time to look back on one last part of our Californian honeymoon in today’s post. I’ve sadly lost some of the photos of our stay Lake Tahoe and Yosemite Valley but here’s the one’s I had made with my phone. Have a great day!
time to look back on one last part of our Californian honeymoon in today’s post. I’ve sadly lost some of the photos of our stay Lake Tahoe and Yosemite Valley but here’s the one’s I had made with my phone. Have a great day!
welcome to today’s photo post that is going to be a mix of things I’ve seen and done over the last couple weeks. Enjoy and have a great day!
So be cool and go against the cinnamon rolls flow and bring sticky lemon rolls with lemon cream cheese glaze to your next brunch date, people will love it (I think, unless they lied, which I hope they didn’t. No, I thought they were really good, too).
I followed Kitchn’s recipe (great food blog btw) and it turned out great. Only thing I will say is you have to plan ahead to have enough time as the steps where you’re supposed to let the dough rise are quite time-consuming. So top tip, prepare the dough the evening before you want to serve them and baked the next morning they will be warm when you put them on the breakfast table. The smell of freshly baked goods, not much can beat that, right?
For the dough:
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope or 1/4 ounce) active yeast
3/4 cup milk (for my European friends this would equal to about 180g)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for an hour (115g)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup white sugar (50g, I want to add to this point that you might want to add a tiiiiiiny little bit more of sugar as they were – I would’t say healthy – but more on the not so sugary side).
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (630g)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
For the sticky lemon filling:
1 cup sugar (200g)
1 lemon, zested
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
lemon juice, from 2 lemons
For the lemon cream cheese glaze: 1 lemon, zested and juiced, 4 ounces cream cheese, softened, 1 cup powdered sugar
Sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and let it sit for a few minutes. Stir the softened butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and 1 cup of the flour into the milk and yeast mixture. Stir in the salt and nutmeg. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough and keep on stirring until the dough is smooth, pliable, and stretchy. Lightly grease the top of the dough with vegetable oil, and turn the dough over so it is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
While the dough is rising, rub the lemon zest into the sugar with the tips of your fingers until well combined. Add the butter and beat together until it is thick, whipped, and creamy. Add the ginger and nutmeg, then the lemon juice. It should be a thin yet still creamy mixture of butter and sugar. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour, or until you are ready to assemble the rolls. Lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish (ca. 33 x 48 cm) with baking spray or butter. On a floured surface, pat the risen dough into a large yet still thick rectangle — about 10 x 15 inches (aka 25 x 38 cm).
Spread the dough evenly with the sticky lemon filling. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the top long end. Stretch and pull the dough taut as you roll, to keep the lemon filling inside. Cut the long dough roll into 12 even rolls and place each in the prepared baking dish. Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for 1 hour or until puffy and doubled.
→ You can refrigerate the rolls at this point like I did. Cover the pan tightly with a towel, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour before proceeding with baking.
Yes, I know, It takes time. But it’s so worth it.
Heat the oven to 350°F (arrrrrrggghh, those measurements are SO confusing. For my European crowd this means 177°C) and bake the rolls for about 35-45 minutes or until they’re nice and browned.
While the rolls are baking, you prepare the glaze. Whip the lemon juice and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth and creamy. When the rolls are done, DROWN them with the cream cheese glaze, and sprinkle the reserved lemon zest over top to garnish. Let them cool for a bit but do serve them while still warm. Delicious!
Let me know if you’ve tried it, have a lovely day!
if there’s anything I’d like you to take away from today’s post (and yes, of course it’s to ALSO go and see ‘Book of Mormon’ if you get a chance to) is to surprise someone dear to you every now and then. I got surprised with a weekend trip to New York by the husband for my birthday and it was glorious.
What follows is a little report on our New Yorker adventures, sprinkled with a few tips for new great food places and other spots we’ve discovered this time around (I’ve written a couple of posts about New York over the last months, go check them out here about my NYC Food Guide or here for another food-related post about a trip to New York we took).
All the planning fans amongst you might understand my confusion in regards as to what to pack for a trip to an unknown destination. Philipp would only tell me to pack something for a sports activity, a more dressy outfit and not much more than that. Great. Still, I was very excited. We got up early in the morning, still had a chance to get a few pastries from Tatte for the journey and off we went on the T. We will get on a train somewhere I thought. I kept checking the timetables in the hall and tried to find out more about our destination, which Philipp onlz found slightly annoying. Right about 8.30 am I found out. We were going to…New York!
