Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chocolate-Swirl-Cake

My dear friend Marlene baked one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever eaten for last year’s Thanksgiving. She found the recipe in one of my favorite baking/cooking-magazines and definitely made an impression on everyone who tried from this little piece of chocolate heaven!
Last week my brother asked me to bake this cake. I looked up the recipe and started to throw together all the ingredients. Here are the results:Foto 09.05.14 16 33 42Foto 09.05.14 16 35 19 Foto 09.05.14 16 34 33 first picture via

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Let’s go to … Seattle

IMG_9221 Exactly one year ago I was at O’Hare airport, ready for take-off to Seattle, WA. There I met up with a friend and we explored the city where Starbucks was founded, the story of Grey’s Anatomy plays and Microsoft is based.IMG_9153I really love the city because it seems to be more nature than actual city. Everywhere you go there is lots of green and in general many parks and trees all over the city. Moreover it is situated on the water, the Puget Sound and on the other side Lake Washington. On top it is not too big and not too busy but still exciting enough.IMG_9082 IMG_9079I had the impression that it is very different from the rest of the US. People are very laid-back and everyone seems to be living eco-friendly. There are no trash cans but little recycling islands around the city. People often use their bike. Coming from Chicago I felt like being in the nature or in the woods because the air was so clean and fresh.IMG_9184 IMG_9095 IMG_9093Also, you can buy locally grown/ organic produce in many stores. Especially Pike Place Market is heaven on earth for every foodie. Walking between all the fresh goods I really wanted to have the possibility to do some shopping and later on the cooking. I had Fish’n’Chips for the first time at Ivar’s.IMG_9026 IMG_9254 IMG_9031 IMG_9231 IMG_9236Another thing that everyone should see is the Space Needle, of course. The view from up there is breathtaking. My friend and I also wanted to visit the Meredith Grey House and on the way there we’ve been at Kerry Park. From there you can get the entire Seattle Skyline into one picture.IMG_9068 IMG_9073 IMG_9111 IMG_9116On our last day we decided on a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island.IMG_9229 IMG_9205 IMG_9208Since I didn’t have time to see everything of Seattle I’ll definitely go back again one day. I love that place and I also need to fulfill my dream of cooking with fresh ingredients form Pike Place Market!!IMG_9241

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Starting the day right

If someone asks me what my favorite meal of the day is, I’ll answer „breakfast, definitely!!” I honestly love breakfast and brunch. You can just have everything for the first meal of the day – sweet or savory doesn’t matter. Apart from all the delicious food I love breakfast because it kind of prepares you for the day. Easy relaxed weekend breakfasts with newspapers and some more time let you ease into the day while a weekday breakfast (in the worst case eaten on the way to work/ university) needs to be light and quick.IMG_1516I found some really quick and easy breakfasts that work very well for me when I’ve to get up early. When I know that I’ll be in a hurry the next morning I prepare my breakfast the evening before. I take a little Tupperware-box or a nice Weck-glass and throw together yogurt, oats, some seeds, goji berries and either a grated apple or some frozen raspberries and let the mixture sit in the fridge over night. I just need to grab a spoon and take the muesli out of the refrigerator.  IMG_1532If I do have some more time I usually go for soy-milk with cornflakes (buckwheat or rice or spelt), some fruit like banana, strawberries or blueberries and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.IMG_0061On weekends I usually prepare myself a slightly bigger meal in the morning and skip lunch. I love to eat some slices of watermelon or pineapple early in the day because it is so refreshing. In the winter I usually go for tea (no coffee for me in the morning!) and on warmer days I prefer some good-quality juice.sommerIMG_8561 Whenever I’m at home at my parents’ place I try to prepare a nice weekend breakfast for my family. First of all, I arrange a nice atmosphere with fresh flowers, nice napkins and stuff like that. Apart from all the regular breakfast food (jam, toast, coffee, tea, yogurt, granola, fruit) I always make one warm dish like pancakes or a breakfast casserole (I love Baked French Toast) and also prepare some ham, cheese and eggs.IMG_0139IMG_1368Very suitable for my love for breakfast is the city I live in – Vienna. Seriously you can have breakfast in the city between 5am and 11pm!!! There are some many great places to go, especially on weekends most cafés offer a breakfast/brunch all-you-can-eat buffet. My Top-5 breakfast places are: Nykke, Motto am Fluss, Edison, Café Leopold and Café Phil. The only thing I really miss here in Austria is really good and crispy bacon.IMG_0301 IMG_1512 mg_3902_51292863e087c317acb04932 IMG_0944
Anyone out there who is as breakfast-obsessed as I am?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Your Person

{we all have our person}
I had a rough last year if it comes down to relationships. People came into my life but some also left me – some forever. Sure, most of the changes were due to the fact that I moved three times in a row. Twice across the Atlantic Ocean.
People who really know me also know that I’m a very emotional person but often I simply don’t show them. It does not take too long until I trust someone completely and I quickly know who I connect with and with whom I don’t. This can be good and bad at the same time because it sometimes leaves deep scars in your heart that only heal very slowly. People who play a major role in my life feel that, I would say. They know that they can call me whenever, that I would do pretty much everything for them and that I’ll be there if they need me. In return I also expect that those special ones would do the same for me.
But you know, life goes on and things change, and so sometimes it happens that special ones just happen to disappear. All of a sudden you best friend is no longer there. And then you try to chase after this special person and you would move mountains to take things back to the point where everything was still good and fine. You invest a lot of energy and effort into the rescue of a relationship. Why you wonder? Because they are your person - the one and only who truly and fully understand you.
I have six absolute amazing friends who are special in their very own way. Some of them still walk beside me and others took the other way at a fork and our paths only cross from time to time. The thing they all have in common: I will love them – always and forever.
This is to all of you who came into my life and made me give away part of my heart and I never regret a single time where I gave away a piece. And if you call tomorrow because you need me, I’ll be there, no matter what, even if that means that I’ve to catch the airplane or that we’ll talk for the first time in ages again.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Happiness

Present As the last couple of weeks passed and I was focusing on studying for midterm exams I tried to built in some inspirational breaks in-between all the revising and problem solving. I read several chapters of one of my favorite books “The Happiness Projects” by Gretchen Rubin again. I first read it during last years summer months and even though we all carry the wisdom of this book somehow within us we do not quite live our life by the rules of simplicity. Today’s society is very competitive and it is an on-going never ending battle with oneself and the people around us just to keep up our position and a status quo. The general question that Mrs. Rubin asks herself and therefore also the reader is: Is this really it?
She, me and lost of other people are blessed with a wonderful life: we have enough to eat and drink, a place to call home, family and friends, maybe even a husband and children, a job, etc. We do have many reasons to be happy but still often we just cannot see how truly blessed we are. Unfortunately lots of us focus on the things that might need improvement, the things that seem to be imperfect, the negativity in our lives. We no longer live in the moment but rather in the past or in the future. Sure looking back and looking forward is important – reflecting past situations and finding out in which direction our lives are supposed to head. But nevertheless we got to live in the present, and appreciate what we have today.
That is the same with our hopes and dreams – when if not now? Mark Twain once said “In twenty years you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by what you did.” Personally I hope that I can look back on my life and have no regrets. I want to say “I did” rather than “oh, what if…”.
“The words of the writer Colette had haunted my for years: “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I wish I’d realized it sooner.” I didn’t want to look back, at the end of my life or after some great catastrophe, and think, “How happy I used to be then, if only I’d realized it.” – Gretchen Rubin “The Happiness Project”
Foto 13.05.14 17 51 52 
1st image via