Posts tagged ‘Homemade’

July 11, 2010

Cooking with hot weather

The ingredients for pesto

The locals are complaining as if Germany were becoming the  Sahara. For an Italian, it is not that bad. At night you can sleep even with your clothes on. This is not hot, guys. Spend a couple of nights in Milan now – you can’t sleep, you can’t eat.  I kind of missed a proper summer feeling when I lived in Wales, when they start to talk about ‘coping with the heat wave’ when the temperature reaches 24 degrees.  It is still actually quite warm though, and since my kitchen is exposed to the sun especially at evening, I don’t feel like spending a lot of time there. So dinner is mainly salads, hummus, cold dishes, like the big Italian summer classics: prosciutto e melone, pomodoro e mozzarella. Nicer since here I can find proper Italian ingredients.

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May 14, 2010

Spargel und Schinken

spargel und schinkenGerman food is most of the times very simple and quite hearty. At least in this region, the simpler, the better. Local ingredients are superlative and they don’t really need much more than a simple cooking. Germans know that and they love to eat tons of their best ingredients when they are in season. It is hard to describe the obsession around asparagus right now. I mean, also in other countries you see asparagus everywhere when the season comes, but you don’t see ‘Hier Deutsche Spargel’ on the windows of every shop remotely related to food. Remotely. If they sell something edible, you can bet they’d offer you asparagus right now.

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March 26, 2010

That’s cheating

I previously mentioned how sometimes you can, and actually should, cut corners when cooking. I also previously mentioned how much I trust this blog. It is one of those blogs whose recipes have all the wow factor you may want or need, are clearly explained and are 100% reliable.

This blog recently posted a recipe for puff pastry. I tried it. Not only did it work, not only was it easy, indeed, drop dead easy, indeed, almost as easy as walking to the store and buying puff pastry. Not only all of these, but also, the result was better. I mean, not only better than store bought stuff, but better than the results you get when you don’t cut any corners at all. I am not scared of challenges, when it comes to cooking.  And I did try once or twice to make puff pastry, on very special occasions. I hated myself for my stubbornness and cried on broken pastry and butter everywhere in my kitchen. You know, just the regular puff pastry experience. After all that effort I was then of course ready to swear that my puff pastry was the best one in the whole world, and you know, it was not exactly  bad – the point is that in the end, all in all, puff pastry is definitely – let us face it – definitely not worth the effort.

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February 28, 2010

Breakfast time

Can you think of a better way to start the day, other than eating? I love breakfast. I need something that will fill me up until lunch time, and possibly even later. My allocated time slot for breakfast is between five and six minutes, and besides, please don’t ask me to cook anything on a week day morning (on the other hand, I just love making pancakes on weekends).

I need coffee. Made with a caffettiera, of course – even though I admit mine is not pink, just a plain metal one 🙂

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February 5, 2010

Very Dark Nutella Curd

This post honors the 2010 World Nutella Day – in spirit, at least 🙂

Nutella curd

This is a coming out.
I am one of those posh, unbearable persons who will turn their head with a disgusted look at people who choose to eat something with Nutella. I will always order my crêpe with real chocolate, or crème de marron, or butter and sugar, rather than having a crêpe with Nutella. When in a hotel, at the breakfast buffet I’d always leave there the little Nutella boxes in favour of.. pretty much anything else.

It is not that I can’t eat it. It is just too cheap and … now I am going to admit it… not very good.

Too sweet, too fatty.

And yet.

Before you start throwing stones at me, I need to finish my confession.

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February 2, 2010

Pizza at home: a few notes

Home made pizzaFinally! The oven is back!

First thing we did, we baked a pizza. In our super connected world, you don’t really miss Italy that much. Two things though you do miss: the sun and pizza. Now I come from quite a misty and cold corner so I don’t even miss the sun that much. But pizza…
When you are in Italy, you live with the comforting thought that at walking distance there is always a pizzeria that can save the evening, if not the day. Maybe not the best on Earth, but still, acceptable. Abroad, that is not true. Pizza is in the best case very sad, in the worst case it will make you sick. In the UK the situation was number two, here in Germany, being many more ‘old style’ Italian immigrants, the situation leans towards number one.

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January 22, 2010

The chef’s trick

Home made bouillon

Finally, I am equipped with a proper kitchen! The best part of it is that it is full of natural light. I have electric plates also for top stove cooking and the oven is a smallish, electric one, which I prefer to traditional gas ones (traditional in Italy, of course).  I managed to clean it just a couple of days ago, and have used it only for cooking the occasional squash or finishing off some busy week dinner. I promise some proper baking is coming back soon. I have been really missing it. Of course here it has been less of a pain than it would have been in the UK, as when I want a decent slice of cake, the difficult part is choosing between the dozens on offer in a cafe’; and bread is fantastic, as I told you. Nevertheless I use the oven a lot for many little finishes to dishes, for grating a pasta or rice dish, or as a healthy alternative for frying. My family has missed my homemade granola as well: I’ll have to source a good health food shop for nuts and seeds and the likes, and then it will be back.

In the meanwhile, one of the first things I did was trying this recipe.

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