Author: Peppa Jane (page 1 of 3)

Dreamy Vacation at the North Sea

Dreamy Vacation at the North Sea

Yay! I am on vacation! Again! How did that happen? I just got home from the South of France a few weeks ago, and my broke girl bank account wasn't equipped to sponsor another summer vacay. But

to my surprise, I spontaneously got invited to go to Wangerooge, a lovely little German Island in the middle of the North Sea. It's such a gorgeous place, and I am so thankful I get to be here.Traveling to exciting places far away is awesome, but exploring the beauty of your home country is just as important. I arrived here last week, and I have to say I couldn't feel more relaxed.

This little, lively northern island is so charming with it's cozy brick houses, cobblestone streets, and its wide, beautiful beaches. You see happy families everywhere, and life feels wonderfully simple, and laid back here.The best part about this northern beauty is that there are no cars here. These noisy little stinkers are not allowed on the island.

This makes a huge difference in the quality of the air. Breathing in feels amazing.There are not many places in Europe where you get to enjoy a car-free atmosphere. Honestly, what better place to recharge, and let go of the stress of your daily, busy life. I feel completely at peace here.

Today, I took a long walk on the beach, and found these adorable, happy butterflies sitting on these pretty beach flowers. That was the cutest thing ever! I mean come on, butterflies at the beach - it doesn't get much

better than this... I am so sad that this dreamy vacation is almost over. I would  have loved to stay longer! In case you'd like to visit this happy, little island as well, make sure to book your trip well in advance, since Wangerooge is a popular travel destination, and vacation rentals are packed fast. 

Anyway, enough for today, it's time for me to go to bed now:-)

Love, Peppa

 

Ultra Delicious Zucchini Noodles

Ultra Delicious Zucchini Noodles

It feels like fall these days... It's grey and rainy outside, and summer is nowhere to be found. August has barely started, and summer vibes seem to have vanished completely. On days like

these, I really miss the States. American summers are just magical. Never a cloudy day between the months of June, and September. Perfekt pool and ocean weather!

When I was little, and I was sitting on the airplane approaching Portland, I was always impressed by the huge amount of pools I saw in American backyards.

My grandma, and grandpa also had one. Its beautiful turquoise water got me excited every single time. I loved the idea of having a pool in my backyard.

German properties never came with a pool. When I asked my parents if they could build one in their backyard, they turned my fabulous idea down and said it would be way too expensive.

I couldn't take no for an answer so I decided to dig the required hole myself. After about an hour I was  pooped and gave up. That was the end of all pool discussions. But enough about my kiddo poolmania, let's talk food.

When I started this whole vegan journey, I was worried that I would have to eat boring, weird  food for the rest of my life. I also thought cooking this way involves yucky, fake ingredients.

Honestly, I had such a bad impression of the whole going-vegan thing. Turns out I was really wrong. Cooking this way is super easy, delicious, and doesn't require strange, artificial ingredients.

These ultra yummy zucchini noodles are proof. They're not just super tasty, they're also extremely healthy since these pretty noodle-look-a-likes are made from raw zucchini.

And don't get me started on the sauce...It is rich and creamy, and bursts with flavor despite the fact that it doesn't contain any dairy products.

I got the idea for this delightful dish from one of Attila Hildmann's amazing vegan cookbooks. Since I am not a big fan of tofu, I made a few adjustments here and there.

The result turned out great. You'll absolutely love it. Here's what you'll need:

65 g (2,3 oz) onions, chopped finely (about 3/4 onion)
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
40 g (1,4 oz) fresh chives, chopped finely
4 Tbsp olive oil
20 g (0,7 oz) sundried tomatoes, chopped finely (if possible not canned)
100 g (3,5 oz) white almond butter (weißes Mandelmuß)
250 ml (8,5 fl. oz) water
A few splashes fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
4-5 zucchini (raw)

To make these long, spaghetti-look-a-likes, called zucchetti, you need a little tool called spiralizer. This tool can be bought online, or in well organized kitchen supply stores.

