Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Bloggers Around the World December Round-Up: South Africa

As the year draws to its end so does the month of December. Ah, that's nothing special. It happens all the time, every year. No big deal. However, this year it coincides with the end of the Bloggers Around the World challenge ... South Africa, not the whole thing as such.
The theme looked promising. At least for me, I learned a lot and I put my mind into things that might change me once more. Anyway, change is always going on, but often you don't notice them. As for me I would still be twenty, would I not see those who where little when I first met them becoming adults.
Well, you are always as old as you feel. Hm ... I don't like to ponder over such thoughts after I did some sports ... In fact I don't like to ponder about it right now either. After all, this is going to be the Bloggers Around the World round-up for December. 

So we want to talk about food, not age. Let's dive into it then ...

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Gone with the Wind ...

Right this very moment Gone with the Wind is running on television ... not that I am watching ...
As looking at the year 2013, it is almost gone ... gone as the wind and no matter how hard you try, you don't get it back. Even while moments where there you couldn't catch them and keep them ... as with the wind. You never really can catch it.
Before we go on rambling any further into the realm of Philosophy and the like I rather like to focus on Cooking Around the World. Was the almost past year a good one? You never know. What do you think? Did you enjoy it? And if so, what was it in particular you liked?
As you wish you might tell me ...
From the actual process of carrying out something I guess I have to say I liked my Hawaiian luau most.

It was really fun, digging in the garden and cooking under the ground.
What then seemed to be most popular on the blog in 2013 apart from guest posts and round-ups?
By the way, the Bloggers Around the World: India was quite successful. However, in the months after the participation declined ... a lot. Still, I will continue with Bloggers Around the World in 2014 even if I'm just participating alone, which in fact could already happen this very month still. Ah, no worries!
Let's head into the top five of 2013 ...

Saturday, 21 December 2013

No Piece of Cake ... Blackforest Gateaux Pudding

Wonderful, it says NOW we have winter on the calendar. I'm glad we are having not, but ... I don't mind a bit f snow on those days I'm not travelling on the road. Is that too much to ask for? I reckon it is indeed.
Is it also too much to ask for to want a Blackforest Gateaux without the extensive work it takes to create one? No, it isn't. We simply skip this cake part and have it is as pudding. Hm ... somewhat like this ...

It simply came to my mind as someone mentioned Blackforest Gateaux. Now I had to do it ...

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Chuck Away the Telly ... Have Some Twisted Round Pizza Bread

Right there in the most of the time dark corner sits a piece of equipment, the television set. I got it from work some months - or was it years? - ago and I almost never used it for tuning in into some television programs. Fine, once I connected a free SAT receiver to try to connect to the already installed satellite dish for the house. The receiver broke before the seek run was over. It never recovered.
Sometimes I watch a DVD using the television, but ... I don't really need it. I might as well chuck it away. I never switched it on since I live here.
Do I believe that television broadcasting is entirely evil and good for nothing?
Well ... eh ... um ... eh ... no, not really. A workmate told me how I can watch telly on the Internet ... after all a lot of channels give the opportunity to watch their program online ...
Since then I discovered some nice programs.
For instance, since we are visiting South Africa for Bloggers Around the World, I started watching Masterchef South Africa from 2012 and ... I love it.
Now I would stop talking about television programs and get to some cooking, but ... eh ... just briefly ... the following dish is inspired by Paul Hollywood's Bread, which I watched once. Maybe it was the last show that was running.

I didn't really remember the recipe, but just took up the basic idea. What did I do then?

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Indy's Mysterious Daim Chocolate Apple Cake

It's about time again I get out my hat. Indeed, that might be useful in this kind f weather we have at this time of the year. However, it's not just the hat, I'm getting out and it's for a totally different reason ...

... it's for baking! There are still so many baking adventures out there, I better get going for it and get in the right frame of mind for it. So, I take my bullwhip and whip up some kind of mysterious cake ... with Daim chocolate and apples ...

Are you ready for the adventure?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

South African Dinner: Bobotie with Yellow Rice and Tomato & Onion Sambal

Finally I safe one hour travelling time for every day I go to  work. That is even the case when I use my bike to go to work. So I get some exercise, although up to know it's quite exhausting to get back home after work, and I get more time at home.
One thing I can do with that, is concentrate more on cooking and baking. I even might have the chance to work some of the puddings and cakes off with my exercises. Then maybe not, but I should do more sweet stuff anyway.
Today, though, I am not focusing on the sweet side ... although ... hm ... there might be a slightly sweet touch in the dish for today. It's for Bloggers Around the World: South Africa.

So I am having some Bobotie with Yellow Rice and Tomato & Onion Sambal. I did a little bit of research for that, so I reckon, that's the way to have it ...

Now we have to see how to do it ...

Sunday, 8 December 2013

German Herring Salad

I am feeling a bit tired today, but still I refuse to have a nap, although I didn't have too much sleep the last few days. For next week things should run normal and I will get enough sleep. So, no need to interfere.
I rather use the time to write a recipe down for you. Some say, you should eat more fish. Then that is what we are going to do. There are one or two items in my pantry, I could ask myself "why did I  buy them?". There has to be a reason.
Now there is this jar of beetroot. Why did I get it? No idea. However, I know what I can do with it. One thing is German Herring Salad. Then I am going for some fish at the same time. That sounds good.

Let's do it then ...

