Dienstag, 31. Mai 2016


Flowers on the table to cheer me up

Today is my last day as stay-at-home-Mom.  From tomorrow on I'll be a working-mom again. A new job, new colleagues, new routines. I am nervous, I have to admit!

So the weekend and the last two days were spent getting ready for work. Making to-do-lists and crossing off some items. Doing loads and loads of laundry. Shopping for new work clothes and stocking the pantry. Making a menu for the first week. As  I type this, my head is still spinning with things that will have to be done today. 

But it's good to be back at work, having a job and bring home some money. Hopefully things will work smoothly... (they never do!) Keep your fingers crossed for me!

The pantry, organised and with inventory. Nerdy, I know...

Making lists and a menu. And drink tea. Lots of tea...

Sonntag, 22. Mai 2016

Hello Monday!

These cute flowers are called "Elfenspiegel" (Mirror of the fairies)
Good Morning! Today I am linking up with Lisa Leonard by saying "Hello Monday!". I think this day desperately needs a more positive approach, so here we go:

Hello lovely flowers on the balcony, need to buy some more today, they just make me smile!

Hello making lists and menu and going grocery shopping

Hello last week of being a Stay-at-Home-Mom, I am starting a new job next week and I am so excited!!!

Hello teenage boy who desperately needs some new clothes. He grows so fast these days!

What are you up to this week??

Samstag, 21. Mai 2016

A recipe for traditional couscous

There has been a long silence on the blog lately. So I decided to reactivate it, maybe this will help me to focus on the good things in my life.
One of the good things is definitely dinner with the family, so today I proudly present one of the meals that everyone in our family loves:
Couscous! Algerian style, of course... You will need a special pot for this, a Couscousière. In the bottom you will simmer the stew, in the upper pot you will steam the couscous. It has little wholes, so the steam from the bottom heats up the top.
Looks like this:
Okay, you can cheat by buying the kind of couscous that only needs to be soaked in water, but it will never be as fluffy as the steamed kind... :-)
For each person you will need 2 carrots, 1 zucchini, both cut in large chunks. A small handfull cooked chickpeas. If using meat I would go for lamb, or chicken legs. For the lamb I calculate about two hours cooking time, for chicken about one hour. Also you will need about 3/4 cup couscous, vegetable broth, diced onion and some spices: Ras el Hanout (a North African spice mix), ground coriander, ground cumin, salt and pepper.
Please ignore the kohlrabi, it will never be used again...

First, place the couscous in  large bowl or rimmed baking tray. Sprinkle with some salt and mix with lukewarm water, I use about 1c water for 3c couscous. Mix well and let the grains absorb the water.
Meanwhile, heat some oil in the bottom of the pot, add the diced onion and -if using lamb- add the lamb. Chicken and veggies will be added later, as they cook faster. Add about two cups of broth, the ras el hanout, cumin and coriander, 1 generous teaspoon each. Bring to a boil.
When the couscous has soaked up all the water, break it up with your fingers, you do not want any lumps! Place it in the top of the pot. Place the top on the bottom part and steam. If you see steam coming through the grains, the first round is done. Put the couscous back on the tray and mix with water again. (Let it cool off a bit first!). Then let it soak and steam for two more times.
After one hour, add chicken -if using- and veggies to the stew/broth in the bottom pot. Check for seasoning.

After two hours of cooking/three rounds of steaming, the couscous and the stew should be done. The veggies should be very soft, you will be eating this with a spoon. Serve in nice bowls, with some harissa on the side.
Lean back in your seat and smile, because no one complains about the food this time. Okay, hubby did not eat the kohlrabi, I used them only because I had to use them up... (I did like them!)

Dienstag, 15. September 2015

Not quite VeganMoFo #15

Today's vegan MoFo Theme is: Barack Obama is coming for dinner, what are you going to make?

I must admit that these days, I'd find it rather difficult to sit down and chat with Barack Obama over some delicious vegan food. (I would find it difficult anyway, because I would be really shy and nervous).
Fact is that I find it hard to chat over food these days, looking at the situation at the European borders.
Watching the news these days is heartbreaking, people standing at the borders of Hungary, not knowing where to turn to next. They have left their homes in hope for a better life, and they do not get more than sleeping on a field, sometimes not even with a blanket for their kids.

When my mom was at the age of two, she had to flee her home as well, and if the family had not received help and food from other people on their way, my mom definitely would not have survived.

My country has been criticized for accepting thousands of refugees to come over here, but how could we not help those people to find a better life? A save life?

These days, I am out of words, be it in English or German. I do not know what to say, except:
Refugees welcome!

Donnerstag, 10. September 2015

Vegan MoFo #10: Something blue

Good Morning! This is Day10 on Vegan MoFo and the prompt for today is: Something BLUE.
Blue food? This one was driving me crazy. I was thinking "blueberries, cabbage, figs???" for days.
My son wanted blue french fries. I wanted something really, really blue. Muffns? Booring.
In some kind of despair I thought "blue dishes", then it was "sushi?"... but, honestly, can you imagine blue sushi rice, wrapped in dark-green nori? No way.

But the blue rice stuck in my head and so I went for blue onigiri. This is a dish everyone in our house likes and I have no leftovers like with yesterday's pumpernickel. It turned out that no one likes pumpernickel. What a pity!
So, here you are: Something blue!

Prepare the rice like you would do with plain sushi rice, but add a healthy dose of food colouring to the cooking water. Then fill with any stuffing you would like, for the onigiri in the picture I have used avocado with a bit of vegan mayo. There are also two "bluenigiri" made with umeboshi filling, they turned out very tasty. So, why not give blue food a try?

Mittwoch, 9. September 2015

Vegan MoFo #9: Most Retro Food

Time for anther Vegan MoFo Post... Today's prompt is: The most retro food.
May I introduce you to a classic 70's party food? The Pumpernickeltaler! When I was a kid, no party would be complete without this food. Basically, it is three or four slices of dark pumpernickel bread with a cheesy spread in between. Instead of cheese, I have used some vegan butter mixed with spices and herbs.
Would be perfect with a glass of Bowle, I guess...

Donnerstag, 3. September 2015

Vegan MoFo #2: Quick, easy and delicious

Welcome to Vegan MoFo Day 3 and my second post for this month.
Today's theme is "Quick, easy and delicious!"

If I need something quick and easy for dinner, it will definitely be pasta. Everybody likes pasta, except my husband. He prefers couscous over pasta, but he will always be polite and eat it...

For years, my favourite quick and easy pasta dish would have been Spaghetti aglio olio. I love it! Boil water, add spaghetti, sautee some garlic in olive oil, crumble in some chili and voilà, dinner is ready.
But sometimes, you need something a bit more... creamy. Cashew butter to the rescue!
Adding cashew butter to the oil right before mixing in with the pasta gives this dish another dimension. Rich, creamy and somewhat cheeezy. If you have never had this before, you must give it a try.

Here is the recipe:
Boil the spaghetti as usual. Reserve 1-2 cups  of the cooking liquid.
Heat about 1/3 cup of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat.
Add about 5 garlic cloves, finely diced. Crumble two Thai chilies between your fingers and add to the oil.
(Wash your hands after doing that!!!!)
Carefully sautee the garlic in the oil until it gets translucent. Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt, a dash of black pepper and a tablespoon capers

Add in 2 Tablespoons of cashew butter and mix untill it is well incorporated. Thin out with the cooking liquid until you have a creamy consistency.

 Pour over pasta and enjoy!