Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Styrian Potato Salad

Styria is a state (Bundesland) of Austria. It's located in the south-east of Austria and famous for its apples and pumpkins. Pumpkin seed oil originated in Styria, but is now known and loved all over Austria. It's dark brown-green in color and rich and delicious in taste. 
Whenever you read "Styrian salad" on an Austrian menu, it's prepared with pumpkin seed oil.

For 4 Servings: 
  • 750 grams waxy potatoes
  • 1 large white onion
  • 150 millilitres vegetable stock
  • 3 table spoons vegetable oil (I usually use rapeseed oil) 
  • 3 table spoons pumpkin seed oil
  • 3 table spoons brandy vinegar
  • 3 table spoons pumpkin seeds
  • salt
  • black pepper
Cook the potatos for 20-30 minutes in a lot of water. Cut the onion into very small dices. Mix the marinade using the vegetable stock, the vegetable oil, the brandy vinegar, salt, black pepper and the diced onion.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices. Fold the potatoes in the marinade and let it sit for a couple of minutes to cool down as much you like. Traditionally Austrian potato salad is served warm, but it's also delicious when it's cold. If necessary, add some more salt and pepper.

Sprinkle pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds on top.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Miso Soup

This is my favourite version of miso soup with dried shiitake mushrooms. Served with a bowl of rice it's a healty and delicios simple Japanese breakfast.

Prep and Cook Time: 10 minutes
For 2 servings: 
  • 400 ml vegan dashi
  • 3 table spoons cooked dried shiitake mushrooms (e.g. from cooking the vegan dashi) 
  • 2 table spoons shiro miso (light/white miso paste)
  • a small piece of scallions
Cut mushrooms into pieces and scallions into small pieces. Bring the dashi to a boil, turn down the heat, put 3 table spoons of the heated dashi in a bowl and dissolve the shiro miso in it. Pour the mixture back to the dashi. 
Put shiitake mushrooms into two bowls, pour miso soup over them and sprikle with scallions.

Enjoy your meal!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Grandma's Hutspot

This is one of the dishes my Grandmother, who was Dutch, prepared for us kids when we visited her - and we all loved it. Hutspot is a traditional Dutch dish, that everyone in the Netherlands knows. It's simple to prepare, very filling and delicious as both a side dish or a main course - real comfort food.

Prep and cook time: 30 min
For 4 servings as a side dish or 2 servings as a main course:

  • 500 grams potatoes 
  • 300 grams carrots
  • 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 500 millilitre vegetable stock *)
  • 3 table spoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tea spoon dried dill
  • salt
  • black pepper
Peel and cut the potatoes, carrots and onion into pieces. Heat vegetable stock with dill in a large pot, add the cut vegetables and cook until they are soft.
Mash the vegetables and the vegetable stock with a potato masher. Add vegetable oil and as much salt and pepper as you like. Stir well.

*) I like my hutspot rather soft and creamy, if you want a firmer hutspot, use 350 to 400 millilitres of vegetable stock.

Enjoy your meal & eet smakelijk,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winter Is Still Here

This year's started really warm and without any snow - but since a couple of weeks the winter is finally here. Here are some pictures of the snow in Linz today in the morning at ~7:30. 

Dit jaar heeft de winter begonnen heel warm en zonder sneeuw - maar sinds een paar weeken is de winter eindelijk hier. Hier zijn enkele foto's van de sneeuw in Linz vandaag in de morgen om ~ 7:30 uur.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vegan Dashi - Step by Step

I really love Japanese food and dashi is a staple, not only for miso soup but for many Japanese dishes. Usually dashi is made using konbu seaweed and bonito fish blakes, but I'm not a big fan of fish, so I usually make vegan dashi using konbu seasweed and dried shiitake mushrooms. Of course, this is not the original - but it tastes delicious and goes really well with any kind of Japanese dish.

I usually prepare 2,5 litres of dashi at once and freeze it in ice cube forms. You can store it up to 6 months in the freezer.

Prep and cook time: 45 minutes.
For 2.5 litres of dashi you need: 
  • 2,5 litres water
  • 3 pieces of dried konbu seaweed (~ 10 * 7 cm in size)
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms

Cut the konbu pieces from the side to increase surface.

Pour 2.5 litres of cold water into a large pot, add konbu seaweed and shiitake mushrooms and let it soak for 30 minutes.

Bring to a boil and remove konbu seaweed when it starts to boil. Boil the water with the shiitake mushrooms for 10 minutes.

Remove the shiitake mushrooms (you can cut these and use them as e.g. a soup vegetable for miso soup). That's it, your dashi is ready.

      Enjoy your meal!

      Thursday, January 26, 2012

      Glossy Box January/Jänner 2012

      Today is a good day. My camera's working again, and therefore I can continue blogging. And I just picked up my first Glossy Box ever from the post office. A couple of weeks ago I decided that 2012 will be a glamurous year and so I subscribed to the Glossy Box. This is the Austrian January/Valentine's Day box. 

      Heute ist ein guter Tag. Meine Kamera funktioniert wieder und daher kann ich auch wieder bloggen. Außerdem habe ich gerade meine allererste Glossy Box von der Post abgeholt. Nachdem ich vor ein paar Wochen beschlossen habe, dass 2012 ein glamuröses Jahr wird, habe ich die Glossy Box abonniert. Diese ist die österreichische Jänner-/Valentinststagsbox. 

