Hello Spring, I’ve missed you

Hello Spring, I've missed you

Spring… aaah. The warm sun rays that tickle your skin, the slight breeze in your hair, temperatures above freezing (haha), and that distinct smell of Spring. Hard to describe but we all know the smell and that feeling that comes with it. It makes me feel happy, relaxed, and hopeful for more sunny days.
Yesterday I went for a run in the nearby forest. I love jogging on a trail in the forest or by the field so much. Being in nature makes me happy. The view is beautiful, you meet nice people along the way, you hear birds sing and there’s nothing better than the smell of fresh, clean air in the forest. Just far enough away to escape the busy life in the city for a while. Really, it’s a tiny foresty patch covering a hill right by the city centre but that’s good enough for now.
Supposedly, this has been the coldest Spring since the start of recording the weather. I pretty much agree that’s it’s been a gloomy, rainy, snowy, cold, excruciatingly long “Spring” so far. I’m hopeful that temperatures will really pick up now.

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A new spin on eggs and toast

Eggs and toast. We all know it, we all love it. But eggs in the toast with rosemary butter and made in the oven, that’s new. Inspired by this recipe, I made it as part of our Easter brunch this year. Eggs, toast, and butter all in one! The whole family loved it. It’s so delicious, the rosemary butter goes really well with the eggs. It’s easy to prepare, the butter can be made ahead of time, and it’s no mess. You don’t need extra dishes or pans or fancy tools. A few minutes in the oven is all this dish needs. 

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I made the eggs in toast as part of our Easter brunch, as I said. But it could also be a nice breakfast for the weekend or a snack. For four servings, here’s what you need:

8 slices toast  ( I like whole grain)

4 eggs

1 stick of butter, softened

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

salt, pepper

Mix the softened butter with the finely chopped rosemary and a dash of salt. Fresh rosemary is best but you could probably used dried. Then I’d let the butter mixture sit a bit longer though so the aromas can mix better. You can prepare the butter ahead of time if you like.

Now heat the oven to 200°C/ 390°F.

Spread butter on all eight pieces of toast. Leave four of them as they are and transfer them to a lined baking sheet. Next, using a round glass or plastic cup, cut out a circle from each slice. Press down the glass in the center of the bread, wiggle it a little and lift. Pull out the circle you just cut out. Transfer the circles to the baking sheet. Our bread “frames” we just created go on top of the first slices of bread, butter side up. Press down so it’ll hold together. We now have four little “egg holders” with a bottom and sides. This way it’ll hold the eggs nicely and nothing will spill. Now crack an egg into each opening of the bread pieces. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Watch it closely as the surface of the eggs will look really shiny and as though they’re still raw. 

Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the round toast cutouts and the remaining butter. Don’t worry if you don’t use all the butter, it’s so delicious you’ll want to put it on everything 🙂 Enjoy!

Can I have that in healthy?

So we all love us some tuna salad. Classic, delicious, flavorful tuna salad. Fantastic food, total go-to food for lunch. Every family has their own special recipe and takes pride in it. Totally love that.  What I don’t like is the unhealthiness of the classic tuna salad. I, like so many people, try to eat healthy and stay in shape; and that jar of mayonaise just isn’t part of that 🙂 So I try to put healthy twists on foods I like. Here I took a family recipe for tuna salad and made it healthier without losing any of the awesome taste, as I find. It’s full of protein and fiber but only has little fat.

Here’s what you need:

1 can tuna (in water, not oil)

1 small apple (or 1/2 a large apple; my favorite is Pink Lady)

2-3 stalks of celery

1 small onion

1 hardboiled egg

1 tsp mayonaise

1/2 cup plain yogurt

salt, pepper

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Cut the onion and the egg in very small cubes; cut the apple in small cubes. For the celery, cut it in half lengthwise and then chop it in small pieces. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Done!

Super fast, super easy, super delicious! You may find that apple in tuna salad sounds weird but give it a shot and you’ll see it’s delicious. The sweetness and juiciness of the apple goes perfectly with the other flavors. Enjoy!

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chicken curry

I love curry dishes and I love Indian food. There’s something about the creaminess and combination of flavors that I can’t resist. I enjoy making curry chicken, even though it’s more of a curry-style chicken. I created this recipe and combined the ingredients that I love most about curries and what’s available here.

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to serve two people you’ll need:

one large chicken breast

1 onion (or spring onions), in small dices

1 tsp curry paste

1/2 can of coconut milk

1 cup regular milk

1 cup vegetable broth

salt, pepper

curry powder, cumin, soy sauce

Cube the chicken breast and season with salt and pepper. Cook in a skillet with olive oil on medium-high heat until the chicken turns white, then add the onion and cook some more. You want the onion to soften and the chicken to get some nice roast flavors. Then add the curry paste and stir, just a few seconds so the curry flavors can really develop. Smells fantastic, doens’t it? Now add the coconut milk, regular milk and broth. Bring to a simmer so all the flavors can mix in and the chicken can cook all the way through, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper. curry powder, cumin, and soy sauce. How much you use of which spice is really personal preference, depending on how spicy you like it and which flavors you want to be more dominant.

