I love living in Berlin, but there are certainly some ‘quirky’ aspects of the culture here you have to get used, especially when you have never lived in a big city before, especially a big city in Germany. This week I have seen some things around the city that you would see Only in Berlin that have compelled me to take pictures as I have found them both shocking and amusing so I am sharing them with you.
Only in Berlin would you see…
Sexergy Energy Drink
An energy drink marketed towards giving you and extra boost when taking part in sexual activities!
Only in Berlin would you see…
Negro Chocolate Biscuits
Politically incorrect biscuits, and the man selling these in his shop looked at me like I was the weird one!
Taking these ‘Only in Berlin’ pictures this week has been highly amusing, for myself if no one else, so I will continue to share them with you!
This weekend I was so happy to find Cheddar Cheese in our supermarket, it is sadly uncommon and not widely available here in Berlin and I really miss it. So this weekend when we saw it in the supermarket we could not resist but to buy it even at the inflated prices that they charge for it in comparison to the UK, another example of not food shopping when you are hungry! However I then had to decide what to make with it, as I wanted the optimum enjoyment out of the meal I chose to make. So this Saturday night I enjoyed one of my favourite meals from the UK that I had yet to enjoy in Berlin; Cheddar Cheese and Cracked Black Pepper Pasta and here is how I made this simple dish;
160g of Pasta (for 2)
200g of Cheddar Cheese
2tsp of Cracked Black Pepper
My Favourite British Cheddar
Boil the pasta in a pan for 15 minutes
Whilst this is boiling grate the cheese
When the pasta is cooked drain it and put onto 2 plates
Sprinkle the cheese over quickly so it melts a little
Finally sprinkle over the black pepper and serve
This meal of Cheddar Cheese and Cracked Black Pepper Pasta does not take much preparation or cooking time which makes it a great simple and quick meal for any day that you do not have time to spend cooking. So for those of you that have easy access to Cheddar Cheese make this and whilst you enjoy it remember how much I envy you!
In my quest to broaden my soup making horizon as it were, on the menu this week, Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup. Another great simple recipe for a really low calorie soup!
5 Large Tomatoes
20 Basil Leaves
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
500ml of Chicken Stock
4 Medium Cloves of Garlic
2 Medium Onions
My Roast Tomato and Basil Soup Simmering
Preheat the Oven to 200C
Quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds
Place skin side down into a lightly oiled pan
Roast in oven until soft / around 45 minutes until they just start to brown
As the tomatoes are almost done / sauté chopped onions and minced garlic in olive oil
Chop the basil and add to the garlic and basil
Season to taste and sauté for 30 seconds
Then add the tomatoes and chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil
Simmer for 15 minutes
Purée with a hand blender
Pour into a clean pan and heat through before serving
The Finished Product Garnished with Basil
Garnish with basil leaves and serve with crusty bread for dipping, the only way to go!
Now the outcome was delicious, but I would be lying if I did not say that this recipe was problematic, this recipe apparently for 4 only just made 2 bowls of soup with the serving size of a meal. Also, once you got to the bottom of the bowl you were faced with the unsightly task of fishing little bits of tomato skin out of the inside of your mouth. However, I think that next time I will double up on ingredients and sieve the soup before serving to ensure the perfect dining experience of Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup!
I once had this in a restaurant such a long time ago that I cannot even remember which restaurant it was, but I had not forgotten the dessert. It was so scrumptious and more-ish that when I was deciding what to make for our dinner party dessert this weekend there was no other choice. I am always making things full of chocolate which in my opinion can only be beaten by a delicious lemon dessert. So on the menu this week; Lemon Cream and Mixed Berry Compote served with Home-Made Shortbread Biscuits and this is the recipe:
600ml of Double Cream
350g of Sugar
250g of Mixed Berries (this time I used Blackberries and Blueberries)
My Lemon Cream Drizzled with Mixed Berry Compote and Shortbread for Dipping!
Firstly, zest and juice the 5 lemons and set aside
Then bring the double cream to the boil in a saucepan
Once the cream is boiling turn down the heat to a simmer
Add 250g of sugar whilst continually stirring for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved
Continue to stir as you add the lemon zest and juice
Simmer for a further minute before removing the mixture from the heat
After 10 minutes of cooling pour the mixture evenly into 4 serving glasses and leave to cool down for 50 minutes
After the 50 minutes ensure the mixture is cool before putting into the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours
When the creams have chilled for 2 hours you can prepare the compote
Put the berries and 100g of sugar in a pan and stir well as you heat them
As the sugar dissolves and the berries breakdown bring the mixture to a simmer
Simmer for 5-6 minutes / stirring well
Remove from the heat
Take a spoon and drizzle a small part of the compote over the top of the creams and put back in the fridge to chill for a few minutes
Let the compote cool before placing into a jug for serving
I served my Lemon Cream and Mixed Berry Compote in 4 individual mini desserts but this dessert would also be great as one cream that could then be served out into individual bowls if you wanted to split the dessert between more people or even save some for later. Either way this dessert was divine and it was great for me to try baking something a little bit different and I am really proud of myself that this came out so well! Having the shortbread biscuits to dip in were a really great idea and broke up the strong flavours of the lemon and berries, which were surprisingly more sickly than I had anticipated, I suppose fruit is not always healthy!
