Mittwoch, 20. Februar 2013

Leaving to India

As lame as this might sound but right now I'm calming myself with blogs and pinterest. Looking up projects I want to do and scrolling through wonderful pictures...I don't think there is anything else that calms me as good as those two things do (maybe my Harry Potter audio wonder I know the book by heart).
Otherwise I've been busy running around and collecting and packing the last things today. Leaving in the evening feels weird because my whole day seems to be normal except for the fact that I won't go to bed where I would usually. This time I'll sit in a plane (again) thinking of my bed and all the people I left (again) and what will happen just in a couple of hours when I'll find myself in a totally new and foreign environment (again. haha I should be used to it by now...sort of. But this is just different to everything I've done so far.

So just one last note of 'hi's' before I'm off to India. I hope I'll have enough Internet access to keep everyone up to date!!
I'm so giddy, nervous, excited and everything else and I still can't believe I'm just about to leave (and especially because it fells like I just said goodbye when I left to Vancouver...and I definitely just said goodbye when I was heading back to Germany. Quite some movements and changes around here right now).

Hopefully my plants will make it through those two and a half month
Everything's in place
Well...nearly everything
Bye bye Birdie ♥
Hi India
 Wish me luck. The next post will come from a new continent!

Montag, 18. Februar 2013

My baking addiction {Or the-addiction-to-everything-sweet and some heavenly carrot cake recipe}

The last weeks have been tough (I mentioned that before, didn't I?) but I guess I can really say it's better now. Little girls have to grow up at some point, right?! And as a huge relief I also discovered that it wasn't just my mood and certain things that pulled me down. No. It was the weather. You don't trust me? Well you better do. Because we had the first real sun and blue sky in four weeks TODAY! Say that again in your mind: Four weeks. Four! As in four weeks equals 28 days, as in sun-the-last-time-when-I-was-still-in-Vancouver (huge sight). I never noticed...but that pulls you down.
Anyway. We had sun today and I'm heading towards even more sun, so I guess things are improving right now. (So much for the usual randomness...)
To some totally different things....Somehow I sometimes wish I could say I don't like sweets. However.
That's so not true.
Like really.
Because: I love sweets. 

(Seriously. Who doesn't!?) Not sweets as in the kind of gummy bears (I actually really don't like those!) but I love chocolate. And I love frosting. And icing. And moist and gooey cakes, cupcakes, bars, cookies, peanut butter, sprinkles, crumbs, icing, chocolate sprinkles....I think I made my point.
So. Especially recently I spent a lot of time in our kitchen (haha probably way too much). But oh, well.
Here is what happened in our kitchen recently.

Something with peanut butter and chocolate
More peanut butter (this recipe) though it turned out quite moist (super moist that is) and pretty heavy but oh so delicious!
Chocolate and frosting
That was my mums boyfriend's birthday
We had this cake last week
And jep, I totally put my cake pops into our butter! Figure...

Serious stuff I tell you! But I love the whole process of baking just way too much. So it sort of came in handy that it was my grandpas birthday this weekend. (Oh just as a short side note: I'm trying to get some information about my flight, I hate those voice machines...and their music). Anyway back to my grandpas birthday. I, of course, baked something for him. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting to be more specific. The best I ever had to be a 100% honest. And so I thought (and also because it comes in handy to just give out the link to that post to everyone who asked for the recipe ha!) I'd just go ahead and share it here on my blog. (so much for random side information)

I got the original recipe from here (pinned on my pinterest "sweets♥" wall). It just went as it always does. I was kind of in a hurry to lazy to go out and buy all the stuff I was missing and I'm probably just not good and following recipe instructions. So here is my version of the original recipe.

Heavenly carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (225gr) brown sugar 
  • 3/4 cup (170gr) butter 
  • 1 cup (120gr) flour 
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) buttermilk (or, since we never have buttermilk, simply use milk, add some lemon juice and let it stand for a couple of minutes)
  • 1/2 flask vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cups (~260gr) carrots
  • 1/2 (75gr)cup currants or raisins (I used currants)
  • 1 cup (~140gr) chopped hazelnuts
For the frosting (which I actually followed step by step...except you'll need half of it. So you'll end up with:)
  • 1 stick butter (115gr)
  • 12 oz. cream cheese (340gr)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 cups icing sugar (220 gr)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
  2. Beat together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla essence.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
  4. Add flour mixture to your butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk.
  5. Add the end, fold in: Freshly shredded carrots, currants and your finely chopped hazelnuts.
  6. Pour into your form and bake for 60-75 minutes (I did 70).
  7. Let your cake cool down (important!)
  8. Make your frosting by beating together the butter and the cream cheese. Add the vanilla essence and in smaller servings your icing sugar.
  9. Cut your cake into to disk.
  10. Spread icing on your first disk, apply your top disk and cover the whole cake with the remaining frosting. Decorate with chocolate, or nuts or whatever comes to your mind. 
The cake tastes best if you put it into the fridge for another couple of hours (or best: Over night) but I know myself just too if you can't wait: Go ahead and enjoy ;)
(There are sadly not that many pictures...but you get an idea)

