Cooking, not cakes

I think I did this whole “teenager” thing a little wrong.

For example, when I was nine-years-old, I used to sleep until noon whenever I had the chance.

Now, as most of my friends are in full-nocturnal swing, I have trouble staying in bed past 8 a.m.

I can’t really be blamed, though, considering what I have waiting for me when I wake up.

My morning was off to a good start with a slightly intense circuit workout. Nothing like getting the heart pumping to rev up the ol’ appetite. Luckily, I had the perfect fix for my hunger waiting at home, à la oat-parfait.

Today’s treat breakfast consisted of luscious layers of oats, PB, jelly and bananas. I topped it all off with a healthy scoop of chocolate muesli, officially breaking my no chocolate-breakfasts-during-the-week rule two days in a row.

It actually wasn’t monsooning as I walked to school, so that gave me a little more enthusiasm. The fact that it was a short day at school and I’d be done at noon also helped up my morale.

School was followed up with the standard lunch in the Mensa (translation: cafeteria). To the surprise of no one, I opted for a big salad. I rounded out the meal with 2/3 of another stowaway granola bar.

I took advantage of my free time by walking around town, trying to soak it all in before next week. I made a quick stop by the Bäckerei (translation: bakery) and considered staying for some coffee and quality reading time. However, the skies were graying and I was wearing a white shirt, so I decided to play it safe and head home.

First, though, I made a quick stop at the local jewelry store to get a charm I’d been eying for a few weeks.

I started collecting charms for a bracelet back in 2001 and it’s slowly grown since then. Now it’s barely practical, as it’s weighed down with a good number of charms. Still, I can’t stand the thought of retiring any of them… they all have unique memories.

Today’s addition was a little Bavarian Bretz’n (translation: pretzel). It was an easy and appropriate choice over the lederhosen and beer-mug charms.

Unlike the usual trend, I actually go back to my house right when it started to rain (as opposed to being 10 steps out the door when the skies open up). Suddenly, the hunger that I was missing during lunch came back with a vengeance.

I dug into the hazelnut yogurt I’d been waiting to have. It was topped with (what else) chocolate muesli and Nutella.

As if that wasn’t dessert enough, I already had more plans in the mix.

After my inspiring cookie bake the other day, I was eager to go at it again. Rebecca came over and we mixed up what I like to call…

Trail Mix Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 C peanut butter
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/4 C rolled oats
  • 1/2 C dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 1/2 C chopped almonds

Directions:

  • Mix together first five ingredients (PB through salt) in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Refrigerate dough for 10 minutes. Warm oven up to approx. 350 degrees (note: I used 180 degrees Celsius).
  • Place tablespoon-sized dollops of dough on greased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes, until no longer doughy in center. Allow to cool.

Since cookies are a fairly foreign concept in Germany (They have Leberkäse but not cookies? Explain that one to me…), I’ve been seriously missing them the past few weeks. Between my last batch and this new creation, I’ve definitely made up for lost time.

A couple cookies hours later, it was time for dinner. My host-mom was out of the house tonight, which automatically meant we were going out to eat.

I drove over to Bad Tölz with my host-father, -sister and -brother to go to dinner at “Papas Kesselhaus.” It was an eclectic, funky and delicious place with tons of vegetarian options.

Despite all the complaining I’ve done about the salads I’ve been eating, there is no denying it: I really do love a good salad.

Tonight that was exactly what I was craving, so when I saw a salad featuring both corn (hello, Nebraska) and sunflower seeds (nice to see you again, Kansas), I knew what I was getting…

I didn’t know the salad would be accompanied with mozzarella sticks, but I ended up tearing the fried-crust off two of them and eating the cheese. When in Rome Germany, I suppose.

It was nice to get out and spend some time with my host-family. I feel truly blessed to have been given such a generous and kind family to live with for six weeks.

With my host-sister.

There may have been a few communication barriers along the way (just to clarify, I like “cooking,” not “cakes.” Although I guess I like those, too…). But that’s just been part of the experience.

Question: Have you ever been to a foreign language-speaking country? Was it difficult to adjust?

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7 responses to “Cooking, not cakes

  • Jessica @ lacesandlattes

    I miss the entire teenage stage of sleeping till noon as well.
    Also..your food looks incredible. Hazelnut yogurt, chocolate granola and nutella? Yes PLEASE!

    And I have never gotten used to a foreign speaking country, I am living in England next year so the only thing I need to acclimatize to is their accents. 🙂 You were fortunate to have that German immersion experiance!

  • lemondedemina

    What a nice post! It got me hungry! Haha 🙂

    I live in the UK which is kind of “foreign” to me but I knew English well before coming here so I guess it’s not been that hard. I was in France also for a year and that was definitely harder because of my “level” of French.

    Anyway, good to see you having a good time!

  • Jeanne Johnson

    Great post Emily,
    Katelyn showed me your blog before you left, but this is the first time I’ve looked since. I’m cooling your trail mix cookies (with cranberries instead of raisins and homemade granola since it was the only oats I had) to have for dessert when she’s here tonight. My experiences in other countries have been short with interpreters close by. I see how hard it is in our families trying to adjust to the US from other places.
    Jeanne

  • Katie

    I’m with you! I wake up around 8 and all of my friends keep sleeping in. On the weekends I’ve been awake for like 4 hours by the time my friends get up. I usually use that time running errands and taking a little me time. Gotta admit it’s pretty nice!

  • Geni

    Trail mix cookies sound great for my kids. Thanks for the recipe!

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