Foodie Month: April 2012

I started a new project in my cooking & baking life because I recognised some things lately:

First - I posted only Daring Bakers/Cooks Challenges the last months, but that is not the only thing I do in my kitchen. Of course I cannot share every recipe I make because there are people out there who make a living on saling recipes/cooking books, and I respect that. Therefor I want to share mouth-watering pictures of food for the ones who are interested. I do not cook or bake fancy stuff, so if I can do it, you can too. So I'll grab my camera whenever there is some light (left) and good looking & tasting food onto our plates and share. Maybe this will help you with decision in wether to buy a book or make a certain meal - I hope so!

Second - I confess I am addicted to cooking and baking books. Whenever there is a new one avialiable (preverably in English) I have to buy it. There are lying books and magazine all over our place - in the sleeping room, the bathroom, the living room and (of course) the kitchen. I like to read them, enjoy the pictures and the ideas which they give me to create own recipes. I pin them onto my refridgerator, my virtual pinboard and store them as pictures or pdfs on my smartphone (just in case I visit someone and need to bake or cook there - I am a little bit obsessed ...). Unfortunately some of the books are living a dire existence on their shelves,so I looked for a possibility to cook more often from them, a possibility to use all my resources and to get varied meals throuout the week. Our 'schedule' has been a little bit boring the last time, and I often sighed while thinking about "what to buy" and "what to cook".

I gave every day of the week a topic, considering what kind of chefs (or food bloggers) I like most and what things I want to try or practice more. The goal is to complete one recipe per day/topic which means share 5 recipes/pictures. So here is the first month's roundup. I was really busy what happens often when I start something, so I hope I won't run out of steam when time passes.

Magazine Mondays

- recipes from all my magazines (no matter if baking or cooking) -

Cinnamon braised lamb shanks (Jamie Oliver Magazine Issue 27 March/April 2012)
Steak with Cajun rub ('Lust auf Genuss' April 2012 Issue)

Baking Tuesdays

- baked goods (cake, bread, muffins, cookies and so on) - 
Christopsomos (Greek Celebration Bread from "The Bread Baker's Apprentice, BBA Challenge)
Povitica with raspberry curd and raspberries (recipe from the Daring Bakers October 2011 Challenge)

Wednesdays with Jamie

- recipes from my favourite chef (magazine recipes included) - 

Scandinavian Thursdays

- Scandinavian recipes (preferably Norwegian dishes, savoury and sweet allowed) -

Fridays with Beatrice

- recipes from my favourite food blogger (blog & book recipes) -
squash and potato crumble (recipe from the Boston Globe Food section)


- recipes from the world wide web (favourites from epicurious, food blogs or The Daring Kitchen) -

Fridays with Béatrice: Fennel and green pea soup

Did I tell you about my new project Foodie Month? Well, I will soon - until then, you'll get short sneek peeks ... Part of this project is 'Fridays with Béatrice' (like I like to call it), a little cook-along with my fellow Foodie Lena from Coconut & Vanilla. We met (how else) at facebook and both love to read Béa's foodblog 'La Tartine Gourmande' - and of course we had to buy her book (as we both are addicted to cooking books).
We decided to cook randomly through our favourite recipes of the book and share our experiences - in the tradition of Tuesdays with Dorie.
Because this still should be fun and we both have a tight schedule we decided for two fridays a month we are going to share a recipe - not the recipe itself but a kind of recipe review. The pages of our copies are plastered with post-its, so this may take a while. I hope you'll like this kind of project and join us on this culinary journey. The choice of recipes made will also be based on seasonal availiable ingredients so there shouldn't be a problem to get all the things needed (aside from the environmental aspect of using local stuff instead of buying imported goods which had to be flewn in). 

Daring Bakers April Challenge: Armenian Nazook

The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, were two Armenian standards: nazook and nutmeg cake. Nazook is a layered yeasted dough pastry with a sweet filling, and nutmeg cake is a fragrant, nutty coffee-style cake.

