Cooking School # 2: Panna Cotta

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I was on a business trip the last few days and it is always great to get back home. The feeling is especially touching to my heart when Soeren and Tom pick me up and Soeren runs into my arms saying how much he missed me! Coming home is really great.

This is the second edition of a new series I hope to continue on a regular basis. I have called it "Cooking School". What I would like to achieve with these series is to take a well known recipe for a dish that might be or sound complicated and try to simplify it down. By no means allowing it to suffer in taste, style or fragrance. Once I have completed my own experiments I thought I would share it with you so that you in future do not have to be intimidated by the recipe. Hopefully you will feel encouraged enough to give it a try yourself. Maybe you have an idea to refine it further and then share it with us here.
That is the basic idea. Like the recipe for the Gnocchi I hope to bring you well known recipes that everyone enjoys - but mostly in restaurants or reading about them and never actually tried at home. I also hope to encourage those (especially my Indian buddies) to try something different. I have had a lot of mails (especially from my Indian buddies) telling me that they appreciate me sharing different types of herbs, produce and ingredients that they either would not use in that constellation or just did not know how to use at all.

Another thing I hope you also noticed is that in my last few posts I have taken a specific ingredient contained in that dish and researched it a bit. Sharing what I researched with you, I hope you bring you more information on the health benefits, tips on how to store and shop and other helpful tricks. If you have further information, please do add this into the comments field. This way maybe we can build up on our knowledge for different types of food and ingredients.

I would love your feedback on these ideas.

For today I have a special treat for you. Panna Cotta - the mother of all sins! A smooth, milky Italian dessert that sometimes falls short. Probably because it is so sinful! Anyone watching their waistline should look away at this point.

When the lovely Lisa of La Mia Cucina and the fabulous Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice invited me to join their festivities at La Festa al Fresco I was thrilled. My mission was to bring along an Italian dish to fill their empty table. DING! They hit home with that theme here. Yes, I am Indian who has been brought up in various parts of the world and spent the last 13 years in Germany - so where does THAT hit home, you ask?

Well you know already! I am an Italian fan through and through and as I have repeatedly said it here - I love everything Italian. Our food habits at the Wolff's den are also very Italianized rather than Indianized! So, I was excited to say the least.

What is Panna Cotta? Literally translated it means "cooked cream", which pretty much gives away the main ingredient in this dish. It originates from the Piedmont region in Northern Italy, where the dairy products available are regarded as the best in the world.

It is important that you use a good quality of cream, without additives for this. Perfect would be an organic brand.

In restaurants it is often served with complicated sauces. I like using berries for a simple sauce to dress my panna cotta. For this particular recipe I used blackberries. These have been available at our Farmer's Market in abundance and are sweet, succulent and totally lovely.

There is also a healthy side effect too. Blackberries rank, amongst other fruit, highest in their content of antioxidant phytonutrients.


Music while cooking:

Be Without You - Mary J. Blige
Album - The Breakthrough







Ingredients:

3 sheets of gelatin
1 vanilla pod
500g Cream - organic
50g + 2 teaspoons sugar
250 g blackberries




Photo on Explore: August 31, 2006. View my entire Explore Photostream.


Method:

In a bowl filled with cold water, soak the gelatin sheets for at least 5 minutes. Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape the contents with the back of a knife.

In a pot add the cream, 50 g sugar, vanilla pod and the vanilla pulp and simmer for 15 minutes over a low heat.

Remove the pot from the heat. Take out the vanilla pod. Squeeze out all access liquid from the gelatin and add this to the hot, but not boiling cream. Mix to dissolve.

Run four ramequin bowls (approx. with 1/8 l contents) under some cold water, then fill with the vanilla cream mixture to the rim. Allow to cool in the fridge for at least 6 hours. Keeping it overnight in the fridge is recommended.

Using 150 g of the blackberries, place them in a bowl and puree them using a puree mixer. After this add to a sieve and strain the sauce, leaving the harder bits in the sieve to give a smooth silky sauce. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and dissolve in the berry mixture.

Take the Panna cotta out of the fridge. With a knife run along the edge of the bowl and carefully release from the edges. Fill a container with hot water and place the Panna cotta bowls in the hot water for just a few seconds. Place a plate on the bowl and turn upside down. Remove the bowl and what you should have on the plate is a lovely, creamy Panna cotta form. Add some blackberry puree around and over the Panna cotta and decorate with other whole berries.




Verdict:
Spoon after spoonful, this dessert sends you to heaven 17! Although it is white and looks so very innocent, this dessert is full of delicious calories. But you know what it is worth every sinful bite!
The creamy texture of the Panna cotta with its vanilla flavors combined with the sweetness of the blackberries is truly tantalizing to the very last spoonful.
I made four and Soeren ate two! He just could not stop scooping the sauce onto the Panna cotta and then licking the spoon from top to bottom.
Tom to found this combination with the blackberries exquisite and that is saying something for someone who is not too keen of full cream desserts.


This is to remind you all that the deadline for this month's Monthly Mingle Holiday Cuisine ends on September 7th. So, get those lovely dishes sizzling that take you away to that far off land or remind you of your fave holiday.



This is also a perfect entry for the JFI event, being hosted at Vineela's. The theme this month is Milk and Milk Products.


Check out my featured blogs for Blog Day today.


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Blog Day

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It's Blog Day today. Time for everyone taking part to feature 5 new blogs they have recently discovered. I love the concept of this as it brings more exposure to other blogs and also extends our own blog roll.

I discovered plenty of new blogs through my recent BPW event. It amazed me to see how many have found me and kind of ashamed me that I tended to stick to my usual circle of blogs. Ever since this event I have made it a point to visit a few new blogs each month. It is hard work given the lack of time, but it really has been fruitful. I have made a few great friends in the process that I would not have met if i had stuck to my old ways. LOL!

It was very difficult for me to pick just 5. There are so many out there that I wanted to feature. In the end I did pick out five and here they are:

  1. Anne's Food
    Anne who lives in Stockholm has a nice way of looking at life. She loves food and that is displayed in some great looking recipes.

  2. Mixed Salad Annie
    I came across Annie's blog when she left a message on one of my posts. When I visited her blog I found she had a few very scrumptious looking recipes. She blogs from New England in good ole USA.

  3. Route 79
    As I visited Jag's blog I found a very candid and interesting person writing about his life in London, UK as he travels to work on the Route 79 bus. He also has some great Indian recipes that are easy to cook.

