23 September 2012

I officially moved

Change your links and rss feeds and go follow me at http://souffle-girl.blogspot.com!

15 September 2012

This blog is moving!

From now on, you'll find me under Soufflé girl. The new page is still under construction but I'll try to complete it this weekend.

11 September 2012

"Do you want to go to the seaside? I'm not trying to say that everybody wants to go"

Well, I already talked about autumn but first, let's enjoy the last bit of summer, ok? Here's a post I had saved up for a while. Now seems like the time to finally post it.

There are a few dishes that absolutely epitomize a certain time or place. Salmon cakes do that with summer at the seaside. Not a hot, dry Mediterranean summer but a northern european one. A summer at the Baltic sea, on the coast of Sweden, on a Danish island or in an English seaside town. They remind me of white sand and piers and windy, sunny days, striped shirts, old fashioned villas and dozens of seagulls. They're practically perfect in every way. (Props to you if you got that reference)

This recipe is, once again, stolen from Sophie's first cookbook and it works just as well with crab meat or halibut (but psst: the colour is nicest when you use salmon).

I'm back!

First post in 2 months! I really am a horrible blogger ...!
But in my defense: I cooked nothing, honestly NOTHING, exciting this summer. I basically lived off cereal, fruit, salads, chocolate, and variations of the Hungry Student's Pasta (it's amazing with diced halloumi!). 

Also, I decided to postpone my postgrad studies and do some actual work for one or two years before I go back to university. Might even study abroad next time. There's a very interesting Master's program in Edinburgh. But first: work. Got myself a nice (paid!) internship at a publishing house in my hometown. Anyway, I kinda moved back home to live with my family for a little while until I find a place of my own or until we start beating each other's heads in (personally, I hope for the first rather than the latter). Advantage: More mouthes to feed meaning more recipes to try out, more cakes to bake, more pies to make. And autumn's coming up. My all-time favourite season. Let the madness begin.

16 July 2012

Lemon parmesan herb pasta

Stolen, stolen, stolen. Before you get bored with all of my recipes, here's one I found on one of my absolute favourite blogs who in her turn got it from the Martha Stewart website. I modified it a bit to make it less of a theft and a bit more of a creative effort. Erm.


15 July 2012

Cleansing Day

I'm back, I'm back. And so sorry. But at least I have a decent excuse: I've been working at a factory for the last three weeks and had trouble squeezing in a tiny bit of a social life between work and sleep so blogging really was out of the question. Also, I've practically been eating the same dish for lunch/supper for the past month so there really wasn't much of a point in writing a new post. 
Speaking of work: I've been working the night shift (10 pm to 6 am) for the past week and retained a somewhat unfortunate sleeping pattern that keeps me awake till dawn and makes me sleep till the afternoon. At least I managed going to sleep at 5am on friday/saturday and at 4am on saturday/today. I promised myself to go to sleep at no later than 2:30 am tonight. This has to stop.
Although, staying awake that long has its benefits. My window faces east and has an amazing view, so it's pretty great for watching dawn and sunrise. I even took a picture last night although it turned out a bit blurry. Mainly because of my lack of tripods. But you get the general idea.

Also, my healthy eating program came to a bit of a collapse yesterday: Had fish fingers for lunch and then an extremly unhealthy movie night with a friend and red wine, loads of crisps, chocolate and chocolate biscuits. My body’s so not pleased. Ugh. My intestines have been rumbling and grumbling all night and morning and I feel bloated and puffy and urghs.
Yoga this morning, then pre-soaked oatmeal and flax seeds for breakfast. And ginger tea. My bowel’s slowly feeling better, thank god. Looks like my body really can’t tolerate junk food anymore. I’ve decided to take this as a good sign.

So far so good. I'll go complete one of my draft posts and post it sometime soon. Today or tomorrow.

01 July 2012

Nectarine blue cheese summer salad

All hail the queen of salads! Here comes one of my summer favourites:

19 June 2012

Couscous sweet potato salad with halloumi

Let me just say: I adore, I love, I worship halloumi cheese. It doesn't melt when you fry or grill it, it has that wonderful squeaky feel when you chew it and an indescribable salty taste. It's just heaven.
Pair it with some couscous and sweet potato and enjoy your perfect arabian-style supper. 

