What do you like to do on a quiet evening when you know you will not leave the house anymore? Well, one thing you could do is cook something that contains its fair share of garlic.

My dad is always a little “socially” concerned with eating garlic, and for many years, I was not used to eating it at all. I remember the vacation I spent in Florida with my parents when I was 6 or so years old – we bought garlic flavored crispbread (not knowing that garlic is “Knoblauch” in English), as a food supply for a road trip. When we opened the package during a picnic by the side of an abandoned country road, it turned out what it was, and it was decided better not to eat it. So we fed it to a racoon who had accompanied us since we had food, and he ate up the whole stuff to the last crumb.

“What a shame!”, I would say now, in my garlic-loving days. Garlic does not only have wonderful health benefits, but also adds so much flavor to a lot of dishes! And still, my dad’s concerns got somewhat stuck with me – I am a little reluctant to eat it on an occasion that is probably followed by meeting people, so I mostly use it when I cook dinner on a stay-home evening. Evenings like that are the best for indulging in lots of garlic.

Okay, I know there is this roast-chicken-with-40-cloves-of-garlic thing going around on the internet, and my humble little recipe is far from keeping up with that one, but it still contains quite a lot of garlic, for my standards. The reason why I do not eat more garlic basically is that I tend to be a lazy girl. If I had more time, I would happily spend one hour a day with peeling and chopping garlic cloves, but at the moment, I do not see myself like that. (If I lived in the county where foodie dreams come true, and where you can buy already-peeled cloves of garlic at the supermarket, this story may have taken a different ending. But I live in Germany, and this means I have to peel the garlic myself.) I may try that 40-cloves-of-garlic recipe one day, though, when I feel ready for it. Until then, I will stay with magnitudes like this.

~ served in one of my lovely bowls ~


1 serving


butter or oil
4 cloves o garlic (or as much as you can stomach), peeled and finely chopped
150 g (5 oz) squid (I used frozen squid rings)
4 tomatoes, chopped
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground garam marsala
1/4 tps dried basil
1/4 tsp dried lovage
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 tsp dried chives
1 handful of fresh parsley


Heat some at in a pan and roast the garlic until fragrant. Add the squid and roast until done, then add the tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, garam marsala, basil, lovage, tarragon, and chives. Cook covered for about 10 minutes. Throw in the fresh parsley, serve, and enjoy.

Any garlic lovers out there?

My parents and I are currently eating our ways through all the leftovers that have accumulated during the Christmas holidays …

~ munch, munch ~

What I think works very well is to combine leftover foods with something fresh, and make new dishes of old things all the time. Leftovers, in a wider sense, here also contain foods which my mom bought to make me happy (she did!) – lots of chicken, cherry tomatoes, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and the like – and which had not been prepared since everything else was so much, and thus had to be finished off as well, due to the freezer being stuffed already. Here is a little gallery showing dishes we (okay, mostly I ) enjoyed during the past days – and a recipe, in the end.

~ chicken with cherry tomatoes and leftover green beans ~

~ leftover venison and green beans with brussel sprouts and shiitake ~

~ chicken with leek and onions in tomato sauce ~

~ chicken with carrot tagliatelle ~

~ leftover venison and potatoes with brussel sprouts ~

~ roasted pork and shiitake with fresh cherry tomatoes ~

~ leftover venison with onions, shiitake, and lamb’s lettuce ~

~ chicken with turnip, shiitake, and sweetheart cabbage ~

~ leftover fish and potatoes with tomatoes and lamb’s lettuce ~

The last dish I made as a quick dinner for my parents one day, and all the fish and potatoes left from the Christmas dinner went into there. My parents enjoyed this dish very much, and I really take pleasure in cooking for them when I am here. Please feel free to use other kinds of fish and vegetables for making this, or tofu to veganize it. I just used what was there and had to be eaten.


2 servings


butter or oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
150 g (5 oz) salmon fillet, cut into pieces
150 g white fish fillet (I used cod), cut into pieces
3 cooked potatoes, peeled and cut into slices
4 tomatoes, cut into pieces
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 pinch of ground chili
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 big handful of lamb’s lettuce (or spinach)


Heat some fat in a large pan and roast the garlic until fragrant. Add fish, potatoes, and tomatoes, season with paprika, thyme, oregano, basil, chili, salt, and pepper, then put the lid on and let everything simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. By then, the fish and tomatoes should be done, and all the flavors should have nicely combined. Throw in the lamb’s lettuce and cook openly for a little longer if there is too much liquid you wish to reduce, then serve and enjoy.

