Friday, April 22, 2011

Ruining Easter with German brunch

My friend Lino posted a photo on Facebook of his delicious-looking Filipino Easter:

It made me feel a little guilty about the German feast that I had prepared, and my lack of actually writing about, much less ruining, Mom's recipes. But it turns out I am also talented at ruining Mom's idea of what a meal should be. For instance, our German Easter brunch was seriously lacking of anything of nutritional value.

At the very top, we've got an Austrian Amadeus cheese, which reminded me of one of my favorite German cheeses, Butterkaese. Just below it on the left is Brie de Nangine, which actually relates more to a wine-tasting trip a year ago that introduced me to this earthy, soft deliciousness. Continuing counter-clockwise, you've got your liverwurst, Mortadella and Emmantaler.

And to the left is the reason I even considered making this brunch. Earlier this year, a new cafe opened that I now pass daily on my commute. With an uber-German name like Kaffeeklatsch, I just had to look it up. And lo and behold, I saw photos and descriptions of German treats I've been missing for a decade, especially their Sourdough Rye with Sunflower Seeds. So I stopped by a couple of times to quench my thirst, but it just made me thirstier for German food. So I dove in and started planning an Easter of gluttony.

The only things I spent any time on were even more carbs: German Potato Salad and homemade pretzels. And not shown is the main course, the Weisswurst, whose main ingredient I will not name out of shame. But it tastes soooo good with Hefeweizen and my homemade pretzels!

OK, I gotta be honest. It wasn't completely devoid of nutrition. Mom actually brought a salad, which everybody just picked at, and Stephen and Koshare brought one delicious fruit salad, and another one in honor of Dad that is also delicious ... but in another way (fruit cocktail and Cool Whip, I kid you not).

Feast we did on Easter. Sorry, Mom, if I ruined another holiday!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Arugula helps bring pesto back to the table

I still haven't figured out what to do with all the arugula I keep getting from my CSA, but I think I finally may have found an arugula recipe that's worth trying again.

Tonight I made some arugula pesto, mixed with chicken, asparagus and penne. I'd forgotten how much I've missed pesto until I took my first bite, which was even better than the more typical basil-based sauce because of the spiciness of the arugula.

So, why has pesto not appeared on my menu for so long? Back in the '90s, I think Mom, Stephen and I may have overdone it with the pesto after we discovered how delicious it is. We also soon learned that it's much too rich of a dish to eat repeatedly, and it soon disappeared from the table.

Perhaps it's time for a return.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Quiche just isn't as elegant without crust

This may not be as pretty as a real quiche, but it smells just as good when it's cooking and is much easier to prepare than one with a crust. I even prepared it a day in advance so I could just put it in the oven when I got home tonight. Whole Foods calls it "Spinach, Mushroom and Swiss Crustless Squares," but perhaps our version should have been called "Spinach, Mushroom and Swiss Crustless Quarters," because yes, rather than cut the quiche into 24 squares, we cut it into just four!