Whisks, words and weird encounters [Thinking out loud]

Hey hey, it’s Thursday! It’s time to let our thoughts do happy dances again because we’re this close to the weekend. Or – in other words: to think out loud with our [hopefully] happy host Amanda!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Do you ever get to the point where you’ve read or written a certain word so often that you doubt your own spelling abilities? As in: that you grab a dictionary look the word up online to make sure it’s spelled properly? Case in point: Tuesday’s post. Traditions. A simple word but after reading it what felt like several dozen times I started getting puzzled and double-checked. And you can take that literally because I’m the habitual double-checker in our family. Yes, I’m the kind of person who double or triple-checks to see if the front door is locked or the stove turned off. Better safe than sorry.

2. I think everybody has a most-used kitchen gadget. Aside from spoons – because we all know those are essential and work well for many many tasks. But my real #1 is this one:

wire whisk

3. Sadly, I apparently have a pretty vigorous way of whisking and had to kiss goodbye to a number of them that will keep unveiled.

4. A heart racing like I’d just tried to beat Haile Gebrselassie on a run and jello legs – that was me yesterday night. And no, not because I’d actually been running [I wish!]. The real reason? I’d meant to just quickly take out the trash when I noticed a rather heavily built guy standing on the corner of the street. That alone was enough for me to try and make it a very quick trip outside. Cue panic when he approached me asking if I spoke French – in French, obviously. I just quickly stammered “non, pas bien” and dashed for the house entrance as quickly as I could. Moral of the story: Don’t go outside after dark! Or at least avoid strange men. No matter which language they talk.

5. Can we talk about sales on Easter candy for a minute? You might remember my mum didn’t get me any and the chocolate hens found another purpose. My plan was to stay cool and resist any and all of it. The result?

Lindt_Easter_chocolate

I blame Sam for getting this box of chocolates. Because she asked for the amounts of leftover Easter candy in her last post and when I mentioned I hadn’t gotten any suggested I could still get some. Clearly it was her fault I  found myself in the candy aisle of a huge store that hadn’t sold out all Easter candy yet yesterday, right ;)?!

6. Not to make my mum look like a bad mother, though, she did get me an Easter gift. More or less unintentionally. The story: I had some time to kill in between my train ride and waiting for my bus home on Thursday. That means just one thing: browsing the aisles of the drug store next to the station. Which just so gappens to carry Essie polishes. Which I have a hard time resisting so I decided my mum wanted to gift me a new bottle.

Essie

7.  Thinking about it: Am I supposed to store my nail polishes in the fridge??? I remember seeing or reading it somewhere but I don’t know the reasoning behind it. It seems … weird.

8.Once more there’s just one thing left for me to say: Happy Thursday!

Happiness inducing today: I will never tire of saying this one: sunshine! That and good music playing.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What is your most used kitchen gadget?

Tell me your favourite Easter candy from those you got this year!

 

Seasonally [in]appropriate cravings

Something is very very wrong about this Wednesday and we’re not talking about the weather. Unless you’re one of those people complaining about too much sunshine but then again we probably wouldn’t be friends. Kidding. Maybe. But I digress. What’s wrong is that – unlike last week – we’re not heading right into another long weekend :(. Very right, though, is the fact that Jenn is hosting our weekly virtual foodie party no matter what.

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Something else that might not seem totally right? The answer to the question of whether or not I’ve kept up with my Pinterest challenge: yes, I did. But the Easter break in between that I spent at my parents’ may or may not have ever-so-slightly taken the wind out of my challenge sails. As in: food wasn’t as much of a big deal during the weekend, I hardly cooked or baked – but ate – and my camera took a good nap. Nevertheless, I tried one recipe that was so good I had it for lunch multiple times already and consider it a new favourite:

Coffee & Quinoa_chili

Spring, summer, fall or winter: In my opinion chili is a year-round food [and if you feel differently I'm fine with that but won't let you convince me elsewise ;)]. Actually, I tried this recipe before even sharing the link in my post on Sunday.  And yes, as you can see I included the polenta. In case you remember me and polenta aren’t best friends. Or weren’t?! I’d actually bought a new bag a few days before stumbling upon Erica’s recipe because I had a random craving for cornmeal. Now that I’ve had it multiple times lately I feel it might become a staple for me again. Either way, this chili recipe is one of the best I’ve ever had. If you’ve never tried chocolate in chili before you absolutely have to. It adds a great depth to the dish enhancing the deep flavour and it complements the spices perfectly.

