Choco chip cookies

Well, now that we figured out how to make chocolate chip cookies in Germany (successfully) I better really pick up my work out routine.

On Saturday, Sandra had her birthday party so I figured that was a great reason to make another batch. This time, I made a full batch, and I think they were a hit. A Konditor himself (a profesisonal dessert chef in Baden Baden) even gave me some compliments. I was very pleased.

Sunday we slept in and had brunch on the patio, it was a fabulous weekend in BB. Happy Birthday to Sandra!


Corn Tortillas

Look what we found! Surprisingly, we have been getting some good avocados around here lately.

We were in the mood for Mexican food, and didn’t feel like spending 4 Euros on taco shells or tortillas, so I decided to make some. I mixed some polenta with regular flour and a bit of water, fried them up in a pan, and that was that.

They turned out a bit chewier than I like, but Milo enjoyed them. He had roasted a little chicken, so we made taco salads which we reasoned were a bit healthier than tacos. It is hard to go wrong with guacamole!


Easy peasy pizza

On Sunday we made pizza. We didn’t know what to make for dinnner, but we had some veggies and mozzarella on hand, so I made some pizza dough. The dough is really easy to make, but it is best to let it rise for a day or two (in the fridge). We didn’t plan ahead, so it wasn’t as flufftastic as usual. For two people plus lunch the next day, this is how I make the dough: sprinkle 1/2 tsp dry yeast over 3/4 cup warm water. In a separate bowl mix together 1/2 tsp salt with 2 cups flour. Drizzle some olive oil (a glug) over the flour and mix it up with a fork. Then stir in the yeast-water and knead it for a while. That’s it. Then just let it rise for a while.

We had a yummy mix of toppings: tomato, mushroom, zuchinni, prosciutto, mozzarella and parmesan. I bet you are wondering why I am considering this a “new” food experience, and therefore posting it. Because….

Milo added a very interesting twist to half the pizza- potato and egg. I have no idea if that is remotely Italian or just creative, but he cracked an egg on top. And then baked it. And it baked. So that was my first ever experience with egg pizza. Just changing it up as usual around here.

Homemade Bagels!

Halleluyah! That’s all I have to say about that.

As you know, Germany has an abundance of fresh baked bready items, but I have yet to find anything resembling a bagel. Oh how we have missed warm, toasty bagels with melty cream cheese slathered on top. So, being the resourceful (and food loving) girl that I am, I decided to try my hand at bagel making. And it worked! Very well!

It was much easier than I imagined, and don’t let the boiling part scare you. This is totally worth the effort, especially if you have…hmmm…say a fancy schmancy cappuccino to go with it.

I found the recipe here on Tasty Kitchen, and it made four bagels. After making the dough and letting it rise for 25 minutes, I made four ropes and turned those into circles. As you can see, they have pretty large holes in the middle, but that’s because you have to let them rise again.

I think you only need to let them rise another 20-30 minutes, but we took advantage of the fact that the rain had stopped and went for a walk into town. When we got back, an hour and a half or so later, they were looking much more bagel-ey.

Then I just boiled them in a pan for a minute on each side. The tricky part was flipping them. Maybe next time I will use a deeper pot, but I was worried they would get stuck together if it wasn’t wide enough.

After boiling them, I baked them for 18 minutes at 200 C, flipping them over half way through.

I am SO PROUD! Can you tell from my big smile? Luckily they tasted as good as they looked. Milo’s very words were “Mmm, these are really good!” I think he was skeptical about my bagel making, but in the end it worked out great!


Scandinavian Cardamom Buns

Rosenmontag aka Shrove Monday is a huge fest here in Germany (especially Cologne where Karneval is THE thing of the year). So happily, since all my coworkers were busy partying I had the day off.  

As I mentioned during my tooth removal recovery, I found lots of fun food blogs and found some delicious looking Scandinavian recipes to make. I am not sure if this recipe for Finnish Pulla (or Bullar in Swedish) could be considered the traditional Shrove Monday Semla, but this sounds pretty similar:

“Today, the Swedish-Finnish semla consists of a cardamom-spiced wheat bun which has its top cut off and insides scooped out, and is then filled with a mix of the scooped-out bread crumbs, milk and almond paste, topped with whipped cream. The cut-off top serves as a lid and is dusted with powdered sugar. Today it is often eaten on its own, with coffee or tea.”

I skipped on the almond-whip cream filling, and unfortunately didn’t have spelt flour on hand, but they still tasted great and I am considering them Shrove Monday buns anyways! I found the original recipe on Scandi Foodie, but here is the half-recipe I used and translated from Metric.

Starter: 1 cup warm milk, 1 heaped Tbs dry yeast, 1 Cup Flour: Mix together, cover, and leave for 20 minutes to get bubbly.

Mix together dry ingredients: 3 Tbs sugar, 1/2 Tbs cardamom, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 Cups flour. Knead the flour mix into the starter, and then work in 5 Tbs melted butter and half an egg (keep the other half for brushing the tops) and then just see how it looks, but I added about another 1/3 Cup flour.

Cover and let it sit for 30 minutes. Roll into 10 buns and let them rise on the baking sheet another 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Brush tops with rest of egg and sprinkle with 1/2 Tbs cinnamon mixed with 1 Tbs sugar.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes and let them cool on a rack. Or eat ’em while there hot. That is what we recommend!