16 June 2012

Cooking in summer. An utterly philosophical essay on the idea behind this blog

Sorry for the lack of updates during the past month. It's not like I've been particularily busy, I just haven't really felt like blogging in a while. Beats me why.

Also, I haven't made anything special for a while now. Summer (or something that, apart from the temperature, very closely resembles summer) has officially arrived and neither the weather nor the stuff in the grocery store makes me particularily desirous of spending hours in the kitchen preparing a meal. And I don't mean this in a bad way: All the spring/summer veggies and fruits look and smell so amazing that all I'd like to do with them is tossing them together in a bowl and eating them right away. No frying or glazing or pureeing (is that even spelled correctly?) or drowning them in fancy cream sauces. Just steamed asparagus with an egg, a simple, fresh radish salad or nectarine with a splash of yogurt. 
Long story short: All I eat at the moment are simple, effortless, basic dishes with no cooking magic involved, and I just didn't feel like any of them was worth a blog post because they're so, well, simple. But, on second thoughts, why does simplicity make them unworthy of a blog post? Because a food blog should only consist of surprising, new stuff? Well, it got me thinking about what kind of cooking I actually want to promote with this blog. I mean, there's a hell of a lot of food blogs out on the internet and most of them have a very decided philosophy. They're about fancy cooking or unusual, creative cooking, traditional cooking, healthy, vegetarian, vegan, protein-rich, low-carb, sugary, child-friendly cooking. Whatever kind of cooking you can think of, I'm pretty damn sure there's a food blog for it.
But me? I don't know. I like fancy food, I like creative cooking, I like unusual ingredients but that doesn't mean I need or even want to use them every time I cook. In fact I don't. And the longer I thought about it, the more I became aware of the fact that the simplicity of cooking is the message I want to get across. Eating right and good and healthy doesn't mean that you have to spend all your money on groceries, fancy spices and expensive kitchen equipment. Neither does it mean that you have to spend hours in the kitchen to prepare a good meal nor that only non-standard combinations of ingredients can make a good meal.
I could write another essay about the importance of food for our bodies but I'm guessing that most of you know the gist anyway, so basically: You are what you eat. And if you are what you eat, then I only wanna eat the good stuff. (To quote Remmy from Ratatouille). With "good stuff" not referring to sugar, pizza, chocolate and beer but healthy stuff. Fruits. Veggies. Whole grains.
So, back to my basic message: I want to make this blog about healthy eating that isn't expensive, doesn't take hours of preparation and includes the occasionally sweet treat that my humble self wouldn't be able to live without.

Here's to simple cooking! (And now good night.)

11 June 2012

What feels amazing

  • running for several minutes to catch a connecting train and getting neither sweaty nor out of breath nor having trouble to keep running but instead overtaking most of the other passengers running to catch the same train
  • not being winded after climbing the 6 flights of stairs to the flat
  • running 5 k in one go for the first time
  • cheekbones
  • realising that my resting heart rate has dropped 12 beats in 2 months
  • reaching a new level on Nike+
Though it may not sound like much to some people, it's a huge deal for me. Looks like 2.5 months of running are starting to pay off. Am very happy about that and just wanted to share.

09 June 2012

Easy as Cherry Pie

A bit later than promised but here it is:
Two weeks ago on Saturday, it was the world's best flatmate's birthday. A quarter of a century old and, may I assure you, she (also affectionately known as Puschel, though only by me) doesn't look a day over 21.
And what better present to give to her than a cookbook. This one to be precise. It's the bakery-related volume of a (I think) two volume cookbook of healthy fast food recipes all wrapped up in pretty pictures and graphics and a very hipster-y layout. A few weeks ago, Puschel came home with the first volume and when she continued raving about how great it was and how great the second volume was, too, the issue of her birthday present was resolved before it had even really come up. Maybe that was her plan all the way. She must've known that I wouldn't be able to resist giving her a cookbook, especially if it was one she specifically wanted. She knows me so well. Sometimes even too well. It's spooky. And not a topic of relevance here.

