I know…. right?

What else can I say? Mia so long…. I could make excuses but I wont. We have been traveling quite a bit these past two months, Coburg, The Ammer See, baseball games in Regensburg, Spring training at the Tegernsee again for soccer and a 5 hour Cruise down the Danube River to Linz Austria.  We have been taking advantage of sporadic days off which have been very welcome in the heat we are having this summer.  I did suffer a slight injury to my shoulder in May which I am happy to announce seems to be on the mend finally, or I would not be chatting with you at this moment.

I finally got back to hanging out in my kitchen and have in fact discovered a most delicate and delicious cookie recipe.  If you love white chocolate you will love this and I will be baking a batch next week to share with you.  Also and I mean a BIG also, I have missed cooking in the Chaotic cooking-through challenge and this month is a Wildcard month which means I will be trying a few new recipes that I have never tried before.

I have missed you all & reading about what you all have been up to and look forward to catching up.  Can I just apologize for not popping in quickly to say hi and let you know I am fine?!  If I made you a cup of your favorite brew and gave you a heart-shaped cookie or two, would you come back for more?

Merken

Advertisements

Coffee Chat: Thoughts on Creamed Chicken, the Fifties Housewife & other things

Long time no chat.  Hi there!  Let’s just jump right in with todays chat,  I hope you have a cup (or pot) of your favorite beverage nearby.  Today, I’m drinking ice-cold sparkling water with a slice of cucumber.  It’s HOT! I mean, Africa hot!!  Its 28 degrees (that’s 82 in farenheit) in my kitchen right now and its early in the day.

I tried another recipe from the Betty Crocker Picture cookbook for the cooking-through challenge.  The key recipe for Creamed Chicken.  It was really easy and quick, especially having leftover chicken breast to use.  I poured the mixture over egg noodles as suggested and it looked nice but the flavor to me was quite bland.  As you know, I followed the recipe exactly.  If I do make it again, I would definitely season it up a bit.

Unfortunately, I have no picture  (sorry) as the batteries ran out on my camera, it only uses batteries and of course I did not have any of the right size in the house.

So with that said,

Keep or Toss?  Hmmm….. probably toss, but not sure yet.

Now on to other things as to where have I been?  We ended up having company last week and we did a bit of travel.  A river cruise on the Danube from Plattling, Germany to Linz Austria.  Absolutely beautiful!

 

We had about 5 hours on the ship, leaving at 9:00 a.m.  We spent the rest of the day exploring beautiful Linz. 

Then hopped on the train back to Germany.  Long, exhausting but wonderful day!

We also went to watch baseball in Regensburg to enjoy the Euro Cup games.  So wonderful watching the different countries compete.  I love that we live near a baseball city too.  One thing you may not know about me but my husband and I are baseball geeks.  In fact, he is so knowledgeable about the sport, including statistics and players from the early days, one would think he is American.

What else, oh, I finally got my garden finished.  Happy to say that I  have a few things actually growing!  We have had Barbecues and been enjoying visiting with extended family.  Also, did two 32K bike rides.  Finally, swimming at the beach.   It was a wonderful week!

But now… its back to the grind and as I mentioned, the heat.  I am not sure what I will be cooking for the cooking-through challenge for the rest of this month.  Normally, I have a plan and I do (or did), but I just can’t cook in my kitchen in these temps.  We do not have air conditioning, in fact, Germany does not do air-conditioning or ceiling fans even.  This includes many restaurants and stores.  I am not kidding.  I guess grilling, wasn’t quite a thing in the Fifties yet. The heat wave is only supposed to last the rest of this week, so we will have to wait and see what happens then.

Other things… Remember back when I said I was going to try three months has a 50s housewife?  Well, here are the results of that experiment.  The 1950s housewife prided her self on running an efficient home and always looking and dressing modern.  She did not wear clothing or hairstyles that her grandmother wore.  I still have many of the core values I was raised with, I think I run a pretty efficient home,  I am frugal, although Happily Mr. is the king of frugal living.   As for clothing and hairstyles, I do have a vintage dress I love.  I can do pretty much any hairstyle if I so choose.  My hair usually has a mind of its own though.   I have stopped shopping though or should I say buying.  I do enjoy window shopping but finally don’t feel the need to buy.  I have enough to work with to look my best and that is finally good enough for me.

This experiement did make me reflect on a few things though.  Making do with what you have.  I learned it is more society telling  me I need  new and improved items and new styles, although, in reality, I don’t.   Sometimes, something a bit worn may just need a simple makeover or a needle and thread.  I also didn’t realize how much food I waste.  I guess I still am adjusting to buying only for two and having a european size refridgerater.  I have more recently changed my grocery habits a bit which ironically is very similar to the housewives of the Fifties.

