Tzatziki



Ingredients

  • 8 oz plain yogurt (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cucumber - peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic gloves - minced
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon - juiced
  • salt to taste



Preparation

Start with whisking the yogurt. Then add the diced cucumber (some people like to remove the seeds beforehand, I personally like it with seeds), minced garlic and chopped dill. Mix everything. Add olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste and mix good. 

Serve with pita bread, veggie sticks or use it as a spread for a slice of bread.






Tabouleh Salad



This is a recipe inspired by my good old friend Lisa who also loves food, cooking and exotic spices. Best dishes that we made together will always be our steaming Curry's, we have pictures where we look like brewing witches over their cauldron :)

This recipe however, we made about 5 years ago together with her friends while watching "Germany's next Topmodel". Here I learned that you eat Tabouleh salad originally on a leaf of lettuce. How exciting :)


Ingredients


  • 2 cups bulgur (medium grain)
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable bouillon
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley - finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
  • 4 green onions - sliced
  • 1 pint cocktail tomatoes - cubed (or quartered)
  • 1 cucumber - peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 of a red bell pepper - cubed
  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Serve with: lettuce, pita bread and tzatziki

Preparation

First, prepare the bulgur. Bring chicken or vegetable stock to a boil, then add the bulgur, cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand and soak for 30 minutes. Then use a fork to fluff up the bulgur. I am using chicken or vegetable stock, because it gives the bulgur already some flavor. You can also already prepare the dressing and let it soak in the cold dressing for 1-2 hours. Bulgur is actually already par boiled, this means it was already boiled before it was dried. Therefore, you can let it soak in cold dressing or even cold water. However, I do like it very soft, therefore I let it soak in boiling hot bouillon.
Next, prepare the vegetables and herbs. Finely chop the parsley and the mint leaves. Best to use flat-leave parsley. You can also use the curly parsley as I did, you will notice the pieces a little bit stronger in the salad. Slice the green onion and dice the tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper. Add everything to the bulgur and mix.
Last, prepare the dressing. In a separate bowl, mix the juice of the lemon, the olive oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper. Pour over the bulgur mix and stir. Let soak for a little bit. Best to keep a little extra dressing to add directly when serving.

Serve the tabouleh salad on lettuce. It also tastes good with a side of tzatziki and pita bread.






My Mom's Navy Bean Soup ("Bohnensuppe")





This is my Mom's delicious navy bean recipe. A hearty soup with German wiener sausages and served with crusty bread to dunk into it. The difference between the German and American wiener sausage is, that the German version uses pork instead of beef, turkey or chicken. You can of course substitute with American sausage.

For this soup, my Mom uses a big can of navy beans that already comes a little bit spiced with soup greens (tiny bits of carrots, celery and parsley). However, if you cannot find such a can, you can also use plain navy beans, add some more spices and maybe a few tablespoons of finely chopped carrots, celery and parsley.

Ingredients


  • 1 big can "Weisse Bohnen mit Suppengrün" 
(alternatively: 2 small cans of navy beans,  2 tablespoons of finely chopped carrots, 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Bouillon spices such as Knorr or Maggie)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion - diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-3 potatoes - diced in 1-2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-3 German wiener sausages (pork) - sliced
  • 3 tablespoon flour (mixed with 3-4 tablespoon water)
  • salt and pepper
  • vegeta 

  • Serve with crusty bread


Preparation


Note: The big can with "Weisse Bohnen mit Suppengrün" basically just contains navy beans with some soup flavor (small pieces of carrots, celery and parsley, salted). If you do not find such a can, just use normal navy beans. Sometimes the navy beans come already slightly salted. Most of them come with some bacon in it, but I don't really like that. If you just use plain navy beans, you may want to add about 2 Tablespoon of finely chopped carrots and celery and a dash of freshly chopped parsley. 


  1. Heat the oil and butter, add the onions and sauté till translucent (about 5-10 min).
  2. Add the tomato paste, stir and let cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes, some salt. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the water and the navy beans (with the water in the can). If you use plain navy beans, also add the finely chopped carrots, celery and parsley and add 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon spice. Stir and let cook for about 15 minutes, till the potatoes are soft.
  5. Add the slices of wiener sausage.
  6. Thicken the soup: in an extra bowl, mix the flour with some water so that it is free of clumps. Pour a little bit of the mix into the boiling soup and stir. Let cook a little bit. If not thick enough, add more. Be careful, it will thicken up even more after you take it off the heat.
  7. Add salt, pepper and vegeta to taste and serve with some crusty bread.







