17 Oct 2013

tiles, stairs and food

 
What ever I do in the majority of cases, it has something to do with food. Not that I am cooking the whole day, but there are moments I have to think about it at least. It is no wonder, that I sometime have to leave the house for cooking sessions in different places.
That is what makes it really exciting for me. After the menu planning there is enough space for surprises. When I've packed all my stuff and head to the clients, I mostly do not know what the environment looks like.
Do I have to carry up all the stuff by myself, into the fifth floor or is there an elevator? What is the kitchen like? Is the place inspiring? Is the equipment in good condition?
But with all the work in advance, and after such an event, for most of the people it is inconceivable to do this by themselves. They are always insecure that the place is matching the needs.
The only thing you need is an stove and some people who like to enjoy the dinner with you. It sounds easy. But the truth is, it is easy. 
Although sometimes it was tricky, it always has been a lot of fun and pleasure for me
so far.   

 
 

8 Oct 2013

compensation...


Autumn is in town and although there are still some nice and sunny days it is clear that summer is finally gone. Even the last butterfly visited us to say good bye. Nice compensation.

Spontaneously we decided to make a short trip to visit a birthday party. What a nightmare. We started well prepared and instead of 5 hours drive we spent nine hours on motorway moving slowly in a traffic jam. You will understand that we haven't been in a good mood when we arrived. Friends and family members already left the party. The good thing after my mother in law recovered from our surprisingly attendance there was still some cake and coffee left. Nice compensation.

After a good sleep and a nice breakfast we had a long walk in the sun enlighted forest. The colours and a warm breeze, nice friendly faces on trees have been in our company. Nice compensation.

And last but not least our dog Emma was runnig like crazy for hours from one side to the other side. Jumping over branches, diving into ponds and hunting golden leaves. As she spent nine hours on the motorway she was a bit unhappy and not really satisfied. At the end of the walk she made herself to queen of the forest. Nice compensation.


 

2 Oct 2013

overview...


Disappeared?
No.
Holidays?
No. Unfortunately not.
You haven't had enough time?
No. Although I think sometime it is a good excuse. Do not ask. I do not have an explanation. It is just as it is.

Working as a freelancer you always will assume not to to have enough time to do something that's good for you. If you have enough time you waste it by wondering if working self employed was a good idea instead of doing something better. Yeah, I know. It is hard to decide not to think of a work you might not have today and doing something nice. For the nice things you already worked and you deserve some moments just for you. So did we.
Working long hours, running short of sleep and nearly forgot that we are no machines. Summer holidays in Berlin are mostly quiet in regard to my job. Breathing the warm and fresh air (of a big city, right), enjoying the sun we started doing what's good for us.
Have been visited by a friend not only with a bunch of presents. She also brought back some good memories of our New Zealand time. It is so good and sometimes even funny to lay back and remember what you have already done.
Spending time with friends and family, having savouries and becoming jealous of the birthday cake of our nephew.
More than once your dog is demonstrating how easy it is to fit into the smallest pool in the middle of nowhere. Her goal: world record in splashing. She reached with joy.
And suddenly we went to some art fairs. We haven't done for long. Great paintings and photographs and the most biggest elevator. Extraordinary things appear when you spend a little time. And to be honest by all the fun we had we also did something for our job. We stocked up on some inspiration. Which is really necessary to get on. 
 

 

  

1 Aug 2013

melting away


Summer in the city.
Since a few days the temperature is climbing up the thermometer. Although we had heavy rain in the evening the sun is doing its best job ever. Melting the asphalt, making people walking slowly down the streets and extending the queue in front of the ice cream parlour.
For all those who already spent enough time at the lakes and rivers and do not want to queue up in the heat of the sun here is an idea to collaborate with your freezer.
The secret word is granité.
Basically it is lemon juice sweetened with sugar syrup which is kept in the freezer and frequently stirred with a whisk or fork until its frozen. The result are millions of refreshing ice crystals which are melting easily on your tongue.
Actually it is quite simple to make a granité.

