Sumac & Quinoa Lavosh

 I am addicted to the magic of baking and all things sugared but when it comes to eating, I prefer salty foods.

Add crisp and crunch and I’m your valentine.

Oh Oh and a little bit of sour?  That’s it, I’m a goner!And all my highbrow la dee da dee da, ‘this place is too small’, ‘this place is too big’, doing my best impersonation of Goldilocks.  Yea well all that goes out the window.  I’ll eat anything salty, crunchy and sour.  Well almost anything.  I won’t eat the ubiquitous paprika flavoured chips they favour here or those weird puffed up concoctions that dissolve in your mouth and adhere  to every crevice in your teeth.

I’ve been struggling with my cravings here, there is no where I can get my fix.  Sometimes it get’s so bad, I shake a little Furikake (a salty Japanese condiment for sprinkling onto rice) into the palm of my hand and eat that.  Without rice or even plans to eat any time soon.

Hmm.  Have I said too much? Maybe.

Listen, that’s it – I swear! No other questionable habits in the closet. Read more of this post

Lemon Tart and Dinner for a Discerning Friend

Proclaiming myself ‘Foodie in Berlin’, then eating my way through the city giving long commentaries on what I think about a place is a little…..

Well, King Julien the XIII (the conceited but fun-loving lemur from the cartoon Madagascar. “Maurice, my arm is tired. Wave it for me. Faster, you naughty little monkey!”)

My self-declared expert status on food means that when I invite friends over for dinner; there is a little bit of implied ‘Okay sister; bring it on.” After all that talk I would expect nothing less.

Still, it makes me sweat a little (a lot).  This weekend I invited my friend Margue for dinner. The first time I met her was at Winterfeldplatz market where she had picked up a thick slice of veal liver which she was going to cook for her family later that afternoon.
Offal for children? And they eat it?
She must be gifted, I thought.
And did I mention she’s French? Oh ya, she’s French. And cooking for a French person, well – they wrote the book on cooking.  Plus they actually wrote the book on cooking! Careme, Escoffier, Point, Bocuse, Roux, Ducasse.I opted to deploy the bulk of my energy on a main course of herb tortellini with an oxtail ragu.  The ragu was not a thick chunky murky soup but rather a clear jus which took an hour of diligent skimming, in it two large tortellini filled with a light chicken mousse flecked with chervil and parsley.  Around each tortellini, a shawl of prosciutto ham.  It’s an elegant dish and one which takes a lot of preparation. Read more of this post

Roast Pumpkin filled with Quinoa, served with Rocket and Pickled Beetroot salad and Tahini drizzle

I met Misterrios at a vegetarian cafe named Die Rebellion des Zimtsterns.  It is a cute cafe, with a fun green wall and big communal table.  I balked at the fact that you could get a warm lunch on a plate for €5!  Mr. Rios looked at me like I was from Mars.  Well I live in Mitte!  And London before that so – yes, I think it is cheap!

It was back when my computer was out of action and he had heroically volunteered to fix it.  So he ordered the pumpkin dish of the day and hunkered down behind my Mac to gently prod it back to life.

Now for a little aside…

Even if I don’t know you very well, I will probably eat food from your plate.  Over the years, I have learned that this drives most people bananas!  I can’t help it though!  Chalk it down to my Middle Eastern upbringing, we share food!  I have since learned that the correct way to approach sticking your fork in someone else’s lunch is to first volunteer they try yours.  The usual response is “No, but would you like to try some of mine?”

Count to 3…

1 Mississippi,

2 Mississippi,

3 Mississippi

…then go for it! Read more of this post

The first meal…

was a salad.  

After unpacking straight from 8 am to 6 pm today, I headed out to explore the Mitte neighborhood.  

My local supermarket is a Lidl.  Eh, so it’s not exactly a Waitrose – that was instantly clear!  But it’s not even equivalent to a Tesco’s!  I bought some vegetables which seemed perky enough.  I couldn’t find any cereal that I could identify…

Isn’t that the charm of moving to a new city though?  Navigating the unkown until you can make a portfolio of “your places”.

To cheer myself up after the grim experience of Lidl, I had a scoop of organic ice cream.  Chocolate.  It was good.  Not notable enough for me to include it here though.  

Our TV isn’t hooked up yet so we won’t be watching the Germany vs Spain game.  Although it being summer here, the windows are open, so I imagine we will be able to keep score just the same.  

I made the first “meal” in the new kitchen tonight.  If you can call it that, it was just a salad.  It was a good way to get my feet wet, get a feel of the pros and cons of the new space.  Pros – lot’s of space, open plan, drawers galore that do that “whoosh” thing when you bump them with your hip to shut.  Love that!

Cons- the sink.  They installed the smallest shallowest one they could buy.  So if you put in say – a salad bowl.  The sink is full!  They then took said lilliputian sink and squashed it against a wall and left no room behind it, ensuring that there is no surrounding area to take the sink over flow that in guaranteed to occur after you’ve had a bowl of cereal in the morning.  And it’s on the opposite side of the kitchen from the fridge with the oven / stove about a meter away.  Hmmm….  Please can I meet the geniuses who thought of that one!

Tonight’s salad (served with some rye bread and cheese) featured:

1 head of sweet lettuce

1/2 a yellow pepper

1/ 2 a cup of quinoa (colored yellow with turmeric)

A handful of roasted and chopped hazelnuts

1/2 a cucumber

A bunch of cherry tomatoes (oh woe to me that my love affair with the Greek tomatoes was forced to end and I now have to contend with these insipid little poser tomatoes!)

A German inspired salad dressing of 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, pepper, 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons yogurt.  

Hardly a recipe really but a welcome break from the restaurant food we have been over-indulging in of late and significant in it’s first meal status.  

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