Thursday, 5 December 2013

A random look at the pantry

Outside the weather is storming away. A gale warning has been issued and it's really the best to stay inside. Said and done. The worst thing that can happen now is the street lantern or some roof tiles crashing on my car or some branches from the tree through my kitchen window. However, all this is not going to happen ... so I hope.
I'm safe and warm inside and will treat myself to the leftovers from yesterday and a nice warming drink and tomorrow everything will be calm and nice again. That is the plan. But you know, how it sometimes can be with plans ...
While I am waiting for the right time to have my dinner, I find the chance to think about this month's random recipes challenge from Belleau Kitchen. It's time for #35 - dare to bare.

This time, though, it's not about cookbooks and cooking ... at least not in itself. Rather it's abut what you use for cooking, the ingredients, it is about what I have in my pantry ...

Monday, 2 December 2013

Bloggers Around the World: South Africa

I got it, you need a real challenge. Just saying, cook and write whatever you like isn't doing any good. You want to be told were to go. Anyway, last month was just to make it a bit easier for me, since no one volunteered for hosting. Maybe next time. Now it's time again to go by the rules and to go somewhere special.

Somehow I have the feeling, we should be going to Africa this time and this exactly is what we are going to do ...

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Bloggers Around the World November Round-Up: Favourites

The last few weeks I definitely had my minds on other things. Right now things start to wind down and things will go back to the normal routine ... no ... they won't. I live in a different area now and have to get used to things, although there is not too much difference. Anyway, things will get back to normal on the blog and the next Bloggers Around the World will be as the others were before ... visiting a specific country.
For November though, I had set a special theme: favourites. So you had the chance to cook and post what you like. Maybe that wasn't too easy after all or it could be simply because you have too many other things to do like I had,

Whatsoever, stop talking about those things and focus on the entries we had for this month ...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Welcome Back - Spinach, Goat's Cheese and Ham Pasta Roulade

Welcome back! I reckon I have to do it and welcome myself back to the kitchen, since no one else is going to do it. Eh, well, how could possibly anyone else but me do this without knowing that I  am actually back in my new flat cooking? I haven't told anyone, have I?
Of course, I mentioned that I am going to move to a new flat and that I didn't have a kitchen to do some proper cooking anymore. Anyway, everything went well with the moving, just two dead and one injured. A friend, who helped, kept on knocking some pieces of furniture against his shinbone. So he had a little bit pain there afterwards, but nothing serious. As to the two dead one ... a clock went to the bin, because I was split in two halves. Then the plastic sign "Maltese on board" in my car broke to pieces. In fact the latter happened after the actual moving day - two days later - when I decided, for what reasons whatsoever, I needed a new bed. So I had no other choice as to transport it in my small sized car. Imagine for yourself ...
Otherwise, things went so well, that actually I didn't need to take a day off from work. However, I  already did. So, apart from getting a dentist appointment at the new dentist, acquainting myself with a new doctor and doing some shopping, I had ample of time to do some proper cooking again ...

Pasta Roulade 4

For that we are going to make some fresh pasta dough, a spinach, goat's cheese and ham filling, a tomato salsa and a béchamel sauce ...

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Burger Builder - Cheese'N'Onion Burger with Egg

I need a bit of relaxation with all this moving business. I found about a million of pens and pencils in my flat. Then I can't decide whether to keep more cups and glasses, although I already have more than enough. They might come in handy at some point. So, relaxation! What better could I do than write a post.
Even without a kitchen I managed some cooking. In fact the pasta with butter, garlic, parmesan and bacon was quite tasty today.
Still, I like to bother you with some older material. I would like to do some more burger building for you now: Cheese'N'Onion Burger with Egg ...

Monday, 11 November 2013

The End, Random Recipes and a Roasted Chicken

I think I might have mentioned it already at some point. I am moving to a new flat. Well, that is only one side to the story, but ... anyway ... there are other things, too. Already I have spent some time for getting rid of things, putting things into boxes, and carrying things away. Since the beginning of November, the whole thing moved to phase two. That means I am able to drop things in the new flat. So things are really hot and I work a lot after work.
However, there was one more thing. The kitchen in my present flat had to get a new owner elsewhere. The plan was, to do it next week, quite close to the actual move. Things went different ...

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Long Goodbye, Long Lunch ... Fresh Baguette with Ham and Cheese

To me it seems I'm working now a very long long time on my move to a new flat and I still have a lot to do. I tried a relative organised way to do it, but ... I keep on doing here a bit and there a bit. Well, that doesn't mean I don't get anything done. It's rather gives me some variety and in the end ... I am sure about ... well, have to be ... that everything will be achieved in time. Anyway, it's a long goodbye from this place.
Therefore it's only fitting I have a long lunch ... eh ... well ... eh ... sort of ...

... yes, it was fresh, it was long and it was delicious ...

Monday, 4 November 2013

Bloggers Around the World: Favourites

Once more, I survived. Well, at some points it was a bit frightening, but in the end, yes, I survived. I have to say, though, that today's events can not be classed as one of my favourites. Fine, maybe sometimes I like a bit of thrilling, but for sure not killing.
On the other hand, I might be exaggerating a bit. Just a little bit. Right, but still I am not a huge fan of travelling by car in darkness, in an unknown area, with a car below average, in the pouring rain and with additional poor vision through the windscreen that wouldn't clear properly.
To say it once more, I survived and ... this kind o experience for sure does NOT belong to my favourites ...
Saying this, we come to our actual subject: Bloggers Around the World ...

