Bonjour Paris

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I swear I have no idea how it’s been over a month since the last entry! Time flies when all you do is work and uni work and studying and more work (and trying to figure out summer plans).

I apologise. I’ll try to do better but June will still be an incredibly busy month for me uni wise. Summer plans are in the making and it’s looking to be a great and exciting summer.

But for now, let me tell you about how I got up at 3.30 this morning to catch a flight to Paris with my parents and grandparents.

I’ve been to Paris twice before and I only had good memories and experiences. So far it’s been great this time as well. The weather could have been a tad better (rain, rain and more rain) but overall it could also have been a lot worse.Paris is always charming. The boulevards, the passages, the food and drinks and the general atmosphere. I often forget just how much I enjoy being in this city.We’ve rented a quaint apartment. It’s three storeys but still kind of small. The window in my room leads to a rooftop terrace and I couldn’t be more in love. It’s kinda perfect. We’re getting breakfast from the Boulangerie across the street, bought some essential food items and enjoy our evenings sipping wine and cidre on the terrace (even more so once the weather is a tad better).It’s the perfect break from all the uni stress the past few days and I cannot wait for tomorrow to explore more.Bonjour, Paris.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset IMG_6400Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset
/ Hot chocolate literally came as melted chocolate with hot milk extra. Best one yet.
/ “Trapped” at a café waiting (in vain) for the rain to stop. After having the most expensive cappuccino yet (6,60€!) we caved and invested in some umbrellas.
/ View from our rooftop terrace. So charming.You can follow me along and see more pictures on my Instagram account.

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Rhubarb-Strawberry-Apple Pie

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Rhubarb is back in season, and if you can remember from last year, I go absolutely crazy whenever rhubarb hits the markets.

It’s not a joke, it’s something I take very seriously! I love it. It’s just so easy to make and I love the crisp and sour taste!

Last year I made Rhubarb – Curd Cheese Cake and Rhubarb – Curd Cheese Tartlets. I was tempted to just go back and repeat these recipes because I couldn’t really find anything that tickled my fancy but then I stopped and thought “well, why not do your own thing?”

Why indeed?

Among my friends and family I’m mostly known for three things and ironically I haven’t posted either of those recipes here yet.
As it is I’m known for my Chocolate-Coffee Cake, my Chocolate – Banana Bread and my Apple Pie.

Then I started thinking – I could make that Apple Pie and just switch apples for rhubarb. And yes, it really was that easy. Kind of.
I had to tweak it a bit as I went but if you’re like me and enjoy the hands on cooking more than the fussy weighing of the exact amount of grams, then let’s get started, shall we?

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Ingredients

400g flour
40g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
200g butter (unsalted at room temperature)
1 tbsp vinegar

1kg rhubarb
400g strawberries
1 apple
200ml strawberry juice*
50ml maple sirup (honey works just as well)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp rum
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

* I used strawberry juice but rhubarb leaves more juice than apples so I ended up having a lot of liquid in my fruit mixture which I had to drain out again. So you can either forgo the strawberry juice (as well as the lemon juice as rhubarb is already very sour) or you can just put it in and then drain the excess liquid before you put the fruit on the dough.

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What to do

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

For the dough you mix together the flour, 25g sugar, salt, 175g butter (room temperature and cut in small pieces), vinegar and 9 tbsp cold water until you have a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into two pieces, wrap in foil and let it chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Wash, clean and cut the rhubarb and apple into small pieces. Don’t worry if they’re a bit bigger as it will cook and soften anyway. Add the strawberry juice, lemon juice, maple sirup (I usually always use honey instead), cinnamon and rum and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Wash and cut the strawberries and add them to the mixture. If you think this isn’t sweet enough you can add some (brown) sugar or more honey if you want to.
In a separate cup put together the cornstarch with 3 tbsp cold water and stir it until it dissolves. Add this to the fruit mixture and let it cook for another minute or so. Leave the mixture to cool.
If you have used the juice (or even if you haven’t) and the whole mix seems very runny, try to get rid off the excess liquid by draining it.

Grease a form with the remaining butter. Roll the dough until it fits the form, put it in and then prick the bottom with a fork.
Put the fruit mixture in the form. Roll the remaining dough and cut into stripes so you can braid it on top of the fruit.
Mix the egg yolk with the milk and brush it on top of the dough.

Bake for around 60 minutes.
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A couple of days later I basically made the same thing but without the strawberries. I also tried my hand at braiding the crust around the form. With the leftover dough I made some rustic tartlets filled only with rhubarb (cooked with honey, rum and cinnamon – basically that’s all you need!).
It really is easy and such a fun and creative way to try new things.

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Oh, Prague


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A trip to Prague has been months in the planning and always got postponed. I was busy with University. Christmas madness was taking up all my time. The weather in February just really isn’t all that great. I guess you can see where this is heading…

A couple of weeks ago I sat down with a friend over breakfast, switched on our laptops and started getting down to business. Within half an hour we had our bus tickets booked and found a great hostel for two nights situated smack in the city centre.
That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

A four-hour bus drive (return tickets) and two nights in this great hostel (breakfast included!) added up to less than 100€ per person. Isn’t Europe great? Don’t you just love it?

