Off the Grid~

As you guys may have gathered already, what with the Madeira-inspired dishes piling up in the last couple of weeks, Hubby and I are going back for more. In only about two or three shakes of a lamb’s tail, a plane will take us from Frankfurt Airport to Funchal, Madeira for this year’s getaway to our personal little paradise on earth.

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Madeira-Onion Jam, Quince Bread & Goat’s Cheese Parcels

Madeira-Onion-Jam-Quince-Bread-Goat-Cheese-Parcels-4As promised, here’s the savory twist on last week’s “quince bread”! I’ve actually been waiting to share this one with you guys for almost a year~! You see, while we were on Madeira last year, we came, more or less by accident, by a Hotel Restaurant we just couldn’t pass on for once. As you guys might know, usually Hotel Restaurants are a last resort for Hubby and me while we’re traipsing across the island, but at that point we’ve actually been driving around that silly hotel in circles, looking for the Wine Harvest Festivities that, according to several sources, were about to go down somewhere in its general vicinity.

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Quince Jelly & Sweet “Quince Bread” Fruit Bites

Quince-Jelly-Sweet-Quince-Bread-Fruit-Bites-3September, golden September~! While the sun is taking a very well deserved break right now, the month is still a golden one for me, my kitchen and our dinner plates. Wine harvest time, grapes and all the goodies that always tag along in their wake, forests brimming over with game, the first pheasants, mushrooms, and, amongst many other delicious seasonal things, enter the first representatives of the only “Golden Globes” I care about – quinces~!

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GW2 Salsiccia & Conchiglie Salad a.k.a “Meaty Wurm Surprise”

Salsiccia-Conchiglie-Salad-2With the evenings and nights finally being somewhat cooler for the last couple of days, BBQ activities have recommenced all around us in a kind of desperate way that makes you think the world is coming to a screeching halt any moment now. Much like the BBQ-Version of that loony rush on grocery stores and supermarkets the day before major holidays, everyone seems to be under the impression that there’s not going to be any food. Ever again. Starting in 1 minute.

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Cassis Tiramisu

Cassis-Tiramisu-6Since this year’s berry seasons were completely out of whack thanks to what sunny meteorologists with a rather cruel sense of humor called a “Summer of the century”, farmers, biologists and botanists called a “severe draught” and sane people called “Hell’s Doorstep”, I had to wing a couple of berry-related cookoffs on the spot. On one particularly exhausting Saturday, for example, my favorite fruit & veg vendor at the Farmer’s Market grimly informed me that the batch of blackcurrants in front of me was all he had for this year.

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Lamb & Fig Wraps with Ras El Hanout Spiced Hummus and Grilled Zucchinis

Lamb-Fig-Wraps-Ras-El-Hanout-Spiced-Hummus-Grilled-Zucchinis-5Ah, relief~! Meteorologists say “The worst is over”. 27°C to Low 30°Cs coming up the next couple of days, and evidently we’re done with the almost-40°Cs for this year. “Around 30°C” means it’s finally time for some outdoorsy… actually any sort of activity again. A hike perhaps and a picknick somewhere in the woods, feet hanging into a bubbly stream, birdsong filling the fir-scented air… Oh yes, I can’t wait for the weekend to swing by!

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GW2 Blackberry-Pear Compote, Vanilla Ice Cream & Crumble Cookies

Blackberry-Pear-Compote-Vanilla-Icecream-Crumble-Cookies-3Alright, it’s time. Time for a change in seasons. Usually I’d declare myself insane for wishing Autumn, or even better: Winter! would hurry the hell up when August has only just begun, but this year has been hellish. Literally. Compared to people around me, no matter their origins, I’m very heat-resistant. I’m comfy when most people are low-and-slowing in their own juices already, but this…? This year. I wholeheartedly agree with the masses. It’s been too hot for way too long – cozying up to 40°C for weeks on end with no reprieve at night hasn’t just put a stop to any sort of summer spirit, fun, outdoor activities, cooking, gaming and sleep, but the insane temperatures and the sun relentlessly burning out of the cloud- and therefore rain-less skies since May have, in addition, shifted all of the fruit and veg seasons forwards by about a month.

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Scallops, Black Cherries & Crispy Pastis-Kissed Potatoes

Scallops-Black-Cherries-Crispy-Pastis-Kissed-Potatoes-2Hubby and I had a “Cherry Galore” dinner two weeks ago to close off this year’s cherry season with a yum- and photo-tastic menu celebrating cherries in each of the four courses. While I was going through my notes on previous cherry season-feasts in preparation for the gig, I immediately zeroed in on this recipe, sporting a few blotches and a between-stirs-scrawl reading: “re-do for blog!!! 1.7.2017”.

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Madeiran Passionfruit Mousse

Madeiran-Passionfruit-Mousse-3And this is it, the goal of the whole meal… or so my inner 5-year old self would say. You might wonder what possessed me to slap a “BBQ” sticker onto a deliciously fluffy and fruity mousse like this one. Sure, I could tell you there’s nothing better than a chilled cloud of fruity creaminess to finish off a hot and heavy evening around the coals, but true as that might be, it’s not my reason for picking this particular mousse to finish off this year’s BBQ special. If you’ve been following my posts for a while, you’ve probably been witness to hubby and me falling in love with the island of Madeira.

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Grilled Watermelon, Fennel & Feta Salad with or without Steak Ribbons and Prawns

Grilled-Watermelon-Fennel-Feta-Salad-Steak-Prawns-4Ok, I’ve just noticed that three out of four recipes for this year’s BBQ special are vegetarian options. Sort of. The upcoming dessert is seriously hard to imagine in a meaty context anyhow, but still, once that fact dawned on me, I had two options. Go veg on this one too or go all out carnivore galore. Well hell… I did what I always do when I can’t decide between two wildly different things: I pick door number three.

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