Wednesday, 28 December 2011

2nd day of Christmas

Over coffee time on 2nd day of Christmas, we experienced our first cracker session.  ´Shape your future before other shape yours` was the message in my cracker.  Our second family christmas time was more complete with Dirk and Carola around.  MIL and hubby was a bit down that day but it they tried their best to bring in the festivity mood.  Dirk and Carola were chirpy so I suspected they have not gotten the news yet.  We spent a bit of time opening our presents - thanks Dirk and Carola for the gorgeous Auerhahn Salad Bowl set and HOME grill set in a nice metal case.  Thank you Mama and Papa for the sensational 68 pc WMF Kult range cutlery set, and also the cash.  Thank you hubby for the wonderful Diana Krall and Ella Fitzgerald CD plus a Beurer Massage Matt.  All of them found their way to pamper me on this special occassion ... thank you so much.

It is wonderful to be showered with wonderful gift which we all had prepared in advance but, this year´s Christmas I felt was made even more meaningful with the presence of all.  My aunt passed away on Christmas Day and Frank, hubby´s cousin passed away on the second day of Christmas.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Lets enjoy Michael Bublé - Grown Up Christmas List

As I am typing this, my first aunt (my dad´s elder sister) back in Malaysia is battling with Lung Cancer.  Doctor gave her 4 months to live after she got diagnose and that was back in June.  Right now, she is not able to speak anymore.  My FIL´s only sister Tante Anna called us few days ago.  One of  her son (she has two) was admitted to hospital and got escalated immediately within the same day to Münster Hospital.  He is 35 years old, not married and is diagnosed with Leukemia just last Monday and at the same time, had a blood clog in his brain.  The specialist performed the brain surgery on Tuesday morning at 5am.  They said, if he wait any longer, he will not make it.  His chemotheraphy is suppose to start  right after the brain surgery.  The surgery went well but the after effect was unforseen.  Pressure kept on appearing in his brain and what the specialist can do reactively is to remove the pressure whenever it appears.  Nothing more can be done.  To make matters worst, the blood cancer (Leukemia) is all over his body including his bones.  We are all praying for him dearly.  He and my aunt needs miracle ...

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Lebkuchen (Gingerbread House)

I am trying not to bake that much this year after last year´s experience.  More so when Chinese New Year falls on 23rd January and there would be a lot of eating going on again.  Last year too, we unexpectedly received a lot of cookies as gifts.  Hubby reminded me again and again, try not to bake more than 2 assorted trays so as to minimize wastages.  Its a busy day in the kitchen yesterday and today.  While I got the lebkuchen baked yesterday, it was only today that I finally sat down to icing them.  Nothing too fancy and complicated, but a readily available icing pen from Dr. Oetker will do.  I made 3 batches, the first being the best but I ate 3 pieces from the 6 houses so I decided to make another batch. Second batch however got a bit burned because instead of taking the dough out from the form to be baked, the cookie dough stayed within.  It must have gotten too hot I reckon.  The third batch thankfully turned out well and its the one I am holding here.  Later, I moved on to making a cookie premix to be given away to a friend who will be stopping over tomorrow morning. She´s making me a bottle of Eier Liquor or Egg Nog as how its known in England.  Her Eierliquor rocks! Its soo good and its nothing compared to the bottled, branded ones we get at the store but the thing about her recipe is, you need a 1,300 Euro machine call Thermomix to make it.  The most expensive kitchen machine we have in our kitchen in Kitchen Aid and sadly, there is limitation to it too.  So being her generous self as usual, she offered to make me a bottle and will drop it off my place tomorrow. As a thank you, I thought cowgirl cookie premix is nice. 

Will show you a photo of it when its here :-) Stay tune!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Making Weissglühwein

I was told that the standard Glühwein sold in most Christmas market comes ready in huge cartons from manufacturers.  The Glühwein vendor would adjust the recipe a bit by adding their secret spices from this base or simple using a specific cooking process .  I love Glühwein and its one of those drinks I would never fail to drink whenever Christmas is around the corner.  I usually have them plain or with Ameretto.  But that was before I had my first sip of Glühwein made from white wine.  And thats it! I found my new love.  The thing about Weissglühwein is, it is not easy available in the Christmas Market as the vendor has to cook them from scratch versus buying the ready made cartoon from supplier to be reheated.  But since its not an entirely difficult thing to make at home, I decided to give it a try.  Fairly easy.  Rule number one is, do not boil the wine.  Always keep them in light simmer temperature when making it.  After that, it is entirely up to you to adjust and add in the spices you want.  After pouring a bottle of white wine into the pot, I added in sugar, raisins, slices of clementine, apples, cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamon and clove.  Some calls for the recipe to be diluted with a cup or two of standard hot tea.  I think I will give that a try next.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Celebrating Nikolaus

