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Eggplant ratatouille in pumpkin bed

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Cortona 052Ingredients: 200 gr fresh tomatoes, 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 large eggplant (1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces, coarse salt and ground pepper, 2 large yellow onions (1 pound total), diced, 2-3 garlic cloves smashed and peeled, 200 gr mushrooms, peeled and diced large, 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, 1 tablespoon oregano leaves, 1 small pumpkin per person


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pumpkins in half (without peeling) and spoon out the seeds and the flesh. Put flesh aside.

  2. In a colander, toss chopped eggplant with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let sit 20 minutes, then squeeze out excess liquid. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 4 tablespoons oil over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until onions and garlic are soft, 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for max. 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, eggplant, bay leaf, marjoram and oregano to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer. Season to taste with red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Remove bay leaf.

  3. When the ratatouille is ready fill with it of the oil sprinkled pumpkins. Sprinkle each of them with bread crumbs (panko) and crumble feta cheese on top. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes

German plum pie

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szilvás morzsa vanília fagyival

The autumn has set in which means in Germany that it’s high time to prepare your own plum pie alias Zwetschkenkuchen- Pflaumenkuchen. 

If you don’t know what it is I can give some explanation: Zwetschgendatschi is a sheet cake or pie made from yeast dough or shortcrust dough that is thinly spread onto a baking sheet and covered with pitted zwetschgen. It is popular as a summer cake and has different local labelings throughout Germany Austria, and Switzerland.

“Datschi” is thought to be derived from the dialect word “detschen” or “datschen” that can be translated as “pinching” (as the plums are pinched into the dough). Although it is common to serve it with Streusel (a crumbly mixture of butter, sugar and flour) the original recipe serves it plain without any toppings.

The people from Augsburg (Bavaria) claim to have invented the cake. It is considered the city’s signature dish and according to the original recipe it is made with shortcrust pastry. Due to this dish the City is nicknamed “Datschiburg” and it is said that the look resembles the city’s coat of arms, the “Zirbelnuss”. aug 10-18 013

Here is the best Plum pie recipe for you:

Ingredients: 200 gr melted butter, 200 g sugar, 1 package vanilla sugar, 4 eggs, 100 ml cream, 600 grams of flour, half a packet of baking powder

For the filling: 1 kg plums, 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 tbsp tearum or plum brandy

Preparation: First, whip the butter with the sugar, and egg yolks, then add the cream and the stiff egg white, finally, add the baking powder and vanilla sugar. Meanwhile, wash the plums and pit, then chop into small pieces.

Sprinkle plums with the cinnamon, vanilla sugar and sugar mixture, add 1 tbsp of rum (+ 1 package vanilla sugar, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon) and leave to stand up to 10 minutes. After the dough is ready, arranged plums on the top optionally. Sprinkle the baking tray or cake tin with breadcrumbs and place over the cake. Put pie into the oven and bake at 180 degrees for 40 minutes. When the cake is ready and still hot, bestrew it with powdered sugar and cinnamon mixture. Cut round (see picture) or rectangular slices from pie. Garnish with mint leaves. The plum pie is even more delicious with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


Fennel soup with crispy bacon slices

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Horses in the water 012Ingredients: 450 gr fennel bulb, 800 ml veggie bouillon-stock, 10 pieces fennel seeds, 200 ml cream, 2 tbsp butter, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 2 ginger, 1 tbsp oil, 8 slices bacon, chilli, salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Wash and chop the fennel bulb, set aside the stem for garnish. Peel the garlic and the ginger. In a large soup pot, heat the oil or butter over medium heat. Add the chopped fennel, ginger and garlic. Bestrew with fennel seeds and chili powder. Sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, pour over cream and add orange zest. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the fennel is tender, about 15 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, purée the soup in batches until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and heat until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. If it necessary pass soup through again or filter.

Before serving fry the bacon slices until crispy. Ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with toasted fennel seeds. Serve soup immediately with fresh, crunchy bread.


Spanish mango-avocado salad with tomato sauce

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October fest 2015 005Ingredients: 20 prawns or scampis, tempura, water, oil for frying

For the salad: 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 mangos, cubed, 2 avocados, cubed, 1/2 small red onion, diced, 2 tbsp ketchup, 1 tbsp tomato purée, 1 tbsp Tabasco, 1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: In a large serving bowl, whisk together vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in oil add tomato purée, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Mix everything well. Toss in mangoes, avocado and red onion to coat.

