I’m slightly proud of myself. First of all, this is my first recipe for a drink. Secondly, it’s the first time I cooked with lavender. But most importantly (read impressively (at least to me)), I foraged the lavender in the woods on our recent trip to a small Turkish island in the Mediterranean Sea. It was also on that said island that I did my very first outdoor food shot for my Vegan Hot Cross Buns. Back home I put my bouquet of fresh lavender in a vintage vase I inherited from my grandma and simply enjoyed the smell. A day later I researched the internet to find recipes that call for fresh lavender buds. Most recipes list dried lavender as an ingredient. And since I had just finished my coconut syrup the other week, I thought it might be worth a try to make syrup with my lavender….
‘Chickpea tofu?’ I hear you say. ‚Is that tofu with chickpeas? Or chickpeas with soy?’ Neither nor! It’s soy-free tofu made with chickpea flour. ‚But how is that Japanese?’ I hear you say again. Fair question, so let me tell you a little story.
A few years ago I went to Japan for a few days. At that time I was living in Hong Kong and my boyfriend frequently had to go Japan for business. On one of those trips I joined him and we flew to Tokyo. Now I would call myself an avid traveller, a so-called experienced adventurer who has seen many different cultures, lived in way too many countries (though there is no such thing as too many) and even spent a long summer in South Korea. A country just a stone-throw away from Japan. But yet, the moment I stepped out of the airplane I felt like I had landed on a different planet….
Where is this beautiful place, you might wonder? So let me tell you about last weekend. We spontaneously decided that we wanted a weekend away from Istanbul as the weather forecast looked very poor and we felt like it was about time again to explore some new regions in Turkey. Initially we planed on going to Izmir but I wasn’t in the mood for such a long drive. So I literally put my finger on a map, went a little north of Izmir (closer to Istanbul) and stopped at an island, which is just a stone, throw away from Lesbos, Greece. Our destination for the weekend, Cunda island, a 4.5 h drive from Istanbul.
A word a blow and the alarm went off at 5 am on Saturday morning. The day before I had prepared a picnic basket with English Hot Cross Buns, raspberry chia jam and coconut chia cream. I had hoped that we would find a nice spot on the way but unfortunately almost the entire route was built up with houses and factories. And so we quickly agreed it was better to wait for some peaceful greenery than sitting next to the highway. In hindsight, this was the best decision. Because as soon as we reached Cunda island, or how I would call it “the island of olive trees”, I spotted the perfect tree for our picnic….
This week has been a successful week. I finally managed to make two savory recipes in the row. I also sticked to my goal of only recreating and veganizing food I got to know on my travels. And I have to admit that I enjoy the challenge and feel like I finally put some more thinking and research into my recipes. I also managed to set up a new blog section, called Resources. My plan is to share more about my photography process with you. In the future I’ll be uploading tutorials, equipment posts and answers to frequently asked questions. For now I’ve set up a small shop where you can buy the Lightroom presets I use to my moody food photography. And last but not least I finally changed my branding and I’m now slowly rolling it out on my blog and social media channels.
I’ll leave the change of branding to another time, once it’s all completely set up but I’m super excited about it. How do you like the new logo? Anyway, because I’ve worked so much on “behind the scenes” things on my blog and business, I didn’t have the time and energy to write a proper blog post. So unfortunately (or maybe fortunately depending if you like to read anything other than recipes), this post will be quick and easy. Just like my previous ones. Or just like this vegan quiche….
My culinary journey continues. Today I’m travelling back home. Though home in a broad sense. More like back home to Germany but not back home to my part of Germany. Because Maultauschen or German Giant Pasta Pockets are not very common in the northern part of Germany. Maultaschen are a Swabian recipe and I’ve never had these pasta pockets until I visited a friend from Southern Germany in my early twenties. As a lover of all things pasta I don’t need to tell you what I ate every week once I moved to Munich a few years later.
