Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Italian Herbs, Sausage Crepe & Mascaporne Ice Cream Crepe

I notice a pattern going around the garden centres here this year ; that most of them are beginning to carry herbs from Italy!  Although I am very please with this fact and as one know, Italians do use a lot of fresh herbs in their cooking hence herbs from Italy is more desirable (to me, at least because I cook a lot of pasta), I cannot help wonder if they are able to withstand the colder climate here. 

I went on herb shopping spree today :-) The weather is turning consistently lovely lately and one just cannot help noticing how cheerful the locals have become lately.

I quickly got them planted onto our balcony´s herb pot the following hour.  To play it safe, and since it is officially still March and March month is known to be still a bit unpredictable, I think I better place a cover over it - you know, just incase.

I made crepe for dinner tonight!  This crepe recipe is one which I´ve been using for a while and I´m please with how it turns out each time. Except for today - BUT it is not the recipe´s fault.  Blame it on my laziness that instead of using a handmixer to mix the batter, I was using Kitchen Aid to let it run.  Without realising, the batter got all foamy and hence the funny bubbly texture you see on this photo.  Still yummy though! Albeit a bit too crispy for my liking.

Recently, I have been picking up lots of good quality from a discounter supermarket.  They are known to bring in low end stuff but still fresh and nice, just not so tasty like some you get in local morning market and all but yeah, you pay for what you get.  I usually go there because its the closest supermarket from our home but I find myself going there very often nowadays although I am at a different area with chances of getting good stuff and the reason is, they have been bringing in lots of very good, imported produce from all over Europe and I´m impressed! Just the other day, I picked up a packet of cocktail tomatoes from France and once from Italy and I swear the ones from France tasted just like those I´ve ate around the produce region in France.  Recently too, they brought it some really good feld salad which stayed fresh and perky in our fridge for close to two weeks and tasted everything a salad should be.  Healthy tasting, light and fresh.  And now I´m just happy, happy, happy and excited over what else will this supermarket chain bring in next :-)

Crepe with Spanish strawberries and Mascaporne Ice Cream for dessert ... to end our meal for today.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Square Foot Gardening Box is UP! And my craze for Bellis & Alpine Cactus ...

We finally laid another 1,000 litre of soil into the SFG boxes two days ago.  With that done, the box gride were place into the box to form 6 squares in each container and with 6 containers in sight, that means we have a total of 36 little square boxes! That´s a lot and that means that it allows us to plant 36 different kind of vegetables, salad or low rise fruits! Now, that´s quite a headache there deciding what to plant! But good headache :-P

We were in Netherland yesterday trying to locate a garden centre by the name of Intratuin.  They have recently started distributing pamplets to the border to lure German customer to their store, which I think is a great, wonderful thing but the information provided on the leafter (which were thankfully in German) were not sufficient enough to guide us to their store. So I went online to check on their website.  But, tsk, tsk, tsk .. its only in Dutch. We tried out luck anywhere, drove all the way to Enschede and its not a big city btw, BUT luck was not on our side.  It also made matters worst that a lot of roads were undergoing repair and its such an eye sore really during such lovely Spring weather, and the road system being so different from Germany - where the Dutch likes their road curvy and sometimes come with odd joinings, bicycle/bus/car lane existing side by side in major junction (and I tell ya, its quite nerve wreaking trying to figure out who goes first!) that we decided to travel back to Germany to do our window box flower shopping.

But we manage to drop by a small centre for the following ...

Sunday is rest day here but that does not stop me from doing what I love doing. The 10 Bellis we bought were carefully planted onto the round planter on our balcony. It would have looked better if the round planter pot were filled up but I guess, with new soil and all, the Bellis should be spreading herselves real soon.

We also picked up an assorted tray of Alpine Cactus for a dry corner of our garden. I have not planted them yet though because we are still trying to relocate the peach tree to another spot.

I manage to pick up some packets of Dim Sum from a chinese store in Enschede yesterday before driving back to the border. It is available in a 30 pieces packet and 10 pieces packet. Since I have no idea how good it is, I bought the small ones first. Having spent the whole morning working our in the garden, I wanted to treat myself to something yummy so I decided to steam them up for my lunch! I had them along Lingam Chilli Sauce and I must say that they tasted really good for packet stuff!

I guess, I will get the big packet next round then.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Dinner @ Wülfs, Alstätte

Last night was our second time dining out this month.  I was too tired too cook after spending few hours in the garden few hours earlier.  Our garden progress had been slow. 

Anyway yeah ... this was what we had for dinner last night.  This restaurant happen to be in the list of our Restaurant Voucher Book.  We both love their food btw so I hope we can return to this restaurant again sometime soon.

VERY, VERYYYY fresh baguette with pesto cream dipping.  I could not get enough of this.

My Lachsfilet mit Meerrettichkruste Gurkengemüse, Tagliatelle (17.80 Euro) / Salmon Fillet with Mustard Crust topping serve with Gurken in Cream and Tagliatelle Noodles. Lipsmacking good.  One of the better dishes I have eaten so far around this area ...

And this is hub´s Schweinefillet which came with mustard crust as well and served with seasonal cabbage and roasted potatoes.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Ranunkels, Tulips & Malaysian Chicken Rice Session (that almost happened)


A dear friend´s family car was beyond repair hence our Malaysian Chicken Rice session cum my Belated Birthday Cake session which was suppose to take place last evening did not materialise.  She felt really bad over it although I had assured her its OKAY! Things like these do happen in real life and not just in movies!

I went ahead with the cooking nevertheless, poaching it at one time and then roasting it in the oven during the second half time.  Its not authentic but what to do - that is the only solution for buying TOO big a bird, and having TOO small a pot :-P

p/s : The chicken rice using Prime´s Hainanese Chicken Rice pack was delicious and when cooked with our new rice cooker (which I hand carried back all the way from Malaysia) - it was utterly indescribable ...

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Lets keep our earth GREEN ...

All of you must have known by now what happened to Japan about a week ago. Like everyone else whom had been following the news - it must have somehow made you stop and think how fragile life can get and with a stroke of lighting, one´s life can turn upside down in matter of minutes. 

I don´t proclaim to be the expert in how to reverse the effect of global warming and whatever natural disaster that follow suit, but I do know that we as little people on this earth can do our part greening our earth in whichever small way we can.  

It is close to late March now as I´m typing this. The weather is lovely outside with abundance of sun in moderate temperature of about 20 celsius.  Having said that, it may get cold again the next days and like anywhere else in the world, the weather simply is getting unpredictable. 

But, I am not going to complain .... Not going to complain, simply because at this moment, I am thankful that I have a roof over my head, the heating in our home is working and when needed to be out, I still have my clothings to protect me from it all.