What to Eat & Drink in Vienna

If you know me, you know I love good food. While there are so many things to love about Vienna (architecture, culture, coffee houses, Christmas markets, and the list goes on and on) here I’ll share my favorite Viennese and Austrian treats!

Wiener Schnitzel – As you walk by restaurants in Vienna, or while at your Oma’s house, you often hear the pounding of the meat in the kitchen. They pound out the veal (or pork or even chicken) until it’s very thin, dip it in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs, and then fry in oil until golden brown. It’s often served with a slice of lemon for drizzling and a little currant jam for dipping.

schnitzel
Wiener Schnitzel

White Wine Spritzers – I mean, this drink is genius. They say you should always drink a glass of water in between drinks, right? Well, how about adding water directly to your drink? A spritzer is white (or red) wine  – normally a local Grüner Veltliner – with sparkling water, sometimes served with ice and lemon slices. The ratios vary – the “regular” year-round spritzer is about 50/50 wine-to-water and the “summer spritzer” is a little less wine and more water.

spritzer
White Wine Spritzers

Käsekrainer / Cheese-filled Sausage – I’m from Wisconsin so anything filled with cheese is a-okay in my book. They’re normally sold at your corner Würstelstand (“sausage box”) and come in a big hot dog bun (with a hole cut out through the middle – smart) and filled with ketchup, mustard, and fresh shredded horseradish.

kase
Käsekrainer

Liptauer – This is a very popular spicy cheese dip, one that we’ve made part of our annual Thanksgiving dinner. It’s made with sheep cheese, butter, onion, pickle, capers, mustard, cumin, paprika, and sour cream. It’s really tasty and easy to find at an Austrian supermarket deli counter. Dip bread, pretzels, chips, whatever you like.

liptauer
Liptauer

Melange + Water – Vienna has a thriving coffee culture so all kinds of coffee are available here, but melange is the most traditional and popular. Melange translates to “mixed” and is made with one shot of espresso served in a large cup with steamed milk and milk foam. It’s always served with a small glass of tap water.

melange
Melange

Apfelstrudel // Apple Strudel – Layers of thin, flaky pastry dough are stuffed with apples, raisins, and cinammon, baked, and topped with powdered sugar. Enjoy this after dinner or like the Austrians as part of an afternoon “kaffee und kuchen” (coffee and cake) break. The first time I had this dessert was when my now-husband made it for me in Chicago. He brought his family’s apfelstrudel cloth, which is a large, thin cloth used for rolling out the pastry dough (yes, this really is a thing!) passed down from one generation to the next.

apple-2
Apfelstrudel

Cremeschnitte // Cream Cake – My favorite Austrian cake. A thin and crispy puff pastry filled with custard and chantilly cream. If you love this cake as much as me, you should be following @cremeschnittenandi on Instagram.

Kremna rezina
Cremeschnitte

Grammelknödel – I’m convinced these are Austria’s best kept secret. Sure, there are dumplings everywhere here, but these are different. Special. Potato and semolina dumplings stuffed with pork cracklings, onion, and garlic. Yes, you read that right. PORK CRACKLINGS!!! Enough said, am I right? If you’re visiting, this should be at the top of your list of food to try, right next to schnitzel.

Grammelknödel

Sturm – Only available once a year – normally the end of September to mid-October – Sturm is a young wine that’s basically fermented fresh pressed grape juice. It tastes like carbonated grape juice and has only about 1% alcohol.

sturm
Sturm

Gulasch – This beef stew is a Hungarian classic turned Viennese staple. There’s even a Gulasch Museum here in Vienna! My favorite version includes sauerkraut and potatoes. As with most stews, the key is to cook it low and slow.

gulasch.jpeg
Gulasch

Kaiserschmarrn // Emporer’s Mess – Kaiserschmarrn, named after Franz Josef, is a caramelized and shredded sweet pancake served with powdered sugar, applesauce, and jam.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Kaiserschmarrn