I like creamy, thicker sauces. So if you find the sauce to be too thin, you can mix a teaspoon of starch with a teaspoon of cold water in a small container and add that to the sauce. Stir and bring to a boil, about one minute.

I like to make basmati or brown rice to go with the curry. Enjoy! 🙂

May I introduce…

Hello, I’m Herr K.  Periodic guest blogger, content adviser, friend, cheerleader and current boy-toy.  My job is mainly to provide a sounding board and the occasional post.  I am American born and raised. I’m proud of her for starting this blog.  This was definitely something we talked about for a while.  I even offered to help once or twice.  I work in the technology industry and help to feed fraeulein’s healthy habit for nerdy things.  As she said there she hasn’t figured out where this is going yet, but it’s still great that she took the first step.  She’s a good writer and she has many interests and much to say.  I’m excited to see where this goes. Well I guess that’s all from the peanut gallery.

pesto bread

This bread is easy and quick to make and is as delicious as pretty to look at. Your guests will nibble on this all evening and everyone can break off a piece of the bread as they like.

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It is easy to vary the filling for this recipe. You can leave out the bacon or add some feta cheese or more herbs or…

I will try to add the American measurements for this recipe soon.

 

for the dough:

500g flour

1 pouch dry active yeast

300 ml water (lukewarm)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 dash sugar

1 dash salt

for the filling:

200g pesto (one small jar)

a handfull of basil (fresh or frozen)

150g bacon (in small cubes)

For the dough combine the flour, dry active yeast, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Then, using the dough hook attachment of your mixer, add the water and olive to the dry ingredients and mix everything on low speed first, then on high speed for about 4 or 5 minutes. It is important that you keep mixing for long enough or the yeast won’t be able to rise properly and the pesto bread won’t come out right. You’ll want to keep mixing until everything is nicely combined and seems smooth, the dough will come off the sides of bowl easily when it’s ready and form a nice ball.

Now sprinkle a bit of flour on the dough, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes or until it’s doubled in size. If it’s too cold in your house, the dough will need longer to rise.

Now heat the oven to 180°C  and grease a round cake pan. Any other pan of about that size will work also.

Roll out the dough on a surface sprinkled with flour so the dough won’t stick to it. It should measure about 45×35 cm. Spread the pesto over the entire surface and add the basil and bacon. Press it on a little bit so it won’t fall off in the next step.

Now cut the dough lengthwise in strips of about 3,5 cm. Then cut every strip in three equal pieces. Take one strip in your hands and push it into a wave-like shape. Put this piece upright in the middle of your cake pan. Repeat this step with all the other pieces and place them around the first piece in a circular pattern.

Now cover the pan with the kitchen towel again and let it rise in a warm place until it’s visibly expanded in size, about 30-45 minutes.

Bake for about 45 minutes. Place some baking paper under the pan if you’re using one with a detachable bottom, as some oil might drip out. When it’s doen baking, the bread will sound a little hollow when you tap on it with your finger or finger nail (I know, brave.. haha)

Take the bread out of the pan and let it cool before serving. Great addition to your BBQ or party, or as a hearty snack when you enjoy some wine with friends. Each person can break off a piece of the bread as they like. No need to cut or anything, no mess.

This recipe is really versatile and you can add whatever you like. Use feta cheese instead of bacon. Or add some grated parmesan cheese, or add other herbs like rosemary. My tip: I like replacing some of the flour ( about 1/3) with whole wheat flour. It’s a bit healthier this way and you don’t taste the difference. Just Remember that you might have to add a little more water to the dough if you use whole wheat flour.

Do what makes you happy…

“Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live.”

― Rachel Ann Nunes

 

The beginning is always the hardest, as they say. I’ve been wanting to start my own blog for a while now, but never quite took that step. I’m busy, don’t know where to start, have no time, bla bla. So today I just signed up for my first own blog. Did it in between laundry and grocery shopping and it feels good to just start.

I like Rachel Ann Nunes’ quote because it’s how I try to go through life. Life is too short to be unhappy and get too caught up with drama and things that stress you. So I want to share the things that make me happy. I enjoy cooking and baking, artsy and crafty things, gardening and I have a weakness for nerdy stuff.
Time will show how I organize my blog and the different sections that will make it on my blog. I hope it’ll be all fun and interesting things. :)
I’m a German native and lived in the US for a while. I’m back in Germany now but do enjoy keeping in touch and visiting with friends and family in my second home, the US of A. :) As a matter of fact, many people won’t even believe that I’m “really” German, haha. I’m somewhere between worlds, loving both Germany and the States.

So enjoy my blog and I hope the thing that make me happy will make you happy as well.

Julia