Has it really been 10 years since I started my little blog? Wasn’t it just yesterday that my girlfriend suggested that I organize my many recipes into a blog to share them with friends and family. This blog has become my baby, my creative outlet. It challenges me to expand my knowledge and keep on learning. I do have issues with the technical part of it. Like everything in life , nothing is perfect. Even I use this blog myself quite often, as the recipes are like my old and most trusted friends. The most enjoyable part has been connecting with other bloggers and people around the world. This community has given me support and positive input and I thank you for being part of it. I hope that I can blog for a little while longer, and find some new and interesting stories and recipes to share. I appreciate your loyalty and taking time from your busy life to read my blog.
The recipe for duck confit quesadillas is one of my older recipes. If you click here
you will not only find the recipe but a write-up of one of my favorite restaurants in Capitola called Shadowbrook.
In a few days I will be flying to Germany to visit my family and friends. I have my railroad pass (read about the German railroad system here) and will be traveling by train. I will be staying in my nephew’s tiny house while at our farm since my brother still has 2 Ukrainian women and a teenager living in my niece’s apartment where I usually stay. Then I will take the train to go to Lüneburg, a beautiful historical old salt town near Hamburg, where my niece and her family are living (click on this link to read about my previous visits). I will also take a short vacation to the Eastern Sea near Wismar. I have never been there and I am looking forward seeing something new. Before I know it, my three weeks will be over and I will be back home with my husband.
Here are some of the recipes I have made in the last couple of months. My seafood pasta is a dish I have made for years. It comes together quickly, I freeze my pesto when basil is plentiful. I like to serve this dish with asparagus, steamed or roasted. My husband likes it steamed, but I prefer it roasted with some walnut or hazelnut oil, sprinkled with garlic salt and pepper. I roast the asparagus for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Last time I omitted the scallops and used only shrimp. which was just fine. I like to serve this dish on a large platter., which makes a lovely presentation. Click her for the recipe.
I have to say, I love my banana bread, especially when it is freshly baked. I made my last batch using frozen bananas. Once I defrosted them I got rid of all the juices that had accumulated. Click here for the recipe.
My husband and I are at an age where we gain weight easily, so I try to make some dishes that are light and not loaded with extra calories. My lentil salad fits that bill. Especially since I can eat it for several days. I had some leftover homemade duck confit that I added as a protein. This recipe I have for duck confit is great. Thank you Bon Appétit. It is a great weekend project with little effort; it just takes time to bake slowly in the oven. I did some much-needed gardening while it was cooking.
Click here for the lentil salad recipe.
Click here for the duck confit recipe
Let’s return to eating healthy. For a quick , tasty and healthy dinner this fish dish baked in parchment is a winner. You can use any white fish and spruce up the flavors by adding anchovies, tomatoes, and capers, giving this dish a Mediterranean twist. The last time I added some sliced cooked leftover potatoes. It was super delicious. Click here for the recipe.
Thank you again my dear blogger friends for all your support and loyalty. Stay healthy and well.
As you probably all know, California has had a lot of rain over the last two months. But today the sun is shining and our neighbor’s fruitless plum tree is in full bloom. The beach is littered with everything that has washed ashore. It is time to collect some driftwood.
It rained and rained and rained some more. The trees fell to the ground and the wind was furious. I was lucky because I had electricity, so I cooked and cooked and cooked. I cooked a whole duck. I made a winter “farro" salad and tried a new recipe for hummus. I am working on these recipes, and will post them later. Cooking distracted me from the scarier and darker moments of the tempestuous weather. I was fortunate to be able to stay in my home and not having to evacuate like so many others.
Life is all about change and loss. What prompted me to write this was a sentence I read this morning from my blogging friend, Jo, at https://coastalcrone.com about being brave enough to change. At this stage in life, I have to contemplate changes I do not look forward to but have to face. And will have to deal with sooner or later. I usually push most of them aside. I prefer the joyful, well-lived life. Don’t we all.
But during those dark hours of rain and storm, I grieved for the loss of my oldest friends from Germany. She died last summer in a horrible car accident. She would be there forever, or so I thought. Gabriele has always been very special to me. She was like a sister. We met in boarding school when she was fourteen and I was fifteen. She fled East Germany with her parents and siblings and later worked her way to becoming a principal and advocate for special needs children.