As to limiting my internet usage and social media, since that wasn’t around in that decade,  I have to tell you, my hardest part was watching YouTube videos, I did not realize how often I will sit down in the middle of the day and watch a few!   Now, in the middle of the day, I do take a break, if I am home, but I watch a German soap opera.  I have to laugh as I remember my mom watching Search for Tomorrow!  I feel, this is a better use of my time as I really need to improve my language skills.

I still am online on my laptop though, or else I wouldn’t be posting this.  I just allow myself a certain block of time to answer emails and blog.  What I did learn is I need to have  another slot of time for reading my favorite blogs or watch my favorite youtubers and look at Facebook.  So what I do now is take only  half an hour 5 days a week to do this.  Which is usually between 10 and 10 30 am, again, if I am home.   I set my timer when I hop online.  Its a great way to keep track of the time.  The only social median I have now is FB.   Living so far away from friends and family, it is the only way, unfortunately,  that I can keep in touch.  Although, Facebook is a touchy subject for me as it usually makes me homesick and a bit depressed.  I am finding I prefer to email with loved ones, honestly, and may start doing that more often instead.  Darn, I am wordy!

So, to conclude, I don’t feel like I failed my experiment at all.  In fact, I feel more in tune to whats important in my life. I may not look or act like a fifties housewife but I guess that wasn’t what it was about after all.  I just am the best person that I can be.  I am proud to take care of our home.  Living in the moment, just being myself and keeping my husband happy.  If he is happy, than I always seem to be too.

Sorry, I will work on the length of my posts,  maybe stick to just one subject in the future.  I really need to get a bit more organized and I will!  Do I hear another experiment coming?  😉

Happy Summer my friends!

 

Merken

Merken

A really quick coffee chat & tortes from Salzburg

Hello my friends… I know I haven’t shared anything yet this week.  Well… I had a quick visit with family from the U.S. & we were in Austria.  Salzburg to be exact.  My favorite city in all of Europe.  We headed down to Salzburg over the weekend to meet up with my cousin.  Had a whirlwind of a great time.

Here are a few of my favorite things.  (Yes, keep reading and you may see a theme here.)

The most delicious tortes and incredible coffee  at Cafe Tomaselli.

Yeah, I know I should have pulled the wrapping down so you could truly see all the layers, and probably used my camera instead of my phone, but at least I thought of you all for a moment while I was away.  🙂

For those of you who enjoy a certain movie that was filmed in Salzburg, you may recognize this house.

A hint, it is where “the hills are alive”.

with the Sound of Music.  We did the incredible sound of music bike tour (which I highly recommend if you are a fan), where we stopped at important spots and sang songs from the movie.  Yes, we really did that.  Also, learned alot from the movie we didn’t know and saw parts of Salzburg, I never would have gotten to see.  It was awesome!  I even felt inspired to find some “confidence” and climb the gate like Maria did in the movie.

The home is now a dormitary for music students.

So, that is why I have been a little m.i.a.  I still have to find some sort of organization and balance with blogging as we do travel now and then.  I don’t care to or even have time to lug a laptop around. The 6 or 7 hours I have back at our hotel, I usually can only pass out!

I’ll be back tomorrow to share what my next recipe is in the cooking through challenge though.   No worries.

I have to run now, while I have a mountain of laundry to do and all that fun stuff that accumulates when you are away from home.

xo

 

Merken

Merken

Merken

Weekend Recap & chatty stuff

Well, I am back from celebrating my birthday in Holland.  To say I had a wonderful time is an understatement!  It is a memory that I will cherish forever.  As this wasn’t really “traveling” but more like visiting, I sadly do not have many photos to share.  Also, the one day we visited the Wildlands (which is an adventure zoo in Emmen) it was so cold outside that I had issues with the lens of my camera steaming up.

079

I didn’t add any effects to this photo.  So, I put the camera away and just enjoyed the day.

Another of the highlights from my trip was shopping in the city of Groningen.  If you don’t know me,  I have a deep dark secret.  I love makeup, especially MAC.  I haven’t bought any since living over here as it costs twice the price in Europe.  But…. because of my birthday, I was spoiled…

My husband took so much video of this trip.  I am wondering out loud, if I shouldn’t make a YouTube channel to share all the videos in the future?  Hmmm….  He loves to do the videos and I love to take the photos.  We make a good pair, don’t we?!

We also got to see an old steam train while we were waiting to board our connection in Nuremberg.  It was so beautiful, iconic and loud!  I don’t have a good photo as it was dark out, but my husbands video is pretty cool.

