Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Holidays

Hello there,

It seems to me that, ever since I turned thirteen time has just flown by. This month however has been extreme. To be honest, I think I blinked and it was Christmas. There was so much to do, sending out Christmas cards, baking cookies, cleaning, doing some major food shopping, buying get the gist :).

Anywho, this year my cousins and my grandparents came to our house for Christmas, and my boyfriend and I cooked dinner. We did a four course menu which I'd been planning since this summer to be honest, I was that excited (is that weird?). I think the best way to show you is to insert pictures and explain what each course is. So here goes:


So this was the "menu board", a small slate I had in my advent calendar this year (how awesome is that?! It came with a chalk and everything...I guess you can tell that I got way too excited over it.) I decided to keep it simple so that everyone knew what to expect but I could still be creative and surprise them (and of course, it's in german -  for anyone wondering).

This was the Hors 'doeuvre, a small tomato filled with a feta and couscous mixture, topped off with a droplet of balsamico extract and a small leaf of arugula and sitting on top of a lemony yoghurt dip.

 As for the starter course, we served carrot ginger soup with asian meatballs. I have to say, I was quite pleased with how both turned out, however I do believe that a little more ginger couldn't have hurt.

 The first main course were homemade tortellini filled with a ricotta and dried tomatoe mixture, served on basil pesto and with a parmesan chip in the middle. Those were a real hit, I had some leftover and everyone practically jumped at the chance to have more than

 For the real main dish, we had a piece of beef filet grilled medium, some spinach and mushroom for our greens (gotta love your vegetables) and a sweet potato - celery root mash. I have to be honest, this was the course I was most worried about. I had practiced the meat once before and it had turned out fantastic, but still, if it had gone wrong, the entire course would have been ruined, would't it?

Now onto dessert: We served a warm chocolate cake with a molten center, homemade yogurt ice cream and assorted fruit (pomegranate seeds, blueberries, pineapple, mango). It was delicious if I do say so myself.

And that was it. It was received very well by everyone, what I forgot to fotograph in all the haste were the homemade bread rolls and the two different butters I had made to go along with the Hors 'doeuvre. We had a tomato butter as well as a "green butter", which was essentially some of the pesto whipped together with the butter.

I know that this post should have gone up at Christmas, but to be honest, after all of that, I was so done with the world, the only thing I could do was open my presents :)

Happy (remaining) holidays everyone and if I don't post anything before New Years (which I'm hoping I will, but since we're hosting a major New Years party at my house there is a ton of stuff to do beforehand (again)), I'm wishing you all a wonderful New Year and a fantastic start into January.

see you soon,



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls...yumm!!!

Sometimes I wonder, is there anything better than warm cinnamon rolls? The delicious smell, the topping still dripping down the sides, the swirls of haze still escaping the warm rolls.....heaven!

I don't know why, but I tend to make cinnamon rolls at night with the thought in mind "well, I can eat some for breakfast the next day, yay!", and then my family sees them and that thought is history, because for some reason, they eat nothing faster than still-warm cinnamon rolls.

I love making them, not only because - let's face it, they're some of the best things one can bake- but also because they're so easy! I think my original recipe is from the Betty Crocker cookbook and I've just changed a few things around. For example, I basically double the amount of filling because..well..that's the best part, isn't it? I also omit the nuts, plain sugar and cinnamon for me please! The topping is just some vanilla extract, powdered sugar and milk...yummy!!!

What's your favorite baking smell?



Monday, November 24, 2014

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I know, Red Velvet is more of a Valentines Day thing. But the thing with red velvet is that I've been trying to get them right for ages now. And when I say ages I mean I've tested so many recipes that sometimes I can't even remember which one tasted best.
I've tried dying them red with red beets (juice and puree -> yes, two different batches), I've tried the regular food coloring from the stores, food coloring from a get the idea.

But alas....none of them ever turned out the way I wanted them to (pout here). So I decided I needed something better, and "got out the big guns" (haha). I read up on the "Wilton food colors" online, read through all of the comments on amazon and decided to give them a try.

What can I say, I wish I'd ordered them ages ago. That wouldn't only have saved me time and effort, but probably also around two pounds which I gained while eating all of the other (non-red) velvet cupcakes (because even though they weren't pretty they were all pretty darned good).
To get back to the point, the Wilton Food Colors are perfect. They are in form of a gel, which means that if you want to color your frosting you won't have to worry about it becoming runny and they are so strong that the tip of a tooth pick is usually enough to dye the entire dough the desired color.
I have to admit, I have been itching to try out all of the colors (they even have black --> how cool is that!?), but haven't gotten around to trying all of them yet. Rest assured, when I do, I will definitely let you know ;)

Back to the red velvet cupcakes though: here they are, with a delicous cream cheese frosting and as red as can be :)

Have a great start of the week! 



Friday, November 21, 2014

Peanutbutter Cupcakes

Everyone: It's peanutbutter - jelly time! Peanutbutter - jelly, peanutbutter - jelly.....
(Imagine song in head and dance along weirdly - might wanna make sure no ones watching you first though).

Ok ok, I'll stop, don't worry. Now to be honest, there's no jelly in this cupcake. It's just plain ol' peanutbutter with a decadent semi-dark chocolate and nougat frosting. And yes, nougat means Nutella.