During one of my visits, we went to a Turkish home and she told the reluctant father that his severely handicapped daughter had to attend school in Germany—by law. I was sure we would get in trouble. Another time, she saved my life when we hitchhiked as young girls in Germany. I remember so many stories full of laughter and tears, as well disagreements and hurt feelings. Why am I posting this? I am not so sure. I have mixed feelings.
What I want to say is: Be kind and gentle with the world and especially your friends. When we said goodbye last May in Germany, she hugged me and cried. Little did I know it was the last time I would ever see her.
“Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.
In honor of my friend, Gabriele, I would like give you the link to one of her favorite recipes: seafood pasta.
Every wedding is special for the ones involved and etched into our memory forever. This was a special one for me because it involved my niece, who has been like a daughter to me from the day she was born. Since I was unable to have children of my own, her birth was the only one I was able to participate in. My son was six years old when I adopted him.
After living with her boyfriend for seven years, my niece toyed with the idea of getting married in a chapel in Las Vegas, but no papers were ever filed. Then last year, they had a sweet spiritual commitment ceremony on the French Atlantic coast while camping with some friends, her brother and his family. This year, they finally decided to do the real thing with a church wedding at our family farm in Germany on a Friday, followed by a huge summer party Saturday with more people and more friends. It was definitely an event that my niece had planned for months which took an enormous amount of effort. First, it was going to be a small wedding with family and some friends, followed by the annual summer party that my nephew, niece and friends have every year. As time went on, things got bigger and bigger like weddings often do.
After everything was said and done, it was the most genuine and sweetest weddings I have ever been to (of course I am biased). When I saw my niece dancing with her friends on the stage very late at night, I knew that she was happy.
Literally, it took a village, complete with friends and family to make it all happen, but she made all the decisions. A huge tent was rented in case of rain. And it did. Two smaller tents were put up. A stage and a large play area was built for the children. Most of the work was done by friends who arrived days ahead and camped on the property or slept in the emptied-out garden shacks. My son arrived early with my niece and about 12 friends. These guys worked tirelessly until the moment they left. My niece’s best friend, Corinna, was amazing—she cooked for all the people and was the best personal assistant I have ever seen. Dominik , the best man, was working very hard in the yard and making sure that the groom had a helping hand. Guest came from Austria, Colombia, Venezuela, Nepal, and let's not forget California.
We old folks decided to stay in a hotel in a nearby small town. The groom’s mother transported some beautiful but very fragile wildflowers from home. The woman in the neighboring village made a huge wedding wreath. It is tradition in this village to make one for every wedding. What a wonderful local custom. My niece wanted to be married there rather than in her home village two kilometers away.
In the truest sense, it was a dramatic event. Mother Nature added a violent thunderstorm a half hour before the wedding. The boys had to get undressed and rescue one of the tents. The decorations from the stage flew all over the farm. Getting to the church was a task not easily done, due to high wind and rain. The church bells rang for awhile. But all was forgotten as my my niece and the groom walked together down the aisle lead by the pastor, which was something they had decided ahead of time. They had lived together for seven years and had been separated by my niece's internship in Melbourne, Australia for a year. And a life-threatening illness had brought them even closer. There were tears of happiness flowing in the little church.
The thunderstorm was over after the church and all was well. Some farmers decorated a trailer to transport the couple back to the farm. Some other guests were in a second trailer pulled by a tractor. I loved it.
The reception party following the ceremony was fun and we danced way into the night. Everybody had fun.
The next day, the annual summer party took place. It was a potluck event so people brought salads and my brother's friend barbecued sausages and meat. Unfortunately, it rained, so everything took place in the tents. The following day everybody helped clean up and
the wedding weekend was over. Weddings in Germany are as different as they are here in the States—from very formal to a small gathering at the justice of peace.
I used my own photos except for the the first two. I will add or replace some photos later.
I ask the bride and the groom to choose their favorite food from my blog for this post. The bride likes my duck confit quesadillas and the groom my chocolate tart.
WELCOME TO SUNNY COVE CHEF
Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.