Saturday, 31 July 2010

Thank You Cupcakes



While I was in Barcelona my mother-in-law had to take care of my four bunnies for about three weeks. Since I know it's a LOT of work, especially in summer - since these creatures don't smell that good in this time of the year, I wanted to show my appreciation by making some cupcakes for her. This time I used the Chocolate-chips and Raisins Muffin recipe from Anncoo's blog. I omitted the raisins and ground almond because I am not into them, but I religiously followed her other instructions. These cupcakes tasted fantastic and my MIL was very happy as well. I am absolutely not a good baker, because I am not somebody who likes following recipes just as they are, that's why a lot of cakes and cupcakes I have made were not always very successful...! I'll try to be more cooperative next time I bake again, so that the chance of getting some weird texture cakes would drop off ;).



These cupcakes are covered with melted white chocolate (with a drop of blue food colouring). The flowers and bees are made of marshmallow fondant.


Mini cakes coated with dark chocolate, decorated with smarties, sugar pearls and fondant flower and bunny.

Choc-Chips Cupcakes

  • 250 g butter
  • 225 g sugar (I used less)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 375 g milk
  • 450 g flour
  • 20 g baking powder
  • Chocolate chips




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Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Barcelona Trip

I have been away for a long time, I know... But now, here I am again :). My husband and I were in Barcelona for two weeks hoping to recreate a bit from all the stress we had at work. It was a nice trip, but unfortunately it was very very hot - even though, I heard, it's not much better in Germany...


















One of the main reasons I went to Barcelona was because I wanted to have an authentic culinary journey of Spanish food, although I have to admit I don't know much at all about Spanish cuisine. I especially wanted to try Paella in Spain because I had never had 'authentic' Paella at all before my Barcelona trip. I only knew Paella made by my German mother-in-law (which is always fantastic by the way - I just wanted to know if Paella in Spain would taste even better, especially because my husband, who had been to Spain when he was very young, was absolutely raving about it). Well, long story short, I was actually really quite disappointed by the Paella I had in Barcelona. I tried it at least six times from different restaurants and they were all either wet, tasted like rice dumped in tomato sauce or just rice with almost no seafood fillings...


My first paella - wet and not much seafood.



Very wet and very little seafood.



The best paella I had, but still not comparable to the paella my MIL made.

I also tried other types of Spanish food, such as tapas - they were good, but for me personally, there's nothing outstanding about it. But I can also imagine that I simply went to the wrong places, since it was my first time to Barcelona (and my husband's as well), so we really had no clue where to go.
















Nevertheless I was very impressed by Fideua, which is a popular traditional Valencian dish similar to Paella but made with noodles instead of rice. This dish is certainly on my list to try at home. Spanish smoked ham and salami that I tried there tasted excellent as well!


Not a very good picture, but I don't have another one...

I saw some 'Mercat' too there, which means 'market' in Catalan. The markets sort of remind me of Paddy's market in Sydney - you can find various types of seafood, fish, meat, smoked ham, salami, etc in some stalls and clothes, sweets, fruit in the others. Here are some pictures of a market in Pla├ža Catalunya and the area around it.





























Poor rabbits...:(


Saw many 'living statues' there...!

Besides trying some Spanish food, we also went to some Asian restaurants in Barcelona and were very happy with the overall quality - well, at least compared to the ones I find in the Hessen area in Germany, the Asian food there just seemed to be more authentic.

Nagano Japan Restaurant - somewhere in Parallel. Very authentic and inexpensive.


Wish the guy wasn't there...!


This tempura menu comes with miso soup, a drink and a dessert as well and was just €11.95



Duck menu - € 10.95

Pato Pekin - in Port Olimpic near the Barceloneta beach. Also very reasonable price. The peking duck is absolutely not the best I know, but good enough and extremely affordable.



Peking duck menu - I think €20 per person.


Appetiser - dim sum for me


Appetiser - Salad and tiny Vietnamese spring roll for my husband


Peking duck - the rest of the duck meat was stir fried with vegetables, but I didn't take a picture of it. A drink was also included.


Stir fried squid


Chinese fried rice


Beef satay - very good and reminds me of the chicken satay in Sydney food courts. Not very 'peanuty' but a little bit curry-like but not too strong. This menu comes with fried rice, a drink and a dessert. €12.50






Vanilla ice cream as dessert



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