Triberg – Crazy, Sexy, Cuckoos

e048daec0e9c9ceec245cebc9d77b561First things first.  I dare you to not get TLC stuck in your head while reading this post. Secondly, as I write this, I am SICK.  SO SICK.  Like hacking up a lung SICK. And I hate being sick, especially in a foreign land.  And even more especially in a foreign land where they consider Vitamin C and Echinacea an appropriate solution to lung-hacking.  And if I’m being completely honest, I’m also a huge baby.  Regardless, if you’re reading this, please send a full-time nurse, some antibiotics, some of that good American Pseudoephedrine, and a hug.  Okay, enough of my whining. Onto our day trip to Triberg!

2d3764a9d82ef61c7e25d159835130e1November 1st is All Saint’s Day in certain states in Germany, so we had the day off to sightsee.  Choosing day trips is really tough, especially on a holiday since most things are closed.  I saw pictures of Triberg, which is located in the Black Forest, and I thought it looked like a great fall escape to get out and enjoy before the Germany wintry weather is really upon us.

d1decec12fe1aa3c2d42a3331efc8ebaIt was a three hour train ride, which is especially beautiful as you enter the Black Forest.  The trees along the ride are incredible – extremely tall spruce and fir trees that seem to reach up into space.  Also, I feel like I need to clarify that the train above is not the train we took to Triberg (love you, Mom)!

d3bb2c0c622cc65363e2487c3c8d44b3The town is most known for it’s cuckoo clocks and it’s waterfall.  We started the day with a trek up to see the waterfall, which was the real reason we wanted to visit.  It’s a pretty good workout up the hill to see the waterfall, especially if you choose to go all the way to the top, but so worth it!  Also, I continue to be impressed that in Germany there is always someone significantly older and less fit to hike up a hill, doing it without complaint.  So, no room for whiners, up I go!

bc5272c35d95198a0f9fa85f11274e12.jpgOn our way up to see the waterfall, we passed a guy wearing a Texas A&M jacket, and despite the fact that I’m what you would call a ‘2 percenter’ Aggie, barely went to football games, and the worst offense – married a Longhorn, something strange happened and I spontaneously transformed into a yell leader and gave a big ‘Whoop!’ AND “Gig ’em” with the thumb and all.  I haven’t seen Andy since.  I’m kidding, he can’t escape me.

bb7c5abf9a3bf9ab9f3fb9f751612192The waterfall and the trail up to the waterfall was truly stunning.  Perhaps I haven’t seen many waterfalls, but I thought the views were definitely worth the trip.


3901bdbc48e6db6c173a4d5f776e62baAfter our hike up to see the waterfalls, we made our way back down into town and had worked up quite an appetite.  We had a pretty traditional German meal, accompanied with a beer, of course, and then set off to see the rest of what the town had to offer.


384ae4cc37595941efdd96b156f5fceaTriberg is known for it’s cuckoo clocks, so we went in one of it’s most well-known shops, House of 1000 Clocks. The intricate detail that goes into making these clocks was truly impressive. There was also really neat wood-working shop with figurines, manger scenes, and Christmas ornaments all carved out of wood.



457fc177b501489229198f08cf28ac06Now, this is where I feel like I need to be completely honest with anyone reading this. This is about where we ran out of things to do, and learned a small lesson in travel planning.  If you aren’t sure how long you will spend somewhere, buy the flexible train tickets or rent a car!  Yes, had we really thought this through, we would have rented a car, because beyond the beautiful waterfall, there wasn’t much else to see!

I think sometimes bloggers don’t share enough about things they’ve been slightly disappointed in, so I’m putting it out there, guys!  With all due respect to Triberg, the waterfalls were beautiful but there’s only so much of my day I can fill with cuckoo clocks.

74a4e1d53f3578b5925e11566812b389If I were to do it again, would we make the day trip to Triberg?  Yes, of course!  But we would do it tagged onto another trip, possibly to see more of the Black Forest.

Now, back to hanging in bed the rest of the day in my sea of tissues.

Apple Harvest Salad


One of the coolest things about the house we live in, is it’s on some land that has tons of fruit and nut trees, mostly apples, pears, plums and walnuts.  When we showed up from Houston, our German landlords probably thought we were nuts.  It was like we were just discovering that apples grew on trees!  We went a little crazy picking apples and walnuts.  And as you can see, you need a glass or two of wine to crack an entire bucket of walnuts!


This has been my go-to lunch salad lately.  It’s a great way to throw in some of our backyard bounty, and is truly such a great and simple salad for fall!  The stars of the show are apples and walnuts, of course, as well as fresh goat cheese, bacon, and a really delicious maple balsamic dressing.  Serve it up with grilled chicken or salmon, and you’ve got a super simple and satisfying meal.


