28. März 2007

a bit fishy, don't you think?

the past few days have been a little confusing for me, but i am also totally overwhelmed by all the support that has swamped my mailbox. your lovely comments and your encouraging emails give me lots and lots of strength and i want to thank every single one of you who has thought of me and/or dropped a line!

actually, i feel pretty healthy at the moment, only a little exhausted. the immediate cortisone treatment was not really a blast (eeeeeek, i don't like needles in my arms!) but the weird symptoms have totally disappeared. my sense of balance has improved drastically and my fine motor skills are totally back to normal. this was the reason i got checked out in the first place - if things slip out of your hand for no reason or you can not tilt your head without loosing balance and feeling disoriented ... well, that's a pretty good sign that something's wrong, right? suddenly i feel really stupid that i didn't see a doctor much sooner ...

i usually don't even take painkillers, i prefer to slow down and take it easy for a while, lay in bed and "cure myself" ... yeah well, that seems to be out of question right now :D ... i took it very easy over the weekend and i started to do some research on MS. i currently don't feel sick or weird, so i can not really embrace that i am in fact sick. all those super-clever webpages only make me go "huh??" at the moment. some suggest an immediate change of lifestyle, diet, workout and what not while others suggest to carry on as always and slowly adjust to this life changing disease ... i am pretty straight forward with my diagnose and not hopeless at all (aren't there supposed to be five stages of ... well, something?) so i think i just take it slow and see what's going to come ... i did so well with going all organic over the past few months, so i think i am heading in the right direction anyway. i don't want more adjustments in my diet right now. so before i get caught up in all these horror scenarios i decided to just take it easy for a while ...

and in my attempt to take it very easy i fell asleep while watching "finding nemo" on my laptop last night. it seems that springtime lethargy has slammed big time! can you believe that when i woke up all i wanted to do is eat fish? now, i am just cruel, right? i see this charming little movie and all i want to do is to have cute little nemo fried up on my plate!

so i am totally going for fish today. i am not at all experienced with cooking fish, because i usually eat tuna out of a can or i buy a smoked trout on the local farmer's market every once in a while. and i totally crave fish sticks once a year. yes, fish sticks! i am really scraping the bottom of my culinary barrel when i think about cooking a fish ... i am a bit scared to cook a whole one, actually ... so i decided to go for an über-expensive tuna steak from the local store.

thunfisch mit fenchel/pfeffer-kruste

tuna steak with a pepper and fennel seed crust

one tuna steak
one teaspoon of ground pepper
one tablespoon of fennel seeds
  1. rinse the fish and dry it on a paper towel

    thunfisch mit fenchel/pfeffer-kruste
  2. grind a tbsp of pepper and a tbsp of fennel seeds - i used a mortar for that

    thunfisch mit fenchel/pfeffer-kruste
  3. pour the spices on a cutting board and coat the tuna steak on one side

    thunfisch mit fenchel/pfeffer-kruste
  4. put another board on top and weight it down with a bowl of water or the mortar you used earlier ... let the fish rest like this for 20 minutes

    thunfisch mit fenchel/pfeffer-kruste

    thunfisch mit fenchel/pfeffer-kruste
  5. in a pan, melt a knob of butter and fry the tuna steak over medium heat on both sides, the coated side first. i am always going for a well done piece of meat, but if you prefer you can have your tuna steak medium rare too :)
  6. season with salt before arranging on the plate
  7. you can make a nice gravy for your veggies if you pour a little cream in the pan and bring it to a boil once more. add some of the ground spices too, it'll be delicious!

    thunfisch mit fenchel/pfeffer-kruste
  8. the tuna goes well with vegetables - in my case steamed swiss chard and boiled potatos

    thunfisch mit fenchel/pfeffer-kruste
wow, i tell you, i don't want to blow my own trumpet here, but this late lunch was absolutely fantastic! i did not think that the combination of fennel seeds and fish would work so darn well! i am totally satisfied with this fishy creation ... maybe i'll try to get my hands on some good fish more often!

22. März 2007

balinese rice with peanuts, pork, oranges and bananas

balinese rice with peanuts, pork, oranges and bananas
a little extravaganza, anyone? well, I absolutely feel like it!

one orange
200 g pork scallops
one tbsp vegetable oil
50 g peanuts
salt, pepper
120 g rice
one banana

balinese rice with peanuts, pork, oranges and bananas
  1. cut the orange in half, squeeze out the juice of one half and cut the flesh of the other half into pieces
  2. cut the pork scallops into stripes (or buy pre-cut gulash meat if you like) and fry it in a tablespoon of vegetable oil
  3. add the peanuts and fry them for a while too
  4. remove from the pan

    balinese rice with peanuts, pork, oranges and bananas
  5. pour the rice in the same pan
  6. add water to the orange juice, it should make 0,3 l in the end
  7. pour over the rice, add a little salt and bring to a boil

    balinese rice with peanuts, pork, oranges and bananas
  8. turn down the heat again and let simmer until the rice is tender
  9. dice the banana and add to the boiled rice. add the flesh of the orange, the meat and peanuts to the boiled rice as well
  10. turn up the heat again and season to taste with chili pepper and a little salt. decorate the dish with parsley if you like ...
adapted from here
balinese rice with peanuts, pork, oranges and bananas
now, that tastes just amazing! i've never added oranges or bananas to a rice dish, let alone a rice dish that has meat in it! i have never tasted something so full of flavor! that recipe is definitely a keeper!

