Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring cleaning at the fish tank

After everyone survived the great algae plague of February '07, I thought I'd spring for some new decorations. Even though hubby eagerly pointed out the "sunken German submarine" deco, I managed to steer us away to something a bit more classical, haha. After all, there's lots of sunken Roman temples to be found in the sea, right?

Friday, March 30, 2007

First bits of spring!




Spring's waiting just around the corner at our local park!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Arrancini - Rice balls in tomato sauce

Yum! Fun and easy to make, healthy/vegetarian!

200 g (1 cup) jasmine rice, 2 bunches spring onions, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup bread crumbs (preferably freshly made), 1/4 cup freshly grated (!) parmesan or other cheese (gouda), 2 bunches thyme (or parsley), salt, pepper, olive oil, 1 lb (1 large can) peeled tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, 30 g butter/oil.

Cook the rice, let cool a little. Meanwhile, cut the spring onions into rings. Mix the rice with the eggs, bread crumbs, cheese and half of the thyme, season with salt&pepper. Cook the spring onions, covered, for 5 minutes in olive oil. Add chopped tomatoes, season with salt, pepper and pressed garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, shape the rice mixture into 12 balls. Fry in hot butter/oil with the rest of the thyme from all sides until golden brown.

You can easily make the double amount of rice balls and freeze half of them. Thaw them for a day in the fridge and then fry.

*Note: I dumbed this recipe down a bit - using dried instead of fresh thyme, and icky, cheap bread crumbs, and packaged, grated parmesan. It was still edible, though not great. I'd definitely recommend some fresh herbs and good cheese!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spring in a bowl

I love the look of wheat grass. I grow it all winter long from sprouted whole grain wheat. Originally, it was intended for the cat, but he's a full-blown meat eater, it seems. No weird green stuff for him!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Hobby Lobby = Easter Heaven

And here I was, complaining there was no decent Easter decoration to be found. Hah! Felt bunnies, flowers, butterflies, in wonderful colours! Also, paper stars/lanterns for two bucks!

And, garden ornaments for half off - I was trying to decide between a very ugly garden gnome and a Buddha head. While part of me whispered "Hey, why not have both? They'd be SO cute together!", the sensible part (also known as "Hubby") went with the Buddha head (an unbeatable price at $5! yay!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The WARHOLIZER!

The WARHOLIZER is part of this nifty little flickr toys website. I think it totally kicks the HOCKNEYIZER's ass.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Exploring the neighborhood: Ernie Miller Park

Nice little displays (birdwatching arena with lots of bird feeders) and animals (fishies!) at the architecturally stunning nature center, and several miles of hiking paths through prairie and forest, ranging from orderly to rugged.

They seemed to have burned some of the underbrush just the previous day, so there was a burnt smell all over the place. A bit too much trash along the river for my liking, but maybe that's just me being overly critical *hah, that would be a first!*


All in all, we'll be back in springtime to see what the pla
ce looks like when it's green!



Friday, March 16, 2007

East German Buttermilk Cake - yum!

This makes a very large amount of very tasty cake, but it also freezes well, so go ahead, it couldn't be easier to make!

Dough: 5 1/2 cups (600 g) flour, 1 3/4 cup (400 g) sugar, 500 ml buttermilk, 2 teaspoons (1 German pack) baking powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1 pack vanilla sugar), grated peel of 1/2 lemon.

Topping: 2/3 cup (150 g) sugar, 400 g grated coconut (Kokosnussraspel) (I used the normal, sweetened kind - perfect!), 50 g slivered almonds.

Glaze: 200 g liquid whipping cream, 100 g melted butter.

Directions: Sift flour, mix with the baking powder. Stir together the buttermilk, sugar, vanilla and lemon peel. Slowly add the flour. You will have a rather liquid dough.

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Mix all the ingredients for the topping.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the dough on it (this is the only slightly tricky part, since the dough is a bit sticky and it's hard to keep the paper in place. If you've got a great non-stick baking sheet, I would try to go ahead without the paper). Spread the topping on top (duh!). Bake for approx. 30 minutes (American baking sheets being a bit smaller than German ones, the dough is going to be a bit thicker, therefore it might need an additional 5 minutes or so).

In the meantime, melt the butter for the glaze (microwave is fine). Using a spoon, spread the cream and the butter on the freshly baked cake while it is still hot. It'll melt right in there and make the cake delightfully moist (and unhealthy, but SOO good!). Let cool, cut in squares. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Shmoopsiepoo!

Martha Stewart's Apple-pie cake *it's PIE! and CAKE! craaaazy!!!*

Speaking of which, am I the only one who hates the newly remodeled Martha Stewart website with a passion? How-to-videos and ads and tons of blinky things, and unresponsive scripts, jeez Louise. Somehow the old page was a lot "calmer".

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Birds and eggs and pendants



So that's what I made with my first batch of Fimo. Some rather snobbish looking birds, some pendants, some buttons. Now to find out how to paint and then to attach them!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Corner of my home

Bathroom still life with beautiful Hot Apple Pie soap.

The Fimo stuff (do they pronounce it "Feemo" or "Fymo" here? In Germany, it's "Feemo") has been baked and, amazingly enough, turned out quite well. Thanks to huge hailstorms last night (weathermen going nuts all night on all main stations like CBS, NBC, ... , torrential floods, tornados, golfball size hail, whee! Welcome to Kansas!), it's all dark & cloudy today and I can't get a decent picture.