Posted by: Anja | June 28, 2012

Peach Cobbler

Since my own country strongly disappointed me in today’s soccer match, I reverted to baking something completely non-German und completely Georgian (is that the right term?). I made peach cobbler which is traditionally a dessert in one of my, many, former homes – Georgia (the USA one). Georgia is also referred to as the peach state and has a huge peach on signs anywhere you enter the state similar to Florida, who throw around oranges. Maybe it’s a fruit-off?

Anyway, I know this peach cobbler doesn’t look too much ‘cobbler’ but I’m confident that can be achieved by a not-so-small-as-mine pie form or a bigger square baking form. Also, I didn’t have enough peaches around this time (only 4), but I will next time – promise! And yes, there will be a next time. Though I don’t think this recipe will make it into my all-time favorites, it’s decent comfort food which is probably even better with vanilla ice cream.

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Posted by: Anja | March 15, 2012

Eggplant Mac & Cheese

These last few weeks, I had to take some time off to settle into my new surroundings since I have – yet again – moved. This time I’m back to the US, still the east coast but different area altogether. I am currently residing in New Jersey close to NYC which has been proven to be a great distraction from blogging during the weekends. I love, love, LOVE NYC and all the food that you can get there. There’s just an abundant variety of everything – whatever you’re lusting for, you can find it in New York. So far I’ve been to a Korean soup place, to the famous Shake Shack and a really good Chinese place, but I’ll definitely come back for more.

Moving also provided me with better cooking and baking opportunities because I finally have a working oven again. I’ve been abusing that circumstance massively these last weeks, getting back into baking with muffins, biscotti and new bread variations. I got a couple of good recipes lined up, but somehow I always forget to take pictures. So sorry!

When I talked to a friend of mine last week, I told him about the mushroom mac & cheese that I had made that day from leftovers and without any real recipe and he got a little bit jealous and asked me to put it on here. Well, I forgot to take pictures x_x, but I’m trying to make up for that with today’s recipe which is another mac & cheese variation with eggplant. I’ve never been much of a breadcrumb fan but I’m slowly changing sides because of my constant mac & cheese intake. Mix them with parmesan and butter to top off the dish and they’re just divine! In this recipe, I also use them to coat the eggplant for frying which turned out very yummy.

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Posted by: Anja | January 10, 2012

Stuffed Chicken Breast

Making this chicken recipe was the first time I made something resembling a roulade because usually I’m pretty picky about the stuffing. But this time of the year cries for something to be stuffed and since I’m not yet comfortable with the idea of stuffing a whole bird, I decided to take it a small step at a time, doing chicken roulades first. With a good stuffing. ;)

As most of you can probably tell, I’m more fascinated by Italian cuisine than the German one. Traditional German roulades are made with bacon, onions and pickles and though I don’t have anything against bacon and onion, you can hunt me with pickles. This Italian version with pine nuts, herbs and – best of all – cheese is so awesome for my tastebuds!

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Posted by: Anja | December 27, 2011

Cauliflower Soup

It’s this time of the year. The time where we’re at home with our loved ones, sitting around the Christmas tree, enjoying hot cocoa or tea and of course the presents. Which kid doesn’t love the presents? Actually the loving the presents part doesn’t expire when you grow up. I got knifes this time! Ceramic knifes! Finally I’ll be able to cut everything cleanly and without too much trouble. A dream come true. :)

Today’s recipe is a soup where the preparation actually isn’t too intense. When I made this soup, I was pretty sick so I didn’t care for a fancy recipe but instead wanted something fast that didn’t require me being out of bed for too long. Actually, this is my first recipe with cauliflower that I can remember. Buying a head of cauliflower is just so daunting! It’s huge! And you should have a second recipe with cauliflower as backup as you’ll only need half of the head for the preparation of this one.

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Posted by: Anja | November 29, 2011

French Toast

Last week I was in Paris. I want to go back! Why is it that holidays are always over way too soon? I walked along the Champs-Élysées all decked out in Christmas decoration, climbed up the Eiffel tower, paraded around the parks of Versailles, admired the Mona Lisa together with about 50 chinese tourists and enjoyed awesome and heavy food. Croissants in the morning, boeuf bourgignon and cheese plates in the evening. Heaven! :)

All that food spoiled me so much and actually gave me a sugar high for a couple of days so that I’m craving sugar right now. It’s like withdrawal. So I had to eat crêpes all weekend long and since I can’t eat them every day, I switched to french toast yesterday night. It’s actually very easy to make and very fast as well. A really good alternative to my usual breakfast palette of crêpes and pancakes.

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Posted by: Anja | November 13, 2011

Potato & Leek Soup

I am sick. Given that I am rarely sick, being sick sucks. Especially as it has been a week that I have been symptom-free. Do you hate the sensitive feeling of the area around your nose (because you’ve used so many tissues) as much as I do? It’s just so maddening that we can be all excited about something but if our body decides to turn against us, we’re just screwed. Nothing that we can do against that.

Okay, enough complaining. Though me being sick is one of the reasons for this post. Since I can’t seem to focus on work right now, I’m left with (stressed, because I feel guilty for not working) free time on my hands which I used to catch up on some cooking. And what better thing to prepare when you’re sick than soup? I think, I’ve already blogged about potato soup a few months back, but there are so many different potato soup variations that I don’t think that it will hurt to share another and completely different recipe with you. The recipe I used as basis for this soup actually calls the soup ‘baked potato soup’ which I think is a little bit weird since the potatoes are not baked. It’s supposed to refer to what you would put onto a baked tomato (leek and sour cream?!). Americans definitely can be weird.

