barbecued potatoes???

“You want to put potatoes on the barbecue?” my man asked a little puzzled the first time we had a barbecue this year. And I thought: Is that really that weird? Seems just fine to me. So I just put those potatoes that I marinated in olive oil with pepper, salt, thyme and rosemary on the barbecue. And voila, of course he loved them and while he still thinks it is a little weird I had to make them again for our barbecue this weekend. And just to be mocking him a bit I put a radish in the remaining oil and put it on the barbecue too. We couldn’t taste anything else but the radish though, because it wasn’t in the oil long enough. Still, I like to be experimenting and it was fun.

Also I am kind of experimenting with stevia at the moment. For the barbecue, I made lemonade with stevia instead of sugar. Lemon-water is supposed to be so good for your body but of course sugar is not. And I was surprised that the lemonade actually tasted pretty good. I also made it a little more sour than I normally make my lemonade using sugar. This is definitely something I will make again.

barbecueplate stevialemonade

On that plate you can see the barbecued potatoes and the radish. And in the other picture you can see the stevia-lemonade. Doesn’t even look different from normal lemonade, right?

While the meat was on the barbecue I picked some berries. Not quite as many as we would like though. Last year we started out with two young raspberry bushes, transplanting them and all the new little “baby” bushes to a bigger area, we now have a bunch of raspberries. We also transplanted all the offshoots of the strawberries and now have way more than last year. However, strawberries and raspberry bushes won’t grow many berries the first year. In addition to that, so far we weren’t really lucky with the weather. It rained too much therefor the strawberries tasted somewhat watery and many molded when they weren’t even ripe. Now it is sunny and hopefully the last few strawberries will taste better.

In my last post about our gardening adventures I said that we were growing our own seeds. We didn’t research at all in the beginning, just let some radishes grow and as you can see we succeeded. These radishes are produce from this year grown from our own seeds. And we got a lot of seeds. When the radishes were growing beans, I did research a bit and knew that we had to let those beans dry. Each bean has multiple seeds which can easily be removed once the beans are dry.
In the future we will definitely try to get as many seeds from our own plants as possible. This way we can ensure that they are grown 100% organically and not genetically modified even though of course you can buy such seeds. It’s just another step to being as self-sufficient as possible, and it just feels good to know that those vegetables grew from your own seeds.

Are you buying your seeds or do you also grow some on your own?

berries radishes

puff pastry apple cinnamon swirls

I love cinnamon. I love the smell of cinnamon even more, and I adore it with recipes like Franzbrötchen or this new simple recipe. I don’t really make Franzbrötchen very often at all because yeast pastries always take so long. So it is a very nice alternative to make puff pastry apple cinnamon swirls. It takes about 20 minutes and they are done! And again: the smell….mmmmmmmmmhhhhhhhhh. 😀
Just brush a puff pastry square with melted butter, sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar mixture and put diced apples on top of it. Roll from the long side and cut into 2cm wide pieces. Put in the oven at 180°C for about 12 minutes and you are done! Sounds easy and quick, right? If you want you can skip the apples or use raisins, nuts or whatever else comes to your mind.

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a nice and handy hobby: sewing

I noticed that I am almost only posting recipes although I wanted to blog about more than cooking. I want to help inspire people to become more self sufficient and sewing definitely is one part of it.
3 years ago I started sewing. I don’t know why I didn’t start earlier. I would have had the opportunity because my Mom has been sewing for quite a long time. I just wasn’t too interested in sewing. But then I tried it and it was so much fun. So I started going to the sewing course my Mom was going to, too. Even though I am not a beginner anymore, I am still going to that course. There are always new things to learn and you won’t remember all the steps after one time. For example my first thing I sewed were pants. But I have never sewn pants again ever since so I wouldn’t even remember all the steps. Of course the patterns I am using have instructions but often they are still hard to understand or my teacher can still give me helpful tips.
In Germany there is the magazine called “Burda style” and that is where all my patterns come from. When I went to Canada, I didn’t see any magazines that had as many patterns in them. There were only single patterns you could buy at the fabric stores. That makes me kind of sad because I will most likely move to Canada and those patterns cost as much or even more than the magazine that has many patterns inside.

But I might be able to get a subscription and still not pay too much.

In my opinion sewing is a great hobby because it is a good feeling when somebody asks where you bought something and when you say that you made it, they are dumbfounded. And of course it is easier to alter the patterns a bit and get exactly what you want and you won’t see somebody who is wearing the same. Also it is very handy because you can repair broken clothes or make something new out of something old. And it is bugging me a lot that the clothes you buy at the stores (especially shirts) break very fast.

