Thinking out loud #2

Confession: I started compiling randomness for this post days ago already in anticipation for another round of Thinking out loud. It’s late already as I’m finally able to use the internet so let’s dive straight into the randomness. Not before saying thanks to our host Amanda, though: Thank you, girl!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. My family’s taking turns in where we gather to celebrate Christmas. This year we’ll be at my grandparents’ again. If it’s the same for you here’s a reminder of what to expect and get excited already:

Source
Source

2. Oh, and if in addition you’re single during the holidays? Even better (apparently).  [Note Julie from PB Fingers making an appearance!]

3. How about fried cookie dough balls for dinner? It might have actually happened around here on Thursday night. I’d prepared another batch of dough for Traumstücke and stuck it into my parents’ fridge to chill when leaving for an appointment. My mum wasn’t at home when my dad returned from work in the evening ravenous so he figured she’d left him dinner in the fridge. Seeing as my mum had prepared a giant amount of seitan the days before he assumed that would be what was in the mixing bowl. Luckily, he somehow got distracted from actually diving into the cookie dough bowl. Gingerbread-flavoured seitan? Interesting …

Träumchen

4. Call me a moon watcher. No matter how often I’ve seen it already full moon draws me in each time anew. We’ve had it for the past few days and it already had  me almost stumble over a rock lying on the side of the path leading up to our house. Just because I had my head in the stars was watching the moon. But wouldn’t you take every peek at it you can get, too?

5. That being said: Any ideas on how to use this little gem I picked up at the market last week?

Little_squash

6. While I’d noticed the days before that next Friday would be the 13th I’d completely forgotten upon waking up the day itself. It wasn’t until turning on the radio in the car that I was reminded of the fact again. [Side note: Does anybody else get just a little annoyed by radio presenters needing to stress these kind of ‘special’ days just about every 30 minutes? Why not just celebrate another occasion to say TGIF!?]

7.  It’s almost too simple to call it a recipe. But I figured I’d include the Celeriac Apple Stew/Mash mentioned in this week’s WIAW post for a little strange but good action. Given it’s randomness I hadn’t originally intented to post so my measurements aren’t totally exact. Aren’t recipes just guidelines in anyway?  Preparation: Sauté the onion in a small pot. Add celeriac and almond milk, cook until soft. Blend mixing in the spices. Return to the stove and add kale and mushrooms.  Let cook until kale is wilted and mushrooms are soft. Stir in apple sauce, kidney beans and chopped apple to warm through. I topped mine with a dollop of soy yogurt.

Apple_Celeriac

  • ¼ small celeriac root
  • ¼ small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 handful of kale, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup of kidney beans
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp hot curry powder
  • 2 tbsps of unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ small sweet apple, chopped

8. Not only am I a produce over-buyer but I get special produce anxiety, too. Never heard of that? Maybe because I made the term up. Do you ever buy a certain rare ingredient all excited to use it – only to end up letting it sit around for ages. At worst going bad just because you can’t decide on the one special enough recipe to use it in? That is what I’m calling special produce anxiety.

9. Only two more ‘mandatory’ Christmas gifts to buy! By Monday I was still unsure I’d finish my shopping in time [and announcing this might be knocking on wood …] but now that I’ve even gotten the hardest to buy for person on my list – my dad – covered I feel more relaxed. Fingers crossed my orders will arrive in time!

[Edited to add Rafflecopter was cheating on me so my giveaway is still open today. Sorry!]

10. Stealing a great idea from our host Amanda I added orange zest to my oat bran today. If only it was possible to get all of it from the grater … Any tips?

Zest

And with that I’m off to work again eating said breakfast while typing an article. Wherever you are right now:

Happy Thursday!

Happiness inducing today: A friend doing me a favour.

Share some randomness with me:

Who’s the hardest person to buy for in your family? Did you already find a gift for that person this year?