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Bloggers Around the World October Round-up: Greece

Oh, I am so glad October is finally over. Somehow it was a month of stress with not actually doing much. November, though, will be a month of even more stress, but with really doing things also.
Well, that doesn't mean I did nothing this month. At least I got Bloggers Around the World running for a single month again this time and I got to do some cooking for it myself as well. 
Therefore it is time now to devote a post again to the round-up of it all.

What have you all been doing this month? We shall see ...

Monday, 28 October 2013

Coffee Liqueur Chilli

Sometimes you wake up ... it's best to wake up every day ... and you already know what you want for dinner. I just had that a few weeks ago. And it was chilli that I wanted, some really hot chilli with some coffee in it. So I had to gather all the forces of hotness and have some chilli ...

I had to do quite some harvesting on my chilli plants to do this, but still I am lucky the plants continue to produce more chillies.
Here we go then for the Coffee Liqueur Chilli ...

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Rice, Spinach, Egg, Feta ... Spanakorizo

So far, things are still fine. After all, the sun is shining today and it's still quite warm. So I enjoy it ... and while we are at it, we can go for some more Mediterranean food. My mind is still on the current Bloggers Around the World: Greece. And once more I like to go for a vegetarian dish: Spanakorizo. Some rice, spinach and egg is involved. Of course I make sure we aren't going to miss out in the feat department. Whatsoever, the name of the dish would be translated spinach and rice.

If you have some fresh spinach available go for it. However, I had to use frozen one. No worries, both ways it's going to work ... Wish I could say the same for my spinach in the garden, which didn't work at all this year.
Now, though, we want to cook ...

Monday, 21 October 2013

Burger Builder - 'To the Moon & Back' Rocket Burger

Oh, how lucky we are that some words have different meanings. Do you know this game - we used to play it sometimes in school - where two pupil are explaining two different things, bit by bit of course and the answer to both things is the same word. Ah, maybe then again you don't know.
Fine, let's have a try: the one thing can take you to the moon ... and maybe back as well (ah, I was just listening to that song again) and the other thing is edible. 
You know the solution already? I guess you have cheated. How could you not? After all it was quite obvious from the title of the post that the answer is: rocket. Then I guess we can skip the singing and the lyrics analysis and go directly over to preparing some food, burgers to be precise. Well, to be even more precise: 'To the Moon & Back' Rocket Burgers ...

Let us suppose you have your beef burger patties already ... eh ... ready. Then we ...

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Quick and Easy Greek Lunch - Strapatsada

I have quite a lot to do and to decide at the moment. Not really an easy job. Every day a little bit more is accomplished. Nevertheless, the show must go on and ... will go on ... as far as it is in my hands. Right now I prefer to cook larger amounts of food so I have some for the days ahead. Otherwise I appreciate quick and easy food as well. As you know, cooking some Greek food is on my list for this month. Therefore, it is only logical to have a quick and easy Greek meal ... or two.
Here is what I came up with today: Strapatsada. It is popular in many regions in Greece. It's really quick and easy to prepare and for sure you have all the ingredients ready with no big fuss about it.

Let's see ... 

Monday, 14 October 2013

One way or the other Red Hokkaido Squash Soup

From what I gather by looking around, it's time for squashes and pumpkins. Really? Yes, I would say so. What do we get out of it? For example, I bought a Red Hokkaido squash. Well, I didn't have to go that far and travel to Japan to get it. From it we can get vitamin A and vitamin C, calcium, potassium and iron to mention just a few. Furthermore it is low in calories and sodium. That is, if you are caring about nutrition facts and ... eh ... calories. However, I guess we have to mess around with the calories anyway. But at least you can say, the calories didn't come from the squash.
We are going to have some soup. One day I was invited by some friends ... eh ... just a moment, I invited myself and ... we had some pumpkin soup. Some time later I tried to recreate that soup without having the recipe. 

I may have gotten it slightly wrong, but I will give you some alternative ideas, too. So you can have it one way or the other ...

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Food for Free: Foraging Wild Mushrooms

Do you like to have food for free? There are many ways for that ... but then again, there is always something to give to get something. Even when you are invited for dinner by a friend, you have to give something. A 'thank you' would be something good, although it doesn't seem too common anymore. At least you have to get to the place to get the food ...
Wait! We don't want to go that far in classing 'food for free'. Let's talk about foraging. You have to invest some time to get the food. Also you need to get answers ... answers to the questions: What? When? Where?
This would be a good spot for free food ...

But when and what?

Monday, 7 October 2013

Cake au salami avec pignon et prunes

It is over when it is over. Therefore I have the honour to tell you, it isn't. I still got some plum deals for you. As I told you before, I checked some of my cookbooks for inspiration and nearly missed this one ...

It's from the book The little Paris kitchen by Rachel Khoo. I tried to do a similar setup for the picture as was in the book, but I didn't dare to take the photo outside in the garden on the lawn, because it was too cold for my taste at that time. I suppose that won't improve for a while.
Now to the recipe. I had to do a few adjustments, since I didn't have French smoked sausages and pistachios. Let's see ...

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Bloggers Around the World: Greece

It's about time we travel on. Last time we had a longer period for linking up, but I guess that won't be necessary this time. I simply make things fit into my tight schedule. Time is always rushing. Everyone knows how it is. However, that isn't the main thing. We are interested in the destination for this month. 

