Friday, February 24, 2012

Away for the weekend - more to come soon

I'm not taking a break, I'll be in Berlin for the weekend (leaving in a few hours actually so I'd better finish getting organized). Perhaps I'll be inspired while I'm there or at least come up with a few fun things to write about!

Either way, maybe I can keep you in suspense by letting you know of my plans to give you the details of the travel snacks I prepared...

Sunday, February 19, 2012


The past couple runs I've gone on I've been able to do it without walking intervals but today I really didn't have to stop. Sunday traffic meant that I didn't even have to wait at lights or to cross the street, which is probably what made the difference in my time compared to yesterday but I don't care, that still means I ran constantly for 5km! And it was raining, so I ran without music... I'm lucky I went as early as I did though since just after I got home it started snow/raining like mad and it looks pretty windy out there now. I was pretty happy about getting out running that early anyways. It's been a goal of mine to get up earlier and go running right away so that I'm energized and can get more done during the day. So now all I have to do is keep it up and make it a habit!

Mmm... Lunch time and since I have a couple ripening avacados that I recently bought on sale I made this creamy avacado pasta sauce for probably the third time now. It's so tasty and quick!

This is my slightly adapted version of 15 Minute Creamy Avacado Pasta from Oh She Glows, a blog with lots of delicious and healthy vegan recipes (not that I plan to be vegan but she makes good stuff)!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What a beautiful day!

And I started it with a 5km run (finally the full thing this time - it wasn't much of a difference but I felt like I was cheating a bit before). Now this doesn't mean that I got everything else done today that I wanted to but it's Saturday and it was nice out and that put me in a great mood!

I have to share a comment about this tea I'm drinking though. For some reason my little sister picked it out at Steeps to bring when she came to visit and man does it smell! I mean, really, like smoked ham or something. It put me off of trying at first because you really do not expect that from a tea but here I am drinking it again... Lapsang souchong is a black Chinese tea with a strong, crazy, smoky scent because the tea's leaves are smoked, over pine wood. And it's actually pretty good, but I think I'm still pretty timid about the amount of tea leaves I use for a pot. However, I wouldn't think of having it with something too sweet, but who knows maybe the contrast is delightful...

Yesterday's Ugly Weather

Apparently I didn't actually write this yesterday. Nothing too exciting, it was raining and so wet and ugly out that I didn't get out for a run. I did walk through the city to run some errands and came back with wet feet (I don't have rubber boots)...

Cooked: but it looks like I just tossed it on the floor
But I did try a new recipe! I don't think I'd ever actually cooked with Kale before and although I only had the frozen stuff around (because of my interesting attempts at 'green smoothies') I quite enjoyed the simplicity of this Kale and Carrot Bake. But it's really hard to go wrong with veggies, onion and garlic, isn't it?

 I always seem to have a hard time eating carrots before they start to go bad and was looking around for something I could eat with rice or couscous. This is perfect! I had the frozen Kale and although I wasn't sure if it would be quite the same with frozen over fresh, I thought I'd give it a go anyways. 

This is the "Oven Roasted Carrots and Kale" recipe according to, but to be honest I didn't measure anything - I was cooking veggies, how exact does it need to be?? It's the first time I've used this blog for recipes but it looks pretty awesome, with lots of healthy recipes and tons of nutrition advice.

After starting some spiced rice (this just means I threw a couple cloves, whole allspice and a piece of star anise into the pot while it cooked), I threw a handful of 'Kale ice cubes' into my casserole dish and put them  in the oven on low with the hope that they'd thaw enough by the time I finished chopping the other stuff.

To the other stuff: pretty simple - the last onion I had (it was small) and 3 or maybe 4... cloves of garlic plus a good handful of carrots, I'd guess 4 or 5 of the biggest ones in the bag. I'd been checking on the kale pretty often, anxiously stirring it around and hoping it'd thaw faster (next time I'd probably take it out a little earlier). I finally pulled it out of the oven (turning it up to 200°C), tossed everything else in the dish, drizzled it with olive oil and added a dash of salt and several grinds of pepper and stirred everything vigorously with a wooden spoon and waited... Although I guess I stirred it after about 10min. and maybe again once or twice. I was being cautious because the frozen kale was making a lot more moist than I think it would be with the fresh stuff.

