Greetings from Germany!

Hallo! Greetings from snowy and cold Germany. Hubby and I are finally on our long awaited honeymoon. We travelled to Demark, Copenhagan last Tuesday and have been around Germany since last Friday. It started snowing on the first day we arrived- which we were told that it is quite uncommon in Europe to snow that much in December. Oh well, we totally enjoyed every minute of the snow. Too bad it was too soft to make a snowman.

In Europe, we had a great time tasting and trying out different kinds of food.

First stop- Illum ( a big shopping centre) on Stöget, Copehengan. We are not sure what it is called but it has mazapan at the bottom, soft meringue on the top and then covered with dark chocolate. Our friend told us that is a popular chocolate snack during Christmas time.

The magic occurred when we walked along the streets of Danmark. SNOW! Lots of snow. So much that we had to take refuge in a quint little cafe which we enjoyed a huge hot mocha while watching the snow falls.

We went to the Tivoli markets. A huge Christmas surprise with lots of fun rides. Not that we went on any rides but just took in all the wonderful sights and lights! It was soooo sooo beautiful and magical. The top photo shows a hot wine drine glögg which is spiced red wine with silvered almonds and sultanas. It was a very drink in cold snowy weather. The little snacks tasted like cinnamon spiced mini donuts. Again, Lone told us that it is a traditional Christmas snack eaten with cranberry sauce.

A visit to Danmark will not be complete without our experience at a hotdog stand.

 
This hotdog has chopped onions, mustard, gerkins and crispy shallots on it. Very warming to the tummy.
                                         
            
                                         
Can’t leave Denmark without DANISHES and pastries!! The bottom one is really special. It is sort of like a puff pastry but has sugar sprinkled on it with some forms of seeds. Very delish.
Next stop
BERLIN!
Breakfast to fill our tummy up.
 
                                          
Honestly, I have no idea what I was eating because it says special musli! No harm trying right? It was very oaty with lots of cinnamon.
Hubby had a toasted sandwich with lots of mozerella cheese, pear and some cranberry sauce.
More Christmas markets- we were on the hunt for some WURST.
This was the basic one with nothing on it. We added mustard and some tomato sauce on the side stand.
Oh, we can’t forget the sauerkaut and wurst with a bowl of champinons and bread.
The hubby is happy.
The next day, we explored the Berlin City. Took the S and U bahns (Trains) and ended up in a huge shopping centre. We spent 2 hrs wondering around the food area! Finally we settled in the food court and I had fish soup.
Salads with lots of dressings and a hot main meal with pork steak. One thing for sure, the Germans were generous with their dressings. The pork steak was really tender.
                                  
Back to the food area, we zoned in quickly at the dessert section filled with rows and rows of sweets! This one has lots of pumkin seeds and tasted like bikenstich.
We headed to a small village to be with our friends Haz and Hanno. Then we went to Köln and visited a big catheral. Happens to have another Christmas Market just right outside the Dom. It seems that is the biggest one in Germany too.
                                      
We were told that we had to try curry wurst-which turns out….
to be cut up wurst topped with curry sauce! Not very impressive but interesting!
Next to the wurst stall is a stall that sells Solvanish food. It’s toasted bread with different toppings include goats cheese, tomato puree and olive tapanade.
We proceeded our long walk by the Rhine river and ended up in a Chocolate museum. Really facinating stuff.
Also proof that chocolate is good for us!
Lots of chocolate treats!
This was dark chocolate mousse.
My personal favourite: Hot chocolate with baileys!
                                                       
What is more special is authentic Black Forest Cake that Haz made for us!
                                       
                                        
And one of our main reasons to be in Germany: Welcome little Hanna! The new addition to our friend’s family!
                                    

Holidays!

Woohoo! The holidays are upon us. While we celebrate this festiveness, rest assured I will be back soon with even more fabulous ideas and adventures. I will attempt to update periodically- good food galore! So come back to check.

Here is wishing everyone a  

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A FABULOUS NEW YEAR!

Stuffed Ham and Couscous Capsicum

I try to have vegetarian meal or at least a meal that has more veges than meat a few times a week. I have previously thought that vegetarian meals are boring and stayed away from them. I mean, how much fun can grilled vegetables be right? noo Wrong…

My first encounter of stuffed capsicum was at the Country Road Cafe on Murray Street. Yup, it is situated in Country Road (the clothing store) itself. I love how couscous and cheese stuffed in capsicum can be so flavour some. Given that juicy big red capsicum are in season, I thought I would give it a go in our kitchen.

I had a packet of instant Anisley couscous left and used that instead. Hubby wants some meat so I shredded ham and toss into the mixture of couscous, feta cheese and cashew nuts. Top with some cheese and it was a satisfying meal for two.

Today marks my last day of work for the year! HOLIDAYS for meeeeeeeeeee.. WoohoO!


Stuffed Ham and Couscous Capsicum

2 big red Capsicum
1 packet of Anisley spice sensation couscous cooked as per instructions
1 50 grams packet of honey baked ham shredded
20 grams of crumbed feta
1/4 cup of cashews
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese

Cut Capsicum into half and wash the seeds out. Dry with paper towels.