Almond milk granité

Soak almonds for 24 hours in water and keep in the fridge. Strain and wash the almonds. Do not worry about the brown skin, there is no need to remove. 
Place one part almonds and four parts water in a blender. Blend and strain through a cotton towl and wring a bit into a bowl or container. Sweetening with a syrup. I prefer agave syrup.
The last thing you have to do is place the container in the freezer and stir frequently.
This is working with any nut.

Strawberry granité

This one is a bit more time consuming.
Wash and clean the strawberries. Cut in to chunks and place in a pot. Add mint, lime zests and lime juice, sugar, water and red wine (if you like). Boil up, blend roughly and pass through a fine sieve back into the pot. Slowly bring back to boil while you removing the foam from the surface. If you doing that accurately you will get a nice dark red strawberry juice. Pour into a container, allow to cool and then place it in the freezer.

And do not forget to stir.

Any flavours you add you do it to your taste.
Enjoy the hot summer cities.

 

7 Jul 2013

fridge clearence...



 Sunday morning. 
The sun is tickling your nose and a warm breeze strokes the body.
After a busy week this is a perfect start in to a new day.
A cup of coffee, walking the dog and another cup with a deep breath of summer on the terrace. Live is walking slowly down the streets enjoying the sun. Eyes behind sunglasses following the steps of people passing by the coffee shops.
This kind of laziness might come into your mind when you thinking of a summer sunday. But here is a different way of happiness.
I opened the fridge and I found a lot of great stuff.

A bunch of parsley combined with walnuts, garlic and olive oil will make a nice pesto.
Eggs, butter and strawberries are the right things for a strawberry sponge cake.
Cherries, rosemary and coarse sea salt are perfect for oven dried cherries which are nice with beef.
Cherries, cucumber and ginger combined with the some little secrets are good for a delicious chutney.

These things made my day today.
Thanks for a wonderful sunny sunday.

 
 
 

 

23 Jun 2013

new adventures

picture by thorsten ruppert
Finally summer arrived in town.
As the mood of the people has changed and everybody is looking for new experiences, I am too and so I stepped over new frontieres. Discovered a new adventure, giving the amazing platform Kitchensurfing a try, an adventures which can happen every day, regardless of seasons and weather.
The good thing is that you do not need a lot of fancy equipment; some pots, pans, an oven, a stove and lots of passion, that is all.

So if there is
a birthday to celebrate, a show opening
to pimp up with great concept food
or any other reason for mouthwatering
food, here is the man for you.


Bookings can easily and directly made over my page on Kitchensurfing.


picture by thorsten ruppert


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27 May 2013

sunny afternoon, a cup of coffee and...


 

... what else do you need?
Here are some things which might be helpful to have a sweet afternoon.
As you can see strawberries are quite important. And you have to make a Crème Anglaise.
So, put on your shoes and go shopping.
For the Crème Anglaise you need:

    4         Yolks
100   g     Sugar
500   g     Milk
 1/2 tblsp Starch (potato or corn)
    1         Vanilla pod
200   g     Cream, whisked

Just because you are well organised I am pretty sure that you are doing the shopping in the morning. And especially this is a great day. It is warm and sunny. And do you see this little coffee bar at the corner of the other side of the street?
Yes, this one with the red sign and the green sunshade shadowing a small dark brown table with a yellow flower in a porcelain vase.
Go over, take your time and order what ever you want. Relax.

You ordered something. Fine.
Before you are going home you still need some icing sugar and some frozen puff pastry sheets.

When reaching home you should be in a good mood and start the preparation. Keep some of the pastry sheets outside.
For the Crème Anglaise beat the yolks, starch and sugar over a water bath until its creamy and white. Meanwhile boiling up the milk with the vanilla pod which you cut in halves before.
Remove the vanilla pod and the egg mixture from the waterbath. By stirring constantly slowly pour half of the milk into the eggs . Then pour everything back into the milk. Bring back to low heat until it thickened. Do not forget to stir constantly. Allow to cool.
Whisk the cream until stiff and keep in the fridge. When the vanilla cream is cold fold in the cream and put it back into the fridge.

