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Archive for January, 2011

I’ve been thinking about starting a new recipe series for a while, including my favorite childhood food, traditional German dishes that my grandmother used to make for me. I’ll call this series the German Classics. Cheesy? Maybe, but this is my blog after all!

The first recipe is for German Pancakes. They’re quite different from US-style pancakes, thinner, bigger, and more like French crepes. The dough for the pancakes is rather simple, just like a blank canvas for the various fillings.

Pancake with strawberry jam

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups flour (I used 1 cup white and 1 cup whole spelt flour)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • canola oil for the pan

Put the flour into a big mixing bowl. Add eggs, milk, sugar, and salt. Whisk for a few minutes until all the clumps are gone. You will need some elbow grease for that part! The resulting dough will be very thin. Set aside for a few minutes.

Pour a little bit of oil into a large frying pan and heat it up on high. When the pan is hot, reduce to medium high heat. Pour a ladle of pancake dough into the pan and quickly spread around. Fry for a few minutes until the surface of the pancake looks dry and set. Then flip the pancake and fry for a few minutes more, until the whole pancake is slightly browned.

Place the pancake on a plate and keep warm, e.g. in the oven set to the lowest temperature. Continue until the dough is used up.

Now the pancakes are ready to be filled and served. You can use anything you like! One of my favorites is good old strawberry jam. Nutella and sliced banana? Yes, please! Brie cheese and cranberry sauce? Yummy! Apple sauce and cinnamon? Oh my! Just get creative, anything goes!

As the pancakes are not very sweet, you can also try a savory filling, like cheese or sautéed vegetables.

 

Pancake filled with Emmental cheese

 

The recipe above makes quite a big batch. If you have some leftovers, cut the pancakes into thin stripes and store them in the fridge in an airtight container. Next time I’ll tell you what to do with those stripes, so stay tuned!

See you!

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Today I went to the gym again after work. It was probably a bit too early, as I was still struggling with my breathing during my run. To be honest, I was still coughing a lot. The other people at the gym gave me some really weird looks. Ahem. But I just had to run! I couldn’t sit on my butt any longer. So this run was more for my mental health, I guess.

The Stats:

  • Distance: 2.5 miles (4,0 km)
  • Time: 30:55 minutes
  • Average pace: 12:22 min/mile
  • Feeling: wheezing

I had to take more walking breaks as usual, but I didn’t give up, and it wasn’t that bad actually. But to be safe I will wait for a few more days before I try it again.

Have a nice weekend!

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I’ve Had Enough

Enough of this …

Snow

… of this …

More snow

… and this …

Even more snow

This has been the view from my house since late November. Seriously, winter in Germany is NOT fun! It’s cold, dark, grey, and gloomy. I’ve had enough!

End of rant.

P.S. The black car with the yellow spots in the first picture is mine! It’s a long story.

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Vegan Chocolate Banana Walnut Muffins

 

Last Saturday I was in the mood to bake some muffins. Baking has always been a source of comfort for me. But as I was still quite sick, I didn’t want to go shopping, so I had to work with what I had at home. After some research online I found Diana‘s recipe for Carob Banana Pecan Spelt Bread. I wanted to make this recipe vegan, just to see if I could, so I made some changes.

The resulting muffins are delicious! The rose a lot more than I expected, and they are very fluffy and moist.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole spelt flour
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax and 3 Tbsp water)
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

First mix the ground flax with water and set aside. The mixture will thicken after a few minutes, this is called a “flax egg” in vegan baking, meant to replace one whole chicken egg.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a muffin tin with some melted coconut oil or spray it with some cooking spray.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. In a medium bowl mash the banana and stir in all the other wet ingredients. Add wet mixture into dry mixture with a big spoon or spatula until everything is just combined.

Pour batter into the holes of the muffin pan. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let the muffins cool for at least 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.

Enjoy!

