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

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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Shocking Pink Rhubarb with Mint Meringue & Sour Cream

Shocking Pink Rhubarb with Mint Meringue & Sour Cream @ bragnbutter.wordpress.comApparently, having a bowlful of my unseasonal brown-food cooking last week was already half of what it took to get me over my lingering winter blues. Today, I am happy to announce: I am R to the EADY for spring! I’m open. I want it. All I needed was a bit of starting aid. And boy – did I get some yesterday morning. When I wandered around the market, my brain got SMACKED by the gorgeously shocking pink color of the first, young, and oh so beau-shi-ful rhubarb stalks. Springtime is ON. Continue reading

Torta di Ricotta with Rosemary, Honey & Pine Nuts (#50ShadesOfCake pt. 03)

1402.4_coverWhen it comes to cheesecake, everything in me balks at simply posting a recipe and calling it a day. I just can’t. Cheesecake is serious business. We need to talk about it. But before I lose myself in an exercise in cheesecake catechism below, let me just quickly tell you that today’s post is a luscious ricotta cake with toasted pine nuts, rosemary and honey. Actually, you might rather call this a ricotta bake than a ricotta cake, since it doesn’t have a crust and it contains no flour whatsoever: Just the pure, immaculate milkyness of the ricotta, a few eggs, and the aforementioned aromatic additions. The pine nuts provide some tender bite and a savory hint, which together with the woody freshness of the rosemary and the aromatic sweetness of honey takes you straight to a forest in summer. I chose Italian flavorings as a nod to Sicily, where ricotta cakes are very popular. And I chose the Italian naming because it allowed me to not call this cake a cheesecake. Why this should be an issue? Well… Continue reading

The Week’s Eats in Fast Forward: Triple Tuna, Salmon on Vanilla Risotto, Beef Pearls & Pasta and something for a Pav♥a-Lova

1402.2_coverThis last week has been FRANTIC, with intentional caps lock. And additional exclamation mark. After a never ending workday on Monday, work on my desk kept piling higher by the minute I was at the office on Tuesday. The rest of the week until now: no different. So why, you might wonder, are there four images above, indicating four recipes to follow, and not just one as usual? Have I gone mad? Not entirely.

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Hubby Birthday Cake! #50ShadesOfCake pt. 02

1402.1_coverBaking a cake for someone clearly is a labour of love. You don’t bake cake just for anybody. I don’t. Especially not layered cakes or anything that is more fancy than a simple stir-up-and-go kind of cake. When you bake for someone, you take time for them, you think about what they might like and what might give them pleasure, and you give yourself plenty of time to contemplate what it is you like about them. Last week, I made my husband a birthday cake. Or rather his birthday cake, since it is the exact same cake each year. He asks for it – I make it. What may seem like a rather monotone and dull endeavor is actually a very romantic ritual to me, and in a way, it is emblematic for a long term relationship as such: of course, after a few years, there will be repetitions. And there will maybe not be a whole lot of razzle-dazzle and dashing surprises each and every day. The trick is however, to go about it with the same care and devotion as the first time, every single time. Continue reading

Blood Orange & Cinnamon Churro Swirls

1401.2_coverSo many things in the kitchen are ‘time machines’: Their sight, sound, or smell transports you to places you have been, people you have met, moments you have loved. The scent of cinnamon always brings me back to my childhood, and so do the crunchy churro swirls I’m telling you about this week. Back in the late 1980s though,  in southern Germany, neither me nor anyone I knew did know anything about churros. But each year during the carnival season, there would be masses of deep fried doughnuts in countless shapes, and they would be thickly covered in cinnamon sugar that crunched alarmingly between your teeth. I loved those. There was nothing delicate or precious about them: there were just piles and piles of them, and in the middle there was usually me, full-handedly enjoying the mere fact of my existence and the end of theirs as I greedily gobbled them up. Continue reading

A Sweet Fin(n)ish: Omena-Pannukakku

Omena-Pannukakku - Finnish Apple Oven Pancakes @ bragnbutter.wordpress.comWhaaat?! Yes. And wait until you’ve tried it. This is based on a recipe from my friend Massi, a Finn currently living, working, cooking and blogging in Denmark. Alex (my husband slash sous-chef) and I went to visit her and our beloved circle of Danish friends two weeks ago. As you can easily imagine, being friends of ours, they all live on the food-loving and high-carb side of life. And so, after days of mouthwatering roast chicken & root veggies with tsatsiki, dazzling honeycomb, sumptuous cheese fondue with homemade bread, the carniporn extravaganza that goes by the illustrious name Stegt Flæsk med Persillesovs and the most amazing pizza (turns out: you have to travel north), it seemed only appropriate to have something substantial for our 9 hour-car ride home. Continue reading

Postal Pumpkin Pie. #50ShadesOfCake pt. 01

My Postal Pumpkin Pie, about to begin its journey

I am fully aware that it might not be the smartest idea to make this first recipe a pie which I am about to have delivered by parcel service, and which will probably end up either lost somewhere in Germany or reach its destination as total mush. But the prospects of surprising two dear friends with a freshly (as in 24h express delivery time ago) baked pie and making their weekend a bit (rather: a piece) more special make it worth taking the risk. Continue reading