4 Nov 2013

#BEDN - FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD

'It's our fuel, it's a social bond and for many of us it's a happy place. Today we celebrate food'


today we celebrate food. this is just the right thing for this blog and I am really happy that it's back in the challenge, in may I posted this beautiful recipe in this category.

today however I am going to be doing something a little different, it's something I've been meaning to do ever since I moved and stopped doing 'a week in meals' posts, which will be coming back by the way. 

today I am going to be posting a kind of summary of the meals I've had ever since I moved. I have taken pictures of most of them as I've gotten so used to it but just never had time to post a week in meals, so I thought I'd do this instead to not waste all the lovely pictures. I've chosen some of my favourite food moments and there will be a story to every picture and some eating out recommendations aswell.


my mum's first dinner in Manchester

my mum came to visit me and my new town only a week after I moved here and I was so happy to be able to show her around. on the first evening we went to TGI Friday's as it's a place we'd been to in London and we love. they do really great food and sing a lot of birthday songs to people (can that many people have their birthday on one day?!) it was a great evening with my mum and I can't wait to go back with her sometime (because really as nice as it is it's just not in my budget).

our first sunday lunch at the new house

since one of my housemates had never had a proper sunday lunch we decided we had to introduce her to it, and we did so properly. yorkshire puddings made by a yorkshire women, amazing beef (thanks to my housemates mum) and looaaads of veg and mash. that's what I love about sundays.

Jamie's Italian with my mum

definitely one of my favourite meals so far. those are the two things we had for starters which are crispy risotto balls with arrabbiata sauce and same fried gnocchi which I can't seem to find on the menu anymore hence the bad description. the meal was great and the King Street restaurant is so beautiful, I just want to eat there every day. which of course I won't but I do really want to.

so those are some of my favourite impressions so far, let me know if you liked this post and if you want me to maybe do those kinds of posts more often? thank you for reading!

Magdalena.


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this post is part of the Blog Every Day In November series.

3 Nov 2013

#BEDN - LIGHT (a candle wishlist)

'Happy Diwali! It's the Hindu festival of lights. Whether you are Hindu or not, let's think about light'
 A Candle Wishlist

now, first when I saw the topic for today I really didn't know what to write about, but then it came to me, candles. it's this time of the year again where it's grey outside and dark most of the time so it's lovely to have some candles around to light up the mood from time to time. 


1. Spiced Apple Halloween Jar Candle - Flamingo Candles
I first found out about this company over at love, Tilly and fell in love with it. I've not tried any of the candles yet but if I were to choose one it'd be this one. for me this sounds more like a christmas scent than halloween but really I don't care, I just love apply in every shape or form and you just can't go wrong with flamingos ever.

2. Jam Scented Candles - dotcomgiftshop
aren't these cute? I just love the look of them and the scents also sound pretty nice, especially the apple, again.

3. Cheesecake Crunsh Candle - Flamingo Candles
this is another flamingo candles one and I just had to include this as it sounds so delicious and I thought my blog readers would like the sound of a cake scented candle (just as much as I do!) this sounds really nice to me actually even though I'm not a fan of really sweet smells I think the notes of this would be lovely. I'll have to try it.

4. Market Peach - Bath And Body Works (found on ebay)
now this is not really an autumn winter scent, but I love peaches and I've been wanting to try this candle ever since I first heard about it. I am not going to as I can only really get it on ebay but if you ever find yourself in america would you mind bringing one back for me?

Magdalena.

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this post is part of the Blog Every Day In November series.

2 Nov 2013

#BEDN - SOMETHING YOU MADE

Share something you made - it can be a craft, a recipe, your latest DIY attempt, your babies, a home remedy or even you local community group. Interpret any way you like!

I'll be honest here, I was going to and really should be posting a recipe today but since I actually made something different the other day I really wanted to show it as I'm not usually one to make things that aren't food.