If you have any other delicious Lemon based desserts I would love to hear your recipes!
I think this is the longest I have been without posting on my blog, however, I have a good reason, last weekend we had guests come to visit all the way from Hong Kong! So instead of my usually relaxed weekends that are focused around baking and watching sport mostly, we were off out being tourists in Berlin for a few days!
Mainly the weekend consisted of seeing the usual tourist sights here in Berlin, the remains of the wall, the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, the Memorial to the Jews of Europe and the list goes on here in Berlin. We also ate out a lot, meals that included a delicious halloumi burger and lunch in a lovely Italian restaurant, as well as the foolish task I set upon myself of cooking for 8 that went surprisingly better than I thought it would. However the stand out visit for me was our visit to the Pergamon Museum on Museum Island in the centre of Berlin.
I had been to the Pergamon Museum before but after a long day attempting to make the most of my ticket and visiting all of the museums on the island – not advisable! So I was really excited to go again and truly remember what I had seen, as you enter this museum you will not be disappointed by what it has to offer, the glorious gates of Babylon stand proudly in the entrance rooms of the museums and the sight is impressive, all I could think was ‘how did they get them here’ but I was in awe all the same.
The Impressive Gates at the Pergamon Museum
The antiquities they have to offer are breath-taking and impressive and unlike some of the museums the size of the Pergamon Museum is great for a 2 hour trip. However the one disappointing aspect of the museum was the logical flow in which you were guided around the museum was not smooth and left me feeling slightly confused and a little lost as to whether there was any chronological to the exhibits or whether it was just a case of ‘look at all this cool history stuff we have’.
I would still recommend the Pergamon Museum to anyone visiting Berlin as a tourist as the site of the gates is very impressive however, if you are a history buff or expert this one might not be for you!
I am also extremely happy to be getting back to my normal weekend routine this week and I am currently in the process of baking my next exciting recipe!
After making Carrot and Coriander Soup like a billion times in the past few months, I thought it was time to branch out in my soup making ventures. However, I really do not want to make soup with cream or the such like as I prefer to make soup lower in calories, so the hunt began. My boyfriend decided on Potato and Chilli Soup which sounded great to me too. This is the recipe that I used;
1 Knob of Butter
1 Chopped Onion
1 tsp of Coriander
2 Chopped Cloves of Garlic
750g of Potato (Peeled and Cubed)
500ml of Vegetable Stock
1 Pinch of Chilli Flakes
Paprika – to Serve
Ready to Add the Vegetable Stock
Melt the butter in a large pan
Add the onion, chilli, coriander and garlic
Fry for 8 minutes until softened and beginning to brown
Add the potato and fry for a further 2 minutes
Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil
Once boiling turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until all of the ingredients are soft
Blend until smooth
Pour into a clean pan and reheat
Add a sprinkle (to your taste) of paprika and serve
Potato and Chilli Soup Ready to Eat
Serve with freshly baked crusty bread
Yet again another really easy and low calorie soup recipe that can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days as the portion size is enough to feed 4 easily. It was a little thick and may be more of a Winter-warmer soup than for the Summer, but it did taste great and I will be making it again even in the sunshine. The recipe could easily be adapted to include more stock or minimise the amount of potato used if you wanted a thinner soup.
However I still recommend that you try this soup and I would love to hear suggestions for other soups as I am always looking for inspiration.
Yesterday was a wet and windy day in Berlin, and we spent the afternoon putting off our trip to the supermarket, however, we had no food in the house. So I stared into my cupboards to try and decide what i could concoct from the ingredients we did have before deciding that biscuits would be the perfect accompaniment to a lazy Saturday afternoon on the sofa. My eye was caught by the large tin of Golden Syrup sitting in the cupboard so I thought I would try something new: Golden Syrup Biscuits, here is my recipe;
125g of Butter
55g of Caster Sugar
180g of Flour
1 Large tbsp of Golden Syrup
My Golden Syrup Biscuits still Warm from the Oven
Preheat the oven to 190
Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is smooth
Begin to stir in the flour in stages through a sive and contiune to mix together thoroughly
At this stage the mixture turns from a paste to a crumbly mixture here you will add the golden syrup before using your hands to create a ball with the mixture
The mixture is too sticky to roll out so pull a chunk of the dough off roll into a ball in your hands and flatten before placing on a baking tray lined with baking paper
Repeat until all of the dough is gone
Put into the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until golden
Leave to cool for 30 minutes
These biscuits were really delicious but did not last very long as they had a crumbly texture with a sticky after taste that just left your craving another biscuit. They were so quick and simple that another batch could be prepared fairly quickly if more were needed. I prefer making my own biscuits so much more than buying them from the shop now I realise how simple all of the different kinds are.
