Saturday, 20 September 2014

It's oh so quiet here ... Pumpkin Soup with Chorizo

I don't have to tell, you very easily recognise it yourself. It's almost two weeks ago I have posted something here. Yes, it's indeed oh so quiet here. There could be various reasons for this, but I try not to bore you with that. However, it could become even quieter around here ...

Are you shocked?

Well, it's a bit hard to think with an empty stomach. Have something to eat first. Why not have a pumpkin soup with chorizo. After all it's the season for it. For chorizo? Eh, why, chorizo is always in season and you never should put it away too far.
Now's the time for squashes and pumpkins. Well, there are 7 pumpkins on my table or at least parts of them.
So, why not have a soup - with pumpkin and chorizo ...

... I'm going to tell you also, what other ingredients you have to put in ...

Olive oil
300 g chorizo, kind of cubed
1 carrot, roughly chopped
300 g potatoes, roughly chopped
1 kg butternut squash, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
100 g cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
200 g goat's cream cheese
1-1,5 l water
2 tsp. spicy paprika powder
Splash of sherry vinegar
50 g dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper

Let me try to tell you, how to put the soup together ... phew! Luckily I wrote things done a bit more detailed than usual.
First of all, fry the pieces of chorizo in a bit of olive oil. Put the fried chorizo aside into a separate bowl.
Having all those lovely juices from the frying of the chorizo in the pan, make things even lovelier by adding the garlic, crushed fennel seeds and the cumin to the pan.
Then toss in the carrot, potatoes and squash. Let things work a bit in the pan to soften the vegetables.
After that, it's time to add the paprika powder, the dried tomatoes and the water. Bring it to the boil and let everything simmer for quite a while until everything got even softer. Half an hour and even more will do. If you have the feeling, you need more water, add it.
Having reached this state, it's time to blitz the content of the pan together with the goat's cheese.
Afterwards, it can all go back to the pan. Then the chorizo returns to the pan, followed by the fresh cherry tomatoes. Heat everything up to eating temperature, adjust the seasoning with some salt and pepper and a splash of sherry vinegar. Ready for eating ...

At this point I got a visitor, who didn't came for a meal, just to talk about a few things. So I left the soup on low heat ...

... so what?

Yes, the soup lost a lot of liquid and it looked rather like pumpkin mash or the kind of food you would feed to your baby (not that I know very much about these matters).

Let me call it pumpkin soup concentrate. You can add litres upon litres of water to make the soup for a while. So, if you have unexpected visitors ... the kind that are out for food ... here you go.

Are you shocked?

What for? I don't know what this is all about. Did I say I wanted to shut up shop? I don't think so. Nevertheless, the future is uncertain ...

So, watch out for any news regarding Cooking Around the World ...

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Time for Loch Bloggers Around the World

Another week gone. That is how things work. If it's different and you are  wondering why on earth does the time not move on, you probably sit at home in a dark room on your sofa and have a boring life and you don't know what to do with it. Or maybe even ...
... but we don't like to dwell on such thoughts. Anyway, give me 48 hours a day and 1,000,000 years time, I still wouldn't have enough time. Well, this year I don't even have time (nor funds) to go on holiday. There was one thing I would have loved to do, that is doing a little bit of hiking and exploring in Scotland. However, as the year progresses, the time to do that clearly runs out, for I reckon winter will not be such a good time for outdoor activities of that kind.
Accordingly we switch to indoor activities and things you can do at your very home ... cooking food from and inspired from Scotland. For here we are with our new theme for Bloggers Around the World ...


Yes, right, it was supposed to be the theme for September, but hey, no worries, there is still enough time to join. We can also do it a few days in October still. We don't need to be too fussy about deadlines. After all, the word doesn't sound nice anyway.

Well, what are we going to cook or to bake. I leave that to your imagination or research skills. However, the last time someone asked me that question, the answer was Scottish Whisky Cake. Let me show you ...

