Christmas Leftovers

As everyone, we are now trying to get through our Christmas left overs without wasting anything.

So boxing day morning I decided to make our Christmas dinner leftovers into a breakfast of savoury crepes. This is so easy, you can use nearly any leftovers and it’s really yummy!

We had left over mushroom, spinach & pearl barley risotto – which my brother & his mate cooked up based on this recipe, but switching out half the rice for pearl barley and using duck fat from our roast duck instead of oil (I recommend you try it, so yummy!) –
Whole roasted sweet potato, and capsicum:


So I made up a plain crepe batter (no sugar) and set one of the boys to crepe making duty…


Then just piled our Christmas day leftovers into the centre…


Wrapped them up, put them in a baking dish with a sprinkling of cheese and pepper…


and baked them for about 20 minutes until all the Christmas day leftovers were properly heated through…


Breakfast is served!



What fabulous things have you done with your Christmas leftovers? Leave a comment and let me know! I’d love more ideas… We’ve still got more leftovers ūüėČ

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Tea from strangers on trains

We had Strangers with Razors¬†during my first weeks in Germany and now nearly four years later the nice ‘born in Southern China, lives & works in Taiwan, went to University in Toronta and identifies as Canadian’ business man in the same compartment as me on the train to Brussels yesterday¬†morning gave¬†me and the two lovely German ladies on their ‘girls weekend away’ each a gift of tea!

(Woohoo! Sentence paragraph in English! Can’t half tell I’ve been living in Germany for a while!)

The tea was even wrapped!



The funnies thing was how he gave it to us. Early on on the train ride he pulled a Thermos mug of tea out of his bag and started drinking it then told us how he drinks only tea and always has to get up early to prepare his thermos mugs because ‘you can’t buy tea at the trainstation’ etc. What he meant, it came out later is that you can’t get good tea (for the most part I agree). So he went on about that for a little while, asked us all what we drank (2 x tea and 1x coffee/tea/everything) then during the¬†conversation about Jasmine, White and Green tea that followed he handed out these little wrapped tins of ‘the finest quality Jasmine tea’ from his friends tea farms.


Hmm. Lovely and all, it doesn’t really look or quite smell like the Jasmine tea I’m used to though. Not sure what the rules are about taking ‘tea’ from strangers, we were only warned about candy ūüėõ


I’ll wait to get my Hong Kong’nese colleague at work to read the tin for me before I try it!

Now to Brugges!



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Thursday 8th of May I went to a party, where over 2 thousand people were invited, 538 people RSVP’d yes, and everyone was asked to bring a knife…

…and a cutting board.

D√ľsseldorf’s first ‘Schnippeldisko – Krumme M√∂hren und schr√§g beats’ (English ‘Dicing Disco – bent carrots and crooked beats’).

Entering Schnippeldisko

D√ľsseldorfs¬†Slow Food Youth Group¬†teamed up with¬†Feeding the 5k¬†to put on this fabulous¬†event where supermarket rejects, heart shaped potatoe’s, carrots with legs, were rescued and made into food for the masses, by the masses.

Picture an old warehouse hall, set up with rows of German Beer banks all full of people peeling and chopping. There’s no more room so people are standing in groups and peeling and sitting on the stage, sofa’s and the floor to chop and peel. A DJ at the front of the room is spinning old school tunes on proper records. People are moving back and forth through the crowd, sometimes in pairs carrying crates of ‘geschnippelte’ fruit and veg, or fruit and veg going to be schnippelt above their heads. At some stage the first course is announced from the DJ pulpit and the schnippelling is over, let the eating and dancing begin!

