Mascarpone Parmesan Sauce

One day I planned on making a noodle casserole and already bought all the ingredients for it on the weekend. But then I was so hungry that I didn’t want dinner to take long, so I just threw everything together and it turned out to taste amazing. It is a somewhat thick sauce.

ingredients: 250 g mozarella
250 g mascarpone
70 g parmesan
250 g cherry tomatoes
one zucchini
pepper, salt and paprika powder to taste

Melt the mozarella and add the mascarpone. Cut the tomatoes in halves and the zucchini in cubes and throw it in the mozarella mascarpone mixture. Let it simmer for about ten minutes. In the end add the parmesan and spice the sauce with pepper, salt and paprika powder.
Serve with pasta.

This sauce is also very good with red peppers instead of zucchini or put them in addition to the zucchini.

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Our garden

                                   

This year was our first year of produce. We bought a small summerhouse where we grow our vegetables. We grew radishes, carrots, spinach, spring onions, kohlrabi, cucumbers, zucchinis, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, tomatoes, peppers, jalapenos and pumpkins. Unfortunately this summer was too cold and the broccoli and cauliflower didn’t grow right. Our neighbors couldn’t harvest any either.

our broccoli

But we have so so many zucchinis. Any idea what to make with them? I am thinking of pickling them once I bought some jars. I already pickled our cucumbers and this weekend we can finally open the first jar. This was the first time I’ve ever pickled / canned something. And it is fun. 🙂 I am also planning on pickling some carrots.

The plants in the greenhouse didn’t turn out too well. We put the plants way too close to each other so we only have a few tomatoes and peppers that will hopefully turn red soon. The jalapenos are doing great though and soon they’ll all be ready to be harvested.

And I love that we have grapes.

Since it is my goal to be as self sufficient as possible at some point this whole garden is for practicing until we have a big enough property and of course it is also good to grow your own vegetables because you can be sure that there is no poison on them. One thing that we wanted to try is getting our own seeds. This means that we had to “waste” a small spot where we could just let – in our case- a few radishes grow. We didn’t expect it to turn out like it did though:


It seems like we will have a lot of radish seeds once we dried the beans and take them out. We would like to get our own seeds from all the plants but we don’t have enough space and couldn’t grow everything we wanted anymore. For example we planted the zucchinis where the radishes were before so we kind of use some spots twice in the same year.

Once I harvested the last zucchinis and carrots we will start to prepare the garden for the winter. We had somebody come over and test our soil and he said that it has too little nutrients. So we will grow some mustard over the fall and then dig that under. It is supposed to be very good for the soil.

I am already excited to try new vegetables next year!

plum cheesecake

Last weekend I tried out a new recipe that I found in a German magazine with cake recipes for the fall, and it was amazing. I am not the biggest fan of plain cheesecakes. But it’s great with plums or other fruit and crumbles on top. In the beginning of the summer I always make strawberry cheesecake which uses quark and cream cheese. This recipe uses quark and mascarpone. I’ve never tried mascarpone in cheesecake before and it is great. Normally German cheesecakes only use quark and no other kind of cheese.

So this is what you need:

  • 300g flour
  • 250 g sugar
  • 16g vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 175 g butter
  • 500 g plums
  • 500 g quark
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 37 g starch
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

Knead the flour, 150 g of the sugar, 8 g of vanilla sugar, 1 egg and the butter to get the crumble dough. (You can make this ahead of time and put it in the fridge)

Split the dough in half and cover the bottom of a spring form with one half.

Mix together the quark, mascarpone, 100g of sugar, the lemon juice and 8 g of vanilla sugar. Then add the last 3 eggs one after the other and also mix in the starch.

Spread the quark mixture on the dough. Then cover it with your plums halves. Now cover it with the crumbles and bake at 175 ° Celsius for about 1 hour.

Let the cake cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Et voilà!

stuffed red peppers with ground beef

Don’t you know those days you want to eat something fancy that doesn’t take too much time to prepare? Stuffing red peppers is quick and delicious. It just needs its time to cook. The good thing is that it takes just long enough to read a nice book or do some housekeeping.

I don’t really have measurements for how much you need of what since red peppers aren’t always the same size. And if you have too much ground beef you can just make meatballs with the rest.

This is what you need:

  • ground beef
  • salt, pepper and paprika
  • 1 egg
  • some old bread (usually one big slice per 500 g ground beef)
  • onions
  • garlic
  • red peppers
  • starch or flour
  • sour cream

Start by soaking the bread in water.

