Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant

This Monday started out with a more healthy approach. The plan we started is to go jogging every second day to prepare her for a charity run. I will also go jogging to support her and also watch what is on our menu... which is not really difficult due to my Tuesday Tales anyway :). Here it started in the canteen: I had fish with tomato and onion sauce and potatoes which equals about 38% (~600 kcal) of the food I should eat within one day.
My day was made on Tuesday with this amazing sausage and mustard on a roll. We have a nice lady coming over in our office complex, delivering sandwiches and a small selection of warm food. Well, healthy is different... the sausage with roll made up exactly the same amount of calories as the food on Monday (~620 kcal). On Wednesday I tried a cooked fish filet with fennel and rice in the canteen. I was very confused because I actually enjoyed the fennel, even though I must have hated it in my childhood because the word fennel still raises my hackles (~400 kcal here makes me enjoy it even more ;)).

On Thursday we had a late night in the office with the CIO and my partner so here it is, one part of our evening meal, noodles from the Chinese place. Also enjoyed, but not visible, was beer and pizza from my favourite local pizza place. I think it is time for the pizza place owner to make us a "project pizza"... I should ask him soon!
Homecoming day was on Friday this time. We had sushi in the evening which made up only 25% of the daily food I should eat.
While shopping on Saturday for shoes and clothes, we came across some udon noodle packages. Having in mind the amazing taste of our local Chinese/Thai place, we decided to make the udon soup ourselves. Here it is the result which will soon follow as a recipe for you to make (1 liter of soup which was very filling for the whole night made up 22,5% of the daily food I should eat)
Sunday night was fish-stick sandwich night (not recommended for healthy eating but sometimes you just have to eat something tasty! = 600 kcal).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Rich Chocolate Frosting

Last Saturday was chaotic. We had lots to do and even though we woke up early to make everything fit, we went non-stop until our heads hit the pillow  that night.

While he was downtown getting some things we needed, she realized that in under an hour we had a birthday party to attend and no cake or cupcakes to bring. She whipped up these cup cakes, from initial idea to walking out the door in under forty minutes. Just what we needed on a day with no time to spare!

She only made 12 cupcakes but here is the original recipe for 24:

2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
200 g butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbs vanilla
1 cup milk

Thick chocolate frosting:
125 g butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 Tbs milk
1 Tbs vanilla


Preheat the oven to 170 C (340 F) and prepare your muffin cups (we use silicon ones but paper ones work just as well).

Cream the butter - she did this by hand and it was quite a workout!

Add the sugar, about 1/3 at a time and beat between each addition. The batter should be fluffy and the sugar should be almost completely dissolved. 

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat between each addition. Also add the vanilla.

Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the mixture, again about 1/3 at a time. Beat on low until the flour is completely combined with the batter.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake linings (each about 3/4 full) and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Once finished, remove from the oven and let cool before frosting.


Cream the butter, sugar and cocoa (sift the cocoa first to keep it from being too clumpy). Add the milk and vanilla. Beat until fluffy (by hand or with a mixture).

The cupcakes can be frosted simply with a knife or by using a large icing tip. Large icing tips are extremely useful to have on hand. In a few seconds you can frost a cupcake and it looks much more fancy  than flat frosting.

These recipes were both adopted from bestrecipes.au. The cupcakes are recipe #6950 and the frosting is recipe #6486

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant

This Monday was a special Monday. I was able to get a train later than usual to Cologne and she was able to join me half way (okay, maybe more like 20 minutes of the 1.5 hour trip) due to her job at the Air Hub in Frankfurt. We both had a free cup of coffee in the DB Lounge and were able to start our working days together :o). That night I tried two cremes from the local supermarket. One was with honey mustard and one with bear leak or wild garlic (how it is also called). No wonder I liked it!!
Tuesday was Thai day. I ordered spicy noodles with veggies. Well... the noodles looked a bit like rice to me :D - At least the beer was Tsingtao and tasted like cheap English but not bad light beer.
On Wednesday I had a vegetable pattie with tomato sauce and rice which inspired me to make this kind of vegetable patty myself, later in the week. The recipe and pictures will follow soon.

