13 October 2013 @ 11:52 pm
Crocky and I went to Amsterdam on Tuesday and came back on Friday.

The short version: we cycled a lot, were almost run over by cyclists, too, got stopped by the police, didn't get high (because the spire of the Westerkerk does not admit people with backpacks), went to the red light district, took pictures from what felt like every single bridge overlooking the famous canals, came back to the hotel smelling of weed in spite of our tee-totalling habits.

Basically every picture I took:

As ever I remain in awe of the bicycles, the sweets, and the linguistic superpowers of our neighbours )
Current Music: The Glasgow Madrigirls - Candens Lillium
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
26 August 2013 @ 10:55 am
Small Tortoiseshell  
The peppermint's in bloom!

Our butterflies like the flowers, too. Yesterday, three small tortoiseshells came to visit.

Small Tortoiseshell and Mystery Moth )

EDIT: Some of the pictures didn't show up at first, re-added them. Also, here's a picture of a spider family: Click!
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: okay
18 August 2013 @ 06:57 pm
Roasted Butternut Squash  
A discovery I made in Wales thanks to the Co-op's lunch deals and their boxed-up salads.

That colour alone! And mixed with beetroot, it doesn't only look great but is also delicious and goes well with any kind of salad. We tossed it together with some couscous and arugula and that was very tasty.

Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: full
23 January 2012 @ 09:52 pm
Coping skills  

At least they're tasty.
Current Mood: stressed
01 October 2010 @ 09:51 pm
Good things  
I love coffee, though I'm not so much a gourmet rather than a gourmand when it comes to it. I partly blame my upbringing for the early destruction of my taste buds and their lack of ability to distinguish good from bad. Everybody in my family drinks a lot of coffee, and usually spoons can stand up in it and it smells and tastes like what I expect tar tea to taste like.

Still, this thing has seriously improved my life this week: 

It has a grinder and a timer, and even though it's about as much fun to clean as my French press and my moka pot due to the reusable coffee filters, but the coffee is still really good as far as I can tell.

Now the only thing I need to find is a source for affordable ethical coffee, though I gladly bought the expensive beans because [ profile] niaseath is staying with us this week.
Current Mood: caffeinated
17 March 2010 @ 01:39 pm
Stuffed mushrooms  
I never realised how easy it is to do tasty things with white mushrooms

Tastiness... )
Current Mood: full
19 January 2010 @ 07:11 pm
SRS education question is srs  
Ok, so, now let's address a really important question that apparently sparked a lot of animated discussion [Poll #1513719][Poll #1513719]
I have to admit that I usually brought snacks for my students on final day of my internships rather unselfconsciously and I wouldn't have thought that that raised the stakes for my non-food-bearing colleagues. I also never considered that cookies might be a great tool for helping shy students.

I probably ought to be thankful for the fact that my students aren't college students so I don't have to worry about such life questions, or maybe I ought to be ashamed of not carefully considering the pedagogical implications of cookie distribution.

Well, I stand corrected!
Current Location: Hannover, Germany
Current Mood: amused
Current Music: Gesualdo: Sabbato Sancto: Responsorium 8
15 December 2009 @ 12:27 am
Cookie marathon  
We had a cookie baking-and-decorating marathon on Sunday. A few of the guys from the theatre group came round to see us and between the five of us we baked and decorated eight trays of cookies for us and for the pre-Christmas rehearsal on Wednesday. We had brought out the green food colouring for the occasion and finally had an excuse to use the shiny new cookie cutters we bought on the Christmas market two weeks ago.

And what could be more festive than green Apatosauri, chocolaty clefs, notes, butterflies, dogs and bats? Oh, and some stars, too.

I was so busy organising the actual baking and arranging the trays in the oven that my cookies did not turn out as absolutely gorgeous as the ones of the others, who were working wonders with icing, sprinkles, and especially the lilac sugar colour. Except for S., who formed a whole zoo with the help of the dog shape. We understood how she got the goat - slightly shorter tail because of a spot of drier dough, slightly odd ears - even the seal made sense, somehow - hind legs pressed together, the head being roughly the same shape, anyway - but we have no idea how she got to the cock, the mouse or the elephant.

Really festive cookies )
Current Mood: accomplished
12 September 2009 @ 07:22 pm
I've not really been into baking, but a friend's birthday changed that. I baked some autumn-themed spice and chocolate cookies which were very tasty. I can only hope that they arrived in good shape (that is, in one piece, and not as hard as rocks).

