Exhilarating Monday

I woke up this morning to a light dusting of snow. As the morning went on, the snow was falling heavier.

I had to drive to Guelph, but I did not mind.

I had my trunk packed with my stand mixer, flour, milk, eggs, butter, ham, cheese, asparagus, tomato sauce and my wonderful crepes pan for a cooking demonstration at my husband’s company Intrigue Media.

My husband and his partners had a meeting and I showed them all how to make crepes and how to eat them ( well actually that was easy, I guess)

After I cleaned up, I drove home and got a call from Kelsey: The book is here!!!!

I met the lady from Fedex and drove my precious cargo home.

I was nervous, but with the help of my friends Karla and Lea, I opened it and looked at it.

Happy?

Yes, I am very happy, because it is everything I hoped for and more.

This was a very long journey.

We always say, that the trip is as important as the destination and yes, the journey was a long, but wonderful one.

I learned a lot.

I opened and sold a bakery/restaurant on my way.

My daughters both met their partners on my way.

I became a grandmother on my way.

I met new friends on my way.

And now, my book is here.

I reached my first goal and more to come, more books, more goals, new ventures.

Life is exciting and even though I am almost 56, I am looking forward to many more new adventures…

My first Mount Everest is climbed, now to K2, selling it…

I am looking forward to book signings and meeting new people. I hope I will give them the pleasure for cooking beautiful meals back..because my way of cooking is simply easy and fun.

The cook will be able to sit at the dinner table, people will be digging in and enjoying the food and the cook will not be exhausted…

I am sitting down with a glass of red wine now.

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Saturday Dinner

A long post today as I cook a lot for tonight.

We will have pork hocks, mash potatoes, red cabbage and a tart with a cream filling…so recipes galore.

Let’s start with the pork hocks.

I usually have one per person, but today I only made 2 for 4 people, as the ones I bought were huge.

I cooked them in a big pot of salt water. I also added a bay leaf, some gloves and pepper corns to the water. Boil the hocks for 2 hours on medium low.

Remove from the water and put in the fridge until the next day or let them sit outside until you are ready to roast them in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 400 and brush maple syrup over the skin of the leg..put on a roast and in the oven they go, turn heatdown to 375 after 10 minutes. Roast for about 60 minutes or until they are nice and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them sit for 10 – 15 minutes.

Serve with red cabbage, that is an easy thing to do.

Chop the red cabbage roughly, sauté an onion in 3 tablespoons of butter. When the onion is translucent, add the cabbage, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Also add a bay leaf and some gloves, maybe 2 or 3. Stir well. Now add 2 cups of red wine and 1 cup of water and let simmer for 40 minutes. Done. If you do not have wine, just water is fine, too.

This of course is delicious with mashed potatoes.

Peel about 10 medium sized potatoes, bring them to a boil in salty water until they are soft. Drain the water and bring them back on the stove and wait until all the moisture is evaporated. By the way, I like Yukon gold the best.

Now add 1 cup of butter and a sprinkle of nutmeg to the potatoes and mash…to make the really fluffy, add a bit of warm milk. Keep on mashing until you have a wonderful fluffy consistency . My son in law, Xel, the owner of Pia’s on Broadway, makes the best mashed potatoes.

So you now have the dinner ready, that all in all took about 2 hours to make, besides the boiling of the hocks..

For dessert I made a tart.

For the crust you need 2 sticks of unsalted butter,2 cups of flour, 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of sugar. MIx well and press the dough in a buttered tart shell.

Mix creme fraiche, not sour cream, with 3 whole eggs, 3 tablespoons of sugar, a splash of vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of flour. Pour the mixture in the shell and bake for about 35 minutes at 375.

Remove from the oven and you have a wonderful and delicious finish for your hardy, German-style pork hock dinner or like the Bavarians say: a guad Haxen.

Guten Appetit

Finally

Wow, I had good news this morning, they shipped my books yesterday via FEDEX…in an airplane, so they should be here soon.
I am so excited, you cannot even believe, so now the work begins. Book launch party planning, visiting book stores, book signings and so on.
I know, you will all like the book.
It is not only beautiful, but also a great gift and it will bring fun back in the kitchen, as it has a lot of the classic recipes , but easy to make.

