Sunday, January 31, 2010

Recipe: Olive Oil Cake with Tangerine Glaze

This recipe was so simple and easy to make, and so incredibly delicious! It was a great end to our Mediterranean-themed supper. Courtesy of
Makes 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

What you need:
* Cooking spray [or butter, to grease the pan]
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
* 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk [I used 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup yogurt]
* 1/2 cup extravirgin olive oil
* 1/4 cup fresh tangerine juice (about 2 tangerines), divided
* 3 large eggs
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces) [I used whole wheat flour]
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 1 teaspoon butter, melted

What you do:
Preheat oven to 350°F [~176°C].
Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray [or a springform cake pan with butter in our case]; dust with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Set aside.
Combine granulated sugar, milk, oil, 3 tablespoons juice, and eggs in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Lightly spoon 2 1/4 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; stir well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to oil mixture, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until golden brown and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool cake completely on wire rack. Loosen edges of cake with a narrow spatula. Place a plate upside down on top of cake; invert onto plate.
Combine powdered sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon juice, and butter, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

Recipe: Hearty Fish Stew

This was our main dish at the last supper club, and turned out great! Courtesy of Closet Cooking.
Makes 4 servings.

What you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
chili flakes to taste (optional) [I added Mexican chili powder]
1 bulb fennel (sliced)
1 red pepper (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 cup white wine
1 (28 ounce) can diced plum tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound white fish (such as haddock, halibut, etc., or any seafood) [or substitute tofu]
1/2 cup fresh herbs such as parsley and basil (chopped)

What you do:
1. Heat the oil in the pan.
2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 6-10 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the fennel and red peppers and saute for a few minutes.
5. Add the white wine and simmer for a few minutes.
6. Add the tomatoes, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Add the fish [or tofu] and simmer until cooked, about 5 minutes.
8. Remove and mix in the fresh herbs.

Serve with some crusty bread & feta, if desired.

Recipe: Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

This fresh, light salad was a huge hit at the last supper club! Courtesy of
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings

What you need:
* 4 ounces manchego cheese, chopped [we left this out]
* 1 (10.5 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, coarsely chopped [we stirred in some mint suace instead]
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* Zest of 1 lemon (1 1/2 tsp.)
* Salt and pepper
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, each cut into quarters (8 oz.)
* 2 bunches arugula or 1 (5 oz.) box baby arugula, cleaned and patted dry [we used feldsalat]

What you do:
Toss cheese, chickpeas, mint, olive oil, garlic and lemon zest together in a medium bowl; season with salt to taste. Set mixture aside to marinate at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes, or cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate in refrigerator overnight. [we did not marinate overnight, but made it and served it fresh on the night]
Add lemon juice and tomatoes to cheese-chickpea mixture and toss to coat thoroughly.
Divide arugula among 4 individual serving plates and spoon marinated cheese mixture on top. Grind freshly cracked black pepper directly over each salad. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

Supper the Fourth

Hey Folks!
Sorry I'm a little late on this post! So as advertised below, the latest supper club took place last Tuesday, January 26th.
Our menu was:
-Crudités and pita with cucumber-mint yogurt dip and Charlie's homemade hummus
-Chickpea salad

-Hearty Greek fish stew (and a tofu version for the veggies!) served with crusty bread and a dollop of creamy olive feta (I forgot to take a photo until I had already eaten half of it...goes to show how good it was!)

-Homemade olive oil cake with a tangerine glaze and helva from the Turkish market served with tangerine slices and whole hazelnuts
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the dessert even though it was the best plating job we did!
We've made many improvements since the last dinner, including starting the evening in the living room and actually buying (instead of borrowing) enough cutlery, dishes, and wine glasses for everyone!
We were at full capacity and had a great group, though unfortunately I hardly took any pictures!
Hopefully the one below gives a good idea of the atmosphere :)

Stay tuned for news on the next supper!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Qype: Focacceria la Tarantella in Berlin

Berlin - Eating & Drinking - Restaurants - Italian & Pizza

The bf and I were tired and hungover on New Year's Eve and just wanted some pizza when we finally stumbled out of the house in the early afternoon.
I had heard good things about Tarantella so we headed that way.Our waitress, Nicoletta, was so kind and friendly and chatted away to us in a mixture of Italian, German, and English. We ate caprese and two delicious pizzas and let me tell you, the price was right.
My serrano, parmesan and ruccola pizza was incredibly savory and delicious and the perfect thing to warm me on a cold day. My bf described his pepperoni-ham-pepper pizza as his "ideal."
We promised Nicoletta that we'd be back and I will definitely be hitting up Tarantella when I need a cozy atmosphere and some warm comfort food.