After a hot and busy day on Thursday I felt brought back to my childhood. The bell rang in front of our office and there it was: A typical crappy Italian Fiat transporter selling delicious ice cream.I was so busy enjoying the ice cream that I forgot to take a picture of it. Friday started out healthier with tomato soup and a cheese sandwich. This lasted only until late at night when we had chicken fingers after our visit of the English Theatre in Frankfurt. We watched a play set in Boston which made me hungry for real American food (except I got these chicken fingers at an Australian bar...).
On Saturday we got invited to a birthday party. Here is what she made: Cupcakes with delicious chocolate topping (recipe also to follow shortly). On Sunday we had visitors from the US and we wanted to put on the full program. I made Schnitzel with potato salad, Knödel and Rotkraut. After all that food and a beer our visitors where ready to sleep and to overcome their jet lag. We are looking forward to eating some typical Texan food when we visit them someday.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Milkshakes

Summer has finally come to Frankfurt (and we cross our fingers that it actually stays). Summer means to us, picnics on the river, BBQ, cool drinks and ice cream. We decided to combine these last two things and made delicious summer milkshakes!

Milkshakes are only starting to becoming known in Germany, and in all honestly, they are extremely unimpressive here. We recommend saving your money and making milkshakes at home. This way you can get the flavor and thickness you want at almost no cost.

We made two types of milkshake last week. Banana for him, chocolate chip for her.

Not quite sure how to make your own? Don't worry, it is easy! All you need is:

Ice cream (any flavor but we recommend starting with something basic like vanilla or chocolate)
Milk (not too much!)
Any extras you would like. For example, chocolate pieces, banana, other berries.
A blender (We don't have a blender so we used a hand mixer/puree thing. It was more difficult but it still worked!)

Scope the ice cream into the blender or a bowl if you will be using a different type of mixer.

Pour in milk (less than you would imagine!) For two scoops of ice cream you will want about 1/2 cup milk. Experiment and decide how thick you like your shake. It is always easier to add milk later than ice cream so start slow.

Add extras - Blend - Pour into a glass - Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant

Hello Fellows, Ladies and Gentleman! I am back! After my harddisk had conveniently given up working on several sectors, I was able to use a USB stick with Ubuntu to recover most of my data. Among my precious files I was also able to recover the daily food pictures! And here they are... my food pictures and storys including two weeks.
Monday started with Thai food from a local thai place just around the corner of my hotel. Currently, I am  training for a charity run and pass this thai place every time I do my circles. Time to test it and so my collegue and me ordered it to the hotel. Well mistake.. 2,50 € extra charge for the delivery bringing it 150 feet. Next time I will get it myself. Nevertheless, it was delicious and we ate it on the deck of the hotel in the very first sun in Cologne this year.
Fish and potatoes on Tuesday and goulash on Wednesday. 

The goulash was served with rice... still good but unusual.Healthy food on Thursday after coming home. We had vegetables and sandwiches made to test food which we would serve to our friends on the following weekend for our game/snack night. The following Friday she suprised him with very delicious wraps, filled with chicken, salad, onions, paprika and cheese. Saturday midday was planned to be a fleamarket day. Due to blockupy demonstrations in Frankfurt, we ended up in the "Kleinmarkthalle" and had these sweet greek rolls filled with some kind of nut paste. On Sunday she made chicken burgers. Inspired by a Burger King comercial, but too cheap and lazy to go or buy anything from Burger King. She made him "finger lickin good" chicken burgers breaded with cornflakes combined with snacky food.
After successfully ruining my harddisk on Sunday, Monday started out with a great and unhealthy snack: backed WanTans which are the Chinese small and fried version of Maultaschen in Germany. On Tuesday I ate Polenta, which I learned is apparently made of corn... Tastes kind of like cheese what I ate here but still pretty decent with zucchini. 
On Wednesday we had a small team dinner and enjoyed the Kroatian kitchen in Frechen. "Meat"-alicious is all I can say to the meal ;). Thursday was wrap day with chips and coleslaw in the evening sun on our balcony. The first time ever we could enjoy the sun on our balcony and enjoy the sun going down behind the skyline of Frankfurt! On Friday we went to Friedberger Markt which is a place where many many people meet, drink and chat until 10 at night and then go out afterwards. Fun and delicious if you get, like us, samosas. But you have to be fast... stores and booths close by 8:30 - 9 at night to make everybody leave at 10 and to spare residents from the noise. Saturday was asparagus day followed by a pancake soup on Sunday while discussing our next trip to France. Paris it is so stay tuned in July to figure out what we enjoy in frogeater country ;).