023

So that was my weekend and since I have been back I finished the final de-clutter project in our home.  I know, I probably should have shared that too.

I have brought up all the christmas decor from the cellar and am working on making our home holiday ready.

On a not so happy note, while we were away,  our city hall, which was over 600 years old burned down.  So devastating!  Thankfully no one was hurt! Here is a rooftop view looking into the building from the newspaper.

15181168_10202071614947577_4358575491869499073_n

One thing I love about living here is the rich history of many of the buildings and the architecture.  We will be heading into the city later today as our Christkindlemarkt opens tonight.  I don’t know how festive it will seem this year with the empty shell of our “Rathaus” looming over the square.  But… I will let you know.

I think or rather, I know I will be sharing a bit more on this blog about “my days” in the coming year.  I still am on the fence though about “vlogging” on YouTube.  Let me know your thoughts on that, I could really use a little imput.

Well, I need to get a move on as the beautiful sun is rising,  so must I.

 

Merken

Merken

It’s a big one this year! – Thoughts on turning Fifty

Fifty years ago, a new house cost $14,200 and the average income was $6,900.  Gas was only 32 cents a gallon.  A gallon of milk cost 99 cents and a postage stamp  only five cents.  A tube of Revlon lipstick cost only $1.25 and hairspray just 47 cents. Pampers made its debut and the Baltimore Orioles won the world series.  Why am I sharing that information?  Well,  the number 50 is a big deal very soon and that has got me doing way too much thinking.  I will be turning 50 this week and honestly, I was not too happy about this.

These past few months I did a lot of reminiscing trying to deal with my age, looking at old photos, cooking and baking many things from my childhood and sometimes spending hours remembering all I could of the first 50 years of my life.  My mom said she couldn’t wait to be fifty.  Me?  I would like to be 30 again, in all honesty.  But, I can’t.  But did you ever see that movie 30 going on 13?  LOL  I know… thats just Hollywood.

Seriously though.  It is not that I haven’t accomplished things.  Honestly, I have done more than I ever thought was possible.  From a vanity standpoint, I don’t like the wrinkles and the new middle age bulge that has decided to show itself.   But it is not just that.

I am so thankful that I am going to be 50 years old.  I have been so blessed!  Some never reach that age.  My health is good.  I am living my dream of one day living in Europe.  I get to travel.  I am more in love with my husband than ever and my children are good, happy adults making the most of their lives.  I finally starting writing, something I had put off the first 45 years.

I thought by now I would have these accomplishments, a big house in Grosse Pointe, have that Louis Vuitton bag or wear Louboutan shoes, drive a Jaguar and throw lavish dinner parties.  That was something I really did want to have by 50.  Yep, I am being serious.   Funny thing is that now I don’t want those things.  Living out of the United States has really changed me, made me more humble and finally, have stopped having so large of an attachment to material things.

I hate to admit this but I always thought that 50 was old.  I think I thought that because in the 1960’s, the life expectancy was 70, so I thought that 50 meant you were getting up there in age.  I don’t want to be old and I know, I am not.  My Mom is going to be 85 this year, which helps my thoughts on this subject a lot.  It is time to stop being so serious.  Life can be so short so why spend it worrying about getting old?

pic14270I have earned every wrinkle on my face and I am learning that the more makeup I wear, having wrinkles really does make me look old.  I have stopped spending so much money on products trying to hide them, firm them and conceal them.  Just so you know, don’ waste your money like I did, they don’t work anyways.  I plan to smile and laugh more, not take things so seriously.  Stop planning and writing down every detail of my day and just live.   (This could be an adjustment as I am a list making junkie.)  I plan to spend time outside every day, rain or shine.  Breathe deeply and enjoy every moment spent with my incredible husband and traveling.  I want to watch even more baseball – is that even possible? 😉   I would like to Blog here more.  Organize my home quite a bit more.

Talk to my children a bit more, but I find the older they get, the busier they are.  Living overseas shouldn’t make a difference in communicating.  I am thankful for technology making it possible to stay in touch.  (It sure was not like that when I lived in Belgium in the 1970’s, letter writing was about it.)   I really need to learn to use technology more.  I am hoping one day to have a phone that actually has wi-fi or internet, don’t even know what it is called, so I can delve into the world of Apps.  I hear some of them are a good thing for communicating and sharing.  I would love to do that more with them.

It’s strange, I feel like the act of turning Fifty, means I should be making new years resolutions or goals.  My husband is taking me away to celebrate this monumental occasion.  I will have much travel time to think about this but then again… I might just enjoy the journey.   One thing is for sure, when you have lived as long as I have, made the mistakes I have, seen the things I have, you acquire a bit more wisdom. Just like Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day!”   I am ready to greet the “Fifty” with much passion! Bring it on!

