Soulfood – Saxonian Quarkkeulchen with a twist

plate with saxonian quarkkeulchen with applesauce and cinnamon real soul food

Some days call for soul food. Like really you need it to take another breath on this damaged world we live in. Please tell me I am not the only one. While I am often drawn towards hot semolina for breakfast. I recently remembered “Quarkkeulchen”. Something my mom made only every once in a while. It’s a Saxonian dish, very regional in Germany. Not a lot of people know about it. It’s a shame because souldfood coming out of a pan is always a good idea. And Saxonian Quarkkeulchen are pretty much the best there are.

As so many great dishes it is actually a meal made of left overs. Here you traditionally use boiled potatoes. But let’s be honest there is no such thing as left over potatoes. At least not in this house. Maybe the reason why it’s not often made.

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Summer Bucket List – Enjoying Summer 2020

enjoying summer 2020 staying home craftaliciousme seeking creative life

Remember that I believe summer starts with June 1st? With that logic we are already a few days into the season. Nevertheless I decided to make yet another list. A list to help enjoy summer 2020 to the fullest. Because let’s face it: there won’t be any long distance vacation coming up anytime soon. We are definitely not planning on traveling anywhere this year. So sad but even more important to seek out some fun in the home town:

  1. ✔ Bake a sugar free cake.
    Apparently this didn’t happen in spring so let’s do it now.
  2. ✔ See the water front.
    Spend as many moments as possible with some water close by.
  3. Finish #the100dayproject
    I have taken a break as life and the worlds happenings have clearly overwhelmed me lately. I am hoping to picking up the habit again and crossing off a few more of my projects on the list.
  4. Read one book with more that 700 pages.
    There is a challenge (#dickebüchercamp) I might join. I have a couple contenders.
  5. Take a boat trip.
    Since there won’t be a vacay I am thinking about renting a boat (maybe with friends) and spent a day on the river.
  6. Enjoy my dads garden party.
    If the pandemic allows my dad is throwing a big party celebrating his lifes pivot point of living longer in a united Germany than in the former GDR.
  7. ✔ Meeting some friends again.
    I have been putting off meeting friends. I miss my dear friend A. lots as we haven’t seen each other since February. I have had a couple dinner requests but was reluctant.
  8. Have a movie night at home.
    We watch a lot of movies. Basically every time we have breakfast and dinner on weekends. However I want to have a more planned one. With a cool meal, popcorn in buckets (a birthday present) and a pre-picked movie.
  9. Enjoy my balcony daily.
    It’s the time for morning coffees outside and an outdoor office until the sun hits the screen.
  10. ✔ Make ice cream.
    I think I haven’t used my ice cream maker last year. This year I try one or two new recipes.
  11. Celebrate 15 years with Mr. ♡
    Yep, this July we have been dating for 15 years. Crazy how time flies.
  12. Going swimming.
    It’s been on my list last year. And I already had the itching to jump in a lake and take a swim. I am not the girl who needs a swim to feel a live and I don’t consider myself a good swimmer but something is calling me.
  13. Visit the Drive-in Cinema
    I want to do this for so so long but I can’t quite convince the husband to join. And the movies selection hasn’t been that great… But maybe this year.

And this is how I plan on enjoying summer 2020. Don’t always need to travel far to have some fun. What are your plans? Travel or #stayathome? Now let me know what’s on your list because I am sure my days are not completely filled yet.

Happy summer time

Tobia

P.S. if you need inspiration for your own summer list check out my archive 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

VIRTUAL COFFEE DATE | JUNE 2020

coffee date craftaliciousme seeking creative life

What has happened to this year? I mean seriously I feel like I have lived life twice or more already and we haven’t even done half of it. I need some quiet and that is why I suggest grabbing our to-go cups and go to the cemetery. We sit on the bench close by the chapel overlooking the blackberry trees. The sun is hitting the spot and the trees are whispering in the wind. After we enjoyed the silence a bit we start chatting.

