Omelet with Herbs and Goat Cheese

This tasty omelet serves two and there is no better way to start your day then to make a quick and yummy egg dish, then climb back into bed to share it with your loved one.
You can vary this omelet by taking whatever herbs you like and if you prefer feta cheese to goat cheese, go ahead. 

  • 3 eggs
  • 1,4 oz. (40g) Gruyère cheese
  • 1,4 oz. (40g) Parmesan 
  • 2 tsp. each of 4 different herbs (like chives, parsley, chervil, tarragon), all finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter 
  • 1 oz. (30g) goat cheese
Preheat the oven to grill. 
Heat a pan, but keep it on low temperature. 
Separate the eggs. Mix the egg yolks together with the Gruyère and the Parmesan and the herbs. Season with salt and freshly milled black pepper. 
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then carefully fold it into the egg yolk mixture. 
Raise the temperature of the pan to medium and put in the butter. As soon as the butter is melted and turns foamy, evenly pour in the egg mixture. Let it cook for a minute, then carefully loosen the edges from the pan and put it into the prepared oven. Let it bake for a minute until the mixture is set. 
Cut the goat cheese into small pieces, remove the pan from the oven and cover it with the cheese. Fold the omelet into half and serve hot (best with a fresh baguette)!

Cranberry Nut Bread

This is a wonderful sweet bread, easy and quick to make and simply delicious. The cranberries and nuts make it soft and moist. 
In my earlier post for Cranberry Scones, I already mentioned how those little red fruits are packed with Vitamin C, so this is the perfect sweet bread/cake for winter days. 

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 c (brown) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 c orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 tbsp. soft butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 c fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 c nuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F (160°C). 
Mix the dry ingredients. Stir in the orange juice, zest, butter and egg. 
Mix until blended. Stir in the cranberries and nuts. 
Pour the batter into a well greased loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes. 

Yes, it is that simple! Enjoy!

Eggs in Flames - Spain

Breakfast in Spain is usually a simple thing. Mostly a simple coffee and toast with jam (peach jam!). 
But there are always the exceptions, like churros served with chocolate (a recipe will follow later) or the following spicy egg dish. 

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground chili powder
  • 1 can peeled tomatoes 
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 6 eggs
  • 12 slices pepperoni
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F (160°C)
Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Sauté the onions until soft and slightly brown. 
Add the bell pepper and chili powder and cook for a couple of minutes. 
Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and let simmer for 10 minutes over low heat. Stir frequently. 
Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow baking dish. With the back of a big spoon make 6 holes for the eggs. Carefully crack one egg over each hole and place it in there. 
Cover with the pepperoni. Bake for about half an hour or until the egg white is done. 
Garnish with parsley and serve with fresh bread.
Serves 4 to 6

French Baguette

Crispy, crunchy baguette, fresh out of the oven! This is bread heaven! This most famous French bread is one of the few breads you can eat plain and it is still delicious.
But it is even better with some butter and honey. Or jam. Or cheese. Or...oh the list is endless.


• 3-3 ½ c all-purpose flour

• 1 pkg. yeast (2 ¼ tsp.)

• 1/2 c warm water

• 1/2 c warm milk

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tbs. sugar

• 2 tbs. vegetable oil

• 1 egg white, whisked with 1 tbs. water

In a large bowl combine 2 c of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add warm water, warm milk and oil and beat with an electric mixer.

Stir in the remaining flour, ½ c at a time until the dough is soft and not too sticky.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a slightly greased bowl, turn greased side up, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot until double (takes about 2 hours). I usually put it in the oven at the lowest heat.

Punch down the dough with your fist and divide in half. On a floured surface roll out each loaf into a rectangle (15x8-in) and roll them up, beginning at the longer side.

Pinch edges to close. Roll carefully back and forth and place both loaves on a slightly greased
-and sprinkled with cornmeal- cooking sheet.
With a sharp knife cut slashes across the loaves. Brush loaves with cold water and let them rise for another hour or until double.

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°).

Brush loaves with egg white mixture. You could sprinkle them with some poppy or sesame seed if you like.
Bake in the middle of the oven about 30 minutes until the breads are golden brown and sound hallow when tapped.

