Monthly Archives: August 2012

staycation

Last weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a dear friend of mine over her birthday weekend. I love the opportunity to show off my favorite places in Cologne, as well as try out some new ones, and these 5 days were surely no exception.

Highlights include:

Thursday: Madeline arrives! We sip Kölsch while sitting in a Strandkorb by the Rhine. Take a tour of the city center via Bimmelbahn. Eat Schnitzel and Käsespätzle before going to bed early.

Friday: We spend the morning waiting for the Klempner, followed by shopping at some of Germany’s hottest stores. A thrown-together bean salad for dinner, followed by meeting my creepy Russian neighbor, too many beers, and discovering Ham and Cheese flavored snacks at the Kiosk.

Saturday: Another lazy morning, including brunch at a new-to-me French cafe. The rest of the day is spent at my friend Kedar’s, where we enjoy homemade Chole and too many bottles of Yellow Tail. A late-night Döner rounds out the evening.

Sunday: Madeline’s actual birthday! We eat a disappointing (to me) brunch across the street from my apartment, take advantage of free admission to the Chocolate Museum on one’s birthday as well as some boozy hot chocolates. Peek into the Mustard Museum on our way home, to sample the three nastiest-looking Joey’s pizzas (in the name of science!) and watch Snapped in my bed.

Monday: Last minute souvenir shopping, followed by some packing and lounging. A farewell German dinner, including entirely too much beer for a Monday night and befriending our server, Holger, who claims to be the father of four illegitimate children. I am barely coherent when Madeline leaves my apartment at 430am to catch her flight back to America. I spend the first half of my Tuesday at work with a questionable level of sobriety.

how to cook everything

I am very lucky to have a Germany BFF (not German… full-blooded American, for sure) who loves to cook. I try to see her as often as possible, and the agenda always includes her cooking for me, while I help out by drying the dishes and putting them back where they don’t belong. She also froths the milk for my coffee, which helps make up for the fact that her couch is 6 inches too short to be comfortable to sleep on.

Recently, we met up for the weekend, with the intention of cooking mass amounts of unhealthy treats from Kevin‘s blog (we are on a first-name basis with many popular food bloggers. It’s whatever). What we ended up doing was eating rather healthily, spending a day at a beach, and partying well into the night.

Friday night were these, except at my suggestion we made them into burgers rather than meatballs, and we chowed down on them topped them with parma ham and homemade pesto from her basil plant.

Saturday morning we had bagels! With cream cheese! Hard to come by in Germany but there is a bagel store in Frankfurt apparently.

Saturday for lunch we had these wraps, except with normal chickpeas and sans apple because Kelly thought it would be better without… she was wrong. Also mine fell apart in transit on our way to the beach. Luckily, we had packed a fork.

Sunday she was able to crank out this dip before having to lay prone in bed again to fight off her hangover. (We might be getting too old to get home from the club at 3am).

Naturally, I didn’t take a single picture in the 2.5 days I was there, so I’ll leave you with my favorite picture of Kelly.

ramblin’ (wo)man

I just spent at least half an hour trying to make a Google map of all the places I went while I was in the US for 2 weeks. Epic fail. Suffice it to say, I was all over the PA turnpike, to Baltimore and back and seemingly everywhere in between.

I saw a dear friend get married, and at some point in the evening my nose ring disappeared.

I visited my favorite place on earth, in Middle River, MD and got to see ‘adoptive’ family members in MD and PA (I am well-loved by my friends’ families)

I ate a whole pack of Taylor Ham and got my hands on some sharp cheddar cheese and Thomas’ English muffins to go with it. Additionally I enjoyed crabs smothered in Old Bay, sweet corn on the cob, Italian water ice, gravy fries,  a crab-stuffed monte cristo, a huge Italian hoagie, and enjoyed an avocado and bacon omelette while surrounded by dismembered baby doll heads and millions of PEZ dispensers.

I also saw my actual family, and it always surprises me that my young cousins remember who I am after I abandon them for a large majority of the year.

All in all, not a bad way to spend two weeks in July.