I’m doing pretty well with my resolution to cook more from my cookbooks and bookmarks. My discovery of Pinterest has been super useful in this endeavor. Now I can just look at my “Recipes To Make Next” board, check out the photos I tagged and pick something from there. Once I make it I move it to “Recipes I Have Made”. Yes, I judge I recipe by its cover/photo. Ah well.

First we have Eggplant Focaccia. This turned out super yummy. I used the foccacia recipe from Veganomicon with dried Italian herbs in the crust instead of just rosemary. I also topped it with eggplant and mushrooms instead of tomatoes. Of course you can also make it without toppings.

This has a thick crust, so if you’d like a thinner crust check out this focaccia recipe from Seitan Is My Motor, which I made a week later.  Unfortunately no pictures because it was all gobbled up immediately by hungry party guests! A tip for the eggplant: Slice it thin and put it in a big Tupperware with about a teaspoon of salt. Cover the Tupperware and shake so the salt covers the eggplant slices. Let sit for 30 minutes while the focaccia dough is rising, then layout on a cloth, covered with another cloth and press with something heavy (usually plates in my case) until the water seeps out. The salt draws out the water and then the cloth absorbs it out. I usually let it sit under plates for 10 min or so. Sounds complicated but don’t worry. Keeps the eggplant from being soggy and gross on the pizza!

I mix some olive oil, crushed garlic, Italian seasonings and chili flakes in a cup and slather it across the uncooked dough before putting on the eggplant and mushrooms. Then I drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the eggplant. Delicious.

This turned out yummy, though my flatmates did not appreciate the cauliflower smell taking over the flat, oops! I personally have come to like cauliflower over the past couple years. This is a recipe I bookmarked from The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado, which you can find here. I didn’t make their curry drizzle as I had no cashews in the house. Instead I took some curry flavored spread (Aufstrich) I bought at the Christmas Market here, added some vinegar and water, shook it up and drizzled that on top. I also added some fried onions as garnish as you can see. Yummy!

I learned that hot oatmeal is apparently a very American food after my flatmates and German friends commented in disgust after I cooked this/posted the photo on Facebook. Interesting! You learn something new every day! In Germany they use uncooked oatmeal in muesli, which is a super popular breakfast option here and is basically uncooked granola. Heat it, however, and everyone freaks the eff out! Regardless, I am still on a mission to like hot oatmeal and I can say this recipe for Raspberry Truffle Oatmeal from the Chocolate Covered Katie blog passed my test! The only recipe you might not have on hand is frozen raspberries. Luckily I had a bit leftover after making the Raspberry Truffle Brownies from the PPK and throwing some in Bowle for my houswarming party. In case you’re curious, Bowle is basically every possible alcohol you have thrown together with fruit, sugar, Sekt (sparkling wine) and maybe some Sprite. Needless to say the party was successful.

This is no special recipe, but I went on a small shopping spree on my birthday at the organic supermarket (LPG) after an early-morning trip to the finance office to figure out how the eff I’m going to pay my German taxes (like taxes aren’t hard enough in English)! Unrelated note, I have to get a new tax number because I moved from one district of the city to the other! How silly is that!? Anyway, somehow I managed to not have coffee in my house until February. I am astounded with myself. So I ground some and brought it home and now delicious almond lattes are mine with the help of some almond extract and a milk frother. My Mom also mailed me my dried sourdough starter and after a few skeptical minutes (okay, really hours) at the customs mail center where they poked at all of my things and asked me what they were, fresh sourdough bread is now mine again! Saying as it looked like white flakes in a bag, I’m happy they didn’t confiscate it. Thank goodness I knew how to say “Sauerteig” (sourdough) in German!

Question: I’m thinking of making a page/entry of all my favorite vegan places in Berlin as well as good resources I’ve found such as a food co-op and CSA shares (you actually have to work on the farm here, sort of cool!). Perhaps also some useful vocab, like how to say “nutritional yeast” in German. Would you be interested in this? If so, anything else you want to know about being vegan in Berlin/Germany?