I know, everyone wants to see spring impressions now. Tulips, Ranunculus, pastel colors… Well I still enjoy the winter, and even though I love spring I am happy to play in the snow! We spent the last weekend in the mountains. A quality time weekend, with dear friends, good conversations, some skiing, slope rides and happy kids! To see them having fun all together (there where seven little people hanging out together), building snow canals and kickers, the sun was going up, even if it was constantly snowing! Being out of the city and watching a clear sky at night with uncountable stars is just such a treat once in a while!
The best thing, there is a girls skiing out weekend ahead of me! Yeah! Three nights of good sleep, skiing with friends without watching the boys (don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to ski with them, especially as our littlest one is doing his first attempts…). I still love the snow! Monday I might change my mind and I am sure, the huge longing for the spring to come can’t be far away… but for now – it is still snowtime! Happy Friday to all of you!
My little blog here is turning 1 year old! It’s hard to believe but it has been a whole year since I started to blog, to photograph, to develop recipes and show them on this site. Time has flown by and there are still a lot of things I want to improve. But I am so happy to run this site as it allows me to play around a bit and also to develop my own style little by little.
We will be in the mountains for the weekend, so here comes my Happy Birthday picture. A remake of the first one on this blog (take a look here), Mango ice-cream sitting on a mini-pavlova and this time I added some fresh berries as a special birthday gift :-)
The ice-cream is made with the blender. I feel a bit bad to keep on talking about it, but I am so fascinated by the power of this machine. I froze two ripe mangos yesterday evening and blended them in the morning with a little bit of passion fruit juice. As the consistency is more like a frozen yoghurt when it comes straight out of the blender, I put it in the freezer for about 4 hours. It was perfect to serve after this time. I write you down the pavlova recipe, it is so easy to do these sweet and crunchy and very delicious treats! It is also a perfect dessert for a dinner party, as you can prepare it ahead and just add the fresh berries and maybe some whipped cream if you want in the end! It always looks fantastic, if you want to impress someone with the dessert, go for it!
What do I want to improve? Well, first of all I want go through the process of branding! I would love to have my very own logo and a design to use on my blog, my upcoming Facebook page and my portfolio page. I will need some help for it as I am not a graphic designer at all. It is big dream though. With the branding, I would love to redesign this blog a bit, although I am still pretty happy with the theme I use. But here and there I want to change something and need to dig deeper into the CSS… We’ll see.
And most of all, I would love to post more often. This probably won’t change for a while, as the time with my little one gets more and more precious. He will start Kindergarten in September, so I want to spend an amazing summer with him! I can see us two spending hours in the garden or swimming pool rather then writing another post…. Everything has it’s time, hasn’t it?
Reviewing the year I am still amazed by the development I made with my photography. I don’t know if it is ok to say so, but I really feel kind of proud about the change that happens in these twelve months… And I know I am repeating myself but again I have to thank Christina and the amazing workshops I did with her. From the moment I started to learn with her I improved my photography skills rapidly. And the networks I got from the workshops are such a huge source of inspiration and everyone is so encouraging – I am so, so happy about it! Thank you ladies for all your support, for all the kind words, all ideas you had to different questions I asked…
I am curious what is about to happen in the next year! Happy birthday my little blog and Happy Friday to all of you!
I am not a believer in Valentines Day! Sorry to say it because I know for a lot of people it is an important day and they love to prepare and celebrate it. You just have to look around in the blogger world and everything seems to be pink and red and full of hearts these days. Don’t get me wrong I love pink and I love romance…
So here is my version of a valentines present: I decided we should have a burger BBQ in our little garden and what should I say, it turned out great! We made a fire and had the most delicious burgers in a while, and a my love is as huge burger fan. It was a perfect valentines gift, don’t you think? With a benefit for all of us, because we had so much fun preparing and lightning the fire, to break some huge ice chunks out of the water reservoir. We found the first little snowdrops, and my heart made jumps, from now on, our garden will bring us flowers till the end of November… Sometimes maybe only a single one, but nature is waking up, even though there is still some snow covering most parts of the garden…
I brought some of my homegrown pea sprouts with me, because I could see them on my burger since waking up in the morning. Speaking of my microgreen project, I have to say that beside daikon, radish and arugula, the pea sprouts are my favorites! I mean take a look, they look georgeus, they are easy to grow and they taste delicious! Please, give it a try and start to grow your own vitamins on your window bench.