Instead of rolling the pastry sheets in flour you are using icing sugar.
Roll out the sheets very thin and cut into shapes you like (round, triangle, squares...). Place the pastry on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven at 170°C until the pastry is done and caramalised.
When they are cold cut lengthwise in two halves. Add some cream with a spoon or piping bag to the bottom, place some washed and cut strawberries. Add some cream on top of the strawberries and cover with the top of the pastry.

Enjoy the afternoon.










6 May 2013

greens of spring



Isn't spring a great season?
More hours of sunlight, increasing temperature and smiling faces everywhere.
Even  the markets become more colourful and like every year at the same time people become curious about asparagus. For another six weeks asparagus is in season. Typical for Germany is white asparagus which mostly is boiled and served with melted butter or traditionally with Sauce Hollandaise. But before you can boil you have to peel it thoroughly. 
For the following dish we make it a bit easier and use green asparagus. And we serve it with one of my favourite dishes: Risotto.
Risotto is a great dish. You can combine any flavour with the rice, mussels, prawns . . . and any vegetable you think of. The only thing is that the cooking takes approximately 20 minutes. So do not add the vegetables from the beginning. Anyway it is recommendable to sauté the vegetable lightly in a pan to increase the taste and add shortly before the risotto is done.

Risotto with green asparagus  (enough for two)

Aborio rice                               250  g 
Asparagus, green                      250  g
Onion, finely chopped                50  g
Lime, Zests and Juice                   2 nos
Vegetable stock                      1000 ml
Parmesan cheese                         30 g
Butter                                          50 g
Olive oil
Salt, Pepper  


Cut of the dry ends of the asparagus, and peel the lower quart of it. Dice and keep aside.
Sweat the rice and the onion in some olive oil. Add the lime zests and quench with lime juice and some stock. Stir and reduce the liquid. Pour in some stock just enough to cover the rice and stir and stir and stir.
This procedure you repeat until the rice is just done. You might not need all of the stock. Maybe not more than 750 ml.
In the meantime you sauté the diced asparagus in some oil until it is done but also still has a bite.
Now you add butter to the risotto and stir well. Adjust seasoning and fold in the asparagus and Parmesan cheese. 

    
  

  

1 May 2013

what's all about this

Time is running fast.
Although I haven't mentioned the last one we start planning the next Speak Easy Club .
What is this all about the Speak Easy Club?
It is all about food, but not only. 
It is all about a glass of red wine or maybe some more, but not only.
It is all  about the people coming to us to take a seat at the table, but not only.
It is all about candles, flowers, music, conversations, laughter, coffee and espresso, but not only.

It is all about having dinner with friends even if you do not know them.
You might say it is just another supper club. Maybe you are right, but it is all about a bit more, but not only.
Once a month an artist and a chef are sending out a menu to share the evening for a studio dinner they call Speak Easy Club. Delicacies, completely homemade from regional and seasonal food which is reflecting the warmth of the oven and the atmosphere of the place.


Next day when the cutlery and crockery are back in the cupboard and the dog found a place to relax you realise that once again the people made the last evening a success.
And the wine and the food and the atmosphere and...  

 


29 Apr 2013

drinks going to be served at the pool

After few days of warmth last week, the weekend was a bit cold. But today it seems that the sunny days are coming back. Although it is still hard to decide what to wear; cold in the morning, warm at noon and a mixture of everything in the afternoon; there must be some life forms who have a built-in thermometer.
I am pretty sure that one these life form is living with us. When I walked our dog Emma today along the channel she shows me quite intensively that a Labrador is attracted to water. She was still hunting the ball which I threw and brought it back with the unspoken words in her eyes to throw it again. But time by time she was checking the channel for a possibility to come closer to the water.
Then there is this little bridge you have to cross when you want to reach the other side of the channel. So we did and at he other side she went nuts because all in the sudden she remembers that there is an alley leading to a quiet crosscut of the channel where you can easily reach the water. 
She was a bit sad when I called her out of the water.
Why built-in thermometer? She already knows that area and in winter she wasn't interested to jump into the water. Not for a second.