We arrived at our airbnb early in the afternoon and went on to discover the neighborhood right after. We had a late lunch at the beautiful and hidden away Gotan. It’s a great spot because it has a great menu on offer but still feels more like a café where you can hang out and read a book for hours. As it was freezing cold outside that was basically what we chose to do. All while munching away on a glorious grilled cheese and a chia bowl with lots of coffee.
On our way home we stopped at Le Dépanneur, which is just a beautiful store and deli. I mean. I was looking at jams (yes, jams) for what felt like an eternity. If you’re in the area and a ceramics or perfume lover, definitely stop by Mociun and Le Labo.
The first surprise activity was a 8am sightseeing run through Central Park. It was freakin’ freezing but a great experience to start our day in this beautiful park alongside what felt a million dogs and their owners. Seriously, I’ve never seen so many dogs (also SO many different dogs) in one day. We went on to see the park’s landmarks, ran by numerous engagement and baby shootings and almost missed a proposal it seems as there were still fresh roses laid out like a heart on the famous Bow Bridge. Overall a great start to the day, even though getting up was hard. We go a hot coffee and a wonderful pumpkin muffin at Rex nearby Central Park as our guide had recommended it afterwards to warm ourselves up again. And he was right, it’s is a great neighborhood spot. Go! We went back home and then went for a proper brunch at Café Mogador. Highly recommend as well if you’re finding yourself near Bedford Avenue. On our way back to Manhattan we ran into the Veteran’s parade.
Definitely the biggest highlight of our trip was seeing Book of Mormon. What a fantastic musical! And hear me out, even if you’re not into musicals I think this’d be the musical you’d LOVE. It was just a memorable experience you’ll love.
If you also ever find yourself on Bedford Avenue (aka Hipster Central) but just want to go for a simple meal, Joe’s Pizza, a New Yorker institution is your best bet. Another great place is the Barcade, it’s basically a playground with beer supply for adults. Great fun!
We had brunch at Eggshop, which was ok but not more than that I’d say. We then went for a long walk along Bedford Avenue up to Greepoint, which is such a nice neighborhood. We stopped at Peter Pan to get some doughnuts. If you’re ever near Greenpoint definitely visit Peter Pan, it’s a no frills, very down to earth place. And the doughnuts are seriously amazing. And only cost $1 (!!). We devoured them at the Transmitter Park a few steps away while enjoying the great view of the city. New York, you’re truly an amazing and unique city. See you soon!
the holiday season is officially here, holiday parties and gatherings are upon us. What to wear?
What I’ve found out to be really interesting when reading through work holiday party invitations or just by talking to other people around me is that dress codes suggesting wearing something with a holiday flair are quite common. But what does holiday flair exactly mean?
I asked a few Americans (who I figured should know) about what it meant. I heard everything from it being a color scheme containing red, green or silver and gold shades. Or that it meant to simply wear ugly Christmas sweaters.
I might be totally mistaken but I feel like Christmas sweaters aren’t as huge of a thing in continental Europe like they are here in the US (besides Mark Darcy rocking them in the Bridget Jones’ films of course. This man can wear everything and still look sophisticated). But I wanted to know more, where do those ugly Christmas sweaters come from, what’s their story?
Christmas-themed sweaters were first produced on a grand scale in the 1950s, when the Christmas holiday was becoming increasingly commercialized. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the Christmas sweater gained mainstream adoration. This trend has steadily moved upward and as of 2010, ugly Christmas sweaters are once again highly fashionable.
That’s a difficult one. Doing some research on it online won’t really bring forward a clear response but two arguments seem to keep resurfacing: Nostalgia and an obsession people have with fashion.
Firstly, ugly Christmas sweaters seem to have that vintage Christmas appeal that reminds us of the days when Christmas meant going to bed early so Santa could bring those presents. Secondly, the ridiculous designs quite likely break every known law of fashion–and that’s the point. To liberate yourself from all fashion conventions is a good thing, so why not? Wear your ugly Christmas sweaters with pride;-) Also, if you want to wear a nice and NOT an ugly sweater it is absolutely fine. YOU DO YOU.
If you feel like you need a Christmas sweater know, find a bit o inspiration down below to get you started (the ones shown below are all still available on amazon if you fell in love with one specifically):
Do you like to wear Christmas sweaters for the holiday season? If so, what is your favorite one? Let us know in the comments below. Have a great holiday season!
I love food and I love discovering new places. And once you found one you like, you should share it. That’s the right thing to do, isn’t it? If you’re not into restaurants, you’ll find my posts on my favorite Boston bakeries here and on my favorite Boston cafés here in case you missed them). So here comes my little list of spots that I love. And of course this is only a very small selection of personal favorites and never ever reflects all of the amazing places there are in Boston. Obviously.
