I have never been a cookie monster but there are one type I always liked very much for breakfast. You know, that kind of cookie you dip in your hot coffee, Cappuccino or hot chocolate. Even in tea, if you don’t drink caffeine. My cookie is called Gran Cereali. It’s from an Italian brand and I always enjoyed those cookies in the morning. But then: I like dipping as well 😀
I researched the recipe for a homemade version which will never be the exact same than the bought one, but it will be clean, and in my case, gluten-free. I found a very easy recipe on Giallo Zafferano. Perfect to try. And of course I loved them! I made them several times and my breakfast is even more joyful now.
What I like very much is, that they are not sweet at all, they have that crunchy-ness of the cereals, they don’t have eggs and they can be done with olive oil. And they are really easy to prepare.
I use to prepare the cookies the day before I want to have them. This way I am sure they are ready. Then it is always good to make a double batch as they are great also just for a snack or in case it happens and a friend appears on the door unexpected and you have an Espresso together – with a cookie!
In an air-tight container you can store them pretty long, I don’t know how long as mine always finish faster than I think.
Add one by one the wet ingredients and mix all well until it forms a nice humid ball. Transfer the dough into a glass bowl with a lit, close and let it stay for at least one hour in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Now take the cookie dough out of the fridge and roll it out until it is around 1 inch thick. Now with a cutter cut out as many rounds you get (I had 20) and put them on a parchment paper on the baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. They should be lightly golden, not dark.
Let them cool a few minutes on the baking tray and then on a cooling rack. They will harden by cooling.
Enjoy for breakfast or any other time!
If you like some chocolate just sprinkle some melted chocolate on the cookies when they are half cool.
With all these lock-downs, or shutdowns which would be more accurate to say, I feel not only physically put apart but also mentally in a certain way. Mentally because my input has to come from what I read in Internet and books. Social distancing is more a social avoiding for me. Not to drive wherever I want, not museum, no shops, no events, it all is a restriction of input. And it has nothing to do with having or not having hobbies, though having helps tremendously. Especially having a blog that is mainly about travels, right now it is more empty. I hardly leave the house and garden, go just for shopping once a week and the rest I read, and read, and read… good old paper books. A few times I visit a friend of mine nearby and her garden is always an inspiration. So it happens that I bring my camera and I click a little around. The result is what follows.
They bring a little brightness in the daily emptiness waiting to have one day far far away again the possibility of some travel input, just nearby, the own region is already enough.
Cooking or baking could be an option, but I can’t overload my friend with my cookery and baking goods all the time. And I don’t feel to do it just for me.
Stay healthy and don’t forget: the virus is something you have to fight, with good health and strong immune-system, don’t run away! You will never win otherwise.
A couple of years ago I lived in a place with a walnut tree. Small but every year the tree gave me a lot of walnuts. So the last year I lived there I made walnut paste. It’s a good way of conservation for nuts. You can’t always eat everything your garden produces in a season and then it is good to can fruits, veggies or nuts. I have this walnut paste now two years, it has seen three different houses. It’s time to use it.
I opened a jar and thought what can I do with it. A cake. Walnut pound sounds interesting. I had a look thru my own recipes, nothing looked appealing. New recipes on the Internet? Neither. I decided to start and then see what comes out.
I peeled apples I had to use as well thinking of how good are apples and nuts together. I always liked the combination of fruit and nuts. In the apple bowl I added the nut paste, vanilla, Rum, thinking an apple walnut crumble is an idea. Then I saw the many eggs, I divided the eggs, added the egg yolks to the apple nut mixture and so slowly I came up with more. In the end I put the mixture in the oven for 40 minutes. 40 minutes of waiting what will that be, will it be a cake? Surprise!
It came out such a tasty and moisture cake. It again showed me how good it is sometimes just to start something without thinking long about. Just do it! See where it goes. Most of the time the out-coming is just hilarious. Trust the world, the universe, the destiny, God, and most of all: trust YOURSELF! You can do it, you are capable. Just don’t think about it too much. Get in action! Not only with a cake!
