Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

In one of my recent What I Ate Wednesday posts I showed you a picture of semolina pudding, known as Grießbrei here in Germany. This is a traditional dessert or snack that is very easy to prepare. You could even enjoy it as breakfast!


Sweet semolina pudding

To prepare this wholesome treat you only need a handful of ingredients and a few minutes, so it’s a great option to satisfy a spontaneous dessert craving. Or you could enjoy it as an alternative breakfast item.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings



  • 2 cups milk, e.g almond milk, rice milk, full-fat cow’s milk
  • 1/4 cup semolina (Weichweizengrieß)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • a dash of salt


Pour milk of choice into a pot and carefully bring it to a gentle boil. Add all remaining ingredients and thoroughly stir with a whisk. Reduce heat to low and keep whisking. The mixture will look very thin but it will firm up within a few minutes. Don’t stop whisking or the pudding will burn!

After about five minutes the pudding should be firm and creamy. If not, keep cooking on low temperature and whisk regularly until it has reached the desired consistency.

Serve either warm or chilled, topped with your favorite fruit. Cherry compote or apple sauce are great options to start.

Note that this pudding will firm up even more after cooling.

I’ve decided to link up this recipe in Laura’s Strange but good round-up, as I assume that semolina is a rather strange ingredient to my non-German readers.


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Since discovering this fruit cake recipe in a German cookbook about ten years ago, I’ve made this cake every winter at least once. I just love its heartiness and rich spicy, fruity flavor.

I’ve modified the original recipe a little, to match my own preferences, and now it is free of several common allergens.

This fruit cake is:

  • dairy-free
  • vegan
  • low-fat
  • free of refined sugar
  • potentially nut free, if you omit the almond flour


Spiced Apple Fruit Cake

This recipe yields a very dense, hearty loaf, filled to the brim with juicy fruits and seasonal spices. While this cake doesn’t contain any refined sugar, it’s still sweet enough for my taste buds, thanks to all the dried fruit and grated apples. If you prefer your baked goods to be on the sweeter side, feel free to add honey, maple syrup, or your favorite wholesome sweetener.

Prep time: 20 minutes + a few hours of soaking time

Baking time: 45-50 minutes

Yield: One big loaf



  • 3 cups mixed dried fruit, chopped (e.g. raisins, figs, apricots)
  • 1 cup water or apple juice
  • 1 Tbsp rum (optional)
  • 3 medium-sized sweet apples (e.g. gala, fuji, pink lady)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (optional)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla bean


Chop up the dried fruit into 1-inch pieces, put into a bowl and add water or juice and optional rum. Mix and let soak in the fridge for a few hours or over night.

Combine flours, baking powder, cocoa powder, and all dry spices in a separate bowl. Grate the apples (note: I like to leave on the skin, but feel free to peel them) and add them to the dried fruit. Mix wet and dry ingredients, including soaking liquid, and stir until just combined. The dough will be very dense and heavy.

Pour the cake batter into a greased loaf pan, and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is done when the top starts to brown and the edges come away from the pan. The inside of the cake will still be very wet and appear undercooked, but that’s okay.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Then flip the pan and remove the cake, and wrap it in tin foil while it’s still warm. Let it rest for a few hours.

This cake is best kept in the fridge, tightly wrapped in tin foil.

Note: I recommend using unsulfured, unsweetened dried fruits. A mix of raisins, apricots, and figs is what I normally use in this cake, but you could also add cranberries, dates, mangoes or any other kind of dried fruit.


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Confession: I love coffee and have about two cups per day, but I don’t own any kind of coffee maker and I haven’t been to a coffee shop in ages. What?!

I usually get my coffee fix in the form of instant espresso, which is incredibly convenient and surprisingly delicious. But whenever I feel fancy, I brew a cup or two of Turkish coffee. This special kind of drink is not only available in Turkey, but also in many other countries along the Eastern Mediterranean coast, ranging from Croatia to Egypt.


My husband has been a fan of Turkish coffee for a very long time, and I fell in love with it during our last trip to Croatia and Bosnia two years ago. When we returned from that trip, I immediately jumped into the next Turkish grocery store (thankfully, there are quite a few around here), and bought everything I needed to make Turkish coffee at home, which is just a small boiling pot with a long handle and a can of ground coffee.


The term Turkish coffee refers to the method of preparation, not a special kind of coffee bean. The beans are roasted as usual and then ground to a very fine powder, finer than for any other way of preparation. To make the coffee you simply fill the pot with cold water and heat it on the stove. When the water is hot, but not boiling, stir in the coffee powder and as much sugar as you like. Those coffee pots come in different sizes, mine holds three servings, and you usually need one teaspoon of coffee powder per serving. Bring the mixture to a boil again, but watch out, it might boil over. Don’t stir the coffee at this point, as the foam on top is considered the best part of it. Remove the coffee from the heat and let it cool down a little. You can reheat the pot one or two more times. Be sure that the coffee doesn’t boil too long, because that will result in an unpleasant burnt taste.


Pour the Turkish coffee into small cups, espresso cups or shot glasses will do, and serve immediately. This kind of coffee is not filtered, so you need to wait a little to let the coffee grounds sink to the bottom of the cup or glass. But don’t wait too long, as Turkish coffee is best when it’s really hot.


This drink is traditionally served throughout the day, from before breakfast to after dinner.

I love the mild, smooth taste of Turkish coffee, but I also love that it’s relatively easy to prepare, and you don’t need any fancy, expensive equipment. The #strangebutgood part is the fact that you don’t filter the coffee, so a thick layer of sludgy grounds is left behind at the bottom of the cup.

