Monday, October 29, 2012

Gnocchi with Spinach-Cream Sauce by Ivonne

My dearest readers, dear friends! It's time to introduce the third participant in my "post pics of friends' food on the blog" project [check new label: friend's food project]. I got an e-mail from Ivonne who is my best friend's wife - she asked me to publish her newest dish on the blog! Even we know each other since only two years and even we had some misunderstandings at the beginning, I am sure we reached a totally new level of relationship after all. Knowing each other a better way and talking. And Ivonne's husband is my best friend, a brother I never had and someone who knows me since I was teenager. Together with Jimmy we had so much fun, studied together, laughed, drunk and traveled. Yes I would say we had the time of our lives together with our third close friend. What's funny everyone of us was so different, with different cultural backgrounds. But we were always there if the other was in need. And now, even two years after we all went our ways, we are still there. Skype, telephone, SMS, e-mail, yes we keep together. I hope maybe one day in the future our ways will cross again that we could just meet for a drink without flying through the half continent. And my only wish for the future is, that one day when we will be grey and old, or bold and old ;) - we will sit in a café somewhere in the Southern Countries, laughing and remembering the past. And that we will be able to look back and say with implicitness I [really] had a FRIEND. Thank you for everything guys and sorry for me being sometimes such a nudnik...

Now back to Ivonne's food, before I'll go too pathetic: Ivonne cooked some Italian Gnocchi [self made] with spinach-cream sauce and a Parmesan cheese-topping. Yummy!!!

Italian gnocchi with spinach-cream sauce and a Parmesan cheese-topping

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tatjana's Products - Salata Caprese, Pelmeni & Co.

Here are some more of Tatjana's culinary fruits and I can proudly present:

Upper right: zucchini with garlic and carrots, salata caprese (tomato-mozzarella), self preserved tomatoes with pears and sheep's cheese, Russian vinaigrette with beetroot, shrimps with white wine sauce; down left: Eggplants two way (Parmigiana and Aioli); down right: Pelmeni (Russian filled dumplings) with pepper vinegar and ravioli with zucchini and mushrooms-cream-sauce.

upper right: zucchini with garlic and carrots, salata caprese (tomato-mozzarella), self preserved tomatoes with pears and sheep's cheese, Russian vinaigrette with beetroot, shrimps with white wine sause; down left: Eggplants two way (Parmigiana and Aioli); down right: Pelmeni (Russian filled dumplings) with pepper vinegar and ravioli with zucchini and mushrooms-cream-sauce

French Toast with Antipasti, Winter Potatoes & Milan Cake

That's kind of an off-topic. I just wanted to show some new pictures. I decided that the devil won't get my soul this time and so soon so I'm keeping on drinking hot tea and hoping the cough will stop soon and I get my voice back. Yes, that's what I decided ;) It was also the first day since 4 days I left the flat. We had a wonderful afternoon - blessed with sun although it was soooooo cold. The evening came after 5 pm - thank you for the time change. Ugh...

Anyway my evening was kind of funny. Maybe you know the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Well, I knew it before but I'm watch it now. And they remind me sometimes my family. And that brings me one hour back. Talking to my dad on the phone he wanted to know some more about my grandmother's cousin living in Paris. Okay, so I called my granny and made a 3-way-conference, so my granny started with the whole story again. Me, bored.... decided meanwhile to bake a fast cake (my Milan cake). When my father and my granny finished - my cake was already in the oven.

The other thing is: yesterday I got the 60 pounds of Winter potatoes I ordered from a farmer to keep them in the cellar. I ordered extra 60 pounds for my friends and told the guy to deliver them. And later I got the message and imagine that deceit peasant told them that I ordered 120 pounds and they bought the story as well the 120 pounds potatoes!!! That's about the potatoes. I have a cooking book only about potatoes and I decided to cook one of those potato dishes once a week until March. That will be my second project, after publishing pics and dishes of my friends. I really can't wait for the weekends when I'll have time to try the recipes out of the book.

