WIAW … with odds, ends and lots of beans

First things first: Congratulations to our wonderful WIAW hostess Jenn, soon-to-be mum of a little pea!

I owe you an apology:  I lied … but I didn’t mean to! In Monday’s post I said I’d talk about something pretty fantastic – cereal!– and while ideas were floating around in my mind already I had yet to write the post. Being at my parents’, though, things life got in between :). I hope you’ll understand.  Be back for some [ce]real action soon :D.

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Seeing as it’s What I ate Wednesday, though, I’m obviously not coming empty-handed in terms of food pictures. While cereal might not have been on the menu I still ate some good meals – sticking with my goal of getting a little more creative in the kitchen.

What it lacks in terms of appearance it makes up for in taste.

What it lacks in terms of appearance it makes up for in taste.

Not usually being a fan of leftovers I was glad to have above bowl of deliciousness waiting for me when I came home ravenous after work: Kidney Beans in Chocolate Mole Sauce. What it lacks in terms of appearance it makes up for it taste.

Somehow I tend to go a little wild shopping at the supermarket every now and then resulting in an overload of produce to be used up. One of those meals thrown together with all kinds of odds and ends that turn out surprisingly tasty: Chickpea and Veggie Stew.

Happy as a chick[pea]

Happy as a chick[pea]

Last week also featured my first time trying Borlotti beans and I’d say I’m pretty fond of them already. Chickpeas still remain my favourite but they might get a little competition from these little magical beans ;).

Another ugly but tasty meal: Borlotti Bean Soup with brown rice

Another ugly but tasty meal: Borlotti Bean Soup with brown rice

Looking at all of those meals it’s pretty obvious I’m a beanie  fond of beans, huh ;)?! Going with Jen’s WIAW motto for this month I obviously also got in my veggies. Stews for the win!

… and whatever happens almond butter will always finds its way into my day.

Almond butter jar

Happy Wednesday!

Are you a fan of leftovers?

What’s your favourite dish featuring beans? Feel free to link me up!

Any other produce overbuyers out there? Please tell me I’m not the only one :D.

MIMM: A fabulous blend [not talking coffee]

Did you all have a nice and relaxing weekend?

After last week’s Berlin adventures mine was definitely more laid-back but no less special thanks to a fantastic first: Meeting a blend! And not just any but the lovely Kat who made my Saturday truly marvelous.

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We’d originally planned to meet a while back already after realizing how close to each other we lived. But university and work got in between hindering an earlier meeting. I’ll admit my usual anxiety came up as I was afraid we might not get along in real life or have nothing to talk about. However, I can now safely say Kat’s one of the sweetest person I’ve met to date and we kept talking non-stop from the very minute I picked her up on the gate. A fabulous blend, dare I say?

Table decor II

With only four hours on hand we tried to make the most of our time and started with the only possible thing: Shopping. Sorry for confirming a girly cliché here ;). But browsing the shops was a necessity. It’s safe to say we could both have spend a little fortune on pajama pants, Hello Kitty bowls and cute mugs [I’ll get you that one next time, Kat!]. Somehow managing to resist larger purchases we headed to our main destination.

I just HAD to get this cute pen – it’s varicoloured after all, right :D.

I just HAD to get this cute pen – it’s varicoloured after all, right :D?!

After my great birthday lunch experience we’d decided to visit the café I’d been to with my mum and friends again. The daily menu sounded fabulous once again.

Menu of the day

Once we’d gotten our beverages and ordered our mains it was time for our gift exchange.

Kat obviously had to try the Sweet Chili Yogi tea I’d been swooning about. No convincing needed ;).

Kat obviously had to try the Sweet Chili Yogi tea I’d been swooning about. No convincing needed ;).

Staying true with her sweet personality Kat spoiled me with goodies. We’d been talking about our fear foods several times before so there was a certain something I’d asked for …

Cereal! Real, sugary cereal.

Cereal! Real, sugary cereal.

Growing up I’d never really eaten a lot of it and when ED hit I eliminated it from my diet completely. Being the cereal queen herself Kat couldn’t let my life go on cereal-less anymore. Therefore she brought me both her favourite and a special kind of cereal I’d asked for. More on that in Wednesday’s post – I’m such a tease, right ;)?! But here’s what else she added.

Hello, Lindt truffles!

Hello, Lindt truffles!

Being quite camera shy in anyway we failed on remembering to get a picture of us taken. Bad blogger alert – sorry! But food pictures make up for it, right J? So here’s what we got at the restaurant.

My entrée: Arabian Chickpea and Kidney Bean Stew with fresh mint and a side of whole-wheat bread with spreads

Not exactly photogenic but a delicious choice nontheless.

