My Mom's Shaking-Cake ("Schüttel-Kuchen") with Vanilla Creme and Mandarines



This is an amazingly delicious and fast cake. You just combine everything and shake for a couple of minutes. Good for last minute decisions and so tasty. It has a nice cream combined with juicy fruits and soft cake layers. This is one of my Mom's specialties (next to her amazing apple cake). You can substitute the mandarines for other fruits as well (e.g. strawberries, pineapple, peaches).

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (each about 2.3oz) "Dr. Oetker Paradies" vanilla creme mix (or vanilla pudding instant mix)
  • 2 packages (each 0.35oz) wipping cream stabilizer
  • 2 x 150ml whipping cream
  • 2 cans mandarines
  • 1 Angel fruit cake (or German style "Tortenboden" - a thin sponge cake)
  • Chocolate shavings for decoration
  • Optional: almond shavings

Preparation:

  1. Either use a German style "Tortenboden" on which you would add the cream mix in the end, or use a block of Angel Fruit Cake. But because the Angel Fruit Cake is so thick, you need to cut it and layer the cream in between. Cut the Angel Fruit Cake twice lengthwise, so that you have three layers.
  2. Chose a big pot that has a lid that seals good. Add the vanilla creme mix (just the instant powder), the wipping cream stabilizer, the manderines (with the juice) and the whipping cream to the pot. Keep a few mandarines for decoration. Close the pot. Start shaking for a couple minutes. Then open it and if not smooth enough mix the rest with a spoon. 
  3. Spread the cream mix onto the cake layers and decorate the top layer with the leftover mandarines and chocolate shavings.
Note: My Mom also adds almond shavings as a topping or on the bottom of the sponge cake. This gives it a little bit of a crunch and is very tasty :)









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Homemade Fish-Risotto Sticks à la Adam



It was again my boyfriend Adam's turn to cook. While he really craved homemade fish sticks, I craved risotto cakes that we ate a couple of nights before. As a compromise, Adam made up this delicious recipe for crispy homemade "Fish-Risotto Sticks" :)

Ingredients:


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 0.4 lb white fish (halibut or cod)
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon Knorr chicken bouillon)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 45g (1.5 oz) rice cereal
  • 3 tablespoon grated parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup oil for frying


Preparation:


Fish-Risotto Filling
For the filling, first prepare the risotto. In a pot, bring the chicken stock and butter to a boil, add the rice. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a frying pan and slightly cook the fish for a few minutes, only so that the fish turns white and flaky. If it is not cooked fully, don't worry, it will still be fried.

When the risotto is cooked, fluff it up with a fork. Now, add the fish by crumbling it apart. In order to be able to do that, we cooked it before so that it is flaky. Add the corn and cream cheese. The cream cheese will work as a binder, so that you can form the fish-risotto sticks. Mix good and taste it. Add salt if needed.

Breading and Frying
Now, prepare the breading. Therefor, add the rice cereal, parmesan and paprika into a blender and blend till it is smooth. Form little fish-risotto balls (easier to bread than stick forms). Prepare a 3-station breading: 1 bowl with flour, 1 bowl with eggs (beat the eggs and add salt and pepper), 1 bowl with the breading. First, roll the fish-risotto balls in the flour, then roll them in the egg mix. Last, roll them in the breading and reform to fish-risotto sticks. Now you are ready to fry them. Heat up the oil, add the fish-risotto sticks, fry for a couple of minutes till they turn golden-brown and then turn around.

Serve with a side of vegetables, salad or (on my boyfriend's wish) mashed potatoes.



(1) Flour                                  (2)  Egg                                   (3) Breadcrumps





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Seattle Bite's Pike Place Food Tour






On a friend's great suggestion I looked into Seattle's food tours as something to do on my most recent trip to Seattle. I did some research on all the possibilities (e.g. Fine Dining Food Tour, Chocolate Food Tour, Cheese Food Tour, etc) and decided that the Pike Place food tours caught my interest the most. 

I decided to go with "Seattle Bite Food Tours"as the bites they had sounded most appealing to me. I have to admit reading in some of the reviews that this tour provides the "biggest" bites was also in favor for them. Other options would have been "Seattle Food Tour" and "Savor Seattle Food Tour".

