26. August 2006

jam again: plum and cinnamon

marmelade: zwetschke und zimt marmelade: zwetschke und zimt

those rainy weekends are just perfect for making jam and preserve the spirit, taste and texture of this years pretty hot summer for rainy fall and snowy winter. this year went by so fast, i can hardly belive it. i can preserve summer in a little jar though :)

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19. August 2006

what better way to celebrate post no. 100 ...

... than making salted macadamia millionaire’s shortbread

salted macadamia millionaire’s shortbread

(16 squares) (recipe from waitrose food illustrated)

125 g salted butter, plus some extra for greasing
50 g caster sugar
175 plain flour
150 g roasted and salted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

toffee filling and chocolate topping
100 g caster sugar
115 g salted butter
200 g condensed milk
2 tbsp golden syrup
200 g milk chocolate, chopped
50 g white chocolate, melted

01 preheat the oven to 150 °c
02 line a 23 cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper
03 rub the butter, sugar and flour together in a bowl until it forms a very stiff, crumbly dough
04 press into the tin and press the nuts on top
05 bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden
06 cool
07 meanwhile, make the toffee by slowly melting the sugar and 100 g butter for 10 minutes until thick and bubbling.
08 add the condensed milk and golden syrup and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly.
09 reduce the heat and stir the mixture vigorously for 5-10 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan, until the toffee is thick and golden. if brown patches start to appear, add a drop of condensed milk
10 pour over the shortbread and set for 20 minutes in the fridge
11 boil 4 tbsp water in a pan, take off the heat and stir in the milk chocolate with the remaining butter until melted.
12 spread over the toffee.
13 chill for 2 hours
14 drizzle melted white chocolate from a teaspoon
15 cut into squares with a hot knife
16 voilá, death by chocolate & fudge!
it has been a good ride so far, i have made lots of new friends. thumbs up for another 100 posts!

14. August 2006

don't throw me away, please!

over the last few years i have become more and more aware of global coherencies, especially concerning food and its industrial production. i was raised in a working class family and i was always very aware of the fact that some people have more and some people have less - mostly because i always was at the "lesser" end of the stick. i was used to wear clothes that family friends had withdrawn from their closets. as a teenager this started to bother me, but i guess that was just typical teenage behaviour. still, i never considered our family as "poor".

i always admired the fact that everyone in my big family had good economic sense. nothing was ever wasted (might be a relic of the postwar generation). i am a bit of a hunter-gatherer myself, i have a pretty hard time throwing stuff away :). as far as economic sense is concerned our women where certainly cooking very economically in the kitchen. hardly a thing was thrown out. i have virtually never seen anything rotten in the kitchens of my mother, my grandmother or my aunts.

i have intuitively lived by this rule while i was in my parent's household. but when i moved out i became rather careless about my food and for a few years. i must have thrown out unbelievable quantities of rotten food because i was not able to propperly keep house. but after some years of juvenile flippancy i started to think again. i eat fruits an vegetables when they are in season. i don't have my strawberries shipped around the world. i even became very interested in more extreme alternative lifestyles contrary to the throwaway society. freeganism for example. but since i am not really attracted by hardcore lifestyles (not interested anymore ... being way past my punk/grunge teenage days) i figured i have to follow a more moderate path. of course, mangos don't grow in my backyard and i buy them in spite of that. but to me it's becoming more and more important to support local organic farmers and their products. i can not throw my money out the window either, i am not very wealthy after all, but i don't mind to pay a little more for my locally grown food. to me it's becoming more and more important to lead an economically and environmentally sustainable life. i still know that i will not waste any of my food and that i will not have it laying in my fridge till it starts to crawl out of there by itself. every cent is well invested.

and in the tradition of my "i-never-throw-anything away"-family it's time to rescue some plums i had in my farmer's box almost two weeks ago and send them to their final destination ... my stomache!

so here's my plum dumplings & plum compote:

zwetschkenknödel und zwetschkenkompott

11. August 2006

guilty pleasure

cooks's notesthe other day i met lovely johanna from the passionate cook. she was in linz for a couple of days and she agreed on a little "date" at the most viennese kaffeehaus in all of linz. she was so very nice and generous to bring me many fine things - incredible wasabi-covered peanuts, very fancy chocolates, supergood marmelade and (magazine junkie flipping out-mode!) english cooking magazines.
and stupid me did not bring anything. how could i show up to an encounter with a foodie without at least a few little delicious things? (well, i payed her way in the kaffeehaus at least) .
i have been browsing the magazines and checking out the recipes over the last few days, and i came across a handy little conversion table of metric, imperial and american weights and measures. i always have trouble with converting measurements because most of the time i don't really stick to recipes. i will keep this one within easy reach for my next international cooking experiment!
and i will share some of the recipes of those supercool magazines in the very near future ... though the pictures in the magazines are a little intimidating as far as "foodography" is concerned. the recipes sure are all just to die for! i am already indulging in some very guilty pleasures ... i think i will try a naughty little salted macadamia millionaire's shortbread next week ... i first need to rush to the supermarket and get the ingredients for toffee filling and choclate topping ... *yummy*

