Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Welcome to my new home

If every cloud has a silver lining, this is most certainly mine.  Every day I fall more in love with this place and it's honey colored floors, huge windows and teeny tiny kitchen.  The way the light shines in in the morning, the clang clang of the old pipes and the adorable little Hausmeisterin on the 4th floor who is always so friendly, chats with me in German about life and wears her slippers everywhere she goes.  Ich fühle mich wohl. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Food on Friday: Pumpkin risotto with herbs and nuts

About a month ago, on a crisp October Friday evening, I had a dear friend of mine over for a cooking/pigging out session and we made pumpkin risotto.  It was the bomb.  End of story.

…Just kidding…With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I thought it the perfect time to post this recipe so that you have something to make if vegetarians happen to be coming over for dinner (make it with vegetable stock in that case).  This risotto is creamy and delicious and contains all of the wonderful and bold flavors of autumn.  It would be perfect served alongside chicken or turkey, but is actually a perfect main dish on its own.

I used this recipe but didn't puree one half of my pumpkin.  I just put the chunks in.  I also added some leftover mushrooms I had, fresh herbs, some small and crispy bits of sausage and roasted hazelnuts on top!  For the herbs, I added fresh sage and a bit of thyme.  My friend, a meat eater, wanted to add the sausage and I have to say, it really added a richness to the dish.  You could also use bacon pieces or something similar.  We garnished with parmesan and roasted hazelnuts, which was as delicious as it was pretty! Then we stuffed our faces with it and watched like 6 episodes of Revenge. It was pretty heavenly.  I love friends.  And I love Friday evenings.  Hope you're enjoying yours!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Snapshots of the new apartment

Just a few details from the new place, how it is coming along and what I have been up to the past week or so.  There is still a lot to do and fix up around here, but I am really loving my new space.  I christened it this weekend with the first brunch and I must say it was one of the best brunches I have made before.  I served fig goat cheese and Serrano ham with pear and herbs and a delicious herbed potato and butternut squash hash.  It was so delicious and cozy and a perfect first brunch in the new place!

Only having one room and a tiny kitchen is taking a bit of getting used to and I am still going through the (emotional) process of saying goodbye to the old place, but I think this place is going to do me some good.  I will give you a tour soon, I promise.  Hope everyone had a nice start to the week today!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Saying goodbye: last pictures of the old apartment

I moved out of our old apartment last weekend with a lot of stress, emotion and heartbreak.  But, before I started packing, I took a few last pictures of the place all cleaned up.  These photographs are my last memories of an apartment I loved, of my home and of the life I thought I would have.  They're so pregnant with lost hopes and dreams.  But, there is a certain beauty to that, as well, I guess.

I am in my new place now and I absolutely adore it.  It couldn't be more mine.  I love everything about it, from it's old rusty pipes and strange, old-building noises, to the tiny kitchen with hardly any room to turn around and the pretty multi-toned hardwood floors.  I know that this isn't going to be the easiest chapter in my life, but I feel so blessed to be experiencing it in a space that feels like me, that feels like love, that feels like a new beginning.

Thanks to everyone who has written me kind words on here as I have been going through this.  It means more than you know to me.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New studio apartment mood board

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I'm terrified.  I'm sad.  And I am really freakin' excited.  That's life for you.  As of next week I will be living in the tiniest, girliest studio ever.  Here's my inspiration mood board.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Food on Friday: Bauernfrühstück (farmer's breakfast) with pumpkin and sausage

Today was cold and damp, a perfect first day of November.  It was a holiday, too, so I spent the day wrapped up in a blanket with candles going and warm coffee in my hand.  In the afternoon, I went walking around the lake with a friend and tried not to think about how cold my nose and hands were.  

This breakfast is absolutely perfect for days like today. It's hearty and cozy, while still being relatively healthy.  It contains some of my favorite autumn ingredients, like pumpkin, herbs and sausage and is like a warm smile for your heart.  It's super easy, too.  

