Overnight oats

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I must confess that usually I’m waving aside all recipes mentioning oats. That’s because they always remember me stomach ache in childhood and oat meal soup. Reading about overnight oats and wonderful recipes made me curious and I tried them more than once already.
Milk, yoghurt and different fruit are always available in our household. Just bought oats and flaxseed for baking bread. Just the chia seeds I didn’t have but they were available in our health food store and among the bio products of a larger supermarket. The seeds are rich in fibers, proteins, vitamins, mineral nutrients, iron, calcium and magnesium. If you suffer from flatulence or stomach ache start with small quantities of the seeds and drink sufficiently. The seeds may absorb liquids in a multiple of their own weight and cause constipation.

Overnightoats2For my first attempt I mixed 40g of oats with two tablespoons of chia seed and added 100ml of milk. If you prefer it softer then take 120ml of milk. Layer some chopped haselnuts on top. Half a banana, some blueberries leftover from a dessert and a hand full of grapes. Cut the banana in pieces and the grapes in halves. Disperse some dessiccated coconut on top to sweeten the mixture. Then close the lid of your glass and put it in the fridge over night. The next morning you’ll get everything you need for a start into the new day. Oats are delivering lots of fibers, they’ll sate and prevent your level of blood sugar from increasing too fast. Furtheron they’ll provide  unsaturated fatty acids, minerals, vitamin B1 and calcium. Nuts and fruit will provide further vitamins and mineral nutrients.
You’re free to choose nuts, fruit and liquids you like for your overnight oats. Mixed with yoghurt they’re a bit too firm after my fancy. In the meantime I tried two further mixtures: banana, mandarin orange, grapes, walnuts and banana, apple, kaki and chopped almonds. In the morning I’m always too tired and lazy to prepare a fresh muesli that’s why I love this form of preparation the night before. The next morning I’m delightfully spooning my healthy power breakfast. This will, with all its ingredients, hopefully help me survive during the hard days of carnival.

 

Low budget buffet

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You’ll need around 5-10 €/£/$ to decorate such a funny buffet for German carnival or any other party. In every Dollarstore you’ll find cheap paper or plastic cups, glasses or bowls in lots of different colours. Paper napkins referring to season or occasion are often available too. Take a coloured napkin for your table or cabinet and spread some confetti or paper blow-outs among cups and bowls. Put some glasses and coffee or tea cups beside and ready you are for partying. You can easily complete your buffet with salads, soups or other goodies.
If you don’t have any coloured napkins just choose some made of paper. If you’re celebrating with children simply upgrade your decoration with some balloons.

 

Apple pillows

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For all those being quite curious after my yesterday’s introduction I’ll post the recipe for apple pillows right now. The dough makes 10 midsize pillows and exactly following the instructions will guarantee success. The slider at the end of the post will show it step by step.

Dough:
250g wheat flour
1 dash of salt
10g fresh yeast
75-100ml milk
30g soft unsalted butter
35g caster sugar
5-6 tbsp apple sauce
1 whisked egg yolk

Preparation:
Mix flour, salt and yeast in bowl and add milk successively while kneading with the hooks of your mixer. Stop adding milk when dough is a smooth lightly chewy compound. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes. Then fold in soft butter and after that add sugar successively and knead until totally absorbed. That may take 5-8 minutes. Your dough will be very soft, he’ll have a light glaze but he won’t be sticky. Pour it onto a lightly floured surface and form a ball:
Take one part of your dough’s edge, lift it lightly and fold it to the middle. Repeat going clockwise until having a really round ball. Turn it carefully, cover it with a tea towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes.  The dough’s volume nearly will have doubled. Flatten it with your hands then and fold it. Start folding the left side to the middle, then fold over the right side. Next step will be to fold it crosswise starting at the bottom and ending with folding the top part down. Leave your dough packet to rest for 10 minutes and repeat foldings once more and let rest another 10 minutes.
Now roll out the dough and cut into 10 squares with a serrated knife. Spread some whisked egg yolk along two edges and give some apple sauce into the middle. Now fold the square diagonally to get triangles. Fix the edges by pressing a fork’s tines into the dough. Put the dough pillows on a baking pan and let rest 15 minutes.
Preheat oven at 180°C in the meantime. Then brush pillow surface with egg yolk and bake or 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let them cool on a baking rack. Dust them with some powdered sugar before serving. They’re best when fresh but thanks to lots of small air bubbles in the dough they are still delicious the next day.Apfeltaschen13Instead of apple sauce you may take plum butter or cherry jam for the filling. If you’re afraid of preparing pillows, just cut 4cm stripes of your dough, give some apple sauce on top, roll them up and bake them in a silicone or paper muffin case. You’ll have very tasty dough rolls then.
Conclusion: for a perfect result you’ll have to plan around two hours for preparation and baking time. You may use resting periods for easy works like tydying up the kitchen tools, prepare tea time table or even prepare your clothes washer etc….

