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Experimental Kitchen: Carrot & Leek Stew with Meatballs

When the evenings get cold, a stew is the perfect, comforting solution.

It’s heating up over here in Germany, but in many parts of the world it’s stew time, so here is something to keep you warm and satisfied.

Recipe for 2-3 Portions.

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Dumplings!

Usually I get creative with titles but this time around there is nothing much to say except “Dumplings!” because what more could you want when the meal itself is made up mainly of these smallish parcels of crispy, juicy meaty delightfulness. For the uninformed the humble dumpling is a wheat based pastry dough flattened to the size of a coaster that is carefully enclosed around a filling made of chicken or pork mince with egg, chinese cabbage or pak-choi (literally white vegetable) some salt and pepper. Really the whole idea is quite simple however the execution requires time to make the lot and then to cook it properly. We could embellish our dumplings with other fancy stuff like shiitake mushrooms or prawns or some fancier vegetables and maybe spices however basic flavours are best as you can vary the amount of ginger and dipping sauce you put on top to change the flavour to suit. Continue reading

Ta da! Chewy, delicious anzac cookies!
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Experimental Kitchen: Anzac Cookies

This one is for next year, or just whenever you want something yummy to snack on! I actually baked these on Anzac Day (for a bit of home) and used them as a dessert, served with vanilla ice cream and creme brulee ice cream. They turn out a bit chewy which is awesome.

Makes approx. 20 cookies.

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Moist, delicious lemon cupcakes
Poppy anemone: Anemone coronaria

Ms Green Thumb

Now that the weather is looking up, it is time to make use of that wonderful balcony. An extended living room, if I may.
We have put two sofas on the balcony, set up a table and chairs and most importantly, added a bit of colour by planting flowers and herbs in flower boxes. I’ve always loved these…especially when you see windows with them hanging underneath, bursts of colour protruding from neat little boxes. My favourite was always red, but for the balcony we decided to have a mixture, after all, we have seven metres of balcony. For now, there are two 1-metre, terracotta-coloured boxes, each with four plants inside. Continue reading

After baking
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Experimental Kitchen: Macarons (without nuts)

This was a tough one. Without nuts (without almonds/almond flour), macarons are a bit weird. I ended up making the macarons anyway, but they were huge and I left them out overnight and the next day they became a bit hard, and after that, they were more like very sweet biscuits. But, on the bright side I made macarons for the first time, Michael could eat them, and I learned some things along the way. Continue reading

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One Year Later

This past few weeks have been crazy busy. On the weekend, Michael and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. On the same day, we re-celebrated his 30th birthday with all of our closest German friends. He was away in Munich from Thursday to Saturday and I got a taste of what life is like without him. Let’s just say that it’s definitely better with him.

And before that, my friend from Sydney came to stay for just over a weekend. She’s also moved to Germany now but only for about a year.

During her short stay in Stuttgart, we wanted her to try as many regional dishes as possible, so of course we knocked out some at home and three in one go at a restaurant:

Maultaschen - like a big dumpling in beef broth

Maultaschen – like a big dumpling in beef broth

Rostbraten - steak covered with crunchy onions, spätzle and plenty of sauce

Rostbraten – steak covered with crunchy onions, spätzle and plenty of sauce

Good old schnitzel - thin, golden brown and simple, with a potato salad

Good old schnitzel – thin, golden brown and simple, with a potato salad

I had never previously given much thought to marriage when I was younger, but it’s fun sharing your life with the right person. Have a great week everyone! Hope it’s just as sunny wherever you are!