So I meant to blog about a gazillion of topics for the longest time. I took loads of fantastic screenshots in WoW and pictures of yummy food, I made notes in my head and still… I never got around to actually really write about any of those topics I came up with! And this since October and it’s the 31st December today! Woah… Ok, so here’s a mumble-jumble list of random thoughts:
In Cooking and Food News:
I made some awesome Pumpkin Soup; I even took pictures and wrote up the recipe. I only have to bring the two together and post them! Will definitely do so, Pumpkin Soup is just too good not to share.
I totally have to FINALLY share the recipe for mustard chicken. It quickly became a standard meal in our house because it’s pretty easy and quick to prepare and tastes fantastic!
I also wanted to introduce you to a traditional festive meal in Switzerland called Fondue Chinoise. We’ll have it for New Year’s Eve and I will totally try and take some pictures!
Tea. Tea is awesome. I love Tea. And we’ve indulged in a Special-T Tea machine from Nestlé. It’s pure luxury and probably a bit decadent – but OMG we love it!
In WoW News:
I’m raiding regularily and hey, we’re pretty good at it! I do hate the Heart of Fear with a passion, though. I really do. I even had some crying and swearing fits because of those pixels. Silly bugs in there…
I just recently got my fifth character to level 90 and also got the Double Agent achievement. That’s Tanyankâ (Huntress), Seely (Shadow Priestess), Blackmorgana (Rogue) and Credendo (Druid) on Horde Side and Kytara (Mage) on Alliance side.
I love Blizzards’ Story Telling. It’s so beautiful. I even came to like Anduin. He ain’t dead, right? He will come back and help us kick Garrosh’s behind?
I started to play a little Panda Monk named Shuilong. That means Water Dragon. I got the name from a list of possible Baby Panda names at the San Diego Zoo. 🙂
I love looking for treasures in Pandaria. It helps with the levelling, too!
There are incredible fun items in Pandaria to be found. For example mermaid shells.
Catching every single pet available in all of Azeroth will be a real challenge and I’m sure I’ll need a LOT of patience for it. It helps though to have both Horde and Alliance characters at my fingertips – makes taming some of the pets so much easier. 🙂
The guys at the Ogrimmar Fight Club pack a real punch. Ouch!
And just to give you a pretty picture as well:
This is Loh-Ki. He may be found a bit hidden up in the walls that surround the Valley of the Eternal Blossom. He tells you the story of Alani, the Dragon that flies around the Valley, where you need the sky shards to attack in order to get Alani as a mount. I love those loving details, those hidden treasures in the game.
Everyone – Happy New Year 2013. Let there be more interesting Blog entries more regularily. 🙂
This snack is really simple… Maybe even too simple to grant it a full recipe post, but I’ll do it anyways. 😀 So, you’ve just fullfilled another quest, reached another level and you get the munchies for something sweet. How about a fruit yoghurt with whole raspberries in there? Real quick, real easy, prepareable in advance:
You’ll need this:
- plain yoghurt
- frozen berries of your liking
- liquid honey
You may use frozen berries for this or berries that are lightly thawed, this is entirely up to. Maybe you want this frozen yoghurt style or simply fruit yoghurt style. (It’s always a good idea to keep a packet of frozen fruit in the freezer, you can easily prepare something delicious with it.)
Mix the berries into the yoghurt, stir in one tsp of liquid honey and drizzle another tsp on top of it. Serve and enjoy!
Here’s another idea for a very tasty, yet quick snack that only requires a handful of ingredients. (And did you notice that I finally have new plates? 🙂 The Mr. said that I really needed some pretty plates to present my foods. See? We has now pretty plates. 🙂 )
Here’s what you’ll need:
- smoked salmon
- flour tortilla
- cream cheese (plain or with herbs)
- lemon juice
- freshly ground black pepper
This one is a snack that may be prepared in advance and it doesn’t take long to prepare. It’s a great snack to satisfy those munchies for something crunchy when you’re on a gaming marathon. 🙂
There are very little ingredients needed for the dip itself:
- 1 can of tuna (I always use the one in saltwater, not the oily one)
- 1 onion
- either of these: plain yoghurt, cream cheese, creme fraîche, sour cream
- spices – dried herbs, freshly ground pepper, some salt, paprika
Granted, it takes a little bit of time to prepare these, but half an hour away from keyboard can’t hurt during a gaming marathon. 😉
Here’s what you’ll need for the stuffed mushrooms:
- Mushrooms – I used champignons
- 1 onion
- some bacon cubes
- cream cheese, plain or with herbs
- some grated parmesan
- freshly ground pepper, cayenne pepper, dried herbs, paprika
This is a great summer dish that we eat a lot these days. It’s light and tasty and could also be prepared on the barbeque. (I don’t have one, so I use the oven). It’s really easy and may be varied to fit almost every taste.
- Fresh or frozen and thawed fish filets (I’ve used pangasius)
- Red Onions
- fresh garlic
- Olive Oil
- salt, pepper, herbs to taste
- Tin foil Continue reading →
I’ve been quiet for a while now – which has to do with my new job. I’m in total learning mode and thus don’t have a lot of time and drive to blog. But I’m doing fine! The job is awesome, I already love it!
I’ve been playing WoW mostly on the weekends and I’ve also been playing a lot with my boyfriends druid, farming quest achievements for him and making gold. See – he was always broke. Always. One day he asked me to look over all his characters inventories and sell whatever I see fit to put up in the Auction House. (I became his WoW-Banker… *grin*) We designated one character to be bank and AH alt and off I went on my quest to tidy his bank slots and turn stuff into gold.