24 May 2012

The prodigal blogger returns

Sorry for not posting anything much those past two weeks. I'm on the road again and there's currently not much room for writing and photo-editing.
But I've got a few brilliant recipes waiting to be typed in, so just have a bit of patience. I'll be back home for the weekend, then my sister'll be staying for pentecost, and after pentecost, I'll have time for blogging.

Here's something to tie you over till then: My gorgeous Hibiscus plant which has been blooming like crazy for the past couple of weeks, bearing at least two blossoms at a time.

09 May 2012

The Hungry Student's Pasta

I practically lived on this dish for more than months when I was writing my thesis last spring/summer. 14 weeks of spending 10-15 hours in the library (yes, it's open that long), 7 days a week. My whole organism ran solely on coffee, adrenalin (I have a tendency to stress the brain out of myself during exams, term papers and thesises) and this stuff: I like to call it the Hungry Student's pasta because it's very cheap, quite healthy, has a preparation time of 12 minutes at the most and all the ingredient are staples I always have on hand. Plus: you only need a knife, a chopping board, a teaspoon, a pot and a sieve, so there's little washing up to do.

07 May 2012

Rhubarb muffins

Rhubarb. One of the three marvels of spring (the other two being asparagus and strawberries, in case you're wondering). Up until this spring, my use of rhubarb was limited to compote and meringue sponge cake. And as much as I love those two, they get a bit boring after a while. Time to find something else. Which means time to raid Tastespotting's archives for new recipes. And here's number 1: Cinnamon rhubarb muffins.

04 May 2012

Green asparagus at its best

Long time no post. But there was a conference to be run, job applications to be written and a parent to be shown around town. All done now. And I'm back to cooking.

After an (unfortunately not so brief) period of cold, windy, wet weather, spring has finally returned. And it brought not only rhubarb and strawberries but also the most wonderful, marvellous, extraordinary spring vegetable which goes by the name asparagus. Contrary to most people, I'm not a huge fan of white asparagus. I can only stand it with plenty of sauce hollandaise but that would make me go up a couple of dress sizes, so: thanks, but no thanks. White asparagus and me won't become close friends anytime soon. It's ligneous and wobbly and watery and tastes... ...unpleasant. Not at all like its green brother which I love to oblivion. It is crisp and pretty and tasty and you don't have to peel it. Always a big plus.

18 April 2012

Buckwheat risotto with mushrooms

Another one of my (and Sophie's) staples. Best made in autumn when there's a wide range of different mushrooms available but it works just as well in spring when one is limited to brown caps and oyster mushrooms.
It isn't really a risotto as neither rice nor endless stirring and slow bit-by-bit adding of stock and wine are involved. However, the taste and consistency are very reminiscent of risotto so it seems a good name. But, as Sophie says, if you really disagree, you can always give it a new title.

No matter what you call it, it IS fantastic. Mushy, but still a bit chewy, the buckwheat and the mushrooms make for a hearty and healthy base while the white a little note of sophistication from the white wine. Perfect combination of elegance, gourmet, and nursery food. Yum. I could eat this by the bucket. 

15 April 2012

Jasmine rhubarb compote

God, I've been so productive these last few days. For the past three weeks I didn't feel anything like spending much time in the kitchen (yeah, it happens...) and then suddenly I'm cooking and baking recipe after recipe after recipe. Weird.
Maybe it's also a bit of a distraction thing. A project I'm involved in at work is one and a half week from its deadline which leaves me with a constantly high stress level even when I'm not actually working. So much left to be done, so many things to be checked and checked and checked again, people to be called, lists to be written, mails to be sent. And somehow I always feel responsible for everything even though I am not. I know I do my best work when I get into this constantly high stress level mood, on the other hand it's exhausting and not really good for me.