Meet my new best food friends [BFFs]

First my blogiversary reflections on Monday, then continuing the birthday shenanigans with cake bread pudding and a gifts yesterday and now another double [foodie] party. Celebrating three days in a row?! I can’t say I ever did that before but it feels pretty good. Especially when there’s lots of good food involved. I’ll admit I’m a little bugged to notice it’s the last time we can use Jenn’s adorable Halloween-themed What I ate Wednesday logo and I completely forgot to create any spooky snacks. Sorry, Jenn, I promise I’ll try harder next time. Just like last week I’ll also join Vegan Wednesday again. Make sure to hop over to both Jenn’s and Regina’s link-ups for even more foodie inspiration.

WIAW_halloween button

Some cravings make perfect sense. It’s freezing outside, raining cats and dogs and all I want it a bowl of chili. I think all of us have that one go-to chili recipe that they know by heart and whip up whenever the temperatures drop to a chill. Mine is a Bulgur Chili coming from a cooking magazine and has been in my rotation for years. Only guess what I didn’t have on hand when last Thursday turned out to be nasty and practically scream for chili? Bulgur. And time or patience to wait for grains to cook. Luckily Michelle must have sensed this because she posted her recipe just that day. Problem solved.

Chili

You know me and my ways, though, so I obviously subbed around a bit and was pleasantly surprised by how close to my favourite recipe this got.

Some of my cravings are not only strange but completely unseasonal. Ice cream in Fall when it’s no more than 54 degree outside? Well, I told you yesterday I wasn’t a cake but an ice cream girl and as long as I can pull on a sweater while eating it I won’t give up on my favourite treat. The bowl below was a homemade healthified version of Cookie Dough ice cream.

Cookie Ice Cream

However maybe my cravings had quite a simple background … Maybe they just have to do with one of my new BFFs [best food friends]? Or better yet the urge to put one of them to the best use …

Do you remember me asking for food processor recommendations and mentioning I’d been eyeing the Vitamix for ages [and we’re really talking years here]? Well, shortly after that post I remembered I’d seen other German bloggers receiving a Vitamix on lend to test it and dared to give it a try, too. I’ll admit I didn’t hope for much figuring there might be a too high request. Maybe it was blogiversary luck 😉 but I got a reply only few hours later and the very next day a Vitamix was on its way to me.

Vitamix

I promise I will try not to gush too much about the Vitamix during the next five more weeks he’ll be my guest. But just to explain my slight, no, okay, incredible excitement about it let me tell you that I’ve never worked with anything more than more or less mediocre handheld blenders all throughout my life so far. Just a funny story here: when I first started reading blogs and recipes directions mentioned the use of ‘food processors’ for blending I had no idea what bloggers meant and kept using my handheld blender. Because what else would people use for blending, right ;)?! That is, until I saw a picture of one of those mysterious processors on a blog. Yet I had still to happen upon either a food processor let alone a Vitamix in any of my relatives or friends’ houses. They just aren’t common over here.

[Disclaimer: Perfekte Gesundheit offered to send me the Vitamix for free to review for six weeks. All opinions on the Vitamix are my own and I wasn’t compensated by the shop.]

Kabocha Curry

Looking back at the meals I remembered to take pictures of – because I’ll admit some days I just forgot – there was another best food friend around: cauliflower. Can you tell it was on offer? What can I say: I’m simply trying to budget where I can :). Luckily cauliflower is a versatile ingredient and good vehicle for many dishes like the not-so-pretty but delicious spin on the Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry. It has quickly become one of my favourites though how could anything containing kabocha disappoint? Forgive me for not peeling the squash and the dish resulting in a lovely green/grey-ish colour. Taste beats looks any day. Fact.

Coconut butter

Okay, so just a little more Vitamix excitment. I mentioned wanting to make my own nut butters so this was obviously one of the first uses of my new kitchen toy. Coconut butter had been on my grocery list for months but I just couldn’t convince myself to splurge on it. And now? Organic coconut butter for a fraction of the price at the store. That and the amazing flavour? Swoon. Now I just need to find a way to stop myself from eating it straight from the jar … dangerous.

Don’t forget to enter my blogiversary giveaway! Sorry it’s a little confusing to enter the Rafflecopter widget on another page but I hadn’t considered free WordPress pages didn’t support these kinds of plugins.

