30. Oktober 2005

falafel and hummus

another fine dish i tasted for the first time when i lived in london was falafel with hummus. when i came back home i tried to get hold of all the ingredients which was quite a challenge. i also had to make everything from scratch. i used to make the tahini myself because in the small town where i used to live back then i just could not get foreign food or foreign ingredients. today even good supermarkets have foreign food sections and the recipes become more affordable :) i usually serve this dish with bread and salad. or i just eat the bits as fingerfood appetizers

400 g chickpeas
1 piece of white bread
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
50 g bulgur (can be substituted with 3 EL flour)
1 tbsp baking powder
oil for frying

01 put chickpeas and white bread in a food processor and puree untill smooth
02 add herbs and season to taste
03 finally add bulgur or flour and baking powder
04 heat oil, form small balls with a spoon and fry until golden-brown

50 g chickpeas
¼ clove of garlic
15 g tahini
juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp olive oil
black olives, finely chopped
salt, pepper

01 put ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth
it was funny when i served hummus the first time when i was still living at my parent's house. if you pronounce "hummus" the german way it means something like "mould". so my family really was rather sceptical and they where looking at me in distaste when i proudly announced that i had made "h-u-m-u-s". their reaction was like:

how icky! do we have to eat soil now?!

i had to explain them that it was a dip of chickpeas, garlic, olives, lemon juice, and a sesame seed paste called "tahini". it is a dish from the middle east and i tasted it in a greek restaurant for the first time. they where delighted and even my father who hardly ever tries new tastes and flavours took a bite and welcomed the dish with an approving grunt:) my sister got hooked immediately and since she is an exceptionally gifted cook (way more willing to experiment than i am!) this was the kickstart to our adventures in cooking foreign dishes.

27. Oktober 2005

pumpkinseed flavoured potato soup

since pumpkinseed oil has a big tradition in austria and i read a posting at the passionate cook about it i decided to make a simple yet delicious pumpkinseed flavoured potato soup. so this dish is very much inspired by johannas recent post (and it's freestyle again):

350 g potatos
half a liter of vegetable stock
half an onion
plenty of garlic :)
olive oil
sour cream
pumpkinseed oil from styria

01 dice onion, garlic and potatos
02 heat olive oil and fry onions and garlic
03 add potatos and vegetable stock
04 bring to boil and then let simmer for half an hour
05 mash everything up
06 add sour cream
07 season to taste and add some of the pumpkinseed oil
08 decorate with the rest of the pumpkinseed oil and enjoy!

24. Oktober 2005

my perception is changing

keeping my foodblog for over two weeks now is a daily challenge. and it has definitely changed the way i actually see food.

on both counts: even if i throw together some kiwis, yoghurt, cinamon and maple sirup i want it to look as pretty as possible to show off a little and to post as many nice pictures as possible for my ever-growing audience.

my perception of food is changing to the better as well - in only 2 weeks eating has become a rather joyful pleasure instead of an unavoidable must.

being a quite normal child, i became a chubby teenager and now i am a chubby adult. i always wanted to be skinny and not so long ago i developed a borderline eating disorder unnoticed by my social enviroment. i refused to eat for several month. i did not loose weight though, i only got depressed. thank good it dawned on me that i am actually playing havoc with my health. my relationship with food is still a litte ambivalent from time to time.

but with foodblogging something really strange happened: my whole focus is suddenly changing. i indulge in the passion of eating, can you imagine that? feasting on new tastes, flavours and also sharpening my senses and listening to my body and my needs. after all, i am what i eat.

thanks, this is really something i have to give all you marvellous cooks and foodbloggers credit for - your posts, pictures and recipes are very very inspiring!

23. Oktober 2005

my kitchen

i wanted to post a picture of my kitchen for the kitchen meme the other day but i could not really capture all of it ... so it took me some time to create a photomerge and show you where i live and cook. as i said before the kitchen was the only one i could afford, it does not even really fit into my flat (the fridge had to be set up on the other side of the room). i usually prepare my ingredients on the table or the broken vintage cinema popcorn machine where the kettle is situated right now.

the room is not big at all, the other side looks like this:
but i love it here. i just need some space for myself to be creative and to be able breathe!

