Tag Archives: Germany

Good-bye 2012, Hello 2013!

At the beginning of this year, I listed off some 2012 goals for Fifth Floor Kitchen- and looking back I think we did pretty good!  I’m so humbled and proud of this little space we have created, and since I’m feeling a little nostalgic about 2012, I wanted to share a handful of favorite highlights from this past year.

2012 Top 3 Recipe Posts:
1. Indian Chicken Soup
Indian Chicken Soup

2. Vegetable Coq au Vin
Vegetables au Vin with Coq 2

3. Seasoned Popcorn 2 Ways
Popcorn 2 ways

2012 Top 3 Travel Posts:
1. Bonn, Germany
2. Boston: Sam Adams Brewery Tour
3. Warsaw, Poland

Other 2012 Highlights:
1. We got married!  We had a wonderful wedding near Charlottesville, VA (check out our posts about this great city here and here) and we spent an amazing honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand (blog posts: Pt 1, Pt 2)!

2. Where else did we travel? Boston (Posts: 1, 2, 3), Philadelphia, and Baltimore.

3. Food-wise some of our personal favorites were: Cowgirl Creamery Cheese Pairing, Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese, Birthday Fruit Tart, Crunchy Fish Tacos with Chimichurri Sauce, Brazilian Fish & Shrimp Stew, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, S’more Cookie, and Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa.  If you haven’t tried these, definitely add them to your “to-do” list for 2013!

3. Other fun stuff: Eat Write Retreat Blogger Conference, Slave-free Tomato Day, Holiday White House Tour, An Edible Mosaic Book Launch, and being part of the Food Matters Project.

4. We also started a series “Monthly Reviews”, a great way to see some of our iPhone photos and adventures we might not write about: May, June, July, August, and November.  A December one is coming up soon!

Over the course of 2012 we have had 116 posts- that’s a lot of words, photographs and recipes!

But I do love the feeling of a New Year- a fresh start, being able to look ahead towards all the new opportunities this year will bring.  We are looking forward to 2013 to continue sharing our culinary and travel adventures with you all- remember to keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

We wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!  Thank you so much for reading, commenting and being part of Fifth Floor Kitchen!

Warm wishes for a happy new year!

Many hugs,
Evi & Sam

Evi & Sam Wedding

*Our wedding photos were taken by our friend Meaghin Kennedy- check out some of her photos here, or her blog: These Salty Oats

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Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Have you ever thought about how you met your friends?  Sometimes people want to know what is the connection, or connector, between two people, and it’s always interesting to think about it.  Since I had lived in various places throughout my 20’s (Sevilla, Iowa City, Virginia Beach and DC), I have friends which I met in some crazy situations.  Others are friends of friends, people I met at conferences, or someone who lived in the building.

Today is my friend Carolyn’s birthday (Happy Birthday!), and we don’t have a crazy story about how we met- it was at work, and we were one of the very few people under the age of 50 (not kidding).  Although we were only in the same office for a 1 year, we did find that we have a huge thing in common: our love for Mexican food.  We may have enjoyed many burrito bowls at Chipotle during our lunch hours (we also had an enchilada dinner not too long ago).  We were a little inseparable- kind of like Peanut Butter and Jelly!

To celebrate Carolyn’s birthday I made her some treats- hope she enjoys them!  Although these don’t have to be just for a celebration- enjoy them when you want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (but without bread).  Perfect little one-bite treat.  Yum!

What’s your favorite jelly or jam?  My favorite is the strawberry-rhubarb, although it’s difficult to find.  The last time I bought one was when I was in Germany earlier this year.  It tasted delicious on this little bite-size cookie.

PB & J Cookie
Adapted from: Love Veggies and Yoga

1/4 cup of organic peanut butter
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
jelly or jam

In a small bowl whip together peanut butter and butter with a mixer until it is creamy.  I recommend putting it in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds before mixing, it’ll be easier to whip together.  Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt* and flour.  Stir until all ingredients are combined.

Keep the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes, this will make it easier to work with the dough.  Once you take it out of the fridge, form the dough into balls.  Indent the top, making sure there are walls all around.  In each well, add your favorite jelly or jam.

*I used unsalted peanut butter, therefore I added a bit more salt.

Travel Photos- Bonn, Germany

My second part of the trip included the area around Bonn, Germany.  Here is the photo version of the trip:

I took the train from Frankfurt to Bonn.  Although it is winter, the trip wasn’t as pretty as it could be, but I can imagine how beautiful it is here during the summer.  Along the way, there are small towns on the Rhine River:

I really didn’t get much of a chance to walk around Bonn; but I did get to explore a bit.  Just steps away from the Bonn Hauptbahnhof (Bonn Central Station), is the Münsterplatz.  It’s a large plaza, filled with a lot of shopping (H&M, department stores, chocolate stores, etc).  It also has:

the Beethoven Monument!  This bronze statue of Ludwig van Beethoven was unveiled in 1845 in honor of the composer’s 75th birthday anniversary.  Bonn was his birthplace.

