Where are we?: Germany
countries Visited: 9
Days on the Road: 111

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Speed of Time

It seems that as the days tick down, they seem to be going faster. I cant believe that we are leaving in just a month and 5 days. It seems kind of surreal. This European Adventure has been talk for about 5 years...pretty much since the first week Sarah and I met we had a plan to end up in Europe, and now Its happening. In a month...we will be boarding our plane to Madrid with 5 months of adventure in front of us!

 Ive got everything ready and pretty much packed...yes i am an early/excited packer...if i could have i would have packed like 6 months ago...haha. I've got a list of suggestions from people who have been to specific spots that we must check out, power adapters, socks, undies and my backpack! My language lessons (coffee break Spanish pod casts) are well underway and i figure what ever else i need i will figure out when we get there :) Besides that's how we travel best...with no plan :)

Hope everyone is having an awesome week! I am run down with a chest cold, but still hopped up on goofballs and excitement!

take care readers! Until tomorrow!

Let us know your favorite spots in Europe, and things you brought with you that you couldn't live with out, in the comments bellow :)

Love Kristen

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Soup

So I have had this pumpkin since Halloween...still in perfectly pumpkiny condition, we just never got around to carving it...so we decided to not let it go to waste! I roasted the whole thing and toasted the seeds. The seeds were a wonderful crunchy, salty little bites. The roasted flesh of the pumpkin turned out well also, but I couldn't believe how much of it there was! I made about 5 l of this awesome soup, and I still have 3L of roasted pumpkin in the freezer. Pie and cake soon to come I guess.

I didn't go with the traditional route with the soup using, clove and cinnamon and sweet onions. Instead I tried a more savory approach.

1 onion
3 stalks celery
3 carrots
3L roasted pumpkin
1L chicken stock
1L veggie stock or water
1 clove of garlic
a few dashes each of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce
a handful of sage leafs
and I used bacon as a garnish

basically, sweat your miripoix and add the garlic,  and deglaze with your stock combination. add the rest of the ingredients and let the mix come to a boil. Once boiling, put in a 250 degree oven for about 2 hours and then puree and strain. Garnish with crispy bacon and enjoy :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Go Green Thursday


there is no cool science behind it, no hard facts that I can give you, no scary chemicals involved just simple common sense.

Our world today is filled with escalators, elevators and moving sidewalks. But its just common sense. If you use the stairs not only is it good for your own health, but it stops you from contributing to the electrical horror that these "convenience" products cause.

So today I challenge you...where ever you can take the stairs and you will see in a week the benefits!

Go tone your BUTT with out a gym membership!

xoxox love Kristen

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dolce De Leche Panna Cotta- Recipe Wednesday!

Panna cotta is one of those traditional silky, cooling desserts. Sweet and creamy. But I decided to spice it up a bit! This here is a picture of a dolce de leche panna cotta with a spicy peach and mango salad.

The salad is spicy and then the dolce de leche panna cotta is nice and cooling, so they create an awesome flavor and mouth sensation!

for the panna cotta:

750ml 10% cream
1 vanilla bean scraped
350 ml dolce de leche
4.5 sheets of gelatin

1. bring the cream and vanilla pod up to a simmer
2. add the dolce and stir constantly while its over the heat, remove it from the heat once the dolce is melted completly into the cream and add the gelatin. (make sure to squeeze all the water out of the gelatin sheets)
3. strain the mic through a fine mesh strainer and pour into your desired cups, I find single form flexi molds work best, and let them sit in the fridge for a about 3 hours, or until set.

For the Salad:

1. peel and cube up your peaches and mangos
2. quickly toss them in a pan with 1/2 a cup of sugar, some mango puree and 1/2 a birds eye chili. just until a juice has been created and you can smell the chili.
3. remove the chili and let the salad cool

Plate the two together and you have an awesome balanced, spiced up, traditional desert!

Enjoy guys and let me know what you think in the comments below!


love Kristen!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

LAVENDER CRAZY WEEK 7- Honey Lavender Gelato!