Making lunch today basically involved looking into our almost bare cupboards and thinking what can I make for lunch. Luckily it only took a few moments of scratching my head before a culinary moment came to me. However, I am still not quite sure what to call it so Pan Fried Savoury Cake will have to do for now;
125g of Peeled and Sliced Potato
75g of Mixed Vegetables (I used carrots, broccoli and cauliflower)
75ml of Milk
75g of Flour
Salt and Pepper to Taste
My Pan Fried Savoury Cake Ready to Turn
Firstly boil the potato and vegetables for 15 minutes they need to have begun to soften but not become crumbly
Then drain and fry in a little bit of oil for 10 minutes, make sure you turn them so they are fried on both sides
Then in a cup or bowl add the egg, flour and milk and mix with a fork until you have a consistent mixture
Season with salt and pepper then pour over the frying vegetables into the frying pan
Cook on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes whilst checking that is not starting to burn
Once the underneath is cooked turn the cake over – be very careful as it is likely to break up
Cook on the other side for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through
Cooked and Ready to Eat
I just knocked this up quickly for my lunch and it was really delicious, and now I will be making it again and experimenting with the ingredients. It was so easy to make, but now the hard part – thinking of a name! If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!
The following post is by a guest author from the blog that I was lucky enough to write for last month, this DIY Fortune Egg kit is really great fun and can be enjoyed by someone of all ages, I mean who doesn’t want a little bit of fortune in their life!
It may not be Easter at the moment but this little DIY is just too cute to make it only once a year. Plus you can easily decorate them for different holidays and occasions. They would make great Christmas tree decorations that you can break on Christmas morning, or wait until the sad time when the tree is taken down and break them then! Here is how to make them;
What you need:
Paper and pen
Paint and brush
Adding your Fortune
Make a hole in both the top and bottom of the egg and blow out the inside
Leave to dry over night
Cut paper into strips and write a fortune note/Christmas wish
Roll up and insert into egg
Paint the egg festive colors
Enjoy, give away and CRACK!
The Finished Product
Author Bio: Rosie Coker is a blogger with GetYourGuide.com, a tour and travel activities booking site with offices in Berlin, Zurich and LasVegas
Yesterday was Canada Day and I was invited around to my Canadian friends apartment for a ‘Happy Canada Day‘ party. There was a plentiful supply for food and drinks but I thought it would be rude to turn up empty handed so I made Fruit Tarts with White Chocolate Cream Filling. The idea for fruit tarts has been inspired by the hot summer we have been having here in Berlin this week and my craving for fruit as opposed to the usual need for chocolate. I have been seeing lots of these recipes about and wanted to try one for myself, I will admit this recipe has been adapted to make up for the slight kitchen disaster I had when the tarts collapsed in the oven, but I managed to save them and they still tasted great. So this is my recipe;
192g of Flour
113g of Butter
50g of Sugar
1/4 Tsp of Salt
200g of White Chocolate
4 Tsp of Icing Sugar
300g of Cream Cheese
50g of Strawberry’s
My Tart Shells Ready for the Oven
Combine the sugar, flour and salt in a bowl
Cut the butter into thin slices and add to the mixture
Mix together until it is crumbly
Add the egg and mix together until all of the ingredients are moistened and beginning to form together
Lightly press the mixture into a ball and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
After 30 minutes take out of the fridge and pull of a small chunk of the dough and press into a silicone mould with your fingers – be careful to keep the thickness consistent
Use a knife to trim any excess from around the top and repeat this process until all of the dough is used
Place into a preheated oven at 180C and cook for 20-25 minutes watching carefully as cooking times can vary
Remove from the oven and leave to cool
Whilst the tarts are cooling you can prepare the filling
Mix the cream cheese and icing sugar together in a bowl
In another glass bowl melt the white chocolate over a pan of simmering water
When all of the chocolate has melted add half of the cream chesses and stir thoroughly, then repeat with the rest of the cream cheese
Set side and slice up your kiwi and strawberry’s
One the tarts have cooled remove them from the mould carefully and fill with the white chocolate cream filling and place the desired fruit on top
Chill for 1 hour before serving
My Fruit Tarts with White Chocolate Cream Filling
These little tarts came out really well in the end, thankfully better than I had expected half way through. They were really delicious and not sickly so they were great to enjoy for Canada Day in a very hot and humid Berlin. If you are going to make these I would love to know how they come out for you, but be warned this recipe is time consuming and fiddly!