28. Februar 2007

zucchini or courgette?


recipe # 7: seethed zucchini soup

1 medium size zucchini (250 g)
300 ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic
  1. chop the garlic and sautée it with the herbs (i used mint) in one tbsp of vegetable oil
  2. clean and roughly grate the zucchinis

  3. add to the pot and fry a little longer
  4. add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil
  5. cook the soup for about half an hour. the zucchini will start to dissolve and there is no need to purée it. i like my soup chunkier, but feel free to whip out your hand-held blender! you can even add cream or crème fraîche if you like!

perfectly normal

the lovely burekaboy tagged me for a meme about 6 weird food facts and it did not take me long to come up with food related weirdness! i honestly thought that there was nothing really weird about me, not food wise and not in general ... errrr, but who am i kidding?! my eremite lifestyle only makes me think i am perfectly normal, but when i socialise and i find myself outside of my bubble, i always discover that my daily routine might not be so normal after all ...

  1. i just hate to eat off of colourful plates when i have a main course. white, my friend, white is the only way to go when it comes to dishes!! that can go as far as me not being able to finish a dish because the colourful surface of the plate shines through my soup or the pattern looks disturbing on the edge of the plate. i can eat my cerial in a red bowl though. hm. what's up with that? that never occured to me!
  2. i only started to eat raw tomatoes like half a year ago. i was already 30 years old. i always hated them, gosh, even the thought of a raw tomato made me gag! i remember that my mother once forced me to at least try a wedge of a raw tomato (i was about 4 then) and i literally puked on the plate. she never forced any food of my dislike on me again.
  3. a disturbing thing i feel the need to share: i had a stupid phase a few years ago where i did not eat anything for three month. i am not proud of that, but since i never was a skinny girl a personal crisis kind of knocked me over the edge. i felt miserable the whole time, i did not loose any weight whatsoever and i finally figured out that i had to work on my state of mind rather than on my dress size. i have not looked back since and i am totally going for healthy instead of skinny these days ... and i proudly work my booty! boys totally dig that :)
  4. gooey food is my kryptonite! the mere thought of a slimy semolina dish makes me gag. remains of my childhood, i guess. i actually can eat that stuff now, i even make it myself from time to time, but thinking of gooey food still triggers my gag reflex.
  5. i can not stick to recipes. at all. usually i check the ingredients and completely ignore the directions. i only obeyed the exact recipes in home ec when i was 13. maybe that's because i copied my mamas "a little bit of this, a little bit of that" cooking style since i was 7 years old.
  6. i usually align my plate, cutlery and glas when i have dinner. call me crazy, but if it is not a right angle, it is a wrong angle! ocd, anyone? i always think that this might be a bit strange after all when i catch myself suppressing the urge to allign the things on the table when i dine in company.
phew, now you know ... that was actually fun!

do you want to join in? vasilisa? dianka? daniela? i want to leave an open invitation to this meme, because i guess i am the only foodblogger that did not participate yet ... so if you want to join in (it seems as if most of you already have) - just go ahead and leave me a little note!

27. Februar 2007

this is fast food

i am cheating, you say? how dare you!!

allright, allright.

the soup of the day really is a bit of a compromise. i was so busy and i stuffed my face with gebäck all day, no warm meal whatsover - unwilling to skip my daily soup i decided i'll give you an insight into austrian fast food (is there even such a thing?).

do you have leftover pancakes? unsweetened? yes? then whip out a bouillon cube, cut your pancakes into thin stripes and throw them in the boiling broth. there you have it:

recipe # 6: frittatensuppe

i always save leftovers of palatschinken (thin and delicate austrian version of pancakes) cut them in thin stripes and stick them in the freezer. all i have to do if i fancy frittatensuppe is to throw them in the boiling water and add a bouillon cube.

in fact, the soup even tastes better if your pancakes are one or two days old. it even works if you forget to store your palatschinken in an airtight container and they end up completely dry the next day.

frittatensuppe might be the most popular soup here in austria, you can get it in every wirtshaus and it is a vital element of a traditional sunday lunch. of course we make it fresh and from scratch then. but the fast food version for my hungry self is pretty darn good too!

i'll make you a propper soup again tomorrow :)

i am so going to buy this!