Makes two long loafs.

Raspberry and Rosewater Lassi - India

Lassi is a popular and traditional drink from India. The mixture of yoghurt and fruit is very refreshing, making it a perfect summer breakfast.

  • 250g raspberries
  • 4 tbsp. rosewater
  • 300ml plain yoghurt
  • 2-3 tbsp. honey
  • ice cubes
Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix to a purée and serve.
So quick, so easy, yet so good!

Banana Pancakes - North America

Pancakes have been used throughout history, one recipe was even found in an ancient Roman cookbook.
They also represent a religious symbolism: Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day) is for Christians the day before Ash Wednesday, the day before Lent starts. Traditionally during Lent, eggs, milk and butter are banned; so on the last day before the fast, pancakes were served as way of using up all the eggs, butter and milk in the house.
This is a very nice variation of the regular pancakes, and you can try them as well with blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. Feel free to experiment!


  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 8 tbsp. cold butter
  • 1-2 (not too ripe) bananas, peeled and sliced
  • butter for the pan
  • maple syrup, yoghurt, sour cream...
In a large bowl whisk together the flour and the baking powder and add sugar and a bit of salt.
Add the eggs, milk and butter and stir together with the hand mixer until you get smooth batter.
Cover the bowl and set aside for 15 minutes.
Melt some butter in a pan at medium heat.
Put a spritzer of soda water into the batter, then pour a scoop full of batter into the pan. The pancakes should be about as big as the palm of a small hand.
Bake then for a couple of minutes. When the top starts to bubble, cover with banana slices before flipping and baking the other side.
Keep the baked pancakes on a cooking sheet in the warm oven while you continue with the rest.
Serve the pancakes warm with maple syrup, or with sour cream (or yoghurt) and fresh fruit.

Makes about 10 small pancakes.

Summer in a bowl (Warm Fruit Compote)

Who says you can't eat summer?
This heavenly fruit compote is the perfect breakfast for hot days. You can use almost any summer fruit for it (if you are lucky you pick them in your own yard), but absolutely best are peaches, nectarines, apricots, blueberries, black berries, mangoes, passion fruit...
For the oranges: a lot of people think they should eat oranges in the winter, as they contain a lot of Vitamin C (they do!), but oranges cool you from within, so they are perfect for hot days and that is why they are in this compote!
This dish can easily be turned into a dessert, in that case I would serve it with either whipped cream or good vanilla icecream (or both??)!

  • 3 oranges, 1 of them peeled and sliced
  • 3 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 8-12 ripe apricots, washed and halved
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • greek yoghurt to serve
Squeeze the juice from 2 of the oranges and pour into a saucepan. Add the remaining fruit, sugar and cinnamon and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Cover and simmer gently for some minutes until the fruit softens. Only stir very gently.
Remove from the heat and serve warm with the yoghurt.

Gugelhupf - Austria

Gugelhupf is a very traditional Austrian cake. There is no english word for it, but I guess it is a kind of Bundt cake. Kind of...

The name might derive from the German word 'Kugel'(ball) and 'hupfen' or 'hüpfen' (jump).

The special thing about it is the form it is baked in. You can see it in the picture. It is deep and round, with a concave bank in the middle and creasings on the side.
The Romans used those kind of baking forms 2000 years ago (they were excavated in Carnuntum, a former Roman military camp outside of Vienna) and it is assumed that the form represented the rotating sun.

After that the cake form as well as recipes for it were lost, but reemerged in the 15th century in central Europe. It became a favorite cake for the poor and farmers, presumably as the ingredients were easy to get for farm people.

But the real height of the Gugelhupf happened under the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I (1830-1916), as it used to be his favorite breakfast dish. There is the rumor going on that in his summer residence in Bad Ischl, he used to stay overnight at the house of his mistress, Katharina Schratt and in the morning she would serve him a Gugelhupf, after which he would sneak back.

True or not, this made the Gugelhupf popular for the bourgeoisie. Even back then it was served for breakfast as well as for coffee time in the afternoon.