Bites that we had on "Seattle Bite Food Tour":
  • Salmon Flat bread (Taste restaurant)
  • Nutella-Banana Crepe (Crepe de France)
  • New England Clam Chowder (Pike Place Chowder)
  • fresh produce samples and greek yoghurt (Corner Produce)
  • Chicken Masala and Mango Lassi (Saffron Spice)
  • Onion Bratwurst with Sauerkraut (Uli's Famous Sausage Company)
  • Smoked and fresh salmon (Pure Food Fish Market)
  • Balsamic Vinegar Tasting (Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Room)
  • Wine Tasting (Lost River Winery)

The tour was great. A good mix of some history to the Pike Place Market and a good variety of some delicious bites. And indeed, the portions were big enough so that we did not need a lunch afterwards. I have been to the Pike Place many times before, but to be honest, this time we ventured into areas I haven't been before and it was interesting to hear about the history as well. 

We met and started at the Art Museum and the restaurant "Taste" inside the museum. This seemed a little unusual but I have to say that I was looking forward to the Salmon Flatbread Bite and I was not disappointed. This is only offered Wednesday through Sunday though, luckily I went on a Wednesday. Other bites that I really enjoyed were the sweet nutella and banana crepes, the indian chicken masala with mango lassi, authentic German and very lean sausage with sauerkraut. Of course we also sampled the famous award winning New England clam chowder at the Pike Place Chowder which I already had the pleasure to experience. And in the end we were taken to an oil and balsamic vinegar tasting and of course, what better ending, a wine tasting. First, I did not know what to think of the oil and balsamic vinegar tasting place, but give it a try. They have a lot of different kinds of vinegars (e.g. blood orange balsamic vinegar) and the flavors are just amazing.

A great day with delicious food, interesting history and very nice people. And it actually did not rain either :)

Pike Place Market History
A great start at an upscale location with salmon flatbread
A variety of French Crepes
Delicious Indian food

Very unexpected but interesting - Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Tasting 
And in the end - some Wine Tasting



HAPPY EASTER: Puff Pastry Bunny Ears


This is another quick and easy Easter recipe that I found by looking at Easter themed food pictures on Pinterest. The picture led me to "Savvy Mom" where I found the recipe. These Bunny Ears are simple filled with a mix of parmesan and dill what makes them a delicious light snack. I am sure you could also substitute for other veggies, herbs and cheeses. I could imagine that it would taste good with spinach and ham as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 puff pastry sheet
  • 2/3 cups of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preparations:

Unthaw the puff pastry at room temperature on a floured surface (about 30 minutes). Unfold it as soon as unthawed, so that it doesn't stick together.

Preheat oven at 450 degree Fahrenheit.

Mix the parmesan cheese with the dill. Roll out the puff pastry sheet a little bit more into a 12 x 12 inch square. Brush it with olive oil and sprinkle half of the parmesan mix on it. Fold two opposite sides of the sheet into the middle and press the seams into the middle. Sprinkle half of the leftover parmesan mix onto it and fold again the two sides to the middle and press the ends into the middle. Sprinkle the last parmesan on top and fold one last time. Now you should have a log with 6 layers. Cut the log into 1/2 inch slices.

Spray a baking tray with oil/butter and place the puff pastry slices on it, each about 2 inches apart from each other as they will get a little bigger. Let them sit for about 25 minutes. Then bake them for 6 minutes, flip them around and bake for another 5 minutes till golden brown.

Take out of the oven and serve warm.

Note: If you keep them in the refrigerator, they will get pretty hard. I suggest to bake them again for about 5 minutes before eating. That will soften them up again. 











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HAPPY EASTER - Carrot Crescents with Egg Salad




It is Easter time and I wanted to do something appropriate for the Holiday time. As I just made some fancy egg salad, these crescent carrots were a perfect idea as I was able to fill them with the egg salad. I found the idea on pinterest and followed the picture to the blog "Hungry Happenings - festive food for fun occasions" where I found the recipe. I have to admit that my carrots and pictures are not that perfect, but it looked nonetheless pretty cute :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube crescent dough (best the seamless one)
  • 6 metal cream horn molds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • optional: yellow and red food color
  • 1 1/2 cups egg salad (filling)
  • fresh dill or parsley 

    Preparation:

    Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit. 


    Prepare the egg wash: 
    Beat the egg and add the water.

    Prepare the carrots: 
    Unroll the crescent dough. If you could not get the seamless one and had to take the normal one, just pinch together the seams. Cut the dough into 6 strips, lengthwise. Brush each of the six stripes with the egg wash and roll the stripe into a log, pinch together the seam. Try to even out each roll and make it a little longer than the actual flat stripes (about 17 inch long) by keeping rolling it into a log. Wrap the dough log around the cream horn mold.