Inside Schnippeldisko

Vegetable transport

Girls Schnippeling

Carrots which were too small

Viola and I Schnippeling                         I chopped and apple

The volunteers, organisers and masses produced a (surprisingly for the size)¬†yummy vegetable soup with fresh croutons and all! Next course was fruit salad, followed by green salad. The green salad went missing for a while, one of our group who went of to get some when they announced the salad asked one of the organisers where to find it and received an answer along the lines of ‘That’s your job! Find the salad! And when you’ve found the salad, serve the salad!’ His continued efforts to find dout from the person where he might look for the salad only resulted in more jobs… ‘and then you’ve got to find someone else to serve the salad!’ So that didn’t really get us anywhere, anyway – someone eventually found and served the salad and we were all happy.

All courses were even served on proper china plates with proper spoons! Yay! Food was great, people were wonderful, organisers & volunteers did an amazing job, it was like a massive street party.

Really Yummy Soup

So there you go, there were more than 300 people in a room together, all with knives, alchohol was being served… and nobody got stabbed! It is possible!

The worst party poopers were a group of about 4 blokes who smoked on the dance floor and were popping the balloons ūüė¶ big meanies.

Yours truly was filmed dancing very embarrassingly on three separate occasions throughout the disco, may pop up on a German news channel near you (if you are in NRW).

Till next time party people!



Carrot and heart potato

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Meet Reginald!

I am in constant pursuit of turning my little apartment into a castle. Of course, castles generally have mounted deer heads or other game.

What about when you’re an animal loving environmentalist and all about sustainability?

Make one!

I found¬†this instructable¬†and knew why I had held on to those nice big flat pieces of cardboard leftover from the few items I had to buy from IKEA when I first moved in (there’s no way I was going to be able to get a sofa, bed or kitchen table home and carry it upstairs by myself so I had to get those ones from someone who delivers!)



Can’t take all the credit for this one, I did cut out the templates and stick them all to the cardboard. But when you’ve got such a handsome fellow around who’s particularly talented with a stanley knife, well, why not!


Then of course I took over again for the fun part…


The handsome fellow made the edges more rounded than the instructable, and added some stability at the base of the neck by cutting slits into the backing board and making little cardboard boxes to pack in the gap before we glued everything together.

And now,

Meet Reginald…


The newest member of my Castle staff.


I’ve printed the pattern and put it together with cardboard as a little ‘do it yourself’ gift for friends¬†who are so inclined. You could of course paint or decoupage the cardboard, I’m told my brother is going to make his out of wood. I’d love to hear about it if you make one! Leave a comment or send me pictures…

Love Amanda

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Two girls on the search for an all natural, socially and environmentally responsible foundation that actually works!

I’ve done this before, and with deodorant, and with skin care, and with food and with everything. When, however many years ago it was now, I suddenly had this epiphany that I couldn’t buy anything if I didn’t know who had made it, how they were treated, what their work and pay conditions were etc. etc. Which then led to ‘oh my goodness what am I putting on my skin!’ and ‘Oh my goodness what am I eating!’ At the time I stumbled upon Sophie Uliano’s gorgeously green which was an excellent starting point to cleaning up! (click here to read my review) Another great help after my 6 or 7 months of not shopping at all, and then learning how to shop again, consciously, was Australia’s Peppermint Magazine.

I pretty much had everything on track in Australia, then I moved to Germany. When I was living out of a youth hostel and needed thongs (flip-flops for ‘non-Australian’ readers) and a towel for the showers I couldn’t spend days researching or weeks waiting. Over the last years in Germany the rules I made for myself which dictate my shopping habits lapsed somewhat. Now it’s time to clean up again!

I’m teaming up with my good friend and sustainability expert Helena of LakritsSalt&Frukost¬†in pursuit of a reliable, all natural and socially & environmentally responsible foundation.

Where we are at:

Me – I’m currently using MAC – it’s the only one which holds perfectly all day and doesn’t make me go orange. MAC support Aids research & have a recycling program – but let’s not even look at the ingredients list.

Helena ‚Äď is using Laura Mercier and Kiehl‚Äôs because of their light weight coverage, pale shade and long-lasting results.

