Thursday, June 30, 2011

Revisiting Wir Machen Cupcakes in Munich and June's LOL Food Blogger Posts

Bailey's Cupcake

This past weekend was my wedding anniversary. I left the computer home and headed off to Munich with Dr. B to celebrate. I did briefly check my mail on our anniversary day, June 26th and found out that Gay marriage had passed in New York State. 

Best. Present. Ever.

Munich is where Dr. B and I fell love. It's a city where I lived and worked for years. It's a city where I still have a close group of girlfriends. And it's a city that now has it's first cupcake shop, one I first visited back in March.

Chocolate Decadence & Marshmallow Cupcakes

I dropped by with some friends last weekend for a little midday cupcake anniversary party.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Goji Berry Mango Spelt Breakfast Bars

One of the great things about living in Germany is the accessibility to spelt products. From cereal to pasta to flour to cookies, the stores are filled with spelt choices.

I used three spelt products to create this breakfast bar: whole wheat spelt flour, spelt oats and spelt flakes. 

I threw in some goji berries and dried mango but you can use your favorite dried fruit.

These are delicious, not too sweet and perfect for breakfast or a healthy snack. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gay Marriage Cookies for Gay Pride

Sad to be missing the gay Pride celebration in NYC this month, I will be there in spirit. 

This post was originally was supposed to showcase something sparkly and fluffy like last year. A fabulous creation like cookies with feather boas or cupcakes with tiaras. But as much as I love celebrating Gay Pride with frivolity, I can't jump over the gay marriage issue this year. I've made protest cookies in the past but I didn't want to taint this Pride Month post with something negative. Instead I landed somewhere in the middle and made these Gay Marriage Cookies of Hope.

I have more gay and lesbian friends than straight. Most are in committed long term relationships or marriages and have many children among them. I find it beyond unacceptable they don't have the same rights as I do in my marriage.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Caramelized Apple Vanilla Calvados Ice Cream with Speculoos Cream Swirl

This is probably the most decadent creation ever to come out of my ice cream maker and that sucker works overtime. I just don't blog about it much. However, these flavors have been dancing around in my head for days. After finally shoving them into the ice cream machine, the result was just too fantastic not to share.

This is a rich and satisfying creation. The ice cream itself is delicate with a bite of Calvados. Adding the caramelized apples deepened the flavor significantly and provided a candy crunch. Layering in smooth ribbons of speculoos cream added texture and flavor.

I am submitting this ice cream recipe to the Monthly Mingle hosted this month by My Easy Kitchen. June's theme is Apples.

Caramelized Apple Vanilla Calvados Ice Cream with Speculoos Cream Swirl

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vanilla Macarons with Rote Grütze Filling - Mac Attack #20

This month those juicy, fabulous and fruity Mactweets sisters Jamie and Deeba threw out the task of creating a macaron with a fruit themeWe have a garden of ripening fruit here so there's no lack of inspiration outside my door. However, years ago shortly after arriving in Germany, somewhere in the Alps I had my first taste of Rote Grütze and it blew my mind. This mixed berry concoction was served with vanilla sauce. Since that first taste, I've always wanted to make it myself and a perfect opportunity presented itself via Mactweets.

A blend of seasonal red berries cooked into a thick sauce, Rote Grütze is a delicious treat originating in north Germany and Scandinavian countries. The translation means Red Grits or Red Porridge because the original recipe contained sago, a thickening agent.

This treat is normally served with either vanilla sauce, vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream or sometimes mixed into yogurt. It was time Vanilla and Rote Grütze flavors were brought together for a macaron.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Spezi Cupcakes with Orange Curd Filling

Here in Germany a favorite beverage for kids, adults and designated drivers is an orange soda and cola mix called Spezi.

I wondered what this soda would taste like in cupcake form. After playing around with a few different combinations, the result is a Spezi flavored cupcake filled with orange curd topped with a dual buttercream swirl in orange and Spezi flavors.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sour Cream Vanilla Bean Chocolate Sprinkles Flip Flops Cake

It was my sister in law's birthday this past week. Last year I made her a quilt cake she loved. This year, the recent lovely pool weather inspired me to go with a summer theme.