It was halloween and me and my housemates thought we'd do some pumpkin carving. now I never used to really celebrate halloween back home, I've carved pumpkins before but the online time I really did it was last year with my boyfriend and it was great. (the really cool one on the left is the boyfriend's by the way, he's certainly the talented one)



and after that I thought it would be a great idea to give it a go again this year. not as much planning went into it I have to say but I spent all day trying to figure out what I wanted to carve and then basically decided about five minutes before the carving started. I ran up into my room, took a picture of my textbook and used it as a template (can you guess what's coming now?)


yes! it's a heart! (well done to those of you who actually guessed it, many of my friends didn't but I assume that just means that my skills will have to improve next year).

however, I am actually really proud of it and it means I shall always remember the shape of the heart and where all the important things are and stuff. so yeah, that's pumpkin revision right there.

and here's the other thing that I made which shall be in a recipe post really soon. it won't be halloween anymore then (since it's not even halloween anymore now) but pumkin is yummy all year around right?


Magdalena.


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this post is part of the Blog Every Day In November series.

1 Nov 2013

#BEDN - INTRODUCTION

introduce yourself to fellow BEDN-ers and maybe tell your long time readers something new. Let's get to know you!
 
hey everyone, so since elizabeth over at rosalilium has started another challenge to blog every day in one month, this time Blog Every Day in November or #BEDN, I thought I would use this is a chance for me to get back into blogging. it really worked back in may when I took part in the #BEDM challenge (see some posts here) so I thought I'd give it a go again.

I will not promise to actually post every single day but I most definitely will try my very best to post as often as possible.

so today I am supposed to introduce myself, this is always a difficult thing for me but I guess I'll just get started. I'm Magdalena and I'm originally from Austria but I've moved to the UK two months ago. I love in the beautiful north west and study biomedical sciences at university here. I love food which is why I've started this blog. I love watching and playing football and it makes me really happy that now that I'm at uni here I can finally play with a great club. I'm only in the beginners team but I love it.

I'm not your typical student in any way, I like going to bed early and I love my 9 o'clock lectures, I don't sit in my room and study all day every day but I do enjoy a weekend where I can do just that (like this weekend). 

I love being in the UK as I've always wanted to live here and I certainly don't regret living here. it's actually not even rained all that much yet which I know will not last but since I have an umbrella now (after living here for two months!) I don't mind that either.

I am really happy to have found some great people over here already and I know I'll make many more friends over time. I do really miss my friends at home though but I'm glad skype exists which means we can have long chats while I make food.

so that's a little bit about me, some old and some new things. I hope you enjoyed this post and wish me luck that I'll manage to post almost every day in november. also, good luck to all of you who are taking part aswell!

Magdalena

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this post is part of the Blog Every Day In November series.

25 Oct 2013

RECENTLY #6

it's been 21 days since my last post. wow. I can't believe I've not posted for that long and I'd like to say that I've tried blogging and that I've been missing it but honestly this is not the case. there has been so much going on that all I wanted to do is just live my life with all the new things that are happening so blogging had to wait. however, it is great to be back and I have missed writing posts and creating recipes. 

since it's been so long I thought I'd start with a little update before getting started with new recipes and everything else. as I said in my last recently post I've settled in quite well in my new home in the north west of the UK and I'm really loving uni aswell. 


I have been trying to sort out my schedule and get into a routine with uni work and it's been going quite well so far. I'm really loving my course and I've met some lovely people at uni. I've also started playing football after years of watching it and I'm so happy I did, it's not only a great way to stay fit with all the cooking but it's just so much fun.

I've also found great places to buy food, there's a brilliant store not far from me that sells lovely fresh veg and I'm actually enjoying the budgeting, it's not as hard as I thought it would be.



me and my housemate have been cooking quite a lot together which I am really enjoying, I'm so happy to be living with someone who shares my love for food and delicious things. now that I'm kind of sorted out here I hope I can get back into a blogging routine aswell, it probably won't be as many times a week as it used to be but I'm sure you'll understand that uni is a lot more important, but I've missed my little blog and I don't want to stop blogging so I'll try my best to get back into it.