Happiness inducing today: A girl I recently met on the train [we just started chatting and she happens to be new in town] suggesting to meet up for a coffee later this week.

Happy Wednesday!

Do you plan your meals according to what’s on offer at the store?

What are some of your unseasonal cravings?

Tell me: what are some must-try recipes for the Vitamix? Aside from smoothies [sorry, not a fan]. I’ve been thinking of vegan ‘cheezy’ kale chips [cashew-based cheese], some kind of raw nut-based dessert, …?

A naturally sweet celebration [Blogiversary giveaway]

Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments and wishes on my first blogiversary! It’s been an amazing time getting to know all of you so here’s to more months and years to come!

So yesterday was all about the most important part of blogging: the community. You! Today is about something else that’s awesome about blogging …

Bread pudding

Food! The second best aspect of blogging was and is broadening my palate with an amazing range of new foods – and talking about them obviously. New foods to me at least. I might have walked past it at the store a million times without noticing [sorry, almond butter]. At other times I had been reading about those foods on blogs forever yet had the hardest time ever finding them. One of those ingredients would be stevia. When I first heard of it I wouldn’t believe people saying it was an all-natural alternative to sugar that tasted just like the real deal. Memories of the artifical sweetener my grandma used for her tea came up … brrrr. Let’s not even get there … thanks, I’ll take my tea unsweetened. Nothing will ever stop my sweet tooth from raging, though, so I was super excited when NuNaturals offered to send me some of their products to try. Only when I picked up the package I was surprised to be spoiled with sweetness.

Stevia

And because a birthday calls for a party that’s what we’re going to have today. Come on, use your imagination. It’s the day between two awesome blogger parties [Marvelous in my Monday and What I ate Wednesday] which I naturally can’t and don’t want to rival. But there are cake and presents nonetheless. Are you in? Great!

Bread pudding

Okay, about that cake … I’m admittedly not the hugest fan of it. Give me ice cream any day but keep the cake – unless we’re talking ice cream cake. But I digress … So no cake but with my previous savoury bread pudding in mind I created a sweet version perfect for dessert, as a snack or even breakfast because – you guesse it! –  there’s no added sugar in it.

Sweet Blueberry Apple Bread Pudding

  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ medium apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3.5 oz silken tofu à blend with three drops each NuNaturals Vanilla and Orange liquid stevia [or use more Vanilla stevia and add 1/2 tsp orange zest]
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ seedy whole-wheat roll, stale or toasted [microwave trick]
  1. Blend the silken tofu with the stevia and spices.
  2. Mix blueberries, apples and silken tofu with about half of the toasted bread cubes.
  3. Pour mixture into a single-serving casserole dish and top with the remaining bread cubes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes at 350 °F until the top looks slighty puffy.
  5. Serve as is or – recommended – with your favourite nut butter.

Sweet

I know you might be thinking “Okay, but where are the presents?!” so there you go. When I told NuNaturals about my blogiversary they offered to let me give four of you one bottle of each of the Lemon, Vanilla Stevia and Peppermint Flavored Stevia Liquids plus a 50pkt. box of their NuStevia White Stevia Powder packets. There are four ways to enter and the giveway will run until next Tuesday. It is open worldwide but NuNaturals can’t ship to PO boxes. Good luck!

Click on the link below to enter! The mandatory entry is to leave a comment telling me your favourite uses for NuNaturals stevia. You need to confirm you commented through the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But even if you don’t win you can still use the they can receive discounts on all orders placed via NuNaturals’ website by using my discount code. Just enter the DISCOUNT CODE ;  BLG1213  when you get to the checkout page and you’ll receive – 15% DISCOUNT on your entire order. This discount remains effective until  December 31, 2013. So birthday presents for everybody, right :)?!

Disclaimer: While NuNaturals sent me their products free of charge all opinions in this post are my own and I wasn’t compensated by the company in any way.

 

Happiness inducing today: Reading all of your comments on yesterday’s post. I knoow … I’ll stop gushing, promise!

Tell me: Cake or ice cream or …? Which flavour?

Have you ever had sweet bread pudding?

What made you happy today?