Confit Whole Mushrooms with Pumpkin Seed Oil

Photo 22-11-15 11 28 45 I am aware of the fact that Christmas menus are sprouting like wild mushrooms over the internet. My usual approach is to stay away from them. They can be really well-written, but the danger with most of them is, that it might leave you feeling a complete underperformer (what, no three kinds of cocktails shaken and stirred by the host herself? No foraged table decoration? No homemade bread?). Instead, I would like to coerce you to walk this easy road of confit whole mushrooms, slowly braised and looking effortlessly beautiful. 

My solution is to embrace normality, the kind that comes with thoughtful everyday home-cooking. Surely this time of the year is about spending a little more time to treat the ones that are close and dear, but in no case would I like to get anyone involved stressed (including myself that is).
These mushrooms are a perfect example of easy food that is still feeling really luxurious (look at that!), and is also really great as a nibble with drinks or as a side to a festive dinner. What makes them really perfect for parties is that they actually taste best when warm, not super hot.

These keep really well in the fridge if you cover them in a nice olive oil. View Full Post

Chanterelles Mushroom Flan

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There is something about evening walks that make me feel like time is standing still. It is almost like stealing time before it is time to head to bed. While the city calms down and the temperature drops, there is still all the awesomeness of the views, the smell of summer and the reflections of the water. And I shot this photo! I’m not even going to hide that I’m proud.;)

In the best case, I like to make an evening walk (or run) before ending the day with dinner. I know it doesn’t always necessarily make sense, but sitting down to eat really feels like the finishing note of a day, and I love to postpone it until all else is done, regardless of whether I am hungry or not. Oh how lucky I am with a flatmate so flexible to join me in all these whims. 🙂

Often, I make dinner ahead for the week on Sunday already, and knowing that something like this is waiting in the fridge, makes these kind of late-evening excursions a lot easier I must admit. This flan is one of the things I made ahead for this week (together with this amazing soup) and it came together really easily. Chanterelles are very much of a luxury I would say, but their texture and taste is really worth splurging occasionally.

Here in Germany we are lucky enough to find chanterelles in baskets for almost no money (€2,50 for 400 grams (!)). Having said that, I know that will likely not be the case in the Netherlands for example and considering the luxury of the ingredient, I have tried my best to showcase it. Altogether I think this mushroom got itself a pretty shiny stage.;)
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Salmorejo (Spanish Tomato-Bread Soup)

Photo 09-08-15 13 54 34 One of the many reasons I love my friends is because they love to eat good food. This means that I get to cook more (win!), that there is a thankful crowd to subject to my experimental projects (win!) and that we get super nice food all the time in return as well. Our friend Laura from Tenerife is one of those ladies who makes everything sound like it’s a picnic (regarding paella, she would simply say ‘it’s easy, really!!’) and is one natural chef. She made us Salmorejo (!). I am almost shouting this out in caps lock, because getting homemade food as a gift, for no reason is, well quite honestly, amazing!
Until two days ago I didn’t know this soup existed, but now this is the single thing I want to eat every remaining day of this summer. It smells intensely of tomatoes, is incredibly creamy without containing any oil, it is fresh without having the wateriness that always disturbs me a little when we are talking gazpacho (sorry).

Considering I can’t wait for the next time luck strikes, I have decided to take this matter into own hands. The soup I made comes really close to the one Laura gave us and I am happy to share. While being elbow deep in peeling tomatoes – obviously. 😉
Again: Laura, you’re the best!:)
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Tzatziki

Did I already mention that I like picnicking? With that I don’t mean the kind of very organised – coordinated blanket-napkin kind of gatherings, but rather packing up different elements of dinner (sometimes just simply wrapping a pan or bowl) and heading outdoors.
There is something about feeling grass between your toes and to be able to sit long enough on a hard underground to make your bum feel numb or your legs cramp up a bit.
The ability to feel the day end, to see the light fading away and to feel the temperature lower is something that keeps amazing me. Considering I am now living with a permanent member of team picnic (that was more or less established already on this photo back in 2012 in Bristol (!))  I tend to make loads of things that can easily be taken outside during the summer months. This Tzatziki is a good example of that, as it combines lovely with some roasted meat and bread, more cucumber and tomatoes. Let’s hope summer will stick around for a long, long time. 🙂

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Strawberry Vanilla Marmelade

This weekend I gave in to my need to relax and to really do nothing. It resulted in a blissful schedule of sleeping, reading (this book), rummaging around on the internet (to find this really cool IKEA kitchen of the future for example), running, coloring (yes, really this is the best new thing) and simply enjoying getting a little bored.

Having said that, even though I stepped back, I did make something in our kitchen (who am I kidding, I can’t be stopped;)). But instead of making one hundred things at the same time, I simply focused on these strawberries. And to be honest, I couldn’t have been happier with both the process and the end result. Not only does our place smell like heaven (or a cookie dough factory), it also feels like saving a bit of summer for later (read: dark autumn days).
Considering that we are heading towards the end of strawberry season (!), I am making sure to get my hands on the last bits (and yes, this is just enough to trigger my hamster instincts), to make sure there is enough to take us through winter, even though it is really tempting to simply eat my way through this batch right away.I already mentioned this blog, and I will tell you again what a master piece it is. It made me yearn to make marmelade, even though I have never made jam before.

Considering the abundance of cherries, strawberries and even of Redcurrants and Goose Berries on the market, I am happy to figure out how to preserve at least some of it in time.

I was very happy to cook this marmelade with Marisa’s instructions on hand. I have found her descriptions very comforting, especially because I feel a little hesitative to make preserves (I can’t remember which novel it was, but I am sure I read a book where a guest of one of the main characters drops head-down after being served spoiled canned beans at her place).

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