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

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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

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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Saffron & Sherry Sabayon. Going Skinny Dipping with Artichokes

1403.1_cover2Now that carnival season is over, the trouble is just about to begin: Lent is upon us. Well – not upon me. I do not believe in fasting. I live by the motto ‘either you live, or you are being consistent‘ (‘Entweder man lebt, oder man ist konsequent’) by the German writer Erich Kästner. In my opinion, life is way too complex to live by strict rules: balance is everything, and consequently, you have to live on your tippy-toes. This, of course, requires energy, which demands one or the other indulgence now and then (Also, to be honest, I’m really bad at self discipline). To keep balance, I trust my cravings. And this post-carnival week, I was craving artichokes. Conveniently, they are one of the vegetables with an impressive reputation in terms of healthiness: They are packed with antioxidants, are said to help regulate your cholesterol levels and aid your detoxing functions (especially valuable after carnival). More importantly for the lust-seeking self, though: They taste great. I wanted mine all pure and simply boiled, but with a delicious sauce to go with them. Although modesty is not my strong suit, I went for a sabayon that is really virtuous (a.k.a. very low in fat) –  but still sexy.

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Sort-of-Stroganoff Mushroom Pasta with Mustard & Cornichons

1402.3_cover_finalMy trip to Hamburg last weekend has left me with many good memories, wanting to go back, and – an annoying cold. I clearly underestimated the wind up north. So as I lay in bed sick the last days and Alex was out and about most of the time, we were left with a rather frugal amount of fresh things in our kitchen today. And as in the (very catholic) region of Germany where I live, shops are closed on Sundays, we had to make something out of the almost nothing we had. To be exact, there were no more than six kind-of-fresh mushrooms at the bottom of our fridge. Although I feel a lot better today, I never feel like going out before I’m not completely back in shape. The first real trip I usually make is – back to the kitchen. I know that I am on a good track when I’m able and willing to go back to the stove again. And nothing says “back in the game” like a fridge forage and store cupboard stir-up.

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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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Lonesome Lentils & Solitary Pleasures

1401.3_coverSome people say everything tastes better with bacon. For others it’s chocolate. For me, everything tastes better with – well, okay, butter of course, but I’m trying to make a different point here – with company. Eating is a profoundly social activity and I am a very social eater. I hate eating alone, even if it is the tiniest snack (my snacks are never tiny, but anyway). Apart from the actual eating (which I love), I so much enjoy the talking, laughing, caring for each other, and spending time together, that sharing a meal is as well. However, every now and then, a solitary supper all by myself, cuddled up in bed with a bowl of spoonable goodness can be a true solitary pleasure.  Continue reading