Sipping our coffee…
we’d talk about the current happenings and how they effect us. I want to know how you are doing. How you are handling the situation in your town. If you are effected by riots, by racism, your experiences and all. I did have a few deeper conversations with the husband. As he is a POC it came up once in a while throughout the years but I have to admit that I might have not understood him completely. And might have hurt him with my misunderstanding and misjudging of situations. It’s not a good feeling and so I need to learn more but I really need to listen and that has always been a hard one for me.

Sipping our coffee…
I admit that everything going on has me mentally struggling. The whole corona thing all started out quite ok for me but now with rules bing lifted and exceptions of friends, family and society being high to get back to previous lifestyles I am struggling. On top the political situation. And we are heading towards summer which always has me in a weird mentally space and I can feel depression knocking on my mental firewall. And I am so terrible sleepy all the damn time…

Sipping our coffee…
I wonder if you have ever made yourself an herbal tea from collected wild herbs and plants. I recently started getting into gather some plants and drying them to make my own selection of teas. I have so much to learn but I feel like it is something I enjoy. I would love to hear more if you have similar passions.

Sipping our coffee…
I’d share about my last weekend. I went to the country side to spent a few hours with family in the garden and celebrate my birthday. It was nice seeing everyone and it’s not often that all my siblings and parents are in the same spot nowadays. So we had lemon bundt cake with elderflowers and later we BBQ. It was a nice day. And I am really glad this years birthday was so much more fun that last years.

Sipping our coffee…
we talk about what we wear. I mentioned that I tried to wear self-made outfits in May (check out the challenge #memademay) but was not able to do so daily. We also talk about our clothing style. I still struggle with finding enough things to wear that make me feel good. How do you know what fits your personality. And what happens when all your clothe never fit because weight underlies such fluctuations. It’s so annoying.

Sipping our coffee…
I’d ask you what your summer vacation plans are. Are you planning on traveling somewhere? Will you spent this summer in your neck of the woods? We decided there won’t be much vacation going on which involves long distant traveling. Maybe a weekend in an airbnb but even that we are not sure. As most of Germany will spend time inside the country all the interesting spots will be so crowded that I believe it will not be very relaxing. So maybe we do a vacation in Berlin and do a few day trips. But I am open for my input und ideas.

We empty our cups, look at the darker clouds crowing the sky and decided to head back home. Not before agreeing to check in next month and to agree to pay Lecy a quick visit.

Have a great month of June

Tobia

At the Moment #6

It’s my birthday today. And for a few years I take a minute (or two) to do an annual check in. It puts the year in perspective. It shows all the good things that happened. And it helps me realize to what I wish for. What I hope for. And this time around hoping and wishing is much needed.

at the moment craftaliciousme seeking creative life

.I think:
… 2020 will be a very peculiar year. So much is happening – half of what we are probably not (yet) recognizing. Most we are missing and still it’s effecting every single person on this planet one way or the other it seems. Pandemic, civil war like situations in the U.S., refugees in camps, horrific fires in Australia, earthquakes… You name it. And this year is not even half over. So much living we have to do…

.I like:
… not having migraines as badly anymore. Just this morning I had an aura but usually they pass without any pain now. The shots seemed to really have helped.

.I don’t like:
… myself a lot of times. And that is a very sad realization.

.I feel:
… Weltschmerz. I don’t know any other way to describe the current wariness. The disillusioning of what is happening to this world. So much pain. So much hate. So many egocentric people.

.I wear:
… my Apple Watch daily now.

.I learn:
… Spanish and should pick up a regular routine again. Also trying myself to read faster.

.I need:
…more self-confidence

.I’m annoyed by:
… people being egoistic.

.I want:
… to be able to read faster. Imagine all the books you could devour.

.I hear:
… my favorite playlist called “my happy place”.

.I’m making:
… all the things. This years 100 day project is finishing up all those projects I started, never finished or never tackled. I have made quite a few things lately. Right now I am working on doing our wedding photo album. It drags on. I am not good at editing out.

.I eat:
… asparagus. As long as it is still in season.

