Samstag, 26. Oktober 2013

Plum-Chocolate-Muffins with walnuts

Fall morning view from our kitchen window
Before I forget to mention it:
If you will bake these muffins (you really should!): EAT THEM STILL A LITTLE WARM!
They are tasty in the cold version, but fresh from the oven, eventually added some vanilla`s a DREAM! Warm plum in a chocolate dough...this is fall-heaven!

At the moment, I do a lot of seasonal kitchen.
For sure it is also because I get a green box from a farm every two weeks, and there is only seasonal stiff in.
But also, no doubt, I try to eat seasonal, for health and environment.
But the third reason is, that i really enjoy to ring the season-bell with some wonderful things I only eat at that time of year. I would never buy for example strawberries now, even if there are some in the supermarket that came from...I don`t know where. They are here best in July, and I only will eat them in the summer. Bam! That`s it!
I often can`t wait for special season diamonds, like pumpkin or cherries or mandarines...and this longing, this waiting for it, makes it even better when I finally can bite into it!

In Germany, we have definitely fall now. Leaves are golden or already felt down. It`s getting colder, even if I am astonished how warm it is at the moment in contrast to the years before (I don`t need a jacket, what is NOT normal here).
We have season now for pumpkins, plums, nuts, chestnut, mushrooms, quince, figs, cabbage and venison.

I never prepared something with quinces in my life, and unfortunately it is very rare and ard to buy here. I have the plan to cook something with it this winter...I hope it will work.
But the christmas cookie time is not very far from today, so I also have to plan to bring you some more awesome and traditional recipes.

But for now, enjoy these (warm) plum-muffins.


>makes 12 muffins

> 6 plums (the round, big ones preferred)
> 100 grams of sugar
> 200 grams of all-purpose-flour
> 2 tsp baking powder
> 1 tsp bakind soda
> 60 grams chopped dark chocolate
> 2 big Tbsp Chopped walnuts
> 3 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
> 1 flat tsp cinnamon, grounded
> 2 eggs
> 80 ml vegetable oil
> 250 grams plain yogurt
> some coarse sugar

>> Wash your plums and cut them in half.
Fill large pan half a centimeter with water, add 1 Tbsp of your sugar and steam plums at soft heat for 5 minutes. Ket cool down.
>> Preheat oven: 180°C/350°F (upper and lower heat) ( if you use a convection oven, it`s 160°C/320°F)
>> Combine dry ingredients in bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon, chopped walnuts and chopped chocolate
>> Combine liquid stuff in a large bowl (you will add the dry things in there, too): eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt. Stir until you got a homogeneous mixture.

>>Prepare your muffin sheet: put muffinspaper in or coat with butter/fat.Sprinkle some coarse sugar into the bottom.

>> Now, QUICKLY, add dry ingredients to liquid ones and mix them roughly (no problme, if there are some flour drops in). Fill into mufins holes until 3/4 full. In each one, press a plum half softly into the dough.

>> Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

>> Put into the oven and let in for about 20 - 25 minutes (in my oven, 20 minutes is always enough. Keep an eye on it)

***dance around the fireplace and sing a song for all the plums in this wonderful world!***

Samstag, 12. Oktober 2013

Spiced Aubergine-Onion Couscous with fruits

I confess: I am in love with Couscous. I like rice, I like potatoes, I like Bulgur as a side dish. Yeah, I like them all. But is so flexibel!

This dish is a very flavourful vegetarian one we made much more than one time. We were so happy with it! It satisfied us more than most of the other vegetarian recipes I made.

I prefer to eat it with a big dab of pure yogurt.

