Chicago

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Its already autumn. Times were so busy that I couldn’t keep up with the blog and only uploaded pictures on IG. Of course I enjoyed summer a lot. Did some serious travels and all weekends were filled with activities, be it weddings, trips to close cities or to nearby outdoor spots. Last two weekends were dedicated to Oktoberfest and I also had family over visiting Munich. So a lot happened….

But one thing has had continuity: Food. I ate a lot. The scale tells me so.

One of the places that is responsible for adding some kg to my weight was Chicago. The city trip I already wanted to tell you about. Of course I wanted to enjoy some Deep Dish Pizza

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and I couldn’t hold back myself when visiting the Rooftop Bar at the Godfrey Hotel – their food is so delicious that I was ordering almost the whole menu. Smoked Salmon Pizza, Watermelon Salad, Beet Salad, Salsa with homemade plantain and taro chips, BLT Sliders and the best: Duck Quesadillas.img_4279

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I had Rosé with the food and their White Sangria afterwards. Coming from Germany where Sangria is mostly associated with binge drinking parties or just cheap alcohol, I wouldn’t normally go for Sangria. But I saw other people sipping it and this Sangria is completely different from what I know Sangria is like. It had yummy and colorful frozen fruit granita in it which made it really tasty.img_4452

So this was the best place to chill in the afternoons. Since I liked this place so much I also stayed a night at this hotel.

What else did I do in the windy city:

  1. Been to a Michelin star-ed restaurant which I will write about sometime later. A short glimpse already with this pic:img_4377
  2. Visited the Field Museum with their T-Rex, Totems and the seasonal exhibition of Terracotta Army (this museum is a must-do for families!)dsc02072dsc02074
  3. Watched the fireworks of the 4th of July celebrations at the Navy Pier from the hotel room.IMG_4244.JPG
  4. Did some sightseeing stuff and walked through downtown a lot dsc01963dsc02064img_4272dsc02200img_4147img_4098
  5. Went to a food festival.img_4436
  6. Rented a bike and went all the way up north, passing nice beach spots and well made lakefront pathsdsc02192
  7. Stayed at the W Hotel where they had excessive breakfast dishes, such as these ones:img_4113IMG_4254.JPG

All in all, lot of food and a great time in Chicago.

Hey – I’m back!

My summer-blog-break is coming to an end and I have so many new food stories from Bolzano, Amsterdam, Chicago and Toronto. But more about it later.

 

Thanks to a lunch discussion today, I had the idea to talk about my fridge.

…wait!…what?

– yep you got it right, my FRIDGE.

 

It seems that people have different kind of methods how they organize their fridge. Like their handbags – and if people are blogging about their handbag contents – why can’t I do about my fridge.

 

Opening the fridge at least 20 times a day, it is the most important item in my household I guess. And to start with: I have two fridges. One in the cellar and one in my apartment. The cellar one has a big freezing area – good for precooked meals, chicken stock or frozen fruits. Besides that the fridge has only drinks chilled for upcoming parties.

So, how does my apartment fridge look like? It is a model pre-choosen by my landlord. Nothing special. It has a small freezing box on the top, where I store ice cream, crushed ice, fish and brezn dough (we are in Bavaria!).

 

So whats in my actual fridge today:

– Fruits – today an exotic fruit mix for breakfast, blueberries and a ripe mango.

– Eggs, salad (a mix and red chard) tomatoes, avocado and mushrooms

– Dried Tomatoes (always good for pasta sauce), jalapenos, pickled cucumbers, anchovies

– Two kinds of butter (one for baking and cooking, one for bread – and if I expect guests for dinner, I will have a salty french butter for the bread rolls)

– Topping for bread (breakfast or dinner as typical in Germany): Goatcheese in two variations, smoke salmon, bacon, horseradish and herb cream cheese spread (as you can see I eat that a lot currently) and several fruit jams

– Quark, yoghurt, mozzarella, cottage cheese, Actimel and a lot of milk (for Müsli, cereals, crepes and of course for tea)

