the addictive breakfast

I made this breakfast - a fried egg with sage, chili and garlicky yogurt - for the first time last week. The next day I made it again. Then I made it two days later, and I'll probably make it again tomorrow. You should go make it now too, no matter the time of day.

This combination came together effortlessly. Last Sunday I made Molly Wizenberg's meatballs with pine nuts, cilantro and golden raisins. After one day of hot meatballs and another day of cold leftovers, I had some of the accompanying yogurt sauce left in my fridge. With no meatballs left, I remembered a recipe I had read in Skye Gyngell's My Favourite Ingredients - a fried egg with sage, chili and garlicky yogurt.
I already had the yogurt sauce in the fridge and a sage plant in the living room. She describes this combination as compulsive. My loyalty last week to these four flavours proves her right.

Skye's yogurt sauce has only yogurt, garlic, sea salt and olive oil. The leftover yogurt sauce for the meatballs had yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt and - with a splash of good olive oil - it has become the sauce that I eat compulsively. The yogurt sauce keeps for a few days in the fridge so you'll probably want to make more than you need just to make sure that you have an excuse to eat this a few days in a row.

Fried Egg with Sage, Chili and Garlicky Yogurt

adapted from Skye Gyngell's 'My Favourite Ingredients'

serves 2


1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
sea salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
a dash of cumin
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

a small handful of fresh sage leaves
a very generous knob or two of butter
2 eggs
1/2 red chili, thinly sliced

In a bowl mix together the yogurt, garlic, sea salt, lemon juice, cumin and olive oil. Combine well and set aside so that the flavours mingle and develop.

Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the fresh sage leaves and cook until the leaves are crispy and the butter begins to brown. Remove the sage leaves from the pan and set aside. Crack the two eggs and add to the pan. Also add the sliced chili and cook until the egg whites are firm and the yolks and chili are soft. If there is enough butter in the pan, spoon the hot butter over the whites to flavour them and to help them cook faster.

To serve generously spoon the yogurt dip onto two plates. On each plate lay an egg on top of the yogurt, then scatter with the chili and crispy sage. Spoon any leftover butter from the pan on top and serve at once.



mustard for bread

When I moved to Germany the first time some years ago I came across Feigensenf in the aisles of my local grocery story. Fig and mustard together? The sweetness of figs married to the spiciness of grainy mustard seeds? Brilliant, I thought. I immediately purchased a jar. This all happened at a time when my Berlin apartment was still without a fridge. It was early October. The air had cooled and instead of a fridge we had a plastic bag hanging off of our window sill. Clearly the plastic bag was a rather sad attempt to chill our groceries and space was quite limited. However, the fig mustard was our condiment prized enough to get a spot.

When I moved to Germany the second time this summer I immediately included fig mustard on my grocery list. I found it, but the brand was different. The figs were more subtle; it was not quite the same. A change of sheets of paper and fig mustard landed itself on my long list of things I would like to make (a different grocery list of sorts).

Last week the Bread Exchange came to Munich. It is such a simple and brilliant concept; Malin bakes bread - far too much for her to eat alone - and then trades it. Surely if I was better at baking bread I would want to steal the idea; I like it that much. I decided to trade fig mustard for bread and what a bread it was: sourdough with dried apricots made with beer! Even better, it was a tasty companion for fig mustard and some mixed greens.

I really like a grainy French style mustard and I like fig mustard even more. You'll want to make this while the weather is still good for grilling. Eat it with spicy beef or lamb sausages. Stir it into salad dressings. Dip roasted potatoes into it. Spread it on sandwiches and, perhaps my favourite, eat it to a grilled cheese sandwich. Mustard keeps for a while in the fridge; however, with the figs it will only keep for a few weeks. Don't worry though, you'll want to eat it often.

Fig Mustard


4 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
4 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp agave nectar or honey
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar, port wine, or water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup fresh figs, mashed with a fork

Mix all of the ingredients except for the figs in a jar or a large container with a tight fitting lid (anything other than metal as metal will corrode). Shake well and then let soak for at least twelve hours and up to two days.

Blend the mixture with the figs in a blender until you reach your desired coarseness. Place in a jar or container and store in the fridge.



going barefoot

Summer has finally arrived in Munich. Yes, I am aware that it is the end of August, but I don't mind. It is sunny! And hot! And summer! And trust me when I say that I am taking full advantage of the weather.

By taking advantage I mean making lemonade, mixing cocktails, eating ice cream and going barefoot. All except the latter have been most rewarding. As much as I swoon over nice footwear my feet have always been happiest bare. This I attribute to the fact that when I first learned to walk I walked on my toes. This only became more extreme with years of dance. I have never been great at walking flat foot and only with bare feet I find the perfect angle to arch my toes.

