Dienstag, 31. Dezember 2013

Foodsies in 2013

The end of the year is all about lists, isn't it? I thought I review foods that I found this year, that I tried for the first time and a little sum up of my new and old all time favorites.

Now that I am thinking a little more about it I have to admit that Tempeh, Miso and raw homemade Sauerkraut and Kimchi were already discovered last year as well as coconut water and synergy kombucha with chia seeds. But you don't mind, right?
The way I love Miso is in salad dressing or as a dressing for my pasta - pesto like. It is so satisfying and intense, at least the red one, which is the only one I know so far, I don't understand how I could have waited so long to buy it again after we moved here (2 days before christmas). - Ah, yes, the price.. -

Cactus pear was a fruit that I was curious about since we saw them on the shelves here in Florida on a regular basis. I had one a couple weeks ago and was underwhelmed. Maybe I was expecting something mindblowing after waiting so long, maybe the fruit I grabbed wasn't ripe or just a fad example.

Raw vegan macaroons really blew off mine and Sistos heads however. I had them from two different brands (hail merry which I can find here in Florida as well) the other kind we had in Colorado however were a one time pleasure. We snacked them while hiking through Castlewood Canyon State Park.

Fermented vegan cheese was another thing I never had before. Treeline cheese was the one I was curious about and checked out in november. It was ok. But what I would really love to get my hands on again is Punk Rawk Labs raw vegan cashew cheese. Sisto would definitely agree. Mouthwatering thought...


Love chock is a raw chocolate that I brought for me and Sisto to try when I came back from germany. It's something we're looking forward to, since there are a lot of things we will miss. Especially raw food options.

When I heard about Kala Namak a couple years ago I was wondering if it would really make scrambled tofu taste eggish. Finding it in Bremen this year when I was in try out mood I took it home with me. Then I left it in germany without having it tried once. Now that my mom sent it to me I could make sure myself that this salt really is a one of a kind seasoning for scramble.

Vegan twinkie: Not much to say about that, except for: I expected more of it. But it's just a junk food, even if it's vegan, and not linked to any child hood memories etc. for me either. Vegan bavarian cream donut: Very much yes! Though it only is a junk food. And I have to admit I'd love to visit voodoo donuts some time again in my life. 

Did I forget something?
Oh yes. I just stirred up a batch of Tapioca pudding which I was curious about almost as long as we've been here. They have the pudding in the supermarket and since it looks a lot like rice pudding (which I love) I was thinking about it every once in a while. So, this will be my new years eve snack.

Now here come my all time favorites:
Vegan bread spreads, homemade bread, smoked tofu, tempeh, cornflakes (not the gmo ones!) and peanut butter puffins, miso, Samba dark (german hazelnut chocolate spread) and chocolate streusel from holland, tortellini pasta, nutritional yeast, coconut water and G.T.'s chia seed infused kombuchas - and lots and lots of fresh vegetables and fruits!

I hope you have a delicious and exciting new year!

2013. 2014...

It's New Years Eve, Silvester as it is called in germany, and I can't believe this means the year is almost over.  And what a year it was...
Starting off in Portland in a really bad emotional place, ending in Florida with a lot more hope -  regarding the fact that we decided to move back to europe and knowing when and how - but not so much in a good over all situation either.
Thankful for family and friends who have been helpful and supportive all the way through I am looking forward to have them close again soon!

So as the new year approaches I can really only hope for things to get better. Cheers.

Dienstag, 24. Dezember 2013

Day 24

It's finally christmas in Florida. Well, to be precise here it's only christmas eve and the real holiday is tomorrow. I feel very christmassy this year. Despite all odds and what christmas goes along with here (go watch the grinch) like full stores, christmas music wherever you go whenever you go and starvation army people in front of every supermarket who will make your ears fall of from all the bell ringing, I found some peace and comfort in the season. I got a great advent calendar my mom sent me filled with lots of nuts, treats and love. I was so much in the mood for baking that I outdid myself with the amount of recipes I tried: Spekulatius,   other Spekulatius, orange chufa cookies, vanilla kipferl, coconut macaroons, short bread, raw cookies for Sisto, dog cookies and last minute butter cookies with sprinkles for my nephew that look like a rainbow galaxy.

