RECIPE: [EASY & VEGAN] CINNAMON ROLLS

My life has just gained one more reason to be happy: vegan cinnamon rolls. Think of butter (the vegan one, not as bad as it sounds), sugar and cinnamon, rolled up in a fluffy bun. And yes, here is the recipe, in case you need a late night treat before starting into the new week (and oh wow, for me also the new semester..!). Or a reason to look forward to a Monday afternoon spent baking.

Peppi and I found the recipe on the “Minimalist Baker” and due to the fact that we were missing some ingredients (yes, not using yeast DOES make a difference) ours werent as fluffy as they should have been. But oh well, skills come with practice, right? And believe me, fresh out of the oven they still tasted heavenly.
Ingredients for 8-12 cinnamon rolls:
2 1/4 packet instant (or rapid rise) yeast
240ml unsweetened plain almond milk
112 g of vegan butter (we used soy butter)
1/4 tsp salt
410 g unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
65 g organic cane sugar
1. In a large sauce pan (or in a bowl in the microwave at 30 sec increments), heat the almond milk and 3 Tbsp vegan butter until warm and melted, never reaching boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to 43 ¬įC, or the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast.
2. Transfer mix to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on yeast. Let activate for 10 minutes, then add 1 Tbsp sugar and the salt and stir.
3. Next add in flour 65g at a time, stirring as you go. The dough will be sticky. When it is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so until it forms a loose ball. 
4. Rinse your mixing bowl out, coat it with canola or grapeseed oil, and add your dough ball back in. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with 3 Tbsp melted butter and top with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 – 1 Tbsp cinnamon (to taste).
6. Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. Then with a serrated knife or a string of floss, cut the dough into 4-6 cm sections and position in a well-buttered (we used coconut oil for this) baking dish. 
7. Brush with remaining 2 Tbsp butter (melted) and cover with plastic wrap. Set on top of the oven to let rise again while you preheat oven to 175¬įC.
8. Once the oven is hot, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve immediately.
Optional: Frost with dairy free cream cheese frosting or a simple mixture of 100g organic powdered sugar and 1-2 Tbsp almond milk. 
Another option: Sprinkle with Coconut Flakes. SO good. 
(Credits to the Minimalist Baker!!)

ALONG THE KEIZERSGRACHT

Okay yes, the houses along the canals are for sure the most photographed ones in Amsterdam but I just couldn’t resist walking around like a crazy tourist with my camera, taking photos of every pretty corner we passed by. The light was beautiful and the temperatures suddenly so mild that it felt a little bit like we skipped February and March and went straight forward to April.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously it was back to all foggy and misty the next day but that’s okay for a Sunday spent cleaning, reading and cooking. Saturdays are for exploring and after I had a long breakfast in bed we took our bikes and cycled towards Amsterdam West, had a coffee outside the Breakfast Club¬†and before we headed to the Huis Marseille – by far the best photography museum in the city – we walked along the Keizersgracht for a bit. On days like these which make me feel like you’re trapped in some romantic indie movie I can’t believe I’m that lucky living in this beautiful city. So yes, I simply had to run around the streets, excited like a little child with my camera in front of my eyes, trying to capture everything while following my friends who were walking some hundred metres in front of me. I’m so excited for spring and can’t wait to spend a lot more time exploring Amsterdam.

LIFE RECENTLY PART 4

It’s been a while since I last gave an update about what’s been going on in my life and I kind of liked those personal posts so here we go. Christmas break was just beautiful and apart from the never ending ice cold rain Amsterdam has been drowning in the last weeks were pretty awesome as well.

When I was younger food and presents and a lot of time to watch movies were definitely some of the best things about winter break but this has kind of changed and I can’t tell how nice it was to catch up with old friends as soon as I went back to Germany. Knowing I have these people in my life makes me so so happy.
I went to Berlin for some days to celebrate New Years Eve, walk around the neighbourhoods, enjoy some beautiful sunny afternoons, do cultural stuff, take many many photo booth photos and eat the best pasta salad you can imagine.

I just love this city so much, I know it’s such a clich√© but I can’t help it. I hope I can go back one day and spend a little more time getting to know all the neighbourhoods.

