Sunday, July 29, 2012

for a good day at the beach

1 hour's drive to Senftenberg.
1 cup of reggae.
1 big splash of sunshine.
1 pineapple smoothie each.
8 teaspoons of fun and laughter.
2 or more great friends.

Mix all the above, bury your toes in the sand and enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

a spontaneous experiment: liqueur de noix

Today I cut some branches of my walnut tree. I felt bad for the bucketful of green walnuts that should go to waste, so I began a small search for a simple way to make use of the semi-ripe nuts.  David Lebovitz in his blog "Sweet life in Paris" made the convincing suggestion: Liqueur de noix!

In 2 months I will know whether this spontaneous experiment was a success.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Julie's clafouti

A clafouti is a great summer cake. It has no crumbly, greasy "floor", but is juicy and moist and fruity and still doesn't fall apart. Julie, originally from France, to be precise la Bretagne, makes the best clafouti I have ever tried. Of course I had to get the recipe and her permission to pass it on to my dear readers!

Julie's clafouti

150g flour
4 eggs
80-100g sugar
80g melted butter
1/2l lukewarm milk

300g fruit (cherries, plums, blueberries....)

Butter your baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Blend eggs and sugar.
Add melted butter, flour, milk in that order.
Spread out fruit on the baking dish.
Pour the batter over the fruit.
Bake for approx. 35mins.
Dust with powdered sugar.

Serve cold or warm.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

turqouise teatime

The turquoise and gold cup is my little time machine to the era of French Baroque. Even if I can't enjoy my tea in the company of Marie Antoinette, I can at least feel as decadent. By the way I recommend you watch the film "Vatel". It's extremely well researched and historically authentic... the colours, the costumes, the spectacles.. need I say more? 

Monday, July 02, 2012

Quick Gazpacho

... quick photo, before the last bit of delicious gazpacho disappeared in my mouth.

Not only the southern part of the Península cools itself down with chilled gazpacho during the summer months, I loved to savour it under the hot sun of the Alta Meseta, in Salamanca, where I spent my student days. It's easy to prepare if you've got a mortar, a blender and plenty of field grown, sun riped vegetables:  tomato + cucumber + bell pepper + onion +garlic + white bread + chilled water, salt, olive oil and vinegar = traditional Spanish gazpacho.

There is a big variety of gazpachos, the green one, the white one, the Ajo Blanco, the Salmorejo - even the traditional red gazpacho is prepared differently depending on the region and personal taste. (Hmmm, I'll never forget the mouth-watering Ajo Blanco my friend's grandmother used to bring along in a small plastic milk can.)
For a basic recipe I recommend you always take tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper, salt, vinegar and olive oil.  For the rest you may play around with garlic, onions, white bread or celery sticks.... Anyway, gazpacho is always hearty and satisfying and, in addition, it provides you with salt and vitamins when it's sweating hot!

My quick gazpacho comes out of the blender and is prepared in a minute ( well, 5minutes..)

2 ripe, uncooked tomatoes
1/2 cucumber, unpeeled
1 spring onion
2 celery sticks
1 red bell pepper
1 glass of chilled water
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the vegetables and blend in a blender. Chill.

If you want to add bread and garlic, mash salt, garlic and bread in a mortar before blending with the vegetables. It's worth the effort.  Enjoy!