So far my ideas(?) regarding what to bake. For the rest I also depend on research. What could be on your menu then?
There might be some kind of porridge or even kippers. Do I hear haggis? I don't know what comes to your mind here ... so we will see. I can also throw in some words for sweet things: Cranachan and shortbread, the latter being one of my favourites.
You see, we already have some ideas here. Just give it your special touch - if you like - and here we go.
Whatsoever, I myself might focus my attention in the direction of Scotch Pie and Bridie. 
Now you should have enough keywords to go ahead in the Bloggers Around the World Challenge. 

The only thing that is left are a few guidelines ...
  1. Link to Cooking Around the World and this very challenge in your post.
  2. Use the "Bloggers Around the World" badge (shown just after the guidelines and ... you know).
  3. Use either an old post or write up something completely new.
  4. You can enter as many posts as your time permits to write up, don't spam me with 1000 old posts.
  5. Enjoy the trip ...

There is a wonderful way I can find out about your post and don't forget it for the round-up - you post a link in the comments section of this post. What are you waiting for?! Right, just relax and take your time and join us for Loch Bloggers Around the World ...

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Out of the Darkness - Bloggers Around the World Round-up: Spanish Tapas

Am I torturing myself? Why, the last few weeks I have been doing a lot of things I am not so comfortable with, like meeting new people or travelling long distances with the car into unknown territory. Besides that I have added some 'real life action' by having a lot to do. This way I have reduced the 'digital action' and the 'non action' as well.
I don't know whether this going to lead me anywhere, but I know where it took me the last few days.

Do you know, too? Well, it has absolutely nothing to do with the Bloggers Around the World theme we are talking about in a minute, but let me tell you something about it anyway.
Just a few days ago, I came home from the place where you can find the tower, but as I used as much time as possible together with my friends - or maybe even a bit more - it got quite late when I finally made my way home in my car. So I got into my car and tried to drive home back through unknown territory. Good, I managed to get back home safely. Yes, I know, that's always the trouble with all those stories told from the present into the past. The fact that the person telling you the story is still alive shows you he must have survived. Ah, so what's the point now to continue telling you something? Argh!
Fine I only had a voice from my smartphone telling me where to drive while there was just darkness around me for miles after miles. At times perhaps the only ones around me were deers and boars - so I'm lucky I didn't take anyone of those along (more luck than brain). 
Anyway, things could have been worse, there could have been pouring rain. So, no big deal. However, I made it safely out of the darkness so I am able to write the round-up for August's Bloggers Around the World - Spanish Tapas.
The month was very short, for time went by so quickly - the way it is when you are enjoying yourself. Accordingly we have to keep this round-up brief.
Right at the beginning I like to show you some of the delicacies I did in my kitchen.
Yes, you just read about them anyway as it was my last post. Let's focus then on someone else. After all this is not just about me here.

So, please tell me what I can do. Caroline from Caroline Makes ... entered first. What was it? A lovely Paella ...

Hm, yes, I know, but we keep it anyway ...

Who else got the chance to pause and stop by in this fast paced month? It was Jill from Lapin d'Or and More (I love that name ... eh ... judge for yourself which one I mean).
Jill made some wonderful tapas to share with us.

I especially liked the 'croute' of red peppers. You can see them in the top right part of the picture. It's a lovely combination of red peppers, cheese and almonds. What's not to love about that?

What do I love from the next dish, the pea and ham soup? For sure the green colour does a very good job.

At the end ... eh ... let me say thank you to all who had a share this month. As a token of my gratitude let me give you some flowers ...

I hope you all still like me tomorrow and beyond ...

Friday, 22 August 2014

Bienvenido a mi casa - Tapas Night

¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás? Ahora hay tapas. Bienvenido a mi casa. Espero yo tengo algo para todos. Bueno, aquí tengo un pequeño selección de tapas de mi mesa ...

... y un poco mas ...

¡Que aproveche!

Nun, ich denke, ich sollte die Sprache wechseln, das wird mir sonst zu viel und ich brauche ewig mit dem Schreiben.

