Appetit!

Rosemarie’s German menu
Bavarian Cheese Ball
Chicken Isar
Asparagus, Cauliflower and Carrot Medley
Mixed Salad (Bunter Kopfsalat)
Bavarian Plum Cake (Bavarian Pflaumendatschi)

(download printer-friendly recipes, wine suggestions and nutrition tips)

Ingredients and Cooking tips

Appetizer: Bavarian Cheese Ball

8 oz. light cream cheese, softened
8 oz. finely shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 jar (2 oz.) diced pimiento, drained
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
In bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in cheddar cheese, onions, pimiento and Worcestershire sauce. Form ball, roll in chopped walnuts, refrigerate and cover. Serve with crackers.

Entrée: Chicken Isar - serves 6

6 chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless
1 ½ pounds of fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 onions, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
8 oz. Swiss or mozzarella cheese slices
1 stick butter
½ c. flour
2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 ½ c. semi-dry Rhine wine or Italian Pinot Grigio
½ c. yoghurt or sour cream
Pepper, tarragon and celery salt

Sautee mushrooms until soft, remove from pan. Make sauce as follows: Melt butter and stir in flour. Let cook for at least 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Beat in vegetable or chicken broth. Heat slowly, stirring or blending with wire whisk. Allow to gently boil for ½ minute. Add wine and yogurt (or sour cream), but do not bring to a complete boil. Season with pepper, celery salt and tarragon.
To assemble: Place dry chicken pieces on thin coating of sauce in baking pan(s). Sprinkle with mushrooms, onions and celery pieces. Cover completely with wine sauce. Place cheese slices on top, indicating portions. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
Serve with rice.

Vegetable: Asparagus, Cauliflower and Carrot Medley

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt, lemon juice, paprika, pepper

Clean asparagus and cut into two inch pieces. Separate cauliflower into smaller florets. Slice carrots. Start cooking carrot slices in a small amount of water, then add florets and asparagus pieces. When vegetables are done, but still crisp, drain remaining liquid, gently toss medley with the rest of the ingredients.

Salad: Mixed Salad (Bunter Kopfsalat)

Prepare individual salad plates by lining them with leaves of Boston lettuce. Decorate them with slices of red beets, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes and colorful peppers. Sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese, raisins and walnuts.

Dessert: Plum Torte (Pflaumenkuchen; Bavarian Pflaumendatschi)
This easy cake is also delicious with all kinds of berries. You can also add berries to the plums. This recipe yields 10 servings, and can easily be doubled.

½ cup butter or ¼ cup butter and ¼ cup canola oil
½ cup sugar (or less)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla or rum extract
1 cup flour
14 Italian prune plums, halved or quartered (or 2+ cups berries)
Optional: a little sugar with cinnamon to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 to 10 inch square or round pan.
Beat together the butter, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the eggs until completely combined. Stir in vanilla or rum flavor.
Add the flour and gently mix until smooth. Spread batter into pan.
Spread berries or plums on top. Place plums close together with skins up.
If using sugar mixture, sprinkle over top.
Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Top of cake should be a light golden brown. Serve warm, preferably with whipped cream!

Wine and Food pairing for this German meal by Jack Korpi of Berman’s Wine and Spirits in Lexington, MA.

Jack Korpi
For European Dinner Parties participants the 20% savings apply to all wines, except the 2010 Auvigue Macon Solutre. (To receive the savings, print this page and take it to the Lexington store)

In addition to having a PHD in organic chemistry, Jack has a life-long passion for wines and foods, including a broad understanding of how they complement each other. In 2004 Jack decided to make his passion a profession. Through his weekly wine tastings he has become an expert on creating interesting 'tasting flights' that serve to both educate and entertain his customers. Jack has been with Berman’s since 2009 where he selects wines for the store and assists customers with their wine selections. He loves to cook and eat, too!

Here are Jack’s suggestions for Rosemarie’s German dinner

(download printer-friendly recipes, wine suggestions and nutrition tips)


Wines that are light and bright to offset the creamy cheese

2011 Joseph Drouhin Bourgogne Chardonnay $12.99

2010 Sybille Kuntz Dry Riesling - Mosel $14.99


2010 Mount Eden Edna Valley Chardonnay - Wolff Vineyard $21.99
Lightly oaked with a clean, dry finish

2010 Auvigue Macon Solutre $19.99 net - no discount
Classic Burgundian Chardonnay that brings out the flavor of the food

2011 Leitz Dragonstone Riesling - Rheingau $17.99
From one of the best winemakers in Germany. Beautiful, medium sweet Riesling with taut acidity to ensure a clean finish and great food compatibility.