Since I like sewing so much I often go buy fabric even if I still have fabric laying in my box in my sewing room. There is a dutch fabric market here 3 times a year and the fabric is very good and quite cheap! Who could resist going there and buying way too much?
Also there are many little fabric stores around where I live.
The course isn’t available in the summer and it started again 3 weeks ago. So this is what I bought for the course that just started.

These 3 fabrics:

I want to make two blouses using the red and greyish fabric and a blazer, dress and pants using the blue fabric.

And I already started sewing this:


I will make sure to show you what I sew in the future to inspire you guys! 😉

cheese spaghetti bolognese

There are so many different kinds of spaghetti sauces. My favorite one is the simplest one though: bolognese. There are so many different ways you can make this. Sometimes I add mushrooms, red peppers or onions. But the best one I made so far has gouda in it. Why always use parmesan if there also are many other choices?

you need:
olive oil
350g ground beef
500 g tomatoes
2 hands full of fresh basil
1 1/2 tbsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp sour cream
1 cup gouda

Brown the ground beef and spice with pepper and salt. Add the tomatoes. I kind of mush them up with a spoon so that there aren’t big chunks in the sauce. Mix in the bazil, oregano, garlic and chili. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Mix in the sour cream and then add the gouda. Let simmer for another 5 minutes so that the cheese is melted.

This is what I like as a side dish!

Just mix some creme fraîche or sour cream with sugar, lemon juice and some juice of the clementines. You should be able to taste the lemon but it still should be sweet. Add the dressing to the iceberg salad together with the clementines and you have a great tasting and fast to make salad. I always buy canned clementines for this salad, that is why I have some juice. The juice isn’t way too important though.

A few thoughts about an organized home

Soo…. I am kind of behind in writing all those posts that I was thinking of. But lately when I come home from work I don’t really feel like doing anything. It’s been pretty rainy here lately and I guess that makes me so lazy.
There are still so many things on my fall to do list that need to be done. I really want to get all the rooms perfectly clean. Cleaner than ever before 😛 . My plan is to get more organized before we will eventually move into a bigger house with a big garden and have children. I want to know what works best for me for keeping the house tidy. This is why I chose to try deep cleaning in fall and spring. And maybe at some point I won’t even need to deep clean every room at once because I will have a good system. And of course there is my computer that definitely needs some organizing. I have way too much music on my computer so I end up listening to the same songs because I don’t have a good overview. Also there are my pictures that need to be organized.

Here are a few helpful websites I found:

This one has monthly checklists that also account for holidays.

http://creativeorganizing.typepad.com/creative_organizing/2012/01/a-year-of-organizing-checklists.html

And then there is a website with 7 habits that organized people should have. I should really take this to heart.

http://www.operationorganization-mn.com/2011/09/7-habits-of-highly-organized-people.html

I have never really thought of organizing my manuals and warranties:

http://askannamoseley.com/2012/01/day-12-organizing-manuals-warranties/

And a great article about how to keep the house clean

http://www.squidoo.com/clean-and-clutter-free

You can also check out my pinterest board on this topic:

My problem isn’t actually that I am horribly untidy and unorganized but I like getting tips on how to improve and so far I don’t have so much space and so many items to be highly unorganized. But as I said before, it is always good to prepare for the future. 😉
An organized home means that you don’t waste time on looking for something that you need and that you can use your time for something more fun or urgent.
It just makes you feel more comfortable!

Cantaloupe bowl dip

I kind of like the look of cantaloupes and thought that it would be a great idea to hollow it and then reuse it as a bowl. So I came up with my cantaloupe dip.
I mixed together 250 grams mascarpone, 150 grams joghurt, 100 ml whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar. It is so delicious but simple to make. I only dipped the cantaloupe but if you want you can also eat it with bananas, apples or all kinds of different fruits.

As Fall Comes…

It got pretty cold here already and I am in fall mood. So I made a fall to do list. I seperated it into what I have to do indoors and outdoors and what I want to do to have some fun and enjoy this pretty season as much as possible.

There is something I like about every season.
For fall it is the leaves that change their color and that you can light candles and drink some tea or hot chocolate while reading a nice book. Eat apple pies and plum cakes, sometimes even enjoy the rain outdoors (okay, maybe not everyone likes the rain, but I sometimes do… ;-)), go for long walks through the forest and hear the leaves rustling.

” Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ”

Albert Camus