Elderflower Syrup // Holunderblüten Syrup – Elderflower is everywhere here. Austrians like to add a little syrup to a glass of carbonated or still water. Kind of like a non-alcoholic spritzer. They also make a sweet fried bread with the flowers. Our favorite brand to buy is Austria’s very own Darbo.

elder.jpg
Elderflower

If you’d like to follow my culinary adventures in Vienna, take a look at @hungry.in.europe on Instagram. ♥

Acclimating to Life in Vienna: The Girly Book Club & VoiceMap Walking Tour

As many of you know, Robert and I moved to Vienna, Austria in early July! Vienna is his hometown so we’re surrounded by family and old friends, and we’re making new friends. It’s very good to be here and back in a big city. ♥

However, I must admit that I haven’t spent a whole lot of time in Vienna myself – just a few weeks here and there over the last few years. So, I’m a bit of a tourist in my own city!

Fortunately, there is a large American community (see the U.S. Americans in Vienna, Austria Facebook group, for example) and a large international English-speaking community (if you’re female, check out the Women of Vienna Facebook group) here.

I’ve done a couple of things to help acclimate myself to my surroundings and meet new people. The first thing I did was start a Girly Book Club (GBC) chapter here in Vienna called (obviously!) the Vienna Girly Book Club.

GBC LOGO-FINAL.v2_Stacked-on-black

I was a member of the chapter in Stuttgart, Germany for the last couple of years and really loved our monthly meetings and discussions. We read and discussed great books and I even made a few life-long friends (shout out to Sarah in Stuttgart and Lisa now in Berlin!) So, why not do the same here in Vienna, right?!

We all read the same book, selected by GBC, each month and we meet here in Vienna at phil (such a cool place in the 6th district near Naschmarkt – it’s part library, part bookstore with comfy couches, amazing drinks, and tasty food and homemade cakes) on the last Monday of each month at 19:00. There is a nominal fee of €5 to attend. If you’re interested in joining us, please join our Facebook group! We meet again on Monday, September 24th and we’ll be discussing Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, which won a National Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction. It sounds like a good one!

The second thing I did was seek out a good walking tour of the center of the city (the 1st district), all of the beautiful and touristy stuff that I figure I should know something about! 🙂 I tried and loved my Vienna walking tour with Alex (he’s the local English-speaking guide) at VoiceMap.

VoiceMap Banner

The tour is unique in that it uses GPS to track your exact location and give you the information you need at any given point along the walking route. Very cool! If your phone signal or GPS isn’t working for whatever reason, no problem, you can simply follow the map and click on the icons you see when you arrive at designated spots along the tour. Super easy!

My Vienna walk started at the Opera House and ended at St. Stephen’s cathedral. It was 60 minutes in total. I loved that I could do this tour on my own, and on my own time and at my own pace. It’s totally okay to pause the tour if you want to grab lunch, take photos, do a little shopping, whatever. Personally, I took three breaks – one for a sausage, one for an ice cream, and the last for an iced latte. 🙂 And, I was able to pick up exactly where I left off, no problem. Alex even recommends stopping at a Würstelstand (“sausage box”) while you’re on your tour so there’s absolutely no reason to feel guilty about eating a very unhealthy sausage snack (he even tells you a bit about the history of the käsekrainer hot dog!) So, essentially you can make this walking tour into a food tour on your own – bonus!

Other than doing a lot of eating (!!!) I learned everything I really need to know about the Opera House, the Star Walk, Hotel Sacher and the famous Sacher torte, the Albertina Museum, St. Augustina’s Church, the Monument Against War and Fascism, the Donner Fountain, the Capuchin Church, Neuer Markt square, Kärntner Street, and last but certainly not least, St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Without sharing spoilers, I will never look at the facade of St. Stephen’s – or any other cathedral – in the same way again!

