Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes neues Jahru

We’re back…again.  But hopefully with the new year we will be much more dedicated, or at least that’s the plan.  There will be new movies, recipes, and new German words of the week on our white board which is currently displaying a random drawing of Orion the constellation to practice grammar and writing sentences. To play a little catch up the following are two recipes we made over the holiday season that are highly recommended.  I wish that I had found some great German Christmas movies to watch, but I suppose there’s always next year.


For a while now I’ve been wanting to make eggnog.  I’m not really sure why, neither of us are big fans of the eggnog sold in stores after Thanksgiving, but whenever I see people drinking eggnog in movies (i.e. Christmas Vacation and a third of the Christmas Hallmark movies) it seems like it is so delicious, so festive and fun, besides homemade has to be better than whatever I can buy, right?  RIGHT. Initially the plan was to find a Martha Stewart recipe but as we both looked Kelsey came upon a recipe for German eggnog.  Called Eierlikor, translated as egg liquor, German eggnog is much thicker than what we are accustomed to here in the States and is so, so good.  The first initial batch we decided to try out on gift to Kelsey’s research group and she is still receiving compliments (although there may be a small chance they were just being kind). We used milk bottles and mason jars 8oz purchased at a locate craft store, three batches comfortably filled 12 jars of that size leaving just enough room to add additional liquid to loosen up the eggnog. Start to finish it took us about three hours to make and bottle.  It can can be enjoyed warm or cold, we served ours in double shot glasses topped with whipped cream and dusting of cinnamon.

Recipe borrow from here


  1. 8 eggs
  2. 250g powdered sugar
  3. 375ml half and half
  4. 2 vanilla pods
  5. 250ml white rum

Step One: Beat eggs until foamy.  Slowly beat in sugar, half and half, then the rum.
Step Two: Creating sometime akin to a double boiler but with a pot and saucepan, fill a large pot (roughly half full) with water and warm on the stove.  Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan.  Slice vanilla beans in half and add to the egg mixture.
Step Three: Place saucepan into the heated water; stir constantly until the mixture is heated through and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  While the mixture is still warm pour into glass jars leaving a little room so additional liquid can be added to loosen up the eggnog.


On the cookie side, I found an almond vanilla shortbread recipe that worked really well.  This is a popular Christmas cookie in Germany and Austria.  Admittedly I wasn’t very careful in my conversions and measurements causing the dough to be quite crumbly and delicate when baked, but they were still really good.  Since I was unable to find vanilla sugar in my grocery store I made my own, letting sugar and one split vanilla bean sit together for a week before I baked the cookies.  There are several recipes floating around on pinterest; the recipe I used can be found on this blog.


Next Up: All about German Fasching or Karneval, the week long pre-lent celebration. The other day Kelsey and I were talking about Mari Gras, mainly our disappointment in not being able to plan a last minute trip to New Orleans and deciding to make dinner reservations at the New Orleans themed restaurant on our street, and wondered if there was a German version of Mari Gras.  And the celebration days and food look like so much fun.


we’re back!

Through the haze of starting a new position at work, football season, and weekends filled with visitors and traveling…and despite having been on a bit of a hiatus, this blog and donnerstags auf deutsch have been on my mind.   So with the first down weekend at home we’ve been able to have a little revival!

It’s officially winter in Pennsylvania, or at least I am ready to make that declaration since we now have 30 degree weather and Halloween has passed, which means it is officially hot cocoa season.  For this German Thursday, which actually happened on Friday, I made an Viennese style hot chocolate recipe. After doing a little bit of research on hot cocoa recipes from Germany, and then in other countries in Europe, I decided that I wanted to make a hot cocoa that was completely rich and outrageous and departure for the recipe I use on the back of the Hershey’s cocoa power box.  Austrian hot chocolate is very rich and thick, made with heavy cream or thickened with a egg yolk and topped with whipped cream, was exactly was I was looking for.  The recipe I chose Friday night was ridiculously simple and hands down the most amazingly decadent hot chocolate I’ve ever made.  Kelsey described it as almost drinking brownie batter.  In total honesty this is the hot chocolate that tops all other hot chocolates, which I realize is a serious statement, but I seriously think that it might be able to cure all bad days and maybe even the common cold or flu.  I used 60% dark chocolate chips, 2 % milk, and canned whipped cream (I did buy a 70% dark chocolate bar that was used the next night for another batch which was also quite good, but I preferred the 60% as I like my cocoa a little sweeter). I’ve found a few other recipes (here and here) that I plan to try throughout the season, but it might be a little difficult to stray from the first one I’ve tried.

