Coffee Date 16

It’s once again high time for a coffee date with you all, so grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and let’s have a chat. This time, we’re staying in beautiful Bavaria, where we went on an outdoor vacation. I’m still very proud that we did two bike tours with the bike shown, covering 80km each time. Hazel was with us, sometimes running alongside the bike (although mostly for shorter distances). Additionally, we also went hiking. Conclusion: Bavaria is beautiful, and luckily, my husband is now even more enthusiastic about biking than I am, which was quite different at the beginning of our relationship. My husband was also the one who pointed out to me that Lake Eibsee in Bavaria bears a striking resemblance to Jasper National Park in Canada, where I vacationed almost 20 years ago. It’s stunning, with its almost green water, and simply breathtaking.

Lately, I’ve also been wanting to try out more recipes from my childhood. For Easter, I made chocolate Easter eggs and decorated them with royal icing. I vividly remember these from the 80s in Uruguay. The last time I admired them was Easter 2016 when we visited Uruguay. Finding out that it’s not so difficult to create them myself, reaffirmed my belief in just going for it and experimenting.

Furthermore, I recreated one of my grandma’s recipes, Ukrainian varenyky, and reminisced about childhood memories. There are still several recipes from grandma’s recipe book that I absolutely want to try. As always, my baking list is long and keeps getting longer.

Since it suddenly got super cold in April and we had to unpack our winter clothes again, I decided to have Colombian hot chocolate, chocolate caliente, again. I had quite a few discussions because Colombians cut mozzarella into cubes and put them in the hot chocolate. Many people initially think they’re marshmallows, but no, they’re mozzarella cubes. You can either wait for the cheese to melt and then eat it separately, or you can drink the chocolate and eat the cheese on the side. In my Spanish class, I brought Colombian chocolate once, and I was very curious if everyone would actually try it. Indeed, everyone dared to, and my Spanish teacher (from Madrid) was extremely enthusiastic. We all agreed that the cheese must definitely be mild, so it’s not surprising that mozzarella is used in Colombia. A classmate said the cheese somehow tasted as if cream had been added to the chocolate. I can only agree; it feels like the hot chocolate becomes creamier. I was initially quite suspicious myself, but I have to say, the more I eat it, the tastier it gets. Would you try it?

April is always a special month for me because I celebrate my second birthday. On April 23, 2018, I had a severe bicycle accident including brain bleeding; you can read the details here. Every year, I choose a cake to eat on that day. I also make a big exception here. While I usually only have a small piece of my cakes, I may have two or three slices of cake on this special day. This time, I was in the mood for vanilla and strawberry, so I made this Finnish strawberry cake.

And then I also tried my hand at creating flowers with the palette knife. For that, I even took an online course by Kwun. Unfortunately, using a buttercream mainly made of white chocolate didn’t work out at all, so I switched to another recipe that was much simpler. Additionally, creating flower petals with a palette knife isn’t that easy; it took me a while to get the hang of it. The good thing, though, is that you can always practice creating petals again and again. If something doesn’t turn out right, simply spread a bit more buttercream and start over with a new stroke. I find this incredibly liberating; you can practice until you’re happy with the result. Also, since the buttercream is mainly made of butter, I had several evenings after work to practice again. I just took the buttercream out of the fridge, warmed it up briefly, and then got back to it. Super convenient. By the way, there’s already a post on my blog about how to make flowers from buttercream. The article is intentionally aimed at beginners and gets a lot of views from you all. That’s why there’s now a brand new post on how to create flowers with a palette knife.

I am so proud of the result of my flowers created with buttercream with the palette knife

And just a few days ago we threw a “42 is the answer to everything” party, as my husband and me are both turning 42 this year. Just in case, this is a reference to Douglas Adam’s book “A hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy”. Neither of our birthdays are in May, but we figured why not pick a random date and do it? Of course I had to make cake (duh), so I made a strawberry and cream cake and the Argentinian cake with dulce de leche and chestnuts. The cake was almost completely devoured. We also served Uruguayan empanadas and Colombian arroz con pollo.

We are still eating leftovers and I am happy the party was a success. I decided to do a little quiz with different categories, like “Geography”, “Jenny & Alex” or “Computer”. Apparently the crowd was very nerdy because everybody enjoyed it immensely. The win was so close, I think we will have debates for a while who actually won. On that note, thanks for all the fish and see you next time!

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