Thursday, 11 September 2014

Pumpkin Scones, a very good idea for fall

Sometimes I enjoy baking.
Yes, there I said it. I like beeing in the kitchen and just taking my time with a recipe. Try something new or different. And baking is right in that category. I am very slow when it comes to baking and I absolutely admire people who seem to be able to make a cake in no time.

I, on the other hand, have to google a lot. :)
For example, I had bought a small pumpkin and had no clue what to do with it. So I googled pumpkin recipes.
I had enough ideas for hearty recipes, but somehow a pumpkin pie sounded appealing. There is an abundance of recipes out there but most of them had a few things in common: cloves, cinnamon, sugar and pumpkin pureé.

Pumkin pureé... well... ok. That is easy to make. Cut the pumpkin in halves, take out the seeds, cover with tin foil and put in the oven for about an hour... or as long as it takes to soften it. Then blend it.


But while the pumpkin was roasting in the oven I decided to make pumpkin-scones. Because they are easy to prepare. There litteraly can't go anything wrong. And I had some success making blueberry-scones, once.
Sounds reasonable, right?
Turns out it was a good decision. Because were were invited to a brunch and I could just take them along.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Delicious Comfort Food

Creamy Gorgonzola-Pasta

As you probably know by now, I absolutely enjoy a fast pasta dish. This creamy sauce has comfort food written all over it and it tastes very 'Italian'... Another added bonus.
My brother and I loved this dish growing up, and ever since I moved out the Gorgonzola- sauce has been a 'lazy Dinner' staple in my kitchen. There is something to be said about an easily prepared dinner after an exhausting day, that is still very delicious.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

When it is raining...

... it is time for soup.

Yesterday we had one of those rainy, dark grey days. On days like that I just want to curl up with a blanket and a book and a nice cup of coffee or tea. Since that was not in the cards for me I had to settle for a nice steamy bowl of soup for dinner.
Wich was more than fine, because I got to use summer-vegetables. And those are so delicious in a soup. My aubergine obsession struck again and I built the soup around a white aubergine and a zucchini.
It turned out really nice and smooth and the gorgonzola as topping added a nice spicey component to the soup.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Looking for Inspiration

For some time now, I have been in a creative low of some sorts. It seems I have extreme difficulties to get excited about any ideas I have for this little 'coffee talk' section of mine. I started taking pictures with my phone of random things I liked, hoping that some sort of inspiration-muse would kiss me.

Today I've been wandering around Ikea and saw a lamp I really want to buy. But not before the big move. (yes, I'm moving... But more on that at a later point in time)

And a rug, that I personally would never buy, but I liked the colours a lot.

And of course there was some real coffee talk involved in all of the strolling-around-Ikea, Because where would the fun be in that if not going with a friend.

A cappuccino is always a great idea!
But no great inspiration so far. Do you know that feeling?

Friday, 5 September 2014

Pizza Rolls

... not rolls, but a rolled pizza. Is there a term for that? Maybe a pizza twist?

Anyhow... Last night I had the strong craving for pizza. Do you know what I'm talking about? When you get hungrier by the second and all you can think about is having pizza. Perhaps it is just me, but pizza gets to me... Obviously, I should work on that.

Thankfully, there are very decent ready-to-bake-doughs available, but I usually would prefer to make my own.
Not last night though.

But if you have the little bit of extra time it takes to make a dough yourself, please do. It makes a grand difference, I promise.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

A simple tomato tart...

... or something to that effect.

Strictly speaking, this is not a tart because I used flaky pastry, but on the other hand it is not a quiche.
One thing you should probably know about me, is that I simply love quiches and tarts alike. They are very painless to prepare and always turn out great. Let's be honest here, they just look as if you put in a lot of effort and I personally like it when my dinner looks nice. Even though it might just be a simple tart or quiche.

For now, let's call it a tart.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A weekend in Berlin ... again

We just spent another weekend in Berlin. And this time we took things really slow. Slept in, had lazy breakfasts and epxplored the city with mostly no plan as to where we were going. And it was fun. Even though the weather didn't really play its part we saw some sun.

When we arrived Friday afternoon we went for some coffee and ice cream at Amorino on Kurfürstendamm. I knew what I was getting into, but every time I have their ice cream,  I am pleasantly surprised at how good it is.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Spinach- Beetroot- Salad

Even though it feels like that little bit of summer we had here in Germany is on its definitive route to say goodbye, we still get the occasional warmer days. And in my opinion, those days are just perfect for a nice salad with, maybe, some toasted bread for lunch.