And because listening to that story on the phone for the third or fourth time, baking the cake, reading in the book about the nutrition facts of potatoes made me hungry - I made a quick toasts with cheese and carrots and cucumber antipasti. So, back to my film which I am still watching (the wedding just started) I say καληνύχτα and goodnight.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Egg salad & Carrots Antipasti

I am sick! Indeed I decided to write a small update of the food I cooked in the evening watching a film. I am so bored, that I am posting to kill the last hour before I can finally go to bed. I don't know why my body always reacts on different changes with fever or I get sick. It's always the same routine. I have a lot of work to do, some important projects or something I really have to mobilize 200% of myself. Few days after I finish a project/job or what else and the stress is less - my body gives up. Usually it takes me two days to go back to my normal condition. A few days ago I was celebrating my success and now... But to be honest, I knew that there's something coming. After very stressful 6 months I am looking forward for Christmas and I even ate some Christmas cookies (oh come on, I am sick and tired, it was the highlight of my day!!!). I got a stupid cold and I am bored like a mops! After I slept a lot and watched maybe 4 films during the day and read a little bit in a book I got hungry. I made the egg salad and the carrots antipasti. And I promise, when I only get well I will ban lemons out of my flat. I can't see, taste or even think about them!!! On the radio I heard an old song I think by Johnny Nash, the lyrics were: I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It’s gonna be a bright, bright, Sun-Shiny day. Is that not positive to listen to such words knowing: wow, it's true? Wish me good health!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tatjana's Sweets & Cakes

Tatjana sent me some pictures of sweets and cakes she made. As you can see on the first collage, this are different kind of écclair: chocolate éclair with crème légère, caramel éclair with coffee creme and fruit éclairs with mint. On the second collage from upper left: brownies with red wine; upper right: sweets à la Napoléon + pasta di Mandorla + mousse au chocolat, below left: cherry cake; below right: cherry cake with apple bars. As you can see, Tatjana was going very French and international. Welcome to our small Europe.

Chocolate éclair with crème légère, caramel éclair with coffee creme and fruit éclairs with mint
Upper left: brownies with red wine; upper right: sweets à la Napoléon + pasta di Mandorla + mousse au chocolat, below left: cherry cake; below right: cherry cake with apple bars

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Feta Pasta & Sparkling Wine - Oh What a Happy Day

It was MY evening! I am so happy! Since Saturday a couple of things happened - of personal nature, of future nature and and and! I decided to have a celebration and cooked my favourite dish: feta pasta. Easy easy easy. This recipe was my invention. Just cook the pasta. Meanwhile make the sauce out of a can of crushed tomatoes, herbs and spices, garlic and a piece of feta. Stew it for the while and add the pasta. I thing I've posted this recipe before. So, my supper was delicious and because of the things I wanted to celebrate I "killed" a bottle of sparkling wine (oh it was strong...). I went patriotic and bought a Henkell which comes from the winery located in our poshy and beautiful state capital Wiesbaden (Wikipedia). And believe me, Wiesbaden is really a great spa town where Romans, kings and earls and the polite and high society of the 19th century came for holidays. Long story short: I had reasons to be happy and to be proud of myself and I decided to say a good health on myself. So PROST! - CHEERS! for my future!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pasta and there's no basta!

It looks as my project of inviting some of my friends to help me with the blogs is turning to be a success. I've got a lot of pictures and descriptions of food my friends make. First of all I'd like to introduce my friend Tatjana. She is of those silent chefs who cook their dishes in the darkest corners of their kitchens and later comes a BOOM!!! - You'll be served a perfect dinner. How crazy is that??? You think you're a great amateur chef and later comes out someone else seems to be a real semi-professional one! Say it loud my friend: Cooking is not only your passion but it's your secret day job! As long as long you won't torture me with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (Wikipedia) again and anymore, I'll keep your secret and won't tell other people how great you cook and how I like visiting you both in your "old bakery".