21. März 2007

so there you go

i was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis today.

i wanted to tell nobody about this at first, but now, a few hours after the diagnosis (and the immediate start of treatment with IV-cortisone for any current symptoms) i feel the strange desire to post it on all of my webpages.

like, really ALL of them.

i marked some recent photos on flickr with MS, i made an entry in my private german weblog where i tend to blah-blah-blah most of the time ... and i want to tell you people here too. your support over the last few weeks was truly overwhelming.

thank you so much!

i just love the show "scrubs" and i want to post a quote from S06E01 "my mirror image" that fits quite well today: "it's not like i can change what's already happended. the only thing to do is move forward and deal with it" ... this picture is very inspiring too ...

oh yes and spring starts today too (although a cold wave brought chilly temperatures and snow a few days ago - can you believe that?! virtually the first "serious snow" we had here this "winter") ... "springtime is seen as a time of growth, renewal, of new life being born, and of the cycle of life once again starting. It is also used more generally as the start of better times ..."

17. März 2007

pampering myself

now this one was really close! i barely made the deadline for hay, hay ... i decided to give our heirloom birthday cake a twist and throw in something other than pineapple for a change ... i asked my mama, and though we've had this b-day cake several times every year since i was a little kid she had actually never used any other fruit than pineapple for this cheesecake before.

i on the other hand took the bold step of changing a recipe that has travelled from australia to austria 30-ish years ago and has not been changed since.

i decided to submit a cherry cheesecake to hhdd#10:

250 g graham crackers (just take plain butterkeks, it's the best!)
125 g melted butter
250 ml cream
250 g curd cheese
1 small can of pickled cherries, drained (about 300 g)
3 tbsp of vanilla sugar (you can even skip this!)
10 g gelatine
  1. crumble the crackers in a food processor and pour the crumbs in a cake tin
  2. melt butter and mix with the cracker crumbs. press firmly in the tin until the cracker crust is very solid. chill until topping is ready
  3. in a bowl, combine cream and curd cheese until smooth, add sugar if you like (though it is not really necessary)
  4. fold in the drained cherries. add some of the liquid for a nice pink colour if you like
  5. let gelatine soak in a little water for a few minutes. drain exess water and let gelatine dissolve completely over low heat
  6. combine gelatine with the cream and cherry mixture and quickly pour topping onto the cracker crust
  7. cover the cake and chill for at least 2 hours
that oughta cheer me up, dammit --- actually, it does a little, because it is just delicious!


15. März 2007

real life is catching up with me. not in a good way

i want to thank everybody so much for your concern!

my mind has been a little distracted over the past weeks, because it seems that i might have the same chronic autoimmune disease that my sister has been diagnosed with seven years ago.

it is not a death scentence, but it certainly is life changing. i have not been diagnosed with it yet, but i have been seeing many doctors over the past couple of weeks to figure out what is wrong with me.

and i don't like to go to doctors.

i tried to "ignore the symptoms away" for a few months now, but now i felt weird enough to have the thing checked out. and ignoring symptoms that i know all too well from my little sis is not really wise, after all. it might be another couple of weeks though before i get a definite answer. i am really afraid, to be honest.

i don't plan to go on hiatus here, but i might cut back posting over the next few weeks simply due to a lack of time. cheers again for your support!

3. März 2007

yeah, i am done

how lame is this?


recipe # 10: bean soup

one small onion
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
75 g (5 tablespoons) of white beans (from a can)
150 ml water
  1. over medium heat fry the diced onion in one tbsp of vegetable oil
  2. add the beans and stir for a while
  3. add the water and bring to a boil
  4. cut the parsley and add to the soup
  5. season to taste
that's weird - i see an inflationary trend, soup-wise. the more i think about soup the less i crave soup. my recipes are becoming more and more plain though i want them to be more unusual and unique.

it sucks if you promise to make a different soup every day during lent and you are already out of ideas and out of motivation - only 10 days down, 30 more to go. i have never been good at resolutions, so i hardly ever make some. why on earth did i think i could stick to my vow this time?

i might be done with the soup thing. it bores me.

2. März 2007

another quickie

it is not really the french onion soup, it looks like i just have the time for fast food soups these days ... but i keep my fingers crossed for a very high profile soup tomorrow ...

recipe # 9: onion soup

1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp oil
300 ml of vegetable stock
1 tbsp flour
one slice of bread
  1. brown the onions in one tbsp of oil
  2. sprinkle over the flour and stir well
  3. pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil
  4. toast a slice of bread and cut into 4 pieces
  5. pour the soup in a dish and arrange the toasted bread on top

1. März 2007

red plate day

don't you think all the green in my soup dish is getting boring?

it bores me a little, so i thought the only thing green added to today's soup will be the fresh herbs and as a contrasting colour for the soup itself i'd totally go for RED. instead of chopping the tomatoes in my farm box, i thought i'd make a much quicker soup if i finally used up those canned peeled tomatoes in my kitchen cupboard.

recipe # 8: very fast tomato soup

1 can of peeled tomatoes (250 g)
1 tbsp oil
3 cloves of garlic
fresh herbs (i used oregano and thyme)
1 tbsp crème fraîche (i take the lean rama cremefine)
salt, pepper
  1. give the peeled tomatoes a quick blizz with the hand-held blender to hackle them
  2. in a pot, quickly fry minced garlic and the herbs in one tbsp of oil
  3. pour in the blizzed tomatoes and bring to a boil
  4. whisk in one tbsp of crème fraîche
  5. season to taste
  6. you can strain the soup if you want, but i actually like it better if it's not too smooth