Friday, 30 November 2012

Raclette Dinner, the Swiss Way ...

We went shopping in Kassel last weekend as mentioned earlier and this was what we got - a Raclette set.  We were attracted to it as it is small enough to fit on our casual dining table and yet, sturdy enough that it will not break easily.  Winter´s also here so a change in heavier diet is called for.

I was told we could use this Raclette machine in so many ways.  To grill steaks, vegetables or even make pancakes with the raclette mould underneath!  Well, I will experiment on that later but first, it has to be the traditional way we remembered them when we first tried them in Switzerland and South East France.  The cheese used is heavier than usual, and I love it.  In Switzerland, raclette is a humble, simple meal meant to be enjoyed by close family and friends and consist mainly of the cheese, potatoes, ham, gurkins and pickled onions.  Raclette means to scrap and here, it is to scrap off the melted cheese onto the plate.  The activity itself is a slow process so its lovely sharing it with someone close over a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bad Karlshafen along Fairytale Route, Germany

We had such a blast last weekend that I am left with little energy to do anything else on Monday.  We started off with some shopping in Kassel.  I found the Rouge Matte Chanel lipstick I have been wanting to pick up but OPI nailpolish is no where to be found even in such a big city like Kassel???  I wanted to try on a lacey dress I spotted in Zara but the queue was amazingly long.  The WMF store and some fine china store whom I wanted to check out a couple of stuff were so packed too.  A lot of people have started Christmas shopping it seems, well better be early than later where one has to beat the crowd I´d say!  Talking about economy crisis in Europe, it surely isn´t so in Germany! 

Our friend J and his girlfriend Nina took us to a gorgeous Columbian restaurant in Kassel.  She tried making reservation early but was told its fully booked.  When we arrived, they apparently set aside 3 tables for walk in guest. Good that we arrived very early because soon after, the crowd started pilling up and service went a bit downhill.  The food was fine and the ambience and settings were lovely, which high ceilings and all, nicely done up.  I had a pot of seasonal mussels serve Columbian way which is with tomato sauce and a dessert I can´t recall its name.  We drank of course and afterwhich, J took us for a spin in his new Audi.  The only sober one whom stepped on the pedal and the rest feeling tipsy, I swore I nearly dozed off behind the wheels even at 180km per hour.  I didn´t know the new Audi has such impressive interior and systems built in.  Thats it, I am an Audi convert! 

The next morning, our planned breakfast eventually turned into lunch.  After two hours, we were on the road again but hubby was still in holiday mood :-)  He wanted to see a nearby town Bad Karlshafen seeing Furstenberg´s Store Outlet is close on Sunday.  Hubby wanted to pick up something for his mum as gifts for Christmas but I guess, we have to make do with something else then.  They, Furstenberg company makes very beautiful, high end porcelain that I would love to start collecting.  But it is something I have to think about not just in terms of how much will it cost for a minimum 6 person service set but also where am I going to display them ...

And so ... after some discussion, we´re going to embark on some serious livingroom refurbishment coming February. Excitement one after another :-D

Friday, 23 November 2012

It´s the start of gift giving season ...

Its an easy peasy occassion when it comes to giving gifts where I came from.  In most cases, the default gift can be in form of cash and all is well.  In Germany, it is a different ballgame altogether.  Thoughts go into it, hence challenging yourself constantly how well you know the person you´re giving the gift too.  Tomorrow, we will be visiting a couple friend in another part of Germany.  Prior to this, we would defaultly bring a bouquet of flower, some chocolates and sometimes a nice tin of gourmet biscuit.  But I was told the madame of the house is on diet so, no chocolate and no biscuit please! lol.  During their last visit to our place, I noticed something.  They both loveeee red wine. So off I went this morning to go pick up our favourite type of red.  The famous Barolo which the Italians loves drinking above anything else but it is something that can´t be drink regularly because a bottle of good Barolo can set you back quite a bit of $$$.  I paired them with Truffle laced hard cheese, also from Pietmont area in Italy.  Festive air is here so I´ve packed a white Amarylis along.

Its weekend so have a lovely weekend everyone!

Apple Cinammon Roll

Christmas mood is in the air! And so as my mood for cooking and baking.  Sorry for the long dissapearance. I didn´t realize my new job would consume me so much, not so much my time but very much what I plan to incorporate in and plan the best I could day in day out.  It has been great.  Teaching kids is no easy task, especially so with German kids around the age of 8-10, they do have quite a character I tell you.  But that is the challenge.  At the moment, things have stabilised a bit and they are spotting a huge smile the moment the enter the class.  Its a sense of fulfillment which I´ve only come to hear from parents or teachers in the past but now, experiencing it is altogether a different matter.  Anyway, gotta run again ... but before that, I am leaving you with a picture of Apple Cinammon Roll I baked two days ago.  It is the same recipe as The Joy of Baking as I was told but being a friend of DH France, I followed her version here to the T, almost.  Its a delish recipe so, I will be attempting them again with more filling variation.

Have a nice weekend everyone!