Tatjana's also the one I lost the last cooking battle and I am still proud for that. The food was too tasty! I'd also like to say thank you at this point - for everything.

For the beginning some pictures of pasta, as Tatjana wrote: Our experiments after we bought a pasta machine.

Ravioli mit fresh curd cheese and zucchini-haselnut filling
Chocolate pasta with cherries and Nutella (chocolate + nut cream), and fettuccine below

Monday, October 22, 2012

Zucchini & Bell Pepper Stew

This is a recipe of my friend Wanda who asked me to publish it on my blog. Enjoy the tasty pictures - it's something I only can do since we are living in different countries and I had no chance to try the dish.
  • one bigger zucchini (you can take two smaller ones)
  • two bell peppers (yellow and red)
  • a big onion
  • one big clove of garlic
  • a small can of very concentrated tomatoes (tomato paste)
  • one cup red wine (dry)
  • salt, pepper, oil
  • some fresh tomatoes
  • some fresh basil
  1. Peel the zucchinis (if you take young ones, you can skip this step). Cut them in pieces of 1/2" (1 cm). Salt them and leave them aside for a while until the juice will pour out.
  2. Cut the onion and bell peppers in pieces of the same thickness
  3. Oil a pan and add the bell peppers, onion and garlic. Add the tomato paste and the red wine. Cover the pan with a lid and stew it on small power.
  4. Take a second pan and oil it. Roast the zucchinis.
  5. Put the roasted zucchinis over the bell peppers in the second pan. Garnish the dish with the fresh tomatoes and basil.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Home Made Bread

I've got a bread baking machine since 2003 and it's 9 years already I am baking bread by myself. At the beginning I used and bought ready bread mix. But soon I discovered that the bread's never the way it looks on the picture and tastes strange. So I started some experiments and I invented my own bread recipe. You can use herbs or skip the sunflower seeds or the onions, but I like the taste of MY bread. If you don't have a bread baking machine - you can probably make the dough the way you would make a yeast dough. But it will take more time and energy to make it. I like the bread baking machine because I really add the ingredients to the mixing bowl (which takes 5 minutes) and after 3 hours I take a fresh baked bread out. Now I would like to share my recipe with you - it is one of the recipes I could recite even if you wake me up in the middle of the night. And to all metric users: excuse that strange gram and ml specifications, but I always used the imperial system for this recipe.
  • 18 oz (2 1/4 lb / 510 g) flour
  • 12 fl. oz (340 ml) water
  • 3/4 oz (21 g - it's a half of a German yeast cube) fresh yeast
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (don't forget it! Otherwise the bread will taste really awful)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • a half handful of sun flower seeds
  • less than a half handful of roasted onions
  1. Mix the water + sugar + yeast for a while with a spoon. Pour it to the baking machine pan
  2. Add the olive oil
  3. Add seeds and onions (or herbs or what else you want)
  4. Add the flour
  5. Add the salt
  6. Use the "normal" programme of the bread baking machine (3 hours) with the "dark" option. After a while the machine will do it job check the dough with a spoon. If it is too dry, add one or two extra tablespoons of water. It depends on the flour. That's why the amount of water I wrote is the minimum you will need but I can not guarantee you won't have to add some extra. The dough should not be dry or too hard. It should have the consistence of chewing gum after you chew it for 5 minutes ;) - sorry I had no idea how to describe it. That's why I wrote, check it with a spoon and you will get the "right" feeling.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Garlic in Olive Oil

Do you know the problem with garlic when you buy some and after a few weeks you can not use it anymore because it got soft or dried out? I love garlic and I use a lot of it in my cuisine but I am always too lazy to peel one clove of garlic and later to clean the garlic press with a match. But I found out how to make it easier. Once in a while when I am running out of garlic I buy a bigger amount and chop it in a food processor. I put it into a jar and add as much olive oil to cover the garlic (you can of course use any other oil). I keep the jar in the fridge and every time I need some garlic I use a teaspoon or more for my meals. Sometimes it's good to add some extra olive oil if it runs out. Easy? Yes. But the best will come now: You can keep the ready garlic for a couple of weeks in the fridge, so feel free to make bigger amounts at once. I know this garlic-trick from my Israeli friend.

