Hello . . . I’ve missed you.
I almost forgot the a,b,c’s of posting.
Nothing like just vanishing, taking a hike, exiting . . . vamoose!
Did you think I quit baking? No way. I cooked like a crazy woman for Thanksgiving, but somehow my camera never saw the light of day. It was worn out from a previous engagement.
I appreciate the little “where the heck are you?” kind notes. It’s nice to be missed, even if just a tad bit. I’ve been here a little, there a little and we also flew the coop to the other side of the world. I love this crazy blog, but sometimes it has to take a back-seat to family issues and the good the bad and the ugly that life throws our way. Thanksgiving is certainly that . . . a time to remember how blessed we really are!
We really did jet to Germany. This is the 2nd time I’ve been. The first was many moons ago. The wall was still up, and Germany was a much different place back then. It seemed that very few spoke English and menus were only in German or French. Now . . . most everyone speaks German and English, and menus are written in dual languages. It’s so much easier, to actually know what you have ordered.
This was a work related trip for my husband who sales tractors and farm & tillage equipment. I was lucky enough to tag along this time around. The rough & tough Lemken Equipment Company was our gracious host. Let me just say, that this company and everyone involved, went above any expectations we had imagined. We toured their awesome factory in Alpen, and they also took us to many cities and events all throughout Germany.
If you haven’t been to Germany, you should know: It’s a very Long flight . . . cleanest place on earth . . . best crusty breads, rolls and chocolate on the planet!
I’ll give you a little sneak peak today, but soon I hope to re-size the mammoth pics to blog size and give you a real taste of Germany. Hauling a very heavy camera & lens to Germany & back was a royal pain in the butt !!
German desserts are quite different from American desserts. Their sweets are not as sweet as our sweets. I’ve decided, that we use too much sugar in our baking. They have beautiful pastries, crumbles and tarts. It was a treat just to stare through the glass cases and admire them. If I did gain weight, it was because of the breads . . . ohhhhh the breads. Jam packed full of seeds & fiber.
May I just say . . . the only reason I didn’t gain too much weight on our trip . . . the German people walk everywhere!!!!! They don’t drive, they walk or ride pedal bikes. We really should take a page from their books.
For example: They eat dinner, between the hours of 9 to 10 at night. That seems very late to be eating a BIG meal. Our guide/host would say . . . “It’s just a short walk to dinner.” Four miles later . . . We sat down for dinner! Then we would eat and walk four miles back to our hotel! True story every night.
Their sidewalks are quite unique. One half is for walking, the other half is for pedal bikes and is a slightly different shaded color or stone. It’s all one narrow sidewalk though. Nobody told us about these sidewalks. We learn the hard way!
One cold evening, around midnight . . . when we were walking home from our evening meal, heading back to our hotel . . . I looked down at my cold feet. Dumb. Very dumb. In Germany, you don’t ever want to make this mistake. When I looked up, a pedal bike just about split me in half! In my cold and not paying attention moment, I had crossed half of my body over into the bike path. I literally was almost cut in half! The german people are very friendly, however . . . they will not move over for walkers!!!!!!!!!!
FYI: It was dam cold. I’m sorry, but it was.
Idaho cold is a wimpy cold compared to their wet cold. I could breathe better though and my nose didn’t ever run in their cold. I didn’t cough in Germany. When I got back home . . . my cough came back!
I didn’t eat this Nutty Butterfinger Crumble Dessert in Germany, and it didn’t sit on our Thanksgiving table. I made it today.
I made Pecan pie, Apple pie, Banana Cream & Coconut Cream pie, Blueberry Huckleberry and Pumpkin Pie for our Thanksgiving Day feast. I didn’t take one picture though. I made yummy dinner rolls, turkey, glazed ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams & apples with caramel sauce and my sweet girls brought an array of beautiful side dishes. My girls came loaded with Pomegranate apple salad, Spinach salad, Broccoli Salad, a gorgeous grape salad and pretzel salad/dessert. I didn’t take one picture of food. Sad but true.
We barely arrived home from our trip, when Thanksgiving was upon us . . . jet lag . . . 8 hours time difference . . . behind, behind, behind.
My sweet husband did so many dishes. I about fell on the floor in awe and dis-belief! (He noted 3 hours worth of dishes and noted that he washed the same 5 bowls 5 times, not to mention: whisks, measuring cups, spatulas, measuring spoons, over and over and over again!)
Still behind. Now it’s Christmas. Still behind.
We had a photo shoot though, with props. We ate so much, we were nuts.
Meet my cute daughters:
Chantri known as Chant, Shannon known as Shan, Jonna known as whatever they call me, Danielle known as Dani or D, Brandi known as Bran.
As you can see eating too much, makes one goofy.
Some of these delicious little desserts have a Coconut cookie crumble and others have an Oreo cookie crumble.
Let me build it from the bottom up:
Graham Cracker/Saltine Cracker crumb crust
Chopped Almonds or other nut
Pudding/ ice cream layer
Oreo or Coconut crumble layer
Whipped Cream topped with chopped Butterfingers
Notes: I made my little desserts in 5 individual springform pans, then placed them in the freezer until firm. They popped out beautifully. Before serving, let them thaw for about 10 to 15 minutes. This dessert can easily be made in a 9×13 glass baking dish instead. If you use a baking dish, simply refrigerate for several hours until set.
