Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sharing The Joy- My First Award



  The Liebster Blog Award

Dear all, there are some exciting news I would like to share with you.
My Blogger friends Rakesh and Swikruti from kumars kitchen  (be sure to check out their awesome blog!)  honored me with a nomination  for the Liebster Blog Award.


Now I had some research to do. What is this award all about? A kind of Oscar for upcoming bloggers?
The Translation was the easiest part ( I'm a German native speaker) - Liebster means favorite in german. The Award is given to rising Blogs with fewer than 200 followers. It's an excellent way to connect with other bloggers, to get to know each other and direct some traffic around. 
Thanks again Rakesh & Swikruti from kumars kitchen, you rock.  

It wouldn't be an award without a set of rules and there is some homework to do.

The Nominees have to follow these 3 steps:

1. Answer the 11 questions the person who has given the award has set for you
2. Nominate 11 Blogs with a following fewer than 200.
3. Ask them 11 questions (same 11 questions to all Bloggers you nominate)  Keep in mind  that you  should nominate new bloggers and do not repeat bloggers that have been nominated already.
Make sure you tell them they are nominated.

These are the questions asked by kumars kitchen:

1) Who/What inspires you to cook such delicacies?
So many things: family and friends, a visit to the farmer's market, cook books, restaurants, visiting food blogs... even the weather or an aromatic smell from a bakery.

2) What is your all time favorite snack?
Fresh, ripe raspberries - it's heaven to me.
3)What do you believe is most important thing necessary for cooking?
Definitely the joy of cooking.

4) What will you cook if you need to serve it within 30 minutes?
Una bella pasta.

5) What are the hobbies you cherish except cooking?
Hiking, horse back riding, reading and writing.

6) What would you choose - Cheese or Chocolate?
Without any hesitation-chocolate
7) If given a pint of strawberries,what would you think of doing with them first?
Eating them all, natural and plain :)

8) What is your favorite sport?
Horse back riding and skiing (I didn't mention skiing above because I can't practice it while living in Peru).

9) Which method of cooking appeals to you steaming/grilling etc?
I love baking. 

10) What is your favorite dessert?
Anything with chocolate in it.

11) What is the most memorable food you have had till date?...let us know when you post this on your blog :-)

The first dinner I prepared after coming home from our Honeymoon. It was a total disaster,  the kitchen was filled with smoke because I burned the meat, I forgot to put sugar in the dessert and therefore I would like to hereby officially nominate the "heroes of the kitchen", our friends who assisted at this mishap and ate everything without complaining.

I hope you understand why this won't be a blog entry :)

My nominees for the Liebster Award are:
1) Tricia Buice from     
2) Sammie from           
3) Jasline from              
4) Angie Schneider from
5) Bam from                 
6) Ashley from             
7) Anne from                  
8) Mr. & Mrs. P from   
9) Beth from                
10) Julia from               
11) Evelyn from           

My questions for the nominees are:

1)  How did you start cooking?

2) What is your favorite dish and regional kitchen?

3) How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

4) What inspires you to blog?

5) Are you a collector or a minimalist?

6) Shaken or stirred?

7) Whom would you like to invite for dinner (past or present, name 8 people)

8) What are your interests and hobbies apart from cooking ?

9) People who inspire you? 

10) What do you looking forward most for next year?

11) What's your life dream?

Thanks again to Rakesh and Swikruti for this wonderful award!
See you next week!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer Fruit Parfait with Homemade Granola Topping

When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.”

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.

I love to get up early and have some minutes for myself before everybody else wakes up.
I know, I know of course not just  the morning after going out and coming home late.
The after party mornings are those, when all I have for breakfast "is coffe and Plan B."
But normally it's just the quiet moments before the smell of coffee fills the house, I enjoy most.
As we lived in various countries, we got the chance to learn how life style and breakfast varies in many delicious ways.

Breakfast when we used to live in Italy with the best Capuccino ever.

So even time is always short, we try to celebrate breakfast, taking a little extra time before the day starts.

Our breakfast in Peru with glorious fresh Mangos.

Breakfast is what fuels our bodies, it's like a first impression of the day and we all know that we can't make a second first impression.
So today I decided to prepare my own homemade Granola and use it as crunchy topping for a delicious summer fruit parfait.