Flip flops cakes are not new but it was fun to try my hand at one. Once I had this one finished, I imagined all sorts of designs and colors for fantasy flop flops cakes of the future.

Most of the kids in our family don't like fondant so it was important to make something special for the cake part. After doing the work of peeling off the fondant to get to the cake, they should at least have a tasty reward.

The sprinkles were a last minute addition to the cake batter and they definitely boosted the cake into the special category.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tomato Chocolate Cupcakes Topped with Olive Oil Parmesan Spaghetti Ice cream and Strawberry Basil Chianti Sauce

When I saw the Ice Cream Cupcake Contest over at The Cupcake Project and Scoopalicious, I immediately thought of one of my favorite treats here in Germany -  Spaghettieis. Ice cream is always fun, but spaghetti ice cream is really fun.

In every city I've lived in or visited in Germany, from Munich to Monshau, Cologne to Berlin and even in our little village, there is no shortage of delicious italian ice cream parlors. Cones and cups are readily available for takeout but the real fun is to sit down and gawk at the fabulous creations on the menu. The spaghetti ice cream is most likely found in the kids section but I don't care. The first time I saw it I ordered it and maybe it's my Faux Foods obsession, but now it's a habit and I have no desire to grow up and order something more elegant.

Spagetti and Meatball cupcakes created by other bloggers caught my eye and have been floating around on my to do list for awhile. They came to mind when I saw this challenge along with the idea to use spaghetti ice cream instead of frosting. Then I went off on an Italian flavor tangent.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Making a Rumtopf in a Piece of German History

A Rumtopf (Rum Pot in English) is a large covered ceramic jar filled with aged fruits rum and sugar.

A Rumtopf is traditionally started in the spring and created by collecting and adding fruits to the pot as they come into season. 

For a long time I have been eyeing Rumtopf jars in local thrift stores. My initial idea was to get a few similar ones to use as flour and sugar canisters. Most of them were too kitchy. I love kitch but these were not my kind of kitchy and I never could find quite what I wanted in either color or design. 

Recently, I spotted a lovely one more plain than the rest. While examining it for cracks and chips I flipped it over and saw this on the bottom.

Made in West Germany before the wall came down. A 5 euro piece of German kitchen history. Instead using it for storage, it motivated me to make my own rumtopf old school.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Caribbean Blue Velvet Sea Anemone Cupcakes for World Oceans Day

Today is the international day of ocean conservation. Last year I was in a foul mood and my post was just as cranky. One year later, it is yet to be seen what the long term effects will be on the Gulf but surely it can't be good.

In that post I made no secret of my passion for diving and the ocean. Even after logging over 500 dives, if I could grow gills and live underwater. I would. Except I don't know how I would work out the whole baking thing.

Me in the Red Sea - Photo By Hilde Montgomery

I once took a marine creature ID course in the caribbean taught by a dear friend. Lorraine made us all pick a fish and on every dive we had to find our fish and observe it's behavior. What I took away most was that you can spend your whole dive just watching one patch of coral. As my instructor friend said, watch for the "four Fs": 


It's all happening all the time. Once you are tuned in, it's better than daytime TV.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Streusel Cherry Chocolate Popcorn

Am I the only one who eats the crumbs off a NY style crumb cake or picks the streusel bits out of every dessert it covers? 

Didn't think so.

Like a streusel virus, those crumbs need to spread, to find their way into more recipes like this popcorn.

Sorry I said streusel virus but this is a gooey, chocolate, sweet crumbly snack sure to put you in a sugar coma.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Quince Wine Granita

One of the items I picked up at a local Medieval fair was quince wine.

The wine has a lovely light sweet and slightly tart flavor. I thought it would make the perfect granita.

And it did. Light and refreshing.

It wasn't too interesting to photograph on it's own so I dressed it up. The tray is part of a set brought back from Florence, Italy. The Arabic tea glasses and spoons are from Iraq, a gift from my husband's colleague, Ruwaida.