March 2019: The Cook’n Coach Hits the Streets for Some Good Eats!

OK, well I haven’t quite stopped cooking altogether it’s just that I’m back and we’ve been on the go ever since we’ve returned from the USA. April we’re taking off for a month long road trip. How to eat “sweet” (clean, not sugar) on the streets while traveling in Europe is my new move!

We got home from one rainy country to another safe and sound but then we were off again! It seems like the months of March and April I won’t be doing much cooking. If I do get the chance to cook at home then it will definitely be something from my website. Maybe one of my yummy soups or one of my super grill dinners. At least I know what I’m eating!

I’ve decided that March and April’s posts will be pictures of legal (ok, legal-ish) foods I eat while traveling. I know many of my subscribers travel a bit and this might help when ordering or locating good restaurants. Plus I’ll make sure to share the name of the restaurant and address so if you’re in the area you can stop by!

So let’s begin!
Coming home was wonderful but not to an empty cupboard! Of course, the closest place to find fresh healthy food was our favorite Vietnam place, Saigon Bistro located at Eisenbahnstraße 68A, 67655 Kaiserslautern. I failed to bring my camera but here’s what I ate! Yes, I did eat rice but next time I’ll ask for more veggies. At home, I make my own Tapioca Spring Rolls and  Tom Kha Gai with cauliflower rice. They have changed hands so…was a little different from the original owners.

     

Bright and early Saturday morning we were off to the open market for some fresh goodies. Our favorite organic veggie farmer was there as well as our favorite meat stand Doug’s Farm. I got my fresh chicken for an Italian crockpot dish I’ll post later. And stopped at the Asian store from some coconut cream milk! You never know when you’ll need it. Then Off we went to the Black Forest to check out the Fastnacht events in Wolfach.  If you’ve never been to the Black Forest to share this wonderful century-old tradition in chasing the winter away you have got to go one day. It is so full of culture, history and amazing craftsmanship of masks carved from wood. Truly a must see! The parade of Kaffee Tante (Coffee Aunts) was led by a band of drumming chef’s as they hurried for mid-day coffee. 

While in Wolfach we spent one evening at our favorite restaurant, The Hotel zum Hecht located at Hauptstraße 51, 77709. This unique treasure has been here and in the same family for generations. Lutz’s father frequented this quaint restaurant as a young man and throughout his life. The chef is AMAZING and I strongly recommend reservations. The lighting was low so the pictures do not do justice but the taste, flavors, and presentation are top notch. 

We started with a Cream Lemon Chili Ginger Soup with Fowl.

This was followed by Asparagus Risotto with Fresh Grilled Fish & Shrimp.

Then arrived a Lemon Sorbet with Mint & Vodka.

The main meal was Roasted Local Veal, Pea Puree, Brussel Sprout and Creamed Potatoes, Red Onion Chutney.

Ending with an amazing dessert of Chocolate and Vanilla Panna Cotta/Mousse, Cream Catalan and Orange Salad.

So need I say more? This meal was amazing and at least I avoided gluten…as far as dairy, well don’t get the creamed potatoes or the desserts!

We made a day trip to visit Elli, Lutz’s late cousin’s wife in Bigen. We headed out for a mid-day lunch at one of Elli’s favorite spots, the Zum geschwollenen Herz (The swollen heart). It’s located at: Vorstadt 21 55411 Bingen am Rhein Germany. They do have a website in German and English with amazing prices.

This little local place has been around for centuries. It feels so strange to be eating in an establishment like this. I always wonder who sat in my seat hundreds of years ago? Apparently, it was the local pub where the tanker and ship captains would come to tell their stories. I suggest reservations. The place was packed by 1 pm. My meal was a no brainer and one I LOVE any time and any day. Feldsalad (field salad) with beef stips and potato bacon dressing! Lutz was quick to decide for the deer meat special with potato dumplings or what we call knoedels. Not only was this delicious but the prices were so great for such a large meal! They have daily specials as well.

Oh, let’s go back to the Panna Cotta…
My impressive dinner experience at the Hecht gave me inspiration! I now realized what my purchase of cream of coconut milk was going to become! I could make my own version of Panna Cotta, why not?  So back to the house we came and for a few days, I was off the “streets making my own eats”! This is by far the simplest and most elegant dessert I’ve ever made. It is luscious, creamy with a hint of vanilla bean and a mist of cardamon that invades the last bite as it accents the coconut cream. Top this crazy easy recipe with some berry fruit compote or my Medieval Raspberry Compote and you’ve got a 5-star dessert! Click here or on the picture to get my version of Dairy Free Cardamon Panna Cotta with Berry Compote!

Resources & More
While in the USA lot’s of folks asked me why “I” didn’t eat soy products. I know many folks out there eat it including the vegetarian and vegan communities and have no problems. But I thought that as well until…click here to see what I found out!

