11.23.2014

vegan brownies

Today, I will leave my cheesecake challenge for what it is. After having eaten one to many mini pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes, I needed something else to feed my sweet tooth. But what? Brownies. Who doesn't like them, right? Who could say no to a warm and gooey piece of chocolaty goodness? No-one, right? That's what I thought. So when I was browsing for the perfect brownie recipe, my eye fell on these delicious looking brownies over at IKBENIRISNIET. A vegan, refined sugar-free brownie recipe - it almost sounds healthy, right?

brownies.

My actual reason for baking this batch, other than my constant sweet tooth, was because I wanted to be a good intern and bring some baked goods with me to the office the next morning. This recipe is basically a no-brainer, but with absolutely delicious brownies as a result. Everyone loved them! I loved them so much, I basically ate them for dinner that night. Really, true story - that's either a new high or low point for me, you decide.


11.20.2014

picture perfect salzburg

On a total whim, I took a day off of work, hoped on the train and travelled to Salzburg - only a two-hour train ride from Munich away. I had heard so many stories about this little Austrian city, and as an avid little pianist in my early years, I had always wanted to visit the birthplace of Mozart. Little did I know was that there would a pretty picturesque city amidst the mountains waiting for me, once I stepped off my early morning train.

Salzburg

My first stop was the Museum der Moderne on the Mönchsberg. A fine collection of modern and contemporary art. I wasn't allowed to take any pictures inside, but I strolled through the museum, situated on a cliff high above the city, for a good two hours. The also have a panorama terrace, from which you can get an amazing view of the city. Though it was a cloudy day, Salzburg and its surroundings looked absolutely stunning.


11.16.2014

my stories pt. three, me and my eating disorder

A while back I read the book ‘The Gift of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are’ by Brené Brown. She talks about the power of vulnerability, and owning up to our stories – that is, the painful ones that might be seen as imperfections in this world of ours – to reach happiness in your life and with yourself, which she beautifully describes as Wholehearted living. As someone who is constantly striving for happiness, while in a constant battle with my imperfections, this book seemed as if it were written for me. During the next couple of weeks, I will take a leap, and share my stories with you – today’s might be considered triggering. Feel free to share yours as well!


As I’ve previously spoken about my perfectionism and anxiety, this story might be the hardest to share. It is the one perhaps most incomprehensible to the outside world. Its physical effects are visible, but the actual problem enfolds only in your own mind, for no one else to really, truly understand.

At the age of 18, I developed an eating disorder. My perfectionism, anxiety and other circumstances had driven my to the point where I was utterly miserable. Completely unhappy with my life, and myself, I planned to make things better and be happy again. Amongst other things, ‘thinner body’ was on my list as well. I had just survived my first semester in college, and spent my days mostly at my studio apartment watching movies, like the little couch potato that I am, and to be honest – I cannot even remember my eating habits from that period. Many things from the time before I got sick somehow seem like a blur, as if I wasn’t really present – the disorder basically took over my life at that point. I started to make a workout schedule and opted for low calorie foods in order to loose some weight. It started out as a way to ‘loose those ten pounds’ I had slowly gained during the last years of high school and first semester. However, the first month or two weren’t successful. I remember the night as if it was yesterday – I weighed myself at my family home, and completely broke down because I thought I had lost weight, but the scale told me otherwise. Tears flowing down my face at the kitchen table, I felt completely shattered, and vowed to work even harder at losing the weight.

11.09.2014

agave-sweetened almond, cranberry and raisin granola bars

These past two weeks, I might have overdone it. A big batch of brownies, those mini pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes, restaurant desserts, it was all a bit too much. Just a little bit! So this weekend, I set out to make something a bit more healthy, but still delicious to get me through the next work-filled week. I explored the internet for the perfect healthy oat bar recipe, and I think I've hit the jackpot with this one.

agave-sweetened almond, cranberry and raisin granola bars

Next to my three meals a day, I'm also a snacker. Around ten and three, I really start craving for something to give me a little bit of extra energy. My afternoon snack mostly consists of fruit, but somehow that doesn't cut it at ten in the morning. I need something a bit more sturdy, dry, with some texture. I mostly grab a bar of some kind, but after having been off of sugar, I'm really turned down by the amount of ingredients in store-bought goods. Wanting to make them myself, I've tried out many different recipes, and finally found what might be the perfect one. An easy, simple and quick recipe inspired by these honey-sweetened almond chocolate chip granola bars by Cookie+Kate.

