Here we are again, safe and sound back at home

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So, we are back. Back home and back on our feet. We spent 8 days in Wisconsin and I was sick all the time plus the two days before we actually left and since we came back. M got sick a few days after we’d arrived there, just with a cold in the beginning before he came down with too and munchkin he started with a pink eye before he caught a cold too.

Waiting to drop off our luggage, yes, 4 suitcases each between 46 and 47lbs, a car seat, two carry ons (you can see only one) and a stroller… Are we insane? -quite possible

IMG_0140When we thought we were over it, everything started all over again. On the flights from the US to Europe we were just hanging in our seats and sucking it up. Due to the all too dry air we both had sore throats and could barely swallow. We were questioning our sanity. The only bright spot on the horizone: our son. He’s just a trooper. He was in his cheery good mood like usual, totally blown away when he watched the planes taking off and landing in Amsterdam and when we arrived at home, he wasn’t tired at all, but we were.

Observing the planes and sunrise in Amsterdam

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Fortunately the jet lag is gone and our colds or better upper respiratory infections are on their way out of our systems too. We managed this week by just taking one day at a time. The weekend was too short as usual but nice too. We had friends over for waffles on Friday and yesterday we went first carving pumpkins or better M carved a pumpkin, munchkin napped in the stroller for most of the time and I ate cookies and watched the others. (That’s just awesome to watch others work. 8) ) And later we had once more friends coming over to have dinner with us. Today was a slow day, just lounging around not doing really anything important.

M made just a simple scary face, maybe we’re carving another one

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Our friends N and A had put a lot of effort and time in the prepartions for their pumpkin carving party. She’d baked a lot of goodies (cookies, pie, bread, roasted seeds)

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The weather has been blustery with cold and rainy days and then again sunshine and blue sky. Today it was stormy and rainy, so again just another reason for staying inside and watching the trees bending in the wind.

Our winter stroller, the burley equipped with the jogging kit is going to work well in icy and snowy conditions

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Yesterday for dinner we had bacalao with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies and for dessert small chocolate soufflés with white chocolate cream and strawberry sauce. Our friend B had brought a loaf of paleo bread made with coconut flour, olives and herbs and some tapas with her. Oh and a nice bottle of red wine.

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I’ve posted the recipe for the bacalao earlier, but here is the recipe for those small totally innocent chocolate soufflés which are going to blow your guests off their socks.

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Small chocolate soufflés with white chocolate cream and strawberry sauce adapted from Smittenkitchen

White chocolate cream

  • 2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces heavy cream
  • In a saucepot bring the cream to boil, the pour it over the chopped white chocolate and stir until melted.
  • To avoid developing a skin on top of the cream, place a sheet of cling film on top of the surface of the cream.
  • Let cool down before you set it into the refrigerator where it needs to cool thoroughly through for at least 2 hours.
  • Beat the cream until it form soft peaks, refrigerate until you assemble your dessert.

Strawberry sauce

  • 500gr strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • In a saucepan bring your strawberries to boil, ladle a few tablespoons of juice into a cup and let cool down.
  • Add the sugar and vanilla to the strawberries, then purré them with a handmixer. Warm up the strawberry sauce once more again.
  • Mix the cooled juice with the cornstarch and add it to the boiling strawberry sauce. Stir in well and let completely cool down.

Chocolate soufflés

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp coconut sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Start with separating the eggs. Preheat your oven to 175C (350F). Place 9 paper muffin cases in a muffin tray.
  • In a small saucepan on low heat melt the butter with the dark chocolate, stir every now and then and when all the chocolate is melted take it off the stove and let it cool down to hand warm.
  • Beat the egg yolks with 3 tbsp of coconut sugar until their color is pale and they are very thick.
  • Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they form soft round peaks. Add the remaining 3 tbsp of coconut sugar and keep beating until the peaks are firm.
  • Beat the chocolate mixture shortly, add the egg yolk mix and the vanilla extract and beat once more shortly again. Fold the firm egg whites in 3 batches into the chocolate mixture.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cases and bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20min. The top should be nicely rounded and have a dry look. The cake tester should be almost dry, only with a few crumbs when it’s pulled out.
  • Take the cakes out of the oven and let them cool down on a cooling rack. They are going to sink in, but you have the cream. 🙂

Assembling

Place on each plate a small chocolate cake, top it with a couple of teaspoons of your white chocolate cream, place some strawberry sauce around it and rasp some dark chocolate on top the cream. Ready! 🙂

Tonight we were low running low on bread so I prepared a yeast and sourdough free one – an apple pecan bread with baking soda. Easy peasy but delicious.

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Apple pecan bread adapted from bake

  • 200ml rolled oats
  • 500ml all-purpose flour
  • 100ml flax seeds
  • 100ml other seeds (I used 50ml sesame and 50ml sunflower seeds)
  • 100ml pecan nuts, chopped
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 400ml plain yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1 apple, shredded
  • Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Place the rack on the lowest position.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix well.
  • If you use a silicone loaf pan, just pour the dough into the pan and smoothen the surface, if you use a metal one, place parchment paper in it before you pour the dough into it. Smothen the surface.
  • Bake for 1-1.5 hours. Use a cake tester to check if it’s done or not or measure the core temperature. When the thermometer registers 93C, it’s done.
  • Take out of the oven and the pan. Let cool down on a cooling rack.

Halloween is slowly closing in… munchkin has been training to scare people with his spider beanie for a couple of weeks and Ecky just started to train wearing his costume.

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We wish everyone a nice and scary week! Happy Halloweeen!

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