  4. Life is a Banquet
    It really is a coincident that I have so many Annes/Annis on my list LOL! This Annie is a warm and wonderful person. Who adores her "darlings" and writes a wonderful blog. The best thing was that with my postcard event I was able to bring my dear friend Payal with Anni. Two warm, friendly and sensitive people that have touched my life in a great way. The thing I envy the most is that both will be meeting up for a picnic soon and I am just to damn far way to join! BOOOHOOO!

  5. My Kitchen in Half cups
    Tanna another person whom I truly adore. She loves to cook and sets up her kitchen where ever she is in the World.

As I said before there are so many blogs and bloggers that I wanted to add to this list but was forced to pick five. But I thought I would still share a few other blogs that I absolutely enjoy reading.

  • Bella Rossa
    Payal, as I mentioned above is a fine friend of mine. She just started her blog and also a new job. Now, we can see that her new workplace is crawling with foodies and she shares some of the events happening at her new workplace.

  • Cream Puffs in Venice
    Ivonne, charms me with her recipes. She also charms me with her touching mails and warm friendship. She has great recipes and mouth watering photos on her blog.

  • La Mia Cucina
    Lisa is such a friendly and caring person that I just went crazy about her. We found each other through my BPW event and ever since then have been exchanging mails. She has delicious recipes on her blog, worth every bite.

  • Lobstersquad
    Ximena is in Spain and has one of the most creative blogs around. Instead of taking pictures, she draws lovely illustrations for each of her posts. You see Ximena is a full time illustrator and she does wonderful justice to her job. She even sent a hand drawn postcard to her BPW partner.
That was my list of my current faves and recently found blogs. I have added a few of them to my blog roll others will join shortly. If you are looking for more blogs the best place I can send you is: The List.

Enjoy browsing and HAPPY BLOG DAY!




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Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

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Pancakes are really the perfect all-rounders, not to mention that they are whipped up in jiffy. Rolled as an appetizer, in a soup, as a main course or of course as a dessert, these lovely fluffy flat cakes made out of the basic flour, egg and milk mixture can be used anywhere any time. It is your imagination that is asked for and your creativity can be put to full test.

In Weimar, we have a lovely little place simply called "The Creperie". It belongs to the list of my favorite places to eat out. In their romantic garden there is a huge Oak tree and the tables and chairs are arranged below this tree, covered with a beautiful orange and white checkered tablecloth. Hanging from the branches of the majestic tree are little colored lanterns and as the sun starts setting the waiter goes around lighting the lanterns and putting a plate filled with pancakes stuffed with a variety of lovely ingredients like ricotta and pesto. These are cut up in little spirals and you are instantly enveloped in a multitude of colors and aromas. Can you close your eyes and see that? Fantastic! SIGH!

The pancakes I am serving though are the very simple sort. But don't let this statement discourage you in anyway. Although simple it is far from that in it's taste. With buttermilk added to the batter, these pancakes are fluffy, soft and light. The blueberries are aromatic and give the pancakes a lovely fruity taste. The atmosphere to enjoy these: a hammock in your yard, surrounded by the chirping of birds and beautiful butterflies. Make sure that the plate is piled high because you do not want to be getting up from this position and running back into the kitchen for seconds, thirds, fourths ....

Those of you with kids will realize that you'll have to share! LOL! So you'll either have to make more or eat these when they aren't around. Making large batches of these pancakes is no problem though because you can easily freeze these. Just follow the steps from this post.


I am getting to the recipe! Golly you are impatient today, just my music pick for today:

Jennifer Lopez - Get Right
Album - Rebirth







Ingredients:

175 g Flour
200 ml Buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs
4 tablespoons butter - melted
150 g Blueberries
2 tablespoons oil
Icing sugar





Photo on Explore: August 28, 2006. See my Explore Photostream

Method:
In a large mixing bowl whisk flour, buttermilk, baking powder and soda, salt, and sugar into a smooth batter. Add the eggs and the melted butter and carry on beating. Allow the batter to sit for 20 minutes.

This process allows the egg whites to bind with the flour and buttermilk making the batter silky and smooth. Add the blueberries and gently fold into the batter.

Heat up some oil in a pan. Now bake your pancakes portion wise until nice and golden on each side. Put on some paper towels to drain off any access oil.

Sprinkle with some icing sugar and enjoy.

This makes about 16 small pancakes.



Verdict:
It is always a perfect little surprise for a nice brunch, which we like to have on those awful rainy Sundays. We spend a larger part of the morning in bed reading, playing or just fooling around. All of a sudden our tummies start grumbling and a craving for something sweet and fluffy starts right from the bottom of the tummy and quickly spreads to the rest of the body. We sit in bed saying "I crave this or that!"
Most of the time I jump out of bed and say "I've got a surprise!" When the men finally come down, driven from the lovely blueberry aroma, you can see the delight all over their faces.

I love it when the still slightly warm pancakes melts in my mouth and the sweetness of the blueberry literally pops onto the tongue. It is so comforting to tuck into these that the 16 are polished off in no time.



This is to remind you all that the deadline for this month's Monthly Mingle Holiday Cuisine ends on September 7th. So, get those lovely dishes sizzling that take you away to that far off land or remind you of your fave holiday.




I am sending this one off to Nandita's Weekend Breakfast Blogging that is being hosted by the lovely Pavani of Cook's Hideout this time.
Also, the Blueberries are screaming to join in on Cate's ARF-5-A Day Tuesday



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The Party

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Colored Creativity - on Explore, August 24, 2006. View my entire Explore Photostream

A birthday party for a four year old can be so much of fun, this 34 year old just has to admit.

We had planned to have Soeren's party in a playground in the middle of the woods. The whole week we were looking at the skies and checking the weather forecast, as it has been a mix of sunshine, rain, warm and cold the last couple of weeks.

The day before his birthday Soeren and I decided to make a few goodie bags for his KIGA group. My idea was simple: Paper sandwich bags with Soeren's unique artwork on it, filled with heathy fruit, sweets and a toy. Well guess what happened? Soeren got around to drawing on two paper bags ... then his friends called him out to play and off he went. It was me who spent the afternoon on the terrace drawing with the colorful crayons. It was so much of fun! OK I admit by the time I got to the 12th bag I was glad I was done, but I was inspired and took a few pictures. I uploaded the picture of the crayons "Colored Creativity" on to Flickr and on the same day it made it on Explore! That meant a lot! You can view my entire Explore set here.