Continuing with my [probably] seasonally inappropriate chili cravings I came up with a Polenta Mushroom Chili Casserole based on Erica’s recipe myself. A thick layer of polenta slices, mushrooms adding a great ‘meaty’ texture, two kinds of beans because one’s not enough and a good sprinkle nutritional yeast [or cheese] on top. Recipe coming soon.

Chili_Polenta Bake

Can I count making the same recipe twice as continuing my challenge? Because they were just that good I simply had to make Ashley’s incredible brownies once more for Easter. One of the few times my mum actually had no obligations against me baking a vegan dessert. Or how else would I explain the disappearance of a batch in less than two days? Despite two non-vegan cakes and the usual overabundance of food at my parents’.

edible perspective_brownies

Seasonally appropriate where my snacks, though. Because I failed to take any pictures of the ice cream happenings on the weekend I’ll end this post on a sweet note with a blogger-approved favourite recent snack: Banana softserve. Why mess with bowls when you can eat it straight from the blender?

banana_softserve_II

Grab a snack to prevent getting too hungry when heading over to Jenn’s What I ate Wednesday or the Vegan Wednesday boards.  If it’s between me and you: banana softserve might not be the best option here. Because the little sweet something above was polished off in about five minutes [at max]. Still delicious.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

 

Happiness inducing today: The scent of lilacs on my walk.

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What was the best dish or snack you ate throughout the Easter festivities?

Is chili seasonally inappropriate or a year-round dish? As I said: there’s no convincing me elsewise but I’m still curious to hear you answers (:.

Does anybody actually bother transferring banana softserve to a bowl?

 

A traditionally untraditional Easter

Hello there and happy Tuesday! Did you all have a great and sunny long Easter weekend?

Even though I’d planned to post yesterday I ended up staying at my parents a little longer and enjoying those last hours. How about we start this post by saying I was right assuming my mum wouldn’t buy a single [chocolate] Easter egg. But one of my grandma’s – the one who got me addicted to Lindt chocolate – made sure our Easter wasn’t all untraditional by mailing us Easter bunnies, no, chicken. By Lindt, obviously ;).

Easter_Lindt-Hühner

… that my mum didn’t even think about ‘slaugthering’ but immediately used for decorative purposes. I’m taking guesses on how long they’ll sit there…

Beautiful was my mum’s Easter bouquet on the table featuring one of my favourite flowers since childhood: bleeding heart. Unique name, gorgeous flower.

Easter_flowers on the table

Recovery-wise Easter didn’t include any mention-worthy triumphs. But I felt more relaxed in consuming more sugar than usual [new favourite: lemon sorbet straight from the tub in between meals]. No picture because once more the camera wasn’t at hand to capture every moment. However, this is a picture from a scoop of [some seriously good mango] ice cream I treated myself to last week, too, so we’ll roll with it. Okay? Awesome. I’m glad we agree here. (:

Ice cream_mango_Giovanni L

Aside from the ice cream I treated myself to [even] more chocolate than usual, cheese, random bits and bites of whatever sounded and looked good. All of this while not going to the gym. Running still isn’t in the cards for me – or not unless I want to worsen my hip pain – and so I spent most of the first two days relaxing. Sometimes exercise just doesn’t happen and that’s okay. Sunday, however, was amazing and more active. Think the best kind of exercise because it doesn’t feel like a formal workout at the gym: a long bike ride with my parents, aunts, an uncle and one of my cousins.

 

Easter weekend_bike tour

These bike tours are an Easter tradition in my family and actually the last one that remained all throughout the years. No Easter egg hunt, no Easter bakets/ gifts or special dinner – but the bike ride is a constant. This year’s included crossing a river with a small ferry. We’d hardly taken our seats when it was time to get off board again.

ferry_Easter 2014

One of the things you learn* from years of venturing on cycling tours with my dad: never trust his guesstimates when it comes to the length of them. Because thirty kilometres easily end up turning into 45. With multiple breaks, obviously. This remainder of a castle gave the backdrop during our longest rest.