What we need:

I want coverage! There’s too much redness and under-eye bag going on for super sheer foundations. Ideally a foundation I can build up, which blends well on itself so I can have more coverage where I need it without adding concealer. Whereas Helena has¬†very pale and sensitive skin, and her biggest mission is¬†to find a light-weight formula that does not cover up her freckles but blends in seamlessly and gives a dewy look¬†to the skin.

So off we go!

Detailed reviews coming soon!

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Monday night Marmalade

With a collection of citrus fruits going bad there was nothing else for it but to make marmalade. I’ve made a citrus jam or marmalade (no idea what the difference is or why there is one, must look that up some day, feel free to comment if you know) twice before. The first was with oranges only, and tasted fine, but didn’t set at all so it was more of a syrup. The second was with mandarins, which set so hard it was like toffee. Oh wait, I lie, three times, somewhere in the middle there I tried to make grapefruit marmalade, but I burnt it quite thoroughly. Not wishing to waste the home-grown grapefruit I still went through the process of jarring it and transporting it home to my parents, where my mum took one look at my jars of black chunky sticky somethingerather and, well, it got put to the compost.

Anyway! I went straight in as I tend to do, without a recipe, chopped some left over lemon, two old oranges, an old mandarin and what turned out to be a clementine (skin on) and threw it all into a saucepan over medium heat. I collected up all the pips, and not having any muslin cloth or a suitable strainer I fished around and found a ‘gift’ tea portion wrapped in some kind of net cloth with a ribbon and figured that would do. Put the tea in my cup ready for Tuesday morning and tied up the pips in the little synthetic and probably not entirely suitable for the purpose piece of material.

Next is sugar. I have two flavoured sugars in my cupboard and when I opened it the first I saw was the lavender sugar. Which seemed like a good choice. I did a cursory google for citrus and lavender marmalade or something like that, established that people had done something similar before, at least with oranges, decided it must be a good idea and in it went.

Add Sugar Simmer

Simmered for about three hours, stirring in between cleaning the house, making dinner and sending emails/shopping online.

Simmer More

It looked so good to begin with, but for some reason the skins didn’t quite go that nice candied soft chewy texture. Possibly because I don’t follow a recipe. Instead it will be some tough chewy citrus skin marmalade.

Citrus and Lavender Marmalade

Taste’s good though ūüôā and it’s not burnt!

Scones at mine this weekend?

Have a great week everyone!

Love Amanda

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A nice bit of crumpet…

It’s funny how not being able to have something, even if you didn’t have it so often when you could get it, tends to make you crave it. In Germany crumpets are not sold in supermarkets (or I haven’t ever found them), even the little ‘Food From Home’ shop where one can buy staples like vegemite, milo, self raising flour etc. has been out of crumpets everytime one of us has visited over the past year.

After a crumpetless 2013 what better way to start 2014 then to make our own and stock the freezers!
Growing up with all of the mass produced products available in supermarkets I’ve often not considered that at sometime or other these products (crumpets, english breakfast muffins, biscuits, breads etc) were made in the home.
Because one doesn’t want just any crumpets, but rather the perfect crumpets, we followed this recipe from the guardian¬†
I remember a friend commenting something about her mother believing everything if the guardian had written it so I figured they would know how to make a good crumpet!
Unfortunately I forgot to buy crumpet rings so we had to use cookie cutters and have heart and star shaped crumpets:
The batter was looking good after the first 1.5 hour ‘rising’ – It’s winter so I used the oven, after adding the bi-carb though and the second rising there were fewer bubbles.
They turned out ok though. I might have to make heart shaped crumpets everytime!
They even taste vaguely like bought crumpets…¬†they were a little salty and a little doughy, I think this is more because of my lack of proper measuring utensils than the recipe. Definitely has potential though, it will be nice to have a freezer full of crumpets again!
If you try them let me know how yours turn out.
Have a wonderful start to 2014 everyone!
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