Saturday, March 30, 2013

#4 Grandma's Classics: Osterzopf (Braided Easter Bread)

I always remember my mother and my grandmother, who were living very close, making this braided bread at Easter when I was a child. My mother continues baking it until today for her Easter brunch. It's one of the traditions that pass on through generations.

How Grandma makes a braided Easter bread

500g flour
1 sachet dry yeast
50g sugar
1 pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/8 l milk
50g butter

1 egg yolk to brush over the finished braid.

Before you start, make sure that all ingredients have room temperature, the milk can even be luke warm.

Mix flour, dry yeast, sugar and the pinch of salt in a bowl. Add eggs, butter and milk and stir well. Knead the dough until it becomes elastic. Add flour if the dough becomes too sticky. Once finished dust the dough with flour, cover the bowl with a dish cloth and set in a warm place for about one hour. The dough should have doubled in size.

Divide the dough into three equal strands and braid them gently. Braid from the middle out to an end, repeat with the other side. Tucks the ends under to seal. Place the braid on a baking sheet, cover with a dish cloth and let it rise for another 1/2 hour.

Beat one egg yolk and brush it over the braid. Bake in a 180° preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until light brown.

If you like you can sink soft-boiled, dyed eggs into the dough before baking. Grandma never did. She always served the eggs separately.
Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

weekend links

Last weekend I had the pleasure to participate in a workshop on Photography and Foodstyling in Weimar.
Antonia posted the most charming recap on her blog.

In the category" woolen hats" we have to seriously consider this one.

I like this cooking experiment: five days, five recipes, one ingredient. Some day I'll have to try it!

A Dirty Dozen ingredients to avoid in your cosmetics.

"Intuitively, we know that the best stuff in life isn't stuff at all, and that relationships, experiences and  meaningful work are the staples of a happy life!" On living with less.

And finally, 40 ways to entertain bored holiday guests and hyperactive children (actually: 40 ways to paint Easter eggs).

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

rosa, oh rosa

antique silver salt bins

Bohemian crystal carafes

Erzgebirgian "Reifentiere"

I had the pleasure of shooting these pictures at Rosa's pink castle. Pass by and dive into Rosa's signature colour!

Monday, March 18, 2013

let water be thy cure

The best way to flush out toxins is simple: lots and lots of water. I start my day off drinking water from a bottle right in the bathroom and continue throughout the day finishing at least one big jug more.

    1.    Recommended amount: at least 2 litres daily.

    2.     Have a glass of water with your cup of coffee/ expresso or black tea because caffeine  
            dehydrates the body.
    3.    Add natural flavours like lemon, mint, cucumber or lemon balm. Simply drop your
            chosen ingredients into a jug of water and chill for at least one hour.
    4.    Water is a carrier of information and has a memory.
            Information can be stored for a long period of time in the water showing certain clusters of
            the molecules. The results of Masaru Emoto's scientific research on this topic are amazing.

    5.    Add an organic mineral salt to your bath. My personal favourites are Himalayan salt and the
            Jentschura Alka Bath. A high concentration of salt in your water will pull toxins out of your
            pores and leave you with a deeply cleansed and healthy skin. After a 30 minutes' bath you will      
            feel exhausted but really good. I would compare the feeling to a rewarding workout or a stay
            in the sauna.

    6.    Cleanse your eyes with a 3% salt solution. I do it nearly every day and love the refreshing and
            relaxing effect.

Monday, March 11, 2013

fruit and juices

   1.   The more colourful the more energizing!

    2.    Since in winter there is little choice of seasonal vegetable and greens, salads often turn out
           boring and without enough variation due to the lack of fresh ingredients. Adding some cooked
           vegetable to your salad is a great way to make it a bit richer, but I want to suggest you another  
           delicious alternative: add fruit to your salad!

          Our favourite pairings added to our usual salads:
          pear + rucola
          date + tomato
          pomegranate + lettuce
          orange + fennel
          apple + cabbage

    3.   During the night soak dry goji berries in water. In the morning drink the goji water and spread
          the berries over your muesli.
    4.   Combine fruit and leafy greens in your smoothies.  Here is my sunshine smoothie for you!

    5.   A three day raw juice and water fast is a great way to detox. It gives your body a fresh start
          without depriving yourself of essential nutrients.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

emotional detox is like a refreshing vacation

We all know that emotions like anger, grief and fear, just to mention the most common ones on the negative side, have an impact on our minds and bodies. Take a quiet moment and try out the remedies below. They work!

Lake Windermere, England

  1. Practice  Yin Yoga
          It is a practice of surrender, of acceptance, of non-doing. 
          Just sit, bring your feet together, elongate the spine and come slowly into a forward bend. Low 
          down your body, let your head drop and close your eyes.                           
          Don't want to get somewhere, don't pull on yourself. Just breathe, relax and feel a deep release.
          It's ok right here and right now.

