Detmold Germany 2013

Here’s a few shots, mixed iPhone/Nikon D80 photos of my trip to Germany last fall. I went to see O. You are going to meet O now. I’m getting personal. Enough with the initials and such. I’m even going to show you what we look like. Yeah, that gravatar of me is about four years old.

I arrived in Frankfurt and whilst getting my bearings after a ten hour flight, I picked up my bag and raced downstairs to the trains. Searching the depths of my mind for my German vocabulary, I panicked, and jumped on an earlier train than planned. So no pics in Frankfurt. Here is the train station in Köln (Cologne).
Detmold Germany 2013I love the kind of place where while you are waiting for your next train you are staring at an amazing CathedralDetmold Germany 2013-3

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chocolate mousse to ring in the new year

Here’s a little sweet treat you can make ahead for New Year’s Eve

Chocolate Mousse* in all it’s divinity

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It’s really a simple feat that can be done in less than an hour. Continue reading

Cheesecake, Cranberry, Port… yes darling it’s true.

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I had to make the most of this beautiful, relaxed weekend. No work for me Saturday and Sunday meant the time to dig into something extravagant for no reason except  to, well, there was no reason. Certainly not for the 10K+ calories loitering in my fridge.  Cranberries and port  seeped into my dreams these past weeks and begged to cover a dense cheesy  cake supported by a buttery, spicy, ginger snap crust.

Let’s do it I replied.

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Apple quince crumb cake

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I’m still enjoying the last bits of Germany. I’ve walked the architecturally divine streets of the small town of Detmold, the location of the Hochschule für Musik where O is officially finishing up his last semester as Professor. And we spent several days in Babblesburg with my Schwiegermutter (mother-in-law) and Schwägerin (sister-in-law) and family in Babelsburg, which lies just outside of Potsdam, (which lies just outside of Berlin:) But before I share photos on my days here, I must get this cinnamon apple crumb cake recipe out to you. If you ever happened to search the Internet with the not so original words apple crumb cake, you might have already stumbled across this recipe from buttercreamblondie. It is a go to this fall for apple cake. I researched quite a few recipes and am not sure how this one was developed but I very much like the ratios. I followed the recipe exactly except for the addition of about a cup of honey poached quince. Ok I’m lying a little because the first time I had to cut in 1/2 cup full fat yogurt cause I didn’t have enough sour cream. Anybody out there watch the sitcom The Middle? Imagine me tucking my head to my chest and whispering “I’m lying”.

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Cider pressing 2013

We had the most lovely fall apple pressing last weekend. Although the big parties can be fun, we also enjoy keeping it small some years with just a few neighbors and the awesome press we’ve had forever. It’s one of my favorite fall activities.

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It has a motor that grinds the apples so our almost five year old helper can jump right in.

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Fall recipes… revisited.

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This looks familiar your saying to yourself. Well at least those who have been hanging around these parts for the past year. And well, if you haven’t been, nor have you had the inclination to dig into the past, I’ll make it easy for you.  Your starter, main and dessert. We’ll start with dessert first.

Pumpkin Bread pudding with Spicy Apple Caramel sauce

This is also my little hello and no, I haven’t fallen off the edge of the blog sphere. My bricks and mortar shop, Chez Chloe (check out the new website), had a hopping summer and I’ve been busy busy preparing for the holidays. My dear husband and number one eater is off to Germany for one last round of teaching and then turning in his papers to become a full time US of A resident on the one and only Orcas Island in the Evergreen State! Three cheers!!! My cooking and photos tend to wain when he is away.

Here is a starter that is a little out of the ordinary. Try this with your next fall meal. It was a hit.

Pumpkin and Feta Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

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I see I was having some fun with fonts last fall:)

Here is a wonderful stew to serve between your starter and dessert.  Inspired by a post from my friend at Karista’s Kitchen, Mulligatawny is an anglo-Indian recipe often served with chicken but I used beef and will make it again soon with lamb.

This salad, stew and dessert made the perfect fall meal.