Goodbye for now…
I hope you enjoyed this little food tour and are looking forward to my April post as well. It should be filled with locations, pictures, and yummy food. We will be off to Munich, Vienna and then Italy. For the whole month of April, I will have to dodge gluten, soy, and dairy while eating on the streets… it should be interesting. Of course, I’ll pack my stand-by goodies and do some research on local foods and “safe” places to eat. One eating establishment I will visit again in Vienna is the Italian restaurant located around the corner from our hotel. They have gluten free pizza…the best (oops, there goes the dairy)! Until next month, keep on creating every day by cooking something new! Follow me with #streeteats!

February 2019 Cook’n and Camp’n

Things are blooming here! Still hanging out with Johnny and Cash. For those of you new to this site, Johnny is our dependable Chevy Truck and Cash is our RV, well need I say more…CASH! We’ve made it through the holidays and as soon as the grandkids went back to school we headed to our happy place, Borrego Springs.

I believe this is where I left off and will pick it up from there. But first, a little “food for thought”…I love this statement, “food for thought”, but started thinking about what that really means…I found this definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary: “Something worth seriously thinking about or considered.” So here is my food for thought, If the stomach is considered our second brain, am I spending more time nourishing my belly than I am nourishing my brain?

Cute joke but all too true sometimes. It seems like I get myself in such a rut. I tend to walk through life on autopilot or I use an app without thought. So in order to support my last month’s food for thought, “to create unforgettable moments to improve my memory”, I’ve set about doing just that. I’ve been making a concerted effort to feed my brain as well as my stomach.

I’ve also discovered that the only way I usually feed my brain or add new software to my brain is when I am in a situation I’ve never encountered. Therefore, I’m making more mindful choices that place me in new situations. This is why I so respect my alert mom. She has a list of memorable moments…trust me. We tease her constantly and tell her to “put it in your book mom”. She’s “been around the cup and found the handle” as she would say. Still alert, active physically, takes care of her nutrition, health and she is mentally sharp.

My 88-year-old mom has a saying “getting old is only for the tough”. I’m experiencing the truth of this saying on a daily basis. It was great to have her for a whole week. We celebrated her camping spirit by giving her a cane that has it all; an info tag if she gets lost, coin purse, pill box, a horn, and caution card. She’s a great sport!

Here’s what I’m talking about. Both Lutz and I are making ourselves stay in bed until 8 am most days. Ok, well more like 9:30 (teachers don’t try this). During this time we’re meditating, reading challenging books and articles, doing word games (I’m the worst speller in the world ask any of my students), talking to each other about different subjects and desires never shared. PLUS I’m really learning German with the Babble app. It’s pinching my brain!

Another new thing I’ve done to make unforgettable memories and “feed my brain” is to meet new people. I tend to do just fine during the day alone or with Lutz but this trip we’ve stepped out and met new friends and faces. We’ve had them for dinner, gone out for dinner, or played a round of golf with them. I’m challenging myself to have more meaningful conversations with new friends by finding 5 interesting things about each one, remembering their answers and remembering their names!

 

The result has been pretty interesting. We’ve also made a commitment to MOVE each day. So we hike, walk, ride, attend water aerobics (even if Lutz is the only guy in the class) or work out in the gym.

Ok, well over the four day weekend it was a little different, we got to share our slow wake up with my grandkids and played word games with them each morning!

Having my mom and my daughter, Jericho, Albert, Ruby, and Eva join us over the holiday was so great.  We got to watch the Lunar Eclipse together! There were so many telescopes out here during this amazing event! Its a weekend I won’t forget!

Plus we got to hike new trails and see the beauty of the desert together.

If you’re following my “Food for Thought”, I encourage you to check out this article:

Resource & More: The 6-week Plan to Heal your Mind 

This article by Dr. Hyman provides you with REAL SERIOUS “food for thought” to consider. Plus it helps you see the connection between your brain and your stomach. Dr. Hyman has laid it all out in 7 steps to regain your brain!. Check out my resource page for other interesting sites and articles.

This Month’s Recipes:

Here are two DELICIOUS recipes I’d like to share with you. Hope you find time to cook them both. They are crowd pleasers together with your favorite protein or meatless nights. These easy Crispy Smashed Potatoes are the BOMB and so easy. You can make them ahead as well and just heat them up under the broiler!

I know there are a million recipes for Brussel Sprouts but this one gets the prize. Seriously, the tang of the mustard and the crunch of the bacon…ooh-la-la! It’s a party in the mouth for sure!

Enjoy and more to come next month as we wrap up our stay on Coronado Island and head for home!

 

 

Mustard Pumpkin Seed Brussel Sprouts

This was my side dish for our family Christmas dinner this year and since the invention of this amazing side dish, I have decided I’m not going to wait a year to enjoy it again. So easy to make and just the right tang! The pumpkin seeds with cranberries really set the flavor.

 

 

January 2019 Cook’n and Camp’n

 

Ok, I know the “New Year” has already begun but my goal is to improve my memory all year and being more focused by doing unforgettable things. What do you think of that! I’ll start it off by cooking unforgettable meals that will be photographed so the photos can help me recall what I cooked.