– Mango chutney, sweet and sour sauce, various kind of meat stocks, mayonnaise, two kinds of mustards (french and a sweet one – for Weißwurst), Sambal Oelek, Wasabi, a ready made Cassis Salad sauce

– Drinks: Tomato juice, veggie juice, smoothie, various kind of fruit juices, non-alcoholic bitters,  tonic water bottles (good for Lillet or Gin), Lime Juice Cordial, Cassis de Dijon (always reminds me about the European Court of Justice Decision in my law studies – but it is acutally for Kir), wine (rosé and white), a left over beer from friends (I usually never have beer at home), Prosecco and, of course, a Champagne (to celebrate the good times)

I probably forgot some items that are somewhere in the back of the fridge…but this is it.

Wow, I never thought that I would have that much in my tiny fridge. So I must have a good storage system aka organization 😉

Cheers to that!

Kühlschrank

Sauce Bolognese

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I noticed different reactions by people in Europe vs US when I tell them that one of my hobbies is cooking. In Europe they will ask me: “Which country’s cuisine do you prefer cooking?” In US: “What’s your signature dish?”

Well, it is easier for me to answer the first question, because it is fairly broad and with cooking I am not limited to just one dish. It is not easy to answer the latter one. But if I really had to decide on a signature dish, it would be Pasta Bolognese.

Why? I love simple dishes. I love Italian food. I love meat. I love Pasta. All in all a perfect dish. And, I developed a recipe which I do not want to change under any circumstances. I have tested it already many times and my guests were always super-satisfied. So, I am happy, guests are happy -> best conditions for a signature dish.

Ingredients:

  • Clarified Butter
  • Sugar
  • Sweet Paprika Powder
  • 4 bay leafs
  • Bunch Fresh Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Tomato paste
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • 4 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 4 Carrots, chopped
  • 850g Tomato Puree
  • 850g Canned Peeled Tomatoes
  • 700g Minced Beef
  • 300g Salsiccia (with Fennel)
  • Bacon Rinds
  • 500 ml Beef Stock
  • 400 ml Red Wine
  • Parmesan cheese

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Roast the chopped vegetables in clarified butter for about 10 min. Roast the minced meat and the plucked Salsiccia either after the veggies or in a seperate pan for at least 10 – 15 min, until brownly toasted and add a good dash of sugar and some tomato paste. Add the vegetables, the spices/herbs, bacon rinds, tomato puree and peeled tomatoes, beef stock and 200 ml wine. Let it cook for at least 2h, add wine from time to time and also 5 min before you are going to serve it. Take out the bacon rinds, thyme and bay leafs before serving. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

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Panther Grill

Panther Grill Starter

I gathered so many food experiences in Munich during the last months but had less time to write… now I have a huge backlog… Of course, I just could put pictures online, it’s fast, but then it would just be another version of my Instagram account. And pictures sometimes tell only half of the story. There are restaurants that can nicely plate their courses – perfect for IG – but the taste might not reach the gorgeous plating. Also, you know, I’m talkative…so I really want to tell you about the things I’m eating 🙂

Today I want to share my dinner at Panther Grill.

Since it had opened its doors, it was on my must-go-and-check list for restaurants in Munich. Why? Well, I must admit, because I fell for their cool interior the first time I passed by this restaurant. It is really stylish (a bit retro, a bit scandinavian, a bit bar-chic) and I love the dimmed light they use. Although – as you can see – for the disadvantage for pictures. But who the hell takes pictures of their food (except for these totally weird foodbloggers?)…

I knew from friends that Panther Grill offers good steaks. But I was also surprised by their starters – because these are having a modern touch arrangement on plate – I have seldomly had such creative combinations and platings in Munich (!)- and are sensationally delicious. And the taste of my starter (scallop) even superseded its (instagramable) presentation! So this is definitely outstanding – and therefore you should under no circumstances skip the starters!