I still want to go to so MANY restaurants (Oleana, Giulia, Eat by Chloe, … talking about you here). Also, if you have any other favorite places do let us know in the comments below.
Oh, the many many MANY times I went to Alden & Harlow. It was a LOT of times. When we still lived in Cambridge this spot on Brattle Street was a constant when friends and family would come over to stay with us. Birthday and Easter celebrations were had there and it’s a place that just won’t disappoint. It’s definitely also a place that will spark discussions about the food and will make you discover new flavors and combinations that are just great. Can you tell I like this place?
What they serve: Modern American cuisine, farm-to-table, great food meant to be shared.
This is one of my latest discoveries in the ever so beautiful South End. And to be honest I was a bit skeptical at first, as I am with lots of Italian restaurants here. But eating at Coppa definitely made me change my mind. This is a great spot, founded by local gastronomical heroes Ken Oringer & Jamie Bissonnette with a neighborhoody feel to it. Take a group of friends for a nice meal, you can share all the plates. The pasta is amazing as are the other dishes on the menu. Bonus: The music is great fun!
What they serve: Amazing Italian food, meant to be shared. WOW!
We’ve covered Italian and Modern American cuisine up until now, time to open up the stage for some Asian food. I am by no means an expert on the matter but I know that the food at Myers+Chang (another gastronomical power couple) is just delicious. The interiors are pretty cool, too and staff is really friendly!
What’s really cute is that they offer Cheap Date Nights every Monday + Tuesday from 5pm to 10pm. Each menu ($45 each) is designed to be a full dinner for two, but larger groups are also encouraged to order one or more date to share. Let us know how it was!
What they serve: An indie diner setting offering a mix of Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese specialties.
Little Donkey near Central Square is just all over the place. What I mean by saying that? The latest collaboration of Oringer & Bissonnette (see section about Coppa above) will take you on a trip around the world with a menu full of global small plates that are meant to be shared. Great place, great cocktails. A little dark in terms of lighting. But heyo that won’t stop us, right?
What they serve: International sharing plates. Go for the Charred Avocado, best thing E-V-E-R.
The moment you enter this space your mood will brighten up. I don’t know what they do or how they do it. But. It. Works. It’s a big and generous space near Kendall Square where you’ll find all the bagels, Rachels, Reubens, potato knishes, pastrami sandwiches your Jewish foodie heart desires. A great place for any meal of the day all week through from Monday to Sunday.
What they serve: Jewish delicatessen.
So this is NOT your regular salad place. It is much more. It is muuuuch better. There are three locations in Boston (Back Bay, Prudential Center and Downtown Crossing). If you ever find yourself in the area and want to go for a healthy yet filling option, this is the place! Bonus: They buy their produce and meats from local farms, they change up their menu depending on the seasons and also offer lots of veggie options. Also, their interiors are just #goals.
What they serve: Hearty salads!
Voted one of America’s best new restaurants in 2016 by bon appetit Magazine, this beautiful space in Somerville near Union Square is just a great little spot for any time of day. Whether you’re looking for a small breakfast, a brunch at the weekend, a lunch or even a very unique dining experience, it’s the place to go.
What they serve: Great food! (very original I know).
I’ll be honest here. I’ve been to Loyal Nine’s Café several times and went for brunch and it always was amazing. However, out of the two times I went there for dinner, while one visit was great (great cocktails and beers selection), the second visit turned out to be a little disappointing. But hey, go there for great breakfast and café food and the best brunch, it won’t disappoint. The concept is interesting and it’s probably food you’ve never eaten that way before. Intrigued? Plus: It’s a beautiful space with beautiful tableware (seriously!) and super friendly staff.
What they serve: Seasonal coastal New England fare, influenced by the early settlers, meant to be shared.
you probably might not want to hear yet another person talk about the whole Hygge thing.
In case you don’t know what Hygge is, where have you been? The very short answer is: It’s the Danish concept and obsession with getting cozy (if you’d like to know more, read this article here). It can take on many different facets and mean different things to everyone but I thought it might be nice to share some of the things that have been getting me in the Hygge spirit, now that days have been getting colder and darker.
The sweet an comforting scent of roasted chestnuts must just get a super high score on the Hygge scale, don’t you think? I’ve never roasted chestnuts at home and thought why not try it this autumn. It is much easier than I thought, so why not try it this weekend? See the recipe I used here.
Can you sense a theme here? I discovered the easiest ever recipe for glazed walnuts a few days ago and OMG this might have been one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. Try it!