Not exactly photogenic but a delicious choice nontheless.

Kat had meant to try the vegan tarte flambée my mum got on my birthday but her order was switched up accidentially. She still enjoyed the vegan quiche she got instead.

Quiche

Time flew by way too fast and we had to say goodbye already. It was so nice to chat about everything but obviously especially fun to go into all kinds of topic only a fellow blogger understands. Exchange about nut butter favourites, taking pictures in public and chocolate definitely happened. One thing we fully agreed on was how fantastic the blogging community is. We were already talking about a future meet-up again on the way to the station. Thanks for the marvelous day, Kat!

Hope you’re all having a great Monday!

 

Have you ever met a blend? What did you do?

Tell me about the best part of your weekend!

WIAW: Bowl-ing in Berlin and raw snackage

Happy Humpday!

How’s your week going so far? Hopefully nice and calm with not too cold weather – it snowed around here again and I’m becoming best friends with my new red thermo tights already ;).

WIAW

Having shown you some pictures of last weekend’s Berlin shenanigans on Monday already it’s time for the foodie goodies today. Thanks to the lovely Jenn for hosting the What I ate Wednesday party!

While I tried to focus on having fun with my mum rather than letting food take over there was quite some deliciousness involved obviously. It all started with a great travel snack – a new brand of raw food cookies I purchased at the organic supermarket last week.  Made from sprouted buckwheat golden flaxseed, sesame and dried fruits these are satisfyingly crunchy. Reminiscent of a certain kind of cookies we used to buy when I was younger.

Raw-licious!

Raw-licious!

As I mentioned in my last post already my mum is embarrassed of me taking pictures of food in public. Therefore I captured the cookies before we went to Berlin – a fair compromise, huh ;)? Unfortunately, this also means I can’t show of our late Saturday lunch at Emma Pea. Let me just tell you that that the vegan Tuscan Bean Stew I ate was ridiculously good stick-to-your-ribs food. No crumbles beans were left behind :D. Reflecting all the food eaten in Berlin a theme was emerging already here: Most of my meals appeared in bowls. Just the best way, right?!

Berlin

Right after eating we caught the train to a vegan’s food paradise: Veganz, Berlin’s first all-vegan supermarket. Mustering up the utmost of self-restraint I managed to walk out with comparably tiny loot: Daiya Cheddar and Pepperjack Cheese as well as a new-to-me kind of cashew butter.  Also, I got the chance to taste-test Coyo Coconut yogurt but honestly wasn’t impressed.

Seeing cheesy lunches and buttery snacks in my future ;)

Seeing cheesy lunches and buttery snacks in my future 😉

Sunday as a non-shopping day presented me with  a much better opportunity to take my camera with me. And yes, I even convinced my mum :).

Wait, did I ever say I didn’t enjoy flea markets? Forget all about that – as soon as they offer food samplings I’m in! Taste-tasting locally made honey and honey-based Dulce de Leche spreads in interesting flavours multiple times each. Hey, we bought some after all, too ;).

Chai Latte, Sesame Caramel and Vanilla were just few of many delicious flavours

Chai Latte, Sesame Caramel and Vanilla were just few of many delicious flavours

The long-awaited foodie highlight of our Berlin trip happened in the afternoon, though: Dolores! Living in Germany we don’t have Chipotle – shocking, I know! – but this awesome restaurant makes up for it. With locations in Berlin only I make sure to go there every time I visit in the city. Burrito Bowls for my mum and me [bowl-ing continued ;)], Burritos for my aunt and her boyfriend. [Please excuse the bad pictures and use of flash but the room didn’t provide good lighting and we were excited to start munching.]

Mum's bowl - still topped with the obligatory homemade tortilla chips.

Mum’s bowl – still topped with the obligatory homemade tortilla chips.

Fresh, healthy and incredibly flavourful: Brown rice, black beans and refreshing salsa.

Fresh, healthy and incredibly flavourful: Brown rice, black beans and refreshing salsa.

.. .and while the weather gods didn’t offer up too much mum and I made sure to bring some brightness into the weekend.

I clearly know whom I got my preference for bright colours from :).

I clearly know whom I got my preference for bright colours from :).

Ending with a fun sight we happened upon: Walk-in coffee, anybody?

 Need a quick caffeine fix? Berlin’s gotten all coffee lovers covered.

Need a quick caffeine fix? Berlin’s gotten all coffee lovers covered.

 

Do you like Mexian food? What do you usually get?

What are your favourite traveling snacks?

Are you good at practicing self-restraint when it comes to foodie purchases ;)? I was surprised by myself this time, actually.