Santa Claus is a myth figure that got more famous and commercialise than the humble bischop St. Nikolaus whom goes around giving to the poor and needy during Christmas. Before moving here, I did not even knew he existed.  It is great that some countries still honour him on 6th December every year.  Unlike Santa Claus culture where kids get to receive from adults, my MIL told me its okay for any parents to extend their love to their children irregardless of their age.  To her, we are still her baby she said :-)

Wanna see what we got from her this year?  It came complete with an original sack used traditionally here and I thought, wow ... how authentic can that get :-)

My MIL it seems had also signed up for Dr. Oetker´s Club membership and had filled up the sack with his goodies!  It came with 3 assorted size Dr. Oetker´s Backen range tin and in it were ...

Assorted sachets containing baking powder, yeast, powdered gelatine, vanilla sugar, cream stiffener and such ... what a lovely gift just before the baking season starts :-)

Lebkuchen and chocolates were inevitable every year :-) of which BTW, I am going to attempt baking Lebkuchen this week and I can´t wait to share you THIS GORGEOUS lebkuchen form I just bought from Strauss Innovation.

The largest tin were stuffed to the brim, so much so she had to use a gummi band (big rubber band) to hold them together! (that is my MIL .. we had a good laugh about it because she is cute and ungerman that way).  There´s lots going on in this tin.  A box of cake mix, a few assorted cake pudding and jelly mixture, chocolate icing and a colourful muffin papercup.  How well thought out gift isn´t it?

I guess the time is right and I have to get back into baking action again.  Happy Nikolaus!

Monday, 5 December 2011

How to Draw Names for Christmas Gift Exchange ...

Today, I would like to share you a pretty brilliant idea on how to draw names offline and online for your next gift exchange activity.  Gift exchanging is of course common as festive season is around the corner.  It is something my stammtisch group does every year but I personally felt this year´s organiser did a brilliant job getting the preparation work done.

First, allow me to explain that this method works in a reasonable size group not exceeding 10?  Beyond that would prove to be hardwork for the chair person to get getting the materials and such done.  So here´s what my stammtisch member did. 

Since we are an 8 member group, she prepared 8 uniformed packaged box for us.  To make it festive, she chose one with Christmas print on it, added a simple greetings message and a ribbon to hold them together.

We then each picked a box.  A name has already been allocated inside the box (seen here, its written on a star cut out but her name is blocked) so what we need to do is to ensure its not our own name we picked up. 

Fill up the goodies according to the amount/rules that had been agreed by your group/colleagues etc. And thats about it! Easy isn´t it?  If finding these ready made boxes is near to impossible where you live, I reckon a bit of creativity will not harm.  Templates of box making can be found abundantly online and all you need to do is decorate them as you wish.  A lot of work I know, which comes back to what I earlier mentioned - only for small groups.

If there is an upcoming gathering whom you want to exchange gift with but are unable to meet up prior, there´s an online method you can adopt.  Draw Names is a popular online generator which we are currently using.  Get the email addresses ready, sent them out with rules stipulated and voila! The system will shoot you the assigned name on the date you wish and the rest is history.  Very friendly site to use and so far, its proven to be very handy.

So happy drawing names to you all and have fun!!!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Christmas Tree Ornaments aside, our Forest Theme Christmas Decor is UP!

My husband has been a procrastinator lately.  It was only two nights ago when he finally brought our Christmas ornament box down from our attic.  I quickly got the tree assembled, the other decorative ornaments arranged and a gentle cleaning session here and there around the house.  We will probably wait till Nikolaus which is coming Monday to complete the rest of the task.  I always look forward to putting up the christmas balls and setting up the Icicle lights outside our windows so waiting for the right time to do it is worth it.

Forest theme is something I have been eyeing on since I saw them in Depot store last Christmas.  I find this theme pretty versatile to do as I not only have lots of store options to buy the bits and pieces from, I also have the choice of re-using our old ornament pieces.  If all else fails, there is always the nature outside to give one some inspiration and its free.  Twigs and branches, fern cones and leaves, berries, stones and whatever you can find outside.  But with the exception you can´t get any substitute for animal figurines. 