Seriously I think we should take this to a new level. Not just cooking but think about your job, or the daily events with family. How can you make each more unforgettable? Put a change in your morning routine, meditate before work, put a note in your child’s lunchpail or leave a sexy message on your partner’s phone. Hey, you don’t like to wear pink…try it out one day!

It’s pretty easy to get in a routine and just stay in it. It’s comfy and dependable. The problem with that is you tend to use less of your brain. I’d suggest doing something that makes you step outside your comfort zone this year. I’m doing it and lordy lordy it is a challenge. I have a daughter and a son that are into social media and both have encouraged me to step this thing up! Ok so…I am. I’m working on some upgrades to my site and with their support will transform my site and myself! You better keep your eyes peeled!

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know where we are and what’s been cook’n.

We arrived in October and settled into our favorite campground near my daughter and family.                                                          I got to see my granddaughters often.  December was a hectic month, shopping, birthdays, Christmas and moving Johnny (our truck) and Cash (our RV) from place to place. We were able to spend Thanksgiving with family in Borrego and take on some pretty cool hikes.      

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we headed to Kauai for ten days. My BFF, Jennifer, from ninth grade and her husband, Steve were there visiting their son and family. It was amazing and such a great island. Great weather for us as well.

  We spent as much time as we could with my family during the holidays and my son was able to make it down from Washington State which made it a very special time for me and my mom.

After Christmas, we took off with my daughter and her family to El Capitan near Santa Barbar to celebrate Ruby’s birthday and to enjoy New Years together. It was a great trip! We visited the Santa Barbara Zoo, an Ostrich Farm and even paid a visit to a Llama Farm. Great weather and wonderful company!

Now we’re back in our “Happy Place”, Borrego Springs and just loving it. So peaceful, quiet and just a different kind of beauty all it’s own!

Our days are filled with hiking, yoga, water aerobics and of course cooking! Here are a couple of super recipes for all you who are experiencing snow and cold!

Amy’s Orange Cinnamon Buns. These little treats are just delicious the aroma will fill your entire house. They’re made with fresh oranges and just the right sweetness. They are delicious on cold and snowy days…or anytime actually! The best part about this recipe is that you can leave out the extra sugar and spices and make the best hamburger buns with this dough.

There’s nothing like a warm slice of bread to go with your homemade soup. I’ve messed with several recipes but tend to use my bread machine and don’t feel too confident with baking my bread in the oven. It’s hard to get gluten-free bread to rise but this Oven Baked Grain Free Century Bread was a no brainer and came out just as good. It is one bread recipe that I can make on the boat or in my RV and comes out great. I hope you try it!

Resources & More

Nutritionfact.org brings me pure joy. Dr. Michael Greger is bright, intelligent and presents his finding in a hilarious manner which keeps me entrenched in his short audio discussions. His audios presentations are shared in easy terms and clear facts. Read on for more…

November 2018 Cook’n & Camp’n

Back in the USA!

I think I’m getting too old for all this moving about! The thing that keeps me going is my grandkids and spending time with them. This year I missed Eva’s birthday but I brought her gift with me from one of the castles we visited while cruising the canals in NL. A crown and coloring cape was a hit for both girls!

We were lucky enough to make it to the USA for Holloween. We spent time with my mom, the “artistic Greatgrandma” making masks and creating a very unique pumpkin. Each of us drew a feature and Opa cut it out!

Halloween costumes were very unique as well!  Of course, it takes a wizard (my daughter) to manage these two beauties!

We are so grateful that Ruby attends one of the most amazing schools in San Diego, Albert Einstein. Eva will be attending next year. This school is a German immersion school and I have to say she is far surpassing me in this challenging language. Opa and Oma were fortunate enough to attend her Saint Martins parade and program. Eva knew most of the songs as well and did a super job with her lantern! Thanks, Opa for the cool German dresses!

What would fall be without a trip to the pumpkin patch!

Luck was on our side this camping trip. We were able to secure our favorite campsite at Admiral Baker. It’s the perfect spot for entertaining grandkids and family.

Of course, it’s Eva’s turn for bike lessons and Opa volunteered for the challenge. He figures one more week and she will be on her own!

It’s great to have readers in the family and both Eva and Ruby enjoy hearing a German story from Opa (well some of us stayed awake for the reading). Occasionally Eva gets to hear a story from Ruby now and then!

      

Lutz and I are doing what we love most, exploring the beach by bike and on foot!

      

My mom is still going strong at 88 and we brought her along to do some painting while we raced to walk the beach before high tide.

Of course, I’ve been cook’n and serving up some yummy dishes for Lutz and  and my family.

While I’m here enjoying the sun and barbeque days I think of all my friends and family in Germany bundling up and digging out their soup recipes! So this month I’m sharing two recipes, one for the grill and one for all those needing a warm bowl of soup! Check them out and let me know how you enjoyed them!

Bacon & Zucchini Wrapped Chicken Kabobs

Sambal Oelek Asian Soup

Resources & More: The People’s Pharmacy

This site is amazing and such a great find for those interested in home remedies and traditional options for healing. Great research on new medications and alternative options. It’s great for exploring the pros and the cons of new treatments for everyday medical challenges.

 

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