Wednesday, 26 September 2012

bibis boller

I just went through some of the recipes that i got from my mum looking for buns i could make today and i found this photo.

"bibis boller" means as much as bibis buns. bibi is one of my danish aunts who i remember making the most fantastic carrot buns when we used to visit my relatives in denmark.

then you have the recipe:
  • 1/2 pack of yeast
  • 350ml of lukewarm water
  • a bit of salt
  • a bit of sugar
  • some carrots
  • a big splash of normal oil
  • flour

and then some instructions around the edges:
rise for 1/2 an hour, let buns rise for half an hour on the tray, oven 180C°, bake until ready.

so why not give it a try myself =)
there are not many instructions here so i will just tell you how i made it.

1) put the yeast, water and sugar into a glass bowl, stir it a bit and let it sit for about 10 min.
there should be some foam forming on the surface of the mixture.

2) add salt, grated carrots, oil and flour until you have a nice firm dough. keep adding more flour if it is sticky and more oil if it is to dry and kneed it until it feels kind of silky. now make a ball out of the dough by folding it inside its own bottom. that will create a surface that keeps the air bubbles form the yeas inside and that's what makes the dough rise.

3) take the dough out of the bowl, scrape off any excess flour, put some oil inside and coat it so the dough wont stick to the bowl while rising. return the ball of dough to the bowl and turn it around to coat it a bit in oil. cover the bowl with a damp towel (i usually use hot water to damp the kitchen towel as i found it makes the dough rise quicker. yeast really loves warm, damp environments!). now let it sit for about half an hour of more until it doubled in size.

4) punch down the dough and start kneading it a bit. make small balls and use the same method as before to give it a nice surface. cover with a damp towel again and let it sit for its second rise (also about half an hour/until they kind of double in size).

5) you can preheat the oven on 180C°/ 356F° and bake the buns until they are ready/golden.

they taste amazing with some butter, salt and tomatoes or herbs on top!

chicken liver parfait

I usually am not a friend of eating in offal/internal organs or meat in general but i do love german "Leberwurst". i recently saw jamie oliver doing chicken liver parfait and rotem was also talking about making some for some time now so we decided to try jamies version.

for two medium bowls you will need:
  • 2x 250g packs of butter
  • some fresh sage
  • 2 onions
  • two cloves of garlic
  • some fresh thyme
  • 1kg of chicken liver
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • a small glass of brandy (we used white wine)
 1) the first thing you need to do is clarify 250g of butter. you do that by melting it on a very low heat (will take about 20/30 min). 
the yellow fat will separate from the white whey and you can skim the fat off the top. the whey is what makes butter burn as it does not tolerate high temperatures, the fat instead can take medium to high heat and that's what you want. so skim off the transparent oil into another pot, put it on medium heat and put a sage leaf inside.

2) meanwhile you can heat some oil in a large pan, chop onions and garlic and start frying them together with the thyme leafs. after about 5 min onions and garlic should have some colour and you can add the livers, some more oil, salt and pepper. fry on high heat for about 4 min. the livers should still be blushing in the middle, don't over cook them or they will become very though and that's not what you want.

3) keep an eye on the sage leaf and as soon as it gets crispy and you hear loud frying sounds take the pot from the heat and through in the other sage leafs.

4) add your brandy/wine to the livers and let it cook off (flame it if you want). then everything from that pan goes into the food processor. you can use on of those immersion blenders as well, we did and it works just fine. mix until smooth and add the remaining 250g of butter peace by peace. season it until you are happy with the taste - then add a bit more as the seasoning goes down when it gets cold, which is how you'll serve it. mix it for a bit more.
5) you can serve this however you like. we put the paste in small bowls (make sure the surface of the paste is straight!), gave some of the crispy sage leaves on top and poured clarified butter over it until slightly covered. 
if the butter covers the paste it will prevent air from getting to it and preserve it for up to a week in the fridge.
this parfait is delicious on fresh or toasted bread with some cucumbers, onions or tomatoes on top. enjoy!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

