Paneer Tikka Masala

Pic by Franzi.

This dish tastes like made in an Indian restaurant (at least in my world). I made it already several times – especially for guests. It’s easy to prepare (but takes some time) and always gets lots of praise :). You can make it either with paneer (an Indian fresh cheese that’s available in good-sorted Asian stores or you prepare your own home-made cheese), or alternatively use tofu, which tastes nearly as good as paneer in this Tikka Masala.

Recipe:

Ingredients: Serves 4.

2 TblSps coconut oil for frying, 250 g paneer or tofu (cut into cubes), 3 TblSps olive oil, 1-2 garlic cloves (smashed), 1 diced onion, app. 60 ml tomato paste, 2 TSps ground cardamom, 1/2 TSp pepper flakes, 2 TSps minced ginger, 2 TSps ground turmeric, 1 TSp garam masala, 1 TSp ground coriander, 1 TSp ground cumin, 800 g whole peeled tomatoes (tinned), 500 ml heavy cream, 450 g frozen peas, salt.

Preparation:

Heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a big cast-iron pot. Fry the paneer (or the tofu) until it is golden-brown (2-3 minutes on each side). Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Discard the oil.

Heat the olive oil in the same pot. Add the smashed garlic, the minced onion, the tomato paste, the cardamom and pepper flakes. Roast, stirring often, until the tomato paste has darkened and the onion has softened (about 5 minutes). Add the rest of the spices (ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin) to the pot and roast, stirring constantly, until the bottom of the pot begins to brown (about 4 minutes).

Add the tomatoes with their juices, crushing the tomatoes with your hands while you add them. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring frequently and scraping up any brown bits. Cook until sauce thickens (about 8 minutes).

Add in the heavy cream, the paneer and the peas. Season to taste with salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened (15-20 minutes). Serve with rice.

Enjoy!

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Street Food Love: Kumpir!

KumpirThe Kumpir I ate Tuesday: The Russian version with Mexican sauce. Pic by Franzi.

I have a new street food addiction: When I get a little hungry while strolling through Hamburg I regularly end up in a Kumpir bar. Kumpirs are baked potatoes, sliced in the middle, mixed with butter and grated cheese and topped with various sauces, vegetables, olives, pepperoni and all sorts of other foods. The name ‘Kumpir’ comes from the Balkans. It’s a popular fast food in Turkey. What I like most about it is that it isn’t THAT unhealthy, it’s saturating and comes in lots of variations.

The two Kumpir bars you will find me most in Hamburg are the Kumpir König at the Grindel and the Kumpir König in the Schanze.

Enjoy!

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Let’s Talk About… Funny Food Favs!

PizzaA ready-made pizza with some extra pineapple I put on top of it. Pic by Franzi

Let’s talk about funny food favs! Mine is easy – I like pineapple on my pizza. A lot of pineapple. No, not on a pizza Hawaii, but in combination with onions, bell pepper, tomatoes and/or corn. For me it’s totally normal. I am even known as the funny woman who orders a pizza Hawaii without ham but with more pineapple at the pizza delivery service. A lot of people give me “the crazy look” when I tell them about this baked pineapple desire of mine. But hey, it is simply delicious :).

Tell me – what are you’re funny food favs?

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No Time To Cook!

GoettingenPic by Franzi.

No time to cook the last days. Yesterday I went to Göttingen and back to Hamburg. This afternoon I will drive to Frankfurt to my pal Marie and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Can’t await it ;)! In the upper pic you can see yesterdays’ dinner: A potato dish by Mr. Clou. I hope, that I am able to present you something home-made next week again.

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A New Gourmet Box!

Gourmet BoxAll pics by Franzi.

A new Gourmet Box arrived! Since the temperatures outside are rising, I instantly grabbed the raspberry sauce and enjoyed it with a bowl of chocolate ice-cream. And those are the other delicious treats I found inside the box… BoxEat Smarter Zine Like I write every time I find a cooking zine inside a Gourmet Box: I love cooking zines!

Cocktail Truffles by Confiserie Heilemann GmbH… The lemon vodka truffle was my favorite!

Fairtrade Breitsamer Honey I like the fair trade part. But is it sustainable to pack the honey into small 20 g portions? …At least it’s convenient ;).

Apple Chips by Brög GmbH & Co. KG… Apple Chips are one of my favorite snacks – so that’s a big thumps-up!

Olive Oil with White Truffles by Tartufi di Gaetano… It’s a delicious oil and I already used it for some salads!

Raspberry Sauce by Atkins & Potts Ltd… Perfect with chocolate ice-cream ;).

Sauce Hollandaise by Atkins & Potts Ltd… It’s asparagus season, yeah! I will try the sauce – but I prefer home-made sauce hollandaise.

Plum Butter by Tarpa Bioprodukte… This is the favorite plum butter of my father. Really, no joke. I laughed out loud when I found it inside the box.

Peanut, Strawberry & Basil Cubes by KREBAER NUSSWERK GmbH & Co. KG… Still not a very sustainable package, but okay… the cubes only lasted for approximately five minutes. I loved them.

Palio “Wild Hibiscus Blossom Secco” A nice summer drink. Not too sweet and refreshing!

Conclusion:

This was a box full of little surprises and delicious treats. A good step forward into the “gourmet” world, but it still could be a bit more “sustainable” ;).

Enjoy!

I got the Gourmet Box for free. Nevertheless, I only stated my own opinions . I’m happy to answer all questions regarding blog corporations in a personal message. Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

Dining with Friends: Food Quotes!