*or you don’t… Note to self: pack more snacks!

Easter weekend_bike tour_castle

We were lucky to have the sun accomodate us all day. Somebody may or may not have gotten a slight sun-induced headache, though. As much as I enjoy being out in the sun too much of it makes me feel doozy. Can any other fair-skinned people relate? I’m pretty sure these guys – further proof of my mum considering Lindt a manufactury of decorative objects ;) – will agree there’s such a thing as too much sun. At least once they melt they’ll do…

Easter_Lindt_Goldhasen

Despite some up and downs this was an amazing and truly spring-like Easter weekend with my family. Though we don’t follow any of the usual Easter traditions it was our own traditionally untraditional celebration. And no matter how often I probably wished we stuck to the classic idea like other families do in the end I know that deep within I wouldn’t actually want it any other way. It’s typically us.

Spending time with family is a [sadly rather rare] treat in itself so I’m joining Becky’s Treat Yourself Tuesday for the first time today.

Treat-Yourself-Tuesday-Badge

Relaxed [in the beautiful countryside]. Spoiled [with good food]. Loved [all of it].

 

Happiness inducing today: An extra long hug my mum when we said goodbye.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Does anybody feel like making any guesses on how long the hens from the first picture will stay in that place? If they’re still around the next time I visit my parents I’ll suggest making some nice chicken soup, errr … chocolate fondue. (:

What was your favourite part of the Easter weekend?

Did you do an Easter egg hunt or get an Easter basket?

 

 

Good good links #35

Hello there and happy Easter!

Even though it’s Easter I’m afraid to say I still don’t come bearing gifts [of the egg-shaped and chocolate variety]  ut you’ll forgive me. Because I still have some good reads to share that we might argue can’t rival chocolate but I think it’s important to have food for the brain and belly. Enjoy your brain food now or save for after you’ve successfully completed the Easter egg hunt [just don't make me jealous]!

Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

How Getting Called Fat Actually Improved My Body Image via Mind Body Green

Don’t let others define your self-worth or keep you from checking in with yourself.

 Envy is Ignorance via Kenzie Life

When comparison keeps us stuck instead of motivating us it’s time to step back and focus on our own journey.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

14 Habits Of People With A Healthy Relationship To Food via HuffPost Food

 Mindful eating, no off-limit foods or making up for meals: the signs of intuitiveness and a relaxed behaviour towards eating.

The Answer to Every Fitness Question via Brittany Lesser

 “It depends”: Just because something works for somebody else doesn’t mean it’ll help you achieve your personal goals, too.

76 Genius Ways to Use Coconut Oil in Your Everyday Life via Greatist

Not just good for cooking!

Focus on the change via The Lyons’ Share

 Stop waiting on the final result and celebrate every baby step towards your goal[s].

Inner Bitch vs. Inner Narcissist via Snack Therapy

” Say nice things to yourself.  Be kind.  Be outrageous.”

Blogging

11 helpful wordpress plugins . via Running with Spoons

Great advice to turn your [self-hosted] blog into an even better and more reader-friendly read by using plugins.

5 Tips To Improve Your SEO via The Healthy Maven

 Finding and being found: key in the online world. Here’s how to make sure others will find your little space in the blog world.

 

Good good [things to make you smile]

 You’ll Be Happy After You Read This Post. via Peanut Butter Lover

If this post doesn’t make you happy then… But it will.

I Hate Hashtags via Long Drive Journey

Can we please agree on hashtag moderation? #thankyouverymuch

 

Good good [food] 

Chipotle Chocolate Chili with Baked Polenta via Coffee & Quinoa

Chocolate in chili is amazing as is and this takes it up a notch.

Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas w/ Tahini & Za’atar via The Healthy Maven

A simple but intriguing vegetable dish featuring my favourite legume.

Tunisian Chickpea & Cabbage Shakshouka via the taste space

Traditional shakshouka minus the eggs but plus chickpeas – right up my alley!

