Monthly Archives: November 2014

Brunch Survey

I am in the process of finalising my business plan for BreadBox – an all-day brunch concept with a Berlin twist. More information to be revealed soon.

By completing the 17 questions, you will help BreadBox to get a better understanding of what you like and dislike when going out for brunch. This survey is anonymous and all information provided by you will be kept confidentially and used for internal purposes only (i.e. concept and menu design, feasibility, etc)

LINK to BRUNCH SURVEY

We appreciate you are taking the time to complete this survey.

Thank you so much.

Warm regards,
BreadBox
(BreadBox will be re-branded and re-named shortly 🙂 )

We will be launching Brunch pop ups early next year. If you would like to keep up to date on future events and on our progress, please follow BreadBox on:

Twitter: @BreadBoxSW
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BreadBoxSW

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Baked Frittata with fresh Herbs and caramelised Onions

I love eggs for breakfast!

I woke up this morning super hungry…(as always) and I really wanted to try out my new mini skillet pan to make a Frittata.

Omelette vs Frittata? Unlike an omelette, where you fold in a filling, a Frittata mixes it all up, almost like a Spanish tortilla.

Similar to an omelette, Fritattas are great because you can put in everything and anything. I love cooking with whatever is in the fridge and believe me, my fridge does not look like the one from Nigella Lawson, who seems to have literally everything when she decides to cook up a midnight leftover feast!

Anyway, so there are a few things I always have in the house. Herbs! My assortment usually comprises flat leaf parsley from the market, fresh mint, rosemary and thyme from our garden and some home-grown basil. Eggs! I try to make sure I always have eggs in the house and this time I even have some duck eggs, which I bought from Borough Market yesterday for another egg recipe. Bread! My freezer is full of various breads. I went to Berlin recently for a few days and I brought back some nice Sonnenblumenkernbrot (sunflower seed bread) and Wurzelbrot (Root Bread). Other than that, I always have some pumpkin seed bread rolls from my German supermarket around the corner and some sourdough bread in the freezer. Cheese! I looooove cheese. I do not eat any melted cheese funnily enough! But not one day goes by without me having some very mature cheddar, goats cheese or similar. Last but not least Butter! My favourite is slightly salted French butter. I love the smell when cooking with it and some quality butter on a slice of fresh sourdough just makes my day!

Ok, enough of what I have in my cupboards. This morning I am making Frittata and I have some nice ingredients to go with it (recipe for one person):

One skillet Pan (16.5 x 3.1 cm)
3 free-range hen eggs or two duck eggs (eggs are a great source of protein, which makes up muscle tissue and which in turn helps to keep your body active, strong, and healthy)
1 clove of garlic (good for the heart and circulation)
1 small red onion (lovely sweet taste)
Half a teaspoon of Agave Honey (contains naturally occurring sugars, a healthier option than added sugars)
4 cherry tomatoes (good for heart and circulation)
5 pitted olives (green or kalamata, depending on your liking)
Mint and basil (both good for the digestive system)
Parsley (high in Vitamin C & Vitamin K, good for bone health)
Sea Salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil to cook

Method

Preheat your Grill to medium heat

Saute the finely sliced red onion, pressed garlic, honey and cherry tomatoes with some olive oil in a skillet pan over medium heat until the onions turn soft/caramelise and the tomatoes open up slightly

Add the eggs into the pan on medium heat, sprinkle the chopped herbs and olives on top and fry until the eggs starts to cook through around the edges of the pan

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Then place the skillet pan into the oven until golden brown

Serve with some dark rye or sourdough bread and salted butter!

Enjoy! 🙂 x

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Roamers – Brunching in Berlin Neukölln

First day back in Berlin and I started my exploration tour around the city with a good brunch. I had been given a few recommendations so I ventured into Neukölln, a borough characterised by having one of the highest percentage of immigrants in Berlin. But the area has changed since I was here last. I notice new little cafes and restaurants have popped up everywhere and the area is gentrifying.

I came across a number of really cool small cafes and coffee shops with English menus and English-speaking staff. Berlin is ‘internationalising’! Compared to a few years back when it was hard to go by without speaking any German, it is getting difficult now to go by without speaking any English.

