If you’re invited to a potluck or picnic, what do you bring? I usually sign up for dessert, and bring my genius 2-ingredient chocolate mousse, which is particularly great during the colder months. It’s easy to make and everybody looooooved it so far.
However, during the hotter summer months, I do prefer a dish that is made to sit around in hot climate and doesn’t change much taste- or texture-wise. So, I am going the grain salad route and make tabbouleh (a.k.a. tabouli). It simply is a great addition to every BBQ, potluck, or picnic.
Today, we hit a new record. The thermometer shows 95°F (35°C) degrees in the apartment! Since we live in an apartment directly below the roof and without AC, the current heat wave here in Boston converts our place into a sauna. The good thing is: I can do hot yoga for free now ;-)
For cooling down somehow, I am feeding myself with these delicious pastel yellow smoothie bowls. They are super creamy and the pineapple and yogurt add a nice tang. If you don’t like bananas in smoothies, you can simply omit it. I’ve tried this bowl without banana and it’s equally delicious, yet a hint less sweet. If you prefer your smoothies on the sweeter side, you can swap freshy squeezed orange juice for water. continue reading »
These tacos are simply amazing. They are not only colorful and delicious but also come together in a few minutes. They are a fusion of Mexican, Indian and Austrian flavors: I top small wheat tortillas with green hummus, fresh baby spinach leaves, cabbage slices and radishes. The Indian element, the curried chickpeas, are ready within 2 minutes if you are using canned chickpeas, as I do and recommend. Last but not least: A very simple Austrian-style salsa, made of plain yogurt, pumpkin seed oil (yaaaay!) and a pinch of salt.
If you don’t have pumpkin seed oil on hand, which I get because it’s a very Austrian thing, simply omit the pumpkin seed salsa. You will miss out on an extremely addictive salsa, but hey, not every supermarket is selling it. And you still have a lime wedge to drizzle some lime juice on top. Yum! continue reading »
It’s no surprise that I am a huge fan of strawberry smoothies. Honestly, who isn’t. This is my go-to recipe if I am craving something sweet but don’t want to go down the chocolate route. This naturally sweet 3-ingredient strawberry banana smoothie is simply amazing. It’s so tasty, fruity, creamy, and sweet that you wouldn’t believe it’s sugar-free.
I’ve never been a fan of fish for most of my life. As a child, when my siblings enjoyed their fish sticks, the smell of it deterred me. Therefore, I decided back then that I don’t like fish and that I won’t eat it any more. By the way, other than that, I wasn’t a picky person at all.
A couple of years ago, just before we moved to Cambridge, MA, David and I decided to do a trip around the world. At some point on our 9-month lasting travels, we ended up in French Polynesia. Picture turquoise and crystal clear water, white beaches, and colorful fishes. What am I saying: Picture paradise! We stayed some time at a homestay on Fakarava, an atoll of the Tuamoto group. The problem was: Fish was the main food there. I figured that I would be happy to skip the main simply enjoying the side dishes. But: There were no sides. Our hosts only spoke French and David and I had lost almost all of our 5-years of learning French knowledge (how is this possible?), so I was in a dilemma. Either I would appear extremely rude not eating the food they had put so much effort into preparing, or I would have to eat fish. So, after 25 years of fish abstinence, I decided to do the latter. And oh boy, did I like it. So much, that on my third day on the Island, I ate raw fish Polynesia-style (poisson cru). This marks the beginning of my journey eating raw fish and I’ve been preparing it at home ever since.
Are you interested in learning how to make cheese spaetzle and apple strudel from scratch?
Do you live in the Boston area? Then come and join my upcoming class about Austrian Cuisine at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Cambridge, MA.