Cooking and knitting and watching films (Disney's Tangled is my new obsession) helps me unwind at least a little bit. Eating's good, too. And nothing better than a nice tartly sweet rhubarb compote. 
Although I love rhubarb compote the simple way my grandma used to make it (just sugar, rhubarb and water), I decided to mix things up a little bit. Substitute Jasmine green tea for the water and add some nice spices. Oh, the difference that makes!

12 April 2012

Roasted tomato soup

Phew. It's been quite some time since my last post. Sorry. Work, Easter and the beginning of summer term have been keeping me quite busy.
But now for the new stuff. Actually, it isn't new stuff but very old: Roasted tomato soup. One of my staple recipes. 

 (No, that's not soup. I know.)

31 March 2012

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Biscotti

No, I haven't started making loads of sweet, sugary, chocolate-y stuff again. I promise. I'm still eating very healthy and am still running every second day. Yay me!

This is a recipe I made some 4 or 6 weeks ago, I just haven't gotten round to writing anything about it before now...

26 March 2012


So. Daylight Saving Time. It's been two days and, surprisingly, it doesn't feel that bad this year. I don't have any problems getting up at my normal time (i.e. an hour earlier) and am extremly pleased to have one more hour of daylight in the evening.
I am, however, feeling a little drowsy, but that's propably just due to the spring fever I suffer from every year.

23 March 2012

Chocolate Spice Cake

Remember when I talked about the start of spring and healthy food, and the end of heavy buttery, sugary stuff a few weeks ago? 
I've been eating quite healthy for the last few weeks. Salad, rice, veggies, olive oil instead of butter. But somewhere in the middle of it, I had a relapse. Major relapse. And it came in the shape of a moist chocolate spice cake. Moist + chocolate + spices + cake. Honestly, who'd be able to resist? Not me, obviously.


21 March 2012

Sweet potato fries/chips and a curry dip

 I have a very soft spot for chips (or fries or french fries or whatever you may want to call them), and I could happily eat them on a regular basis if only they weren't so unhealthy and fattening...
The solution: homemade, oven-baked sweet potato chips! Looks like fast food, tastes like fast food but is neither fast nor unhealthy. Isn't that something!


17 March 2012

Everyone's Irish On March 17th

Beannachtaí Na Féile Pádraig or Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

For those of you who've been living completely behind the times for the last centuries and don't know what March 17th is all about: We are celebrating St. Patrick's Day. The day of the Irish patron saint St. Patrick who brought christianity to Ireland a bit more than one and a half millennium ago. It is said that he banished all the snakes from Ireland (thanks, Paddy, I appreciate that!) and explained the concept of the Holy trinity to the Irish by means of a shamrock which has developed into an ubiquitous feature of St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

15 March 2012

Rice salad with prawns, avocado and cucumber

Every once in while, after a long day out, I come home hungry and there's only time and energy for something easy, something simple, something sleazy, something inching past the edge of the reserve. Now through lines of the cheap venetian blinds... I might have digressed into an OK Go song. Back to the food. I didn't mean something sleazy, of course. And nothing to do with venetian blinds, either. But something easy and simple that doesn't take hours to prepare. For example this nice, spring-summery rice salad.

13 March 2012

March photo-a-day 11 and 12: "Can't live without" and "Favourite Drink"

Actually two things I can't live without and one of them happens to be something to drink.

Tea and chocolate. Could it possibly get any better? I don't think so.

11 March 2012

Wild-Berry New York Cheesecake

It's cheesecake time!

My flatmate has been pestering me about making a New York Cheesecake ever since I moved in last October. And even though making cheesecake is not something I have to be talked into, it took more than four months until I/we finally made one. Well, the search for the perfect recipe might've been a partly reason why it took so long. Most New York Cheesecakes are more of a plain cheesecake and lack the New York part. They're not as dense, not as moist, not as delicious as they're supposed to be. Well, most of them. But not this one. This one is perfect. And it is perfect because of one secret ingredient. Wanna know what it is? Do you? Do you? Do you?

*drum roll*

10 March 2012

March photo-a-day 10: Most used appliance

Not sure if it actually is my most used appliance but I'm very fond of my handheld blender.