It feels strange at first but I also know from living in London how much this enriches the area with new ideas, flavours, concepts and entrepreneurship. A few years back, Kreuzberg (another Berlin borough) launched an anti-tourist campaign. It was borderline funny considering it went completely pear shaped. Berliners were unhappy about the influx of ‘Easyjet’ visitors that take the mickey when coming to the city to party (some, not all!). So the Kreuzbergers came up with the ‘Berlin doesn’t love you’ stickers plastering traffic lights, lamp posts, bike racks, etc in the neighbourhood. Some bars also put up signs like ‘Sorry, no entry for hipsters from the U.S’!

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But this did not quite work out as intended..tourists actually hunted those stickers down to take pictures and tourism continued to increase.

Anyway, so I find myself in Roamers ! A very cute cafe, which opened in January 2014. The menu is exclusively in English and also the waitress is looking at me with big eyes when I ask for her recommendation in German. The owner of this lovely cafe is Flore. Flore loved food & cooking and always wanted to open her own cafe, until she passed these vacant premises one day. The next day she quit her full-time job and went for it! Does this sound familiar to you? 🙂

The space is very small and filled with up cycled furniture and plants. I really really like it! Top to bottom windows allow for a lot of natural day light to enter the cafe. The menu does not have the typical ‘Berliner’ breakfast but offers a variety of delicious sourdough sandwiches such as with marinated goats cheese with fresh figs, hazelnuts and thyme. I can also choose between home-made granola and very simple scrambled eggs with different toppings. Of course avocado on sourdough, which seems to be a must-have nowadays, is not missing either.

I decide for the scrambled eggs as they ran out of figs… I look over to my neighbour’s plates (as I do) and they definitely went for the better option. That is what a call a double-decker sandwich! Wow

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Double-Decker Sandwich with Goats Cheese, home-made Hummus and sun dried Tomatoes

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My scrambled Eggs with Feta and Cherry Tomatoes

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Sourdough Bread with Goats Cheese, Hazelnuts and Thyme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The atmosphere is very relaxed, some came with laptops, some hipsters catching up over a coffee and a few people who had to leave again as there was no more space. The interior is inspired by Flore’s travels to the U.S. If she had not said that, I would just claim it to be a very cute, rustic and naturally designed cafe, with bags of personality and charm. It definitely gives me a lot of inspiration for my Brunch concept in London!  🙂

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I can only recommend you to check it out when you are in Berlin but do not expect the ‘typical’ Berliner breakfast. But expect a lot of other delicious things! Just Enjoy! x

Berlin Intro

As you know I was born and raised in Berlin and left my beloved home city at 18 to discover the world! I must admit, I have lost touch with this city! Every time I come for a visit, things have changed, some for the better some for the worse. I feel like a tourist in my own city which makes me sad a bit but at the same time it is exciting to re-discover it all over again.

Berlin has become extremely popular worldwide for its creative scene and cultural offer and the hype is growing. A creative and cool Berlin has started to evolve in the 90s with experimental arts and techno music. Gentrification is taking place now transforming some areas of Berlin in proper hipster paradises.

Klaus Wowereit, governing Mayor of Berlin (2001 until 2014) aka ‘Wowi’ helped to make Berlin what it is now! Two catchphrases are cited over and over again when it comes to ‘Wowi’s’ and his legacy. The first was ‘I am gay and that is just fine’, which helped mainstream acceptance of homosexuality in Germany greatly – the gay capital Berlin was born.   The second one was Berlin – ‘Poor but Sexy’. This one captured Berlin’s way of life: attractive but not pretentious, young and creative but penniless for the time being. The other day I heard someone say ‘ Berlin isn’t, Berlin wants to be’. Who knows what Berlin wants to be but I am very curious to see what happens next in this beautiful city, which I called once home.

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I am sad to say I missed a lot of what has been going on in this city. But in all these years away from home (it’s been 10 years now!!), I never felt home sick. I always enjoyed coming back for a visit and I know for sure that I will return back home one day, when the time is right!

Until then I am going full steam ahead with my food projects in London. I have come to Berlin this time, not only to see my family and friends but also to discover Berlin’s Brunch and pop up scene, which will heavily influence my all-day Brunch concept with Berlin Twist.

 

 

See for yourself what I have discovered!

x

New ideas in Autumn

Testing, experimenting, tasting…I have been pretty busy in the kitchen recently. I love getting up in the morning, having breakfast and thinking of new ideas of what to make next. Sometimes I wake up with a new idea straight away and it does not take long until I find myself on the market to get all ingredients I need. I often go to Brixton Market to get my fruit and veg and on Sundays I frequent Herne Hill’s City & Country Farmers’ Market or stroll through Brixton’s very own Farmers Market. In between, a pit stop at Federation Coffeea little D-Tour through Brockwell Park and I am ready!

