Saturday, December 29, 2012

Getting back into the rhythm of things is hard after a week of indulging. I'm pretty sure at one point I smelled like potatoes and gravy, and maybe a bit of Stollen as well. In any case, I'm back in Berlin for now (more like, for the next few hours until going to Poland tonight!) and I need to get back into my groove.

That being said, see this little chap just winking at me?

That there is a  Döner Kebab. He may seem really innocent but underneath all that toasted breadyness is a pile of tempting meat and vegetables. Okay, it doesn't sound that bad, but when it's the only thing available at 3 am, in between parties, it's pretty dangerous. You just want him and he calls to you. He listens to you. He becomes your friend. And then Wabam! He's always there!

. . . .

Well, at least you can count on him, eh?

Der Döner Kebab

Friday, December 21, 2012

Paris in a shot IV

Paris in a Shot III

Paris in a Shot Part II


Paris in a Shot Part I

Friday, December 14, 2012

Paris Paris Paris! This is the chant that runs through my head every morning since I've gotten here, which is a lot healthier than what my subconscious is telling me (last night I had a dream about a crazed lemur, whose brain was swapped with a human lunatic).

I've been couchsurfing these past few days and I love it. I could not recommend it enough for people traveling somewhere new. It's refreshing, and you get to see the world through different eyes. I've also noticed while you're making observations about them, they are making the same of you, and it's interesting to hear what people think of my American heritage.

The above picture is when I decided I was walking for way too many hours without a pit stop, so I ducked into a nearby cafe and got myself a coffee while writing a few thoughts down.

Today I go to the Musee d'Orsay with my friend Viv! I'm excited! Au Revoir!

Cafe and Notes

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hey guys, I'm in Paris right now and it's amazing! The weather is like Spring compared to what I endured in Berlin the weekend before. I guess everything is just perspective isn't it? I've been pretty bad about taking pictures because I'm just kind of enjoying covering as much ground and taking mental images in my head (don't worry, I still took pictures)!

I will update you guys more thoroughly. Right now, I'm in transition because I need to move from one flat to another. Tottles!

Paris: Update

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hey guys, how are you today? I've been doing well (although fighting a tiny little bug in the stomach).

Berlin is just as cold as ever (with temperatures going down a whopping -11 C on Saturday). I would say luckily I was in Dresden, except that it was quite the Winter Wonderland down there as well (my feet felt like frozen icecube trays!) However, I can say lucky me I'm going to Paris, because it's a whole 6 C higher!

I'm doing a bit of packing now (warzone in the room), before I head over to the bus. I'm actually extremely lucky I live right next to the bus that takes me straight to the Tegel Airport.

The above picture is a small pit stop Cristina, Laure, and I made to grab a coffee and warm up in Dresden. I'm always in the mood for sweets. I'll post the rest soon!

Ciao for now (or shall I say Au Revoir?)

Dresden and Paris: Update

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I'm the type of girl who starts prepping for Christmas as early as I can without being thought a weirdo. I'm talking sucking on candy canes, buying loads of wrapping paper and ribbon, and figuring out what homemade tasties to make and give to friends.

I think the whole world is with me on this one. I mean, let's not forget how early the holiday music starts playing at Starbucks (let's just say it's only pleasant to people who don't work there, made clear by a few of my employed friends). So how does Germany celebrate? They set up these cute little house looking stands, sell German fare, set up rides for children, and call it a Christmas Market.

Exhibit A:

Knacker and Kale
Champignons and Krauter Sauce

These were taken at the Kulturbraurei near Eberswalderstr. U-bahn. My first German Christmas market (and definitely not the last!) My only qualm of course is that things are just a tad pricier than I would like them to be (8 euro bowl of sausage and kale!) but I'm paying for the atmosphere and the atmosphere is quite jolly.

I think Ole Saint Nick himself would be pretty proud.

The Christmas Market Part I

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

To Do List:
1. Go to the German Japan Society
2. Workout in 2 parts
3. Turkish Market
4. Dinner with Oliver at this Vietnamese Restaurant

Yum's the Word.

Tottles (toodles) everyone!

Heute (Today)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Not too often do bookstores make you hungry, unless you are either in the cookbook section or you're waiting for a friend that promised burgers on the way home.

Well, combine the two, and you get one hungry person whose friend found them in the cookbook section staring at the Book of Burger (a la Rachel Ray). It's a bit strange when you have to explain Rachel Ray to someone, because in the States she's pretty much everywhere. But a few pages in, my friend and I decided, to hell with buying premade food, let's make them little buggers (ahem, I mean, burgers).