In Germany you find pre-made Maultaschen in almost every supermarket. Back then I always bought the veggie version though the original recipe calls for a lot of meat. My Giant German Pasta Pockets (Maultaschen) are vegan but still with the very traditional flavours of spinach and nutmeg. Some people use only flour to create the dough which is more soft and similar to Italian ravioli pasta dough. I love my Maultaschen to be a little coarse and rough, so I replaced half the flour with corn semolina. Maultaschen taste best on the first day….
The sun is shining, spring is slowly arriving and it’s almost Easter. Wait…what! How is it already Easter in two weeks. I haven’t even finished writing down my 2017 goals yet. But hey, I’m on time for the yearly overdose of Easter recipe. Maybe I’m even the first one you see this year. If I tell you that this is more or less an accident, would you believe me? Though I really wish I would be a little bit more organized when it comes to blog content (and goal setting) but I just don’t care much about holiday recipes. Neither Valentine’s Day cakes nor Easter bread or Christmas cookies (though I did actually post one last year here). …
Here it is. My first vlog. Have you watched it yet? It’s not a cinematographic masterpiece but it’s a start and that’s what this blog post is about today. But first I would love to hear your thoughts on my first video.
Now that we all know that I have very affectionate cats, where I go shopping on Saturdays and how quick and easy it is to make a Turkish lentil balls mezze platter, we have a common ground to talk about why I spontaneously decided to do a vlog….
I remember, when I was little, around the age of 10, a lot of my mum’s friends would go to Malta on vacation. I always thought, who wants to go to Malta if you can go to Italy. When I turned 12 I had the option of going on a language course, either to the UK or Malta. And again I though London and the rough British weather sounds much more tempting than Malta. Almost 20 years later and I finally did it. I went to Malta with a friend of mine mid of March. With Malta I even hit a little milestone, I visited my 70th country. Honestly I probably wouldn’t have travelled to Malta if it wasn’t for three reasons.
First of all, my friend, who is living in Hamburg didn’t want to fly very long so it had to be something in Europe. Secondly, I only wanted to go somewhere where there was a somewhat good guarantee of sunshine and mild temperature, so it had to be in the South of Europe. And last but not least, and that was the difficult part, I wanted to visit a new country. …
I’ve done some thinking. The more I work and photograph for my blog, the more I wonder where all this is going. Or better said, where I want to take it. So far most things just happened naturally. I have a passion for food and travel. So obviously I post about recipes, publish food guides and give some tips for destinations I’ve recently been to. But I wanted to give my blog a deeper focus. I feel like that even though I have my own style and my content is unique my vision is still too generic.
So consequently, yes, I’ve done some thinking. I want to take my blog to the next level. I want to broaden our cultural and culinary horizon, write about places less covered, challenge traditional recipes by veganizing them and only cook with ingredients that are widely available for everyone (sorry, no acai bowls for now). It’s my goal to create food that tells a story about my travels, about nation’s traditions and about personal experiences. I don’t know much else yet. Just that the focus will be more on food as a way to bring people together, to share their passion and to unite different cultures through cooking. Does that make sense? My recipes are and will be still all vegan, often gluten-free and mostly healthy. I’ll just add a little international touch. Like I did for this Israeli Vegan Skakshuka with Tofu….
A few weeks ago I did my first ever juice cleanse. It was something I always wanted to do but never felt it was the right moment. So, I more or less decided very spontaneously, without much planing or any pre-cleanse diet that I wanted to a 3-day juice cleanse. I’ve felt a little unmotivated, was lacking energy and had been eating slightly unhealthy at that time. The reasons why people decide to do a juice cleanse are various but for me it mainly was about getting my energy level back to normal.
This is a report of my own experiences. I’m by no means an expert though I have asked one too answer a few questions for this blog post. Everybody is different and every body is different. The one thing I have really understood about my 3-day juice cleanse is to listen to your body more carefully. Because it’s the only one who can tell you what feels right and wrong (though don’t listen to it when it tells you to stop and just continue but in your own pace)…