It takes me about a half hour to make it. Usually I am watching a thriller on TV so I do not have the feeling I am spending too much time in the kitchen. And there is one trick I read on the Internet about peeling garlic - put it for about 20 minutes to cold water. Peeling it will be very easy. So take a look on the pictures.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sponge Apple Pie / Apple Cake

It's nice to hear from my friends that they like my blog. And it's double as nice when my friends send me some pictures and recipes and ask me to publish them online. That's a pleasure to me and I'm going to start a new project: publishing some stuff of and for my friends. This time I'd like to introduce my friend Wanda from Warsaw. She's a great chef and I enjoy the food she makes. I'd like to say thank you at this point for the hospitality every time I'm coming to the Polish capital. And because I like Warsaw a much I'm going there again for a few days in November. So thank you for the sleep overs my friend and for the support this Summer! Okay, here comes the recipe for the tasty apple cake - it's a sponge apple cake:
  • 4 eggs
  • 7 oz (200 g) sugar
  • 8 3/4 oz (250 g) flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 1/4 lbs (1 kg) apples
  • some ginger and cinnamon
  • some butter for the baking pan
  1. Cover the bottom of the baking pan with baking paper. Butter the baking pan.
  2. Clean the apples, peel them and cut into quarters or smaller. Put the apples to the baking pan.
  3. Mix the eggs with the sugar with a blender or in a food processor. Add the flour + baking powder.
  4. Add the ginger and cinnamon.
  5. Pour the mixture over the apples in the baking pan.
  6. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes (you'll have to check if a stick of wood you pick into the cake will be dry) at 190°C (375°F)
  7. After the cake's cooled down, you can sprinkle the cake with some powdered sugar.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Banana Cake With Chocolate

In the last time I was so busy with preparing my presentation I hold yesterday that although I cooked some delicious stuff and made a cake, I had no time to share it with you. Today (October 21st - I've dated the post on Oct 13th the day I made the cake) we have a wonderful Autumn day. The afternoon sun is shining into my flat and I took the time to go on with the blog. Last Saturday I made a banana & chocolate cake. I got the recipe from my cousin. It was tasty but it was a quite small cake. Next time I will double the amount of the ingredients and take 4 or five eggs. Here's the original recipe I made:

  • 3 1/2 oz (100 g) butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 3/4 oz (110 g) sugar
  • 1 vanilla sugar (or some vanilla extract)
  • 3 3/4 oz (110 g) flour
  • 1 oz (30 g) potato starch
  • 3 tsp. backing powder
  • 2 bananas
  • a pinch of powdered ginger and clove
  • 1 3/4 oz (50 g) baking chocolate
  1. Mix the eggs + sugar  + vanilla sugar (extract) + soft butter
  2. Add flour + potato starch + baking powder. You'll get a quite firm dough. If it's too firm, add maybe one tablespoon milk.
  3. Add the spices
  4. Cut the chocolate in very small pieces and add it to the dough
  5. Cut the bananas in small pieces and add them at the end. Mix it with the dough.
  6. Pu the cake into a small round 10 1/4" (26 cm) baking pan.
  7. Bake it for about 60' (check the cake after 50', it could be ready) at 180°C (355°F).
As I said, I will double all the ingredients next time because it was really the smallest cake I have ever made in my life. Then you can a bigger baking pan or a square one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Marinated Carrots - Italian Antipasti