.I drink:
… a lot of coffee.

.I gather:
… herbs and wild leaves to make my own herbal tea for fall season. At least that is my plan.

.I smell:
… the neighbors cat litter box. The disadvantage of a balcony in an apartment building.

.I miss:
… my best friend. Our monthly date has been canceled three times and I haven’t seen her since the beginning of March. I hope we soon will.

.I regret:
… not being able to listen closely. Not being able to express my thoughts correctly. Causing pain.

.I enjoy:
… my quiet mornings where I read and learn new things and drink my coffee. And finally I can do it on the balcony again.

.I appreciate:
… Mr. ♡ taking the day off even though he is drowning at work because I had such a crappy experience last year being all by myself all day on my birthday.

.I trust.
… we will see better times. I trust we will come out stronger as a society. I trust that history will not repeat itself and that the human race is actually able to learn from its mistakes.

.I dream:
… of house or apartment by the water. Still. Forever. Probably.

.I read:
… Pippi Longstocking. It seemed like the right time to dive into my favorite children’s book.

Well, this has been a bit gloomy. Didnt want it to be but apparently that is the feeling at the moment. I love checking back and comparing with previous years once I am done writing. Feel free to also have a look: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.

Happy birthday to me and happy day to you

Tobia

BOOKS I READ IN MAY

Books I read in May craftaliciousme seeking creatinve life

Another months staying home – another month reading lots. Or did you spent lots of time walking outside? Have you been too unfocused to read and dive into other worlds and listen to new stories? I had some days where I really couldn’t focus and reading was a chore. But In the end it was another very successful month and I want to share my finds and the books I read in May. Let’s go:

Eisiger Kerker by Bernadette Calonego | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: Calista Gates, Detective from Vancouver is transferred to the deepest end of Labrador after an assault to her life and to give her a chance to fight her way back to the force. For er it feels a bit like being shipped to the end of the world. But an old case is re-opend when body shows up. Another one soon follows and investigation starts.
What I thought: I am not usually drawn to crime books but this is the third one by this author and all of them had me hooked from the beginning. I could not tell who the murder was until the last few pages and not a real suspicion could be formed as more and more was revealed. Still it was not too farfetched and believable while shedding a light on the live in the outback of Labrador.
Language: German also available in English
Recommend to: Everyone liking a good crime book, loving the Canadian outback and isn’t afraid of snow and tough people.

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: A family in rural Idaho. Or rather the rest of a family that was ripped apart by a tragic event. The struggle to keep on living and trying to fit in. To live with the shadow and find some humanity in all of it.
What I thought: All the thoughts and then none… this book left me speechless… no wordless. It is beautifully written and has an own flow almost like a song. And it is a book your really can’t read fast. Not sure why that is but it simply doesn’t work. I caught myself multiple times forming the words completely while reading. The story itself is interesting and kept me reading trying to understand the family. I struggled a bit with the immense number of POVs and the many time jumps. Despite many other reviews I believe the end is fitting this book perfectly. It underlines what this book tried to do.
Language: English
Recommend to: Everyone loving poetic literature, likes reading family portraits and lifes that are intertwined and has a love for the Idahoan landscape.

Resilienz: Seelische Widerstandskräfte stärken by Brigitte Dorst | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: Stress, anxiety, quarrels – some burdens throw you off course entirly. But others handle it surprisingly well. Is there a secret to it? In psychology there is the term resilience meaning mental resistance. A strength to balancing tough life situations. This book explores it’s scientific meaning and offers some hands on exercises to find inner balance and strengthening your resilience.
What I thought: The first half of the book gives an overview of what resilience is from a scientific point of view. Also some historic aspects and different point of views. It then explores the possible life situations where people might reach the end of their mental strengths aka resilience. The second half of the book is focused on how images and symbols can help overcome a tough situation. This part has a lot of different exercises to work through. The varariety caters to all kinds of perosnalties – from meditation to a more hands on approach with list making. Throughout the book you find references, quotes and poems.
Language: German
Recommend to: Wanting to learn about the human mind, who is into personal development and who is struggling with heartaches in life.
This book was sent to me by the publisher. The review and my opinion remains my own.