This year, I decided to go along winter wonderland colour scheme again, just to jive in with our livingroom interior a bit. I bought quite a few new items this year - which I should not BUT its just so hard to resist clicking on the order when the voucher I got from groupon cost only a small fraction of the original price.  I am a sucker liddat, which I wonder if its a good or bad thing at times.  Believe it or not, my head was already filled with images on how to spike up this look with some burgundy shades next Christmas!  Oh yes, that would be nice.  But as of now, I am happy with the whitewash gingerbread house, the grey owl, whitewash deer, grey horse and whitewash/silver fern trees to give our place a nice Christmacy feel. 

There is one corner filled with colour though and its the kitchen,  The area is spiced with RED and its kinda nice to escape to this corner from time to time.

Monday, 28 November 2011

1st Advent and I Wanna Say Thanks ...

The Americans celebrate Thanks Giving to give thanks.  The Germans on the other hand started the coming of Christmas four sundays counting down to Christmas Day by lighting a candle each week starting yesterday evening.  A lot of houses here have started decorating their homes with Christmas decorations, some putting up their fake trees.  I was told our neighbours in Holland frawn upon decorations before Sinterklaas which happen to fall on December 6 - coinceding with Nikolaustag in Germany but over here, its okay and no one really cares.  We have started our fair share of preparations.  It started two weeks ago when I went hunting for good bottles of bubbles and wine.  I got pretty lucky there so I can´t wait to share them when the occassion comes.  We spent our first Advent last night quietly in the livingroom.  The day before was a rather intensive day - we wanted to do some shopping in Enschede and to take a breather but believe it or not, I did most of my shopping at the comfort of our home end of the day.  But above all the hustle of preparation, I think its time for reflection and to share.  My father in law gave us a scare again two nights ago.  His breathing got inconsistent again and I remembered praying in my heart for him to pull thru as we stand around his bedside.  Yesterday morning, I spent some time chatting with him, although I was not sure if he understood me 100%.  He does give me a questioning look whenever I call him Papa.  It is not very easy for an alzheimer patient to join the dots.  Why is this asian looking lady with dark hair calling him papa.  Sometimes I would re-introduce myself but most of the time, I am just too afraid to confuse him further.  Last night, I brought a musical box down to him.  He loved it and that made me felt like I have connected myself to him somehow. It is unfortunate I never get a chance to get to know him when he was healthy, but I guess I have to give thanks that he is with us today and we are able to connect in small small ways as now.  I am also thankful he is not in pain like many whom suffers from other illnesses and above all, it is partly due to his hardwork and diligence that we are living a comfortable live right now.  No worries over house or car morgage, no worries over bills, healthcare etc ...

I also thought of my parents.  They are well and keeping themselves busy by surrounding themselves with their grandchildren duties. 

Today, I had a long chat with my sister back home ... she is well but has been having some health issues lately. As her sister, I of course felt sadden that I am not by her side to give her moral support but only thru words and encouragement via a long distance call.  It is true life has its ups and down, and same goes to her but I do hope she hears me sometimes.  That, one have to love herself first before loving anyone else. True especially when she is a mother of 3.  I also told her to stop thinking about what she plan to do and just do it.  We have been talking for a while and the topic seems to be running in a circle.  She is a tough nut there but I guess, it is easier said than done.  It is also during our conversation that I reflected on my own short comings.  But above all, I told her to have faith and say thanks for all the wonderful things that is going on in her life ...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

French Soft Cheeses & Prosciutto Platter Breakfast ...

Hub was away for work since two Saturdays ago and finally came home last night after what felt like ages.  Unlike the previous times where it felt even longer, I got myself into a routine fairly quickly and got down to settling a few outstanding issues such as getting my resident permit renewed, changing my driving school (to resit for my practical exam again) and also got myself a new hairstyle! I also painted while he was gone.  In the evening around 5pm, I religiously poured myself a glass of red wine while being surrounded by scented candles all over the house.  With some light music playing at the background, it surely is theuraphatic and a good way to pamper onself when my man is not around. 

Hubby woke up to the smell of omelette slowly being cooked with slices of french cheese smacked within this morning.  Coffee as usual does what it does best - releasing its wake me up aroma which soon got hubby up to his feet again. Poor him.  He had been working non-stop for the past 13 days.  So this evening, I did what I felt was best ... pamper him with his favourite dinner meal followed by letting him have the TV controller to channel hop.  He likes to unwind like that and I am perfectly fine with it as long as my man gets to recharge.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Rotkappchen, Lambruscos, Bordeux and European Fingerfood Stammtisch Evening

Once a year, the group I belong too (Stammtisch) would hold a yearly meeting to discuss what we plan to do next year.  It was held at our place last Friday with a European Finger Food potluck theme.  Each of us were assigned a European country so that we get to try a few variety.