Place the raw, unpeeled zucchini in the spiralizer, and spiral away. Once you’re done with making your zucchetti, set them aside. Please note: These won't be cooked, eating them raw provides the spaghetti-like texture you’re looking for.

Now it's time to prepare the sauce. To do so, add the oil, onions, garlic, and sundried tomatoes to a pan, and set the heat to medium. Let them sweat for a few minutes. Make sure they don’t turn brown.

In case you used canned, oily, sundried tomatoes instead of the fresh non-oily kind, reduce the amount of olive oil used in the recipe.

Then add the water, and the white almond butter, and stir until the almond butter is incorporated evenly. Let the mixture simmer for 3 minutes until it has thickened.

The mixture is very watery at first, but don't worry after a few minutes it starts to thicken beautifully. Don’t forget to stir occasionally. Afterwards add the lemon juice, and salt.

Sir again, and voila your sauce is done. Attention: Place the sauce on top of your noodles right before it's time to serve them.

Why? The salt in your sauce will extract the water out of your zucchini noodles, and adding it to early results in watery noodles. Don't forget the chopped chives on top. Enjoy!

Love, Peppa

Banana Walnut Muffins & Life Changes

Banana Walnut Muffins & Life Changes

I am totally enjoying this quiet, cozy Sunday today. I am fully committed to being a very lazy girl today. I made great food, and spent lots of time in bed watching my favorite TV shows. The week

was quite busy, and I needed an uneventful, lazy day like this. Since my last post, a lot has happened. I don’t even know where to begin… As most of you know, I am a classically trained cook. This means, I have always been a big fan of using eggs, dairy, and other animal products in my kitchen.

One of my favorite ingredients has been cheese. Like so many others, I have been a cheeseaholic my entire life.  Despite becoming a vegetarian two years ago, I never understood people, who were turning vegan.To me these guys were nothing but a bunch of weirdos, who are missing out on life.

I just couldn’t understand why anybody would give up heavenly delights such as cheese, eggs and other mouthwatering dairy products. I also considered it quite snobbish to be so picky about the things you eat, if so many people on this planet don’t have anything to eat at all.

But all of this changed last week… One evening, after I got done with work, I decided to give this documentary called “What the health” a try. It was recommended to me by one of my relatives, who is a doctor. I was not prepared for what I was about to see.

In this documentary, American doctors were saying that eating meat, fish, eggs, and dairy is directly responsible for causing cancer, as well as other illnesses like heart disease, and that eating a low carb diet might help you lose weight but can result in strokes, heart attacks, and vascular dementia due to clogged arteries.

They also say that it’s not sugar that is causing diabetes, but meat, dairy, and eggs. They had a large amount of studies backing them up on these statements, Harvard studies being part of them. What struck me the most, was that they say only 10 percent of cancers are related to genes, and 90 percent are related to what we eat.

They even say that if you were dealt a bad genetic deck, you can turn things around by eating a plant based diet. I heard enough. I decided, then and there, to eliminate animal products from my diet. Me, a classically trained, dairy-egg-addicted cook. Not in a million years would I have thought this day would come.

If you’d like to watch the documentary as well, you can find it on Netflix or on whatthehealthfilm.com . By the way, I was not paid to write any of this. I simply felt the personal need to share this information with you. You probably are wondering “how the heck is she planning to cook delicious, non-complicated, heavenly food if she is a vegan?“

Well I have good news! Cooking vegan does not mean that your food has to taste lame, or that you have to use weird, fake ingredients. Just trust me on this one, and let me prove to you that it is just as simple, and just as delicious to cook this way. Wanna bet? Then try my new delicious banana-walnut muffins.