22. Oktober 2005

chocolate chip muffins

as i said before muffins and cupcakes are my favorite pastry. today i made a batch for a friend of mine who's birthday is today. i actually wanted to see him but i had to work all day and so i decided to freeze the muffins (which i never done before) and give them to him on his birthday party next week.

i could not resist to steal one and finish it off while going throug my favorite foodblogs.

250 g dark chocolate
115 g unsalted butter
265 ml buttermilk
150 g white sugar
1-1/2 egg
10 ml vanilla extract
310 g all-purpose flour
5 g baking soda
5 g salt
300 g dark chocolate chips

01 preheat oven 200 degrees C
02 line 12 muffin cups with papers
03 in a small saucepan over low heat, melt the dark chocolate together with the butter. let stand until cooled
04 lightly beat the egg, stir together the chocolate-butter mixture with the buttermilk, sugar, egg, and vanilla, until blended well
05 in a large bowl, stir together flour, soda, and salt. make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the chocolate mixture, and stir until just combined
06 stir in the mini chocolate chips
07 spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups
08 bake at 200 degrees C for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean
09 remove muffin tin from oven and let stand at least 5 minutes, before removing the muffins and letting them cool on a wire rack


55 g butter
10 g cocoa powder
2 g instant coffee granules
375 g sifted confectioners' sugar
45 ml milk
5 ml vanilla extract

01 Melt butter over a low heat.
02 Stir cocoa, coffee and vanilla into the butter.
03 Mix in powdered sugar and milk.
04 Beat until smooth.
05 Frost cookies and enjoy.

21. Oktober 2005

freestyle strudel

i made a resolution the other day: though going back to my busy schedule i want to cook at least every other day. so i hurried home from work today bearing in mind that i had about one and a half hours to prepare something, eat, and rush to university.

i hectically cut up onions, garlic and zucchini, let it simmer for a while, threw it onto some pre-made strudel-dough, sprinkled some cheese on it, rolled it, put it in the oven ...

... and i had a decent and delicious vegetable strudel half and hour later. reasonable eathing habits just require good planning! i need to rush, see you later!

ps: i plan on making muffins again since a friend of mine is having his bithday tomorrow!

19. Oktober 2005

hurry up, girl!

i was going to post an entry on how well i prepare for a regular busy day with a jam packed schedule 6 hours of work, 8 hours of university or vice versa, how i pre-cook stuff and take it with me.

i had it all figured out. in theory. and now i can not tell you about that though.

because i did not prepare well today. i overslept, was in a hurry and now that i am here at university for 6 hours and i just happen to notice that i have not eaten a single bite today. and that i did not bring anything with me.

i hate it that it is actually my first busy day and i've already fallen back into my bad habits! a quick question: are there any other foodbloggers out there who need to squeeze their meals into a busy schedule and a tight budget? i am sure all you other guys here need to figure that out too.

how do you not forget to care for you, foodwise?
is it about a daily routine and habits you get used to?

18. Oktober 2005

kitchen meme

i have been tagged by ilva to do a kitchen meme and i am very excited! i feel very welcome to the exquisit round of foodbloggers! thanks folks!

(since my internet at home is not working at the moment, i will take the pictures later, drag my laptop to university and upload the pics tomorrow)

1) Show us your kitchen ( a picture) and tell us what is it about this place that reflects your own personality. my kitchen does not reflect my style of cooking. i am an art student, i have no money and this is simply the cheapest one i found. i does not even fit im my flat. i just could not afford a decent one *g*. cooking has a big tradition in my family though. i used to help my mother in the kitchen from a young age, maybe 5 or so. washing salad, cleaning vegetables ... by the age of 10 my sister and i where cooking whole meals for 5 people. when my grandmother passed away last year i asked my grandfather to give me one of her pans as a thing to remember her by. he gave me a tiny little pan which i always found very amusing ... why did she have such a minipan since she was always cooking for at least 5 people?!? now it has become one of my most used kitchen things since it is the perfect size for a single gal like me. my grandmother has always been a great example on how not to loose your nerves in the kitchen. i still miss her a lot.