I bought two pounds of carrots yesterday because I wanted to make some antipasti. I like everything that's marinated and I love every kind of antipasti I can eat as snack or supper with some fresh bread. Preparing the marinated carrots is very easy - it takes maybe 30 minutes, so I am going to share the recipe with you.
  • 1lb 5 oz (600 g) carrots
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 1/2 fl oz (1/4 cup / 70 ml) white vinegar (or aceto balsamico)
  • 4 fl oz (1/2 cup / 120 ml) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano or basil
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (be carefull not to add too much!!!)
  1. Clean/peel the carrots (the amount of 21 oz carrots in the recipe means that they were already peeled)
  2. Cook them al dente in a pot for a couple of minutes. You'll have to check it. I cooked the carrots in the pressure cooker for 2 minutes and left it after I switched off the stove for 4 minutes to cool them down.
  3. In the meantime prepare the marinade. Mix the vinegar + oil + spices + herbs + salt + squeezed garlic in a bowl.
  4. Cut the carrots in half or quarters (it depends how thick they are) and then into pieces of about 2 inches.
  5. Add the carrots to the marinade and mix it well together.
  6. Keep the antipasti for one day or over night in the fridge.
  7. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Apple Purée aka. Apfelmus - The Smell of the Autumn

There is one thing I really remember from my childhood - Apfelmus. That's also one of those words I don't want to translate - I explain it but later I use it in my mother tongue. It's like music in my ears - it reminds me my childhood and the smell of the cooked apples from the past times. In no other language I get those feelings - only if I say or hear Apfelmus. We always made apple purée because we had a big tree with apples and home made Apfelmus was always in our pantry. It's easy to cook apple purée. You need apples, some water, sugar and (if you like) cinnamon. The easiest way is to clean the apples and cut the inner out. Cover the apples with a little bit with water and cook it in a big pot until the apples crush. That's the way I remember from my parental home. We always cooked the apples in a ca. 8 gallon big pot. Now there are two ways to make Apfelmus (it depends how much apples you want to cook)

Apfelmus for preserving (in big amounts - traditional way):

That's a traditional German recipe for Apflemus the way it was made at our home since generations. Take a big amount of apples. Clean them, cut the inner out, add some water and cook them covered in an enormous pot until they're really crushed. Purée the apples with a food mill. If you like, add now as much sugar as sweet you want your Apfelmus. If not, skip this step and add the sugar after you open a jar to serve it. Put the purée into cleaned preserving jars and pasteurise it for about 20 minutes in a preserving pot. Keep it cool in a dark place. You can use Apfelmus as compote or a sauce for potato pancake or as a topping for a cake.

Apfelmus the fast way (my way - up to 20 lbs apples):

I do all the steps with the except that I do not have an apple tree on my balcony and enormous amounts of left apples. So I make some Apflemus the fast way out of 20 pounds of organic apples from the farmer's market - if I had more apples I would go the traditional way with a big pot and a food mill. That's enough for me for the whole Winter and Apfelmus is the only compote I really like and can eat with everything. I cook the apples in my pressure cooker and later I purée them with an immersion blender. Using a pressure cooker I'm adding less water than in a normal pot because it's not evaporating than if you do it the traditional way. I add some sugar and freeze it in small portions in the freezer. If I have bigger amounts I also use small jars and pasteurise. I'm always adding the sugar and cinnamon before serving because I don't want cinnamon or sugar in every dish. That's all - easy easy easy ;)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chili, Mushrooms & Pumpkin Seeds

I'd like to share with you three freebies I got last week. First of all: mushrooms from the forest I got from my aunt. Second: chili from the garden of my parents' neighbours. And third: pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin ;). Everything was for free! I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to my aunt for the mushrooms and to Mrs. M. for the chili. That was really sweet of you. I still did not find a place for the chili in my kitchen so I hang it on the nail of the calendar. But I am sure it won't take long and I'll cook some very delicious dishes using the mushrooms and the chili. I already have an idea for the last - a lentil chili.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Alicia's Perfect Egg Salad

Yesterday after I saw the recipe for a perfect egg salad at Culinary Bliss run by Alicia, I decided to cook it too. I had organic eggs my parents brought from a local farm, I had pickles which are as well organic and home made - so there was no problem to recook it. Unluckily I run out of mayonnaise I would add for sure to an egg salad but I had some yogurt. So I took the yogurt instead. I used salt and pepper and some capers. Next time I'll add some fresh parsley and capers too. The salad is VERY TASTY!!! I'll enjoy it with fresh bread in a few minutes. Thank you Alicia for that simple idea!

