Recipe: Rustic bratwurst hot dog NY style

Here’s another fast and furious but delicious recipe that is hubby tried and approved. If you are similar to me and hate those floppy, flavourless buns and are not too keen on that plain sausage either, then this version might change your mind on hot dogs.

What you need for 2 people:

for the sautéd onions:

  • slice 2 onions and sauté them with some olive oil – don’t fry them, they should be still be soft
  • add 1/4 of a teaspoon cinnemon and chili powder each
  • add a pinch of cayenne pepper and stir everything shortly – don’t stir too long or the chili will get bitter
  • add about 2 – 2 1/2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • add some water and stir everything so that the onions are well covered with the sauce (beware not to add too much water – about 100ml should be more than enough)
  • set the onions aside for the moment and clean the pan

Assembly:

  • brown 2 bratwurst
  • slice open 2 whole wheat buns
  • put in some pickled cabbage – fill the buns half way leaving some space for the rest of the incrediences
  • add one bratwurst to each bun
  • drap the onions over the bratwurst
  • add some sweet mustard

Now the only thing you need to figure out is how you get this really big hot dog into your mouth 😛 Enjoy!

Things to do in Vienna: SherLockd

Welcome to my new blog category “Things to do in Vienna” where I would like to introduce places to go and other stuff to do in my hometown Vienna.

Last Saturday we have been invited by our friends to one of the escape room games that are currently sprouting all around the city. We picked SherLockd as my hubby loves Sherlock Holmes and also because it has a lot of good reviews.

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Location:

The game is located in the 14th district pretty close to the subway station Hütteldorfer Strasse. Therefore it is easily reachable with the orange line U3. The rooms are build into the cellar of one of the residential houses and you actually have to know what you are looking for or you just walk by. But as soon as you enter you step into the world of Sherlock Holmes and are greeted by the correct detective equipment.

Introduction:

We received a great introduction on what is allowed and what not (like picking up or drinking the room fragrance ;)). As well we were shown the different types of locks so that we would not need to figure out how they were supposed to work during the short period. We were confident that with the intro we received, we would make it for sure.

Game:

We picked Holmes I where Watson receives a message from Holmes writing that he has set up a bunch of riddles so that Watson is not bored during his absence. So poor Watson is all on his own in a room and needs to escape in 1 hour.  Easy you would think? Think twice! The beginning was pretty straight forward but the puzzles got more challenging. I was really surprise on the amount of different puzzle types that make up the whole game: Cryptographic algorithms, combination puzzles, puzzles using UV light or hot water, puzzles you could figure out on your own and those you need two or more at the same time, puzzle where you need finesse and some you could plunder into, … We really had a lot of fun trying to figure it all out and our brains were on fire.

Overall summary:

If you are in Vienna with some friends or family members and have one hour to spare than go for it! Book a slot at SherLockd and maybe, just maybe you are able to escape! We made it to 75% (sadly due to the fact that one lock was hard to open and we wasted way to much time on it) but we will definitely be back for another run with another challenge.

January Recap

 Well, February has started so it’s time to look back at January and the goals I have set myself for 2019:

1 big tatting project finished – 0/1

Nope, nothing there so far – have not even thought about the design yet.

2 quilting projects finished – 0/2

Nothing here either. I didn’t even take them out to have a look. I guess I might pick up the table set in February so that they are ready when the warm weather hopefully kicks in soon. I would love to eat breakfast on my balcony using those but it’s still freezing cold, so no pressure 😂

3 sewing projects finished – 0/3

Now it gets embarrassing – nothing there either. At least I cleaned the sewing table and have distributed almost all Christmas presents that have been cluttering up the table. I still need to deliver the final one but my hubby’s stepmother was always busy, so I just had no chance to hand it to her.

4 new recipes tried – 1/4

It is not baking but I did the Beef Fajitas with Guacamole and Pico de Gallo. Does this count – I decided it does 🙂

5 WIPs finished – 1/5

I finished the Grinda Shawl beginning of January and I am really loving it. As I was sick of waiting for the correct Sheepjes yarn which has been out of stock for months, I just used a yarn from Wolloase. It’s lovely soft and snuggly.

Additionally I am working on my summer shawl. Picking it up after such a long time was terrible and then it happened: I dropped a stitch and it went all the way it could go (which was VERY far). The pattern was a lace one and I was not able to figure out how to pull up that stitch again. I was devastated. But, no regrets – I unravelled the whole thing as I was never really happy with the pattern anyway and just restarted it as a Hopscotch scarf. I am halfway done with it now and am really happy about my decision. I think I will be able to finish it in February.