Where are we going to? What will we be cooking?

Monday, 30 September 2013

Bloggers Around the World August-September Round-up: Thailand

Even two months pass by and you think "where did the time go". Now there is a theory about the passing of time, but ... this is not the time to speak about such things. It's rather time for the round-up of Bloggers Around the World for the months of August and September.

Our theme was Thailand and therefore we like to see some Thai food right here, right now ...

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Still Plums - Plum Jam and Plum Muffins

Faithfully I keep on using those plums and ... keeping you posted about what you could do. I also checked my cookbooks on what possibilities where available. Well, In fact I only have five books available. All the others are in boxes waiting for a new place to be put.
So, what cookbooks would you keep, if you only could keep five?
To be honest, I just selected four, the fifth one (Tasting India by Christine Manfield) was buried somewhere on my desk and I didn't notice. 
Which four books did I choose then? Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver, Bills Sydney Food by Bill Granger, The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo and Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking ... Scandilicious by Signe Johansen.
Did they have anything with plums on offer for me?

Monday, 23 September 2013

Goat Cheese and Plum Pearl Barley Risotto

The quest for making good use of the plums I received is still going on. As you know, there are quite a lot of things you can do with them. I already did the recipes which take a great amount of plums like jam and plum butter. I even made a plum chutney.
Now, cake and jam and things like that are the logical choices for going with plums. Things you would think of right away. Therefore I try to do something else ... kind of pairing the plums with cheese, goat's cheese to be precise, in a risotto. I've heard it before you can do it also with pearl barley. Let's try it then and have a Goat Cheese and Plum Pearl Barley Risotto.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Stupid is as stupid does - Beef and Plum Rice

"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Do you remember the 1994 movie Forrest Gump with Tom Hanks?
Let me tell right away, there are no similarities between Forrest's life and mine, nor are there any parallels in personality. Nevertheless, life is really like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. I for sure didn't expect at the beginning of the week to get this ...

I don't know how many kilograms of plums that are, but it must be about nine million plums. He, he, nine million plums in my home. Well, I'm not 100 % sure of that, but there must be at list nine million plums in Beijing I suppose. However, about that you could ask Katie next month, if you were anywhere near London then.
Anyway, I take up the challenge to use up all those plums before they turn bad. Right, "stupid is as stupid does". Really? We will see about that ...

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

They also didn't make it

At times I am cooking and experimenting like mad ... hm ... or was it like I am mad. Ah, no worries! At least I tend to take photos of those ... eh ... things. Sometimes I am even clever enough to take some notes. Then again I am not. Then also, I have periods, where I don't really like to cook or to write ... or I have simply too many other things to deal with.
About a year ago, I did this post about "Those that didn't make it", dishes and items of food I didn't quite manage to do a proper post with. Do you care to see what didn't make it this time?

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Bills Sydney Food - Prawn and Chilli Linguine

I have a dream, again and again. I run through the jungle and someone or something is hunting me. I run and run as fast as I can, which is surprisingly fast in that dream. The thing nearly gets me, it's freaking close. Suddenly I come to the edge of the cliff, which is dropping quite a way down. I just jump and ... wake up.
Oops, no, really, I'm not having that dream. I'd rather say that is the beginning of Star Trek - Into Darkness.
My dream is slightly different. It's there since school and it has to do with Australia. I dream of moving there or at least visiting there once. The latter seems more realistic. 
Anyway, that's also why I tend to buy books about Australia, watch Australian movies or TV series and lately above that buy cookbooks.
One of the latest example is Bills Sydney Food by Bill Granger. After all it would be nice to visit Sydney. Here an example of what came from it ...

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Till Death do us Part: Federweisser & Zwiebelkuchen

"I take you to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part."
Does this sound familiar? Sometimes you hear such a vow or a similar one at  a wedding. These days, sadly, things turn out differently with the "until death do us part". Well, you know. There is no chance in denying. That's the reality of life.
However, there are other things, which are impossible to separate. No chance. When you hear about one, you automatically think about the other. For some it even applies beyond death, like Romeo and Juliet, or David and Goliath, or Bonnie and Clyde. What about nitro and glycerin, Paris and the Eiffel Tower, Rome and the Colloseum.
Now we could go on for ages like that, but we like to talk food here. What comes to your mind in connection with food and inseparable? I have a try: Hamburger and chips (or fries). Oh, I have a triple one (at least for me): baguette, cheese and red wine.
Today, though, I want to go for something you might not be so familiar with: Federweisser and Zwiebelkuchen. 

Oh, that's German. What is it all about?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Catch my Drift - Surfer Cake

Have you seen the 2012 Australian movie Drift? Well, it's about surfing and ... hm ... also about courage and the will to survive against all odds.
Hm, at least the last part is fitting: "survive against all odds". So far I am doing good. About surfing, no I can't do it. No matter which direction I choose, there is no coast nearby, where I could even think about learning to surf. No, not the internet, that's not so much fun.
Anyway, doing some kind of sports in the water would be good for me, I suppose. Unless ...

Maybe I really should think about a change of location some day ... at least one can dream. Yes, it has been there for already quite some time. That could be a reason, why I watch such movies.
Anyway, we are not here for surfing today, but for baking. I hope, you catch my drift on that cake ...

