Sugar & Spice

Coming to the US, we knew that the food is a little different here – after all food is part of a country’s culture, and also personal taste & habits can differ a lot. We expected the food to be a little more fatty and sugary than what we are used to from Germany or our own individual style of cooking & eating.

Still, it can be pretty surprising to bite into certain foods and realize that they taste so much different to what you know or even expected. For us & our taste, the sugar seems almost overwhelming and in nearly every food you grab. I personally do like to eat cake & candy here and there, and that’s where you expect the sugar taste, obviously. However there are moments when I did not expect such a strong sugar flavour at all, for example when eating cole slaw (salad). Other Examples are bread/buns, scrambled eggs, mustard, beans, soup, chicken even…We mostly noticed this at the breakfast time in our Hotel but also when eating out, that nearly always there seems to be an underlying flavour of sugar.

In contrary to that, we’re missing the taste of salt and other spices a little – I’ve been adding salt and pepper regularly to my breakfast eggs, and our daughter seems to unconciously notice a little lack of salt in her system as well, because she was asking for sprinkles of salt on her hand to lick it off (which she’d never done before).

To be clear, I’m not complaining about the food itself, it is just my/our observation because we aren’t used to this style of more sugary food – and of course, once we get to move into a real house, our own “home”, we will be able to cook & prepare all meals by ourselves and that way, we can add sugar & spice in doses we personally prefer 🙂

 

Hazelnut-Cinnamon Pumpkin Cake (recipe)

We bought one huge butternut pumpkin and are trying different type of cooking & baking recipes with it. So far we made a gratin, fried pumpkin pieces, pumpkin soup….and today I made a Pumpkin Cake that spreads such a delicious scent through our apartment!! So I decided to share the recipe 🙂

You need (measurement converter if needed ):

  • 4 cups of grated pumpkin (I used butternut pumpkin)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of oil (or melted butter if you like)
  • 1-2 cups of milk (depending on how fluffy you want your cake to be)
  • 1 package of baking powder (=15grams)
  • 2-3 table spoons of cinnamon
  • 100-150grams of ground hazelnuts (or walnuts or almonds…)

Optional ingredients:

  • vanilla sugar
  • chocolate for the coating
  • things to sprinkle on top of the coating

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  1. Mix the flour, sugar, (vanilla sugar), baking powder, cinnamon & ground nuts until it’s all blended well together
  2. Add the oil/melted butter & eggs to the mix and give it a good whisk, then add the milk (the more milk, the fluffier the cake, I use a lot) – whisk all the ingredients until they’re blended nicely
  3. Stir the grated pumpkin into the bowl and mix until it’s all a smoth (almost creamy) doughDSCN2448
  4. Bake in pre-heated oven at 160°C for about 60-70 minutes

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This is how mine looks straight out of the ovenDSCN2453

I decided to coat it with a thin layer of dark chocolate, let it cool off and there we go – Enjoy!
(Excuse the crappy picture quality, it was a quick snapshot with my phone before I had to dig in)10420093_10204801762621129_8400442925953180252_n

The cake is pretty moist, because we like it that way. If I added less milk it would have been a more dry 😉

 

 

There is no costume >.<『blogtober 2014』

The last day of blogtober2014 is…of course, about Halloween!

Halloween Costume Reveal fail

Unfortunately, here in Germany where I live, Halloween is not really a thing that is celebrated like in the US or other parts of the world. Sure, there are a FEW parties where people try and get a Halloween feeling going, and every other year maybe one kid knocks on your door (For the past few years no one knocked at our door at Halloween though).

So, I don’t have a costume – thus, no costume reveal (a bad ending to blogtober14 I know >.<)

Instead I’ll leave you (and October) with a box of some Halloween Dunkin Donuts I bought and hope it’s a forgivable compromise

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My Pet Peeves 『blogtober 2014』

Day 22 of blogtober2014 and I’m talking about things that annoy me What are your pet peeves?

  • people eating on the go. I DO NOT MEAN enjoying a cone of ice cream or a cookie. I mean people eating a kebap or burger or a box of noodles etc. while walking Fast food doesn’t mean you have to gulp it down while running through the streets!
  • eating with your mouth open or chewing noises. Yes, another food/eating pet peeve that really gets me every time.
  • people cutting in line. Wether it’s a waiting line, or when stepping on to the bus or going through a door, it’s just rude to try and jump ahead (an pushing others aside in worst cases)
  • loud phone conversations in public. Everyone knows who I’m talking about. Those people in public places like trains, restaurants etc having super important and super long conversations on their phone, letting all surrounding people know what they’ll have for dinner or just how interesting their day/life is – no one cares, you are just annoying!
  • Smoking/inconsiderate smokers. Every since I suffered from a microplasma lung infection I can smell smokers from a mile away and at the same time I’m having trouble breathing. Now, if smokers would agree to smoke in the smoking-areas, we’d be fine, I can choose to not go there or go around and they can go do their thing. However, many smokers just don’t care about people who don’t like to inhale that dirt. Especially when I was pregnant, I encountered super rude smokers who would put on a cigarette at the bus stop right next to me. I tried asking them politely, but was told to “f*** off”.