Please share what you do with leftovers! You can choose several options, if you like.

Two of my piano students are elderly ladies – one of them learns the piano from scratch, and the other one has taken up lessons again after many years of pausing. They are both very motivated and enjoy the lessons a lot. To show me their appreciation, the first one has given me a beautiful watercolor painting she made herself, that now hangs in my living room next to the piano and perfectly fits in there.

The other one likes to bring me a little something for every lesson – such as a bag of nuts, trail mix, or fresh fruit. For the last lesson, she brought an apple, a banana, and an orange, and since I have not established the habit of eating fresh oranges (maybe I should?), I knew that I would use that one for cooking.

When I thought about what to do with this orange, the idea of something Asian-inspired came to my mind, and with the shrimp I had just bought, accompanied by turnip that is just in season over here – and thanks to Chopinand‘s suggestions to pair turnip with Japanese flavors – a little gourmet dinner was born and happily enjoyed tonight. This recipe is also another tribute to Tammy‘s turnip recovery endeavor. I am so happy I made two servings so I have another one for tomorrow, because this turned out to be really delicious.


2 servings


butter or oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp of fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium sized turnip (about 500 g), peeled and cut into pieces
1 tsp dried wakame (seaweed)
300 g (10 oz) shrimp
1 orange, juiced (if you use organic, also add the orange cest)
1 tsp miso (I used brown rice miso)
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1 big handful of fresh dill


Heat some fat in a pan or wok and roast the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add and roast the turnip cubes, then add a little water and the dried wakame, and cook covered for about 10 minutes, until the turnip is soft and the seaweed has unfolded. Remove the lid and add the shrimp. Stir-fry for a minute or two, then add the orange juice (and orange cest) and miso. Mix everthing well while cooking openly. Season with chili and dill. When the shrimp are done, serve and enjoy.

Do you sometimes cook gourmet meals just for yourself? If yes, which one was the last one you enjoyed?

With all the work I am doing, I definitely need some holiday feeling every now and then. And since my budget and schedule do not allow for a longer vacation, other means of inducing this feeling have to be found.

One of those means that works very well is food – no? Maybe, this is because food tends to be tied to emotions so much. And apart from that, many people may eat differently during a vacation, due to eating out a lot and becoming acquainted with styles of cooking and seasoning they usually do not apply themselves in their everyday life.

However, several years ago – I was about 16 then, so it is almost 13 years ago – I went to Switzerland with my parents, and on that trip, we went to Lucerne and enjoyed a boat ride on the wonderful lake (Vierwaldstättersee in German). For lunch, we went to an Italian restaurant, and I ordered spaghetti with fish and a rosemary flavored tomato sauce. From the fact that I still remember this, so many years later, you can conclude how awesome it was, and how much it has impressed me.

Basically, though, it was a very simple dish: Just pasta, tomatoes, fish, and rosemary. But it was a combination of ingredients and flavors that I was not used to at all. My mom – who is a very fine cook, by the way, and also a great baker – does not cook with herbs and spices too much, instead, her cooking style rather appreciates the simplicity and quality of the ingredients. I, on the other hand, am quite different in that regard: In my kitchen shelf, you will find at least 30 different herbs and spices, and I need them all! And with rosemary being one of them, I recreated this dish in a Paleo-friendly (grain-free) version.

The fish and tomatoes could stay the same, but instead of pasta, I made zucchini tagliatelle. However, you can of course make this with real pasta as well. This dish really is about the sauce ingredients and flavors.


1 serving


olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled anf finely chopped
150 g (5 oz) white fish filet, cut into cubes
3 tomatoes, cut into pieces
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 twig of fresh rosemary (or 1/4 tsp of dried rosemary, or both)
1 medium-sized zucchini, cut into tagliatelle


Heat oil in a pot. Fry the garlic until fragrant, then add the fish and roast it from all sides. Add the tomatoes, season with salt, pepper, and rosemary, and cook covered on low heat for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat some more oil in a pan and roast the zucchini tagliatelle until nicely tender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the zucchini tagliatelle with the fish and tomato sauce and enjoy.