Winter Holiday in Tenerife

Hello Fam!

Here are some photos from our winter Holiday in Tenerife, Canary Islands. We had beautiful weather for our 12 days on the Island. Apparently it was stormy before we arrived and it rained the day we left, but we had blue skies and sunshine! Depending on where we were, it was either T-shirt and Shorts, or jacket and scarf. Such a variety of landscapes and weather for such a small Island! You will see what I mean with the Pictures….without further ado:

Waking up on our banana plantation near Guia di Isora





IMG_0102 IMG_0106

El Teide Volcano and the Masca Valley
IMG_0115 IMG_0125 IMG_0128 IMG_0136 IMG_0139 IMG_0153 IMG_0171 IMG_0172



Taverna Escondita in Guia di Isora – best Pulpo alla Gallega ever!

After a night in Vilaflor, driving through the El Teide National park
IMG_0243 IMG_0246 IMG_0249 IMG_0253IMG_0268 IMG_0285 IMG_0292 IMG_0318

Cactus Figs

El Medano

Montana Roja – a windy day at the beach

Los Abrigos fishing village
IMG_0387 IMG_0390 IMG_0405

Los Gigantes again

Our Lady of Africa Market in Santa Cruz
IMG_0443 IMG_0451

Somewhere along the southern coast North of Santa Cruz  IMG_0462 IMG_0465

And this is where the road ended…
IMG_0480 IMG_0488

So we drove across the Island to the northern coast of the northern tip


and had a Little picnic of Avocado and guava

IMG_0525 IMG_0533

and then went for a hike because the road ended agin…

and after a drive through the Anaga jungle, we emerged to a beautiful sunset over la Laguna on Christmas eve. You can see the ocean on both sides of the Island…


We had a wonderful trip – admittedly lacking some Christmas Flair, but a beautiful adventure!

Happy happy birthday to the best mom ever, I love you!

Pasta e fagiole with a twist


Oh my gosh, it is SO hot here! I feel like it took forever for the summer to arrive, but let me tell you, it is here now. At 8am this morning when I walked by the Apotheke sign, it said 28 Grad (82 Fahrenheit for those non-metric among us). I was glowing by the time I got to the tram stop, and rather drippy by the time I arrived at work.

Tomorrow is the Firmen Cup Lauf, and our ladies running group is on “Team Deere” and tomorrow is supposed to be the hottest day so far this year. So I stopped at Alnatura to get some coconut water for tomorrow. I think if there is one time to splurge to stay hydrated, this is the time. I would like to survive the 5km.

After perusing the veg section, I was inspired by mushrooms and the fun tomatoes. And then I thought I needed some beans to make it substantial. And of course I had pasta on my mind, because that is always nice to eat before a big run.

I sauteed up some onions and the champignons in lots of olive oil and some sea salt. After they were nice and soft I added some barlotti beans and dried oregano and thyme.

This would have been really nice as is.

But I decided to add some freshness with tomatoes and basil.

Very yummy, and the kitchen got pretty hot, but it was OK. To the gluten free people, I think if you made this with Farro it would also be delicious! (or does Farro have gluten? Well, pick a grain you can eat and try it!)

Choco chip cookies

Well, now that we figured out how to make chocolate chip cookies in Germany (successfully) I better really pick up my work out routine.

On Saturday, Sandra had her birthday party so I figured that was a great reason to make another batch. This time, I made a full batch, and I think they were a hit. A Konditor himself (a profesisonal dessert chef in Baden Baden) even gave me some compliments. I was very pleased.

Sunday we slept in and had brunch on the patio, it was a fabulous weekend in BB. Happy Birthday to Sandra!


Macaroni and Cheez

It was one of those days where some good ol mac ‘n cheese was just the ticket. However, as you may recall, I don’t do well with lactose. So last August, when I started to figure this out, I began reading a few vegan blogs. Vegans know how to deal without dairy.

This is basically this recipe, but without the chipotle peppers. And I threw in a roasted kohlrabi because I didn’t have brussels. I added some tabasco at the end to pepp it up. It was much better than I had imagined, definitely a good alternative to cheese, but I think I still prefer Pesto. Still, good to have in the arsenal. Cashew cheese. Soak the cashews, blend up with some broth and nutritional yeast till smooth. (UB I know what you are thinking. It IS wierd). The blog is the post punk kitchen, and I even have Isa’s cookbook Veganomicon, which pretty much rules and I have been using it a lot lately.

