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Blueberry Pancakes

Finally, summer has arrived, well supposedly. I mean, I am finally done with uni and actually have some spare time to fill with meeting my neglected friends and figuring out what to do next. 

As I have mentioned before I like summer for many reasons but I love summer because it means I can finally buy fresh berries. My favorite were and still are raspberries but when I went to my favorite farmers’ market yesterday and found some wonderful, tiny wild blueberries I just couldn’t walk past. So I took a punnet and was thinking of what to do with them. I figured I could make a wonderful cake of some sort but felt like it wouldn’t do them any justice. When I woke up this morning it was cold and rainy and I instantly thought of making pancakes. The Jack Johnson Song “Banana Pancakes” came into my mind and thought I would rather have blueberries with the pancakes.

“Waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
Make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it’s the weekend now” – Jack Johnson

Usually I prefer French crepes to American pancakes but for this rainy Sunday morning American pancakes felt just right. Since I don’t make American pancakes that often I adapted a recipe from a book I bought when I was in San Francisco. I know every family in North America probably has their own recipe for pancakes but I was really happy with the way these turned out. For any other recipes or suggestions feel free to leave a comment, connect with me on facebook or send me an email.

Adapted from The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market Cookbook

Wild Blueberies, BlueCrumbles.com
BlueBerry Pancakes; Bluecrumbles
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Almost traditional cherry Clafoutis

Clafoutis is a traditional French dessert which originates from the Limousin region and is made with a crépe batter and black non pitted cherries. 

Traditionally the Clafoutis is made with fresh sweet cherries but because it is not yet cherry season, I used morello cherries from a jar instead. Those are covered in a sugar sirup and pitted. 

When you bake cherries with the pit, it will give the dish a wonderful almond flavour. To mimic this flavour I substituted some of the plain flour with ground almonds (if you just want to use plain flour, use about 125g only).  

If you are one of the lucky ones who froze some cherries from last season or want to wait until it is cherry season, add 50g of sugar to the cherries, 30 minutes before you want to make the Clafoutis. Then place them in the dish and carry on with the instructions below. 

But I have to say it is also a really nice dish for spring and you can basically use any kind of fruit to make it. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Adapted from the Larousse Gastronomique

Clafoutis fresh from the oven

Clafoutis fresh from the oven

Just warm, with a little bit of icing sugar, watching the sunset...

Just warm, with a little bit of icing sugar, watching the sunset…

Serves 4-6 Read more

Züricher Geschnetzeltes or Zurich Style Stir Fry with Rösti

Züricher Geschnetzeltes is basically a swiss style stir fry with a very creamy sauce. It is famous all around the world and is usually accompanied by a Rösti. The traditional “Züricher Geschnetzeltes” is made with veal schnitzel, but is is often substituted with poultry or pork meat, since veal is pretty expensive. It is a fairly easy dish to make and so great in taste that I can recommend it to anybody.

Even though you can eat it all year around, now is the best time to do so. I am so sick of winter (I know I should stop complaining) but this is a winter warmer and gives you comfort from within. The rich sauce is also perfectly for these cold days.

If you think it might be a little bit to heavy, due to the cream, make a little side salad to accompany the dish.

I hope you enjoy it, as much as I do! By the way it is a gluten free recipe once again.

Rösti, BlueCrumbles

Stir fry Zurich Style

Stir fry Zurich Style with Rösti

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Traditional Pavlova

During the last week I really got my hopes up, that spring is finally here to stay. The sun came out for a couple of days, it was pretty warm and the mood started to lift again. When I felt the sun on my skin I also felt like having some summary food. Therefore I made a Pavlova. To be honest, it is not really a cake for winter and doesn’t really go well with wintery fruit like apples or oranges, but because the markets also have ripe and very tasty mangoes at the moment I thought why not. As I said, the sun got the best of me.

While eating the pavlova my yearning for spring and summer became even bigger but it seems as I shouldn’t have talked too much about it since my neighbourhood started to look like a Pavlova itself again yesterday, completely covered in snow and ready for another phase of winter. 

For everybody, who doesn’t know what a Pavlova is, here a little explanation: Read more

Pizza Pomodoro Fresco

Again, too many days have gone by without me posting anything here… But finally I am back on track and brought you a recipe which is one of my all-time favorites. I actually didn’t think I could make it until sometime later in the year, but my favorite market stand surprised me with a great selection of Italian tomatoes. I just couldn’t resist to buy them and when the sun came out as well, I just had to make this Pizza.

I came across this particular Pizza about 11 years ago, when I spent a summer in the middle of Tuscany. Mostly we cooked at home but sometimes we went out to get some nice food somewhere else. The choice wasn’t really that big, since we lived a couple of kilometers away from the next village and even that only had one restaurant. But the pizza they made was by far the best I have ever eaten! Not to mention the atmosphere. It was a restaurant with a garden and very big communal tables. People came to the restaurant and just met neighbours by accident, sat with them and had a nice night. People would also join our table and had a chat with us. The Pizza I fell in love with was a very crisp base, baked without anything and just toped with fresh ingredients when it came out of the oven.