Viennese Hot Chocolate

Viennese Hot Chocolate

Viennese Hot Chocolate (2-3 servings)
1 1/4 c. milk
6oz chocolate (60-70%)
1 egg yolk
Whipped Cream (garnish on top)

Heat milk and chocolate in a saucepan, whisking frequently, do not boil.  Once the chocolate and milk have combined, taste milk and add sugar depending on your preferences, and remove from heat.  In a separate bowl temper the egg yolk with two tablespoons of the heated milk and chocolate mixture.  Whisk this egg mixture into the saucepan and return to heat.  Stir constantly to thicken the mixture and heat through, take care not to boil as the egg will curdle. Divide hot chocolate between three cups (tea cups were the perfect size) and top with whipped cream.

I’ve been wanting to see A Coffee in Berlin for some time since I read several reviews a few months ago in the New York Times (or maybe it was Roger Ebert’s website) when it was playing in select cities in the US this past summer.  A Coffee in Berlin (or Oh Boy as it was originally titled) follows Niko, a twenty-something, unemployed law-school dropout living in Berlin who has been living off school funds provided by his father (who doesn’t know Niko’s left school).  The entire plot takes place in one 24 hour period as Niko travels around the city meeting with his father (after his funds have run dry), friends, and new people…attempting to get a cup of coffee.

Several reviews compared A Coffee in Berlin to Frances Ha and various Woody Allen movies, which on the surface I can agree; Niko can be described as awkward, lost, maybe a little lazy or selfish but somehow charming. The movie does have a plot but it is mostly all internal, and the movie is in black and white.   But the comparisons, at least in my opinion, end there.   Frances Ha was about Frances going through the typical mid-twenties growing pains in regard to the way friendships change and reconciling your dreams and what you want to do with being responsible finding a way to support yourself financially and emotionally.  A Coffee in Berlin is different, Niko is lost and doesn’t know what to do with himself or really the people around him, but on a larger scale this movie was more about Berlin and Germany and the past what it is to live there now.  I don’t know if I can describe this correctly or if this is the intention of the movie, but I mention this because of two scenes. In one,Niko and a friend visit as actor on set of a WWII film. The other, Niko meets an older man, back in Berlin in his old neighborhood after being away for 60 years, who recounts his recollection of Kristallnacht. I think this is a movie that will work for some and not for others.  It’s funny and sad and thoughtful and at times cringe-worthy.  For me, it was well worth the wait (it’s now available for instant stream on amazon); visually it’s beautiful, the soundtrack is that comfortable lazy jazz – if that’s your thing, and overall I thought it was lovely a film that has made me think…or made me really think about what I wanted to say in a review.

As far as language resources, I think I’ve found an online program that works for me, well at this point I really just need to make it a habit to devote time regularly to working through the lessons.  The online German course from DW-WORLD.DE teaches grammar as well as vocabulary and phrases.

Until the next time, I will be combing through German cookie recipes I plan to work into my Christmas cookie baking this year and drinking hot chocolate. bis später.

Glühwein and Glühweinplätzchen

German Thursday August 21st

So with school just starting I completely failed at updating the blog. I made these recipes back at the end of August when Alison let to go home for a weekend. Since Alison was going to be gone I didn’t want to do anything extravagant. Also lately it had been feeling like fall outside, so I decided that I would make a warm drink and maybe some cookies.