This salad actually came together because I had some beetroot lying around and kept putting off using it.

So here it is. A nice salad that is extremely easy to prepare.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Homemade Tomato-Pesto

So, so simple and so, so useful.

Yes, you could just go out and buy some. But honestly, where is the fun in that?

And my mom was actually somewhat impressed when she heard that I started making my own pesto. She knows that it is not complicated to make (because, let's face it, she is a far better cook than I am), but I think she was impressed that I would willingly put in the time and (whatever little) effort it took to make something most people would just go out and buy.

I found that you could add pretty much anything to your pesto and truly make it your own flavour. I left out the nuts; most people go for pine nuts by the way; because one of my friends is allergic and there was a chance she would be staying for dinner...

So back to the Tomato-Pesto. Essentially I just put everything that I thought would taste good together into a measuring cup and puréed it.

Elaborate, I know.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

A lazy dinner...

... with aubergines.
I tried to warn you about my aubergine-obsession....

Sometimes a simple, but still nice pasta dish is all you need. For me, pasta has - and probably always will be- a comfort food. Pretty high on the list are Lasagne and Bolognese. Both of these dishes take quite a while to prepare and cook, at least if you attempt to do them correctly. (Yes there is a correct way of cooking a Bolognese... and it takes time. A lot of it.)

Naturally, I am in love with pasta sauces that take not much longer to cook than it takes to boil the pasta.

So here is my newest addition to the comfort-pasta list:

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Lemon Cake

"Wait ... What? A cake? But you never bake"; says everyone who knows me a little.
And it is true. I rarely bake.
If I do, there usually is an occasion to go with it... birthdays, anniversaries things like that.

I was bored. Out of my mind bored.
I started watching Gilmore Girl reruns, mindlessly surfing the Internet and reading magazines... And then, I just wanted to bake a lemon cake. I swear that is how it happened.

Surprisingly it turned out really well... and we had to eat cake for three days straight. Ah well, bikini-season is over anyhow...

So here it is, a fool-proof Lemon Cake recipe. As tested by a baking-fool ... me.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Bacon Wrapped Lemon-Chicken

Oh wow, that sounds strange. Even to me... and I know what to expect.

Here is the thing: I like chicken. In my opinion it is easy to prepare and very versatile. But after watching 'Food Inc.', I really have issues with purchasing it in a supermarket without knowing where it is from.
Trust me, I am not an 'animal rights activist' (is that a thing?) but that documentary stuck with me. I am a student and on a pretty tight budget, so I have to either trust what the label says (there are some for local, organic and so on) or go to the butcher across the street and hope he is honest about where he got the chicken... and not too pricey.

Yes, well, this is not going to be a meat-eating-morality post... I am, and probably always will be carnivore :) Just putting out there that you could maybe try to opt for the more animal-friendly version of the meat you buy... or not. Totally a personal choice. No judgement.

I had the same thing about McDonalds and BurgerKing after watching 'Supersize Me', and now I am back to sometimes enjoying a burger when on the road. (Hoping that the rumours about German standards being higher is actually true... if you are German speaking go watch this)

Back to my Bacon Wrapped Lemon-Chicken.

Soooo easy... soooo good. And boyfriend approved. A win-win-win situation.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Aubergine... eggplant... melanzana

Aubergines (or eggplants) are probably my favourite vegetable...Or they were until I learnt that it actually is a fruit.

Still, I love the taste and the variety of recipes you can create with it.
When they are in season in Europe (right now) I am not going a week without using at least one aubergine. Usually they end up in pasta sauces, any vegetable stir fry or fried in a salad.

But my favourite dish hast to be an Aubergine Parmigiana.
Even though I really love this recipe and often recreate it, I worked my way around a lot of the preparation time and made the Parmigiana easier. (Maybe a little less traditional, still delicious)

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Chicken Curry overload

One thing I really love about cooking is inviting friends over for dinner. I know not the most original thought, but it is so much fun sitting down with them. And I've the good fortune of having friends who actually enjoy my cooking.
So yesterday I made dinner. It started out as a chicken-stir-fry, but somehow becam something similar to a chicken-curry-dish.

 Yes, smelled.

If you saw me cooking you would probably notice that I smell everything before it goes into a pot or a pan. (except for chicken, I seriously don't like the odour of raw chicken).
It might sound weird, but that is how I cook.

So back to the curry.
I know it is not really a traditional one, but since when have I ever done things the traditional way. But it turned out really well, and I thought it would be worth sharing with you.... luckily I took some pictures. (With my phone, so don't expect too much)

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