Appetizers

“Obatzda” Crostini

Obatzda Crostini

The Oktoberfest has already started and I wanted to make something simple to celebrate the great German folk festival. Of course, pretzels and large glasses of beer is what immediately pop into my head every time I think about the Oktoberfest.

“Obatzda” is is a Bavarian cheese delicacy which you usually spread on pretzels or rustic dark bread. It’s a classic example of Bavarian “Biergarten” food.
Some people add a small amount of beer into their “Obatzda”.

I like mine real simple with crisp rye bread and a glass of cold apple juice. I’m not much of a beer drinker but my brother couldn’t resist indulging these with a glass of  cold German beer.

It’s such a great explosion of flavors, biting into the “Obatzda” slathered bread topped with fresh radishes and red onion. It feels like being at the Oktoberfest without leaving the house! These make good appetizers for game nights or other get-together.

Cheers to a great Oktoberfest and a fantastic German Appetizer. 🙂

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Obatzda Crostini

Yield: 8 – 10 Servings

Ingredients:
500 g Camembert Cheese
200 g Butter (softened)
1 tsp Ground cumin
1 tsp Ground paprika (sweet)
Salt
Pepper
1 bunch Chives
8 pieces Radish
1 Red Onion
2 Tbsp Olive oil
8 – 10 slices of rye bread (you can also slice Baguettes)

Directions:
In a medium bowl, mix Camembert cheese and butter together, using a dough hook attachment.

Add cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and mix for another 1 -2 minutes until well combined and creamy.

Chop chives roughly and slice radish and red onion thinly.

Heat olive oil in pan and add the slices of bread; heat both sides of the bread for about 2-3 minutes until slightly brown and crisp.

Spread the crisp slices of bread with the “Obatzda” cheese and add the sliced radish and red onion on top.

Garnish with chopped chives.

Casual Cakes

Cherry 7 UP Bundt Cake

Cherry 7 UP Bundt Cake

I’m such a sweettooth! I love everything that contains sugar! I’m talking about chocolate, frostings, candy, soda etc.
I’m the only one in my family who likes everything extra sweet!

This cake is all that! The 7 UP in this cake gives it that great sweet lemony flavor and the glaze…mmmhhh! OMG! The glaze is the cherry on top! And I even add more cherries on top of that! Hehehe…

I love poking holes on top and adding the cherry juice to give this cake an extra cherry flavor and moisture. Plus the color looks really great!

This cake is a big hit and will surely impress your folks! You could also simply leave out the cherries and make it a simple lemon cake.
You could also leave out the glaze and dust with confectioners sugar instead.
Adding blueberries instead of the cherries is also a great option.
Bottom line is you can customize this cake as much as you want and the result will always turn out amazing! 🙂

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Cherry 7 UP Bundt Cake

Ingredients:
340 g Unsalted butter (room temperature)
400 g Sugar
5 Eggs
1 tsp Salt
375 g All-purpose flour
2 tsp Lemon extract
180 ml 7 Up
1 jar Maraschino cherries, drained (keep juice)

Glaze:
250 g Confectioners sugar
2 tsp Lemon extract
4 Tbsp Milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 165°C/325°F (top and bottom heat). Grease and flour bundt pan.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and continue beating until well combined.

Add the flour and salt and mix until blended.

Add the lemon extract and pour in the 7 Up; continue beating.

Using a spatula, slowly fold in the cherries (be careful not to mash them).

Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Let cake cool for about 30 minutes then turn the cake onto serving dish.

Using a skewer, poke holes all over the top of the cake and pour your reserved cherry juice slowly over the top making sure the juice gets soaked up.

Mix together confectioners sugar, lemon extract and milk and drizzle over the top of the cake.

Filipino Snacks/Desserts

“Buchi” Filipino Fried Rice Balls

Buchi - Filipino Fried Rice Balls

“Buchis” are a Filipino version of deep fried rice cakes. They are filled with red bean paste and shaped into balls, coated in sesame seeds.