Monday, 2 September 2013

Green Chicken Thai Curry

These days I prefer simple food with no complications or long hours of cooking. Along that line I have something quick and easy for hour current Bloggers Around the World. After all someone has to do the starting. So I have a humble Green Chicken Thai Curry for you.

I even dared to use my Thai curry paste I have in the cupboard. Last time I did that the food was far too hot to be eaten. So with caution we proceed ...

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Give me an N - No Fuss Capsicum and Pork

I was thinking ... no, I'm just kidding, I wasn't, but ... I had a look at my recipe page on my blog and I noticed, I didn't have any recipes starting with E, I, J, N, V, X and Y. I reckon, I have to work on it. Most probably it would be easy to work of everything with cakes and puddings: Eton Mess, Irish Coffee Cake, Jaffa Cake Tart, Nutty Surprise, Vacherin Something, X-Men Cake, Yogurt and Berry Dream ... things like that. Really, I don't  know, why I don't have anything with E as eggs something would be quite easy as well. Strange ... I am ...
So, give me an N and ... have some No Fuss Capsicum and Pork.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

All the Sweet Things

Of what use is it to have a food blog? ... eh ... I mean, of what a use is it to have a food blog, cooking and writing lovely recipes and no-one is going to try them (at least not that you know of)?
Are the things just nice to look at or are they really delicious and easy to reproduce or at least made to satisfaction?
It's time to find out ...

Friday, 23 August 2013

Bloggers Around the World: Thailand

Obviously things went wrong. About 10 days ago we were supposed to have this post. My apologies, but I can't help it. Therefore we are having the Bloggers Around the World August and September. Fine, at least what is left of August. So, we make the deadline towards the end of the month, leaving me one or two days to post at the last day of September. That sounds like a plan to me.

What are we doing then? At least I hope, you will support me in this. I remember someone asked in January for something Asian. Why not! Therefore, I decided to travel with you to Asia this month and in particular to ...

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Cherry Bombs

Things don't seem to run quite smoothly lately. Ah, what am I talking about? Quite some long time and things are really out of hand, but I try my best to make this blog still working.
Ah, I really should stop pestering people with that rubbish, so ...

Warning! This recipe is not suitable for everyone as things are going to be a little bit lethal. Maybe that's why I have picked the name. What do I know.
I would be very lovely to get a lot more things from  the garden ... at least from some friends' gardens. He he he! Well, I did work for things, too. I got the chance to pick some sour cherries for my own needs, although I didn't know I had any need. Anyways, it would have been a shame to give it all to the birds. So I picked a small bucket full. 
Some went to be used as a dessert simply together with some curd cheese. A bag full went to the freezer and the remaining ones went into a jar ...

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Bloggers Around the World July Round-up: Sweden

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for stopping by and of course thank you to all those who actively had a share in our virtual food trip to Sweden.


Don't let me beat around the bush, but go directly into the matter. Make no fuss about it. As I already mentioned, I don't have any pictures from Sweden and, no, I didn't make it to Sweden since.
Enjoy some nice food then ...

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Still Summer - Zingy Chilli and Chocolate Gazpacho

I can't remember having a real summer last year, although the two weeks I was out hiking had been fine apart from the first day, where I got soaked completely. Fine, we had some rain, storm and sort of things this year, too, but mainly it was a real summer thing ... just a moment ... still is a real summer thing.
However, some people manage to complain all the time. "It's too hot", "I can't stand the heat" ... fine ... if you must. Should you belong into this category of people, you maybe also think, I would be too hot to stand in the kitchen at the stove and cook.
I'd say, it's no problem to have some more heat in the kitchen, but ... hey ... I can so also without and ... have some gazpacho ...

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Underground Cooking and Hawaiian Luau time

Let me get one thing straight right away, this is not just a fooling around blog, but Cooking Around the World. Due to that fact, at times it's necessary to work hard for this.
So I got myself a shovel and went to the garden ...

A grave? Does this mean someone has to die or has died already?

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Failure? Blue Cheese Chocolate Cake

"Sorry seems to be the hardest word". True, it is not so easy to say "sorry". Maybe it's also due to the fact that it is not so easy to admit a failure. There is rather the tendency to blame things on others or on bad circumstances. Nobody is happy to take the blame.
When was the last time you admitted a fault or a failure? You can't remember? No worries.
I guess we are having some chocolate cake first of all.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Go Swedish with Pickled Herrings, Köttbullar and Äggkaka

I'm having my Swedish days right now. I started by buying some Daim chocolate. Right now I am well stocked on it. I only need to be careful not too start eating from it in a non-self-controlled manner. So far things are working well.
In fact, I didn't just go and buy chocolate. Right while I was writing down the Bloggers Around the World post for Sweden, I knew what I was going to cook and, of course, bought things for that, too.
Somehow I had a travel brochure from 2011 about Sweden in my possession. Today I have no idea, how I came to have it. Blank, no idea at all. Anyway, there was a picture of Äggkaka in it and I thought ... I am going to have it ... whatever it is. What is it then? 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

You have been hacked - Lavender & Chocolate Semifreddo

Have you been hacked? No, I'm not talking about your Twitter or Facebook account, nor about your blog in the way that they have been hacked and strange posts appear. By that standard, my blog must have been hacked quite some time ago.
However, you might be hacked in another way. If you believe, you can only be happy when you by certain brands, you have been hacked. If you believe, you need a lot of money on your bank account in order to be secure, you have been hacked. If you believe, that people need to be able to contact you anytime and anyplace, you have been hacked. 
We just could go on while talking about things that the system wants to make you believe you need to have it or do it in order to find real happiness. That is not going to happen that way.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Cheese Conspiracy