Oops, maybe that was the wrong one, too. I better switch to what I can write best. Anyway, by now you have noticed what this is all about ... Spanish tapas.
After all, that still is the theme for this month's Bloggers Around the World.

We better do this properly now. Turn up the sound system for the Gypsy Kings ... "Bamboleo ..." or something like that. Maybe we can get into the spirit a glass of Sherry first ...

I imagine it would be great fun to do this with some of my favourite bloggers, but ... anyway, it was fun the way it was.

What lovely kind of tapas do I have for you tonight?

Cheese Empanadas:

Have about 200 g puff pastry ready. Mix some 100 g of cheddar cheese or manchego to be more Spanish with a few anchovies, 80 g dried tomatoes, 50 g green olives and 50 g pesto rosso.
Roll out you puff pastry, cut out circles of all the pastry. Divide the filling among all those pastry rounds and try to seal them by putting a bit of water on the edges and folding over. If you have rolled out your pastry too thin or get your empanadas too close to the heat in the oven, what you can see on the photo might happen.
Brush your empanadas with egg wash before you transfer them for 13 minutes to the oven at 225 °C. Just make sure, you place the tray in the middle of the oven.

Roasted Peppers with Chilli Cheese:

You just need to get some cheese with enough fuego for this, a lovely cheese with enough heat in the form of chilli. If you have the right shop around you might get some Spanish cheese for this, but then a simple cheese with chilli will do. As you see, you cut it into nice cubes.
The peppers are a different story. Get them under the grill to char the skin of the peppers. Then toss them in a bowl and cover with cling film to cool down. Then try to remove the skin of the peppers ... if you can ... and cut the peppers into small pieces. Serve them together with the cheese and a dressing of honey and sherry vinegar.

Steak with Cheese and Salad:

Well, get some steak, season it with salt and pepper and let it lick the heat in your pan, one and half minute on both sides and do it twice. Then let the meat rest for 15 minutes.
Cut the steak into stripes and place them alternating with some lovely cheese on a large plate. In the centre of the plate place some green salad. Toss over some capers and green olives and ... if you are a tiny bit naughty like me ... some innocent looking, but fiery peppers. Additionally sprinkle over some black pepper and sea salt. Squeeze a lemon to leave its juice on top and add some good extra virgin olive oil. There you go!

That's just a small selection. You can add also some olives with different fillings, some chorizo, serrano ham and more cheese to the table. Maybe you also want to offer some tortas de aceite as well. You can buy them in some shops or do your own.
Jamie Oliver has a lovely recipe for this in his book Jamie Does.

For sure you don't want to forget to serve some olive oil roasted padrón peppers sprinkled with some sea salt and more extra virgin olive oil.

Oui, c'est fini! Oh, wrong language again. After all, that was a Spanish tapas night. Maybe we can do something French another time, another challenge. Maybe, if I get someone to join me for a theme of French Chocolate ... something.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed our little tapas night and I look forward to some further suggestions from you or any entries for the Spanish Tapas Bloggers Around the World challenge.

Nos vemos la próxima vez ...

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Let's wrap again - Mushroom & Courgette Wraps

Come on, let's do a kettle wrapping. The good thing, there is not just one way to do it and you don't always have to use wheat tortillas to do so, although you can, of course. Well, you don't even have to use chicken or any other kind of meat. With that spirit, let's wrap again and do it the veggie way ...

Fine, you don't have to use cheese in it, but I simply can't do it any other way ... or ... rather don't see any point in leaving out cheese for me.
So, no matter how you like to have your wraps, here I tell you what I did this time ...

A bit of oil
250 g mushrooms, cut into smaller pieces
1 medium courgette, cut into cube-like objects
1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseeded or not)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp. tomato puree
Salt and pepper
Some fresh coriander
Some feta cheese or similar
Some lettuce or wheat tortillas

Heat up a pan with some oil in it. Then add the chopped garlic. Do you smell the loveliness of the garlic in your kitchen? Good, add the courgette and mushrooms. Give it all some heat. While you are at it, toss in the chilli.
Once the courgette starts to soften, add the tomato puree and if you have the feeling you need to, because things look to dry, add some more oil.

