Sunday, January 31, 2016

Life The Past Couple of Weeks


We are finally getting settled and have done a lot of this:

or Ikea-ing as they say. My dearest husband has so kindly built a wardrobe, a coffee table, a cabinet, a cart, and another shelf over the past week or so.

Sorry for the lack of posting here but I tried to keep up with some Insta posts while having no internet (unsuccessfully). 

So I will just do kind of a photo dump of the past couple of weeks. We have mostly been just getting our life organized so nothing too exciting.

We went to an Italian restaurant in the Hauptmarkt of Nuremberg called Provenza.

The decor was super cool complete with Fiats inside. The pizza was GOOD.

I love walking around the city at night. It is just so beautiful.

The first meal I made when we moved in was Sriracha Beer Mac and Cheese. I mean, how much more American can you get?

Also, I failed at eggs in a hole. I guess stuff that many pieces of bread onto a pan wasn't a good idea. The fun part was that it flipped over in once piece. The little things in life.

This weekend was pretty American. We went to a housewarming party of a fellow American co-worker and tonight we met up for sushi with some other fellow Americans that I knew from college who are also here in Germany for the military. 

I promise more updates to come! Now that I can actually post.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

'Murica and Food News

I love seeing other countries' idea of American food. As I am sure Italians make fun of American-Italian cuisine. 

As you saw on Instagram, my husband and I paid a visit to a restaurant called Arizona in the town of Erlangen. We had walked by it a few times before. Walking up to the door, you see picnic tables and hay. The inside kind of looked like a Texas Roadhouse (way less noisy and no amazing rolls with cinnamon honey butter). They had lots of burgers, steaks, curly fries, and ribs. Typical American, duh. 

There was this one drink called the American Homestyle Beer that was beer with bourbon, lime juice, lemon, and ginger ale served on the rocks. Now, I don't think I have come across this in America and I was tempted to try it but went with a Moscow Mule (with cucumbers?) instead.

I got a Kentucky Burger.

And that was that. 

Now we are less than week to our move-in, we can almost buy a car, and we bought internet for our apartment which is going to take 2 weeks to arrive! German life is coming together in pieces.

Also in exciting news, we booked a trip to Greece at the end of March!!! I am soooo excited. I have always wanted to go ever since I read/saw Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants where Lena goes to Greece and meets Kostos. Flashback right there for ya. We are staying in Santorini, like Lena.

There has been some interesting food news this week, speaking of America.

Have you seen the article about Tom Brady's diet? His personal chef told all. Many things that he and Gisele steer clear from make a lot of sense like soda and candy. But some of the things that cause "inflammation" he avoids like cayenne pepper, eggplant, tomatoes, and mushrooms. This is where it all goes crazy. I would be so sad without spicy food in my life. 

And the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have been released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture. It was a much needed update as the obesity and heart disease (and many other diseases) epidemics grow worse. Some of the highlights include limiting sugar intake but loosening restrictions on eggs and coffee. #WINNING. 

If you are interested in the clean eating revolution and wanting to know more about where your food comes from and what you should and shouldn't eat (and although I am very aware of what to eat and what to avoid, I am still confused!), I recommend watching Michael Pollan's new documentary, In Defense of Food (based on his book of the same name). His motto is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Eye-opening. 

That's all for now folks, I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Final Budapestian Leg

Budapestian is probably not a word.

Anyways, as promised, I am going to finish up talking about our trip.

Sunday was our last full day in the city and we found this little place for breakfast called Stika. It was adorably hipster and so good.

There were quite a few egg-oriented dishes that caught my fancy. I had an Eggs Florentine with hollandaise and spinach. It was amazing.

We headed off to the House of Terror, a museum which has exhibits of the Communist and Fascist eras in Hungary. It was really eye opening and crazy to think that only recently this country got its freedom from various groups occupying it over the years. 

We hoped the fog died away. It did not. Nonetheless, we went to the Buda side of the Danube River to Fisherman's Bastion.

Normally you can see gorgeous views. Not today. Instead we just explored the area and found a Hungarian restaurant called Cafe Miro for lunch. I had Beef Stew with Buttered Dumplings.

And Tim had a Catalan Cheese Soup in a bread bowl.