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Posted by: Anja | October 30, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin… hmm… I didn’t really know what to expect when I decided to try to integrate a little bit more pumpkin into my cooking. With most of the cooking blogs that I read being based in the US, pumpkin is an ingredient that comes up over and over again. But it’s not really common here in Europe. And I think partially I am/was afraid to go too pumpkin, because it scared me to see parallels to my peanut butter disaster last year. You know how every American says that peanut butter is so good and they have those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Guess what – they’re lying! Peanut butter is just SO gross! And yes, coming to that conclusion, is it any wonder that I’m skeptical about pumpkins?

When I was over there, I actually bought two cans of pumpkin because I really, really wanted to give it a shot. Guess what was still standing in my cupboard when I left? Well, last week I got the chance to make up for that missed experience because my roommate brought home a hokkaido pumpkin from it’s natural habitat somewhere in the middle of Bavaria. So I looked up my pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin scones, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cake – well, none of that is realizable right now since our oven’s still not really functioning. So if anyone wants me baking again – provide me with an oven (I also do cooking at friend’s places, you don’t need to buy me one)!

Finally I went with soup, so I looked up a couple of recipes and stumbled across one for roasted pumpkin soup. Yes, our oven doesn’t really work so I can’t really tell you how much time the pumpkin has to stay in the oven but I’ll blindly rely on the original recipe for that. It took me about an hour (with an oven that can’t really reach the higher degree ranges though). Here it comes!

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Posted by: Anja | October 7, 2011

Cranberry Yogurt Pancakes

I have to admit that after my last recipe that was _really_ healthy, things kind of went down for me in the healthy section. I’m just not in the mood, sorry! Also, to eat healthy, I’d have to go out and buy groceries… I’m just so lazy right now! But I’ll go this afternoon, promise! Until I gather more healthy ingredients, you have to cope with me updating this blog with (kind of) baked goods – pancakes and scones. The scones are in the oven right now, so I still have to determine whether they are worth presenting here, but the pancake recipe I discovered is definitely worth mentioning.

I ran out on milk two days ago and I was, surprise!, too lazy to get new milk. Still, I was in the mood for pancakes but couldn’t make my normal pancake recipe. So I searched the internet for a yogurt pancake recipe, because I still had some vanilla yogurt. I stumbled across a very simple recipe which nevertheless sounded promising so I just went for it. Through a rather large amount of baking powder and some changes to the original recipe, I managed to make them really fluffy even with yogurt. I’d recommend using vanilla yogurt or natural yogurt (increasing the sugar amount slightly or adding some vanilla extract). The original recipe speculates about using flavored yogurt but I think it would be… weird. Especially if you combine it with some other ingredients like the cranberries I used.

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Posted by: Anja | October 4, 2011

Broccoli, Avocado & Pea Pasta

During the last couple of years, I barely watched TV. Right now I find myself sitting on the couch of my parents, working while at the same time watching these cooking shows that are common in German early-afternoon during the week television. And they actually have some decent dishes in there! Of course they have to hurry about just to create everything in time, while talking excessively to the host about their lives (who is interested in that?) and food (yey!). I’m mostly fascinated by the different dishes they have to cook. There is one show where they get a couple of ingredients and they have to mix them together into a three course menu somehow. How to combine plums with schnitzel? I think that would be fun sometime. :)

The pasta I’m showcasting today is, as my parents put it, an attempt to eat healthy. I’ve been travelling a lot these last weeks which means that I’ve eaten a lot in restaurants which is not really something I should continuously do. The thing is that I like eating healthy, but if there’s spaghetti carbonara, steak with gorgonzola sauce or migras (traditional portuguese meat dish) in the menu, the appeal of healthy food just diminishes… :)

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Posted by: Anja | October 2, 2011

Brown Butter & Nectarine Cake

A few days ago, a friend of mine had his last day at work. As is tradition in our company, we celebrate this joyful event by bringing cake for everyone. And with everyone I mean everyone. Being a pretty tightly knit community, these things usually produce 30 hungry people standing around your table, wanting to be fed. When I switched from working full-time to part-time, I baked three cakes, muffins and a savory mozzarella-feta roll for all those of my colleagues who aren’t into sweet dishes. Fun times! :)

My point is: If there is hungry co-workers, there has to be a lot of (and good) cake. So this time I got to work to help out my friend since he had to do some last minute errands. Well, it’s not like he didn’t do anything to support me baking, he also cut the nectarines for the cake I’m showing you here. For this event, I made three different baked goods: A vanilla honey pound cake, a brown butter & nectarine cake and apple hand pies. I only managed to get pictures of this cake since the first one was carried off to another location for safe-keeping before I could manage to take a shot and I simply forgot about a picture of the miniature pies. x_x

The brown butter & nectarine cake is pretty dense and definitely not dry because of all the juice and flavor that the nectarines add to the cake. It’s similar to what we call “Streuselkuchen” in Germany, which is basically a simple pound cake layer plus fruits and relatively dry streusel on top. It’s something I wouldn’t recommend eating all day long because it is very heavy, but it’s a great cake for a picnic with friends or as dessert for a 3pm BBQ. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try!

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