The fresh ginger roots in the supermarket had been on my mind for some time, and they're the reason why I choose spicey cookies. The results were astonishingly gingerbread-like. I am usually not even the biggest fan of gingerbread, but the fresh taste of the ginger changed that.

Ginger-chocolate chip cookies
Absolutely delicious. The recipe can be found here (it's vegan).

Ginger cookies
Recipe can be found here (and seeing as how the egg is completely optional, really, it might as well be vegan). As soon as I can track down affordable crystallized ginger somewhere, I'll definitely try triple ginger cookies, too.

Lentil "falafel", yoghurt sauce, and salad

Yummy. Yes, the sauce is not on there.

Sauce )

'Falafel' )

Current Mood: bouncy
03 July 2009 @ 12:25 pm
I love peppermint  
I've been searching for fresh peppermint plants for ages, but even though they always have rosemary and sage in stock our shops never offered any. One of the things I missed most when coming back to Germany from Glasgow was the lack of peppermint plants, or even peppermint extract. Maybe I just go to the wrong shops, but I've been searching and not finding anything for months. I was very exited when I finally spotted two scrawny plants in the herb section of our local supermarket, and they've now got a new home on our living room window sill and have been growing happily so far.

Peppermint lime sorbet recipe and nectarine sorbet recipe. )

The lime sorbet was unexpectedly good for the cold I had last week, and tea with fresh peppermint is also a real treat.

14 June 2009 @ 11:03 am
Banana ice cream  
It's summer, we're living under a roof, and due to my paper I am at home most of the time during the day. That means that I stopped my adventures with bakery for now because our tiny kitchen gets unpleasantly warm when the oven is on and switched to ice cream and sorbets. nectarine sorbet is really recommendable, the flavour is extremely rich.

I switched from sorbets to ice cream after finding this blog. The recipes she lists are all for people lucky enough to possess an ice cream maker, but using my hand blender on it every hour helps with that and makes the texture very nice and creamy. I haven't found a way to prevent unpleasant ice crystals from forming, but I'm guessing that I should have used cream instead of milk, as more fat is bound to prevent that.

Anyway, banana ice cream. We had three bananas left and they were getting brown, so I used them for this: 

Recipe )

Nom. Due to the texture of the bananas, the consistency is great. My attempts at chocolate ice cream didn't turn out as well, I'm afraid. My chocolate dollops were frozen rock hard, there were, again, too many ice crystals, and the cocoa I used tasted funny. Back to the drawing bord, it's not as though experimenting isn't fun.
27 May 2009 @ 02:46 pm
Backdated boring food post: sweet stuff  
I fell in love with these cookies which I found on this blog here. They're not fat free as I couldn't get hold of prune puree, and I used (again) only half the sugar advised in the recipe. I don't know what it is with recipes, in particular vegan recipes, why they go overboard with the use of sweeteners. The same is true for the use of dairy and fat in non-vegan recipes, and I usually cross-reference recipes to find the lowest common denominator.

I'm baking these for the sewing marathon next Tuesday. One brave girl from Crocky's theatre troupe has agreed to hem the costumes in the institute's student café that day, and she asked for company. I was going to go for muffins, but it's easier to prepare enough of these and they're tasty. I'll try to get them more chewy until then, though.

When Crocky and I went shopping on Tuesday we cracked an egg and decided to make banana pancakes with cinnamon, cocoa and sugar. I am curious whether there's a vegan alternative to the eggs in pancakes. I suspect it's probably baking powder, but I can't imagine the consistency'd stay the same. Huh. 

Banana pancakes consist of your basic pancake mixture of choice (in our case a small egg, 100mg flour, 100ml milk) and a puréd banana. No sugar, as the banana is sweet enough, although we did sprinkle some sugar on top in the end.
26 May 2009 @ 02:03 pm
Sherbet Lemon  
Well, lemon sorbet, really, no dairy, no eggs.

It's 33°C up here, and I don't want to think about what June will be like.

Feel free to imagine a sprig of fresh mint or the prerequisite eighth of lemon on that rather bland pic. And that I had already refurbished that table, while you're at it.

Recipe )

It's very tasty. Since I work at home, I'm always here, anyway, otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered, as it does take ages.

