Tag Archives: Germany

Views from Germany

Cherry Blossoms and Buddist Prayer Banners

I came back recently from a trip to Amsterdam and Nürnberg, Germany and I have had a really hard time getting back into the swing of regular life which includes posting here. I have been working on making a mini city guide for Amsterdam but it has not gotten far.

View from Burg Pottenstein

View from Burg Pottenstein

Until I get my act together and actually get the city guide made and a few other posts I have on the back burner here are some pretty photos from Germany!

Burg Pottenstein
Burg Pottenstein

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Amsterdam & Germany: May 11, 2013

Breakfast in Amsterdam
Mini Pancakes for Breakfast

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Beers in the sun at Cafe Kalkhoven

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Brunch time
Eggs Royale
Greenwoods, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Apple Cake at winkel
Apple Cake and Coffee
Winkel, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Gouda & Tomato Open faced Sandwich

Beurs Van Berlage Cafe, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Pork Shoulder, Sauerkraut, and Kloss
Traditional Franconia Restaurant in Pottenstein, Germany

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An Ode to Travelling by Air

You disembark from the ground transportation that brought you here, you stand waiting while the large sliding glass doors open and you are suddenly met with the sounds from within. You hear the click clack, click clack of plastic wheels rolling across slick tile, the dull echo of hundreds of voices reverberating off the floors and the walls, that feeling of excitement, anticipation, and joy that you are so close to somewhere else, somewhere new, somewhere exciting all rush in to consciousness all at once. You have arrived at the airport with passport in hand and suitcase in tow, where anything is possible and the whole world awaits you.

Istanbul

That initial rush of excitement quickly fades to the rigours of the procedure, of the process, Where do I check in? Where is Security? Is the line long? Did I leave myself enough time? but still harbored in the back of your mind is the happiness of being there and leaving your life behind to travel somewhere far away. The routines continue and boarding begins, you get your ticket scanned and walk the tarmac to the plane, you look for your seat to find someone sitting in the wrong one, you ask them to move and take your place and await for take off.

 

Cortlandt Alley

The flight might be long and being 6 feet tall you are perpetually uncomfortable on planes but the discomforts are bearable for the rewards of the destinations. Being somewhere new and connecting with long lost friends is worth all the pain and annoyance in the world. Hours upon hours later you land hopefully at your destination and not a layover somewhere.
Oh but this time you have a layover and oh no you once again booked flights with tight timing you race for the gate of your next flight hoping that you do not miss the connection. You make it with time to spare because oh guess what your flight has been delayed… of course. Eventually you board and into the air you go once again killing the time until you finally arrive at your final destination.

Church

Once you land and disembark you go about the process the same regardless of where you have ended up. First stop customs, to go wait forever in line just to have your passport stamped, then off to baggage claim where even after having to wait forever for customs your bag still has not come through. Finally it comes and then you are off to find your way to wherever you are going. Maybe you are lucky and someone picks you up in a car, maybe you have to navigate public transit, or maybe just maybe you take a cab if you are feeling extravagent. If you are somewhere new this can be a nerve racking and stressful part of the journey but eventually after much confusion and drama you figure it out and off you go into the grand unknown finally feeling at peace that you have made it and eager for the adventures that await.

*Please note all the photos in this post are my personal photos, please do not use without consent*

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Wanderlust

Paris
Paris, France March 2011

Wan·der·lust noun \ˈwän-dər-ˌləst\ : strong longing for or impulse toward wandering (Merriam- Webster definition) known as Fernweh in German.

While this is primarily a food blog travel is an important part of my life and an important influence in ones cooking amongst other things. Traveling and wandering off the beaten path is one of the greatest ways to start understanding the world more and learning to look at everything differently. If you can save up some money and take a trip to a place unknown to you and see what you learn and taste in the process. I hope in the coming months to post a little bit more in relation to travel and food and how all are connected.

This post is just a small homage to my past travels and my upcoming ones this April and hopefully can help to inspire some travels of your own.

Tiny City
Nuremberg, Germany July 2012

Into the Void
Paris, France July 2012

Asilomar State Beach
Pacific Grove, California, USA September 2011

Church

Nuremberg, Germany July 2012

*Please note all the photos in this post are my personal photos, please do not use without consent*

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A Tale of 3 Countries: Parisian Gnocchi Cheese Bake

ParisianGnocchi_02

Over this past weekend my friend came over for dinner and I was having the hardest time deciding what to make. Since I had been on a crepe kick my mind was still in french food land. After much pursing of the internet and my cookbooks this brought me to Parisian Gnocchi, which is an very specific application of Pâte à Choux. From there I decided that it would be great to make a riff on the delicious pesto Käsespätzle I had while in Germany last summer with a nod to American style mac and cheese. This dish became a fitting ode to my Europe trip in July that included a stop in Paris and Germany and a good lead up to my upcoming trip in the spring.