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football and weisswurst

Hallo!  Oh man what is there to say, this poor little blog have been neglected for weeks.  My excuse will be the start of the semester for the two of us.  And with the beginning of the school year came the start to college football season so all effort for our my planned meals have gone to breakfasts on Saturday mornings, and our German Word of the Week board has been dedicated to game information.  I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time combing through different breakfast and tailgating menus and recipes only to ultimately decide to throw things in the kitchen together, well with one exception.  And now that we are in full fall mode, we have been cycling through horror movies like crazy and I have been seeking out new additions to my Halloween playlist. Happy game day to all!

german breakfast sausageBut it’s a night game this week (edit the date for this was 9/13), plus Kelsey is off doing science stuff for a class, so tomorrow we are getting a little back or track with German Breakfast.  On the menu: pretzel rolls, weisswurst, apples, cheese, eggs, and perhaps something sweet to put on the table.  I can’t take full credit, or really any credit for the weisswurst in this meal.  That was entirely Kelsey’s idea from her past post on variations of German sausage.  This week it was finally back at our grocery store so naturally we had to give it a go.  Weisswurst is a sausage almost exclusive to Bavaria, and fitting for breakfast because traditionally this is a sausage that is eaten in the morning – late morning due to it’s preparation.  Made from a mix of veal and pork, this sausage does not use smoked meat, therefore making it extremely perishable.  This sausage is served or brought to the table in it’s cooking liquid; before eating the weisswurst meat should be removed from it’s casing and should be accompanied with a pretzel and sweet mustard.  Pictures to come tomorrow!

Movie-wise we plan to watch Blood Glacier.  Currently streaming on Netflix, this movie is about a scientist who travels to the Alps to research global warming when his group discovers a mysterious red liquid seeping out of a glacier that is affecting the local wildlife.

Frikadellen und Filme

Instead of making food on thursday we did it on sunday. That way we could spend the whole day watching German movies and  I could take my time making the meatballs.

Alison didn’t really pay attention when we were watching A Girl Called Rosemary, so I will be commenting on it.

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die Deutsch romantische Komödie

Word of the Week board

Hallo on this Deutsch Sonntag!  The original plan for German Saturday was delayed one day due to me dragging Kelsey to the movies and then eating outside at a restaurant on our block because there was finally a break in the cool, rainy weather.  On deck for the Sonntag Menu: meatballs, spaetzle, and some improvised Black Forest cake.  On the movie side we watched Rabbit Without Ears, Rosemaire. and What a Man.  I feel like we watched more German movies, but I guess that was it.  I did rent, but we have yet to watch, The Lives of Others.  And I spent a fair amount of time looking at the German Amazon site to see what films I could stream. Well, I was mostly trying to see if I could find a stream-able version of a Rabbit Without Ears 2, but ultimately I wasn’t sure if the version I would be streaming had English subtitles and couldn’t decide if it was worth the amount of euros for a movie that didn’t receive many favorable reviews. Of course after closing the page I then decided that we should watch the sequel, but I was unable to locate it on Amazon Instant Video.  I suppose I should have just gone for it when I thought I had the chance.  Oh well.

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Hallo! Oh my gosh we are getting so far behind.  I’m going to continue blaming travel and being lazy, binge watching The Killing and Hemlock Grove, shopping for Halloween/Fall candles enjoying the last few weeks for summer before the semester begins.

Actually last Thursday Kelsey was away and, since it was my birthday, I spent the entire day eating brownies and ice cream.  To make up for all of the German Thursdays we have missed, this week’s German Thursday will move to Saturday.  We have big plans for German meatballs, maybe some homemade pasta, bread or a dessert, and hopefully some imported beer. Kelsey is in charge of recipes for the week so look for those in our next post. Upcoming movies for Saturday will include Keinohrhasen, because I’m always on the look out for a new rom-com; The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, another German silent horror film from the 1920s; and Das weisse Band, because we are still on a kick of German horror films.  I hope to round out the movie selection of this week with another rom-com or some kind of a happier film.

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