Category Archives: Dinner

Resolution for the Not So New Year

I have committed a crime.

Since I have been back at school I have officially been the worst blogger ever. School work, plus not cooking all the time because of other time commitments has made me a blogging-slacker. But the good news is, I miss blogging and I want to blog and I miss the blogging community! So it’s my new resolution!

I have come up with lots of recipes that I want to share, but first and foremost:

I went home a week ago and we had Raclette. If you don’t know what Raclette is, you need to travel to Switzerland and try it. It’s not particularly healthy, so be prepared for a mini heart attack when you look at these pictures. It comes from Switzerland and you only eat it once or twice a year when it is really cold outside. I love it because you cook all of your food yourself and you sit at the table for a long time and no one rushes up to leave or go somewhere.

You put the cheese on the bottom in the little shovel until it bubbles and then you grill whatever you want on the top! My parents had filet and I had some shrimp. My favorite is also pineapple. Once the cheese is done you put it on a potato and eat! I like to make towers with pineapple or peppers or mushrooms. The combinations may sound weird, but they are oh so delicious!

And we had that with a wonderful German white wine:

But I’m getting ahead of myself. When I arrived home on Friday afternoon my mom greeted me with lunch from one of my favorite restaurants in Charlotte: Upstream. If you live in Charlotte and haven’t been, I highly recommend it (especially for lunch). I always either get the Salmon Bento Box or Vegetable “Toban Yaki.” I usually ask for it minus the pasta and with extra vegetables. It also comes with rice, so I only need one side of carbs!

It usually doesn’t have tofu, so it surprised me a little, but every time it’s a little different. Usually it has mushrooms, water chestnuts, fennel, some type of bean, tomatoes…you name it and it’s probably in there!

When I got back to school, I stocked up on grapefruit and other citrus-y goodness. I cannot go a breakfast in the winter without grapefruit. Oatmeal for some, grapefruit for others!

What are everyone’s superbowl plans? My roommate is a Packers fan, so she is rooting for them, and so far so good…but let’s be honest, it’s only the first quarter. I for one, not the biggest football fan myself, enjoyed Lea Michele singing at the beginning! (But I’m not sure how I felt about Christina Aguilera’s hair… thoughts?)

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Lost and Found!

I found it!

And by it, I of course mean my camera cord! Okay, so the problem actually was that the software wasn’t properly installed on my computer anymore and hence the pictures wouldn’t download. However, the problem has been solved!

So now let me take you back in time.

In the middle of October, I went on fall break.  Here are the highlights (yes, they are food related… )

My first grapefruit of the season! I LOVE GRAPEFRUIT SEASON!

Then I came back to school and made Sweet Potato puree with apples, recipe courtesy of my new addiction: The New York Times Recipes for Health page. Here is the link to the recipe if you want to make it! I ate mine with chicken (organic, of course) but it would be a perfect Thanksgiving side dish if some of you are still looking for something to make! New York Times Sweet Potato Puree with Apples

baked apples!

ingredients!

baked sweet potato about to be peeled!

voila!

The finished product! I just blended the apples and sweet potatoes together in my handydandy mixer to make it smooth! I also replaced honey with agave nectar, just because it’s what I had, and it worked well! Delish if you warm it up on the oven a little bit!

I think that’s all for now!

Also, have a mentioned how much I love Autumn in Chapel Hill?

Acorns, Acorn Squash, and Pumpkins

Okay, it’s not quite the season to sing this yet, but I really do think Autumn is the most wonderful time of the year.

I have been at odds with the weather lately, because the leaves are green, it’s in the 80s, and I can’t seem to stop wearing shorts and t-shirts. I am ready for sweater weather!

Last week it started to feel like Fall, but since it has warmed up again. But today the air at least smelled like Fall. It smelled like a mixture of pumpkin spices, yellowing leaves (those that aren’t quite crunchy enough to fall), the smoke from a winter chimney mixed with the smoke from an outside summer BBQ, coffee, acorns, … I could go on and on. Fall has a smell. It’s not like spring, when you hear the birds chirping and smell the flowers and are happy that the weather is getting warmer. It is not the hot, sticky, chlorine-filled smell of summer. It is not the cozy, fire-place mixed with snow smell of winter. It is a smell that is altogether relatively hard to describe. For lack of a better word, it smells like Fall.

