Month: May 2017

Broke Girls & Berry Desserts

Broke Girls & Berry Desserts

Today I had a bad day. I was really frustrated about my financial situation. I chose to do what I love, and that gives me a lot of freedom. But it comes at the cost of not earning well. At least while

you are starting out. And that is what I am doing. After crying a lot this afternoon, I feel much better. I sobbed the way I used to when I was little. Loud, for sure not pretty, and uncontrollable. After a while, I ran out of tears.

I haven’t figured out this making money thing at all so far. And I am desperately trying to change this. So instead of pretending, I decided to take you with me on my journey to success. Let’s see where this road will take me…

On a happier note, let’s talk about this pink, and cheerful picture. This friendly strawberry dessert is the perfect treat on a hot, and sunny summer day. It is so refreshing, and super easy to make. Here is what you need:

600 g fresh strawberries

200 g heavy whipping cream

Powdered sugar, to taste

10 g Agar (vegetarian gelatin)

Fresh blueberries, for garnish

Add the strawberries to a blender, and mix until you have a smooth puree. Then take about a third of this mixture, and add it to a stainless steel pan.  Set the remaining amount aside.

Now add the agar to the pan with the strawberries, and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute. Make sure the agar has dissolved completely.

Then remove the mixture from the heat and add it to the other part of the strawberry puree that hasn't been cooked. Stir well. Set aside. Whip the whipping cream to stiff peak.

Now add the whipped cream, and the powdered sugar to the strawberry-agar mixture. Make sure the mixture is at room temperature, before you do so.

Combine super well, and fill the mixture into little bowls, and place them into the fridge until they set. Usually this takes about 1 or 2 hours. Once that’s done, add the blueberries. 

Love, Peppa.

Movie Night & Vegan Popcorn

Movie Night & Vegan Popcorn

My boyfriend is out of town, and I am home alone. So these days my buddy Netflix, and I get to hang out a lot in the evening. I tend to feel lonely when he goes on trips by himself, but binging my favorite shows helps to 

bring life, and laughter to these silent nights. So this goes out to all the other codependent boys, and girls out there. HERE ARE 5 SHOWS that bring the fun back to being home alone:

1.Designated Survivor: This show is one of the best, if not the best show out there right now. Kiefer Sutherland returns to the screen, and rocks as the leader of the white house. The suspense is almost unbearable, and the cast is fantastic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_f1v0Nx5Sw

2.Better Things: This is a real feel good show, that depicts the daily struggle of a single mom making a living while raising 3 girls. If you loved Runcle’s wife Marcy in Californication, you will love Pamela Adlon even more in this quirky, funny drama. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UivyT8nZVx8

3.Love: Boys, and girls equally enjoy this show. The story depicts the beginning stages of the relationship between Mickey, a girl with issues, and Gus, a nerdy boy with little experience in the lady’s department. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym3LoSj9Xj8&t=67s

4.Parenthood: I love this show so much. It is a real feel good show. Set in Berkeley, California, this show brings you instant happiness. If you miss Gilmore Girls, then Parenthood is what you need, since Lauren Graham is part of the cast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_cblVvo5bg

5.Thirteen Reasons Why: This show revolves around the life, and death of Hannah Baker, and the mystery that goes on at her high school. At first I was not sure if I wanted to watch this show but I gave it a try, and soon was hooked. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JebwYGn5Z3E

What goes great with movie night? Right - popcorn! So here’s my quick, and easy recipe for homemade kettle corn:

1 Tbsp sunflower oil

¼ cup white sugar

¼ cup dried corn kernels

Add the oil, and the sugar to a pan, and mix well. Then add the corn, and set the heat to medium. Cover the pan with a lid, and occasionally stir so that the sugar doesn’t burn. It will take a couple of minutes until the corn starts to pop. Once that happens, wait half a minute, then remove the pan from the heat.

Once the corn stopped popping, remove the lid, and add the kettle corn to a bowl. Don’t open the lid too early, since sugar gets much hotter than water, and popping corn could burn your skin. Also: Remove any unpopped corn kernels before you start eating to avoid toothache. All done! Enjoy!

Love, Peppa.

5 Minute Creamy Tomato Soup

5 Minute Creamy Tomato Soup

Cooking can take up so much of your time during a work week. And honestly, this often stresses me out. I am sure a lot of you guys feel the same. Let’s be real, who has the time or the energy

after a busy day at work to prepare ultra-fancy, complicated meals? I for sure don’t… Spending hours in the kitchen after I just got done with work doesn’t work for me. I like to pour myself a glass of red wine, turn my favorite Netflix show on, and be a lazy girl after being productive all day. Now you probably think: Why is she saying this, after all she has a food blog, and went to culinary school?