You can normally find them at most Asian snack bars or restaurants. They usually taste very similar but probably have different fillings.

You can fill them with purple yams, sweet potatoes or even chocolate.
I fill them with red bean paste which is the traditional way. You can buy ready-made red bean paste in almost all Asian stores.

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These are the ones I found over here and I’m pretty happy with the taste.

“Buchis” are so easy to make and a great snack for your family and friends. They’re nothing ordinary and I’m sure that only a few of your folks have tried these Filipino rice balls. The kiddos will love these because of the “weird” texture.
To give the “Buchis” a special twist, you could fill them with Nutella.

“Buchis” look so simple but taste very good in an undescribable way! They are chewy with a quite sticky texture and a sweet surprise in the center. It feels like being on an Asian trip munching on these babies! 🙂

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Buchi

Yield: 18 Buchi balls

Ingredients:
250 g Red bean paste
400 g Glutinous rice flour ( 1 pack)
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
350 ml Water (room teperature)
100 g Sesame Seeds
Cooking oil for frying

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine glutinous rice flour, sugar, salt and water and knead together until it forms a soft ball.
Hint: You’re basically looking for a Play-Doh texture, soft and a bit moist.

Form balls (50 g each) and flatten them in the palm of your hand. Add about 1 tsp of red bean paste on top of your flat dough and carefully wrap to form into a ball.

Roll the sticky balls into the sesame seeds.

Heat the pan and pour-in the cooking oil.

When the cooking oil is very hot, deep-fry the sesame balls until golden brown.
Hint: Fry them only for about 4 – 5 minutes no longer! They will start to pop when you overfry them.

Remove the cooked Buchis from the pan and drain excess oil.

Pasta

Shrimps Tortiglioni in Herb Cream Cheese Sauce

Shrimps Tortiglioni in Herb Cream Cheese Sauce

On a busy weekday like this, all I want is to prepare something easy and simple for my folks. A few of you already know, how much we love pasta and that we simply can’t get enough of pasta cooked in different ways.

This Shrimps Tortiglioni in Herb Cream Cheese Sauce is very quick to make and tastes unbelievably G-O-O-D!

The cooked garlicky shrimps kissed by the slight taste of creamy herb cream cheese is so fantastic! You wouldn’t guess that this recipe only needs a few ingredients. I bet most of you already have everything in your pantry.
You just have to go out and buy some shrimps now. 🙂

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Shrimps Tortiglioni in Herb Cream Cheese Sauce

Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients:
500 g Tortiglioni
500 g Shrimps
3 Cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
500 g Cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp Brown sugar
300 g Herb Cream Cheese
200 ml Heavy Cream
Salt
Black Pepper
Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley for garnishing (optional)

Directions:
Cook Tortiglioni noodles according to package.

In a large skillet, heat oil and cook garlic until golden brown. Add the shrimps and cook until done.

Take out the cooked shrimps and add the tomatoes.
Cook the tomatoes for about 3-4 minutes (you don’t want the tomatoes to be mashed).

Sprinkle the brown sugar over the cooked tomatoes and continue cooking until sugar is melted.

Add the herb cream cheese and heavy cream on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the shrimps and Tortiglioni noodles into the sauce.

Give it a good toss and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Cookies & Bars

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

My family are cookie lovers! Especially my little NJ! He eats a few bites of my cakes and other sweet desserts but cookies are something that always disappear right away!

These Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies don’t even make it inside of a cookie jar (and I have plenty of cute ones indeed)!
They are chewy, rich and very chocolatey! Oh, have I mentioned how thick and fudgy they are? Better than any store bought cookies out there!

I use a large ice cream scoop and only place 5 scoops on one baking sheet. I hate it when my cookies start sticking on each other.

