Friday Favourites – 7/3/2015

It’s been a long since I last posted favourites on  a Friday – unless you counted that one foodie favorite – but Luckily it’s never too late to start it up again. The blog community is a forgiving place, no? Yes, you are. You’re also quite awesome and insightful in your thougths on yesterday’s post. Most of you agreed but I like some polite disagreement or demurs in there, too. It’s all helping to broaden my mind – the best part of this community.

Summer finally showing up and especially the sun. Maybe it’s a repeat offender but I am surprised by how much of an effect this has each time anew. Life isn’t perfect – in fact quite far from it in many areas for me at the moment – but loosing a single day channeling Negative Nancy is no option.

Flowers_buttercup

Bike rides. Given I don’t own a car anymore – yes, I said goodbye to my wonderful ride – my bike is the vehicle of choice these days. Technically, I can still borrow my dad’s car for longer commutes but would anybody really want toin this weather [see #1]? Plus, its environmental benefit can’t be denied.  My favourite bike rides have been longer ones in the evenings watching the sun slowly go down. This is especially gorgeous on trails along the riverside. Yes, despite the not-so-wonderful parts of life I’m feeling blessed to live in an area surrounded by the most beautiful sights of nature. I keep warning you I might just post a million pictures of it one day …

On a walk

Strawberries from my mum’s garden. These are a miracle times two. For one because everybody who has tried it before knows produce grown in your own backyard tastes best. On that note I. can’t. wait until kabocha will start to grow! And then my mum actually didn’t intend on growing any Strawberries this year [for the first time ever!] but a very few plants decided to grow nonetheless. Oh does this make me happy. The taste of childhood.

Strawberries_mums garden

Some people apparently don’t like quotes and I’m not one to plaster my place with them, either. But still think it’s not the worst idea to look at some happiness booster every now and then.

Source

Because it can be a lot easier this way around.

And this one is just too good not to share:

So. much. yes.

Okay, now I’d better get out and enjoy the sunshine while it’s still there. Not too long and summer will be over already judging from the speed at whch this year is passing by again.

Thanks to Heather and Clare for inspiring us to share some favourites on a Friday!

Happy Friday! I’ll see you on Sunday with good good links!

Happiness-inducing today: Chatting with my mum while listening to Taylor Swift songs – Juli! –  and both of us just enjoying that end to a hot summer day.

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What are your plans for the weekend?

Do you grow any fruit or vegetables in your garden?

 

 

 

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Neapolitan Oatmeal Parfait [vegan]

Crunchy and creamy, sweet and tart, fruity and chocolatey – a perfect mix of textures and flavours creating a refreshing summer breakfast or snack.

Neapolitan parfait_2

Parfait says it already: it’s perfect. In this breakfast it’s the combination of complementing flavours [refreshing fruit, tangy yogurt, deep dark cocoa] and textures [crunchy amaranth – creamy oatmeal] that makes it an all-around taste experience.

Neapolitan parfait_spoon

Let me start out by stating this: you don’t want to be my roommate. No, not because I left all my dirty dishes in the sink out of pure laziness of transferring them to the dishwasher [why??]. Or because I was that person who decides to re-schedule their household tasks from today to whenever [which means I’ll end up doing them]. And no, stealing some granola doesn’t count as one of my vices.

What I’m actually getting at: if you’d lived with me [at least after I started blogging and started taking dozens of pictures of food] you’d have experienced me blurring the lines between mine and yours.  Rummaging through the cupboards – filled mostly with my dishes – yet occasionally deciding yours were better for my pictures. Case in point again here: why in the world don’t I own a parfait-perfect glass? Answer: Simply because I’d never intended to have a parfait before.

Neapolitan parfait_5

Now that I know how easy they are [plus fancy to look at and we’re eating with our eyes, too, after all] I’ll have to look into getting some of my own. Yes, you could always just mix everything in a bowl but let’s face it: arranging the ingredients beautifully is one of the best parts of the parfait experience. Actually, the best part is eating it.

Neapolitan parfait_sprinkle

Proof that I can’t even stick with my own recipe ideas is the donut peach in this one though it’s nowhere to be found in classic Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches. They’re one of my favourite summer fruit – all kinds of berries aside – and with a case of perfectly ripe ones sitting on my counter I simply had to add some. If you can get your hands on them I higly recommend you include it here because its juicy fresh taste brought yet another texture and flavour to the whole dish.

