Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Thyme and Bread Crumbs


Brussle sprouts - an acquired taste... I have to admit I discovered them late in life as well but now I just love them. Maybe the taste buds do indeed change with age? I never liked them as a child and I was always impressed that my brother ate them. We were both kind of picky eaters as children...

Brussel sprouts can be a bit bitter which you can balance out while cooking.

This year, I saw this very pretty picture of an easy oven roasted brussle sprout dish from Hapa Homecooking. I love roasted veggies and these just looked so pretty, I just had to try to recreate the dish :) I made a few minor adjustments, mainly giving it a bit more heat.


  • 1.5 pounds brussels sprouts (fresh, not frozen)
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt (including onion and garlic as an ingredient)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, each
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt (less, if the butter was salted)
  • 1 tsp thyme (freshly chopped)
  • Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt and a wedge of lemon


Roast the brussels sprouts:

Preheat oven to 200 degree Celsius / 390 degree Fahrenheit (top/bottom heat). Trim and half the brussels sprouts. In a bowl, toss the brussels sprouts with olice oil and the spices (salt, seasoned salt, garlic, pepper, red pepper flakes) till they are coated evenly. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and spread the brussles sprout out. Thop with the fresh thyme sprigs. Roast for about 30-45 minutes till the brussle sprouts are soft and slightly browned and crispy.

Prepare the yoghurt-lemon dip:

Mix the yoghurt with the lemon juice. Add salt/pepper to taste. Cool in the fridge till serving time.

Prepare the bread crumps:

Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the bread crumbs, salt and chopped thyme. Stir on medium heat till bread crumbs are golden brown. Take of the heat.


Place and spread out a spoon of the yoghurt sauce on your plate. Top with the roasted brussle sprouts. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of bread crumb mix over it. Add a sprinkle of coarse sea salt and a wedge of lemon.

Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows


An original Thanksgiving side dish - the Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmellows. The first time I heard about it and tried it, was during my college times in my dorm kitchen. Even though in Germany, my friends and I liked to celebrate and cook for Thanksgiving - or better Friendsgiving ;) 

My friend M. had this recipe and I actually had never heard of this. I found it a funny recipe, putting brown sugar in a savory dish and topped with sweet melting marshmallows... And indeed, it does taste sweet like a dessert, but strangely, it also goes very well with the traditional Thanksgiving turkey meat and gravy. 

And, in my opinion, this dish just looks adorable :)



  • 3 big sweet potatoes (1.5-2 pounds)
  • 1 l salted water to boil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 100 g mini marshmallows (3.5 oz)



Boil the sweet potatoes: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit/ 170 degree Celsius. Peal the sweet potatoes, cut into cubes. Cover with salted water and boil till soft, about 10 minutes. Drain.

Prepare the sweet potato mix: 

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher (not the electric one, you do want to have it a little bit rustic, with pieces). Add the brown sugar, butter, salt, orange juice and cinnamon. Mix well with a spoon. Adjust salt and orange juice to taste.


Butter a 8x8 inch casserole dish. Spread the mashed sweet potato mix into the casserole evenly. Sprinkle with the marshmallows. Bake in the oven for about 30-45 min till marshmallows are a little melted and crispy golden brown on top.

Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

The Pink Café (Berlin, Germany)

Brunch at The Pink Café was a great experience. Nice chic and girly atmosphere and delicious and creative food options. The place is rather small and intimate with some outdoor seating. The entire walls are decorated with roses. Of course, the color pink and gold dominated everything. Pink walls, golden pillows, cute pink plates, pink napkins, and golden cuttlery :)

Their food and drinks were so nicely decorated, including fancy edible flowers, mini pastel colored marshmallows, and cute arrangements with caramel sauce, etc. Their fancy goat cheese/ fig bread with walnuts and honey also tasted delicious

Drink Highlights

They have a lot of great drink options with some amazing specials among them. They offer different coffee drinks, tea selection, hot chocolates, and fresh pressed juices. Also, they have some iced drinks. Here, they have some fancy ice-teas and among them a rainbow ice-T. 

However, most famous and instagrammable are probably their famous colorful lattes:

No coffee lattes, only warm milk drinks with some special ingredients - pink (red beet), purple (blueberry), golden (curcuma), amethyst (collagen), green (matcha) latte. Really cute and adorable, with some edible flowers decorated on top.