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My little NJ requested these cookies for Santa Claus this year. Imagine these super scrumptious cookies with a glass of milk…mmhhh…absolutely amazing! 🙂

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Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: 15 Pieces

Ingredients:
170 g Unsalted Butter
115 g Peanut butter
150 g Sugar
150 g Brown sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 Eggs
280 g All-purpose flour
60 g Cocoa powder
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Chocolate chips
1 cup Chocolate chunks (or roughly cut dark chocolate into chunks)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F (top and bottom heat). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter together.

Add in the white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.

Add eggs one at a time and beat each for about 20 seconds.

Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.

Mix in the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks using a wooden spoon.

Scoop the dough (using an ice cream scoop) onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake at 190°C/375°F for about 12-13 minutes.

Hint: Don’t bake over 13 minutes! The cookies won’t be chewy and they might turn out lightly scorched.
Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool ON THE BAKING SHEETS! If you move them when they’re still hot, they will break! Let them cool COMPLETELY on the baking sheet.

Gnocchi

Chicken Gnocchi Skillet

Chicken Gnocchi Skillet

As working mother all you want on a busy weekday is a quick and easy dish! I love recipes that you can easily make in a short time but are really GOOD!

This Chicken Gnocchi Skillet recipe of mine is very simple and sooo delicious!
The pesto white wine sauce gives it that extra nudge!
You can use any kind of inexpensive white wine for cooking and also any type of pesto. You could also make your own pesto if you want to make this dish extravagant!

Instead of chicken, you may want to try this recipe with pork or turkey instead. Every type of meat tastes good with the Gnocchis and white wine sauce.

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Chicken Gnocchi Skillet

Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients:
500 g Chicken breast
1 Bunch spring onions
100 g Butter
1 kg Gnocchis
4 Tbsp Oil
Salt
Pepper
3 Tbsp All-purpose flour
200 ml White wine
400 ml Heavy cream
250 g Peas (frozen)
3 Tbsp Pesto

Directions:
Cut chicken breasts into stripes. Chop spring onions roughly.

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add Gnocchis and cook until golden brown.

Take Gnocchi out of the skillet when already cooked.

Add oil in skillet and cook the chicken stripes until light brown. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and sauté it for 1-2 minutes.

Add the white wine and heavy cream to the chicken and cook while stirring (sauce will thicken).

Now add the peas, spring onions and pesto. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes then add your Gnocchi.

Season with more salt and pepper if desired.

Mini Cakes

Mini Plum Crumble Cakes

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Plum season has finally arrived over here! In Germany you will see all bakeries selling a bunch of different plum cakes. You will find big trays of plum goodies
placed on the sales counter and presented at the shop windows.

I love plum cakes because of the sourness of the fresh plums embracing the buttery taste of the crumble.
Top them with cool whipping cream and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon…mmhhh…HEAVEN!

For the Mini Plum Crumble Cakes I would recommend purchasing these mini dessert rings. You can find them on Amazon for a reasonable price.

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This recipe of my Mini Plum Crumble Cake is so easy to do and just the right amount for a one on one coffee time with your friends. You could simply double the recipe and place those mini cakes on a pretty cake stand. Believe me, they look really cute dusted in confectioners sugar. 🙂

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Mini Plum Crumble Cakes
Yield: 4 Mini Cakes
Ingredients:
300 g Fresh plums (cut into quarters)
125 g Butter
100g Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla extract
200 g All-purpose flour
50 g Rolled oats

Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 °C/355°F (top and bottom heat). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place 4 small round baking molds and lightly grease them with butter (I used mini “Dessert Rings” which are like mini springforms 8 cm x 4 cm ).

Melt the butter in microwave.

Add all the ingredients into the melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon; stir until it becomes a crumby dough.

Press about 2-3 Tbsp of the crumble dough into your baking pans using the back of a spoon.

Now add the the plums and top with the remaining crumble.

Bake at 180°C/355°F for 30 Minutes or until golden brown.