I didn't really use a recipe, so I will just explain how I made it here and you can alter the amount of the ingredients based on how many people you want to serve.  


pumpkin (hokkaido) 
olive oil
salt, pepper
herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme), chopped
milk or cream 
spicy paprika 
italian sausage, cooked in balls 
parmesan cheese

Coat pumpkin with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven until very tender.  While the pumpkin is roasting, heat butter in a pan over medium heat.  Chop onions and sauté until soft.  Add garlic and herbs and let cook until fragrant.  Scramble eggs with a little milk in a bowl.  Add salt, pepper, paprika to taste.  Add to pan.  Cook like you normally would for scrambled eggs.  when it's almost finished add sausage and pumpkin.  Make toast.  

Before serving, grate a little fresh parmesan on top.  Garnish with fresh herbs.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Food on Friday: Apple and Salsicce Tarte Flambée

There is nothing I love more than the delicious, fresh and comforting food of autumn.  Fresh fruits and vegetables prepared in hearty ways to warm you from the inside out and impress you with what nature has to offer!  

So, when I found this recipe in a German magazine called Lust auf Genuss, I knew I had to make it! And oh my was it absolutely delicious!  The delicious apples combined with the italian sausage completely epitomize fall and it comes together really quickly (especially if you don't have to make the sausage yourself).  Perfect for a cold autumn weeknight!  

Apple and Salsicce Tarte Flambée
serves 2

3-4 sprigs (total) of rosemary and sage
2 apples
2 tablespoons of butter
1 pre-made pizza dough
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds, crushed
150 g of heavy sour cream or Crème fraîche
175 g Salsicce or italian sausage of your choice (I made my own italian-style sausage using this recipe)
Sea salt

Remove the leaves of the herbs and chop finely.  Slice the apples.  Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the apples and herbs until just starting to soften.  Sprinkle with pepper.  Preheat oven to 220 degrees C or 430 degrees F.  Thinly roll out dough and spread with heavy sour cream/crème fraîche. Sprinkle with fennel seeds. Arrange apple slices, sausage and leftover herbs on the dough and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes.  Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Beaded keychain DIY

There are some things that just say a lot about people, you know? Their wallets for one.  (Mine is navy with a gorgeous gold clasp...and overflowing with receipts.)  Their dogs.  (I've got the most adorable labradoodle you've ever seen with the most adorable personality to match!)  Their desk drawers.  (Messy, messy, messy and full of things I am hoarding.)  And, of course, their keychains.

Think of all the different keychains out there.  Don't they say so much?  A carabiner?  I am adventurous and outdoorsy.  A rabbit foot?  1993 was awesome or I am incredibly ahead of the trend.  A mini stuffed animal?  I am the worlds most kind-hearted adult.  A bottle opener?  I live in a frat house or like to camp.  A souvenir keychain?  I've never been there but someone I know has.

Since I have always thought of the keychain is an extension of myself, I put a lot of effort into having pretty ones.  That's where the worlds easiest DIY comes in.  These classic and stylish keychains are made with simple beads from a craft store and suede cord and take just minutes to make.

I made a loop at the top of the cord which is tied off with a knot.  Then I strung the cord through the beads and tied a knot at the end.  I left the ends a bit loose so that they would hang down like a tassel and it was as simple as that.  I got the idea here, but instead of painting my beads, I just picked out pretty ones from the craft store.

You can decide for yourself what this keychain says about me... What kind of keychain do you have?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When the leaves and everything else begin to change