They don’t taste any different from the ones people went nuts about at my adorable, little café that I owned in the past. Here’s what you’ll need:

163 g (5,8 oz) whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

70 g (2,5 oz) white sugar

28 g (1 oz) sunflower oil

3 medium sized, overly ripe bananas

35 g (1,2 oz) walnuts, chopped

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius (345 degrees Fahrenheit). If you are not using a convection oven raise the temperature about 20 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit.) Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Then cut your very ripe bananas in small chunks, and add them to your dry ingredients. At the same time, add the oil.

Please note: It is important that you use overly ripe bananas, otherwise your muffins won’t be sweet enough, and will be lacking the wonderful banana flavor. Now mix the dough using your hands. Do so until a nice batter has formed, and the bananas are mashed, and well incorporated. Don’t overmix your batter, since this results in tough muffins.

Now fold in the chopped nuts. Fill your batter into the muffin molds, which you lined with muffin papers earlier. Make sure to fill them almost to the top (but leave a little room at the top). Then bake them for about 10 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Make sure not to overbake them, otherwise they’ll be dry. Once done, remove them from their pan, and let them cool down. They taste best at room temperature. Enjoy:-)

Love, Peppa.

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 & Fame

Perfect Iced Tea & Fame

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.

Broke Girl on Vacation Part II

Broke Girl on Vacation Part II

Yesterday I got surprised with a birthday ticket to China:-) So hello from Shanghai’s beautiful, and famous Yu Garden. It is my first time in Asia, and I absolutely love it here! Just kidding you guys, I am not on an adventurous,

dreamy vacation in China. This picture was taken in Stuttgart’s gorgeous Chinese garden, and it is picture number two of my current Broke-Girl-On-Vacation photo project where I travel the world while staying in Germany. Since I don’t have the money all these uber fantastic Instagram travel bloggers have, I had to be a little creative in order to realize my dream of being fancy little miss travel blogger. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have.  

So here’s to not letting anything stand in the way of you, and your dreams! Ok, that’s enough now Peppa. Before I get too carried away with my whole you-go-people motivational speech, I should mention that I looked really, really silly while taking this picture. Since I get super embarrassed standing in front of a camera when someone else is around, I thought it would be a fabulous idea to do this on my own with the help of my camera’s self timer.

Little did I know that this would end up in a true cardio workout.  I overestimated my physical abilities to get from the place the camera was positioned to the place I needed to do my fabulous, ultra professional model pose in the 10 generous seconds the camera gave me. So here I was running from A to B over, and over again, huffing, and puffing until I got the perfect, vain, blog worthy I-pretend-I-have-no-idea-I-am-being-photographed photo. #sillybloggerlife.

I hope you have as much fun with the outcome as I do. Oh, before I forget, something amazing happened on my birthday! I got the best gift I could imagine:  A summer vacation. Yay me! I am so happy, and couldn’t be more excited. So in a few weeks I will finally go on a real vacation! Cote d’Azur here I come!

Love, Peppa.

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl

Only a few more days of being 29… Next week something super weird

happens, I turn 30. Oh, how I loved being in my twenties. They were just the right fit for me. 30 just sounds so terribly-grown-up-I-have-to-act-appropriate-and-30-like. But what if I simply want to act twenty-something-like? It’s what I have been excelling at the last 10 years, so why give something up I am such a pro at?!

I know nothing about being a woman. I know tons about being a girl. I mean I eat on the couch or in my bed, not at a dinner table. When nobody watches, I lick my plate. I like to dress like a California teen! I don’t want to talk about work stuff with my friends! I eat pasta, tomato-avocado salad, and cake for breakfast, not that whole-wheat-grown-up-almond-soy-chia-stuff! I have only three pairs of socks!

There are three stuffed animals in my bed, and I named them Willy, Marli, and Lotti! I listen to Ellie Goulding! I love my tiny, cozy, girlie, twenty-something studio-apartment. I am scared in the dark. I cut my hair myself! When I run out of clean underwear, I wear my boyfriend’s boxers. I love Fruit Loops! I don’t drink coffee, and all the buttons on my pillow cases are missing, because I am too lazy to sew them back on.