Bonus: It fills the house with a great autumny smell and makes for a great treat or snack. You’ll only need walnuts and maple syrup and a bit of salt. Just preheat a dry skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the walnuts, maple syrup and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until syrup is caramelized and nuts are toasted, about 3 minutes. Let cool. ENJOY!
Hand me over a hot apple cider, a tasty coffee or a fragrant cup of Earl Grey and I’ll be happy instantly. Do you know the feeling of coming home after a few hours spent outside in the cold and just wanting to get cozy on your sofa with said hot drink? Best feeling, once you hold that warm cup in your hand. What are your favorite hot drinks?
Bonus if you drink your favorite drink out of a beautiful mug. Yes.
Probably one of the most hygge things ever are candles. They will just instantly make you feel homey and good. My favorite candles are the ones by Neom Organics, do you know them? Do you have any other favorite candles you could recommend?
Spending time with friends and celebrating “Togetherness” as they would call it in the Hygge Manifesto is also very high up on my list of fall essentials. There’s just nothing better than grabbing a good friend, going to one of your favorite cafés and indulging in that walnut coffee cake you’ve been eyeing up on for a couple of minutes, while talking with your friend. Best!
Living a couple minutes away from the largest public library of the US is definitely veeeeery tempting. To all my local friends: Go and get yourself a library card (see more info here). It’s just the best thing to get comfy on the couch with either some roasted chestnuts or maple glazed walnuts, a hot beverage, my candles and a good book (currently reading Maya Angelou’s ‘Why The Caged Bird Sings’). Maximum level of Hygge achieved I think.
Let me know what your ideas and tips are for getting cozy in autumn?
If you know anything about me it’s that I LOVE bread and pastries. Like REALLY. So if I find a place I like I’ll be sure to let everyone know around me. Without further ado, here comes a list of my favorite bakeries in Boston and around.
Don’t miss this one! This place is absolutely worth the trip out of town to Cambridge/Watertown. They have excellent coffee, creative drinks (try the orange blossom lemonade, absolutely stunning), baked goods, and food (all with that delicious Middle Eastern flare). It can get crowded during peak hours as the place isn’t huge, there’s a nice outdoor seating space though, weather permitting. You can also combine a visit to Sofra with a walk around the beautiful Mount Auburn Cemetery.
This is really boring, I apologize but how could I make a favorite bakeries post without including Tatte? Still just a classic and always a great option to go for, you can’t go wrong with Tatte.
This mini mini tiny tiny bakery tucked away in a sidestreet in Brookline claims to make European bread and pastries. Being the critical European you are you go in with a bit of a skeptical attitude. But you know what? Clear Flour really does make great bread, baguettes, ficelles, croissants and pastries. You got my European stamp of approval. Go folks!
Founded by local gastro superstar and Harvard ’91 graduate Joanne Chang this bakery is an option like Tatte where you simply can’t go wrong. Also a great option if you’re out and about with a group of friends as it offers a lot of different options like the best sandwiches I’ve had in town, salads, sweets and coffee.
We used to live right across a Hi-Rise Bread Company café and it just really is a great neighborhood coffee shop with irresistible pastries, great bread and creative sandwiches. There’s no wifi, which is either a pro or a con depending on what you’re there for but other than that it’s a great quality breads and overall just a nice place for a down to earth breakfast or brunch outing.
Another amazing local Cambridge hero is Iggy’s Bread. I first got to know about Iggy’s Bread as I was volunteering at a Food Shelter where they always donated fresh bread. I always ended up volunteering to cut up the bread as it just smelled and looked SO delicious (#truestory). I was curious to find out more and went to their store close to Fresh Pond. It is a great spot for any bread lover! Let me know what you thought!
What are your favorite bakeries in town?
We went to see two basketball games over the last 7 days. One at TD Garden (Boston Celtics against the Milwaukee Buicks) and the other one was the Crimson Madness at the newly renovated Lavietes Pavilion. After seeing two baseball games in Fenway Park and a NBA and a College Basketball game it is pretty clear to me (Red Sox fans close your eyes or stop reading) that basketball is just SO SO MUCH more interesting and fun to watch. If you want to know more about our basketball adventures you may read on.
What is Crimson Madness you ask? I didn’t know either, so let’s get that out of the way first. Crimson Madness officially kicks off the 2017-18 Harvard Men’s Basketball season.
And, let me tell you, it was a very entertaining evening.
As images always do a better job at conveying a feeling or atmosphere I’ve included the official little recap that the HarvardAthletics account posted on Youtube a couple of days ago.