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German Style Breakfast


I love the classic American breakfast. It can be hearty, simple and sweet and there is a huge variety. Either go with differently prepared potatoes, bacon/sausages, eggs and toast or go for a simple oatmeal with brown sugar, maple syrup and raisins, or take a biscuit with gravy, or go sweet with pancakes or french toast.

However, sometimes I just need the German style breakfast that I am used to. As most of it is cold, it does not need long to prepare. Usually a typical German breakfast includes a cold deli meat and cheese plate with fresh roles, hard boiled eggs, fruits, granola and yoghurt, and of course tea or coffee and juice.

Ingredients (for example)

  • slices of Italian dry Salami or Pepper Salami
  • slices of Blackforest Ham, Cajun Turkey or Lemon Pepper Chicken (my favorites)
  • slices of Pepper Jack Cheese (Cheese with Jalapenos)
  • fresh cocktail tomatoes, cucumber or German pickles
  • Pretzel rolls and pumpkin seed rolls or fresh multigrain bread
  • soft or hard boiled eggs
  • Fresh pressed Orange juice
  • Earl Grey tea and coffee

  • Add ons (not on the pictures): Vanilla or Berry Yogurt with Granola (I like Cluster Raisin Bran that has cornflakes, oatmeal clusters and raisins in it)

Preparation

Boil the eggs. For hard boiled eggs, place in cold water, bring to a boil, remove from heat and let stand covered for 15 minutes, place eggs under cold water, peel an cut in half. Serve with salt. For soft boiled eggs, bring salted water to a boil, place egg in it, cover and let boil for 5 minutes. Quickly remove and run under cold water. Serve in an egg holder, chop of the top and dunk in some toasted bread sticks :)

Plate the deli meat, cheese and veggies on a plate. Salt and pepper the veggies. Cut the fresh fruit and place in a bowl or plate. Serve with fresh rolls or bread, cream cheese and jam.

Place the yogurt in a bowl and top of with a 1/2 cup of granola. 

Juice some oranges and prepare some hot tea and coffee.






























































































Vodka Sunrise



This is one of Adam's creations, using our left-over bar supplies to mix a nice looking cocktail. He called it the "Vodka Sunrise", I called it the "Mermaid Cocktail" :)

Ingredients

  • Orange Juice
  • Grenadine
  • Vodka


Preparation


Add ice cubes to a glass, add 2 shots of vodka, fill it up with orange juice and add a splash of grenadine, let it just drip down on the side of the glass, so that it settles on the bottom. Don't mix or shake to remain the illusion of a sunrise.


My Mom's "Nudelauflauf" (pasta casserole)



This is a simple but hearty pasta casserole recipe that just tastes delicious: Two layers of pasta and in the middle some peas and ham, an egg-milk mix to hold everything together, and a crusty cheese and bread crumb topping. I loved the soft layers of macaronis covered in the egg mix, and also the crispy top.

Over time I played around with my mother's recipe and sometimes, if I want the casserole a little bit juicier, then I add mushrooms and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of al dente cooked pasta (preferred: straight macaronis or penne)
  • 1 can peas
  • 4 slices black forest ham - cut into dices or stripes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup cheese (e.g. pepper jack) - grated 
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Optional: 2 sliced Tomatoes, 1 can sliced Mushrooms, Oregano

Preparation

Cook the pasta al dente and preheat the oven at 395 degree Fahrenheit (200 degree Celsius). 

Spray/ butter a casserole dish. Pour half of the pasta into the casserole dish. Add the peas and ham (and optional the mushrooms) and mix it up a little bit. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you want to add the tomato slices, arrange them on top of the mix and sprinkle with additional salt and oregano. The tomatoes will make it a little juicier. Top of with the another layer of pasta.

Mix the eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Pour over the pasta mix.

Sprinkle the cheese on top of the pasta mix, and the bread crumbs on top of the cheese. Cut little pieces out of the butter and distribute over the top. Let bake for 45-60 minutes till the top is golden brown and the milk-egg sauce has settled (check with a toothpick). Check after 30 minutes, if the top is already getting too dark, place some tin foil on top.




