Now if you think that I tell you a story about an adventurous trip to Thailand after I graduated from university. Where I drove with a small scooter through the hilly jungle landscape of the north, island hopped my way around in the south and visited way to many temples in Bangkok. Then you are wrong. Because I reserve this story for another time. Today I tell you how I fell in love with Thai food. And this didn’t happen in Thailand. Well, it kind of did. Because when I went to Thailand for the first time, I ate myself into a daily food coma with sticky rice and mango. I also had the occasional pad thai and though I liked it, it wasn’t until I moved to Hong Kong a few years later that I actually fell in love with Thai food. …
Around The World
‘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’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….
I miss the days when things were simple. I also miss the days when I knew which place to call home. Today, right now, this very moment, I’m confused and everything seems just a tat too complicated. I’m not even going into politics here but has there been a time in history when there was more of a mess (thank you internet and social media for the information overflow) than it is today? Right! But then again it’s a time I wouldn’t want to miss.
Now I suddenly feel the urge to voice my opinion, do something for our community, get back to my German roots and actually make up my mind what I want to do with my future. Up until the beginning of last year I had a very casual (not indifferent but also not very strong) opinion about so many aspects of my life. “Are you proud to be German?” – “I guess so, Germany is a great country…”. “What’s you favorite German food?” – “Pfff not that I can recall one on the spot but I like Vietnamese spring rolls.”. “What can you do for your community back home in Germany as well as the one where you currently live?” – “Nothing?”. “And what about the immigrants that come to Germany?” – “They are welcome but not sure how to actually integrate them and make everything else work.”…
Today I’m taking a little trip down memory lane. Back to my childhood when there wasn’t any Trump but the GDR and sweet potatoes were unheard of. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I visited my grandparents for a few days last week. I flew into Berlin on Wednesday night because I had an important meeting on Thursday morning. After my meeting, I took a few hours off and just wandered around Berlin aimlessly, my favorite thing to do. Ever. Really!
I can’t do much walking anymore in Istanbul because it’s not very pedestrian friendly and you actually need a car to drive to some nicer areas where you can walk, have a proper sidewalk and not a busy road right next to you. So whenever I travel to more pleasant places (in terms of walking) I just love to walk for hours. Why do I tell you that instead of telling you about my visit to my grandparents? Because as a child I hated walking….