March photo-a-day 9: Lunch break

On March 9th was my grandpa's 95th birthday, and all the family came together to have lunch at a fancy restaurant. And it was my mum's birthday, too. Happy birthday again!

Here's what I ate: A salad with fried perch and prawns, roasted tomatoes, avocado, grapefruit, and a yellow fruit I wasn't able to identify (it looked like mango but didn't taste like it). It was delicious!

March photo-a-day 8: Vegetable

Very behind on the #marchfoodphotos. Not my fault, a family gathering and several journeys across the country were involved. And now, there's some catching up to do.

Cauliflower. Not my favourite vegetable but very photogenic.

07 March 2012

March photo-a-day 7: Pantry

The pantry. Even better then the kitchen because it's an entire room full of food, albeit not a very large one.

And this is my shelf. The white rat on top of the small black tea caddy is guarding my food. Her name is Getrude. She has a brother, Gustav, who's currently hiding behind the Sel Du Camargue.

March photo-a-day 6: What's cooking?

I'm a bit behind on the #marchfoodphotos, partly because yesterday was a bit chaotic, but mainly because it's impossible to take a picture of "what's cooking?" when you're not cooking. Even in a foodie's life, there are days when the only kitchen appliances being put to use are the kettle and the toaster.

Today, something is cooking. Sesame-coated falafel. They tasted nice but I'm not completely happy with them, so no recipe post.

05 March 2012

March photo-a-day 5: Best condiment

Best condiment? Well, that's a no-brainer.

Maple syrup. I go through at least one bottle a month. On my own. I pour it onto fruit and cereal, veggies, puddings, yogurt, pancakes, waffles, and poultry. It goes into salad dressings, hot chocolates, cupcake frostings, custard, savoury cream sauces, smoothies, fried onions, soups, and early morning green monsters. Maple syrup, without you, my life would be boring and empty.


Yes, I know it's not really spring yet. And I know that strawberries are not in season yet. And I know that the strawberries available right now come from very faraway places and are not an ecologically sustainable thing to buy. I know, I know, I know.
But when I was at the Asian foodstore today, those babies were staring at me, practically begging me to buy them. And so I did. Everybody's allowed to slip up every once in a while. Even me.

While they were still a bit tart, they tasted like spring and strawberry, and they weren't watery at all. Hello sunshine!

04 March 2012

March photo-a-day 4: Dishes

The top cupboard in our tiny, messy student's kitchen featuring, amongst others, my favourite bowl (the red and white one), a former candlelight jar turned wineglass (green, on the top shelf), two mugs I brought back from Stavanger in Norway (the black and white ones), and an adorable teapot and cup set I bought in France a couple of years ago (the bone coloured one on the left side of the top shelf).

The kitchenware not featured in this picture occupies the bottom cupboard and the sink.

03 March 2012

March photo-a-day 3: Kitchen

Where the magic happens.

That's the prettiest part of my kitchen which incidentally is also the only part that doesn't look like a complete mess right now.

02 March 2012

March photo-a-day 2: Something sweet

Challenge day 2 and a super moist, decadent chocolate spice cake. Add some white wine, a macbook, and the world's best flatmate, and you have the perfect friday night.

I'll post the recipe in the next few days.

Take care!

Lemon chili prawn pasta

You know those dishes that can transport you to a completely different place, a completely different time, a completely different feeling? This simple pasta dish is one of them. It tastes of summer in an intense way that very few other dishes do. It's reminiscent of warm summer nights in Italian cities, of lunch at beach restaurants with your skin and your hair still salty and sticky from the sea, of azure skies, rocky beaches, and weeks of walking barefoot. Of wine drunk from water glasses, of hot, dry air heavy with the smells of rosemary, thyme, and oregano, of glowing sunsets, sandy flipflops, and loud and colourful saturday markets. Sunny, summery freedom in a nutshell pasta bowl.
It's one of my favourite and certainly one of my most-cooked recipes from Sophie Dahl's first cookbook, and it is absolutely made for those times when you think that you can't possibly walk around another day wrapped in jumpers, scarves, hats, coats, and warm boots. With a dish like that, summer can't possibly be that far away.