Do you know this feeling? Randomly you catch a few words of a conversation of complete strangers and you have the feeling, they are talking about you. Do you know what I mean? Then maybe you are egocentric and take yourself too important.
On the other hand there might be some big conspiracy going on. I really have that feeling. For instance, some days ago I was travelling with the underground. Instead of seeing normal people having conversations or reading a book - you know that thing where you have to turn over the page once in a while - but, no they all were staring on these small objects in their hands and were doing who knows what. Then they had these small gadgets in their ears. I'm not sure yet what is going on, but it has to be some kind of conspiracy ...

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Into Darkness Basil Gorgonzola Carbonara

No, this has nothing to do with the latest Star Trek movie, although I regret it already. There might be a slight danger, that you don't like me anymore after this post. That is, of course, only if you liked me before this post.
Besides a simple pasta dish, this post is about the darkness of the human mind.

Monday, 15 July 2013

What Really Matters Strawberry Chocolate Muffins

Yes, it is really true, today I have some muffins for you, which I like to call "What Really Matters Strawberry Chocolate Muffins". Indeed, this is quite a long name, but in a minute or so I will tell you why it had to be.
It's time to go adventuring again. However (some might be disappointed), this time we have to do without hat and whip. Now I have the chance again to particpate in a lovely blog hop: Sweet Adventures Blog Hop (short SABH). It is run by 84th & 3rdDining with a StudThe Capers of the Kitchen Crusader and occasional guest hostesses (hm?). The latter one is the case now in July, where Swah from the blog "Love Swah" is hosting.
Here comes the theme: Sweet Surprise. Right away, then, here is my sweet surprise: What Really Matters Strawberry Chocolate Muffins (short WRMSCM, but ... eh ... who cares).

Where is the surprise? 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Bloggers Around the World: Thank You For The Food

"So I say
Thank you for the food, the meals I'm eating
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a meal or a drink what are we?
So I say thank you for the food
For giving it to me"

Indeed, we should be grateful for all the different kind of food we can enjoy ... hopefully each and every day. Show some appreciation - everyone in it's own way!
As we had already the round-up of the June Bloggers Around the World - Morocco and no new destination announced, it is about time.

Where is it, we are going next? Maybe you have already guessed at what country I am hinting or otherwise I have to tell you to join our "joyride" to ...

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Bloggers Around the World June Round-up: Morocco

Allow me to start with the most important part - thanking everyone, who made our trip to Morocco possible this month. It's always a joy to travel alongside nice people. Thank you for contributing.
I don't know about you, but travel wise, I didn't go that far this year. I was going to say, the farthest I got this month was to work, but then I remembered, I went a bit further one day. You probably don't want to see it, but I am going to show you anyway.

Originally I wanted to climb up those rocks. There are stairs there to do so, but as it was winterly and icy, it was too dangerous to do so and so the stairs were closed. It was also the most untypical day to visit this place anyway. There is a huge parking space near there, which as I assume is packed at other times of the year, but on that day, there were only a few cars. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Christine & Christian: Episode 9 - When Chorizo meets India

Things are not always running smoothly. In fact only sometimes they are. However, when it comes to the 'Christine & Christian' part here on my blog, things haven't been running at all and as I feel it, still things are not fine. Having some chapati or naan would have been the least to accompany today's dinner, but there was no such thing.
Today we are having some Indian food from Goa with a Portuguese influence ... which I have to change slightly on top of it. Originally the recipe is called Chorico Sausage with Dal. I had to turn it into Chorizo Sausage with Dal for I don't know where to get Portuguese chorico sausages here in the countryside. Chorico and chorizo - that sounds all the same to me. Therefore it should do no harm.

In the end it tasted delicious anyway. Still another funny thing, though, there were no chillies needed for the recipe. Alright, the sausage was spicy enough.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Hot Fusion - Hot Chilli Puff Pastry Tarte

Cold fusion: Hypothetical type of nuclear reaction that would occur at, or near room temperature. Usually you need millions of degrees for a fusion of nuclear kind of reaction. This is a controversial subject. The whole concept appears to defy the laws of physics. Some scientists believe cold fusion to be a real phenomenon and that it will be at one point in the future, however far far away, the basis for an abundant, cheap source of energy. Others say that cold fusion is impossible.

Well then, it's quite good, we are not dealing with cold fusion today, but with hot fusion. How do we come to this point?
As it happens to be I'm busy trying to grow my own chillies on the windowsill.

Having them is one part, but actually it's not for the sake of growing, but cooking. I need to do something with them. These are (were) my only two habanero chillies. Those are considered to be quite hot ... and so something else should be, too ... Yes, I'm referring to the weather. Some days it might work out.
Ahem ... what to do now with the habanero chilli? I just took the yellow one. The green one still needs some time. Fine, I could do a chilli, a real hot one ...