Cabbage Pasta - Krautnudeln

That's a dish I personally love a lot. It's called Krautnudeln in German and I tried it for the first time at my neighbours. This dish comes from the former German Sudeten Territories (for those who aren't common with European history, it's in the Czech Republic now). My neighbour and good friend was a great chef and housewife with great ideas for easy and delicious dishes. I still can't believe that she has passed away in the Summer of 2010.

Just chop the cabbage and put it to a pot together with a little bit butter and roast it until the water from the cabbage is gone and the cabbage will get sometimes a little bit brown (roasted). It will take about 20 minutes to get the cabbage roastet. The first 15 minutes the water of the cabbage will flash off, later you will need to agitate the cabbage every 30 seconds not to burn it too much. In the meantime cook the pasta and add it to the roasted cabbage at the end. Add pepper and salt as spices. Serve it with yogurt or some cream. That's all!

Update 9th October 2012: I made Krautnudeln again. I arrived back in my flat yesterday evening and I had absolutely nothing to eat at home. The first thing I did today morning was going to the supermarket to buy some food. After I saw the cabbage in the vegetables corner I knew what I am cooking today. I'd like to add, that you do not have to worry if the cabbage scorches on the bottom of the pot. That's okay - you will get that roast flavour you need for the Krautnudeln. So it's important to take a pot with a thick bottom (sandwich) or a cast iron one. My heart bled watching my expensive Fissler pot with burned cabbage on its' bottom - but I know that Fissler quality bites it all and it will be no problem to clean it and get it shiny again (You don't know Fissler? That's German quality at its' best. Here's a link to their website). You will need a little bit more salt you probably usual use - but as we say in German, one time is no time. I took Swabian tagliatelle pasta. The pictures of the cooking steps of the latest Krautnudeln are below the old one. I used only the half of a big cabbage (1,5 kg/ 3 lbs) and a half package of pasta (250 g/ 1/2 lb) and that enough to feed 3-4 people. I will share it today with a friend and still have enough for my lunch tomorrow.

Old picture

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chopping Woods with Doggie's Help

It's always the same game since 10 years - try to do some gardening and our dog will be for sure your companion. The days are sunny but the evenings are getting colder. It's still not the time to turn on the central heating but it's nicer to make some fire in the fire place. I'm enjoying it every day because I do not have a fire place in my own flat so that's why I love spending time in my parents' house so much (of course, not only because of the fire place;)). And it's a fact and everybody knows that every big fire starts with a small piece of wood you have to bring to burn. There's a small problem when you're running out of the small woods someone chopped for you before and you have to do it by yourself. The guy my mom hires from time to time to do small things in the garden or to chop the woods, couldn't come. And so the only thing I could do was DOING IT BY MYSELF. Chopping wood was maybe not the biggest problem for a big city guy like me but taking care not to chop our dog. He wanted to help me so much that I had to think for us both - not to cut my legs off and not to kill the dog. He really wanted to play Révolution française by being like Marie Antoinette at the scaffold. Finally we (I mean: I) succeed and I got some small woods I could start the fire. But... It was worth it, the evening was so nice and romantic.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkin Soup à la Pushkin

If you read my previous post you will know I was very busy in the kitchen with cooking the pumpkin and our cat - Pushkin was my helper. I made a soup out of the pumpkin later, here's the recipe, because it was really easy to do it.

