Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I need a drink

2 parts orange liquor to 1 part of cognac - cures all!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Guilty pleasure

One of my guilty pleasures is... egg salad.

My cholesterol has always been high (runs in the female side of my family and does not change with diet so I have been on meds for condition for a long time ... and no I am not that old yet) so I usually try to avoid foods that are considered further elevating HDL but occasionally you have to give in - no?!!!

So today after getting a little agitated about the fact that my drive way is still not cleaned from the snow (even though we pay a sh..-load of money to have it done) I needed a treat. In trying to be not too bad I made up my own egg salad recipe which turned out to be really yummy (if you wonder - no, I did not finish it all in one setting... my day hasn't been that bad):

3 hard-boiled eggs peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon of low fat mayo
2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2-2 pinches of Paprika and Cayenne pepper each
1.5 teaspoons of chopped dill

Mix mayo, yogurt and spices - carefully fold eggs in: DONE!

Enjoy on fresh baguette or nice crunchy toast.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yummy Brownie-bites - Shortcut Adult-version

I am a from scratch baking person but sometimes time just gets into my way and I have to retreat to semi-homemade in this department.
Brownies are one of the items that you can easily dress up and here is one version that I made yesterday as a little self-made take along Xmas gift for my friends that they can indulge on when the blizzard hits later today.
What do you need?
Box of Brownie mix - I prefer real dark chocolate brownie mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup of neutral oil (or whatever your mix calls for)
1/3 cup of rum (yes, you are reading that one right... replace water by rum!)
Tablespoon of good vanilla extract
Shot of coffee or teaspoon of espresso powder
Teaspoon of good orange extract (if you like nuts substituting with almond or hazelnut would surely taste great too)

Prepare brownies according to instructions, pour in well greased baking dish (I prefer 8"x8" to have a thicker brownie), and bake at temperature mentioned on box BUT slightly under bake them (I cut off about 8-10mins from recommended time), take out of oven and cover with thick towel. Why you might ask - this gives you the most chewy brownie with just the right amount of crust.
Give it a try - the small changes/additions in ingredients make everybody think you sweat in the kitchen measuring ingredients for hours.

Share and indulge!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

It's Christmas eve and this in my German background was always the big day of Christmas as traditionally us Germans gather on Christmas eve with family and friends, exchange gifts, eat and be merry ... and if offered would head out to attend midnight mass.

So here I am in the US thinking of the good ol' times and it makes me all warm and fuzzy feeling - I don't have my family around but tomorrow I am going to see some of my best friends and we will spend a lovely day of exchanging gifts, eating and being merry all over again... so what do I want to say with this - you can find happiness and warmth wherever you are!

Wishing you all a very Merry Holiday season! Be Happy and Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quick and easy supper

I love to cook but sometimes I just do not have the time to be in the kitchen for long and/or I have stuff in the fridge that I really need to use... this is how I put this supper together.

It's meatless too; however, I did not miss the meat at all (OK, that does not mean that much as I often skip meat).

First I whipped up a quick raw fennel salad with orange & pistachios - yum. Thinly sliced fennel (one bulb - don't forget to take the core out as it is really tough), orange slices (1-2 oranges depending on how citrusy you like it) and a good handful of pistachios. Dressing - very simple white vineyard of your choice, orange juice and zest, pepper & salt ... that's it. You can add Greek yogurt if you like a creamier dressing. I am a sucker for pistachios if you are not - walnuts are perfect in this salad as well.

Then I thought - crispy potato cakes would go great with the salad. If you are really pressed for time you can use ready bought or a mix but freshly made they are even better. Potatoes (2 Idaho), 1 onion, flour, 1 egg, salt and pepper is all you need - coarsely grind in food processor or hand grinder (let the potatoes sit for a while and discard the fluid that collects), mix it all together (as usual don't over mix) and bake in canola oil on medium-high heat... enjoy with salad :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Test Knitting & The Holidays Part 1

First of all I love to test knit for various reasons:

1) You get opportunity to make something that is a brandnew design
2) You often learn a new technique or how to do things different... and often smarter
3) No WIPinitis as you are on a deadline (OK, may not be a favourite thing for many but for me it works extremely well and is fun)
4) You help a designer to improve their already great work
... and best of all: A beautiful piece of knitwear for you :-)
This season I got really lucky as I found great testing opportunities that at the same time generated gifts for family and friends.
A very quick and fun knit is my Sainte Chapelle which is based on a pattern called "Arches and Columns Hat" by "Ancient Pathways" (US$5.00) Ravel pattern.
The name of my project came upon me as the gothic like arc construction of the pattern reminded me of the chapel of Sainte Chapelle:

Very easy and fast knit with absolutely beautiful result - voila Xmas present for Chriselle.