Happy Friday and something green

I know I am repeating myself, but if the weather is grey and the days are short, we have to add color to our lives! So today we will switch from orange to green and eat some delicious green pea soup, made with coconut milk and fresh mint. I used frozen peas, due to the season and for that reason this soup was made within minutes. Seriously you can make this beautiful, yummy and healthy soup in no time. Kids usually love the sweetness of fresh green peas, and so did my oldest and my youngest son. Not the middle one though he is a tough one with vegetables. But I am not giving up, still hoping that the day will come when he also starts to love greens….(Ok, for a little 6 year old boy who is not eating any green food, this soup was probably a bit to advanced…. but it was worth a try;-)). And the rest of the family loved it! So happy Friday and add something green to your life today!

Green Pea soup with microgreens

green pea soup with mint and microgreens

green pea soup with mint and microgreens

micro greens

green pea soup with mint and microgreens

 

You can find the recipe here. Green kitchen stories is a beautiful blog, full of inspiring and delicious recipes! Always worth to take a look!

Happy Friday and Citrus Fruit Salads

When the days keep staying grey outside, it is time to eat citrus fruits! The vitamin C helps to improve our immune system and the essential oils help to brighten up our mood. There are so many variations to eat or drink citrus fruits, juices, smoothies, cakes, salads and, and, and! Here are two recipes I like, one savory, one sweet.

I was looking at our fridge to combine the Orange-Fennel-Salad and it turned out very good. Orange and fennel always work good together and the Granny Smith apple blended perfectly in. To add some heat to the salad I chopped red chili, it will warm you up from inside! To smooth the spiciness a bit I added avocado and to round everything up I sprinkled some mint over it. I took it easy and just added some clementine juice, a bit of finely chopped garlic, salt and pepper and a few drops of olive oil instead of a heavy dressing. But feel free to play around…orangesUntitled-1apple orange fenel
citrus fruits and apple

I really love the texture of this salad. It is crispy (fennel and apple) and smooth and juicy with one bite, mmh. And aren’t the colors just smiling at you? It seems like it is color therapy, aroma therapy and yummy food all in one!

fenel orange saladcitrus fruits

The sweet salad is a combination out of all kind of different citrus fruits. I used, oranges, blood oranges, clementines, yellow and pink grapefruit and pink pomelo. So this is Citrus Love! And as pomegranate is still in season and just so, so beautiful, I couldn’t resist to sprinkle some over the salad. The pistachios and young mint leaves make a nice color change and taste really good with the citrus fruits.

citrus salad

I served a greek yoghurt dressing with the salad. Just combine some honey and a tiny little bit of cumin with plain greek yoghurt and enjoy it along the citrus salad. If you want you can sprinkle some cinnamon on top of it, also very tasty! citrus salad with yoghurtWhile I am writing this post the sun is coming out! It is amazing how everything looks easier with the brightness of the sun! But with this two recipes you can always bring some beautiful sunny colors to your table, even in the darkest winter moment! So Happy Friday to you and enjoy the weekend!

 

Wax flower love

Each year in January I fall in love with wax flowers. Do you know these little beauties? The look is so fragile and tender although they tend to stay fresh forever. I love to put them in little vases, like this you can have little bouquets in every room  just with a few branches. Three or four branches in one vase look amazing too, you get an airy look, perfect for this time of the year. The little flowers always seem to smile at me, seriously they make me happy!

We had a warm and really sunny day yesterday. It almost felt like spring and I spent the day with my two younger boys in the zoo. It was so good to feel the sun in my face, to escape a little bit from the grey and dark hours we mostly have at the moment. I am so thankful my son forced me to take my bike and pedal to the zoo, it was a pleasant half an hour ride, I really enjoyed it. This morning we are back to grey. We are back to some rain and it never got bright today. So it was time to bring in the wax flowers to cheer me up! Take a look, do you like them as much as I do?

my favorite winter flowersIMG_0003wax flowersbeautiful wax flowers

wax flowers in little vaseswax flowers, always beautifulwax flowerswax flowers

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Happy Friday and Happy New Year