As you see, 30-land won’t be pleased with this new girl joining. But maybe I can teach 30-land how to loosen up a little. I mean if 50 is the new 40, then 30 is the new 20, right? So, how about I just continue to be the Peppa I know, and love! Let the others have dinner at the table, or picture perfect houses, Fruit Loop-free zones, and perfect pillow cases. I’ll do this 30 thing my way!

But enough about birthday stuff. Let’s talk about these amazing veggie meatballs you see in the picture. They are so good you guys. These will even appeal to real meat lovers. I ate them with an ultra creamy mushroom sauce, so this really is comfort food at its best. Here’s the recipe: 

For the veggie meatballs:

1 cauliflower, or a bit less

42 g (1,5 oz) red quinoa

2 eggs (m)

180 g (6,4 oz) fine bread crumbs

40 g (1,4 oz) hazelnuts, ground

Oregano pinch

1 onion, medium, chopped

1 big garlic clove, minzed

1 Tbsp ketchup

1 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp paprika powder

1/2 Tbsp salt

Sunflower oil for frying

For the sauce:

380 g (13,4 oz) mushrooms, sliced

400 g (14,1 oz) heavy cream

1 1/4 cup tomato puree

1 tsp paprika powder

Salt, to taste

Sunflower oil for frying 

Cook the cauliflower florets until soft, then drain them well. Meanwhile cook the quinoa in a separate pan, using twice the amount of water of its weight. The quinoa takes about 15-20 minutes until it's done. Once cauliflower, and quinoa are done, set them aside. Then chop up onions, and garlic, and add them to a pan with a little bit of sunflower oil. Turn the heat on to medium, and sweat them for a few minutes.

Do not let them turn brown, they should remain pale in color. Once that's done, set them aside. Now add the cauliflower, and quinoa to a food processor, and mix until a smooth paste has developed. Do not use a regular blender, since a lot of the mixture will get stuck at the bottom. An immersion blender however will work.

Then add all ingredients, including the cauliflower-quinoa paste to a bowl, and use your hands to mix well. Let the mixture stand for about half an hour. Then heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add little balls of the mixture to it.  The mixture is quite sticky, that's normal. Fry from all sides.

Meanwhile heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit). If you are NOT using a convection oven, raise the temperature about 20 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). Then add the fried balls to the oven to ensure that they are coked through. Bake them about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile prepare your sauce. Clean, or peel the mushrooms, and cut them into slices.

Then heat some oil in a pan. The oil needs to be really hot once you add the mushrooms, otherwise they won’t turn brown (the brown part adds flavor). Once your mushrooms have caramelized (browned) nicely, add the remaining ingredients, and stir well. Then let the sauce simmer for a few minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, and add as much you like to your meatballs.

Tip: The meatballs taste best the next day, or a few hours later, since yummy flavors will develop. If your mixture turns out a tiny bit too moist, you may add a bit more bread crumbs. However, don't add too much, since this makes them less flavorful. If you are too impatient to fry the balls from all sides, and bake them afterwards, you can also shape the mixture into flat burger patties, and fry them completely in the pan. That way they are done much quicker.

Love, Peppa:-)

Drama Queen Up In The Air

Drama queen up in the air

Embarrassing-I-want-to-hide-under-my-blanket moments...

We all had our fair share of them. Some people more than others. Let me clarify, I am definitely some people:-) Today, in my parents' car, I had a flashback of a little predicament I found myself in a few years ago. A moment in which I was a reaaally graceful Peppa - not!

When I was 18, I developed a huge fear of flying. It came suddenly, and without a warning. As a German-American, flying has been a big part of my life since I was a baby. I loved everything about flying, I even wanted to be a flight attendant when I was little. I was so fascinated with the whole concept of aviation, and was bursting with excitement whenever a cab took me to the airport.