Well, here is the answer: I love eating! Everything about a beautiful plate full of flavorful things excites me. However, this doesn’t automatically mean I love spending tons of hours in the kitchen washing, peeling, and chopping up onions, parsley, carrots and the other members of the veggie family. I am in love with the result, not necessarily with the time intense process that is involved.

Also, cleaning up that huge mess afterwards is not compatible with an impatient personality like mine. To my boyfriend's disappointment, I can get quite cranky when I am hungry. Therefore, speed is of utter importance if I want to calm this brewing storm inside of me. So, rather than the cooking process itself, it was my passion for eating that inspired me to start a food blog.

Your days are probably just as long, and busy as mine. So I am sure most of you also don't feel the urge to make love to a peeler, or a chopping board once you finally made it home... Therefore, I thought sharing my super yummy 5 minute creamy tomato soup recipe will delight a lot of hungry, impatient bellies out there:-) Here is what you need: 

790 g (27,9 oz) canned tomatoes, pureed

400 g (14,1 oz) heavy whipping cream (30 % fat)

80 g (2,8 oz) Grada Padano (or Parmesan), finely grated

3 ½ tsp sugar

5 tsp salt, or a bit less if desired

6 tsp sunflower oil

Using a blender, puree the tomatoes. Then add the mixture to a stainless steel pan, and add the oil. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir very well until everything is combined. Make sure the cheese does not form lumps, and incorporates well. Let the soup simmer for 2 minutes. Voila, all done! Have fun with this yummy, fast recipe!

Strawberry Milk (Vegan)

Strawberry Milk (Vegan)

I am a summer child. I was born on a hot, and sunny day in June. Summer has always been my favorite season, and I feel like life is at its best during those hot, and steamy magical months. Despite my

sunny, bubbly personality, I tend to get anxiety but being exposed to the sun helps in feeling less anxious. There are plenty of articles that talk about the sun’s boosting effects on our Serotonin levels, so I am not the only one who experiences this peace of mind that comes with a bundle of sun rays.

As you all know, I love to travel but during the summer the urge to travel gets even greater. Even as a kid I couldn't wait for our annual trip to the States. I remember how I loved picnicking with the whole family at Oregon’s Mirror Lake.

I was especially entertained by all the chipmunks that went about their business while we were keeping them, and their peaceful lake company. One day I got a bit too excited about these cute, little creatures, and had to pay the local hospital a visit. I got bitten by one of my little friends, and had to put on a brave face since an unappreciated Tetanus shot was on the way. Needles were not at the top of my list as a third grader.

Going camping was another wonderful, outdoorsy summer tradition of my family. One time we even traveled the whole country in our happy, lively RV. This was so fun, and at 4 years I was just old enough to remember it. Our travel group was quite big, and consisted of my grandma, and grandpa, my two little cousins, my uncle, and aunt, my mom, and my dad, my two brothers, and me.

The best part of that road trip was seeing South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore. I couldn’t wrap my little Peppa mind around the fact that someone could create such beauty. Even as a big Peppa, I still am in awe that Mr. Borglum, and his son Lincoln were able to pull off this stunning masterpiece in 1925.

Today it is May 17th, and summer has started to work its magic again. Summer also arrived in my kitchen since I recently rekindled my love affair with strawberries. I am highly addicted to these sweet, and pretty vitamin c boosters. One of the things my mom used to make for me as a kid was raspberry milk. I loved it when she made this refreshing treat for me.

So as tribute to these childhood memories, and my latest strawberry addiction, I replaced the raspberries with strawberries and made a generous amount of delicious strawberry milk. I used organic soy milk instead of regular milk to turn this into a delicious vegan version. It was just what I craved, and it hit the spot perfectly. It is one of the easiest things to make, Here's the recipe:

380 g (13,4 oz) fresh strawberries  

180 g (6,3 oz) soy milk (organic)

3 tsp maple sirup (amount depends on how sweet your strawberries are)

Add all the ingredients to a blender, and mix until smooth. There you go, all done:-) Easy right?

Love, Peppa.

Life in Florence…

Life in Florence…

Traveling has been a big part of my life since I was a little nugget. Until today it remains one of my greatest passions. So far, I’ve lived in five different countries. One of them was Italy. It all started

a few years back… I used to be in love with a doctor. One day he received an offer to work in Tuscany. He happily accepted, and we packed our bags. We arrived to a simple, old fashioned apartment on a charming, lively, little street in Florence. Via San Gallo… Italy welcomed us with plenty of sunshine, and a bottle of Chianti. This adventure was off to a great start.

The whole country was in a celebratory mood since the soccer world cup had just begun. We quickly learned, that life in Italy was much more carefree, and full of joy.People didn’t constantly stress about their careers, they just lived! It felt great being part of this free, and happy culture.

