Monday, June 30, 2008

Cherry Sheet Cake

My daughter amazes me. Her interests and talents are very different from mine. Cooking and baking is one of those things. She loves being in the kitchen, mixing food, preparing it and then cleaning the dishes, mopping the floor. And I don't. But I am willing to try and so, after all the cherry picking and talking about cherry pies, I went on the internet and found a Martha Stewart receipe that we surely are able to master:

Martha Stewart's Cherry Sheet Cake

Ingredients: 2 sticks unsalted butter
                       2 cups all-purpose flour
                       2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
                       1/4 teaspoon salt
                       1 cup sugar
                       3 large eggs
                       1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                       1 pound frozen cherries (we will take fresh ones!)
                       Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet, line bottom with waxed paper. Butter paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined (batter will be as thick as cookie dough).
Spread batter evenly on prepared baking sheet; scatter cherries over the top. Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Invert onto a wire rack; reinvert onto another rack to cool completely (top side up).
To serve, cut cake into triangles with a serrated knife. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.  

Friday, June 27, 2008

A picture for Aunt Marie

I love travelling. I love seeing new places. I like living in different places. 

But all that mobility means missing out on people dear to us. Somebody is always living on the other end of the world. And I can't just drop in on them. 

I guess, that is what this blog is for...they can drop in on us.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Roses II

"Charleston Doorway" by Anthony Thieme

A few years ago I stumbled upon a little museum in Augusta, Georgia, called the Morris Museum of Art. I had some time to myself, I like art museums and it was a very, very hot summer day - it was a perfect fit.

I didn't expect very much; Augusta isn't really known for its museums and galleries, but I was in for a surprise! It is a smaller museum, dedicated to art from the South. I spent hours there and when at last I ended up in the museum shop I purchased the poster, pictured on top. I had it framed and it has had a special place in every apartment we have lived since.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I am very fond of this white picket fence. I try to walk past it as often as possible. It goes on, what seems like forever - and so do the pink roses. I tried to take another picture so I could capture its lenght but Bella told me to hurry up, she was already embarrassed enough.   

I really like "our" city in summer. I get kind of annoyed with it in November, January and February when it is dreary and cold. But come spring I am happy to live here again. The summers are just beautiful. The gardens are in full bloom and you will have to look hard to find one without at least one rosebush. Now in June, most of those bushes are heavy with rose blossoms. 

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Afternoon

"Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon...the two most beautiful words in the English language."
Henry James

Friday, June 20, 2008

Nik, Paul and a bowl of vanilla pudding

Nik and Paul Stanley

Nik and Tommy Thayer 

I know that husband and Nik loved hanging out with the band...I love seeing my son so happy. Doesn't he have the greatest smile?

Oh... those pics where taken by my desperate husband with his cell phone. He does need his own camera! 

KISS or why we need a second camera

So...ten girls and the "fairy" godmother and I are hopping around the forest looking for dwarfs, while my husband, my son and two VIP passes are at the KISS concert. I get a frantic phone call about every 10 minutes with updates from the concert hall and they all sound like this : "We just saw Paul Stanley and we don't have a camera!!!", "we just spoke to the KISS crew and couldn't take any pictures because we don't have a camera!!!", "we need the camera!". 

I had the camera since I had to take pictures of the birthday party. Birthday party is more important than KISS or is it? 

Daughter and I felt so bad that after the last party guest had left we drove to the concert hall, talked our way into the hall, walked past thousands and thousands of diehard KISS fans, handed the camera to a security guy and walked back out. Husband and son couldn't get the camera themselves since they had the best spot in the building, right in front of the stage and they were not about to let go of that spot.

We made our way back to the car and did notice everybody staring at us. Only then did I realize that Daughter was still wearing her red scarf with white dots and I wasn't really wearing KISS clothes either... 

Husband and son have been walking on a KISS cloud ever since. Paul Stanley signed husband's Iceman (a Paul Stanley designed guitar) and even taped guitar picks on the side, just like he does with the guitar he plays in concert. Needless to say, nobody can touch the guitar anymore. We can just admire it from afar. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Ten Dwarfs

Daughter was celebrating her birthday with 9 friends yesterday. We had a "Gnome" party along with a treasure hunt. Looking for clues and trying to catch a glimpse of the dwarf, we ran around the forest for almost two hours. Thankfully Daughter's godmother was "partying" with us, there is no way I could done it by myself.

I had matching scalves made for every girl, they looked very cute and seemed to liked them a lot; most of them wore them to school today.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Road not Taken

The Old First Church, Bennington, Vermont

"Walloomsac Inn", I believe it was the first inn in Vermont

To me one of the most beautiful places is New England. Regulary I get "homesick" for that area (I only lived there for 3 years but that kind of qualifies me as a local and thus I can get homesick!) and lately I have been wanting to just hop on a plane to Boston and drive around Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire and Maine. It probably also has something to do with a friend of mine who is doing exactly that at the moment.  

One place that always puts me in a happy mood is Bennington, Vermont. The moment I drive around the corner and see the Walloomsac Inn and then the "Old First Church" I am amazed by that little town. The cemetery and Robert Frost's grave, the Bennington Monument, the covered bridges, the little country stores...

