welcome baby girl cake

our neighbour’s second daughter arrived two nights ago. to welcome her, i made a lemon cake (adapted from chili und ciabatta).



  • 240 g flour
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 170 g butter, at room temperature
  • zest of one lemon
  • 115 g cream cheese
  • 215 g sugar
  • 3 eggs, yolk and white separated
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • one pinch of salt


  • 70 g icing sugar
  • lemon juice
  • red food color, white icing pen

sift flour, cream of tartar and salt into a bowl.

cut butter in small pieces, beat until creamy. add lemon zest and cream cheese, continue beating. add sugar by the tablespoon, continue beating. add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

add half of the flour mix into the cream, stir a few times. then add lemon juice, stir. add remaining flour, stir again (do not overwork the dough).

beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. first fold 1/3 of the egg white carefully into the dough, then the remaining 2/3.

bake at 160°C. the original recipe was used for a rectangular form and needed 70 minutes baking time. i made two cakes of 18 and 12 cm diameter, which needed 40 resp. 50 minutes.

in case you’re wondering: the wrapping is made of sandwich paper, two paper plates and a bit of silver ribbon.

halloumi vegetable skewers



  • juice of one lemon
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley, minced
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 200 g halloumi

mix ingredients for marinade together.

cut bell pepper, zucchini and halloumi in bite size pieces, put in a bowl and cover with marinade. chill in the fridge for 4 hours.

Skewer the vegetables and the halloumi. put on a baking tray and brush with remaining marinade. grill at 200°C for 20-30 minutes. (you may want to reduce to 175°C for the last minutes).

we ate it with a taboulé-style salad and a yoghurt dip.

white asparagus with orange butter and almonds

it’s still asparagus season! today we had white asparagus for the first time this spring and i learned a great trick to make it even more tasty – cook the asparagus in stock that is made of its trimmings.


  • 1 kg white asparagus
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 3 tbsp slivered almonds
  • more salt, pepper

wash, trim and peel the asparagus. put asparagus skins plus trimmings in a pot with 1.8 l cold water, add salt and sugar. bring to boil and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. remove skins and trimmings.

put asparagus into the stock, bring to boil then let it simmer for 10-15 minutes (until al dente).

meanwhile toast almonds in a dry pan until they start to turn golden. add butter and orange juice, cook for a few minutes at medium heat (until butter starts to brown). remove from heat, season with pepper and salt.

transfer asparagus on a prewarmed platter,  cover with orange butter.

green peas with onion and parsley

a very simple dish.


  • about 250 g green peas (frozen)
  • 150 ml water (optional: 70 ml white wine + 80 ml water)
  • one onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • parsley, pepper, salt

cook onion in 1 tbsp butter for a minute, add peas and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. add water (or water plus wine), cover and let it simmer until the peas are done. remove from heat, add the second tbsp butter, about 2 tbsp parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

long time no see

it’s been quiet here for some time since i was away on travel — and maybe i won’t be able cook for a while longer, since i’m still full up from all the great food i had. for instance one of my favourites from childhood on, made by my grandmother.

may i introduce: pfannkuchen (=pancake). the pfannkuchen is a twofold white bread made from yeast, salt, flour and milk, which is baked in a dutch oven. it needs to be generously brushed with oil during baking time.

i don’t know if there is any other region in germany besides where i come from where such a bread is eaten as side dish (let alone to call it pfannkuchen. pfannkuchen usually refers to some kind of doughnuts – which we call krapfen. any food etymologists out there?) it goes very well with various vegetables, for instance sugar snaps, savoy or kohlrabi.

here we had it with kohlrabi, fresh from my grandmother’s garden.

plus rissoles and bratwurst.

and green salad, of course also fresh from the garden.

summary: i need a garden.