I didn’t take photos of everything, but here are are some photos I did take while on the walking tour:

20180830_135611.jpg
Opera House + Pink Rabbit
20180830_135723.jpg
Opera House
20180830_140442.jpg
Opera House
20180830_143715.jpg
Käsekrainer Hot Dog
20180830_141823.jpg
Monument Against War & Fascism
20180830_144948.jpg
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
20180830_144739.jpg
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
20180830_145329.jpg
St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Bottom line, definitely check out VoiceMap. They have this same kind of walking tour available in 120 cities across 47 countries. I’ll be in London in a couple of weeks and I’m already looking forward to the Camden Town: People Watching and Pigging Out tour! Download the free app in the App Store or Google Play, and happy walking!

 

 

 

 

Confessions from an American Expat Living in Germany: 12 Things I Miss About the U.S.A.

usa

A lot of people ask me what I miss about the U.S. and while I occasionally miss something here or there, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what I miss. I spend much more time focused on what I enjoy about my new life in Germany (see this post for the things I love in Germany). In any case, I thought it might be a good idea for me to make a list. I can add all of these things to my to- do list the next time I visit the U.S. 🙂 Here it goes:

  1. Target:  Yes, the big-box store. I know it sounds silly, but the prices are decent and the products are diverse. I mean, what’s not to love about a place where you can pick up yoga pants, Laneige skin care products, wine, and some new home decor?
  2. Air Conditioning: The summer months are tough. We live on the 4th floor in an apartment with very little circulation so I’ve had more than a few very hot and sleepless nights.
  3. Nail Salons: Where I come from, I’m used to big nail salons where you can just walk right in at your convenience and get a mani and/or pedi quickly and cheaply. Here? Not so much. There’s normally only one or two people working so appointments are necessary and it’s much more time-consuming and expensive.
  4. TV: I have Amazon Prime (U.S. and German) and iTunes, but paying for full seasons of American TV shows is pricey! I normally pay $3 per episode or $15-$25 per season. But it sure beats the alternative, which is CNN International or the BBC which repeat the same news on an endless cycle.
  5. Grocery Delivery: Okay, you may have read this title and just think I’m a lazy girl. I am a bit lazy, but grocery delivery really is the best. In Chicago, I was a loyal Instacart customer. If you don’t have a car and you need lots of things, it definitely beats walking with very heavy bags. Especially in the snow.
  6. Mexican Food: Chicago is known to have some of the best Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine so I suppose I was spoiled before, but OMG I miss it! I’ve tried several Mexican restaurants in here in Stuttgart and most of them have been pretty bad. There is one good one, El Mero Mexicano, but unfortunately it’s a bit out of the way for us. Instead, we now make our own Mexican food. When there is a will, there is a way.
  7. Cheddar Cheese: Germans are crazy about Gouda, Emmentaler (Swiss cheese), Muenster, and a whole host of other fancy cheeses, but it’s still tough to track down cheddar. I have come across a Kerrygold cheddar and buy it whenever I see it because I don’t know when I’ll come across it again. Big thanks to the Irish!
  8. Free Water at Restaurants: As crazy as Germans are about recycling, I find it odd that you’re basically forced to purchase a glass bottle of water at a restaurant. The water here is certainly drinkable so I’m not sure why water from the tap isn’t an option.
  9. Taxis / Uber: Sure, Stuttgart isn’t as big as Chicago and has excellent public transportation, but sometimes you just want to hail a taxi cab or call an Uber. Or, better yet, order lunch/dinner with UberEats.
  10. Elevators: We live on the 4th floor with no elevator. Need I say more? 🙂
  11. Dryers: When I moved here, we had only a washing machine and had to hang all of our clothes to dry so our second bedroom became the “drying room.” After much nagging on my part, we purchased a machine that washes and dries, but it takes FOUR or FIVE hours to complete one load!
  12. American Junk Food: Cheetos, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Twinkies, Tostitos Salsa con Queso, French Onion Dip, Cheez-its, and the list goes on and on and on. I don’t eat any of these things on the regular, but it would be nice to have the option. 🙂

Are you an American expat living abroad? I’d love to hear what you miss about the United States, and also what you love about your new homeland!