the yummy kitchen community device! (via techie diva)

"Yummy is a kitchen community device. It connects the kitchen to the cooking network and food blogosphere. It recommends you a good lunch, according to your food supply, current diet and receipes from the web. Yummy is specially designed for the kitchen. No waste of space : it fits on the wall. It is designed to enhance standing interactions (fast and simple operations) in the kitchen."

it recommends recipes based on your food supply, your diet, and recipes on the web. You can update your recipes by adding comments on the blog using the touchscreen and taking pictures from the plunging camera. It can also scan bar codes on products to add them to your house stock. yummy can also access media such as podcasts, video blogs, music, webtv, and skype.

it would be totally awesome to have a tool like this in the kitchen ...

26. Februar 2007

sauer macht lustig

the old german saying sauer macht lustig literally translates into sour makes happy. that does not make much sense in english, right? it does not really make sense in german either, and i never understood why. in german we rarely distinguish between sour and acidic, so this even contributes to my confusion ...

apparently this weird saying where nobody really knows what it means derives from "sauer macht appetit" ... and if i may translate this loosely as "if you eat acidic food you will beg for more!"

yes, i totally second that!

there'd be enough for two if you follow my recipe below ... but i ate it all up myself. bring me the pot, i even want to lick every little rest out of there! and i am not even particularly hungry today.

so sour / acidic does indeed make you happy!
that dish certainly made my day :D


recipe # 5: sauerkraut roux soup (adapted from this recipe)

200 g sauerkraut
0,5 liter vegetable stock
150 g potatoes (4 really small ones)
1 bayleaf
1 juniper berry
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 small onion
1 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of flour
  1. put the vegetable stock, the peeled and diced potatoes, the bayleaf and the juniper berry in a pot and cook until the potatoes are tender
  2. in the meantime heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and fry the diced onion (if you want to add meat or saussage, you can do that here ...)
  3. cut the sauerkraut a little if necessary and add it to the potatoes in the vegetable stock as soon as the potatoes are tender
  4. add the fried onions as well and take out the bayleaf and the juniper berry - if you manage to find it :D
  5. make a roux in the pan where you just fried your onion by melting one tablespoon of butter and sprinkle in one tablespoon of flour. you will get out all those delicious flavours if you use the pan from before
  6. add the roux to the sauerkraut soup and bring to a boil

  7. if you like your soup really sauerkrauty, save some of the juices from the krautpackage and season the finished soup with it - i like mine only mildly acidic, so i don't do that

25. Februar 2007

no abstinence, no soup

not that i consider that daily dose of soup as "abstinence", but since there is no fasting on sundays during lent i thought that i should also pause my soup quest on sundays. i am totally craving some sweet biscuits instead. maybe with tea? yes, i'll make myself a decent pot of earl grey tea that go with the ...

anzac biscuits (i used this recipe, here is another one)

1 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of coconut shreds
1 cup of flour
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup butter (120 g)
1 tbsp syrup (the original recipe requires golden syrup, i used agave syrup)
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp water
  1. mix together oatmeal, coconut shreds, flour and sugar
  2. melt butter and syrup in a saucepan
  3. mix baking powder with the water and add to the butter and syrup
  4. remove the saucepan from the stove and pour the mixture over the dry ingredients
  5. make flat cookies and put them on baking paper. didn't exactly know how shape them evenly so i pressed them into a cookie cutter

    australische nationalfeiertagscookies ... oder so ...
  6. bake at 150° - 160° for about 20 minutes
  7. let cool on a rack
  8. store in an airtight container (or in your belly)
makes exactly 69 (small) cookies ... they all may miraculously disappear in my mouth over the next few days ...
australische nationalfeiertagscookies ... oder so ...
i first though anzac was a turkish word - it sounds really turkish to me anyway - but i quickly disovered that in fact this is australias national biscuit! how cool is that - i am such a huge fan of anything remotely connected to australia or new zealand!

the anzac biscuit seems to be perfect to satisfy my itch for something sweet. i don't have any fancy ingredients in stock at the moment, so i had to go with a pretty basic recipe. they taste lovely and will be the quick fix for my cravings on lazy sundays from now on!

yes, and i finally got myself some nice little imperial tools (thank you, ikea). converting measurements back and forth all the time is just not worth the fuss ... though i prefer metric over imperial - i just can not visualize imperial units! while i never had troubles with the old kids joke "what is heavier? a kilo of bricks or a kilo of feathers?" - a kilo is a kilo is a kilo, you stupid kids! stop thinking about volumes! (and yes, i was a bit of a geeky wise ass as a kid) ... but somehow i can not visualise "cups" in front of my mind's eye - weird, huh?