I think the cake was a great life lesson to me and a good start into the new year. This will be my goal this year: just do it, not thinking long. Go with the flow.
Divide the eggs and beat the egg whites to stiff. Set aside.
Now peel the apples, take out the inner part and cut in medium-small cubes. Put the ghee to melt.
Add to the apples cubes the walnut paste and mix. Add the vanilla, Rum and lemon zest, mix well.
Add the butter, the egg yolks and sugar, mix well.
Weight the flour, add the backing powder and mix. Add the flour mix to the apple mix and stir until all is well combined. Should be a little dry and heavy.
Now add the stiff egg whites and fold them in. In the beginning it is a little difficult and you may think that will never work. But it will incorporate well, don't worry.
Now put the whole mixture into a round cake form, previously greased with some ghee and maybe some flour. Put into the oven and let it bake for around 40 minutes, It should not change color on the top.
The cake is ready when the stick-proof is relative clean. It should be still wet inside, the apples don't have to dry out.
Take out of the oven, let the cake cool on a cooling rack.
When the cake is still a little warm, take it out of the baking form and put the melted chocolate on the top, let it run down on the sides. If you have some decoration put it on the top when the chocolate is still runny.
The the chocolate harden and serve.
The cake is great without anything, but also with homemade ice-cream or some whipped cream (from coconut cream).
I stored the cake on room temperature for 4 days (after that it was finished). In case you prefer a fridge storage, cover the cake, otherwise it will dry out.
What a year has it been? When it started there were the usual plans of travel and I was looking forward to spring and to be outside with a vibrant social life. Then there was news from Wuhan about a virus that kills people and that they shut down the whole city – oh, so far away from us. That would never happen to us. Oops, a month later we were in the very same conditions and should show the world, we are obedient, too. The much more rebellious Western people all stayed home because they had fear to die. Media did a good work. It was the very first time I thought how lucky I am to stay in Germany as it was much less severe than in the country I wanted to be: Italy. Summer was still signed by Covid19, but we had all chances to move at least within Europe. Fall came, the attention got to the US election. And then: how much lock-down for Christmas-time?
It was by far one of the most strange years. It all didn’t effect me too much, I didn’t lost my work, I didn’t lost myself in fear, only everything was a little bit more difficult.
Nonetheless I made the best out of the year. Because of the always-must-wear-a-mask in shops I didn’t go fun-shopping anymore. I lost a bad habit I am not sorry about.
So let’s remember what I have done this year. Here are some of my favourite moments:
Maasholm is a peninsula east to Kappeln south of the border to Denmark. Once a little fishermen’s village today it is an exclusive center for vacation and a nature reserve. In January I visited the place together with a friend.
In February I bought a clay pot for stews but also for making bread. The best bread ever I made in this clay pot. So easy and so perfect. It will be always my favorite.
It’s a long time I wanted to go and see the carpet of crocus in Husum. There was no festival but still the millions of crocus blooming int the castle park. An absolute highlight!
This year in the park in front of the house I own an apartment there were a lot of Greylag geese, and they had goslings. Soooo sweet to see them grow!
A really great experience is the Greater Rhea in the wild. Especially when you are in Northern Germany!
Creating with clay was always something I liked. This June my two friends and I created unexpected beautiful objects in a unique experience with Christel Brumme.
In July I was finally able to go down to Italy to search for a place to stay. And I happened with the SUPER host I could wish, especially in such a crazy and difficult moment. Thank you for everything, Cinzia! I am glad we became friends!
In August I was again in the Arboretum. Every season is a highlight for flower lovers.
In late summer I had a chance to drive around in Abruzzo, what a beautiful region! High mountain range, just 30 km from there a blue sea. High waterfalls, endless forests, steppe, great food and nice people. And a lot of history like the Sistine Chapel in the mountains.