I'm going to be starting a little series about student recipes, so if anyone has any ideas or wishes just let me know. also, I have now finally got instagram to post pictures of my food and other things, so if you want to follow me you can do so here.

hope you're all well, and I'll be back soon, I promise.

Magdalena.

5 Oct 2013

#49 SWISS CHARD AND POTATOES

Hi everyone, wow, it's really been a while!  thought it's about time I share a little recipe again, this is something I made a while ago while I was still back in austria but I thought I'd still share it as it's one of my favourite things and it'd also be a great as a student meal as it's super simple and will give you plenty of energy. I've had way too much pizza in the last few weeks even though I cook for myself most of the time, but I've just not been able to create any recipes just yet. so this is something to get started and after planning my weekly timetable I do think I'll fit some blogging in there in the future so don't worry, there will be recipes and all those things up here soon, but for now, here's some swiss chard and potatoes for you!

I don't know how many of you clicked on this asking themselves 'what is chard actually'. I actually don't know, as I grew up knowing what Mangold (the german word for chard) is, but the day I was making this my boyfriend asked me what I was having and I said chard and he said 'what?!' and he usually knows a lot of things when it comes to food so maybe it's just not that popular (you can find more information about what it is here in case you did ask). thinking about it it's probably not that popular over here either as I was very surprised to find some beautiful leaves of it at the market one day. (sorry for the bad quality phone picture)



of course the first thing that came to mind was to make chard and potatoes as that's what I've had many times when visiting croatia and slovenia as it's a very common side dish over there. I thought it can't be that difficult to make myself and as it was super easy and really delicious I couldn't not share it with you guys.


Swiss Chard and Potatoes
for two as a side

4 leaves of swiss chard
4 big potatoes
1 clove of garlic
salt

start by cooking the potatoes as you do, don't worry if you leave them for a bit longer, it works well when they're a bit mushy.

remove the big bit of the chard's stalk if you want to and cut the leaves into big pieces. add chart to the boiling water for about a minute. take off the heat and pour it all into a colander. rinse chard with cold water and set aside.

take a pan and heat some olive oil (not too high heat though) peel the potatoes and cut into small pieces, add to the pan and also add the chard. mince your garlic and add to the pan too, add salt to taste.

and there you go! that's all you need to make this lovely delicious side dish which you can easily also enjoy as a lovely summer meal with some salad if you like.



hope you liked this little different recipe idea, I fell in love with this dish in croatia and it always gives me that mediterranean feel. I love to enjoy it just by itself on a summer day. do let me know what you think and if you've ever tried chard and what you think about it.

Magdalena.

3 Oct 2013

Guest Post: HANNAH'S STUDENT FOOD

as I am currently busy getting used to uni, I have found some lovely guest bloggers to take over for me until I'm all settled. today's guest blogger is Hannah who blogs over at Heart Of Cake, she's one of the loveliest people and she loves food just as much as I do, I'm really happy to have her on my blog today and she's created a brilliant post.

Hi I'm Hannah from theheartofcake.com  Guest Posting for Magdalena whilst she's moving over to Manchester to start life as a brilliant little student! As she'll be moving to a new country and becoming a student I thought I'd do a student inspired recipe post! So, hope you all enjoy!

As a student, it can be really hard to eat well, on a budget with healthy nutritious food. When I was a student I used to rely on the same food day in day out because it was easier, but it got boring really quickly! So, I thought I would share a few of my favourite budget student eats. This are recipes that I still use all the time, plus they make sure you get plenty of fresh healthy food in your diet!