Apple Strudel

APPLE STRUDEL The most common apple strudel is the one you can buy at European-style supermarkets. But that’s not the one I grew up with. The one my granny used to make is a Bavarian-style strudel, which means no raisins. I like that, and that’s the strudel that I make. Making the dough might seem a bit daunting but honestly it is simple and anyone can master it. And, I use an old tablecloth to help roll up the strudel! We usually only have a light soup before digging into this delicious treat because it is so rich… but so good. 4-6 servings

You need:

For the dough:

2 ½ cups (625 mL) all purpose flour

1 egg

2 tbsp (30 mL) plus 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup (125 mL) tepid water

For the filling:

8 big apples, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cups (500 mL) sugar

3 tbsp (45 mL) cinnamon

2 sticks (1 cup/250 mL) unsalted butter

For the sauce:

4 cups (1 L) milk

1 cup (250 mL) sugar

2 cups (500 mL) heavy cream

Put the flour on your counter and make an indentation in the middle. Add the egg, 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil, salt, and water, and work from the outside to the inside. Fold the dough over and over until you have soft, smooth dough. If the dough feels a bit hard, add a bit more water. Knead the dough for a few minutes more. Form the dough into a ball, and brush with oil. Put in a dish and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Put an old tablecloth on your counter, and sprinkle flour evenly over the cloth. Put the dough ball in the middle, sprinkle more flour on the dough, and start rolling it to the outside of the cloth. Roll the dough until it is very thin, (you should almost be able to see the cloth through the dough). Once the dough is rolled out, spread the apples over the top of it. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the top and dot apples with bits of butter. Take two ends of the cloth and pull it slowly over – so that the dough starts to roll. Continue rolling all the way so that the apples cannot fall out. Carefully lift the cloth and set it into a big roasting pan. Remove the cloth slowly. Preheat over to 375ºF (190ºC). For the sauce, heat the milk on the stove. Add sugar and stir until the sugar is totally dissolved. Pour the hot milk over the strudel and put in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes and then add the cream. Bake for another 40 minutes, spooning some of the liquid over the strudel every so often. Remove from the oven, and let sit for 20 minutes. Serve with the sweet and creamy ‘white gravy’.

Times flies

Wow, a week is gone and I did not notice…I am so busy lately, but don’t be mad, I am getting everything ready for my book launch soon.
Of course, nothing in my life goes as planned ( keeps it interesting and not boring), so also the printing of my first book did not go as expected, some stones were thrown in my way ( I am apparently a good climber) and now, all I have to do is wait for the result.
I had a huge help with Kelsey Lynn Coradetti ( well I could not have done it without her). We had so much fun through the process, that we are now planning to do this professionally. I cook, we style and she takes photos.
So friends, if you ever need an amazing team, we are fast, very fast, not complicated, let us know.
Have a great day.

This Young Generation

Okay, this has not much to do with cooking, but somehow it does.

I am working on finishing my cookbook now for about a month and I could not have done anything without the help of Kelsey Lynn Coradetti, who not only did a fabulous job on taking the photos, but also doing the art direction, talking to the printers in China and more.

I frequently hear the people of my generation ( I am 55) say that this generation is not what young people used to be once.

Well I have to say that this is totally not right , I could call it total bs, but I don’t.

I look around and I am surrounded by young people, who work hard, never complain and go for what they want and not wait for us to give it to them.

Every generation has slackers and trust me, my generation did to and the one before and the one before.

It has nothing to do with a generation, it has everything to do with character and personality….

My book will be finished soon

I know, I was quiet since February, but that does not mean I was idle.
I was working hard to finally finish my first cook book.
I started writing this book about 6 years ago, in between started my bakery/restaurant…and trust me, when you come home after cooking all day, you do not feel like writing down more recipes…well at least, I did not feel like doing it.
I sold the restaurant to my daughter’s partner and after taking a breath and enjoying my free time, I went back to finishing this book.
It is now edited, all the photos are taken and now the lay- out is worked on…we are working on a website, so that it can also be purchased on-line.
Friends also are working on me to have my own youtube channel…because they think that my approach to cooking is easy and not scary…maybe people would like to learn from me how much fun it is to cook healthy dinners for family and friends.
I was not totally idle though.
I also worked on a new company with my daughter Laura, called ” Real Good(s) gift company.
You can look it up at http://www.realgoods.tumblr.com. The website for it should be up and running soon…you all will love it.

Well these are the news. Book should be ready early November, I will post where I will to do book signings and where you will be able to buy it…for sure.
Take good care and remember, cooking is supposed to be fun.
By the way, the second book is almost ready…and it should be printed early next summer…I will keep you posted.