But then that little sucker called fear ruined all of that for me. This guy is a real party pooper! I told him to leave me, and my free, adventurous mind alone but that pesky guy kept sticking around. He also was around on a flight to Los Angeles in 2009. Let’s go back in time to see what happened on that particular day…

I just spent the last two weeks visiting my family in Germany. It is early January, and we just celebrated Christmas together. But now it’s time to return to my adventurous Californian life, so I say my goodbyes, and a few hours later I find myself at a gate in Frankfurt with puffy, teary eyes, ready to board the airplane. I am terrified to set foot into this flying beast. I am certain that this flight will be the end of my glorious little Peppa-life.

``We now kindly invite rows 10-30 to board the aircraft``. Crap, that’s me. Great, now I have to enter this death machine as well. Fare well sweet life! After we reach flight level, and the seat belt sign turns off, I am surprised to find myself somewhat relaxed. I am not dead yet, oh goodie!!! Yay me! Okay you can do this, this is a piece of cake!

Oh no, what’s happening, why does my chest feel so tight? Uh-oh, I can’t breathe. Uh-oh, flight attendant? Where are you? Flight attendant?!! Oh there she is. Nice lady. I tell her that I feel sick. She quickly puts a blankie on the floor in one of the service areas, and tells me to lie down. What a nice lady, she even elevates my feet.

Oh no, lots of people are watching. Nooo, look away. Then I just lie there, with plenty of curious passenger eyes on me. Excellent, life couldn’t be better right now! I am not fainting as expected, and after about an hour I start to feel better. Much better actually. Oh no, does that mean what I think it means?

Then it hits me. I cringe. I realize that there wasn’t anything wrong with my body, this simply was a major panic attack. How embarrassing! I can’t admit that. No way! They’ll all think I am a drama queen. So, drama queen, embarrassed to her core, decides to fake being sick until touch down in L.A. That way nobody will notice that the nice, blond lady on the floor is coo-coo. Good idea, Peppa. I pat myself on the shoulder, and continue looking miserable.

Half an hour till touch down, oh goodie. But little did I know that the most embarrassing part was still to come. A sweet, old man pushing a wheelchair waits for me at the door of the airplane after we reach our parking position. Yup, here I am being pushed in a wheelchair all the way from the airplane, to the baggage area, and to the cab. This is so embarrassing, my walk of shame, or should I say my roll of shame. Low point, Peppa. You just reached nutty low point.

I get into the cab, and drive off into the beautiful Californian sunset. I look into the sky, and wonder how many other ungraceful, panic stricken, little drama queens are up there right now trying to survive this crazy, wild ride in these speedy, fascinating, yet ultra intimidating, flying metal capsules.

It’s funny that of all people I developed this intense fear of being up in the air, since I have this huge passion for traveling. Welcome to my complicated mind. Wow, I just realize how long this post is. I think it’s time to turn off my computer now, and go to bed. In case you guys are waiting for a new recipe, I already have a great one prepared for my next post. It’ll be online within the next days.

Love, Peppa.

Broke Girl on Vacation

Broke Girl on Vacation

Wanderlust is calling my name but my broke girl bank account tells wanderlust to go away, and to bug another travel hungry soul. Stupid starting-out-in-bloggerlalaland-financial-restraints. But how on earth am I supposed to

become a great, uber-successful-fancy-schmancy-everybody-envy-me-travel-and-other-things-blogger if I can’t afford to travel to distant destinations that look like paradise? Hmmm, these broke girl problems call for a girlboss solution.

Staring at the annoying (yes, I am jealous) Instagram accounts of all these miraculous travel bloggers makes me feel like a very, very little Peppa with very, very little money.

Each time they post another gorgeous travel picture I start drooling a bit more. Then I get a marvelous idea. What these big shots can do, I can do too - for free. In my new photo project I am traveling the world while staying in Germany.

The idea is to take pictures in my hometown, or cities near by, that look like they were taken in a foreign, exciting country. I hope you enjoy the outcome as much as I do.

Here is picture number one, which looks like I am on a dream vacay in Costa Rica. I stumbled upon these beautiful banana trees during a stroll through Stuttgart’s Killesberg Park last Saturday. Cheers to these fabulous vacation vibes in Germany.