Fall makes me nostalgic, more than any other season. I think about how I used to take walks through my neighborhood with my dog, coming back chilled and with rosy cheeks. I think about meeting one of my best friends at the stop sign (we live on the same street at home and that was our designated meeting point—still is, actually, when we are home) to hang out, or P-L-A-Y, as we called it. I think about walking to the library with my class in elementary school and seeing all of the fun, mysterious, spooky Halloween books on the shelves. For some reason I remember really liking Halloween books at that age. I think about decorating my room with cut out pumpkins, witches, and ghosts. I think about roasting pumpkin seeds. I think about singing “C’est L’halloween” in French class. I think about drinking hot chocolate and tea, and wishing that I could already play Christmas music. It reminds me of my childhood, and it makes me realize how much I miss it!

Speaking of Fall, yesterday I  had a very fall-themed day. I had dinner with some friends, and made my mom’s delicious acorn-squash soup. I Love This Soup. I have no picture, because it was demolished before I had a chance to snap it. Pre-dinner, I carved a pumpkin I bought at a Pumpkin Patch on Sunday! I haven’t carved a pumpkin in so long, and realized that I am not too handy with the carving tools. My knife got stuck in the interior of my pumpkin before I had even opened it, and my little guy’s face turned out a little lopsided (even though I went for the easiest face I could have made… oops!)

And finally, just to end the day with a bang, I made Sarah’s wonderful (organic) Pumpkin Bread. It smelled like Fall (yes, I did just say that again) when it was baking in the oven, and tastes delicious! I added some pecans on top just for fun!

What do you love most about the Fall?

Right When You Thought I’d Given Up…

Friends,

I’M BACK!

Please excuse my long absence. I will make up for it with awesome new recipes! As my last post may remind you, I was media fasting, and yes, I admit I have been back in the real world for a while, but life has been crazy! I got back to the USA from my time abroad in Germany, had a few days at home to see friends and family, and then made the road trip back to college!

I loved being in Germany. It’s a second home to me since I have so much family over there. BUT BEING BACK IS AMAZING! I missed my home, my friends, my food, and yes, even my school.  Dorothy may have sounded corny when she said this, but was definitely right: There is no place like home.

Right before I came back, my mom and I went to a health clinic in southern Germany. That was where the picture of the sailboats was from on my last post. It was wonderful. I basically lived off of fennel and a variety of other vegetables, received awesome recipes, lost a few pounds that I had gained (although I hate to admit it) from study abroad, and exercised again, something I sorely missed during my travels. I took cooking classes, turned vegetarian (kind of: I still eat organic meat (mostly chicken) or local meat (again, usually by meat I mean chicken) and I also still eat fish, because let’s face it, I love my weekly does of Salmon and Omega-3), went hiking in the Alps, baked bread, learned how to meditate, and met royalty from Saudi Arabia! I don’t think I have ever been that healthy in my life, because there were doctors and nurses and anyone else you can imagine who can aid you in healthy living.

Here are some highlights in pictures:

One of many delicious meals with an abundance of nutrients but only around 200 calories!

The bread I baked!

My new breakfast staple. Sorry overnight oats, you have moved out of the way for this bad boy. 2 or three Tablespoons of nonfat plain yogurt, flax seed oil or ground flax seeds for the all important omega-3, any type of season fruit (I am currently filling bowl with the last available peaches from the farmer’s market), one tablespoon of oats (yes, while at the clinic I even ground the oats myself!), 5 almonds or a different kind of nut you may like, and one third mushed banana mixed in. DELICIOUS. Unfortunately I will have to give this up soon since summer starting to turn into fall and I will be craving warm oatmeal again.

Hiking in the Alps!

Light Painting with some new friends!

Yes, it was a successful end to the summer. Shortly after returning to the States, my sister and I were finally reunited, and we had a party with our friends. First order of business? Trying out one of my new recipes from the health place! Homemade Vegetarian Spring Rolls! So incredible. I definitely recommend them for any party you are planning to host. And a little selfish side note: everyone will complement you, because no one expects you to home-make spring rolls!

(Sorry this is blurry. My camera is broken. But they are supposed to be sesame seeds roasting away!)

An amalgam of vegetables on the stove!

They may not look impressive, but just wait until you taste them! I will post the recipe tomorrow!