So to wrap up… when I get back from our travels next week,  I hope to have much to share and so on…

I am looking forward to my next 50 years after all, it is just a number and isn’t 50 the new 40?

 

Merken

Are the days of spontaneous travel gone forever?

honeymoon 2011 070I sure hope not!

I lately wonder if technology has ruined the spontaneity of traveling. Other than booking our transportation and a hotel we rarely plan anything when taking a trip. Relying only on a map of our destination along with a travel guide. Yes, it is a small book which are still thankfully readily available through a book store or amazon.

Sadly, a newer trend is popping up where a reservation must be made online to visit some sites. It seems that there are a few places  where one can no longer decide to just walk in off the street to visit or tour a place of interest. Thankfully, this has not taken off everywhere and I hope it never does as I do not have internet capabilities when traveling, by choice.

The process of sightseeing is an adventure in itself. Why plan your day hour by hour? Sometimes, due to transportation delays one may not get to their destination at the alloted time for a tour. It happens and is all part of the adventure.

Personally, some delays have led us to some of the most interesting places which we did not intend to visit or even knew existed.  Like in this photo of the Eiffel Tower.  We were just “walking the streets” of Paris enjoying the warmth in of an early spring day.   We were so surprised to look to our right and see the tower.  It was a beautiful experience.

I believe the best way to travel is to not plan too much. Get to your desired destination, check in to your hotel, talk to some local people and begin walking around. Some of the best attractions are off the main paths. Places that the local residents enjoy and places that you just simply stumble upon.

So when planning your next trip be sure not to schedule too much and just be present and enjoy the adventure.

Merken

Merken

Delicious Baked Camembert & old Leipzig Gastronomy

Let’s talk about food and with this post I must add beer as the two go together at this place.

My husband had heard about this old beergarten with a rich history so of course we set out one afternoon to go find it.  We had gotten off a tram and began our walk down a narrow cobblestone street in a quiet area of Leipzig.  This was when we stumbled upon Schiller’s house (which I mentioned in my previous post).  We had no idea it would be on the same long winding street to the Gosen-Schenke ohne Bedenken Biergarten.

088

Right, I know you are probably thinking what I was.  It looks like a normal building on the outside.  But as with many places in Leipzig, the front appearances are very deceiving.  Let’s go inside.

086

Since it is such a beautiful warm day let’s walk on through…

083

The tables and benches go back quite a ways.  In fact, it is huge!

This establishment opened in 1899 although the building itself was built in 1905.  Again, like a mentioned in my previous post the Gose beer was originally brewed first in the town of Goslar and has a distinct salty and herbal flavor.  It seems the people of Leipzig adopted this Gose recipe as their own.  It is very tasty.  Some American cities such as Chicago and Baltimore, are now brewing this beer at micro breweries even.  There is so much more history about this place and if you’re interested in knowing more  or seeing the menu, you can check out their website (in English).

078

The restaurant was closed when Leipzig became part of the DDR and then reopened in 1986 by a private citizen who wanted to continue the tradition.   It is not just the beer that it is known for but also for its gastronomy and is rated highly as one of the best restaurants in Germany.

My opinion – it definitely is and let’s talk about that!

I ordered the baked camembert with baguette.  I honestly thought it would just be some warm camembert on a baguette but…

080

The camembert was baked in a light, delicious beer batter.  OMG, it was truly amazing!  The flavors and textures – my mouth was very happy!  This was one of those times that I did not want my food to be gone, I savoured every bite!

082

Would you like to see what my husband ate?  One of his favorites, Homemade Meat Jelly, seasoned with Gose and fried potatoes.  He said it was very good too!

081

So that my friends, is it from Leipzig.

033

We are looking forward to getting up that way again and definitely making time to enjoy another meal there.

Cheers

Merken

Follow us around Leipzig, Germany

If you happened to read my last post, you know we are back from… you guessed it, Leipzig.  I admit I was a bit apprehensive about this trip when we found out the main Train Station was to be closed for the time we planned to be there.  They were replacing all of the tracks into the station.  A bit inconvenient but we made other connections using the S-Bahn from Halle (a city nearby).    The businesses were open and it was nice to look around and really see and take in the beauty of this old station without running to a platform to catch your connecting train.

062

055
An elegant bookstore and cafe bar inside the train station.

The first day in Leipzig was the soccer game, our main reason for this trip.  The cool thing about this stadium is, it was built inside the existing old stadium.  This year is the first year that Leipzig is in the First Division.