      This is what the box looked like when I picked it up from the post office. Lovely, isnt't it? 

      So hat die Box ausgesehen, als ich sie auf der Post in Empfang genommen habe. Hübsch, oder?

      Inside was the actual Glossy Box: a box of very good quality and the perfect size to re-use it as a packing for presents or candy. 

      Darin war die eigentliche Glossy Box: eine Schachtel in guter Qualität und der perfekten Größe, um sie als Geschenk- oder Pralinenverpackung wiederzuverwenden. 

      In the box is another wrap, including a card with information about the Glossy Box and about the products inside. 

      In der Schachtel ist noch eine Verpackung und eine Karte mit Informationen zur Glossy Box und den enthaltenen Produkten.

      I finally made it to the products! In my box are: CLINIQUE High Impact Mascara (a beautiful black mascara), KÉRASTASE Elexir Ultime (a "hair-oil" that's supposed to give you beautiful hair), KIEHL'S Ultra Facial Moisturizer (a moisturizer for the face that also protects you from UVB light), LANCÔME Génifique (an anti-aging serum - Hello, I'm 28!) and STYX Orange & Tangerine Body Lotion (I think that anything by the Austrian natural cosmeticy company STYX is great). 

      I haven't tested the products yet, but I'm really happy with my Glossy Box!

      Ich habe es geschafft zu den Produkten durchzudringen! In meiner Box sind: CLINIQUE High Impact Mascara (ein schöner schwarzer Mascara), KÉRASTASE Elexir Ultime (ein "Haaröl", das den Haaren einen schönen Glanz verleihen soll), KIEHL'S Ultra Facial Moisturizer (ein Moisturizer für das Gesicht, der auch vor UVB-Strahlen schützt), LANCÔME Génifique (ein Anti-Aging-Serum - hallo, ich bin 28!) und STYX Orange & Tangerine Body Lotion (Ich glaube alles von STYX ist toll). 

      Ich habe noch keines der Produkte getestet, aber ich bin sehr zufrieden mit dem Inhalt meiner Glossy Box!


      Saturday, January 21, 2012

      New Nail Polish: GOSH Miss Sweety

      I bought a relly nice nail polish today at BIPA. It's a really pretty nude color by GOSH cosmetics that's called 595 Miss Sweety. 
      It is my first GOSH nail polish and I was really curious about it, at it was not exactly expensive (€ 8.49) and it turned out to be a really positive surprise. It's really opaque, the brush has a good quality, the color is perfect and it dries really fast.
      Nude tones are perfect for black and white nail stickers, so I tried a couple of different ones. Which one do you like the best? 

      I used the following products: 
      • Nude nail polish: GOSH 595 Miss Sweety
      • Clear top coat: essence quick dry topcoat
      • Stickers: Blue Elf Beautynail and Pro Art
      And here's how to do it:
      • Apply nude nail polish twice, let it dry really well.
      • Stick the stickers to your nails.
      • Apply a layer of top coat.

      Wednesday, January 18, 2012

      Orange & Pepper Sharmûlah

      Sharmûlah or Chermoula (in Arabic: ‏شرمولة) is a kind of marinade used with fish, seafood and meat. There are many versions of this marinade, but there is alwaysfresh herbs, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in it.
      This version is prepared with orange juice, orange blossom water and green pepper. It's great with chicken or vegetables, such as slices of zucchini or eggplant, eiter for a tajine or a BBQ. 

      Prep and cook time: 5 minutes
      • 1 handfull fresh coriander leaves
      • lemon juice of 1/2 lemon 
      • 1 red onion
      • 3 cloves garlic
      • 1/2 cup olive oil
      • 1/2 cup orange juice
      • 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
      • 2 table spoons pickled green pepper
      • 3 teaspoons baharât
      • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
      • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
      • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
      • 1 teaspoon turmeric
      • 2 teaspoons salt
      Cut coriander, garlic and onion into piecees. Blend with all the other ingredients until you have a smooth marinade. That's it. Yes, really!

      Enjoy your meal!

      Tuesday, January 17, 2012

      Summer Soup with Grains & Yoghurt

      Yeah, I know it's winter. But there's nothing like a little bit of Summer feeling when it's snowing outside. 

      Youghurt soups are popular all over the Middle East and Turkey. This recipe comes from a friend of mine, who lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
      Originally this kind of soups (and many others) is made with frîka, but this is really hard to get here in Austria. So I tried to use dried unripe spelt grain (German: Grünkern) instead - and it worked perfecty. It does taste different to frîka, but both taste good in this soup.

      Serves: 3-4
      Prep and cook time: 45 min
      • 750 ml vegetable stock
      • 125 ml yoghurt
      • 1/2 cup frîka or unripe spelt grain
      • 1/2 chopped onion
      • 2 chopped garlic cloves
      • 2 hands full fresh spinach 
      • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
      • 1 teaspoon harissa
      • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh peppermint 
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
      • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
      Put the uripe spelt grain in a bowl, cover with hot water and soak for 20 minutes.
      Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add onion and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the soaked unripe spelt grain, tomato puree and harissa and fry for another 2-3 minutes while stirring. Add the vegetable stock, peppermint, spinach and ground coriander and cook for 20 minutes.
      Switch off the burner and when the soup is not boiling any more, add yoghurt and lemon juce. Stirn the soup and serve it while it's still very hot. 
      Enjoy your meal!