This is what you need.
 For the Granola:
1 Spoonful dried shredded coconut
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 spoonful wheat germ
2 spoonful coarsely chopped almonds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 spoonful honey
1 spoonful unsalted butter, melted
1 spoonful raisins, coarsely chopped

-Toast the coconut in a  pan at medium heat (watch constantly it tends to burn soon!) until golden brown

Set aside.
-In a large bowl mix the wheat germ, chopped almonds, sesame seeds, cinnamon and chopped raisins.

Add the toasted coconut.

-Melt butter in a pan, stir in the honey and add to the mixture.

-Toss well to coat.

-Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet.

-Bake at 150° C for about 30 minutes.
-Let cool completely on sheet and store in an air tight container.

For the summer fruit parfait
You need:
11/4 cup coarsely chopped summer fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches etc.
4 spoonful of strawberry or any other fruit jam
1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt

Mix fruits with the jam until coated.

In a glass or a bowl put 1 layer of the fruit mixture
Add a layer of yogurt , top with 1 spoonful of Granola
Repeat the layers and decorate wit a fresh mint.
You can chill the parfait in the fridge or eat right away.

Serves 1 Portion.
See you next week. 

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Gratinated scallops a la Parmesana (Conchitas a la parmesana)

I adore seafood and right now I'm living in the perfect country for seafood lovers.
Cause of the cold Humboldt current that  flows along the Peruvian coastline, fish and seafood is of excellent quality. The current is supporting an extraordinary abundance of marine life and is rich in biodiversity.
There are many restaurants specialized in "Pescados y mariscos " from the most humble and basic to the most sophisticated with internationally renowned Chefs who create wonderful new Fusion dishes.
It is always inspiring to visit this places and try to recreate some of the dishes that we enjoyed and give them a new twist or a different presentation.
Today I felt like preparing one of the classics of Peruvian cuisine "conchitas a la parmesana" or
" Parmesan gratinated scallops "
It's  delicious, very uncomplicated and  once finished it looks like you would have spent hours in the kitchen. Compliments for the chef are granted :)
This recipe is great as an entrance or appetizer, and the only difficulty is that it tends to disappear so fast that you better prepare always more than originally planned.

This is what you need:
 12 large scallops on the half shell
1 1/2 cup freshly grated, mild Parmesan cheese
3 tsp. butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lime and some fresh Parsley for decoration
*Optional: 1 Spoonful Peruvian Pisco ( can be replaced with Grappa or Whisky)

With the help of a spoon remove the scallops from the half shell. Remove the red side muscle ( it has a lot of cholesterol!) and the black vein.
Clean the scallops carefully under rinsing water
Place them again on the half shell

 or on an oven proofed porcelain spoon.

Season very slightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Put a small piece of butter on each scallop.

Cover each scallop with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese.

If desired sprinkle with some drops of Pisco.

Bake under the broiler for about 4 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Serve with fresh limes and some parsley.

Serve immediately.

Serves 12 portions.
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See you next week.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Delicious Express Spreads

Home sweet home again! 
After our wonderful trip to Cusco and lake Titicaca we are back  in Lima.  It was quite an adjustment as Lima is an interesting,lively city, but cramped with cars and quite hectic.
So we decided for a soft landing, staying home in the evening and enjoy a review of our trip.
After several days of eating out all the time we were craving for some homemade goodies.
We settled with a glass of wine, checked the fridge on what we had at hand and tried to inspire our creativity.
The result were two surprisingly delicious and creamy spreads.
Additionally  it was great fun to prepare them together with my husband who usually enjoys eating much more than cooking :)

Smoked Salmon and Sour Cream spread

1 P. of soft cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cup of smoked salmon, finely chopped
1/2 spoonful of fresh pressed lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of finely chopped scallion ( the green part only)

Mix the cream cheese,sour cream, lime juice and salt and pepper with a mixer until soft and creamy.

Add smoked salmon and chopped scallions ,stir in gently.

Refrigerate for several hours in an airtight recipient to blend flavors.
Before serving top with chopped scallions and a thin slice of lime.
Serve with toast or crackers.

Black Olive and Tuna Spread


1 can of tuna in water
1/2 cup of black olives,cored and chopped (Keep 1entire for decoration)
1/2 cup of mayo
1 teaspoon of chopped scallions for decoration

Put all ingredients except for the scallions in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
(It's easier to use a food processor than a blender because the mixture is heavy and would stick in a blender)
Fill the mixture  in a glass recipient and decorate with chopped scallions and olives.

See you next week


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