Nut Cake!

Pic by Franzi.

Happy Easter, everyone! How do you spend your free days? I am baking a lot of currant bread (…this year with gluten-free flour, which actually worked!) and a nut cake that reminds me on a cake my grandma often made. Have a wonderful time with your friends and family and here comes the cake recipe :)…

Recipe:

Ingredients:

200 g ground hazelnuts, 6 eggs, a dash of salt, 1 package vanilla sugar, 1/2 package baking powder, 250 g sugar, 150 g flour (I used gluten-free flour), 50 g apple jelly, 200 g powdered sugar.

Preparation:

Stir egg yolks, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt until creamy. Add the grounded nuts. Stir gently. Add 4 beaten egg whites, baking powder and flour. Fold in gently. Pour the mixture into a greased cake tin. Bake for app. 60 minutes at 180°C.

Spread warm apple jelly onto the still warm cake and top with glazing (For the glazing stir 2 egg whites with 200 g powdered sugar until creamy). Bake for another 15 minutes at 100 °C in the slightly opened oven.

Enjoy!

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Look Update: April 2017!

Just a few dresses I tried on… All pics by Franzi.

The last four weeks I was on the hunt for dresses! Honestly, I tried on at least 300 dresses. The reason: The wedding season starts. The first wedding of 2017 in my circle of friends is on Thursday. Obviously, I had nothing to wear for such a special event. It really was not easy to find something in this jungle of different dress styles. And once more I realized that I hate changing cabinets and this awful light. But finally I was successful and found three great dresses!

The three dresses I finally bought.

…And no, I will not reveal which dress I will wear at which wedding. By the way: There are more than ‘only’ three weddings in the line this year :D.

Moreover, I participated at a clothing swap party! Now I have a LOT more space in my wardrobe and got three nice cardigans and a pair of sunglasses! Such a great idea to refresh your spring wardrobe without much money (and eco-friendly) :)!

With regard to my shoes, there are also news: I trashed my old sneakers and bought these new beauties. Since I also ruined my sandals last summer, I also bought two new pairs of sandals:

My new sandals – brown leather by Keen, black leather by ZIGN.

Then, as an after-effect of last month’s look post, I bought a pastel colored blouson (by H&M):

My new blouson.

And I also spotted a new trend: BODYSUITS!

I saw some girls, who have gone really crazy about this distinct piece :)!

Would you wear bodysuits? For me they feel a bit too much 1980s… But on the other hand, they do look quite elegant on some women.

Have a beautiful April week! With lots of sun and dress-compatible weather :)!

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Song of the Month: Cloud 9 by Jamiroquai!

The British band Jamiroquai is back – with their brand-new album Automaton! Today’s song Cloud 9 reminds me – in a good way 😀 – on my teenage years in the 1990s (Jamiroquai was everywhere back then!). The song is funky, dancy and mood-lifting. So, let’s meet on the dance floor!

Happy (funky) listening!

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Spring Activities!

Pic by Franzi.

Those last few days were incredible sunny in Hamburg! I love the clear blue sky above my head as well as the intensive warmth of the bright spring-sun on my skin. The singing of the birds, the bloomy smell in the air. (Oh, and hello hay-fever… Nobody missed YOU.)
What do you plan to do during this new season? Here comes my list with ideas to enjoy springtime even a bit more:

Go to the farmers market and buy a fresh bouquet of flowers for your flat.

Create your own herb garden by planting basil, thyme and parsley on your windowsill.

Make a stroll through your city and get to know the old streets new (we love to walk through Hamburg using this guide).

Make plans for you summer vacations.

Eat more colorful salads.

Have the first BBQ this year.

Make your bicycle fit for the new season.

Take out your spring & summer wardrobe and store away all those thick sweaters, coats and heavy boots.

Create your personal spring playlist 2017 on Spotify and listen to it in the morning while enjoying your first cup of coffee.

(Re-) start a new or old sport. Running, anybody?

Eat ice-cream!

I wish you a wonderful spring week! Enjoy the sun and all those crazy-happy feelings coming with it :)!

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Those Books I’ve Listened To!

Pic by Franzi (Audible screenshots from my mobile).

