Food on the go IV

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Hello dear reader,

I know it’s been a while again but it has been a busy October this year. Most important of all, a dream of mine has come true: I started studying medicine in Berlin. I realized that going to school and going university are two completely different things and I do my best to enjoy as much as possible.

So my new life is really exciting and fabulous thus far, but let us with over to food.

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More than a month ago, back in September, I was at my grandma’s again. I spent about 10 days in Bulgaria, where the beginning of autumn is still warm and full of life. The following pictures show you this year’s impressions of the journey.

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My grandma has violet chilies growing at her balcony. They are tiny, but really hot! Beware, beware, beware…

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Since nobody has cooked for me in a long time, I was very happy to get a fabulous vegetable lasagna à la Gran, with eggplant, zucchini and Bulgarian cheeeeeese.

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This year, I had the wonderful opportunity to help my grandparents can some harvest for the cold season. We had plenty of tomatoes and peppers, parsley and plums.

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We roasted the peppers in a special gadget for roasting peppers (my grandma owns this kind of stuff) and shredded the tomatoes through a mill.

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It is wonderful to have cans with veggies that have actually ripened in the sun, so when you open them to make casserole or whatever, everything tastes like summer.

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We also had plenty of plums, as it was the season back then and converted them into some yummy marmalade. (Guess what I did? Licked the spoon and the large pot, of course.)

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If you have followed the blog for a longer time, you might have realized that I adore figs. Luckily, my grandparents’ fig tree had already plenty of them ready to make their way to my stomach. Honestly, I ate a huge amount of them during my stay.

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I really love looking at these pictures again, because they remind me of the warm late summer days at the coast of the Black Sea and most of all, I love the light at the time. It makes all the colors look so bright and natural.
Hope you like it just as much as I do.

Fig Topped Cinnamon Cheesecake

It is time for me to make a confession. I was not confident enough to say it until now but it is a real problem for the blog at the moment and therefore I have to share. So here we go:

I don’t have an oven. Since I have moved to Berlin, where I am about to start studying, my kitchen contains no oven, nor the possibility to place one inside the new flat.

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Until I move out, it will not be possible for me to bake sweets in my new home, so baked goods might be shown here less often (you might have already noticed). Nevertheless, I have prepared some things for you that should keep the blog going until my kitchen supplies have changed and I hope you like the result shown in the pictures as much as I do.

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You know I love figs. Hells, I REALLY love them. When visiting my grandma in Bulgaria this year, I kind of occupied her oven to experiment. This is a result, isn’t it? Cinnamon cheesecake with a crunchy cookie crust, topped with sweet, soft and juicy figs and in between a caramel note due to the decorative parts.

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So this is how things are going right now and I really hope to be able to show you more of this as soon as possible. But for now, we remain with this beauty here. And this is the recipe:

Fig Topped Cinnamon Cheesecake:

crust:

250 g (8 oz.) Hobbit cookies
125 g (1 stick) butter, melted

cheese layer:

600 g (20 oz.) cream cheese
200 g (7 oz.) sour cream
200 g (1 cup – 1 tbsp.) sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pckt. vanilla pudding powder (or 2 tbsp. flour)

fig topping:

400 g fresh figs
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar

Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).

Crunch the cookies in a freezer bag. Mix the crumbles with the melted butter and spread in a round cake pan with 26 cm (10´´) diameter. Press down the cookie and butter mixture with a spoon.

In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the cheese layer and beat with a mixer until the mass is smooth. Pour the mass over the cookie crust and bake for about 45 minutes (until the center stops jiggling).
Don’t turn off the oven yet.
Let the cheesecake cool and prepare the figs in the meantime.

Place the figs in a large pan. Spread the sugar on top and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until there is a jelly-like liquid at the bottom of your pan.

Place the figs on top of the cake and pour the jelly all over them.

You can decorate the cake with caramel ornaments, if you wish. (Heat about 75 g/ 1/3 cup of white sugar in a saucepan until it melts and spread the caramel on a sheet of parchment paper to harden.)

Tastes best with… nah, it tastes good enough the way it is. Enjoy!

Food on the go III

Barcelona. Sweet city of my dreams, city of culinary delight. May I present to you the culinary experience of a Strawberryelmo at the Mediterranean?

Barca really tickled my senses and I feel like I have eaten tons of new stuff there.
First of all, this city has a huge food market – La Boqueria. There are a lot of tourists there, but, hell, it’s really worth the stress. You get some really fresh and interesting food there.

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… e.g. smoothies…

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…mini burgers…

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…eggs from various kinds of birds…

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…pretty much everything to fulfill your dreams of sweet sin…

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…and some organic (orgasmic) Mexican food. Be careful what you choose there, because the spicy stuff is really really spicy.

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The district “el Gotic” has a lot of touristic restaurants with way too high prices. We were lucky and found a tiny restaurant offering fresh made pasta. Therefore I recommend to you the “Pasta Bar” in C. Escudellers street.

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If you find a Spanish baker’s or pastry shop, go in there and buy something. We were lucky to have a bakery right around the corner next to our hotel. They had some great goods. I liked some puff pastry filled with crema Catalana, a kind of vanilla pastry cream. “Our” bakery (I call it this way because we bought a lot of things there) also made the best donuts ever. Seriously, forget about Dunkin’ Donuts. These soft babies are just perfect. I have never seen such a good donut dough.

Don’t miss churros with dulche de leche or chocolate sauce.

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I also had a special ice cream with chocolate coating at Vioko’s. It was yummy, but not really worth the price of 4,5o Euros.

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We were very happy to get to know El Cangrejo Loco, a noble but not terribly expensive reastaurant offering seafood. A friend of mine recommended it to us and told us the local specialty was not paella but fideuà, a skillet meal with seafood and small noodles. It was savoury heaven.

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So if you ever get to Barcelona, I can tell you for sure you foodies will not be bored. And it this is one more reason to actually go there and try some things yourself.