Tag Archives: food

Princess Tomato Salad with Homemade Pesto, Buffalo Mozzarella and Breadrolls

I know, I’ve been away for far too long. What can I say – life happens. But here’s this fantastic summer dish that I just have to share. Not as many pictures as in other food posts, but I guess this will do anyways. 🙂 Also, testing the camera in my new smartphone, thus I can somehow not get the pictures any bigger. 😦

 

Princess Tomatos

Ingredients:

  • 500 g Date Tomatos (alternatively Cherry Tomatos or Perla Tomatos)
  • a generous bunch of fresh basil
  • pine nuts or almonds or walnuts
  • parmesan cheese
  • a couple of sprigs rosemary
  • garlic
  • sour cream
  • spring onions
  • paninis to finish baking yourself
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, aceto balsamico

 

Start by finely chopping a clove of garlic and some rosemary. Mix with some coarse salt and olive oil and set aside. (you will need this to brush the bread rolls, so one to two tsp of olive oil will do)

Next, prepare the tomatoes. To make a regular tomato a princess tomato, you want to peel them. This is actually quite easy. 🙂 Firstly, you want to nick all the tomatoes on top. Just a small cut through the skin. Next, bring some water to a boil. Prepare a separate bowl with ice water in it. As soon as the water is boiling, you want to blanch the tomatoes for about 20 seconds. Simply count from 20 to 40, that will do. 🙂 Then dump the tomatoes in the ice water. You will now be able to remove the skin quite easily. Put the skinned tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with approx. 1 tbsp sugar and some olive oil. Yes, sugar. Trust me, it’ll turn out real tasty! Then set aside.

Next, the pesto. A traditional pesto is prepared with pine nuts. However, the price of pine nuts around here is exorbitantly high and therefore I went for the budget version. About five almonds or a couple of kernels of walnuts will work just as well. Put a generous amount of fresh basil, one or two cloves of garlic, some parmesan, five almonds (or pine nuts or walnuts) and a generous amount of olive oil in a food processor. Mix until you have a a nice paste. You might need to add some more olive oil to give it a sauce-ier consistency. Lastly, add just a dash of Aceto Balsamico to the pesto.

While you could obviously make your own fresh bread rolls, I went again for the quicker version – store bought rolls to pop in the oven and bake for a couple of minutes. Seriously, after a long day at work I don’t have the energy to be a perfect housewife and do use shortcuts whenever possible. 😉 Prepare as directed on the packaging.

Lastly, the sour cream dip. Finely cut the green of a spring onion. Mix with the sour cream, add freshly ground pepper and a dash of lemon juice. Mix well and set aside.

Now, to add the last touches to the princess tomatos. They have by now marinated nicely in some olive oil and sugar. Heat some olive oil in a pan. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle with some sugar, quickly stir them in the hot pan and take them out again. You don’t want to cook them, you just want to caramelize them.

Next, bring everything together. Chop a couple of fresh basil leaves and mix them with the tomatos. Cut the buffalo mozzarella into pieces. Brush the rosemary/garlic/olive oil mix over the still warm rolls. Arrange everything on a plate and then enjoy a caprese salad like you’ve never had one before. 🙂

Princess Tomatos

 

 

 

Fondue Chinoise

Fondue is widely considered a typical Swiss Dish. Most people think about Cheese Fondue when they hear about it and every tourist in Switzerland usually tries a “typical” cheese fondue and ends up with stomach aches, because they are not used to all this melted cheese. What many do not know is this: It is very important to NOT drink water or soda with a cheese fondue but either warm tea or some white wine. I’m not in particular fond of cheese fondue, but if I end up eating some, I ALWAYS drink only warm tea with it, which helps to digest the mass rather fatty cheese. (btw, this rule also goes for Raclette) 

This is what Wikipedia has to say about Fondue:

Fondue (French pronunciation: ​[fɔ̃’dy]) is a Swiss, French, and Italian dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a portable stove (réchaud), and eaten by dipping long-stemmed forks with bread into the cheese. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union (Schweizerische Käseunion) in the 1930s but its origins stem from an area that covers Switzerland, France (Rhone Alps) and Italy (Piedmont and Aosta valley).

Since the 1950s, the name “fondue” has been generalized to other dishes in which a food is dipped into a communal pot of hot liquid: chocolate fondue, in which pieces of fruit are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture, and fondue bourguignonne, in which pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil.” 

I remember when I was in San Diego a couple of years ago I went to a small Fondue Restaurant in La Jolla called “Forever Fondue” with a couple of fellow students. For me, as a Swiss Person, it was absolutely hilarious! It was so incredibly cute to listen to the waiter explaining the dish to a group of Swiss and Japanese students. The Swiss thought it was totally funky to have Fondue in California and the Japanese were a bit flabbergasted by this weird food. The restaurant served Cheese Fondue for starters, Meat and Fish Fondue as a Main Dish and Chocolate Fondue for dessert. Let me tell you this: No Swiss person in their right mind would normally eat all of them in one sitting. 😀 But hey, it was a very unique experience! The people from Forever Fondue are also quite innovative and a visit is really worthwhile.  

When I was living in Germany, a lot of my german acquaintances would make Meat Fondue, where they cooked pieces of meat in hot oil. Which is, in my opinion, still way too heavy and not really my choice of fondue. 

Therefore, today I would like to introduce you to Fondue Chinoise – my favourite festive winter meal! (well… we’ve had it almost every weekend since X-mas and are still not tired of it, it’s simply so good!)

It is actually quite similar to Fondue Bourgingnonne but instead of hot oil, you use broth. Whether it is beef broth or veggie broth is entirely up to you. Personally, I like to use veggie broth. I also add one carrot and one leek cut into slices and heat it up on the stove. Here in Switzerland, you can buy very thinly sliced and rolled up meats in every variation. From beef, veal, pork, chicken and turkey to even horse. My favourite is turkey, since it’s not too expensive and it cooks to be very tender in the broth.

