October 02, 2014

oktoberfest inspired food | throwback thursday.

it's the second week of oktoberfest in munich. i haven't been there again this year as i am not a big fan of  big crowds - specially not big drunk crowds. and i am also not a big fan of bear and overpriced food. or does anyone want to pay around €12 for half a hendl (=rotisserie chicken) or over €11 for a brezn with obatzda/obatzter (=pretzel with cheese spread)? i actually don't. but i do love brezn and obatzda so i make it myself whenever i have a craving for it. this way i can safe money and milage, skip the crowds and share it with my beloved crowd at home. so it is a win win win situation. #homemadeforthewin

last year around this time, i posted my recipes for some oktoberfest inspired foods. 
here they are...  just click the pictures to get to the actual recipes.
recipe obatzter/obatzda
recipe brezn
recipe lebkuchenherz
recipe bavarian inspired piza
this pizza actually is nothing that you could get at the oktoberfest or actually anywhere in bavaria. it was just inspired by bavarian food and i thought i include it in this list - just because. 

have a great thursday and if you are in germany, enjoy your holiday tomorrow. 

October 01, 2014

mango ham and gorgonzola pizza | the pizza adventures.

after a loooooong time it is pizza time again. if you read my post on monday, you know that i had half a mango left over from my mango chicken dish. as i didn't have it for breakfast the next morning, i had to find another use for it. i had pizza night planned for dinner so i thought why not put it on my pizza like if i would do with pineapple. kind of like a aloha pizza with a twist. ha ha.

i also had a little gorgonzola cheese left in the fridge so i threw that on my pizza as well. and tada, a new combo was born. i actually like the taste of gorgonzola paired with fruit. it balances out the strong taste of it. so the mango went really well with it.

another thing i changed was that i used spelt flour instead of wheat flour for the pizza dough. it made no noticable different tastewise. i just had some on hand that's why i used it. i do want to try whole wheat or rye next time though.

mango ham and gorgonzola pizza

[makes one 12-inch | 30 cm pizza]

1 batch of basic pizza crust
1/4 cup salsa pizzaiola
60 g buffalo mozzarella
30 g gorgonzola cheese
2 slices ham, cut or ripped into smaller pieces
1/2 mango, cut into cubes
some olive oil

preheat oven to 230°C | 450°F.

brush your pizza pan with a little olive oil and sprinkle it with some flour or prepare a baking sheet with some parchment paper.

press dough into pan and form a little thicker edge, or throw it and spin it and stretch it if you can do that or roll it out and place it in prepared pizza pan or on baking sheet.

spread it with salsa pizzaiola, rip little pieces off of the mozzarella and gorgonzola and sprinkle it all over pizza. place ham and mango chunks on pizza as well. drizzle everything with some olive oil.

bake pizza on the lowest rack in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

if you bake your pizza on a pizza stone, roll pizza dough out on a piece of baking parchment and slide it onto the pizza stone with the parchment when stone is preheated. this way your pizza stone will stay clean and won't end up with dirty burned spots.

i know gorgonzola is one of those cheeses you either love or hate. how about you? do you like it? what is your favorite way to eat it? i always add just a little to my mac & cheese as it adds great flavor to it. and i just love it on pizza.

is post is part of my the pizza adventures series. i want to try a new to me pizza topping every week and share it with you.
come join the pizza adventures. let's travel the world - a slice at a time. 

September 29, 2014

mango chicken | for one

in my currently post back in may i talked about how i came up with the mango chicken recipe that was actually supposed to be a copy cat recipe for the panda express orange chicken. but to be honest, i am glad i was out of orange juice that day and happened to use mango juice instead. i also added mango chunks to the sauce and it turned into something even better than the actual dish i was going for. no offence to the original orange chicken here, you know i love it and i am still going to get it if i happen to be in the states. but you also know that i love the homemade version better most of the time as i know what goes into it plus i just enjoy cooking - yes, i am weird like that.

anyway, i don't want to keep this recipe a secret. here is the for one version. but it can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled or even decupled if you are into cooking for big crowds like that.

mango chicken 

[serves 1]

1 small chicken breast
1tbsp + 1tbsp soy sauce
1 small egg*
1tbsp flour
1tbsp + 1/2 tbsp starch
1tsp oil 
oil for frying
1 green onion, cut in thin slices
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp mango juice
1/4 mango, cut in small cubes

cut chicken breast into bite size pieces and mix with 1 tbsp soy sauce.
whisk together egg, flour, 1 tbsp starch and 1 tsp oil until smooth, stir in chicken pieces

heat oil - about 1.5" deep -  in a mini wok* or pan and fry chicken pieces in two or three batches. carefully drop them in one at a time or they will become one big chunk. drain them on a paper towel and set them aside. 

