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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fancy Frühstück


Glühwein and Mulled Cider

It's a crime to talk about the Winternachtsmarkt without mentioning the rich, hot beverages. Glühwein, a staple of the German winter markets, means “glowing wine. Glowing like…embers!” as my German roommate explained to me. Glühwein is hot mulled wine that really just hits the spot while outdoors on a brisk Berlin evening.

My sister with Glühwein at the Edinburgh German Christmas market

Jamie Oliver's recipe for mulled wine is a great start. I like to play around with the spices, for instance I tend to like more cinnamon (his recipe calls for one stick, I like two) and maybe a couple more cloves. But really, it’s to your liking so his method is a good foundation for your own personal mulled wine recipe.
Instead of making it in a pot, my dad adds the wine then the spices to the Crock Pot and lets them mull slowly. I like this method the best, it keeps the wine warm and rich.

Trying something new, my friend got hot Apfelwein, or mulled cider. Oh yeah, the Glühwein and cider stalls all had free gingersnaps to much on and dip into your hot drink. Amazing.

Mulled cider is made like mulled wine, so you can follow Jamie Oliver’s recipe and use cider rather than wine. For the nice and easy Crock Pot way- add as much cider as you’d like to the Crock Pot and then add the spices and boil. Turn down the heat as it mulls. Add some rum for some fun.

- Travel Tales - 
The woman working at that mulled cider stand was pretty grumpy, unlike anyone else at this festive market, and carded my friend when she ordered the Apfelwein (nobody cards anybody in Europe.) It took about 10 minutes for her to angrily pantomime what she wanted us to do since our German was limited and her English was nonexistent. We tried handing her money, saying the name of what we wanted again, saying “bitte?” over and over etc. Anyway by some miracle of Gott we figured it out what she wanted and handed her the ID. The woman was confused/angered by the hologram on her driver license (from British Columbia), glanced at it briefly, and, without making eye contact, gave us the drinks anyway.
Yeah yeah cop lady, two dumb North Americans wandering around Berlin looking to get drunk at 1pm. Little did she know we had peed our pants earlier that day taking in the history of her amazing city.

Berlin Frühstück

Breakfast in (continental) Europe is different than back in the USA. One of many things I miss about home is a nice big diner breakfast complete with endless cups of (American) coffee, eggs, pancakes and fake maple syrup. I’m really hungry right now. In Germany, Switzerland and Austria, hotel/hostel breakfasts usually involve rolls, butter, jam, granola, and platters of cold cuts and cheese. Being a cheapskate, I eat granola for breakfast then make myself a sandwich for lunch and sneak it out in a napkin. Exception: this one time in Frankfurt I stayed in the Hilton and the breakfast was this ridiculous buffet with any type of breakfast food you can imagine.


No, no we weren’t done eating. We stopped at the German equivalent of New York’s NUTS 4 NUTS stands. These delicious honey-roasted peanuts came wrapped in a little beak (as demonstrated by my friend) that reminded me of the herb-filled beaks doctors used to wear during the plague epidemic. 

BEST OF THE WURST (wurst title ever)


Next stop on the tour de market was the popular wurst stand. There were many and it was difficult to choose, but again, we picked the one with the most German people lined up. I used this tactic in Italy and ended up having the best pizza of my life. There were plenty of wursts to choose from, but we went with the classic pork bratwurst.

Weihnachtsmarkt and Knäckerbröd Pizza


My friend and I decided to travel to Berlin in early December. Unbeknownst to us, this was the time of the brilliant German Weihnachtsmarkt, Wintermarkt, or Christkindlmarkt for all y’all in Bavaria.  My friend and I were floored by the array of covered stalls with local merchants peddling their wares, the omnipresent melodies of live brass quintets and, most of all, by the abundance of delicious German winter foodstuffs.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chicken and Broccoli Puff Pastries