24. Februar 2007

it's not easy being green ...

i have never been too fond of peas. whenever they are on my plate i push them aside. it is not so much the taste, i actually like that. it is the shape that i don't like. that may sound weird, but i just can't stand to put a spoon full of peas in my mouth and i end up chewing half an hour on the membrane ... silly, i know. but i just don't like that.

somehow it seems to make sense to make a soup out of peas though ... i totally like this soup and it is virtually the only way that i allow peas in my house :)

recipe # 4: pea soup and wiener würstchen
1 onion
1 tbsp vegetable oil
300 ml vegetable stock
250 g drained peas (one can)
200 g crème fraîche (i take the lean rama cremefine)
one or two wiener saussages (hot dog saussages will definitely work too)
  1. sautée the onion in one tablespoon of olive oil
  2. add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil
  3. throw in the drained peas and cook for about 1o minutes
  4. mix as smooth as possible with a hand-held blender
  5. fold in the crème fraîche / rama cremefine
  6. you could eat it like that, but in my oppinion the soup tastes better if you remove the floating bits of the peas by pouring it through a sieve
  7. for an extra something cut up a wiener saussage and cook it in the strained soup for about 5 minutes
here in austria we actually call the wiener frankfurter würstel
erbsensuppe plus würstchen

23. Februar 2007

my favorite colour

... is yellow!

so why not have a tasty yellow soup? allright, allright, you convinced me.
so curry, coconut milk and chickpeas it is!

recipe # 3: curry + coconut milk + chickpeas - soup

1 tbsp vegetable oil
250 ml coconut milk
150 ml water
150 g chickpeas
curry powder
  1. soak the chickpeas in water overnight
  2. heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil and saute the finely chopped leek
  3. add one tablespoon of curry powder and keep stirring
  4. add the water
  5. add the coconut milk and bring to a boil
  6. throw in the chickpeas and reduce the heat
  7. let simmer until the chickpeas are tender (i guess that took about 45 minutes)
curry, kokosmilch und kichererbsensuppe
i should try a soup with meat one of these days

22. Februar 2007

yes, gluten-free

taking an interest in my nutrition and being more aware of what i stuff in my mouth has one neat side effect: i now realise how diverse my diet has become over the past few month. i started to enjoy vegan and gluten-free food without even knowing it. i hold that accountable for a general improvement of my wellbeing. while i might not have the stamina to become a full-blown vegan, it is always delicious to try out new cooking methods off the beaten track (my beaten track, that is). i am such a huge fan of the gluten-free girl, by the way!

i started my food blog with buckwheat back in 2005. i ate it for the first time then and i fell in love with it right away. i even made a buckwheat pic my signature shot of my food-ography photoset over at flickr, and i never felt the need to change it, because i still think buckwheat is so incredibly delicious and versatile.

recipe # 2: clear buckwheat soup with veggies

3 tbsp buckwheat
1 tbsp vegetable oil
one carrot
500 ml water
bay leaf
  1. dice the onion and cut the vegetables
  2. in a pot, heat the oil and sautée the onions
  3. stir in the buckwheat and add the water (vegetable stock should taste fine too)
  4. bring to a boil
  5. reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes (i like my buckwheat firm to the bite, if you like it softer, just increase the cooking time here)
  6. take out the bay leaf
  7. add the rest of the vegetables and let simmer for another 10 minutes
  8. when the vegetables are done season to taste and serve

21. Februar 2007

same soup, different year?