Adjust the taste with a bit of salt and pepper. When the things are finished in the pan, you can assemble the wraps or wait a few moments to let the mushrooms and courgette cool down a little bit.
So, place a bit of the mixture on a large piece of lettuce, that will hold. Add a few cubes of feta and a some chopped coriander leaves.
Of course, you can place the plate also the other way around like this ...

Fine, you can even use some wheat tortillas and wrap things that way ...

Enjoy your wrapping. Now I have to continue to do some preparations for a little party I am having tomorrow ...

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Cheese, Cheese, Cheese and Cheese

Have a careful guess on what this post is all about. No, sorry, you are wrong, it's not all about cheese. What a misleading way to put a title of a blog post. How can I do a thing like that? Yes, just go for it and write it.
While I love cheese very much and all that, this is not going to be a post dedicated to cheese. And this is not a report of about the German cheese museum or a cheese festival that is taking place near to the museum and ... in fact is taking place next month and ... it's not too far from my place. Well, who knows, maybe I get the chance to visit it and then I could write something about it, but now it's simply a recipe containing quite some cheese. That dish is a pasta recipe with a cheese sauce, not just one of those where you put two kind of cheeses in or even three. No, it's Pasta with Quadruple Cheese Sauce.

Let us have a closer look at what we need and how we could go about.

250 g Ricotta
250 g Gorgonzola
100 g Emmental
50 g Parmesan
2 hands full of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying
Yes, of course, pasta

Note the time your pasta needs to cook. It depends on type and size and when you make fresh pasta, well you have some extra work, but you will love it even more. Right, I didn't do my own pasta, although I could have done that.
Get a pan and get some oil to a hot temperature and fry the garlic and the tomatoes.
Meanwhile in a bowl over hot water you carefully melt the cheeses far as they need melting ... in fact it will suffice to melt the Emmental and the Gorgonzola first and then stir in the Ricotta and Parmesan.

Once you have achieved a nice and lovely cheese mixture you can add the fried tomatoes and garlic to it. Check the seasoning ... eh ... we didn't put in anything so far ... so check whether some salt and pepper is necessary and add at own will.
Did you check the time for your pasta at the beginning? Since you can imagine that it doesn't take that long to put together the quadruple cheese sauce, you for sure agree that it's good to start getting the pasta ready at an early stage.
When all is ready ... enjoy ...

So I really hope, I can manage to visit this cheese festival. Do you know how it is when you want to go to so many things and would love to do so many things and in the end you don't even manage half of it? Well, well, well, life is like that ...

... then there are also these things happening in your life, I'm sure I have mentioned it more than once already here, when you go shopping and see certain ingredients and you feel you need to have them, although you haven't planned anything to do with them, then ... I guess it's time for the No Waste Food Challenge from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. Laura from I'd Much Rather Bake Than ... is managing the challenge this month.
Well, this time it was the Ricotta ...

... and if you feel like it and have leftover cheese, why not go for a quintuple cheese sauce or even ... but that would be all up to you ...

Saturday, 2 August 2014

All the small things - Tapas for Bloggers Around the World

What? You think I have forgotten? How could you possibly think a thing like this? That is ... that is ... true, I almost forgot that it's time for another round of Bloggers Around the World.
So, let' be nice and start all over again ...

¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?

I really honestly hope you are all doing well, no matter who you are and where you are. Maybe you have a hot, burning summer right now, or maybe you have too much water coming from above. No matter what, I hope you like to join us once more as we make our way to Spain.

However, I don't want you to do any elaborate cooking this month for our challenge. This month we like to concentrate on the small things. Anyway, that is what you should concentrate a bit more in real life, too. A small nice gesture from a family member, a friend or even a stranger can bring you joy. Maybe it's just a smile, a kind word, or a cool drink on a hot day.