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Calling In Sick

In my last post I mentioned that I’ve caught a cold. Seems I was wrong, this is a full-blown flu! I’ve been feeling horrible the past few days, so no workouts lately, it’s just impossible at the moment. I even called in sick at work and have stayed home since Wednesday.

Today I felt a little bit better for a few hours, and I was bored. So what’s a sick and bored girl supposed to do? I went straight into the kitchen, of course. Which means I might have some recipes for you. Stay tuned!

See you!

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Oh my, what a week! I went on an amazing shopping trip on Saturday, getting lots of nice clothes, and a brand new notebook! I’ve been dreaming of getting one for more than a year, but I couldn’t afford it. Thanks to my year-end bonus I finally had enough extra money to buy a lovely Acer Aspire. It took some time to get used to Windows 7, though, and transferring, installing, and configuring all my software, making backups and images of the old and the new system, copy my personal data, etc. That takes quite some time!

And on Tuesday I caught a horrible cold!  I’ve spent the past three days coughing my lungs out. Ugh!

But now I’m finally feeling a bit better. At least good enough to blog. Woohoo!

After a rough start I’ve been doing really well with the Eat In Month Challenge, not eating out for twelve days straight so far! Last weekend I wanted to document my meals and put them on the blog. To make things a little more interesting, I planned to recreate some classic takeout meals.

But before we get to that, let’s talk about breakfast first.

Breakfast for me and the Boyfriend

Breakfast is very important to me! Whenever I have to skip breakfast, I get very hungry and grumpy, so I always make sure to be prepared and have something to eat within two hours after waking up.

I guess now it’s time for a confession: I don’t like oatmeal! It’s actually not because of the taste, I’m sure it can be quite yummy with the right ingredients, but I just can’t stand anything sweet in the morning! A sweet breakfast just can’t satisfy me. So my first meal of the day is always some kind of sandwich, toppings may vary, e.g. cream cheese and tomato paste or ajvar (paprika paste), Emmental or brie cheese, Tofurky (or something similar), fried egg or omelet, or a vegetable-based spread.

On weekdays I also have a sandwich for breakfast. I always prepare it the night before, put it into a plastic box and eat it at my desk at work.

Next up is Saturday’s lunch:

Tofu burger

A tofu burger on a whole grain rye sandwich thin, topped with ketchup, mustard, ajvar, and tomato slices, with a side of peas and corn. Fast and yummy!

On to Saturday’s “frozen” dinner:

Kidney bean curry with brown rice

I wasn’t in the mood to cook something fancy, the Boyfriend had made himself a spicy beef stew, so I turned to my freezer stash and found a serving of cooked brown rice and some of last weeks kidney been curry. Nuked it in the microwave, put it on a plate, topped it with yoghurt and mango chutney (love it!), ready to eat!

Sunday’s breakfast was the usual open-faced sandwich, so no photo. Lunch was homemade ramen noodle soup:

Homemade ramen (noodle soup)

In my (huge!) bowl I had buckwheat soba noodles, fresh veggies, one boiled egg, and homemade veggie broth. Topped with some crunchy seaweed. Less fat and sodium than those infamous instant ramen packs, and it also tasted much better!

Sunday night I did some batch cooking. I made a big pot of vegetarian chili with kidney beans, red bell peppers, corn, red lentils, textured vegetable protein, canned tomatoes, and hot Sriracha sauce. Served with some homemade oven “fries”. Delicious and very filling.

Vegetarian chili with baked potato sticks

So, seriously, who needs take out or fast food or prepared meals? It’s so easy to make our own, and they usually taste better and are much healthier!

See you!

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Glad To Be Back

I took a few days off of exercising as my heels started to hurt last week. Not wanting to risk an injury I decided to skip a few workouts. This is meant to be healthy and fun, right? Right!

Today my heels felt a lot better, so I went to the gym again.

The Stats:

  • Distance: 2.5 miles (4,0 km)
  • Time: 29:30 minutes
  • Average pace: 11:48 min/mile
  • Feeling: Great

Oh my! I really didn’t expect that! I guess it shows how important recovery is for your progress.

See you!

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