Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant

Welcome back to Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant. The last two weeks were really busy. Here now is a combined version of the Tuesday Tales. Beside other tasks, I was on my way to Belgium last week and not able to write. Nevertheless, I brought tasty pictures about the food I had during these busy times of project work and workshop preparations for my European project.
Monday started with a typical German potato soup with a huge sausage. Clearly something my Dutch colleagues were able to laugh about. Tuesday continued with another German meal: two Schnitzel with potatoes made my evening perfect.
I had German Knödel with Hackbraten on Wednesday. My Dutch colleague was wondering because he thought that the Knödel was a potato. I guess dumplings are not very common in the Netherlands. After going to Frankfurt on Thursday, we ate fish stick rolls followed by tasty Chinese food on Friday. Due to a Nancy Drew competition (Germany against America) on Saturday and Sunday, we ate a lot of junk food while competing with her sister and her sister's husband. Unfortunately we were about 1,5 hours slower than our opponents while solving the mystery game in an 48 hour marathon.

The week after started right away with as much work and the outlook to visit the new project location in Belgium. Monday started with a Caesars salad followed by pasta on Tuesday. On the same day, we ordered 8 pizzas for our team leads while they discussed the current planning approach and finalized our September workshops. Late night (or early morning) we were arriving in Belgium drinking tasty Kwak beer upon arrival. 
As with other Belgian beers, Kwak has a branded glass with its own distinctive shape. While drinking from the glass, the bulb at the bottom will remain filled for a relatively long time. As soon as air reaches the still-filled bulb, a large amount of beer will gush towards the drinker. This is accompanied by a characteristic sound which sounds like Kwak spoken quickly.
We had typical lunch: sandwiches with lots of mayonnaise. Thursday was accompanied by homemade Chinese food from her and the last left overs from our Nancy Drew session the week before. On Saturday I had my favourite meal: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. 
Beside eating all you can eat buffet brunch with our friends on Sunday morning, I made Okonomiyaki which prepared me for a short week with two days holiday :).

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Creme Fraiche

Even though we made this meal completely from scratch, pasta included, it took really no time at all - about 30 minutes. Making our own pasta really added to it but we are sure the creamy sauce is good no matter what type of pasta you put it on!


Check out our Homemade Pasta (Fettuccine) recipe to see how we make our pasta. This time we did learn and hung our fresh pasta over coat hangers to keep it from sticking together. This is a very cheap and easy way to avoid getting one giant glob of fresh pasta when making the rest!

1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 pound shrimp
1/4 cup butter
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1/2 Tbs wine
1/2 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs chicken stock
salt, pepper, basil

The sauce only takes about 15 minutes so prepare you pasta accordingly!

Prepare the shrimp by peeling and deveining them (if needed). Melt butter in a large skillet, add lemon juice and diced garlic. Add the shrimp and cook them until they are opaque.

Remove the shrimp and set aside. Return the skillet to the stove and add the wine, corn starch, chicken broth, and creme fraiche. Simmer the sauce until it thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put the sauce over the pasta and shrimp and garnish with fresh basil.

We got the idea for this recipe from Paula Deen on Foodnetwork.com but what we made it not very similar to the original recipe.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Traditional American Pancakes

He is not a fan of American breakfast, he makes this quite clear, but every once in a while he will humor her by letting her serve a very American breakfast.

You can imagine it caught her by complete surprise when last Sunday he sat on the couch and announced that he felt like American pancakes. She didn't even give him the time to change his mind, within seconds she was in the kitchen whipping of a batch of this American classic :)

We made this full recipe because it used only one egg (and who wants to use only half an egg!?!) but it made a lot!

1 1/2 cups flour
3 1/2 Tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs white sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
1 egg
3 Tbs butter, melted

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pour in the milk, egg and melted butter. Mix until the batter is smooth.

Heat a griddle (or frying pan) on medium heat with a small amount of oil. We find it is best to put a oil on a paper towel and gently rub the bottom of the griddle.

