Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thinking!


my dear friends.
it seems, that i don't get my posts done in a proper amount of time.
well, this is how it is. what can i do? so i hope you still enjoy the post, let me know.
recently i have a lot of time to think. I'm in  a situation, where i don't have a lot to do practically, so i think.
and while i was thinking, i realized, that I'm actually thinking always. no matter what i do, no matter if I'm under pressure or not, no matter if i feel happy or sad: I'm thinking.
and this is all kind of thinking too. it could be if i should buy an extra pair of sox or not, it could be if the gas fracking in germany will put us in danger or if the universe is somehow ending somewhere.
it can also be that i spend half a day thinking about the question, if green is a good color for a new purse or if it would be too special (in the end i decided, green is a great color for a new bag). or i think about it, if i should change my whole lifestyle in a more artistic one. I'm not far in this thought though.
when i ask my lovely husband, what he thinks, he would always answer "nothing". in the beginning of our relationship, i  always assumed, that he doesn't want me to tell. now, after many years and even more experience, i know, he's just not thinking a lot. at least not constantly. well, he must think sometime, because he comes up with actually a lot of great ideas. sometimes also stupid ideas, I'm sorry.
last week i was watching an interview with a famous actor in tv. the lady who did the interview asked, what he is thinking, when all the fans are freaking out. and he answered "i usually don't think anything!"
i just thought, how relaxing that must be, just don't think. because it can be really stressful and exhausting, if you think literally through everything you are hearing about. 
so i decided to exercise the not thinking gift.
what can i say? it worked!!! for 12 seconds.
so in the end i realized, that it is better to think a lot, than to have nothing in your brain, right? and, I'm just made this way. so i embrace the gift that is given to me. the good and the bad sides of it. here we go...
since i have not so many possibilities right now, to cook and bake how i usually do, i want to share with you a recipe that is great if its cold and snowy outside and that i made and took pictures of quite a while ago. its bratäpfel (baked apples).
first you need some nice, sour apples. in germany we have boscop. thats the best kind for this recipe. cut them in half and take the core out.
then take some (frozen) raspberries, mix them with sugar (500 gram berries and 100 gram sugar), heat them up and the second they start to boil take them from the stove. fill the apples with the raspberries, sprinkle some almond peaces over it, cover it with some brown sugar and fill in some cream . bake it at 160 degree celsius (320 degree fahrenheit) until the apples are a little brown and soft. the cream will get thick and gorgeous. this tastes so good, you will start to cry most likely:-). 
so. this is it for now.
i hope you like it, let me know. i go and think a little more. maybe about the next post. better i start early :-).
be blessed, my friends. its good to know that you are somewhere out there.
love, ute


















Monday, December 24, 2012

Expectations!


Expectations.

 its christmas time!


my dear friends. it was a pleasure, that so any people still checked out my blog, even though the last posts were really old.
for me its a fascinating thought that so many people read my words and ideas. so please continue and share, if you like it.
now the long desired christmastime arrived. i love christmas. even though sometimes I'm sad, that the unbelievable  excitement and extraordinary joy is not the same as in my childhood. i remember christmas in my family as a time of miracles and wonder, the house filled with the fragrance and lights of the holy night.
so i do my best to bring this feeling to my family. my boys are in an age, where all the traditions are probably a little boring and embarrassing. but our daughter amelie, she is eleven, is so excited that she doesn't sleep well since a view nights. so she just told me, that the 23 th of december is the worst day of the year. well.
now i have to come to a short but very sad story. yesterday i had a deep personal crisis and i had to make a far-reaching decision.  do i have to buy a second christmas tree? i mean- a better one?
the beginning of the story: i sent my lovely husband jan to buy a christmas tree. he took my sweet daughter amelie and our good friend uli ( thanks uli, you didn't help in this situation).  big mistake. biiiiig mistake.
end of story: we have quite a special tree. in a negative sense.
some quotes:
benedikt, our younger son: its not too bad! (he has a very lovely personality!) 
jonathan, our older son: looks like a dying tree!
elias, jonathans lovely friend: this is a really ugly tree.
liz, a good friend: haaahahaaaahaaaa!
so. thats it. i had to write this. my dearest husband needed some punishment at least. (by the way, he still tries to convince me, that this tree is really gorgeous.) he is unbelievable. 
so here are some pictures, some images of our christmastime.
i was expecting to have the most beautiful tree to show on the blog. it didn't work out. what else do i expect? some nice gifts, of course, nothing big. i expect to have some peaceful time with my beloved family, good food, stories and laughter. i expect to bring some joy to the kids with some gifts. singing some christmas carols and hearing the christmas story would be nice. thinking of the birth of our lord jesus, the reason for all the expectation and excitement.
may you have a blessed and peaceful christmas time. expect the best time of the year, but be flexible and gracious enough to be happy with the imperfect.
merry christmas!