remove all oil but 1 tsp from wok. sauté spring onion slices in oil for a minute [safe some to sprinkle on top later], deglaze with 1 tbsp soy sauce and vinegar, add sugar and let reduce for about 2 minutes. add mango juice and bring back to a boil. whisk 1/2 tbsp starch with 1-2 tbsp water, whisk into sauce and cook and stir until it has thickened. season with salt/sugar/vinegar and/or chinese seasoning to taste.

add mango cubes and fried chicken and let everything heat up again.
sprinkle with spring onions. serve with basmati rice. 

you can skip the the batter and frying part of this recipe for a leaner and quicker dish. just brown the marinated chicken pieces in a pan with a little bit of oil - coconut oil works great here - remove from pan and continue with sautéing your green onion. i love it that way as well and it is done in the time the rice needs to cook.

*if you don't have a small egg, use a medium or large egg, whisk it and use just half of it.
*i have an 8" mini wok similar to this one. it is perfect for cooking for one. 

basmati rice with mango and green onion

[serves 1]

5 tbsp basmati rice
1/4 mango
1 small spring onion
a knob of butter

in a small pot bring 1 cup of water to a boil. add some salt and rice and let simmer for 8 minutes. drain rice and pour it back into pot. add a knob of butter and mix. cover and let it rest for another 5-10 minutes. cut mango into small cubes and spring onion into thin ringlets. mix into rice.

i love the fresh mango and crunchiness of the fresh spring onion in my rice and it goes perfectly with the mango chicken.

so now you have used up 1/2 a mango. but what to do with the rest? what i like to do: either cut it up into chunks and freeze it for a smoothie, keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for my cereal or yogurt the next morning or use it as a pizza topping on pizza friday. i will share what i pair with it in another pizza adventures post soon.

what are your favorite dishes with mango?

September 26, 2014

currently | september.

i guess it is about time for a new blog post after an unplanned extended summer blog break. there has been a lot of things been going on in my offline life that kept me away from this little corner of the internet - good and not so good things. life just happens and life always comes first, no matter what. but here i am again. hope you are still here too. i thought a currently post would be perfect to get back into the blogging game.

currently i am... 

an apple a day from my grandpa's garden. there are some really old apple trees with varieties of apples that are hard to find even at the farmers market. unfortunately my favorite variety is one that can't be stored away like other apple varieties so now is the only time of the year that i can have them so i got to take advantage of that - they also make the perfect apple sauce and the perfect apple pie or apple datschi.
by the way, i am not always eating my apples the healthy way. i recently discovered my love for salted caramel and made a big jar of it. so sometimes i just have to dip my apple slices in some salted caramel. delicious little afternoon treat.  

black current juice spritzer. 1 part juice and 2 parts sparkling water. oh and apple cider too.

checkers and mills [nine men's morris] with my little friend. oh gosh, now his monopoly phase is over, thank goodness. but now he is so into checkers and mills. he wants to play one of these two games every. single. day. over. and. over. and. over. again. even though he just can't beat me. i still know my tricks. ha ha. just kidding on that one. but i am not letting him win on purpose. he also wants to learn how to play chess. but i have to pass on that one. i have no clue how to play and am actually not interested in learning. i don't want to stare at the game board for ages and think about any possible future moves and stuff like that. no thank you. this kid needs new games to play. fun games. ha ha.

breaking bad. i never thought i would ever get into breaking bad as it is just not about anything i will or would ever be interested in. but one night when there was nothing else on on tv they showed a breaking bad marathon and i somehow got hooked. and now i just want to know what happens next and how it will all end. curiosity for the win.

listening to...
the piano guys. i just love piano music. pair it with strings - cello in this case - and some modern tunes and i am hooked. sometimes i forget about my love for piano and strings but now i rediscovered it once and again. can't stop listening.

thinking about...
the couple of days that i spent with two of my besties a couple weeks ago. they sure did my soul good. we don't see each other a lot as we don't live really close to each other. but whenever we meet, we have the best time together ever. it never feels as if we haven't been apart for so long. it always feels like we just met a week ago or something like that. i love these too and it was the perfect time to see them.