Easy Cadbury Creme Eggs (Vegan- & Paleo-friendly) via Detoxinista

Just five [pronouncable!] ingredients and even more tempting than the original.

Dirt Cake with Chia Seed Pudding via Yeah, imma eat that

Not so dirty but actually elegant spin on chia pudding that might even convert a chia pudding skeptic like me.

 Erdbeer-Streusel-Käsekuchen via Eat Up Your Greens [German blog]

A vegan cheesecake even a non-cheesecake person’s dreams are made of.

5 White Vegetables You Should Eat More Of (And Why) via HuffPost Food

And here’s why white food isn’t bad. Reasons to eat even more of our favourite pale vegetable friends.

 

How are your celebrating Easter or – if you don’t celebrate – spending your Sunday?

What were some of your favourite reads from the week?

Germs, grocery store finds and other gems [Thinking out loud]

Thursday are for… traveling. It’s the second week in a row I’m about to spend a good chunk of the day squeezed in a [likely] overcrowded train. Keep your fingers crossed for at least no  drunks [yes, it has happened multiple times before] or crying children in my wagon today! On a nicer note Thursdays are obviously for Thinking out loud! Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some sunshine melting away the surprise [?] snow Amanda got! What’s wrong with you, April?!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. My salsa addiction is getting dangerous. I’m convinced destiny’s trying to tell me something or my salsa company of choice has conspired against me. Either way I had to use violence to access my dip of choice. Don’t worry, though. No knives or fingers were sacrificed in the process of opening multiple jars this way yet. And thanks to above-mentioned salsa consumption I had a spare lid on hand to replace the damaged one.

salsa

2. Speaking of traveling last week’s little [or big, actually] adventure had me leave the house way before my usual time. Meaning that I both had to pack breakfast on the go and got to put my new almond butter transport vehicle to the test. The almond butter jar gets a thumbs up but the baked oatmeal [times two but they didn't fit in one container] needs a little more improvement.

traveling_baked oatmeal

3. A little secret about the above oatmeal cups: My brain was all over the place the two days leading to Thursday that I didn’t bake these until somewhere around 11 PM because I’d completely forgotten I needed to pack breakfast. It happens, I guess?!

4. In honour of our host I had to snap a picture of this at the store yesterday. Does anybody else remember dress-up dolls? Childhood nostalgia. They didn’t beat Barbies but still were good fun. And no, I didn’t buy them.

Disney

5. Does anybody else like to kill time in the checkout line at the store by making guesses on other people judging from their purchases? There are obvious ones like the people buying mass amounts of cat food or those extended families with family sized packages of toilet paper and a month’s worth of mineral water. But then there are also those hard-to-see-through individuals or cute guys that I’m hoping to think are single ;).  Maybe this list will help?

6. Not to cute guys aren’t a rarity either, though. In the subway I saw a guy who blew his nose into his fist – gross enough – only to push the door opener with it right afterwards. Major eww! Ignorance is bliss?! Or maybe one more reason why I always wait/ hope for others to open the doors and carry hand sanitizer with me. Luckily I did not have to use that very door yesterday.

 

7. Only three more days until Easter so the big question is: Do you still get an Easter basket? As sweet as my mum is this is one thing she gave up immediately after the first of my siblings had left the house. It’s not like I couldn’t do without the additional chocolate because I’m well stocked at the moment. But I have to admit I really wouldn’t mind a good Easter egg hunt in my parents’ garden. These used to be a blast in my childhood. Especially when my dad was hiding the eggs. He once got so involved he actually drew a map for himself to make sure we found all candy he’d hidden. Did I mention he’s an organized person?!

8. It’s a wrap once more for this week’s randomness so: Happy Thursday!

 

Happiness inducing today: My neighbours’ two little sons. Only two and five years old but such charmers already. There’s no way not to smile when they are trying to get your attention by jumping around and waving.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What are your plans for the Easter weekend?

Do you still get you an Easter basket? If so: What are its usual contents?

Any fun travel memories to share?