While I was at the grocery store the basil was not looking so hot but the Italian parsley was looking good so I decided to opt for a parsley based pesto instead of the traditional Basil. When I ended up making the ‘pesto’ it became a sauce that was reminiscent of pesto but defiantly not the traditional application. All in all the dish turned out really tasty and while it took a little while to make because of the steps involved (many of which though can all be done in advance so it can come together quickly) and was a much more sophisticated dinner offering than your traditional mac and cheese

PARISIAN GNOCCHI CHEESE BAKE

Serves 2 as a main and 4 as a side

You will need

1 recipe worth of Parsley ‘Pesto’ Parisian Gnocchi (See below) cooked and drained

1 Medium Spanish Onion

2 Cloves Garlic

1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

1 Cup Cheese sauce (see below for the ‘recipe’)

Some reserved grated cheese from the Cheese sauce (Since I used all the cheese I had grated in the cheese sauce I topped the dish with Feta since it was what I had on hand)

8×8 Baking Pan

14″ Saute Pan or Cast Iron Skillet

1 Tbsp Butter

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TO ASSEMBLE

Slice the cloves of garlic into thin slices

Cut the onion in half and dice 1/2 the onion into mid size pieces and slice the other half into thin slices

Heat up your saute pan on high heat and add the butter once the butter is hot add all the onions and salt, then turn the heat down to medium. Cook the onions until they are lightly caramelized.

Once the onions are lightly caramelized add in the garlic and cook just long enough to brown the garlic.

Add in the Gnocchi and cook until the Gnocchi are starting to pick up a little color (make sure to mix periodically so they don’t burn)

While the Gnocchi are cooking preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and Grease your baking dish. (This would also be a good time to make the cheese sauce {see below})

Once everything is incorporated and the Gnocchi have started to turn brown on at least one side turn off the stove and remove from the heat.

Pour the contents of your Saute pan into the pot you used to make the cheese sauce (with the cheese sauce still in it) and mix to fully cover everything.

Empty the contents of the pot into your greased baking sheet and top with your reserved cheese.

Place the baking pan into the oven for 10 – 15 minutes until the cheese on top has started to melt and brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool for just a few minutes so the cheese can set slightly and cut into pieces and serve.

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PARSLEY ‘PESTO’ PARISIAN GNOCCHI

Parisian Gnocchi is just Pâte à Choux dough (typically used for puff pastries, eclairs, etc) that is piped and cut into pieces over boiling water to make a pasta. This recipe is based on the ratio in Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. These Gnocchi can be made in advance and stored for a day in the refrigerator.

8oz Water

3oz Butter

1 Tsp Salt

4 oz All Purpose Flour (sifted works best)

4 Large Eggs

about 1 Cup Minced fresh Italian (flat leaf parsley)

1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic Minced

Small Food Processor or a ‘magic bullet’ blender works too

Small Saute Pan

2 4 Quart pots (or 1 just wash in between procedures)

Kitchen Shears

Wooden Spoon

Sheet Pan lined with a clean kitchen towel

Pastry bag with 1/2″ Tip or Large Zip Lock Bag

A ‘Spider’ or another device to scoop out the finished pasta from the water

The Procedure

Parsley ‘Pesto’

Start by mincing your garlic and parsley mix together with the olive oil 1/2 tsp of the salt and all the pepper in your food processor.

Blend together until a thick but rather smooth paste forms.

Heat up the saute pan and add your parsley mixture to the pan.

Saute briefly to pull out the garlic flavors and to meld all the flavors together.

Remove from the heat and place to the side.

Gnocchi

Place one of the 4 Quart Pots on the stove over high heat and add the water, butter, and 1/2 tsp of salt and bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the flour stirring rapidly until a paste forms and the dough pulls away from the side of the pot. Keep stirring for about a minute longer to evaporate off some of the excess water in the dough.

Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. While the mix is cooling crack your eggs into glass mixing cup for ease of incorporating in the next step.

While the dough is still warm but not hot add the first egg. Mix thoroughly until incorporated, the dough at first will seem like it does not want to except the egg but with enough mixing it will.

Repeat the last step egg by egg until they are all mixed in, making sure to not add a new egg until the previous one is fully incorporated.

Once all the eggs are incorporated mix in your parsley pesto until thoroughly mixed.

Prepare your pastry bag or ziploc bag and scoop out the dough into it.

While the mixture cools fill your second 4 quart pot 2/3 of the way to the top with water and bring to a boil and set up your station. Near where you are boiling the water set up a sheet pan with a clean kitchen towel on it for draining the pasta.

Once the water is boiling pipe out the mixture cutting it with kitchen shears about every 1inch (if using a ziploc bag cut off the corner creating about a 1/2″ hole first). It is best to work in small batches so the pasta does not over cook while you are piping the rest.

When the gnocchi rise test them for doneness (they should could about 2min total, use your judgment based on your set up and the size of your pasta)

Once cooked remove from the pot and lay out to dry on the cookie sheet lined with the towel and let cool.

After all the Gnocchi is cooked you can follow the assembly directions above or keep it in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator for up to a day before preparing the Cheese bake

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