Apple Harvest Salad


1 large head of butter lettuce, or another mild lettuce.  Should equal about 8 cups unpacked.  You may require 2 heads of lettuce, depending on the size
1 sweet apple, similar to gala or honeycrisp, thinly sliced
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
6 slices bacon
4 tablespoons hemp seeds
1/4 cup Maple Balsamic Dressing
1/2 cup Honey Spiced Walnuts


Start by rinsing and drying your lettuce leaves. You want to make sure your lettuce is good and dry prior to putting you salad together, so either allow for enough time to dry, or use a salad-spinner to get all the water off.

Next, fry bacon on medium high heat until crispy.  Allow them to cool and drain on a paper towel before chopping or crumbling.

In a large salad bowl, tear or chop the lettuce leaves into large, but bite-size pieces.  I prefer to toss the lettuce in with the dressing prior to adding all the goodies.  So at this point, I would drizzle on the dressing.  Tip:  You might try adding just 1/2 the dressing in, tossing, and tasting to determine if you want to use less or more.  You don’t want soggy lettuce, so go for less and then you can add more if necessary.

Once you’ve tossed the lettuce with the dressing, add in apple slices, crumbled goat cheese, bacon, Honey Spiced Walnuts, and hemp seeds.  Lightly toss to combine the rest of the ingredients.  Dig in, and try to not become addicted to this salad!

MACROS: Calories 289, Fat 21g, Carbohydrates 13g, Protein 14g

Honey Spiced Walnuts


This recipe came about because I was trying to recreate this delicious salad that I would have at a restaurant back home.  The salad had these candied walnuts on them that were so good, but were likely made with loads of sugar.  I was able to make these without processed sugar, and they are only lightly sweet, so while they satisfy your sweet tooth, they won’t turn you into a crazy person on a sugar binge.


You can use any type of nuts, but I love walnuts, and we happen to have them all over our backyard!  My personal favorite use for these nuts is as a topper to this Apple Harvest Salad.  These are so easy, there’s no reason to not to give it a try!

Honey Spiced Walnuts

YIELDS: 12 servings


2 cups walnuts
2 tablespoons honey, melted
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Light sprinkle of sea salt


Preheat oven to 350F (or 176C).  Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

Melt butter and honey and add to a large mixing bowl.  Add in spices and a pinch of sea salt and mix well to combine.

Pour in the nuts and mix well to coat with butter, honey and spice mixture.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

MACROS: Calories 155, Fat 14g, Carbohydrates 6g, Protein 3g


Maple Balsamic Dressing

This dressing is perfect for a fall salad, especially this Apple Harvest Salad, or drizzled on veggies for roasting.


2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients, stir well or shake and salt and pepper to taste.

Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

0ac5a2fdb3adbc8d141cc736097eace6When we were just planning to move to Germany, I did a lot of researching day trips we could go on, and the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival was one of the day trips I was most excited about.  I mean, what better way of easing my way into German culture, than a pumpkin festival!

We took this trip weeks ago, life has been busier than expected.  You know, things like learning how to hang laundry out to dry the old-fashioned way, and testing my body’s resilience to carbs and beer.   So here I am in the final days of October, posting pumpkin pictures.  But it’s too good to not share!


Every year, between the first week of September and first week of November, Ludwigsburg hosts it’s annual Pumpkin Festival, which brings folks from all over.  Each year there is a different theme, and this year the theme was Pumpkin Forest.  There were all types of forest creatures and characters made out of…you guessed it…pumpkins! 


There are displays of different types of pumpkins from all over the world, as well as a variety of pumpkin food items – wines, oils, seeds, soups, waffles, you name it!  As well, your fair share of German beers, of course!


Beyond the pumpkin displays, there are tons of activities for families and kids – playgrounds, a few rides.  There are the most adorable little fairy-tale houses, built to resemble different fairly tales, such as Rapunzel’s Castle, where a long, blonde braid would lower down from the top.  One of my favorite moments was when the braid was lowering, hearing the excited kids, yelling, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let your hair down”, in German.  Pretty heart-melting!  And the gingerbread house that Hansel and Gretel were lured into by the scary witch.  More scary than heart-warming, but still nostalgic.



Beyond the Pumpkin Festival, Ludwigsburg is a lovely city.  The Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg, or Ludwigsburg Castle for us Texans, is a palace that was built in the 1700s and is knows as the “Versailles of Swabia” because of it’s familiar appearance. It has a huge courtyard and tours are offered, where you can actually go inside and see the interior of the palace.



And for flower-lovers, one of the best parts of the palace is the immaculate flower gardens, with every type of flower imaginable.


When you’re done at the Pumpkin Festival, or touring the palace, Ludwigsburg has plenty to offer when it comes to shopping and eating.