Fondue Pot and various Dips and additions.

Fondue Pot and various Dips and additions.

To go with the meat, there are various dips (either store bought or homemade), pickles, antipasti and potato chips. And that’s it. Everyone helps themselves to what they like, put the meat on the long forks and put them into the hot broth for a couple of minutes. When the meat is done, take it out and enjoy.

The plate with cooked and raw meat, dips and pickles

The plate with cooked and raw meat, dips and pickles

And here’s the best part – when you’re finished, don’t throw away the soup! Keep it for the next day, add any leftover meat and maybe some dried tortellini, heat up and voila – you have a full meal and an incredible tasty soup. 

My Mom doesn’t like to eat soup the next day, so she actually freezes the broth into ice cubes and uses it as a base whenever she cooks risotto. 

Fondue Chinoise is a great meal in my opinion, because it doesn’t involve a lot of cooking or preparation. The Mister and I love to have it during the winter months – just the two of us and a good movie. Heaven. 🙂

The woes of not blogging…

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:

Loh-Ki tells you the story of Alani

Loh-Ki tells you the story of Alani

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. 🙂

Mists of Pandaria Marathon – Foods: Raspberry Yoghurt

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!

Mists of Pandaria Marathon – Foods: Tuna Dip with Veggie Sticks

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

Continue reading →

Mists of Pandaria Marathon – Foods: Stuffed Mushrooms

I previously posted recipes for Piadina and Focaccia, which will certainly be on the menu next week. Here’s another idea for some gamer food: Stuffed Mushrooms.

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

Continue reading →

I’m still here! *waves*

Sorry for the lack in posting, but work was really crazy those past two weeks. Then there was of course the MoP Pre-Patch that kept me busy and blogging was kind of forgotten for a while. 🙂

Lots of people are talking about Mists of Pandaria right now, but I won’t go into detail myself. Let’s just say I’m thrilled! I was really looking forward to the Pre-Patch and you know what the best thing is in my opinion? Not the account wide achievements, though they are cool. Not the the sharing of mounts and pets across all characters, though this is nifty, too. But what really thrilled me was the AoE looting. I LOVE it! I sometimes go on this farming sprees where I just like to bomb stuff away and the AoE looting is simply AWESOME! And yeah, that way I ended up getting the Black Tabby in about 20.000 kills…. teehee…

I was also lucky enough to kill the Darkmoon Rabbit last week (this screenshot was made with the add-on Multishot. Isn’t that nifty? It even gives a timestamp!):

It was really tough but lots of fun also. Basically it’s a DPS race and running a lot from the Ghosthealer to the battle site and keep on fighting. As a hunter, it’s a bit easier. I love my feign death button… teehee. I didn’t get the bunny pet, but that’s ok. It was all about the experience and the fun of it.

After there was a tiny bit of guild drama a couple of weeks ago, all is well now. We’re doing a lot of achievement runs together and we’re wiping lots trying our hands on Heroic modes in Bastion of Twilight or Blackwing Descent. But it’s ok and we have lots of fun doing so.

I’m very giddy for Mists of Pandaria to finally hit. A couple of years ago Buffed , which is like WoWhead, but in German, did a special about gaming and food and that there are other alternatives than just pizza and coke.

This blog ain’t called Panem et Circenses for nothing. 🙂 I plan to share our Mists of Pandaria foods during the next  couple of days. I won’t kid you, the MoP release week won’t be the healthiest food-wise; but we can throw in some veggies and even remotely healthy choices.

So stay tuned! 🙂

Rucola Pesto

Spaghetti with Rucola Pesto and fresh Cherry Tomatoes

I’m really bad when it comes to leafy green salad. If it’s only a tiny bit wilted, I don’t want to eat it. It even goes as far that I give the salad leaf that is usually inbetween a sandwich to my cat. Yes, Spike really loves salad greens and will eat it with great gusto. 

However, I can’t give Rucola to the kitties, too spicy for them. 🙂 Besides, I love the taste of Rucola but I can’t get myself to eat it when it’s not crispy fresh. The solution – Rucola Pesto!  Continue reading →

Piadina

Piadina (plural Piadine) is an Italian speciality that I love very much. We are lucky enough to have a Piadina Bar in town where you can buy freshly made Piadine. Unfortunately, they are quite pricey.

Imagine how thrilled I was when our local grocery store started to carry raw Piadina! Now, Piadina is a baked good, made from wheat flour, rolled out very thin and then baked with no fat on a hot plate or in a wide flat pan. In fact, if you’d like to try this and can’t get your hand on Piadine you can substitute them easily with flour tortillas. Tortillas are similar enough to work with. 

The beauty of Piadine is that they can be prepared to individual taste and varied endlessly. (I like that!) Here’s how I usually prepare them.

 

Continue reading →

Warm Focaccia Sandwiches

Focaccia is awesome. Either to enjoy it fresh out of the oven with no fuzz or prepared like here as warm sandwiches. Believe me – it’s totally worth to go through the trouble of preparation because these warm sandwiches are divine!

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Focaccia, in case you do not know what it is:

“Focaccia (Italian pronunciation: [foˈkattʃa]) is a flat oven-baked Italian bread,[1] which may be topped with herbs or other ingredients. It is similar in style and texture to pizza, but not considered to be the same.”

There are many variants out there. I found a simple one at the store that was topped with herbs. In case you can’t get your hands on Focaccia, this recipe works just as fine with simple toast. And you know me – I love recipes that may be varied. 🙂 Same here, take this as an idea as to how to prepare your next sandwich, but experiment with toppings you like or happen to have at home.

Continue reading →