Love, Peppa.

Cake & Couple’s Stuff

Cake & Couple’s Stuff

Great, here we go. I am sitting outside on the street after melodramatically exiting the apartment that my boyfriend, and I share! He is really cute... But that's not the point right now. He is acting sooo stupid tonight! This fight of

course is all his fault, and I naturally am the innocent victim. Uuhhhmm... Well... No! No! I am totally rocking this you-go-guuurl-fight-for-what-is-right-thing! It is almost 1 AM...

My silly self, and I debate how much longer I need to sit out here until I can go back inside... Let's not forget, I have a veeeery important goal: Him wondering where his wonderful, uber dreamy, non-dramatic girlfriend is.

He should long for me! Yes, loooonging is good! Really good! Crap, it is getting cold...But nooo, I am not giving in. The stars are actually quite beautiful. Awww, the stars... Oh, right, cold, brrr.

I am not looking like a fool at all right now, sitting in the middle of the sidewalk on my little, grey stool that I grabbed on my way out. Glad he didn't see that by the way...Oh boy, I am cold. I am wearing that short, black summer dress that he likes.

Stupid summer dress. Stupid everything. Yeees, stupid everything! The only thing that isn't stupid is me. I am awesome! Just fabulous! And of course absolutely flawless! What is that noise? I slowly turn around.

And what do I see? My boyfriend standing behind me with his arms wide open, wanting me to come back inside. Ohhh, silly me! How can I be so stubborn?   

My heart melts, and my knees get weak. Oh, how I love this man! I take his hand, and follow him back inside. I feel loved, and I feel forgiven...

I don't know how the topic of baking fits into today's silly Peppa-you-go-guuuurl story, but oh well... I want to share this recipe of my yummy hazelnut cake with you anyway.

I made it yesterday, and (oh goodie!!!) had it for breakfast this morning:-) It truly is one of the best cakes I ever made. Here is what you'll need to prepare this delicious endorphin releaser:

For the cake:

200 g (7,1 oz) semi sweet chocolate

6 eggs (m)

200 g (7,1 oz) butter, soft

240 g (8,5 oz) sugar

Zest of ½ orange

½ tsp cinnamon

200 g (7,1 oz) hazelnuts

150 g (5,3 oz) all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

Salt, pinch

For the glaze:

200 g (7,1 oz) hazelnut nougat

200 g (7,1 oz) milk chocolate (Vollmilch)

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit). If you are not using a convection oven raise the temperature about 20 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit).

First whip the egg whites to stiff peak, then set them aside. Now it’s time to chop up the chocolate into super, super tiny pieces. Done? Great, then set the chocolate aside.

In a separate bowl, combine butter, egg yolks, and sugar, and mix a few minutes, until creamy. Now add salt, cinnamon, orange zest, and hazelnuts to the mixture, and mix further until well combined.

Then add flour, and baking powder as well, and mix briefly until everything is incorporated completely. However, don’t overmix your batter, otherwise your cake will turn out tough, and chewy.  

Now it is time to fold in the fluffy egg whites. Make sure everything is incorporated completely. As your last step fold in the chocolate pieces. Combine everything evenly. Voila, the batter is done.

To prevent sticking, line the bottom of a round cake pan with parchment paper. Don’t butter the sides of your pan, otherwise your cake won’t rise. Now add the batter to your cake pan.

Place it in the oven, and bake it about 55 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean (in the middle). Remove it from the oven, and let it cool down.

Once the cake reached room temperature, prepare the glaze. Simply microwave the chocolate, and the nougat on separate plates until they turn liquid.

Be careful, you can easily burn your chocolate if you don’t check the consistency regularly. Mine took about 30 seconds. Don’t be fooled, chocolate keeps ist shape, when microwaved. 

So check ist consistency with a toothpick. Once the nougat, and the chocolate have both melted, combine them well, and cover your cake with this yummy glaze.