On the other side of the plaza is:

is the Bonn Minster, one of the oldest churches in Germany.

I couldn’t leave Germany without having a delicious pretzel!  There are so many bakeries, almost on every corner, which sell fresh bread, pretzels and sweets.

At the hotel I stayed in, I had some delicious meals:

This was a chicken and egg sandwich.  The chicken was breaded and fried, with an egg on top.  Another dish I had was:

a salad with a schnitzel (a boneless, breaded, fried piece of meat) and another fried egg!  There is something to be said about egg yolk on top of of some fried meat and salad- I think we should try this for dinner sometime.

I did stop in a grocery story, got an extra large Ritter chocolate (hazelnut and milk chocolate), and some strawberry-rhubarb jelly (my favorite!).  I almost never see this in the US, so I had buy some to bring home.

And that is how my Europe trip ended!  I wish I had some more time to explore (and a partner in crime!) but we’ll save that for another time!

European Food Adventures- Vienna

The second portion of our trip included Vienna (we first visited Poland).  This was the first time either of us had been there, and we really enjoyed it!

Vienna, Austria

One of the well known Viennese specialties is Sacher Torte.  It is a chocolate cake invented by Franz Sacher (an Austrian-Jewish confectioner) in 1832.

Fun Fact #2: Prince Metternich wanted a special dessert from his personal chef, but the chef was sick.  Therefore, his 16-year old apprentice, Franz Sacher, took on the task.  The torte was created for a special occasion, and all of the guests enjoyed it.  Sacher ended up opening his own specialty delicatessen and winery after finishing his training.  Then his son, Eduard, continued the family legacy and perfected his father’s recipe.  The torte was first served at the Demel, and then at the Hotel Sacher, which he established in 1876.  The cake continues to be one of Vienna’s famous culinary specialties.

We might have had our dessert before dinner that day!  =)

Sam and I both really love mushrooms.  I know there are many of you out there that do not like them, but I find them delicious!  Fortunately for us, we had mushroom soup a number of times while in Europe, one of them being in Vienna.

We stumbled upon Restaurant Ferdinandt.  A section of their menu was seasonal, where I found this mushroom soup:

This tasty soup was made out of chanterelles.  Being a mushroom lover, I can only repeat- every bite was amazing!  Here, in the US, chanterelles are expensive and depending on where you live- hard to come by. But in Europe they are fairly inexpensive and many food stands and farmers markets were selling them, so we indulged!

Don’t you worry, we still got our Vitamin C when we ate some fruit.  A fruit that my Mom loves, and we haven’t been able to find in the US, are red currants.  They are native to Europe and have a great mix of tartness and sweetness.

When I was little, my Mom and I used to pick red currants every single year.  Some ended up in the baskets to take home, others in our tummies!

Of course, while Sam and I were in Vienna, we tried a lot of beers.  Here’s a picture to prove it.

Every beer needed a tasty European dish!

While we meandered the street of Vienna, we ended up trying two different establishments, turns out they had the same owner.  It was only after we left the second place, we found out they were extremely close together (around the block!).  How I love winding European streets, it can be fun to get lost!

The establishment(s) that deserved two visits in one day were Bierhof and Hopferl!  Apparently there is a third restaurant, but we didn’t not find it.

Sam had the rostbratwürste (grilled sausage) with bratensaft (gravy) and braterdäpfel (fried potatoes).  The potatoes had the perfect crisp to them!

Meanwhile, I tried out the wiener saftgulasch (Viennese goulash) with spätzle (egg noodles).  I ate my plate clean!  Goulash is a Hungarian soup, but it’s a very popular soup in East and Southern European countries.  Spätzle is a popular egg noodle in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary.  The gravy was perfect with it.

Of course, brats and beer are not the only thing that Austria specializes in.  They also have wine.  While wandering the streets, we found a wine bar!

One evening we found was a specialty grocery store.  Below it was Meinl’s Wine Bar.

The store had a number of European wines: French, German, Italian and Spanish (plus more!).  But we wanted to try some Austrian wines.

I’m not sure if either of these can be found in the U.S.- but in case they can, our recommendations are: Helmunt Bruckner and Umathum.  Both of these had a deep juicy quality, reminiscent of dark red cherry quality.  While we tried out these wines, we also indulged in:

Sam thought that this beef tartar looked like a muppet.  Which muppet do you think it was?

As you can tell, we ate very well while we were Vienna!  Up next: Munich, Germany.

Travel

Yesterday we officially bought our tickets for our fall trip to Europe. We’re very excited and we’ve even started a little countdown. Unfortunately, it’s still more than a 100 days away, but that gives us a chance to plan away.

Our itinerary will begin in Kraków (Poland), then we’ll go to Vienna (Austria), and our last stop will be in Munich (Germany).  The end of the trip will let us have some fun at Oktoberfest!  So if anyone has any good tips, we’d love to hear them!

With that, I came across an article about why people choose to travel, which I found interesting.

Why We Travel

Happy Travels, wherever you might go!