Line trays with baking paper. Pre heat oven to 200 C.

Mix couscous, feta, ham and cashews together. Spoon mixture into capsicum cups. Sprinkle with cheese.

Grill for around 15-20 mins.
Serve with a salad

Berry oh Berry Delicious Yogurt Cake

It’s the time of the year again where snow flakes fall (not on our side of our world!), songs playing and decorations galore. Christmas- my favorite time of the year.

Horror oh my horror (hahaha, see all my oh? I’m trying to get to the spirit of singing), this is when calories add up. I have previously blogged about my tastes like butter cake but half the fat Yogurt Cake. which really is a good cake to bring to lunches/brunches when you want to impress but lighten the load.

I made this for a gathering recently with the addition of some berries-the result was a moist but not overly oily cake. Superb for saving just that few calories.

Berry oh Berry Delicious Yogurt Cake   

1 cup of yogurt
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup of olive oil
3 cups of flour
1 tsp of vanilla essence
1 punnet or can of your favorite berries

Line loaf pan. Pre heat oven 180C. Whisk wet ingredients together. Sift dry ones and fold them into wet ingredients. Spoon in loaf and bake for 30-40 mins. Serve with fruits.

Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon Toasties

Oh a fiery hot 37C day in Perth today. Summer is officially upon us!

And of course, in my crazy faze of wraps, I placed some smoked salmon, cream cheese and spinach on one and here with a nice simple tomato spinach salad, and lunch is served.

Over the next week or so, our kitchen is undergoing a BIG revamp! Can’t wait to share what our lovely kitchen looks like soon (And show you how we manage our HUGE HUGE mess!!) ARGH…

Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon Toasties
100 grams smoked salmon
3 wraps
cream cheese spread
spinach

Wrap it up and toast!

Apple Banana Nutty Parcels

So I made the baklava fingers and actually have 2 pieces of filo pastry left. Not wanting to put it back in the fridge and not having much of the nut mixture left. I cut up a small apple and mashed a banana, sprinkle the nuts, rolled it up and popped it into the oven. Surprise surprise, a quick but lovely dessert was formed.

Apple Banana Nutty Parcels

2 pieces of Filo Pastry
1 chopped up appple
1 mashed up banana
 handful of your favourite nuts
1 tsp of brown sugar

Brush melted spread between the pieces of filo. Wrap apple, banana and nuts up with some brown sugar up. Bake in 180 C degrees for around 20 minutes. Sprinkle some icing sugar on it. Serve warm.

Baklava Fingers

The first time I ate a Baklava, my response was “so sweeetttt”. The nutty taste plus crisp filo pastry kept me hooked. I wasn’t able to take more than 1/4 of a slice of baklava at one sitting but it was special.

To recreate it at home just seems an impossible feat. Layers of filo pastry + cups of chopped up nuts doesn’t seem to appeal to me. It screams “too much work” Until I discover Karen Martini’s Baklava fingers recipes. I love the way we can layer the pastry and roll it up like a spring roll-it create the layers without too much work. Everyone knows filo pastry needs tender loving care and mine just seem to tear easily-hence the less I get to handle it, the better. Furthermore, the rolling bit means it is more forgiving.

What I did differently for this recipe however is to reduce the amount of syrup used to soak the baklava so that it is slightly less sweet. As a result, the baklava can be kept for a day or two longer.  And of course, my lovely food processor came in really handy when making the nuts mixture.

I grab this recipe off Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. Quick search on the Internet revealed Karen’s video on how she made it. So it’s bonus- you can watch it and follow it step by step too.

The hubby said next time, I have to scan ALL my recipes and save it in the computer with backups- just in case I lose this one. You can tell that he like this heaps!

Baklava Fingers

1 1/2 cup of walnuts toasted
1 cup of almonds toasted
50 grams brown sugar
50 grams caster sugar
2-4 tsp of ground cinnamon
2-3 tsp of all spice
150 grams dried figs chopped
375 packet of filo pastry
200 grams of melted butter (but I used around 50grams if not less)
1 egg lightly beaten

Syrup
200 ml water
300 grams caster sugar
3 tbsp honey
3 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon grated zest and juice

Line an oven tray with baking paper. Preheat Oven 180C.  Put sugars, cinnamon and all spice in food processor and process till nuts are coarsely chopped. Transfer into bowl and toss figs through.

Put 1 sheet filo on a clear bench, brush with melted butter, repeat with 3 more sheets. Cut pastry sheets in half vertically the brush edges with butter and egg. Sprinkle around 3 tablespoon or a handful of nuts around each segment, leaving a border around the edges.

Roll segments up like a spring roll. Put logs on trays and brush it with some butter.

Put trays in oven and bake for 20 mins. Cut logs into 4 equal pieces and put on a platter. Drench with syrup. Let it rest for around 2 hours before serving.

To make syrup- put all ingredients in small pan over medium heat. Stiry for 10 minutes or until it is dissolved. Remove and cool.