I always feel a bit down when Summer comes to an end. No more strawberries, blueberries, watermelons….you know what I mean.
But, just because the delicious fruits of summer have been put to rest for the year, doesn’t mean that Fall has nothing to offer. Not only does the Fall season offer a variety of delicious fruits; many of them, when fresh picked, will last for months on end in a dark, cool, dry places – like your basement.
By the time New Years rolls around, many of us are quite frustrated with ourselves and our winter-obsession with sweets. Today I want to share with you a “method” I like to use to convince my family to eat healthy.
We are all drawn to food by it’s visual appeal – or repelled by it’s lack of it. I like to arrange fruit on a platter and set it out on the dinner table where everyone can just grab some at their will. Everyone gets excited about how nice the platter looks – then they start sneaking pieces when I’m not looking. By the time the end of the day has come, I have a half empty platter that I refill and rearrange much to everyone’s delight.
So, how do you go about arranging a beautiful platter to fruit that will have everyone’s mouth watering? Continue Reading »
The project foodblog challenge has driven me to seek out new and interesting ingredients at stores and parts of town that I had never previously visited. This week’s challenge brought me to a wig shop in Nuremberg. When my friend told me that I had to go to wig shop for raw coffee beans, I took a double take at her email. So, in the spirit of trying out something new, I made my way past all the wigs and hair weave and bought some raw Ethiopian coffee beans.
A while back I had the pleasure of watching a colleague preform an Ethiopian coffee ceremony in our community garden, and since roasting coffee is not something we take the time to do everyday, I thought it would be a fun adventure.
I have to say that I really enjoy learning something new (and I bet you do too!). Did you know that raw coffee beans smell like a cross between freshly pulled garden weeds and a far, far off hint of ground coffee?? I also learned that the coffee smell that sends all of us flocking to the nearest café does not come about during roasting, but rather while grinding.
This was definitely a lot of fun and easy to do. The “hardest” part was finding the raw coffee beans. Now, let me show you how it’s done!
To my utter surprise, there is not a lot of information out there on how to host a luxurious dinner party – needless to say a small intimate dinner party. There is plenty of information on how to throw huge and elegant wedding bashes, but since I cannot seat 100+ in my home, I had to turn to other sources.
I quickly emailed the two people I knew would have detailed thoughts as to what a luxurious dinner party would entail. Could I hold it in my home since my dining table is in my kitchen? Would I need a server? These are just some of the questions I had. Surprisingly – well, maybe not – I got quite different answers from both sources, but good advice none the less.
We don’t use ricotta cheese very often, and when we do we go to our local Italian store and get some.
That was a lot easier when our son was not lactose intolerant. A few days after this third birthday it showed-up. Now, we can find all sorts of lactose-free products in town, but definitely not ricotta cheese.
From time to time I like to enjoy grilled pork belly. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it for sale in the US, but it is quite popular here in Germany – especially in grilling season.
What is pork belly? Think is thick slices of raw un-smoked bacon – pre-bacon if you will. Before slicing, the meat is scored with a box cutter and then cut into finger-thick slices and placed in a marinade which is usually paprika based.
Grilled pork belly tastes best, but if you just can’t light-up the grill, you can also grill it in your oven with a little creativity. Most importantly, don’t forget to add a casserole dish filled with water to steam the meat while it grills so that it becomes nice and crispy, but does not dry out. Think of this as indoor grilling 101 – this method work well with any type of meat that you can fit on your oven grate.
Last week I had to have my camera’s sensor professional cleaned because of a piece of dirt that kept showing up in every picture. €50 and a week later, I have my camera back from Nikon.
This weekend I ended up getting sick with a stomach virus and a bladder infection…which sucks even more when your pregnant because not only is the baby pressing down on your bladder but up on your intestines and stomach as well. I am 80% better now. Of course, I was out of commission for 4 days and I have quite a lot of cleaning to do this week to make this place look normal again!
Many of you have asked if I know if I’m having a boy or a girl yet….no I don’t. Last ultrasound the baby gave us his/her back the whole time. I have one last ultrasound in June and if we don’t find anything out then, then there will be a big surprise in September.
Ok…on to food…
A few weeks ago I started doing to research on how to better make sushi rice. Mine just kept falling apart. Of course, I also kept cutting corners with my recipe and that didn’t help, but I found another fantastic recipe (with video) on VideoJug and I wanted to share it with you. I have never made such perfect sushi rice before. There is also a text version bellow the video which I found quite helpful.
Recently I received a comment on one of my posts where a fellow blogger expressed her frustration with her food photography – all her pictures look the same – was her complaint.
Upon checking out her blog, I noticed that she has only been blogging for a few months and that her pictures look just like mine did 4 years ago: very one-sided. I remember back when I first started blogging and taking pictures of my food that I was always so frustrated that my pictures never ever came out the way I had seen them with my eye. The “simple” explanation is that my eyes are much better lenses than the one on my point-and-shoot camera and that the brain compensates quite a lot – much like the brain of a digital camera. Except, that, well, a human brain can do much much more…so far.
So, for those of your who are just starting out, planning on starting out, or wishing to advance to the next level, this post will help you. Continue Reading »
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I only bought enough supplies at the arts&crafts store to make 2 angels. But, the smallest pack of Ferrero Rocher you can buy is a 4-pack, so I decided to make some angels from items I already had at home.
I went ahead and replaced the thick golden wings with some butterfly wings I cut out of news paper, and I replaced the thick/large decorative napkin with 4 normal-sized white napkins.
This is a very flexible project. You can make the wings out of a hard clear plastic of thick cellophane paper for more fairy-like wings. Or, you can leave out the wings completely and make a ghost. You can also replace the Ferrero Rocher with a similar-sized round confection for different effects.