One of the challenges that went somehow wrong. It wasn't until the night of the 26th when I went to bed that I realized it was Daring Bakers time again. Oh my! So in a hurry I tossed together all ingredients and of course messed up everything. The filling and the dough were too wet (I guess), so everything leaked out and spread out during the baking. At the end I had a solid something  on my baking tray (as you may see in the pictures). The taste was unharmed, it was a sweet intense one like I exspected it to be (Why do I always associate baked goods from the middle east and former soviet region with sweet and sticky?).

Dan Dan Noodles (vegetarisch)

Im Moment versuche ich mich an mein Projekt "Foodie Month" zu halten - mindestens zwei-bis dreimal die Woche aus einem bestimmten Buch zu kochen oder eins der Rezepte zu kochen, die ich schon lange in meinen Favoriten liegen habe - damit ich auch endlich einmal alles aus meinem Repertoire benutze.
Den Mittwoch habe ich meinem 'Liebling' Jamie Oliver gewidmet, und letzten Mittwoch hatte ich Zeit und Lust mich einem seiner Bücher in meinem Regal zu widmen. Ich wollte ein Rezept aus (einem seiner bei mir nicht ganz so beliebten Bücher - s. Rezension) 'Jamies Amerika' kochen und stieß auf die Dan Dan Noodles. Die sind einfach und schnell gemacht. Da sich wieder einige Sachen im Kühlschrank befanden, die ich im Angebot erstanden hatte und die aufgebraucht werden mussten (nämlich Shitake-Pilze) entschloss ich mich das Rezept etwas abzuwandeln. Außerdem hatte ich keine Lust auf Hackfleisch wie verlangt und ersetzte es kurzerhand mit vegetarischen Würsten - Sojaschnetzel wären aber sicherlich auch möglich gewesen.


Daring Cooks April Challenge: Create your own recipe - Rosemary potato bread pouches with eggplants and caramelized onions

Our April 2012 Daring Cooks hosts were David & Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking. They presented us with a very daring and unique challenge of forming our own recipes by using a set list of ingredients!

We were given three lists of ingredients from which we had to choose one each and design our own recipe - quite different because they didn't match that well (which was on purpose I guess).
There were recipes for inspiration but I didn't need them. The first thing that came to my mind when I read balsamic vinegar and goat cheese were some focaccias with caramelized onions and goat cream cheese I made some time ago. The recipe was inspired by one of my favourite cookbooks (which is all about caramel). I didn't post the recipe (unfortunately) but kept in mind that onions caramelized with balsamic vinegar and goat cream cheese are amazingly tasty. Why don't add some grilled eggplant slices? To put alltogether onto pizza dough was to easy and boring though (you of course can do I you find making the bread to time consuming). The additional rosemary and potato flavour just gives the final bread pouches a full and extesive flavour. No 'usual' main dish, I know, but we were asked to be creative, and this is my luxury version of a pizza.

So I chose the following ingredients from the three lists given: Eggplants, balsamic vinegar, maple sirup, goat (cream) cheese and made:

Rosemary potato bread pouches with eggplants and caramelized onions

Mango curd mousse and strawberry cake

You know I love lemons - and I love lemon curd even more. Since I have discovered how to make this  goodie, I've made especially cake recipes containing it maybe a dozen times. For my birthday brunch I made an incredible lemon curd mousse cake (found at epicurious) I really fell in love with. I remembered you could make curd from other fruits too, for example mangos. So why don't make a mango curd mousse cake and pimp it with some strawberry flavour? For a nice look I placed the berries around the edge and slices on top and covered the whole thing with a mango jelly for more mango flavour. I didn't like the looks of the finished cake because some of the jelly was leaking out the springform pan, so make sure to seal everything tight with clingfilm. Next time I'll do better.
Strawberry season is approaching, so I may try a strawberry curd mousse cake soon ...