We hit the town that isn’t called Smithwicks after the complimentary breakfast. There is a well-known beer that you can get in Irish Pubs back home in Germany, but there it’s called something different, even though it originates from the same brewery in Kilkenny… While my friend dived into some culture and visited Kilkenny Castle, I went for a little shopping (Oh how I love the Irish summer sale) and had coffee in a café where I could charge my camera batteries. Like a pro I had forgotten the night before, but it wasn’t that bad as I hadn’t missed much in the medieval capital of Ireland. I had been before and not much had changed. Apart from one thing maybe, the newly opened branch of Murphy’s Icecream opposite the Castle. Ketty, the guide of the foodtour I took in Dublin suggested I could swing by every of the 6 branches and I kinda liked the idea. So we hopped in once they opened, Padraigh scooped me up with some Irish Coffee Icecream and exclaimed that Murphy’s in Kilkenny is the best of all.
After waking up to the sound of seagulls I finally wanted to go to the sea. Dublin is so close to the sea, I tend to forget that from times.
A quick bite and a tea later (instant coffee is beyond my pain tollerance) we rolled our luggage towards the car hire in the Southwest of town. After taking care of all the formalities, we stashed our luggage in the trunk of a brand new white VW Polo and went for the first few meters repeating our Mantra: To the left, to the left (as in Beyoncés song Irreplacable). It was my job to navigate, leaving the driver seat to my friend who already had a bit of experience with driving on the other side of the road. I had picked out a few stops for the day and I almost cried of joy when we reached the first stop.
We started off the second day in Dublin with a little bit of stress. My own iternary was full for the morning, so we had The Bald Barista make us some good coffee to go and made our way to the Northside to get some morning kids clothes sale shopping done for another friend. Let’s just say that escalated quickly and I really hope that the stuff I bought fits her kids… I was so overwhelmed with the place I was almost running late for my main event of the day: The Delicious Dublin Food Tour.
We arrived in Dublin late night and it definitely came in handy that I knew my way around already. Not much worse than having to search your way to your designated bed when you’re tired… We checked in to our Hostel on the Southside, that I picked mostly because of the good location close to some of my facourite places to eat and some others that I wanted to try.
In the morning we buckled up and walked down Camden Street, full with normal people doing their business or heading to work or university, and made our way to The Cake Cafe. After buttermilk pancakes with bacon, citrus curd and banana with a view of the beautiful courtyard, we made our way back towards the hostel, but not without another coffee stop to check out Meet me in the morning along the way.
It might not come as a suprise to those who know me (or read this blog for a longer while now) that I have a thing for Ireland. Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach of Ireland, once said „Ireland is where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible.“. I am strange myself and I believe in happy endings so it might just be natural for me to love the emerald isle. While I have been to Dublin quite a few times I only traveled around Ireland by bus once (plus a short trip to Cork). Since the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way I was secretly dreaming of a self-driving vacation on the rough shores of South-West-Ireland. Because I overheard my friend mention she has never been to Ireland and really wants to go this summer, we spontaneously decided to make it happen and booked some flights only a few days later.
The pictures arefrom previous visits, from the cliffs of Dun Aengus on the Aran Islands, the scenic riverside in Cork and Blarney Castle, Lakeview in Killarney, Celtic Crosses at Glasnevin Cemetery, as well as colourfull doors and iluminated buildings in Dublin and of course the Cliffs of Moher. I don’t know a single person who visited Ireland and didn’t fall for the country and the friendly people. Yes I am pulling out good old Yeats now who said „There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met“ and this is one thing I have experienced to be true in Ireland. There must be something in the water or in the air, whether it is locals or tourists, this island is full of friendly, warm and welcoming people paired with beautiful nature and history on every corner. Who wouldn’t fall for that?! Follow me on Instagram, I yield to post pictures and stories throughout the whole trip. And as a little appetiser I might add that my friends funny faces are legendary!
I am a bit scared though to be completely honest. Not because of driving on the wrong side or on narrow roads with lots of traffic and sheep. No, my fear solely revolves around the route. Since my friend visits Ireland for the first time, I really want this trip to be epic and of course there are some things that you can’t miss when going on a roadtrip in Ireland. But on the other hand I want to see some things I haven’t seen before and I am almost certain, that I planned too many things, stops and drive. You never know unless you try…
An té a bhíónn siúlach, bíonn scéalach (He who travels has stories to tell.)