Breakfast
Muesli & Fruit Greek Yoghurt.
  • 3 tablespoons of 0% fat Greek Yoghurt
  • 3 tablespoons on muesli (I love Dorset cereals simply nutty)
  • a handful of any of your favourite fruit
This is a really simple breakfast. All you need to do it put your yoghurt and muesli into your bowl and let it sit for a minute or two. I like to do this to soften my muesli, but if you like it crunchy, just serve it straight away. Then just add your fruit. Simple! :)

Lunch
Leek & Potato Soup

  • 2 medium sized leeks
  • 6 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
This recipe is another really easy and simple, delicious meal. The quantities make quite a bit of soup so it can last over a couple of days, can be shared with friends or frozen. Firstly, dice the leeks and onion and fry in a pan with a little butter, just until they are softened. Chop the potatoes up roughly, if you have some bigger ones and smaller ones it doesn't matter as it gives the soup some texture. Add the potatoes and stock cube. Add enough water to the pan to cover the potatoes and leave on a low boil for 40 minutes. Keep adding water if the soup looks like it's drying out. Make sure to add plenty of salt and pepper, and if you have a hand blender (I think they're a necessity as a student because they're great for making soups, salad dressings and smoothies) whizz up the soup until it gets to a nice thick consistency.

Dinner
Fridge Spaghetti Bolognese
  • 1 pack of lean mince (around 350-400g)
  • a pack of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a few basil leaves
  • 1 stock cube
  • 1 large onion
  • any vegetables that are in your fridge (peppers, tomatoes, courgette..)
  • spaghetti
I love a good spaghetti bolognese, it's a really warming food and perfect when you need a good feed! I'm not a fan of the pre-made sauces as they tend to be full of salt and sugar and can taste really overly sweet. It's so simple to make a sauce from scratch and it's also much healthier and tastier than the jarred stuff. I make this spag bol when I have veg in my fridge that need using up, when they're cooked down in the tomato sauce, you can't tell that there's tons of different veg in there, it just makes a really delicious sauce (it's also really great for getting veg into fussy kids).
To start fry the mince until browned then remove from the pan, I like to take it out so it doesn't all cook away when making the sauce. To the same pan, add the diced onion and fry until softened. add the garlic, cherry tomatoes and other veg and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, plenty of salt and a little sprinkle of sugar and leave to cook for a good hour. Keep adding water to keep the sauce nice and runny. If you have some in and fancy making the dish a bit more adult, add a splash of red wine.
 Once everything has softened, get the hand blender out again and whizz up the sauce until it gets to a really nice smooth consistency. Add the mince back in to the sauce and leave to heat up again for another 10 minutes. Serve with spaghetti and some fresh garlic bread!

Enjoy! Hannah x


thank you very much for your post Hannah, I hope you all enjoyed this post, make sure to check out Hannah's blog over at Heart Of Cake, you can also find her on twitter here.

23 Sep 2013

Guest Post: LOUISE'S 'German Cuisine - but not as you know it'


as I am currently in the process of moving, I have found some lovely guest bloggers to take over for me until I'm all settled. today's guest blogger is Louise who blogs over at Beside the Danube, she's a lovely person and I really love the post she's done for today.

German Cuisine (but not as you know it!)

Ask your average Joe what springs to mind when asked to name German specialities and, most of the time, you’ll receive one of two answers: sausages and beer. While it’s true that German (and Bavarians, in particular) love a good Wurst washed down with a Hefeweizen, there’s so much more to German cuisine than first meets the eye.

After almost a decade studying the language, I spent a glorious year teaching English and eating more coffee and cake than ever ever ever medically advised in a pretty medieval city perched on the Danube. During my time in Regensburg, I sampled my fair share of German delicacies (beer and sausages not included). So here’s a little (vegetarian!) checklist of things not to miss out on should you find yourself visiting German lands.

1. Soup (Suppe)


Germany does comfort food well and I ate some of the best soups of my life during the cold Bavarian winter I spent there, where temperatures routinely dipped to – 20 C. Particular favourites included carrot and coconut soup and wild mushroom soup home-brewed with mushrooms from the Bavarian Forest. If you ever find yourself in Hamburg, be sure to take yourself to Oma’s Apotheke (Schanzenstrasse 28) for the creamiest, tastiest tomato soup you’ll ever eat in life. It’s even served in a bowl made of home baked bread!

2. Falafel (Falafel-Döner)

source

Most every German town and city will have one (or three,    or five, or twenty) Döner shops, open late into the night. Because of Germany’s large Turkish minority, the food served at these establishments is often of excellent quality and super tasty. For the vegetarians (like me), try the falafel wraps always on offer: healthier than your average Döner and absolutely delicious. Once I ate Döner Falafel two nights in a row. That’s how good it is.