You can also replace the saltines with graham crackers if desired. The saltines give it that salty/sweet kick.
also: Adding the coarse chopped nuts on top of the crumbs, keeps the crumbs from getting soggy. Use almonds, pecans, walnuts or other. If you just hate nuts, try this: Melt some premium white baking chips, and with a pastry brush . . . lightly brush the melted chocolate over the firmly pressed crumb crust. Let the chocolate set until it’s hard. Now you can add the pudding/ice cream layer. The crumbs won’t get soggy – yahoo!
Here is my little Sneak Peak of Germany. Remember, that my camera only knows how to take food pictures!
The brutal facts: My 5d mark iii does not have a flash, nor did I take it to Germany. The sun never shines. We are talking rain, rain & cold! Nobody would stand & wait for me, while I constantly changed settings. I was ALWAYS running to catch up. Many pictures were taken from a whizzing bus window. Now that you have the clear & honest facts, I hope you enjoy your first look of Germany!
Let me begin by saying that . . . I finally asked our German friend Gabby . . . “Do German people sleep together?” She said “Yes!”
All of our hotel rooms had single beds, that looked just like this. We just tried to squish them together, and someone got the crack. Odd.
The lovliest view from a hotel room I ever did see!
Ohhhhhh the Bread is like nothing you have ever tasted in the states! It’s like you died and went to heaven. This is why German’s must WALK!!!!
Stunning to say the least. It’s wet, and the moss grows everywhere.
This is my favorite photo of about 500 pictures. If I could live anywhere, it might just be here. Schlosspark in Lutestsburg. is the moted castle of a Baron and his family and Children. We were lucky enough to eat at his Restaurant, and get and up-close look of his beautiful Estate.
This was the appetizer. Oh geesh, what a beautiful way to serve little hand sandwiches. Remember this.
How would you like to live here? This is just a portion of the Estate. I’ll show you more later, as it’s gorgeous beyond belief! Look really closely at the top windows. You’ll see a little boy dressed in a blue shirt. They were waving at us. I can zoom in really close and see their sweet faces, but for their safety . . . I just won’t do it on this blog.
Because of the humidity and rain, rain, rain . . . everything is vivid with color. Moss in every color of the rainbow grows on roof tops and up the bark of the trees. It’s cold brrrrrr.
It’s a cold that stomps right through you!
Christmas is in the air in Germany. We missed the Christmas fairs by only one day! I wish we had known this information, and we would have extended our trip a few more days. The night before we left, they were setting up the downtown streets in the most beautiful array of lights & food vendors. They are not afraid of the cold! I peaked in one of the windows above, and what did I see?
How sweet is this!
Most of the homes in Germany are beautiful dark Brick. You never see weeds or trash of any kind around any of the homes or farms or cities. It really is the cleanest place I’ve ever seen.
Hotel Kohlers and Terrace – stunning!
See that beautiful windmill? We went up inside and it’s awesome. It’s enormous!
I loved Berlin. Next time, I plan to stay in Berlin for several days . . . not just one.
I’ll leave you with my 2nd favorite picture. Awww, beautiful. We all need a pathway like this. I’d sit underneath it everyday, eat dessert and write on this blog!
Thank you for missing me.
The perfect elegant dessert for your holiday baking.
- 1st layer:
- 2 C. graham crackers, crushed
- 1 C. saltines, crushed
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 C. margarine or butter, melted
- 2nd layer:
- 1 1/2 cups almonds, pecans, walnuts or other nut chopped
- 3rd layer:
- 2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding mix
- 2 C. milk (use whole or 2%)
- 1 qt. softened vanilla ice cream
- 4th layer:
- 2 1/2 cups of crushed oreo or vanilla cookies, Coconut Macaroon or other coarse crumbs
- 5th layer:
- 1 12-oz. container frozen whipped topping thawed or
- * I use sweetened Whipped Cream – 3 to 4 cups whipped
- 2 Butterfinger candy bars, crushed
- Mix crushed graham crackers, crushed saltines, sugar and melted margarine or butter together. (You can set aside 2/3 C. crumbs for topping, if desired)
- Press remaining crumb mixture into greased 9×13 glass dish.
- Optional: Divide entire amount of crumbs into small springform pans or use large springform pan. Press crumbs partially up the sides of the pan. I like to bake my crust, so that it’s a firmer base. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Let cool, before adding nuts layer, then pudding mixture.
- In a separate bowl, mix pudding and milk together. Slowly fold in softened vanilla ice cream. Spread this mixture on top of crumb crust.
- Sprinkle the cookie crumbs over the pudding layer.
- Top with Whipped Cream or whipped topping.
- Sprinkle crushed Butterfingers over the top.
- Refrigerate until firm.
- If using individual or large springform pans, is helps to freeze until set. Unsnap the side, and carefully push dessert up from the bottom.
- Let thaw 10 to 15 minutes before serving.