Have you ever tried Turkish/Greek/Arabian coffee?

See you!

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Actually, this is not really a recipe, and it’s not even my idea, I just can’t remember where I saw it first. But I wanted to share this delicious creation with you anyway.

I’ve been craving eggplants lately, probably due to a certain beautiful curry recipe. 😉

This cute side dish is very versatile. You can add all of your favorite toppings, and you could even use zucchini as the base instead of eggplant.


Eggplant Pizza Minis


  • 1 medium eggplant
  • tomato sauce or ajvar (I used the latter)
  • a few fresh basil leaves, cut into thin stripes
  • salt and pepper
  • veggie deli slices, optional
  • nutritional yeast or cheese

Cut the eggplant into slices, about 1/2 inch thick. Heat a large frying pan to medium-high heat. Pour a little oil into the pan and fry the eggplant slices on both sides for a few minutes until they are soft and slightly browned. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

Place the eggplant slices on a plate and top them with sauce, basil, and nutritional yeast. Add some extra toppings, if you like, and put the plate under a broiler, if you like your pizza minis extra hot.

Wednesday night I ate the whole batch with my dinner, so I’d say the recipe yields one serving. What can I say, I love vegetables. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

See you!

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Last weekend I had a random craving for a green smoothie. I raided my kitchen and found a few promising ingredients, but nothing green. And it was Easter, which means that all grocery stores were closed. Dang!

But then I remembered the sturdy basil plant on my window sill, that simply refuses to die, despite my brown thumb. Lightbulb moment!

I’ve read and heard about using basil in desserts, but I’ve never been brave enough to try it myself. Until now, that is.

I don’t really measure my smoothie ingredients, I simply toss and taste as I go. Here’s what went into the blender, all amounts are guesstimated.


Green Colada Smoothie

  • 2 small bananas, sliced and frozen
  • A small can of pineapple rings, plus a dash of pineapple juice
  • Half a can of full-fat coconut milk
  • Half a scoop of vanilla-flavored protein powder
  • Three large basil leaves

This makes one large serving or two smaller ones. The protein powder is optional, of course, I’m just trying to use up the giant bag I bought last year. I only used very little basil, as I didn’t want the flavor to be too strong. It was enough to turn the smoothie lightly green, just as I had hoped.

So, how was the taste? Unusual, but delicious! I was pleasantly surprised. If my basil plant keeps up the good fight, I’ll try adding its leaves to other smoothie creations. I’ve heard it goes quite well with strawberries.

Have you ever tried basil in a dessert?

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Adventures In {Bread} Baking

About two weeks ago, during my little staycation week, I found a bread baking mix in one of our local grocery stores. The ingredient list looked really good, just whole spelt flour, dry yeast, dry sourdough, salt, and sugar, so I spontaneously picked it up. The process of making bread from scratch intimidates me a little, and I thought that using a little help should make it easier.


For one loaf of bread I mixed half of the contents of that bag with 1 1/3 cups of warm water. The dough looked a bit too sticky, so I added a little more spelt flour, but that was probably not a good idea. I kneaded the dough for about ten minutes. With my hands! My shoulders were on fire.


When the dough finally looked smooth, I put it into a bowl (yes, mine is pink), covered it with a clean dish towel, and let it sit on the counter to rise for an hour. Or three. I don’t remember.


After resting for a while, my dough had doubled in size. I briefly kneaded it once more and then put it into a floured loaf pan. I covered it all with a dish towel, again, and let it sit in a warm place for one more hour.


Eventually, the dough had expanded even more, and was finally ready to be baked. I brushed the top of the loaf with a little water and put the pan into my pre-heated oven.


About 45 minutes later it was done. Finally! Looking at it, I maybe baked it a bit too long, but it still turned out quite nicely.


So, what did it taste like? The result was a rather dense and chewy kind of bread, not as fluffy as I had hoped. Maybe because I added too much flour? But taste-wise I’d say it was a success. It was quite delicious, and even my husband ate it without complaining. I still have a few slices left in the freezer and will surely enjoy them when I run out of fresh bread.

This may look like a very lengthy process, but in fact it only takes about 15 minutes of active work, the rest is just waiting.

Will I do it again? Absolutely! While I’m quite pleased with the result, I know it could be even better. The other half of the bag is still in my pantry, ready for another experiment.

Edited to add: Over the weekend, I put a few frozen slices into my toaster oven, and they turned out perfectly crunchy and delicious!

Have you ever tried baking bread? How did it turn out?

See you!

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If you have been reading my blog for a while, you have probably noticed that I tend to eat lots of salads. Despite the fact that the temperatures have been below freezing almost constantly during the past few weeks, I’m still craving fresh produce on a daily basis.

But even the tastiest greens need an equally tasty dressing. I’ve been making variations of this basic dressing for quite a long time, so I guess I need to finally share my recipe. I love that this dressing is so smooth and creamy, even without a single drop of dairy in it.

Lunch Salad

Creamy Tahini Dressing

This recipe is just a template, so feel free to experiment with your favorite nut or seed butters, vinegars, sweeteners, and herbs. In my opinion, this dressing pairs well with any kind of salad.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: Makes about 1-2 servings



  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh, frozen, or dried herbs, e.g. dill, basil, parsley, etc.


Pour the first four ingredients into a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Gradually add vinegar and water and keep mixing until the dressing looks smooth. Finally, season to taste with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs.

The dressing keeps well in the fridge for at least 2-3 days.


If you don’t like tahini, you could use almond butter instead. For an Italian twist, add balsamic instead of apple cider vinegar, and add some basil and/or oregano.


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