Finally, I made another German dish. It’s a classic one, however I added a little twist, rolling in even more yummy goodness.
A bubbling sizzling Cottage Pie is ready to be served. let me add to the age-old British debate, what’s the difference between Cottage Pie and Shepherds Pie? From what I understand, Shepherds Pie is made with minced lamb, whereas Cottage Pie is made with minced beef.
Traditionally, a British housewife would make a Cottage Pie the day after the Sunday roast. Of course the roast was beef with vegetables. So, she would cut up finely all the ingredients, make a little roux or use gravy left overs, mix it all up, and then spread a layer of mashed potatoes over it and let it all brown up in the oven.
I decided to check up a variety of top British chefs, such as Delia Smith and others, pick out all the ingredients they offered (meaning, I actually stuck to the *overall* British recipe), and assembled my own dish. Thus, for example, one of the chefs I consulted, mentioned tomato paste, others tomato ketchup, or a tin of tomatoes others just chopped fresh tomatoes. I decided to use both fresh chopped tomatoes and a tin of chopped ones. However, previously I used freshly chopped tomatoes and tomato purée. What I am saying is, what I am offering here is what I and my dinner guests enjoyed, however it’s just a guideline. Just like, for certain, most British housewives made their own variation the day after the Sunday roast.
I took this mini micro video just before serving. Next time I shall use the camera in the horizontal / landscape way (if you increase the volume, you’ll actually hear it sizzling)
The lentil soup is pretty much a family staple food in Germany. Although this is a classic soup / one-pot-dish, every family has their own variants re the ingredients, meaning every family develops their own traditions how they like their lentil soup best.
For some it’s just soupy with lentils and sausages, for others it’s a full blown meal with loads of veggies in it. Here is my version of it with suggestions as my Bavarian grandmother would cook it: with “Speck”.
(Although Wikipedia traces its origins to Austria and Italy, Speck is very traditional to Germany. It is not for the super lean cuisine conscious folk, but I challenge anyone who experiences the delicious and mouth watering cooking smells wafting enticingly through the home not to develop a very healthy and hearty appetite!!
This recipe originally was given to me by my Ghanaian friend, Patricia, but I needed to tweak it to suit my taste buds (read: add more chillies and give it more oompf!!). My dear friend still thinks she should tone down the spiciness for her Caucasian food lover … not so, please! I prefer a wild taste bud party with fire!
I have also discovered that this dish is ideally suited for a large slow cooker and cooked for best part of a day on a low heat. That way the chilli spiciness is not harsh but mellows in beautifully and allowing all the flavours to mature and blend nicely.
If you’re up for an unusual peanut soup with chicken or any poultry, here is the recipe:
The other day my dear friend Simone invited me over to spend a lovely afternoon and evening with her. Ever the outstanding hostess and brilliant chef, she produced this delicious tomato soup from fresh ingredients. It was totally amazing. So tonight I decided to cook it lest I forget how she did it. I added a few other ingredients and did some small short-cuts to make it really simple, in fact you can use any autumnal veggies and play around with it.
Unfortunately the battery of my camera was dead, so I used my iPhone to take the pictures. The soup is delicious and quickly made … definitely a winner!
These cupcakes Charis baked yesterday, too. I must say they were incredibly delicious. We could not stop licking our fingers *accidentally* dipped into the Nutella cream cheese icing. The cupcake base is beautifully chocolatey moist.
Today, my daughter Charis baked two lots of cupcakes, and I acted as her chef’s assistant, plus taking pictures. Here are the Earl Grey cupcakes with a really delicious lemon buttercream icing.
It was a Moroccan themed food evening that concluded with the ubiquitous mint tea.
The main meal was delicious: Moroccan lamb stuffed aubergines, and I should have added the recipe here to my food blog. The problem was that I managed to take absolutely abysmal photos. The aubergines looked more like dismembered unfortunate caterpillars. Well my dinner guests, who absolutely loved the flavours and the food, suggested that I should make that dish again *soon* and then take better pictures.
Anyway, here is the recipe for the Moroccan mint tea:
Well, Germany did not win the World Cup, yesterday, Spain did. Congratulations and well done for a great team performance! Actually, lucky me, I have more Spanish family than German family, so there was still a reason for celebrating!