Monday, 1 July 2013

Jamie Does' Ratatouille-Style Briouats

How are you? That is a really difficult question. Well, it depends also on who is asking. Some ask and immediately move on. They wouldn't even notice when you say 'miserable'. Anyway, I feel miserable and things are good at the same time. While there are aspects in situations in life that can really make you feel bad, there are also other things that can help you keep going and still feel good. You know what I mean. I don't have to mention all the details. 
For instance when you are home alone, feeling lonely and having no power to cook something good for you, a ringing telephone can make a difference. So I really was happy yesterday, when that happens and I got a surprise invitation for dinner ... at once. So everyone can make a difference for someone else.
At times you also can make a difference for yourself, if you have the power to cook something. You can enjoy something really lovely. That's what I did the other day, enjoy something really lovely: Ratatouille-Style Briouats.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Confused? Green White Cabbage Risotto

There is something lurking in the freezer part of the fridge, a few bags of frozen white cabbage. I couldn't possibly use the whole head of cabbage in one go for coleslaw or kimchi or for whatever. I needed a cabbage break. Into the freezer it went and stayed and stayed there. What to do with it?
Then I read something about cooking the cabbage with garlic and I thought by myself, why not have a risotto, a Green White Cabbage Risotto.

Isn't that a bit confusing? I don't know really, because I am kind of confused most of the time and simply try to go on. In this case here, however, I am just referring to this "Green" and "White" thingy. Well, not really. You already see, how we get the white cabbage green. Lets go for it then ...

A quarter of a head of white cabbage
4 cloves of garlic (the more the merrier)
Vegetable stock
A bunch of basil leaves
A splash of olive oil
One small onion, finely chopped
200 g  of risotto rice
A splash of dry white wine (might be a bigger splash)
A knob of butter
50 g of freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper

The recipe unfolds with the leaves of cabbage cooked together with the peeled and halved cloves of garlic. Just cook them a few minutes together. Then remove the cabbage and the garlic together with a bit of the liquid and transfer it to a blender. Add the basil to the blender, too and ... blend it.
As for the remaining cooking water, you can mix it with the vegetable stock and keep it warm.
Now have the pot for the risotto ready and start softening the onions in some olive oil. Once you have achieved that, give the rice into the pot and go through it with a spoon to bring things together. Pour in some white wine and cook until most of it has been absorbed.
Then we can go on with the risotto fun part by adding one ladle of stock to the rice at a time and cooking until most of the liquid is assimilated. 
Keep going for about 18 minutes. Then toss in the knob of butter and the grated Parmesan. Cover the pot for two to three minutes. Remove the lid again, spoon the risotto through and season it with salt and pepper. Then it's time to plate up.
Enjoy your Green White Cabbage Risotto.

Maybe you do. At the beginning of the month I thought, maybe I get the chance to take part in Herbs on Saturday (Cooking with Herbs) from Lavender & Lovage this month. I just made it ...

Cooking with Herbs

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Don't make a mess ... Strawberry Pavlova

I simply couldn't resist! While being on the local farmers market, strawberries were smiling at me. When strawberries smile at you, the only thing a man can do is ... go and buy them. Said and done! It was just a spur of the moment thing. I didn't have much in mind to do with them, apart from eating, which of course would be sufficient in itself.
However, as soon as the strawberries were in my possession, the mind started working. What do I still have at home and what do I fancy? Oh, I could do a simple cake with the strawberries on top. You could enjoy that with a dollop of cream.
"No", I said to myself "you are not going to bake anything!"
Well, then, I could make a mess, an Eton Mess. That would be lovely. Fine, you need meringue for that. I don't have any on stock and I don't want to go and buy some anyway.
What now? I could do a dish with courgettes and egg yolks at another time, which would leave me with some unused egg whites.

Accordingly I took myself a medium sized bowl and another one for storing and separated three eggs. The yolks went into the fridge for later use.

Here we are with those innocent egg whites. "You are not going to bake anything!" Right? So I turned the oven to 160 °C. The egg whites got one or two teaspoons of vanilla sugar and - who knows how much - maybe 200 g of plain white sugar. Then I too my handheld electric mixer and went on working the ingredients together.
If you would try to make meringues properly, you would go and first stiffen the egg whites until they form soft peaks and then add the sugar bit by bit and make things shiny. I couldn't be bothered at that time.

I prepared a baking sheet with baking parchment and just poured the content of my bowl on it. The tray went into the oven for 1 hour. That can be quite some time if you have some strawberries smiling at you. There is only one thing a man can do, when strawberries are smiling at him ... as a result I worked myself through the strawberries ... bit by bit.
At one point I restrained myself and did something else.

The large meringue was ready and I put it out to cool. Of course, you could leave it in the oven with the oven door slightly open and leave it to cool there. I couldn't be bothered.

I had some cream in the oven waiting eagerly to be put to great use. A bowl ... cream poured in it ... some more vanilla sugar ... and the mixer again. 
Now, if you are as skilled as I am, you manage some of the cream to spill out of the bowl before it is completely whipped. Whatever!
I squeezed a few strawberries and mixed them with the cream.

The cream in that state came over the meringue and then ... what was left of the strawberries, cut into quarters.

That didn't look that bad.  After all that, there were still enough strawberries left. Normally I would just eat it and don't think further about it, but in blog world, things need names.
To make a short story long, I can't dance. What does this have to do wit it? Here we are. Pavlova came to my mind. As far as I remembered it is some kind of dessert with meringue. So I checked it on Wikipedia just to make sure my mind was working correctly. It was.
According to Wikipedia, "Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova." Right, I still can't dance and if I could, it would for sure be far from called ballet. Ah, maybe I can dance a tiny bit after all, But how could I know.
So just one more fact I found out during my research. Pavlova (not the dancer), at least that is what is believed, was first created after or during on of Pavlova's (yes, the dancer) tour to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. This dessert was created in honour to the ballet dancer Anna Pavlova.