Beside my microgreen enthusiasm, I brought simple buns, and basic burger ingredients, like onions, cucumber, lettuce and of course avocado! Since I had my first avocado burger in Haleiwa at Kua ‘Aina, I need avocado on a decent burger! Maybe it is because it was on one of the most romantic, beautiful and heart filling holidays I ever went, when I felt in love with avocado burgers and of course Hawaii… I guess who ever has been to the North Shore of Hawaii wants to return one day! At least I want to! No need to say I was there with the love of my life who had the honor to eat these tasteful burgers with me today :-). Happy Valentines!
Snowdrops are coming out, the first sign of spring? I would say not really, it is a winter flower for me, which makes it even more special. I mean it is such a tender little flower, but strong enough to fight it’s way through the snow, to resist the ice-cold winds and come back every year! Real beauties, I think!
The rubber boots are waiting for the little feet to run through the garden and to do some real work, like digging over the earth in the vegetable beds… But for now, everything is still frozen and sleeping underneath the snow. But every winter follows a spring – it will be really welcome!
To be honest I wanted to post something more substantial today. Something where you really have to bite, where you need your teeth and mouth muscles… But in the end, time was to limited again, and as I had a beautiful Açai-bowl this week… We were visited by an old friend who we hadn’t seen for 9 (!) years. He was asking what he could bring from the US, and I ordered all kind of funny powders (açai, lucuma, mac, cacao…) You can get them in Germany too, but not as easy and way more expensive. So I was overexcited to have all the cool healthy hipster powders to start my brand new blender career for real :-). In the next moment our friend took out a huge bag of crazy american junk fod for the boys! Just to make sure they also have some fun and not only green smoothies… Hilarious!
Açai is a Brazilian berry, it grows on palms in Central- and South America. It is one of the very famous “superfoods” and there was a huge wave of Açai recipes a while ago. Açai is loaded with antioxidants, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It contains an optimal combination of essential amino acids – a super fruit! And with a taste between bitter chocolate and blueberries it is even very yummy! Açai-bowls were especially famous in Brazil, Hawaii and California but now you can probably find them everywhere.
The easiest way to get them is as freeze-dried powder and it is very easy to use. But there are also frozen purees around and sometimes you can find them as dried fruit as well. I am happy with the powder and it worked fine for my recipe. I had my Açai-bowl for lunch (good the kids sometimes don’t know everything!). To make it a real meal I added half an avocado which also makes it incredibly creamy. So I used 1/2 banana, 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup frozen mixed blueberries and raspberries, 2tbsp Açai powder, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 avocado, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice. Put everything in your blender until smooth and top it with anything you like. I had some pieces of banana with it, but feel free to top it with hemp seeds, coconut flake, fresh berries, granola… The recipe makes 2 bowls, so my kids were happy for a little snack when coming home from kindergarten and school!
But to give you at least a little bit of crunchy food, I topped my bowl with a homemade gluten free and grain free granola! I found the recipe here on the blog “Dagmars kitchen” another food blog I really admire. So many beautiful inspirations. I had to vary a bit in the recipe as I only had walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts at home, but that is the fun part about cooking, right? Trying out different recipes and vary with ingredients to find your favorite flavor in the end! What I really loved about this recipe is the time it takes to make it. That might sound strange, but we are so often in a rush and just trying to be as fast and as effective as possible that I found it kind of calming to soak the nuts first for a night and then bake them slowly for several hours at a low temperature, to make sure all the great nutritions stay unaffected by the heat.
I got so many beautiful flowers, I thought I share them with you! I alway wait till the beginning of February to buy all these beauties. Or in my case I am lucky to get the first batch for my birthday each year.
I even like anemones and tulips when they start to wither. There fragility is even more visible then and I love the contrast to the snowy outside we have at the moment. And ranunculus belong to my favorite flowers anyway. They are beautiful standing on their own or in a bouquet. You can get them in all different colors but you can see my favorites here. I guess someone knew my preferences :-).
And take a look at this bouquet. Isn’t it romance in perfection? Roses, ranunculus, pink and white broom and all these lovely greens! I wish it would keep fresh forever!
