Monday, September 30, 2013

The Summer is winding down and it's getting a little chillier each day. Sooner or later, we'll forget about the beach and the barbeques, and we'll be heading home, blasting the heater and drinking Progresso Soup. Well, there is one practice I love no matter what season it is, and that is eating ice cream.

I never go into detail about ice cream with people because there's not much to talk about. As long as it's quality ice cream, made with a few wholesome ingredients, I like it. I will say the market in Germany is not as big. Even the popular Florida Eis company here uses Fructose Glucose Syrup in their cream versions (although perhaps the choice has something to do with the texture they're going for). But when you break it down, ice cream is just 3 simple ingredients: cream, sugar, and eggs.

I remember as a kid, I picked up a book of accidental "inventions." The story behind the ice cream cone began on a hot summer day at the beach. One cart was selling ice cream and the other waffles. The ice cream man had run out of cups to serve in so he went to his neighbor, who had fashioned for him a cone made of his product! I actually doubt this is the real story, but it's a cute theory, no?

Know the difference between gelato and ice cream? Ice cream according to U.S. standards must have at least 10% butterfat. Gelato by Italian standards must have 3.5%. Also Gelato is churned at a slower speed, having less air than ice cream. Therefore, it's more dense.

Those were my little fun facts. Also just a random thought, but did Starbucks stop selling ice cream? I can't remember the last time I saw a tub . . . but I could die eating their Java Chip. Anyway, stay tuned for more food thoughts!

Eis Eis Ice Baby

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall is here and that means it's finally apple season!

Apples are a favorite back home. There is no Thanksgiving without apple pie (you will never ever convince my family to switch to pumpkin or pecan or sweet potato). My father eats an apple everyday after dinner. We love our apple cider, our caramel apples, and I am convinced Green Apple is the best Jolly Rancher flavor in existence (am I right or am I right?)

So you can imagine my excitement when this year, after living in the concrete jungle for all my life, Oli told me the apples from his apple tree were ready to devour. I mean come on, fresh apples from the garden? In fact, in Brandenburg, you can pick from random trees growing in public alleys (along with so many other fruits). Oh Mother Nature, I could just write you a love song.

I've been on a bit of a raw food kick lately. I've had a raw food phase before (only in intervals--I never mustered the courage to do it for a long period of time), and I really love the simplicity. Obviously you can get a bit more complicated (you mandolin wielding, dehydrating people I'm winking at you) but some recipes only call for a few simple steps.

Take this Apple Tart for example. If you have all these ingredients already, it's a breeze. Not to mention apples are the star.

Raw Vegan Apple Tart
Serves 1
3 small apples, cored and sliced
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dates

Soak 1/2 cup of the walnuts overnight or minimum 2 hours.

For the crust, put in a blender or food processor 1/4 cup dates with remaining 1/4 cup walnuts un-soaked. Pulse a few times until it becomes a nice paste. Take a small flat bowl or ramekin and press the mixture down with your hands.

For the filling, drain the soaked nuts and put them in the food processor with the other 1/4 cup of dates. Add one apples worth of apple slices and pulse the mixture until nice and creamy (you can add coconut oil too if you want it a bit firmer when you cool it later).

Now take the filling and put half of it on top of the crust. Add a layer of apple slices. Then put the rest of the filling on top, and garnish with remaining apples and a dash of cinnamon.

Put in the fridge for about an hour or eat right away if you don't mind it gooey.

Eat. Enjoy. Share the apple love.

Apples in Autumn

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hey guys, it's Aya! It's been a bit of a hectic 2 weeks over here. Biking to Hamburg, spontaneous trip to Sweden, and overall working on visa stuff (dun dun dun)! I also registered for a 3 month membership at this gym semi nearby so I'm pretty pumped!

Here are a few shots from Sweden! I tagged along with Oli and his father because his father had to pick up some supplies for work.

We docked at Trelleborg via Ferry and went to Malmö by car. Then we went back via bike!

Trip to Sweden