Kiwi sorbet is in the making, I'm really curious how that'll turn out.
Current Mood: hot
24 May 2009 @ 05:34 pm
Boring food post  
No bakery this time, but I have to say that I ♥ my hand blender. I don't know what I used to do without it, my favourite snack these days is soy milk or buttermilk with various kinds of fruit. Very yummy, very easy, and great for a treat between meals. These days, living in an apartment right under the roof on the fifth floor, these things are awesome with crushed ice.

Food )

Right. More work. Whee. It's absolutely beautiful weather outside and I wish I could do something else entirely.
Current Mood: calm
24 May 2009 @ 12:32 pm
"Fatfree vegan kitchen" blog  
This is more a memo to myself than anything. I found this blog, entitled "Fat free vegan kitchen", while searching for cookie recipes, and not only do their cookies look amazing, they also have a lot of other recipes that look great, like a lentil soup. Must check out the rest.
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Current Mood: cheerful
05 April 2009 @ 03:28 pm
Vegan apple cinnamon cupcakes...  
... with apple sauce filling because I loved the different textures in my Blackout muffins so much. They did not turn out as pretty, but they are tasty and the smell is amazing.

I used [info]lordhellebore 's recipe, halved, because I did not want to make as many cupcakes. I also used two apples for both cupcakes and apple sauce partly because I enjoy the rich taste of the apples we bought last week and because they needed eating up.

For the sauce, I used two diced apples, a table spoon of cinnamon and a pinch of ginger. Instead of anything fancy I just eased a spoonful of the stuff into the still warm cupcakes - unfortunately, they collapsed during the process, resulting in the crater look above. I lost track of time half-way through and was scared that I had not baked them enough to boot, so I put them back in for another five minutes in the already cooling oven - now the dough is golden brown and crunchy, but sadly, they remained in their collapsed state.

Crocky loves them, even though I used too much cinnamon in the dough. I'll give them another shot next week.
01 April 2009 @ 11:55 am
Cupcakes II  
I am practising baking cupcakes because I want to bake Crocky's brass players something nice because they always bake, and my mother's birthday is today and I wanted to bake her some tasty cupcakes, albeit less chocolatey, because I think she would prefer fruit instead of a chocolate explosion. This time, I really followed both recipe and the instructions for decoration to the letter and even included the dreaded icing.

Looks like I need some more practice with the icing bag, I can't get those swirls any straighter, and these crooked squiggles don't look particularly appetising. I am not too sure about the icing in general, either, as it makes the taste of the filling redundant and the things unnecessary fatty and sweet. It's a nice contrast to the dry dough of the cupcakes, but using a more fluffy recipe for the dough would probably work just as well with the filling and a more plain chocolate cover.
Current Mood: awake
08 March 2009 @ 08:45 pm
Weirdest recipe ever, but it was perfect because we had two eggs left and loads of ... I have really no idea what to call it in English, and apparently, other people don't, either. It's called "Quark" in German, and you can buy it as "quark" in some supermarkets in Britain, but people also call it "fromage frais", "curd", "low fat curd" or "farmer's cheese". Wiki lists it as "quark (cheese)". Huh.

Anyway, it turned out great. Very tasty with the mild flavour of vanilla due to the custard.

22 February 2009 @ 12:04 pm
Birthday baking spree  

Backdated because baking is boring. Today, Crocky'll have a birthday gathering with a couple of friends from the theatre troupe and I had said I'd do the cooking for it. When Crocky couldn't remember if any of the friends she had invited were vegetarians we abandoned our plans to do a regular quiche for everybody and I sought alternatives while she went out to buy additional sour cream for the filling in case we'd do two quiches. I ended up doing 24 simple muffin quiche which taste nice and are nice as finger food but definitely too much of a hassle to do it on a regular basis as lunch.


Recipe and musigns )

Apart from that, there were blonde cookies and brownies with semi-sweet chocolate: 

...which turned out very popular, which made me very pleased - but I guess chewy brownies with extra chocolate always go down well.

... and a weird poppy seed apple cake (German recipe here). I can't really recommend it, poppy and apple did not really work for me, but it was fun baking: 

Yeah. I left it in the oven ten minutes too long, and that's why the apples I used for decorating are too brown.

