Tell me which are your favorites?
It has been three years since I started my two blogs. I had no knowledge nor any experience when it came to blogging. With the help of some friends I was able to get started. I have enjoyed the process of embarking on something new where I could share my love of cooking and traveling with others. At the beginning I spent a lot of time in Germany taking care of my ailing mother. Blogging enabled me to have something else to do. I quickly connected with other bloggers around the world who had similar interests and I enjoyed reading their stories. The connections I have made are very important to me. They have become part of my life . The blogging community feels like an extended family to me.
I also wanted to organize my recipes to make them more accessible to my friends and myself. In my Wanderlust blog I share trips and experiences I have encountered. Overall, my blog has provided me with a creative outlet that connects me with people from around the world. I find it fascinating. I am thrilled with the surprising number of people who visit my blog. Thanks to all of you for showing an interest and connecting with me. It is greatly appreciated and I am thankful for the comments and encouragement. You have enriched my life. Hopefully, I can provide you with some interesting and delicious tidbits of life, traveling, and cooking.
Here are some of my posts from the last three years. Click on the picture for the recipe.
Tell me which are your favorites?
I get up very early these days since I am recovering from jet lag. I love the early hours because they are quiet and peaceful and I have them all to myself. What a treat! It takes awhile for me to adjust and get back into the groove.
Do you remember when I wrote about packing light? Well, I didn't this time. Whenever we have a car, we seem to overdo it. We took a lot of stuff to the village for the wedding: gifts, dresses and shoes just for the wedding. What can I say? My grand nephew really liked his Hawaiian shirt and the flip flops were also a hit. Originally we had planned on returning with an empty canvas bag. However, both my husband and I managed to fill it up. My husband bought a gargoyle at a garden show in our little town where we stayed for my niece’s wedding. I managed to fill up the rest of the bag.
Continue to read about my trip on my
Wanderlust Blog ( klick here)
Cooking helps me to reconnect and what is better than a good breakfast.
These banana pancakes might do the job ( klick here for the recipe ).
These crustless little mini-quiches or muffins also make a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are filled with vegetables and even taste good cold
(klick here for the recipe).
I need protein for my morning meal and these delicious pancakes pack in 10 grams of protein and are ready in 10 minutes. They have three ingredients: a ripe banana, one egg, and 2 tablespoon of whole wheat flour.
In general, I am not a pancake person, but when I saw this recipe in Cooking Light I was intrigued. I have made them several times, sprinkled them with some blueberries, roasted nuts and a little bit of maple syrup. I like these pancakes because they are soft and fluffy and only have 228 calories without the toppings. This is important to me right now since I have expanded a bit over the holidays . I don't like to deprive myself of good food—and don't like being hungry.
Sometimes when life has too many hurdles and I don't have the answers or solutions, I go for a ride or a walk into the countryside. Nature gives me a helping hand. It smiles upon me and let's me forget the worries of the world. It calms my fears and reminds me that there is always a new beginning and beauty wherever I am.
Last week, before New Year’s 2016, my husband and I went on such a ride exploring the country roads off beautiful Highway 1 along our Pacific coast. As an afterthought, I took my camera. This stretch of highway between San Francisco and Santa Cruz is stunning and beautiful—and I can never get enough. But the small roads off Highway One are even better—and not so crowded. One of my favorites is Swanton Road, which parallels Highway One in a horseshoe for about 8 miles. On the way back to Santa Cruz, we stopped at Davenport Landing, another small horseshoe-shaped road on the ocean side of Highway One. There is a place that raises abalone, which I’ve never tasted and hope to get to one day. I have always loved the little town of Davenport, which reminds me of early days of coastal California. Davenport has a great glass studio, Lundberg Studios, where I have gotten several special pieces. They even have a great seconds studio. There is also a wonderful inn and restaurant, called the Davenport Road House, that has live music Tuesdays and Fridays. All the locals seem to like the Whale City bakery, that has a great menu and delicious home-baked treats. Not to mention beer & tacos for $2 each on Thursday nights. With live music..
On the ride back to Santa Cruz, I always go along West Cliff Drive. As many times as I have walked along West Cliff Drive, I never tire of the beauty, serenity and ruggedness of the views where the Pacific Ocean meets the land mass of North America. So many many times, I have sat on one of the benches along West Cliff contemplating my life, sometimes with tears, but always soothed by its never-ending beauty. I am so privileged to call this place home.
As the sun sets on our Pacific coast many of you have already started the New Year hoping for peace and new beginnings. No matter where you are I wish you all a happy and peaceful
filled with love, happiness and renewed hope.
I would like to thank all of you for the kind and encouraging comments and for visiting my humble little blog. It means a lot to me to be able to share this part of my life with you.
and cheers to a new year wherever you might be. I hope to be able to share some new adventures and recipes with you and wish you all the very best.
These savory little mini-quiches are just right for my new life as a student. There are easy to carry with you and make a great healthy snack. They taste good, even when they are cold. You can customize them to your own liking and add only those veggies you or your loved ones enjoy.