I changed it a little bit by baking the dough with a small amount of tomato sauce on top just to give it a little bit more moisture. When I ate the pizza, I was right back in Italy and the wanderlust hit me again. I also think we had enough winter now and spring should hurry up a little bit. If you feel like me, try this Pizza. It is summer on a plate.

The dough recipe will make 3-4 medium sized Pizzas and the amount of the sauce recipe is for 4 as well. For two servings I would suggest to make two Pizzas, maybe with different toppings and share. The rest of the dough and sauce can be frozen and used for another “Pizza night”.

The dough was crunchy but with two more minutes in the oven the colour would have been a bit darker.

The dough was crunchy but with two more minutes in the oven the colour would have been a bit darker.

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Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Is it still ok to wish a Happy New Year on the 10th Feb? Well since I didn’t get the chance before here it is😉 Happy New Year and I hope you had a great festive season!

Sorry for my absence during the last two month. It is not like I wasn’t cooking but with having guests all the time, being in a rush and also having to juggle quite a lot of exams in the meantime I purely didn’t find the right moment to sit down and start typing again. BUT now my exams are done and I am back from a little vacation.

At the moment the weather is really weird here. It is basically snowing every day but once it stops the snow melts away as well and it is just gray and cold again. Even though I am really looking forward to spring and summer, the nice thing about winter is the warm and hearty food you can make and enjoy. And on of my favorites is Risotto in any way possible.

Personally I havn’t come across many horrible Risottos but as many of my friends assured me they are out there.

In our society we learn to do too many things at the same time and kind of lose the focus on what is really important. We cannot be focused on one thing without already thinking about what needs to be done next or what we should do instead. I truly believe this is the reason why sometimes a Risotto doesn’t turn out the way you have planed for it. Risottos need love, care and attention to get the creamy texture you are looking for without getting squishy.

So if you decide to make a Risotto, do it when you have the time and focus on it. Trust me when I say the 45 minutes you invest into it are worth every minute.

Porcini Mushroom Risotto; BlueCrumbles

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Anzac Biscuit meets Christmas

Only just a little over two weeks until Christmas. Looking back I wonder where the time went! I guess I have done so many great thing this year that the time was just flying and so here we are again, at the end of the year.

As a tradition I always make biscuits during advent time. Not only to have something sweet with my tea and this really nice smell in the apartment but also to have a little something for my friends and family on Christmas Eve.

I usually make a variety of typical German Christmas biscuits but also some “normal” biscuits like the Anzac biscuits with a Christmas touch.
Anzac biscuits are the most famous Australian biscuits and I really love them!
The ones I make are usually very crunchy and when I make them for Christmas I add cinnamon to the mix! Cranberries are nice as well but not everyone likes it so I mainly stick with the addition of cinnamon.

Anzac Biscuits; BlueCrumbles Anzac Biscuits; BlueCrumbles

Makes 40 − 50 biscuits Read more

Good old German Lebkuchen with a twist

I woke up this morning and when I looked out the window there was again a new coat of snow on the trees,  cars and other houses. It has been snowing for a couple of days now and I admit the christmas feeling has arrived.

Last year it was the total opposite. I haven’t had time to make any kind of cookies and wasn’t really in the mood either, since it was raining all the time and the temperature was always around 10°C plus. I couldn’t even listen to christmas music while I was preparing our christmas feast. Instead I was listening to the beach boys. Luckily this year is different. It is snowing, I had time to go to the christmas market and meet friends for some Glühwein and finally make some christmas cookies. I love when everything starts to smell of the typical christmas spices and you make a hot chocolate or nice tea, look at the winter wonderland outside and enjoy the cookies you have just made.

This recipe is my twist on the traditional German Elisenlebkuchen. I love it for many reasons but one of them is that it does not require any flour so my friend Bianca, who is allergic to gluten, can eat the Lebkuchen. I lived with Bianca for a three month in Spain and until that time, since I am one of the lucky ones who can eat almost everything, I never really thought about food allergies. But ever since that time I have my eyes open for a gluten free version of food I love. And what can I say there are not many tasty things on the market, at least not here. And christmas is a gluten loaded zone so I am happy to make some traditional Lebkuchen without it.

The traditional Elisenlebkuchen recipe does not have any chocolate in it but I am a chocoholic and it gives a little twist on the usually soft texture. Also Elisenlebkuchen are usually made with candied orange peel. I don’t particularly like the taste of it, so I use dates instead. They give a lovely chewiness (Just make sure you buy good ones which are still soft inside) and don’t have a very strong taste of their own.