i am not really a religious person, but being raised roman-catholic, ash wednesday marks the beginning of lent and i have always followed the rule to not eat meat on that day (plus i don't eat meat on good friday). a meat-less diet is not a sacrifice for me and so i decided to not smoke today. i am not a confirmed smoker, but damn, it hurts to not have my cigarette with my coffee. but you are right, i definitely should skip this nasty habit for good. i smoked my first cigarette when i was 25 - seriously: how stupid do you have to be to make it through your teenage years without a single drag and start in your late 20ies? i have been an occasional smoker for the first few years only smoking on weekends, but somehow i ended up on a pack every day. i quit every once in a while (haven't smoked for 4 month in 2005), but somehow i don't seem to be able to stop at the moment ... i desperately need a challenge to distract me from the nicotine ...

last year i challenged myself during the 40 days of lent to cook a different soup every day. yeah, i failed with flying colours ...

soups have always been a favorite of mine, and while i often cook soups somehow i rarely blog about them. so i will renew my soup vow this year and once again try to cook a different soup every day during lent. i tried some rather interesting recipes last year and most of them really where keepers.

do i think that i am up to the challenge this year?
will i be able to really come up with 40 blog posts of soups?
i don't know yet.
we'll see.
i certainly will try harder this year.

recipe # 1: savoy cabbage and anchovy soup

about 300 g savoy cabbage (one small cabbage)
1 small onion
500 ml water (take vegetable stock if you like)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 table spoons of crème fraîche (i prefer lean rama cremefine)
1 tbsp cress
a few anchovis
  1. cut a savoy cabbage in quarters and remove the stalk
  2. roughly cut into fairly large stripes (about 3-4 cm)

    clean them if necessary (rinsing should be fine)
  3. dice the onion
  4. in a pot, heat the oil and stew the onion and the cabbage for a little while
  5. chop up two or three anchovis and add them to the cabbage
  6. remove some of the cabbage stripes for garnish and add the water
  7. bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes
  8. mix it all with a hand-held blender until smooth
  9. fold in crème fraîche
  10. season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg - easy on the salt, the anchovies usually are very salty!
  11. pour in a soup bowl and garnish with cabbage stripes, cress and another anchovi if you like
makes about 750 ml of soup
wirsingsuppe mit anchovis

18. Februar 2007

we are friends, right?

here's the thing:
i really like you.
you leave comments.
you send emails.
hey, we bond! we connect! we share!

while comments on me going all organic lately are the virtual pat on the shoulder i can't help but wonder why i only see well photographed and mouthwatering recipes in food blogs and i myself strive to only show you pretty dishes too. shouldn't we be able to share the not so successful things as well? why is it that i am so obsessed with only showing off my good side here? shouldn't i be able to tell you about the terrible food i eat? the unhealthy stuff? the recipes i fail at? well, i certainly should!

but i don't want to show you recipes that don't photograph well.
and i don't want to show you the mess i made in the kitchen.
i certainly don't want to show you humiliating shrink-wrapped food!

why is that?

because i want your approval.
i want to look good here!

so in an act of confession i will lower myself into the catacombs of convenience food and i'm going to show you the dinner i just ate.

i have been a fan of texmex-food for a while now and i have never even attempted to cook it from scatch. never made tortillas myself, never bought spices for seasoning, i believe the only ingredient i add is the minced meat, the cheese and the avocado. i don't even know how to fold those babies, i just wrap them up as tight as humanly possible, throw them in a little dish and stick them in the oven for a few minutes. i believe every texmex fan would slap me in the face for that.

texmex or what?
texmex or what?
texmex or what?
texmex or what?
texmex or what?
texmex or what?
shouldn't we share our failures as well? in real life that's the part where you learn something: you make a mistake, you try again, you get help and guidance from friends and you become better in what you do. and you most likely never make that mistake again.

hey, somebody should really invent a food blog event that deals with failures in cooking.
like: "the worst accident in my kitchen" of the month for terrible flops or "the dish that tastes great but looks like sh**" of the month for improving photographical skills ... readers could leave comments to help you on!

but on the other hand: do i really like to see a gazillion blogs with terrible photos of uninspired tv dinners? i doubt that. i have my hands full with all the blogs i want to follow, i couldn't possibly handle hundreds more.

we could make a compromise, dear friend, shall we? i am really bad at asking for help. like really really bad. i am too proud, i always want to do things on my own. so in order to loosen up a bit i could write my food questions on my dinner for one table here. because i often have questions and i almost always lack the resources to have them answered. not many of my friends are obsessed with food. and i never dare to ask if something does not turn out the way i expected. as i said, i am really bad at asking for help. but you could be my kitchen aid (pun intended!). i think i feel comfortable enought now to ask you for help. i think i should even make a whole new blogger label for that.

just needed to get that off my chest, sorry for interrupting.
thanks for listening, friend.

ps: being really new to the foodblog scene at the time (and having no idea what a food blog event is), here's an interesting challenge from november 2005. rachel at fresh aproach cooking hosted my blog went up in flames back then - thank you for drawing my attention to this, sam!

