5 O’ Clock Mar-Tea-ni

1409.3_coverIn the spirit of heading off to London (baby!) tomorrow, I’m already holding on to spirits today. But not just spirits. This drink combines two very iconic British drinks: gin and afternoon tea. It’s a special kind of – G & Tea, if you like. In the light of recent events, I am very consciously using the term ‘British’, since afternoon tea is a very English tradition and the particular gin we used and recommend for this drink comes from the tradition-steeped Bruichladdich distillery in Scotland. And we believe, these two go very well together, ‘we’ meaning Alex and myself. Alex is master of our in-house bar (and keeper of the rather astonishing number of gins we have accumulated over the years), and for the first time today we came up with a recipe and blog post together. Because in the afternoons, we often cannot decide whether we want a drink or a cuppa, today, we just went for best of both worlds. And shortbread. Continue reading

Green Bean Salad with Slow-Baked Tomato and Goat’s Cream Cheese

1409.2_4_2I cannot write too much about this dish before actually giving you the recipe, since you have to make this rather quickly. Firstly, because it is utterly delicious, and secondly, because this dish depends on all its components being at the height of their existence: in absolute high season. And let me tell you: winter is coming (I was woken up by crows shouting this morning – no kidding). At least these last days here in southern Germany: I have started to put on a jacket again and I am wearing thick woolen socks as I’m writing this. So: Get to your nearest farmer’s market, harvest everything you need, and treat yourself to this plate of summer. Continue reading

A Culinary Journey Through the World and Time – and a Peach & Goats Cheese Salad

1409.1_coverAfter just over two weeks of the laziest and most relaxing Mediterranean summer holiday, with a total abstinence from every form of electronic communication and digital devices, I do feel a bit out of practice as I sit down at the little table on our balcony to share some memories (and a recipe) of my summer vacation with you, an old (ancient!) laptop before me (when have I last used this thing?!), a glass of chilled blanc de noir next to it, and the last hours of sunlight (and the last 40% of battery) ticking away. Continue reading

Provisions from the Picture Pantry: Time-Crunchy Zucchini & Feta Yufka

1408.1_coverI am living the absolute Einstein experience these days. I don’t know about you, but each time my annual summer holiday draws near, the relativity of time becomes oh so apparent to me: at the office, time seems to go by both ultra-slowly (what? five more days?!) and ultra fast simultaneously (what? so much left to do?!). In-between freak outs and trying to retain composure, there wasn’t much time for any cooking or fancy eating these last weeks (except for the wonderful cook-out at Summer of Supper two weeks ago), let alone coming up with a blog-post from scratch. So before I leave you for my well-deserved and much needed summer vacation, I took to the “Picture Pantry” of food photos I have taken ages ago, way before I started writing brag&butter, and went foraging for something I could maybe add to some quick writing and turn into a last post before I take off for my vacation. Hey! Nothing bad about that: haven’t we all turned pantry staples and preserves into delectable dinners? There you are. Scrolling through some really bad and some rather good photos of some well-remembered and some long forgotten suppers with friends, I discovered a gem – both because the photos looked decent and it’s a perfect recipe for these summer days: my Zucchini & Feta Yufka is simple, rapid and oh so picknickable. Continue reading

“Summer Of Supper” in Cologne and Stracciatella Cheese with Barbecued Apricots & Tarragon

coverLast Friday, I took the cooking out of my home kitchen and joined my friends from the Frankfurt/Cologne based supper club Ceci n’est pas un restaurant for the wonderful Summer Of Supper event in Cologne. Six supper clubs (sort-of underground nonprofit pop-up restaurants run by ambitious amateur cooks) were invited to each host a dinner night for 30 people. We cooked a summer-celebration 5 course supper menu for a mixed and merry food loving crowd, and boy (or girl or other) – did we have a great time! To start the evening off, I made a dish based on my homemade Stracciatella cheese, which you should absolutely try and which I will tell you how to make below (where I will also tell you about a ‘hidden bonus track’ in the recipe…). Continue reading