In October I was exploring the depth of the mountains. In the Grotte di Stiffe I found even a waterfall! Spectacular!
When winter came, the bad weather arrived together with another lock-down. Perfect time for reading a lot of books, staying cozy and some recipes like my yummyalice marinate, a great Italian antipasto.
In December I tried a rare Selfie, me baking ginger cookies. A photo for the Christmas Cookie Collection of this year.
2020 is gone and soon a new year will be welcomed. We all hope that 2021 will give us freedom again. ‘Nothing will be the same as before’, I think we should take the chance for a new start!
She was sitting on a wooden bench, slightly freezing, with a cloak around her shoulders. It was scratchy on her skin, but at least it gave a little warmth. In front of her stood a clay cup with steaming tea, she clutched her ice-cold hands around it. The tea made her feel better, running hot down her throat. Her heart still pounding and still totally confused, she asked herself what was going on.
She has taken a bath in the river and when she got out of the water her bike, towel and book were gone and this monk appeared from nowhere. He had talked to her as if he knew her well. And now she was sitting in the kitchen of the St. Fulgentius monastery. Because it couldn’t be any other. The ruins of the monastery she had been to so often in the past. And now a thriving Benedictine monastery?
The door suddenly opened and a rather stout woman shuffled into the kitchen. She had a few clothes over her arm. “Here you are, something to wear. I’d love to know what got into you, but you’ve always been disobedient. ”Adelais blushed, she felt caught. Somehow the woman knew her well.
Adelais got up, stepped out from behind the table, turned around and tried to put on the robe under the cloak. But that didn’t work. She heard a giggle behind her. “What, are you ashamed of me? That would be something new! ”The cloak was taken off her shoulders, the woman took the bundle of fabric from her hand and with a few handles she held it out so that Adelais could slip her arms into it. And then she was dressed in a floor-length linen dress. It was soft, it smelled of lavender, and it suited her perfectly. The sky blue color of it, set off with a bright red-orange borders on the skirt hem and the sleeves, looked great on her. She straightened her dress and wished for a mirror, but doubted that there was such a thing in a monks’ world.
”Come on, put on your apron and help peel the beets. Otherwise I won’t be able to finish the meal for today’s high visitor. ”Adelais grabbed the apron on the table, took the knife and looked around for the beets to be peeled. They were in a wooden bucket on the other side of the table, next to a bowl for the peeled beets.
She peeled the beets quickly and skillfully and a short time later she proudly said: “Done.” “Well, finally, slowly as a toad.” was the answer. Adelais sighed, offended.
The door opened and the monk Mertlin stuck his head in. “Ah, working I see, you are all right, Adelais?” She shook her head and looked at him for help. “Come to the herb garden later, we’ll talk.” She nodded gratefully and continued to stir the soup in the rickety saucepan that hung over an open fireplace.
Hours later, after the sun was already late in the afternoon, she looked for the herb garden.
Brother Mertlin was cutting faded flowers on a rose bush. She stepped behind him, and when he didn’t turn around, she quietly cleared her throat. He spun around, knocking over the basket of dead flowers. “Always this light footedness, with me you could make an exception and make yourself noticeable beforehand!” He scolded jokingly. She smiled slightly blushing and played abashed with her apron.
“Come on, let’s sit in the sun and we’ll try to understand what happened.”
On the bench Adelais stretched out her legs, closed her eyes and told what she remembered. Mertlin listened attentively. At the end of her story, they sat in the sun in silence for a while listening to the hum of bees and the chirping of birds. “You know, I always thought it would be possible to go from one time to another. A legend always has thruth in it. But if that really happened, now we have to find out how you can get back to your time. “After a while Adelais whispered:” Brother Mertlin, how does it come that you know me when I come from a time ahead? ” “You grew up here in the monastery, do you remember?”
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