I’m sure I could think of more pet peeves if I would give it another hour, but I’ll stop here 🙂

My dream vacation always will be…『blogtober 2014』

Day 21 of blogtober2014 takes me back to Japan – my “home away from home” kind of place.

Your Dream Vacation
I already wrote a blog post on our trip to Iceland, which was a bit like a dream, a totally different world ^^ In that blog entry I also mentioned anothere country which I want to talk about now as it is & always will be my “dream vacation place” to go 🙂

JAPAN – 日本 – TÔKYÔ – 東京
Ever since my first stay there in May 2008 (when I went to language school in Tôkyô) I fell in love with the city & country more and more. Tôkyô is a city that is making me feel just so…alive. I could probably write a novel-length entry about why I like it so much & keep going back every year, but maybe I will leave that for future blog entries, you know…talking about different aspects individually.
tttower
view from Sky Tree over Tôkyô – with the Sky Tree casting its shadow

I filmed some footage on our last trip to (Tokyo) Japan in September 2013 and put it together with photos in a sort of vacation video. The annotations are in German but I think you can still enjoy watching if you can’t read German as pictures and video clips don’t need much explanation 🙂

Every time I go to Japan a little piece of my heart stays there, and I feel homesick for it when coming back to Germany.

 

My PearApple-Cinnamon-Custard filled Crumble Cake『blogtober 2014』

This 13th day of blogtober 2014 is dedicated to some delicious cake 🙂

Your favourite fall/autumn recipe
Most of the recipes in autumn revolve around pumpkin or sweet potatoe, so I decided to share something different with you – no pumpkin or potatoe needed! It’s one of my favourite cake recipes which I came up with myself one day when in mood for yummy desert that could be done with what I had on hand.

PearApple-Cinnamon-Custard filled Crumble Cake
I will use grams and milliliters for my ingredients but you can easily convert it to your preferred measurments here 😉

For the cake base/crust you need:

  •  50-80ml (sunflower or any other) oil
  • 75gr sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 sachet of vanilla sugar (or well, your choice of vanilla sugar extract)
  • 150gr flour
  • half a sachet of baking powder

For the filling you need:

  • 4-5 shredded or grated apples and/or pears (as you like and if you want more or less of)
  • 500ml milk
  • a bit of sugar
  • cinnamon
  • 1 bag/sachet of custard powder (or make ‘real proper custard’ following this recipe)

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  1. Mix all the ingredients for the cake base/crust to a smooth dough.
  2. Take half of the amount and spread it out in a springform pan or a baking tin of your choice. Set the other half aside for the crumbles later on
  3. Cook the custard as instructed on the bag/sachet of custard powder or take the still warm ‘real proper custard’ if you made that^^
  4. Add your shredded/grated apples and pears, plus a good amount of cinnamon (to your liking)
  5. Spread all of it out on your cake base/crust in the baking tin
  6. Now take the other half of the dough we made in Step 1. and previously set aside. It should be of such consistency that you can crumble it up in your hand (a bit like damp sand on the beach maybe). Let the crumbles fall onto the  custard filling until it’s almost fully covered.
  7. Put it in the pre-heated oven and let it bake at 200°C for about 50mins. After that look and decide for yourself if it needs a bit more baking time. The crumble-top should be golden or very light brown when it’s done.
  8. Decorate it with some (couverture) chocolate if you like 🙂

apfel zimt

Now……dig in !!!

It’s Halloween – time for ‘Infertility Grumpy Cat’ !!

For this year’s Halloween, I decided to do something I have never done before: I carved a pumpkin!
Not only that, but I carved a ‘special’ Halloween pumpkin, which I want to enter in the “IF Pumpkin Smackdown 2013”.

I decided to do an ‘Infertility Grumpy Cat’ – Pumpkin, because on Halloween, she can celebrate her grumpy-face & hopefully scare the hell out of Infertility – take that, sucker!…ahem…okay, first things first: here’s how it all went down.

pumpkin

I spent about 4-5 hours (!!) working that pumpkin, but everytime I look at that face now…*snickers*…it makes me smile & I feel happy like a child – which makes this a total success for me (^_^)

And now, I proudly present: My ‘Infertility Grumpy Cat’ – Halloween Pumpkin

pumpkinyay

Look at that face!! She’s fierce, and she is grumpy!! She bares her teeth and snarls at infertility saying: “Suck it & go to hell, where my face shall haunt you until the end of time, meaowahahahahah!!!” Or something along those lines…

Now, I’m not a big fan of wasting food, so I decided to make a Pumpkin-Curry-Coconut Soup & roast the pumpkin seeds, because they are full of good stuff like iron, vitamins omega-3 fatty acids and many things more.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!!