Optional: added mushrooms and tomatoes

Another layer of pasta and then the egg-milk mix
Ready for the oven

Et Voila! 





Spiced Apple Cider



This mulled cider is a favorite of mine and so easy to make. Don't use the pre-made powder mixes that look like tea bags, those are way too sweet. The recipe is very similar to my Wassail (mulled juices) or the Glühwein (mulled wine), with the addition of cardamon seeds. As it is still cold outside, it is a perfect drink for a cozy evening :)

Ingredients


  • 1 bottle of apple cider
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 lemon slices
  • 3 orange slices
  • 10 cardamon seeds
  • 1/4 cup allspice berries or cider mate mix (orange peel, dried berries, gloves, ginger, anis star pieces)
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 gloves

Preparation


Pour the apple cider in a big pot and mix in the lemon juice. The apple cider is usually already so sweet, that I do not need additional sweetener, but rather something on the opposite side. However, if you like it sweeter, feel free to leave out the lemon juice and/or add some sugar, honey or maple syrup. Add the lemon and orange slices, and the spices (allspice berries or cider mate, cardamon seeds, cinnamon sticks, gloves). Heat it up and let it boil for a few minutes.










My Mom's "Waffeln" (German style waffles)


And here is my mom's waffle recipe that tastes really great with her cranberry compote. It is true German and you can definitely taste the difference to American style "Belgium" waffles. These are just a little bit fluffier and lighter. They also taste great cold.

A true German waffle iron actually creates little heart shaped waffles, but of course you can use any kind of waffle maker :)

Ingredients (makes 6 waffles):

  • 4 tablespoons (40g) butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel
  • 1 1/3 cup (150g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 2 tablespoons powder sugar

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the batter: In a big bowl, mix the soft butter with sugar and vanilla extract till creamy. Then add eggs and lemon peel, mix well. In a separate bowl, mix flour with baking powder. Now, add the milk and flour mix to the big bowl, but not everything at once. First add a little bit of milk and flour, mix well, add a little bit more milk and flour, mix again, etc. The batter should have a thick but slightly runny consistency. If too runny, add a bit more flour. If too stiff, add a bit more milk.
  2. Fry the waffles: Heat the greased waffle iron. Add two ladle spoons full of mix in the middle of the iron and bake till golden. Immediately dust the warm waffles with some powder sugar while you keep baking the rest. 
  3. Serve with some compote (e.g. My Mom's Cranberry Compote) or some fresh fruits (e.g. strawberries).







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    Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes à la Adam



    And it was time again for my boyfriend to cook - and as always it was delicious. He wanted to do a light dinner and found this great recipe for stuffed tomatoes on "Diethood" - food blog. He adjusted and modified the quantity of ingredients for 2 main dish servings and used a boxed quinoa from NearEast (flavor "Roasted Red Pepper & Basil") that actually uses a blend of quinoa and brown rice.

    Ingredients (for 2 servings)


    • 4 big vine Tomatoes
    • Salt - to taste
    • 1 boxed Quinoa (e.g. NearEast - flavor "Roasted Red Pepper & Basil")
    • 3 teaspoons Olive Oil
    • 3 cups fresh spinach
    • Salt and Pepper - to taste
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 2 -3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese - grated
    • 1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese - grated 

    Preparation


    1. Quinoa:
    Follow the box instructions to prepare the quinoa: Mix 1 3/4 cups of water with the quinoa and 1 teaspoon of olive oil, bring to a boil. Add the spice sack and mix well. Let boil for about 15 minutes. Then cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes and then fluff up the quinoa with a fork.

    Heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan, add the fresh spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook for a 2-3 minutes till it wilts. Mix in the garlic and parsley and cook for another 1-2 minutes, remove from the stove. Add the quinoa to the spinach mix and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    2. Tomatoes:
    Preheat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit. Prepare the tomatoes. Slice the top end (with the stem) at about 1/2 inch off. Remove the seeds and hollow out the inside. Place the tomatoes open side up on a baking form. If they do not sit flat, cut a very small layer on the bottom off to create an even surface. Sprinkle salt in the tomatoes, be generous. Fill the tomatoes with the quinoa-spinach mix. Bake the stuffed tomatoes for 20 minutes.

