April 2017 – Favorites and Recap

Blogging has given me quite a few surprises since I started. And I am not going to tune in to the great community chorus here, or talk about the many things it taught me. Or the late nights and weird face paintings.

No, I am going to share with you something that I never thought would ever happen.

 

 

I got an eMail. And it was written by a cat.

Not just any cat, but a fabulous and tech savvy cat that lives pretty close to me. And that happens to have an eye for design and the corresponding web shop (here)

Short story short, that cat designs and sells printed tees, something that is all the rage in fashion right now. Says Likoli (the cat), and who am I to disagree?

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Hidden Gems 2 – The Wholemeal Café in Takaka, NZ

If you are unfamiliar with the „Hidden Gems“, here is a little introduction.
But basically I share places I discovered while traveling that aren’t easily discovered, but worth looking out for.

The Wholemeal Café in Takaka (Picture Source)

When we were traveling New Zealands South earlier this year (already feels like a lifetime ago…), we usually went for a mid-day break from driving to explore and give Little Bean some distraction.
More often than not we paired it with a bite to eat in one of the many cafés out there. Read more


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Hidden Gems – Cup & Cake in Queenstown

Don’t you just love it when you discover a new spot simply by accident?
When all you do is aimlessly roam the streets, looking for a bite to eat, no fancy guide leading your steps?
When you decide to go down this small street, peek into the patio, climb these stairs and there it is?
A place full of warmth, laughter and delicious food?
This is what happened when we got caught in a sudden downpour while exploring Queenstown. We were wet and cold, hungry and tired and every place we came across was crowded.
But then we took a wrong turn, walking down a cobbled street and I spotted the promising sign:
Cup & Cake

Can it get much better than that?
Let´s step inside and see.


The „Cup & Cake“ is a small café and take-away with just a few spots to sit, located in the Cupcake Lane (no joke) between Church Street and Seare Lane, Queenstown, New Zealand.

There is a retro feeling to the decoration which can easily be described as a bloggers dream: florals, mirrors and fairy lights, the essentials for picture taking, already provided.
If I had had my makeup bag with me, I would have spend the afternoon snapping Pinterest-worthy product pictures for sure!

The interior. Decoration inspiration everywhere.

To distract you even more, you can watch the lovely stuff prepare the delicacies, add the finishing touches to the decoration and chat about all things bakery.

Tiny red marzipan flowers
But enough interior, lets take a look at what we were really there for: The food!
A giant buttercream wedding cake on display. Additional decoration possible 
One of the many flavors: Banana Chocolate Cupcakes
So after taking a dozen pictures and going back and forth in deciding for a flavor, I finally settled for this:
So yummy

A pot of „Lady Grey“ and a Passionfruit Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate Chips.

Now for those of you wondering:
Of course I dropped that I was planning to do a blogpost and thus took so many pictures.
They smiled, but I still had to pay for my cupcake. Guess what?
Whenever I get back to Queenstown, I will gladly do it again!

So if you are looking for a cake, branded cupcakes or other sweet treats that are available gluten and dairy free as well as vegan, click here to see what they offer!


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On my plate – Red lentil soup with fennel

If you don’t know the „On my plate“-posts I do, please check here for some explanation.

In a nutshell, I share with you recipes that are
– healthy (most of the time)
– delicious (at least in my opinion)
– easy (I´m not much of a cook)
and are great for kids.

Please keep in mind: I don’t believe in following a strict diet. Neither do I do Low-Carb, cut out dairy completely, feel the need to eat gluten-free nor do I count calories. 
I am a part-time pescetarian due to the fact that most of the meat we get is full of antibiotics and that the animals suffer to keep up with the obscene amount of meat the western world consumes everyday. Part-time because my husband is a hunter, and I gladly eat the meat he brings home, for I know the game he gets me roamed the woods freely and wasn’t fed growth-inducing hormones.
Feel free to adapt the recipes to your own dietary needs and preferences.

Red lentil soup with fennel

As you can read above, I need a source of protein other than meat (we eat fish about twice a week).
Of course eating cheese and greek yoghurt is one option to make sure you get what your body needs, but for all the vegans, the lactose-intolerants and the cheese-haters (will never understand that…) out there, legumes are the way to go.

So today on the menu: A red lentils soup with fennel!
Don’t be mistaken by the word „soup“ though, this is a hearty and filling stew, made summer appropriate by adding the fennel for some freshness.

It is meant to be a colorful and thus mood-lifting arrangement, too, having red lentils and green fennel, but the lentils I chose this time went from red to brown, kind of ruining the looks, but not the taste.
And the taste is what counts, am I right?