If you’re in Germany in the fall, Ludwigsburg, is a perfect day-trip, and opportunity to get your pumpkin fix.

More info on the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival, can be found at the following site:









Lake Constance: A Tale of 3 Countries


Life has been so busy over the last month, just learning how to navigate public transportation and live without a Trader Joes.  I’ve been behind on posting a few of our day trips, but the newly rainy and cold German Winter has us in for the day, and it seems like the perfect time to share some sunshine.

The very first day trip we went on was to Lake Constance, or as the locals call it, Bodensee.  It’s an absolutely stunning lake located in the foothills of the Alps, and is bordered by Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

To get there, we took a bus to Meersburg, and then took a ferry to Konstanz, which is a lovely town, bustling with locals out and about, enjoying the sunshine, ice cream cones, and waterfront views.


The weather is known for being fairly gusty, which along with the beauty of the water and surroundings, attracts quite a few watersports fanatics.  The view of the flocks of sailboats and windsurfers was incredible on the ferry ride over to Konstanz.

We learned a bit about the past of Konstanz, which has a really interesting past.  With the lake being surrounded by Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, naturally it begs the question – who owns what parts of the lake?  Although there’s no legally binding agreement, the Swiss hold the view that the border runs through the middle of the lake, Germany has no official legal opinion, and the Austrians believes the territory belongs to all three countries jointly.  How civil, right?


Imperia, a statue modeled after a fictional, umm…prostitute, greets you at the entrance of the harbor and has caused quite a stir over the years.  Because well, what you see pictured is her back which is fully clothed, but her front is not quite as modest.  And being the lady of controversy, Imperia holds in her hands two men.  Two men look oddly like Pope Martin V and emperor at that time (Gasp!).  Despite the many requests to remove the statue, it is on property that the railroad owns, and they could give a hoot, so hundreds of years later, the statue remains a unique landmark of Konstanz.


This is the perfect place to stroll, shop, and of course, eat!  We started by stopping by a local Italian restaurant and had the most delicious pizza and beer to hold us over for the rest of our day trip.  The town was filled with locals shopping and enjoying ice cream cones.  If you weren’t aware, the ice cream obsession here is REAL.


Konstanz also is home to the Zeppelin Museum, which is dedicated to airships, and has a replica of the Hindenburg, the largest airship ever built, which crashed in the 1930’s and put an end to the airship era.  To be honest, I could have lived without this part of our trip, but it was interesting.  It’s hard to be inside a museum when there’s clear blue water and sunshine waiting just outside the doors.


And as with any day trip in Europe, it wouldn’t be complete without visiting a historic cathedral and doing some more shopping before heading home.


I already cannot wait to schedule another trip to Konstanz.  But next time, a full weekend in the summer.  This is the perfect place for an easy day outdoors, finished with a cool dip in the lake, and a walk into town for dinner.

If you’re in Germany…or Austria…or Switzerland during the warmer months, Lake Constance is a must-see.  You won’t regret it!


London Fog Latte (Non-Dairy)


I don’t know about where you are, but today in Germany, the weather feels legitimately fall-ish.  But not the good fall-ish.  Cold, damp, and cloudy fall-ish.  Times like these, I used to make a Starbucks run for a mid-afternoon coffee, but these days, I’m trying to stick to coffee in the mornings only.  This tea latte is my favorite when I really need an afternoon pick-me-up.  It’s frothy, creamy, light, and so easy to make!  I’ve made this one non-dairy, and added a twist by using lavender earl grey tea.  Try it out, and I bet it will be one of your new favorites as well!

YIELDS: 1 serving


2 bags lavender earl grey tea (if you aren’t able to find lavender earl grey, you can use regular earl grey and add 1/2 tsp dried lavender)
1 cup filtered water
1/2 cup cashew milk (I’ve used almond milk and cashew milk, but prefer cashew milk as it tends to be creamier and sweeter)
1 teaspoon local honey (optional)
1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)


Bring filtered water to a boil.  Add earl grey tea bags and allow to steep for 4-5 minutes.

While the tea is steeping, heat the cashew milk over the stove or in the microwave.  You don’t want to boil this, you only want to warm it so it doesn’t cool down your tea, because that is a real drag.

Pour steeped tea into a blender.  Add warm cashew milk, collagen peptides (this helps with the frothiness) and honey (if you like it a little sweeter) and blend on high until frothy, about 10-15 seconds. Pour into a large mug, and enjoy!

MACROS: Calories 33, Fat 0g, Carbohydrates 5g, Protein 5g



About Me

Hello.  My name is Christan, and my husband, our dog Cooper, and I are Texans living in Germany.  We love to explore as much as possible, and of course, try new cuisines.  Food has always been a way of bringing people together, and I believe there’s nothing more nurturing than preparing a meal to share with those you love.  I enjoy creating recipes inspired by travel, as well as by the place I call home, Texas.