When the hot weather arrived I got busy making lemonade. I made lemonade with raspberries. I made lemonade with basil. I made it with rosemary and I made it with fresh ginger. I then made with rosemary and fresh ginger and learned how to make a glass taste like summer. Last week I filled a jar with this rosemary, lemon, and ginger nectar and set off to the park. To take full advantage of this late blooming heat, I sat in the sun while my lemonade sat in the shade. With bare feet I hopped over to take a sip. I took a hug sip, but only after I had first stepped on a wasp. The wasp's stinger was nestled in the middle of my foot. I, surprisingly, calmly pulled it out, crushed it with a shoe (and then a book just for good measure), sat down and drank some lemonade. As I finished it sip by sip my foot became sore and slightly larger. However, as long as I was drinking the lemonade I did not feel the pain; I only tasted the magic that is rosemary and ginger.

Rosemary and Ginger Lemonade

serves one


1 1/2 cups water
2-4 tbsp agave syrup according to desired sweetness
1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp grated ginger
1/4 - 1/2 a lemon thinly sliced
ice to serve

In a small saucepan bring the water and agave syrup to a boil until the syrup dissolves and the water is all one colour. Boil for 10 minutes and then remove from heat. Add the rosemary leaves (stems discarded), cover the pot and let seep for about 10 minutes. With a sieve, strain the syrup and discard any leaves. Let cool completely.

Once the rosemary syrup is room temperature mix it with the grated ginger and lemon juice. Serve with lemon slices and ice.



postcards from metz

Or, more precisely, postcards from Centre Pompidou Metz. However, with or without this contemporary art giant Metz is charming (even more so when mirabelles are in season).


a seedy snack

Somewhere between summer classes, rainy weather and cooking binges, I have tired myself out. Yesterday I slept until 4pm. 4 pm! Although I am a decadent sleeper, I outgrew such late lie-ins years ago. I guess that I really needed that sleep. By the time I got myself out of bed and had made a cup of coffee, I realized that breakfast at 5pm is just not right. Even though I am a firm believer in breakfasts and am loyal to restaurants that serve them all day, it felt too late to indulge in poached eggs or a fresh smoothie yesterday. Instead, I ate some zucchini bread and some fruit and then rushed out the door to the post office and grocery store while they were still open. I was just starting my day as businesses were ending theirs.

By the time my appetite and I got home, I was craving something filling, but light. I wanted a meal that went with the time of day and would not confuse my body any further. A recent episode of Spilled Milk described Jasmine rich with crunchy toasted seeds. Often when I hear or read about a recipe that sounds dangerously good (be it simple or complex), I think about it a lot. I keep thinking about it until I find the time and the ingredients to make it. This is what happened with this rice and seed dish. I had finally found pumpkin seeds that weren't priced like gold in Germany and I was ready to proceed. 

Basmati Rice with Toasted Seeds

serves one


1/2 cup (60 grams) brown basmati rice
a knob of butter
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp flax seeds
sea salt
a generous drizzle of sesame oil

Rinse the rice well. Put the rice and twice as much water in a saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and a knob of butter. Bring rice to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 40-50 minutes.

When the rice is almost done, toast the seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Once the seeds are fragrant they are done. Remove from heat and salt them generously.

Mix together the rice and most of the seeds. Garnish with the rest of the seed mixture and then generously drizzle with sesame oil.



home to ice pops

I just spent two weeks in Salzburg. I studied, socialized, and barely slept. After returning to Munich I spent nearly a day sleeping. Then I spent nearly a day cooking (or baking to be more precise). Sunday my kitchen and I were chatting and catching up like it had been ages since we last met. I baked a French boule and two loaves of zucchini bread. I made strawberry banana smoothies with coconut milk in the morning and raspberry lemonade in the evening. I ate salad nicoise for dinner and snacked on fruit and home-made bread throughout the day.

All of this kitchen activity was eclipsed by my freezer. Before leaving for a weekend in Berlin and two weeks in Salzburg, I made ice pops. Despite the summer weather (or lack thereof), I have been carrying on eating ice cream like it is summer. A few streets away is a gem of an ice cream shop. They understand that chocolate and ginger is a flawless combination. They mix pear and pineapple together and they mix peach and raspberry. They have taught me that milk and mint belong together. In short, my wallet and I have been spending a lot of time at this ice cream shop. Just around the corner there is also a general shop with an impressive kitchen selection. After eating chocolate and ginger ice cream one day after work, I decided to buy ice pop molds. I can easily make similarly delicious cold treats and not be dependent on having a) small change and b) a craving only before 10pm.

I first tried mango and coconut milk together as a sorbet and I can insure that the combination is just as delicious in ice pop molds.

Mango and Coconut Milk Ice Pops


1 can full fat coconut milk
1 large banana
1 ripe mango (Pakistani if you are lucky)
2 tsps lemon juice
1-2 tbsp agave nectar or honey (omit if your mango is ultra sweet)

In a blender mix together the banana, mango, lemon juice and honey. Add the coconut milk and blend. Pour into ice pop molds (4 to 6 depending on their size) and freeze.




This is what distracts me in Munich and south of Munich when the sun shines.

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