Perhaps the most eventful two weeks yet. From my mom visiting to grad school orientation, it’s been non-stop go. Before Smog arrived, we kicked off these past weeks with Max’s birthday celebrations. Our plans included dinner, drinks, and a Kehlani concert, but we found out upon arrival at the venue that the concert was cancelled, as well as the rest of her Euro tour. We’d been looking forward to seeing Kehlani perform since December, so that was a real blow. Fortunately we made up for it with a party on Saturday night, resulting in an all too typical “Death by Prosecco” Sunday morning.
Three weeks in and Germany is still a wonderful country. Berlin is beautiful (and a little gritty), there are endless things to do, the shopping is amazing, and I’ve met a lot of really great people. I love it here, but of course there are things I miss from home. Besides my friends, my family, and Zealand, here are a few things I’ve been missing:
To kick off week two in Berlin, I’ve enrolled in a one-month intensive German language course. It’s true that most people I’ve encountered here, German and other, speak English, and many of them fluently. It’s a nice safety blanket, but I didn’t move to Germany to stay within my comfort zone.
One of the greatest things about eating vegan is being able to explore an entirely different side of the culinary arts. It challenges you to find healthy and creative alternatives to ingredients that you perhaps believed were irreplaceable. There are any number of reasons to cut animal products from your diet. Health concerns, environmental concerns, and ethical beliefs are the primary ones. It’s not a cult, it’s not “in” this season, and it’s certainly not “girly”. It’s a compassionate and conscious choice, and yes, there are health benefits too. Plus, plant-based food is downright delicious. And it’s innovative — Silicon Valley is no longer just for techies, it’s now for Impossible Foods.
Winter Sundays are for simple comforts like homemade soup. After a weekend of errands and sweaty yoga sessions, I spent the better part of Sunday in the kitchen making a few of my favorite vegan recipes. Inspired by Minimalist Baker’s recipe, and with the help of trial and error, I’ve created the ultimate butternut squash soup recipe. This soup is healthy, flavorful, simple, vegan, coconut-y and a tad spicy.
Some of of the biggest food trends of the decade are organic food, local food, and a veggie-centric diet (a term easier to swallow for those not ready to join the vegan “cult”). Considered on the fringe for decades, the clean eating and healthy living movement is now at the forefront of mainstream media. Finally.
Christmas cookies are an essential part of the holiday season. It’s always nice to have a sweet treat, especially before the start of an assumably limiting New Year’s resolution. This year I tried my hand at a number of vegan cookies, but the snickerdoodles and sugar cookies stole the show.