Neapolitan parfait_8

And to share another secret about the behind the scenes of these pictures: I ‘borrowed’ some of my roommates strawberries for the pictures. At least I didn’t eat them. Now who wants to move in with me??? I might even share some of the fruit of my kitchen experimentation…

Neapolitan parfait_4

Neapolitan Oatmeal Parfait [vegan and gluten-free*]

  • 1/3  cup of quick oats*
  • 1 tsp of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of water, non-dairy milk [I used soy] or a mix
  • sweetener to taste [I used about four to five drops of vanilla stevia]
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla [if not using vanilla stevia]
  •  1/3 cup of strawberries
  • 1 tsp of dark cocoa
  • 1/4 cup of soy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of puffed/ crispy amaranth
  • fresh donut peach, chopped

 

  1. Start by preparing your oatmeal by cooking it in milk or water with a pinch of salt. Stir in stevia or sweetener of choice as well as some of the amaranth and set aside to let cool slightly.
  2. Pour the yogurt into a tall jar.
  3. Mash half of the strawberries and stir into half of the oatmeal portion. Fold in the remaining chopped strawberries.
  4. Mix cocoa into the remaining oatmeal.
  5. Start assembly by pouring the yogurt into your jar. Add the strawberry oatmeal.
  6. Sprinkle some amaranth on top before adding the cocoa oatmeal.
  7. Top with chunks of peach. Sprinkle the remaining amaranth on top and serve!

Note:

*use certified gluten-free oats if needed.

Linking up with Laura, Kierston, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Naturally Sweet Tuesday, Gluten-free WednesdaysGluten-Free & DIY Tuesdays and The Weekend re-Treat Link Party.

Neapolitan parfait 9

Happiness inducing today: Picking up a good new book from the library.

Stay in touch!

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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Any roommate applications ;)?

Are/ were you a good roommate?

If you’ve had breakfast parfaits before: what did you add?

What are some of your favourite non-berry summer fruits? I didn’t discover donut peaches until about two years ago and now don’t want to miss out on them anymore.

 

 

Currently… June

Hello, hello and happy Monday!

Given I can’t deny the fact it’s already June any longer: why not chat a little about currents? It’s also been forever since I joined Katie’s Monday celebration and with some marvelous things in my life despite some hullabaloo I’m focussing on the happy happenings.

MiMM_new

 

Current book: It’s another month of two- [or even three-] timing it because there are too many books and too little time. Generally, I’ve really been into non-fiction lately and after Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink!’ [read it!] as recommended by Beth I’m now reading the German author Hans-Ulrich Grimm’s ‘Die Suppe lügt’ [‘The soup lies’]. Grimm is uncovering the [dirty] truths of the international food industry and the foods we eat. I wasn’t sure there’d be much I hadn’t heard of yet but trust me: there’s a lot more. Even just a few chapters in I already know this will be foundation for an extra blog post.

Current Music:  Stolen Dance – Milky Chance

If you’re German you might roll your eyes at this one but I’ve been recommending it to people overseas left and right so if that characteristic applies to you, too: Listen to it – and thank me later.

 

Current Guilty Pleasure: Giving unsolicited nutrition advice to my roommate. Not of the kind you might guess, though. Here’s the deal: my roommate is actually one of the best examples of intuitive eating I’ve seen so far and not caring about health claims and labels. However, she feels the constant need to apologize for and explain her eating habits thereby shunning her never-ending fondness of carbs. Really, this girl would never give up on her [white] pasta, potatoes or rice – it’s awesome. Maybe my current changing attitude towards food [see current triumph] is partly thanks to her? So I’ve been doing my best letting her know she’s perfectly fine and stopping the carb worries in track. Is that even a guilty pleasure???

Current Nail Color: Essie’s Madison Ave-hue.

Essie_Madison Ave-hue
It’s my latest by Essie and I’m really fond of this shade. Actually, it was my mum’s Easter gift to me. I saw it, needed it [obviously], bought it – and let her know she wanted to gift it to me. That’s what she gets for not buying me any Easter eggs.

 

Current Drink:  Bringing out mass mounts of the bubbly [read: mineral water]. Keeping it classy over here.