On Friday it started off with lovely warm sunshine and I was in a great mood. Soeren came down all excited and of course the Birthday Fairy had already been there! After the family birthday ritual of blowing out the candles and ripping open the presents it was off to KIGA. We brought Soeren, the goodie bags and the birthday cake to the KIGA and he was the start for the day.

The Goodie Bag


The weather started to change for the worse and it started to rain. Of course the parents of the other kids started to call and ask if we were still planning to have the party at the playground. It had started to clear up again and so we said we'd see it through - the playground it was to be.

Soeren & Jeremy

The sun shone and it seemed like the weather had been specially ordered for the birthday party. It was really great. The reason we really wanted to have it on this playground is because it is a little paradise for kids. It is a type of natural playground in the middle of the woods. There are little wooden tipi style huts, a cable car type of ride where the kids grab onto a rope and the slide from one side to another and a few other great stuff. The coolest is the fact that there is a place where we could light up a campfire and grill a few sausages and marshmallows on sticks and when it started to rain again we put on our rubber wellies and raincoats and ran into the wooden lodge where there was a table made out of a huge tree trunk and wooden benches. There we ate the warm sausages with bread rolls and the rest of the cake. Then, we all sang songs and Tom read the kids a story. Once again the skies cleared up and out we all went for the last round of games and prizes.

Dinner at the Lodge

Brilliant! I had so much of fun with the kids. Running around playing games and roasting the marshmallows. I think the kids really had a great time. It was just moving to watch them having a ball.

I wish I was able to share a bit of the feeling of this special day with you. I thank you all for your lovely birthday wishes you sent to Soeren. Nice to know there are so many well wishers for him out there!
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Happy Birthday Soeri!

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I am pretty sure that parents around the world will relate to my next comment "Boy! that went by fast!" It really has gone by fast. I still remember the days when he was just a few days/weeks/months old. Now, he's four years old and oh! so grown up. Dang!

Happy Birthday, my Sweetie!
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Cheese Quesadillas with Two Salsas - Fruity and Spicy

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You all are really great! Not only do you all actively take part and enjoy these teasers of mine, but most of you guess, more or less correctly. More or less. Yes, the Salsa was correct. The tricky one however was the other one, right? Yes, it was Guacamole, well sort of. But what was in it. Some guessed potatoes. No, it was not!

I could really picture some of you sitting with your noses stuck to the monitors trying it figure it out. Hey, why should you have it any easier than I do, when I have to guess in your games? LOL!

OK ... so I am killing the suspense now and here it is - A spicy and tangy tomato salsa and a fruity avocado pineapple salsa! Never would have guessed the pineapple right? He! He! He! Well I am glad I can still surprise you ... I hope pleasantly!
Both these salsa types are served with deliciously cheesy quesadillas.

When you make these, I just want to warn you ahead of time, please make a larger batch. Of everything. Because it will be wiped off the table in seconds and you will have faces all around the table with one questioning look on their face "More?"

Did you know that the word Quesadilla originates form the Spanish words for Queso, meaning cheese + Tortilla = Quesadilla?



Avocados are commonly also known as the Alligator Pear, due to its shape and leather appearance of the skin. These great fruits are a great source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. The U.S. Food and Drug Association states: "Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke." A cup of avocado also has 23% of the Daily Value for folate, a nutrient that is important for heart health. By adding a few slices of avocado in your tossed salad, or mixing some chopped avocado into your favorite salsa will not only add a rich, creamy flavor, but will greatly increase your body's ability to absorb the health-promoting carotenoids that vegetables provide.

Select and Store:
A rip and ready to eat avocado is normally soft, however it should not have any cracks or dark sunken spots. Should the avocado have a slight neck, this is an indication that it was tree ripened and will taste better. A firmer, less mature fruit can be ripened at home and will be less likely to have bruises.
You can ripen a firm avocado in a paper bag or in a fruit basket at room temperature. It will take a few days and you will notice the skin turning darker as it ripens. Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are really ripe. Once they are, you can then store them for up to a week (if not cut).

Music while cooking:

There can be only one!
Shakira, Shakira - Hips don't lie
Album - Oral Fixation Vol. 2






Ingredients:

Quesadilla
4 Soft Flour tortillas
200g - 250g Gruyere - grated. Those of you in the US, in particular California, I would recommend using the Monterey Jack type. This is a nice variant to the Cheddar, which you can also use for the quesadillas.
Oil - preferably a neutral type

Tomato Chili Salsa
1 Tomato - De-seeded and cut in cubes
2 Spring onions - cut in rings
1 Garlic clove - finely chopped
150g Tomato chili sauce. I used my fave type from a bottle.
Salt & Pepper

Avocado Pineapple Salsa
1/2 Pineapple - cut in small cubes
1 Red onion - finely chopped
1 red Chili (optional) - very finely chopped
1 small ripe Avocado - cut in small cubes
1/2 bunch of Coriander - finely chopped (More on the benefits of Coriander)
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt & Pepper




Method:

I recommend preparing the two types of salsa ahead of time and then cooling them. This allows the aroma to unfold and will have a lot more pizzaz to its flavor.

Tomato Chili Salsa
Put all the ingredients for the tomato salsa in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Keep cool



Avocado Pineapple Salsa
Pour the lime juice over the avocado cubes. In a bowl, mix the avocados, pineapple, onion, and coriander gently with a wooden spoon. Salt and pepper to taste. If you are using the chili then you can add this too. Keep cool

Quesadillas
In a pan heat up the oil. Place one flour tortilla at the bottom. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top, making sure that you keep the edges free - approx. 1 cm. Place the second tortilla on top. Gently brown the tortilla on both sides - approx 2 minutes each side and until the cheese has melted.

This feeds 2 hungry kiddie mouths and two adult mouths.


Verdict:

Perfect for when you have a house full of kids (of all ages). The fruity avocado pineapple salsa will blow them away. I did not use the chili in this. Soeren and his buddy tucked into this with such enthusiasm. They commented "The pureed frog sauce tastes great!" No, I am not putting you off here. It tasting nothing like pureed frog. More, like pure sunshine and holiday. The flavors of the avocado and pineapple combined into such harmony that it reminds you of those lovely tastes you constantly have on a beach holiday. Fruity and creamy!
The spicy tomato salsa was a contrast. Firey and hot! Our tastebuds were exploding with the different flavors. Together with the silken cheese quesadillas Tom and I kept going "Fruity?" or "spicy?" - "Fruity!" no "Spicy!". We were having such a hard determining which was our fave. In the end we settled for both.