A four-hour bus drive takes you in a completely different city, with different customs, traditions, language and history. I’m prone to taking it for granted but isn’t it the most mind-blowing thing?
In the case of Prague I found myself constantly comparing it to Vienna. And to a certain extent the cities really are incredibly similar as they have shared quite some time in the same empire. The local food was very similar to dishes that we consider “local” here as well as the food I ate in Budapest – again, a reminder of how long and interwoven the history of these countries are.

Prague itself is a stunning place. I cannot say this often enough. The old town has been virtually left undestroyed by war of the communist era, houses are not run down but beautifully restored and preserved and people speak – at least that was my impression – sufficient to really good English. I also realised that I love listening to Czech.

The weather has been great the weeks leading up to our three-day stay in Prague but the second we were on the bus it was cold, rainy, windy and all around awful. (Our first stop was to a local H&M to buy a thicker sweater, I kid you not! Don’t let the pictures that follow fool you, it really was awfully cold!)

Three days in Prague were a good amount of time to spend there. Though, we were already struggling to find things to do on our last day it was still nice not having to stress about all the sights we still had to see and be able to leisurely walk from café to café all day.

Here some observations I made during those three days:

Petrin hill is great for spring (and probably also summer) walks.

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Going up to the clock tower really isn’t strenuous at all (no steps and even an elevator !) and the view over the city is spectacular!

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I’m not sure if this is due to my complete lack of orientation or if the Czech street signs are out to get me but I constantly got lost. I swear. We got lost all the time. I love it because it often gives you the chance to discover places you otherwise wouldn’t but after three days of walking huge detours my feet started protesting.

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Czech love their beer.

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Café Savoy is a Viennese-style café and the savoy cake is absolutely mouth-watering.

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Prague has a multitude of cafés and restaurants. From french bistro’s to typically czech pubs, it’s all there and you definitely won’t go hungry in Prague.

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You don’t necessarily need to buy tickets to get a good impression of Prague Castle. Most of the sights are open for the public and you only need the ticket if you want to go to the back of the church or further in the chapel. In fact, had we known this before, we probably wouldn’t have bought the tickets.
The change of the guards at 12pm is a more elaborate spectacle with modern fanfare and quite a tourist attraction. We watched around half of it and then snuck away to buy the tickets because we thought we’d be able to avoid a long queue. We were right and it was a great decision!

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Prague has a jewish part of town which used to be the jewish ghetto. Today you can visit these synagogues as well as the old jewish cemetery. Some of the synagogues are a memorial for the jews killed during the holocaust and very beautifully renovated.

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In the middle of the Old Town Square was a huge Easter Market with a lot of traditional as well as international snacks. Get a “Trdelnik”, it’s super tasty (again, this is also something they sell in Hungary!).

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Prague is definitely one of the most stunning and maybe even underrated cities I’ve been to, so far. It’s been a lot of fun, until next time, I’m sure.
These pictures can all also be found on my Instagram. I constantly post on there, it’s an obsession. So come say hi?

The Blog Wander

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I mentioned yesterday that I joined The Blog Wander, a network of like-minded young women who are brave enough to do what others told them they could not, or should not.
It is a fun, very inspiring project and I am thrilled to be a part of it!
You can head over and check out my introductory post. I will be posting there about once a month so a second blogpost will be up some time in April.
Fear not, regular posts will of course be up here as well :)

 

(The picture above is mine but the quote-edit has been done by The Blog Wander.)

Lately

I haven’t had one of these in a while again so here we go.

Life is pretty amazing right now. Uni-wise I’ve accomplished all I wanted last semester and this semester is off to a very enthusiastic start as well.
I’m taking a French class, which, for the first time in a long while, I seem to enjoy immensely. I’m still discovering new cafés and restaurants in Vienna every day and the weather has been warm and perfectly spring-appropriate the past two weeks.
There are summer plans in the making and while nothing is concrete yet, all of the possibilities excite me so much, I cannot even tell you.

Starting tomorrow I will also be a regular contributor over at The Blogwander. It’s a lovely network for like-minded young women who chase dreams and adventures, who dare to do what others have told them they could not, and who make mistakes and learn along the way. Just like me. I could not be happier for the warm welcome I have received so far and cannot wait to get started over there!

The past few weeks have been filled with tears (which happens when your pony decides to unhinge a door with his bridle), laughter, some drinks, good food, impromptu dance sessions through my room (Ray LaMontagne has been on repeat for weeks now!) and long walks through the forests and meadows around my town. Seasonal food is growing in the woods and we’re reveling in all the ways it can be used. The good life.

It’s been an incredible start in the new year so far and more exciting things are to come (Prague! Paris!).

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As always, you can follow my adventures on Instagram. Come and say hi. I really am incredibly chatty ;-)