A historian cake like that has many different recipes and there are two major distinctions: with yeast or without. Here I did a very basic version without yeast, but I'm sure I will include some other version later, as it is truly a delicious cake!

A note on the raisins: I know that some people don't like them, and if you really don't want them then don't use them! After all, baking should be fun and not a strict recipe-following affair. Everyone should experiment and try out things! You could add some almond slivers instead, if you feel like it!


  • 10 oz. (300g) soft butter
  • 5 oz. (150g) powdered sugar
  • 5 oz. (150g) sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 oz. (240g) flour
  • 2 oz. (60g) raisins
  • vanilla sugar
  • lemon zest
  • butter for greasing
  • flour for the form
  • powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven at 350°F (180°C).
Grease the baking form with butter and dust with some flour. Knock out any extra flour.

Beat the butter together with the powdered sugar and slowly add the whole eggs, one at a time. Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla sugar, some lemon zest and the raisins.
Whisk the egg whites together with the sugar until soft peaks form and fold it carefully into the egg-butter-mixture.
Then fold in the flour and pour into the prepared form.
Bake in the oven for about an hour.
Test with a wooden skewer, if it comes back out clean, then the cake is ready.

Take it out and let it cool a little bit, then turn over and pray that the cake comes out smoothly. (As you can see, mine did not really want like I did, but that does not matter. You can put back together any stray parts).

Let it cool completely and dust with some powdered sugar before serving!

Note: for a half dark, half white cake, which I did, take out 1/3 of the batter and mix it with 1 oz. of cacao (the real one). Then fill in half of the regular batter, then the dark one and at last the remaining batter.

Mint Tea

Tea is one of the favorite beverages in most African or Arab countries. It is refreshing and –believe it or not- hot tea cools one down in the desert heat!


• 4 cups of boiling water

• 1 heaped tbs. of loose green tea (or 2 bags)

• 1 small cup of sugar

• 1 cup of young mint leaves, crushed

• 3-4 young mint leaves for decoration

Warm the pot with a little of boiling water and pour it away.
Place the loose tea in the pot and add 1 cup of boiling water. Allow it to stand for 3 minutes.
Place the crushed mint and the sugar in the pot, and then add the rest of the boiling water. Cover the pot and allow it to stand for 5 minutes.
Using a strainer, pour the tea into small cups or heat-proof glasses.

Dark Bread - The Netherlands

This is a wonderful bread, it is dense and aromatic, with a crunchy crust. It is very easy to make, even if you are not so familiar with baking breads. Having a bread maker at home makes it even easier, but to be honest, I love the kneading part; it’s relaxing and very therapeutic. I invite you to try it out!


• 12 oz. (340g) rye flour

• 5 oz. (140g) all-purpose flour

• 1 pkg. active-dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp.)

• 1 tsp. sugar

• 1 ¾ c warm milk

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tbs. soft butter

Dissolve the yeast together with the sugar in half of the milk.

In a large bowl combine the two sorts of flour and make a well in the center. Pour in the remaining milk and stir in the yeast mixture.
Work in the flour; add salt and finally the butter.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside at a warm spot (or in the oven at the lowest temperature) for about 2 hours or until double.

Punch the dough down and form to a ball. Place on a greased baking sheet, cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 390° F (200°C).
Bake the bread for about 25 minutes. The surface should be brown and crunchy and the bread should sound hallow when tapped.

My favorite way to eat this bread is with a little bit of salted butter and chives!

Lemon Butter

Lemon Butter is a nice addition to your breakfast or brunch, something a little out of the ordinary. It is very easy to prepare ahead (and I love things that can be prepared ahead when having guests) and goes nicely with sweet breads or rolls!


  • ½ c butter or margarine
  • 1 tbs. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. lemon zest

In a small bowl beat butter, sugar and lemon juice with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest, cover and let stand for at least an hour.

Makes ½ a cup.

Breakfast Taco - Mexico

Hmmm, Mexican food in the morning, that is a very good beginning of the day! This dish is perfect for a late breakfast or brunch, and can be very easily prepared ahead. Just follow all the steps (without the eggs), keep everything warm and scramble the eggs right before you want to serve!