This ones for Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging


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Meeta Experiments: Veal "Vilanese" and a Peas and Lettuce Salad

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"What's for lunch, Mum?"

"Ummm ... Veal Vilanese!"

"Veal Vilanese? What is that?"

"What's for lunch, Soeri?"

"Mum says Veal Vilanese!"

"Veal Vilanese? What's that?"

"I'm experimenting with a new idea!"

A typical lunch time conversation at our place!

I am thinking of putting up a "Please do not enter: Research in progress" sign on our kitchen entrance when I am experimenting with new recipes. It is no wonder that my men are always confused when I give them names they cannot define.

So what is a Veal Vilanese?

Well, here is Germany a very, very popular dish is the "Wiener Schnitzel". Which is of course a piece of pork coated in bread-crumbs and fried. "Wien" being the German/Austrian name for the city of Vienna. Please do not ask me if this dish originated from Vienna ... I am not really sure, but I do know here in Germany, this little bread crumbed meat is served in every restaurant.

Normally served with a lot of potatoes in every form (fries, mashed, plain etc.) and some vegetables. At fast food localities it is served with bread rolls or potato salads. All very fattening and filling!

Change of city: Milan!
The Piccata Milanese - what a fantastic dish. Something similar to the Wiener schnitzel but made with veal and it is coated with not only bread crumbs but also parmesan. Served with a fantastic pasta and a light refreshing tomato sauce.

I thought "What would happen if I combined both together .... what would I get"

The Answer: Veal Vilanese (Vi = Vienna / Lanese = Milanese) Get it? LOL!

I prefer the veal to the pork as the meat is leaner and I find adding grated parmesan cheese to the coating enhances the flavor when pan fried.

However, the experimentation did not end there. I wanted vegetables and I wanted a salad with this.

We are having real hot weather here and none of us feel like sitting down to a meal with filling and heavy condiments. So I though of a little experiment - wipe out the filling potato/pasta and bring in a salad.

Eureka! A vegie/lettuce salad. All served with a tangy and creamy dressing.

If the schnitzel originates from Vienna and the piccata from the Milan, where can I say does the Vilanese originate from?

Music to recipe: Maneater - Nelly Furtado






Ingredients:

For the Pea and Lettuce Salad
1 garlic clove - mashed
1 medium sized onion - finely chopped
200g sour cream
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
100g peas
2 roman lettuce hearts - washed and cut into bite size pieces

For Vilanese
75g parmesan - grated
5-6 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
2 eggs - beaten
3-4 tablespoons flour
4 veal steaks
2 tablespoons oil
1 lime







Method:

Prepare the salad dressing first. In a mixing bowl add the garlic and onions with the sour cream, mustard and vinegar. Whisk well until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

Steam the peas for 2-3 minutes. Run under cold water so that they keep their wonderful green color. In a salad bowl mix the peas and the lettuce together and pour the dressing over this.

Now to the meat: Mix 3/4 of the parmesan with the bread crumbs on a wide plate. On another pour the beaten egg and on yet another plate place the flour. Salt and pepper each steak.

Take each piece of meat and coat first with flour, then soak in the egg and lastly coat in the cheese/breadcrumbs mixture. Press lightly with your finger to fix the coating onto the meat.

Heat some oil in a skillet of frying pan. Fry the vilanese on each side for approx. 3 minutes until golden brown.

Sprinkle with rest of the cheese.

Serve with lime wedges and the refreshing salad.


Verdict:

First to the salad. I have to say that Soeren does not eat anything that is leafy or lettucy (except for spinach). With this salad however, he kind of peered over the bowl curiously. He adores peas and I thought it might just make him want to try some. Well, I just gave him a piece of meat and started cutting it into pieces for him. I ignored the salad completely, hoping that he might object. He did! He looked at me and requested if he could try a "small" bowl of the salad. I did not make a big deal of it, trying to hide my excitement at the fact that my son wanted to try salad. He did ... and wanted more. YAAAAYYYY! I still played it cool though. I mean I don't want to act like it was any big deal.

The salad was really delicious. The tangy mustard taste incorporated with the sour cream really made the dressing flavorful. The peas and the lettuce really went well with the meat.

The Vilanese steaks were a wonderful fairy tale on their own. The cheese kind of melts and crisps up when frying. Making the outer coating taste lovely and cheesey. The veal was soft and juicy and had a wonderful aroma.


The salad is just perfect for Gabriella's Summer Salad Special event.
I also think Cate will like this entry for her ARF-5-A Day Tuesday



Update: After having posted this recipe I was informed by my dear German blogger friend Ulli that a Wiener Schnitzel is made from veal too. That, as a matter of fact, if any restaurants serve this with pork and name it Wiener Schnitzel they could end up paying a fine. It has to be described as Schnitzel Wiener Style if it is made with anything else but veal. I was not aware of this fine difference to detail and would like to take this opportunity to correct myself. Thank you Ulli!




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The Challenge Has Been Accepted

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Being the host of the BPW I thought I would just randomly select 6 bloggers and send them some "homemade" postcards. One, was my lovely friend Ivonne. Ivonne always leaves me in awe with her vibrant photos and gorgeous Italian food.

I thought I would play a little game with her. On the back of my postcard I challenged her. Should she choose to accept, she was to make something with the ingredients pictured on her postcard.

She accepted.

Thanks for being a sport Ivonne!

PS. The List has been updated. Anyone still receiving postcards please let me know by sending me the link to the post!


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Spicy Avocado Chili Burgers!

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Tell me something? Does this ever happen to you?

You are paging through a cookbook, magazine or surfing through the blogs and you see a picture that literally jumps out at you. A picture of something so divine looking and scrumptious that you just want to lick the page or the monitor!
Oh! Many of your pages are stuck together and your monitor is starting to soak on the sides due to this strange phenomenon?
Phew! Am I glad, I do not suffer alone!

Well it happened to me again. I saw a picture of this recipe here and started drooling straight away. It was really bad this time. I just could not stop drooling. So, after my keyboard decided to swim away, I got up and decided the only cure would be to make this myself.

Even at the grocery store I just could not shop fast enough. As I put the ingredients in my cart I was just imagining how this burger would taste. I must have been in a daze as I did get one or two funny looks from people, when I was ohhing! and ahhhing! at each ingredient. I did make one or two minor changes to the original recipe but nothing drastic.