3. Käsespätzle (the Bavarian’s answer to macaroni cheese)


Soaked in a creamy cheese sauce and topped with roasted shallots, Käsespätzle are Bavaria’s answer to macaroni and cheese. Spätzle are traditional Bavarian noodles made with little more than eggs, flour and salt. Vegetarian in a traditional Biergarten? Order these off the menu and you’ll never look at macaroni and cheese in the same way again!

4. Dampfnudeln


Dampfnudeln are kind of a big deal in Regensburg. One colleague would always invite me for these sweet, steaming dumplings drenched in warm custard after school, served in a traditional hole-in-the-wall called the Dampfnudel Uli. At first the thought of eating boiled bread with custard didn’t really appeal, but like any true Bavarian, I soon came to love this peculiar Bavarian delicacy – another dish perfect for cold winter afternoons.

5. Coffee and Cake (Kaffee und Kuchen)


Coffee and cake is a German tradition beloved by those with a sweet tooth (me! me!) The official Kaffee und Kuchen hour begins at 4pm and is a time for chatting, catching up and munching on the best cake in town. The families I grew to know and love in Germany baked some of wonderful sweet treats, but anyone visiting the country will be spoilt for choice with the endless bakeries and coffeehouses lining city avenues. Take the time to while away an hour or two with a slice of apple cake and a cup of Milchkaffee and you’ll not be disappointed.

I hope you’re as hungry as I am now! For more German-themed nostalgia and sentimental musings, visit my blog over at http://frauleinlouise.blogspot.com

Wishing Magdalena all the best in her big move to the UK!


thank you very much for your post Louise, I hope you all enjoyed this post, make sure to check out Louise's blog over at Besides the Danube.

22 Sep 2013

RECENTLY #5

it's been a pretty long time since I've clicked on that 'new post' button to type something up myself. it's been a busy few weeks and I loved almost every second. 

thanks to some lovely people who did me a huge favour and wrote some guest posts it hasn't been too quiet over here on the blog. but I know it's about time I get on here again as it is my blog, there are still some guest posts to come and I'd love if some more bloggers would like to do some for me, there will always be slots available.

now, what have I been up to. on the first of september I moved into my new house, in a new city, in a now country even. last week I started university and I am absolutely loving it. I didn't go to any parties but I met lovely people on my course and my housemates are great. I'm missing home and my friends sometimes but I know they won't forget me and I won't forget them and see them again soon so I'm mainly happy to be here.

I've also got to terms with my new gas cooker, found the right temperature to make rice, so it's all good and I'm happy with my kitchen, even the spice cupboard is getting there and I've bought herbs for the window sill. 

I know there will be times when I'll regret moving so far away from my family and best friends but I know that it was the right thing to do. I hope that soon I'll have found a spot to take nice food pictures and managed to get into my cooking routine so that I'll be able to post more regularly, until then, bare with me and leave lovely comments for my guest bloggers.

Magdalena.

18 Sep 2013

Guest Post #7: AMY'S PLUM AND ROSE CLAFOUTIS

as I am currently in the process of moving in and starting uni, I have found some lovely guest bloggers to take over for me until I'm all settled. today's guest blogger is Amy who blogs over at The Fresh Fresher, she's one of my favourite food bloggers and I'm really happy to have her over here today sharing a recipe with us.


East Meets West: Individual Plum and Rose Clafoutis
By Amy, aka The Fresh Fresher


The traditional French version of this dish calls for cherries, sugar and oodles of butter, but my inspiration for these flavours is, believe it or not, Polish. 

A long time ago a friend of mine gave me a piece of her Polish mother’s plum cake – a brown, fairly boring looking thing, it has to be said. But when I tasted it I could not believe all the sharp fruitiness tucked away inside. It was soft, spongy and subtle, unlike some British fruit cakes. Baked plums have been a go-to dessert for me ever since. It is amazing how only ten minutes of heat can completely transform this classic summer fruit into a tart and semi-healthy pudding.