And now I am back at college. I am living off campus this semester, which I am loving because I have a kitchen to continue my cooking, GM-making, oatmeal-eating habits! And I still have Germany partly with me because I ride my bike to school everyday like a true European! It’s actually a nice ride that helps me cool off in the afternoon and wakes me up in the morning. I start the day off feeling like I did something!

And probably the best thing about being back? FRIENDS! I love them all!

This is us before a cocktail! That’s me in the white dress and yes, you recognized correctly. The second on the right is Megan from The Oatmeal Diaries! Reunited at long last! Check out her post from a few week ago! That was the tasty meal we made together! Homemade humus and guac plus some freshly baked break = good friday afternoon!

Okay, that was long, but necessary to catch you up on my life! More regular updates are once again coming!

Hot(t)

Yes, it is still hot, and I spent my day in Starbucks because what can I say, I love a little dose of good old AC!

But that is not the hot that I want to focus on now. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem got married!? How did I miss this? Is there a couple that could be any better looking?! Okay, I guess you could argue many couples… (Ryan Reynolds and Scarlet Johansson, Brad and Angelina and what have you, but still, this is a pretty good match, right?)

Speaking of celebrity news, is anyone else just a little bit sad that The Hills is over? I was never really a watcher, but last summer during a phase of boredom I watched all of the seasons. It’s addicting! And I’m not gonna lie, the ending was cool…

If you click on that pic, you can be a stalker like me and check out all of the The Hills reunion/finale pics! Is anyone else obsessed with Whitney’s dress?

So in the spirit of going out and enjoying my last week in Berlin (and celebrities) I tampered with the smokey eye I look today! Now I just need a good occasion to wear it to and to snap a pic to post! And thanks to Erica at Fashion Meets Food for her help!

Today I slept in and it was wonderful. So to celebrate I had a miniature brunch inspired by Kelsey at Snacking Squirrel. I know I’ve seen this before on someone’s blog, but yesterday it was Kelsey who made it look tasty! Mine doesn’t look quite as pretty, but it was very good! (That’s egg in multigrain bread if you can’t tell!) And I had a peach and a few strawbs!

Since I had a nice brunch there was no need for lunch, so let’s get right to dinner! I had the only thing I could possibly eat in this weather: leftover veggies from last night!! Seriously, even eating makes me sweat. This needs to end! It’s never this hot here in the summer!!

And guess what? Less than a month until I’m back in the USofA! Where there is air conditioning!

Tonight’s Gonna Be A Good Night

So, you know how some nights, no matter what you do, are just good nights?

I had one of those. Since my time in Berlin is coming to an end I am trying to to everything that I can to enjoy the last few days. And it’s not easy, because not only do I have to finished three essays and find time to have fun with friends, but it is about 100 degrees and there is no air conditioning. Yes I had to make that italic and bold because it is almost not doable! (Or maybe I’m  just a wimp…) I took an hour long bath yesterday to cool down and literally while I was still drying and walking around in my underwear I was sweating again. It’s like freshman year of college when I got the crappiest dorm on campus and there was no air conditioning. That and North Carolina’s humid summers and walking up ten million hills (okay not quite that many) to class do not match. And here trying to write three essays when I am sticking to my furniture is not okay either. So where do I spend my day? Good old Starbucks! Because it is American and I therefore knew that there had to be air conditioning! And I actually work well in Starbucks because I study there at home sometimes so it has an “efficient” vibe to it. Although I wrote four pages, about one third of one paper, I realized that I was completely out of ideas and had nothing else to write. Don’t you hate that?! I hope by tomorrow my brain will be refreshed!! And I had downed my iced coffee in the first 5 minutes, so the whole time I was craving another one! But I held it together and just popped a piece of my yummy Orbit Mint Peppermint Spray! You all know how much I like that 🙂

For a little cool off when I got home I ate this wonderful mix of greek yogurt, frozen berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and ribes. Ribes are very common in Germany, but I have no idea about the US…), a shot of milk, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Mmmm. ( I realize that this may not look appitizing, but oh it was!)