The recipe is Rachel's Italian BBQ Chicken Burgers.

We didn't buy the same amount of chickadee as the recipe calls for, so I kind of improvised the measurements (I do that a lot here, because the metric system change means no one uses measuring cups!) It still turned out quite tasty! The only thing I would change is the amount of fennel I used (it was a tad too licoricey). And I think for me, the meat in the sauce is too much because the burger is already made of meat. Otherwise, I give it a thumbs up! It was also a lovely way to spend a weekday evening.

Hey Thar' Buns, What's Toasting your Sesame Seeds?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

When I told my father I was moving to Germany, he actually laughed and asked me "Are you sure you want to do that? Don't you remember when you were a kid, you cried everytime it got really cold?"

Hey dad, I'm not a kid anymore. I'm an adult. I know how to cry on the inside now.

It's true, I am weak to the cold. I also just talked to my flatmate, who told me it can be as low as -20 degrees celcius. CELCIUS. Oh lordy, I hope the central heating does not bust due to overusage because then, I will be wearing every article of clothing that I own.

In other news, here's a few things I need to tackle in the next few weeks:

Germany loves their Kürbis! And so do I. I'm more partial to the Sugar Pumpkin (the kind America has canned) and Kabocha (this is the most amazing thing steamed with sea salt), but I never say no to a squash! I'll be using them possibly in a dish with my butternut squash or maybe some cookies (!)

I need to pack! I'll be doing a lot of traveling this month (if all goes well, Sweden, Dresden, Paris, Poland). Yes, I will come back broke (that's when the dinner for 5 Euros articles begin), but I hope to gain new experiences and make new friends!

The Christmas Markets in Berlin have started, and how wonderful it is to be someplace new for Christmas! Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas in NY. No matter how many times I've experienced it, it's still magical. But German Christmas . . .  that's something entirely different. I can't wait to munch on gingerbread and buy a lot of random trinkets for my fam back home!

How is everyone else celebrating Christmas?

Oh the weather outside is frightful!

I hate to admit it, but I'm a cheater.

I joined this game on a little while ago. For people who don't know Diet Bet, it's a website where you put in some money, and your goal is to lose 4% of your body weight in 28 days/4 weeks. If you succeed, you get the money back and then some, depending on how many people win/lose. Sounds a bit sketchy, but it's based on the logic that if you make losing weight a competition, people are bound to be more successful.

Here's the deal: I don't believe in diets. I believe in healthy lifestyles. It is my mantra to eat right and exercise (of course with some indulgences here and there). That being said, I've been pretty unhealthy the past few weeks, not being as active or eating more junk (hence the cheating). This is my push to get back on track!

I'm letting you guys know because I don't want to back out. Something I do believe in is commitment. If you say you're gonna do it, do it! And stick to it!

I'll keep you all updated with my progress (nothing super specific, but how the food and training is going). I'll be sure to leave a few tips along the way!

The Bet

Before coming to Germany, I was not as big into beer. I mean, it's not that I didn't like it, I was just more of a wine girl. Well, let's face it, I still am. There's just something about fermented fruit that gets me.
Introducing Porter's Fruity Beers. This happened when Oliver and I went over to Kadewe in hopes of finding him a Pullover, and resulted in a mad dash around the gourmet food section to soothe our rumbling tummies before it closed.
The verdict? I like the Erdbeere (strawberry) one more than the Kirsche (cherry). It kind of tastes like Hi-chew, that delicious Japanese gummi candy I am kind of missing right now.
It didn't change my life, but give it a go! And as far as eclectic, I would say at least there's variety. And you know variety is the spice of life!

Beer for thought

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 22nd was Thanksgiving.

Back home in NY, Thanksgiving is a tradition my family and I never miss. It's always just the 5 of us (my mom, dad, brother, sister, and I), in our house. We watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning, and in the evening, we have a HUGE feast. It's just one of those holidays that even my super Japanese family likes to celebrate because it means we get to stuff our faces the whole night!

This year, I celebrated it in Berlin. And what a feast it was! Oliver and I rushed over to Kadewe (a department store with a gourmet food floor on top) in hopes of finding a Turkey last minute, but we ended up buying a chicken instead. From there, it was all improvisation. With a few last minute purchases and some things I had stocked up on a few days in advance, we went to his friend David's place and started to create.

