Category: Yummy!

A little chef

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Over the last few weeks, the big monster has shown a real interest in cooking. Besides watching me in the kitchen, stirring his building blocks and making lego soup have been some of the first activities that would keep him busy on his own for (somewhat) extended periods of time. So after he had transferred the armrest of our couch into his counter top/stove using more and more of our kitchen equipment, I decided to make him an apron for his birthday and give him his first own utensils.

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I found the scribbled grey and white pin stripes were perfect for a little mister’s kitchen gear and added a red pocket and straps as color accents. And, as I simply couldn’t resist, I also made him a little chef hat… 😛

Just as I had expected, he instantly liked the apron but really didn’t want to wear the hat when we first tried everything on. To my big surprise though, he didn’t mind wearing it during our last pizza making session. And even better: daddy had the camera ready! 😉

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Rustic Italian

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I haven’t been very adventurous nor experimental with my cooking lately and just realized that my last food post was back in October! With our lovely visitors though, we have been taking advantage of the opportunity to make great food together – and take turns in watching the monsters. 😉

Today we made ravioli – my first time if I don’t count the cooking class that I took last week with my cooking buddy Angela (another first…). During the class, we stuffed the little pasta pockets with Ricotta and spinach – a nice filling, but one you find in every grocery store. I find, if you do go for the effort of making raviol from stratch, you should make something more exciting. So I did! Our composition was a mix of Ricotta, goat cheese, grated Parmesan and dried figs, spiced with fresh thyme and nutmeg (yes, again…) and roasted pine nuts for some crunch.

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I now know that a pasta maker and a rolling pin are not exactly equivalent… 😛

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Because we didn’t want to overpower the flavors of the filling, we served our little beauties with a light zucchini sauce – and were lucky to find a bottle of white wine in the fridge! So yummy, I’ll definately make this again!

We also had some red wine poached pears with Mascarpone whipped creme a few days ago, another dish that we had made during the cooking class. The smells of cinnamon, cloves and red wine clearly made me feel a bit like Christmas, but it was actually quite cool that day. I mostly stuck to the recipe that we had used during the class, except for adding a few chopped pistachios. And serving two half pears per person instead of just one. Obviously… 😉

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Autumn trifles

Paul and I are in charge of bringing dessert to today’s Thanksgiving supper, so we had a very sweet kitchen date yesterday. 😉

While he chose to make his signature pumpkin pie, I decided to try something new and make my first ever trifle. I used our small juice glasses because I find scooping portions on individual plates from a big bowl of trifle always seems to be a rather messy business.

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Et voilà: a layer of almond sponge cake, covered with some plum compote that I made a few weeks ago and topped with a scrumptious (and very healthy…) cream of mascarpone, whipped cream and yoghurt. Instead of chocolate chips as I first intended, I sprinkled the result with a bit of müsli crunch which I spiced up with cinnamon.

And here is Paul’s pie! All the spices that he used made the kitchen smell so yummy, almost Christmasy! 🙂

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Can’t wait for the big feast – maybe I should have skipped breakfast though! 😛

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Figs and pears

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I really hope that I am not boring anyone with another post on sweet pizza, but I just can’t help myself… 😛 After Paul brought a crate of fresh figs home on Saturday, that seemed to be the perfect occasion for another weekend pizza feast – plus, we had a friend over for lunch yesterday.

We already really enjoyed the pear pizza from last time, but I find this time it turned out even better. We added some Ricotta to the sour cream base and were a little more daring with the amount of blue cheese that we crumbled over everything. But I think the biggest difference were the figs themselves – simply such a treat! The only thing I may have missed a little bit would have been a glass of red wine but well… soon enough…

Some very green Spaetzle

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Last night, we had colorful spaetzle for supper once again. But unlike last time, where I added some veggies for color, this time the spaetzle themselves were turned green. I still had a few handful of spinach in the fridge that had to go, so I blanched and pureed it and mixed it into the spatzle batter. I also added the rest of the pesto that I had made from all the basil in our garden two or three weeks ago, which was not really enough for a pasta meal for two people and which I had therefore put in the freezer in order to wait for an occasion like this one.

And together with the grated Emmentaler cheese and the roasted onions it turned out quite yummy, even the monster really liked those funny green worms. 😉

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Sweet and savory pizza

It was pizza night once again at our house yesterday – a nice and quiet one as the monster was already asleep. 🙂

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It was time for another tomato free and meat free pizza experiment. So I used sour cream with salt, pepper and nutmeg (of course!) as a basis on a thin crust, then topped it with caramalized Balsamico onions, pear slices, crumbled blue cheese, sliced almonds and some fresh thyme. I had seen a similar combination with figs a little while ago, but thought that pears would be a great choice, too. And they were! So yummy – I must have a real sweet spot for sweet and savory food!