2012 Karl Erbes Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese $17.99
From the famed Urziger Wurzgarten vineyard. Medium sweet


2010 Domaine de la Pigeade Muscat Beaume de Venise (375 ml) $19.99
Classic dessert wine.

2009 Domaine Cauhape Symphonie de Novembre - Jurancon $36.99 (750 ml)
Moderately sweet and incredibly elegant. Lighter than typical dessert wine.

Tips for your friends with dietary restrictions by Shari Solomon, nutritionist, and owner of Cocoa Plum Nutrition in West Concord and Arlington, MA.

Rosemarie’s menu is great. However, we realize that some of your friends may have dietary restrictions. We'd like them to enjoy the fun European dinner parties, too. Consequently we will ask Shari specific tips for each meal.
Shari Solomon

According to Shari "no one gets a free ride. Sooner or later we all have to give up at least one type of food.  It may be salt (sodium), saturated fat and cholesterol, or excess carbohydrates including processed starches and sugar.  But when a meal is filled with such a variety of delicious dishes as this German menu provides there’s no fear in losing the essence nor taste of this meal by making few adjustments."

Here are Shari’s suggestions for Rosemarie’s German dinner

(download printer-friendly recipes, wine suggestions and nutrition tips)

Regarding Rosemarie’s German meal, a way to reduce salt intake is to take advantage of all the low-sodium products on the shelves - low-salt crackers, cheddar cheese,  chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and unsalted butter.  When a guest and others have prepared the meal then I recommend skipping the cheese ball and gorgonzola (cheeses usually are high in sodium).

If you are the chef, a way to reduce the fat intake is to choose low- or no-fat options for the dairy products such as: low- or no-fat cheeses.  For the plum cake I propose using no-fat yogurt rather than the sour cream and the ½ butter/½ canola combination as suggested by Rosemarie. For the roux that gets made for the chicken Isar try Smart Balance® HeartRight® buttery spread.  It has less saturated fat plus phytosterols that help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.

If you are the guest I recommend skipping the cheese ball and enjoy a small serving of the cake or even perhaps a plum by itself.  If you are reducing your carbohydrate intake, as a chef , I would choose a whole grain rice. They come in many pretty colors these days besides brown such as red, violet and black. Otherwise as a guest I would reduce the number of crackers used to enjoy the cheese ball, omit the raisins, and beets from the salad, and have a reasonable serving size of the rice somewhere around a deck of cards. And, of course, either a small bite or two of the cake or a fresh plum by itself.

Shari’s "Understanding Weight Management" program

This is a special weight loss program that let people understand what is going on in their body and to manage it themselves.

“Losing weight is not a one time deal but an on-going process", according to Shari. A good manager will understand what the issues are, set goals, find the actions needed to achieve them, work with the challenges and give encouragement and support whenever needed. Her Understanding Weight Management program teaches people to be this person to them.

It is an 8-week program made up of teaching people the 5 essential eating habits, and passing on tools to help her/him incorporate these habits into her/his life. The five essential habits are: A balanced diet; six small meals every two to three hours; plenty of water; little to no sugar; and exercise. Tools include keeping a food diary, ways to relax, ways to be mindful, and ways to set one’s own goals and actions.

The program includes a free 'intake' telephone conversation so that Shari can learn all that is going on in your body; what you are looking for in a meeting with a nutritionist; and basically where your eating habits are now. That way she can cater the meetings to what you need and want.

The Germany Learning Experience and Travel Information

The goal of the Germany Learning Experience is to give you a better idea of the country and its citizens. Some items are listed on this page. Direct links offer more information. It's educational and fun.

The Travel Information also refers you to the European Travel Resource Center and its Germany section. Note that special European Dinner Party savings will be available from March 2014.

Both sections include many links to additional information. You can click the direct link or, if you prefer, cut+paste the web address in your browser. If you'd like to know other facts on each country, please let us know at the end of this page.

Germany Leaning Experience

Quotes from famous Germans

The quote "Who loves not wine, women and song, remains a fool his whole life long" is from  Martin Luther.

Other Martin Luther quotes:

- You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.

- How soon 'not now' becomes 'never'.

- Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.

- If I knew that tomorrow the world goes to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

- If you are not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there.


For more quotes from German people click

German proverbs            

Most proverbs have a similar meaning in every language. Here are some German proverbs with the English translation. (Note that nouns are written with a capital letter in German.)

Allein ist besser als mitt Schlechten in Verein: mitt Guten in Verein, ist besser als allein. (It is better to be alone than in bad company: with good company it is better than being alone.)

Alte soll man ehren, Junge soll man lehren. (Old people you should honor, young people you should teach)

An den Früchten erkennt man den Baum. (The apple does not fall far from the tree)

Anfangen is leicht, beharren eine Kunst. (To begin is easy, to persist is an art)

Famous German People…and Why?