MIMM: Berlin-ating weekend with my mum

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend and a good start into the week. Thanks to Katie for hosting the weekly Marvelous in my Monday link-up! Did you see the new logo already? It’s so cute!

MiMM_new

 

Mine was – you guessed it – marvelous and this time especially so. Why?  For once, I got to visit Berlin again and second with my best friend: My mum. She’s my favourite travel companion – or favourite person in general  J. Going to Berlin had been on our agenda for a while now and we finally worked out a weekend  to put our plan into action. While we only had about one and a half days we made the most of our time.

The sky’s the limit – or the train connections ;)

The sky’s the limit – or the train connections 😉

Arriving on Saturday afternoon we quickly settled in my aunt’s place who generously allows us to stay at hers whenever we visit Berlin. After that we spent the remainder of the afternoon doing the natural girly thing: Shopping :)! Some vegan food shopping at Veganz, Berlin’s vegan supermarket, was included – more on that in this week’s What I ate Wednesday post!

Ready, steady, go – the typical Berliner Ampelmännchen.

Ready, steady, go – the typical Berliner Ampelmännchen.

I’m sorry to admit there aren’t too many pictures from that day. First, because I didn’t feel like lugging around my heavy DSLR and second – and more importantly – my mum isn’t too keen on me taking pictures of everything. How does your family take your blogging photography “duties” ;)?

When our stomaches started rumbling we headed for the first lunch spot I’d looked up: Emma Pea, a vegetarian and vegan bar/café located on a former railroad property. Berlin’s full or interesting places like that.

EmmaPea_aussen

(Picture taken from here where you can also find a more detailed review.)

As for the food part you’ll have to wait until Wednesday ;). Just to let you know already there’s just one way to describe it: Incredibly delicious! But we obviously did much more than eat so let’s get going!

“Nice weather" – not exactly what Berlin greeted us with but they sky’s only as gray as you see it :).

“Nice weather” – not exactly what Berlin offered but the sky’s only as gray as you see it :).

Unfortunately, we didn’t score any tickets for the Berlinale – a huge annual film festival with many international stars taking place right when we visited. Therefore, Saturday evening was spent chilling at my aunt’s with mum, my aunt and her boyfriend. Chatting about their projects, catching up and snacking on salted peanuts and crackers –we didn’t feel like we were missing out :).

Museum of Communication

Outside the Museum of Communication which we visited on Sunday.

Sunday started off with a leisurely breakfast and then it was flea market time! While I’m not the hugest fan of them in general my mum could easily spent hours rummaging around the stalls. We met my aunt and her boyfriend at the “Mauerpark-Flohmarkt” (flea market located at Berlin’s “Wall Park”).

Despite chilly temperatures we – yes, even me, the non-flea market person 😉 – had a blast foraging the many stalls. Mauerpark flea market vendors offer anything from random bits and bobs like ornated door knobs

 Flea market 1

… handmade soaps in a variety of interesting scents

Which one to choose?!

Which one to choose?!

and many more of the cutest handmade items – and no, I don’t care they’re meant to be for babies! I was this close to buying one of the cushions.

No, I don't care they're supposed to be for babies.

Never too old for this cutesy!

Fast forward to the afternoon we visited two museums and ate at my favourite place in Berlin which I’ll talk about in another post as this one’s getting too long already :D.

Berlin is one of the cities that fascinate – or in this case: Berlin-ate – me each time anew. It’s an international city brimming with a plethora of museums, theatres, restaurants and many interesting people. There’s so much to see and do it’s impossible to fit everything into a weekend. Needless to say the days rushed by and my mum and I had a great time. Plans for a future visit were made already – fingers crossed it’s going to be soon!

Which is one of your favourite cities to visit and why?

Flea markets: Yay or nay?

What’s your favourite activity to do with your mum? While I enjoy any time spent with my mum our weekend getaways to Berlin or other cities sure rank high among my favourites.

Food with a side of feelings

Happy Wednesday! We’re almost over the hump of the week – can anybody else sense the weekend already?

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Anyway, let’s get back to what you came for: Food in all its glory [or not, depending on the quality of my pictures.].  Thanks to Jenn for hosting the WIAW party!

Spending yet another weekend at my parents’ meant a change from my routine in a few ways. One of them being the huge array of snack foods [read: granola, chips, nut butters and the likes] available all of the time. Whenever I arrive at my parents’ house I immediately start raiding the cabinets :D.

Crunching and munching away on granola.

Crunching and munching away on granola.