It was ready about the time I finished my dishes (including those from lunch). Unlike in the recipe on the kale wasn't going to end up turning brown so I was checking for the carrots to be tender enough. Then I served it (to myself) in a bowl over the rice and I couldn't resist grating some parmesan and adding a few black olives. Other cheeses are good too, I tried some thinly sliced Emmantaler on my leftovers today! Oh and today I added a bit of lemon juice too. I didn't have fresh lemons but just squirted some on, definitely makes the flavours pop!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Laundry Day!

That means I'm now sitting beside a fully loaded laundry stand breathing in the delightfully fresh humidity wafting off my clothes, lucky me! I spent a lot of the rest of the day trying to organize things around here (especially paperwork).

Before I got to any of that though, I went for a 5km run! It was so sunny out too, which made it very enjoyable. Too bad the snow doesn't get cleared very often here, there are still lots of nasty, slushy patches on the sidewalks where the last bits of snow could have melted away in the warmth if they'd been a little bit shoveled...

Now that I've been running more, I've been getting excited about it and started looking for a shorter race around here to go in between now and the 10K at the end of April. It's just been so long since I've been in one and I guess I'm having a hard time waiting. I'm also going to have a hard time putting off buying new running shoes much longer. I've started looking at them online and reading reviews so pretty soon I'm going to give in.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Brown Smoothie

I am not going to share a picture of what I made for dinner. After getting into making smoothies lately I thought I'd give 'green smoothies' a try (adding spinach or kale) but it's impossible to find either of those vegetables fresh and I thought it couldn't hurt to get some frozen kale and try blending it in... It's not great since the veggie stuff doesn't get totally smooth and it end up kind of a brownish color with green flecks that I still have to chew a little. Plus, it just tastes a bit too healthy... I'll keep on the look out for spinach in the stores and try again some day. 

It's not as greasy as it appears here!
But the leftover soup I had for lunch looked good. Or at least I thought so when I made it and that's when I took this picture...

Grießnockerl or semolina dumpling soup (solid blobs of cream of wheat really). I needed a way to use up some of the broth I made last week and tossing in an onion and all the carrots that were still any good makes it pretty easy. Then I really just mix up the stuff that goes into the dumplings (semolina, milk, butter or oil, salt, an egg and just a touch of nutmeg and baking powder) in approximate amounts to make right consistency and drop a few spoonfuls into the pot. I might pay for my inexactness in the odd shape of them, as you can see from these but at least it doesn't affect the taste.

I went to the gym this evening - stationary bike for 20min. then did some strength training on the machines there.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Finally an Outdoor Run!

I really don't know how to get started but here goes... 

The plan is to write about running, food/tasty recipes and a bit about the handcrafts I'm into, which mostly includes knitting and bobbin-lace making (Klöppeln) these days (I'm not really experienced at either and I'm still at the very beginner stages in the lace making - however I think it's pretty nifty since I'd never even seen it before coming to Saxony and just had to get a better idea of how it's done).

My next running goal is the Oberelbe (Marathon) 10km in Dresden on April 29th. Since I joined the gym about a month ago and started getting into running again last week I'm still at the optimistic and very motivated phase. It really helps that I finally went for a run outside today. It warmed up a bit and I figured that that's as good of a reason as any to get away from the treadmill and test out the snow packed sidewalks. Plus I threw some potatoes in the oven beforehand so I was thinking about the delicious lunch waiting for me when I arrived back home! Maybe that's why I only ended up running 4.5km instead of my planned 5... I really didn't know how far I'd gone until I was back home though. 

Herring, tomatoes and oven roasted potatoes for lunch!

Current work in progress
Then I packed up my stuff and got ready to go to my lace-making class. I'm such a beginner so I'm still working on the basics stitches but maybe someday I'll get to make something more impressive. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, this is what it looks like (or at least based on the technique in this region):