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Chania – How I Miss Thee

Saw this video posted on Facebook the other day and just had to share it. This was where we lived for 2 1/2 years and I find myself dreaming of those days. Chania is definitely one of those places that will always have a hold on me, beckoning me to return. Oh Chania – how I miss thee! Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll find myself back there again one day. In the meantime, I thank God for the memories shared with friends – of the people, of the food, and of those oh so beautiful waters.


I have to keep believing that somewhere out there is a blue sky behind the clouds that seem like they're never going away! ~ Matt


Between Annie and I

Today, we had to make a quick stop back at the house to grab some bottles to take back to the store. Annie thought we were home for good, but then quickly realized we were leaving again. This is the conversation that followed:

  • Me: All right Annie, we’ll be right back.
  • Annie: Okay daddy, sounds good! Let’s go.
  • Me: No Annie, you’re staying here, we’ll be right back.
  • Annie: Okay daddy, sounds good! Let’s go.
  • Me: Annie, sorry – you’re staying here. We’ll be right back.
  • Annie: Okay daddy, sounds good! Let’s go.
  • Me:

Eventually I realized that I wasn’t quite getting through, so reluctantly shut the door and headed out to the store. When I got back home, who was excitedly waiting for me at the door again? You’ve got to love dogs!

Annie




Karlsruhe Zoo

I took last week off to spend with Ginger and the boys. It had been quite a while since I had taken time off and it was very much needed. We didn’t really go anywhere, instead just hung around our neck of the woods and relaxed and spent time together. I was very glad that I didn’t have to plan any major trips – which can sometimes be a logistical nightmare with 2 boys, a dog and a cat! On one of the days, we hopped the train down to Karlsruhe, where right across the street from the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) lies a very beautiful garden area and zoo. It was a gorgeous day – and I’m pretty sure all the animals were happy to see me (well… us!). Enjoy the pics!


Malva Pudding

Thanks to a very dear friend of ours, we were introduced to a delicious South African dish while we were living in Crete. Malva Pudding is a wonderful dessert for any occasion – and last night we decided to finally make it for ourselves. It was absolutely delicious – and brought back memories of sharing time with our friends back in Crete.

Malva Pudding

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Malva Pudding

Ingredients

    For the pudding
  1. 6 ½ ounces sugar
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 1 tablespoon apricot jam
  4. 5 ounces all-purpose flour
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. ½ teaspoon salt
  7. 1 tablespoon butter (a generous tablespoon)
  8. 1 teaspoon vinegar
  9. 1⁄3 cup milk
    For the sauce
  1. ¾ cup fresh cream
  2. 3 ½ ounces butter
  3. 3-5 ounces sugar
  4. 1⁄3 cup hot water
  5. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (180 deg Celsius).
  2. Grease an oven dish. I used a polish pottery pie plate. Any oven dish about that size should work.
  3. Beat or whip the sugar and eggs. It's quickest in a food processor, or use electric beaters. Beat until thick and lemon coloured, then add the jelly (jam) and mix through.
  4. Melt the butter (don't boil) and add the butter and vinegar to the wet mixture.
  5. Sieve, or simply mix together: the flour, soda and salt.
  6. Add this mixture with the milk to the egg mixture in the processor or mixing bowl. Beat well.
  7. Pour into an oven-proof dish and bake until pudding is brown and well-risen -- depending on your oven and oven dish this will be between 30 - 45 minutes. (Mine was done in 30 minutes this time).
  8. In a pot, melt together the ingredients for the sauce, and stir well.
  9. Pour it over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  10. Leave to stand for a while before serving, but serve warm. Because it's rich it does not really need enhancement, but if you want, serve with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

I skipped the food processor altogether and did all the work in my Blendtec blender. Worked great!

http://www.justusbarkers.com/2012/03/malva-pudding/


Spaghetti and Pesto Trapanese

We just made this delicious dish last night and were very impressed. Ginger made some homemade whole wheat spaghetti noodles to go with this and they helped to bring out the delicious flavors of this very easy to prepare dish. We’ll definitely be making this again – and VERY soon!

Spaghetti and Pesto Trapanese

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  1. ¾ pound cherry tomatoes, very ripe and sweet
  2. 12 leaves fresh basil
  3. ⅓ cup whole almonds, lightly toasted
  4. 1 garlic clove, crushed and peeled
  5. ¼ teaspoon peperoncino
  6. ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for cooking the pasta
  7. ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  8. 1 pound spaghetti
  9. ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

Instructions

  1. Rinse the cherry tomatoes and pat them dry. Rinse the basil leaves and pat dry.
  2. Drop the tomatoes into the blender jar or food processor bowl followed by the garlic clove, the almonds, basil leaves, peperoncino and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend for a minute or more to a fine purée; scrape down the bowl and blend again if any large bits or pieces have survived.
  3. With the machine still running, pour in the olive oil in a steady stream, emulsifying the purée into a thick pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning. (If you're going to dress the pasta within a couple of hours, leave the pesto at room temperature. Refrigerate for longer storage, up to 2 days, but let it return to room temperature before cooking the pasta.)
  4. To cook the spaghetti, heat 6 quarts of water, with 1 tablespoon salt to the boil in the large pot. Scrape all the pesto into a big warm bowl.
  5. Cook the spaghetti al dente, lift it from the cooking pot, drain briefly, and drop onto the pesto. Toss quickly to coat the spaghetti, sprinkle the cheese all over, and toss again. Serve immediately in warm bowls.

Notes

This delicious recipe is courtesy of Lidia's Italy

http://www.justusbarkers.com/2012/03/spaghetti-and-pesto-trapanese/


Christmas Market

Well, one thing that I have definitely missed about Germany is the Christmas Market. You can find one in just about every town and each one seems to have its own unique flavor. But one thing you can be sure of – there will be Glühwein. Nothing else can keep you warm and satisfied as you trundle along looking at the various Christmas wares. Ahhh… Christmas in Germany. I love it!


Heidelberg Castle Illumination

Last night we finally made it to the Heidelberg Castle Illumination. Three times a year they reenact the burning of the castle; it is an amazing thing to see and draws quite a crowd. Although we have lived in the Heidelberg area for about 7 years in total, this is the first time that we made it out to see this awesome event. Thanks to our friends, Holger and Angelyn, who took our German conversation group (of which, I tend to provide the most entertainment) up the Philosophenweg to see the lighting from the opposite side of the Neckar River. It was a great evening!


See the rest of the photos…