Two Girls from Chicago go on a European Road Trip (Germany, France, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein)

A couple of weeks ago my good friend Kate from Chicago came to visit me in Germany! It was her first trip to Europe (well, not counting the UK) so we decided to do a little road trip so that we could see and experience a few different countries. We started here in Stuttgart, Germany and drove through France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and back through Germany before landing back in Stuttgart.

As I mentioned, we started at my home in Stuttgart Germany and spent a couple of days here. We spent the day walking around downtown — we visited the Markthalle, the Feuersee, and the Stiftskirche, and we had dinner at the Zum Spätzleschwob and Speisekammer West.

On day three we woke up early and headed to pick up our rental car and made the 2 hour drive from Stuttgart to Strasbourg, France. In Strasbourg, we stayed at a really cute Airbnb located right in the heart of downtown — highly recommend if you are in Strasbourg! We had a very nice lunch outside at Cavpona, a little spot just down the street from our apartment. I had the Quiche Lorraine. Drool.

IMG_20170506_101522_770

Strasbourg is so beautiful that we spent most of our time just walking around. Here are some photos from a day of exploring:

IMG_20170505_164307_154IMG_20170505_215842_153IMG_20170507_161334_166IMG_20170506_101300_957

The next morning we woke up, picked up our car (we parked at the Gare Wodli parking garage, which was priced reasonably at €20 for 24 hours) and made the 1-hour drive from Strasbourg to Colmar.

I must admit that I didn’t take many photos in Colmar because it was pouring rain much of the time we were there. But, it is very much like Strasbourg in that it’s absolutely charming, but much smaller. We stayed at the Hotel Turenne, which I would recommend as it is very close to Petit Venice (Little Venice district) and close to a great restaurant, L’Epicurien, where I had some pretty amazing foie gras:

IMG_20170519_103632_009

Oh, and we were in France for the election so here is a picture of me with Macron:

IMG_20170506_170138_885

The next morning, day five of the road trip, we woke up and drove 2 hours from Colmar to Lucerne, Switzerland. The drive itself was so beautiful. The landscape is just breathtaking. It’s so green and mountainous. And, Lucerne didn’t disappoint either! We stayed at the Ameron Hotel Flora, which is located right on Lake Lucerne near the main train station and modern art museum.

We arrived on a Sunday so most stores were not open so we spent a lot of time walking around, exploring, and taking pictures. The weather was really overcast while we were there so the pictures don’t really do it justice, but the alps are RIGHT THERE. Right behind all of those clouds. 🙂

IMG_20170508_164835_392IMG_20170508_165931_137

We stopped by the Des Alpes Hotel & Restaurant where I had some really delicious rösti topped with spinach, fried onions, roasted tomatoes, and an egg. Yum! Take me back!

IMG_20170514_105911_060

The next morning we woke up in Lucerne, did a little shopping and sightseeing in the morning, and then took a 1-hour boat tour around Lake Lucerne, which is really worth doing because you learn a bit about the lake and the history surrounding that area. And it’s just nice to be on the water!

Then, we jumped in our car and drove 3 hours from Lucerne to Triesenberg, Liechtenstein where we checked into the Hotel Oberland for the night. Since we were IN the mountains, the views here were by-far the best even though the weather was still overcast and rainy. Here is a shot Kate took from the hotel:

IMG_20170510_165311_186

Only about 2,500 people live in Triesenberg so it’s a very tiny place with not much happening when it’s raining! We were hoping to go hiking, but the conditions were unfortunately not in our favor. Instead, we treated ourselves to a nice dinner just down the street at Restaurant Edelweiss where we had traditional cuisine. Here’s a picture of the schnitzel with vegetables and french fries:

IMG_20170514_102451_010

The next morning, we woke up and made a 3-hour drive from Liechtenstein to Munich, Germany. München is one of my favorite places and it was so nice to share it with Kate! We spent the first day walking around and exploring (our favorite thing to do, can you tell?!) We visited the Viktualkeinmarkt, the Englischer Garten, the Chinesischer Turm Biergarten, Eisbachwelle (surfing wave), and (my new favorite place!) the cat cafe or Cafe Katzentempel. Me at the cat cafe:

IMG_20170514_155445_572

The following morning we woke up and made the drive back to Stuttgart, which took about 2 hours. We returned our trusty Ford Focus to the rental car company and made our way back to our apartment.