When the Lab is going nuts the weather get warmer and drinks are going to be served at the pool. 

Bildunterschrift hinzufügen
   

5 Apr 2013

leftovers are leading to a chocolate tarte

Sitting at the desk and sharing the rare moments of sunlight in the city with the flowers which are the highlight in those grey days.
Thinking what to do to fight against this foggy weather. April, and still no spring.
Suddenly I remember  that there are some leftovers in the fridge and freezer. I took out the pastry from the freezer, searched  for the chocolate canache in the fridege which I used for the curd cheese dumplings and preheated the oven. Rolled the pastry, placed it in a baking tray and gave inti the oven for 15 minutes at 170°C.
Meanwhile I melted carefully the canache over a water bath. Added to eggs to the warm and mixed it well. Took out the pastry, poured in the chocolate mixture. Switched off the oven, put back the cake into the oven and closed the door.
Left the cake for about one hour in the warm oven to refine the eggs.

April, and still no spring.
Flowers which are the highlight in those grey days, warm chocolate tarte...who cares about the weather.

I have to admit that I have been lucky but for all those who are thinking of chocolate tarte might be the following of interest.

For the dough
Flour
250
g
Butter, room temperature
150
g
Sugar
30
g
Icing sugar
60
g
Almonds,grounded
80
g
Egg
1
nos
Salt




         
Mix all ingredients and knead until you get a homogenous dough.
Wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge for one hour.
Roll out the dough to fit in your baking tray. Bake at 170°C for 15 minutes.

For the filling
Cream 120 ml
Milk 60 ml
Chocolate, dark 150 g
Salt 1 pinch
Egg 2 nos
Butter 15 g

Heat up Cream, milk, salt and butter. Break Chocolate.
Remove the milk from the stove, add chocolate and stir until it is completely dissolved. Stir in the egg,  fill into the baking tray  and keep the tart for about two hours in the oven which is switched off.
 


 
 

1 Apr 2013

beetroot granité with chocolate filled curd cheese dumplings

beetroot | curd cheese | chocolate

The following recipes you should prepare one day in advance.

Beetroot Granité 
Beetroot
1
kg
Sugar
100
g
Water
1000
ml
Rose water
3
tsp
Juice and zests of lime
2
nos
 
Peel the beetroot, chop in to cubes of 2 cm and place in a pot. Add the other ingredients and boil for 10 minutes. Allow to cool down in the pot. Do not blend the roots.
When the stock is cold strain the liquid into a container which you can keep in your freezer. After an hour you should stir the juice with a whisk and repeat the procedure occasionally to get the cristal crunchy structure.

Chocolate Canache for the filling of  the dumplings
Chocolate, dark
200
g
Cream
75
ml
Sugar
25
g

Chop the chocolate.
Place sugar and cream in a pot and bring to boil. Remove the pot from the stove, add the chocolate and stir until it is completly dissolved.
Pour into a container and keep in the fridge.

Dough for the dumplings
Egg
1
nos
Butter
80
g
Curd cheese
250
g
Flour
150
g
  
Cream butter and egg. Add the cheese and mix well. Finally add the flour and mix until you get a nice dough. 
The dough will be quite soft.
Keep in the fridge.

The day after preparation.
Take the dough and the canche out of the fridge and check if the work on the granité has been successful. Even today do not forget to stir the garanité.

At first make balls of the canache of the size of marbles.
Take some of the dough. Enough to cover the chocolate marble. Flatten the dough with some flour and place the chocolate in the middle. Now form a nice dumpling.
Place the dumplings in a pot with boiling water and reduce the heat. The water should not boil again. 
When the dumplings coming up they are done.
If you like you can roll the dumplings in grounded nuts which you mixed with some icing sugar.
If you have any left overs you can keep the dough for another few days or fill it with stone fruits. The canache you can keep in the freezer until you need it again.