Recipes that deliver

happiness, connection, love, peace, light, strength, freedom ~ all in one…

 

Of course, they come from my stories or have been introduced to me here in Vancouver. Even if you have no baking or cooking background – I promise you will succeed with these!

BROWNIES 
(from my story with Abigail Patmore my stove & oven)

150g butter (non-salted, soft, i.e. take out of the fridge early)
250g sugar (white)
3   eggs (from happy hens not cold, i.e. take out of the fridge early)
150g dark chocolate (naturally, ideally from Switzerland)
150g flour (if you have the funds, get unbleached, organic
-> be prepared for the price shock that will hit you)
1  tip of a knife backing powder
1  pinch of salt
1  teaspoon vanilla sugar or the equivalent of vanilla extract
(please not the fake stuff)

Put the oven on and preheat for 180d Celsius or 375d Fahrenheit, check that you have a oven tin/tray and prepare/line it with baking paper.

Set the chocolate in a “bain-marie” (one small pot with the broken chocolate placed into a bigger pot with approx. 2cm of water in it), and melt it on medium stove temperature.

bain-marie

While the chocolate is melting, mix butter, sugar and eggs well (I suggest with a mixer – otherwise it will turn into quite an arm muscle exercise) until it is “fluffy” and lighter in color than at the beginning.

Add the melted chocolate and the rest (flour, backing powder, salt, vanilla) and stir with a ladle (not with the mixer) to form a smooth, sticky dough.

Put the dough on the prepared baking tin and place in your by now heated oven. Set the alarm for 15-20 minutes. Rule of thumb, rather take them out a little early that they don’t turn into dust brownies…

p.s. you can add nuts of course

 

MOUSSE AU CHOCOLAT
(no oven needed – less ingredients than this, doesn’t exist)

3 eggs (very fresh & even happier hens than before)
100g dark, excellent chocolate

Melt the chocolate as explained above in a bain-marie.

Separate your happy eggs, the yolks in one, the egg whites into another bowls. If you don’t know how to do this properly – you find instructions on You Tube or just take a tea sieve 🙂

Mix the melted chocolate with the yolks by using a whisk, i.e. do it manually.

Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat them to a stiff snow with the hand mixer (otherwise, you will be there for hours). To check if ready: turn your bowl upside down – if it stays – well done.

Fold the egg snow under the chocolate mixture. Note: under no circumstances use a whisk or mixer for this! Use a hard plastic spatula and in a what seems painstaking slow motion, FOLD…until it becomes a light, still fluffy, not too liquid, even mixture.

Fill into 4 glasses, cover with cling film and leave to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

p.s. it is excellent with freshly (unsweetened, real) whipped cream

p.p.s. the dinner the precedes this dessert should be light in nature

ENJOY!
and notice how all those positive emotions start to kick-in 🙂

Apologies for everyone who measures in cups, ounces etc…there will be more where I will balance it out – promise!

Please meet…Teodora from Argentina

There I was on day 3, strolling on Cypress street towards an empty garden chair in the communal gardens (built on an old railway track, i.e. very singer/songwriter atmosphere), to ponder on the flats that I had just seen. Should I go for the bigger, more expensive one, which was not as cute, or for the one-bedroom under the roof? In the middle of that internal discussion, appeared an elderly lady in a vivid floral dress, wearing an enormous straw hat and underneath a quite desperate expression (covered in a truly thick layer of white suntan lotion). I didn’t think anything of it, until she started to purposefully stride towards me, asking if I had a phone. Honestly, my first thought was that it must be one of those schemes where they try to steal your phone in a creative way!

