Hello Spring!

20140406-182329.jpgWe had sunshine this week and we enjoyed it. Once it snowed a little but fortunately the snow didn’t stay and by now the patches of green grass are getting bigger and bigger.

We were pretty busy last weekend cause we had invited friends over for breakfast. You can’t have breakfast with just some slices of toast and jams. So we decided on preparing Lime ricotta pancakes, countryside bread and whole wheat croissants for the breakfast. But still having the flavor of those Piadinas we had eaten in Nice on our tongues we tried ourselves on those and another batch of flour tortillas and some granola.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The recipes for the granola and the croissants are from David Lebovitz and both very addictive. It’s good that one yield of croissant dough is for only 6. They are real treats and “hip gold” as my mum would call them. We made them first for breakfast on Saturday to look how they come out and then again for the Sunday breakfast. The recipe seems pretty fool proof you just need enough time. Since I didn’t change anything, here the link to the recipe. They are really worth the work and waiting time.

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2013/10/whole-wheat-croissants-croissant-recipe/

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe recipe for the granola is from David too but we changed the amount of sugar and swapped the peanuts for almonds. This is really addictive but so good. We couldn’t get our hands on baking resistant chocolate chips even though we thought we had gotten some. But after the baking it was clear that we were wrong. The chocolate had melted and created clusters which doesn’t hurt at all. We just broke them apart. But it was different from what we had expected. If you rather want to be on the safe side and have the chocolate not melted, just add the chocolate at the end after the baking.

20140406-182218.jpgChocolate chip and peanut butter granola adapted from David Lebovitz

  • 300gr rolled oats
  • 150gr almonds, chopped coarsely
  • 70gr sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 120gr chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 130gr peanut butter, creamy is suggested by David, we used crunchy cause that’s the one M eats
  • 150gr maple syrup
  • 40gr brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Preheat your oven to 165C. Place parchment paper on a baking tray.
  • In a big bowl mix the oats with the almonds, cinnamon, salt, chocolate chips and sunflower seeds.
  • In a small pot mix the peanut butter with the water, sugar and maple syrup. Warm it over low heat until the mix is just smooth.
  • Pour the peanut butter mix into the dry ingredients and stir very well, coating all the dry ingredients.
  • Place the granola mix on your parchment paper, pressing it into a layer. Bake the granola for ca 30min or until it’s golden brown, rotate the tray after half of the time. Stir a few times while baking. Let it cool down completely before you transfer it into an airtight container.

Warm Piadinas are so satisfying and they can be filled with whatever you can think of or better what your refrigerator offers you. We filled them with Raclette cheese and warmed them up then which made the cheese melt. *yummy*

20140406-182302.jpgPiadina

  • 15gr fresh yeast
  • 60ml lukewarm water
  • 500gr durum flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250ml soda water
  • Crumble the fresh yeast over the lukewarm water and let it sit for 5min. Mix the flour with the salt, make a small indention into the middle and add the yeast water, the oil and 150ml soda water.
  • Start to mix in the flour until you get a spongy, firm dough. If necessary add more soda water, but don’t add too much at a time.
  • Knead the dough for 10min either with your kitchen machine or on a lightly floured surface until you get an even and elastic dough. Set it into a bowl and cover it with cling film. Let it sit for about 1.5 hours, then hit it with your fist and let it sit for another 10min.
  • Then split the dough into 8 even portions and roll out each to a round flat with a diameter of ca 15cm. If the dough shrinks again, let it sit for another 1-2mins before you try to roll it out again.
  • Heat a cast-iron pan over medium heat, place one round flat in it, poke it several times with a fork to avoid air bubbles and fry them for about 5mins. Flip it several times. Stack the ready ones on top of each other and cover with a kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft.

20140406-182253.jpgThey taste best served warm but they can be easily frozen once they are cooled and then thawn and warmed up again.

Lime ricotta pancakes are the fluffiest pancakes we have encountered so far. 🙂 But they demand a couple of more steps and ricotta which probably isn’t a regular guest in the common refrigerator.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALime ricotta pancakes adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 ounces ricotta
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp grated vanilla
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Whisk flour, salt and baking soda together and make an indention in the middle. Add ricotta, egg yolks, milk, lime zest and juice and vanilla and whisk until combined. Gently stir in the butter.
  • Whip the egg whites until they start to form soft mounds, then add the sugar and whisk until they form soft peaks. Fold 1/3 of the whipped whites into the batter, then add the remaining 2/3.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat, ladle small portions (1/4 cup each) into the pan and cook until the edges are set and the first side is golden brown. Flip pancakes once and cook the second side until golden brown.
  • Set the cooked pancakes on a plate, cover with aluminum foil and put them into the oven at 100C to keep them warm until all pancakes are cooked.