Then mix all the spices, the onions, the garlic, the egg, the bread and the ground beef together as if you were making meatballs.

Cut off the top of the red peppers and fill them with the meat.

Then brown them in a pan from all sides. When they are brown, add about 1 cup of water or more, depending on how big your pan is. It should be about 3 cm high.
Cover with a lid and let simmer for one hour. Make sure that there is always enough water, but when you don’t cook it too high you should be fine.

Now the ground beef should be all brown and you can take the red peppers out and keep them warm.

Blend the flour into the gravy and when it thickened you can add some sour cream (not too much though). Normally the gravy is spicy enough from the meat but you might have to add some pepper and salt and then it is ready to serve with potatoes.

Elsässer Flammkuchen

Elsässer Flammkuchen is a German meal with creme fraîche, onions and bacon. It is very yummy and quick to make.

ingredients: 250 grams of flour

2 tbsp olive oil

125 ml water

1 tbsp salt

200 grams creme fraîche

salt and pepper to taste

200 grams bacon

1 big onion cut in rings

optional: 200 grams grated cheese

Combine the flour, olive oil, water and salt and knead. Let sit for a bit.

Meanwhile cut the onions and mix the pepper and salt together with the creme fraîche.

Roll the dough as thin as it goes and put the creme fraîche, onions and bacon on top. If you want to, you can also put some grated cheese on top.

Bake at 220°C for 20 minutes.

Franzbrötchen

I want to share a northern German recipe with you. It is a kind of cinnamon bun and very yummy. I couldn’t live without it.

ingredients:

for the dough

500g flour

40 g fresh yeast (bakery’s yeast)

70g sugar

250 ml milk, lukewarm

70 g butter (cold enough to cut in slices)

1 pinch of salt

lemon peel shavings

for the filling

200g butter

200g sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

dough:

Put the flour in a bowl and punch a hole in the middle. Crumble the yeast into that hole and sprinkle some of the sugar on top. Pour the milk over the yeast and wait up to 5 minutes until it is dissolved. Spread the soft butter, the rest of the sugar, the salt and the lemon peel on the ring of flour. Knead everything starting in the middle. Cover it and let it rise until the volume is double, ca. 30-40 minutes.

Knead the dough again and then roll it on a floured table to the size of 30 cm long and 25 cm wide.

Filling:

 Cut the very cold butter in thin slices, and put them on one half of the rectangle. Then fold the non-buttered part  over the buttered one. Press the dough edges together and roll it to a 30 cm wide and 50 cm long rectangle. Imagine three equal parts along the length, and fold the two ends into the middle so the parts overlap, and you end up with 3 dough layers on each other. Cool it for 15 minutes. Then roll it again to a size of 80×40 cm. Spread water on it with a brush. Mix the cinnamon with the sugar and sprinkle it evenly on the dough. Roll up the dough from the long side (ie. along the width) to be a 6 cm wide roll when it flattens down. The join/link should be on the bottom. Cut the roll into 4 cm long pieces and push the middle of each piece with the handle of a wooden spoon (the handle should be round). Then it should have the form of the cooked Franzbrötchen in the picture. Put the pieces on a buttered baking tray 4 cm apart from each other, and cover it. Let them rise for 15-20 minutes. Bake it at 200°C for about 25 minutes. They should still be a bit soft.

Homemade is better!

  1. It is fun!
  2. You appreciate what you make more than what you buy because you spent so much time on it and because it is exactly what you wanted which leads me to the next point that
  3. homemade items are unique and special: When you craft something you can make what you need with lots of extra details that a bought item might not have. I sometimes go to stores looking for an item that came up to my mind but I often can’t find one that is exactly like what I want. So I end up making it myself. Also you won’t run into somebody who bought the same item.
  4. homemade food is healthier: You can control the ingredients you use and don’t have to eat poison junk food.
  5. it is cheaper: Especially when you think of how early some clothes break it is cheaper to sew them even if it seems more expensive on the first place for simple things like shirts, they last longer when sewn by yourself. And most of the time you have fabric, yarn etc. left over which you can then use for a new project. Furthermore it is cheap to redesign items because you barely have to buy anything for that.
  6. quality: Considering that most retail products are made in China and other cheap quality countries, it is always better to make it yourself!