The filling without the apples would have been tasty, and the apples without the poppy. Combined... nah.
Current Mood: pleased
19 February 2009 @ 11:18 am
During our year in Glasgow we used to eat naan all the time, and I've missed it after coming back here. You can buy it in some supermarkets over here now, luckily, and you should definitely try it if you haven't yet - it goes great with all the dishes that bread usually goes with, and I love dipping it in spicy sauce. Seeing as It's not a very difficult recipe, I've been wanting to try it for some time.

I used the following recipe I got from this site:

Recipe and musings )

Now I only need to learn how to make something to go with it. I've been thinking about trying Moong Dal with Spinach, but I'll need to find a shop that sells some of the ingredients that our local supermarkets don't provide.
Current Mood: curious
14 February 2009 @ 08:30 pm
Backdated baking post  
So, as I said in the meringue-related post three days ago, stress results in increased baking. For Crocky's birthday, I've baked cookies, a chocolate pear cake, and meringues. I'm self-conscious about my baking proficiency and am concentrating on getting simple stuff as perfect as possible before I endeavour to try anything more difficult and fiddly, although there are half a dozen cookie and cake recipes I'd love to try now that I can manage to get stuff tasty.

This resulted in a four-hour baking spree while Crocky was at work, conducting, on Friday.


Recipe and musings )

Chocolate pear cake:

Recipe )


Musings )
Current Mood: full
11 February 2009 @ 06:43 pm
Lately, increased stress levels have unfortunately been wont to translate into increased housework and baking activity.

This week, I have already baked four trays of cookies and tried out meringues twice. The first load turned out globs of brownish stuff which were sticky at the bottom because I baked them for too short a time at the wrong temperature and did not get the egg white stiff enough in the first place, the second batch were pretty decent.

The differences in texture still annoyed me. Some were as crunchy as they are supposed to be, some where sticky and chewy and it was impossible to eat them without having to brush your teeth immediately afterwards because they stuck to the teeth so badly. I'm also not really that good at shaping the things and kept getting the spoon stuck on the baking tray while trying to shape. These blotches will have to do for the time being.

Does anyone have any quick and simple recipes they'd like to share? (I'll definitely try that apple cake, [ profile] lordhellebore.)
Tags: ,
Current Mood: awake
09 March 2008 @ 07:49 pm
I've got the flu. Again. On Friday I thought my wooziness was due to the fact that my eyes have to get used to the new glasses, but when I woke up with all slimed up on Saturday it was clear that I'm really ill again.

Why is it that I always get ill during term paper time? I hate that.

The good thing about not being able to walk very far is that we stayed in all weekend, cuddling and baking muffins.

From left to right: chocolate-caramel muffin, After Eight muffin, Milchschnitte muffin.

The chocolate-caramel muffins were bastards. They refused to let go of the muffin tray and held on for dear life, so we could only get them out of there by decapitating them. That's they ended up looking like Frankenstein's muffins. They taste awesome nontheless.

After Eight muffins

Read more... )

Frankenstein's muffin

Read more... )
Milchschnitte Muffins

Read more... )

Nom nom nom.
Current Location: Uelzen
Current Mood: calm
06 January 2008 @ 01:19 pm
Sesame Snaps  
I became addicted to them in Scotland, but due to my mother's nightmarish experiences with molten sugar and caramel in general I had shied away from the task until yesterday.

100g sugar
100g sesame seeds
1 ts butter
(4 ts honey)

All you need to do is to melt the butter, the honey and the sugar in a pan, add the sesame seed, spread it on a flat surface, slice pieces or stripes or at least indicate where you want to break it later on, and let it cool down. It takes about fifteen minutes, and the things are absolutely delicious.

Also, my brother showed me to a funny comic and a video today. I love chatting with my little brother.

WoW - The Edge of Real Life

Ok. Back to work.
Current Location: Uelzen, Germany
19 October 2005 @ 11:23 am
It is big, orange...  
Just a quick entry to shout for help.

My problem, or rather, Crocky's and my joint problem, weighs about 3kg, is orange and sits on our kitchen table.

So, what's a girl to do with a pumpkin?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated, and I know there are people out there who can do wonders with pumpkins.

We got as far as to think about pickling the thing. And, for the despairing wannabe-cook, there is always the Pumpkin Nook, they have a lot of recipes, but something in me fails to be able to imagine a Pumpkin Fudge. Anything else? Any favourites or suggestions you might like to share?
Current Mood: energetic