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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GW2 Veggie Burger

Greenspelt-Veggie-Burger-4Did anyone say “Heresy” and “open fire” in one breath? Welcome to the dark ages… or our latest garden showdown! I, carnivore, have come up with something other than the usual, extremely (at least to me, comparing the choices to what’s on the other side of the coals) boring “vegetarian options” to throw on a BBQ. Something that even my fellow lovers of a decent steak or burger have taken a serious liking to by now. A veggie burger pattie that doesn’t involve funky tofu textures, the ever present – tasty, but… again?! – feta & greek stuff combo or squeaky halloumi~!

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Honey Roasted and Goat’s Cheese Stuffed Nectarines

Honey-Roasted-Goat's-Cheese-Stuffed-Nectarines-2Oh yes, July’s here! Unless you’re part of the die-hard, anytime, anywhere BBQ crowd, in our parts this is the month to keep the embers fanned. Finally warm enough to sit outside for an extended period of time, too early in the summer to be in any real danger of being eaten alive by mother nature’s bad-hair-day experiments, and not yet hot enough to call the friendly guys with the giant butterfly nets whenever someone mentions open fire and coals.

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Fillet of Veal, Spring Vegetables, Asparagus-Risotto-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms & Lemon Sauce

Fillet-Veal-Spring-Vegetables-Asparagus-Risotto-Stuffed-Zucchini-Blossoms-Lemon-Sauce-3As promised, here’s part two of this year’s Asparagus Season Finale, a follow-up for last week’s Asparagus Risotto. We had both of these dishes a couple of weeks back, conveniently and absolutely unintentionally timed for Saturday and Sunday dinners on that one “Cats and dogs are falling out of the sky with their claws out” weekend of the season – the absolute perfect weekend to spend an extended period of time in the kitchen, white wine in hand, noses and spoons in the pots… a smashing way to celebrate the veggie stars of the season while they were getting exactly what they needed as well, a serious dose of rain~!

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