I know I am a bit late, but Happy New Year to all of you! I hope you had a fantastic start  into this year 2015. I enjoyed the time off with my family, we finished the boys room and it came out amazing! It was a lot of work and we really had to give a lot of energy into this project, but seeing the happiness and the pride in the boys faces makes every moment worth it! We all love the room already it gives a totally different feeling to the whole apartment. We had one 6th birthday to celebrate, we did our traditional trip to the zoo the 24th of December and had a great time with friends there. The sun was shining, the kids where playing 5 hours outside in the air and like this we had a very cozy Christmas Eve. The time was followed with lovely family gatherings, good food (or should I say huge feasts?), with fun moments in the snow, a trip to my hometown Heidelberg and like this the time flew by like nothing. To wake up at 6:30h yesterday morning was a bit of a shock: “What? Time to get up? School, kindergarten, play-group, work? ” But well, as everything there are always two sides and although in one way it is kind of sad to come back to all the daily routines, it is on the other side nice to start everything over again.

Are you guys fans for good intentions at the beginning of a new year? I still like to think about it and to take a few decisions. With the Jumpstart Workshop in my head, I try to write them down with dates, to motivate myself. Deadlines are scary, but they also force me to step out of my comfort zone in order to reach my goals. My head is still full of ideas, of pictures which aren’t taken yet, with words which aren’t written yet. So one of my main goals in 2015 is to learn how to focus, how to get ideas straight and make them real. I want to find my very own balance between work and family life, without forgetting myself in the whole process. So writing down my intentions/goals/visions and to start prioritizing them wasn’t easy at all, but I will take one step after the other and I am really looking forward to 2015!

Happy Friday, Happy New Year from the bottom of my heart to you. May all your dreams and visions become clear and true, may 2015 be a happy, successful, bright and shiny year for you and your family!

snow greetings

Happy Friday and Frohes Fest!

Frohes FestTake a look what I found in the web… This lovely little bird, designed by Fee who has a very inspiring blog: Fee ist mein Name. You can download the bird here, and I used some stamps to pimp it my way. I had so much fun doing it, and I love to send our Christmas greetings with the bird to our family and friends. Thank you Fee for this beautiful little cards!

So Christmas is almost here! We have a birthday to celebrate before, and we are still remodeling the boys room, so there is a lot of action in the house. I try to do everything step by step, because otherwise I have the feeling it is not doable… Tonight the gingerbread house is on the plan, I can’t wait to start decorating it. I meet with friends since a few years to do it together and it is a brilliant little Christmas tradition. Tomorrow we will go out to cut our tree, another tradition i love. And the boys do to! Unfortunately we have no snow, it is green outside, it is even a sunny day… I hope you are all in a good Christmas flow and not to stressed! Have a Happy Friday and a Frohes Fest!

Happy Friday with more Christmas Cookies

I hope you all enjoy a Happy Friday! We had a little Christmas party at the kindergarten today, so I decided to show you some rockstar cookies, my boys made recently! I love how colorful they are, and although there is no snow in sight here in Munich, we have a little snowman with us…

christmas cookiesI am late with my decoration this year, but one thing I love to have is a tiny little tree in a jar. I can almost feel the joy of kids playing with the little animals, it made me happy to find this deer family within all the other animals who live in a basket in the boys room… They are made to stand right next to my “tree” and the boys were generous enough to lend them to me for a little while.

Spitzbuben

These cookies, called “Spitzbuben” are very famous with my husband and my oldest son, so I have to keep them away sometimes. There are not many left but I guess it is a good sign for the baker, right?

cookie timeLinzertörtchen – also very delicious and this is a cake you can make all year round. But I love it most around Christmas. I normally do one big cake, but this year I wanted to have some give aways for some lovely people around us, and so I split the dough to make little cakes. I hope I will be able to share the recipe soon, but this Friday will end in 10 minutes, german time, so honestly I need to go to bed!

LinzertorteWe are desperately waiting for snow! So we made some coconut cookies to give the polar bears something to play with… The days have been more or less grey, only today we had some sun and I just thought how beautiful light can be! Alright three minutes left on this Happy Friday! This was a last minute post…. Good night!

winter cookies

Happy Friday with Risotto!