On our final day in Stuttgart, before Kate flew back to Chicago, we spent the day at Mineralbad Leuze. After such a whirlwind trip through four countries, a day of relaxation is exactly what we needed! We also had lunch and dinner (yes, we were there twice in one day!) at Trattoria Piloni in Stuttgart West and ate some tasty Greek food at Achillion.

All in all, it was such a wonderful trip! Kate and I learned that we make really great travel buddies — everything was so easy and natural and we were little chatterboxes and laughing the whole time! It was the best. 🙂

I ♥ you and miss you, Kate, and can’t wait to plan our next adventure!!

Dukatenschnitzerl

On Christmas Eve Robert and I feasted on fresh raw oysters, a fresh whole baked trout with lemon and herbs, and parsley potatoes before opening gifts in the evening. Unlike in the States, Germans (along with many other European countries) celebrate Christmas on the 24th, Christmas Eve, with a big family dinner and  gift exchange in the evening.

On Christmas Day we made dukatenschnitzerl, or little fried balls of pork and fried potatoes with a lemon-thyme salt and fried parsley. This dish reminds me of the classic British fish and chips dish, but pork instead of fish. (Is there honestly anything better than fried pork??!) It´s a classic Austrian dish. We used a recipe from the Wiener Küche cookbook by Susanne Zimmel. FYI:  “Dukaten” is an old word for “coin” and the pieces of pork and potato are roughly the size of coins, which is where this dish gets its name — “little coin schnitzel.”

First, here is a list of ingredients you will need:

  • Potatoes
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Salt & Pepper

To get started, boil the potatoes until they are soft, about 30 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, remove a few sprigs of thyme from the stem.

Then, get out your mortar and pestle to make the lemon-thyme salt. First, place the thyme inside and add the zest of one lemon. Crush well. Then, add salt and pepper and crush well once more. (As you can see, we also added a few dried tomatoes because we had them, but these are not required.)

While the potatoes continue to boil, cut up the pork tenderloin into bite-sized pieces. Also, set up your flour-egg-breadcrumb station (from left to right) as you can see below. At this point, the potatoes are likely soft and can be removed from the boiling water. Once the potatoes have cooled a bit and are easy to handle, peel them and cut into bite-sized pieces as well.

20161225_211312.jpg
Pork tenderloin cut into small pieces
wp-1482696532258.jpg
Flour + Eggs + Breadcrumbs
wp-1482696532213.jpg
Boiled potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces

Next, put the butter and the lard (schmalz) into a big pot, which is what you will use to fry the pork, potatoes, and parsley. Allow the butter and lard to melt and then raise the temperature to 150ºC for frying. Add the potatoes to the pot with butter and lard and fry until they´re crunchy like french fries or chips.

Next, fry a few sprigs of fresh parsley in the same pot of hot butter and lard. Make sure to have a plate or bowl lined with paper towel nearby where you can deposit the potatoes, parsley, and ultimately the pork after frying so that any excess frying grease can be absorbed.

20161225_223705.jpg
Fried Potatoes
20161225_214823.jpg
Fried Parsley

Now, take the pork pieces and dip into the flour, then the eggs, and finally the breadcrumbs before placing into the frying pot. Be sure the butter-lard is still at 150ºC for frying. Fry the pork until golden brown in color.