What you will need


The ingredients (2 servings):
– One small onion
– 150g dried red lentils
– 700 ml vegetable broth
– 200 g fennel
– 2 cloves of garlic (less if you aren’t that much into garlic, but I love it)
– Olive Oil
– Salt, (cayenne) pepper and bell pepper powder for seasoning

How to:
– Cut the onion, mash the garlic and stew them with some olive oil
– Add vegetable broth and lentils and cook for around 10 minutes on low heat
– Add fennel (cut into small cubes) and cook for around five minutes more
– Season to taste

In the original recipe (see here) there is a side of yoghurt served to add some more freshness, but I prefer it without that. Just the fennel works very well for me.

As always, make sure to mush or process food for very small children.

Quick, easy and healthy. Another one for the busy mom-on-the-go.

Do you like legumes?
And if so, which is your favorite way of serving them?


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Strawberry fields forever – Keeping things juicy all year round

This title tells you two things about me:
I love strawberries and I love The Beatles.

Now it is the season for strawberries, so I will put my questionable taste of music aside and talk about the gorgeous red sweetness that is this fruit.

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Living in the 21h century, you can get strawberries all year round.
But even if they look and smell like they should, the taste is only right for a short time.
So what about the other nine months of the year?
The answer is simple: Jam!

But of course, not any jam will do.
The ones you buy contain way too much sugar, most of them contain added flavors and none of them have ever compared to the one and only:

Mama Loca´s Homemade Strawberry Jam


What you need:
1,5 kg Strawberries
0,5 kg Jam Sugar

Strawberries and sugar

What you do:
1. Wash and cut the strawberries
2. Mix strawberries and sugar in a pot
3. Cook the mixture for around three minutes on medium heat
4. Use a blender and blend everything down

If you feel extra fancy, you can add other fruits (raspberries or rhubarb are great) or a vanilla pod to the mixture, just adjust the total amount of fruit and sugar so you always have 3 parts fruit on one part sugar.

Pour the jam into jars (rinsed with boiling water), put on the lid and let it cool down.
That´s it, you are done.

Ah, with one exception: Always remember to lick the spoon. The best part!

No matter how old…

Do you like strawberries?
And have you ever tried cooking your own jam?


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On my plate – Vegetable Hot Pot

In the life of every parent comes the moment when you decide to start feeding your child the same food you eat on a day to day basis.

In my life, this was a moment of truth.
I looked at what I had been eating for the last few weeks and suddenly realized that it had been neither wholesome nor nutritious and for sure not the kind of food I would want Little Bean to have.

And if your diet is that bad you wouldn’t want your child to eat that way, you´d better make some changes!

Nutritious, quick and suitable for children was my mission, and being that talkative person I am, I decided to take you with me and share some recipes.

Greens for Spring

First one on the menu: A Vegetable Hot Pot.

Please keep in mind: I don’t believe in following a strict diet. Neither do I do Low-Carb, cut out dairy completely, feel the need to eat gluten-free nor do I count calories. 
I am a part-time pescetarian due to the fact that most of the meat we get is full of antibiotics and that the animals suffer to keep up with the obscene amount of meat the western world consumes everyday. Part-time because my husband is a hunter, and I gladly eat the meat he brings home, for I know the game he gets me roamed the woods freely and wasn’t fed growth-inducing hormones.
Feel free to adapt the recipes to your own dietary needs and preferences.

When I grew up, my mother claimed I wouldn’t eat anything green. Of course that was a major exaggeration, but I was kind of picky with my vegetables.
One thing that I always loved though was sweet corn, so it was an obvious first choice as the main player in my Vegetable Hot Pot.

The ingredients:
– Sweet Corn
– Peas
– Green Beans
– Potatoes
– Feta Cheese
– Vegetable Broth
There are no indications of quantity as I usually just eyeball everything, but if you need reference, two big potatoes for any adult and two handful of each vegetable along with one 250 g feta cheese will get you some leftovers.

Delicious!

How to:
1. Peel and cut the potatoes
2. Boil the potatoes in the vegetable broth
3. About five minutes before the potatoes are done add the sweet corn, peas and beans
4. Another five minutes later (longer when the vegetables are still frozen) add the cut up feta cheese.
5. The cheese will melt and form a creamy, cheesy sauce with the not evaporated Vegetable Broth.

I usually make a big pot of this and take the leftovers to work the next day, as it tastes extra delicious heated up.
This recipe is gluten-free, contains no processed food but contains dairy/lactose.

If you serve this to small children, make sure you mush the peas and sweet corn so they don’t choke on them!

Little Bean loves it, I enjoy the fact that except from peeling the potatoes there is absolutely no preparation necessary and the cheesy flavor makes it the perfect comfort food when it is rainy and grey outside without being to heavy.
Ticks all my boxes!

What are your go-to healthy recipes?
And what is your favorite vegetable?


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