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 spicy sausages
  • 6 tortillas
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 ¼ c cream
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • salt
  • 2 limes (preferably organic), washed

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Cut the bell pepper in strips and the onion in little cubes. Peel the garlic and mince it.

Heat the oil in a skillet at medium heat and fry the vegetables until they are soft and slightly brown. That should take about 10 minutes.

Cut up the sausages and add to the vegetables. Fry everything for 5 more minutes, and then set aside.

Wrap the tortillas in aluminium foil and put them in the oven until you are ready to serve.

If you could not find organic limes, wash them thoroughly with hot water and rub them dry with a kitchen towel. Grate the zest and mix together with the eggs, the cream and the salt.

Melt the butter in another skillet at medium heat. Add the egg mixture and let it cook, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes, then fold in the vegetable and sausage mixture.

Fill the tortillas with the mixture, garnish with some more limes and enjoy!

Omelet with Prawns and Potatoes - Colombia

This South American country is ethnically very diverse, and the interaction between descendants of the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, African slaves and twentieth-century immigrants from Europe and the Middle East has produced a rich cultural heritage. This has also been influenced by Colombia's incredibly varied geography.
Colombian territory includes the highlands of the Andes, as well as Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. This ethnical and geographical diversity also reflects in the local cuisine, including exotic food like grilled guinea pig or fried giant ants, but also the more known traditional empanadas.
The following omelet is not as exotic as fried ants, but very delicious all the same and very easy to make.
Due to the whipped egg whites, the omelet will rise beautifully, but collapse again. Don’t worry about that!


  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled*, seeded and diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, cooked and diced
  • 4 large eggs, egg white and yolk separated
  • 1 lb. (~450g) prawns, peeled
  • salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Stir in the onions and season with paprika. Sauté until the onions are soft and slightly brown.
Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for some minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
Stir in the potatoes.
Beat the egg yolks in one bowl and in another beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the egg yolks.
Add the prawns to the vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes until they turn pink.
Fold in the eggs and pop the pan in the oven and bake for about 8 minutes.
Season with some black pepper and serve hot!

*to peel the tomatoes, cut them crosswise on the bottom (see photo), then pour over enough boiling water to cover them completely. Wait a minute and the skin should come off easily!

Apricot Jam from Austria

I know that apricot jam does not necessarily originate in Austria, but as this is my mother in law's recipe and since apricot jam is very widely used here (probably as we have such wonderful apricots from Wachau), I claim it's origin to be Austria.

A quick note on the difference between marmalade and jam: jams are made by boiling fruits and contain fruit bits (versus jellies, which are made from fruit juice); Marmalade typically is a citrus-based preserve, sometimes containing the rind.

And another note on how to sterilise jars: you could wash the jars and lids in the dish washer, but you must use them while still hot.

You could also wash them with warm or hot soapy water, rinse and place them in the oven at 250°F (120°C). Keep them there until you need them.

Also a very good idea is to rinse them with a spoonful of alcohol (rum or vodka is even better) while they are still warm and right before you fill in the jam, close with the lid and shake well, so that the alcohol can spread evenly. Then open them and put them upside down on a kitchen towel to get rid of any alcoholic rest. Don’t worry, you won’t taste any alcohol and the tiny amount evaporates completely in the hot jam.


  • 4,5-5,5 lb (2-2,5 kg) fresh apricots
  • 4,5 lb (2 kg) sugar*

Wash the apricots, remove the stones and cut them in small pieces. Mix together with the sugar and let it rest for a while. Stir occasionally.

Then bring slowly to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes.

To test if it’s the right consistency, give a little bit of jam onto a metallic spoon and within a short time it should congeal.

Fill it into the prepared jars, close the lids firmly and put them upside down for 10 minutes. That closes the lids even better and creates a vacuum.

You should get 6-8 glasses.

*In Austria we have a special sugar for making jams and marmalade, called Gelierzucker. This sugar is great as it helps with the congealing and even includes a bit of citric acid, which is a good idea to use.

I could not find out if there is an English word for this kind of sugar, but of course you can use regular sugar, in which case I would add a bit of citric acid or lemon juice.

