Friday, July 30, 2010

Sunday on the Q

Last Sunday, my favorite girls and I met up for brunch at the DFAC (dining facility) on post. It was the first cool and sunny day we've had this year and I couldn't pass it up. So I invited them over for a BBQ. We all went to the commissary after brunch and decided on our menu. I knew I was going to be trying out smitten kitchen's hacked caprese salad because I had bought three rounds of fresh mozzerella the day before in anticipation of making it.


Cecilia bought a magazine (I forget now which one) that had pictures of 12 different ways to enjoy hotdogs this summer. One was with onion rings on top. I decided to try it. Because you know, trying one new recipe when entertaining company isn't enough. I like to live on the edge.

Plus the commissary had something like 1/2 a pound of pre-sliced onions for 60 cents. They looked at me from the shelf and asked me to please batter and fry them. I don't take the words of talking onions lightly, I obliged.


It was amazing. Please do this if you are going to have a hotdog again ever in your life.


To finish, Cecilia made brownie cupcakes.


With cream cheese frosting on top.


Cecilia loves brownies with cream cheese frosting.

Having the girls around makes things so much more fun and makes me feel a lot safer when my man is gone.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

German one-stop-shop


Bloggers, I've been someplace magical.  A place where all the sights of Berlin are in one place and are delicious. A place that isn't pretentious by having a red carpet leading up to it. They deserve that carpet.


Fassbender & Rausch is on the corner of a beautiful square in Berlin. On the bottom floor is a chocolate shop and upstairs is a hot chocolate cafe. It's like a place from my dreams, Bloggers.


All of the great buildings of Berlin are here and made entirely out of chocolate.


I'm not usually one to watch a foreign film and shout out during the whole movie, "I've been there!" Because I know that if I did that none of the other people watching the movie would want to be my friends. The words were already half way out of my mouth before I realized I was saying them when I entered this shop. Maybe because I had just seen half of these sights that very same morning.


I need friends in my life. Reasons: I live 4,000 miles away from my closest family member. I don't readily speak the language in the country which I live. I am a military spouse and therefore living by myself 94% of the time. If I get a flat tire, I want to have someone to call. I want to be one of the cool kids.



One of the coolest things about this shop is that the chocolate is really affordable. I got 5 truffles and 2 chocolate covered figs all for a smidgen over 3 euros.


I obviously didn't get the camera out fast enough to capture all five truffles on film. It's a danger to be aware of, disappearing truffles.

THE coolest thing about this shop? Two words: chocolate volcano.


This thing was ERUPTING. I tried desperately to get a picture while the chocolate was shooting out the top but I just wasn't fast enough. But don't take my word for it. Go to Germany. Go to Berlin. Go to Fassbender & Rausch. See the glory.

Friday, July 23, 2010



We only had one full day in Berlin.  It wasn't enough.  We were smart enough this time to buy a ticket to one of those hop-on hop-off buses because we knew we didn't have the getting lost time that we usually factor into our trips.

Digression: One of the best and worst things about being married to a soldier is their excellent map reading skills and ability to "land nav" as they call it.  My husband can glance at the ricketiest looking map, look up at the sun then say, "If we just keep heading northeast on this street we should get there in 5 to 7 minutes." So while I'm following him eating [insert delicious native sweet here] and saying, "But I'm pretty sure the street down there looks familiar," we appear at our desired destination.  As if by magic army witchcraftery.

It's excellent when we are together and I can just dote along behind my super husband, but when one starts traveling with one's friends who also are married to a super husband it makes for some lost ladies most of the time.  End digression.

We went to the recently opened Jewish Museum in Berlin.


The Garden of Exile stood out to me the most.  The description on this sign is accurate.  The garden is on a tilt.  Making the garden dweller very uneasy in the stomach region.


The columns in the garden are straight up and down, but they feel tilted since the ground is tilted.


Beautiful, but unsettling.  This garden did an excellent job of getting its point across.

Inside the museum there's a tree full of paper pomegranates with wishes written on them.


I wished that I will be able to live the rest of my life as happy as I am now.  Cecilia wished that she would never have to go through an experience like the holocaust.