With and without icing

With and without icing

Lebkuchen with chocolate and sugar icing

Lebkuchen with chocolate and sugar icing

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Pumpkin Soup & Prawns

Do you know the feeling, when it is really cold and foggy outside and the wet coldness is getting under your skin? It is now the second day with fog and I am just freezing! What better way to get warm than a hot and spicy soup!

To be honest I don’t particularly like soups. There are just a handful I  do like and pumpkin soup is one of them.

Pumpkin is such a nice ingredient to use. You can use it as a side dish, in soups, roast it, make a puree, make pies or muffins and the list can go on and on. But not every pumpkin is perfect for all purposes. For a soup I love to use the butternut or Hokkaido pumpkin. The advantage of the Hokkaido is, that you can use it including the skin and it has a deep orange colour. The texture is perfect for a soup and makes it very smooth.

This recipe is also really easy to make and you can adapt it anyway you like. If you want to make a pumpkin soup with herbs, just add a variety of chopped herbs in the end and maybe serve with a couple of toasted pumpkin seeds, if you want to add chicken, make the soup with chicken stock to bring out the flavour etc.

Hokkaido Pumpkin without the seeds

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Best Lasagne Ever ;)

Over the last couple of years, everywhere I travelled and stayed I kind of took over the kitchen… It didn’t really matter if it was a communal hostel kitchen in the rainforest of Costa Rica or the kitchen I shared with housemates while studying and working abroad. I would make all kinds of dishes most people like. And the one that found most approval was this lasagne.

I love this recipe because it true in flavour, simple to make even if it is a bit of a process to get to the result but every step is worth it!!!! And it is so easy to adapt to your taste. If you are a vegetarian, just make the tomato sauce without beef or make another sauce, like an “arrabiata”. If you prefer béchamel sauce over creme fraiche, make it instead. You don’t like zucchini or squash, use something else. Your Kids don’t like veggies, don’t tell them they’re in it, they won’t notice😉 (I tried that before and it worked).

What else I really love about this lasagne, is the fact that you can please a huge crowd with it. Just double the recipe and 15 people will be happy. Over the last couple of month I cooked it for crowds of 10 to 15 people and never had leftovers. Also preparing it in advance is not a problem at all. When I cook for more people I finish assembling the lasagne a day before serving and just put it in the oven after everyone arrived. 20-30 minutes later a beautiful hot lasagne will be served. The reason it takes not as long as if you put it straight into the oven after assembling, is the fact that the lasagne sheets had already time to soften.

Spice Mix for the Butternut Squash

before roasting…

… & after roasting

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Steak Curry Cape Malay Style

I know I said I love autumn and I really do! But there are just some weeks where everything is grey, rainy and cold and then you have to study for exams so you leave the house in the dark and you come home in the dark… It is weeks like these when I realize how much I miss summer and browse through photos of previous vacations.

This last really grey week I was thinking about my time in Cape Town and how much I would like to be there right now…

Table Mountain in Cape Town

A relaxing day at the beach with a great view!

My friends there, are enjoying the sun right now, spending weekends on the beach and having a good time and I had to sit inside and study… So my thoughts were drifting a lot lately and I was also thinking about all the great food I had down there and really felt like having some comfort food.

In Cape Town my comfort food was „Steak Salomie“. We would go for lunch to Miriam’s Kitchen and have this particular dish! It is a steak curry wrapped in a roti topped with a coriander and onion salad.

This Roti is not like a normal Indian roti. It is very flaky and buttery and just the perfect companion to the hot and fragrant curry. I was told it is the „Cape Malay“ twist on the normal roti. Cape Malay Cuisine is the heritage of the slaves coming to Cape Town roughly 300 years ago. They came partly from the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and other Asian countries like India or Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and were brought to Cape Town by the VOC.

The slaves brought their recipes with them and adapted them to suit local conditions and the availability of ingredients.

Bp-Kaap! Colourful heart of the Cape Malay Cuisine.

When I made this curry I wanted to make it just like the one I had in Cape Town and was a little bit afraid I would be ending up really disappointed. But the curry is really tasty and even the roti turned out good. I made it for the first time in my life and it actually tasted almost like the ones I had in Cape Town so I was literally bouncing in my kitchen being the happiest person!

So I got this curry recipe from a dear friend in Cape Town and adapted it a little bit… For the roti recipe, here is the link: http://blog.getaway.co.za/food/cape-malay-roti-recipe/ Read more

Birthday Chocolate Cake

Today is my friend Laura’s birthday and I made this little chocolate cake for her. I really love this recipe. It is simple, quick, the cake is never dry and always very chocolaty!

And every time I make it I can change the recipe a little bit. Sometimes I put raspberries in it, when I had a really tough day I put some Tim Tam’s or pieces of chocolate in it or I just leave it plain to get the nice nutty flavour. With some chocolate icing on top, DONE!