My Havana I just finished the body and started the border. I got confused with the number of stitches needed however and am undecided if I should redo what little I already did there. But if then only after doing my math 😉

6 new beading projects finished – 0/6

No beading this month – I bought the beads for my friend’s birthday present though and will start working on it soon. As well some additional beading project might have jumped into my shopping cart all by itself ….

8 miniatures painted – 0/8

No miniature finished but I based my Confrontation Wolfen Asgarh, Alpha-Wolfen that is almost finished, so it only needs some brush strokes on his weapons and his moon banner clued on. As well I build the limited edition Warhammer Age of Sigmar Nighthaunt Darrakar, Guardian of Souls, so that it is now ready for painting. I love the details and can’t wait to get started.

9 times hand lettering practiced – 0/9

No handlettering yet but I plan on designing a card for the Tatting around the World tatted hearts exchange this weekend.

10 language session each month – 3/10

Lazy me – just did three sessions. They did not go badly but I just could not force myself to continue. Knitting was just too interesting…

11 training runs each month – 5/11

I was just able to get 5 runs in this month due to the cold (it was freezing -10 degrees o.O) last week and getting a throatache this week. Those 5 runs though have been promising as they were at a faster pace than I ran last year. So I am confident that as soon as I am feeling well again, I will be able to continue with training of my personal best until April. I also signed us up for another race in April – the Love run that has to be finished together as a couple. It’s only a 5k but I believe that I can do a personal best there too with the help of my hubby.

12 books read and review written – 1/12

Yes, January book “Witchmark” read and reviewed – check. Even started already with my February read “Good Omens”.

52 pictures taken and post-processed – 0/52

Nope – not even one yet. I still need to get the pics from my vacation in New Zealand off my camera, before I can seriously start working with it for my blog pics… At least I am playing around with my daylight lamp to get better pictures.

Additional things done – 3

Ups, I did it again – some small projects sneaked in while nobody was looking.

First I did the little added gift from the latest Molly Makes magazine. It’s a small banner that will look nicely in my crafting room.

As well I finished my celtic tatting earrings (Euro coun added in pic for size comparison). It was the first time I tried this technique and I am loving it. I messed up the finish however and really do not like the final result that much. I have already ideas how to redo them and as they do not take a lot of time, I can squeeze them in easily.

Last but not least I participated in the Tatting around the World tatted hearts exchange from the facebook group Just Tatting. I decided to give Heart’s Desire by Georgia Seitz & Susan Fuller a try. It was pretty challenging to connect everything correctly but I am pretty proud of the final result. I added a tail and a small clover at the end, so that it can be used as a bookmark as the recipient loves to read.

Now I am off to work on my February task – and I can at least tell you already that there will be some unexpected things coming your way again 😉

Book review: Witchmark

witchmark

  • written by:  C. L. Polk
  • ISBN: 9781250162687
  • published by:  Tor
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Rating: 4/5
  • German version: “Witchmark: Die Spur der Toten”

Plot:

Miles Singer works as a psychiatrist especially for veterans of the war between Laneer and Aeland. This per se is already quite a challenging task as the war leaves veterans with a dark mark on their souls that only Miles can see and that makes them all talk about nightmares of a killer inside them. Then things come thick and fast when a male witch dies in his arms and claims that he has been murdered. All evidences though disappear and Miles finds himself the only one that is willing to solve the case.  Together with the Amaranthian Tristan Hunter who was sent to earth to find the reason for the disappearance of souls, Miles sets off to find the murderer bringing himself in danger’s way. How is this connected with the terrible murders committed by veterans from the war and how is Miles’ real family involved from whom he tries to hide?

My opinion:

This little book – it has only 318 pages – is an easy read. The story does not have much depth but the characters are quite nice. The mystery behind the murder and the involvement of Miles’ family evolves really nicely and leaves place for speculations until the end. I also like the same sex relationship the author is bringing into the book without being too blunt in her writing. It’s a nice and refreshing twist. I only regret that the steampunky environment was not described a little bit more in depth. Overall I would recommend the book as a light read in between more complex books.

Coming up next: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

Upcycled storage boxes

I love small boxes to store little things and could collect tons of them. That’s why I was really happy, when a very good friend gifted me such a little storage system for Christmas. It so called tea storage to me when I unpacked it and I fell in love immediately. It had only one flaw – somehow it got smudged a little bit and those smudges could not be removed from the wood no matter what. So I decided to pimp it up a little bit.