Irish Soda Bread

The traditional Irish breakfast includes at least one of the following fried items: pork, sausages, bacon, eggs and black pudding (oh yes, a recipe will follow!), accompanied by tea or coffee and the traditional soda bread, which is made with baking soda instead of yeast. Soda bread dates to approximately 1840, when bicarbonate of soda was introduced to Ireland. Bicarbonate of soda replaced yeast as the leavening agent, which means no waiting around for the dough to rise! There are several theories as to the significance of the cross in soda bread. Some believe that the cross was placed in the bread to ward off evil. It is more likely that the cross is used to help with the cooking of the bread or to serve as a guideline for even slices. (To be honest, when I made the bread for the picture, I totally forgot about the cross -as you can probably see- and it turned out fine! No problem with the slicing and no evil least so far !)


  • 10 oz. (280g) rye flour, mixed with 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 10 oz. (280g) all-purpose flour, mixed with 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 ½ - 3 c buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 410º F (190°C).

Grease a baking sheet with melted butter or use a waxed baking sheet. In a large bowl combine the two different flours, the salt and the baking soda. Add as much buttermilk to produce moist (not sticky!) and smooth dough!
Sprinkle some flour on a working surface. To knead the dough, fold it towards you and push it away with the heels of your hands. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat until the dough feels smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle some flour onto it. Form a ball and set on the prepared baking sheet. That is how it should look like:

With a sharp knife cut the dough crosswise. Brush with water and sprinkle some more flour onto it. And then right into the oven, no more rising! Bake for about 30 minutes.

The loaf should sound hollow when tapped.

Blueberry Muffins - North America

When we used to live in Maine we sometimes went for a very early morning hike and picked fresh blueberries. Then at home I made these muffins with the freshly picked blueberries for breakfast. I can not explain what an incredible taste that was! (Of course you can not always have freshly picked blueberries, but I would still wait until you get fresh ones in the store rather than using frozen ones. The taste is so different!)

An interesting fact is that Maine produces 25% of all blueberries in North America, making it the largest producer in the world.


  • ¼ c melted butter (about 2 tbsp.)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c fresh blueberries

Heat the oven to 400º F (180°C).

Grease the bottoms of a muffin form with 12 cups or line with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl whisk together the milk, vanilla extract, melted butter and egg. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Fold in the blueberries.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 25 minutes in the middle of the oven or until golden brown. Remove from the form and serve warm.

Makes 12 small or 6 bigger muffins.

There is a variation:

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Instead of the blueberries fold in 1 peeled and shredded apple and ½ tsp. ground cinnamon.

Cranberry Scones

These are the first scones I ever tried to bake. I don’t know why, but I was intimidated by the thought of baking scones. I had no reason to be: they turned out perfect and delicious.
It’s this wonderful combination of the sweet scone dough with the slightly sour cranberries that is just irresistible!
The cranberry, along with the blueberry and Concord grape, is one of North America's three native fruits that are commercially grown. Cranberries were first used by Native Americans, who discovered the wild berry's versatility as a food, fabric dye and healing agent.
The name "cranberry" derives from the Pilgrim name for the fruit, "craneberry", so called because the small, pink blossoms that appear in the spring resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill crane. European settlers adopted the Native American uses for the fruit and found the berry a valuable bartering tool. American whalers and mariners carried cranberries on their voyages to prevent scurvy, as the fruit is extremely high in Vitamin C. 
  • 2/3 c buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 c flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 c cranberries (if possible fresh, otherwise frozen)
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • some drops of orange extract
  • 1 tbs. melted butter
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)
Whisk together buttermilk and egg and set aside.
In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and rub it into the mixture with your fingers.
Fold in the cranberries, sugar and the orange extract and mix well. At last add the buttermilk/egg mixture and combine to soft dough.
Knead the dough on a floured board thoroughly and form it into a ball. Cut it into 8 pieces, form each one into a ball and place it on a cookie or baking sheet.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the scones are golden brown on the surface. Remove them and brush them with the tablespoon of butter.
Let them cool before serving.
Serve them as they are or with butter and honey.
Makes eight scones.

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