Now that the potatoes, parsley, and pork has been fried you’re ready to assemble! We served our dinner in newspaper cones as if it were street food. Just load up the cone with pieces of the fried pork and fried potatoes and top with slices of lemon, the fried parsley, and the lemon-thyme salt …and bon appetit!

wp-1483028646477.jpg

Finnish Christmas Market Stuttgart

Yesterday I had an appointment at the Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum (or German-American Center) here in Stuttgart. (More on that meeting later — exciting things to come, I think!) Anyway, the DAZ is located at the Charlottenplatz and I had some time to kill before my meeting so I stopped at the Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) for the obligatory rote wurst (or red sausage, a favorite in Swabia) and then, completely by accident, stumbled upon the Finnish Christmas Market.

wp-1481889881493.jpg
Rote Wurst

We walked through the Finnish market while in Hannover, but I had no idea that something similar was here in Stuttgart. It’s a really special area of the market, located just across the way from the ice skating rink. There’s a really nice gift shop with Finnish specialty foods and handmade winter clothes — very nice things, but also very expensive. There are also several outdoor fire pits where fresh salmon (flammlachs) is being grilled to perfection to be served alone or on a sandwich and their famous mulled wine, Glögi, is served. If you find yourself in Stuttgart during the holiday season, I highly recommend adding the Finnish section of the Christmas market to your bucket list.

After enjoying flammlachs and Glögi, head over to the Grand Cafe Planie on the Karlsplatz for coffee and dessert. Or flammkuchen. They have really good flammkuchen too. 🙂 They have a huge dessert counter in front with all kinds of house-made cakes, pies, and baked goods. It’s such a warm, cozy spot perfect for this time of year — and it’s really nicely decorated for the holidays. I opted for the blueberry cheesecake, which did not disappoint!

 

 

A Few Days in Hannover

Last week Robert had a conference in Hannover, Germany and I tagged along for the chance to spend a few days in another German city. Hannover is in the north so the weather wasn’t so great — very windy and rainy this time of year. We stayed right near the conference center at the Congress Hotel am Stadtpark, which is also very close to the Erlebnis Zoo and the Stadtpark (city park). Here’s a photo of the view from our room:

wp-1481121469807.jpg

We were three train stops (10 minutes) from downtown and the old part of the city, which is home to the annual Hannover Weihnachtsmarkt or Christmas market. I thought the Christmas market here in Stuttgart was big, but it’s nothing compared to Hannover! In fact, they have three different holiday markets throughout the city — one in the old historic district, one in the pedestrianized area downtown, and one near the main train station. We walked through the first two of three. There are over 150 stalls selling just about everything under the sun. And the lights and decorations are just spectacular!

The market in the historic old section of the city is like nothing I’ve seen before. It felt like we were in the Game of Thrones, no joke. It was very dark and medieval. There were no bright holiday lights or music. Instead there were fire throwers, ax throwers, fortune tellers, and all kinds of vendors selling mysterious potions and artifacts. Although a little spooky, this section of the market is not to be missed as it’s definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. Also, right next to the medieval market is the Finnish Christmas market where you can enjoy flammlachs or slow-grilled salmon cooked over an open fire.

Finally, I can’t talk about our short trip without mentioning an unforgettable dinner. Thanks to Trip Advisor we found an amazing little family-run restaurant within walking distance of our hotel called Hindenburg Klassik. Highly recommend! We started with an amuse-bouche, compliments of the chef, a crab and herb roll filled with cucumber, tomato, and prosciutto. Next came a poached egg topped with fresh black truffle, three types of duck liver with poached pear, and for the main entree we shared a European sea bass (branzino) that was deboned and prepared tableside. I’m still thinking about that egg… 🙂

An American Thanksgiving in Germany

Robert and I hosted our second annual Thanksgiving dinner here in Stuttgart. We celebrated one day late, on Friday, November 25th and hosted 7 friends at our home.

(Long story short, our dinner last year was a total flop! I flew from Chicago to Stuttgart the night before and didn’t get really any sleep on the flight. Also, Robert worked a 24-hour shift the day before so we were both just beat. The only benefit of flying in just before the holiday last year was that I packed my suitcase to the brim with typical Thanksgiving ingredients that are very hard to find here — Stove Top stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy in a jar, etc. So, needless to say, this year everything we prepared was homemade and I’m happy to report that we really pulled it off!)