I liked the fact that this recipe used coriander leaves. This year I had a try at growing this herb myself and I had a nice harvest. I chopped the leaves up and froze them to be able to use this throughout the coming winter.

Coriander is a lovely herb and in India we all know the health benefits for centuries. We've been traditionally using this for its anti-inflammatory properties. However it has become very popular in the western part of the world over the years. In Europe it is referred to as an"anti-diabetic" plant while recently in the USA coriander has been researched for its cholesterol-lowering effects.

Selecting and Storing:
Fresh coriander, also known as cilantro, leaves should really look deep green, vibrant and fresh. Stay away from those that are yellow or brown. The leaves should be crisp and firm.
Fresh coriander should always be stored in the refrigerator. If you have bought a whole plant with the roots in a small pot then cover the leaves with a loosely fitting plastic bag. If you just have the stems and the leaves, without the roots, wrap the coriander leaves in a damp cloth or paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. Whole coriander last for about a week, while just the leaves have a life of approx. 3 days.

As I did, you can also freeze coriander leaves. I prefer this method myself as I can buy and store in larger amounts. You can freeze the leaves either whole or chopped, in airtight containers. Do not thaw before use since it will lose much of its crisp texture. Alternatively, you can place it in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews.

Music while cooking: Dani California - Red Hot Chili Peppers





Ingredients:

Burgers
500g minced beef (another option for those who do not eat beef is chicken or lamb)
1 large red onion - finely chopped
fresh coriander leaves - chopped
fresh basil - chopped (Pam's recipe did not include this but I had a bunch that needed to be used)
1 jalapeno pepper - finely chopped (alternatively you can use the ones from a jar)
1 egg - beaten
1 ripe avocado - cut into small cubes
salt and pepper
4 sesame seed burger buns

Spicy Chili Con Queso
1 medium sized can of tomatoes - chopped and thoroughly drained
1 can black beans - I used black bean in a chili sauce
1 large onion - finely chopped
150g Gruyere cheese - grated (Pam used Cheddar cheese)
1 teaspoon chili powder (Pam used chipotle chile powder)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
olive oil
salt and pepper





Method:

Chili Con Queso
Heat up the olive oil in a large pan. Saute the onions gently until soft making sure the do not brown. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, spices and the cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and has combined making a nice thick, smooth sauce.
Keep warm.

Burgers
In a large mixing bowl add the ground beef and knead gently. Add the onions, herbs and beaten egg to the mince and combine thoroughly. Now add in the avocado cubes and gently combine into the mince mixture. At this point if you are cooking for kids take enough of the mixture out for their patties, then add the jalapenos and mix again.

Make four patties. A great tip from me is, lightly oil your hands before you do this. The meat won't stick to your hands and your burgers will have a fine sheen to them when you fry or grill them.

Grill or fry the burgers making sure not to turn them to often. When they are just about done allow them to drain on a paper towel. Then put them in the oven at a low temperature for a few minutes.

In the meantime toast the sesame buns. Now you can assemble the burgers.

On the bottom bun spoon some of the sauce, place a burger on top and spread some more of the con queso on top of the meat. Close the bun and serve immediately.



Verdict:
"Auuuuwww!" was Soeren's comments when he saw this on the dinner table. As Tom came down "OHHH!" was his comment. (Aren't men just so eloquent with words?) This was one wordless meal! We all just sat down at the table and binged away at these burgers. These were pretty big burgers and Soeren managed 3/4 of it, which really surprised me. After we all were done, we kind of threw ourselves back against the chairs and sighed!
"WOW!" was Tom's comment. "Ummmm!" said Soeren.

Like I said wordless. But then sometimes words just do not get to the point.

It was fantastic in every way. This burger is what I would list under satisfying and comforting. And filling. It covers your cravings for meat and spiciness through and through. The added freshness of the avocado was just brilliant. The taste of the lightly warm and fried avocado was tremendous. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Thank you Pam for sharing this recipe!


I am sending this over for Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted over at my blogger buddy Tony's this week.



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Postcards ....

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Well, well, well! Some of you lovely bloggers also gave a thought to me while sending out postcards. The last week I have been getting a few of them spilling into my mailbox! I have to tell you that all these postcards has left my mail lady scratching her head. She commented yesterday "Amazing how many of your friends are on vacation at the same time!" LOL! I did not explain to her that it was a blog event, because I would've needed to explain what a blog is and that would have left the poor lady scratching her head even more.

Here is a huge thanks to you.
Sue, who sent me the wonderful postcard with all the blueberries on it. She says "Maine is a blueberry place and I know you like them .." Sue you are such a darling and I really thank you for this. Just that one sentence makes me smile because you thought about me while picking it!

Sally's card made me laugh. It is the one of Father Dobberstein and his St. Bernard Dogs. She says "Being German I thought you'd get a kick out of this pic!" Sally, I am not originally German but have lived here for 13 years. I still got a kick out of it though! Thank you!

Petra sent me one she brought back from her travels to Thailand. She thoughtfully mentions "I just wanted to say thank you for the postcard event by sending you a special foodie card ..." It was just perfect and so colorful. Petra you are the best!

Sumi, who is ever so sweet, sent me one from Switzerland. Sumi says "Thanks for being a wonderful hostess!" Gee, schucks *going red* you're welcome!

And finally the Bella Payal moved me the most. Her card displays the Golden Gate Bridge and she says "I wanted to send you this because that's where we met ..." Payal I wish it was so easy for me to cross it and come over to you! I miss you girl! Thank you.

You know what I found so amazing here? On the web I have some kind of daily contact with most of you but it was so strange holding something from you.

Do you know what I mean?

Something that you have touched and written. Seeing your handwritting, for example just brought me lightyears closer to you. It's like really sharing a part of you. That is something I will cherish.



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Coq au Coco - Chicken Curry in Sate Sauce

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We love Thai food! The combinations of the fresh ingredients and herbs with the spiciness of the curries is so soothing to the soul.

On the weekends I enjoy taking time and preparing a good hearty meal. And very often I let my imagination take control and start playing with ingredients. I know it had been sometime since I last made a nice Thai curry and I was craving it. I had bought some fresh chicken and vegetables and checked out what else my pantry would give (I have to really start getting through the stuff in there ... I can feed a small country with the contents!). Well I found a few things that I could use.