    Mix the parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Now, sprinkle the cheese mix on top of the tomatoes and bake for another 5 minutes till the cheese is melted and crispy. If the cheese is not golden brown and crispy after 5 minutes, put the tomatoes under the broiler for another 3 minutes.

    Serve 1-2 tomatoes per person and add a side salad with a vinaigrette.












    My Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup ("Hühnersuppe")



    This is a good old-fashioned chicken noodle soup, made from scratch. I learned it from my Mom, and she and her sisters learned it from her Mom, a family recipe :) It is a good hearty soup when you feel a cold is coming up during the winter days, and you can even freeze left overs.

    Ingredients


    Soup
    • Soup hen (old chicken with lots of fat)
    • Onion
    • 3 Carrots
    • 2 Leeks
    • 1 cup frozen Peas
    • 2 Teaspoons Salt and Pepper
    • 2 Teaspoons Vegeta (or vegetable soup cube)

    "Eierstich" (royale)
    • 1/4 cup Milk
    • 2 Egg
    • Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg

    Noodles and Dumplings
    • 1-2 Eggs
    • 1-2 Tablespoons Flour
    • 1-2 Tablespoons coarse Semolina
    • Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg

    Preparation

    The Soup:
    1. Put the soup hen in a big pot (if too big, cut of the legs and wings and add on top). Add 1 sliced carrot and 1/2 sliced leek, salt and vegeta. Fill with water, so that the hen is completely covered. Let cook for about 2 hours till hen is soft. 
    2. While the hen is cooking, prepare the the royale and the noodles and the dough for the dumplings (see recipe below).
    3. After 2 hours, take the hen out of the water. Pour the water through a strainer into a new pot. This is important as there could be small splinter bones from the hen in the soup. Take the hen and peel of the white meat and cut into small pieces. Add the chicken meat pieces, the frozen peas and the rest of the carrots and leek to the soup. Let cook for another 10 min, till vegetables almost soft. 
    4. Now, add the dumplings to the soup. Use the dumpling/noodle dough and take 2 teaspoons, wet them, and use about 1/2 teaspoon of dumpling dough to form the dumplings. The dumplings will rise about twice its size. Drop them into the boiling soup water. Dumplings will need to cook for about 5 minutes. The dumplings will first go under, but appear at the surface when they are fully cooked. If the dumpling doesn't stick together, that means that the dough is too runny. Add some more flour or semolina to increase the consistency of the dough and try again. 
    5. When everything is cooked, add the pre-cooked noodles. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soup, and add the in cubes cut royale to the soup.  
      Self-made pre-cooked noodles                                                                    Royale ("Eierstich")

      The Royale ("Eierstich")

      Note: "Eierstich" or royale is an egg custard baked in a water bath and then cut into little cubes. It is a very popular garnish for clear soups in Germany.

      As you cook the royale in a water bath, you will need two pots, a big one and a small one that fits into the big one. You can also use a ceramic bowl (heat proof) for the smaller pot. Butter the smaller pot. Fill the big pot with water, but not too high, you do not want to accidentally drown the smaller pot/bowl. Bring it to a boil.
      In a bowl, mix the eggs with the milk. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Fill the mixture into the smaller pot/bowl and cover with tin foil. Then place the smaller pot/bowl into the boiling water of the bigger pot. Make sure that no water gets into the smaller pot. Heat up the water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let cook for 30 minutes. After that, take the smaller pot out of the water and let cool down.

      The Dumplings and Noodles

      Mix the eggs, the flour and the semolina. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg. Use half of the dough for the dumplings and half for the noodles. If the dough is too runny, add flour or semoline. The dough for the dumplings can be a little thicker.
      You can prepare the noodles beforehand and just add to the soup in the end. Prepare a pot of boiling water, a bowl with cold water and an empty bowl. Use a whisk or spoon, dunk it into the dough and hold it over the pot with the boiling water. Move it up and downwards. The dough will drop into the water through the movement. If you want thicker or longer noodles, make the dough thicker by adding flour/semolina. For longer noodles, hold the spoon or whisk up higher. Cook the noodles for a few minutes, they will come up to the surface when they are done. Take them out of the boiling water and put them in the cold water for a couple of seconds, then drain the water. The noodles are no fully cooked and can be added last minute.









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