Raw Chilled Pea & Coconut Soup with Tarragon

Raw Chilled Pea & Coconut Soup with Tarragon @ bragnbutter.wordpress.com

Whenever someone asks me what my ‘most favorite dish in the world’ is, I’m really just baffled by this question. How could anyone have just one favorite dish?! How can you compare, say, sticky Korean ribs, a moist and glistening risotto milanese and braised lentils? Exactly. I just love eating. In general. Which means I basically love every food, cuisine, ingredient, style – as long as it’s well produced and prepared, tasty, and fits my cravings. And cravings (I am not telling you anything new here, I know) can take you to weird places. Such as the place where I am preparing a cold soup that is downright able to save the world (according to other people’s standards or wild imagination): it’s simple, quick, raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and – wait for it – really delicious at the same time. You wanna come to my weird place? Follow me!

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Rosemarycano Cocktail

Rosemarycano Cocktail: Campari + Antica Formula + Lemon + Rosemary + Tonic @ bragnbutter.wordpress.comThis week, there are so many premieres happening at once: (1) Summer has a fulminant start in Germany this weekend with temperatures crossing the 30° C mark for the first time today (2) I am doing my first ever drink recipe on the blog, and (3) I am doing it in German for the first time since I started writing brag&butter in November – not here, but on the German blog Konsumbude, where (4) I am guest-blogging for the first time! Yve from Konsumbude found me online and invited me to join her for a special on summer drinks. All pretty exciting, and so my Rosemarycano sundowner is the perfect drink to launch summer as well as my celebration cocktail! Continue reading

Putting some (literal) Heart back into my Cooking: 10-Spice Beef Heart Stew

Beef Heart Stew with 10 Spices @ bragnbutter.wordpress.comI almost cannot believe it has been four weeks since I last wrote something for this blog. May – that’s M-a-y, the entire month – has passed and I haven’t gotten around to sitting down and thinking about what I cooked or ate in writing and sharing it with you once. Actually, I haven’t gotten around to cooking a lot to begin with. May was incredibly busy for me, so I mostly ‘prepared something to eat’ rather than ‘cooking’ – really spending time in the kitchen, coming up with recipes, letting my mood and intuition guide me, and enjoying the process of pottering around amidst my spices, pots and pans. I missed it. A lot. So I was very happy to find myself back in the kitchen this last weekend, for a crazy marathon of concept cooking and getting back in touch with the heart of my home.

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Lemon & Lemon Thyme Tear-Away Bread

Lemon & Lemon Thyme Tear-Away Bread @ bragnbutter.wordpress.comIt’s that time of the month when Clara from tastesherif.com calls for recipes for her #ichbacksmir bake-along, and it’s that time of the year where a chilled glass of crisp white wine and a loaf of good bread on a terrace, a balcony or somewhere near the river in front on my house are all I need after a day at work or – even better – on a weekend night. This month, Clara called for anything with citrus, from orange cakes to lemon pies and lime slices. If you read brag&butter regularly, you may have guessed that I l-o-v-e a dish that celebrates citrus (such as my blood orange churros or my zesty cedro lemon caesar which is built entirely around one of my favorite winter citrus). And although I do love lemony sweets, I wasn’t in the mood for something sweet at all for Clara’s challenge – I wanted something savory. Something to celebrate the first hints of summer with.

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Fava Bean, Green Asparagus and Watercress Salad with Garlick-&-Nigella Dressing

Fava Bean, Green Asparagus and Watercress Salad with Garlick-&-Nigella Dressing @ bragnbutter.wordpress.comThink of this as my version of a green smoothie. The best thing about it? It’s not an actual green smoothie. This salad will most probably not make you live considerably longer, cure any diseases or make you lose 6 pounds in two hours, I’m sorry. But, instead of being a more or less desirable pulpy concoction of fruit and leafy greens, it is an appealing and delicious assembly that celebrates the textures of spring vegetables and comes with a ton of flavor: creamy fava beans and tender green asparagus, tumbled with crunchy watercress and cool mint are tossed in a simple dressing of sharp young garlic and pungent nigella seed. It’s a joy to eat and look at, and to me, joy is what eating and food should be all about.

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