Sonntag, 27. Februar 2011

Chili Plants - part II

Almost a month gone by and it's time to put up another post.
Beginning of February I started a new project that leaves me almost no spare time at the moment.

Luckily the chili seeds I sowed a while ago, are now growing into tiny plants, without much effort apart from the occasional watering and fertilizing.

 The chives and basil I also prepared didn't make it, maybe I had the seeds lying around for too long, but I'm definitely going to try a wider variety of herbs in the near future.
 Earlier today I finally managed to repot the little chili plants.

I already got tons of ideas what I'm going to do with the first chilis I'm going to harvest.

Now that I got the chili plants sorted, I'm going to start sewing my carnivals costume. This year I'm going to be a Funky Roman woman. More pictures later.

Freitag, 21. Januar 2011

Suppenkasper or Diana loves soup

I love soup. I have loved soup for as long as I can remember. I could eat soup every single day and at any time of the day. Thin and clear ones, vegetable, fish or meat, creamy or lumpy. Sounds a bit pervy? Not really, I hope!
In 2007 I travelled through Japan for a couple of weeks and I really got into Miso soup - even for breakfast. I am talking about the savoury, full of soy protein, kind.

Today I went out for lunch with some girls to have a ladies lunch. My friend Barbara ordered fried eggs with extra tomatoes. As I saw the tomatoe water running over the fried eggs I suddenly had an epiphany! Tonight I was about to have soup. Nothing really exciting you might think but please bear with me - I was going to prepare a consomme - the baptism of fire for any chef.

So I bought the the very few ingredience you need to have to produce a tomato consomme (Mirepoix, tomatoes, basil) and turkey minced meat, cream and eggs for the turkey basil buttons.

I also got some chili (rather mild ones - this is Germany after all - the land of salt and pepper). I just wanted to have the extra twist in my consomme.

All ingredience are generously chopped and get thrown into one big saucepan filled with water.

Everything is only vaguely measured and after 30 mins of slow simmering the consomme base should look like this.
The base now get filtered through a colander and leaves a smoth liquid. This liquid however is not quite right for a consomme, it still needs to get purified. I didn't want to go really wild tonight so I decided to stick with a single consomme, not a consomme double, which is purified twice. And that does take forever!

While the filtered liquid gets the chance to cool down, I prepare the clearing mixture. Just take a bit minced beef and one egg white, mixed together. It is vital that the mixture cools down in the fridge too.

I then started to prepare the mixture for my turkey basil buttons. I needed a smooth mass that I could squeeze through an icing bag. I chopped up some basil leaves and mixed the minced turkey with cream and 2 eggs as well as an egg yog and some salt and pepper. 

Meanwhile I started boiling some water to prepare the buttons. I squeezed the content of the icing bag over an oven grid into the boiling water.

Again, I used my gut feeling to judge when the buttons are done. And you want to be careful with Salmonella and all.

The filtered consomme base can now be purified. The protein mix together with the liquid are slowly heated up again, The cloudy bits get trapped within the protein mix and that leaves a clear consomme.

The liquid now needs to be poured through a tea towel to get the last precious drops out of the consomme mix.

A few more basil leaves for decoration and a nice big soup plate e voila - Bon appetite!

Mittwoch, 12. Januar 2011

Some herbs - of sowing and reaping

As I live in a comfortable sized apartment on the first floor I don't have access to any garden. I do have a balcony but I discovered that birds just love to attack new plants and they even start digging plants out of their containers.

My solution is quite simple - I grow herbs on the window sill. I tried growing herbs beforehand but somehow they never got past the stage of germination.

In 2011 I will try, once again, to grow my own hers. And I started with it two days ago. From the UK, where I spent Christmas, I brought back some seeds for peppers, chilis and herbs, but also some growing kits. I'd love to think that my previous attempts of flat gardening failed due to the lack of proper equipment.

I started with, what I think is easy to grow - chives, chilis and basil on Monday, Jan 10th.

In the two pots in the rear row I sow chives. In the middle one and the front row I planted hot chilis. I hope they turn out nicely, as Mr. Zefixchen is a hot chili addict.

I also brought back this growig kit for peppers and chilis back from the UK. The 12 individual seeding pots were very flat. I poured some warm water over them and they miraculously grew. 3 different kind of peppers (chayenne, worldeater and barancio).

The two kits are now placed on the radiator in the living room that I don't use. Hopefully it doesn't take long before the green spouts appear!

I also wanted to have some fresh basil, which I adore. Apparently the basil seeds need to germ not in soild but only covered with foil (light induced germination).

Some more pictures in a couple of weeks when the first green bits will show.

Samstag, 1. Januar 2011

A new year - a new start

Right, the first day of 2011 has arrived.
I celebrated New Years Eve with hubby and friends at a new (for me anyway) Indian restaurant at Hohenzollernplatz in Munich.  We started our evening at Can-Tine with a bottle of red wine between the three girls of us.

They had a private party lined up and we just invited ourselves in for one drink, squeezed in the corner behind the bar. Once the bottle was emptied, we strolled casually over to Surahi.
We started with Onion Bhajis, especially made for us.

Some more wine (this time a white Franconian), shared with hubby and a friend.

The food was absolutely mouth watering. I ordered a Mutton Nilgiri (Lamb in a spinach and corriander sauce) with a light spicy note. And then it turned midnight and the whole of Hohenzollernplatz turned into a sea of light and sound. 

Happy new year everyone! May all your wishes come true in 2011!