I went to the CD player and switched on some music - "Dhoom Machale" started and as Soeren shook his head and cracked up at the sight of his mother dancing through the living room, my brain was already working overtime!

It must be some kind of a pattern that I leave behind and that my neighbors have memorized, because a few minutes later S. came around the backyard and peeked through the patio doors.

"Are you cooking something Indian?" she asked inquisitively.
"Close!" I said "Thai!"

OK not close really but for her everything from that part of the world is far off and close! LOL!

When she saw the unusual variety of ingredients I had set up on the kitchen counter she looked a little alarmed.

"Gosh! I wish I would be as daring as you in my cooking!"
"Just go with the flow, S!" I said winking and then invited her and A. to join us. Which was probably what was being fished for initially anyway.

(Just to set the record straight - I really like both of them and we have a very open friendship with each other. There are no reservations on either part to just go and "invite ourselves".)

I took another look at the stuff on the counter. Nothing unusual there!

What do you think? Is this an unusual recipe?






Ingredients:

4 Chicken legs - drumsticks and thigh separated
salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
2 tablespoons oil
3 onions - cut in half and then sliced
2 garlic cloves - mashed
100 ml apple juice
200 ml unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
400 g carrots - cut in quarters and then in sticks. I used lovely organic carrots from our local farmer.
200 g mushrooms - cut in halves
1 large bunch of coriander leaves - coarsely chopped
1 lime






Method:

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the salt, cayenne pepper and paprika powder. In a large roaster heat up the oil and then fry the chicken on both sides until golden brown - approx. 8 minutes.

Add the onion slices and the garlic. Pour in the apple juice, 100 ml water, coconut milk and the peanut butter. Mix this well to make a smooth sauce. Cover the roaster and allow to simmer for approx. 15 minutes.

Now add the carrot sticks and simmer for a further 8-10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and again simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Add salt and a bit of cayenne pepper to taste and then sprinkle the coriander leaves.

Serve with lime wedges and rice.



Verdict:

Wow! Ever heard of so many different flavors harmonizing so well together? My neighbors were pleasantly surprised and almost literally licked their plates clean. Even Soeren enjoyed the lovely combination of coconut milk and peanut butter. I was worried that it might have been too exotic for him but, my mother in this case would say, "he is half Indian after all!" (that would be said in Hindi - OK I'll give it a go to get my Indian buddies here laughing "Aarey aadha hindustani jo hain!" - was that good?)
Honestly, you will really find the flavors of these ingredients bursting into your mouth. The combination works well and the vegetables round the entire dish up very well. I would recommend a simple rice dish with this as anything else will take away from the aroma and fragrance of the main dish. And we do not want to do this, do we?


With such a colorful dish I'd also like to wish all my fellow Indians a Happy independence Day today!



Such a lovely dish just needs to be sent out to Cate for her ARF-5-A Day Tuesday

Just a little story on the side: In Weimar I do not always get coriander leaves when ever I need them. So this year I decided to plant my own. I am not always very lucky with herbs but this year seems to be a very good year and I am really reaping the bounties. I was very excited as my coriander grew into a really wonderful looking little plant. However, after I cut off most of it for this dish, it seems to have decided not to grow anymore - or more slowly than expected. So, what did I do wrong? Did I cut in wrong? Still as it was home grown I thought maybe Barbara would still accept it for her Spice is right theme this month - Fresh and Local.



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Cooking School: Gnocchi in Sage Garlic Butter

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A few of my recipes come from those wonderful magazines you find in front of the cashier's in grocery stores. While waiting in the queue I pick one up and flip through the pages. I always end up buying these. In one I found a wonderful recipe for gnocchi - from scratch! And was amazed to see that the recipe I had before was a lot more complicated than this one.

Gnocchi is a great alternative to the usual noodles and I always like to make this fresh. OK not always - sometimes I do buy the fresh ones in the cool area of the grocery stores ;-). But on most occasions there is nothing like fresh self-made gnocchi. Once one has mastered the art of gnocchi making, it kind of works like magic everytime you make it.

The next thing that I spend a lot of time thinking about is the topping. I do not want to take away the great taste of the fresh Gnocchi by combing it with some overpowering tasting sauce. The ones I like best are simple herby toppings that complement the flavors of the gnocchi itself.

Besides after one has spent all that time in the kitchen making the potato dumplings, more time fixing up a fancy sauce is really asking too much! ;-)

So, today I thought I'd share my recipe for gnocchi with you, with one of my favorite toppings. A simple sage, garlic butter with tangy shavings of Parmesan cheese.


Sage
Sage is a wonderful herb and one of my favorite. The soft, sweet savory flavor of sage has wonderful health promoting properties. So, much so that it was voted "Herb of the year" in 2001. Sage contains a variety of volatile oils, flavonoids and phenolic acids, including the phenolic acid named after rosemary (its sister herb) - rosmarinic acid. Did you also know that sage can enhance your memory? A research published in the June 2003 issue of Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior confirms what herbalists have long known: sage boosts your wisdom quotient. Simply add generous amounts to your soups, stews, pasta or gnocchi dishes.

Music to the recipe: Eros Ramazzotti. Beautiful Italian sounds to a lovely Italian recipe.




Ingredients:

750g potatoes - washed and cooked with the peel for 20 minutes. Then peel while warm.
75g Parmesan - grated
50g + 2-3 tablespoons - potato starch
60g wheat semolina
salt and pepper
2 egg yolks
Flour to work with the dough
1 garlic - mashed or my alternative is using 1 teaspoon Aglio Olio
3 sage stems - cut in fine strips. I would recommend using organic sage.
4 tablespoons butter
sage leaves to garnish





Method:

If you have a ricer, press the potatoes through this, while they are still warm. If you don't mash them finely. Take 1/3 of the grated cheese, 50g starch, semolina, 1 teaspoon salt and the yolks and mix in with the potatoes. Knead this to a smooth and silk dough. You can use and electric mixer with kneading hooks, but I recommend using your hands. You will have a better control over the consistency of the dough. If required add more potato starch.

With lightly floured hands form long rolls that are approx. 2.5 cm in diameter. Then using a sharp knife, cut these into approx. 2 cm wide pieces.

Sprinkle a fork with a little bit of flour and lightly press the dough pieces with it. Giving it a nice form. Allow the gnocchi to rest for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime bring a large pot with plenty of salt water to a boil. Add the gnocchi to this and simmer for 4-6 minutes, until the gnocchi floats on top. Drain.