Those pancakes taste good with jams or fruit sauces or just slightly dusted with powdered sugar.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday then I tried a new recipe for an apple cake with browned butter and vanilla creme. It’s from the baking book Slikkepott by Lise Finckenhagen which I got for my birthday. The apples were supposed to sink in but no, yesterday they didn’t feel like it and stayed on top. The cake tastes good but we’ll have another trial run this week before we’ll post it. Here a sneak peak of the cake.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur munchkin turned 7 months yesterday and he has taken over the floor. He spins around and crawls! Yes, he can not only draw himself over the floor when laying on a blanket, no he can actually crawl centimeter by centimeter. His new aim is to sneak up on Ecky to try to touch him. Usually Ecky is faster but he has surprised him a few times so far. A small piece of cake or a piece of carrot in front of munchkin but just out of reach can be surprisingly motivating. 8)

Otherwise we prepared e.g. lasagna and oven French fries along with salad

Countryside bread

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALasagnaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHomemade oven French fries with saladOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis week we had started to look into the visa process since we had thought to move to the US one day in the far future. We have family and friends over there, so why not. What we hadn’t expect was to find out how outdated and humiliating this process could be. I got so irritated that I penned a letter to Obama which I’d planned to send directly to the White House but there email form allows only up to 2500 characters. What are 2500 characters? -That’s nothing. So, here the letter to Obama, now an open letter.

“Dear Mr Obama,

I write to you because I feel so humiliated by you and your government.
My boyfriend is American and I’m German. We have a lovely baby boy and a dog. That’s our family. We were thinking about moving to the US at one point in the future since we have friends and family there. When we went through the visa application process to look what we need to do to get a visa for me we were baffled to find out how outdated the US seems. In most developed countries cohabiting partners have more or less the same rights as married couples. But not for the US. The US wants to prevent people from getting married only for the reason of the visa but actually you force them to get married since unmarried partners can’t immigrate. How much does a paper – in this case a marriage certificate- actually binds two people together?! Not at all. The bond we have gotten with our baby boy is one for eternity, could there be a better one??
The second thing we found out is that a country founded by immigrants treats non-Americans like enemies or hosts of bad diseases. Every applicant has not only to provide a blood sample and a chest x-ray, but they also must undergo a medical examination which includes the examination of the external genitalia. Since when does the size of the labia of a woman or if a man’s penis is circumsized or not matter? Do you have a size chart for suitable size of clitoris and labias which makes a female a candidate to get approved or not? Even more humiliating is the fact that the by the US embassy approved practice in Norway for those examinations is just male MDs. Just think about it, would you like your daughters to be treated like this?
The US also demands vaccinations for a wide range of illnesses from every applicant. If those vaccinations are actually safe and necessary doesn’t matter at all.
My boyfriend who is American has to undergo the same medical examination like me, do you believe he got contaminated in Europe?

Do you really think that’s how former immigrants are supposed to treat future immigrants? And don’t tell me now that a circumcised penis or certain sized labias are related to terrorists or future bomb builders. No, that’s a way your government likes to use with other people: humiliating and to make them feel weak and powerless.

You know what I think your government believes that devices are around which allow you to travel back into the past. Otherwise I’m really clueless why I would be asked if I have had any connections to the Nazi regime when I apply for the ESTA-visa (I was born 40 years after World War II).

One more thing I really have to share with you. I heard a very good comparison today. Americans are like their symbol the eagle: it has a pea sized brain and big wings. I’ve had the luck to meet a lot of wonderful Americans but a lot of Americans -and that’s what they often show here on TV  and what you read about- couldn’t be dumber especially your TSA officers. The TSA should consist out of smart people and not aggressive thugs. Almost every visitor has had bad experience with the TSA. (Other countries have an equivalent to the TSA but they are usually more than friendly and helpful, just not the US ones, why?)

I’m sure we are on the same page when we say that the US is a country of euphemisms. You probably know what that means: giving not so nice sounding meanings a nice appearance like dipping broccoli in ketchup. You call it the department of homeland security, shouldn’t the real name be the department of paranoia.

Don’t think I’m against the US. Not at all, but I’m very critical and use my brain to think. I know you don’t like it. If you want to deny me future entry to the US, feel free. There are so many other countries in the world where people can live without being threatened by the government and journalists can actually do their work.
If you want to send some of your guys to us for a visit, well let us know in advance that we can prepare a cake and have coffee ready. Oh and when we are traveling, don’t bother with confiscating our devices. Our stuff is stored in safe places and who would anyway travel to the US with important stuff when everyone knows that the TSA might be confiscating those devices.

With best regards and have a nice Sunday!”

We wish all of you a great week with a lot of sunshine and greener grass. 😉

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA20140406-182242.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s