28 September 2009

Gulasch. Because autumn is arriving fast.

Do you also have an obsession of going to supermarkets in foreign countries? Personally, I think it's exiting to see what's similar, what's different and to find things I've never seen before.
When I was on vacation in France in September, I found fresh "Piments d'Espelette", or Espelette pepper. Espelette is a small town in Basque Country, near the Spanish border and famous for the houses covered with festoons of drying peppers. When the peppers are fresh, they are bright red and look like regular Hungarian peppers, but are definitively hotter. When they dry, they get darker until they look almost black. They are not extremely hot, but definitely too hot to be eaten as such.

26 September 2009

Blackberry Muffins. Last remnants of summer.

In September, I spent vacation in France. Right in the middle of nowhere between Bordeaux and Biarritz, to be exact. The landscape consists mostly of pine forests that have been planted 200 years ago and the understory is overgrown with ferns, erica and blackberry bushes. As it was exactly the right season for blackberries, my husband and I went for a little picking and photo tour. We came back with 122 photos and 2 cups of blackberries.

13 September 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies. Need I say more?

I must say, I really like cooking and baking, but cookies (especially those for Christmas, named in German "Weihnachtsplätzchen") never seemed to be right. Either they're bland and boring. Or burned.
So when I first made this recipe, it was for Cookie Dough Ice Cream, not cookies. But after making a whole batch I realized I only needed half of it for the ice cream. Then I decided to give it a try and bake the rest of it - and to my surprise, it was a full success! Since then, I like baking cookies, at least based on the recipe below.

06 September 2009

Hummus. Yet another middle-eastern dip.

This may sound a bit silly, but the first time I tasted hummus was in New Zealand. The reasons for this: My co-worker was vegan and loved it. And it was available in the supermarket in dozens of varieties. From plain to lime & jalapeño to sun-dried tomato. With Turkish salsa was my favorite. It was great just sitting on the Auckland pier at lunchtime and having a little pick-nick with hummus and a fresh bread.