Spending some time at home was so good as well, I went for walks in the woods, watched TV series with my family, met my little cousins and just has such a relaxing and good time. After all those days and days of studying and running from one event to another being bored was actually so nice.

Back in Amsterdam I started working on a new little project for the blog, trying out recipes with my friend Peppi. We did spend quite a while on those vegan cinnamon rolls but it was definitely worth it and I’ll post the recipe soon.

We also spent a day in Zandvoort at the beach and had such a wonderful time. It was cold and windy and our hands were freezing a little bit but still, I enjoyed being by the seaside so much and hope to make this happen more often. After all, it’s less than and hour to go there..
We also tried out another recipe, which I recently posted on the blog, a spicy sweet potato soup and oh man, best meal I had in quite a while. So perfect, especially when having to warm up after long walks in our nearby park, where I by the way, discovered an awesome outdoor swimming pool making the waiting for summer even harder.

There was so so much more happening during the last weeks – so many dinners with amazing people, and such great museum visits and lunch breaks spent in the caf√© next to our uni, sitting by the huge windows enjoying the sun. Late night bike rides where I was so glad I took mittens to keep my fingers from freezing and suddenly the cold didn’t bother me anymore. And concerts in one of our dorm common rooms after which we don’t even have to leave the building to go home. And so much more. After all those famous “blue mondays” weren’t that bad actually and even though I’m SO looking forward to the time when I can cycle through Amsterdam in t-shirt and shorts I enjoy this cosy time quite a lot.

RECIPE: SPICY VEGAN SWEET POTATO SOUP

 

Hello hello, my friend Peppi and me decided to cook something and since Peppi understands Finnish we chose this recipe she found on a Finnish blog: a (very healthy & vegan!)¬†spicy sweet potato and carrot soup. It’s quite easy, super delicious and perfect when you feel a little cold coming up or need something that warms you up after a long walk outside.


Ingredients for a big pot of soup:
one big sweet potato
4-5 carrots
one big onion
a can of coconut milk
0,75l of water
vegetable bouillon
coconut oil
sriracha
garlic
ginger
cilantro
lime

1. Chop all the veggies and roast the onion, garlic and ginger in some coconut (or olive) oil.
2. Prepare 0,75 l of vegetable stock and put it and the coconut milk in the pot.
3. Add the sweet potato, carrot and some siracha. Wait until the sweet potato pieces are soft.
4. Mix everything with a blender and add some lime.
5. Add more spices if needed and put some cilantro on top before serving. Also goes really well with some fresh bread! Enjoy!

 

DAY AT THE BEACH | ZANDVOORT

Yesterday we took a spontaneous trip to the beach and it was the best idea in a long long time. I was so happy to be back at the seaside, I almost forgot how beautiful it is, even when it’s 7 degrees and rainy and windy. Or maybe especially when it is like this. I don’t think there is anything more calming and freeing than running at the beach, not caring about anything in the world and just seeing the rough waves rolling in. We walked along the water, had lunch in a cosy beach restaurant and sat in the sand and enjoyed the wind on our faces. This is definitely going to happen a lot more often.

BERLIN IN GOLD

One perfect week spent in Berlin, my winter break couldn’t have been better. Spending so much time with old friends was so relaxing, so natural and good. And Berlin, oh well, how can Berlin not be good right?

 

We spent five beautiful sunny and cold days in Berlin, and it was all about sitting in my friend’s in small and cosy kitchen and drinking litres of tea, walking around the neighbourhoods getting lost, trying out various Falafel shops, and – obviously – getting those photo booth photos taken. I had such a nice time with some of my favourite people and I can’t wait to be back one day. Strangely I have never felt a greater wish to move back to Germany after my studies than right now. I guess you just realise what’s there when you don’t have it. Or there is a serious January-melancholy going on. Most likely both.
Back to Amsterdam and uni now, and even though it was hard in the beginning the first days were so cosy and fun and packed with dinners, tea times, a beautiful concert, good friends and so many other nice things it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. So much more to happen!

[MINI] CITYGUIDE UTRECHT

We only spent a few hours in Utrecht but considering its size I think it’s still worth telling you the best spots we discovered during that time. So here we go, Utrecht is definitely worth a visit, whether it’s only a few hours or a whole weekend!