doing christmas mail






















Sunday, December 9, 2012

Advent


Advent!

my dear friends. its been a extremely long time since my last post. I'm sorry for that. it was a time of difficulties and little joys, a time that took my full energy and attention. I'm still completely in it, but, let me say the truth, i missed doing my blog and i just want to do fun and steadfast things. so, I'm back for good and I'm looking forward hearing from you as well.
the topic today is advent. for some of you it may not be a term that you are really familiar with.  in germany we call the time before christmas "advent". it is an old latin word and means "arrival". so advent is the time when we prepare for the arrival of our lord jesus. and thats christmas, right? birthday party!  so lets prepare. 
i do it, of course, the very german way. i love traditions, as long as it is filled with meaning and joy. 
last week was the christmasmarket in our hometown herrnhut. it was the perfect weather (usually it rains like nothing good on this day. not this year thought!). it snowed the day before and everything is white and looks like it should. the sun was shining, the sky was blue and it was just the right temperature. my dear kids amelie and benedikt and a good friend joined me, and it was a lovely day.  we ate a lot of nice christmas market food, found our way through the masses of people, had some interesting parking experiences and very good hot chocolate in a nice cafe. 

at home i just worked a little on my christmas decoration. this year its kind of colorful.  here are some pictures. they are not so great though. maybe i should get a good camera for christmas;-).
what is really important for a nice advent afternoon, are some nice christmas cookies. i made some filled hearts with peanuts. you take 300 gram of white flour, 200g butter, 100g sugar, one or two egg yolks (depends on the size) and the zest of half of an organic lemon. let it process in the kitchen machine or make a dough out of it by hand. don't knead it too long. its ok if its still a little crumbling.
put it into a plastic bag and cool it down in the fridge for an hour. 
roll the dough with a rolling pin and cut out little hearts with a cookie cutter. in half of the cookies cut a little hole. look at the pictures, than you know what i mean. "paint" the cookies with scrambled egg yolk. you can also put some peanuts on the top of them as well.
bake the cookies at about 180 degrees celsius for 6 to 8 minutes. be careful, they get too dark very easy. 
when the cookies are cooled down, fill the cookies with jelly. very good is grape jelly or lemon curd. delicious!
for me its a very refreshing and joyful thing, to sit down in the afternoon, the sun gets down already and i light a candle or two. then a nice cup of tea and cookies and preferable a good book. this sounds, really, its the truth, like heaven on earth. peaceful and comforting.
this is my wish for you for the coming time: peace and comfort. and quite some excitement for what is to come.
blessings, yours ute

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Apples!






hello my lovely fellows. welcome again to my blog. as always I'm excited and I'm looking so much forward sharing some thoughts and pictures with you.
so the topic this time is: Apples!
fall has come, and its the right time to write about this special fruit.
i think, at least for us here in germany, apples are the classic type of fruit. before we knew bananas, oranges, kiwi, peaches and pineapples we had apples. recently  i read an article about the eating habits of people in the middle ages here in europe. they, of course, had apples. but they usually never ate them fresh, but only dried. isn't that interesting? i find it interesting.....

i have so many recipes with apples, that i probably have to do two posts about it. i start with a very delicious apple rose cake. it doesn't contain roses but it looks like roses.
you need 500g (2 cups) wheat flour, a little salt, yeast, 100g (ca. 1/2 cup), 150 ml lukewarm milk, a little real vanilla, 60 g (1/8 cup) soft butter. mix everything in a big bowl or use a kitchen machine. knead the dough until nice and smooth. cover it with a clean kitchen towel and put it on a warm place. there should be no cold air coming around the corner. otherwise the dough gets upset and doesn't rise.
take 6-7 sour tasting apples and cut them in small pieces. 
after approx. 45 min roll out the dough. put 5 tablespoons of blackberry jam on the dough, then a handful of walnuts or pecan nuts on the jam, some brown sugar and the apples on top. man, i hope you understand what i mean. but just be creative, you can do it :-). 
roll the whole thing up and cut "roses". put it with the open side up in a baking pan.    
let it sit for another 15 minutes.
heat the oven on 175 degree celsius. please google what that is in fahrenheit. I'm to lazy to do it right now.
bake for about 35 -45 minutes.
when it cooled down, put some powdered sugar on it. looks good, smells good, tastes good. and really german. i hope you like it.