During the last four weeks life was busy. Thus, I only re-read one favorite book of mine and listened to two audio books…

Sophie KinsellaMy Not So Perfect Life (Read by Fiona Hardingham)

I love all novels by Sophie Kinsella. Only the Shopaholic series is not my cup of tea. But she simply is a genius in the field of writing romance novel plots! This is her last book:

Katie Brenner has the perfect life – at least on her Instagram account. In reality she lives in a tiny flat in London, has a stupefying commute every day, isn’t worshiped in her job and she hates her boss Demeter, who seems to have it all (the perfect job, man, family, house and look). But then the worst happens: Katie loses her job and goes back to her hometown, where she pretends to be only on a sabbatical to help her dad in starting a glamping (glamorous & camping) side. Everything works out well… until Demeter arrives for vacation with her family.

The plot was easy to follow, the heroine likable and there was – of course – some romance in the air. A book like a cup of hot chocolate on a rainy March Day ;).

*** (out of five)

Hendrik GroenEierlikörtage (Read by Felix von Manteuffel)

This book is based on the “secret diaries” of Hendrik Groen, 83 years old, living in a retirement home in Amsterdam.

Since my own grandpa is living in a retirement home (in Berlin) since a year now, I was immediately hooked by the idea to get an insight into the life of such an environment.

Hendrik Groen describes all those funny and not-so-funny everyday situations in his retirement home. Sometimes you have to laugh out loud and sometimes you are nearly crying.

I big must-read for everyone with relatives in retirement homes (and everyone else)!

****

I wish you a wonderful week! Have a remarkable one :)!

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*Sponsored Post & Lottery*: The Spice Box “Sinnesräuber” & a Recipe for Baked Potatoes with Fenugreek & Radish Dip!

Grinding the fenugreek. All pics by Franzi.

I had the opportunity to test Sinnesräuber – a monthly box filled with three packages of surprise spices :). Here are my experiences with the box, plus a recipe I tried using fenugreek, plus a LOTTERY where you can win the April box and try it out yourself (for details on how to participate scroll to the end of the post).

The contents of my box:

One package of fennel seeds, one package of fenugreek and one package of Panch Phoron – a spice blend used in Bangladesh, Eastern India and Southern Nepal. It also included three recipes cards with ideas for using the spices and two cards with background information about the fennel seeds and the fenugreek.

I was positively surprised: I already had fennel seeds in my crowded spice cupboard (I’m a big fan of fennel tea). But there was no fenugreek and I didn’t even know about the Panch Phoron blend. So, two new spices! I also liked the small packaging that will suffice for 2-3 times of cooking and is perfect for experimenting with it.

The cards with the information about the spices were interesting and the suggested recipes sound easy and delicious.

Nevertheless, I tried I recipe with fenugreek I learned a loooong time ago in an Ayurveda cooking class:

Recipe for Baked Potatoes with fenugreek and radish dip: Serves 2-3.

Ingredients:

500 g potatoes (washed and dried), 2 TSps fenugreek (grounded), 100 g grated cheese (I used Edam cheese), olive oil, salt, 1 bunch of radishes (grated), 400 g cream cheese, herbal salt.

Preparation:

Potatoes:

Cut the clean potatoes into halves. Spread a baking tray with olive oil, salt and grounded fenugreek. Sit the potato halves face-down onto the tray. Sprinkle with more olive oil. Bake for app. 30 minutes at 220 °C. Then turn the potatoes around and top with grated cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes or until golden-brown.

Dip:

Simply mix the grated radishes (I used a kitchen machine for the grinding) and the cream cheese until a smooth texture is reached. Season with the herbal salt.

Serve potatoes with the radish dip.

Conclusion:

The box surprised me with a blend I didn’t know before and reminded me of a past experience (the Ayurveda cooking class). So, it brought not only some fresh tastes into my kitchen but was also a trip down memory lane. I think it would be a nice gift idea for a friend who loves cooking. Speaking of it ;)…

Lottery:

If you would like to win the April Sinnesräuber box, let me know in the comments below this post or comment or like this week’s Facebook post. The lottery ends Sunday noon (March 19, 2017).