Make yourself a bowl of this stuff and enjoy your 4-months-early trip to warmer, sunnier places. And it will cost you much less than a round-trip ticket to Rome. Nice for impressing guests, too.

01 March 2012

March photo-a-day 1: Breakfast

Photo challenge day one. The theme was breakfast, and today's breakfast consisted of a homemade raspberry marzipan danish and a nice hot cup of coffee.

I won't insult you with a real recipe, I basically spread 4 rectangular sheets of puff pastry with a 1:1 mix of marzipan and low-fat cream cheese, put some defrosted raspberries and some almond slivers on top, rolled them up, and baked them at 200° C/390° F for 20 minutes.

29 February 2012

A photo a day

Lesley's March food photo-a-day challenge starts tomorrow and I've decided to join in. Excited? Oh yeah!

Here's what's on the menu:

Let's go!

Want to join in, too? Just post your pictures on Facebook, Instagramm, twitter, or your blog, using the hashtag #marchfoodphotos.

28 February 2012

Triple-cheese saffron tortellini in a lemon basil cream sauce

Making my own pasta resulted in one of the biggest messes (if not the biggest mess) I ever left a kitchen in. And that includes the time when I made a fondant-covered three-layer orange buttercream cake for my mum's 51st birthday.
So why even blog about something that made me scrub and vacuum-clean the whole kitchen and wash more dishes than I've ever washed consequent to making one (!) bowl of food? Simple answer: because it was absolutely and totally worth it. Full stop.

26 February 2012


About two weeks ago when it was still freezing outside, I bought a basil plant. If you think about it, it's a bit perverted to buy a fragile Mediterranean summer plant when it's -15° C outside and the world looks like Marshmallow Country. But it was just standing there in the supermarket, all green and spring-y and lovely, and I really couldn't resist. And then all the way back from the supermarket, there was this lovely basil smell wafting from my grocery bag, and suddenly everything seemed a bit cheerier. Mmmmmmh ...  A bit of summer in the middle of Winter Wonderland.
I am absolutely infatuated with basil. If I could only use one herb for the rest of my life, I'd choose basil. Sadly, my plants never have a really a long lifespan because I just keep eating the leaves all day long, and after a week or two (at the most!), there's nothing left but a few sad withered stems...
But I'll try very hard this time. Promise.
So with this basil plant, the first signs of spring and summer had sneaked into the flat. And what better to greet them with than Italian food?

I finally decided on tortano which I found a recipe for in One more slice. On what? Tortano. No, I hadn't heard of it before either. It is similar to calzone only with a delicious bread dough instead of the pizza dough. It is supposed to be round with a hole in the middle, kinda like an uber-large stuffed ciabatta bagel but when I took mine out of the oven, a lot of the filling had oozed out, the hole was filled with molten mozzarella and it didn't look very pretty... So you only get a picture of the last quarter that was left over the next day. And I must say, that last quarter was the very best. Tortano taste nice when it's still warm but loads better when it's cold. So be patient and let it cool completely before digging in. I know it's hard but you'll be rewarded.

I used a mozzarella tomato turkey basil stuffing but you can basically stuff tortano with whatever you like. Maybe sweet stuffings wouldn't be the very best idea, but as for the savoury stuff: anything goes. Next time maybe some walnuts, honey and goat's cheese? Or quattro formaggi? Or veggies? Or spinach and feta? Mmmh, looking forward to it. A lot.

(Basic recipe by Leila Lindholm)

15 g yeast
300 ml/1.2 cups lukewarm water
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1.5 Tbsp salt
375 g/3.5 cups flour

1 mozzarella cheese
250 g/1.5 cups thinly sliced turkey ham
2 tomatoes
2 Tbsp crema di balsamico
A handful of basil leaves 

In a large bowl, mix water olive oil, honey, and salt. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Little by little, mix in the flour, and knead until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm, non-draughty place for 40-60 minutes. The slightly preheated oven or the pantry would be good choices here. 

Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes and the mozzarella, chop the turkey and the basil leaves. Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, turkey, and basil in a bowl, add the crema di balsamio and season to taste.

On a well-floured surface, press the dough into a rectangular plate (about 1 cm /0.5 in thick). Don't use a rolling pin as it would press all the air out of the dough. Spread the filling on top.
Preheat your oven to 250° C/ 480° F.

Brush the edges of the dough with water to make it stick, then roll the whole thing up, and shape into a wreath. Transfer the wreath to a baking tray lined with baking paper, and dust with flour. Cover with the towel again and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Put the baking tray into the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 200° C/390° F. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Let cool completely before eating.

Perfect for a picnic or a tailgate party, don't you think?

21 February 2012

Balsamic onion and goat's cheese galette

And yet another recipe that undeservedly had to wait for quite some time until it was published. I don't really know why. I really liked it because, well, honestly, what's not to like? It contains five of my alltime favourite ingredients which are fried onions, balsamic vinegar, goat's cheese, white wine and puff pastry, aaand it's a very quick recipe, too, which is always an advantage.


This would be perfect on a warm summer's night on a balcony overlooking Paris, with a glass of Bordeaux in your hand and your favourite person next to you. Failing that, your kitchen and some French music from the stereo will do, too.

Balsamic onion and goat's cheese galette
Serves 1

3 rectangular sheets of puff pastry
150 g/0.6 cups soft goat's cheese
3 large onions (i used 2 red and a white one)
1 egg
1 Tbsp Crema di balsamico
Some white wine
A few rosemary twigs
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Chop the onions. Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the onions until soft and translucent. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and the crema di balsamico (you can also use regular balsamic vinegar). Give it a good stir, then remove from heat.

Preheat your oven to 200° C/390° F.

On a flat surface, roll out the puff pastry until you have a round disk about 30 cm/12 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a baking tray. Crumble the goat's cheese onto the pastry, leaving some space around the edges for folding. Put the onions on top and fold in the edges. Brush the edges with egg wash and pour some white wine over the filling.

Pop it into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

If it were physically and legally possible to marry a dish, this would be the one. (Although I would frequently cheat on it, starting at the wedding banquet. But I would always come back.)

19 February 2012

The Vitamin Bomb or Just Another Salad

I've been craving quite a lot of very healthy food lately. The days of stuffing myself with chocolate and cheese seem to have disappeared with the snow, and with the more vernal temperatures outside, it is definitely time to integrate a bit of spring into my daily menu.


This salad contains a whole lot of healthy, good stuff and has a delightfully spring-y, sunny, lively taste. It also containes some fruits which I, personally, love in salads. Salads that only contain vegetables are boring. Booooring.
This one isn't.

The bread in the background is homemade, of course, but there won't be a recipe because I used an organic, store-bought mix where I only had to add yeast and water. Shame on me, I know. I already had my punishment since the yeast I used didn't rise (because its best before date had expired almost four years ago... ...er... ...um... For my defence, I have to say that it was dry yeast and by looking at it, you couldn't tell that it was supposed to have landed in a dumpster in 2008) and I had to run to the supermarket to buy some fresh yeast. It all worked out in the end, though, and the result is very tasty.

The Vitamin Bomb

Serves 1

A generous handful of mixed salads (I used lamb's lettuce and something else I forgot the name of)
A kiwi
Half an apple
About one quarter of a cucumber
4 Tbsp sunflower seeds
Soy sauce

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup
Juice from half a lemon

Wash the salad, drain it and put it into a bowl. Peel the kiwi. Chop the apple, kiwi, and cucumber, and add to the salad.

In a small frying pan, roast the sunflower seeds with a few dashes of soy sauce on a very high heat for about 5 minutes. Keep stirring or you'll end up with charcoal.

Mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup and lemon juice, and season to taste, then pour it over the salad. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds on top.

Serve with bread and butter.