ok, i looked up the temperature, its 345 degree fahrenheit. I'm just too nice, am i? please say yes. or at least think it.


so the second recipe are apple pancakes. make them for a breakfast invitation or a sunday afternoon coffee and cake time. with a nice cup of coffee, or, what i prefer, a very nice cup of tea and its perfect. if you invite some friends, you will win their friendship forever.
you need 8 eggs, 400 g wheat flour, some salt, 1/2 liter milk, 100 g sugar. mix all very well.
let it sit for 20 minutes.
take 4 apples, wash them thoroughly. cut them in quarters, take out the core house (I'm really not sure, that  this is the correct translation. please blame google translator.) 
anyways, cut the apples in a fan shape.
heat up a pan with some butter. put some of the pancake dough in the pan and a apple fan on top. fry it from both sides. serve it fresh out of the pan with some powdered sugar and maple syrup. 

so, to close this post, let me say this: apples are all around my place right now. I'm glad for this season and the many possibilities it brings.
we as a family are in a rather unsure and shaky position. but this is the season for rising hope and light on the horizon. 
in the coming weeks and months my posts will come more seldom and not regularly. but please stay with me and give some comments on my blog. 
its always a highlight for me and my lovely son benedikt, who helps me doing this. 
in this sense,
have a blessed time and looking forward seeing you again soon.
yours ute

























Sunday, September 23, 2012

Love!


"all pain and all joy comes from love"

i send you many greetings! i was looking forward to write again, actually i was thinking quite a lot about it during the last week.
it was somehow a rough week and this post will be short, but filled with some important confessions and also some yummy recipes. or just one, we will see. 
it was my dear husbands birthday last week thursday. i just thought about that and i realized, how thankful i am to have him. he is really a man of a special kind. and how cool is that, he is mine :-). i do love him. yes.

we had a nice birthday coffee and cake celebration, a typical german tradition. besides some other things,i made an american white chocolate cheesecake- delicious! 
you need 120 grams (about two thirds of a cup) of simple cookies. put them in a plastic bag and crush them into crumbs. melt 70 grams of butter and mix with the cookie crumbs. put it on the bottom of a baking pan and squeeze it with a spoon. you know, make it flat :-).
cool it. melt 300 grams of white chocolate. let it cool down a bit.
take the inside of a vanilla pod, 600 grams of cream cheese, 40grams of powdered sugar and the zests of the peel of an organic orange. mix everything very well and put it on the cookie bottom (o man, this is bad language. i still do my best...) cover with foil and cool the cake for at least four hours.
decorate it with fresh raspberries(or any other berries) and chocolate flakes.
this is so good, you will see.
often, when i bake or cook or decorate  something, my kids would say :"is it for  the blog?!" well, of course i make photos and i might post it or write about it. but the truth is, that i do these things for my family. i really want  them to live in a beautiful and cosy environment. i want them to eat well and healthy and delicious. 
they are probably not aware of it, but they are the real reason for my passion. because they are the biggest treasure i have on earth. a little pathetic, but I'm in this kind of mood right now. 
my dear kids, my dear husband, i love you and i wish you all possible blessings. you are a blessing to me for sure.
to all my friends and readers: peace to you. 
let me hear from you.
yours ute

























Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Memories!


Hello my friends.

Today, i want to do a little nostalgic detour. just recently i thought about cooking some homemade and nice maultaschen. this is a typical, south german dish, from the area, I'm coming from. i don't live there any more since twenty years. oh my..., really, TWENTY YEARS? how old am i???
ok, even though i consider home, where my family is, i still like going to the place i used to call home. the house i grew up in doesn't belong to my parents any more, but they still live, praise God for life, close to my hometown. 
when i visit my parents and my brother and his family, i always pass by our old house. i always feel a little dizzy and strange in this moments.there are also some more tears that need to be cried sometime. time goes by, and it is a bittersweet feeling indeed. there is a loss in whats over and will not come back. good things and difficult things. but there is future ahead we can looking forward to. even though it is unsure what it may bring. but there is a big chance of better and bigger things than we have seen so far.
back to the maultaschen. my grandmother sometimes made them. in my memory it feels like the whole kitchen was completely covered with maultaschen for many days. the whole lives of all family members where concentrated on this special and favorite food and the making of it. ---probably the reality has not a lot in common with this "memory". but, hey, who cares. its a sweet memory and it brings me closer to my childhood. so, its a good thing.
by the way, i have to be thankful to my grandmother not only for the maultaschenmemory, but, besides of many other things,  also for a sense of beauty and creativity. even though her taste was different, i believe i inherited this gift from her. and also some nice bone china, silverware (real silver!!!!) and some table linen. so, thanks, oma! (she sadly passed away nine years ago)
so, back to the maultaschen. be prepared for some work.
first i made a pasta dough with 1kg of wheat flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, eight eggs and 10 tablespoons of water. mix it into a firm and elastic dough and let it rest, covered with plastic, for one hour.