Water_glass

The colder months see my intake dimple but as soon as it gets warm I’m in.for more regular arm workouts carrying 1.5 litre-bottles to my apartment. I may or may not have ‘borrowed’ one of my roommate’s bottles recently because I didn’t feel like dragging those extra weights along when I returned from the store. At least I asked?!

Current Food:
Strawberries. Is anybody else particular about where they get theirs? Having Friday off for once last week I had the only chance to attend my favourite Farmers’ Market. While there are what seems to be like 293848 stalls offering the sweet berries I had my heart set on one without even trying a berry beforehand. And I was so so right.

Strawberries
Buckwheat honey. Another Farmers’ Market find and a first for me. After Amanda had been raving about it forever and I’d searched high and low in every store around I finally scored a jar. Unfortunately, the beekeeper I got it from told me it was a rare one and almost extinct over here. Say it isn’t so because it’s awesome and unlike any other honey I’ve tried before.

Last days of May 033

Current Wish List: Could time please stop flying by at lighting speed?! That’s all I can say for now. More on that to come once I have things sorted out a little more.

Current Needs: Another domicile – in the US. Or just a ticket to Blend. Does anybody still have room left in their suitcases?

Current Triumphs: Continuously getting better in my intuitive eating process and feeling freer when it comes to spontaneously cooking without needing to calculate all nutrients beforehand. More on that in upcoming WIAWs.

Current Bane of My Existence: Fruit flies and (!) ants. Nasty little beasts and one of the few downsides of warmer weather.

As if they looked that cute. On another note: does anybody remember the movie?

Current Blessing: Blends. Yes, it’s a repeat offender but some people deserve every extra mention.

Current Excitement:Warmer weather. No matter how often I ramble about German weather I’m not giving up hopes on summer yet. Because my roommate is a lying liar who lies.

And that would be a summer roll[-up] of my currents. Hmm, rolls … Sushi anyone ;)? It’s clearly time for me to go to bed.

Enjoy your Monday!

Happiness inducing today: A really delicious impromtu lunch reminiscent of an old favourite I haven’t had in forever.

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Tell me your current

a) book

b) food

c) triumph

d) wish list.

 

 

Double-desserting [Peanut Butter & Jelly Crumble]

If it wasn’t for Davida’s Valentine’s Day Bake-Off I may or may not have pretended today was like any other ordinary Friday. Given how many other bloggers will address the fact that it’s the day of love [okay, I kind of did yesterday, too] you might not even have noticed. Or maybe I’m making things up here. I’ll have to admit I’ve never given Valentine’s Day too much of a thought – it would still catch me by surprise every year if it wasn’t for giant advertisements all around the blog and ‘real’ world.

Strawberry crumble

Simply because I’m a member of a family where Valentine’s Day  has always been considered a consumeristic holiday made up by the chocolate and florist industry. Thanks to my parents for not making me appreciate it ;). While I still can’t get all excited about the day itself by now I can get excited about desserts. More specifically: single-serving desserts. Technically, yes, this makes two single-servings. But it could also serve you, times two. Why not?!

Crumble_X

After seeing everybody else’s creations for the Bake-Off so far and knowing the day-dreaming around desserts I’d done before posting this: no, it’s not a real dessert. More like the well-behaved little sister of the sugar-filled amazingness around. Yes, I like sugar. Long story short: this crumble is perfect for when you want to double-dessert – not to be confused with double-dating. My idea of the former is: having my chocolate as the more indulgent ‘real’ dessert and these as a healthier treat. Bingo!

Rummaging through my mum’s cupboards for decorating materials I came up with those adorable homemade pompons and several tea  lights in just the right colours. I know I’ll miss these secret hidden gems once I’m back at my apartment.

Crumble_V

Calling these “Peanut Butter & Jelly” might be a bit of a stretch. But can you really blame me considering anything that combines some kind of berries and peanut butter a PB & J anything? I’m German after all :D.

 Peanut Butter & Jelly Crumble

The “Jelly” part:

  • 1.25 cups [180 g] frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 tbsp honey [for vegan option see below*]
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  1. Add the thawed strawberries to a small pot with the honey and let melt together on medium heat, stirring occasionally. The honey will make the mixture thicken without the need of any additional thickening agent.
  2. Stir in the vanilla and divide the mixture into two single-serving ramekins.