15 February 2012

Warm fennel and beetroot salad

This recipe has been hanging around in my drafted posts for over a month now which is something it totally did not deserve. Now it finally is time for it to stand in the spotlight.
It's a simple and easy wintery salad slash stir fry which would go very nicely with some quinoa or a bowl of brown rice. I, however, prefer it on its own because I feel it doesn't really need anything else.

It has quickly become one of my favourite warm salads (they're just perfect for winter, aren't they?). Especially because the ingredients are so extraordinarily pretty ...

... but also because it tastes pretty spectacular. I love beetroot. I love its ruby colour (but not so much when I desparately try to get it off my fingers) and its earthy taste which is accentuated perfectly by the aniseed-y fennel. A bit of honey, lemon and ginger for a nice extra twist, and off you go. Yum!
I could also imagine this with a sweet potato instead of the beetroot, or maybe even some celeriac. Just play around with it a bit.

Warm fennel and beetroot salad
(Recipe by eve magazine 01/2012)

2-3 small or medium sized beetroots
1 large fennel bulb
1 large clove of garlic
1 tsp honey
A bit of ginger (I used about 2-3 cm/1 in of fresh ginger)
Half a lemon
A pinch of chili flakes
A few twigs of rosemary
Olive oil

Wash the beetroots and the fennel bulb. Skin the beetroot and cut it into bite-sized chunks. They shouldn't be too thick or they will take a looong time to cook. Remove the greens from the fennel bulb and cut it into chunks, too.

Heat some olive oil in a largish frying pan until searing hot. Toss in the veggies and fry on high heat for about 10-15 minutes. Be careful to stir in order to avoid burning. Mince the garlic and add it to the veggies a few minutes before they are done.

Finely mince the ginger and the rosemary, and put into a small glass. Add the lemon juice and the honey, and season to taste with pepper, salt and chili flakes.

Arrange the veggies on a nice serving dish and pour over the lemon ginger dressing.

Bon appétit!

09 February 2012

Dutch Baby Oven Pancake

The Dutch baby, also known as the German pancake, the Bismarck, or the Dutch puff (according to Wikipedia) is a relative of the British Yorkshire pudding. A very large, very puffy, very egg-y and very loveable relative. Although it is derived from the real German pancake (which in fact is nothing but a less thin and a little less large crêpe) I, as a German, had never heard of it in the 24 years of my life until a few weeks ago (when I came across it on Tastespotting). And that's got to mean that it's not really a German recipe (or that it's been completely forgot about in our little country) because, believe me, there's no German pudding I don't know about.

But it has all the fluffy, egg-y, floury, buttery goodness of a German Mehlspeise so let's just consider it (re-)adopted into traditional German cuisine.
And it's even better than normal pancakes because you don't have to watch it or flip it or anything. Just pop it into the oven and let the heat do all the work for you. Easy-peasy.


That's what it looked like when it came out of the oven (the white stuff in the middle is icing sugar). A naked Dutch baby, so to say (boy, that sounds a bit weird). It was actually quite a bit larger but immediately collapsed the moment I removed it from the cosy heat of the oven. Like a souffle. Or a deflating balloon. Puff!

The Dutch baby is traditionally eaten with icing sugar, apples and/or lemon slices but I prefer the more decadent version, as always. This one has a topping of cream cheese, raspberries (defrosted frozen ones, of course), brown sugar, and chocolate chips.

Dutch Baby Oven Pancake
Recipe by Completely delicious

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 large eggs
60 g/0.5 cup all-purpose flour
125 ml/0.5 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 pinch of vanilla
0.25 tsp salt
4 Tbsp cream cheese (optional)
1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
100 g/1 cup raspberries (optional)
1 Tbsp chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat your oven to 205° C/400° F.

Put the butter into a medium-sized (22 cm/9 in) ovenproof frying pan. When the oven's warm enough, put in the pan until the butter has melted.

Meanwhile, mix the eggs, flour, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Remove the pan from the oven and swirl the butter until bottom and sides of the pan are completely coated. Then pour in the pancake mixture, put it back into the oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes, checking on it occasionally.

Serve hot with cream cheese, raspberries, brown sugar, and chocolate chips, or with a topping of your choice.