I can’t believe how fast my time at home has been flying by! Even though I’ve been having the best time with my family it feels like my vacation is half over already because my sister is flying back to London tomorrow morning. I’m glad that I get to stay in Austria for another 2 weeks but really wish my sister and I would have had a little more time together since we don’t really do that much or get to see each other that often when we’re in England.
We decided to spend our last day together in the year 2011 with shopping. We got up bright and early, had a quick bowl of invigorating oatmeal and a cappuccino and drove off to Salzburg to hit the malls.
We were quite the successful shoppers! Even though I was spoiled rotten by my family for Christmas I could not help myself to indulge in some post-Christmas bargains.
For dinner my mom prepared Fondue! Fondue is usually our New Year’s Eve dinner because it makes waiting for midnight a tad easier if you are munching on meat, sausage and warm baguette all night long. But because Christina loves Fondue just as much as I do and since she can’t be around for New Year’s we decided to have Fondue night by 2 days earlier.
Each year we have the same sauces, sausages and meat and gather round the table as the whole family talking, laughing and eating! Lots of eating!
While the meat is being cooked it’s always good to have a full basket of baguette nearby to have something to dunk into the sauces.
Even though all of the sauces are delicious in their own way, my favorite flavors are dill and cowberry sauce.
I’m off to play some board games with the family!
I’m so excited to be back home in Austria for Christmas break. After spending a great weekend in London with my sister, the two of us arrived home around lunch time. After the extremely long 2-hour flight we came home to a house that was festively decorated and it immediately got me into Christmas-y mood. My dad is the best decorator when it comes to Christmas and fills the house with unique and really special pieces that lighten up our house and make it look even more festive and welcoming than it already is.
After a long cuddling session with our dog, Sunny, it was time to check out the Christmas cookies. I have to say, my mom did an extremely good job, as she does every year, and baked 10(!) different variations. I started taste testing them for lunch and finished the rest for dessert after dinner. They are all beyond delicious. I might be adding another flavor or two this week to round things off and take advantage of a fully equipped kitchen.
For dinner mom made “Wiener Schnitzel”, which is probably the most Austrian thing you can eat. My tummy and I were quite happy. Schnitzel is a piece of boneless pork, veal or turkey, coated in a mixture of bread crumbs and eggs and then fried. Not exactly the healthiest meal to have but I’ll make an exception over the holiday season.
Served with a mixed side salad and oven-roasted herb and spice potatoes .
I’m off to bed early tonight since I had to get up at 5:15am!
Whilst I am writing this post my body is literally defrosting. I spent the day on a field trip organized by one of my lecturers and even though we were on a bus for about 4 hours, I was cold all day long. I was wearing my gloves on the bus, that’s how cold I was.
We drove to two locations today. The first stop was the leading UK grower of fresh herbs, the second stop was at a dairy farm. Even though the day had nothing to do with nutrition at all is was interesting to see how the herbs are grown and packaged to be distributed to some of the UKs most important food retailers. But the best part was the fresh herb-smell the glasshouses were filled with!
Even though by the time we arrived at the dairy farm my feet were frozen it was fun to get to see the cows and I even made a cute friend…note the heart shape on his forehead! Overall I took about 60 pictures: 10 of the herbs and 50 of the cows!
After a hot shower and a warm cup of tea it was time for dinner. I made Spinach-Ricotta Gnocchi with Garlic Tomato Sauce.
Spinach-Ricotta Gnocchi with Garlic Tomato Sauce
adapted from Food and Whine
You will need:
- 250g ricotta
- 1.5 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 1/3 cup mozzarella, grated
- 1 egg
- 5 heaping tbsp. flour
- nutmeg, salt
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- Heat up water in a large saucepan.
- In a large bowl combine the ricotta, mozzarella, egg, nutmeg and salt. Stir well.
- Then add flour to the bowl until the mixture is sticky.
- On a floured surface roll out 1/3 of the mixture into a long rope (about 1cm thick) and cut the gnocchi with a floured knife. Repeat for the the rest of the mixture.
- Add the gnocchi to the hot (but not boiling) water. Once they rise to the top carefully remove them from the water and drain.