  • I cooked potatoes, celery, carrots, leek, parsley and an onion in the pressure cooker for a couple of minutes.
  • I puréed it and added some salt, pepper, fresh parsley, and other herbs and the purée of the pumpkin I made earlier.
  • I added 6 oz (200 g) yogurt and some milk
  • I served it with French Toasts
And no, Pushkin got no try of my soup :)

Cooking a Pumpkin with Alexander Pushkin

Believe it or not - today I cooked a pumpkin for the very first time in my life. After we had so many pumpkins in our garden, I decided to cook something out of them and once not using them for decoration my mother always does. I am still in my parents' house and I enjoy it. My mom has a big kitchen and now with that induction stove top which works even faster than gas, it's a pleasure to cook something. Okay, back to the pumpkin: I decided to start my pumpkin experience with the smallest pumpkin we had in the garden. I found a recipe on the Internet and I decided to cook it in the pressure cooker. I cleaned the pumpkin, took out the seeds and put it to the pressure cooker. It took me about 20 minutes one portion because since the switch to induction only the old enamel pressure cooker works and the newer and better stainless-steel Fissler not. After 20 minutes in the pot the pumpkin was ready, I took it out and peeled with a fork. At the end I puréed the mass in the food processor and made a soup - the recipe will be posted in a separate post. 

My helper in the kitchen was my parents' cat whose name is [Alexander] Pushkin. He was observing me and maybe thinking: what's that crazy guy doing there at the stove stop. Pushkin is exactly 13 months old and on the best way to be a very beautiful British Short Hair cat. Enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hungary - People, Cuisine & Impressions

Jó napot kívánok! Hello from Hungary! Mosonmagyaróvár and Győr are two cities in Hungary I saw yesterday. We decided not to go to Budapest this time but reserve 3 days only for the city during the next trip. We thought it would be better to go directly to Budapest next time, stay there for a couple of days and explore the city "the right way". So this time we were exploring the terrain in Western Hungary. Hungary is great although the language is unspeakable for me. The city of Győr has a great old town in Renaissance style - the city was rebuilt in the 16th century after the invasion of the Turks in this part of Europe. The cuisine in Hungary is still Austro-Hungarian style and the coffee in the cafés called Kávéház taste exactly as the Wiener Melange in Vienna. I was not able to take every time pictures from the delicious foods and drinks - I must be honest now, sometimes I was so hungry that I forgot about it... The Hungarian cuisine is full of meat in all it's diversity. I found backed cheese with potatoes and a big portion of salad - it was the only vegetarian meal I was able to get. Hungarians are very polite. A lot of them spoke German - a really good German and it was absolutely no problem to communicate - I did it in German and English. We had some problems with the parking machine on the street and a young lady just stopped, asked us in a perfect German if we need help and explained us how to buy the parking ticket. I can't imagine someone in Germany would stop and offer someone some help only if he hears that the other person must be a foreigner who maybe needs help. We were as well blessed with the weather - 27°C (80°F) on October 1st is not a standard in Middle Europe. Enjoy the pictures and so long I am happy about the thought of going back to Hungary soon, next time to Budapest.

Just a small bakery and shop in Mosonmagyaróvár

Györ + my baked cheese

I learned a few rules of Hungarian to be able to read the words the proper way

Monday, October 1, 2012

Postcards from Vienna - Grüße aus Wien

Vienna mon amour! What is so great about Vienna? Nearly everything! I always enjoyed to listen to the Viennese accent in German - on day no. 2 I started to imitate it! It comes by itself! I always had a very good "ear" for languages and for different dialects and accents. The second thing I love is the feeling of being abroad but still being "at home". Maybe because there's absolutely no language barrier and listening to Viennese I am getting more and more excited about the opulence of my own mother tongue and the beauty of German. It's a pity that the local dialect in Frankfurt sounds so weird and let's be honest, it's not the best German can offer (but believe me, there are some worse!) - And Viennese German is so melodic... I want to turn Viennese and leave that standard German we are forced to use in Germany behind me ;) Close to the cathedral the Stehpansdom I found a Manner shop. I do not eat to much sweets but I will never say NO to anything made by Manner... Here's the link Yes, I will come back soon and not every ten years. Here are the postcards from Vienna the way I see it.

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