Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Granola

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Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Granola recipe

 

It’s no secret that I am a huge granola lover. If I don’t have granola around (usually a few different batches), I kind of get the feeling that something is missing. I picked up this weird habit after excessively test-baking granola for my food column for the Viennese daily I am working for. It simply is soooo convenient to have a ready-to-eat snack within reach to satisfy cravings. Usually, those cravings emerge when shooting food pictures and when I am not allowed to touch the food in front of my lens. Cause you know, a half-eaten sandwich might not appear that appealing to my dear readers. Well, at least not always.

 

Despite being a quick emergency snack, I love to eat granola on top of plain whole milk yogurt drizzled with maple syrup. If you have not tried this so far, please, go ahead and taste it. It’s dreamy.

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Traditional Linzer Cookies & News

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Linzer cookies Austrian recipe

I am back!!! I didn’t post anything on the blog for quite a while. In fact, there has never been a break that long. BUT, and there always is a but, I had a good reason for this: We moved back to Europe. Yes, we recently moved from Boston to Vienna. After having spent the past 3.5 years in Cambridge, we now live in our new/old city again.

 

If you’ve ever moved within the same city or country, you know what moving means. Basically, a lot of mess. Everywhere. However, moving to a different continent means a hell of a lot more work. We didn’t ship any of our stuff, so we had to squeeze all our really important belongings that we wanted to hold on into 3 suitcases. Doesn’t sound like fun? Well, it’s not… And in addition to all the furniture-selling, job-quitting, farewell-parties, apartment-cleaning we had to organize everything in Vienna (apartment, jobs, …). I am sure you now understand why it was kind of quiet on the blog lately. But now, we’ve settled into our new apartment in Vienna and things start to calm down after all the hustle.

 

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Grain Salad with Kale, Plums and a Crunchy Topping

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Grain Salad with Barley Kale and Plums recipe

This grain salad basically consists of 3 ingredients: barley, kale, and plums. It’s ready in 5 minutes but still, it is the perfect salad for a little freestyle-cooking in your kitchen. In case you don’t have any leftover barley in the fridge but bulgur or rice: Go ahead and substitute. Any cooked grain works well here. Couscous, millet, barley, bulgur, rice … you name it. You are not the biggest fan of kale? Honestly, who is (except me recently…)? Use swiss chard or collard greens instead. Plums are your least favorite fruit ever? No worries, you can substitute any other fall fruit like apples, pears, or even a roasted pumpkin (<– this actually does taste great). Dried cranberries make a great addition too.

 

Ok, now that I have told you how to make a totally different salad by substituting everything, I am asking you: Please, try this super delicious grain-kale-plum salad first and, in case you don’t love it, go ahead and substitute your favorite ingredients.

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Insanely Purple Smoothie

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Vibrant Purple Smoothie Recipe

Apparently, summer is back in Boston. It’s the end of September and currently it’s 85 degrees °F (29°C) outside. Yay! I am one of these people who deny that fall is on its way because you know what’s coming next. Winter boots and big heavy jackets. So no, no, no. I am definitely a summer person, with late summer being my favorite season. The nights are nice and chilly already yet the days are still lovely and warm. In addition, there is plenty of fruits and veggies in season in September. Late strawberries (the second harvest), plums, blackberries, and yes: blueberries. I am a huge fan of blueberries and I love them even more when they turn your regular smoothie into a colorful miracle.

 

This smoothie is bright purple and vibrant in color, using natural ingredients only. With that, I mean no added berry powder and whatsoever. Just fruits.

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Quick Zucchini Pickles

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My favorite recipe for Quick Pickled Zucchini

What to do with all of those zucchini? Right now, a lot of people who are lucky enough to call a garden their own, are asking themselves this question. Late summer is zucchini time. And as you might know, zucchinis can turn out quite large.

The best Zucchini Pickles Recipe

A week ago, I visited my family in Austria. My mom would harvest one large zucchini almost every day from our garden, asking herself the same question. She gave away a lot of them to neighbors and friends but still … there were enough zucchini left. Therefore, her daughter (aka me) jumped in suggesting to make some quick zucchini pickles. I’ve made them before, adapting a recipe that I’ve found on Food52 , which turned out great. A cold brine prior to pickling gives these zucchini pickles a saturated flavor and crisp texture, which I particularly enjoy. I reduced the amount of sugar quite a lot though.

