Quarkcake with Red Currants

Firstly I’d like to apologize for our slacking in posting new recipes. The past month has been hectic with 3 of us not actually being in Switzerland, writing dissertations, sitting final exams, and – oh yes, enjoying the summer which finally arrived!

There is a river running right through the middle of our city which essentially turns into a public swimming pool as soon as summer hits the town. If you cross the bridge around 6pm, there will be little heads bobbing about in the water as far as you can see, with the famous “schwimm-fisch” (waterproof swimming bags shaped like fish) in tow, enjoying their after-work cool down. To complete the Rhine experience, one must then lay out and tan, have a beer and a legendary burger sold at one of the little bars set up along the river. So thats part of what we’ve been doing these past few weeks. You can hardly blame us for not keeping up with blogging in the face of such activities.

And now for today’s recipe: this is a simple delicious summer dessert which I  had once roughly 2 years ago at a friend’s place. I managed to sneak the recipe out of the kitchen, but since then I have always missed the red currant season … until now! I got sooo excited when I went shopping and saw red currants, I texted all other blog members immediately, and this is what happened.

Quarkcake with Red Currants

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Potato Gnocchi with Sage and Butter Sauce (Original Grandma Recipe)

After a (really, horrifically) failed and soggy attempt at making gnocchi following an internet recipe, I skyped my all-knowing Italian grandma to see if she’d share her secrets in the art of making gnocchi. The conversation went something like this:

“It’s very easy. You boil one potato. Or two. Three if they’re not too big. Or four. Once they’re done, you peel them and mash them.” (At this point she finally manages to focus her vision on the video.) “Oh my! Your hair is so long! Look at that!”

“Thank you! Now focus, Grandma.”

“Okay okay. So you mash them and add butter. Or milk. Both if you want. Then a pinch of white pepper and nutmeg and then flour. Lots of flour. Until it can’t take it anymore flour.”

“Okay… lots… of… flour… any idea how much?”

“A LOT. Half a kilo…. a kilo…. I dunno. So then let the dough rest a bit.”

“Grandma, what about eggs? No eggs?”

“Oh! yeah! Of course! When you make the mash, that’s when you put an egg in. Just one. So then you roll out the dough into little sausages, cut into squares and then roll them onto a fork for the shape. If you’re awesome like me, this will be very quick and simple. Boil some water and FINITO!”

Okay, so she didn’t say those last bits about being awesome. But the rest is all true.

Potato Gnocchi with Sage and Butter Sauce

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Engorged Ribs: A Hardcore Dining Experience

This post is dedicated to the pervert person that landed on our blog after Google-searching “half handful tits”. First of all, why stop at half a handful? Why not go all the way? The second shout-out goes to the cannibal searching for “boiled cooked tits”…. WHAT?? And as for Mr. (or Ms.) “Resistance Orgasm”… NSA must be having a blast with your search history.

As part of our dedication, with this post, we wish to simplify their future searches:

With the moist weather gone at last, we decided to thrust ourselves lustfully into the art of barbecuing. We simply rubbed some succulent ribs and caressed some meaty wings with glistening sauce and smacked them onto the grill: the result was juicy, tender and bursting with exotic flavor – a carnal experience that titillates the senses and left us gasping for more.

Eastern Spareribs

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Couscous Salad with Chicken, Pomegranate and Rocket

The essence of this salad is in the pomegranate seeds. Add those crunchy sweet pops to anything and its taste will magically transform to a gourmet level. Ok not quite, but almost. I really only discovered the diversity of pomegranate when in a beach club in South Africa. They had a pomegranate mojito. It was amazing. Best mojito ever.

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Warm Couscous Salad with Chicken, Rocket and Pomegranate seeds

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How to Train Your Orange-Chocolate Skeptic

When 1 and 4 are away, 2 and 3 come out to bake. We have taken this opportunity to make something in the spirit of one of the most divine combination: chocolate and orange. A combination that divides audiences and friendships alike.  Without the two voices in the background going “but its so wrooooong” we have settled for a cake that we believe embodies this match made in heaven in all its’ glory. Well… kind of. We just liked the look of the recipe and knew that we could try it out without 1 and 4 moaning about it. 

We got a little over-excited with the decoration, and even attempted some chocolate work. While we found out this is not our calling, we’re generally pleased with the result and are hoping to convert some non-believers with this beastly yet subtle creation.

The recipe involves four layers of cake with orange syrup, almond cream, chocolate ganache and pâtisserie-quality decorations: challenge accepted!

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Adapt-a-chili-ty

So here’s one of the things the relocation guides never mention: no matter how long you live in a foreign country, no matter how integrated you become, eventually you will fall prey to the cravings for (literally) a slice of home, and it will, inevitably, be incredibly cumbersome to replicate.  One of the joys of moving to a new place is experiencing a new food culture – but different food cultures tend to make things you would otherwise take for granted at home remarkably difficult to come by.

We can get a bit desperate and start spending an exorbitant amount of money on imported goods, and that’s all well and good but the best (and most fun) thing to do is to get creative.

As ¾ of our little blog-team are expats, you will frequently find us doing the following: stalking pharmacies across town in search of proper red food colouring; visiting the English bookshop (of all places) to stock up on *actual* tea as if war were about to break out; hoarding treasured things like greedy little goblins (syrup is rationed in Four’s house, Argentinean Tea has nearly-sacred status, tins of allspice have been known to last over a decade); resorting to creating the most basic ingredients, like condensed milk, from scratch (WHO DOES THIS?!) and, ultimately, begging anyone going back to the homeland to bring certain unobtainables back with them (like clingfilm that actually sticks, OTC effective painkillers … but now we’re getting off track).

There’s a whole story behind Cincinnati Chili, where it came from and why it’s different than normal chili, but you can go read about it somewhere else if you’re really that interested. Suffice it to say, it was one of Number Four’s favourite meals Back Int’ Day and upon moving to Europe she promptly had to learn how to make do. Usually it’s served with spaghetti but corn bread is yummier and less bad for our diets, so tough. The chilli recipe isn’t necessarily authentic (it doesn’t taste a thing like Skyline, for instance) but it is really damn good anyway. We won’t tell you how many years it took Number Four to realize that instead of using corn meal (definitely unavailable in unimaginative Swiss stores) she could use fine, dry polenta instead because frankly it’s embarrassing. Regardless of where you’re from, this chili is a hit.

Cincinnati Chili and Cornbread

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Twenties Mess

We have re-dubbed and adapted this classic to satisfy our cravings while we share some life lessons from the past few years:

20 Things you do in your 20s:

  1. learn to apply liquid eyeliner
  2. plan a diet and gracefully break it at your next meal
  3. master the art of napping
  4. get your first (and possibly last) Brazilian wax
  5. avoid any sort of real responsibility
  6. grow your hair long enough so that it covers your boobies and practice being a mermaid in front of your mirror
  7. watch every single TV show in existence
  8. dabble in periodic self-hatred
  9. start going to aerobics classes
  10. become friends with people you would have never even spoken to in the past
  11. join a book club… for the brunches
  12. realize all adults are just making shit up as they go along
  13. start a blog
  14. count how many guys you made out with in just one night, and think its okay because you’re in your 20s (insider tip: dressing up as a slutty nurse helps increase the count)
  15. finally embrace your inner-nerd
  16. fail to accomplish menial tasks for days because no one can tell you what to do, dammit
  17. realize that dirty talk is okay – maybe more than okay
  18. start thinking cosmetic surgery is not that outrageous
  19. become a nihilist
  20. dance BECAUSE everyone is watching

BONUS

21. write lists about things you do in your 20s

Eton Twenties Mess

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