Making: Beaded keychains (I'll post about them here tomorrow!)
Cooking: With chanterelle mushrooms at least once a week.
Drinking: Yogi Bright Mood tea with basil and hops
Reading:  The Education of Little Tree by Asa Earl Carter, aka Forrest Carter, on the recommendation of my dear friend Ben
Wanting: The Creamy Chai Holiday Mercury Candle from Antrho 
Looking: A lot like Frida Kahlo, preparing for my Halloween costume
Playing: Good music all the time.  Current favorites include: Young the Giant, Kodaline, The Paper Kites and Sibylle Baier.  
Wasting: So much time on bad/awesome TV.  
Wishing: I could be enjoying autumn just a little bit more--that I didn't still have so many sad days
Enjoying: Autumn more than I expected to; spending time by myself; spending time with my girlfriends; knowing I will have no regrets about how I am handling things
Waiting: For the day I can get a dog, live way out in nature and cultivate a more simple life
Liking: Where I am for now 
Wondering: When I became an adult and when being an adult will start to feel easier 
Loving: Mom, dad, Kel, JJ, Danu, Ben, Shaquisha, Nicole, Kathrin
Hoping: That my 27th year brings me something better than my 26th year did.  
Marvelling: At how breathtaking and magical Germany truly is in Autumn
Needing: A hug from my mommy, cute new socks and something sweet
Smelling: Wood burning stoves being lit for the first time, roasted chestnuts, Nürnberger Bratwurst and my favorite Kitchen Spice candle
Wearing: New boots and lots of layers 
Following: My friends and family's advice and trying to just 'get over it' 
Noticing: How much I enjoy being by myself
Knowing: That I have a lot of people who truly love me and would do anything for me 
Thinking: About my future and what I want to do with my life
Bookmarking: Ideas for my new studio apartment...it's gonna be so girly and eclectic  
Opening: Myself back up to enjoying things
Giggling: With my girlfriends all the time
Feeling:   Strong and like I am worth so much more, things are going to get better and life is going to be good again

*Taking Stock post idea and list from Meet Me at Mike's 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Food on Friday: Apple fig grilled cheese

It's no secret around here that I have a (literally) unhealthy love for grilled cheese sandwiches (you can see evidence here and here).  This time of year, as the weather gets cooler and cooler, something in my primordial self begins to crave more and more calories and fat.  So, when my mom mentioned a delectable sounding grilled cheese she had recently at Boudin Bakery (SF shout-out!!!!!!), I knew I had to find a away to recreate it. 

And, thus, the most delicious grilled cheese in the history of the world was discovered.  

Imagine all the things you love about fall....

 Comfort food?  Check.  Cheese?  Check.  Apples?  Check.  Figs? Check.  This grilled cheese is like autumn wrapped up all neatly between two pieces of grilled bread.  It's so, so good.  And, as our nights dip below the 40-degree mark, it is just what I need to help keep my bones insulated and warm at night. 

Here's how you can taste this deliciousness for yourself: 

Apple fig grilled cheese
makes 1 sandwich

2 slices bread (I used basic wheat, but I have heard Boudin Bakery uses parmesan bread)
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fig jam (if you live in Germany, Rewe makes a good one) 
2 slices of aged gouda or cheddar
1 tablespoon of brie
4 or 5 thin slices of apple

Heat skillet over medium heat.  Butter outsides of two slices of bread.  On the inside (non-buttered part), spread jam.  Then layer gouda, brie and apples and cook in skillet until everything melts together and the outside of the bread is golden-brown.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gettin' figgy with it: caramelized fig and toffee sundaes

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  And these, my friends, are desperate times.  Which means that, these days, I regularly go into the supermarket and come out with nothing more than 15 EURO (that's $20 folks) worth of potato chips, ice cream and wine.  Although I spend most of my days crying lying in bed watching Pretty Little Liars with potato chip crumbs all over my scarfI still try to keep it classy when I can...  Which means that said potato chip crumbs are rosemary sea salt flavored (totally better than regular flavored potato chip crumbs, right?) and the bowls of ice cream I stuff down my face are fancily topped with caramelized figs and toffee sauce (I know, right?).

Now, these caramelized fig and toffee sundaes are seriously to die for.  And if it was my misery that inspired this decadent, rich and totally moan-inducing concoction, then you're welcome and maybe every cloud truly does have its silver lining.

This is my silver lining.  Oh, and Ian Harding.   Because, he's as yummy as these sundaes.  

Caramelized fig and toffee sundaes

fresh figs
ice cream (almond flavor is my favorite)

Elaine's Toffee Company's Toffee Sauce
a pinch of sea salt

candied almond pieces (optional, my ice cream has it included)

Heat honey in a skillet over medium heat.  Slice the figs and sauté them in the honey until caramelized (about 5 minutes).  You can either let the figs cool or use them right away.  Place ice cream in dishes and layer the fig slices along the sides and on top.  Drizzle a little (or a lot ;-) of Toffee Sauce over the top and finish with a tiny sprinkle of sea salt for contrast.