Did I say drink? Yes, I did. That brings us closer to what we want to do here: food. And this time it's small food, tapas to be precise.

If you haven't already understood, in order to join us this time for Bloggers Around the World, it's ...


You should have a lot of variation here. Just feel free to try new things or share your favourite ones. Here are some of my favourites as I tend to do tapas more often ...

.. fried dates filled with chorizo and wrapped in bacon ...
... garlic prawns ...

... cheese with thyme and honey ...

Of course I also want to try something new. So, have a go and give at a shot. If you like you can also invite some friends and have a tapas party with you. So, once again, you can make others happy.

Anyway, it's very easy to make me happy. Simply join us for our big tapas party here and share your tapas posts. Simple use the comment section down here and leave a comment with a link to your post ...

... and keep also the following in mind ...
  1. Link to Cooking Around the World and this very challenge in your post.
  2. Use the "Bloggers Around the World" badge (you know).
  3. Use either an old post or write up something completely new.
  4. You can enter as many posts as you manage or of course you can have just one big tapas party.
  5. Enjoy the challenge end your life of course...

Of course you have time to join until the end of this very month. So, when it turns September, you shouldn't post any more posts for this, but rather watch out for the round-up.

I wish I could delight you with some impressions from Spain, but I simply don't have any suitable photos ready somewhere around me, although I wish I could take some fresh ones soon ...

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Naan Cheese, Bacon, Tomato and Onion Sandwich

Of course, having some Indian food is also a very nice thing - with some lovely spices and all that. 

Maybe a nice potato curry together with some dal, raita and some freshly baked naan bread. Ah, that is lovely indeed. I don't know, though, whether my naan bread was the way it was supposed to be. Oh ... right ... I have only a standard oven with no extra tricks, so that was all I could do. Anyway, I had some leftovers of the naan bread. Yes, maybe some of the potato curry and dal was left, too, but somehow I must have managed to eat that up.
Whatever the case, I decided to use some of the leftover naan to make a naan sandwich with cheese, bacon, tomato and onions.

I decided to keep things simple, although I could have given it a further Indian touch somehow by frying the onions in some spices and adding some raita on top, but I didn't.
There is just a large slice of cheese, some slices of crispy bacon, a few tomato slices and some freshly fried onions ... put the lid on and go for it.

Well, there are still some more photos left on my USB stick. With some of those photos, there is the problem I don't know 100 % anymore what I did there, but here in this case it was quite obvious. 
There was simply too much time passing with doing so many other and new things I didn't get any chance to work off all those old ones.
Nevertheless, I will give you some more of those ...

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Wheat Tortillas with Mango Salsa

Sometimes I think I need more of a certain kind of food in my life. Ha, you say, when you look at my blog, there is a lot of variation. Fine! At times, though I wish I could have certain things more often. Maybe something like that ...

That was the dish for Mexico I totally forgot to blog for the World Cup. No worries. Yes, at times I wish I could have a bit more Mexican food in my life.
Well then, what do you have to do for these little wheat tortillas with Mango salsa?
Obviously you need to make your own  wheat tortillas.
For that I usually take normal wheat flour, add a pinch of salt and then as much cream as is necessary to make the dough come together. However, it will never be more than 200 ml of cream. Then I never used more than 500 g of flour.
Let the dough rest a bit, then separate the dough into individual portions, roll out little tortillas and dry-fry them.
Make your Mango Salsa with half a cucumber, a hand full of cherry tomatoes, a bunch of fresh coriander, one ripe mango, the juice of one lime, one red chilli, a small red onion and a bit of salt.
It's best to cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise first. Then remove the softer more watery inside with a small spoon. Cut the remaining part into small cubes.
Remove the seeds of the tomatoes and cut into small bits. Finely chop the onion, chilli and coriander. Cut the mango into small pieces as well.
Mix all the ingredients together. Maybe a drop of olive oil will do no harm.
Put a spoonful of the salsa on each ready fried wheat tortilla and enjoy ...

