Avocado and Sheep’s Cheese dip/spread

Good morning! I hope those of you who celebrate Valentine’s day had a good one? We don’t really bother with it (except that one time Jan felt bad about ignoring our anniversary and got me flowers. This year I got chocolates for our anniversary, so not Valentine’s gift ;-)) so it was just a normal day. We both worked, then I did laundry and cooked. Jan came home at around 7:30, I ate at around 8 (he faffed around on the laptop doing work stuff and only ate the food I had placed in front of him half an hour later! Standard.) then we played Scrabble, in English, and I lost both times. How is he better at my native language than I am?! I had almost all vowels for most of the second game so I’m claiming that as my excuse! I did give him a chocolate heart in the morning and he shared it with me after dinner, but that was the extent of our “celebrating”.
Anywaaaay… you didn’t come him for an entirely uninteresting account of a random Tuesday in my life! Today I wanted to share a recipe with you, although it has so few ingredients/steps that calling it a “recipe” almost feels like an exaggeration… Remember that time I made pancakes with avocado and goat’s cheese spread? Welll, I liked the spread so much that I decided to make it again, only this time use it as a dip. And with sheep’s cheese, because that’s what I had. If you like avocado, goat’s/sheep’s cheese and garlic, you will love this. If you don’t like one or more ingredients or you’re vegan, I apologise. Come back another day for a post that might interest you.

dip

Above you see an awful photo of dip. Apologies! There’s a reason I’m not a food blogger. Anywaaaay…

You will need:
1 avocado
1 pack of sheep’s (or goat’s cheese) – give or take
1 clove of garlic
Seasoning of your choice (salt, pepper, etc.)

Take all your ingredients (except the seasoning), place them in a container and mash them all together with a fork until mostly smooth. Season to taste – I used a little bit of salt, a LOT of black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Serve with raw vegetables for dipping, or spread on pancakes (or crackers… or toast). Or just eat it with a spoon if you feel that way inclined 😉

We had it alongside bell peppers stuffed with bulgur wheat (part of the sheep’s cheese went in the bulgur mixture, but if I wasn’t using the cheese for other things I would have put the whole block in the dip).

dippepper

Et voilà – world’s easiest recipe showcased in world’s worst photo (seriously guys… how do you all photograph food so well?!)

Basel zoo and a “hedgehog” for lunch

On Saturday, we were up bright and early to drive to Basel again. Our first of three flat viewings was at 11 am, meaning the latest possible time we could leave Karlsruhe was 9! And that is why we spent Valentine’s Day driving and looking at flats. Good job neither of us actually cares about the day of lurrrve 😉 We did, however, manage to stop for lunch in between the first two flat viewings. We went to a little baker’s/cafe where we each drank a home-made hot chocolate with chilli and I couldn’t resist eating an “Igeli”. Der Igel is German for hedgehog, but the Swiss like to diminutise (is that a word?) everything, and so it becomes Igeli. The English equivalent I suppose would be hedgehogling – in the sense of duckling or gosling (or maybe it would be hedgehoglet? Piglet… hoglet… hedgehoglet? You get the idea, anyway). Before I ate him, I had to snap a picture. Just look how cute he is!

Igeli

Later, we had a slightly longer gap between viewings and the sun had come out (after pouring rain in the morning), so we decided to check out the zoo. Sadly, there are no red pandas there, but they do have meerkats, orangutans and some interesting birds. My camera battery was low, so I didn’t take many pictures, but here are a few:

As for the flats: the first one was most suitable, the second was nice but not in the best area and the third was expensive and also the available date has been moved back, but was very large and central. We took forms for all three of them anyway. And now, we go back to waiting… and in the meantime continue to try to arrange viewing appointments. We’ve managed to get 2 more for Friday afternoon, so I’ll be working overtime from now until Thursday and taking Friday afternoon off work. *Sigh* Flat hunting is exhausting!

 

Friday letters and a Valentine’s card

I’m not really a big fan of Valentine’s Day for couples… I grew up believeing it was a day for single people to confess their love (anonymously or not) to someone. A day to ask somebody to be your Valentine, or just sent somebody you’d been admiring from afar a sweet card or gift. When did the day get hijacked by couples, who should be being nice to each other on every day of the year anyway! Having said that, I did make Jan a Valentine’s card this year. I spotted it in my magazine and I just couldn’t resist. And because I’d already written his anniversary card when I bought the magazine, it had to be a Valentine’s card. Here’s the not quite finished product – I still need to complete the orange border and then make the stitching into an actual card, but I ran out of time last night so I’ll do it quickly this evening before he gets home from work…

robot
This better not turn out to be the first day ever that he decides to look at my blog…

And now for some Friday letters…

Dear cancer. I wish you would sod off and leave my family alone!

