Tag Archives: pretzel

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- Munich

Our last stop on the European adventure was in Munich, Germany (other stops include Poland and Austria).  One of the main reasons for choosing Munich was because of Oktoberfest.  Other than liters of beer, Munich also had to offer plenty of great food.

Munich, Germany

As many of you probably know, Munich is the third largest city in Germany and the host of the 1978 Summer Olympics.

Fun Fact #3: München (in German) was derived from the Old High German, which  meant “by the monks place”.  The city name comes from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city- the foundation date is 1164.  At that time black and gold were the colors of the Holy Roman Empire- they continue to be the city’s colors today.

Of course, the first thing we had to do was drink some German beer!  The liter mugs, also referred Maß, were in all of the restaurants around Munich:

One of our favorite things, not just in Germany but in all of the cities we visited, was the plethora of outdoor seating.  It’s really nice to relax outside- especially with the wonderful weather that we got throughout our trip.

After walking around the center of the city, we stopped at Hackerhouse, just blocks from the Marienplatz.

Both of these dishes (above and below) are Oktoberfest specials at the restaurant.  The above meal was a variety of wurst with potatoes.  Sam did say that the sausage link all the way in the back of the photo was one of the best he’s ever tasted in his life.  The dish below was roasted beef with gravy and cold potato salad (with dill and cucumbers).  The salad was definitely a first for me in texture and taste- but I really enjoyed- I wonder if I can replicate it!

As I mentioned before, when we were in Munich we did stop by Oktoberfest.  Just walking around it feels like a state fair (I’ve only been to the state fairs in the midwest so I’m not sure what others may look like) with rides for kids, vendors with lots of food and many people just walking around.

While walking, everyone will notice that there are massive tents- 14 of them this year.  Each tent is manned by a different brewery.  The capacity of these tents range from 98 to 10,000!  Sam and I visited 2 tents: Armbrustschützen (Bull’s Eye) and Hacker (Bavarian Heaven).

This is the entrance to Oktoberfest, as you can see there are a lot of people going in and out!

All around the campgrounds there are little kiosks selling Lebkuchenherzen (gingerbread hearts).  They range in size and color as well as a variety of  messages.  For example: Ich liebe Dich (I love you), Du bist mein sußes Herzchen (You’re my sweetheart) or Ich denke nur noch an Dich (I think only of you).

One of my favorite parts of Oktoberfest was brezn (pretzel)!  The pretzels range in 3 different sizes:

1) about the size of your hand
2) about the size of your face
3) significantly larger than your head!

And yes, I had 2 of them during our visit.  I don’t think any pretzel from a baseball park will ever compare.  All of these are so fresh and fluffy- I think this inspired me to make some of my own very soon!

Last but not least: hendl (chicken).  In each of the tents there were large of rotisserie stations getting chickens cooked.  Since everyone seemed to be getting them, we had to try it.  The one pictured above was finger-licking good!  The crust was crispy and full of flavor, while the inside of the chicken was deliciously moist.

Fun Fact #4: During the 2011 Oktoberfest, held for 17 days, 7.5 million liters (1.98 million gallons) of beer were consumed; there were 6.9 million visitors; each Maß was €9 ($12.66); during this time there were 226,000 stolen mugs.

There is one more thing that we stumbled upon while wandering through Munich, the Viktualienmarkt.  It’s a large, daily food market close to the Marienplatz (closed Sunday’s).  As Munich began to grow in the 19th century the city needed a larger market, therefore, King Maximillian allowed for a large space close to the city center to be designated for the market to grow.  Over the decades many stalls and pavilions were added.  Unfortunately, the market was severely damaged during World War II, but due to its popularity was rebuilt soon after.

Today the market has about 140 shops and stalls filled with many fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, flowers and much more.  In the center of the market stands a blue and white maypole.  Maypoles can be found in many village squares in Bavaria; in the past, signs were posted all over the maypole indicating the goods and services available around that particular city.  The Viktualienmarkt maypole has the following symbols: beer-carts, carousels, dancers, musicians and a fruit lady.  Every year on the first of May the pole is raised by men wearing Lederhosen.

Although we have farmers markets in the US, they don’t compare to the one’s in Europe.  This is just an example of one stand- so much produce to choose from!

I took a picture of this fruit (I think)- but I have no idea what it is.  If anyone reading this blog knows what this is- definitely let me know.  I thought it was very cool looking- lots of texture.

Since it is Germany- there were a number of pickles.

And lots of cheese!

If any of you get a chance to explore the food and drinks in Germany, you’ll enjoy your time here.  Everyone we met in Munich was very friendly and helpful, lots of smiles to go around.

I hope all of you enjoyed our updates on Europe, don’t worry- recipes coming up!  We didn’t have spicy food in Europe, so we had to make up for it once we got back!

Caramel, Pretzel & Nutella Bars

I picked this up from the Farmer’s Market today:

So I think a certain someone will have to make some blueberry-rhubarb crumble this weekend!  Cannot wait!

But for a richer, and more chocolatey dessert, this is a great recipe.  And it’s fairly simple, and easy for anyone to assemble.  Alice from Savory Sweet Life is very creative.  So when I saw this recipe, I also wanted to try it!  Who can resist Nutella?!?  But I would like to give her all of the credit for creating such a treat.

Key thing to remember is that when you do soften the caramels, use parchment paper between them and the plate.  We had a bit of a sticky disaster on our hands…it took a while to get it off the plate.

Caramel, Pretzel & Nutella Bars
Adapted from: Savory Sweet Life

2 bags of Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels (24 candies in each bag)
26 honey-wheat pretzel sticks
1/3 cup of Nutella
10 oz milk chocolate
3 tbsp half-and-half

Cut each rectangle caramel in half.  Then take 3 of the pieces (or 6 half pieces)and line them in a row on parchment paper, on a plate.  (Parchment paper is really important!)

Put the plate into the microwave for 8-12 seconds (depending on your microwave).  They should be soft enough to push the pretzel sticks onto caramels and sticking; but not too mushy that they melt.  Take 2 pretzels and push them into the caramels.

Next comes the chocolatey goodness.  I used a cheese knife to spread Nutella gently over the top.  Place all of the bars onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Lastly, I took the bars of chocolate, and melted them.  (I poured water into a pot, placed a bowl on top of it, and turned on the heat.  While the water is boiling, it heats up the bowl and the chocolate begins to melt.)  Remember to add the half-and-half, it makes the chocolate more liquidy, making it easier to pour it over the bars.

Once the chocolate melts, I picked up each bar and smeared the chocolate on the bottom of the bar.  Then I placed the bar back onto the parchment paper, and poured more chocolate on top of it.  I tried to fill in any sections which did not have chocolate on them.

Place the cookie sheet, with the bars, into the freezer for about an hour.  They are read to eat!