My recipes reflect the way that we eat and how I believe people should experience cooking.  I believe in whole, seasonal foods, and real butter.  That cooking should be unintimidating, fun, and always accompanied with good music and a glass of wine.

I hope you enjoy following along our adventures in Europe as well as my adventures cooking up recipes in our teeny-tiny  German kitchen!



Simple Pot Roast


Pot roast is a classic, but so many people avoid it because they have memories of dry pot roast with no flavor.  I love this dish because it’s humble, but also elegant enough to impress.  Cooked low and slow so it’s extra tender, with red wine, mushrooms and thyme, for an earthy flavor.  Just throw it in the oven in the morning and come home in the evening to perfectly cooked roast!

You can definitely cook this on a higher heat, for less time. However, my experience has been that it doesn’t come out nearly as tender.  Plus, I sort of like the idea of putting it in first thing in the morning, and taking it out just before dinner – boom!


Best served with a creamy horseradish parsnip mash, which even my mashed potato-loving husband loves!

Now, for my friends in Germany, this is an opportunity to exercise your German language skills!  I promise, if I can speak enough to walk out with a roast, so you can you!  You will want to go to the butcher counter and tell them you need a kilo of rinder schulter (beef shoulder), which is about as close to the cut of roast that we, Americans, are accustomed to.


YIELDS: 5-6 servings


3 tablespoons avocado oil
2-2.5 lb chuck roast
4 shallots
8 ounces of mushrooms, stems removed, cut into quarters
1 cup red wine
Beef broth or bouillon
5-6 sprigs of thyme


Heat avocado oil in large dutch oven on high heat.  Salt and pepper the roast liberally.  Once the pot is smoking hot, sear the roast on all sides, about 4 minutes per side.  Once seared, remove the roast to a plate to the slide.

Turn heat down to medium heat and add shallots and mushrooms.  Sprinkle with sea salt and saute until shallots are softened and translucent. Add in red wine in with shallots and mushrooms, whisk, and allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the roast back into the dutch oven, and pour in beef broth to about halfway up the roast.  Only about half of the roast should be out of the broth mixture.  Note: for my German friends, you can use water up to halfway, and add one beef bouillon cube, or teaspoon of bouillon.

Spoon some of the shallots and mushrooms over the roast and add thyme sprigs to the pot.

Cover the pot and put in the oven on 200F (approx. 93C) ALL DAY.  Just walk away and forget about it.  8-12 hours is ideal, and typically the longer the better.  You will want to check it at around 10 hours.  And if you test it with a fork and it’s not tender, leave it in for a little longer.

Remove from the oven, and serve up with horseradish parsnip mash.  YUM.

MACROS: Calories 457, Fat 36.8g, Carbohydrate 1.4g, Protein 26.6g

Horseradish Parsnip Mash


Raise your hand if you’re tired of cauliflower mash.  YES.  I’m right there with you.  Cauliflower mash, cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza, cauliflower in my smoothie.  I have done it all.  While I think it’s a fantastic, lower carb substitute, sometimes you need a slump-buster.

Now, I didn’t get rid of the cauliflower altogether, but I did add a new player – parsnips!  If you haven’t tried parsnips, they are a root vegetable that are typically in season fall through winter, and have a bit of a sweet flavor to them.  They’re delicious roasted, but for this recipe I boil and mix them up with cauliflower and horseradish for a comforting side to roast, chicken or fish.  And if you’re not into horseradish, skip it!  It’s delicious with just the garlic, but we happen to love horseradish in our house.




1.5 pounds parsnips (about 8 medium parsnips), peeled and chopped
2 cups cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon horseradish (or more if you love horseradish)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat a pot of water to boiling.  Add parsnips and cauliflower.  Boil for 20-30 minutes until parsnips and cauliflower are tender.

Drain parsnips and cauliflower in a colander. Make sure all water has drained, so your parsnip mash isn’t runny!

Add drained parsnips and cauliflower to a blender, along with mayonnaise, butter, horseradish, garlic, and salt and pepper.  And I feel like I need to add this as a side note: For the love, please do not use low-fat mayonnaise and then tell me you don’t like this recipe.  I could get into all the weird things they do to make mayo, butter, nut butters, cheese and milk non-fat, but I’ll save that for another time. Let’s all just eat real food.

Pulse in a blender or food processer until ingredients are combined and cauliflower and parsnips are creamy.  Be careful to not over-blend, or you may end up with more of a puree.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour in a serving bowl and top with chives, or if you’re like me, a little more butter!

MACROS:  Calories 147, Fat 5.8g, Carbohydrates 23.5g, Protein 2.4g