So let the adventure begin…
During strawberry season the tiny red fruits form the base of my food pyramid and this has always been like that. I used to fight over the last strawberries that didn’t make it on the cake with my siblings all the time and the obligatory biscuit sponge with strawberries, glaze and whipped cream was to be found on the cake table every weekend. In Germany cake or pies are not really considered desserts, they are usually served as an afternoon treat together with some coffee around 3-4ish in the afternoon when the family gathers together on the weekend. When I was a kid there were hardly any weekends without afternoon coffee and homemade cake. As you might guess, strawberry cake was one of the families favourites.
Strawberries are not only delicious, they are low in calories and contain a large amount of vitamins and other minerals. On their own, they make a solid healthy treat, but since life is too short to skip cake, you should allow yourself to indulge every now and then. Continue reading
I like classics, I don’t need fancy, for me the real beauty lies in doing the simple things right. But sometimes it needs the total extravaganza and this weekend called for it… For a birthday party on the weekend I combined the most delicious treats to this sugar rush: Chocolate Peanutbutter Caramel Cupcakes!
I don’t want to babble (I’ll do that in a separate post soon or later) so straigtht up to the recipe this time…
This is the blabla I talked about, no recipe, just some blabla… I recently read a lot that people browse foodblogs only for the recipes and are not interested in the personal part. That makes me kind of sad, because I think that is exactly what sets apart a blog from a recipe database. I read blogs because I feel connected to the writer, a recipe feels like a personal recommendation and that’s what I try to live up to on my own blog, too. This has been particularly hard in the past year, which is why there was not much activity at all. I could say that I work on changing that, but I am not sure if I could live up to that promise. Continue reading
I know that a lot of people want the unicorn buzz to be over already, but I can’t overcome it. Main reason is that I do believe in unicorns and for me they are not just a trend, unicorns are more. Unicorns are a symbol, they stand for power, grace and the undying magic of fairy tales. Life is complex and in our daily hamster wheel, we often forget to appreciate the little things. No matter the circumstances, no matter how rough the times are, no matter the stress level, no matter how unfair life seems to be, I believe in unicorns, that all obstacles can be overcome and that it’s all going to be alright in the end.
That and coffee is what keeps me going. And it may not come as a surprise that I celebrate the international day of Macarons with a coffee Macaron in the shape of unicorns. The goodie bag of the last foodblogger camp came with a package of Tchibo blonde roast, which should also be available in Stores and online as of this week, and that inspired me flavourwise. I tasted the coffee during a hand filtering session with Karen at the camp and found it to not be my cup for drinking but the flavour pairs well with the white chocolate in the Macaron filling. Continue reading
It’s no secret that Germany is the home of edible Christmas anticipation. I grew up with baking tons of Christmas cookies, Lebkuchen and Stollen during advent season, just like everyone else in Germany. Back in kindergarden and school we had baking afternoons and cookie recipe swaps and for our family christmas gatherings everyone brought cookies that were all different. One of my aunts always makes the largest variety of cookies, more than 10 types at least and so that you can eat through all of them in one sitting she makes them tiny miniature versions. I especially like her Florentine buiscuits. My other aunt made the hardest cinnamon stars I have ever had in my life, they even top the ones than my mother made once and almost chipped my teeth. The general pattern in my family is that we all make a variety of classic christmas cookies like butter cookies or cinnamon stars and some experimental new ones each year like coconut oat crisps. Be it my mother, sister or aunts, we all have that in common. The other thing I noticed is that with all our experience and preferences the same exact cookie can taste totally different like for example coconut macaroons. Even though recipes are often passed on between all of us, the outcome is never the same.
A bright example of that is the Stollen, a German fruit bread that can be baked in advance and can be stored for weeks. Stollen has a long history in Germany, it goes back to the 15th century. Traditional Stollen is made with yeast, however my mother makes one with Quark/Curd that is more moist and doesn’t taste yeasty (which I don’t like too much). A few years back my mother passed me the copy of her Stollen recipe and I made it myself for the first time. But I couldn’t resist changing the recipe, like I do with almost any recipe I try out of books or the internet… Stollen contains dried fruit, such as raisins and currants, I even put cranberries once, and candied orange and lemon peel, which I find rather disgusting itself. So when I made my first Stollen I gladly let the peel out and added a core of marzipan to it. Over the years I have learned a lot, tried out a lot and brought my recipe to perfection*. I hope I can inspire you to try out yourself and enjoy a nice slice of Stollen underneath the christmas tree.
*Due to the current lack of oven I baked at my Sister’s and my Stollen was not baked through completely as you might see in the pictures. On top I forgot to add the baking powder, even though she asked me if we needed it… That’s what I get for not reading my own recipes carefully… Continue reading