This bag was also a present. And I love the quote. I mean there are so many easy ways to do something good each day. A smile to a friend or stranger on the street, avoiding plastic bags while shopping vegetables and fruits (and anything else of course…), to listen carefully to a story your kids or friends are telling you, to write a postcard instead of an e-mail…I mean there are endless possibilities, we just don’t take the time every now and then and this bag is going to remind me to do a lot of tiny little good moments each day!
Another week past by. I spent a lovely evening with friends to celebrate my birthday. Surprisingly the evening ended early in the morning, at around 5am! There were just to lovely people, good drinks and nice conversations around to go to bed.
So when my boys woke me up on my birthday itself, I was still feeling a bit slow (only a bit of course!!). My youngest one was so excited to open the packages with me and to see what was in them – it was hilarious to watch him being overexcited! We had a piece of the best chocolate cake and then decided to go for a walk. It was a chilly but sunny Sunday morning and we took of to let the wind blow away the dizziness in our heads – kids were not dizzy at all though! But the Theresienwiese, were the famous Oktoberfest takes part in September, is during the year a peaceful place to let the boys run…
Coming home I had to start using my new blender. Finally I upgraded, and those who know me know that I love machines! That might sound weird, but it is the truth! I love my sewing machine, as much as my embroidery machine, as much as my cutting machine, as much as my kitchen aid, as much as my juicer, as much as… And while we crashed the old blender during making excessive but delicious homemade food gifts for Christmas, we were in urgent need for a new one!! I only had it for a few days now, but I love it! So the mission was to make a delicious smoothie to kick off a true love between the blender and my family! There is nothing easier to boost your energy and your immune system then with a simple smoothie. So the first one was to spoil the kids, sweet and creamy. Just frozen bananas, mango, pineapple and a bit of water. Yummy! The second one – the immune booster- was with pink grapefruit, pineapple, mango and of course fresh ginger. To add some more really tasteful vitamin C I added one passion fruit. Kids were sipping once and then decided to go with the sweet not grapefruity version – but me and my love just indulged it!
So thank you everyone for all the good thoughts, the moments we spent together in the last year, the incredible cool presents and most of all the friendship we are sharing! I am excited to start into a new year and I am thinking about writing a bucket list for it, have you ever written one? I already said it once, I am a huge fan of lists, so why not write one down with the goals and wishes for my last year before I turn forty :-)? I think it really helps to nail down some things I really want to make “real” soon. The only thing that keeps me from doing it, is the fear not to succeed. But hey, I truly believe that often the way to reach a goal or wish is the most important part of the journey and what comes out in the end is not that important.
I hope you will have a happy Friday with an immun booster smoothie! And by the way, Christina just opened her registration for her new workshop. I am sure she will top herself, so jump on if you are in any doubt of doing it!!
It is birthday season in our house, my mom, then our littlest one and I will follow on Sunday. And as well it is flue season. Almost half the people I know are lying down in bed at the moment, so I keep drinking tons of ginger tea and ginger-carrot-beetroot-juice. We eat soups, of course infused with ginger and we squeeze oranges and grapefruits everyday in hope to give the kids an extra immun boost (and they love to squeeze the juicy fruits).
In between birthday cakes and snowy days, the sun came out for a couple of hours, and I had a huge longing for a fresh but also filling salad. I was to lazy to go shopping so I took what was in the fridge and ended with a smoked salmon potato salad with mozzarella and snow peas, topped with some homegrown microgreens. Yummy! Accompagnied with some horse radish crème fraîche it did the trick for me. You won’t need a recipe to do it, just cook some potatoe and snow peas, and combine them with mozzarella chunks, smoked salmon and some lemon filets. Microgreens of your choice on top, two spoons of horse radish mixed with some crème fraîche and that’s it! Happy Friday!
Do you know the feeling when your perception starts getting interested in one thing and then you can see it all around? That is what happened to me with microgreens. Since I was using it on the green pea soup last time, I kind of fell in love with them and started to grow them on our window sill. I planted all different kinds and most of them turned out really well. Especially daikon, arugula and radish are fast and easy to grow. In around ten days you can start to harvest and imagine how kids love to watch the little plants grow. The rest of the seeds I used take a bit longer, I hope I will write a post over the whole microgreens story soon, because they are healthy and beautiful and tasty and so easy to grow. And especially in wintertime it makes me feel happy to see the tiny little plants grow on my window sill. It is mandatory that you have to speak to them and almost treat them like family members – before you eat them :-)
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!
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!
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…
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!
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.
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! While 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!
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?