Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Brussels Sprouts

We got this great cookbook as a wedding shower gift a few years ago - Williams Sonoma Main Dishes. Back in Seattle, we had quite a few favorites that we ate regularly - like ginger cod on a bed of bok choy, bell pepper whole wheat pasta, and a roasted acorn squash and goat cheese pizza...mmm. In between the very colorful main courses there were simple side recipes. For some reason, our eyes and stomachs were drawn to the roasted brussels sprouts, and I remember our first trip at Fred Meyer, when we picked up twelve little brussels sprouts. Neither of us grew up eating brussels sprouts - though I distinctly remember them being one of those vegetables you were allowed to (and maybe had to) hate (they were served, for example, at dinner in the book The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day). Perhaps they get their bad reputation from the usual preparation of boiling them. On the other hand - tossed in a little olive oil and thyme and then roasted in the oven for about 30 minutes, they really are quite delicious. Long story short, we fell in love with them. Now, finding green veggies in Germany has always been a little difficult. We are sorely missing our mustard greens and chard, but brussels sprouts are back in season and are abundant, so we can easily eat a kilo bag in a week. Here was last nights meal - shrimp and mushroom risotto paired with goodness.

As for the other Brussels Sprout - she's the equivalent of 1.7 bags, though quite a bit more squirmy. And I know full well that she will never want to eat such delicious green veggies.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


The problem with blogs is that once you take a break and get behind it's impossible to catch up. For the past two weeks since we've been back in Köln, we've yet to write anything, with the excuse that we haven't yet written about Seattle, so it's not chronologically correct to write about anything that has happened since. But I have lots of excuses (ok, maybe only two) for not writing about our trip to Seattle:

Excuse #1: It was a whirlwind trip and I don't remember all of it: Most of the days Chris and I spent frantically trying to get our condo ready for a property manager to take over the rental of. Moving, cleaning and painting all seemed like bigger tasks once we got to Seattle than they did when we were planning the trip. A big thanks to all those who helped us (and considered helping us as hanging out with us)!!!!! Amazingly, most everything we wanted to accomplish did get done, and the afternoon that Chris boarded a plane back to Germany, we had tenants signing a lease.

Excuse #2: I hardly took any pictures: I carried my camera around every evening we went out, but only once managed to snap a few photos (when I was out with Christina & Lisa, of course). It's a whole lot easier to write a post about a trip, when you can just put a link to a Picasa photo album. I've managed to steal a few photos from my dad, so here is a glimpse of our trip in photos.

Seattle - Sept 12-22

We loved seeing everyone, even though it was for such a short time. And we loved enjoying all the wonderful (and sorely missed) Northwest food and beer (well, one of us did at least).

One of the highlights (for me) was a lovely Baby Shower hosted by my sisters. It was a fantastic mix of friends and family that have known me from so many different parts of my life. I left Seattle a few days before Chris, with two very full suitcases - one filled with my clothes and the other filled with pink baby clothes, mostly received at the shower. As luck would have it, only the suitcase filled with my clothes managed to make it with me to Germany, while the bag of baby clothes took a detour in Paris. I must say, it was very nice to only lug one suitcase home from the airport and have the baby clothes delivered to my door the next afternoon. And, since I'm writing up excuses, I have another excuse about why I haven't sent out Thank You notes yet. For over a week I visited stationary stores, drug stores and book stores in Köln, looking for a box of note cards. Apparently they do not exist in this country - single cards (like Birthday cards) are plentiful, but boxes of stationary are no where to be found... very odd indeed.