Austrian cuisine: Apple strudel & cheese spaetzle
Saturday, June 24, 2017, 11am-2pm
This class will bring you right into the heart of European cooking tradition. Austrian and Viennese cooking is well known around the globe. In this class, we will prepare an authentic Austrian three-course menu. You will learn from me, an Austrian native, how to shape dumplings for a classic semolina dumpling soup, and how to make pasta from scratch for cheese spaetzle with bacon and caramelized onions – a dish from the Alps. For dessert, we will prepare Vienna’s signature dish: apple strudel. Learn how to make the pastry dough from scratch, to prepare the filling, and the nuts and bolts of rolling everything into a perfectly flakey strudel. To register hop over to the CCAE site.
It’s funny that a Dutch Baby is also known as German pancake. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I’ve never heard of a Dutch Baby before I moved to the US. And usually, Austrians know what’s going on in Germany ;-) So this dish was a great discovery. It’s kind of foodie-heaven for me. If you get to know me a little, you know my preference for sweet egg-flour-milk based dishes like Palatschinken (Austrian crepes) or Kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancakes). This Dutch Baby was a real revelation for me.
This recipe will yield a super-soft, puffy, and fluffy Dutch Baby – exactly how I like it texture-wise. Please use an 8 or 9 inch pan with at least 2 inches tall sides. Otherwise, the batter will flow over during baking (see picture below). If you use a pan with a larger diameter, the Dutch Baby might not puff up as nicely. Also: Serve quickly once the Dutch Baby is out of the oven, it will collapse. So please prepare the desired toppings like lemon juice, fruits, or powdered sugar in advance.
This one bowl brownie recipe yields chewy, fudgy brownies with a moist center and a crispy crust. I simply love their moist chew and the fact that they are not too dense. The baking time influences the consistency of these brownies tremendously, so please insert the cake tester (skewer, toothpick) rather too often than pulling dry brownies out of the oven. You will get the best results if the brownies appear slightly underbaked.
A note on reducing the amount of sugar
I made a habit of reducing the amount of sugar in cakes and pastries. And this is exactly what I did in this recipe. Most other recipes add about 1.5 cups of sugar into their brownie batter for an 8×8-inch square pan. I only add 1 cup. I wanted to reduce the amount even more, but the brownies didn’t seem to like this kind of diet. If you go lower than 1 cup of sugar, it’s hardly possible without a loss of quality. The crackly tops and the chewy bite depend on the sugar. As an experiment, I tried to reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup (160 g). They came out with a rather cakey texture but without their chewiness (bake 5 minutes shorter). But don’t get me wrong, they still taste great if you are into cakey brownies. Adding some baking powder makes them even more cakey. But who wants that anyway.
During orange season, I make this blood orange jam pretty often. It is simply a perfect spread for breakfast and brunch and makes a great hostess gift.
Being from Austrian, right next to Italy, means growing up with Aperol Spritz and other drinks made of the famous Italian aperitif. The flavors of Aperol and fresh blood orange blend so well that it would almost be a shame not to spread it onto the daily bread for breakfast. By the way, the jam doesn’t taste alcoholic at all, just so you know.
This is my basic recipe for chia pudding. I typically use coconut milk for chia puddings – I like its taste and color – but feel free to substitute with any other plant-based milk like soy or almond milk. The color may vary slightly. Smoothies and fruit juices taste great as well, when used instead of milk. I use 5 tablespoons of liquid for every tablespoon of chia seeds as a basic ratio for chia pudding.
Ok, it took me almost three years living in Boston to finally post this recipe for Boston Baked Beans. Why? Honestly, I don’t know. Ever since I’ve made this recipe for the first time, I can’t get enough of it.
In addition to the original recipe, I’ve added a quick version that uses cooked beans from a can and is therefore ready in 10 minutes. Of course, the dish tastes better using the old fashioned slow-cooked way but there are busy days with absolutely no time for soaking beans overnight and cooking them for hours. For those days, the quick version of the baked beans recipe is absolutely perfect.
By the way, I love to eat my baked beans on a slab of sourdough bread sprinkled with a generous amount of freshly grated parmesan on top. Not authentic at all but absolutely delicious.