11.06.2014

an ode to fall

For a moment, the world seemed just perfect. The sun was shining, lighting up the city and burying it in luminous gold color. Everyone came out of hiding from the previous cold, scarves were taken off and jackets were unbuttoned. Leaves colored red, yellow and green twirled right down out of their trees. A perfect day for wandering.

fall in munich
 
More than ever, this fall has been a season of transitioning. From the comfort of my hometown to a new place almost 600 miles away, from the safe surroundings of my friends and family to starting anew all by myself - combined with the world around us slowly perishing, decaying and cooling down, just to start over again in a few months, this fall has got me thinking. It is not only a physical transition - a psychological and emotional one as well. It seems that there is always a moment in time when people just stop for a minute, and think. Think about what they want to achieve, what kind of person they want to be. For some this might be January first, for others perhaps their birthdays. For me, it is fall. Just like the world blooming again after these fall and winter weeks, what kind of person do I want to blossom into? For weeks now, my mind has been racing, and I am slowly trying piece those thoughts together. The one thought I already have gotten a grip on, is the one telling me to live more intentionally - for me, one of the hardest things to do in a world so fast and loud as ours. However, a beautiful day as this one, strolling around town with the sun on my face and smiling people around me, made me realize the importance of it. Soaking up every single second with every bit of intention in my being, I came home like a completely new person, after leaving the house in the most annoyed of moods. Thank you fall, may there be more days like this to come.

11.02.2014

instadiary october

Though a lover of spring by heart, I have always had a soft spot for the month of October. Things have settled down after a long summer break, routines have been found back, projects are up and running, nature slowly changes its colors and pumpkins seem to take over the world.. To me, October feels like a new beginning of some sorts. More than any other month, it stops me in my tracks and captivates me. After two months of living alone and starting out fresh, this month was one that certainly got me thinking more about myself, my dreams and goals, and the world around me - and only for the better. Thank you, October!

Instadiary OctoberInstadiary OctoberInstadiary October
Instadiary OctoberInstadiary OctoberInstadiary October
Instadiary OctoberInstadiary OctoberInstadiary October


1+2+3. The month started out perfectly, with my love visiting me in Munich. We roamed through town, visited many museums and castles and savored every second together - since we'd not be seeing each other for three months once he would leave.

4+5.October had some amazing days. Leaves were starting to change colors and fall, a little chilly wind set in, but the sun remained to shine, giving me some last days of lunches in the park to enjoy.
6. Of course, work had to be done as well. The first press conferences have been held and new exhibitions have opened!

7+8+9. I've been enjoying quite some time spent by myself this past month. Meeting new people and the anxiety that comes with it (in my case) got me thinking about social pressures, and what's so bad about spending time alone. I started to focus more on what I wanted to do, giving me time to bake some delicious savory tarts with zucchini, goat's cheese and pest, these mini pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes for my cheesecake challenge, and finally get started on a new scrapbook, all curled up in my little warm candle lit room - and loving every single second of it.


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10.26.2014

cheesecake challenge: mini pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes with a cookie crumble

One of my four fall goals was to make a pumpkin inspired cheesecake for my cheesecake challenge. So I went out, bought a pumpkin, some other delicious ingredients, started mixing, and then it looked as if my pumpkin dreams were falling into pieces..

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes with a Cookie Crumble

All you bakers out there know, sometimes things don't go as planned, right? I myself have had a baking experiment or two come out of the oven and straight into the trash bag. This weekend, when I finally planned to bake my pumpkin cheesecake, that was also almost the case. Almost! I had bought my pumpkin, all my other ingredients, struggled my way through carving and peeling that thing in order to make pumpkin puree (pumpkin-related injuries were sustained). Finally, I had everything ready: the cookie crumble, the pumpkin puree, the cheesecake mixture, the only thing i needed was my baking pan. Aaahh, the baking pan. My brand new, only used once, one and only (that I brought with me to Munich) 4.5 inch tiny baking pan with a removable bottom. I tried just once to put it together, pulled the lid, and the whole thing fell apart. Devastation. Anger. What now? Throw everything out? Go out and buy a new pan? Just eat it as it is?

No. When things are looking down, injustice has been done, anger has come what, what do you do?! Make tiny cupcakes.