In Switzerland, we love Waihe or – as it’s also called – Wähe. The closest thing to translating would probably be Gateaux aux fruits or Fruit Tarte. Only – it doesn’t only come in the sweet variation, there are also savory kinds.
Today I’ll present the sweet kind with apples and pears. Swiss people love to eat Waihe as a main dish, for lunch or dinner or even breakfast. You can buy pre-packaged slices in almost every grocery store or bakery. It’s relatively cheap and great to use up those not-so-fresh apples or other fruit. My mom would make Waihe a lot during summer as a light dinner and my grandma always brought me some when I was sick. My personal favourite is the one with apricots or plums. However, I’ll show you the one with apples and some pears today, since I had those at home and they needed to be eaten. 🙂
I’ve seen a couple of Jamie Oliver shows lately and I love his ideas. I was especially impressed by his 30-Minute-Meals. So I gave in and ordered the book Jamies 30 Minute Meals. While I knew from the beginning that I won´t be able to cook the meals just as he describes them, the recipes sure give me inspiration and I adapt them to the possibilities of my kitchen and my skills.
So here comes a freely adapted recipe for Spinach-Feta-Pie:
- 100 g Pine Nuts
- 5 eggs
- 300 g Feta Cheese
- 50 g Cheddar (or a similar cheese)
- dried Oregano
- 1 lemon
- 400-500 g fresh leaf spinach
- 1-2 onions, diced
- some butter
- 1 rolled out puff pastry
- cayenne pepper, nutmeg
Roast the Pine Nuts with no fat in a pan until they are golden brown. Beware – they burn quite fast all of a sudden if you don’t pay attention.
Beat the eggs in a bowl, crumble the feta in and grate the Cheddar in. (we hardly get Cheddar around here, so I used Gruyère – but basically any cheese will do). Add a dash of cayenne pepper, dried oregano (not too sparsely) and grated lemon zest. Add the pine nuts and stir everything together.
Wash the spinach and dry it. Add butter to the pan, wait until melted, then add the diced onions and fry until transparent. (Note: I love cooking with onions, but you can choose to leave them out of the dish if you want to. It´ll work without, too.) Add some of the spinach until it collapses, then add the next part etc. until all the spinach is in the pan. Stir regularily until it’s done. It never ceases to amaze me that this huge bag of leaf spinach ends up to be just a handful after being cooked. Drain any excess liquid, then add the spinach to the egg-feta mixture. Grate about half a nutmeg into the mix, add some pepper and mix well.
As you can see in the picture above, I used a round baking tray. And a squarely rolled out dough. 🙂 It doesn´t really matter, use whatever baking tray you have at hand and put the rolled out puff pastry in there. Sprinkle with a bit of cayenne pepper. Add the mix and spread evenly onto the dough. I folded any excess dough there was over the mixture.
See, I usually don´t go for pretty, but tasty. 😀
Bake in pre-heated oven at 200° C for approx. 20-30 minutes. You’ll have to check, depending on your oven, it may take a bit longer. You want the filling to be firm and the dough to be golden brown.
I made some cucumber-cherry-tomato salad to go with it. For the sauce, I mixed some fresh garlic, lemon juice, approx. 1/2 fresh chili, olive oil, mixed salad herbs and a bit of salt together. When it comes to salad sauces, I usually throw together what I have at hand, taste and adjust. Oh, and there was some left-over mozzarella cut in the salad, too.
In any case – the Pie was really good and I will most definitely make it again. Even my boyfriend who was not fond of Feta up until then really loved it.
My love for cooking evolved over time. My Mom is a chef and I always watched her when she cooked when I was little. She would get too impatient with me, though, when I attempted to cook myself; so for the longest time I was happy enough with assisting and watching.
Eventually, when I started to live by myself, I started to bake and cook and experiment. I was never skinny, so a couple of years back food was always somehow related to diets and losing weight. Even back then I always tried to make the best out of the various diet dishes.
Nowadays, I look at food in a way more relaxed way. I love good food and I love it even more to share or cook it with someone I love. I like watching cooking shows and get some inspiration from there – Rachael Ray got me hooked (I will forever call Olive Oil EVOO..) and inspired when I was in States. Nowadays I love Jamie Oliver. I adore the way he cooks and improvises. I myself improvise loads in the kitchen. Often I would look into my fridge, the pantry, the freezer and improvise something. I seldom follow recipes to the letter, I rather use them as guidelines and inspiration.
I got Jamie’s Cookbook 30 Minute Meals a week or so ago, because when watching the show I absolutely loved the ideas in it. For me, it was crystal clear that I won’t be able to prepare that stuff in 30 Minutes. I have neither the space, equipment or practice to manage that. But who cares! The whole point is not to serve something within that time, but to pick out new ideas and adapt them to our needs. (Made a fantastic Spinach-Feta-Tarte yesterday – freely adapted from Jamies’ recipe.)
In some of the reviews about the book the people complained that it’s impossible to prepare the described meals in that time and that they needed to buy all sorts of equipment. However, in my opinion they haven’t understood the purpose of cooking.
Preparing food is not only to feed the body. It’s so much more.
Joy, Pleasure, Art, Fun, Creativity.
It’s messy and wild and punk.
In Switzerland, the cost for certain foods is very high. For example meat and fish. In our little family, we eat meat very consciously and not every day. If we decide to prepare a dish with meat, we choose very carefully. This is one of the reasons I’m always on the lookout for inspiration and new ideas to keep our foods interesting.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t always feel like cooking every night. Sometimes I’ll just have a sandwich. But I think the trick is to find a healthy balance for everything.
And I intend to share my ideas and favourites with whoever fancies to read my musings.