Writings on curious recipes, food I've tasted around the world and the quest for finding the perfect blueberry muffin.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The perfect gnocchi - light, delicious and so simple to make

Whenever I see gnocchi on the menu, I'm always so tempted to order them. I love gnocchi - or at least, I love the idea of gnocchi. A light potato dough that is so good, it can hold its own in even the simplest of sauces. However, more often than not the gnocchi that land on my plate are not exactly that. They're too heavy, too bland, too gummy, too... They just don't live up to the taste I've conjured in my mind. And after yet another disappointment the other day, I decided that the only way I could achieve my gnocchi bliss would be if I took matters into my own hands, found the perfect recipe and made my own. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Strawberry-rhubarb frozen yoghurt

The other day out of nowhere (or potentially out of some part of my body protesting all the chocolate and cheese I was putting into it) I suddenly began craving frozen yoghurt. A fruity frozen yoghurt - strawberry-rhubarb to be precise. Not that I had ever seen or tasted that flavor before, but after having made a strawberry-rhubarb compote last week I had become convinced that strawberries and rhubarb are just one of those couples that are meant to be. They go so well together, there's really no point in questioning their togetherness or, worse, - separating the two. And ever since I have been brainstorming ideas on how to use them next. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Decadent, dark chocolate brownies (and too many grilled cheese sandwiches)

When I was a child, I had to finish all the spinach on my plate, was only allowed to eat cereals with sugar on Wednesdays and Sundays, and was never granted that bag of chips, not even the really small one, even if I begged, pleaded (and occasionally threw an embarrassing fit). And all those times, the only thing that consoled me was the thought that when I am older I am going to eat exactly what I want, whenever I want and nobody will be able to stop me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Homemade granola and strawberry-rhubarb compote: instant satisfaction

I'm just going to come out and say it.  This is, quite possibly, the most satisfying thing I've eaten all year. 

I know what you're thinking. Granola? Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote? What? Come on.

But hear me out. You see, I am kind of a granola (or as I call it - Müsli) junkie. No matter what breakfast foods are available, 9 out of 10 times I'll go for some organic yoghurt topped with granola and sliced fresh fruit. That being said, I am very particular about my granola. Having tested pretty much every preservative and additive free brand available in Vienna and South Tyrol, I know exactly what I want and don't want. On top of the list? No dried fruit - especially no raisins*, it should be sweet, but not send you on a sugar rush first thing in the morning, and the package should contain more than just a handful of nuts and seeds. And while I've taken a liking to these two, they still don't meet all my criteria, and often have me picking out dried cranberries at 8am in the morning.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Leeks Incorporated. Leek bruschette, tarts and risotti.


People, do you know what happens when you heat some olive oil and butter in a pan, add sliced leeks, a pinch of salt, a grinding of pepper and let it cook, covered, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 25 minutes? Oh please, let me tell you. Sweet, magical things happen. Sweet, magical and addictive things - the leeks caramelize.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Onion and poppy seed bagels - bringing New York to London

As shocking as this might sound, growing up, I didn't really care about food. (Yes, it hurt just typing that). I didn't really think much about it and as long as I liked the taste of what I was eating, I was happy. That being said, even though I never really craved any certain food or was fixated on something in particular there was one exception - I always wanted bagels.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Vanilla Belgian Waffles - happiness in a bite

I can describe how I felt on Tuesday in 12 adjectives:

Excited. Bored. Bored. Bored. Anxious. Annoyed. Angry. Angrier. Surprised. Excited. Amazed. Happy.

(I dare anyone to say I'm not eloquent.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spaghetti alla puttanesca - getting my Italian fix

Since officially moving to London a few days ago, my meals have consisted of a juicy burger topped with Gruyere and a side of chips at Byron, a slightly less juicy burger and a half portion of fish and chips at a local pub, an extra large kebab from a famous kebab place, a vegetarian burger with aubergine, fried goat's cheese and oven roasted tomatoes and chips, and an extremely generous portion of authentic Indian food. And while everything I've been eating has been delicious, there's only so much foreign and fried food I can handle before needing an Italian fix (and an appointment to a cardiologist).

Friday, May 6, 2011

Raspberry semolina tart - regaining my good baking karma

Last week my baking karma was off. I don't know what it was, but the carrot cake sandwiches (essentially two carrot cake "cookies" with a cream cheese filling in the middle), which sounded amazing in theory, didn't live up to my expectations - too dense and dry - and the chocolate custard torte I slaved over for nearly three hours just didn't want to set and ended up a wobbly mess. And on top of that, it was too salty. Too salty! Who salts their desserts too much? Sigh.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cannellini bruschetta with roasted peppers

I often stand in supermarkets for an unhealthy amount of time, reading the labels on everything from yoghurt, to cheese, to spreads. And not because I am concerned with the protein or fat content - no, I stand there, reading the ingredients, comparing one "plain yoghurt" with the next, and not only wonder why one has 5 more ingredients than the other but what those ingredients even are. I don't like putting UCOs (unidentified, chemical objects) into my body, and therefore I very often leave the store empty handed, determined to make my own version of whatever I was going to buy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dal with rice and naan - let's go fair

The other day my friend Mario asked me if I could help him out. He and his friend Andy run the website NomadEarth, a cutting-edge platform for outdoor fans who believe in fair and sustainable travel. They provide stories, tips, and offers on adventure sport in foreign countries and show how one can explore nature and be adventurous while respecting the local population, culture and nature.