7. August 2006



my busy day today actually took my mind off euro blogging for once. i hadn't thought of it all day but as i was just coming home being really exhausted and going throug my mail i found a note from mr postman! he wanted to deliver a parcel from sweden, oh my god, check this out! silly me, i go to work instead of waiting at the porch for my parcel!! first thing tomorrow i will head to the post office to pick up my present from scandinavia ... yeah, i am really excited. i have not figured out yet who sent the parcel because mr postman's handwriting is really bad ... stay tuned, i'll post about it tomorrow.

it'll be a full scandinavian day tomorrow. my sister is staying at my place tonight and a parcel from sweden will be the perfect kickstart for our day at ikea!

plus, we will also meet johanna tomorrow, she's in linz for a few days ...


i have been a fan of hers ever since i started foodblogging and as i was rushing to the postoffice this morning it turnes out a lovely parcel from anne was waiting for me!

and how generous she is, incredible!

ebbp#5 - a parcel from sweden

ebbp#5 - a parcel from sweden ebbp#5 - a parcel from sweden

ebbp#5 - a parcel from sweden ebbp#5 - a parcel from sweden

anne included a lovely note where she told me why she had picked out the things she sent me.

  • dried strawberries (strawberries = summer)
  • dried green iranian raisins (how exquisit!)
  • chocolate covered sunflower seeds (extremely addictive!)
  • pocky (yeah, pocky! unfortunately you can't get them in austria)
  • sesame honey cakes (i just love sesame!)
  • crisp bread "hales" (perfect, savory crackers are amazing!)
  • biscotti with lavendar, almonds and chocolate (how thoughtful of you to include selfmade food)
thanks, i am really happy that you sent me so many lovely (and delicious) things! i hope you got "the perfect parcel" too, because i sure got my perfect one!

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my parcel arrived safe and sound at aubergine's place in hungary!

6. August 2006

obsessive-compulsive "waiting-for-my-parcel" disorder

as i am sitting here thinking about a parcel on its way to linz every single minute (especially after my sister already got hers) i figured i need to get my mind off of it for a little while. and what's a foodie got to do? of course! i need to cook something!

"sort of" pizza margherita

for the dough i was combining 150 g of flour with some salt and half a pack of dry yeast. i made a smooth dough with half a cup of lukewarm water and a little olive oil. after kneading it for a few minutes i let it rise for 20 minutes. in the meantime i cut up one onion and 5 tomatoes and made some fried-tomato-and-onion gravy. i placed the dough on my little baking tray and spread the tomato/onion gravy on the dough and covered it with mozarella.

very yummy.

germteig, fried-tomato-and-onion gravy, mozarella, majorangermteig, fried-tomato-and-onion gravy, mozarella, majoran

still ... now that i am sitting here enjoying my litte mini-margherita i am starting to dream about euro blogging by post again ... talk about me being obsessed ... i might just be your regular crazy foodblogger though ... :)

5. August 2006

all my prayers have finally been heard!

all my prayers have finally been heard!the one thing i was extremly keen on during my time in london where vinegar chips. when i went back there a few weeks ago the first thing we ate where in fact vinegar chips. over the past 10 years (gosh, i'ts been a long time since i've lived in london!) i have never ever seen them anywhere, neither here in austria nor on any trips i made around europe. you can imagine my excitement today when i found "sea salt & balsamic vinegar" at my local supermarket. i can't wait to try them tonight, i bet they taste fantastic.

i'm beginning to notice that it takes about ten years for all the products, flavours and "trends" that surrounded me in 1996/1997 in london to finally be available here in austria.


2. August 2006

my mama knows me soooo well ...

now that i am thirty and i have been moving out of my parent's ten years ago i notice that my mother still knows me very very well. a few weeks ago i told her that some of my herbs are slowly dying and how i'd rather have a blooming variety of different herbs instead of some half dead stalks. i never had the time though (or was i too lazy?) to get myself some herbs or some decent soil to plant them new.

thank god my mama knows me so well! she knew that i would not manage to extend my herb garden. since she still likes to be involved a lot in her children's lives (she is a real clucking hen!) she tends to take care of the little things we don't manage to take care of. today she does not mingle too much with the sometimes very different lifesstyles of her children. when i was a teenager though her efforts often seemed like she wanted to control every single aspect of my life. that made me crazy and i am really glad that she learned to let go (and i learned to appreciate her good intentions). she now focusses on peanuts (important peanuts!) rather than where i should live and what i should do with my life ... yeah, my mama is a very dominant woman and i have to admit that it was a relief once i cut the very strong umbilical cord and moved out.

i am her only child living away from our little hometown and i am glad that she still has my sister and my brother around to bug instead of me :) they sometimes complain about the nagging of our mama and i always tell them that they should move as far away from her as they can in order to appreciate what she does for us ... i think she sacrificed a lot in her life to make things better for her children.

so as my parents visited me last saturday my mama brought me a whole bunch of new herbs - herbs i have never even heard of! she must have noticed that all i ever talked about was parsley, chives and basil.

i am all set now with marjoram, anthriscus, thyme, parsley, rosemary and a special kind of basil, which is called basil lime (ocimum americanum).

kräutergarten deluxe: majoran, kerbel, thymian, gekräuselte petersilie, rosmarin, zitronenbasilikum

kräuterkartoffelhaving a colorful mixture of differnt herbs at hand all the time makes even plain old potatoes incredibly delicious and truly is an enrichment for all of my dishes!