the first days of fall. fall is my all time favorite season of the year ever. i just love when the air is crisp in the morning. i love when the leaves are turning into those beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red. i love when pretty clouds are back in the sky. i love when the summer heat is gone [well it never showed up around these parts of the world anyway. summer weather was playing tricks on us this year and decided to now show up at all. i didn't mind too much as i am not loving the heat anyway. but i felt bad for all the kids during summer vacation as there were not too many days that where warm enough for pool days.] i love when i can pull my cardigans, scarfs and chucks out of my closet again. oh and it is pumpkin season - pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin-apple jam, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin tarte flambée... yum. yum. yum.  

that my leg will be fine again soon. i fell down the stairs the other day and hit my shin on one of the stairs pretty badly. my shin got scraped and it swell up instantly. then turned into all shades of blue. it hurt for days. the bruise turned into all colors of the rainbow and moved down my leg and kind of around my leg as well. it looked hideous. now it is still a little swollen and hard which they said it might stay for weeks if not months as it is only skin and bones there. oh and the scrape might turn into a scar. but well, at least i didn't break my leg, right?

that everything will turn out to be fine. 

this post and being happy that i am back here in my little universe. 

ps: thanks danielle for the inspiration to these currently posts.  

picture - death to the stock photo

June 06, 2014

currently | may.

| these are currently being served in my house and gifted to friends a lot. |
yes, may edition even though it is june already. totally missed to post it on the last day of may.  

currently i am... 

copy cat recipes that got tweaked by me to be something totally different than intended.
i was craving panda express' orange chicken the other day. i have to admit it is one of my guilty pleasures. but of course we don't have panda express over here in germany. so what do do but find a copy cat recipe online and cook my own version. so i did. as i didn't have the real deal for ages i couldn't tell how close or far my version was from the original. i just know it was so good. but let me tell you something. i kind of wanted to have it again and again and again. sometimes i am funny like that. usually i hate eating the same thing over and over again but sometimes i am still craving it even though i just had it. anyway there i was, a week later standing in the greengrocer's shop and they were fresh out of organic oranges. so now, what to do. i already told my sister who was about to come over for lunch that i will prepare orange chicken for her as - believe it or not - she never had before. now what. out of pure despair i grabbed a mango and headed home. where i found out i had my last sip of orange juice for breakfast. argh! no oranges, no orange juice, no orange chicken! well i thought i will just make teriyaki chicken with mango rice when i found a bottle of mango juice in my pantry. so i had the idea. why not make mango chicken? and i did. and it was good. and i will make it again. and my sister said orange chicken can't be any better. and. and. and. that's the and end of this story. one more thing: i will make it again and write down the quantities and share the recipe with you. it was that good.

peaches. they are one of my favorite fruits and they just hit the stores over here again. my favorite ones are still the white flat ones. yum. they are so good. they make the perfect fruit snack during the day and the best desserts too. i never found anyone turning down a peach cobbler/crumble or a peach pie. have you? by the way, could i make peach chicken instead of orange chicken too? i might. or i might just stick with mango chicken and eat peach cobbler for dessert. ha ha.  

elderflower lemonade. our elderflower bush is in full bloom and i just have to make elderflower lemonade and syrup every time it blooms. this stuff is just too good not to. if you come across some elderflower bushes, do yourself a favor and pick some. if you can't find any get some elderflower syrup at the grocery store or at the food section at ikea and make some lemonade with that stuff.

i wanted to read »gone girl« by gillian flynn in may but i haven't read one single page yet. haven't even touched the book. i was just not feeling like reading at all. i am listening to an audio book though but nothing new to me.

listening to...
»the devil wears prada« by lauren weisberger. i read it ages ago when it first came out and i love the movie. so when i found the sequel »revenge wears prada : the devil returns« at the bookstore i just had to buy it. but i wanted to read the first one again. but like i sad i didn't feel like reading lately and as i have it as an audio book i am listening to it right before i fall asleep at night at the moment. i love audio books. it is like someone is still reading you bedtime stories.

pretty little liars. i actually didn't want to get hooked to another show but the started showing pll a couple weeks on german tv now and i actually just wanted to take a peak and see what people where talking about and i got hooked.

thinking about...
my blog schedule. as you might have noticed, postings have been a little sparse around here again lately. i don't know why that happens. i need to get back on track and work on a blogging schedule and plan out my weekly posts again. otherwise i have the feeling blog posts are just not going to happen for me.

to be cool about the fact that my sister bought that bag that i really wanted to have. it was so not cool that you did, little sis. so. not. cool! but i am trying to be an adult here and get over it. i might steal it from you though.