take 1 kg of good quality ground meat, best is mixed pork and beef, but you can always be creative.
defrost a one pound package of spinach. mix it together with two eggs and two tablespoons of breadcrumps under the meat. 
peel and cut one big onion and sauté in some butter.
cut a half pound of ham in small pieces. 
mix everything very well. season with salt, pepper, nutmeg (muskat) and tarragon (estragon).
roll the dough with a rolling pin very thin. then fill it will the meat mix and cover it with dough. look at the pictures, then you see what i mean ;-).
cut the maultaschen. best is to use a pizza cutter.
boil the maultaschen lightly in saltwater for ten minutes. 
you can serve it in a delicious homemade vegetable broth or you can fry it in butter and serve it with any kind of fresh salad. my dear friends, this is how home tastes. yummy.


the decoration of the week: wonderful crocosmias (gladiolen). every two weeks i get a package with surprise flowers. i think i would not have chosen this kind of flowers, but now, I'm really fascinated. don't you think, their beautiful? i do.

be blessed, thanks for reading. please let me know what you think.
looking forward to next week.
yours ute
























Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The air smells like fall!




This morning, when i walked out of our house (actually its a castle, but i will write about that another day), the sun was shining softly on my face, the wind was blowing a little cool and it smelt, the first time this year, like fall.
to be honest, i love this time of the year. the heat of the summer is past and the cold of the winter is still far away. the colors of the nature are getting more powerful and something new is in the atmosphere. well.
the taste of fall is also one of my favorite. apples, pears, mushrooms, pumpkins. i love that.
so i tried a recipe of a mushroom soup out of a beautiful cookbook written by jamie oliver. and really, it was a revelation. i really never made a mushroom soup before, even though mushrooms are one of my favorites.
 by the way, mushrooms are no vegetable. they are a own kind of plants. and the biggest alive thing on earth is- a mushroom. jaahaa. that is true. its almost the size of a tenth of germany. it grows underneath the earth somewhere in south america.  
back to the soup. take 50 grams of dried porcini mushrooms (steinpilze). put them in a bowl and pour boiling water on it until covered. let it sit for 20 minutes. then take the mushrooms out of the water and cut half if them into small peaces. keep the water.
cut 600 grams of different fresh mushrooms in peaces. cut one onion and two garlic cloves   
into small peaces and sauté it in some hot butter for about five minutes. then put the porcini mushrooms and the mushroom water in the pot. pepper (freshly grounded) and salt it. let boil for twenty minutes, until the liquid is gone. then put the fresh mushrooms and one liter (about 4 cups) of vegetable broth in the pot. let boil for another 20 minutes.
you can blend half of the soup, that gives a creamier taste. stir in 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, best is the italian kind mascarpone. pepper and salt it if needed.
serve it with some fresh squeezed lemon juice. put some of it on the soup and stir in lightly. - tastes like heaven, believe me!
one of the most liked desserts of my family is zwetschgenkompott. in german it has a very old and boring sound. its basically plums boiled in a nice sweet vanilla and orange sirup.
so take about three quarters of a cup with sugar and heat it up in one cup of water. put one vanilla pod in the sweet, sweet water, after you scratched out the inside. also put one or two sternanis ( that is a winterspice, the google translater gave me the german word as translation. i thought it might be like the iceberg or the kindergarten a german word in english. let me know if there is any correct translation to it, please) and some zests of a organic orange peel in the water. let boil for five to ten minutes. then fill the plums in the pot and close it with a lid. turn off the heat after maybe two minutes. let it sit for ten minutes. don't cook too well. we still want to know, what we are eating.
serve it warm with whipped, not sweetened, cream. delicious! you can of course use all kinds of fresh and tasty fruits. 
this recipes really starts the end of the summer. what a time of the year! its bitter sweet.
I'm looking forward meeting you next week.
please comment and sign up as members. 
have a blessed week.


yours ute