Basically, my brother lives off of peanutbutter. He usually finishes a glas a week. Now I am kind of jealous of the fact that he can do so without gaining weight like crazy, seeing as he is still growing (even though he's already taller than me - sigh). Seeing as it's his birthday later this month I figured I'd create a cupcake he'd be dying to eat. And I must say - I delivered! I baked around seven of them and he ate four the night I made them and then interrogated the rest of the house when there were only two left the day after when he came home from school (don't look at me, I didn't eat it! *cough cough*)

The frosting consists of powdered sugar, nutella and non-sweetened cocoa powder. When whisked for a few minutes it developes a gorgeous shimmer and looks so rich and smooth you just wanna take a spoon and eat it like that. Come to think of it, it would probably taste pretty good on a warm slice of toast as well.....

do you love a kind of food as much as my brother loves peanutbutter? I personally can't get enough of pasta...I love it!



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Carrot Cake Cupcakes


The word alone tickles my imagination. In my mind I see gorgeous little cakes in the most decadent of flavours, topped off with a creamy frosting that melts in your mouth when you take a bite.

Basically, I love cupcakes. I love baking them, I love eating so much of the batter that I start to feel slightly ill and I love watching people take their first bite and see their face change as they experience the wonderful taste that floods their mouth.

But enough poetry, lets get down to business. I am currently planning on starting my own little cupcake/sandwich shop café. Of course, its still in planning and I am not sure if it will ever be anything else seeing as I plan on going to college next year etc etc... BUT: I do have the time to start something like this right now. So at the minute I spend as much time as I can in the kitchen, baking, experimenting and tasting. My poor family and neighbors have probably been on a constant sugar high for the past two weeks, but hey - someone's gotta taste the cupcakes and if I were to eat all of them, I might as well apply for "The biggest loser".

I started this "bake-a-thon" with my mothers favorite: Carrot cake cupcakes with  a cream cheese frosting.
Looking at existing recipes I noticed that most of them were just plain carrot, but - taking the Starbucks carrot cake by example- I decided that some walnuts would definitely improve a carrot cake cupcake. The rest was easy, I just took my "basic vanilla cupcake" recipe and reworked it so that I could incorporate the carrots and walnuts, leaving out the vanilla and adding some more vegetable oil. The only negative thing I have to say is that these cupcakes stuck to the paper tins like cement. I figure it's because I should've added even more vegetable oil, the batter wasn't thin enough, so that is something I must improve.

The frosting turned out delicious! A little tip for anyone who plans on doing a cream cheese frosting: The trick is using full-fat Philadelphia! The stuff is perfect for this frosting, it will taste amazing and it's so easy.

The carrot decoration on top is just dyed marzipan. I must admit, I had more fun shaping these mini carrots than I should have. There is just something so satisfying about creating food and it turns out looking pretty cool.

Stay tuned for more cupcake-heavy blogposts to follow soon!

what's your favorite cupcake?



Monday, November 17, 2014

Apologies and the start of baking season

Hello again Interwebs!

I must admit, I am a liiittle bit disapointed in myself. I was very eager to start blogging, but with so little going on in my boring life right now I always thought "eh, that's not very interesting", everytime I thought about sitting down and posting a blogpost. So I feel like I should apologize just a little bit.

BUT here I am again, and this time I promise I will do my very best to stick with it!
November marks the beginning of the countdown 'til Christmas, at least it does for me. I already have all the presents I want to purchase lined up (but I haven't bought them yet - I guess it's still a liiiiittle bit too early for that), I have my menu written up for Christmas and I am chomping at the bit to finally start baking.

So that's exactly what I did last weekend, and what doesn't say Christmas more than a Gingerbread House?? I cannot even tell you how excited I was to make one myself. I have been planning on doing one for the last three years and never got around to it. But seeing as I have nothing but time on my hands at the moment, I figured I would go for it.

Without further ado, enjoy these pictures and start feeling christmassy :)

I do hope that you'll continue to stick by me (if you're there in the first place - THANK YOU!), even if I am probably the worst continuous blogger in history.



P.S. What do you like to do to get in that christmassy-mood? What is your favorite christmas tradition?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Visiting Lake Constance

So I must admit, blogging on a regular basis is harder than I thought. Being a full-blown procrastinator, I find it hard to sit down and pen (or type) a post on a regular schedule. But nevertheless I plan on trying.

As the title says, I've been paying Lake Constance a visit last week ( so I do have a half decent excuse to why I haven't posted a blog post then). I've been thinking that I'm not going to write a lot, but let pictures do the talking. Basically, my boyfriend and I visited a mountain (the Pfänder in Austria), went to the Meersburg, took a ferry to Constance (where we had the most amazing desert ever!), took a trip to the Affenberg ( a small wildlife park where a lot of monkeys live that you could feed with popcorn) and basically just enjoyed a lot of good food.

So without further ado: enjoy the pictures ;-)

Penne al Arrabiata..hmmm

Chicken Saté with curry rice...I admit, I'm awful at remembering to photograph my food before I start eating

The best dessert ever! Homemade vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce and a freshly baked chocolate cake with a molten center....I'm starting to drool just thinking about it!

This little guy was only around three months old. I wanted to take him home with me, he was soooo cute!