Sometimes it just doesn’t turn out – Shortbread fail

I wanted to share one of my fails with you today because it’s just real life as I see it.  Not everything turns out perfect all the time, at least not for me.  I have begun my looming task of sifting  through my haphazardly stored hand written recipes and saw one for shortbread  I just don’t remember but it was in my handwriting.  I suspected right off the bat that there was something not quite right about it.  It required vegetable oil instead of butter.  Oh well,  I tried it anyway.  It looked okay although I do not have the correct size pan but found one that was similar.  See they look okay, they are quite flaky and do melt in your mouth ….

That is where the problem came, what an awful taste!! OMG  where did I get this recipe? Or did I write it down incorrectly?  I honestly don’t remember, I have so many!

I happily tossed this piece of paper in the recycling.  From now on, I think I will stick with shortbread recipes that require butter.

Does anyone else have a recipe fail they would like to share?  I would love to know that I’m not the only one this happens to!  🙂

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My first time…. making an omelet.

Finally getting back on track with the cooking-through challenge, I decided to try my hand at an omelet.  Not just any omelet but a french omelet aux fines herbes found on page 259 of the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.

I never attempted making an omelet before because it holds a bit of an intimidation factor for me.  I was amazed to find out it is not complicated at all!

This is how my first omelet ever turned out.

I  toasted  some Brioche on the side.

Not bad for a first try.  Now the recipe for “aux fines herbes” I was drawn to as I love anything french.  It seemed quite glamorous, even for an omelet.

I honestly did not quite care for the taste.  It was a big too “herby” for my liking, if there is such a thing.  I even admit to adding barbecue sauce to it.  (blushing)

The good thing is that I tried something new.  Won’t Happily Mr. be surprised when I whip up a ham and cheese omelet for him this weekend!

Keep or Toss?:  I will definitely keep making omelets from now on.  In fact the picture instructions for the french omelet key recipe were easy to follow.  I can’t believe I was so scared to make them before!! As for the Aux Fines Herbes part? Sadly, I must toss.  It just wasn’t to my liking.  Maybe if I added a bit of cheese to it, it would have been better. Next time!

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Over before it really began – MSL

It was only two weeks ago, during a layover at the train station in Frankfurt to be more exact.  To kill some time, we took a stroll through the book store.  Large train stations have amazing bookstores.  I like to peruse the magazines to see if I can find the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine in the International section.  This time, I did not find it in english but in german!  As one who channels Martha at times, you can magine my surprise!  I was so excited and let out a little “woo hoo”!  I did get a few stares but I didn’t care.  I almost ran to the other side of the store to show my husband what I stumbled upon.

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I did not care that it was in german, even though my german is not really fluent.  I thought this would be a great way to improve my language skills too as well as get my monthly Martha Stewart fix in paper!

Unfortunately, my excitement was short-lived.  While happily reading my find, I flipped to the last page.  Well, my husband did and handed the magazine back to me.  Auf Wiedersehen… WHAT!??!! No way!

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I did not even know the magazine was being circulated over here until the last issue.  😦  This is the one magazine I would love to receive as it unfortunately does not deliver overseas.  I didn’t even care if I had to read it in german.  To have a family member send one to me, the postage is $20.00.  I’m not that desperate!  Am I?

I never saw an issue on the newstand here but then again, I do live in a very, very small city.

At least I can find her on the net but…. it is just not quite the same as sitting down with a cup of coffee or tea, curled up in my favorite chair and losing myself in an issue of Martha Stewart Living.

Auf Wiedersehen….

 

 

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Book Nook – Don’t Tell the Boss

002Hello my friends!  It has been a while since I shared a book that I really enjoyed. Remember the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic?  That led me to discover the author of that book, Sophie Kinsella, I have been loving reading this new genre (for me), romantic comedy.  Honestly, with all the serious craziness in the world right now, it is nice to just escape for a bit into one of these type of books.