planting store bought spring/green onions

some time ago i saw a video on you tube that shows how you plant the lower part of store bought spring onions (apparently they just keep on producing green leaves that you can cut over and over again. i also planted spring onions from seeds but that will take time until they will be ready for harvest so i figured i am going to try this!
so i just cut the lower part of one sprint onion when i made a salad 
(i usually only cut the roots and use the rest but i figured for this experiment we would need a bit more of the spring onion.)
and i just let it sit in a glass of water for some days.
this is after one day, i was amazed how you can already see that it grew (remember: it was a straight cut!)
 some days later i planted the green onion in soil and it keeps growing and growing.
so it is definitely worth a try and much quicker then growing them from seeds.

Sunday, 16 September 2012


usually rotem makes the pancakes, but as he was not here this morning and i really felt like pancakes i had to find myself a recipe. i just stole jamie olivers breakfast pancake recipe, really tasty =)

all you need is:
  •  a cup of self rising flour (or just mix some flour with baking powder)
  • one cup of milk
  • an egg
  • a tiny bit of salt
  • and butter for the pan. 

If you want you can cut or grate all kinds of fruits into the barter or put sugar inside if you like it sweet. i am more the savory/salty kind of person so i decided to make different salty ones. 

mix it all together, turn on the heat, give a bit of butter into the pan and start making pancakes!

i found that garlic, herbs tomatoes and also curry work amazingly well with these pancakes.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

the jean pain method

I just found this old documentation on youtube about a french guy called jean pain who (back in the 70s!!!) used composting shredded wood piles to heat water, produce methan gas (that used to cook, produce electricity and power his truck) and in the end he used the composted pile to fertilize his garden. have a look and ask yourselfs why not everyone has one of those in their backyards!

i also found a german ( and an austrian ( company that build those biomeiler for privat houses, hotels and many other places.

Here you can see how one of native powers biomeiler is build.

jean and ida pain seem to be well known and there is even a "comité jean pain" in belgium.
but i was looking for jean and idas book everywhere and the only helpful information was on the comités webpage. apparently amazon is out of stock and does not even have a photo of the book and you dont get much information from google either. It seems like the book was translated into german, dutch and english.

UPDATE: i found a pdf of the book.
it may take a while to load so be patient.

if you want to learn more go and have a look on youtube, there are lots of projects going on, even in sibiria or have a look at the following links:

do you know anything about this amazing compost pile system?

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

the world according to monsanto - GMO documentary

For all those of you who might not have seen this or who might not know about monsanto, roundup and GMOs: please take the time and have a look!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

home made potato chips

some days ago i saw this post by our best bits and i just had to try.
today was a rather lazy day... whatching old disney movies like 101 dalmatians, winnie the poo, aristocats or the lion king ... what better to go with that then home made potato chips?
 so here is my first try with that =)

here is what you will need:
  • as may potatoes as you like
  • some kind of (frying) oil
  •  salt, pepper or any other seasoning

1.) you can do this with any kind of potato i guess, i used some sweet potatoes as well as some new potatoes. you want to slice them very thin so dont even try to do this with a knife; use a mondoline, a food processor or a potato peeler to get the best results (if you potatoes are to big just cut them in half until they fit your method best, but try keeping them about the same size so they will fry evenly)
2.) place your slices in very cold water for about 10 min, stir them a bit and clean them with water several times after that to get most of the starch out.

3.) while the potatoes are getting ready you can start heating the oil. you dont need that much, just something like 5cm in a pot or pan. if you have a thermostat heat the oil to 190C°/375F°. if not (like me) just throw a small peace of potato in the oil and wait until it gets brown, then you will have to experiment a bit but esentially you want the potatoes to fry evenly through without getting too brown anywhere. so start with very small portions if you are not sure about the temperatur.

4.) now after their bath in cold water the potatoes should dry a bit because oil and water dont really like each other. place them on a paper towl or use one of those amazing salad spinners.
5.) start frying your own potato chips =) they will need a few minutes until they are golden, then place them on a paper towl to remove excess oil and season them right away so the seasoning can stick to the chips and you are done!