Anyway, this particular dessert was not created in honour of her, but rather in honour of the strawberries that smiled at me and in honour to my stomach, which needs some delicious treats from time to time.
Another interesting thought, I could have made a mess - Eton Mess - using the very same ingredients. Just a thought. Simply five simple ingredients and you can even make different things out of it. Have a look again ...

With that now, I can't claim anymore, I never made a Pavlova. After all, that must be a Strawberry Pavlova. However, I still can claim, I can't dance.
Now I go and continue to make a mess (NOT an Eton Mess) ...

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The heat is on! Have some Moroccan Chicken Kebabs!

Finally we have about 4000 °C outside. Great, that's what we always wanted. At least that is what we dreamt about when we still had -40 °C in March. Must have been somewhat like that. Anyway, now we have perfect weather for some Moroccan food. Therefore it is not coincidence we are having Morocco as the current theme for Bloggers Around the World. Very clever and smart of me, don't you agree? At least I'm still in control and am smarter than my phone and my television. However, that of course is of no particular interest at the moment ... as usual.
After all this still tries to be a food blog and not a wisecrack blog ... I suppose. Then it's food we are going to talk about and Moroccan Chicken Kebabs in particular.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Seafood Diet - Ultimate Caramel Chocolate Delight

Have you ever heard someone say: "I only have to look at food and I put on weight."? That totally applies to me. If I see food, I put on weight. Maybe that's due to the diet I am on ... kind of. It's a seaefood diet. Of course, if I see food, I am going to eat it. I'm not having it as decoration. Along that line, the following will do a devastating job. This wasn't a reference to it not being decorative. Let someone else judge. We are talking of putting on weight and my Ultimate Caramel Chocolate Delight.

It has it all ... lots of sugar, cream, butter and of course chocolate. They will do their part. No doubt about it.
In a previous post, I had a Hazelnut Chocolate Custard Caramel Cake. I warned you beforehand the quest isn't over yet and we have to tread further upon that path. You might notice that the recipe is quite similar, but then also different.
Let us speak no further about ... eh ... things. So, without any further ado I bring you my Ultimate Caramel Chocolate Delight.

Ingredients (he he he ... you see what I mean):
200 g flour
100 g brown sugar
200 g melted butter
100 g rolled oats
300 g sugar
50 ml water
100 ml cream
100 g hazelnuts
200 g dark chocolate
50 g butter

Method (not listening to any kind of warnings):
Have you compared it to the previous recipe and noticed the changes already? No? I show you now ... kind of.
First we go for the base with the flour, brown sugar, melted butter and the rolled oats (which are new here). Do a thorough job in putting these together for the dough. Press the base into a cake tin that is prepared with baking parchment. I used a round cake tin, but will use a rectangular one next time.
Bake the base for 20 minutes at 180 °C. After that you might think about allowing some time for it to cool down. A good thing, we are not going to use the oven anymore in the course of this recipe. We did so last time, though.
While that cooling business is going on, we devote our time to what has to be done: the caramel. Put the 300 g of sugar together with the water on the heat. Hopefully it will just go brownish without burning. Allow time for some patience. In the rare case you don't have it, learn it. That's a useful quality you will need again and again in life.
Don't burn the caramel. Before that happens, add the hazelnuts and the cream. You will love that noise, when the cream hits the burning hot caramel. 
Make sure it all mixes well and looks thick. In case it doesn't so right away, I guess you can not avoid, but have to let it on heat and stir it a bit. At one point, though, it should be enough. Things only need a certain amount of stirring. It's like in real life.
Now you should pour the caramel onto the cake base ... if we want to call it a cake. Oh ... it was the original plan, but ... just read on ...
Should I say now: "Allow time for cooling."? Eh ... no ... I don't like to say it. We have work to do. After all we want the Ultimate Caramel Chocolate Delight. Nobody is going to help me finish the job after all.
At this very point our attention is drawn to some beautiful and yet inconspicuous dark chocolate. We need some heat again. I have my special way to melt chocolate and you for sure have your own. So don't let us talk further about it. Fine, I only need to mention that you melt the chocolate together with 50 g of butter.
Once you get this shiny liquid chocolate ready, let it cover the caramel. I would say now: "Allow ...", but ... just make sure the chocolate gets solid again. A fridge might do the trick.

Now have a closer look at this. From what you see, it might be some kind of cake. Let us get our weapon ready and attack it by cutting out a slice.

Well, it tastes great. For me this is my Ultimate Caramel Chocolate Delight. I will try no further in that direction. I'm going to use my time for other food endeavours. What about cheese and chocolate now? Or maybe some other kind of food that will not be so quick in aiding you in putting on more weight. Whatsoever, I will see ... you will see ... we will see.
Back to the original topic.
However, I would not so much eat this as a cake, but rather as a kind of Caramel Chocolate bar. Or just have it as small rectangular slices like shown in the first photo. That way maybe we are not completely lost when we see it ... and consequently eat it - seefood diet! I don't know what you expected when you read the title. Another option would have been: Seafood diet: eat everything, but seafood.