Thursday, 31 July 2014

My first attempt at falafels

I just quickly wanted to hop by before I'm off tho the airport tonight and leaving for Africa. I made this recipe last week and it was so easy and fast, I needed to share it before it would fall into oblivion in the depth of my computer ;)

Homemade Falafel by Just a Taste

If you click at the link above, it will direct you to the original recipe. Down here, I'll just write down what I ended up with ;)

For appr. 16 falafels:

  • 2 cups cooked chick peas
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • chili, cumin, salt
Put all of the above into a food processor and mix until dough-like. I made the mistake here to start with my chickpeas and proceed with the lighter stuff on top. That, however, didn't mix well. Next time I'll be putting in all the light stuff first, and the chickpeas on top.
Let the mixture cool off for one hour in your fridge...or do it as I did and put it in the freezer for 6 minutes ;) (Yeah. I know. Patience is definitely not my thing).

Cover the base of a frying pan with oil and form little balls which you fry in your pan. After a minute or so, press them slightly into a more flatter form. Flip around and continue cooking until they're done.
If you follow the recipe link above, it will provide you with the instructions for a tahini sauce. 
We simply went for store bought hummus and yogurt, which  just tasted amazing as well ;)
And we also did fry up some egg plant and served avocado, arugula salad and cress at the side.

Enjoy! ;)
(And I'll be off doing some last preparations. Stay tuned for posts from Africa! :))

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A walk back in history {or how I started baking}

Let's talk cake.
I sometimes try to remember when my baking addiction started. Admittedly, I haven't come up with something yet. But I like to think that it was all the way back, when I made my first cake out in our garden.

Back than, my brothers and I love to pretend we were living outside in out own cave (we had built one inside our neighbours trees....cough). Anyway, as a truly outside living person I had to make dinner for us, right? So while I was happily baking/cooking/mud-ing away I was suddenly facing the question: Why not steal inside and get real ingredients outside?! (I had to mull it over a bit, because I wasn't quiet sure if cave man have had flour back than, but than again, you were allowed to use what you had, right? And after all, some hunting and sneaking had to be done in order to get my game (aka: flour, sugar and salt)).

I had a rough idea about how to bake, at least I had seen my mother several times, throwing stuff into a bowl. So out there, in our cave, I recreated what I thought was a cake. The fact that it also had dirt, common daisies and grass in it, just made it even more appealing.
To shorten this whole story, I could convince my mum to actually bake my concoction and after I had applied a generous amount of chocolate to the top the whole family ate it together (they never found out about the grass, daisy and dirt part).

Several years later I still love to make messes bake, though I might have given up on the grass and dirt ;)
So, when I heard that my mum was having a slightly larger birthday crowd, I easily talked her into letting me tend to the cake part. How much I love her ;)

After a short facebook discussion, I came up with those two beauties:

The first one is a Chocolate Mousse Cake by diethood (though no worries, there is nothing diet-y about this cake!). And the second is the Amateur Gourmet's Strawberry Shortcake.

Since I had a pretty big crowd and never had attempted those recipes before, I mainly sticked to the instructions. However, here is what I changed:

Chocolate Mousse Cake

  • my cake pan was 'normal' sized which made the cake bigger but flatter. I was a bit concerned first but really liked it at the end, because this cake is really rich and the slices that we were able to cut that way had just the right size.
  • I skipped the hazelnut flavour which was just fine
  • Also, the cream for the center turned out just fine, when I attempted the outer vanilla cream, things just wouldn't work out. (If you look closely you can still see that under my nicely shaped...uhm....decoration is a layer of pretty flat not-creamy-at-all-cream underneath. What I sprayed on top then was a mixture of icing sugar, cream cheese, white chocolate and (here comes the genius!) wheat bran (weizenkleie oder gemahlene Flohsamen!). This will just turn anything into a spray-able form, is super healthy and close to not visible!!!
Strawberry Short Cake
  • I kind of overread that this recipe is so awesome because it actually makes two cakes (yeeeah I know). So we ended up with one pretty big cake. No harm was done ;)
  • I skipped the corn starch, which worked out, but if I would have had any, I would have used it!
  • The filling: I don't know what it is, but cream seems to avoid me. It just never works out. So, my filling and topping ended up slighty different. It was a mixture of 1 cup heavy whipping cream, icing sugar (again. haha) and a tiny bit of melted white chocolate. Worked wonders!!!
  • I drizzled some melted milk chocolate over the top at the end. This, however, is totally up to you ;)

I finally managed to label my cups accurately! (Before the baking process)
First cake base done, one to go
The beauty of cocoa and flour dust
And that's it. In total: AMAZING cakes (everyone agreed on that and they were gone at the end of the night) and totally manageable!! ;)

Happy and excited soon-to-be-eating-cake-friends. We had to hold them back so we could cut the cake properly...
....which my mum did a beautiful job on. And look at all this moist, soft, creamy, chocolaty cake goodness!!!
And this is me still piling cake on my plate in the middle of the night....after I probably already had more than my fair share of it :D
But you can never have too much cake, right?! So, happy cake baking to you all! :)

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Another cooking-get-together (without actually cooking)

Just recently, for our weekly cooking-get-together, we headed into the city instead of actual cooking at home. Sometimes a treat is appropriate right?!
And we finally got to try the falaffel shop I've been eyeing ever since the first day I moved to this city!

So. We started with venturing down the little alley that leads to this tiny shop. It really is a bit hidden but once you past it you can not pass it without noticing. It's oozing character and also, there always is some cool music playing (helps with the noticing and the character ;P).
Two excited venturer and the menu....which really does consist of just falaffel (you know the stuff is good if that happens!!...well that's what we though anyway).