Famous Pancakes

Another highlight were their pancakes. Never had such creative versions. They served only one pancake per serving, however, this one was huge and fluffy with awesome decorations and toppings. 

The more creative ones were decorated with caramel sauce, cotton candy and - of course - some sparkling sugar :)


What we ordered

  • Purple Latte - Warm milk drink with beet roots, blueberries, spirulina
  • The Black Beauty - Hot milk chocolate with cream and mini marshmallows
  • The Luxury Lover - Scrambled eggs & truffles
  • The Couple Goats - Rustic bread with goat cream cheese, figs, walnuts, fresh rosemary & honey
  • The Granny Smith - Pancake with apples, pecans, cinnamon, greek yoghurt & salty caramel
  • The Out of Space - Pancake with bananas, nuts, crispy berries, sour cream, caramal & cotton candy cloud

Photo courtesy of my work colleague M.M. :) Thank you!

Pasta Salad - German style

During my college time, my friend M. always prepared this pasta salad for our BBQs. From the first time I tried it, I really got addicted to it. As I am not a big meat eater, this pasta salad made me look forward to our BBQs :)

I (of course) spiced up the recipe a little and made it way more complicated than it needs to be ;) What shall I say, I like to add ingredients.

Note: Instead of the corn and peas, you can also use a normal sized can of "Mexikanische Gemüseplatte" (mexican veggieplate), which consist of a mix of corn, peas, and red bell pepper.


  • 250g pasta (fussili/ rotini style)
  • 200g "Fleischwurst" - diced (I once substituted it with diced Wiener Sausages or bologna)
  • 1 small onion - finely diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper - diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper - diced
  • 4 pickles - diced
  • 1 extra-small can corn (ca. 150-200g, 1 cup)
  • 1 extra-small can peas (ca. 150-200g, 1 cup)
  • 1 extra-small can mushrooms (ca. 150-200g, 1 cup)
  • 1 cup (200g) "Schmand" (or sour cream)
  • 1 cup (200g) "Creme Fraiche" (or also sour cream)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2-3 Tbsp pickle water
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tspn italian herbs
  • 1/2 tspn dill
  • salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste


Cook the pasta in salt water according to package instructions. I do like the pasta rather soft, not just al dente, so I usually cook it a minute longer. Drain. Add to a big bowl.

Add the diced "Fleischwurst", onion, bell pepper and pickles to the bowl. Add a cup of each, corn, peas, and mushrooms. Mix everything well.

In another bowl, prepare the dressing. Add the Schmand and Creme Fraiche, tomatoe ketchup, the pickle water, vinegar, oil, the herbs and seasoning. Whisk everything together till it is smooth. Pour everything over the salad and mix well.

Best to serve immediately. Good addition to any BBQ :)

If you cool the pasta salad in the fridge, you may need to add a bit of water before serving and stir it again as the dressing might dry out a bit.

Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

Brunch at "A Never Ever Ending Love Story" (Charlottenburg, Berlin)

The Location

A Never Ever Ending Love Story is a small corner café in a very nice area of Berlin. It is located at the famous "Kantstraße" in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg. After brunch I recommend a short walk to the nearby Kurfürstendamm, the Zoo and the Gedächtniskirche. 

The café has a cute indoor space but also some outdoor seating for the summer.

The Food

The place has a small menu with all the essentials, including different egg dishes, avocado breads, cereals and yoghurt bowls, french toast and pancakes. They also have a nice assortment of coffee, tea, fresh juices, and smoothies. 

I noticed this place by their instagrammable pancakes. They arrange sliced bananas and strawberries in a flower spiral which looks really cute.

However, I ordered a simple avocado bread with scrambled eggs which were flavorful and had a good consistency. To my surprise, the dish came with a side of really nicely dressed and seasoned cherry tomatoes.

Summer Specials

The café also also had two summer specials that we tried:
  • Scrambled eggs with truffles 
  • French toast with a mascarpone cream, berry compote, and fresh berries
My friend had actually been here before and absolutely loved both summer specials, so as she heard that I wanted to check this place out, she spontaneously decided to join me :) 

She really enjoyed the Eggs with Truffles. They were fluffy and light, with lots of truffle slices on top. Apparantly, truffle flavor was also mixed into the eggs.