To kick off, and upmost important in any German parties/gathering ... lots and lots of drinks.  These were just part of it in addition to those in the chiller.  Sekt is inevitable.  The girls love Rotkappchen in either Mild, Rose or Halb Trocken so we stocked that up a bit just the night before.  Lambrusco is a lovely wine to pair with fingerfood too so I picked up a few bottles. 

Silvia was assigned Greece fingerfood so this was what she brought over.  Grilled tomatoes with goats cheese stuffing.  Love it!

Ilka volunteered to bring something from Italy so here´s to her version of Caprese and Grilled Mushroom in Balsamic Sauce. Another winning dish.

Arianne was keen to bring something Austrian.  I had the impression that Austrian food is similiar to German so I was kinda surprise fish was instore.  The Austrians apparently eats quite a bit of fish due to the amount of rivers flowing thru their country.  This is spinach pancake roll with salmon and cream within.  Seasoning was kept to minimum so one can taste the yummy smoke salmon within.  Nice.

Sandra whom is dating a guy from Holland now could not escape our request of bringing something Hollandish.  Bitterballen was her chosen fingerfood but too bad, I had to give this a skip since I can´t take beef.

Andrea was happy to settle for something spanish, and boy, did she vow us with her bacon wrap with dates and hazelnut within.  Addictive to the last bite, it is one of those fingerfood thats not just easy to prepare, its delicious too.  Love the saltiness, fattiness, sweetness and nuttiness of the whole combination ...

Three other dishes went missing in my camera and they are my Salmon Quiche, Tanja´s Chocolate Mousse and Silke´s Swedish Berry Dessert.  I manage to snap Sandra´s Hollandish dessert though ... 

After dinner, we were given a handmade package with info of our upcoming Christmas Trip!  Ilka and Sandra are both superb organiser so I am really looking forward to this getaway! We were also given a pre-prepared gift box each.  The box was already prefilled with one of our name and with that, this is who we´re buying our presents for.  Lovely idea eh.  Just have to make sure its not our own name inside the box.

Christmas is still many weeks away but preparing early is always good!

Monday, 7 November 2011

First Saffron Harvest and Autumn Foliage in our Garden

Its beautiful out there now.

Minus the daily chore of raking dried leaves, autumn is possible my second favourite season of the year after spring. 

What a change considering Autumn was my favourite season before moving here.  Then, I did not know that Autumn can get uncomfortable wet.

But this Autumn has been lovely.  The temperature has not only been mild, it has been relatively dry and has not been as gloomy as previous years.

After chatting with a friend over the topic of roses, I went downstairs today to tend to my new babies.  My flower bulbs and seeds inventory has been insanely huge.  So much so, I had to leave some out.  I also bought 4 new rose plants in addition to 1 which was a gift.  My friend (lets call her DH France) told me the best way to keep the roses warm during winter is to cover them with these dried leaves.

I did exactly that to DH Hamburg´s Maria Theresia rose gift.

Also to Henri Matisse.

Blanket of dried leaves covering my babies ...

And Palais Biron which I recently checked had doubled its price.

My babies will be warmer tonight.

Notice the tiny red strand amongst the autumn leaves?  Yup, those are my newly acquired Saffron Krokus.

This petals are already dried up so I got the saffron thread plucked out and placed into a nice glass jar.  I wonder how long more shall I wait to be able to cook a nice paella dish with saffron harvested from my garden?  I can´t wait!

I also harvested the last batch of Mexican chillies.  It wil be for tonight´s dinner!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Project Study Room

November is the month where a lot of Germans do up their home in preparation of festive season next month.  You can see every tom, dick and harry scrubbing their porch or lawn, cleaning windows (it has been a wonderful autumn with little rain btw), changing their summer plants to winter ones, drills going on here and there, machinaries and equipment in action and naturally, the pick up vans from East Europe is here again to pick up whatever you wanna throw out.  We were at Ikea couple of days ago with no intention to buy anything.  Hah! Since when one comes out empty handed from Ikea?  So here I am typing from our new study room set. We got ourselfs 3 sets of racking system and 2 study tables.  There´s a lot to be done still but I reckon we have all the time to do it up till December.