What I used:

    some sanding paper
    two small bottles of colours for wooden surfaces in white and lilac that I found at Sostrene Grene
    a medium paint brush

I sanded down all drawers a little bit so that the colour would adhere to the surface better and to get rid of some surface dirt. Then I added several layers of colour on all four sides waiting in between for the colour to dry. And that’s it – very simple but a great result. Now the little boxes look gorgeous on my white shelf in my living room and the rag stores six different types of tea easily accessible. The side even holds my new teabag holders that I bought in Berlin. I love my new tea storage ❤️.

Recipe: Beef Fajitas with Guacamole and Pico de Gallo

I love baking no matter how long it takes but I hate cooking for hours. Therefore I am always aiming for fast recipes that are still healthy without too many calories (I still need to shed lots of kilos). Tex Mex is something both my hubby and I love, so I made Beef Fajitas with Guacamole and Pico de Gallo last Sunday.

What you need for the Fajitas:

  • cut 250g beef  in mouth sized stripes and sear them in a pan with some native olive oil
  • finely slice 1 onion and add it to the meat
  • finely cut 1 garlic and add it to the meat
  • quarter 1 zucchini and cut each part in mouth sized slices, add them to the pan
  • cut 1 red sweet pepper in slices and add them to the pan
  • cut 1 tomato in medium pieces and add to the pan
  • open a small can of corn and throw as much in as you like
  • cut some fresh hot pepper very small and add as much as you like (keep the rest for the guacamole and Pico de Gallo or leave it out if you do not like it hot)
  • season it with salt & pepper to your liking
  • add some store bought taco sauce if you prefer your fajitas juicier such as we love them
  • warm the tortillas as instructed (usually the microwave does the job well ;)), add some salad leaves and fill each with an equal amount of meat-veggie mixture
  • add some ground cheese (everything tastes great with cheese ;))

Then you add some guacamole and Pico de Gallo and roll up your tortilla – if you are still able to do it :P. I always seem to overfill them and have to struggle to get them decently covered up ;).

Now don’t go and purchase your guacamole – it’s so easy to make and tastes so much better than any store bought one!

What you need for the guacamole:

  • mash 1 avocado with a fork – it does not need to be perfect in my opinion as small pieces give it a better mouth feel (you can use a food processor if you differ ;))
  • pull of the skin of 1 small tomato and mash it with the avocado
  • add 1/2 a finely cut onion
  • crush 1 garlic and mix everything well
  • add some fresh lime juice – take it slow and mix and taste as it might get to sour easily if you just pour it in
  • add some of the finely cut fresh hot pepper you have saved before
  • you can add some fresh coriander if you like
  • season with salt & pepper to your liking

What you need for the Pico de Gallo:

  • coarsely cut up 3 tomatoes
  • add 1 finely cut onion
  • crush 1 garlic and mix everything well
  • add some fresh lime juice (optional)
  • add some of the finely cut fresh hot pepper you have saved before (or leave it out if you prefer it not hot)
  • add some fresh coriander if you like
  • season with salt & pepper to your liking

Enjoy! Drop me a line on how you liked it, if you have tried this recipe :).

A lot of thinking and a new plan

I recently have been thinking a lot about what I have achieved last year and actually what are my plans for this year. I have such a tendency of losing my focus on what I really want to do and then realize in the end that another year has passed. As well I was thinking about where this blog should be heading. I love the slowly growing number of readers but I think it might be quite boring for you just to read about my running projects and finishes.

A collection of some of my projects from 2018:

So for this year I have set myself a set of goals that I want to achieve, so that I can keep myself on track and check on the progress during the year. I actually got the idea from Emma from Emma Crafts Design who did pretty well with her goals last year that way. As well I will be posting more on the process and the learning behind it, so that those following might find some tips and tricks and avoid some pitfalls I am stumbling into myself.

So here’s my list for 2019:

1 big tatting project finished

I want to design and tat myself a pretty nice and lacy summer scarf – which will be the biggest project I have taggled so far in tatting. But it has been on my mind for quite some time and I never found a pattern that really was to my liking.

2 quilting projects finished

So this is a long runner – I love quilting but I only have successfully started several projects small and large but never really finished anything bigger than a coaster. However this year I want to finish my summer quilt (some more cutting and sewing and a lot of quilting left there) and my table set (only needs quilting but I have not decided yet, if I try machine quilting or rather do some hand quilting).

3 sewing projects finished

I want to get more into sewing clothes but never got further than buying fabric and printing out instructions. Also I have several plushies patterns that are waiting to be tackled. No way to run away this year – get that sewing machine to run wild!