Let us finish this week with clever and wise quotes about food. Two of them are from the gorgeous Julia Child herself – if someone understands something about food than that would be her…

I wish you a delicious weekend. And if you can make it, you should dine with some friends 😉 !

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Topic of the Week: Dining with Friends!

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What did you do this last weekend? Maybe you met up with a couple of friends? Did you share a good piece of pizza with each other? Or maybe you made a BBQ? Or even a picnic? There are a million ways to come together and enjoy a good time with good talks, good company, good food and not seldom a good bottle of wine. Lately, I rediscovered the power of those evenings. Even if your day was slightly boring or depressing, a good laugh with friends at dinner on your balcony, in your living room or in your garden can easily save your day. Afterwards you feel relaxed and are looking forward to the next time you will all meet. That’s why I dedicated this week to the topic Dining with Friends. It does not require much to share a good meal with the people you like. Those are the important ingredients:

* A nice place to meet-up:
Your kitchen table, a picnic blanket, a balcony, a garden … Every tiny spot can feel comfy. Just lit a few candles, maybe choose some relaxed background music and this is it.

* Offer something delicious to eat:
This has not to be something extraordinary or complicated. Most times a good piece of pizza, a lasagna or a big bowl of pasta is more welcome than any fancy stuff.

A nice bunch of people:
It doesn’t matter if you are only two or fifty. As long as you enjoy your time together and there are stories to share you will have a wonderful time!

I wish you a good start into the new week with many hours shared with friends!

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A monthly Challenge! January: Going Vegan!

Going VeganPic by Franzi.

Voilá, I proudly present you a new series: A monthly Challenge. Life would be boring without a few challenges, wouldn’t it? And because the last few days (or should I say last two years?) showed already that I can deal with new challenges, I will make no pause and just search myself a new one …and in February the next, and in March another one and in April… I think you already get the scheme: 12 fresh months (okay 11,5) are laying stretched out before us and I will go for 12 fresh challenges. I haven’t decided yet if all of them will be food challenges (maybe yes – there’s still so much to try out; maybe not – life has to offer so much more thrilling challenges), but I will start with one. A big one. I will change my food status a bit: Instead of being a pescetarian  (Yeah, I also learned this word just now – cool isn’t it?) like usually, I’m going to live as a vegan from next Monday on for the next four weeks. In the beginning of the last year I made a 4 week detox during which I lived two weeks vegan. I found it pretty hard to adjust myself to this practise of a diet, but at least I had some recipes at hand and in the end it really helped me with some health issues. And since I planned to read Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals for a very long time anyway, I will start to read it now and give my best to challenge myself. I will keep you informed how it is going on and MAYBE – if I will dig out some new delicious vegan recipes – share them with you.

Wish me Luck!

(My dear illusion: This one is a coincidence and has nothing to do with you or your current popularity.)

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Easy-Peasy Classic: Guacamole!

Pic by Franzi.

Every good party needs snacks. And what do you need for snacks? Exactly – a dip! And which dip is THE classic dip?! Exactly – guacamole! I love avocados, which is strange because I couldn’t stand them as a child. But nowadays I adore their creamy, nutty flavour. And the best about guacamole: This recipe is so easy-peasy you will not even need a print version of it!

Recipe: Serves 4-6.

Ingredients: One ripe avocado, 1 pinch of salt, 1 pinch of black pepper, 1/2 lime

Preparation: Scoop the avocado out of the skin into a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the lime juice. Mash with a fork. Done!

Enjoy!

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How Good Are Your Cookbooks? Today: Nigella Express!

Like promised last week, I start today with testing different cookbooks and the potential of their recipes to make us full and happy :). The series starts with the book Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for good food fast by Nigella Lawson which has its home in Isa’s kitchen. Together we tested a whole range of recipes – from breakfast over a starter, a main and a side dish to a dessert. Evaluated were the practicability, the originality aaand the taste, of course. The book promises to offer recipes for a variety of different occasions (after-work dishes, for friends and family, for the soul..) that are all easy and fast to prepare.

What I liked most about the recipes was that you don’t need to buy many extravagant ingredients, but the combination of the ingredients is often quite innovative and guarantees new flavor experiences. Besides the fact, that we prepared some of the tested dishes at the same time, it was all very uncomplicated and took at least one hour until it was ready to serve (…with the exception of the moonblush tomatoes which are prepared while you are SLEEPING). And finally our statement about the taste: Every single dish was DELICIOUS!

Our end result: The book deserves ***** (from five stars) + one revelation for Isa (=the moonblush tomatoes which she repeated already thrice. And she found out that it is also working with bell peppers)!

1. Breakfast: Caramel Croissant Pudding

Croissants, eggs, cream, rum, sugar? Are you kidding me?! Ohh, but it’s so worth it! We couldn’t stop eating… It was impossible.

2. Starter: Moonblush Tomatoes + Salad with Moonblush Tomatoes

The incredible red moonblush tomatoes: Just put them into the preheated oven, turn the oven off, go to sleep and on the next morning they are done! What most astound me was that they are still looking like common cherry tomatoes, but they taste like DRIED tomatoes!

3. Main Dish: Festive Fusilli

…Isa: “Can you imagine to sit around the table on a family festivity and then serve this vodka pasta?!”. Seriously, its delicious. But there’s  still a whole shot of vodka inside!

4. Side Dish: Halloumi Bites

…Easy-peasy prepared and suddenly a common halloumi tastes even more delicious!

4. Dessert: White Chocolate Mint Mousse

Isa: “The ingredients photo will look funny with the china oil.” How is it possible?! We added ONE DROP of the oil to our mixture and it tasted incredibly minty!

All pics by Franzi (click on the pics to enlarge!).

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