Place the cake in your fridge until the glaze hardens a bit. That’s it, enjoy this delicious treat! You earned it:-) 

Love, Peppa.

South Africa & Indian Food

South Africa & Indian Food

Do me a favor, go to Youtube, and turn on

the song Rocked man by Elton John. This is the song I listen to right now, and it captures the mood of this post perfectly. It’s Friday night, and I am enjoying my second glass of red wine.

This time I chose a Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa. When I look at the label, I can see it was bottled in a street called Old Bottelary Road in Koelenhof.

I want to know where that is, so I go online. Google Maps shows me that this winery is just outside of Cape Town. Knowing that, I start picturing how life feels there right now.

What does it look like? How does the sun feel on my naked skin? How does it smell?  What do people do there right now? I have this thing with wines… I choose them according to the country they are from.

This helps me to feel connected to all these beautiful places I want to see, but can’t afford to go to yet… One country I really want to travel to is South Africa.

Even though I have never been there, I know in my heart that I will love this place. I even wrote an article about all the amazing spots that I would see in, and around Cape Town.

This is how passionate I am about seeing this place. One day baby… One day, this broke chapter of my life is history. One day I will be able to afford seeing these magical places far away. Until then I'll enjoy these wines. And man, they are good.

 

While wine takes me to South Africa tonight, today’s meal took me to another exciting place. India. I was tired of cooking the same food over, and over again. A busy schedule, and a good amount of laziness led me to this boring, easy, and most of all

 

fast routine. But enough is enough. Therefore, I decided to switch things up a little. I ate Indian food many times in my life, but I never cooked it myself. So, I was a bit hesitant, because I was scared I wouldn’t succeed at it, and mess it up.

But you don’t know, until you try. So I did. And boy, am I glad I did. This vegetarian tikka masala you see in the picture turned out delicious. If you want a taste of India, here’s the recipe.

Oh, and if you think this looks super time intense, it isn’t, since your food processor will do the chopping for you:-) 

For the masala paste:

90 g (3,2 oz) white onions

3 ½ garlic cloves

10 g (0,35 oz) fresh ginger

1 tsp peanut butter

5 g (0,17 oz) almonds

1/3 cup cilantro

Fresh juice of 1 small lime

Fresh lemon juice, a few drops

3 Tbsp garam masala

1 Tbsp paprika powder

1 Tbsp Turmeric (Kurkuma)

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp salt

½ tsp cayenne pepper

For the sauce

270 g (9,5 oz) tomato puree

90 g (3,2 oz) masala paste

120 ml (4,1 fl oz) water

380 ml (12,85 fl oz) coconut milk, about

A little oil for the pan

Salt, to taste

Remaining ingedients:

½ cauliflower (or more)

10-12 baby potatoes (or more)

Cook your potatoes and cauliflower. Make sure not to overcook the cauliflower. It should stay fresh, and crisp. Now prepare the masala paste. Roughly chop up onions, garlic, and ginger, and add them to a food processor.

You can be sloppy since the food processor will do most of the work for you. Add the remaining ingredients for the masala paste, and blend until a smooth. thick paste has developed.

Tip: Make sure you do a good job juicing that lime, otherwise your paste will be too dry. Your paste is done now. Set it aside. Now it’s finally time to prepare the sauce.

Add oil to a pan, followed by 90 g of the masala paste. Yes, this is not the whole amount you prepared earlier. You can store the remaining paste in your fridge for a few days, or freeze it to make this dish again.

Set the heat to medium, and stir for about two minutes. Then add the tomato puree, coconut milk, water, and salt, and stir until a smooth sauce has developed.

Let the whole thing simmer for about ten minutes. Stir occasionally. That’s it, you're done. Add the sauce to the cauliflower, and potatoes, and enjoy your meal!

Love, Peppa.