So here’s what’s happened as advertised before the game:
It was really impressive seeing how professional the set-up with all the analysts, team assistants, journalists, screens, cheerleaders, dance teams, athletes and trainers looked. I almost don’t wanna say it but seeing the whole thing made me realize that many European professional teams would have a hard time competing with that. Ok that might be a bit exaggerated but still, you get the gist. Harvard Basketball have their s*** together.
Overall, it was an interesting American experience, with the national anthem playing at the beginning, an inspirational address by coach Amaker, new and current players were introduced as if they were super rockstars entering the arena, free shirts were thrown into the audience, cheerleaders and dance teams presented their choreographies, food and snacks and you get the picture. After a short intra-squad game people would even go down to see the players and ask for their autographs.
If any of you are local readers, check out Harvard Athletics schedule here, it’s worth taking your friends and family out to a game as it was great fun!
if this post can do anything, I hope that it’ll make you curious to learn about new things or to at least consider your next cooking session a real science project. Because you know what? Cooking is science (not only of course but you’ll know better what I mean in a second)!
What made me think about food and cooking that way? It most definitely was attending the Harvard Science and Cooking Public Lecture. It’s a public and free lecture series organized by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard and it pairs Harvard professors with celebrated food experts and renowned chefs to showcase the science behind different culinary techniques. Cool, right?
It’s already in its seventh year and you’re able to find some old and new footage of recorded lectures online over at the Harvard YouTube channel. If a rainy day comes around again and you are somewhat interested in food and/or science, this is be a fantastic way to spend your time. Let me know what you thought! So if you aren’t a local (full schedule of upcoming lectures and guest to be found here), check out some of the videos below and on YouTube.
The last lecture I attended was by the great local superstar and Harvard graduate Joanne Chang and it was all about the science of sugar. While I wasn’t able to find the video about the talk I attended I managed to find the video of the lecture she did back in 2015. It’s just really cool to learn about sugar in such a new and unexpected way. Have a watch!
Another great way to stay in the know if you’re even more curious is to enroll for a free and self-paced course over at EDX, check here for more information.
Some other interesting talks so far were about the art of fermentation and the science of risotto. Here come the videos, have a great week everyone!
The weather has been getting colder and you know what that means in my book, right? Watching lots of Netflix documentaries all cozied up on the sofa with a glass of wine and lots of popcorn. So without further ado, here comes my selection of Netflix documentaries I’ve been enjoying lately. Disclaimer: I just realized that they are mostly pretty dramatic and dark (with exception of the beautiful Maya Angelou documentary). Still, they are made so well and you’ll learn so much that they are definitely worth a watch. Let me know what you thought!
Wow. What a story. What a country. The film follows a year in the life of a family in Pyongyang, as their daughter Zin-mi prepares to join the Korean Children’s Union. However, what you’ll find out soon enough is that the Ministry of Culture pretty much gave the filmmakers a final script. They selected all of the characters, film locations and scenes to be used in the film. Realizing that the North Korean government intended to make a propaganda film, the director Mansky decided to keep the cameras rolling between shots. What you’ll see will just be so unbelievable you’ll think this isn’t real. And I don’t know if it was only me but there were definitely scenes where I thought I could see people’s sadness in their eyes. Definitely a great documentary, check it out!
What a legend. What an elegant and wise woman. No more words needed. If you want to learn about this huge American culture icon then definitely watch this film. And order some of her beautiful poetry books while you’re at it.
This documentary is just so incredibly well made, you’ll want to watch it until the end even though the story itself is very sad and upsetting. In 1996, Boulder, Colorado a six-year-old pageant queen, JonBenet Ramsey was found dead under mysterious circumstances. 20 years later, director Kitty Green returns to audition local actors, unpacking how each remembers and relates to the Ramsey case. You’ll hear the actor’s points of view on the case and it will really show you how differently everyone perceives a murder case.
It is painful to watch, yet so important as it still seems to be a reality that there is so much hate in this country towards everything and everyone that is different from you. Welcome to Leith tells us the story of an attempted takeover of a small town in North Dakota by notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb. As his behavior becomes more threatening, tensions soar, and the residents desperately look for ways to expel their unwanted neighbor. It is stunning how accessible both the residents and white supremacists are and it is incredibly interesting to see how a small community tries to fight against an extremist vision.
This documentary is centered around a young French guy who convinces a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who went missing for 3 years. Yes I know. This sounds absolutely crazy. Even though the film feels slow at times it is just incredible to see how the different parties involved think and feel about this whole situation.