- For the sauce, heat up the olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and then stir in the tomatoes. Let it simmer for a few minutes and serve on top of the gnocchi.
- Serve with freshly grated parmesan.
Enjoy the recipe and see you all tomorrow!
Seriously! Am I the only person on this planet not fascinated by vampire movies or books? The reason I’m asking is because I’m about to go to the cinema to see the new Twilight movie with my friends and have no clue what it’s about. I mean, I know that it revolves around a girl who falls in love with a vampire, but that’s about it. In an attempt to catch up on the plot and storyline of the previous movies I spent some of my afternoon googling and watching videos on Youtube!
Lunch was a quick but good one. Not the most creative I’ve ever been, but it still turned out to be a delight for the tastebuds. I made Gnocchi with Pumpkin-Ricotta Coulis…(I had 2 hours of french today and am feeling creative!)
For the coulis (sauce) all I did was heat up a can of puréed pumpkin with some ricotta. I added vegetable stock to make it more liquid and seasoned with basil and pepper and a little salt. Delicious if you like pumpkin! It would also taste great with spaghetti or any kind of pasta, I just happened to make Gnocchi. And don’t forget the most important part: the Parmesan!
Time for me to see what all this vampire craze is about!
I’m so happy the weekend is finally here and I started it off with a nice Italian meal, Gnocchi Tricolore. I absolutely love Italian food, but constantly having pasta can get quite boring. Gnocchi are great if you want some exciting change for your taste buds.
Unfortunately, the Gnocchi were not home made (I will try to post a recipe soonish though). For the sauce I used chopped tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of Greek Yogurt to add creaminess. Seasoned it with Italian herbs and added some roughly cut spinach and kale (only because I had a little leftover). Topped it off with some more spinach and freshly grated Parmesan (my favorite cheese!)
See, I told you butternut squash would be back on the menu sooner than later. But this time it’s hidden in this creamy Cheesy Butternut Squash Gratin. I made it yesterday and had most of it for dinner, and the leftovers for lunch today. This is again a really simple recipe, which doesn’t require a lot of time.
If you want to re-create it, here’s the recipe:
Cheesy Butternut Squash Gratin
You will need ( approx. 2 portions):
- 200g of penne (I used wholewheat penne, but any kind will do)
- 2-3 tbsp. butter (depending on how much sauce you want to make)
- a couple tbsp. plain flour
- 1 egg yolk (optional)
- butternut squash (I used leftover roasted butternut squash)
- seasoning: salt, pepper, nutmeg
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- Prepare noodles according to instructions. Set aside.
- For the Béchamel sauce, heat the butter. Once melted, add flour, 1 tbsp at a time while constantly stirring (otherwise the butter-flour mixture will burn). You will want to add enough flour to absorb all of the butter. Stir for about 15-20 seconds. Then add around 200 ml of milk (this amount will vary if you used less/more butter and flour). Stir again and wait for the sauce to thicken. If you do not want your sauce to be too thick, just add a little more milk. Add the egg yolk, lemon juice, salt, pepper and a little bit of nutmeg. Mix well.
- When the sauce is done add the butternut squash. I blended everything together in a blender, but if you prefer to have chunky bits of butternut squash in your sauce, you can just add roughly cut cubes directly to the sauce.
- Pour the noodles into an ovenproof dish. Then add the sauce. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then add some freshly grated Parmesan and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until golden brown.
- Sit back, relax and enjoy our food!
On the side I had a mixed salad which included tomatoes, mushrooms and sugar snaps. Topped off with some roasted seeds that came in this weeks Graze Box.
Here are 2 ideas involving salmon, either for lunch or dinner.
I had this salad earlier in the week for lunch. It included Le Pain Quotidien bread with salmon, drizzled with fresh lemon. The salad was half spinach, half Italian mixed salad, some cherry tomatoes and some tamari-roasted chickpeas.
This was my lunch today. I prepared the vegetables (kale, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms and red onion) on a baking tray in the oven. I simply added some coconut oil for some extra taste and seasoned it with salt and pepper. The smell was heavenly. After about 20 minutes in the oven, I added the salmon to the vegetables and left it in the oven for another 20 minutes or so. On the side: brown rice.
Hope everyone is enjoying their last October/ Halloween weekend!