Sterne sieht man nur im Dunkeln by Maike Werkmeister | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: A grieving husband is handed a box of tapes from his late wife which he listens to every Sunday night for 29 weeks.
What I thought: while the concept itself is nothing new it was a story I didn’t quiet except to develop like it. It was not the fast paced telling. It was not overly melancholy and sad. It just peeled back layer upon layer of a 30+ marriage with ups and downs. There were moments where I wondered if I was a bit too young for this kind of book but I still enjoyed it.
Language: English – also translated to German
Recommend to: everyone you likes to read a solid novel without teenage drama and realistic takes on life.

Spirit Woman & Fire Woman by Zara Quentin | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎ & ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: Family feuds, epic quests and the search for the stolen Dragon God to save the hurting people on planet Prymeth. In Fire Women and the final part of the trilogy we take the fight back to Taraq and Uncle Z.
What I thought: It was a lovely adventure to dive into and kept me well entertained. I was looking forward to seeing more of the planets and meeting more creatures. However it did not engage me as much as the first book. The third one was a bit stronger again, introduced yet another new world and shed some light on old characters. Overall a good series and fun to read.
Language: English
Recommend to: Fantasy lovers looking for a new universe of worlds to dive in inhibited by creatures between fairies and dragons.

Die Stille meiner Worte by Ava Reed | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Hannah lost her words after her twin sister lost her life. But she still has many thoughts. She is writing them down and sends them to her sister. But silence is still all around her and she can not escape. Or can she?
What I thought: I was hooked by the topic of a non-speaking girl because of a trauma she experienced. The overall story was easy to read and entertaining. The beginning didnt really flow for me and I had the feeling certain thoughts were overly repeated which was almost annoying me. The final threads of the story felt rushed to me and a bit unrealistic. I think the whole idea could have been better executed. However I enjoyed it.
Language: German
Recommend to: Everyone wanting a quick YA novel that goes beyond the classic girl meets boy story and has some depth to it.

Things we never said by Nick Alexander| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: When suddenly a lot of new opportunities present itself to Anni she feels overwhelmed. And trapped in her life. She needs a break from her everyday time routine. The postcard from an old friend running a café on a island is the perfect opportunity to spend a few weeks on the coast and clear her head. But past is catching up, old wounds are re-opened and life put into perspective.
What I thought: Now when you read the synopsis you might think “read it a few times before, nothing new”. I tint expect much when picking up this novel but was pleasantly surprised. It is not the standard romance – it is more grown up. More real. More true-to-life. It was a quick and enjoyable read with an ending you might not expect.
Language: German
Recommend to: Everyone loving a good beach read, some romance and friendship without being cheesy.

Boarderline by Andreas Brendt | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Young student Andi needs a break and decides to spent all his savings to a trip to Bali. Here he is introduced to surfing. A passion he can not leave behind. Life goals are shifting and the next surfing trip becomes the thing to strive for. It takes him all over the world, lets him make friends and meet shady people. Only to realize it can get quiet lonely and there might me more to life than surfing.
What I thought: It took me two tries to read this book. I was definitely not the target group for this book. I found the main character not very likable. It focuses a lot on surfing, drugs and living in the moment. But really more in an egoistic kind of way? It painted a lifestyle I am not very interested in. However I wanted to learn more about surfing and the book delivered that. It is very focused on that. Talks about waves, ocean and the different spots. I also liked that with all the easy peasy surfer lifestyle there were some deeper thoughts peppered in about finding your self and questioning a few things in life.
Language: German
Recommend to: Everyone loving the surfer lifestyle, trying to break out of “normality” and looking for a fun way to dive into this lifestyle.
This book was sent to me by the author. The review and my opinion remains my own.

Now let me hear about your favorite book of may in the comments. Always looking for stacking more books to my TBR. Also let’s be friends on Goodreads if you like.

Happy reading

Tobia