Archive | July, 2011

Strasbourg, France -As told by Nate

31 Jul

Nate wanted to write in the blog, so I told him that I would type whatever he wanted to tell us about our most recent trip to France. Enjoy 🙂

All us were on a train and us went on a train journey to Wisemburg. Then I had a lot of fun. We got some baguettes and a ham sandwich. Jambon is how you say ham in French. Then we hopped on a train and we went to a town called Strasbourg and we got beignets! Beignets look like hamburger buns, they are squishy and sweet like donuts and they have sugar crystals all over them. We ate a lot a lot of the beignets and got some to eat on the train home.

We went to a big, big church and I had to be very quiet in there. There was a big clock and a skeleton rode around and hit bells on top of it. There were very cool statues, too. There was a lot a lot of people in there. Then we went out of the church and I got to eat more beignets ‘cause I like them.

We went to La Petite France. That means Small France. I got to play in a park there. Some kid was trying to talk to me, but I don’t know what he was saying. We had dinner in a restaurant and I had a yummy sausage and some French fries and some ice cream.

Then we hopped on another train and go home. The end.

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Baking Adventure

26 Jul

I love love love (did I say love?) baking. However, Germany has made it extremely difficult. First problem is that I don’t have an oven in the apartment. We do have access to the house kitchen that DOES have an oven, but it is a pain in the butt to have to carry down all the ingredients…

Speaking of ingredients, that is the second problem. My first weeks here I wanted to make some chocolate chip cookies. Then I realized…German stores don’t sell chocolate chips. Or brown sugar. Or vanilla extract. Or baking powder/soda. I did make the cookies with some substitutions…a bar of chocolate chopped up instead of chips. I found something very close to American brown sugar at the Asian grocery store (that’s right folks, my brown sugar super exotic and from Thailand), instead of vanilla extract I used a common German item…vanilla sugar. Baking soda equivalent is KaiserNatron. Baking powder’s (not very good) equivalent is Back Pulver. They turned out decent…the texture was only a tiny bit off. And that was with me using not-quite-exact measurements; our measurements don’t always come out so nice when converted to metric.

So, with this experience under my belt, I decided to brave the kitchen once more with my handy metric converter and a mind for substitutions. I was lucky enough to find a brownie recipe that did NOT use cocoa powder (can’t find that in any of my local stores), but I was able to find vanilla aroma. It is kind of like extract…only an oil and MUCH more potent, so you only need a few drops.

Thank you Food Network! I doubled the recipe, skipped the nuts, added some milk chocolate to the batter, and sprinkled in a packet of instant espresso. Absolutely AMAZING. Waiting for them to cool was torture.

I’ve also got some dough in the fridge for Nutella Pinwheels. I found an amazing food blog called The Purple Foodie. What could go wrong? Buttery shortbread and gooey Nutella? Yes please. I’ll post pictures if they come out as pretty as hers!

25 Jul

Food Post!

James’ post about the pizza reminded me to post pictures from our super tasty Italian dinner! We are big fans of Groupon.com and we landed an AMAZING deal…19 euro for a 3 course meal at a super trendy Italian place in town with complimentary proseccco. We went and it was awesome! James had a green salad and pizza, I had caprese and rigatoni with beef, ham and tomato-cream sauce. Nate shared with both of us (portions were gigantic). We finished off dinner with tiramisu…Nate wasn’t a fan, so we promised him a trip to the eiscafe (ice cream shop) for a sundae. He got a pistachio angel sundae while we sipped on coffee.

25 Jul

So let me tell you about pizza delivery in Germany….

24 Jul

If the title isn’t obvious enough, I, James, have decided to write my first entry here 🙂

First, how many pizza places do you know who would accept your order 3 minutes before close? And then get it to you in under 1/2 an hour, with the pizza still piping hot(on a Bike from across town at that)! All this at nearly midnight on a Sunday(I know in the US this isn’t a big deal but here nothing is open on Sundays much less at midnight).

I know by now you much be thinking ‘that pizza place must be…’

A) Gross… Wrong it was Delicious but you would have to take my word for it.

or

B) Expensive…. Wrong… extra large cheese pizza delivered with tax $10 US.

Needless to say it has me wondering… Pizza delivery is an American thing right? How did the Germans get pizza so Right??

Just in case your mind wanders like mine does, then you have to concern yourself with the business practices. But here the law mandates they treat their employees well. Thats right, the pizza delivery boy has full health insurance with no co pays, unlimited sick time, and paid vacation! No wonder he is so chipper to deliver pizzas at all hours of the night 🙂

23 Jul

Wisemburg 3

23 Jul

Wisemburg Part 2