Our little beer garden

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Beergardening inarguably is one of the most characteristic details of the Bavarian lifestyle – and my family is particularly good at it! 😀

So today we made homemade pretzels with my parents who are currently visiting, some Obatzda (typical Bavarian cheese dip) and had a pretty good time on our deck, enjoying our beers, radlers and apple spritzers. I even had some more of the fabric that I used for a picnic/beer garden table cloth that I made for my parents a few years ago (and which still seems to be a faithful companion on all their biking and beergarden tours). The edges were still raw when I put it on the table today (I’ll fix that soon…) but the white and blue colors really made me feel like sitting in an authentic Munich beer garden. I could even enjoy the shade of our acorn tree and didn’t miss the typical chestnut trees too much… 😛

Prost everyone! 🍺

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Sunken apricots

1607_Sunken-apricots_01There were some really nice, ripe apricots at the store yesterday that I simply couldn’t walk past – so I got a bunch… And while they were perfectly sweet, they had to be eaten right away. And because almost all of my jam jars are currently in use, I chose to make a cake, just cutting them in half and pushing them into a simple batter. Sprinkled with sliced almonds and a little bit of icing sugar, so good! 🙂

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Salmon lasagna

A few days ago when I was writing my groceries shopping list and asked Paul for his ideas, he requested salmon lasagna. So yesterday it was time for that (and again today and possibly again tomorrow… 😉)!

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I thought I still had lots of ricotta in the fridge, but there was only a little bit left. But I found sour cream and a package of Philadelphia cheese – not what I was planning to use but also great ingredients for a white sauce. So I just added some milk, spices (fresh ground nutmeg, one of my absolute favorites!) and two eggs. For the veggy part I chose fried zucchini with onions and garlic. Then everything was layered with smoked salmon (next time I’ll take a little more), fresh spinach and a mix of grated Mozzarella and Gruyère cheese.

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And 40 min of impatience later… so yummy! 😀

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Pistachio pesto

Paul and I both love fish, and we both love pasta. Today was a lucky day – we got to enjoy both at the same time! 😀

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I made some pesto for the pasta and while I kept all other ingredients like in the classical recipe, I replaced the pine seeds with pistachios. I had fairly great expectations, but the difference in flavor was actually a lot more subtle than I thought it would be. But anyways, the pesto was delicious, whatever the exact ingredients…

Rhubarb strawberry streusel cake

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With temperatures here being forecasted to reach up to 32 degrees today, I was definitely not planning on using the oven. But then I stumbled across some rhubarb when getting groceries this morning (the first one I’ve seen this year) and simply couldn’t resist making a cake. And of course I didn’t regret, and neither did Paul or the monster. Rhubarb cake is just too good, and even better with sweet strawberries and crunchy streusels, yum… 🙂

Calzone

Today I really felt like making pizza. I wanted it to be different though, but varying the toppings once again didn’t quite seem like enough. So instead I made calzone for the first time. The filling was nothing extravagant at all but actually just a few simple ingredients: tomato sauce (spiced with garlic and some herbs), ricotta, mozzarella and some spinach.

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While it turned out ok, Paul and I agreed that we still prefer the traditional flat pizza. I think I just missed how the toppings would normally get roasted so nicely. I could see the concept work great for small, finger food style pizza pockets though… will give it a try one day.

Anyways, today I was definitely more excited about the little side salad that I also made. And that’s because I harvested the first lettuce from our garden this year, yey! 🙂 Arugula and mixed spring leaves, with tomatoes, mini mozzarellas and a sweet honey-balsamico dressing. Yummy!

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Champagne jam

I went on a nice long stroll with the monster this morning. Our mission: to get fruits for jam. I didn’t really have anything specific in mind, just wanted to see the offer and then decide. And strawberries and raspberries it was, both dark red and both on sale. 🙂 A spark of spontaneous inspiration also led us to the liquor store next door for some champagne, simply so good with strawberries and raspberries!

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There’s just something about making jam and enjoying the heavenly smells while stirring the pure deliciousness…

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The monster also had a great time, sitting on the kitchen floor munching raspberries. 😉 And here we are: champagne bottle empty, but jam stock filled up again!

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 UPDATE (2 June 2016):

I just enjoyed my first breakfast bun with the new jam. So good! It is slightly on the runny side I have to admit, but my ratio of 3:1 (fruits to champagne) turned out really yummy – enough champagne to be clearly noticeable, but also not overpowering… Prost! 😉

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Spätzle!

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After a lovely Sunday brunch with some friends yesterday, our fridge is still hosting some considerable amounts of cheese – and I mean good cheese! And while I really like sandwiches with Emmentaler and Gruyère, I felt like we would also enjoy it with some German Kässpätzle which I haven’t made in a really looong time…

Baked spätzle with roasted onions and loads of cheese… miam! Experimental me obviously wouldn’t be happy without changing something from my mom’s recipe though, so I also added some carrots and zucchini for color. And it was pretty good! Obviously… 😛

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Hearty lamb shanks

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We just enjoyed some very nice and tender lamb shanks, slow-cooked in a rich red wine sauce with onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes and a hint of Moroccan spices, yum! Paired with mashed potatoes and green beans – simply perfect for a cold Monday night in May! 🙂