Month: July 2017

Adventure in Europe Part III

Adventure in Europe Part III

I just got back from my trip to the South of France. I was on a mission to find an adventure in Europe, and I can happily say: Mission accomplished. When people think of France they think of

romantic cobbled stone streets, great cheese, and wonderful wine. But they don’t necessarily think of wild, adventurous nature. Well, they’d be surprised.

On this trip, I learned that France is the complete package.It has both the rustic, old, romantic elements one is typically looking for when traveling to France, as well as breathtaking, adventurous nature.

In my previous two posts, I already revealed a few of these magical, adventurous sites. And today the fun continues. So, let’s get stared, shall we?

The picturesque, little street you see in the picture is called Rue de Derrière l’Église, and it is located in the most beautiful mountain village I have ever seen: Saint-Paul-du-Vence.

This fairytale-like village consist of romantic, little alleys, and is full of beautiful flowers, various small art galleries, and enchanting old architecture.

It really is one of the must-see’s in the South of France.

Speaking of must-see’s, let’s talk about another marvelous spot I visited while exploring the South of France. This picture was not taken in North America’s famous Centennial State Colorado, it was taken in Europe’s smaller

version called Colorado Provencal, which is located near a little village known as Rustrel. Massive red rocks, and red soil leave you in awe while hiking these adventurous French trails.

But this is not the only spot in France where you get to see vivid colors like this. There's another mini Colorado, called Le Sentier des Ocres. It is located near the city of Roussillon, which is only half an hour away from Rustrel.

I visited both places, and thought they were both absolutely stunning. In case you want to see these hot, red beauties too, make sure to bring some cash along, since the entrance fee is 3 Euros per Person.

Another dreamy stop on our road trip through the South of France was St. Tropez. Keeping our budget in mind, we decided to stay at a tiny Airbnb-apartment instead of living it up in one of these high-end hotels in this glitz-and-glamour city.

We spent most of our time exploring the city anyway, so it didn’t really matter that we couldn’t afford one of these dreamy, upscale hotels.

While discovering this gorgeous, picture perfect city we stumbled upon a romantic, and incredibly cozy, little seafood restaurant called Les Graniers

located on a remote, peaceful beach. We sat down at a rustic, wooden table which was standing in the sand, and enjoyed dinner while watching the sunset, and hearing the peaceful sound of the waves coming in next to our bare feet. What a dream.

That’s it for today you guys. I hope you enjoyed reading about my European travel adventure. I think it's time for a recipe again, so next time I’ll provide you with some yummy food inspo:-)

Love, Peppa.

Adventure in Europe Part II

Adventure in Europe Part II

I am sitting on a little houseboat on the picturesque French Island of Porquerolles,

and am nibbling on my avocado-baguette. It is 8.30 in the morning, and I did something I never did before: I slept on a cozy, little sailing boat, which I found on Airbnb. Yay, I am experiencing one little adventure after another on this trip through the South of France.

I arrived on this small island yesterday, and went swimming right away. I've never been to a beach with crystal clear water before. So when I heard that Porquerolles is famous for its beach with crystal clear, turquoise water I had to see it!

I never thought that you can find something like that in France. I thought I'd have to travel to a distant place far away in order to see beach-magic like this. But as it turns out, paradise is closer than I thought.

If you are ever visiting the South of France make sure you don't miss out on some serious beach fun on this island's dreamy beach. Getting to the island was super easy, the ferry ride only took 15 minutes.

Another great thing about this island: Cars are not permitted here, so people are getting from A to B the old fashioned way - they simply use their bikes. You can rent one at almost every corner, and the 3 km bike ride to the beach is beautiful!

I am eating so many delicious French pastries here, so a bike ride can't hurt. I have to admit, my bikini body was nowhere to be found this summer, ooops. But thanks to Bridget Jones, little chubby bellies like mine work as cute accessories these days. So say hello to Bridget's little sister Peppa Jones:)

Enough for today though, I have some serious vacationing to do:) In my next post I'll reveal some more unique, ultra dreamy travel spots in the South of France.

Tip: The water only reveals its magic colors in the bright sunlight. So make sure you choose a non-cloudy day for your trip to Porquerolle's plage Notre Dame.

Love, Peppa.

Adventure in Europe

Adventure in Europe

I was searching for an adventure in Europe, and I found it in ... the South of France. Yup that's right, France. Who would have thought, right? When I thought of France, I never thought of 

sunny, hot, wild adventures. But man, was I wrong. This vacation at the Cote d'Azur is a dream come true for wild, outdoorsy California girls like me who love to be out in the sun! Yesterday, I went on an adventurous trip to Europe's largest canyon.

This spectacular beauty goes by the name Gorges du Verdon, and is located near the little village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. I have never seen anything like this before in my entire life. The canyon is famous for its beautiful turquoise river called Verdon.

I was blown away by its beauty. We rented a little boat, and explored the canyon's secrets while floating on top of the colorful river. I love extreme nature like this. A little tiny, muddy river doesn't do much for me, I need the big stuff that leaves me speechless.