Tasting Barolo 2007 ...

Our home is quite well stocked with drinks of all kind, including wine except for a good red wine.  Our regular riesling is wonderful, the best I´ve tasted but I do wish for a good red to accompany a stronger meal at times.  We didn´t know what to expect when we picked a bottle of Barolo up two nights ago but we knew THIS is it the moment we corked the bottle open.  Lovely rose note lingering around with gorgeous red hues ... I´m glad hubby agreed its a great bottle so we´re gonna stock a dozen or more up soon ... :-)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Indian Dhal Curry with Cheats Naan aka Storebought Focaccia!

I tried reviving back routine to follow my daily meal planning but somehow, only suceeding halfway.  The plan was fairly ambitious actually.  Dhal was in the menu, partly because we´ve just bought a hugeee sack of potatoes seeing its in season, fresh and dirt cheap.  I wanted to make somekind of indian bread after being inspired lately by Reza, the Prince of Spice which is being aired right now in Food Network.  The Dhal was marvelous and I did it without any recipe book! I was so amazed with myself and to elavate that feeling further, hubby went to toast up a few more slices of bread for second helping! Wow! This dhal recipe is a keeper ... so to keep it safe, I will just scribble the recipe here quickly incase I need to redo them again.

- I first heat some oil in a medium size pot, add in about a teaspoon of aniseed and cumin seed. They started popping immediate, and burned a bit but I continued with ...
- Adding in 2 large chopped onion, 1/2 chopped carrots (fr large size carrots) and 4-5 chopped medium size potatoes. 
- I also added in 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala, Tumeric, Madras and Garlic Powder.  Sautee till its fragrant.
- Pour in 2 cups of water, 1 cup of chickpeas, season with 1 chicken cube, salt and pepper and let it cook for 30 minutes. Done.

Dinner @ Hermann´s Höhe

My lost my cooking mojo since last week so I had either been doing repeats of what I´ve cooked before, or resorting to eating out lately.  Some eat out were fairly simple affair in either local imbis (snack point) or cafe but one of the night, we decided to give a restaurant dining a try.

This time round, we chose Hermann´s Höhe.  Höhe literarilly meant high, referring to the location where this restaurant is located which is on a hilly part of the area where we live.  Food was fairly good, homely German fair but portion was kept to decent and not too scary.  Whenever I dine in a German restaurant,  I like to order pork because I find their pork dishes tasting the best as compared to other meat or seafood dishes.  As you can see here, the pork cutlet is still pinkish in the centre and looked succulent!  I was first a bit squimish about it BUT was reminded again of the programmes I saw on TV.  Many years ago, we have been told that pork temperature had to reach a minimum of 180C but now, food scientist says its good at 160C!

Hub has a pork fillet dish too, but prepared on a grill.  We are in Germany after all so pork it is!!!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Poulet Chasseur et carottes de Vichy For Lazy Weekend

I loveee French food.  Have I mention that?  Yes I do.  To me, french food is the ultimate cuisine I wish to cook day in day out with ease if I can.  I´ve eaten lots of french food and have not even once found anything I dislike - it amazes me.  Recently, my stammtisch friends decided to each bring a fingerfood from Europe for our next meet up.  In order for the eight of us not to repeat bringing the same item, each of us were assigned to a European country.  I volunteered to bring something French, to the surprise of many. Hehe.  Who says asian girl does not know anything apart from asian cuisine? :-D

I made a french main course for dinner tonight.  It is from my recently acquired cookbook title simple The Food of France - A journey for food lovers.  I love this book, infact better than my Le Cordon Bleu cookbook.  The photos are simply amazing, the recipes doable and inviting and here´s what I chose with the chicken meat I picked up earlier.  Its Poulet Chasseur, a stew dish with butter, white wine, brandy, tarragon, tomato puree, shallots and mushroom ... and we both LOVEEE it! I love it so much I think this dish beats the overated Coq Au Vin hands down, seriously! 

I serve them with another classic french side dish of Carottes de Vichy.  Its a simple carrot side dish, and again, the french knows how to make them tasty.  Here´s the trick.  Put a cup of cold water in a pot (must be a pot), throw the sliced carrots in together with salt, pepper, sugar and butter and let it cook until all the liquid evaporates.  Garnish them with lots of parsley.  Thats it but tasted so fantastic!