I would love to make them with young children and have them choose as what vegetables they would like to put in them—a great way to introduce kids to new veggies. I think the potatoes are a necessity, but you could try sweet potatoes. I put in mushrooms because I like them and I had some leftover cooked kale. I think spinach would be just as good, if not better. I added some zucchini and that tasted good too. I would like to experiment with little pieces of ham or bacon to make it like a Quiche Lorraine without the crust. As you see, the possibilities are endless.
Yes, I enrolled in our local junior college to take a class in digital photography. The junior college gives people the opportunity to go to college and prepare for a job or a four-year university education. It gives people like me a chance to be a life-long learner. I can wholeheartedly support such worthy institutions. When I came to this country many moons ago, a different junior college gave me a chance to get an education, for which I'm forever grateful.
It's apple season and time to make my Apple Strudel Cake.
My folders, my cookbooks, and my drawers are full of recipes that are dear to me. They help me find and create dishes for my family and friends. They are the backbone of my cooking — my memory. My blog is an attempt to somewhat organize and compile my favorite recipes.
Food is nourishment, it sustains our body and gives us energy. Many of us have made decisions about which foods are best for us. I always love any kind of mushrooms—chanterelles are my favorite, but I think shiitake mushrooms are healthier for me.
Years ago, I saved this recipe for broiling shiitake mushrooms which was printed in our local newspaper. I have made them many times because I love the meaty, chewy flavor of the broiled mushrooms. They are great to use on salads, especially with arugula. Put the grilled mushrooms on a bed of arugula or mixed greens and use the warm juice as a dressing and you have a delicious salad! When I don't use the mushrooms right away, I keep them in the refrigerator as a healthy snack. Once you make these, trust me, they will be a staple of your diet, if you like mushrooms.
A refreshing crowd-pleaser
Our little California coastal town had a hot spell for several days. Usually when the central valley heats up, we get fog and the sun often doesn't come out until noon. So, I enjoyed the heat and the sun and decided to make a refreshing German beverage called Erdbeer Bowle for my book club meeting. I had made this once before during one of my summer parties and it was an absolute hit. Everybody loved it.
When I was recently in Germany, we celebrated May Day in our village with May wine (Mai Bowle). Read more about my trip on Wanderlust. May wine is an old, traditional beverage brewed with Sweet Woodruff (Waldmeister). Another one of my favorites when in Germany is Berliner Weiße, beer mixed with Waldmeister syrup. It's absolutely delightful when sitting in an outdoor cafe on a hot day. Having never come across Sweet Woodruff here in the US, I made strawberry punch (Erdbeer Bowle) instead. It is also very refreshing and sets a festive mood for an enjoyable gathering. There were six in our book club and we drank it all! I had started with only one bottle of wine, but added another later. To keep it cold, I freeze a large block of ice. Be creative when choosing a container. I used a large flower vase. Enjoy!
Last week, Robert and I decided to tackle some tomatoes from his garden. He came over with a variety of ripe, just-picked heirloom and smaller tomatoes We decided to make two different kinds of tomato sauce. One of the recipes had been in my canning folder for years. It came from a 2006 Gourmet magazine article named "Grandma’s Tomato Sauce" and was edited by Edith Guerino. I changed the recipe a bit by adding more sugar and a large carrot to offset the acidity. It turned into a wonderful creamy sauce. For the second sauce recipe, I used Alton Brown’s recipe but changed several ingredients and how the sauce was roasted and completed. The roasted sauce has a tart flavor but a rich tomato taste and is great to put over fish. Robert brought his tomato device that separates the seeds and the skin from the fruit, a clever machine that saved us time and aggravation. I made a large faro salad with tomatoes and herbs using Giada De Laurentis' recipe. For over a week, I kept the tomatoes on a cookie sheet in my cold downstairs office. One night I made a platter of tomato slices with mozzarella and another night we had lamb chops with Julia Child’s "Tomates A La Provençal." Absolutely delicious!
A Wonderful Appetizer
Here are some thick sliced tomatoes on a bed of lettuce, topped with fresh mozzarella, pesto, slow -baked tomatoes, and sprinkled with fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
I have been slow roasting tomatoes for several years. I use them like a marmalade on different appetizers. They taste great just by themselves and keep in the refrigerator for about a week .
I am not a big pesto fan, but I love using it in my seafood pasta dish—and basil is abundant in the summer. I make a batch and freeze whatever is leftover.
This topping or sauce is one of my favorite dishes
In Germany this sauce is called "Grüne Soße". I love this dish and have made it many times with different ingredients and in different variations. I sometimes use quark, a German soft cheese, similar to ricotta, but creamier. When quark is not available Greek yogurt is just as good. The same goes for the herbs, I use parsley, green onions, chives, dill, and sometimes I use sorrel and a little bit of tarragon. The idea is to have about a cup of green herbs. Adding a clove of garlic will make the sauce pungent. In Germany it is traditionally eaten with hard boiled eggs and boiled potatoes. It tastes great with salmon cakes.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. It means a lot to me and I love to hear from you .
Comments in English and German are welcome!
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