I ordered the French Toast and have to admit that the mascarpone cream with the berry compote was heavenly, just delightful, not too sweet and not too heavy. One of the best French Toast I ever had.

(photo credit first and last picture: M.M.)

My Mom's "Linsensuppe Süß-Sauer " (Lentilsoup, sweet-sour)

This is another of my Mom's dishes that I did not eat as a child. I just never fancied the German "Linsen & Spätzle". However, this is not your usual version. There are no "Spätzle" and it is a soup. And also, it is sweet-sour. As an adult, I just tried it one more time when my mother cooked it and suddenly, I really enjoyed the sweet-sour taste and could not stop eating it :)

Note: Best to use a mix of soft and hard lentils. The smaller ones (e.g., Berglinsen) will dissolve almost completely, while the bigger ones (e.g., Tellerlinsen) stay harder and will add some bite to the soup.


  • 150-200g brown lentils (e.g., Berg-, Tellerlinsen)
  • water and salt
  • 4-5 medium sized potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3-4 wiener sausages (or "Fleischwurst", similar to bologna)


Start the soup

In a big pot, cover lentils completely with water. Add salt. Bring to a boil and let cook for about 30 minutes with the lid half closed. Peel and cut potatoes in small cubes and add to the lentils. Let cook for another 25 minutes till potatos are soft. Now, add vinegar and sugar, bring to a boil.

Prepare the roux

Melt margarine in a frying pan at low heat, add the flour. It needs to be more on the liquid side. Keep stirring occasionally and let simmer. The roux needs to bubble up ("sweating"), thicken and turn a light milk chocolate brown.

Finish the soup

Add the roux to the soup, bit by bit. Keep stiring and bring it to a low boil. The soup will thicken up. Season to taste with more salt, vinegar and sugar. At the end, add the wiener sausages. They only need to be heated up for a couple of minutes. Serve.

Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

Pasta e Fagioli Soup - An Olive Garden copycat

I have to admit I am a bit ambiguous about those American chain restaurants. Especially while living there, I tried to avoid them at the beginning... Later on, I discovered that I really do like some of them. They are not quite as low as the fast food chains but also not quite as fancy as the high end restaurants. They serve comfort food and sometimes really good food :)

One of those chain restaurants I like is Olive Garden. They are famous for their option of unlimited soup and salad. I have tried all the soups and the pasta e fagioli is by far my favorite. The salad is pretty good too though ;)

Pasta e fagioli means pasta and bean soup. I am using three kinds of beans, the red kidney beans and then also small and big white beans (navy and great nothern beans).

This is my spin on the Olive Garden version and I made a few changes. I used ground beef and not Italian sausage, and I added a little bit of zuchhini and bell pepper.


  • 1/2 cup uncooked ditalini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 300g ground beef 
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 onion (ca. 1.5 cups) - diced
  • 2 carrots (ca. 1 cup) - diced
  • 2 stalks celery (ca. 1 cup) - diced
  • 1/2 zucchini (ca. 1/2 cup) - diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (ca. 1/2 cup) - diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 0.5 l vegetable broth
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried majoram
  • 1/2 tsp savory
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can red kidney beans - drained and rinsed
  • 1 can navy beans - drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 can Great Nothern beans - drained and rinsed

Serve with:

  • fresh parsley
  • fresh grated parmesan
  • crusty bread
  • red wine


Prepare the pasta

In a large pot, bring water with some salt to a boil and add the uncooked ditalini pasta. Cook a little less than package instructions, keep them really al dente, as they will still cook a bit in the soup. Drain and set aside.

Prepare the soup

Heat the oil in a large pot, add the ground beef and cook till browned, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, bell pepper). Cook and stir occasionally for another 5 minutes till vegetables are a bit tender, but not too soft. 
Fill up with tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth and water. Stir. Season with the dried herbs and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer uncovered for about 10-15 minutes till vegetables are soft.
Note: If you do not have each of the dried herbs, you can substitute with 4-5 tsp dried Italien herb mix. 

Finish the soup

Add the cooked pasta and the drained beans. Stir and heat up for about 2 minutes. Adjust the seasioning and the thickness of the soup. If you like it a bit thinner, add some more water. If it is not thick enough, add some sauce thickener (e.g., flour and water or tomato paste).
Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with fresh parmesan and along crusty bread and a glass of red wine.

Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...