Hey! As usual I cruise around Pinterest searching items that I have on hand. I had three very spotty bananas and some vanilla flavoring left over from all of the holiday baking. So naturally, I decided on Banana Bread! It was super easy. You don’t need a mixer, just a fork or a wooden spoon and some arm strength. I loosely followed the recipe I pinned on my Dishes to Try Pinterest board. Google to see if what you have on hand will work. Let me know if you make it!

Bread

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Vegan Kahlua Cake and Frosting

Third Batch - Perfection

Third Batch – Perfection

If I was allergic to eggs and dairy at a family dinner, I would hope there would be a Vegan dessert…and that is what I made happen. I am not vegan, or strictly vegetarian, but I enjoy the recipes when one is as easy and as good as THIS. I was naturally on Pinterest when I found the recipe…which also led to me making my own Kahlua so that I could complete it. It is spongy and delicious. In total I have made this cake 3 times, one lemon, one with too much Kahlua, and the third batch was perfect.

Should you attempt the recipe, please note that 1) You need AMERICAN baking soda, not German backpulver, you can find some at Galleria Kaufhof of all places, 2) there are multiple versions of this cake to make, but never skip on the flavoring…then it will taste pretzly due to the baking soda. But you can see how mine turned out below.

Drat! Almost forgot all about the icing. But its easy. Get vegan cookies, crumble them to dust in a food processor or blender, add only the thick creamy part of the coconut milk from the can to start, add any liquid to get the consistency you like, then blend a little more….and you’re done! Easy.

Let me know how it turns out. And check out my other pins on Pinterest.

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Homemade Kahlua-esk coffee flavored Liquor

YES! You can make your own Kahlua-esk adult beverage at home. You will need Vodka (750ml), 3 cups of water, 1 cup of coffee (I made strong espresso and diluted it with water to make the full 1 cup), a teaspoon of vanilla or one vanilla bean (or both), 1 & 1/2 cup of both brown and white sugar, and lastly containers to hold your liquor.

and so to start you will need to place all of the water in the pot and let it start to boil, then add the sugar, followed by the coffee. Let this boil for 1-3 hours. I just stopped at 1.5 hours. It makes a syrup so the longer you boil the more of a syrupy texture you will have.

After boiling remove from heat. Add vanilla. Let cool for around 30 min and add the vodka. Then let cool completely so you don’t burn yourself while transferring the liquor into your containers. If you use vanilla beans, use the insides for flavoring and place the discarded bean in the bottles to infuse more vanilla over time.

Finally, enjoy! Cheers!

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Zesty Spaghetti

Tonight was one of those nights where you just want to eat in a hurry. So, spaghetti and everything from Aldis. But not just out of the jar, I wasn’t in that much of a rush. Added a bell pepper, eggplant, and an onion. Stirred in about two teaspoons of Cream Cheese to the Spaghetti Sauce to the cooked vegetable mix and done. Oh yeah, make the spaghetti or whatever noodles you like. Enjoy!

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Spekulatius Speculoos Cashew Cookie Butter

That title is a mouthful and so is this Cookie Butter! As usual, I looked at several recipes then imagined my own. To make this easy and not too sweet, I kept it simple.

1)1 row of Spekulatius/Speculoos/Biscoff or whatever cookies you like (200-300g), 2)the cream out of the can of coconut milk (only adding the watery milk if you need to “soften” the butter, 3)a handful of cashews*, and 4) 1/2 olive oil*.

Super simple spreadable cookie butter. All ingredients came from Aldis (oil and cashews were already in the pantry). You can add sugar if it isn’t sweet enough for you. Happy Snacking!

*Can be omitted

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Such a Simple Soup

Simple ingredients before they go bad. Look around. lol

Simple ingredients before they go bad. Look around. lol

So pretty and its gonna be tasty

So pretty and its gonna be tasty

So good. Even better with some Sriracha stirred in

So good. Even better with some Sriracha stirred in

So its that time of year again when soups are just so special. It’s very chilly outside and this simple soup is guaranteed to hit the spot.

As a basic minimum you’ll need: 1) An onion, 2) One bellpepper, 3) Standard store carton of mushrooms and 4) one bouillon cube (or cook it in your choice of stock). Then you can add green onions, red onions, and pretty much whatever seasonings you like. I like making this at least once a week when things look like they are about to spoil. The mushrooms give this an earthy feel and it cooks up in around 20min.

Try it out and tell me how it went.

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Lemons and Lemon Zest on Deck

I recently fell into a love of using the some of the last seasonal lemons here in Düsseldorf. I made a pear cake. Then lemon infused olive oil. I left the zest in until it was gone which was around 4 weeks. I also used the lemons to make lemon sugar and lemon salt, both which I still have in the cabinet. Lastly, I followed the directions for Jillians Michaels Diet Detox Drink. It’s really easy to make: Around a liter of dandelion tea, 1 teaspoon cranberry juice, and 2 of lemon juice. Freezing the lemon juice makes it easy so you can just pop it in and go. Now I just make it at work and I leave cranberry juice and lemon in a bottle. Life hack. lol.

While searching for new podcasts at work. I happened upon a cool cookbook, Good & Cheap created by Leanne Brown while getting a Master’s in food studies. She didn’t like that people on SNAP, food stamps, and tight budgets had limited choices. I have been considering going back to being a vegetarian and possibly gluten-free. This book is chocked full of quick and cheap recipes that would be good for kids and busy people. Meals show total cost and cost per serving with a great variety. Example recipes include Peanut Belly Granola Bars, Mexican Street Corn, Filipino Chicken Adobo, Tofu Hot Pot, Roti from scratch, Caramelized Bananas, and Tzatziki Sauce. Most recipes include options and variations.

Free Book available online here. I am totally thinking about what I have at home to whip something up tonight. Let me know if you make anything and I’ll do the same.

 

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Carla Keks x Patrick Cole

Another cool guy I met here is Personal Trainer, Patrick Cole, also located in the NRW area. Patrick is a training triple threat, he can help you improve your basketball game, jump into Plyometrics, and all things involving tailored workouts to your needs. We squeeze in some time this week to do some stretches and basic cardio this week. In addition to a healthy mind you should also have a healthy body. He showed me some interesting activities that I had never tried, and we had some good laughs along the way. Hit him up here or follow him on twitter @patcolefitness!