Last weeks visit to the extremely small english section of our library, led me to discover another author, Anna Bell.  She has written many in this genre and the one I read, Don’t Tell the Boss is part of the “Penny Series”.  On a side note, last night I downloaded all the Penny books to my kindle, which will be perfect to read while traveling.

I absolutely adore the main character, Penny.  Here is a glimpse as to what this book is about.  “When newlywed Penny turns her hand to some casual wedding planning, she only wants to help other women afford the big day of their dreams.

But taming bridezillas turns out to be a full-time occupation, and what began as a hobby becomes a personal and professional nightmare.

Soon Penny is struggling to keep her day job and prevent her own marriage from collapsing under the strain: tired, stressed and knee-deep in ivory satin, is Penny’s life and livelihood hanging by a thread?”

Honestly, if life is a bit to serious at times or you are a bit stressed or have a hard time unwinding in the evening, or are taking a 9 hour flight or  train trip, I highly recommend this author as well as Sophie Kinsella or Lindsey Kelk.

This book is truly funny, happy or I like to call it a “feel good” read.  I am newly hooked on this genre.

If you know of any other romantic comedy authors, please share their names with me!  🙂

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Delicious Baked Camembert & old Leipzig Gastronomy

Let’s talk about food and with this post I must add beer as the two go together at this place.

My husband had heard about this old beergarten with a rich history so of course we set out one afternoon to go find it.  We had gotten off a tram and began our walk down a narrow cobblestone street in a quiet area of Leipzig.  This was when we stumbled upon Schiller’s house (which I mentioned in my previous post).  We had no idea it would be on the same long winding street to the Gosen-Schenke ohne Bedenken Biergarten.

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Right, I know you are probably thinking what I was.  It looks like a normal building on the outside.  But as with many places in Leipzig, the front appearances are very deceiving.  Let’s go inside.

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Since it is such a beautiful warm day let’s walk on through…

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The tables and benches go back quite a ways.  In fact, it is huge!

This establishment opened in 1899 although the building itself was built in 1905.  Again, like a mentioned in my previous post the Gose beer was originally brewed first in the town of Goslar and has a distinct salty and herbal flavor.  It seems the people of Leipzig adopted this Gose recipe as their own.  It is very tasty.  Some American cities such as Chicago and Baltimore, are now brewing this beer at micro breweries even.  There is so much more history about this place and if you’re interested in knowing more  or seeing the menu, you can check out their website (in English).

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The restaurant was closed when Leipzig became part of the DDR and then reopened in 1986 by a private citizen who wanted to continue the tradition.   It is not just the beer that it is known for but also for its gastronomy and is rated highly as one of the best restaurants in Germany.

My opinion – it definitely is and let’s talk about that!

I ordered the baked camembert with baguette.  I honestly thought it would just be some warm camembert on a baguette but…

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The camembert was baked in a light, delicious beer batter.  OMG, it was truly amazing!  The flavors and textures – my mouth was very happy!  This was one of those times that I did not want my food to be gone, I savoured every bite!

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Would you like to see what my husband ate?  One of his favorites, Homemade Meat Jelly, seasoned with Gose and fried potatoes.  He said it was very good too!

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So that my friends, is it from Leipzig.

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We are looking forward to getting up that way again and definitely making time to enjoy another meal there.

Cheers

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Chocolate Chip Cookies & Saving Grace

I just finished a wonderful book by Jane Green titled Saving Grace.  I LOVED this story!  I highly recommend reading this book.  Normally, I can figure out what is going to happen in a book, but It took me almost to the end of the story to do that.  It was suspenseful at times, romantic and I truly enjoyed the adventure of reading it.

A unique thing about this book, is she shared recipes throughout that pertained to some parts of the story.  There was only one other book that I read that did the same thing (another fabulous book, I will be sharing with you soon).

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This recipe for  The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie caught my eye.  I honestly never even thought about trying a different version of a chocolate chip cookie.  I always just followed the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip package.  Can one really use chocolate chips in other recipes?! 😉

Recently, a friend of mine brought over two bags of chocolate chips which was so very sweet.  That is an item that is not sold where I live so it was really a treat to make these.

