Mix-Tape Monday: Pop Star Crush


It’s about time I get back to blogging, so why not do it with another music prompt?

Boo and Me

I happen to notice that I always end up posting on this prompt when it gets embarassing for me, so here it goes:

This band, consisting of nine siblings, was really popular in Europe in the 90s, and I was a big fan since I was about 8 years old. I used to have the biggest crush on one of the boys (the protagonist in the following video). And I totally didn’t care that every grown-up said he looked like a girl – kinda understandable from today’s point of view :D.

I hope you enjoy the weirdness of this cinematographical masterpiece – must have cost a fortune to produce back then (when CGI was super-expensive):

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Beautiful memories – “Fernweh”


Now this is not the time or the place
for a broken-hearted,
’cause this is the end of the rainbow
where no one can be too sad

No I don’t wanna leave
but I must keep moving ahead
’cause my life belongs to the other side
behind the great ocean’s waves

Bye bye, Hollywood Hills
I’m gonna miss you, where ever I go
I’m gonna come back to walk these streets again
Bye bye, Hollywood Hills forever

I take part of you with me now
and you won’t get it back
and a part of me will stay here,
you can keep it forever, dear

Bye bye, Hollywood Hills
I’m gonna miss you, where ever I go
I’m gonna come back to walk these streets again
Remember that we had fun together
Bye bye….

This song by Sunrise Avenue always reminds me of the wonderful time I spent in California, almost 3 years ago now. Every time I hear it, I see myself and my husband walking the streets of L.A. and San Francisco, fascinated by the cities’ many sides. In these moments, I want nothing more than to take the next plane that takes me over there, back to the beautiful country with its wonderful people and places ÔŁĄ

Sunrise Avenue – Hollywood Hills

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What’s for dinner?


This week was the first week in months during which I had the time to prepare a nice dinner more than once – so I tried out new stuff and did some nice winter dishes to go with the rainy, stormy and cold weather outside. So here are a few snapshots from my kitchen!

 

Simple goulash
Just beef, onions and red wine. Yes, it’s that simple.

Baked apples
One of our favorites during winter and especially the holiday season.
Mix some marzipan with raisins, chopped almonds and – for the grown-ups ­čśë – a few drops of rum. Fill the apples, put a little of the filling on top and sprinkle with vanilla sugar or brown sugar. Bake and serve with ice cream.
It’s usually served as a dessert – but it works just as well as a sweet dinner (plus, apples are good for you, right? ­čśë ).

Coffee chili
I’ve made this a couple of time already and it’s always delicious (the recipe, in German, can be found here). The ingredients (coffee, dark beer, cocoa) create a really nice flavor and it’s simple to prepare – what more could you want?┬á

Banana bread
This one was a first for me, I got the recipe from here.
I was too curious how it would turn out, so it was still a little too hot when I took it out of the pan – and broke in two! However, it tastes just great!

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Teaser Tuesday


This one is a weekly reading meme I found while browsing the web, hosted by MizB on Should Be Reading:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) ÔÇťteaserÔÇŁ sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesnÔÇÖt give too much away! You donÔÇÖt want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I loved the idea, so here’s mine for this week, taken from “The Pact” by Jodi Picoult.

“Chris walked away to kneel at the grave again, and Gus thought, Ah of course. He wants to talk to her. But to her amazement Chris straddled the slight mound and lay down on top of it, his arms holding close the flower arrangements he was crushing, his head and shoes just spanning the six feet, his face pressed into the earth.”

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Mix-Tape Monday: The first song you bought


Boo and Me
Looking for some nice weekly memes to document life in a fun way, I stumbled upon this one on Booandme.

Today’s topic is “The first song you bought”. It’s gonna be embarrassing – that much I can say already.