In a large frying pan, melt the butter add the garlic or Aglio Olio and saute. Now add the sage and the gnocchi and saute for a few minutes, until the gnocchi takes on a golden color. Add pepper generously.

Serve on heated plates and sprinkled with the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Garnish with a sage leaf.



Verdict:
The best things in life are so simple! I think I have said that here before. But it is the honest truth. For those who have traveled to Italy or are Italian will know what I am talking about. In most regions in Italy it is exactly this type of meal that is served up. Simple but so rich in flavor, that you can taste each fresh ingredient made with love and pride.

Those of you who have kids will be surprised that it does not always have to be a bolognese or a tomato sauce to every Italian pasta/gnocchi dish. Soeren relishes this when I serve it. It is something he even asks for. "Mum can we make gnocchi with those leaves!"

Tom is a fine taster when it comes to food and wine. The simplicity yet elegance this dish offers makes his mouth water. He is mostly in charge of the wine with our food and this dish offers him enough playroom to always serve up something different. Fruity, dry, chilled and white is how I like my wine with this dish - oh and preferably Italian!

Hope you enjoy a little taste of Italy!


This lovely recipe with the wonderful sage topping is going over to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging.




The BPW List has also been updated today. Check it out!



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Monthly Mingle #3 - Round-Up

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Wonderful recipes this time round. The beat the heat theme really made you all so creative and you came up with gorgeous cooling recipes.

First, I thank you for your patience. This time I had to postpone the round-up as I decided to hold the spontaneous BPW event, that turned out to be a huge success.

Well I had asked you to give me your best recipes to cope with the hot, hot and even hotter temperatures we were all having. I noticed the trend .... smoothies were the all time popular way to keep you lot cool. Maybe I should have set the theme to be "Smoothies" instead! But we did have one or two solid dishes to keep our tummies full too. LOL!

Thank you to all of you for joining my summer party and bringing not only these great dishes/drinks over but also your good party moods.

Let the party begin!



The lovely Anni from Life is a Banquet has dedicated her entire entry to her "little darlings". Who they are and what she serves should be checked out here. Her story is really great. This is Anni's first time at the Monthly Mingle party. Hope you become a regular Anni!

Nandita managed to get her entry in at the last minute. She has a love for tea and says she can drink tea just about anytime anywhere. So, guess what she is serving up? Her lovely and refreshing Iced Tea with the flavors of ginger and mint. Sounds great!

I was expecting something more along the lines of a cake from Pushpa, as she bakes for the life of her. No, no cake! Instead a gorgeous looking summer sensation with lovely rose water. Check that out!

Surya from Healthy N Spicy, who is not only new to the blog world but,she is also new to the event, serves up a cooling and refreshing Lemonade. But this is not the usual run of the mill lemonade. This one is made with milk! Welcome to my event and of course to the wild foodie blog world.

Another person who is new to this event is JB of Urban Drivel. She and her blog are also new to me! But I am glad you're taking part JB because your Root Beer float looks divine and brings back some cool memories of the time when I was living in the US!

Yet another newbie to the event is Laura. She brings along a little something that all the kids in the house or those who are still kids at heart will just love. Chocolate Jello Pudding Pops. Looks great and something I will be giving a go at with my little one! Thanks for joining Laura!

Ladies, we have our first man in the house! Now stay put and do not get over excited! Chris of The Food and The Drink brings along a luscious looking Crayfish and Avocado salad. Now that is something you all can get excited about. Chris thanks for taking part. How does it feel being the only man among all these ladies?

Revathi serves up a Koozhu. Which is a fermented porridge. Revathi informed me in her mail "A line on koozhu - Its a porridge which has cooling effects on the body ! Surely will beat your body heat !!!!" That really made me smile! In her post she goes into a nice detail about how and when this is served in India. Really worth a read.

"Baby it's hot outside!" With that statement, Sally went out in search of a "Party in a bucket". When she could not find one she made one herself and boy was I glad she brought that Party in a Bucket along to the mingle. We'll be having a few giggles together after that! Sally you are a gem!

Mahek, shares a lovely looking Kokum Sharbat with us. She writes "The kokum is native to the western coastal regions of southern India and rarely seen beyond this area." In that case Mahek, thank you for sharing the recipe with us. Now I am sure we'll all be making this beyond the boundaries of southern India. LOL!

Another blogger newbie and new to the event is Jayashree (what a lovely name). Jayashree is hooked on strawberries and she brings a cooling Strawberry Milkshake to the mingle. Looks fab! Thank you so much for joining.

Pavani says in her mail that although she visits my blog often, this is her first time taking part in the Monthly Mingle. I am very glad you did Pavani, because your mixed fruit smoothie looks great. Combining mangoes and strawberries this smoothie just sounds too good. Pavani, I also love the glasses you serve them in! ;-)

As I said earlier, no one told me that the trend this time round was smoothies. Neelu too shares a lovely sounding smoothie. Her Banana Fig smoothie looks healthy and certainly delicious. Neelu, thank you for taking part.

Shammi too is beating the heat with a smoothie. She brings her mixed berry smoothie. Berry nice Shammi! Love the berry picture.

Beautiful Suyin comes along for the first time to the mingle and brings along something with yucky shade of green Curious? I was! See what she uses to pair a ton of avocados with. A very interesting mix!
Thank you Suyin.

Ulli made me laugh by complaining that it was so hot that she was worried that the gelatin would melt before she could use it. But it didn't and she was able to whip up a fantastic looking Buttermilk Jelly with red currents. Sehr lecker!

Another new to me blogger and new to the monthly mingle is Arsu. Arsu serves ups a really refreshing drink called Mint and Lemon Squash. A concentrated syrup topped off with water. Arsu, thank you for bringing this along!

My lovely friend Isis, makes a smoothie (told you it was a trend). However, hers is based on soya milk. The fruit and soy milk smoothie looks and sound great. Isis, is on vacation in Greece currently and I'd like to thank her for sending this in before she left.

The ever so sweet Sumi whips up a fantastic dessert for us to indulge into. A strawberry yoghurt jelly. Doesn't it look brilliant? Sumi, as always lovely recipe.

What would we have done without Pam? Pam, thought of the solid food in this event and brought along some of the best looking burgers ever. This is not just a burger! This is a guacamole burger with spicy chili con queso. Trust me they taste good. How do I know? Well because I've already made them at home. Pam my post and our verdict will follow ;-) Thank you!