 Honey Lavender Gelato

  I love gelato, which is strange because I was never a huge fan of ice cream. I mean don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for ice cream, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. But gelato...that is a different story! Maybe it’s the creamy texture, or maybe it’s because I thought for years it had less fat. Either way, I decided to try out some Lavender Gelato.
  During my adventures in B.C., I tried some Lavender Lemon Gelato from Harland’s Chocolates, and it was good, but I wanted something sweeter. Since Lavender and honey is a proven match, this is the way I decided to go.
You will need;
2 Cups Cream
2 Cups Whole Milk
½ Cup Sugar
2/3 Cup Honey
2 Egg yolks
2 teaspoons Dried Lavender
  Heat the milk and cream in a sauce pan, add Lavender. Stir often while this heats, don’t bring it quite to a boil, but get it hot. Let stand for 30 minutes to infuse all that good Lavender flavor.
  Strain and clean the pot, then put the milk back in, add the sugar and honey, and stir over the heat until it dissolves.
 Wisk your egg yolks in a boil, now this is the tricky part. Add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, a little at a time while whisking. You want to temper the eggs, but not cook them.
  Next add the tempered eggs to the rest of the mixture, and heat for a little longer. Now chill the mixture, if you’re in a hurry you can use a bowl of ice, place your mixture in a smaller bowl, in the bowl of ice. I had a lot on the go that day, so I simply put it back in the fridge until the next day.
  So once cooled it’s time to make it FROZEN! You can’t just freeze it, or it would be a solid mass. So those of you without a handy Kitchen Aid attachment, you have to do the bowl of ice thing again, and slowly run a spatula around the bowl. A painstaking process to be sure, but if it makes you feel any better, I feel your pain, having lost the piece to my ice cream maker that attaches it to the actual Kitchen Aid. So after 45 minutes of alternating between turning the churn, and turning the bowl to save my poor elbow, my Gelato was slightly frozen, but still pourable. Having learned my lesson the last time I made a frozen dessert (it gets harder as it freezes) I knew that this was where I should stop.
  In the freezer over night, then you are ready for your delicious dessert. Mine turned out smooth and creamy, and very scoop able. Oh and Delicious, did I mention Delicious? Even my cat Lucy enjoyed it. I will defiantly be making this one again!
Xoxo Sarah

Friday, November 2, 2012



Current television commercials would lead you to believe that it is important to clean every surface with an antibacterial...even spray the air around your children's toys, but is the "antibacterial mania" really doing us any good?

Its not only lowering human defenses against germs, but our obsession with the stuff could lead to/breed drug- resistant bug strains. for example: Tufts University did a study with E.coli, and found that the E.coli that survived the antibacterial treatment became resistant to 7 out of 12 strains of antibiotics...are we helping create our own super germs?

Germ phobia isn't just hurting our own defences, its also hurting the earths. Trictosan and Triclocarbon (the two main active anti bacterial ingredients) have been finding their ways into river, streams and lakes. Although companies say T&T are suppose to break down quickly, studies show that about 75% makes it past sewage treatment plants. What is even more disturbing is that alot of municipalities spread sewage sludge on their farm Fields....farm to table or sink to table? Add sun to these chemicals in the water and you get a mild Dioxin....a carcinogenic hormone disruptor.

UK supermarkets banned the substance in 2003...no word yet on where Canada stands on the subject accept that "they are looking into it".

And really why use T&T in the first place, there is no study that proves that it is more affective at reducing household infections then a regular bar of "the soap works" soap.

Hand sanitizer or "adult baby wipes" are a little bit better. They contain alcohol derived from wheat and don't contain T&T, but beware of mainstream brands containing coal tar, artificial perfumes and petroleum.

Science makes this daunting to read, but just stick with your gut and make sure you read the labels. T&T legally have to be in the ingredients listing. So check it out and make the best decision you can!

On a less sanitary note: there are only a few days left to vote for what Toronto restaurant we review next...let us know where you think we should go! top left of this page you will find a poll!

love Kristen