And I'm not too bad with cake toppers, am I?!
Otherwise it was nice to get together with everyone and get all the talking and story-exchanging done. It's family after all ;)

We weren't too lucky with the weather on our way to my grandpas. Snow, fog and darkness.
The fog stayed as well as the snow. At least for day one.
Alice in Wonderland comes true at my grandpas. Love it.
But even with all the snow and the fog...we had entertainment on hand
A lot of entertainment to be honest (Cat kisses ♥)
And some more distant relatives. But cute ones
She took over my phone with the camera...and did quite a good job (me sporting my cousins empty cupcake form haha)
At least a better one than she did on her plate (Meant are the photo and the unfinished cake was not my cake though....just so you know...)
So, now I'm off again to do things I'm actually supposed to do. Like pack. Or write down addresses. Or sew myself a bag...instead I'm writing on my blog. Priorities. Duh!
(Sorry for so many me-time-pictures...there are others as well...I'm just not too sure how happy their 'inhabitants' would be on making an appearance on my just me-time-pictures this time. Oh well)

Sonntag, 17. Februar 2013

Banana Blueberry Smoothie {Sunday Greetings}

Because it's cold and I love fruits.

You'll need:
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed frozen fruits
  • 1/2 cup no fat greek yogurt
  • juice (orange or multi) add as desired for consistency
Blend together. Enjoy ;)

Freitag, 15. Februar 2013

Q/A for India {Und FrageFotoFreitag}

4 days to go and I feel fine (Jeeks...I don't...but oh well. Giddy, excited...I did mention that before, didn't I?!). But I have pretty much all of my things and now I'm just curious (mainly). However one thing doesn't stop. All those questions in my head! I thought I might just write them down...

There are the obvious main questions:
  1.   How does the thing with the food work?
  • What do they eat?
  • Are there enough vegetable options?
  • Gaining weight?
  • Getting sick? (How to prevent that?)
  1. What to wear?
  2. Medication? What should I bring? (What was necessary?)
  3. Internet? Electricity?
  4. Cultural differences (e.g.: How do you greet another person? What is new? Different ways to act?)
  5. Teaching! How is school? What is different?
  6. Normal daily routines (hence: No shower!) what else will be different?
  7. What does a "normal" day look like?
  8. How will I do my laundry?
And than all those smaller in between pop-up questions...
  1. How will my flight go?
  2. Will I have to stop?
  3. Will I be able to teach?
  4. What's the climate like?
  5. Did I pack the right stuff?
  6. ...
The list goes on and on and on and get it. I already talked to quite a few people who either live or have been to India recently, many many good tips came out of that. But after all: India is huge. And so much things also depend on where you are going to stay. I hope I'll be able to answer all my questions in the end (hopefully with a positive sort-of answer!!)

And just because it's hilarious and fun: I'm really looking forward to those clothes ;) (And because it's also: FrageFreitag fünf Sachen die ich anziehe...) Here we go:

Für Indien in Zukunft das: Hose, Kleid(?), Tuch. Fertig ;)

Und noch selber genäht...weil nur eine Hose bei zwei Oberteilen dabei war...eine passende weite Hose ;) (Meine erste Hose...nur in aller Bescheidenheit mal so nebenbei hihi)
Schonmal wieder barfuß testen...geht gut. Und der Schnitt der Hose ist so(!) gemütlich!!
Ansonsten zum sporten in letzter Zeit oft das (haha aus dem Österreich Urlaub mit der Familie)
Und sonst leider: Dicke dicke Jacke, Jeans, zwei paar Strümpfe und dicke winter Schuhe *seuftz*

Donnerstag, 14. Februar 2013

Caramel dark chocolate bottomed creamy cheesecake

Yesterday I did say I'd post about my caramel-thingy-thing today. Though I'm dancing around in my Indian clothes getting all giddy and excited...and freaked out more and more by the minute so that sort of prevented the thing to happen yesterday...instead you get the recipe to this awesome cake today.

Anyway. Back to this caramel thingy. Which is so totally not a thing. It is a rich, smooth, creamy delicious caramel butter sauce. Oh yeah. And even better. That's just the part accompanying the, what I'd say, best homemade cheesecake I ever had in my entire life. Sounds dramatic. This needs drama! Because you have to believe me ;)
(I guess you already thought of it. Hence this long and not at all complicated title. But I do have to make a point! I love this cake!!!)

And the best part: It's super easy to make and doesn't call for any weird and special ingredients. The only difficult part is to restrain yourself to eat the batter before it goes into the oven and(!) to let this cake have its time to cool down (which I totally had not! It tastes good when its warm as well...just so you know)

Cake with caramel sauce
Moist chocolate cheesy goodness...
And the sauce is awesome on pretty much everything! Cake, Coffee, Ice cream....