Mulligatawny

mulligatawney soup

 

Hope all is right in your world and the colorful leaves fall gently around you.

Enjoy.

Tschüß xx

I’m fermenting

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I love fermented foods. Their taste, their crunchy texture, the way they combine with a meal and how they are so damn good for our gut. Probiotics are big. Check out some related articles at the end of this post.

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I think fermented food is the kale of last year.

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And well, I love kale too. I can also sit and eat a half a pound of toffee, specifically the Hedgehog toffee that we started carrying, selling and sampling at the shop. I’m pretty well rounded that way:)

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I have not only made my second batch of sauerkraut without having to look up maggot in the back of the book, The Art of Fermentation, but we have also eaten it. And liked it. go me.

I recommend Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, also Sandor Katz,
for the basics of fermenting and recipes. And I’d love to hear if you have any recommendations or favorite combinations. Kimchi is next on my list.

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I thought it was a tad salty but I think I came up short on the 5# of cabbage for the 3 T of salt used. I ended up using the jar filled with water sitting on top of  mini ramekin method. Don’t laugh. It worked and kept the brine above the shredded material which is really one of the main objectives. The other is really packing it down firmly with your hand balled up in a fist. I’m interested to know if anyone has use a pickle press.

I kept it in the pantry covered with a dish towel and rubber band. Don’t worry I’m not selling it in the shop. It looked like this after four weeks. There was a very acceptable amount of scum and no mold.

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I loved chatting with a customer today talking about everything one can ferment. She spoke of her great uncle who was fermenting garden produce more importantly to survive the winter than be hip and replenish his gut with pre and probiotics.  She’s been enjoying fermented cauliflower which I hadn’t thought to do.

With the success of the first green kraut last month, I went on with the red. I tried the mandolin but that was not happening. I chopped this by hand.

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Fermenting really isn’t hard but a few failed attempts is rather discouraging… Come on over Hannah. We’ll see you get your ferment on track!

Fermenting 2-4 I had two heads of red cabbage that had been in the fridge for nearly two weeks.

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A little dried out, it required the addition of two cups of brine. (ratio is 1 cup to 1 T salt). I got suckered into trying this fancy set up, called the vegetable master  no less, from Cultures for Health. A little pricey for a mason jar and plastic air lock, oh and the three glass disc weights. It lets the gas escape while keeping air out. If it’s amazing, I’ll let you know.

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I also put my third head of red cabbage through the food processor as I didn’t feel like cutting it up and just having cut it from its base, it produced it’s own beautiful brine. That’s what it looked like in the garden.

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I was lazy on the hand cutting BeCAuSE…I was working on some sourdough pizza. Do you think it’s better for you if you eat fermented organic white flour? I’d like to think so. Here’s a peek at it. I cooked it on the grill on a pizza stone at about 550°F. Honestly, I don’t know if a post will follow unless you beg.  All toppings were from the garden except the mozzarella. Someday it will be too.

sourdough pizza

Back to veggies… Also inspired by  Sandor Katz in July at Firefly Kitchens in Seattle, I did have a go with my multi colored carrots. Lunar white, red dragon and several nantes types.

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They produced a sufficient amount of their own brine. Once again, I’m employing the jar in a jar method.

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With the dish towel and rubber band.

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I rounded out the project with a carrot beet mix with a little white onion and a dash of fresh ginger…no pic. It’s basically purple.

Here’s to a healthy gut…

Tschüß xx

 

Related Articles:

WSJ: Probiotics May Be More Than a Gut Feeling

Mother Jones: Should I take Probiotics

PickleMeToo… A blogger’s view

This time last year:

Chocolate and Zucchini

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Meringue: White loveliness x2

Pavlova from Nigella Lawson’s, How to Be a Domestic Goddess…
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Twice in four weeks has this delicate, GF I might add, delicacy graced our table. I find it to be the perfect summer dessert. Well actually it’s perfect year round, but topped with fresh picked summer berries it is hard to beat. When searching Nigella and pavlova for a recipe link, I also came across this wonderfulness in chocolate.

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