    2.   Breathe

          Sit quiet and slow your breathing rhythm down, inhale I am love, exhale I love. Very simple,  
          though very powerful. Be aware that the words I am bear the highest amount of creative
          energy, in both senses, positive and negative.

    3.   Meditate on  Love - Truth - Beauty - Trust - Harmony - Peace - Humility.
          These words and the visions they evoke will instantly rise your vibrations.

    4.    Imagine three silver and golden sparkling 8s  in your head (as in the picture below) and follow        
           them smoothly and steadily in your imagination. Not all at once, but one after the other.
           It's ok, that your eyes follow the movement.
           This exercise harmonizes your brain hemispheres and activates the glands in your head.


    5.    Take a long walk in the sunshine.

    6.    Arrange fresh flowers all over  your home.

    7.   Do something you love so much that you forget time and space doing it.

    8.   Surround yourself with people you can lough with and who make you feel energized.


Friday, March 08, 2013

Patisserie & Café Émoi

Nancy et moi, went to Cafe Émoi today. Excuse my very German Sparwitz in the introduction but a good opportunity for a non funny joke could not be missed under any circumstances.

Café Émoi, a bright and modern place, offers your tastebuds the rare experience of French handmade tarts.

White and pink, crystal chandeliers in the sitting area add Frenchness and elegance.
The long counter in the heart of the Café is loaded with little tarts, croissants and cakes. Mr. George,  patissier and owner of Émoi starts to work on his creations at 3:30 in the morning.
He was so kind to meet us and dedicate us some of his time.  He told us that he had lived the life of a globetrotter before he settled in Dresden, close to his hometown Meissen.  France, Belgium, Spain, England, Mexico - just to name some of the countries where he lived and worked in patisseries and restaurants pushing his art to perfection.

However much passion he dedicates to his work the love of his life is his beautiful wife, whom he met in Mexico.

Nancy and I tried a choice of Zupfkuchen and lemon tart, a glass of dill scented pannacotta with mango, a pear and chocolat tart and cherry hazelnut biscuit. All of them delicious!  There is also a bakery shelf with German bread and rolls.
Breakfast with coffee or tea, croissants, homemade jams, eggs and ham is available.

Visit Émoi on to find more "sweet" pictures.

Patisserie & Café Émoi
Kamenzer Str. 40
01099 Dresden
Tel. 0351 804 38 14

Thursday, March 07, 2013

spring detox begins tomorrow

When the sun shines and the birds sing in the morning it's high time for a spring cleaning. Not only for the house (oh, those windows!) but also for the lazy winter body. At least my own body has eaten way too many carbs and sweets during the winter. Not to speak about the very low level of exercise.
In my first post I'll talk about emotional detox, the next ones will focus on fruit, vegetables, powerfood, smoothies, sports, the miracle of prolonged alcaline baths.

I''m curious to hear about your spring cleaning. Do you have special rituals you do every spring?

Friday, March 01, 2013


Theaterplatz, Dresden

Did you ever listen to the famous "sound of ancient gold"?
This is how they call the warm and full sound which characterizes the Saxon State Orchestra and which has been saved through the centuries until today. The Staatskapelle, as it is commonly known,  is one of the world's oldest orchestras, always carried on by artists, which carefully choose their new fellow musicians exactly because of coping with this special ideal of sound.
The Staatskapelle's home is the Semperoper, situated at the Theaterplatz in the very center of Dresden. Did you once happen to watch the TV advertising of Radeberger beer? Well, the beautiful classical building is not the brewery but the opera!

Despite yesterday's cold and foggy weather  (and probably icy streets on my way back home) I decided that in no way I could miss the 6th chamber evening : the second part of the program included Le Chant de Linos by Jolivet with the striking solo flute and Béla Bartók's string quartet n°4, which in its five movements displays the whole technical frenzy a stringed instrument (together with its player) is able to.  I saw a lot of bows' hairs flying loose!

It's amazing how the big opera stage by means of a beautiful tapestry in the back is able to shrink down to an intimate place where chamber music doesn't feel lost.

Nevertheless, if you have the possibility don't miss to visit one of the great opera performances, the ballets or the symphony concerts. Here is the 2013 program.

My long term recommendation: I'm sure it will be interesting to closely watch the orchestra's development under the conducting of Christian Thielemann. Both are very happy to have found each other.
My short term recommendation: buy tickets for the 9th or 12th of June 2013. Richard Strauss' Rosenkavalier conducted by Christian Thielemann will be sublime!

Remaining tickets are sold to students for 10€ 30 minutes before the performance begins.
See also ticket sales.
For those who are especially interested in the program of the Staatskapelle, there is a free App available  on itunes.