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I realise that all my recent creations are scattered around Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – I know!! Who would have thought I am becoming a Social Media Warrior. Until a few months ago I did not even know how to send a Tweet and now I am all over it! And I am now on Instagram too!! I managed to find the upload button recently which is great progress.

Anyway, so I got some complaints from family and friends who are not on any of those social media sites. Hence, I thought I summarise all my creations to date here. Let me know what your thoughts are and what you would want to try most! 🙂

My very first opportunity to wow my audience came up this October. It was my first ‘Tasting and Sampling’ session in front of a panel of experts as part of the CREATE programme.

 

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Baked Duck Egg on Tomato Pepper Ragout with Sourdough Bread

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Goats Cheese Sandwich with Fresh Figs, Algarve Honey and Basil

 

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Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple and Mixed Nuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Elevator Pitch – Presenting my Business Idea to a Penal of Experts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following overwhelmingly positive response to my concept and dishes, I continued experimenting at home.

November arrived and my head was full of ideas and I had lots of energy! In the meantime I inquired about getting professional help from a photographer to take pictures of my food. Everyone I spoke to was very kind to offer me their services at their minimum day rate. But even that would have set me back around £1,000. I decided for the cheaper option – DIY! I have been interested in photography for some time now, which resulted in me buying a semi-professional DSLR camera last year. This is a perfect occasion to develop my photography ‘talents’ further. It’s not perfect but I am getting there!

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Butternut Squash Pancakes (no butter, reduced sugar), with Caramelised Apple, Pomegranate and Lyle’s Maple Syrup

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Diary free, butterless, reduced sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November is also the season for Beetroot! I absolutely love Beetroot. Those amazing roots are packed with powerful nutrients and have a distinctly sweet and earthy flavour. Just what you need to kick start your immune system. I pretty much tried all versions – cooked, roasted, grated, pureed, hot or cold as a soup or juice..anything goes.

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Hangover Breakfast! Fried Egg on Sourdough Bread with Roasted Beetroot Puree, Rocket Leaves and more Feta

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Golden Beets Feast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The days have become shorter and colder now and I was longing for something that reminded me of cozy evenings in the winter. Kaiserschmarrn! I had Kaiserschmarrn up in the Alpes when I went skiing as a child! Whilst it is a popular dish in South Germany, it is actually an Austrian desert! It is named after emperor KaiserFranz Joseph I of Austria, who was very fond of this kind of fluffy shredded pancakes, which typically come with warm fruit compote. I served my Kaiserscharrn with warm Apfelmus and a Strawberry/Blueberry coulis! 🙂

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You can find me exploring the city as soon as I have a bit of time. I really enjoy cycling around town on the look out for new inspiration and brunch spots. This is when I fell in love with Banana Bread. I am not a big fan of Bananas but this was different. Almost every Brunch place I went to offered a toasted slice of this lovely treat with various accompaniments like espresso butter (BrickWood Coffe & Bread) or banana puree with salted chocolate crumbs (Salvation Jane).

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Brickwood Coffee & Bread – Clapham Common

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Salvation Jane – Off Old Street Roundabout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tweaked my Banana Bread recipe and made it healthier by replacing butter with Viridian 100% Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil. I also reduced the amount of refined sugar and added one extra ripe banana instead. I replaced some of the flour with coconut flakes and added some blueberries. Best eaten fresh out of the oven! Heaven! 🙂

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Coconut Banana Bread with Blueberries

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So easy to make, takes no longer than 15 minutes + baking time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November is also a month of birthdays! Five people in my immediate circle of friends have their birthdays within a space of two weeks! I debated with many of my German friends whether it is only me or some kind of German tradition that a good birthday always starts with a fabulous birthday table and birthday cake/breakfast in the morning. When I had to be at work at 8am, I would get up an hour earlier than usual just to not miss my birthday morning surprise! It’s just one of those things I get excited about…

To mark my flatmate’s birthday and surprise her in the morning, I made Cinnamon Buns for the very first time. I have been raving about them so much and what better way to wake up in the morning than with the smell of cinnamon!  Moist on the inside, crunchy on the outside. Some powder sugar (aka icing sugar) on top and …delicious! Best eaten warm with a hot cup of tea in Pjs ;p

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If you feel the winter blues is setting in, get cozy, treat yourself with something you like and share it with those you love! x

 

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