Check out my review of Focacceria la Tarantella - I am insizlane - on Qype

Qype: tartane in Berlin

Berlin - Eating & Drinking - Pubs & Bars - Bars

I love Tartane. I'm not sure where these negative reviews come from because I've had two great evenings out there and expect more to come.
The first time I went I got the lamb burger with bleu cheese and it was so good I couldn't resist ordering it again the second time! Here's a tip: use a knife and fork if you don't want to make a huge mess...but in my mind, messiness is the sign of a good burger. I also have to praise the service--I've had different servers each time but they are always nice and attentive, not to mention stylish.
Last time we had the shrimp flambee appetizer and it was so light and delicate and delicious. It arrived at our table in flames. Yum! The first time I also succumbed to the temptation of dessert and the mousse was fluffy and to die for. Even the spread that comes with the bread is scrumptious.
My one complaint is that the "Caeser salad" is not a is greens and veggies with vinaigrette. But it was still really good (and big) so I'm not complaining too much.
I also love the chic decor. I'm dying to try the upstairs seating area!
You've got a loyal customer in me, Tartane! I think you're worth the price.

Check out my review of tartane - I am insizlane - on Qype

Qype: Ron Telesky Canadian Pizza in Berlin

Berlin - Eating & Drinking - Restaurants - Italian & Pizza

Ok so...yes, the pizza is pretty darn good and inventive with the toppings. Yes, the chili-maple sauce is strangely delicious. But is it worth the totally inflated prices?
On the plus side the service is nice and when they burned my friend's slice they comped it. They also gave us free tap water when we asked which sometimes gets you dirty looks in Berlin.
I don't think I'll come here too often because of the prices and kinda inconvenient location (bit of a trek from Schönleinstrasse UBhf, esp. in winter) but it's definitely worth a try, if only for the novelty.
PS. They sell Reese's peanut butter cups if you have a craving...

Check out my review of Ron Telesky Canadian Pizza - I am insizlane - on Qype

Qype: Amar in Berlin

Berlin - Eating & Drinking - Restaurants - Indian

I've been here twice for lunch and always had a good experience.
Each time I was with one companion and we had two currys, a big salad, rice and naan for less than 10eur each. The second time, we were given free mango drinks before the meal and free mango-berry dessert thingies afterwards.
The chicken korma is creamy and delicious with nuts and dried currants. The lamb vindaloo has a real kick to it, which is rare in Berlin! And the chicken tikka masala came out on a sizzling fajita-style platter and had a really lovely flavor.
The service is always attentive, but they need to figure out how to block the door in cold kept blasting us when the door was opened, to the point we had to put our coats on.
Also, what's up with opening the cellar door such that the bathrooms are blocked and customers have to dangerously try to circumvent it?
All in all this place is nothing special but it gets the job done.

Check out my review of Amar - I am insizlane - on Qype

Monday, January 18, 2010

Qype: Spreegold in Berlin

Berlin - Eating & Drinking - Cafes & Coffee Shops - Coffee Shops

Really great cafe with 4 or 5 types of fresh pasta with imaginative and delicious toppings/sauces. I had the Med Sun with tomatoes, both regular and sundried, and ruccola with tagliatelle and it was fab. My companion had the Thai Kick and it really was quite spicy (a rarity in this fair city).
They also have a great looking fresh salad bar, tasty sounding sandwich options, fresh pastries, cakes etc. which my friend assured me are scrumptious (she's French and claims this place has the best croissant in Berlin...!).
The atmosphere is chic, clean and cozy with good music. I will definitely be back--there are several more options on the menu I want to try!

Check out my review of Spreegold - I am insizlane - on Qype

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Next Supper

Hi Friends!
Happy New Year! It's been a while since we saw each other, no?
After holiday season craziness, we are finally ready to host our first supper club of the new year! It will take place next Tuesday, January 26th at 7:30pm.
Our menu is Mediterranean-ish:
-assorted crudités with yogurt-mint dip
-chickpea salad
-hearty greek fish stew with feta and crusty bread (and a tofu option, for our veggie friends)
-and a dessert yet to be decided upon!
As usual, we do ask for some money to cover our costs, but the amount is up to you.
Please RSVP to if you would like to come. First come, first served.
Hope to see you soon!