We had a few people waiting in front of us so we had time to consider the menu choice and make life changing decisions. And we got to see the master at work!
Also, we took in our surroundings. There was actually a lot to take in, such as papers, certifying us that the falaffel we were going to get, really were worth trying, or funny letters from customers telling us about their expirience, pictures, art....the wait didn't feel long.
Still, one always has enough time to snap a feet picture ;)
And pretty soon we were two happy falaffel owners (if only for a short amount if time). What I loved was how fresh everything was made. Herbs, salad, different kind of sauces and freshly fried falaffels.
However, I made the mistake to go with hot, which turned out to be hot hot (and not the usual 'hot' you get at german restaurants) so next time we'll go there (which will happen!) I'll go without and hope to actually taste a bit more of my wrap ;) But all in all: Go there if you can!!!! (Die Kichererbse Augsburg).
After that, we strolled a bit through the city....
Couldn't say no to some frozen yogurt.....
And tried out the famous strawberry magaritas at our favourtie coffee shop, while watching the moon rise behind the old town hall. All in all a pretty amazing evening. The next week though, we cooked again ;)
Here's the proof ;)

And for a bit of random in this post: What I'm listening to right now

I wish you all a good start into the new week! :)
(The blog is definitely bursting of emojis right now....bear with me.)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Further smoothie experiments {green going two ways}

I got sick so my post got delayed.
Here it is. I finally managed to make a "real" green smoothie. And the secret was the one I had expected it to be all along. Which is: don't mix your green vegetables with red fruits but rather go for the whole section of yellow and orange fruits. Simple, isn't it? (And it took me that long to figure out....after an art proficiency class. Really.)

Otherwise we're breaking into a rain period here which mean it has been raining non stop since yesterday. We'll see how long it lasts. So if you want to cheer yourself up: Make those smoothies!! ;)

For the first green smoothie, you will need (1 serving):

  • 1/2 a package lamb's lettuce (normaler Feldsalat)
  • 2/3 of a mango
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 1/2 an apple
  • vanilla soy yogurt and milk (until you reach your preferred "smoothie-ness")
Blend all of it together in your blender. And that's it!!

I really really loved this one (far better than my not-so-green broccoli smoothie) and I'll probably keep making this one in the future, especially since our markets have lamb's lettuce on a daily basis and spinach....not so much. Also, I'm going to try adding ginger to the whole mixture. Or some fresh mint?! Endless possibilities as so often ;)

Though, I said there were smoothies two ways. Which means, I actually managed to get my hands on some baby spinach the other day, and than this happened. It doesn't look that different (yeah, I know) but it did taste different! And honestly, I couldn't decide between the two of them. Green smoothies simply are awesome, right? Thought so ;)

  • 2 1/2 cups baby spinach 
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2 mandarins
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • a bit vanilla yogurt
  • and some fat free Greek yogurt
Blend and enjoy ;)

(and sorry for those dots hanging around there in the middle of nowhere. My blog layout simply refuses to put them anywhere else. Try to figure out this stubborn technology (sight)). Have a fun Tuesday!

Friday, 18 July 2014

One week at home

It has been an amazing week. I ate wonderful food, had lots and lots of talks, walks with friends, bike rides, yoga nights in the garden, baking amazingness for my mum, sunshine, ice cream, laughter and all that there is to joy and happiness.
It was good to arrive, to let go of things, to breath, to smile, to find confidence and inspiration inside myself, to dream. I am truly thankful for this place and the people here.

I started right away with the probably most important game of the year!!! 
And it was so worth to be watched ;)
Because hey! We might be a small town be we do know how to to celebrate!!
So, after a short night, I headed all the way to Frankfurt to visit one of my best and oldest friends ♥
I like her kitchen (along with liking the friendship we have ;P)!...and the view ;)
DWe decided that it was not the day to be healthy and responsible...
...and made spinach noodles with Gorgonzola sauce. Deliiiiiiiiicious!!
Also, it was my first time being introduced to a juicer (talk of important milestones in history!!) And I might just have fallen in love with it....but, even though I know that you all really care about me being all obsessed  in in love with all kind of complicated and expensive kitchen tools, we'll skip that for now ;)
After a couple of pretty crappy weeks, considering the weather, everything improved as soon as I went home. Look at this beautiful sky we could see from her apartment!
The next day, I had a cake mission to accomplish!
Lots and lots of walking was done on old ways
I also found this! I was not really convinced enough to buy it at the time, but curious enough now, to regret not having bought it  -.- psh
Back all the way over the fields...
And than I spent a noon and afternoon, turning my mums kitchen into a mess...a huge mess....but I cleaned it all up at the end ;P
After my extensive consumption of cake crumbs and loads of frosting during the baking, a bike tour was needed!
Which didn't mean, that we couldn't connect it with more food ;)
And another beautiful sunset (though I have to throw in (since we want to stay realistic and be honest and everything) all those sunset came with lots and lots of mosquitoes. I'm feeling quite a lot like my Indian-self last year....)
More walking was done the next day....
This time to hand over my pile of gifts to the birthday girl ;)
And we had more food in the evening. Also (major also!!!!) I got to meet my brothers girlfriends! I hope I didn't embarrass them too much (my brothers)...
My cake was devoured...
And there were lots of long talks 
This was my pretty ice cream date the day after that. The last time I saw this girl is over a year ago. So much has changed and so much is still the same :)
And then, it was time to spent more time with three of the most important people in my life. I am so grateful to call them my friends ♥ 
On the last morning, I headed out onto my dads balcony
Mainly, to display my gorgeous breakfast....
But also, because I love this place....and all the things that grow on it. We might have made one or another mess at this place all the way back when mud games where to die for!
So much for my one week at home. I definitely enjoyed every minute of it :)