Today when the whole family is here we'll celebrate a (kind of) german christmas, eating potato salad and stollen and unwrapping presents. Later we go for a walk so that the 4 year old can check out his new bike and our little christmas elf G gets some exercise. I'm just a little bit excited!

How about you? Have a nice and merry christmas!

Freitag, 13. Dezember 2013

No pictures

I was just trying to finish a new post but unfortunately the pictures won't work. No idea what's wrong. So instead of showing you how our advent feels like I could tell you two things that are kind of important for our everyday life and decisions but not necessarily require nice pictures here.

1. We're moving back to germany. It's just not working out. Sisto is not making enough money with his job even at times when he's working full hours, which he is not always doing, apparently. And I couldn't find a job at all. So we decided that we only have two options: staying here living with his mom forever or leaving the sinking ship. It's a really bad time to try start living here. It's even bad times if you lived here all your life and have the connections and know how that's so crucial for a survival in a country without social securities. But for us greenhorns it's even worse. Specially in Florida where jobs are even harder to come by than in the Pacific North West. And my visa is running out in a half year. That is that. (Two interesting articles on   social climate in the US that I found the other day #1 / #2) Our goal: Saving up money to make it over the pond again.

2. I got the offer to work a casual labor job at the shelter. Which is a great thing, since Sisto's hours are always unpredictable and we need all the funds we can get. Yes. I wasn't expecting it at all, but now I'm in. Nice. So here I am waiting for them to process what needs to be processed and approve me for the job.

And now back to real life!

Dienstag, 10. Dezember 2013


Though Florida is ridiculously hot again (around 30°C) I'm in the mood for christmas baking. Not every day. But often enough to get going with it. 

I was thinking about Stollen lately. It's a german christmas bread that's traditionally loaded with candied orange and lemon peel, raisins, sometimes marzipan. It's nothing that I couldn't live without but this year I was in the mood for giving it a try. I never never never in my life made it myself. It's a yeast based pastry that doesn't have a lot of sugar, but is sweetened by the fruit inside, sometimes marzipan and a thick layer of confectioners sugar. My parents used to order special variations like red wine Stollen or champagne Stollen at a small bakery that's specialized on this kind of pastry. And I loved their less sweet and less candied peel loaded Stollen, but unfortunately they use milk and eggs.

So I searched for some vegan recipes online, and since it's hard to come after candied peel here that doesn't look completely disgusting (with lots of food coloring and sweetened with corn syrup, loaded with preservatives etc..) I decided to go for raisins only. I used turbotofu's recipe and went a little freestyle on the spice part, it's not very precise anyway. Instead of confectioners sugar I dusted with regular vegan sugar.

And then comes the hard part. You don't eat it right away but let it sit for at least two weeks. Traditionally the sit like six weeks or even longer. That's so that all the flavors from the rum infused raisins and candied peel and marzipan and spices can soak through the whole Stollen loaf. That's the part where I cheated and cut open the first loaf. And I really have to say that it went well for the first attempt. Haha. That doesn't sound too optimistic, right? Well yeah, I'm looking forward to tasting it in a little while..

Apart from that one batch of mihl's Spekulatius made with oil, which don't taste like Spekulatius to me, because they came out soft, but were otherwise delicious. Bake them!

And soon more to tell about the garden...

Donnerstag, 5. Dezember 2013

Greens in the yard

It's time for a little update on my vegetable garden. If you can even say garden. Also vegetable would probably have to be replaced by greens. But who cares.

I guess I'll demonstrate best with a little slide show.

August, 05
October, 06
October, 12
October, 28
On thanksgiving I harvested almost all the lettuce mix and arugula since it was supposed to freeze. I was afraid that even with covering the plants I would be left with nothing. So I preferred to just cut it all. Here's the whole harvest. It isn't that much. However it tasted good and was only about a third of a seed packet. I think. I left kale and parsley and a few of the other plants seem to start over and produce new leaves. 

December, 04
Yesterday I added a little more space in my raised bed since the kale was getting to crowded. So hopefully it'll grow as big as that one plant in the middle did, now that they all have more room. I also just for fun and since they started to sprout anyways planted a couple of potatoes and a piece of garlic. 
What I learned with this little project? Gardening is a matter of patience. And to sow and plant a lot more if I really want to add stuff from the yard to my dinner plate on a regular basis.