fresh cut grass. my neighbor must have just mowed his lawn. i love that smell.

the warm days. early summer days are my thing. it is not too hot for my liking yet. it is still enjoyable to be outside in the sun without melting away and getting red like a lobster. which i totally do when i am in the sun. oh i remember the time when i was at the beach house at the jersey shore with my american family. i was playing with the girls at the beach all day, made sure to reapply their sun screen regularly but never reapplied my own. the boating tour at the end of the day didn't help much either as i guess i got burned even more. i have that picture of me on that boat and i truly am red like a lobster. my poor skin.  

heading to the kitchen now and cook myself some dinner. i know i have some leftover chicken in the fridge and some soft tortillas. so i guess there will be a chicken quesadilla on my plate pretty soon. maybe with some peach or mango salsa. have you ever had peach or mango salsa? it is just the best salsa ever.      

have a wonderful weekende.

ps: thanks danielle for the inspiration to these currently posts. 

May 14, 2014

picture frame card | a paper craft with eeny.

i love to send pictures to friends and family with a little written note or a birthday wish. so i recently had the idea of making a picture frame card to make it easy for the recipient to put these pictures on display. 

i thought this might be the perfect tutorial to share with my fellow paper crafters for my monthly »a paper craft with eeny« guest post on my friend danielle's blog a love affair with paper. so if you want to know how i made this picture frame card and need a template, click here and find out how.
by the way, that's the back of the card. it has a stand which can easily be unfolded by the card's recipient. 

wouldn't that picture frame be cute to display your kiddos drawings in and/or send them out to their grandparents? i am sure they'd have loads of fun decorating the frames too. i went for a just plain brown craft paper frame this time, but a couple embellishments or some strips of washi tape make them even cuter. or how about cutting out any other shape than a rectangle? just be creative.

anyway, for the template and an exact tutorial, hop over to danielle's blog and say hello to her too. 

May 12, 2014

stamped loop scarf | diy.

every once in a while i raid my mom's fabric stash and i always find some fun fabric to diy something with. last time i found this hot pink jersey fabric. at first i didn't know what to make out of it so it was laying around on my craft table for quite a while until i had the idea of making a scarf. but i didn't want a plain hot pink stars to i got out some black fabric paint and stamped on some stars - they are my favorite shape. it was super easy and everyone asked me where i got my new scarf from. i even made a second one for my sister. so i thought i could take step by step pictures and share the diy with you. are you ready?

jersey fabric* or a plain jersey scarf
thread in a matching color
fabric paint
a foam brush
a piece of foam rubber
a stamp base such as a little piece of wood, a building block, etc.
a pen scissors
glue/roller adhesive

*measure a (loop) scarf you have and like the size of and use these measurements. i guess everyone has different preferences of the bulkiness of their scarfs.
you also might want to pre-wash your fabric before stamping to get rid of the ... hm what is it called... the weird stuff the put onto fabric to make fabric not as prone to wrinkles to look good in store. does that make sense? anyway, i always pre-wash my fabric without fabric softener before using fabric paint. than iron it so it is wrinkle free.
to make your custom stamp, cut out any pattern of the rubber foam you like. i punched out two different sized stars and traced them onto the rubber foam.

depending on the thickness of your rubber foam you might stick a couple layers onto each other so you get your stamp pattern a little higher which makes it easier to stamp your pattern on without accidentally getting some paint from the edge of your stamp base onto your fabric. i did three layers of rubber foam.
now it is time to get your paint out. add a little fabric paint to the side of your foam brush and use it as your ink pad and brush off any excess with the tip of the brush. you really don't need a lot of paint on your stamp. i hardly had any on there and it doesn't matter if it looks a bit streak like it does on the picture above. maybe test it on any scrap of fabric you have laying around or even on a piece of card board.
lay out your fabric onto some paper or anything to protect your working surface.
stamp on as many or as little shapes you'd like. i went for two different sizes of stars all over the fabric and it took me quite a while but it was fun. just make sure to press your stamp down straight and not get the edge of your stamp base onto your fabric. also lift it up straight. but little imperfections just make it more personal, right?
let everything dry completely. 
the following step depends on your fabric paint, i guess. mine called for ironing it from the front through a cotton towel for 2 minutes to fix it. so check the paint you use for instructions.

if you are going for a loop scarf, sew together the shorter ends of your fabric. but this of course is totally optional.
there it is, your custom designed loop scarf. wear it out and be proud every time someone asks where you got it from.