And finally, yours truly shares with you that pretty in pink ice cream. Lovely, smooth and deliciously cool strawberry yoghurt ice cream.

Updated: I have to apologize to Anupama! I seem to have forgotten to add her lovely recipe to the round-up. She whipped up a killer homemade caramel custard that looks so delish that one just wants to dive into it. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.




I would really like to thank everyone who took part. Especially to those who came around for the first time. I really hope you enjoyed yourself. My regular guests: Without you I just would not have been able to do it!

The next party has already been announced. This time I am taking you all on a trip! A trip to all your favorite holiday destinations. Join me in August and lets party with some of your great Holiday Cuisine.



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Monthly Mingle #4 - Holiday Cuisine

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Crossing over to Denmark

July/August is mostly the time of year when people start packing their bags for a week or two and head off to some dream destination. A long awaited holiday in a far off place. Relaxing on a beautiful beach and soaking up the sun in the Seychelles, wandering in some high mountains in Switzerland or rafting in Alaska - whatever it is, one thing is as vital as the air you breathe - the food.

When one is on holiday, even the most lazy eater will find some interest in the local cuisine and be excited to try one or two new dishes. So, I can only imagine the ecstasy us foodies go into when we are on holiday. I know I do!

For me and my little family, the summer destination this year is Greece. YES! In September we will be off to the Peloponnese. This is almost a kind of victory to be quite honest because every year we list 2 or 3 destinations we'd like to go to and somehow always end up in Italy. So, our list last year was:

  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • Portugal

We ended up in Liguria, Italy! Now don't get me wrong. It was one of the best holidays ever. We stayed in a lovely agriturismo where they produced their own wine, olive oil and honey. The family were so wonderful that we still have contact with them and get them to send their bottles of olive oil when we've run out. I meant that this is become a kind of joke among our friends here, as we automatically are navigated to Italy. Like a built in compass. But folks, there are so many different countries that we would love to visit, that it was becoming a dilemma!

This year I tackled the situation a little differently. The list this year looked like this:

  • Sicily - Italy
  • Sardinia - Italy
  • Peloponnese - Greece.

Where are we going? GREECE .... phew! Think we broke the chain.

Anyway what does all this have to do with the Monthly Mingle, you are probably asking yourself. OK, OK, I'm getting there, already!

This time I want you to bring over your favorite holiday dish. Wherever you were (or are off to) I am sure there was one particular dish that you just could not get enough of. Make that and bring it over to my Holiday Reminiscence party. Let's get comfy and sit together and talk about all your adventures and food experiences, over your lovely "Holiday Cuisine".

I am really looking forward to this one as I hope you will be sharing some of your great holiday moments in stories and pictures too.

Deadline this time is September 7, 2006. So get those holiday pictures out for inspiration and send me your favorite Holiday Cuisine.

Look out for the Round-up to Monthly Mingle #3 sometime this weekend!




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Pretty in Pink - Strawberry Yoghurt Ice Cream

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Music that helped me cook: Salam Namaste from the film Salam Namaste starring Preety Zintha and Saif Ali Khan

What better way to beat the heat than a nice cooling and refreshing ice cream. In Germany we were having an amazing heatwave the past few weeks. This trend really seemed to be catching on in all parts of the world and so my theme for this month's Monthly Mingle was not too far off.

We are huge ice cream eaters and slurp ice cream kilowise. This year I decided to invest in an ice cream maker and have a go at making ice cream myself. There are so many positive advantages to an ice cream maker that I really had no problem convincing Tom of my venture. He kind of rolls his eye balls every
time I invest in another one of those "must have" kitchen equipment that in the end turn out to be a "good idea at the time" equipment and stands as a dust collector in my kitchen closet.

Well I am sure this one is going to be different. As especially when there is a kid (or kids if you add the adult man) in the household and you really DO want to treat them to ice cream but DO NOT want to feel guilty about the additional sugar they take in. This way I control what goes into my ice cream and have no guilty conscience whatsoever!

Ever since I got the ice cream maker, I have been experimenting with different flavors, mostly
berries. This was my very first ice cream made with the maker and, I tell you, it was so easy and such a perfect quick summer time dessert or little in between snack.



Ingredients:

300 g Strawberries - pureed. You can puree this to any consistency you like. I wanted a bit of frozen fruit in the ice cream so I just pureed this coarsely.
50g - sugar
250 natural, thick organic yoghurt

Equipment: Ice cream maker




Method:

In a mixing bowl blend together the sugar, yoghurt and strawberries. Cool for at least 6 hours in the fridge. Doing this makes the ice cream work better and fluffier.

Now add this to your ice cream maker and allow it to do it's thing, until you have a creamy smooth frozen yoghurt ice cream!



Verdict:
Ever since my first try at the ice cream turned out so well I have reserved a space for the cooling bowl of the ice cream maker in my freezer. This way I can whip up an easy but tasty dessert after dinner anytime. I have made the similar type of yoghurt ice cream with raspberries, blueberries and black berries. All I do is make the mixture in the morning or the evening before and in the evening while we are having dinner turn on the machine and in half an hour the yoghurt ice cream is ready.
It is best enjoyed fresh and straight out of the machine. This tastes so delicious and fruity that it encloses all of summer into its flavor. What's more it is seriously healthier than the usual stuff bought at the supermarket and treating Soeren to ice cream has a whole new meaning. Soeren really enjoys being part of the making process and we are always thinking of ideas for our ice creams.

I am looking forward to more experiments with the ice cream maker and look forward to sharing them with you. In the meantime enjoy this cool refreshing treat!



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Photo Session: Still Life With ... Sugar

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Another month gone by and the challenge in the potography group this time round was sugar. Not desserts or anything down that way, but sugar in the sense of honey, syrups, icing sugar etc. Each group memebr can enter 3 photos depicting this in any way they choose to.

These were my entires:

Sugar Currents White
Rock Candy in Tea
Sugar Beet Molasses






Music that makes me move:

New on my iPod:
Beyonce - Deja Vu
Nelly Furtado - Promiscuous, Maneater
LL Cool J ft. J. Lopez - Control Myself
Robbie Williams - Rudebox
Rihanna - SOS
Corinne Bailey Rae - Put your records on
Shakira - Hips Don't Lie

Can't get enough of:
Lee Ryan - Lee Ryan
Coldplay - X & Y
Black Eyed Peas - Monkey Business




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