    Bake the carrots: 
    Butter a baking pan and place the horns on it. I have had very bad experiences with baking sheets, so I rather use oil or butter. If you want a real orange carrot, mix about 60 drops of yellow food color and 3 drops of yellow. This will be enough for 3 carrots. Brush the orange food color over the crescent carrots. If you rather want to go without food color, you can just brush them with the egg wash.
    Bake for about 8 minutes till golden brown. Take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the mold by carefully twisting it.

    Finish the carrots:
    Fill the carrots with egg salad and put a sprig of fresh dill or parsley into the egg salad to give it the looks of a real carrot. Note: Best to use real fresh dill/parsley and more than one sprig.







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    Egg Salad



    This is an American style egg salad, however, I added a few ingredients to spice it up a little. What better little dish for the Easter time.

    Ingredients:

    • 7 hard boiled eggs - finely diced
    • 3 spring onions - finely diced
    • 1 small red shallot - finely diced
    • 1 pickle - finely diced
    • 1teaspoon fresh dill - chopped
    • 1/4 cup cubed smoked Black Forest Ham - diced
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
    • salt

      Preparation:


      How to boil the eggs:
      Place the eggs in a pot and fill with cold water till they are covered about 1 inch. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, turn the heat down. Don't keep boiling them on high heat as that results in a green, ugly ring around the egg yolk. However, I like to leave the eggs on low heat for a few minutes, then I turn the temperature off and let the eggs sit on the warm stove and in the hot water, covered, for 10-12minutes. Drain the eggs and fill the pot with cold water. This will make it easier to peel the eggs. 

      Prepare the salad:
      Peel and dice the hard boiled eggs and place in a bowl. Add the chopped spring onion, shallot, pickle, dill and ham to the bowl. To taste, add the mayonnaise, mustard and salt. Mix and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

      Serve on bread, bagels or croissants.





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      My Mom's "Kartoffelpuffer" (potato pancakes)



      This is another recipe I grew up with, delicious and crispy potato pancakes, best served with cold applesauce. There was a short period of time when I was a child when I wasn't a big fan of onion pieces, so my Mom used onion powder during that time. That works as well, but don't skip the onion completely as it will lack flavor. Also, don't go easy on the salt. I would suggest to fry one and try and then maybe add more salt if necessary.

      Ingredients:

      • oil
      • 3-4 potatoes - shredded
      • 1 small onion - diced
      • 1-2 eggs
      • 1 tablespoons salt
      • Serve with Applesauce


      Preparation:

      1. Shred the potatoes. 
      2. In a bowl, add the shredded potato, the diced onion and the egg. Mix well. Add salt.
      3. In a frying pan, cover the bottom of the pan with oil, heat. Add one big serving spoon of potato mix into the heated oil and spread it evenly into a circular space.
      4. When the edges start getting dark, use a spatula to loosen potato pancake from bottom of pan and flip around if it is golden brown on the bottom. Keep frying it, till the other side is also golden brown and crispy.
      5. Serve when crispy enough with applesauce on the side.






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        Three Bean Soup



        I have my moments when I do not feel like eating a heavy or meaty dish. These are the moments when I try out a new soup. I just recently received this great and huge vegetarian cookbook ("Ultimate Vegetarian") from my friend Jamie's very nice mother that has amazing soups and indian spiced dishes. Now I am trying out a Three Bean Soup.

        Ingredients

        • 1 tablespoon oil
        • 1 red onion - halved and sliced
        • 1/2 leek - sliced
        • 1 carrot - diced into 1 inch pieces
        • 2 potatoes - diced into 1 inch cubes
        • 1 green chili - sliced
        • 3 garlic gloves - crushed
        • 1 teaspoon coriander
        • 1 teaspoon chili powder
        • 4 cups vegetable broth
        • 1/3 cup White wine
        • 1 can diced tomatoes
        • 1 can black beans - drained
        • 1 can white or navy beans - half drained
        • 1 can red kidney beans - half drained
        • salt, pepper
        • 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro - chopped (for garnish)

        • Serve with crunchy bread


        Preparation

        1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion, leek, carrot and potatoes. Add salt and sauté for about 4 minutes until vegetables slightly softened. Stir constantly. 
        2. Add the crushed garlic, chili, coriander and chili powder, stir and cook for another minute. 
        3. Fill up with the vegetable stock and white wine. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
        4. Now, add the can of tomatoes and stir in the 3 beans, add a little bit of the white and red bean canned water. That will thicken the soup a little bit and increase the flavor of the beans. Season with salt and pepper, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. 
        5. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with crusty bread. 






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