I think I might have bought this CD when I was about 8 years old and it was the first one with “real” music (I don’t count kids’ CDs/cassettes with children’s music on them^^).
Alright, so here’s one of Europe’s first boybands, called “Caught in the Act”. Its members were Dutch and English (if I recall correctly) and well…I don’t think there’s a lot that I could say about the clip that follows, except that it’s probably a document that perfectly illustrates the 90s in all their tasteless glory.
Well, there you have it. I’m gonna shamefully crawl into a corner now – and assure you that my taste in music has improved immensely (!) since then.
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Great-Grandma’s spritzgeb├Ąck (German butter cookies)


These delicious cookies have been made by the women in my family for generations and are still a part of our annual Christmas baking.

(go here for metric to imperial conversion)

250 g butter
250 g sugar
4 teasp. vanilla sugar*
3 egg yolks
500 g flour
2 teasp. baking powder
1 tblsp. milk
flavoring to taste (lemon peel, orange peel, vanilla, cinnamon….)

Whisk the butter together with the sugar and vanilla sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks and whisk again. If you want to use flavoring, add it now. Mix together the flour and the baking powder, sieve and add to the butter-sugar-mixture spoon by spoon. If the dough becomes too stiff, add a little milk.

Let rest in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. The dough should be firm and not at all sticky (add a little more flour if you can’t knead it easily by hand).

Form different shapes by pressing it with a cookie press or a similar tool (a meat grinder with a small opening works great – that’s what my great-grandmother used). It won’t be stretchy enough for cutting out cookies!

Bake until slightly (!) brown at the edges by 175-200┬░C. Baking time differs with the thickness and shape of the cookies.

Let cool on a cooking rack. If you want, dip one half of the cookies into melted chocolate (or icing) and let dry.

Enjoy!

* if you live in an area where you can’t get your hands on vanilla sugar, you can use either vanilla extract (1 teaspoon extract equals about 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar) or simply make your own: cut one vanilla bean into pieces, scratch/stab the pieces with a sharp knife to release the flavor and put into a small box. Fill with plain sugar, close the box and lest rest for a few days. The sugar will get a nice vanilla flavor. You can refill the sugar a couple of times before the vanilla bean doesn’t release its flavor anymore (mine’s already a couple of months old and still works.
Vanilla sugar is great for baking, but also to sweeten your coffee, hot chocolate etc.

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Christmas baking


Yesterday I spent almost all day in my parents’ kitchen together with my mom to do some traditional and (non-traditional) German Christmas baking.

After six hours, multiple filled baking trays, using the generations-old cookie press/meat grinder and several packets of flour, sugar and other delicious ingredients, we ended up with the following:

 

Spritzgeb├Ąck (butter cookies, formed with a cookie press)

The recipe is one of the handed down recipes from my great-grandmother (and probably her mother, and her mother…you get the picture). We also still form these in the old cast-iron cookie press (similar to a meat grinder) she used.
So besides these being absolutely delicious, they always add a little tweak of nostalgia to the baking process – as my grandma, my mother and me all remember making these around Christmas together with our mothers and grandmothers.
I’ll be happy to share the recipe in a following post.

Oatmeal cookies with cranberries and macadamia nuts

Although we make oatmeal cookies almost every year, this time we tried them with a twist and added dried cranberries and chopped macadamia nuts.

Swedish gingerbread

Ever since first making them last year, my whole family loves these. I got the recipe from my favorite cooking website here. If you need a translation, I’ll be happy to do it – these just cannot be ignored!

Vanillekipferl (vanilla flavored cookies)

Probably one of the most-baked cookies in Germany around Christmas. There are probably as many recipes as there are families who make these ­čśë

Mulled wine cookies

These were a first, but although they were slightly more work than the others they were so worth it. Also, they are definitely cookies for grown-ups since the filling is made of cooked red wine spiced with orange peel, cloves and cinnamon (most of the alcohol evaporates during the cooking) and the icing contains a few sips of rum. With the dough refined by adding orange peel, these are a delicious combination of flavors!
Also, as you can see, I’ll probably never win an award for decorating with icing ­čśÇ

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