Panther Grill Surf n Turf

Panther Grill has some solid variety of steaks and you may choose between US beef or organic Bavarian beef …and the classic Surf’n’Turf. Side dishes and sauces can be selected upon own taste. Sides: From crispy sweet potato fries to mashed potatoes with truffle to creamed corn (first time seeing creamed corn in a Munich restaurant) to spinach to grilled veggies etc. –  I tried almost all and all were good, I especially liked the veggies and truffled mashed potatoes. I also tried different kind of sauces and whilst I was a bit disappointed with the Merlotjus (less taste), I can highly recommend the Pepper-Cognac Sauce!

Panther Grill Steak

And then there was the dessert. They have e.g. a Cotton Candy Ice Cream, which sounds interesting, but I wanted to go with something solid to conclude my dinner: Fruit, Ice-Cream and Cookie layer in a glass. Good.

Panther Grill dessert

All in all, I have to say that I will for sure have many more dinners at Panther Grill. Especially as I’d like to see and try more of their incredibly good starters…and of course the Cotton Candy Ice Cream 🙂

Where?   Franz-Josef Str. 45, Munich    http://www.panther-grill.de/

Cherry Cake

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Sometimes best things happen when you have left overs …you can be creative and invent a new dish or you immediately know that you have enough left over stuff that will suffice for a certain recipe. Latter one was the case when I had some left over pickled cherries…. and I indeed had the perfect recipe for it: A Cherry Cake! 🙂

  • 4 Eggs
  • 200g Butter
  • 150g Sugar
  • 100g Wheat Flour
  • 250g Spelt Flour
  • 1 Tbl Sp Baking Powder
  • 50 ml Milk
  • Grated zest of a Lemon
  • Salt
  • Cherries

Quick & Tasty. This cake is pretty simple: Seperate the eggs. Beat the egg white until stiff. Mix the butter and sugar with the egg yolk until creamy. Then mix in the lemon zest and salt. Afterwards you should add the flour with the baking powder and milk. Carefully add the egg white. Final step: Put the dough in the baking tin and add the cherries. You can either place them on top like I did or put 2/3 of the dough first in the tin, add the cherries and then top it with the remaining dough. Put it in the oven for an hour at 200°C.

I’m topping the cake with powder sugar.

 

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Warsaw for the lazy…

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I love city trips. But I’m not the Hop-On/Hop-Off bus tourist or the nerdy museum visitor. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has their own travel style. Whilst it may be fun for people to drive around with a guide (which is great if you don’t have plenty of time and want to get an overview of most important sight seeings of a city), I appreciate it more basic: Wandering around the streets and different neighbourhoods, resting in parks, looking for small fashion boutiques and cosy coffee places. A tasty lunch or dinner, streetart and maybe one museum (preferably modern art) and I am happy.

And my city trip to Warsaw made me happy. The city has offered me a good time and I found some great spots. I didn’t have a deep dive into history and culture, since I wanted to spend a relaxing and lazy weekend there without doing anything special. If you are looking for the same, I have some tips for you:

Taking a walk through the historical city center

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Warsaw city centre II

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The old city centre has many re-built historic houses, the royal castle, the city wall, the university and many other sight seeing spots that you can discover by a short walk.

Vitkac Department Store

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Fashion: Cool mix of brands, International Fashion Style, High End / Food and Drinks: Upstairs wine bar and a restaurant, downstairs Champagne bar. Needless to say that I had some Champagne and of course a little snack (Beef Tartar) which was nicely plated.

Centre for Contemporary Art / Ujazdowki Castle

Modern Art Exhibitions and a nice Coffee/Lunch place with the option to take a stroll through the park. Unfortunately I had some rain after I visited the exhibition and couldn’t explore the park. (Missed to take a pic of my visit)

Chocolate and Pastries

chocolate pierogi

 

A.Blikle (https://www.blikle.pl/) and E.Wedel (http://www.wedelpijalnie.pl)  have very good offers to have a coffee or hot chocolate. I had amazing Chocolate Pierogi filled with cream cheese at E.Wedel, which I can highly recommend!

 

Other Recommendations:

Go to “Lazy Dog” for some snacks and drinks in the evening.

http://lazy-dog.pl/en/

 

For dinner I recommend to read my previous posting on the restaurant Rozana!