Blog Header

By: Nicola

December 22, 2019

Black Forest Cake

For this authentic German cake, I borrowed from three different recipes:

  • This recipe from The Stay at Home Chef for the most amazing, moist chocolate cake. I always use this tried and true recipe for any chocolate base.
  • For the cherry filling I used this recipe from Also the Crumbs Please.
  • And to stabilize the whipped cream, this recipe from Sweet Chatter came in handy. I had bad experience with whipped cream melting away before, so I wanted to make sure this one stays.
(more…)

For this cake I followed this recipe pretty closely, just modifying a few things:

  • Reduce sugar to 1.5 cups instead of 2 cups. I prefer my cakes not super sweet.
  • Use 1 pack of pectin (the kind for jam with no added sugar) for the jam. My jam would not set at all and I found it hard to assemble the cake without a more gelled jam. With the pectin though it worked like charm and the layers had better hold.
  • Use a little more lavender. I can’t say how much exactly, but I probably used about twice as much as the recipe asked for. The first time I made the recipe I couldn’t taste the lavender at all. For better flavor dispersion I also crushed the dried lavender with mortar and pestle.

Another year has passed. I mean, there are 10 days left, but really, where did time go? After a crazy hockey winter, we had a super lazy summer this year, before another hectic school and hockey season started. The main goal this year was to say no to overscheduling, reduce optional activities, and focus on quality time with friends and family instead. It’s very liberating and we definitely intend to keep this going.

With the unbusying of our lives, there was also some time to revive old hobbies and try new things. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and while I try to limit my sugar intake, when I do eat desserts, they better be amazing. So, this year I started baking cakes. Mainly for the flavor because all the traditional standard flavors you usually get it in store-bought or restaurant desserts are soooo boring. I mean a chocolate or vanilla cake can be really good, but also not very exciting. When I eat the sugar, I want to make it an experience! Who is with me?

(more…)
January 29, 2019

2019 Goals

It’s the same procedure every year: The new year is impending, it sounds like a good idea to make it a productive one, so I set a number of goals. A high number. Then I don’t look at the list for a whole year. At the end of the year I remember the list and somehow managed to accomplish some of the goals to some extent. Others not so much.

Obviously, I am not very serious about these goals. I guess you could better describe them as intentions or loose ideas of where I want to go. But by setting them mindfully, I seem to prime my brain just enough to subconsciously work towards some of the goals. At the same time I am flexible enough to change directions if half way through something doesn’t work for me anymore.

(more…)
January 5, 2019

Our Year 2018 in Review

What a year, this year! 2018 is definitely going to be logged under the category “glad that it’s over, hoping for a fresh start into a better year”. Although on a personal level nothing terrible happened and we are still very lucky and happy, it took a lot of effort to not let this downer of a year drag us down with it.

Was für ein Jahr, dieses Jahr! 2018 fällt definitiv in die Kategorie “so froh dass es vorbei ist und hoffentlich geht das nächste Jahr besser los.” Obwohl bei uns persönlich nichts wirklich schlimmes passiert ist und wir im Großen und Ganzen sehr glücklich und zufrieden sind, war es doch recht auslaugend.

(more…)
December 5, 2018

Grids or No Grids?

So, our new house is obviously pretty traditional in style. While it is not actually a historic home, I do like the character and how it looks like it could have been around for hundreds of year. In these traditional colonial homes windows with grids (also called muntins) are the norm. The style stems from the old times when glass was only available in small pieces and little window panes had to be pieced together to make one big window. 

Today those grids are purely decorative and meant to complement the traditional style. The front of the house would look completely different with plain windows and lose a lot of its charm.

(more…)
December 4, 2018

The Laundry Situation

One thing I would never do again, is to start renovating while moving. It just made so much sense to make over the laundry room while there were no machines in it, but we only had 4 days to move and throwing a renovation into that mix was just a little bit too much. 

Anyway, it had to be done. It was started at an inconvenient time, and then we finally finished the project two weeks ago. Our first full room make-over here. The laundry room came with a very old washer and dryer. Otherwise, the room was generally gross. There were old socks and piles of lint behind the old machines. This is what it looked like after we cleaned it:

(more…)