But now to the night. I went to my godmother’s, who you all know well from this post and this post, and we had such a nice dinner on her balcony. We talked for four hours and the weather finally did us a favor and turned into a cool night so we even stopped sweating!! And then, to make up for some missed birthdays and Christmases (which wasn’t at all necessary) she told me she was going to sew me two pillow cases and a skirt!! She is very talented, and wears her own skirts all of the time and they are simply adorable. When she finishes and sends it to me I will post a picture! Look at her fabrics!

And although I didn’t take any pics because I was so busy enjoying that I forgot, the food was so refreshing. Perfect summer meal. Tomato and mozzarella salad topped with basil, cantaloupe with prosciutto, and fresh veggies with homemade sauce. She even gave me the rest of the sauce and veggies to eat tomorrow, so I will take it pic then! In the past few weeks have you had a really good night, even if it was just reading or relaxing?

And lastly, I am having so much trouble commenting on everyone’s blogs, so I am really sorry! I have no idea if it is my horrible internet connection or what, but I’m really sorry if I haven’t been commenting! Does anyone else have this kind of a problem/ know how to fix it??

Buenas Noches friends! I am about to go to bed and am sweating again because it is SO HOT. Where is my air conditioning?! Or perhaps just a fan?! Oh the things I look forward to in America!

Nuernberg Weekend Recap part deux

Okay, now for the food part of my weekend! If you go to Nuernberg you must try the Nuernberg Sausages from yesterday’s post! Very tasty! And small, too, so you don’t get too full! And beer. Ohmygoodness. I had lot’s of beer. Once I even had beer at 11:30 in the morning. But I didn’t feel bad becuase every other table to Germans had beer too. Welcome to Southern Germany. But it was hot, and I needed a refreshing cold wonderful beer to cool me down!

This market was truly crazy. When we walked by, they were all yelling “Half price, half price! All fruit half price!” I have never seen people at a fruit market go that crazy!! Naturally, my dad and I bought some apricots and cherries because we couldn’t just walk by and not get anything!!

Doesn’t this papaya look absolutely delisshhh?

My dad!

My dinner on Friday: Salad with olives, tuna, onions, rucola, tomatoes, cucumbers, and an egg. Full load!

My dad had Carpaccio and a tomato and mozarella salad. The resteraunt was called Vapiano. It is an Italian restaurant chain in Germany (I actually think that there may be some in the US), but you wouldn’t know it’s a chain! They make all of the food right in front of you!

Breakfast Saturday and Sunday (I had the same thing except that I only had the cheese bread on the second day)

Needless to say, after a hearty breakfast like that, no lunch was needed! I always forget how much I love scrambled ggs!

Dinner Saturday: Italian, again. Germans love Italian food, so there are lots of really good and not so expensive Italian restaurants all over the place. My dad and I shared appetizers so that we could taste more than one! I rolled back to the hotel after this dinner.

(the above are supposed to be small shrimp incase you can’t recognize it!)

Yes, you counted right. We shared three appetizers. And then, all of a sudden they come out with a salad!! Apparently it came with the fish, but because the fish was a special that day it hadn’t said it anywhere! I couldn’t finish mine, but my Dad finished it for me, so no waisting food happening in our vicinity!

And then the main dish: Fish! In German it is called a Dorade. I have no idea what it is in English… oops!

I was very proud of myself for taking out all the bones so well!

Look at all of the different types of pasta they had!! Crazy!!! And the menu was also cool because it explained where the dishes etc came from! Clever idea!

Yes, I was FULL. No dessert necessary!

And during dinner, what else did we do but watch the Germany-Uruguay game for third place! Germany one! Wooo!

German Goal!!

Trainer Jogi Loewe hugging his players!

Getting their bronze medal!!

Team Pic!

And one last pic of what a wonderful team they are!

I swear, that was the last little bit of world cup news you are getting from me!!

I am very very ashamed to admit, however, that I did have some sugar this weekend 😦 Before I remembered my goal, I ordered a Radler, which is beer mixed with sprite, and had orange juice (not freshly pressed) at breakfast. Fail. But at least I enjoyed it and food-wise I am still going strong! And now that I am back in Berlin, I know I will last for the rest of the time! But it was a very unfortunate moment when I realized what I had done.

Also, today I bought my last jar of white almond butter. It was an embarrassing process because when I was checking out the woman at the cash register said “Oh, so you’re the girl who always buys the almond butter.” I had never seen her before in my life!

Okay, I’m going to go live up my last week in Berlin!!