And boy, did this canyon leave me speechless. I couldn't think of a more adventurous setting than this. After our boat tour, my boyfriend, and I were super hungry so we decided to visit the little picturesque town of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.

This cozy, colorful little town close to the canyon lies on top of a mountain, and is definitely worth a visit. After we strolled around, we sat down in a little restaurant where we had the best pizza margherita we ever tasted.

Seriously, let's talk about this pizza. It had a super thin crust, and was covered with the best French cheese, and tons of garlic oil. Very sinful, and greasy, but so worth it.

If you ever visit this tiny mountain village I really recommend this restaurant. It's called Belvedere, and to be honest, it's not a winner in terms of interior design, or atmosphere. But let's not judge the book by its cover...

If you're on the search for the perfect slice of pizza, this is the place to go:-) And no, I wasn't paid to write this positive review, I simply am a girl who fell in love with the mouth watering pizza these guys were able to make.

But let's get back to the topic of adventurous nature. These massive rocks I am standing on in the picture

can be found along the majestic coastal line of Cannes. I always looked for adventure outside of Europe, but slowly I begin to understand that Europe itself has a lot of adventurous, breathtaking spots to offer .

You don't nessessarily have to travel the world in order to find the wild, exciting sites you dream of. There are plenty more adventures awaiting me on this trip, and I 'll tell you all about them in my next post.

Lots of love, Peppa.

Brownie Babycakes & Vacation Fun

Brownie Babycakes & Vacation Fun

Bonjour mes amis! It's vacation time, and I am writing this blog post from the beautiful French Riviera! It is hot, and dry, and I really craved being in a gorgeous mediterranean place like this for months. The last couple

of days were so relaxing, and I spent a lot of time swimming in the ocean. Being in the midst of this refreshing, cold, blue water felt wonderful. The water left a salty taste in my mouth while the waves carried me gently from A to B.

The comforting scent of sunscreen lingers in the air, and lets me forget about all the things I worry about at home in my day to day life. I wish this vacation could last all summer! Two days ago I went on a three hour hike in the majestic mountains overlooking Cannes. The view was spectacular. I'll include pictures of my little french adventure in my next post.

But today it's all about brownies. Back when I used to own my sweet, cozy cafe, I sold the most delicious, ooey gooey brownies you could imagine. I always served them with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. You are probably wondering why I am talking about brownies, if today's picture shows cupcakes...

Well, it's because I used my famous brownie recipe to make these cute, little babycakes here. Usually brownie batter isn't used for making cupcakes or muffins, because the middle collapses after you take them out of the oven. Brownie batter simply is too dense for these kinds of things.

But oh well, I wanted to make cupcakes anyway, so I simply covered the middle with a generous amount of whipped cream and added a cherry on top to hide the little imperfection underneath:-) And man, did these guys taste great!

Here is what you need to make these adorable little brownie bites:

80 g (2,8 oz) sunflower oil

180 g (6,3 oz) white sugar

8 g (0,3 oz) vanilla sugar

2 eggs (M)

75 g (2,6 oz) all-purpose flour

30 g (1 oz) unsweetened dark cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

For garnish:

Vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream

Fresh cherries

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340 degrees Fahrenheit). If you are not using a convection oven set the temperature to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit). Then add oil, sugar, and vanilla sugar to a bowl, and mix until combined. Afterwards add the eggs, and mix for about 2 more minutes until nice, and creamy.

Then add the remaining ingredients, and mix until everything is evenly combined. Do NOT overmix your batter, or your brownie bites won’t turn out the way they should. Now add your batter to your muffin molds (each mold should be filled about 2/3).

If you prefer to make regular brownies out of this batter, simply line the bottom of a rectangular small cake pan with parchment paper, and add the batter. Then bake them for about 25 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. These guys are supposed to be a bit sticky, and gooey inside, however this doesn’t mean they should be underbaked.

Once they're done, take them out of the oven, and remove them from the pan. Let them cool down before you eat them, because they taste much better after they reached room temperature. Add some whipped ceam, or vanilla ice cream as well as a fresh cherry on top of each piece. Enjoy!

Love, Peppa.

Meat-Free Oriental Bliss Bowl

Meat-free Oriental Bliss Bowl

During 11th grade, I had a Lebanese boyfriend. He came from a very interesting background. His dad was from Israel, and his mom was from Lebanon. His family lived in England, but he decided to go to boarding school in Germany.

And that’s where we met. One time we went to see his parents in the UK during winter break, and on this trip I got introduced to Lebanese food for the first time. That’s how it started - my love affair with middle-eastern food. It only took one bite, and I was hooked.

My teenage relationship didn’t last, but my love for these flavorful dishes he introduced me to survived. Until today I remain a huge fan of the middle-eastern cuisine. And that’s why today’s recipe is one of my all-time favorites.