We did a lot more walking going from the Buda side to the Pest side across one of the many bridges.

With more fog.

Oh and there is a 0 km marker from which all distances in Hungary are measured. Pretty cool.

After walking for a while, we got hungry again (and cold!). I promise there were a few hours in between each feeding time. We found a really cute cafe called Jégbüfé with all kinds of treats

I have no idea what I ate but it was really good. Light and flaky. We went back to the hotel for a bit and then went out to dinner (once again, hours later) to a restaurant called Fatál

Normally we try to just randomly find restaurants but I did come across this one in my research prior to the trip. It serves Hungarian dishes but modernized. It was SO worth it. We would go back in a heartbeat. The prices were very reasonable and there were huge portions.

We started off with a appertif, Palinka (explained in my previous post). It might have been apricot flavored. 

I had Pork Medallions Hungarian Style and Tim had

the Roast Pork Brasho Style. He said it was like having hash and amazing hash. We had so much food left over, I was sad that we had nowhere to store any leftovers at the hotel. We clearly had two meals from each of our dishes. 

We had heard about pubs called ruin pubs in Budapest. These places are located in former Jewish Ghettos that never got fully renovated after the war. People decided to make these into much happier places and turned them into eclectic bars. We walked to one called Mazel Tov. From the outside it looked sketchy.

But it felt like a resort inside. It was so bright and airy, we absolutely loved it. The food looked amazing as it was Israeli/Middle-Eastern cuisine, one of my favorites.

We had a couple of drinks

Then called it a night as we had to get up on the early side in the morning to fly out.

As I mentioned, it was such a cool city and I highly recommend a visit. It felt like a cross between Berlin and Prague. We would love to go back when the weather is nicer so we can actually see across the Danube River. It was a perfect way to spend Christmas.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


I do owe you another post on Budapest but I will get back to that. First, I am going to talk about a little daytrip to a small city called Bamberg just north of Nuremberg in Germany.

OH and also, my mother sent us a care package which was basically like Christmas 4 days later (and full of some of our Christmas present. Thanks mom!). I requested from her a bag of Marylou's ground coffee. Along with some of the other awesome gifts (*coughReese'sChristmasTreescough*) this was a real winner. For those of you not from Southeastern Massachusetts, Marylou's is a small coffee chain (known for their bright pink color) that has flavored coffees like Twix, Blueberry Pie,  and Minty Lou's. Heaven.

We are counting down the days until we can move into the apartment (12 days!) and be reunited with our stuff. Cannot wait to cook like a normal person again. And sleep in our own bed. And hang out on our own couch. 

Yesterday we drove about 45 minutes to Bamberg. Bamberg's center is actually listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the town itself is 1000+ years old. It has a very medieval look to it which makes it a popular destination for tourists. Luckily going in January helped us avoid most of the crowds. 

We didn't go in with a plan as we knew it was small and we could just wander from place to place. 

I love the marzipan in Germany and how they make it into really cute things.

Bamberg has a portion called "Little Venice" with the "canals" from the river.

The architecture was beautiful.

We walked by the Altes Rathaus which is the Old Town Hall. It lies in between bridges.

This below is the Bamberger Dom or the Bamberg Cathedral.

We hiked our way up to Kloster Michelsburg which is the Michelsburg Abbey. 

There was a gorgeous view from the top as it is on one of the 7 hills of Bamberg.

Once we came down from the top, we decided it was time for lunch. We found a place called Wirsthaus Zum Domreiter that looked good.

We just HAD to try the Rauchbier or Bamberg's famous smoked beer. It was unlike anything I've ever tasted. It was the perfect winter beer as it is on the heavy and dark side. My husband said it tasted like a campfire in his mouth and others would say it tastes like bacon. Smokey with a little bit of sweetness. To make this beer unique, malted barley is roasted over a flame. 

The restaurant served Franconian specialties. Franconia is a region of Germany that lies within Bavaria (and where we are living). I had an onion stuffed with ground meat with mashed potatoes and a smoked beer sauce. So good and hearty for a chilly day.

Normally we don't get dessert but were attracted to the apple strudel on the menu. It was worth it.

Bamberg was a cute little city to visit and I'm sure even prettier in the Spring when everything is in bloom. It is a good side trip if you are in the city of Nuremberg.