Enjoy your week!

I got the Sinnesräuber Box for free. Nevertheless, I only stated my own opinions . I’m happy to answer all questions regarding blog corporations in a personal message.

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Fashion Highlight Spring 2017: Blousons (Bomber Jackets)!

Two blousons I saw last week at the #SMWHH. Pic by Franzi.

The last week I spent at the Social Media Week Hamburg #SMWHH. I not only learned a lot of interesting new things, but also spotted very stylish people all around me. The one item that I came across again and again were silky (really: parachute fabric!) blousons – aka bomber jackets!

I was surprised: Bomber jackets always remind me on my adolescence in the 1990s were they represented a clear (right-oriented) political standing. Now they come with floral designs and bright flashy colors. They are teamed up with skirts or skinny jeans and worn by women and men! With the still colder temperatures out there most people I met wore them as a blazer or cardigan underneath their winter coats. Nevertheless, I am sure that blousons will be worn as light coats when it’s finally getting warmer.

Would you wear a bomber jacket? Let me know!
Have a beautiful week!

Some second-hand blousons I found in the PICKnWEIGHT store in Hamburg.

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Two Days Back in Berlin!

The Müggelsee. Pics by Franzi.

The last two days I spent in Berlin with dear friends, my god-son and his siblings. It’s always wonderful to be back in the city of my own childhood. Looking at the Müggelsee reminds me on my own young years. And do you also smell spring already? I saw the first blooms and despite the fact that it’s still grey outside the warmer season is coming closer!

I wish you a wonderful week! Look out for those beautiful early bloomers :)!

Daffodil season!

Two little reasons to always come back to Berlin! (And yes, my godson wears a sock instead of a glove.)

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Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra!

Last month I heard Frank Sinatra‘s song Fly Me To The Moon during an elevator ride to the viewing platform of Rotterdam’s Euromast. What a funny choice of a song! I wish you a good start into the fresh week with those mood-lifting and jazzy tunes!

Happy listening!

And do you know Angelina Jordan’s interpretation of the song? It’s amazing!

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Essay: Looking at Night into Foreign Windows!

Pics by Franzi.

I love walking, even when it’s dark outside. It frees my mind, I finally end the day with the recommended 10,000 steps and some fresh air, smelling distinctively like the current season – filled with the thick scent of blooms in spring, sunny and dry in summer, humid and spicy on fall nights, clear and icy in the winter.

Strolling through the night

When it’s dark, only a few people are still outside. Everything is a lot quieter than during the day. Fewer passers-by, less chitchat, fewer cars. Life is going on inside the houses, not on the dark sidewalks outside. Strolling through the night is meditative. A good moment to recapitulate the day’s events or simply to let flow the thoughts.

A glimpse of life

Illuminated windows are like doors to other worlds. They show glimpses of the life  inside all those foreign houses: The family at their dinner table, the book shelves stacked with hundreds of thick volumes, the kitchen counter with a basket of fruits, the flicker of a TV. Passing all those light boxes, watching them for maybe two seconds, moving along, it’s easy to invent a very own story  about the just seen scenario: The family on the table maybe just speaks about an adventure the kid experienced the day, the bowl of fruits was maybe shopped on the farmers market this morning, the men in front of the TV is maybe enjoying his leisure time after a hard day at work.

Every window tells another story

I love those little insights into foreign worlds. It gives my own world another perspective. I am here, walking outside, those people are inside, having a great or maybe bad evening together or alone, living their life until tomorrow. Then everyone will leave his or her home again, a new day starts with all those new stories to experience.

As a kid I was living in Berlin, in a block of apartment houses. My bedroom window had a free view onto the 12-floor building opposite. There were around 100 windows. During a sleepless night I would sit on the window-sill and imagine a story for every illuminated window I saw. Those dream journeys into foreign lives made me calm and sleepy, until I was ready to go to bed again.

Today, coming home from those evening walks, I am also a lot more relaxed then when I left only half an hour ago. Here I am, letting the world outside. Closing the curtains. Switching on the light. There are a lot of stories out there. Now it’s time for my very own.

I wish you a wonderful week! Have one full of little stories :)!

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