Prepare tempura (water and ready tempura flour from Asian market), dip prawns in tempura and fry them in hot oil. Add to salad and serve immediately.

Egg in chilli clouds

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October fest 2015 003What’s really cool about Eggs in Clouds are that the only ingredient you really need to make them — aside from the slices of toast— is eggs. You are right if you think that this kind of egg plate is a meringue without sugar.

To make them is a piece of cake (egg): Once you’re done whipping your egg whites grab a couple slices of toast and spoon them onto it. Then you need to create an indentation in the middle of your “clouds” for the egg yolks that you separated out earlier. I used an upside down shot glass and it worked perfectly, but I’m sure you could use your fingers just as easily and get the same result. All that’s left to do after that is to bake your Eggs in Clouds in the oven at 450 F 220 C for 5 minutes. If you like your yolks a little runnier you can also wait until half way through the baking process to add them.

I’ve also tried making Eggs in Clouds with a couple added ingredients. Diced bacon and shredded cheese for instance taste amazing when mixed in with the egg whites. I’m guessing that you can basically take whatever it is that you normally like to eat as part of your breakfast and toss it in and I’ll taste pretty good. Adding chilli? Why not! Chopped up breakfast sausage? The sky, or the clouds, are the limit!Eggs-in chili clouds

Recipe for Eggs in chilli clouds

Ingredients: 4 eggs, room temperature, ¼ cup green onions, ¼ cup parmesan, 2 pieces cooked veggie bacon strips, crumbled, 2 tsp chopped chili peppers, pepper to taste

 Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cooked up the bacon. Once cooled down a bit, break up the bacon and set it aside. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a mixing bowl and the yolks in individual cups. Be careful not to break the yolks! Whip up the whites until stiff peaks form, around 5-6 minutes. Carefully fold in the parmesan, green onions, bacon and chili. Don’t over-mix the egg whites or they will lose that fluffy texture. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon 4 mounds of the egg white mixture on to the sheet. Make a deep well in the center of each fluffy cloud of whites. Bake the egg whites in the oven for 3 minutes, until lightly brown but not fully cook. Take out the baking sheet and carefully pour each egg yolk in to the center of the egg white wells. Bake the eggs for 4 minutes, until the yolks are just set. If you like your yolks less runny just leave the eggs in the oven for another minute or two.

Cattle Driving or welcome autumn

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At harvest time in September and October the Alpine regions (Austria, Germany and Switzerland) celebrate the return of their cattles from the mountains with a big feast. Even visitors can get to sharpen the scythes themselves, then cut the grass with it. They can hammer out rake teeth or bind colorful headgear for the cows. After expending so many calories, specialties from farm cuisine instantly supply new energy.

I first heard about this spectacular custom from my hairdresser who has a cottage in the Alps in Bavaria, and meanwhile she was busy with drying my hair she explained what does Almabtrieb (in German literally: drive from the mountain pasture) mean and she also talked about a lot of that nice annual cow train tradition.

Cattle driving

During summer, all over the alpine regions cow herds feed on alpine pastures (Almen or Alpen) high up in the mountains. In numbers, these amount to about 500,000 cows in Austria, 380,000 in Switzerland and 50,000 in Germany. While there is often some movement of cattle between the Almen during the summer, there is usually one concerted cow train in autumn to bring the cows to their stables down in the valley. This typically takes place in late September or early October. If there were no accidents on the Alm during the summer, in many areas the cows are decorated elaborately, and the cow train is celebrated with music and dance events in the towns and villages. Upon arrival in the valley, joint herds from multiple farmers are sorted in the Viehscheid-Farewell, and each cow is returned to its owner. In many places this Alpine custom of Almabtrieb has nowadays evolved into a major tourist attraction, with a public festival and booths set up along the course for selling agricultural as well as artisans’ products along with alcoholic beverages. However the reverse cow train up to the Almen in spring is not celebrated.almabtrieb_soell_1