Topping:

  • ¼ cup [30 g] of peanut flour
  • 1 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • about 1/4 of a small banana, not too ripe
  • Salt [to taste – amount depending on your preference]
  1. Mix the peanut flour, oats and salt.
  2. Stir in the peanut butter and knead in the banana to for crumbles.
  3. Top the strawberry mixture with the crumbles and bake for 15 minutes at 320 °F/160 °C.
  4. Serve with a dollop of soy yogurt, [vegan] whipped cream or ice cream.

Crumble_II

*Note: To turn this into a vegan dish you may sub maple syrup or brown rice syrup [stickier] for the honey.

For breakfast, a snack or at whichever time you’re feeling like a sweet little something: There’s really no wrong way to eat a crumble. Did I mention these reheat well, too? Only there might be nothing left to reheat.

Whether on Valentine’s Day or any time, really, crumble is delicious so I’m linking up Healthy Vegan Fridays, RecipeFriday, Wellness Weekends and Strange but good. 

Happiness inducing today: Working on the puzzle with my mum and a walk.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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What’s your favourite single-serving dessert? Leave a link if you know of any awesome recipes worth trying.

Are you a fan of double-desserting, too?

WIAW: No crumb[le] left behind

Today feels like a special What I ate Wednesday for numerous reasons. For one, I changed up three meals in my day [breakfast, lunch and one of my snacks] which might be the first time in a long while. Second, there’s not one but two crumbles in my day and – talking about a day – I actually made a more conscious effort to take pictures of more meals. Not a full day of eats still but a lot more along those lines than previous WIAW posts. Thanks to Jenn for allowing us to take part whichever way we like every week!

wiawloveyourveggiesmonthbutton2

Breakfast was a semi-new one for me. Steel cut oats have quite a few fans among bloggers and it had been years  since I gave them a try for the first time. Then deciding they a) took way too long to prepare and b) didn’t satiate me. Resulting in me never having them again. But I know that sticking with the same breakfast for weeks or even months is one of those points I need to work on so I’m trying to challenge myself more often. Inspired by Amanda’s eggy oats tutorial I turned these into egg-less steel cut oats. Almond butter added after post-photoshoot reheating.

Steel cut_I

I’m still not entirely convinced but they were better than my first try and left me saturated for several hours. Insert some productivity of my not-so-favourite sort [cleaning up] and some of my favourite  – truffle-making for my aunt’s birthday [on Valentine’s Day!]. These were a tester for Kristy’s cookbook so I can’t share a picture here but will post one on Twitter. Chocolate for a first morning snack is fabulous. Later on I got to work on my submission for Davida’s Valentine’s Day Bake-Off which served as my lunch dessert. Crumbling around for the first time of the day …

Strawberry Peanut

Crumbles are my second favourite dessert – ice cream taking a first place. This one’s a super simple Peanut Strawberry Crumble that requires little effort and the red of the strawberries was the only choice for me when it came to a Valentine’s Day treat. Can you judge me for getting a little snap-happy? I’m sure Heather would understand …

Strawberry crumble

One of the cutest apples turned into a mini snack alongside some unpictured walnuts. More specifically: sesame-coated caramelized walnuts. My mum had spotted a bag of them when she was searching tempeh for me in a specialty store on her weekend trip to Berlin. Probably the only way I’ll eat walnuts.

Apple

If you read my last post you’ll know I’m currently trying to use up at least some of my many pantry staples before moving. Random creations are a regular around here right now. It’s a fifty-fifty chance: either one of those turns out a winner or just a mediocre dish. Some leftover butternut squash, the last from my bag of brussels sprouts and other odds and ends turned into – surprise! – another crumble. This time of the savoury kind.

Savoury Crumble

I’m still debating whether or not it’s recipe-worthy but the basic idea of a non-sweet crumble is definitely a good one in my book. Chickpea flour for the win. I bought a bag over a month ago and have been using it almost every day since opening it – expect some garbanzo bean creations on the blog soon. If you’re German you might know it already but even if you’re not Vegan Wednesday is worth visiting, too, for even more delicious inspiration – because pictures speak a language that needs no words.

That’s it for me for now so: Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: Reading a great article.

Keep in touch!

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Which way do you crumble? Savoury? Sweet?

What have been some winning creations you came up with when using up pantry staples?

Favourite thing you ate in the past week?