It turned out however, that she had locked herself out of her car, and wanted me to call road side assistance, so they could break it open. Of course, I felt for her, as that was definitely something that could happen to me (every day in fact, if I had a car). Standing there underneath the bushes, we made introductions and changed to speaking Spanish (way out of practice!). I learnt that she had been living in Vancouver the past 23 years, having had her patch in the communal garden about the same amount of time. Soon the conversation turned to her roses, which were attacked by some evil fungus (imagine wild hand gestures with shovel) and the remedies that she had already tried: water with vinegar, water with oil, water with sugar…honestly, I’m not making this up – I tried so hard not to laugh, as those poor roses must have felt like the next salad in the making…I promised to get my mother’s advice and would meet her back at Cypress street whenever I had news. While I was cobbling my words together in Spanish, she started chopping and plucking all sorts of leaves and herbs out of her wonderfully chaotic green bed as a ‘thank you’…I left with a big smile on my face, a warm feeling in my chest and an incredibly rich smelling bouquet, knowing that I had come to the right city 🙂

p.s. I went for the smaller flat under the roof..but more about the joy of moving later…

Communal Garden Cypress Street
Communal Garden Cypress Street

 

Veg & Herbs from Teodora's Patch
The herb & leave bouqet from Teodora’s patch

Introductions…ey!

not many words needed

and anyway, you don’t have to write them. I’ll do that.

So, if you want to join me on this ride – Welcome, I feel honored!

Do leave your comments – I love to hear from you.

A “BEE in BC” comes from my initials and BC is of course British Columbia, the province in West Canada, where Vancouver is located.

Brigit Elisabeth Services - Stories
The first water bottle I bought here – still have it & the statement is still true!

Please meet…Abigail Patmore

(my vintage stove & oven)

 

Have you ever tried to bake something, i.e. go into that wonderful, meditative state / flow where you are fascinated by the color and texture of the ingredients, the sound of the mixer, in happy anticipation of the transformation that will take place in the oven, the smell that will fill your kitchen, the exquisite sensation that will take over when tasting it when it is still warm?

I have always claimed that it is like a mediation and now, reading this, I understand that it involves everything – for all my fellow coaches out there – a complete V (visual) A (audio) K (kinetics) O (olfactory) G (gustatory) experience!

In short – magic 🙂

You can imagine my excitement when I first saw this oven in my apartment – it definitely dates from another time in history…and the size of it – quite fascinating – you can easily fit a whole turkey or cow in there…coming from Switzerland this IS special.

Thinking that I better start out with a tested, family recipe, i.e. brownies – where in theory nothing can go wrong – I happily broke in my hand mixer, spatula, bowls, baking tin and switched on the oven to preheat. So far so good. I was proud that I had even bought a thermometer, as I’m not at all familiar with the heating levels of 1-5. Little did I know…

When I suddenly noticed a heat wave coming from the stove, I realized that there is actually a hole (!) in the left-front burner. The temperature of the oven being way too high – I just managed to rescue my spatula, before melting, and noticing that the oven light as well as timer/clock etc. must have gone into retirement long time ago. When I put the brownie tin into the oven (with the temperature being just right), I thought I had managed the baptism of fire. Normally, when your “thing” is in the oven – you take a break – embrace patience and go off doing something else.

This time it was different. When I checked 15 minutes later, I noticed with horror that the temperature had dropped completely and my brownies looked like a dark glue…I turned the heat back up and wanted to take them out a wee bit later. Not a tricky action per se: put oven mittens on, open oven, take out tin, close oven. Well a) my brownies were almost black – heat had climbed to volcanic levels again, b) I dropped one of the mittens in the oven – small fire going on and c) I burnt myself on the oven door.

At that point I had to laugh so hard, as those were the sorriest looking brownies I have ever made, my beautiful red mittens disheveled after the first use, me literally burnt and the temperature of my kitchen/living room resembled a sauna with me being under the roof and the outside Summer weather doing its part 🙂

Obviously to all of you that are following Downton Abbey, you understand that I had to christen my oven/stove in that moment “Abigail Patmore” as I am convinced she is a great-grand niece of the famous manor cook!

p.s. Downton Abbey season 5 is about to start in a couple of days and for that I shall be making a mousse au chocolat (no oven required)

 

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