We were worried at first we didn't buy enough food, but with the addition of a few more dishes from friends, we managed to make everybody's bellies happy.

Just see for yourself:

Truly something to be thankful for. And yet another successful Thanksgiving for the books!

The American Feast in Berlin

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Child's Quote

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I love cookies. But to be totally honest, I've always been more of a cake kinda gal. And not until I started baking again, did I realize just how much fun cookies are to bake. They're small, easy to store, and you can trick your friends into thinking you're really good at this stuff, when you just put in a little of this and some of that into a bowl.

I made these when I was too tired of spending money on Prinzenrolles.

Euro-man not included with every rolle

Unfortunately, these were so good, my friends and I (okay, mostly me) ate them in a matter of days. Oh the power of vegan cookie dough . . .
What? Now you want the recipe?
Uh . . . I forgot to write it down.
. . . . .

Don't kill me. I surrender.

Cookies for You and Me

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Europe definitely changed me.
In the 3 months I've been here, I never thought I would take a road trip to Prague with my German School Buddies on a whim, skipping class intentionally (okay, I'm pretty much a studious nerd and refuse to purposefully miss school unless I'm going on a date with Ryan Gosling, or er, my German teacher of 2 months past). I also never thought that I would eat sauerkraut in anything other than atop a hot dog. Well, wrong on both counts.

Cue Mr. Spätzle over here.

His love is probably not the healthiest, but from time to time, it's pretty nice. Warm, buttery, and a little meaty. I'd say definitely worth dating, if Ryan or Unnamed-Deutsch-Teacher is not available.

Bis Später, Spätzle! (Until later, Spätzle!)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My first official Breakfast (Frühstück) in Berlin. At the time, I didn't understand what a "Frühstück" was. Just that it was good and I was starving and from the very minimal words I understood on the menu (okay, let's face it, I asked the waitress what everything was), it sounded pleasant.

Well, if all my breakfasts looked like this and I could have a plate for less than 7 EUR (including a bread basket full of grainy delicious breads), I would actually wake up at normal human hours.

I regret to say I forgot the name of the Cafe, but it's in Kreuzberg near the Schönleinstr U-bahn. When I know, I'll let you know.

Frühstückin' Days

You know you've had one of those nights. A night you remember too well even though you shouldn't, because you downed some Vodka and a drink with 4 different kinds of Rum in it, and you washed that down with juice and pudding and wurst. It doesn't happen often (God forbid), but when it does, you just gotta roll with the punches. Or pommes (fries), shall I say.

Now, I know quite a few people against Currywurst. It's not healthy sure, and once you start eating them, you realize it's hard to find good ones. Well, I compare it to a Starbucks coffee. Starbucks kinda tastes like burnt water, but it's fun holding the little cup around and walking the streets of NY like you mean business. Eating Currywurst is fun in Berlin, because you're in Berlin.

Well, if I've convinced you enough (or you just have a huge hangover and need to nurse it), you can get this puppy at Curry 36 (Mehringdamm 36). Chow down baby!


Wurst is Not the Worst!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Berlin is an interesting place. The rent's cheap, the food's cheap (well, unless you're looking for some natural Peanut Butter or Baby Spinach . . . and don't get me started on pureed pumpkin), and apart from finding a job being incredibly hard for a good ole American lass like me, it's quite the knock-out place to be.

Take this picture (above) for example. I probably paid around $15 for all of this deliciousness (and there's meat too). Same goes for the items below:

Minus the Zimt (cinnamon) and jar of PB, it's all organic and cost me around $17.

One of my mother's first emails to me after I moved to Berlin was her worrying about my eating. My response were these two pictures, and a "Don't worry, I'm eating like a King!" She was convinced of course, because who would think I was starving after seeing that?

Thank you Berlin, for loving my stomach.

Food Haul ft. Berlin

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hey guys, it's Aya!

Some of you may know me from my Fashion and Food blog, Stilettos at the Dinner Table. I apologize to all those who were following me there. I stopped updating it a while back, as I was finding it hard to stick to both topics and it was getting a bit random (one post about Karlie Kloss, the next Kimchi?)

My new blog, Healthy Appetite, is about my Foodisms: what I ate, where I ate it, tips and tricks on staying healthy, tips and tricks on enjoying your life through food, recipes I find or may whip up myself (although I forget to write everything down usually, I will try), etc, etc. I'm a city girl born and raised in NY, now living in Berlin. Come sit down at my table! :)

The Intro