SATURDAYS

When Cosi was here we spent a wonderful sunny Saturday in the 9 Straatjes district, wandering around, having baguette and hummus sitting in the sun by a canal and taking far too many photos. The weather was so beautiful and the colours so nice that I’m getting more and more excited for summer to come.

March is such a strange month, it seems so indecisive, some days are like a sneek preview for summer, all bright and happy and warm and I get a bit too optimistic thinking it might just go on like this and then the next day is like a sudden flashback to November, grey, windy and dull. But oh well, I guess after all this means we’re halfway through the semester and I’m so so so excited for the second half. I just can’t wait to be able to go running in shorts, and to cycle around in a shirt, study outside in the park and go out without having to worry how many layers will be enough not to freeze on the way to the bars. 

RECIPE: [EASY AND VEGAN] BANANA BREAD

Ok I have a new obsession: banana bread. I bake it at least once if not twice a week and it’s by far my favourite snack. Due to my extreme laziness when it comes to time spent in the kitchen it took me a while to simplify the recipe as much as possible without missing out on the fun and I guess after now spending not even 5 minutes on preparing it, it is worth to be spread out into the world.

To be honest, it’s not the cake-kind of banana bread that you’d get in fancy caf├ęs (it’s actually more like a baked banana oatmeal!) but I experimented a bit to make it a healthy snack that is still better than any healthy snack you could think of. Also, I use oat flour instead of normal flour, it is super easy and cheap to make yourself, simply put a package (or two) of oats in your smoothie maker or blender and fill the flour in jars to be prepared for your next baking session.
Ingredients for one small baking dish:
1 jam jar of oat meal (about 2 cups)
2-3 ripe bananas
3 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp baking powder
optional (but very much recommended):
half a glass of soy/rice/coconut milk
1-2 tsp chia seeds
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp cocoa powder
something to sweeten it a bit (sugar, honey, maple syrup…)
1. Mix the bananas and melted coconut oil, mix it with a hand mixer.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Grease a baking dish with some coconut oil, add the dough and then bake the banana bread for 20-30 mins. (depending on how you like it) at around 220┬░.
4. If you want to add frozen raspberries or other fruit I would advice to do that half way through the baking, otherwise they might get a bit dry.
I usually just add stuff I happen to have in my kitchen, such as frozen raspberries, dried fruit, coconut flakes etc etc. It really is more like baking your daily oatmeal than a making a cake so don’t be afraid to experiment, it’s quite hard to do something wrong.  Also, it obviously tastes best when taken fresh out of the oven, with a little piece of chocolate or some peanut butter but it also works perfectly fine to freeze some slices and the toast them whenever you feel like it.

AMSTERDAM MY LOVE

Cosi is here in Amsterdam for the weekend and the weather couldn’t have been any better on Thursday. It’s still quite cold but super sunny and we cycled along the canals and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon in the city centre.

Sometimes I don’t get to leave the campus for 4, 5 or even more days and then it’s not difficult to forget in what a beautiful city I get to live in. Luckily having visitors prevents this from happening and with Cosi being here I finally have a proper reason to spend a whole afternoon far far away from the campus and dorms and my everyday life, sitting on a terrace in the sun, buying birthday presents, walking and taking photos, and simply enjoying the time we have together. 
The amount of assignments and the length of my to do list both only seem to increase every day and I am so incredibly busy at the moment, I barely get a minute for myself, let alone enough time to properly and regularly do my groceries. But on the other hand I enjoy being so energised and charged up all the time, it just feels so good to be productive, to learn, to work so hard and then in the end of the day to go for a run and just feel so so proud and happy.
I never thought being stressed could feel so good but it actually does. I think it’s those fun dinner parties, walks in the park, coffees in the sun and tea sessions in between that turn the stress into something so positive. 
Photos are taken by both Cosi and me.

RECIPE: [VEGAN] PANCAKES WITH WHIPPED CREAM

I don’t think there is a better way to start a Saturday morning than with a pancake picnic on the floor, featuring a lot of sun, a lot of fresh orange juice and a bunch of friends. Once again Peppi had found an amazing recipe and even though I was quite sceptical considering it basically seemed like we were frying oatmeal I have to admit I cannot remember having any better pancakes.

The recipe is inspired by this one but we changed it a bit, using self made oat flour (simply blend oats in your smoothie maker) instead of normal wheat flour. 
Ingredients for 5-6 small pancakes:
250 ml oat flour (about one glass full)
1 tablespoon baking powder
┬╝ teaspoon salt
200 ml soy or almond milk (or any other milk)
2 tbs melted coconut oil
2 tbs brown sugar 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
some olive oil to fry the pancakes
1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Add everything else (except for the olive oil) and add a little more milk if you want the pancakes to be bigger and thinner, a little less milk if you like them small and fluffy. 
3. Heat some olive oil and start building that pancake tower.
4. Top them with whatever you find in your kitchen, but my tip is blueberries and some other fruit and this awesome vegan whipped coconut cream. SO good, I want a whole bath of it.
Ingredients for a small bowl of vegan whipped cream:
1 can of coconut milk (left in the fridge over night)
2-3 tbsp powder sugar
1. Carefully take the creamy part of the coconut milk (that usually stays on top above the coconut water).
2. Whip it with the powder sugar.
3. Generously spread it onto your pancakes. Or cake. Or cookie, or just eat it with a spoon. 

ONE DAY IN ZANDVOORT

A while ago I we went to Zandvoort and after uploading the short video I made I totally forgot to post some photos I took that day as well. So here we go, a few weeks later, already missing the beach too much, I can’t wait to be back as soon as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last weeks are so busy and packed, I rarely spent any time by myself. Finished my first semester, started the second one. We went skiing in France and it was one of the best weekends in a long time. I didn’t take my camera and the lack of ANY wifi for 4 days was so SO relaxing. Besides that I have a lot of work to do, many readings, many essays but oh well, starting over with new courses and new people is fun and motivating. So excited for spring now, excited to cycle around the city again, without frozen hands but with my camera.

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 ┬░C, 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┬░C.
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┬áand 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├ę 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├ę 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!)┬áspicy 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.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 62