4 new recipes tried

Last year was terrible concerning baking – I did not even bake Christmas cookies and for all other things I rather stuck to the same, already tried recipes. I have a long list of techniques I want to try out so this year I will try to tackle some of them.

5 WIPs finished 

I have still a lot of WIPs laying around that I really need to get working on. So I decided that I want to finish my Grinda shawl (finished already last week), the Havana blanket (down to the last 20 rows and the border), my knitted summer shawl, my No drama Llama (working on the body) and my Wacky Weave blanket (half the squares done).

6 new beading projects finished

I am currently collecting project patterns and beads for specific projects but just did not find time to do them. As well there are several new techniques that I want to try myself on. And – I am so ashamed – I still need to do the birthday present I promised my friend last year. She picked the pattern but I never did it ….

8 miniatures painted

I love to paint miniatures and have collected tons of them over the years. Recently my hubby funded several kickstarter projects for tabletop games and I myself the reproduction of Confrontation miniatures – a set that has been previously made by Rackham before they went out of business and have gorgeous details. With new minis on their way I really need to get some done and off my list. The Warhammer Quest minis never got further than being build …

9 times hand lettering practiced 

Hand Lettering needs so much practice and thought that I have not gotten into it much recently.

10 language session each month finished

My running buddy and friend asked if my hubby and I might join her on her trip through China in 2 to 3 years. As she is speaking Chinese – a language that I never learned – this would be a great chance and we would love to grab it. However we plan to start in Moscow with the trans siberian railway, so I decided to contribute to the team by brushing up my Russian. I want to do at least 10 sessions each month – let’s see how this will be going.

11 training runs each month 

We are running the relay marathon this year again and also a lot of 10k are on this years list. I need continuous training to get better. As well we are aiming for a half marathon next year so I really need to up the distance run each month.

12 books read and review written

Reading is a passion of mine but last year was terrible concerning the progress. I was let astray by all my facebook groups and was much more checking those on the way to and from work then reading the book I always carry with me. I also had a book review blog once that I always wanted to merge with this one but never got to it. I think one book a month is a good plan to get it started …

52 pictures taken and post-processed

This actually should be an easy goal… I usually just snap a quick picture of my projects with my Ipad but am quite disappointed with the quality.  But I am just too lazy to switch on my computer in order to use my big camera to shoot in RAW and post-process them – and wait for all the windows updates being processed (hate those the most). So I finally bought myself an SD card reader for my Ipad and set up Lightroom CC. The later I wanted to do already for a year as I would love to upload and process pictures already during my travels rather than having the whole work at the end of each vacation (and never really doing it right). That way now I am set to use my camera for craft pics too!

So, that’s that. There will be a lot more going on for sure – a tatted heart exchange in January I am participating for example or another bout of upgrading my crafting areas – but this will give me at least a frame to align my projects most of the time.

The end (… of 2018)

Well, well, well …. haven’t I been naughty not to write for such a long time. Life has been tough the last month and time was a limited resource. A lot has happened though that I like to share with you.

The last weekend in November I visited the VIECC, the Vienna Comic Convention. It’s a pretty big convention for geeks and nerds and cosplayers and it was a lot of fun to look at the great costumes everyone was wearing. As well I got autographs from Walter Bishop (alias John Noble) and the 7th doctor (alias Sylvester McCoy). Both are great actors as well as super-cool people – the first really took his time while autographic chatting with everyone and the later is so funny I had a stomach ache from laughing.

Sadly, two days after I started to struggle with the inflammation of a tendon just below the right knee that left me in pain for a whole week. It was impossible to sit for long periods and craft and keeping up my running training was not an option at all.

As soon as I was better, I went on vacation to the hot spring in Tyrolia. It’s a tradition by now that I am always looking forward to. Lots of warm water, nice crisp air, great food and relaxing time just for ourselves. I spent some time tatting but most of the time I was just playing some handheld games or reading.

After that I only had one more week at home before heading off to Berlin for some Christmas vacation. As neither my husband nor I have lots of family visit responsibilities, we usually are spending Christmas all around the world. It’s fun to see how other countries celebrate – and Berlin especially is a city I have fallen in love with before. This meant one week of lots of walking around the city that added up to more than 75 km on my sports watch :).

And last but not least hardly back home again, we went to visit a friend of mine with her hubby and two kids for Years End. It’s also a tradition by now as we hardly meet during the year and therefore established this fixed date each year. It was fun again but now I am happy to stay home again and have some time to think about the new year and what I want to achieve.