Albert Einstein, Bruce Willis, Anne Frank, Heidi Klum, Ludwug von Beethoven, Martin Luther, Johann Sebastian Bach, Pope Benedict XVI, and Karl Marx. Baseball fans have probably heard of Dirk Nowitzki.

Click for details on these and many more. 

German Fairy Tales for children...and maybe adults,too.

You've probably read to your children the better known Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales - Little Red Riding Hood, Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. There are many more! They are considered German folklore heritage and became the bed stories for children from all over the world.

You can download them in English to your IPad or print them from the website. Both are free.

Top 10 German Traditions - in 10 pictures

Germany may bear similarities to many the Western countries, but below the surface you'll find a cornucopia of different customs. This is according to the Local, Germany's News written in English. Click the link and see the pictures. The first one will show you what to do before you start drinking your wine tonight with your other dinner party friends…or you could be in trouble. Then click here for the local list to start. (Then click next)

More German Customs and Traditions

Everybody knows about Munich's famous Oktoberfest. It's also celebrated in 36 of the 50 states. Read here why it and many other traditions got started...Christmas, Easter, weddings.

German Culture - For culture lovers Germany offers a lot.

Germany is the home of world famous classical music composers - Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wagner and Richards Strauss. There are 240 subsidized theaters, hundreds of symphonic orchestras, thousands of museums and more than 25,000 libraries

For all types of Culture in Germany cut+paste link in your browser.

10 Things I find weird in Germany…but as the proverb says…"Andere Länder, andere Sitten (Other countries, other customs or in Rome do as the Romans do!) Of course, anybody can disagree!

According to a South African writer living in Germany

"Thanks" means "no"

Bare feet bad, shoes good

Rules are rules

For the other 7 click

Germany Travel Information

In this section you'll find special travel tips on Germany. For more information visit the Germany pages in the European Travel and Research Center. Direct links to other useful sites are included. Before March 2014 all pages will be updated.

Free guided walking tours in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt

Plus 15 other cities in Europe are operated by Berlin-based New Europe tours. The walking tours are geared to younger travelers, they are free but a tip is expected. In most cities (Paris, London, Amsterdam, Rome, etc.) they offer additional guide walks for a small fee (including pub and similar evening tours.) For details click New Europe Tours.

Driving in Germany

Although the major cities like Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin can easily be visited by air or train, a car is more helpful to truly experience Germany (unlike Paris, London and Rome where you do not want a car.)

Germany offers many "scenic roads" such as the:
Romantic Road -
German Fairy Tale Road -

German Wine Road -

German Alpine Road -

Note: The best guide books for traveling by car in any European country are the GREEN Michelin guides. (The RED guides are for hotels, restaurants and include city maps for many towns.)

Romantic Germany

If you prefer not to drive all the time, Touring Travel offers two types of coach programs - fully escorted and independent.

The escorted programs usually last one week (link below). The most popular is the one week Romantic Germany in the southern part of the country. Others include Berlin and Hamburg.

Independent trips offer various options on the daily coach service between Frankfurt and Munich - from 2 to 5 days, both directions. If you plan to rent a car, you can take one of these trips from Frankfurt to Munich, then pick up the car in Munich. You'll have a relaxing trip on the Romantic Road before starting out on your own.

River Cruises in Germany

River cruises are presently the most popular European vacation for travelers over 55. You can see the countryside and stop in the major towns at night. You need to pack / unpack only once on a one- to two-week trip. Germany is a major country with the Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube and Oder rivers. Since there are many cruise operators - with all different types of ships and services - you may want to contact a travel consultant that specializes in European river cruises.

Note: The "scenery" on the Rhine starts below Cologne though many river cruises start or end in Amsterdam. For independent travelers who want to take a short trip on the 'truly' scenic part of the Rhine…it's between Koblenz and Ruedesheim.

Different types of accommodations in Germany

Romantik Hotels - often privately owned first class hotels, with a personal atmosphere and a good restaurant. All are different (not a chain hotel.) (Click for Germany)

Staying at a Castle or a Palace - a lot of fun if you're traveling with children or just want a different atmosphere. (Click for Germany)

Some special things to do...

Sliding down saltmine near Berchtegaden (Cut+past in browser)
Driving around the Nurnburgring (Germany's Formule 1 racetrack) -

Visiting Christmas markets

Attending local Beer Festivals

Enjoying Wine Festivals
Additional "experiences" will be added to the European Travel Research Center.

A website for "must see" destinations and cities (East and West Germany) (click Germany on top)

Direct links to fun quizzes about Germany

-Can you pass as a German?‎

- How German are you?

- You've been in Germany too long when…typical fun comments from expats living in Germany, not a quiz. One sample: "You get annoyed when the bus or train is over five minutes late!"

And an important question for you...
Please tell us what other information you would like to know for each country?
Thanks very much!