Low Carb Tuesday

Low Carb Tuesday

We all know these delicious bad boys called carbs. Picturing a life without these guys is impossible. I could binge on strawberry cake, gooey cinnamon rolls, pasta all’arrabbiata, and garlic fries all day long. My biggest weakness

are petit fours. These sugary things from France are my guilty pleasure. It is really hard to stop after just one. One leaves me craving more, and since I am not good at denying myself the yummy things in life (and why should I ?), I give in.

This resulted in a nasty, little surprise, when that bitchy friend of mine called mirror, revealed a wobbly, dimply backside that looks a good 12 pounds heavier than last year. I turn thirty in a few weeks (which feels super weird) and I notice I just can’t eat the same way that I could as a teenager.

My mom told me many years ago that this day would come, and my skinny self back then wouldn’t believe her. Moms are always right, and in this case this really sucks. So I had to come up with a plan to get back in shape. Since I believe in enjoying this brief gift called life, dieting is not an option.

Never, ever will I stop eating the things I love. Therefore, I decided to try the path of moderation, and exercise. I still am eating the things I am crazy about, but I try to add a couple of healthy, carb-free side dishes to fill me up. That way I still get to enjoy my cherished carbs, but I don’t indulge on them.

I now also try to take an hour out of my day to go for a walk. On good days this walk even turns into a run. So if you guys are also looking for a healthy yet delicious side dish, here’s a good one. Grilled asparagus with “marinated“ feta cheese. It's super easy, and here’s what you’ll need:

Green asparagus

Vegetable oil, for grilling

200 g feta, diced

1/4 cup sunflower oil

1 small clove garlic, minced

Dried oregano, pinch

To prepare the ''marinated'' feta, cut it into dice. Then mince the garlic. Now add all the ingredients except the Asparagus to a bowl, and stir briefly. Set the bowl aside. Now remove the dry ends of the asparagus. Then cut the asparagus in half. Set aside. Heat some vegetable oil in a pan, and wait till it's hot.

Then add the asparagus, and grill/fry them until they caramelize a little. This takes about 3 - 4 minutes. Remove them from the pan, and add the feta oil mixture on top. Leave some oil in the bowl though. I was really surprised how yummy this simple dish was! Enjoy this healthy bliss bowl:-)

Love, Peppa.

Peppa in Wonderland…

Peppa in Wonderland…

In my last post, I mentioned the financial struggles that

come with starting out in the world of freelance writers, and bloggers. Two months ago, I decided to quit my side job, to focus completely on my passion for writing, and photography.

Blogging combines these two things, and gives me such great satisfaction. The reason why I chose this life is because I wanted to work from anywhere. Four years ago, I came back from California in order to be with my loved ones.

I never regretted this decision. I really wasn’t happy without them. However, the last place I ever wanted to live was Germany. It was too cold, too calculated, too strict.

It also was never visually pleasing to me. It is weird, I should feel at home here, since I was raised here, but I don’t. The only place that feels familiar in this country, is the neighborhood I grew up in.

So this is why the idea of working from home was so important to me. Working from home means I can travel, and work from anywhere. Traveling seems like a great compromise between living in Germany, and deeply craving foreign scenery, architecture, and landscape.

But I haven’t reached my goal yet. I still need to earn decently to be able to afford the urge to travel. So this is what I am trying to achieve in the upcoming months. I know I can do it. But getting there is tough.

I need to find the key to a lot of closed doors. But I am a determined young lady, and I will annoy plenty of people if I have to:-) Apart from the money stuff, this being my own boss thing is great.

One of  the fabulous aspects is that I get to make my own hours. So today I took full advantage of  that, and went on a little stroll through Stuttgart’s Killesberg Park in the middle of this sunny, hot day.

I found a beautiful green path, that reminded me a lot of the enchanted garden from Alice in Wonderland. It felt wonderful being in the midst of all this lush, green nature.

I then returned to my cute, white, little desk, refreshed and ready to write away. Here’s to crazy, wonderful dreams. It’s good to have them, but it’s better to live them!

Love, Peppa.

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…

Movie Night…

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!

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