DE KEUKEN VAN KEEK
Haven’t tried it but it’s supposed to be one of the best spots in Utrecht for delicious homemade cake and bread and all that kind of stuff.
De Keuken Van Keek // Oudegracht 362
BLACKBIRD COFFEE & VINTAGE
Super cute and tiny café and concept store a bit down the main canal in Utrecht. Perfect to enjoy a coffee and piece of cake outside in the sun, watching the people passing by.
Blackbird Coffee // Oudegracht 222
JUT & JUUL VINTAGE
Cute vintage and concept store in a hidden alley, packed with nice jewellery, some clothes and all this stuff that you wish someone would give it to you for your next birthday: tiny plant pots, cookie dough  in pretty bottles, knit hats and more.
Jut & Juul // Telingstraat 11

 

 

MENEER SMAKERS BURGER

Amazing burger restaurant in the centre of Utrecht, that also offers delicious fish- and veggie burgers. Can be perfectly enjoyed sitting on a bench by a small canal nearby, sharing the homemade fries and watching the city turn dark.
Meneer Smarkers // Nobelstraat 143 (& Twijnstraat 62)

HUTSPOT UTRECHT
Probably the most famous concept store in Amsterdam also made it to Utrecht and is definitely worth a visit – not necessarily shopping-wise but it’s still nice to look at all this fancy and overpriced stuff or have a drink in the bar next door.
Hutspot Utrecht // Vinkenburgstraat 19
EPISODE
Another Amsterdam-classic in Utrecht: Episode is likely the best place to shop second hand clothes that look like new (or at least like “used-look-new”): from Adidas Superstars and American-Apparel-like crop tops to cheap cashmere sweaters, cosy flannels and the perfect Levis Cut offs! Bring time and moneyyy!
Episode // Oudegracht 206

And for more hotspots take a look at the USE-IT Utrecht map, wish I knew about this one before our trip. Enjoyyyy!!

ONE DAY IN UTRECHT

After having our last assignments on Wednesday we thought it was about time to get out of Amsterdam and explore some other parts of the Netherlands. Considering it’s only 20 mins and – when travelling with a Dutchie 4‚ā¨ – to go there we decided that our first destination would be Utrecht.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It turned out to be a wonderful warm and sunny day spent with hours and hours of walking up and down the main canal, sitting outside a café enjoying the sun, going on a Christmas present hunt (not so successful) and ending up eating delicious veggie burgers on a bench by a small canal, watching the christmas lights. Everything was just perfect.

Heading home tomorrow, can’t wait for 2 weeks without doing anything, without the constant thought of how long my to do list or when the next deadline is, just watching movies, baking christmas cookies and catching up with old friends. It’s been a while.

WRAPPED UP

The time has come: I can officially wear my favourite sweater without feeling guilty because it’s not wintery enough yet. But now it definitely is. A few more days and a few more assignments and I am going back home for Christmas.

 

 

And thanks to Daniel Wellington for my new watch, with which my sweater gets a great companion and I can keep up my German values and always be on time. Also, using the code CocoMathilde you get a 15% discount on all Daniel Wellington products until January 15, so don’t miss your chance and make your wrist look as classy as mine.
Oh and a shoutout to Leila for being so patient taking the photos, until I was more or less satisfied and our fingers so cold that we needed a 2 hours coffee break in my favourite café to warm up.
Besides these rare breaks I spend most of my time in the library and uni right now, either working on a ridiculous amount of finals or dancing to All I want for Christmas at my uni’s Winter Formal. It was a great night full of super nicely dressed people, white wine and a great christmassy atmosphere. And now it’s only one week to go!!

FLOWER FESTIVAL CHIANG MAI

It’s been almost 9 months since I went to Thailand and I still have to think of it so often. I was going through my photos the other day and found all these ones, already edited but never posted. I took them at the Flower Festival in Chiang Mai, we were walking around and somehow ended up behind the stage. All the dancers were getting ready for their show, clearly aware of how beautiful and sparkly their dresses and decorations looked like and I just couldn’t stop photographing. So here we go, another throwback to Thailand.

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