Protein Power Goddess Bowl

This was fun to try! Lentils, barley, zuchinni (substitued for spinach which went yellow), orange peppers, and tomatoes. Dressed with a tahini-lemon dressing and lots of coriander. The dressing was super lemony when I first made it and tasted it, but mellowed out when mixed in with the other ingredients. Quite good, however I am really not that big of a barley fan, I just need to admit it and move on to another grain.

The recipe is from here. (I made a half recipe and it was more than enough for lunch the next day too.) BTW the blog, oh she glows is a great vegan blog that I love, check it out!

Rice paper rolls and the Mannheim Marathon


So on Friday, I ran in the Schweinehundlauf 4k fun run and conquered my inner pig-dog. It was so much fun! But I woke up with the worst allergies this morning because we ran through pollen fluffs in the park. Lots and lots of fluffs.

For dinner Saturday, I wanted to make something delicious, but also healthy. I have had rice paper wraps on my mind. I even walked all the way to the Turkish market to get a big bundle of coriander and mint, because those are basically required ingredients.

Napa cabbage, cucumber, carrot, avocado, cilantro, mint, tofu and a squeeze of lime never hurts.

For dipping I made the spicy-peanut sauce from here (Isa at the PPK does it agian!). AMAZING!

I got to enjoy my dinner while watching the marathoners. It was fabulous!


Miso-Tahini veggie bowl

Veg + Tofu atop millet. Covered in my new favorite sauce!

The sauce is from Veganomicon, and it is 1 part Miso paste (mine is shiro miso: light yellow rice miso) + 1 part Tahini combined. Mix in 2 parts water until smooth and desired consistency. TASTE IS AWESOME. And I had enough left for an AWESOME lunch the next day.

Carmelized Onions with Rice and Lentils aka Dahl

Oh the sky.

So I found this recipe in Veganomicon, which claimed to be super-simple and super-delicious and super-healthy. Sign me up! The recipe looked rather similar to dahl as we know it, but the carmelized onions are the new kid on the block.

The method is to roast the onions in the oven, and cook the rice and lentils together in pot on the stove with cumin and cinnamon.

It did turn out very delcious, but it was really the dahl we have grown up with. I do recommend the onions, they were delicious, but next time I will do it in a pan on the stove in 15-20 minutes rather than roast in the oven for 45 minutes (at least in the summer).

And here’s the sunset.


Winter Holiday in Croatia

Happy Christmastime!

I am reporting in from Zadar, and I am so excited to tell you what we’re up to. We are on VACATION. Which is so nice, because the past few months have been rather hectic and a little R&R is just what I need. It is so nice to wake up without an alarm, go for a walk by the sea, sit in the sun and drink tea, eat burek, walk walk walk, and eat lots of fresh fish and blitvar.

We went to visit Jadranka in Plitvice and she taught me how to make Croatian Christmas cookies. Vanilli Kifele (I have no idea about the spelling here) and Cimet Kifele (with a healthy dose of cinnamon added- Jadranka’s invention) and Rum Kuglica. These turned out great- no comparison to the disaster of last year’s Christmas cookies and failed Vanilla Kipferls.

 Pomegranites galore.

Fish soup – the broth was so flavorful.

Blitvar, naturally.

It was snowy in the mountains, so beautiful!

Miljan and I went to Bihac, Bosnia for the day while Jadranka was teaching.

 Turkish coffee with some really sweet and flavorful rose-jelly candy.

In Djeverske we spent a good hour shelling almonds- Jordan on the hammer and Milo and I sorted shells from almonds. Talk about a lot of work! Good thing this is just a “fun hobby” for us, if you actually had to do this on a regular basis I imagine it would get really tedious.

Back in the city we toasted them up and gave ’em a spin in the mixer to make our very own nut butter!

It was delicious, but the whole process is not for the faint of heart or short of time. But we have some time right now…

Miljan also made some prsut. Two hind leg hams and a front leg, which is slightly smaller. The front leg should be ready in about 6 months, the larger two will be ready in one and half or two years.

The smaller front leg:

 A big back leg:

Later that evening…we got our snack on, by shelling a bunch more almonds, blanching and peeling them (because its fun for us, remember) and toasting them up with some rosemary and salt- yum!

Christmas eve day was beautiful.

Christmas eve’s culinary highlight was tuna fish carpaccio, aka Adriatic Sushi.

On Christmas Milo braised some lamb with carrots, potatoes, celery root, and beets in some rosemary and garlic. Really slow over low heat. Absolutely awesome. First time we have made beets by the way. Side salad foraged by Jordan.

 After dinner walk and a coffee.

 Merry Christmas!