So what happened to my royal icing post? To be honest, I need more time to write and shoot a post about such a wonderful theme. We had a really nice backing afternoon last Friday, it was a joy to teach. At around 6pm my boys came home and we were still decorating with all kind of different icings. Can you imagine how their eyes started to glow? I couldn’t count until two and the 2 older ones were sitting right next to us and started to decorate. And seriously, I was impressed how concentrated and focused they were working. They even used my tweezers to put tiny little golden pearls on their cookies and the results were outstanding cool! Unfortunately it was really dark already and I couldn’t get a nice picture before we packed them away. They are on their way to be a little christmas surprise somewhere far away from here… psst surprise!

We spend the rest of our weekend remodeling the boys room. We painted it (and that meant to get all their stuff from their room to our living room where we literally couldn’t do a step in then. Toys, toys, toys…) We rebuilt a bunk bed, and there is one to follow and there was no more time to plan and photograph my royal icing post. I got quiet sad about it, when I realized my whole week is full of appointments and I won’t have a chance to work on it. And there are so, so many things I want to do.! Especially the weeks before Christmas are ALWAYS to short, don’t you think? I want to take time to celebrate this time of the year with my family, to sit down, light a candle, eat cookies, drink hot chocolate. I want to craft with my two older boys, which is quiet a challenge, regarding that our youngest wants to do everything they do… I want to have time to think about little presents, to think about how we can spread the love… I don’t want to feel stressed because of Christmas being around the corner. So I decided to focus on my family for the next weeks, and this means there won’t be all the lovely, long and full of picture posts I have in mind. But that’s ok. Next year, I’ll be better prepared.

I am recently taking part of Christina Greves Jumpstart 2015 online workshop. You all know I already took 2 of her workshops this year, but this one is not only about photography. It is about getting ready for an excellent and successful and happy year 2015. Christina is not only an amazing photographer, she is a brilliant coach. She talkes about self-confidence, about what purpose we want to have in this life and as well about those embarrassing things like business plans! And you know what? She does it in a way, that I really have the feeling I can do it. I never thought something like:” ok that sounds good and easy for you, but how should I make it?”. No! Christina is honest enough to tell us how difficult things can be, and how often we need to add another scoop of becoming active  to let our dreams come true. But while I am listening to her I really feel that I can do this. We do have homework, there are a lot of worksheets to complete. And it is amazing how important it is to write goals, feelings, actions down! It gives them a totally different value and I really have to think about all the lessons and all the information. So a big thank you to Christina, who actually is teaching more than 1000 women in this workshop for free.

Ok, I have one picture and two recipes for you today:

A Pinenut-Porcino-Risotto and a Winter PestoPine nut Risotto

Pine nut and Porcino Risotto!
 
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Comfort food at its best!
Author:

Ingredients
  • dry ingredients:
  • 60 g pine nuts
  • 20 g dried tomatoes
  • 15 g dried porcinos
  • 2 tablespoons dried soup greens
  • 250 g risotto-rice
  • 1 g saffron
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary needles
  • 1 teaspoon Fleur de sel
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • fresh ingredients:
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion
  • 1 glove of garlic
  • 800 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 40 g fresh ground parmesan

Instructions
  1. For the Risotto Mix:
  2. Roast the pine nuts in a pan without oil until golden
  3. Cut the tomatoes in fine stripes
  4. Cut the portions in small pieces
  5. Mix all dry ingredients together. this is also a perfect little gift!
  6. To cook:
  7. Dice the shallots and roast in the heated olive oil until slightly golden.
  8. Add the risotto mix and stir for 1 minute
  9. Slowly add the vegetable stock, just as much as needed to let the rice boil
  10. Constantly stir and add vegetable stock as soon as more liquid is needed.
  11. This procedure will take about 20 minutes.
  12. The risotto should be creamy but not overcooked.
  13. Add parmesan and serve immediately
  14. If you want add a teaspoon of the red pesto to each portion, it tastes delicious together.

 

For the red pesto mix together 100 g of chopped walnuts, 80 g of dried tomatoes in oil (dripped off), 2 gloves of garlic, 1 bunch of parsley, 40g fresh ground parmesan, 120ml Olive oil, salt and pepper. It is easiest to use a food processor, otherwise just try to cut everything as small as possible! Put in a clean container and stored in the fridge, the pesto will keep fresh for 3 weeks. Always cover it with oil!

This is excellent autumn and winter food,try it out and have a happy Friday!