Dear Grandpa. It looks like I’m probably never going to see you again. I just hope you know that I love you.

Dear rain. You can get lost and all! We had quite enough of you last year.

Dear Germany. I love you, but I wish you wouldn’t make it so difficult for me to get to my home! While England is technically not that far away, none of the airports close to me do I direct flight, so getting to Newcastle means 5 hours of travelling at the very least (assuming my flights actually match up… usually the journey is made even longer by a two-hour wait time between connections).

Dear family. I really wish I was with you right now. Thanks for keeping me updated!

That’s all from me this week. Sorry it’s so depressing… sometimes living abroad really sucks. If I disappear for a few days, it’s probably because I’ve had to go to a funeral at short notice…

Treating myself

I recently saw a pair of black boots with hearts on them on another blog – Lou’s Labyrinth to be precise – and being a sucker for hearts I decided to find out whether that brand (T.U.K) was available in Germany. I wasn’t planning on actually buying a pair – just looking. But when I discovered they were also available in red I was no longer able to resist – hearts and my favourite colour! It had to be done! Plus Amazon had them on sale for a mere 44 euros, rather than their usual 80-something. Obviously, it was destiny.

♥ ♥

I placed the order on 13 February, exactly 6 months before my 30th birthday, telling myself it was necessary retail therapy to get over the shock of the big day being so close. They were dispatched almost immediately and arrived the next day – Valentine’s Day! It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly if I’d planned it that way.

♥ ♥

The neighbour who’d taken the parcel for me wasn’t home when I got in from work, but as soon as she got back she brought it round to me. I could hardly wait to get into the box!

ParcelEven the shoe box had hearts on – a sure sign it was meant to be a Valentine’s gift to myself 😉

Shoebox with heartsI think I might actually keep the shoe box to store things in. It’s too pretty to throw away!
Taking off the lid, I got my first glance of the boots.

Red bootOh my! Prettiness!
Out of the box, they looked even nicer:

New bootsHere, have a side view:

Boot - side viewThe next stage, of course, was to try them on. I’d never bought shoes from the Internet before and I was a bit worried about whether they would fit – quite often I’ll try something in “my” size on in a shop, only to find that in that particular style I’m actually a size bigger or smaller.

T.U.K bootsA perfect fit. Hooray! 50 euros well spent 🙂

♥ ♥

Something gives me the impresssion it’s Valentine’s Day…

Either Valentine’s day is upon us again, or it’s GCSE coursework time.
Here is a screenshot of the search terms that found my blog yesterday:

search terms 13 Feb 2013(I have no idea why one term is highlighted in orange. Any guesses?)

And here are today’s:

Search terms 14 Feb 2013

(The poem appeared on this very blog on Valentine’s Day four years ago. You can see it here.)

♥♥ Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody! ♥♥

heart texture
Photo: stevefaeembra

The boy done good!

Not being a fan of the forced romance that Valentine’s Day seems to bring out in people (who needs a boyfriend that only says he loves you once a year?!), I didn’t want any gifts from the boy yesterday. My only request was that he be home by 8 so we could actually eat together – a rare occurence, unless it’s the weekend.
Not only did he arrive home a whole two hours earlier than I’d asked him to, but he also turned up with these:

Despite my “who cares about Valentine’s anyway?” stance, I have to admit I was pleased. Maybe I am a cliché after all!
Happy belated Valentine’s Day everyone!

Multi-tasking

I’ve managed to get quite a lot done today, most of it at the same time. Write some notes for my dissertation, wash the dishes, a few more notes for my dissertation, spray cleaning stuff on the shower, sweep the bedroom floor, back to the shower to rinse. Who knew I could be so productive?

Last night Jan and I went to see out with some friends to see a… well, not really a band. A choir really, I suppose. An A Capella choir. But instead of choir music they sing pop songs. Covers of pop songs, songs using the tunes of pop songs but with the lyrics changed. They were very good and very, very funny. Unfortunately, most of their stuff is in German, but there were a few English bits too. Anyway,  they’re called Füenf and you can find their website here in case you feel like checking them out.

I made cupcakes today as well. I even put little hearts on the top, in honour of Valentine’s Day. Jan and I don’t really do Valentine’s Day. It falls right after our “anniversary” (it still seems weird saying that when we’re not married), which is obviously way more important. And everyone knows Valentine’s Day is just a card manufaturers’ scam anyway. So we didn’t exchange any cards or gifts today. Instead, we took a break from our respective dissertations to eat cupcakes and drink coffee together. It’s always nice to spend time just being together, no matter what the occasion. But coffee and cake… I’m turning into a German! Oh well, happy Valentine’s Day anyway. Cupcake anyone?