009
The old and current entrance to the Stadium

Can we just talk about the steps for a minute?!!!  We counted 290!  The entrance is not the only place with steps.  The guest entrance where we had to enter through had soooo many.  Too many!

012
See the new stadium in the old?
018
…and a peek inside

What is so wonderful about Leipzig is you can go anywhere in the city at anytime using the Trams.   Their public transportation is fantastic! So, we did a bit of sightseeing…

This building which looks like a church  is still being rebuilt on the inside.  Leipzig was formerly part of the DDR and the communist did not want the university church, so the original church, The Pauliner Kirche, was blown up in 1968 for political reasons.  It is quite a complicated history.  Although the altar and various items from the old church were saved and will be used in this new assembly hall and room of common prayer for the university.

025

A little less complicated…The Opera House.

028
Opera House

This next building is the Bayericher Bahnhof or Bavarian Train Station.  Although the front was renovated it is not a working train station anymore but a brewery of Gose beer (originally  from the city of Goslar) and very good restaurant.

036

Of course, I only have a photo of our beverages for this meal, but I had a delicious platter of assorted lunch meats and cheese’s with delicious fresh & still warm, homemade Potato bread and Leif ate what is called a cold Wurst Salat with Kase which is basically  strips of pork lunch meat and cheese all mixed up with vinegar and onions.  A very Bavarian dish.

039

Oh, one thing that I have to share with you which was so unique was this upstairs area in the restaurant, where the restrooms were located.  This beautiful old piano.  I used to play classical piano and I love anything vintage, so it just spoke to me.  Wish I could have this piece in my home.

040

We visited many other beautiful parts of Leipzig.

The monument for the battle of the nations, completed at the 100th anniversary of the battle against Napoleon.

042
Völkerschlachtdenkmal

and a view inside… these stone sculptors are the Guardians of the dead.   Sadly 100,000 soldiers were lost in this battle.

043

My first visit to a Russian Orthodox Church which also opened at the same time as the monument (above).  This is also a monument in remembrance of the Russian soldiers lost in battle in the year 1813.  What is so unique about this building is the outside resembles a monument but the inside is a church.  The idea was to create a living monument.  I couldn’t take photos on the inside but it is absolutely beautiful and so peaceful.

071
St. Alexi Orthodox Church

Now on to other sites.  Friederick Schiller’s house, the classical playwright famous for his works such as The Robbers and Mary Stuart.  Did you know… he was originally a Doctor of Medicine until he saw his first play?

077

The University Library – yes, the book geeks that we are, we did go inside to have a look. They have an American section which was incredible.  I think I could write great papers in this building!

072
University of Leipzig Library

The famous Auerbachs Keller, one of the city’s most important wine bars and restaurants from the 16th century even.  Linked to Goethe’s famous Faust drama, it is located in the beautiful Mädlerpassage which also has high-end shopping inside.  I really wanted to eat here but it was a bit on the pricey side for us.  I noticed this photo is a bit blurry but the entrance to the restaurant is just to the left of the sign in front of the monument.  It truly is in a cellar!

030
Auerbachs Kellar

… the passage  with shopping and cafe bars.

031
Mädlerpassage

Finally,  one of my favorites from this trip was a visit to St. Thomas Church, for a concert.

146

Johann Sebastian Bach was the music director in the 1700’s at this church.

148

As I mentioned above I studied classical music, so this was incredible for me.  We heard some of his works executed beautifully by the organist and the highlight… the St. Thomas Boys Choir performed.   I was so moved listening to the blend of these talented, beautiful voices.   I honestly, did not want them to stop singing.  A wonderful experience for me.  In fact, leaving the church after the concert, I felt so calm and relaxed.

156
The boys choir warming up before the concert/mass

I have to say I felt totally safe and comfortable as we navigated our way around Leipzig.

A little reality check though as we stumbled upon this laying on a side street. It loosely translates,  For a peaceful world, Here is no place for rasicm, right-wing activism, and anti-Americanism.  Sad that in this day and age we have to have reminders such as this around.

096

On to happier thoughts….These were the highlights from our trip to Leipzig, BUT one of the best moments was lunch at a famous biergarten (beer garden).  As this lookbook seems to be quite lengthy, I will share this final place and our meal even in my next blog post!

To close…  I have to say Leipzig has a place in my top three cities in Germany.  I look forward to making a trip back to see more of this historic place, so rich in culture.

I hope you enjoyed following us around a little bit of Leipzig.  If you happen to find yourself in Germany, you should really plan on spending some time and creating your own beautiful memories in Leipzig.

Merken

Merken

Merken