16. Februar 2007

memory lane

my grandfather cooked for me this week!

gselchtes essen und kaffee trinken bei opa
ever since my grandma passed away two years ago he really had to change his life. he always assumed he was the first to go, and he always said that it would be a disaster for the whole family if my grandmother would pass away first. and somehow we found ourselves in this situation - and my grandfather was probably right. my grandmother was the perfect homemaker. the whole family had to adapt to this unfamiliar situation, and we often failed in "recreating" her spirit. she is still missed every single day, and everything in my grandparent's house still reminds us of her.

in a very traditional way she always considered everything inside the house her stomping ground - especially the kitchen.

and while it has always been bit little of a passion of my grandfather to cook, my grandma was a very sassy and feisty woman. she rarely let him make a lunch for the family, and only if the grandchildren or their children insisted hard enough she would finally give in and let him make one of his famous (and very traditional) dishes. really, who could refuse a request for opas brotsuppe if a grandchild would stare at you with big sheep's eyes? as a matter of fact, my grandma would also keep my uncle the chef off her patch! as i said, she was a very feisty woman :D

however, my grandfather was not used to doing stuff around the house at all when my grandmother died, and he still needs a lot of help from his seven children and their spouses. they take turns in doing the laundry, cleaning and clearing up. some of the grandchildren take care of him too, playing cards as a diversion and keeping him company in the evenings. my brother is my hero for doing that almost every night! most of the grandchildren live in the area (i guess i am the only one living more than 50 kilometers away) and they often drop by with the great-grandchildren to cheer him up.

while he needs a hand on all the household stuff, as far as the kitchen is concerned - this has really become his territory now! i am somewhat relieved to see that and he still lightens up when somebody requests a special repast. and i am impressed that he does not only make the staple pot roast, bread soup or smoked meat, he also succeeds in making slow roasted and marinated game (i can not believe that is the english word for "wild")

so when we told him i was coming home and i'd really like to have lunch at his place i believe he was looking forward to that as much as i was. cheerful moments around the family table are rare these days, i guess both our lifes have become very similar as far as eating alone in front of the tv is concerned ...

he cooked geselchtes mit kraut und knödel for us - smoked meat (cooked) with dumplings and kraut. very traditional, very rural.

gselchtes essen und kaffee trinken bei opa
gselchtes essen und kaffee trinken bei opa
most of the meat is pure fat, and i have to admit that i am not really turned on by that. my plate usually does not see a pure junk of fat meat. i prefer the lean bits, and it was the same here: i only ate the lean meat with lots and lots of kraut and dumplings. as always, my grandpa would state that i was a picky eater and sneak the bits i didn't want off my plate.

gselchtes essen und kaffee trinken bei opa
gselchtes essen und kaffee trinken bei opa
always a must when i am home, even if it is just for a few hours: having coffee with grandpa while the big old dog is stretching under the table. and wow, the milk tastes so differently! i really love fresh milk (virtually straight from the cow!) although i am not a big fan of milk in general (lactose intolerance?) so if i bought a liter of cow milk from the farmer down the road it might only go bad in my fridge - i only need milk for my coffee.

i tell you, this is the look, feel and taste of my childhood! food-wise i've come a long way, but sometimes it is a blessing to just go back and eat the traditional peasant food of my home.

