Month: July 2013

Yet another packaging-free treat

Date cashew hazelnut balls with coconut

Whenever I buy sweet stuff, the amount of unnecessary packaging that comes with it annoys me. So I started buying dried fruits and nuts instead, which you can buy loose.  It seemed like a cheap, quick and easy fix. The only problem: I was still craving “real” candy. My solution: Making my own little pralines – date cashew hazelnut balls with coconut sprinkles.  After going through a lot of different recipes I came up with my own little creation:

(for about 20 date cashew hazelnut balls)

200g of dates

150g of cashews (unsalted)

50g of hazelnuts

1 tsp of brown sugar

5 tsp of coconut sprinkles

4 TS of water

2 tsp of dark chocolate sprinkles (optional)

First I soaked the cashews and hazelnuts in a bit of water.

After half an hour I dried them and together with the dates I chopped them as finely as possible (You can also use a food processor for that). I added a teaspoon of brown sugar, 4 teaspoons of coconut sprinkles and 4 tablespoons of water.

Then I put everything in a blender until I got all mushy and soft. I added two teaspoons of dark chocolate sprinkles at the very end (don’t blend them).

After that I formed little cashew date hazelnut balls (make your hands wet, then the mixture doesn’t stick to them) and sprinkled another teaspoon of coconut sprinkles over them.

Et voilà, my sweet tooth is satisfied after all:

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P1080540

By the way, this is where having old jars at home comes in handy again – I re-use them as candy containers.

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re-using old glass jars for candy

Keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…

DIY toilet paper roll napkin rings

Ever wondered what to do with old toilet paper rolls? One of my friends who also happens to be a passionate blogger (Follow her blog High tea with Maureen) had an awesome idea. She turned empty toilet paper rolls into napkin rings and glued old newspaper scraps around them. They looked very unique on her dinner table. So of course I couldn’t help it, but I had to be a copycat.

My interpretation of her idea: I cut an empty toilet paper roll into little rings (about one to 1,5 cm wide) and glued old Chinese newspaper (Got it from the Chinese grocer where I go from time to time.) scraps around them. And that’s the result – my DIY napkin rings:

DIY napkin rings

DIY napkin rings

P1080618So simple and yet all you need for a fancy dinner party. Chapeau!

Supper is ready!

Magic Garden Supper Club – My very first supper club experience

On Saturday I spent my night sharing food and thoughts with strangers. Sounds dodgy? A visit to Magic Garden Supper Club in Düsseldorf will prove you wrong.

I’ve been wanting to participate in a supper club dinner for a long time, but I could never quite figure out who to ask or where to go. Then I stumbled upon an article that mentioned a supper club in my home city – and so I went.

I shared the table with a fellow food lover who told me that supper clubs came from Cuba originally. I was amazed by how much she knew about the topic (for all those of you who speak German, check out her lovely blog Genussgier  and her article about supper clubs in and around Düsseldorf – extremely useful!). The way I interpret it the idea is simple, but genius: You’ve got an underground restaurant and a whole bunch of curious, open-minded people who share a meal together  – and by saying “sharing” I don’t mean they literally share what’s on the plate, but share the experience and get to know each other.

And this is what I loved about my Magic Garden experience the most: Enjoying an outstanding meal in quite an unusual location and intimate atmosphere and getting to know a lot of interesting people. I knew everyone would be a bit shy at the beginning of the night, but it seemed that once we  sat down there was so much to talk about – Food, food, food, interesting ideas and did I mention food?! – that it was really easy to relax and just enjoy the unusual experience. Needless to say the food – a four course vegan menu accompanied by a fine selection of vegan wine – was amazing. I don’t want to tell you too much about the location, as I think part of the appeal is the surprise moment when you enter the location for the first time, so see for yourself. I can only say: Thank you for a fantastic night! And as Arnie would say: I’ll be back (imaginary German accent)!

Entree: basil soup and bruschetta

Entrée: basil soup and bruschetta

My favourite course: black lentils on a creme of zucchini with champignon salad and beetroot jus. Heavenly!

My favourite course: black lentils on a creme of zucchini with mushroom salad and beetroot jus. Heavenly!

Getting creative with scrap wood

DIY scrap wood postcards

I often find useful things that were left on the streets for garbage removal. A little while ago someone put a whole bunch of wooden panels outside and I just couldn’t resist. I like unusual gifts, so I turned the wooden panels into DIY scrap wood postcards.

I glued old fabric to it, glued a pretty postcard (I re-used an Einstein postcard someone sent to me a while ago. That way you can re-use a postcard) on top of the fabric and glued a personal message to the back. There are millions of variations to this. All you need is fabric, a postcard, a scrap of paper, a pen, scissors and glue. What you’ve got is a free gift, a creative DIY postcard and the good feeling that you saved something from being thrown out rather than producing more waste.

A RELATIVEly unusual postcard

A RELATIVEly unusual postcard

By the way: This might just be the heaviest postcard the world has ever seen, so don’t try throwing it in the mail 🙂

A packaging-free treat

Rhubarb dessert

Before this year’s rhubarb season is getting to an end, I stocked up on rhubarb and turned it into yummy rhubarb dessert. My friend Chriscovery recommended this recipe to me, which I adapted to my needs.

I had half 750 grams of rhubarb. After I had washed and peeled it I added 160 grams of brown sugar and half a teaspoon of ground vanilla (alternatively deduct 20 grams from the sugar and add two small packs of vanilla sugar). I let everything sit for about an hour, that sucks all the water out of the rhubarb.

After that I boiled it for about five minutes until the rhubarb got all mushy and soft. I added a tiny bit of cinnamon at the end. I filled it in an old martini glass. Et voilà, a cheap, hassle-free, plastic-free dessert in a martini glass:

rhubarb compote

rhubarb dessert

P.S. The rhubarb compote lasts in the fridge for about a week. Try eating it with cake or stirring it into muesli. Yum!