Thursday, December 12, 2013

American Cheesecake

Unable to find pecans for pecan pie or pumpkin for pumpkin pie, she decided to make an American cheesecake for Thanksgiving. American cheesecake is quite different from German cheesecake. It is much creamier and more sweet than savory.

She couldn't remember any of the recipes she has used in the past, so she tried this one. The cheesecake part came out great but she was not so impressed with the crust. This could have been because she had to use German crackers instead of Graham crackers or maybe it just was not a great recipe (not sweet enough for her!). However, with some experimenting, we believe this recipe can definitely be first class in the future!

One large cheesecake (large!!!)

~ 15 Graham crackers (she used Vollkorn crackers here in Germany)
2 Tbs butter

4 (8oz) packages of cream cheese (important to use Philadelphia in Germany)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbs vanilla
1/4 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and get out a 9 inch springform pan

In a bowl, crumble the Graham crackers(quite fine) and add the 2 Tbs melted butter.

Once combined, push the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.

Set aside and use a new bowl and mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. This was the first recipe that she used the new hand mixer and it made it so much easier than doing everything by hand!

Add the milk and eggs, mixing between each addition. Finally, mix in the sour cream, vanilla and flour.

Pour the filling (making sure it is smooth) onto the spread out cracker mixture.

Bake for one hour. After one hour, turn off the oven but DON'T OPEN THE DOOR! Let the cheesecake sit in the turned off oven for a few hours to keep it from cracking (or so the experts say, she let hers sit for more than 3 hours and it still had a huge crack).

Remove from oven after cooled and refrigerate until serving. This is when it is beneficial to live somewhere cold because we can use our balcony as an extra refrigerator :)

She served the cheesecake plain, but you can add a fruit topping or something else that makes it look fancy (and covers up any cracks).


Monday, December 9, 2013

Pickled Eggplant and Zucchini

When we translate the name of these recipes from German into English they say pickled, however, picked brings up the wrong images for us. Really these are thin slices of eggplant and zucchini, cooked in olive oil with garlic. We made these in about ten minutes, instead of the suggest hours and hours of cooking and marinating, so the least we can do is keep the recipe's name.

We made this for his birthday and could have made a lot more because it was gone quite quickly.

What you need:
1 zucchini
1 eggplant
3-4 cloves garlic
fresh parsley
a good amount of olive oil
balsamic vinegar (we used about 2 Tbs)

Wash the zucchini and eggplant and cut off both ends. Cut in thin slices. We thought they looked nicer being cut longways, but there is no reason you can't make small round pieces.

Dice the garlic and heat in a pan with a healthy amount of olive oil (a little more than just a thin covering). Heat this over medium-high.

Add each slice and cook on each side until cooked through and nice and oily. Remove from the heat, drizzle balsamic on top, and sprinkle with salt and some parsley.

Play around with what tastes good to you. With that much oil you can't really go wrong!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

A very happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Unfortunately, he is stuck  away from home on a business trip, but that is not stopping her from making a meal with all the fixings to share with good friends. Don't worry, we'll keep some leftovers for him.

The meal will be a lot like the last few years and the recipes can be found here!

We will certainly be giving thanks to all the good in our lives this Thanksgiving and we hope you do to.

Bon appetit!

G&O lover

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Three Easy Party Appetizers Using French Bread

This past weekend we celebrated his birthday by inviting friends over to eat eat eat. In all, we made more than ten different dishes ranging from hot to cold, finger food to knife and fork, salad to meat based. Many have already been blogged about in the past, including German Potato Salad, Italian Pasta Salad, Fleischk├╝chle (German Meatballs), and guacamole with chips. Others we will write about in the upcoming weeks. For this entry, we thought we would share three super easy recipes you can make with just some French bread and a few other ingredients.


We already blogged about this one here so we won't go into detail, but with some French bread, tomatoes, garlic, onion, olive oil,  basil, and salt and better you can make a delicious appetizer. Just prepare for the garlic breath everyone at your party will have!

Cream Cheese and Lox Bites:

These were eaten up so quickly that we had to make a second batch. All you need is:

French bread
Cream cheese
Oregano and pepper

Slice the french bread into thin pieces (we aimed for about 1cm). Spread cream cheese over one side of the bread, add a piece of lox, a dab of horseradish (not too much if your guests don't like spicy) and sprinkle with a little freshly ground pepper and oregano. Yum!

Pesto Pieces:

You cannot get easier than this if you take the lazy route (we did!). Slice the French bread into thin pieces, put under the oven for a few minutes so they are lightly browned, and then spread a small amount of pesto over one side of the warm bread. If you want to go homemade, make your own pesto!