One other thing I found is I love recipes with the measurements in grams and celsius, since that is what is used in Europe.  It was nice not to have to do math and conversions.  Honestly, using a scale for measuring ingredients makes baking simpler and you know the measurements to be exact.

Here is the recipe I  from the book….

     Ingredients:

     200 g butter

     150 g white sugar

     120 g brown sugar

     2 eggs beaten

     2 teaspoons vanilla extract

     300 g plain flour

     1 teaspoon baking soda

     1 teaspoon salt

     320 g chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.  In a large bowl cream together butter, white and brown sugars until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs, a little at a time, beating well with each addition.  Stir in vanilla.

Combine flour, salt and baking soda  Gradually stir into the creamed mixture  Finally, fold in the chips.

Place rounded spoonfuls  on a greased or silicone baking sheets.  Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until light brown.  Place on wire rack to cool.

The result: very easy to make and delicious cookies.

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A tip – since there are only the two of us.  I rolled half of the dough and wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer to bake another day.  Easy slice and bake.   I have no idea why I never thought of doing that before.

Anyways another awesome read and amazing cookies to boot.  If you are curious what other recipes she shares along with her story, you will just have to get the book. 😉

Happy reading & snacking!


This is not a sponsored post.  All are opinions are entirely my own.

 

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A light supper for a hot summer evening & some book talk

Oh, what to make for dinner when it is as hot inside the house as it is outside?  Egg Salad.  Wait!  I know egg salad normally is not considered dinner but as a light supper it is the perfect solution!  When the temps are high, I’m not one for a heavy meal anyways.

I don’t have an exact recipe, I think it’s best to make it to taste.

Here are the ingredients I used.

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Miracle Whip-Dijon Mustard-Celery Salt-Salt & Pepper.  I bought a parmesan baguette from the nearby bakery. (Amazing!!) I almost forgot the main ingredient… eggs.  I love that I can find local, farm fresh eggs.

First of all, I use my egg cooker, which is how eggs are normally cooked here in Germany.  No more boiling eggs on the stove. I find it is a much easier method, they always turn out perfect and no cracked shells.

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After they were done, I let them cool a bit, then removed the shells and chopped up the eggs.

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Then mixed  the ingredients until I had the consistency and taste I wanted.

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Spread it on top of the fresh baguette add a raw vegetable of choice and this is my idea of a perfect light meal for a hot day. Don’t forget your refreshing beverage of choice.

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If I am dining alone, this is normally the activity I do while eating.

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I admit, I am a bookworm.  I have a new author that I am enjoying, Jojo Moyes.  A few months ago, I bought her book Me Before You.

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I fell in love with the story, the characters.  I laughed and cried.  I did not want the story to end.  As I would not want to give too much away, I will just share what the back cover reads…

“Lou Clark knows lots of things.  She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home.  She knows she likes working in the Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.  What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live.  He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now, and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour.  And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.”

When I finished this book, I wanted more.  Luckily, Ms. Moyes wrote a sequel.  Much to my surprise as I was perusing books in the English section of our  library,  her name and the title After You grabbed my attention.  I had no idea she wrote a sequel.  I checked it out and actually started reading it in the library while waiting for my husband to find a book.

I read “After You” in two days.  I could not put it down!

You are probably thinking how did I not know she wrote a sequel and that there was a movie made on the first book.  Well… I’m just not a social media gal so it takes a while for me to get updated on most things living over here.  We live a pretty simple life, but we like it that way.

So, if you are looking for some good reading to finish off this summer season.  I suggest these two books.  Check out your local library. If I didn’t, I would not have known there was an “After You”.


If you are the least bit interested in what I am reading – be sure to check out my book list on the side  of this blog.  I will keep it updated as I finish a book.  If you are curious about any that I have listed, let me know and I would be happy to do a blog post about it. 🙂

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