11. Februar 2007

a love story

mini cakes
mini cakes
must ... make ... mini chocolate cakes ...

mini cakes

90 g chocolate
90 g butter
3 eggs
3 tbsp of caster sugar
4 tbsp of flour
  1. preheat oven to 220 °c
  2. melt chocolate and butter over hot water
  3. thoroughly whisk eggs and sugar and add the melted chocolate/butter-mix
  4. whisk in 3 teaspoons of flour
  5. spoon into cups
  6. bake for 20 minutes
if you dare you can bake them for 10 minutes only and get a soft centered version. the best way to eat them soft is with whipped cream or ice cream ... yummmmm-mmmiee!

mini cakes
as i watched ainsley's gourmet express the other day i remembered that they once made those soft centered chocolate pudding things ... i could not find the recipe online and i did not remember all the correct mesurements for the ingredients, so i made up a recipe on my own. i had such a craving for chocolate pudding, i just couldn't wait!

after some more research (and with chocolate smeared around my mouth) i found a similar pudding on the bbc homepage. this recipe is by ben o'donoghue, a tv chef i've come to really like - i don't know much about him, but i know his sensational recipes on the bbc2 show "the best" with paul merrett, silvana franco & ben o'donoghue.

i love that show so much, i could marry it ... or eat it!

and while i am really glad that i can get a decent cooking channel via satellite here, i really really really could move to london again just for all those mouthwatering bbc cooking shows. i might even do that - i can spend a semester abroad (all expenses paid) before i finish my masters degree, so i might as well go back to london ... stupid austria, i'd even have to pay twice as much for the books of my favorite cookery shows here. that's really unfair.

so you see, i just have to spend some more time in london!
a girl can dream, right?
*wipes the chocolate off her face*

10. Februar 2007

winter deliciousness

i was used to go shopping four or five times a week, i'd always buy exactly what i needed, then i went home and i prepared my meal. i almost never bought convenience food, i bought my ingredients and did the cooking at home. i hardly ever had leftovers, and i did not throw away much of my food either. i figured i was making really good economic sense this way.

it never really occured to me that i was actually spending a lot of money that way too - untill i was getting interested in organic food and local produce last summer. i always thought that this is something a single person just has to deal with. i have no room for storage, i have no freezer, i can not buy cheaper family sized packages. i just have to go with the smaller packages and spend a little more money. well, that little more obviousely piles up over the days, weeks and months! but really, insted of buing single portions for my dinner, i could have easily spent money to buy quality food instead of the quick fix.

and while i always had a good example for an economical lifestyle in my mother and grandmother, i am really living a rather urban single lifestyle that is not always combinable with stockkeeping and accurate planning.

with my attention towards organic food it suddenly became very clear to me that i was actually wasting my money because all this short-term planning was more convenient. i'd always make an excuse for the easy, single & urban way out (remember? i am a cheater!).

leaning towards a more organic and more balanced diet did not exactly make me a nutrition expert, but now i spend much more time thinking about what i eat, where i buy my food and - yes, now i plan ahead! because i would never want my farm box deliciousness to go bad - well, it happened a few times, sure. but i am getting better at the whole planning. this does not really require a lot of effort but the results are very surprinsing, acutally!

i was looking through my finances the other day (i am a very accurate person when it comes to my records) i noticed something really interesting. i always figured that i just shifted my budget from expensive single portions to expensive organic food. but i was wrong! it just so happened that i now spend only about 75% of the money i spent on food before. how did that happen?!? i buy all that expensive organic stuff now, i go to local markets, i go to organic supermarkets, i buy a lot of treats (like a pack of oreos every now and then, and they are actually quite expensive here in austria and you can only get them on like ONE supermarket in town), so how on earth could my expenses drop?

it must be all the planning! i think i am really a far-seeing person now, just like my mum is and my grandma used to be! i took some getting used to, but now i think i am finally there! it might only be a little thing, but ... i am actually really proud of myself. pad me on the shoulder please!