It is important to be patient when making pancakes. The pan needs to be very hot before you start but you also do not want the heat turned up too high because the outsides will get brown and the insides will still be raw.

Use a 1/4 cup scoop to transfer the batter onto the griddle. It is up to you if you would like a very large, very small, or medium pancakes.

Let cook (don't play with them or even peak!) until the pancakes start to form small bubbles. When this happens you know it is time to flip them. Flip and cook for another minute until golden brown.

If you are making many pancakes and want to serve them all at once, heat the oven on low and let them stay in there until the rest are finished.

Serve with maple syrup (the proper way!) or if you are like us and don't have any maple syrup in the house, Nutella, cinnamon and sugar, or peanut butter.

If you want something a bit different, try our Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

This traditional recipe was found on allrecipes.com, but there are many recipes out there and all about the same!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant

This crazy week full of work in Frechen started out with a potato soup and a sausage on Monday. We prepared team plannings with our team leaders for the further project approach including several workshops and moving to Belgium soon. Late at night on Tuesday, we found time to go to the Italian restaurant. Here we enjoyed a pizza which was also accompanied by delicious pizza bread. The next day continued with 16 1/2 hours of work (yes, 16!) and we helped ourselves to a take out sushi order directly brought from Cologne. Unfortunately, most of the sushi contained only very little fish and had a lot of vegetables inside. Well, the profit margin for the delivery restaurant must have been over the top for that evening ;).
Thursday late, I traveled back to Frankfurt. Here, I was given a delicious sandwich prepared by her to relax and to prepare me for the next day in the home office. Due to this, Friday was only little time regarding food because she was writing her encyclopedia articles while he recovered from a day on the phone supporting the team leads during their planning. A quick and easy curry sausage was the solution which was prepared by him to have extra time to work. Saturday, after a very relaxing day in the outside swimming pool, we prepared noodles from scratch with a shrimp sauce. The recipe will follow very soon. Sunday was started with a perfect round American pancakes made by her to give a start into a relaxing and easy day.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Tastes of Prague, Czech Republic

When we went to Brussels with six of our friends we said that eight people on vacation together was enough...

Well, somehow we found ourselves hitting the road and driving to Prague with nine people one month later. We guess getting eight people to agree on what to see and eat was not challenging enough.

We had a short three days in the land of cheap beer and beautiful bridges. We walked and walked and walked, only to be broken up by the occasional meal and drink.

Here are a few of the tasty things we enjoyed:

Goulash soup in a bread bowl (closest we have seen to the SF treat - clam chowder in a bread bowl)

Trdelnik - A traditional rolled pastry found in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. You can choose if you want it plain or rolled in sugar, nuts, or another topping. We got Nutella with ours which made a huge mess everywhere. The mess was worth the deliciousness though!

We purchased our Trdelnik at this cute stand with an adorable woman wearing a funny hat. 

We went to a traditional Czech restaurant one night for dinner. They had meat, meat and more meat to choose from. She had a meal with beef, two types of dumplings, and a type of kraut.

He had a grilled meat platter with sausage, ribs, pork and a cob of corn.

Both meals were so good that we couldn't help but share with each other.

Of course during our three days in Prague we also drank a lot of beer. Dark, light, medium...we tried it all!

Notice that both of these pictures were taken after the drinking had started???

We just could not wait to take a picture before taking a taste!

When in Prague you also have to try at least one shot of Absinthe.

A little scary when it comes in a glass so large!

Not every drink we had included alcohol. At one bar she got a delicious fresh lemonade with large chunks of lemon included (and ice - almost impossible to find in Germany!)

We also tried some non-Czech food. For example, delicious nachos at Burrito Loco, a restaurant recommended to her by a an American she knows who has been living in Prague for years.

The nachos were great and we wish we had enough space in our tummies to try the burritos.

For the burger lover in our group of friends we stopped at Yes burger, the highest rated Burger place in Prague on Trip Advisor.

Although very cheap, we were not at all impressed.

The burgers were huge though!

The trip was another giant success. Perhaps next time we will try out a new place with ten people?!?!?