This vegetarian chickpea bowl is super yummy, and quite easy to make (don't be intimidated by the amount of ingredients, a lot of them are simply spices). This truly is comfort food at its best. What looks like chicken in this picture, is actually grilled halloumi cheese. Nomnomnom…

So here’s what you need to make this tasty bliss bowl:

For the chickpeas:

520 g (18,3 oz) canned chickpeas, drained

1 Tbsp sunflower oil

50 g (1,8 oz) onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minzed

½ Tbsp cumin

½ Tbsp paprika powder

1 tsp turmeric (Kurkuma)

1 tsp garam masala

A bit more than ½ Tbsp salt

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of cayenne

600 g (21,2 oz) canned tomatoes

100 g (3,5 oz) canned roasted bell peppers

For the yoghurt sauce:

200 g (7 oz) yoghurt

1 big clove garlic (optional)

Salt (otional)

Side ingredients:

Halloumi cheese slices, grilled, or fried

Cooked quinoa

Cooked potato slices

Lime juice, splash

Olive oil, to taste

Mint, chopped, optional

Parsley, choppped, to taste

Cilantro, chopped, to taste

Cucumber, diced, to taste

Add the canned tomatoes, their juice, and the roasted bell peppers to a food processor, and blend until smooth. Set the mixture aside. Then heat oil in a pan, turn the heat onto medium, and add the onions.

Once they start to get a little color, add the garlic. Stir briefly. Then, before the garlic turns brown, add the chickpeas, spices, and the tomato mixture you just prepared.

Let it simmer on medium heat, while stirring once in a while, for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the yoghurt sauce. Simply add the yoghurt, and the garlic clove to a  long measuring jug, and with the help of an immersion blender, combine the two into a smooth mixture.

Then set your yoghurt sauce aside. Once your chickpea mixture is done cooking (remember it only takes about 15 minutes) remove it from the heat, and set it aside. Now prepare your quinoa, halloumi, potatoes, cucumber, mint, parsley and cilantro.

The amount you use of the side ingredients is up to you. Now take a bowl, and arrange the side ingredients, chickpea mixture, and yoghurt sauce nicely. Don't forget to add a splash of fresh lime juice, and olive oil on top.

Voila, done! Enjoy your oriental bliss bowl! Tip: To cook your quinoa, use twice the amount of water of the quinoa’s weight. Stir occasionaly, and once the water is gone, your quinoa is done.

Love, Peppa

Perfect Iced Tea (Vegan)

Perfect Iced Tea (Vegan)

Yay, I am getting famous after all. Erm, well maybe just a little. And perhaps only in the uber-world-famous cosmopolitan glitz-and-glamour-city where swabian dreams come true: Stuttgart. Ok, maybe famous is a strong

word... But why burst my pink-la-la-happy-bubble, right? You're probably wondering what I am talking about. Drum roll.... Tadaaa! Stuttgart’s ultra popular magazine Stadtkind published an article about me, and my blog today. Arrgh, I can’t help but to burst with excitement!

This is a big day in millennial-Peppa-tries-to-become-an-uber-successful-blogger-land! Tanne, the girl who wrote the article was so sweet, and very much a millennial-do-what-feels-right-to-you-girl like me.

I usually am surrounded by a lot of people who do things very differently than me, and in the past that led me to believe I need to live my life according to their standards. I didn't want to disappoint anyone. Nobody forced me to this, but I thought adapting is how this grown-up thing works. I am sure many of you know what I am talking about.

But in the end I just couldn't adapt. I did a pretty bad job at it anyway. I couldn't live the normal I-go-to-an-office-and-am-happy-that-way-life most people that I know, and cherish live. I had to start living a life that makes me happy, not others. So meeting a girl like Tanne made me hopeful .

Seeing that she is really successful at what she does, despite having taken a unique, and different path, helps me to be super optimistic that I will be just as successful one day. If you understand German, and want to read the article here’s the link:

http://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/inhalt.stuttgarts-soulkitchen-mit-peppa-jane-typisch-amerikanisch-caesar-salad.e6d7fd4b-9c2d-4eec-a96b-5cce7b18df1f.html

But let’s talk food now, shall we? As most of you know, I used to own this adorable, little cafe in the romantic town of Heidelberg. And besides classic American baked goodies, I also sold my famous homemade iced tea there.

This ice cold, lemonicious beverage is just the perfect, little refreshment on a hot summer day. The recipe has been a well kept secret, but today I decided it’s time to share this amazing, simple recipe with you. Here’s what you’ll need:

1710 g (60,3 oz) boiling water

8 Earl Grey teabags

170 g (6 oz) powdered sugar

6 g (0,2 oz) FRESH lemon juice

Add the teabags to a pot/pitcher (either glas or stainless steel, since regualr metal reacts with the acid of the lemon) of hot water. Leave the teabags in for exactly 1 minute, then remove them. Squeeze the remaining liquid out of the teabags before removing them.

Now add the powdered sugar, and stir well until it has dissolved. Then add the freshly squeezed lemon juice, and stir again. You really need to stick with the exact measurements here, otherwise your iced tea will not turn out great. Let it cool down to room temperature.

Then place it in your fridge until it's nice, and cold. Enjoy!

Love, Peppa.

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