 I’m pretty new to coming up with completely original kitchen ideas. That is, something that I didn’t see somewhere else and alter to my tastes. That’s why I was totally shocked when I was struck with random inspiration for some party food. I got the idea early in the morning last week, and by the time I was making it that night it was totally different. I was craving beef with broccoli, like the kind you get from Chinese take-out. I thought it would be neat to make it portable, like in an empanada. Through a series of improvements, it morphed into chicken with broccoli (and a little rice mixed in) wrapped in puff pastry. It’s not really an empanada, so I’m not sure what to call these. I was in a rush to take these pictures, so I left them on the parchment paper they were baked on (with browned bits of dripped eggwash and all.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lactose Intolerance and Fettuccini Alfredo


Lactose intolerance has been a major part of my life for the past few years. I went from having symptoms that seemed like minor annoyances to having horrifyingly painful symptoms that no amount of treatments seemed to be able to stop. My body was clearly trying to tell me something, and I was ignoring it by continuing to take enzymes and other things to work my way around the problem.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Three-Bean Chili


Something would feel really wrong if I wasn’t eating a bowl of chili while watching the Super Bowl, even if I have no vested interest in either of the teams playing (which is usually the case.) This has been my standard chili recipe for the past few Super Bowl parties we’ve hosted. There are no crazy ingredients that are impossible to find, it comes together quickly, and it’s relatively stress-free to make when you’re making a bunch of other stuff at the same time. It has served me well, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be retiring this recipe after this next party. I’d like to trade in the ground beef for something chunkier and swap the quick cooking-time for something that gives more complicated flavors time to develop.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sausage, freshly grated horseradish, spicy senf and pretzel roll thingy. A delicious 2 euro lunch that wouldn't kill Jill! Before I ate this, the guy working at this wiener stand cut his finger really badly while slicing the next guy's sausage(ha ha ha, "wiener," "guy's sausage" etc.). The image of his sliced finger next to the sliced sausage, both roughly the same size, really,really grossed me out. I would love this picture, but that finger slice is the only thing I can think of when I see it. Now I've ruined it for you too.

I stumbled across these beautiful red currants in Salzburg, Austria, at this little market that sprang up around noon right behind Mozart's house.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Recipe Index

Here's a quick recipe index to help you find what you're looking for. Some of these recipes may appear in more than one category (since they apply to more than one category)

Vegetable Chow Fun made from Won Ton Wrappers
Basic Thai Chicken Curry

Three-Bean Chili
Dairy-Free Lasagna

Glühwein and Mulled Cider
Peach Smoothie (non-dairy and vegan)

Berlin Früstück/Omelette Recipe
Peach Smoothie (non-dairy and vegan)
Mini Frittatas with Veggies

Rainbow Cupcakes
Dairy-Free Blueberry Ice Cream (vegan)
Mini Chocolate Berry Tarts
Blackberry Gel Pudding

Dairy-Free Lasagna
Fettuccini Alfredo
Knäckerbröd Pizza
Pizza Minus Dairy
Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese
Zucchini "Pasta"
Vegan Pesto
Baked Pasta Puttanesca

Best of the Wurst
Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon

Basic Thai Chicken Curry
Duck and Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie/Hachis Parmentier aux Patates Douces et Canard
Chicken and Broccoli Puff Pastries
Garlic and Lemon Baked Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots
Sick-Day Chicken Soup
Lemony Chickpeas with Chicken Sausage and Spinach

Risotto with Rainbow Chard
Shrimp with Avocado and Bacon on Seasoned Rice
Chicken and Broccoli Puff Pastries
Balsamic Risotto with Roasted Red Peppers

Shrimp with Avocado and Bacon on Seasoned Rice
Fish Tacos
Mediterranean Swordfish in Parchment Packets
Easy Dijon-Crusted Salmon

Cucumber Avocado Soup
Asian-Inspired Vegetable Soup with Shiritaki Noodles
Sick-Day Chicken Soup

EZ BOK CHOY with Garlic and Oyster Sauce
Vegetable Tian
Lentil Salad with Dill
Weeknight Vegetarian Chili