So, here is my version of Spanish Rice
My daughter Charis was supposed to have baked cupcakes today, but changed her mind after a late night So, as there was plenty of butter in my kitchen, I thought I’d knock up a Streuselkuchen (crumble cake).
It has a light and moist yeast base and a really yummy crunchy buttery crumble topping. next time I’ll add some fruit into it.
Join me to rediscover the diverse and elegant wines of Germany. Dry as well as sweet, red as well as white, if you think you know German wine? Drink again!
3 Minutes Ready to Go Munch-Lunch for One
(Click on images to enlarge) I absolutely love Kew Gardens or as it’s officially called: The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London UK. A good friend of mine decided to treat me and invite me to a day out at Kew which was a highly welcomed break I really desperately needed. Kew is a fascinating place, not only in its stunning landscape beauty with some really big old gnarly trees planted as far back as the 17th century, but also from a scientific and historical viewpoint, together with royal palace buildings dotted around the grounds.
We decided to take our own mini picnic, packed lunches along; and as my dear friend prefers the gentler English sandwich flavours, and I like to add chillies, etc. to mine, we pepared each our own.
I thought I would add this little lunch creation here, just to show how easy it is to quickly put together a pitta bread sandwich packed with flavours and nutritious goodness to inspire you to do your own.
This is a very basic marzipan cake, a classic basic German cake which is firmer and more dense than the English sponge cake. I shall be experimenting with various additions of fruit and/or nuts, as I have so many delicious cake recipes in my German cookery book and folder with old recipes from my mother, etc.
Anyway, many, many years ago I made this cake as a birthday cake for my son. He is really keen on marzipan, so he requested this cake recently.
I have a terrible admission to make: I had not baked in nearly two decades, and for some reason amidst moving homes my baking equipment got either sadly missing or was thrown out due to not working anymore. I tend to focus on spicy, savoury dishes, so baking had never been my forté, even though I produced some pretty awesome cakes in the past. This I will need to change and get myself back into baking again (maybe invest in some decent equipment ….)
Anyway, after all this time, this cake is my first *again*
Well over two decades ago, I was invited to snoop around in the kitchen of a well known local Greek Cypriot restaurant (Hummus is NOT a Greek-Greek dish). I was then shown how they made their hummus, and I did my own according to that recipe ever since. To my mind, once you tased fresh flavours you really do not want commercial artificial flavoured hummus any more.
This is ‘Dinner for One’. I fancied playing around with a food wrap and literally looked around my kitchen and fridge what I could use.
I tend to have a variety of home sprouted seeds, as a staple alfalfa and mungbean seeds sprouted. I love them, they are so cheap and easy to grow and there is always something fresh and nutritions in the kitchen.
Well, I decided to take pictures, stage by stage of my creation, but in the end I forgot to take a picture of the end result. Got carried away and started munching. I noticed it half way through my delicious wrap.
I am not an expert on wheatgrass, however I am well aware of all its benefits.
What I would say is, ‘start slowly’! Your tastebuds and body need to get used to the unique grassy smell and taste. Some people add it to other freshly pressed juices or ginger, and others drink it in a shot glass. Certainly my preference is a shot glass and grimace whilst quickly pouring it down my throat. No leisurely sipping here for me! To me it’s like medicine.
Anyway, I collected a good amount of useful info from the Internet to convince anyone that it is certainly worth it putting up with that particular grass taste at least once a day (quickly!) ….
Depending on where you live, getting hold of trays full of grown wheatgrass from your local health food supplier, or bottled wheatgrass juice, can either be difficult or at the least very expensive.
I find, just clearing some space on the windowsill in my kitchen does the trick … and you can almost watch wheatgrass grow.
Eggplants or aubergines are nicely alkalizing, so this will be one of the first of many recipes I will add here.
This is the first time I made Baba Ghannouj (pronounced something like: babaga’noosh) it’s very nice and actually quite similar to Hummus, just made with eggplants or aubergines.
The dish described below I made for two people. It is quite filling and very yummy.
A fair warning, though, because the wraps are so packed with veggies and salad it’s just impossible to make a neat pretty wrap parcel out of that. Plus with the dip, all in all, it makes a very messy finger licking dish.
For a change, I decided to move away from the traditional gold and red Christmas decoration …