 

 

 

Pinned down deliciousness

Can I get a loud and happy yay for Wednesday? No?! Okay, how about a loud and happy yay for What I ate Wednesday? If it being the middle of the week [or "Bergfest" as we like to say around here] isn’t reason enough for you to rejoice then taking a look at the epic array of good food over at Jenn‘s is? It definitely is the best place for sharing recent kitchen shenanigans.

WIAWbutton_1

… and maybe finding some pin-worthy deliciousness?! Seen. Pinned. Forgotten. Lost in the vastness of picture overload on my – and your [?!] – Pinterest boards. Isn’t it the same all of the time? We see a dish, get intrigued, pin and really mean to make it – and then it never happens. Story of my [cooking] life. That’s why I decided to get back to not just filling my Pinterest boards to the brim but actually trying some others’ culinary creations again. My new goal: not pinning that many recipes anymore* [as if]. If I see an intriguing recipe and happen to have the ingredients: make it. Soon. Let’s see how well I did so far!

gluten-free vegan_brownies_edible perspective

First off was a recipe I’d given a shoutout in one of my last Good good links. And I’m happy to say that my initial comment upon seeing these was spot on. They are incredible. Now I won’t pretend miracles had happened overnight and I’d eaten a whole one in a sitting without so much of a second thought. Fairly enough, though, I probably had the equivalent of a whole one in smaller slivers over the course of their life span. Which – just as expected for incredible* brownies – was … not long. Both my neighbours and my mum gave them a thumbs up as well and how could they not? Just look at this perfection. I might have done a little happy dance upon removing these from the oven seeing their cracked top, amazing goey centre and – okay, I’ll stop it here and hope you pinned them. And will make them soon!

*yes, so good they deserved two pictures in one post. Or maybe I just talked about them so much I needed to add another one.

edible perspective_brownies

Case in point of a seen-and-made-right-away recipe: Arman’s cookie dough. All ingredients on hand I tried it the very day I saw it pretty much after finishing my comment [okay, maybe a few hours later but you get the idea]. My changes were using a mix of peanut and coconut flour like I usually do in the cookie dough crumbles I use as an ice cream topping.  The only objection I have towards this recipe is a fault in the instructions. Rolling it into balls?? Does anybody ever roll raw cookie dough into shape before eating? No.  Cookie dough is meant to be eaten straight from the mixing bowl. Or from the package if store-bought is your way of choice.
breakfast cookie dough

But for portion control and not to gross out my roommate when offering her some I rolled with it. Whichever way, though, these are delicious. Salty and sweet with three-nut-action thanks to me using a mix of peanut and coconut flour as well as almond butter. Dried mulberries as my mix-in of choice added a nice caramelly sweet crunch. Prior to this I wasn’t into the blogger trend of balls/ bites [any dirty thoughts are yours not mine!] because I’m not too much of a fan of the dried fruit and nut mix. These, however, are right up my alley and seeing as I’m going to have the last ones as a snack today I feel a new batch will be made soon.
cookie dough balls_Arman

Despite what it looks like I’ve actually been eating some savoury fare these past days, too. Only none from my Pinterest boards but an old favourite as part of the random snack fest that was one my recent lunches. The only picture I snapped was of this need-to-clean-out-the-fridge zucchini pasta in a creamy eggplant tomato sauce. With chickpeas, obviously. And seconds and thirds. Just like you do.

zucchini noodles

The secret to this dish is stirring coconut butter into the sauce. If you’ve never used coconut butter in sauces before: try it! I hardly ever have coconut milk on hand but a nice spoonful of the white gold that is coconut butter works a charm. I did this before in my Red Lentil Kabocha Chili  and the difference it makes is amazing. From ordinary to rich and creamy in seconds. The whole bowl was made even better by a generous dusting of nutritional yeast.

zoodles_zucchini pasta

And that’s it for this week’s WIAW. Now go and tackle your Pinterest boards :)! Make sure to stop by the Vegan Wednesday board for even more pin-worthy inspiration.

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: A spontaneous blogger meet-up.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Are you giving this week’s Wednesday a yay or nay? It’s a short work week only after all so what’s not to like?!

What’s the last recipe by another blogger you tried and how did it turn out?