Thats it! I will swap my Fusion Wednesday to French Wednesday seeing I love french food so much! :-D

We ended our meal with a simple trifle of Autumn Apple VLA and German Spekulatius.  Both married well.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Dutch Apple Cake for Vegetarian Friday

Its Friday, its Friday! Oh .. why am I getting so excited over Friday :-P  Not that it makes a difference in my life right now since I am officially a housewive and am not working.  For the past few days since we got back from London, I have been accompanying my MIL in the garden to pluck whatever apples that is left on our apple trees.  This year, our harvest has been tremendous.  MIL said, she can´t recall when we last had such abundance of apple harvest.  We harvested about 80 just before we left, but every other day, we would pick up another 10-20.  We tried eating them fresh, as much as 3 a day.  We also cooked some of them, turning them into apfelmus but most of them goes down into our cellar.  MIL says that the good ones can stay fresh for a while there.  Just the other day I was down at the cellar and was surprise to spot 100 over apples layed nicely on our cellar racks, as if waiting for some customer to come pick them up.  MIL apparently graded the apples accordingly with A being best eaten fresh, B means we have a week to think about what to do with it still and C being, have to cook them asap.  It is a funny situation, but yes, it has to be done :-P 

Just awhile ago, I baked a Dutch Apple Cake/Tart/Pie ... I have no idea which is the right way to call them really.  The cookbook where I got the recipe from calls it a cake but it clearly is shaped like a tart.  Names aside, it tasted fantastic! I can´t wait for hub to sink his teeth into it.  As I am typing this, he is still not back from work althought he is officially off at 2pm today.  Poor hubby, had to OT since getting back from our Barcelona trip due to his 1 week off and year end work.

Char Kuey Teow for Missing Home Days ...

I can´t remember which day I made these.  I reckon it is right after looking at some CKT photo online and right before our London Trip.  Everything went well in London.  I am amazed with how smooth the passport renewal process is but I am utterly appaled with the state of the toilets in the Malaysia High Comm building in Belgravia, London.  While we were there, a nice S-Class Mercedes were parked right outside the building. It has I M stated and I reckon its probably for the Malaysian ambassador working there?  What luxury, which is fine because they wanna give good image to foreigners.  The building I heard belongs to the country too.  But why the state of toilet is beyond me to understand.  Hubby noticed that on the spot and asked me one thousand and one question about it.  He is right.  What is with the mentality of spending so much but not maintaining it.  If the country want to impress, do it all the way and not half-half as how the toilet conditions are because frankly, the toilets are not just for Malaysians to use but also to foreigners whom want to obtain visa for their Malaysian stay too.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Pan Fried Canard with Red Wine Sauce, Serve with Creme Fraiche/Bärlauch Mash Potato for Fusion Wednesday

I was craving for something rich and decadent last night.  Upon noticing 2 pieces of french canard in the fridge which I had stocked up earlier, I knew I wanted them to be paired with a rich red wine sauce like how some french restaurants does it.  My sauce as you can see is dilluted still and I suppose, one can simmer a while more to thicken it to a lovely consistency but we both can´t wait to sink our teeth into the already plated duck meat! Ah well ... somethings can´t wait huh ...

Bak Kut Teh for Asian Tuesday

Some people are just simply good with influencing other people while some are just easily being influenced.  I belong to the latter category and this was exactly what happened early this week while chatting to some friends over Facebook.  DH Drachten suddenly had the urge to cook BKT (short form for Bak Kut Teh) seeing the weather´s cold and gloomy outside.  DH Almere wanted to have some too but did not have any of the spice mix around.  DH Ooshuizen started offering hers when she sees her next.  I can´t recall if DH Hamburg was in the conversation or not soon after because the conversation clearly got me up on my toes quickly, went to the kitchen, ransacked my asian pantry and started putting the assembles together!  DH Drachten is right.  BKT is perfect for cold weather like now.  I ate them over Tuesday evening for dinner as well as on Wednesday for lunch.  Warm and fulfilling and thankfully, I think I have a few packets of the spices around still ...

Monday, 10 October 2011

Tagliatelle All´Ortolana for Pasta Monday

Ortolana is a sauce base originating from Campania where farmers uses up whatever summer vegetables that´s left from their garden to concoct up this pasta sauce.  The cooking method is apparently very straightforward where the sauteeing sequence starts which whatever which takes the longest to cook.  What you see here are ready made.  I was curious of how it would taste, grabbed a packet and I am impressed.  Hubby liked it too.  I have mine serve with extra portion of anchovies in olive oil for that extra kick.