 

Happy Friday

Happy Friday Cookie

 

I will teach a little class of Christmas cookies bakery and decorating this Friday afternoon with two ( I am sure) lovely ladies. Lucky me! I am already thankful to be able to share something I really love and admire. Christmas bakery is a highlight in my “bakery year”. It helps me to come through the dark afternoons and evenings. And as I told you already, I always remember the good time I spend with my grandmother. She died to early so some memories are only vague, but no one can ever steel the feeling I dive in while smelling the sweet and most delicious flavors while baking “Gutzels”. Over the years there were a lot of different recipes I tried, and there are still more about to come… As much as I love the traditional cookies from my family, I love to try out something new! So decorating cookies with colorful icing was defiantly nothing my grandma did! But it is so much fun, and I will show you my favorite royal icing recipe and techniques soon. I just have to prepare now for the afternoon… Have a happy Friday!

Christmas Cookies Part III – Springerle

 

SpringerleA lot of people love Springerle, an aniseed flavored Christmas cookie – and a lot of people are really scared to bake them by themselves. But to be honest, you won’t need any witchcraft to succeed, just a beautiful Springerle mold, time and as always a lot of love while doing it. It is essential to dry the unbaked cookies overnight, or at least 12 hours before baking. Otherwise the beautiful patterns will not stay stable and run away in the heat. Well done Springerle need to “pop-up” during baking in order to get a little foot, in german we say they need to jump and that is also where the name is from (“little jumper”).

Springerle There are a lot of recipes with aniseeds or aniseed extract in the dough. For my taste this is to intense, so I prefer to just set the cookies on a greased and aniseed sprinkled baking tray. But this is a bit up to your taste, just try it out. While rolling out, work with small amounts of the dough, so the moisture stays inside. Take care to finely dust the molds with flour, to get sharp pictures and to be able to lift the mold without destroying the pattern. Cut the dough into pieces.

SpringerleThe baked biscuits are hard. Put them into a tin can, best with a ripe (but not to aromatic) apple for 2 – 3 weeks until they “ripe” and get tender. Springerle are little beauties! You will always get a “wow” for nicely made Springerle so don’t be scared, just try it out! They also make a beautiful small gift, if you are invited for a tea afternoon during advent season.

Springerle

homemade Springerle

SpringerleOne word to my recipes. I know, it would be much easier and a lot more convenient to a lot of you, if I would not only write in grams and millimeters… I am a bit of a perfectionist and I really want to do it soon, but it is a big step for me, to just write the recipes down like it is now. Normally I would not even start doing something, I know it won’t be perfect. So I am quiet happy I am ignoring this feeling and posting the pictures and recipes anyway, although they are not “perfect”.

 

Christmas Cookies Part III – Springerle
 
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A classic german Christmas cookie
Author:
Recipe type: Christmas cookies
Cuisine: bakery

Ingredients
  • 4 eggs (220g without egg shells)
  • 500g extra fine sugar
  • fresh zests of one lemon
  • 500g flour all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon aniseeds
  • butter for the baking tray

Instructions
  1. Divide the eggs into the whites and the yolk.
  2. Whisk the whites
  3. Slowly add sugar and egg yolks and whisk until the sugar dissolved
  4. Add the fresh lemon zests and the flour
  5. Knead the dough and put it into the refrigerator for 2 hours
  6. Take the still slightly sticky dough and roll it out on flour so that it is 8-10 mm thick.
  7. Lightly dust with flour. The dough feels very smooth.
  8. Now press the finely dusted mold evenly into the dough.
  9. Cut out the pattern with a knife or pastry roller.
  10. Place on a baking tray that has been buttered and sprinkled with the aniseeds.
  11. After a drying period of 12-24 hours (room temperature), bake the Springerle at approx. 150-160ºC at the very bottom of the oven for about 12-15 minutes. Be careful not to overbake them, they should remain white (you can put some tinfoil on top as soon as they start to darken in order to keep them nice and bright).

 

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Happy Friday

winter branch

Life has been faster then me… The friday christmas cookie post is not yet written, and as I will have a girls only week end with two of my best friends, this has to wait until next week. I am so sorry, but I decided rather to wait and to write the post with some time and not to rush. I guess you all know that feeling, when your head is almost exploding and full of ideas and then there is just not enough time to do all of it. So I wish you all a lovely friday and week end!

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