Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Colorful Couscous Salad

My husband didn't eat salad before we started dating. He flat out refused to eat it.

I, on the other hand love salad. So I, of course had to convince him that salads aren't evil. We started slowly, and I first showed him that salad doesn't necessarily need to be just green leafs.

I like almost every kind of salad, and have no problem with a few green leaves drizzled with a little vinegar, olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper. There are day that's all I need.

One of the salads that changed my husbands opinion is this wonderful, colorful and super easy to make couscous salad.

Just try it, it will convince many salad-sceptics!

Here's the recipe:
1/2 cup couscous
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chopped rosemary
pinch of ground pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup hot water
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 red bell peper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell peper, chopped
2/3 cup diced cucumber
1 Tomato, diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice, + more to taste
1tablespoon red vine vinegar
1 tablespoon + 1teaspoon olive oil

- Put the couscous, the herbs and salt in a bowl, use the bowl you'll be serving the salad in, add the hot water. After its soaked up by the couscous, which will happen within a few seconds, add the butter and stir in until completely melted.
- While the couscous cools, prepare bell peppers, cucumber, tomato and cilantro and add to the couscous when its completely cooled down. Pour lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil over and again stir to mix. Taste and add a little more lemon juice, salt or black pepper (or whatever else is lacking) if needed.
Now your ready to serve!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Bella Swan!

When reading (or listening to a audio book) I retreat into a different kind of reality, especially when reading a fantasy book (-series). I usually prefer the book, and audio books, over the movies. Movies just can't keep up to how the scenery and characters look like in my fantasy. And usually in the movies the stories are altered and abbreviated, I'm to geeky to be comfortable with that.
My husband refuses to watch movie adaptions of books I've read with me, because I can't stop my self from announcing every time a detail is just ALL WRONG!

I am a big fan of the twilight saga, the books, not the movies! I don't like how Bella is depicted as such a phlegmatic character almost without any emotions showing in her facial expressions. In the book she is described as a usually lively person who has a lot of emotions and does show them. 

Today is Bellas birthday! And those of you who know the story will know, the last time it was her birthday things went awry. So I thought I'll give it a try and give her another shot at having a bithdaycake.... After all she never got around to try the other one. And I felt bad for Alice, she tried so hard. As it was Alice who got the cake for Bella, it had to be pink and with a lot of roses! After all Alice is a real girly girl and never lets go an opportunity go by to try to turn Bella int one as well.

I asked myself what flavors would be appealing to Bella, since the stories are mostly about vampires there are not many food references, I decided raspberry and chocolate is a taste combination most people like.

The chocolate part is a devils food cake, just use your favorite recipe. For the pink layers I used a simple yellow cake recipe, but substituted part of the milk for raspberry puree. Between the layers is a chocolate ganache and the frosting is a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, again with raspberry puree.

So, I really hope I met Bellas taste and she enjoyed it!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Red Velvet II

So, as those few people who have visited this little blog of mine so far might have noticed I am new to this whole blogging world.
While playing around a little after my last post, I realized that all people who've seen my posts so far are from the US. That is why I decided to write in english from now on.

In my first post I wrote about how I'm trying to get used to living in the US by trying out new foods. I especially am fascinated by red velvet cakes (there's no red velvet in Germany;-)). Since there seem to be so many different styles/recipes and opinions to be found and heard, I started my own trial and selection process.

I am also fascinated by the multitude of cooking shows, after our arrival here I almost watched only the food network. Browsing around on food network homepage I had the idea to have my own 'throw down' and start my RV experiment series with the two recipes featured in the RV-episode from the show.
Last time I made the Bobby Flay version, which my husband and I really liked. I especially liked the frosting, I'm still not sure what it is called, white frosting, cooked frosting? Anyway, it was light and creamy... and this is not what this post is supposed to be about.

Finally yesterday I made the version by Cakeman Raven of the Cakeman Raven Confectionery, NYC. This time I didn't make any of the suggested alterations to the recipe, I thought I'll try to keep it as original as possible. To be honest, I was not completely convinced by this version. The color was not as rich as I would have wished for, also it has very little coco, so the taste doesn't come  really through. I know, I know! RV is not a chocolate cake, but still it should have this distinctive coco note.

For the cream cheese frosting, it was okay. Actually I really liked tasting it while I made it, but somehow with the cake I found it overpowering and to heavy.

 I realize my pictures are not exactly artistic and my cake decorating skills are nowhere comparable to what you can find out there in the blogosphere, but everything you see on this page is of my creation, unless marked otherwise.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Muscheln denken nicht also sind sie?

Wir wohnen seit einer Weile in der Nähe des Atlantiks und nutzen das aus um möglichst viel Freizeit am Strand zu verbringen. Wie viele andere Leute auch, kann ich mich bei Strandspaziergängen nicht zurückhalten und bin immer auf der Suche nach der perfekten Muschel.

Eines ist mir inzwischen klar: die perfekte Muschel gibt es nicht, dafür gibt es zu viele verschiedene Formen, Farben, Arten und Größen.

Bei einem unserer letzten Spaziergänge/Muschelsammeltour mit meinem Mann, haben wir uns gefragt aus was Muscheln nun eigentlich sind. Meine Vermutung dass es sich um eine Kalkmischung handelt hat meine spätere Wikirecherche bestätigt. Was mich aber besonders fasziniert hat ist das Muscheln zu den Kopflosen Tieren gehören. Bedeutet das sie haben kein Gehirn? (In dem Wiki-Artikel habe ich leider keine Infos zu einem zentralen oder periphären Nervensysthem gefunden.)

Das hat bei uns einige Fragen aufgeworfen. Wie steuert die Muschel ihre Muskeln um zu fresse, oder sich im Ozean auf dem Boden fortzubewegen. Woher weiß die Muschel dass sie gerade einem Fressfeind gegenüber steht und sich schleunigst aus dem Staub machen sollte. Oder realisiert das arme Muscheltier gar nicht das sein Leben in Gefahr ist?
Die Frage die wir uns stellten war also: kann eine Muschel denken? Oder ist sie einfach?

Also entgegen Descartes cogito, ergo sum?

Ob sie nun gezielt Gedanken haben, etwas beobachten und daraus Schlussfolgerungen ziehen, oder nicht, das es Muscheln gibt, sie existieren und sind, ist außer Frage.

Also geht es am Ende nur darum ob sich Muscheln, wie wir, der Tatsache bewusst sind das sie sind!?!