A few years ago my mother-in-law and I wandered into a little store that sold wine from their own winery, "the North River Winery". They had samples, they were delicious and we ended up buying a few bottles. Most of their wines are made out of apples and have such great names like "Vermont Pear", "Blueberry Apple" or "Vermont Harvest" (the last one being the most delicious one, made out of apples, cinnamon and Vermont maple syrup.) 

Of course, shortly after we moved, a great organisation called "the friends of Robert Frost" opened the "Robert Frost Stone House Museum" for the public. The poet has lived there for many years and written a lot of his poems there. Nowadays, they have events called "Sunday Afternoon with Robert Frost". How I would like to attend!

They also had a "apple tree sale" a few months ago. I guess, you can buy a little apple tree that was cultivated from Frost's trees and grow your own "Robert Frost-Apples". (And then you could make wine out of them, add cinnamon and maple syrup and never miss "Vermont Harvest" wine again!!!)


Monday, June 16, 2008

Julie Mehretu, Williams College Museum of Art and why am I not there?

"Immanence" by Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu, one of my favourite modern artists has an exhibit at one of my favourite art museums, the "Williams College Museum of Art". And I am not anywhere near it. 


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Dear Opa,
just in case you are reading this today...Happy Father's Day!!!! We prepared a bowl of ice- cream for you and took a picture of it.
Then we had to eat it ourselves. Hope you have a wonderful day,
Hugs, from all of us!

A Dancing Cat

Here are pictures of the Dancing Cat. Non were taken during the recital since I was busy watching and clapping.  

Friday, June 13, 2008

Vote for a Lighthouse!

Plum Island Station Lighthouse, Wisconsin (I even like the name!)

Ever since we were able to stay at a lighthouse for a few days I am very fond of them. Here you can vote for one to be restored. The one in Wisconsin especially looks like it is in desperate need of some attention and care. But really, they all deserve new doors, windows and a lot of paint!   

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Mouse? A Cat? A Rabbit?

We are very busy these days. Daughter is participating in a Ballett Show this weekend. She will be a dancing mouse/cat/rabbit. We are not sure yet which, considering I have to make the costume. However there is a lot of practising and hopping like a mouse/cat/rabbit in our house. This show is obviously something that has to be taken very seriously...we even had to make ticket reservations!   

Saturday, June 7, 2008


It is cold and rainy, not at all how a June day should be. Daughter is lying in bed sick, with a fever, eating chicken soup. She wants me, however, to show this picture "to everybody". We discoved these mushrooms on her way to school a few days ago and she was so fascinated by them that she almost didn't make it to school on time.
I read J.K. Rowling's commencement address at Harvard yesterday. Sadly, I can't remember what was said when I graduated, but I would remember this.     

Friday, June 6, 2008

Baked Stuffed Red Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes, Feta and Thyme

On July, 28th 2007 Nik decided to cook and picked the receipe "Baked Stuffed Red Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes, Feta and Thyme" out of a Martha Stewart Living Magazine. He has cooked it regulary every since. He asked me to put it in the blog so when he visits his grandparents this summer he can cook it for them.

You need: 2 small red bell peppers, halved lengthwise through stem, seeds and ribs removed, 1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes, 1 1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled, 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme, 8 basil leaves, torn into pieces, freshly ground pepper, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit, with rack in top third. Place bell pepper halves, cut sides up, in a baking dish. Toss together tomatoes, feta, thyme, and basil in a medium bowl; season with black pepper. Fill each pepper with tomato and feta mixture, dividing evenly. Dizzle each with oil.
Bake stuffed peppers, covered with aluminum foil, until they begin to soften, about 30 minutes. Remove foil; continue to bake until tomatoes begin to burst and cheese turns light brown, 13 - 15 minutes more. Remove stuffed peppers from oven, and serve warm.  

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Well, it looks like we are moving. It is an apartment, just around the corner but very different from what we live in now. For one, it is smaller, a lot smaller and it is under the roof. But it also has a beautiful view, we love the neighborhood and it fits to us! It is a very cosy, cute loft! In which our furniture won't fit... the good news is that I get to pick new stuff!!! We have 3 months to get ready, but I have already found the perfect couch! (The day I was walking around Cologne, wishing I could attend the Bon Jovi concert, I came upon the most perfect store...) And finally, I have a good reason to drive to Munich and check out "the Livingroom". I could have some tea and scones first, some homemade cucumber salad next and then shop! I will probably have to rent a van. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Green, Greener, Greenest

Along the Neckar River, Nik, his buddy and Bella

A couple of weeks ago we went on a Sunday morning walk. It was one of those spring mornings when the grass is the perfect green, the sun is shining and you know that summer is just around the corner. I will try to remember those days come November and February when grey is the only color I will be seeing outside.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Richie Sambora

Nik, seconds before Richie Sambora handed him a guitar pick

11pm on a school night

One day last week, while I was in Cologne, my husband and a friend of his went to see Bon Jovi in concert. Somehow he not only got more tickets but "Side Stage Experience" wrist bands (which allow you to stand right next to the band while they are playing a few songs) and VIP passes. He had access to all areas and got to meet a lot of very nice, very interesting people. Up until now, I was the big Bon Jovi fan, but that has changed!!! I still can't believe that while I was sitting in a boring hotel room, husband, Nik and our friends were dancing next to Richie Sambora...