And because for once I followed every single step from the original recipe. I'll just provide you with the link and lots and lots of mouth watering pictures ;)
Here you go! (Though I have a few tips!!)
  1. I added a bit more chocolate powder since I wanted a really dark base. I also like the stronger cocoa flavour.
  2. I did not beat the egg white separately and it worked out just perfect (ok. I have to admit: I was so looking forward to this cake and simply over read this harm was done obviously ;) so for everyone who is as impatient as I am: Here you go!)
  3. I also added about 10 more minutes to the baking time (I waited for the center to rise just as much as the rim did)
  4. For the sauce: You'll need high heat! Not low. It took me about half an hour to make the sauce because it just wouldn't turn to this so beloved caramel color. After I turned my heat from low to high it worked. (Lots and lots of stirring until I got to that point, I tell you!)
  5. And: The whole thing has the consistency of bubbling lava while boiling! Don't be afraid. It turns out awesome!
And with that, one last point: I love how the sauce did turn out! I tried so many caramel creams/sauces/whatever before and they would always become hard and not spreadable in the end. This one did not! And even though it wasn't quite saucy at the end it was the best cream I ever had!

Enjoy ;)

Dienstag, 12. Februar 2013

12 von 12 {Februar 2013}

12 pictures during every 12th of every month. Here we go:

Waking up earlier to meet my dad for breakfast and get all sort of things done before that...lists, nails, showers...cuddling with my cat!!
A yummy caramel latte accompanyed my croque monsieur breakfast...we'll see what's going to happen with this coffee addicted person in India!!
Found on some post box...
And bought that for tomorrow
We always seem to end up at the same places...but they are good ones!
We also made it to the museum...I actually start to get into it...this whole staring at pictures can be fun...shocking! I know.
Colors and patterns (though it was not part of the whole art...that was architecture...I guess. Haha who can tell!)
Lunch together
And back home for some light reading and a fruit smoothie ♥
I went to see a friend of mine and to talk about all the things that needed to be talked about...oh and we had cheesecake...more on that tomorrow ;) (with the sauce pictured here...sooooo good! Trust me! You have to come back tomorrow! Like totally!!!)
Long icy walks because, obviously, there still was a lot to talk about ;)
And coming back to my room after some fun family dinners, even more stories and more laughing...and more stories (Since this is so surprising around here ;) ) ...And apart of all the stories, I think my day way pretty much just eating...or is this just me?! Haha oh well...
Everyone else can be found here and I hope your day was just as wonderful as mine was...because even with ups and downs, uncertainty and can be beautiful.

Samstag, 9. Februar 2013

Life right now {whining, ups and downs and India }

Life is all but a bit complicated right now.
I thought I might just admit it. Duh!
The last half a year has brought I few major changes for me, and I find myself a bit lost when I see old stuff that meant the world to me before and which I'm more than happily throwing away now (To be honest...I've been throwing away so much stuff that I'm down to a few rare memory things, my clothes, my sewing stuff and my books. Done) and also people who I went along with so well before and now...well I feel a bit lost and out of place.
There are times where it's pretty hard to adjust back...or just accept the current situation, and times where I'm disgusted by myself (for all this self pity. Serious. I hate self pity!).

So I guess it's sort of time to get a move on.

I'm so looking forward to India as in experiencing some more major and huge changes. I'm guessing it won't be easy but I'm looking forward to it nevertheless. So ready to bring the adventure on. And I'm more than ready to bring life on after that. Major things are going to happen! Yay! (Quite major around here right now...)

On to the really importing things!
India (as mentioned above) is getting closer ans closer and I'm starting to really get into the whole packing, list writing, buying, planning, freaking out...nah I'd NEVER would do that, right...?, organizing kind of trouble.

That's going to be it
Adding to that I just got an email informing me that there might be a general strike in India right around the time of my arrival. It could either effect my flight from Deli to Calcutta or me travelling from Calcutta to my village. So right now I'm preparing myself to a) a stay in Deli for one or two days or b) a stay in Calcutta for one or two days or c) traveling by myself with a taxi to the village (which would be the best option after all).
I do admit this makes the whole thing quite more...well...uhm, interesting. But since I got the message early I'll have time to prepare myself mentally for the whole thing. Preparation! Do it! Now!...anyone wants to come along with me? 

And while all this is bugging my mind and keeps me short on sleep time will just move on and before you know it I'll be posting happily from India, informing you all that it was a piece of cake and I'm enjoying my time. Right? Right?

Otherwise, I've been... 

...been shopping for some plants with my mum (love those shops...maybe I should change my career plans...just kidding)
It's too cold for running right now (well, at least it's too cold for me) but it's just right for long and beautiful walks
Past little frozen ponds (Can you see those amazing snowflake patterns...I actually don't even think it's a snowflake but more just like a frost flower)
And more wonderful snow flowers (but don't let you trick into believing the sky is actually was...for like 10 minutes. But who doesn't love this all time consuming dull gray we're sporting right now...psh)
And Mr. Peter the plant is adjusting quite well I'd say
So much to my home/mind state and current situation!