Spiced Aubergine-Onion Couscous with fruits
...serves 2 hungry ones (plus some leftovers)

> 450 grams aubergine
> 450 grams shallots
> 1 garlic clove
> 5 sprigs thyme/half a tsp
> 30 grams walnut pits
> 4 Tbsp olive oil
> salt & pepper
> 180 grams Instant-Couscous
> good pinch curcuma (grounded)
> 2 Tbsp sugar
> 3 Tbsp Aceto Balsamico
> some parsley
> hand full of currants or pomegranate pits or blackberries or dried cranberries.... (I actually prefer the currants)
> plain yogurt

>> cut aubergine in dices, 1,5 x 1,5 cm
>> peel shallots and cut in thin stripes
>> peel garlic and chop fine
>> crush walnuts in small bits, not to should give some nice chunks in the Couscous later
>> pick the thyme from the sprigs

>> roast walnuts in a pan without oil until they smell nice. Put aside.
>> add 2 Tbsp oil to the pan. Heat at medium heat. Add aubergine dices.
>> add garlic and half of the thyme, salt and pepper and roast aubergines gently for 3 minutes, turn them here and there. Take out of the pan and put aside.
 TIP: If you see that the aubergines scorcgh, add a bit of water. But not that much, it should not stay in the pan. It should vapor. if not, you get pulpy aubergines in the end. Not good!

>> prepare Instant Couscous like written on the packaging. Add curcuma, a bit of butter and a pinch of salt to the grains before you add the hot water and cover it so that the heat doesn`t go out.
Normally it is one part Couscous and one part boiled wate.

>> meanwhile, add rest of the oil to the pan, heat on medium heat and roast shallots gently until lightly brown. Add other half of the thyme and sugar and let caramelize (do not stir!). When you see that the shallots get darker, deglaze with Aceto Balsamico and let cook for a few minutes longer, stirring.

>> add Couscous, aubergines and nuts, mix it. Arrange on plates.
>> chop parsley and sprinkle it over your meal.
>> sprinkle with currants/pomegranate pits/blackberry/dried cranberries and some plain yogurt on top

 It should have kind of a lukewarm temperature now. This is perfect!

*Dance around n the kitchen and sing the aubergine song, be happy that you have a wonderful meal!*

Donnerstag, 3. Oktober 2013

Koziol Design Stuff

I really got to say: I am a lucky girl!
I have a thousands of reasons to say that, but there was something that happened to me as a Food Blogger I add to the list.
When I was still in university, I worked a bit at a german design company I always loved....they have stunning designs, beautiful and funny stuff, often both of these facts in one product. Colourful (and I LOVE colours...I am an artist). So nice!
The name of the company is "KOZIOL" - you probably saw some of their stuff already in stores.
Website is here: KOZIOL

I stayed a few weeks not far from them at the retirement home where my grandma lied. She was very sick, and so I had two weeks of sitting next to her bed. Because the home lies in a beautiful beautiful part of Germany (the Odenwald), I used the break times and lunch and dinner to enjoy nature and the little beautiful villages. Koziol was about 15 minutes by car away, and so I tought: YEAH! I could visit them! I only have good memories of my time there, and so I was excited to see the company and some of their awesome people again.

And really, after 7 years of absence, there were still a lot of people I knew! It was a heartwarming Hello-Again...awesome. And I am still in love with the products. They make me smile all the time.
I told them that I do food photography and really would like to do some shots with their stuff.
They gave me the opportunity to pick out the things I would like to experiment with...and they have A LOT of products. It took me a real long time to decide. What a hard life!
When I came home, there was already a package waiting for me :) - full of beautiful stuff.

What a great gift!
It inspires me so much. The things I can work now with are so different from those I use normally. It really challenges me. Forms and colours are kind of dominant, sometimes, so I have to think well about a photoconcept before shooting.

I began this weekend....I always have to find some free time next to my work as an illustrator and animator. But my head is exploding of ideas!

First I want to say: THANK YOU, KOZIOL TEAM! It was wonderful to see you again, and I really appreciate your work.

Now I can show you my first shots I did. You already saw the Beetroot Soup, the bowls are from Koziol. Very stylish.

Have a wonderful day@all!

BTW.: They posted my food photos with their stuff on their Facebook Site and on their Blogroll (YEAH!):