I’ll be honest, though, and say that this causes me quite a bit of guilt afterwards. But as we all know guilt isn’t a pleasant feeling I tried a different approach this time: A [mostly] calorie count-free weekend. After all, why shouldn’t what worked around Christmas work again here? Instead, I focused on the happy feelings these foods gave me. How bad can a food be for you if it evokes cheerful memories?

How does gifted chocolate taste even better than usual?

How does gifted chocolate taste even better than usual?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to snap as many pictures of food as I meant to. My parents don’t understand why anybody would do so let alone post them on a blog for the whole world to see.

Look gross, taste great: Blueberry Vanilla baked oats haven’t gone old yet.

Look gross, taste great: Blueberry Vanilla baked oats haven’t gone old yet.

Letting myself have some of my old favourites like this snack mix again was incredibly freeing. We used to get it all the time when my sibling and I were still living at home. Back in the days when terms like “clean foods” and “saturated fats” hadn’t crossed my path yet.

Feelings are what makes food taste special. Think about times when eating was the most pleasant to you. Where was it? Whom were you sharing these meals with? For me, eating with others has happened less since I developed my ED and then even lesser after I’d moved out. But it’s these shared meals that make food taste even better. I’m determined to make them happen more often again, though.

Lasagna at a local café a while back -  made special by the lovely company of my mum.

Lasagna at a local café a while back – made special by the lovely company of my mum.

Additionally, I find the taste varies a lot depending on who prepared it. So far I haven’t come a meal that wouldn’t have varied in taste when cooked by different people. Let’s hope my parents truly enjoyed the Semmelknödel (traditional German dish) I prepared for us as much as I did :). Well, at least they said they did.

Getting started by assembling my ingredients …

Getting started by assembling my ingredients …

I pondered using whole-grain bread and subbing a few ingredients here and there to make the recipe lighter and healthier. Honestly, though? I’m glad I didn’t do in the end as some recipes just aren’t meant to be modified.

….aaand the finished dish: Comfort food at its best [excuse the dark picture – late Winter afternoons don’t provide the best lighting].

….aaand the finished dish: Comfort food at its best [excuse the dark picture – late Winter afternoons don’t provide the best lighting].

When asked for my favourite dish in the past I didn’t know an answer. Maybe that’s because I hadn’t had this dish in too long. Not going to let that happen again. Food is meant to be enjoyed – with happy feelings.

No day is complete without a bit more of this: New-to-me brand of almond butter.

No day is complete without a bit more of this: New-to-me brand of almond butter.

 

 

Do you have favourite memories linked to certain foods?

What does make a meal special to you (the company, ingredients, …)?

Which was your favourite dish as a child? What is it today?

Marvelous in my Monday: Snowy, sweet and spoiled

Happy marvelous Monday everybody!

Marvelous

My weekend was once again spent at my parents’ which actually is just now becoming regular. The last two semesters and working weekend shifts didn’t allow me to go home to see my family too often. That’s why I’m embracing the opportunities I get all the more now :). Family is what’s making my whole life more marvelous.

The snowy part of my weekend was enjoyed on a nice walk with my mum. We ended up talking about many things that were on my mind lately. Honestly, whichever worries I might have: Talk-and-walks with my mum always make me feel at least a little more positive afterwards.

Snow

Sweetness found its way into my life with this belated birthday package by my grandma. She left it at my parents’ as we weren’t able to see each other on my actual birthday. Now that’s making it birthday month for sure, right :D?!

One of my current favourite colours nontheless.

One of my current favourite colours nontheless.

What made smile even more was the bar of chocolate. Usually, my grandma adds a Milka chocolate bar (all of which are whole-milk) to the birthday and Christmas presents for any of her grandchildren. As I eat mostly vegan and don’t care about milk chocolate mine usually gets eaten by my siblings or parents which is fine with me. I’d never blame grandma for it – you do all know I make sure to get my chocolate fix in anyway ;).

Not quite Lindt but who am I to discriminate good chocolate ;)?!

Not quite Lindt but who am I to discriminate good chocolate ;)?!

This time, though, grandma bought me an extra dark bar and I was really touched by her thoughtfulness. Warm socks for my always cold feet and chocolate for the soul made me feel seriously spoiled.

Another piece of marvelousness was brushing of winter by wearing one of my favourite dresses. Just because.

 

I’m all about lace any season of the year, really.

I’m all about lace any season of the year, really.

… and another thing that made my Monday marvelous was our fabulous host Katie‘s post today! You know what I’m taking about, right? Congratulations on getting a little rockstar, Katie!

 

What made your weekend marvelous?

Which is your favourite bar of chocolate (brand, cocoa percentage)?

Do you ever wear special dresses/clothes just because?