The museum focused on Jewish culture through time.  With the help of donations from community members, individual stories were told from as far back as the 1500's written in Yiddish.  The personalization of the religion made it much more interesting.  Hearing about how a Jewish merchant had to carry enough food for a business trip that could take months due to their kosher laws made the Jewish lives that were lived much more real than simply showing me a old kosher pot they took with them.  It was the combination of the pot and the story and the audio that made it amazing.  The museum had a ton of interactive parts to it.


Including this mustache mirror and the German girls behind me who wouldn't get out of the picture even though I kept throwing them the dagger eyes.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Berlin this weekend

Hey bloggers, I'm headed to Berlin this weekend.  Expect great posts when I get back.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Journal for a Cause

Janel at Run with Scissors is about to start the process of adopting a child.  To help fund the process she's offering a 30 day journal class for only $10 a day.  10 bucks!  Outrageously good price.  You can sign up on her Etsy shop.  I already have.  Please head over there to check out the details and see the great sample pages she has pictured on her blog.  The class starts July 26.

I've been falling behind on my art journaling after Rachel and Elsie's great class.  I'm excited to have more prompts and to see another style of art journaling.

Friday, July 9, 2010



We paid 50 euros for a tour to Luxembourg. We figured after buying a train ticket and the amount of time it would take us to figure out where the heck we were going it wound up being cheaper than going there on our own. According to our tour guide, Gabi, there is no poverty or unemployment in Luxembourg and the average annual income of a Luxembourger is 47,000 euros.



I guess that means they have plenty of money to pay for ridiculous signs.


Lunch was the first order of business. Our waiters did NOT like us. I'm pretty sure it's because we drained our water the first minute after we sat down. When we asked for more, they brought us tap water. Then they brought our food out after everyone else's in our group.

Chicken a la King is a typical Luxembourg meal, we got ours with a side of salad and fries. I'm not sure I've ever had Chicken a la King before. This one was shredded chicken in a mushroom gravy, with a soft croissant type pastry on top.

We kept asking for more water even after we ate. We kept drinking it even though I'm pretty sure people in Luxembourg spit in your drink if you make trouble like they do in the States.


After lunch we went on a train tour. It covered 8 kilometers in 50 minutes. Lighting speed. Instead of a real live person telling us about our surroundings we had an audio recording. They play acted out the history of Luxembourg. Once the extensive history of the country was over, they spent 5-7 minutes telling us that Luxembourg is "Small but grand!" in about 8 different languages. Then the audio tour ended about 10 minutes before the actual tour did.




but grand!

We got back from the Bourg just in time for dinner. That's right:


Mussels in Brussels.


Jean Claude Van Damme may THINK he's the muscles from Brussels, but he ain't got nothing on this girl.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Cecilia and I got off to a late start. I stopped by the Commissary to grab some sandwiches and she couldn't get away from her chatty dog sitter. Once Cecilia and I were driving to the airport we got caught in traffic. According to the electric signs over the autostrada there was "traffico intenso" ahead. We cursed the traffic and turned up Flight of the Conchords. It was a car accident. Cecilia said that she saw a body bag. Could you imagine if we had been just 15 or 10 minutes sooner?

After the inappropriate pat down and bag search through security it was just a flight, bus ride, and taxi away from our hotel. The next morning, after my makeshift sausage egg roll, we set out to see the sights. It took us an hour at the train station to buy a metro ticket. Then we got on the train going the wrong direction. Good thing I made that sandwich in the buffet line. It kept my stomach calm during our next unsettling incident: accidentally going to the red light district of Brussels. I saw more boobies than I've ever seen at one time. And I've been in an Italian woman's changing room at a water park, so that's saying a lot. There must have been tens of pairs of them. We just looked at our shoes and walked a really fast round-about way back to the train station.

Since we'd been lost for about 3 hours at this point we decided to try to find some traditional Belgian food for lunch near our hotel. Two hours later we decided on Thai. Chicken with rice noodles for this girl. It was there in a Thai restaurant in Brussels that we discovered the most fantastic beverage known to man:IMG_0139 Sparkling iced tea.

One word: fantastical.
One action: fist pump.

Thank you Brussels for introducing us. My trip was worth it for this only. Thankfully this wasn't the only good thing.

Stay tuned...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Out of town

I'm heading to Brussels and Luxumborg this weekend for the long weekend.

I'm going to eat so many waffles.

Happy fourth of July to all my American friends!