(well, you don't have to. i did it myself already)

see that, i am rambling again :) i always do that when i talk about stuff i care about. i acutally wanted to show you my delicous winter salad! it contains things from this weeks and last weeks farm box, and everything's still crunchy and fresh and nothing is rotten (so far) ...
  • lettuce
  • radicchio (soak in warm water for a while to remove the bitterness)
  • carrots (different colours again!)
  • a tomato (i only started eating tomatos last summer, now i even add them to my salad)
  • an apple
  • feta cheese
  • balsamico vinegar
  • pumpkin seed oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parsley


8. Februar 2007

a pink elephant in the room


after my thoughts about vegetarianism the other day i noticed that i might not be cut out for it at all: for one, if i was a vegetarian, i figured i would clearly not choose this path for animal rights reasons. i would choose it for health reasons - my health, that is. i want to be healthier, i want to be fitter, i want to avoid all the the junk, the bad food additives and the e-numbers . i want to go organic with everything i eat, actually. including meat. i want to support local agriculture, local producers and i want to enjoy the harvest of my home soil.

being a vegetarian takes a lot of passion and devotion i guess. something that i lack most of the time, because i am a lazy person. i cheat. if i work out for 24 minutes i tell myself that i exercised for half an hour. see? i cheat! i totally lie to myself and i even believe it! i could never be a devoted vegetarian - i would always be a cheater. and not eating meat that often does not make me anything else than a person that does not eat meat that often.

thinking about banishing meat from my diet triggered a weird string of events: barbecue lunch invitations, very special bargain offers of various meats in my supermarket, delicious left overs from a party ... suddenly i see meat everywhere!! and i crave it every time! pork, that delicious pork!

it is almost like there's a pink elephant in the room and i am not allowed to talk about it because i made those remarks about turning into a vegetarian.

oh well.
self-awareness is a good thing, right?
so there you go.

pork pockets
i can not be a vegetarian.
i just can't.

and i will have pork pockets tonight. i have not eaten pork in years and suddenly my body (my mind?) demands it. and i will totally give in. just like oscar wilde said: "the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it ... i can resist everything but temptation." yes, i know exactly what he meant by that.

i am weak, and i like it.

3 mini steaks
a knob of butter
two carrots
a bell pepper
a tomato
100 ml of cream (i used rama cremefine)
fennel seeds
275 g of puff pastry
  1. season steaks with salt and pepper
  2. in a pan, melt a knob of butter and briefly brown the steaks
  3. in the meantime preheat oven to 180 °c
  4. take the meat out of the pan
  5. dice the vegetables and fry them in the same pan
  6. add the cream and the fennel seeds and let simmer for a while to reduce the liquid
  7. season to taste
  8. cut the puff pastry in 3 big pieces, place the mini steak in the middle and arrange the veggies on the meat
  9. fold together and bake at 180 °c for about 30 minutes. increase temperature to 220 °c and bake for another 15 minutes
pork pockets
pork pockets

5. Februar 2007

is it a bird? is it a plane?

why no! it is a blogger postcard around the world!

blogger postcards around the world
what a lovely surprise today as i went downstairs to my mailbox! lovely jen did not only send me a postcard, no, she sent me two postcards, a valentine's card and recipes!! i am totally smitten, thanks jen! i taped the cards to my fridge and as far as the boston related recipes are concerned ... you can be sure you'll find them here pretty soon!

have a great valentine too, my newly found blogger friend :)

4. Februar 2007

three kinds of wonderful

karotte, gelbe rübe, karotte (violet)
i have not been cooking at all in a while.

in a desperate attempt to save the remains of two farm boxes i found a lovely surprise today ... a violet carrot! i've never seen one before and i did not even know i had some delivered this week (stupid me, i am in such a hurry these days that i don't even read the bill of delivery in my farm box).

the violet ancestor of my regular (and much loved) orange carrot is indeed very pretty, but i had no idea that there are still so many colourful versions around!

karotte, gelbe rübe, karotte (violet)
and with the yellow carrot still in my fridge from last week i figured i'd make a carrot soup. simple, quick, plain old carrot soup. but three times as delicious as usually!

1 leek
3 carrots
olive oil
0,5 l
  1. cut the leek and fry it in a tables spoon of olive oil
  2. cut carrots into cubes, you can leave some dices for decoration
  3. when the leek starts to brown add half a liter of water and bring to a boil
  4. throw in the carrots and boil for about 10 minutes
  5. fish out the dices you'll need for decoration
  6. with a handblender, mash up the soup
  7. season to taste (i like salt only, but you can of course use what ever herb you like)
  8. ladle onto a soup plate and decorate with the colorful discs. i also decorated / seasoned the soup with pumpkin seed oil
carrot soup
not only very pretty, but very yummie as well!