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Viennese Iced Coffee – Wiener Eiskaffee

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Authentic Viennese Iced Coffee with Ice Cream Recipe

Hands down, this is the best iced coffee drink you’ll ever have. It combines ice cream and coffee – do I have to talk it up any further? Well, I don’t think so – but I’ll do so anyways.
If you are strolling through the streets of (Li’l) Vienna, you will notice the cute little traditional cafés all over town. I am not talking about chains here. I am talking about coffee houses that have been around for hundreds of years. During summer time, most of them will serve only one kind of cold coffee, which is called original Viennese Iced Coffee. Wiener Eiskaffee, in German. At most of these places, you will simply not find things like a cold brew or a regular iced coffee (the one with cold coffee and ice cubes). They simply don’t offer this stuff so your only chance will be to go for a Viennese iced coffee. And, since people of (Li’l) Vienna have great taste, you’ll not regret trying this treat.

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Linzer Torte with Strawberries

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Linzer Torte with Strawberries Recipe

Yummmmmm! Growing up half an hour from the city of Linz, I can’t understand why I neglected this traditional Austrian torte for such a long time. Being Austrian, I should be a connoisseur of amazing pastries – especially if we are talking about one of Austria’s signature dishes that is known around the globe. Shame on me! Shame on me even more with Linz being the closest city around until I moved out of my parent’s house.

I mean, this torte is a pure pleasure to eat. David and I managed to eat the Strawberry Linzer torte in the picture within two days, just the two of us. And no, I didn’t use a tiny cake pan. It’s a regular one ;-)

Strawberry Linzer Torte Recipe
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Tabbouleh – My Favorite Potluck Salad

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Classic Tabouli Recipe

If you’re invited to a potluck or picnic, what do you bring? I usually sign up for dessert, and bring my genius 2-ingredient chocolate mousse, which is particularly great during the colder months. It’s easy to make and everybody looooooved it so far.

 

However, during the hotter summer months, I do prefer a dish that is made to sit around in hot climate and doesn’t change much taste- or texture-wise. So, I am going the grain salad route and make tabbouleh (a.k.a. tabouli). It simply is a great addition to every BBQ, potluck, or picnic.

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Mango Pineapple Smoothie Bowl

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Refreshing Mango Pineapple Smoothie Bowl

Today, we hit a new record. The thermometer shows 95°F (35°C) degrees in the apartment! Since we live in an apartment directly below the roof and without AC, the current heat wave here in Boston converts our place into a sauna. The good thing is: I can do hot yoga for free now ;-)

Pineapple Mango Smoothie Bowl Recipe

For cooling down somehow, I am feeding myself with these delicious pastel yellow smoothie bowls. They are super creamy and the pineapple and yogurt add a nice tang. If you don’t like bananas in smoothies, you can simply omit it. I’ve tried this bowl without banana and it’s equally delicious, yet a hint less sweet. If you prefer your smoothies on the sweeter side, you can swap freshy squeezed orange juice for water.
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Green Spring Tacos with Curried Chickpeas

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Green Spring Tacos with Curried Chickpeas Recipe

These tacos are simply amazing. They are not only colorful and delicious but also come together in a few minutes. They are a fusion of Mexican, Indian and Austrian flavors: I top small wheat tortillas with green hummus, fresh baby spinach leaves, cabbage slices and radishes. The Indian element, the curried chickpeas, are ready within 2 minutes if you are using canned chickpeas, as I do and recommend. Last but not least: A very simple Austrian-style salsa, made of plain yogurt, pumpkin seed oil (yaaaay!) and a pinch of salt.

Green Spring Tacos with Curried Chickpeas

If you don’t have pumpkin seed oil on hand, which I get because it’s a very Austrian thing, simply omit the pumpkin seed salsa. You will miss out on an extremely addictive salsa, but hey, not every supermarket is selling it. And you still have a lime wedge to drizzle some lime juice on top. Yum!
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Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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Simple vegan Strawberry Banana Smoothie Recipe

It’s no surprise that I am a huge fan of strawberry smoothies. Honestly, who isn’t. This is my go-to recipe if I am craving something sweet but don’t want to go down the chocolate route. This naturally sweet 3-ingredient strawberry banana smoothie is simply amazing. It’s so tasty, fruity, creamy, and sweet that you wouldn’t believe it’s sugar-free.

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