2) Open a cupboard (the one you feel to open), take a picture and tell us what we see.
as i am trying to change my eating habits at the moment i bought some pretty out of range food (buckwheat, amaranth, spelt wheat flour). new tastes, new flavours! seasoning is also very important for me. as well as having good oils and vinegars in store

3) Present us your favorite kitchen-based household appliance.
i only have a mixer and a brandnew electric scale. i use the scale every day, it's probably the most important household appliance i own.

4) Take out the ingredients you like the most, the ones you always keep stored.
garlic, garlic and some more garlic!

5) My little steel friend: present us to your favorite cooking/baking recipient.
that would be the pan with the lid!

i want to pass on the torch to the flying apple since angelika was very supportive about my whole "hey, i'm gonna start up a foodblog"-thing ... :)

16. Oktober 2005

apple muffins

i am a big fan of cupcakes eversince i lived in london 9 years ago. the new dimension of bakery was beyond compare to me though i indulge in bohemian influenced tradition of baking eversince i was born :) my mother, my aunts and my late grandmother used to bake at least two cakes a week! no wonder my ass got so big once i got older ...

can you believe that i have never seen a muffins backing tray before i came to london? this simply was something pretty new and not available back home. and i got hooked immediately. i bought a muffins tray and a muffins cooking book and back in austria i sweept into the long family tradiditon of baking like a whirlwind.

my muffins are a most welcome desert and tea cake at family gatherings eversince.
when i make them for myself i tend to make use of leftovers and hidden treasures in my cupboard.

i have been helping my mother in the kitchen since i was 5 years old and she never ever stuck to a single recipe ... replace an ingredient with another one, add a dash of this, add a dash of that ... i guess i inherited that kind of cooking style. the result of my trial and error food game never really where errors. sometimes they tasted quite unpredictable but they where never a disappointment.

in fact, family recipes are not written down at all. my mother and her sisters watched my granny in the kitchen and i did the same. so you always give a family recipe your own touch and there are always individual adjustments made. the legacy is passed on with a personal touch :)

so on my lazy sunday afternoon i decided to do something for my newborn foodblog-passion.
opening my kitchen cupboard and going "hummmm ... what have we got here? and what can i cook with it?" let me make up a recipe for apple muffins.

1 apple
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
25 g raisins
½ tbsp rum
100 g melted butter
113 g flour (spelt wheat)
½ tbsp backing powder
20 g ground hazelnuts
45 g oatmeal
75 g sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
a dash of salt

01 peel and dice the apple (i like my filling chunky!)
02 steam apples with water, sugar, cinnamon, raisins and rum
03 let cool down
04 make dough from the rest of the ingredients
05 let it rest for an hour
06 spread half of the dough in the muffin tray
07 put filling on top
08 cover with the rest of the dough
09 bake for 25 minutes at 200 °C
10 sprinkle with powdered sugar when cooled down
11 enjoy with a nice hot drink

a really big advantage of being single and dividing the quantities by four is that you will not gulp down 20 muffins just because they are delicious and you can't stop. you enjoy the mini-portion you made and feel like you are in heaven.

enjoying the cupcakes with a nice cup of coffee on the riverbanks of the danube is really a heavenly treat :)

15. Oktober 2005

smells, tastes, impressions

i am a supermarket girl. inbetween job and university i need to do my shopping as fast and as cheap as i can.

strolling through a market is something i hardly ever do. there is a tiny litte "grünmarket" in linz urfahr right where i live and there is another bigger market right across town called "südbahnhofmarkt". my parents are here quite a lot though it is an hour drive for them to get here. i sometimes take the opportunity to join them and i always enjoy these mornings with complex smells, tastes and impressions.
though i tend to to squander all my money on healthy and unique local specialities and food from abroad i never regrett buying speck (bacon), schnaps (hard liqor), bauernkrapfen (some kind of donut) or ziegenkäse (goat cheese) to restock my larder and to support local farmers.

see some impressions of today right here:

is it still common in other countries to use scales like this?

falls bounty of the region i live in. take a look:

i guess potatos have been the most common vegetable for hundreds of years round here. cheap and filling and easy to produce for the countrymen

parasol mushrooms are easy to find this time of year. as a child i've been looking forward all year to eating them in autumn

wallnuts: collecting them in autumn - storing and peeling them all winter

root vegetables are also very common in my area

booooah! honey from the woods is terrific!!

can't wait to smell roastet chestnuts on the christkindlmarkt

kumquats, litchies and avocados have only been available in rural austria in recent years.

paprika is way more common here than chili

you do not get sweet potatos in supermarkets. they are really exotic in austria! even at the market you really really have to look for them and there are only very few stalls selling them

delicious: handmade pasta

even more delicious: marinated olives. i loooooooove olives!

of course you don't eat the handmade bars of soap. but they are still pretty to look at

what a heavenly treat! handmade chocolate with fillings beyond your imagination (greaves! cheese! safron! and this is only the tip of the iceberg) from zotter. you just have to check this out

this is what i miss the most when i leave the country for longer than a holiday trip. really good brown bread ...