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Thai Curry with Chicken, Carrots, and Bell Pepper

We have made curry many times but have never blogged about it because it either was not very good, we had no idea how we made it (lots of adding random stuff until it tasted like we wanted), or we forgot to take pictures. This time we followed a recipe (for the most part, we did add lots of extra seasonings), remembered to take pictures (a few), and it turned out very tasty. Therefore, finally a curry blog entry!

Two servings:

250 g chicken breast
1 garlic clove
1 Tbs (EL) curry powder
200 ml coconut milk (usually 1/2 container)
175 ml water
1 Tbs (EL) oil
1 tsp (Tl) vegetable broth powder
150 g carrots (or bell pepper, or onions, or a mix thereof!)
salt, pepper, seasonings of choice

Slice the carrots into thin rounds (or the paprika and onions into slices) and the chicken into small cubes. Heat the oil on the stove over medium-high. Add the chicken and let brown.

Add the vegetables and turn down the heat to medium. Let cook until they start to get soft.

Add the garlic (pressed is easiest) and let brown for about one minute. Cover everything in the curry powder and stir before adding the water and vegetable broth powder.  Also add the coconut milk.

Let simmer for at least 15 minutes or until everything begins to thicken and the carrots are cooked through. Season additionally as wished. We added lots including salt, pepper, paprika powder, oregano, basil, and parsley. This is just what tasted right to us!

During these 15 minutes of waiting you can get your rice cooking.

Serve hot with rice and/or bread and enjoy! He made some naan to go with it (although the recipe, which we will post soon, seemed to be more like regular rolls than actual naan).

The pictures posted show no carrots because we did not have any the first time we made this. The next day she made it again (it was that good and we had to use up the coconut milk) and used carrots which was extremely delicious!

This recipe was adapted from Mukisale

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant

This weeks Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant has to be postponed to next week. Currently I am in Cologne and the harddisk of my private Laptop broke. Due to this reason I need to find a way to replace it while keeping all my pictures. I will come back to you next week with a 2 week special version of Daily Food of a Consultant.

Meanwhile, please enjoy Cologne in motion and take part in my current weekly workplace:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pork Fillet Wrapped in Ground Beef and Phyllo Dough

A few weeks ago pork fillet was on sale and we could not resist the great price. He decided to go all out and for dinner made pork fillet, covered in a ground beef mixture, wrapped in phyllo dough, served with a rich mushroom gravy. There are many ways to make pork fillet. We definitely recommend this one, but we also plan on trying a few other versions in the future ;)

Basic Pork Fillet:

Pork fillet (ours was quite small - 450 g, you may need to change the amounts depending on how large yours is)
salt and pepper
2 Tbs butter

Ground Beef Covering:
1 piece toast
1 egg
300 g ground beef
3 Tbs mixed herbs (basil, parsley, oregano)
Salt and pepper

Phyllo Wrapping:
1 pre-made roll of phyllo dough

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F)

Heat a pan on the stove large enough to fit the pork fillet. Melt the butter  in the pan and season the pork fillet with salt and pepper. Cook the pork so evenly brown around the outside and then set aside.

Mix the ground beef, and add the one piece of toast (crumbled), egg, herbs, and a reasonable amount of salt and pepper. Mix everything well together (get dirty and use your hands!)

Roll out the phyllo dough and put down a medium (about 1 cm or as much as you think you can handle) layer of the ground beef mixture.

Place the pork on the dough and wrap it around the roll.

Cut off extra dough and pinch all sides together.

If you have extra dough, like we did, you can try to make some designs to make the log look nicer.

Bake for 30 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before trying to cut. We were not patient enough to do that and the slices were not as nice as they could have been.

Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles, a vegetable (Of course due to asparagus season we had white asparagus!) and delicious gravy (coming soon).

Looks like a real fancy treat but not too much work. Good to impress guests (or colleagues when you take the leftovers for lunch :) )