Step by step getting a perfect dough.

Hefe und mehr / Yeast and more

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I planned to bake some apple pillows because I had leftovers of applesauce. Whenever talking about yeast dough the immediate answer is: ” Yeast, that’s something I didnt’t try yet and in addition I don’t even own a food processor like you do.” That’s why I made the dough with the kneading hooks of my mixer and took pictures of every step. But there’s one further small but important modification. See why:

Beginning December I found Stefanie Herberth’s blog hefe-und-mehr.de available in English too. As the name (trad.:yeast and more) implies she’s mostly writing about yeast dough and the how-to-instructions. She’s giving detailed informations about sourdough, preferments, the importance of autolysis and gluten development and how to knead or fold different doughs. Two of the very important informations are that shortening and sugar will have a negative influence on the gluten development if added to the ingredients right in the beginning. The net of gluten however makes the dough soft and ready to hold the gases provided by yeast or sourdough. Therefore butter and sugar should best be added after all other ingredients are well combined.

I must admit that I started cooking her recipes with a lot of doubts. But taste and quality of each bread were really convincing everyone. Regarding the time flow I had to re-align my knowledge but in the end it’s all about scheduling.

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The Sunday breakfast rolls with yoghurt for exemple are to be prepared on Saturday evening to be ready for cooking the next morning. If only we could transmit the odour of fresh rolls coming from the oven …..

Tomorrow then the recipe for apple pillows – light and fluffy with a wonderful air cushion right on top of the apple sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s breakfast

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Valentine’s Day will be on a Sunday this year. So what about inviting your family or dearest friends for a huge meeting for a Valentine’s breakfast.
The invitation is written on a jar shaped card and the smaller version serves as a place card or napkin holder. Add some matching paper napkins and chocolate candies and a lovely breakfast table’s waiting for bread, marmelade, ham and eggs and everything else that makes a good breakfast.

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The double jar needs to be cut out in one piece and folded between the two lids. Tie a ribbon just beneath the lids after your invitation has been written. The top jar contains “marmelade” in our case and because it’s for Valentine’s Day I chose a heart printed paper. A lable glued in its center shows us that it’s an invitation. If you want to allow your guests to use the card again just cut out one single jar to write down your invitation and place it between the two layers of your folded card.

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The small card needs to be cut out twice. For the back just cut it without a lid. Glue both card parts together on one side and fold along the glue line. Thus the card will open easily and stand on a plate or table. Fix your ribbon and name tag just on the front part of the card. Inside you may even write down a little word like “nice to know you” or whatever you wish to say.

Valentin2015-4Cut out in other colors you may take this jar shaped card for any breakfast all over the year. I made it in brown once matching with my dishes. Unfortunately I only took a picture of the small place card. In this case the double jar is cut out like the big one and foled between the lids.The name tag is hanging down the front part of my jar and due to the folding line it’s standing beside the plate like a small ladder. You may as well put it over the chocolate bar or roll a paper napkin beneath the two parts.

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There are papers and card stocks available in countless color versions and breakfast among family and friends, well that’s always something special. If you’re afraid of all the work to be done then simply ask your guests to contribute something to that morning meal.