I’d like to tell you that the inclusion of rose water has some inspiring back-story to it as well, but really it was just a gut feeling. I’m pretty glad I went with it!

The French origins of this recipe might make it sound complicated, but by cooking the clafoutis in portions is takes hardly any time at all. The clafoutis is really just a gooey pancake, after all (but don’t tell the French I said that). As a balanced fast-food blogger I know how to keep my cooking lazy, and trust me – if I can do it, so can you!


Plum and Rose Clafoutis (serves 2)

1 ripe plum, halved
2 free range eggs
20g caster sugar
1 tsp rosewater
2 tsp plain flour
Pinch of salt
A little butter for greasing

1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Lightly grease two ramekins or small oven-proof dishes and dust with a little flour. Place the plum halves cut-side down in each.

2. In a bowl whisk together the eggs and the sugar until you can no longer see granules in the mixture. Sieve in the flour and pinch of salt and whisk again until smooth. Pour the mixture evenly between the two dishes.

3. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the top looks completely set. Sprinkle with the rosewater and serve with an extra dusting of icing sugar or a little cream.


thank you very much for your post Amy, I hope you all enjoyed this post, make sure to check out Amy's blog over at The Fresh Fresher, you can also find her on twitter here.

16 Sep 2013

Guest Post #6: MAX'S 'Favourite Things'

as I am currently in the process of moving, I have found some lovely guest bloggers to take over for me until I'm all settled. today's guest blogger is Max who blogs over at WhyAmINotSkinny, today she's going to share some of her favourite things with you.


Heya,
I am WhyIamNotSkinny, a South African who has been living in Brussels, Belgium for the last 5 years – and someone who believes that everything revolves around food! Living with HIM (my amazing Portuguese fiancé) and Trouble (my crazy black cat)… I am  happiest in the kitchen testing out a recipe, trying out a new restaurant or feeding my friends (all of which involve a glass of wine).
And these are a few items of my favourite things!:


1. 
I was recently given a set of 8 individual Le Creuset mini cocotte’s and am now in love with their fabulous colour array and versatility (I have made individual chicken pot pies as well as chocolate mousse in them) – plus they are oven-proof, dishwasher-proof and probably even alien-proof! So my eyes are now eagerly eyeing out the larger casserole cocotte’s…

2.
I know that summer is almost behind us (or at least in Brussels, the temperatures are starting to drop and the days are not as long as they once were)… but I am now yearning for my own little ice-cream maker… and I have heard some wonderful things about the Magimix Le Glacier Turbine ice-cream maker – apparently being easy to use and easy to clean – sounds *dreamy*

3.
Then of course – and not only because – but since HIM’s and my relationship flourished because of a local Italian restaurant, I have a very soft spot for homemade pasta… it is just something that I have never made myself and I find that the need is growing! Research seems to lean towards Imperia SP150 double cutter pasta machine being the best and most reliable on the market (with a fair amount of folk talking about owning theirs for 10 or more years already!)

4.
A favourite shop of mine in Brussels is Dille & Kamille offering an amazing assortment of house, garden and kitchen basics – all with natural materials, functional designs and an authentic feel! Everything from tea leaves to tagines to pot plants and teapots, they stock it all. It is a pure and utter decadence to wander around the store for and hour or two and I have never managed to walk out empty handed! EVER!

5.
Yuppiechef is a South African based online Kitchen tools shop started in 2006 by 2 good friends in Cape Town. In the meantime – they have acquired a third director and have become SA’s leading e-commerce store with a team over 50! My first experience with ordering with them online was prompt, efficient and super easy. *click click* and you are done. A few days later – you receive your parcel which includes your purchases, hand-wrapped, ribbon-decorated AND a personalized thank you letter for dealing with them. Now THIS is what I call service!

What is on your wish list?

thank you very much for your post Max, I hope you all enjoyed this post, make sure to check out Max's blog over at WhyAmINotSkinny, you can also find her on twitter here.