Here are photos of some of the decorations I was able to find on Amazon.de that we used to decorate our living room and dinner table:

As expected, I wasn’t able to find a whole lot of Thanksgiving decorations, but what I did find made our home feel festive and cozy — and a vast improvement over the simple white tablecloth and unsatisfying food we provided last year! Speaking of food, I didn’t take nearly enough photos as we were so busy preparing food and entertaining guests. However, a copy of the menu is above and here are a few photos along with links to recipes. I’ll say here that everything was really good and I’d highly recommend these recipes for any Thanksgiving gathering, or any occasion at all.

In the picture on the left, you can see the homemade slow cooker creamed corn and roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts with a honey-orange dressing and pomegranate seeds. I made both of these dishes the day before, refrigerated overnight, and reheated just before our guests arrived. On the right is our custom Herbstgold cake from the bakery down the street, torte & törtchen. Our friend Caro made a Manhattan cheesecake, which was delicious and reminded me of home.

We did a really typical and easy turkey — stuffed with lemons, celery, carrots, and herbs and then smothered with butter, salt, and pepper. Our bird was 7.5 kilograms bought at the Vogelsang Bio Markthalle for 150€. Super expensive, I know. I also know that it was fresh (killed the day before) and organic, but the price still shocked the both of us. My guess is that the butcher at this market probably doesn’t sell a whole lot of whole turkeys so perhaps they’re not sure how to price properly. We also did really easy mashed potatoes with milk, butter, and a little fresh nutmeg.

I used a handy chart that I found on Buzzfeed to prepare the stuffing. The only additional ingredient I added was bacon (10 slices) and I used dried rosemary and thyme because I couldn’t find fresh sage.

Robert made our appetizers. We had Liptauer, which is a spicy red pepper and cheese dip typical in Austria that he remembers eating often as a child. He also made bruschetta — one with cherry tomatoes and one with avocado.

Needless to say, we were all stuffed and I think we were successfully able to redeem ourselves from last year’s disaster! I think (and hope!) that they’ll all come back again to celebrate with us again next year. 🙂

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! I’m still wearing my fat pants… 🙂

Super Easy Stuffed Peppers

Last night Robert and I made really easy stuffed peppers. You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Large bell peppers (we used red, green, and yellow)
  • Bulgar, cooked
  • Chickpeas
  • Fresh Chives
  • Feta Cheese

The easy recipe is as follows: cut the peppers in half and clean out the inside, in a bowl combine chives + bulgar + chickpeas and then use this mix to fully stuff each pepper, top with feta cheese and roast in the oven (we had our oven set at 200°C) for 15 minutes. Here is a picture of the peppers before they went in the oven and one after. ENJOY!

 

Pumpkin Soup / Kürbissuppe

Tonight we made pumpkin soup (in German: kürbissuppe) for dinner. We used a recipe from a cookbook I bought for Robert for Christmas last year, Wiener Küche by Susanne Zimmel. (“Wiener kuche” translates to “Viennese cuisine.”) We used a Hokkaido pumpkin, which we picked up at the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival last month.

The recipe I’m sharing here is for 8 servings (we doubled the recipe from the book). It’s super easy and healthy. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 Hokkaido pumpkin, de-seeded and chopped into large pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 600ml / 2.5c of vegetable (or beef) broth
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes (if you’d like, for a little heat)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive (or other vegetable) oil
  • 100g / 1c of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon peanut butter (surprise!)
  • a drizzle of pumpkin oil

The first step is to dice the onion and chop the pumpkin. At the same time, heat the vegetable stock in a small pot.

Then, heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pot and add the onion and cook until translucent. Then, add the tomato paste and stir until the onion and tomato are incorporated. Finally, add the pumpkin, the vegetable broth, and the chili flakes to the onion-tomato mix and stir well. Cover with a lid and low boil for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remove the lid and add the heavy cream and peanut butter and stir well. Blend all ingredients well with an immersion blender. Finally, spoon the soup into bowls and add a drizzle of pumpkin oil.

ENJOY!