Friday, 18 July 2014

Summer Salad with Strawberries

So, here we are. Where? I don't know. Here it is supposed to be summer. The biggest event on this blog is gone now for some days and I have to get other things moving again. Back to normal? If ever I was normal ...
Well, there are still a few things I did before that are still on my list to blog away. Today we are going to have a salad for a change. I hope it's fresh and colourful enough so you like it. I was satisfied with it.
We have a mixed salad with strawberries. I went picking them from the strawberry field nearby and originally I wanted to go back for more, but now all the time I have a few spare minutes to do so, it's raining. Tough!

Iceberg lettuce
Red bell pepper
Olive Oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt, pepper

Mix 1 part vinegar, 3 parts olive oil, salt and pepper to make a simple salad dressing.
Then cut all the vegetables, fruits and nuts into small pieces. Carefully mix it all together and serve with the dressing and some shavings of parmesan.

Well, that wasn't really much, but what else can I say about it ... hm ... tastes lovely. OK, you could still add a bit of parsley on top, if you happen to have any.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Kick it! THE Food World Cup Round-up ... do I need to say more?

This is the day you all have been waiting for! Right, only if you followed or joined or joined and followed the Bloggers Around the World - World Cup 2014 - Brazil challenge. It has been a few weeks of intense football cooking action kind of action in the kitchen and ... beyond. Now, there are only a few things left to do while I type things away until my fingers start to bleed and my brain starts to say 'no more, no more'.
However, first things first and last things last and a lot of cooking in between ...

First of all, I wish to thank everyone for their great support. So, thank you very very very much Galina, Cheryl, Vohn, Caroline, Ruth, Alison, Deon, Gayathri, Karen, Anchu and Catwoman. It has been a lot of fun with you and I hope we can do such a thing again in the future.
Besides that, one of you has won a lovely price of some lovely chocolate. For me, though, you all deserve it. However, as the rules go, there can only be one winner. Obviously, that one is not Catwoman. In order to find out, who the winner is, you have to bear with me for a while.
Another thing we have to find out is, which country made it to be the winner of the Food World Cup. Before we like to kick that off, we need to get you in the mood with a few recipes from the host of  the event, from BRAZIL ...

One of the most popular dishes in Brazil is Feijoada. Lovely Galina from Chez Maximka saw that, too and so she gave us her version of it.  
Still, you could do it slightly different as well and go and visit the Madhouse Family Reviews! blog and see what amazing Cheryl has done in that direction ... and ... check out her Feijoada, too.

Now, before you think, it's just beans and all and it will give us all a lot of wicked air, try Cheryl's Fruity Brazilian Burgers with Coleslaw. If you love burgers, you will love that one, too.

Then again, you could have a Brazilian Potato Salad, too. Let Galina introduce you to such a delightful version ...

Next comes another famous Brazilian dish I already had my eyes on. However, there was one lady, that was a bit faster then me. No, I'm not complaining. I could only complain about me as being Captain Slow, but hey, why should I. Here I have a wonderful recipe for Vatapa, a creamy fish/prawn stew, I can still try any time I feel like it.

Another one to tune you in for Brazil comes all the way from Scotland and from Vohn and Vohn's Vittles. Well, originally it was supposed to bring you happiness in a cold winter, but it will bring you happiness now, as well. Try some Papaya and Melon Jam.
Vohn has something else going for us, Brazilian slow-roasted lamb. That made me very hungry the moment I read it. Additionally I was due to get some food at that time.

Care for a drink now? Then let Vohn serve you Strawberry, Melon and Mint Sucos.
We are not yet ready to start properly, there is still one more Brazilian post of a non match day kind. Cheryl gives us Beef Churrasco & Farofa.

So far to the the prologue for our event. Now we are going to kick it and I'll give you the countries in ascending order until we get to the winner ...