Friday, June 28, 2013

Food on Friday: Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Given enough time (and a boyfriend willing to wash dishes), cooking is something I truly love to do.  My favorite way to cook is with some good music on, a glass of wine in my hand and Peter in the kitchen to keep me company and deal with any meat we might be cooking.  Preferably, I like to make it an event and then linger at the table afterwards, chatting and relaxing.  

That said, I really only enjoy cooking on weekends or when I have a lot of time.  And sometimes, there are evenings that call for a simple dinner.  That's where this dish comes in.  You see, the taste is anything but simple but the preparation is about as easy as it gets.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lake house living

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Growing up, my family spent every summer at our beautiful lake house--affectionately known as 'the cottage'--on Magician Lake in rural southwestern Michigan.  Summers there were always dreamy, filled with days spent in the water, eating fresh peaches and cherries, watching thunderstorms roll in and catching fish or lightening bugs at night.  

Above all other places in the world, this one is the most important to me and I am so lucky to continue to be able to go these days.  In fact, in my whole life, I have only skipped one year and it was so miserable I hope I never have to do it again.  

Lake life is in my blood and is such a huge part of who I am.  When I am not there, I am dreaming of it and am inspired by it.  So, I put together a little mood board based on the idea of living at the lake.  I chose to focus on both a light and a navy blue, as well as mustard/golden yellow and just a few pops of red.  I added in some natural wood elements, a bit of metal and a large dose of nautical accessories to  reflect the nature of living on a lake.

One day, I hope to have a house of my own on Magician Lake.  I'd love to fill it with these things and some special family mementos from 3 generations spent on the lake.

I will be there at the end of July but until then I'll go back to dreaming about it!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Snippets from the beginning of summer

Although this weekend wasn't exactly earth-shatteringly fantastic (I spent most of it on the couch nursing a pulled muscle in my neck), summer most definitely has me under her sweet, lazy spell.  So many juicy peaches and tart blueberries waiting to be eaten, such gorgeous peonies everywhere I turn, so many Germans taking in every last ounce of daylight!  And long days we do have--it's 10:10 here, cloudy and not yet completely dark.  Last week was hot and Germans take advantage of such days like it's nobody's business. I love it!

Top to bottom, left to right

1. Nuremberg after work on a seriously warm evening.  2. Peter and I started dating 5 years ago right around today while on El Camino de Santiago!   3.  View from the flea market    4.  Peonies coming home from the farmer's market.     5. My spiffed up dresser in the entryway.   6.  Paddle boats on Wöhrder See.   7.  I love the bright red poppies throughout Europe.    8.  New gold flatware and some summer strawberries.  9.  Summer toast with quark, peaches, blueberries and a touch of cinnamon sugar.  10.  A German park/biergarten on a warm summer (Tuesday) evening.   11.  A day so hot the morning was already blazing.  12.  Another quark toast with peaches!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Food on Friday: Strawberry rhubarb crumble, take 2

To begin this blog post, I think I have to apologize. Once, for reposting a recipe that I posted last summer right around this time and again for changing the name of my weekly Friday food posts on here.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Grill time

Last weekend Peter and I drove to Coburg on Saturday afternoon to visit with his parents and have a barbecue, our first of the season.  The weather was gorgeous, warm and sunny with a slight breeze to keep most of the mosquitos away.  We grilled some pork and had Peter's mom's delicious potato salad and bread with lots of different dips.  And, of course, we washed it all down with German beer! 

It was a lovely and relaxing evening and was another example of why Germany is so great in the summertime.  With tomorrow being the first day of summer, I am thinking a lot about how to get the most out of summer this year.  It's slowly becoming my favorite season (used to be fall) and I am so excited for more barbecues, summer thunderstorms (we're having the greatest one right now), bike rides and trips to the lake this year.  I hope to eat a lot of fruit, enjoy every sweaty day and to generally just relish in the season! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Betty White

She was just calling my name.   Saturday, at the flea market, my little white bike.  She's old and rusty and second gear gets a little stuck.  She's got plenty of scratches and a loose bell that dings every time I go over a bump.  But, she's cute, little and feisty and is always down to have some fun.  And I love her...I have had her 3 days, but I love her. 

Meet my new bike, Betty White.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

tea cups and fur coats

Happy Saturday, everyone!  Just dropping in with a few finds from the flea market this morning.  I picked up some vintage books (for about 50 cents a piece), three tea cups, saucers and cake plates and some gold silverware (been dying for the west elm version for ages).  I also got that brass lamp in the background.

The sun was shining, I had coffee in my hand and it was the perfect start to a beautiful weekend.  Now we're off to Coburg for a BBQ tonight with Peter's parents and coffee for me with an old dear friend.  I can't wait!

Hope you have a great weekend yourself!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Food on Friday: Panna Cotta

On my 26th birthday, I discovered something new about myself...something wonderful and life-altering.  That something was my love for panna cotta.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My heart cried out for you, California

We had a truly fantastic time on our vacation to California in late May.  It was full of family and friends, warm summer days and plenty of sunshine (I had almost forgotten what it felt like).  

For most of the trip Peter and I were separated, him traveling California with his family and me cozying up at home with mine.  But for four blissful days, we were all together enjoying lots of good food, beer, laughter.  

These pictures were all taken in Auburn, California, my home town.  I may be partial, but it is one of the most rejuvenating places I have ever been in this world.  The nature is majestic and the town is friendly and peaceful.  If I wasn't from there, I would want to spend my vacation there anyway.  

I keep looking back on those sweet days with longing, wishing they had never come to an end.  It was so great to see all the people I love in one place.  I can't wait to do it again! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Gray summer day

Yesterday was a stormy summer day, dark gray and muggy with heavy clouds.  Instead of curling up on the couch, I got in crazy productive mode.  Three hours later, I had this beautiful painted chest and a scrumptious pie coming out of the oven.  

The corner of my apartment behind the stairs and right next to the door had been driving me absolutely crazy.  It was a neglected space, one that I hadn't bothered to fix up since moving in.  I had a bland chest of drawers there that I picked up for free in Coburg when I was desperate for storage, which made the space colorless and unfinished.  

I got these beautiful brass knobs at Hobby Lobby while I was in California and they inspired me to finally fix up this piece.  So, I got out a sanding block and went to town. 

This was not an ideal piece to paint since the it isn't actually wood and I certainly didn't paint it according to the rules.  I used wall paint, which I had on hand and only did two coats on the sides that you can really see from the hallway....I am a horrible DIYer. 

Still, I think it looks so much better!  I am in love with how much more finished the corner looks and how the gray really adds and pops against the white wall.  

What do you think?