More Havana and the end of race season

Last week I was not able to crochet as much as I liked. It’s difficult if you have only the evenings for private stuff – and if some of those are not craft related than I cannot reach my own personal crochet goals. I was able to finish part 5 though and start a little bit on part 6. So by now I am delayed by one week as everyone else is already working on part 7 that was release today. The fun thing when crocheting this blanket is that by now I am able to snuggle up beneath it while still adding sections ;). I checked with my hubby and it seems that it might still end up too short to cover him though. Not sure if I am extending it by adding another section or by just creating a bigger border. I will have to see as soon as the border pattern is out how easily it can be adapted.

Since three years the “Er&Sie Lauf” marks the end of the race season for my hubby and myself. It’s a pretty short relay race with only 4 k for each on of us but it is usually pretty much fun. I was preparing for this race for a couple of weeks now with continuous runs for 30 to 50 minutes aiming of course for a better result than last year. Race day was nice weather – not too warm and not too cold, no rain but no blazing sunlight either. Just perfect racing conditions. I went off first and it started pretty well – felt relaxed and easy just checking my watch now and again. Half way done I passed by my hubby and my running buddy cheering me on which gave me confidence to push on. Afterwards my hubby told me, I looked a little worse for the wear but I actually felt quite okay at that time :). In the end I was successful in running this year’s personal best with 30:16 minutes for the 4 k – a pace of 7:34. I was so proud of myself as I was almost 3 minutes better than last year and even 1 minute better than the year before! However only another runner can understand that little frustration concerning those tiny little 16 seconds that crashed my dream of running it under 30 minutes :). But let’s see what next year will bring …

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Havana Part 5 – not quite there yet …

This week I was binge crocheting to catch up with my Havana. I did have two days off, so I thought that I might actually finish part 5 on time for part 6 being updated. However too much crocheting left me with a sore hand and I had to take a break. I did not know that you can get blisters from a crochet hook 😂. I so enjoy the pattern though and celebrate the changing of colours all the time. Now the pinks start and the whole blanket looks gorgeous already. It is too big to shoot without draping it over something, so I created a collage instead. Still some colours do not show as in real – the blues are more bluish and not as bland as in the picture.

So I just gave up trying to be on time and did some more clean up of my craft room. I now have all my yarn and fabric stored in identical boxes. It looks so tidy and I can find whatever I want now! Creating will be so much fun again! Now I just need to finish my bead storage cleanup and then I am all set – until chaos kicks in again 🙂

Havana Update

Last week I was ill and therefore have not been able to post. It all started with terrible headaches that just made me want to crawl into bed and hide from light and sounds. I was not able to craft a lot – no sense in trying to crochet when you cannot focus on your stitches.

However I was lucky that there was a public holiday on Friday, so I was able to play some catch-up. I am not so terribly behind that I loose focus to continue. As well I am enjoying it so much whenever a new colour starts. Now I am heading into the pink section and I just cannot wait until I see the final piece. I decided to try the production line concept during catching up – work two rows at the same time. It works really well and speeds up the process a little bit. So instead of 48 single rows I have to only crochet 24 doubles. Though I just might be cheating my own mind 😉

Sadly in the pic I took the colours look different to the real looks. I had to shoot the picture in artifical lighting which does not help at all. I hope that next week I am able to take a pic in natural light, so that you can also enjoy the colours I have really chosen. It’s getting difficult to take a picture of the whole project though as now it starts to get really big 🙂

Havana CAL and getting ready for painting

The Havana CAL is keeping me pretty occupied at the moment. With the increase in size it is really not so easy to fall behind too much. I finished part 1 in the middle of the week and now still need one more repeat of part 2 before heading to the next pattern. I love the colour transition and how the pattern transforms between parts though. Today I saw a preview of Tinna’s new pattern from her testers and I really need to do that too. Probably not a blanket but there was one cool idea of a table runner with that design.

Additionally I finally cleaned up my miniature painting area. It is getting cooler now, so it’s the perfect time to do some serious painting again. The table however is some kind of different universe where a black hole seems to dump all the crazy stuff. Usually whenever I want to paint, I am not able to do so without getting rid of all the chaos first. So this time I hope I will be able to fend of entropy long enough to finish some long runner projects.

My running practice is coming along well too. I have been practicing with my hubby this week as my running buddy was ill and this gave me some serious push. My hubby is much faster than I am but even though he was holding back really good, I was able to slightly increase my average speed and still be able to chat with him. I don’t even have sore muscles after my long runs at the moment. I think that if I am able to continue my practice that way, I might seriously hit some personal bests in the races this and next year.