It also is an all-time favorite of my friends. I know I told you I don’t like baking that much but if it is one of my friends birthdays I will make a cake if they ask me for one. And I guess 9 out of 10 times they wish for this particular cake.

So: Happy Birthday Laura and while I am at it… Thank you so much for designing my logo! I hope we will have many more birthdays to celebrate!!!

Makes 1 medium sized cake tin Read more

Rich & Lovely Chocolate Mousse

I am, what you could call, a Chocoholic! I just LOVE chocolate. Actually I like all kinds of sweets, but if someone offers me a biscuits (unless it is a Tim Tam) or a piece of cake, I  do reject from time to time. BUT if someone offers me chocolate I just can’t help the urge to accept. The texture, the colour, the smell, basically everything about chocolate feels just right to me… 

And as someone who enjoys cooking more than anything, the desserts you can make out of or with chocolate are just so delicious and pretty much always my favorite. Except for apple crumble of course (which you could combine with white chocolate if you wanted to).

So last night I was invited to a friends party and everybody was supposed to bring some food. I was told to bring something sweet and since I love making desserts I decided to go for a chocolate mousse. Making a mousse is pretty straight forward and almost everybody likes it. And to be honest, if I have the choice between making a dessert or baking a cake I will always make a dessert, preferably with chocolate or crumbles😉

The little espresso cup was for my mum, because she gets really upset if I make something and she is not able to try it (even though I made this mousse for her before…). The big bowl with the weird guys? That was the mousse for last night… Yes I was invited to a Halloween Party with mandatory costume for the guests AND the food! The little sweet monsters are made of meringue and coloured sugar paste. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef.

Serves 4 − 6 Read more

Lamb’s lettuce with caramelized goat’s cheese & pomegranate

I am not sure how you feel about salads in autumn or winter, but when it is really freezing outside, it is the last thing on my mind! Usually I love salads though and there is such a big variety you can choose from! It starts by picking the different lettuce as a base, the veggies or fruits as toppings, the “star ingredient” to make the salad special and the dressing to complete it.

So today we had 20°C in the middle of October! I can say I didn’t expect anything like this, especially not after those freezing days we had in the beginning of the week! But who am I to complain😉 … Instead I enjoyed the sun and felt like having something fresh to eat so I made this beautiful salad with a caramelized goat’s cheese wrapped in Serrano Ham.

My base for this salad is lamb’s lettuce (or field lettuce). It is a winter salad which has this nice subtle nutty flavor and is just perfect to accompany goat’s cheese. Unfortunately it is kind of hard to get outside Europe (unless you want to order seeds online and grow it in your garden or on your window ledge). A good substitute however is any kind of herb salad or baby leaves. Just don’t buy arugola or other tangy lettuce, because it might overpower the other ingredients.

Serves 4

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Apple Crumble

It is the time of the year again… Autumn! The leaves are changing into beautiful colours, the mornings are a lot cooler, everybody takes in the last warm rays of sunshine and hides from the rain and the wind.

Even though I complain about the rain and the greyness we often experience during autumn, it is still my favorite time of the year. Nothing is nicer then having a steaming cup of tea, reading a good book and cooking some nice food.

And autumn also means it is time for apples again🙂 I love apples!!!! No wonder Apple Crumble is my all-time favorite dish.

So here we go, the dish that inspired me to start this blog in the first place…

Serves 10

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At the market

While traveling, I always try to visit a local farmers market. Everywhere you go, a market is where people meet. They exchange recipes, talk about the produce, share experiences how this particular vegetable works perfectly with this herb or that spice and usually it is very easy to get in contact with the “locals”.

I think it is really interesting to see the differences in displaying the food and the diversity of produce in general and how it is still so easy to connect with the different sellers in different cultures just because you have the same passion for food! Read more

Roasted Tomatoes and baked Feta

I am a huge fan of buying seasonal and local produce! I love when the seasons change and different local produce is available. Now it is almost the end for local tomatoes so this dish, which I have cooked a lot this year (and let me tell you, it’s a crowd pleaser😉 ) has found its last time onto my plate for the year.

Don’t get me wrong, thanks to greenhouses, tomatoes are available all year around, but I strongly believe the ones who have actually seen the sun, have so much more depth in flavour and are a lot sweeter as well…. Also the variety is a lot bigger! So due to the fact that the season is almost over, I only used an assortment of tomatoes on the vine.

 

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Everything has to start at some point

So here it is! My first post!

This year I have been traveling quite a bit and experienced living with great people, enjoying lots of good food and getting ideas and inspiration in so many ways, it took me some time to sort it all out…

But now I am actually at the point where I write my first blog entry🙂

So what is it I want to do with this blog?! Well, I love cooking, traveling & food so sharing some of the recipes I have cooked, talking about the places I have visited and the food I enjoyed will be the start.

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