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Archive for Favourites, Comfort & Seasonal

Cottage Pie – England
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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)

Recipe:

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Rating 3.00 out of 5

German lentil Soup

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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!!

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Rating 3.00 out of 5
Sep
08

Autumnal Vegetable Soup

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Autumnal Vegetable Soup


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!

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Rating 3.00 out of 5

Spanish Rice with Chicken

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

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Rating 3.00 out of 5
Nutritious Pitta Bread Pocket

Nutritious Pitta Bread Pocket for On-The-Go

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.

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Rating 3.00 out of 5
Jul
04

Avocado Salmon Wrap

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Half munched wrap ... sorry! Was too delicious and forgot to take a pic of the finished (and uneaten) wrap ....

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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.

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Rating 3.00 out of 5
Jul
04

Chicken & Salsa Veggie Wrap

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Wraps are the most versatile pack-it-all-in foods. Here's one of my creations ... and I served it with baba-ghannouj

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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.

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Rating 3.00 out of 5

Fortnum & Mason of Piccadilly, London - Christmas shop window decoration. The theme was 12 Days of Christmas

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Christmas time, to me, has a serene and serious meaning of remembering the joy of Christ pouring out His love to this world, whether He was actually born on the 25th of December is irrelevant ….. Christmas also has a certain childlike magic to me of fairytales and a lot of fun. In London there is a fabulous shop, one of my favourites, Fortnum & Mason at Piccadilly (very expensive, though!). It usually has spectacular window displays, so here is one I took a photo of. Granted it’s not a duck but a goose, but it will have to suffice.

Actually, in Germany, the traditional Christmas bird to roast is not a turkey but a goose. Sometimes people also use ducks, so this recipe is for a duck.

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Rating 3.00 out of 5
Jul
03

Langoustines in White Wine

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Langoustines disguised in wine, fresh herbs and chillies

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Langoustines in White Wine – scrumptiously delicious finger-food!

Personally, I think there is nothing more romantic or sexy than eating with fingers, licking off the racy flavours and sucking out wine drenched shells. So leave your ‘good manners’, pop a large bowl of hot water with loads of slices of lemons and tuck into the deliciousness ….

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Rating 3.00 out of 5

Piping hot Cornish Pasty - nose and taste buds tantalizing pure West-Country delight!

Late Grandma Pengelly, my former mother-in-law, took great pains to teach me how to make a proper Cornish pasty as enjoyed generations back. In fact it must have been the first and most important Cornish family tradition to pass on to the then new daughter-in-law.

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Rating 3.00 out of 5

Easter Decorations in Germany

There is nothing quite like celebrations, great family times and good food and fun … plus the tantalising anticipation time when you’re a kid!

Well, during the Lent time prior to Easter, as a kid I used to get busy with my mother’s help to create some delightful home decorations. To those of you who have a creative streak, decorating Easter eggs is such a fun thing to do!

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Rating 3.00 out of 5
Jul
01

Stollen

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Sumptious moist Stollen

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With or without Marzipan

Traditionally Stollen is baked at Christmas AND Easter. It’s the same recipe. The only difference is that at Easter you have it for breakfast and is eaten together with hard boiled eggs and home cooked smoked ham, unusual combination but really delicious. Well, this is how my Bavarian grandmother always did it, and I have kept the tradition.

Stollen was as important in my family as pasty was to my in-law family from Cornwall. My mother was one of five sisters, so there was always great competition who baked the best stollen …. My preference was always the one my aunt Carla made. Of course I never dared to admit that whilst my mother was alive!!

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Rating 2.50 out of 5

Copyright © A.R. ('Geli') Heimann 2010. All Rights Reserved.

London, UK