I loved that the streets were noisy at night, when I went to sleep with my window wide open. This country wasn’t only easy on the eyes it was also easy on the heart. We loved exploring this fabulous city together. I highly recommend visiting Florence, it has so much to offer. If you choose this romantic city as your next travel destination, here are 5 MUST SEE'S:

Duomo di Firenze: This beautiful old cathedral is the highlight of the city. It is absolutely stunning, and it's hard to believe that something as old as this still exist. Construction began in 1296, and it took over 150 years to build this architectural masterpiece. 

Wine tasting: Chianti is a region close to Florence that is famous for its wine. Make sure you don't miss out on this great wine tasting opportunity. The family-owned vineyard Viticco is one of many great places to choose from. Call in advance to make a reservation.

Fiesole: This tiny town on a hill just outside of Florence is so picturesque. It has lots of old charm, and a scenic view that is breathtaking. The roman theater is the highlight of this little town.

Piazza Michelangelo: This is the perfect spot if you appreciate a great view. This place allows you to see the city from above, and it is especially beautiful right before the sun sets. It can get crowded at times, however the view makes up for it.

Rose Garden: Giardino delle rose is one of the most romantic gardens in Florence, and the perfect spot for a cute little picnic. You'll enjoy the spectacular view, and the beautiful flowers. Great spot for a proposal, just saying...

Today I am back in Germany but I took the Italian mentality with me. I try to make a celebration of every day. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But great food for sure helps. For example these cute, delicious lentil balls. They are baked, not fried. Often this results in a dry mess. But rolling them in homemade, melted garlic butter after they come out of the oven will do the trick. Here's the recipe:

3/4 cups bulgur

1/2 cup red lentils

A little less than 1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped

A little less than 3/4 cups parsley, chopped finely

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika powder

2 Tbsp olive oil

1,5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Almost 2 tsp salt

Pinch cumin powder

Pinch curry powder

A little water

For the garlic butter

75 g (2,6 oz) butter, soft

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt

Pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit). If you are NOT using a convection oven, add about 20 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). Add the bulgur, and the lentils to separate pans, and cook them until they're soft. Then drain them well! Let them cool down until they reach room temperature, and add them to a bowl.

Now combine the remaining ingredients with the lentils, and the bulgur. Mix well. Then form little balls (tightly), and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the garlic butter. Chop the garlic into very fine, little pieces, and mix these with the soft butter. 

Add salt, and pepper, and mix further. Place the butter into the microwave for a few seconds until it has melted. Then set it aside. Once the Lentil balls are done baking, generously roll them in the melted garlic butter. Voila, All done. Tip: Eat them with fresh, spicy salsa, and avocado slices. Sounds like a weird combo, but this tastes fantastic. 

Love, Peppa.

 

The Game Plan…

The Game Plan…

When I was a little Peppa, I wasn’t allowed to eat very many sweets. Of course this made me want them even more. So I had to come up with a game plan to gain

access to our city’s sugar supply. I had a great idea. I decided I’d make a great addition to other people’s breakfast tables on the way to school. First stop: The house of my best friend who was living up the street. Her parents always had freshly baked goods delivered to their door step in the morning.

The highlight however, was the giant jar of Nutella sitting in the middle of the table. Helpful as I was, I felt it was my duty to deliver this delicious goodie bag in person. I knocked, and I was granted access. This was my ticket to paradise...It was a feast. I was in sugar heaven.

I had warm, buttery croissants with massive amounts of the famous chocolate spread highly popular with kids, and widely detested by parents around the world. Since time was precious, and I was running a tight schedule, I kindly said my goodbyes, and was off to my next stop.

My second stop was the house of Sebastian, my sweet, little classmate, who cried his eyes out on the first day of school, and who wrote me the sweetest love letter shortly after… I happily squeezed in at the table. Little Sebastian, his mom,  his grandpa, and his aunt welcomed me warmly.

I was ready for round two, which consisted of several helpings of Hefezopf, smeared with generous amounts of Nutella. All these friendly families who opened up their homes, and tables, were amazed at the impressive amounts that disappeared into my innocent, little belly.

Today I still have a major sweet tooth. Some things never change:-)Being the daughter of a German-American couple, this means a colorful, sloppy mess of American pancakes, and Swabian Schwarzwälderkirsch-Torte. My biggest weakness are donuts. The other day I made delicious powdered cake donuts. 

I used whole wheat flour, and they turned out delicious. However, I feel that using whole wheat flour makes them a bit dry. So I will continue to work on this recipe. I'll share it, as soon as I have mastered the art of whole wheat donuts. Oh, before I forget, how do you like my little blog kitchen? I am so proud of it, since my friend, and I built it ourselves.

Love, Peppa.

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