Try these three very easy and inexpensive appetizers at your next party. Low stress and do not have to be kept warm = success!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant

Welcome back to Tuesday Tales: Daily food of a Consultant. The last two weeks were full of work and crazy proposal preparation so I had no time to follow up on the blog, but here it is now.  Monday started out with a cold dinner including tomatoes, cheese and bought potato salad from the Kaufland store in the bottom of my hotel. I was very excited because Kaufland is not available in Frankfurt but from the hotel I stayed at to the store was only a 1.5 minute walk... I think that is the closest I have ever slept to a supermarket. I also went back to the supermarket on Tuesday, but instead of buying cold, I tried the local Chinese place and was not too disappointed. Canteen food on Wednesday: Fish with potatoes and sauce. Thursday and Friday were a combination of unhealthy food. Thursday I had my last currywurst in freedom, as well as some alcohol on Friday... why? To prepare my proposal to her on Saturday! For this reason we of course ate out several times, with friends and alone, went to the theater, a fair and celebrated (clearly her answer was yes!). What you see here are the tapas which we had after the theater. A combination of all foods available and very delicious! This was also the first meal we ever had out in Frankfurt so a perfect place to celebrate our engagement. On Sunday we were tired of eating out so she made quesadillas which were very good and reminded me on our experience in Warsaw (which we haven't had time to blog about yet).

The following week was marked by a huge work event in which I participated. The contractor of our project invited us for a huge kick-off meeting to celebrate and start a new project phase. Luckily this time I was only limited part of the planning process which meant I got to enjoy the show. Needless to say that it still was a 70 hour week... Starting with Monday, I had Cesar salad with fried potatoes which were recommended to me by my colleague - turned out to taste really awesome! If I start a restaurant and have this on the menu... I will call it Maarten style! On Tuesday we drove to Guetersloh to take part in the preparation of the kick-off Event. Pre-ordered food from the car tastes the best! Unfortunately our colleague got stopped by the police - not only that but there was also only Lasagne left when he finally arrived at the event location. The buffet on Wednesday night turned out to be very delicious... I had potato salad and Schnitzel. I have to say, this potato salad tasted nearly as good as made by my grandma and that means something... food wise, the event was prime and I think all of the 150 participants we had enjoyed it. Thursday was the second day of the event which meant lots of work, videoconferencing with 360° Cameras and lots of chaos managing. I had spaghetti... Unfortunately I don't remember where it was... might be in one of the data centres or in the canteen of the contractor... I think it was good... ;D..On Friday I got up at 4 am to fly to Zurich. Here I enjoyed this pizza and learned about media analytics and how to train systems to understand sentiment and the public buzz... perfect week to be prepared for a holiday to Africa which will come soon! Due to this holiday, there will be no update for the next two weeks, but I am sure we will have lots to say about our Kenya beach and safari vacation once we return!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fried Apple Fritters

Very unhealthy but very tasty. Only a few will satisfy your need for something sweet.

We only made half of this recipe and had way too much. This recipe serves eight.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbs sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
3/4 cups milk (whole is best)
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs melted butter (more if not using whole milk)
2 large apples (Granny Smith is recommended)
powder sugar for dusting (optional)

In one bowl beat the eggs and then add the milk, melted butter and vanilla.

In a larger bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix together.

Fold in the apples, already peeled and diced. More apples is better! You want extremely chunky batter.

Heat a few inches of oil in a pan or pot over medium heat. Once it is hot but not so hot that it will burn the batter right away (test first) drop a tablespoon of batter into the oil. We used a small pot so we could only fit about three or four drops in at a time.

Cook long enough that they are browned and then flip over so the other side cooks. In total it should take about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes to cook though fully.

Remove from the oil, place on a paper towel to drain, and dust with powdered sugar.

Serve right away so that they are hot.

We had lots of batter left over so the next day we made muffins out of it. A good use of batter but not something we would recommend without making so changes.

This recipe was adapted from The Pioneer Women Cooks.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shrimp Scampi with a Hint of Lemon

We are headed to Kenya next week with two friends, so to prepare one night they came over to have dinner and plan the trip. Pasta is a great thing to serve when guests are over because you can make a massive amount at one time and it does not take a lot of time to cook. We served this pasta with fresh french bread. Perfect for dipping into the oil left at the bottom of the bowl!

4 servings:
6 garlic cloves
2 lemons, zest and juice
5 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 lb (21-25) medium shrmip
1/4 onion (optional)
3/4 lb linguini
2 Tbs butter
salt, parsley, parsley

Cook the pasta according to directions. While the pasta cooks, combine the pressed garlic,  zest and juice of one lemon, 1 Tbs olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium. Add the diced onion  and  let cook. Separate the shrimp from the marinate, but make sure to keep the marinate! Quickly cook the shrimp and then remove them with the onions. Add the marinate and the rest of the olive oil, the rest of the lemon, butter, and the salt, pepper and parsley. Add the shrimp back with the pasta, toss to combine and serve with a small amount of fresh parsley on top.

This recipe came from Melissa d'Arabian on but we changed most of it because we thought it was too complicated!