... and "gselchtes" (smoked bacon). you just can not get good meat and saussage in other countries *ggg*

after all this running around i deserve a litte hot chocolate in a tiny litte café

13. Oktober 2005

putengeschnetzeltes with potatoe wedges

putengeschnetzeltes ... is there a translation for "geschnetzeltes"? originally it is a swiss dish. it's small pieces of white meat, usually pork, turkey or veal, cooked in a pan with onions, garlic and a heavy cream and wine sauce. it is usually served with rice, noodles or spätzle.

150 g turkey (hen)
125 g onions
150 ml vegetable stock
5 tbsp. sour creme
olive oil

01 cut turkey into small pieces
02 heat oil and roast turkey gently
03 remove meat from pan
04 cut onions into thin slices
05 stirfry onions till slightly brown
06 add vegetable stock
07 let simmer for 10 minutes
08 add sour creme and stir well
09 reduce heat and let onion sauce boil down till creamy
10 if necessary add some flour or starch (farina) to thicken the sauce
11 add meat and let simmer for about 10 more minutes
12 season to taste, add chopped parsley
13 enjoy with a nice glass of white wine!

oven roastet potatoe wedges

3 potatoes
herbs (i took ground cili)
olive oil

01 cut potoatoes lengthwise into wedges
02 place in a pan
03 drizzle with olive oil
04 if desired sprinkle with salt and herbs
05 stir to coat
06 bake uncovered at 220 °C until tender

12. Oktober 2005

maple sirup

eversince my quebecois guest talked about the big tradition of maple sirup in canada i've had such a craving for it!

here in austria it is neither easy nor cheap to obtain a bottle of the sweet treat. i bought a bottle of 375 mililiters for 7 euros. it is grade c - i wonder if this has anything to do with the quality.

i bought the bottle a week ago and i already used up a lot since i discovered i just looooove the taste of maple sirup on my moring cereals.

9. Oktober 2005

buckwheat curry

40 g buckwheat
20 g onions
100 g carrots
100 g broccoli
3 tbsp olive oil
20 g sour cream
200 ml vegetable stock
curry powder

01 dice onions, carrots, broccoli
02 chop parsley
03 heat the oil in a pot and add the onions
04 stew a little
05 add curry powder and sauté for a while
06 pour vegetable stock in and add carrots and broccoli as well as the buckwheat
07 reduce heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes
08 season to taste
09 fold in sour creme and add parsley just before serving the dish
10 enjoy!

buckwheatvegetablesspices and herbssour creme

i am not sure if i will do a detailled fotostory all the time ... this is distracting me from all the cooking, actually! in the future i might try a nice picture of the finished dish and the pleased cook :)

me and food

i like to cook, but i haven't really done that lately. i have a pretty ambivalent relationship with food, ingestion and nourishment and this is actually pretty bizarre. i really love to watch people eat the dishes i prepare. i like to see them enjoy my cooking. but i rarely allow myself to indulge in a beautiful feast ... i try to change that, get a little perspective and enjoy good food rather than chasten myself.

i intend to prepare healthy dishes with quality food as well as luscious little treats. i really like upper austrian plain fare (expecially from mühlviertel) and since i also enjoy inspiring recipies from all over the world i am willing to try out new things and experiment, taste new food, enjoy new scents and tastes and get a whole new perspective of eating.

i also thought that it's not worth the trouble to cook for me alone. well, i've been thinking. it IS worth preparing a delicious meal for myself!

8. Oktober 2005

starting all over again

i've had this blogger-account for 5 years now and i have never really done anything with it ... i might start it up again ... we'll see ... maybe a food blog? in the meantime check out my other stuff.