The cattle train in Mittenwald

Coming home I checked the Cattle drive event in the internet and to my surprise I’d found an Almabtrieb calendar. And according to it this cattle driving attraction has already began in the first week of September and ‘ll last until mid October. Every weekend there are many cattle driving fests in different villages of the Alps. Due to the refugee crisis in Europe I looked up the closest village from Munich and that was Mittenwald. kecskeCortona 003

On Saturday we left very early for Mittenwald and ‘d arrived around 10am to the picturesque village which is famous for its violin museum and violin making factory. Going to the “scene” the preparations for the alpine cattle drive from the Alps was in full swing. The cows had already been adorned with paper flowers -as a symbol and thanks for an incident-free summer on the alpine pasture. And at 11 o’clock the show began, the dairy herdsmen started to drive their cattle past Alpengasthof into the valley. The local music groups accompanied the cattle entering the village and returning to their own stalls. The market stands boasted fresh milk, alpine cheese, farmhouse bacon and bread and cakes. The successful return home of the alpine cattle was followed by a huge feast for all the senses.Komló 054

Making rhubarb spritzer at Starnberg fishery’s museum

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RhubarbHardly a late-summer drink is more refreshing than a well-chilled “Fruchtsaftschorle” -fruit juice spritzer. At the Starnberg Fish & Sailing Museum/in Bavaria, Germany, I had tried one alternative to the classic apple juice placed with rhubarb and the making process was lots of fun.

The prelude

Last week I’d learned from the local paper that the Fish and Lake museum would organize an interesting program: Living and eating like in our grandmothers’ time! And as a teaser it was advertised that everyone could try out the apple pressing, syrup making, open air bread making (in a furnace), cheese making, bee-keeping just like our great-grandparents did. After knowing that we did not need more encouragement. On Saturday we took our bikes and rode right away to the museum. Upon entering the museum garden there was everything what was promised. I joined the syrup makers and I did alone a rhubarb spritzer. My husband wanted to learn more about beer making (of course)!! At lunchtime on the buffet table I discovered an Elderberry quark pudding with rhubarb sauce! I tasted and it was divine! Here are the recipes:Komló 070

Rhubarb spritzer

You will need in addition to bottled water only fresh rhubarb juice. Less sweet than many other summer drinks enjoys the rhubarb spritzer gaining in popularity and is now available in many restaurants and cafes. The rhubarb juice, you can easily establish yourself – and out of the rhubarb season you can always enjoy your own freshly mixed rhubarb spritzer. 

In the museum the experts revealed us how could be easily make rhubarb spritzer. Many people don’t know that rhubarb is a” vegetable juice spritzer ” and it is one of among the perennial veggies – despite its priority use for desserts and cakes – not for fruit but to stem vegetables. Its nutritional benefits include both less sugar and calories, as well as its great wealth of minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Due to the high oxalic contains in rhubarb it should never be eaten raw. So peel the rhubarb and always heat and then process these with sugar or sparkling water. The calcium combines with the oxalic acid makes this drink better digestible. People who suffer from arthritis, gout or rheumatism or are prone to kidney stones, should quite possible dispense with rhubarb.

Elderberry pudding with rhubarb syrup and rhubarb crumble

Ingredients: 10 ticks of rhubarb, 4 tbsp water, 8 tbsp caster sugar, 1 tsp powdered ginger, 110g/4oz butter, softened, 110g/4oz sugar, 180-200g/6-7oz flour

To serve with double cream

Methods:Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Cut the rhubarb into 7½cm/3in long sticks and place on an oven tray, sprinkle with the water and caster sugar and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven, sprinkle over the ginger and mix well. Fill an ovenproof dish about 4cm/1½ in deep with the rhubarb. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar to make the crumble topping. Sprinkle over the rhubarb and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the crumble topping is crisp and golden-brown and the rhubarb filling has softened and is bubbling. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving with double cream.

For the elderberry quark pudding

Ingredients servings for 6: 2 cup quark, 2 cups milk, 12 cup honey or 12 cup sugar,  2 12 cups elderberries, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 egg (optional)

Methods: In a 2 quart microwavable bowl, mix quark, milk, and honey with the lemon (or sugar). Microwave on high for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Temper the egg by gradually adding some of the quark mixture to it. Stir it into quark along with the berries and the lime juice. Microwave on high another 5 minutes stirring occasionally.rebarbara bodzapuding túró fagyi