October 19, 2014
There are so many little pearls in Berlin to discover. Especially ones related to food and coffee. As we’re running around different neighbourhoods with Tomasz, looking for strollers and all the other things I didn’t even know existed, sometimes we have a serious need for a break. And yesterday we had one in Chapter One.
This is a tiny lovely place serving great coffee and a nice selection of fresh pastries. And it is something a bit different than other cafes, as they don’t concentrate only on Berlin’s roasteries and import amazing grains from all over the globe. Located in non touristy part of Kreuzberg is a heaven for locals and people who know about it.
As I’ve mentioned, the place is tiny, so not to many places to sit. We occupied a bench next to a big window and this is the best comfy option. You also have few stools and when weather is nice, you can enjoy sun sitting outside. But it doesn’t seem to be a problem. While we were there we’ve witnessed crowded moments and most of customers took coffee away with them. But if you’re looking for a place to sit with your computer and work a bit, it’s not Chapter One. Come here if you want to have a good cup of coffee and chat with a friend.
The interior is great - beautiful old tiles, wood and nice colour on walls. Plus many different appliances to create a good cup of coffee.
But as always people are the most important. You all know that even the best place stops to be special with not such a special service. In Chapter One you won’t be disappointed, people working there are super nice, they know their coffee, how to treat it and they want to share it with you. I’ve asked few questions and non of them was considered strange (thank you!) and now I want to go there more and more. Oh they don’t serve decaf. I know that most of you don’t care about his “fake coffee”, but pregnant women do :).
I must mention music! Each time I come here, they play good Hip - Hop and it reminds me of my teenage rebel days. I did not drink coffee then but it surly is a good subject to think about over a cup. I’ve asked about the music selection and it was just a coincident as each member of staff has a favourite tune, but for me it made this place even more special.
Chapter One, Mittenwalderstrasse 30, 10961 Kreuzberg, Berlin
Tue - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, Sun: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
October 16, 2014
Last year at this time I was packing for Barcelona. It was cold, I can easily write super cold and I couldn’t wait to board a plane and feel sun on my face in Spain. This year things has changed. For the very first time we’re not escaping winter and it’s all because in few weeks we’ll become parents. Yes! But this year I don’t feel like it because weather is AMAZING! It’s like 16-20 Celsius degrees (just like Spain last year), sun shines, city looks beautiful and it could not be better. It’s a middle of October and we’re having breakfast in park. How cool is this!
I enjoy eating outside, especially when food is prepared by us or friends. And morning light in October is magical.
Today recipe is super easy and the original one comes from Donna Hay, I just made few changes. It goes really nice with hot cocoa, but what doesn’t. It lasted for two days and it was still nicely moist the next day. What you can do is bake it in the evening, grab it in the next morning and go for a walk with it :)
You will need:
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup rice syrup
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 orange, cut in pieces
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp coconut flakes
- small handful almonds, chopped
- honey and more chopped almonds to serve
Heat an oven to 160*C. Cover a baking dish (preferably 20cm x 30 cm, but other sizes will go well as well) with a baking paper. Place all the ingredients in a bowl, mix and pour into a form. Bake for about 45 minutes.
Serve with honey and chopped nuts.
October 07, 2014
Hormones. Wow. I don’t even know how to write about it. Let me start by telling you about myself. I am a morning person, at least Tomasz says so. If you ask me to get up at 5 am and do something early, I’ll be more than happy to do so. I’ll be smiling and I can even bring some sandwiches and hot coffee with me.
I do get up quite early on everyday basis. I make breakfast, sing in a kitchen, chase my cats and enjoy a morning light. But going back to the hormone subject. Wow! This is something. I’ve met with a friend yesterday and I told her how cool it is to be pregnant - no pains, no disadvantages, no hormonal roller coaster. Well… today I was punished for it. Or Tomasz was. I got up, started to make a breakfast, asked my boyfriend to help me (he’s not a morning person really but he’s sweet enough to agree each time I ask) and then it has started. There was so many unique/strange/scary emotions in me that I was flying above my kitchen - taking pictures, laughing, then screaming on poor Tomasz, crying, then being totally satisfied, then again hitting the sad tune. What is going on with these emotions! I’m caring around few kilograms of a human inside me and I think that it should be enough. Why my body messes up with my head and heart? I will never know. But send some good vibes to poor Tomasz, because it’s much harder for him than for me ;)
But out of this unique morning a delicious Fammkuchen came out. Do you know it? I fell in love with it when I moved to Berlin. I remember having it in a cosy little cafe next to my apartment and thinking that Germans have cool food ideas. It’s super easy to prepare, even easier than pizza. Dough doesn’t need to rise or at least not in this recipe. And on top spread some thick sour cream, season with salt and pepper and add whatever you like. I chose pear, blue cheese and red cabbage and yes, it goes well together :)
You will need for a dough (1 big or 2 smaller):
- 1 & 1/2 cup flour (200g)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup of water
- pinch of salt
For a topping:
- sour cream (small package)
- 1 pear, cut in slices
- blue cheese, cut in small pieces
- a bit of red cabbage, cut in small pieces
As I’ve mentioned it is a very easy recipe. Heat an oven to 250*C and prepare the dough. In a bowl mix all the ingredients - water, flour, salt, oliva oil and knead it for about 5 minutes. Divide dough in two if you want two small Flammkuchen or roll one big dough. You want it to be thin, otherwise it won’t have this nice breakable texture. Place dough on a baking paper on a HOT tray.
Spread sour cream over your dough, place pear, cabbage and blue cheese on it and bake for about 10 minutes.
Eat still hot :)
September 28, 2014
Autumn is here. My friend Sandra is pretty happy about it as she loves all the seasons but for me it was a hard goodbye with summer. First and foremost this year’s summer rocked in Berlin! Weather was brilliant and I felt like it’s Sydney kind of a city. Secondly it was the last summer just for me and Tomasz and we totally took advantage of it. Early morning walks with coffee in one hand and croissant in another, biking around the city at night, discovering and appreciating small and bigger things. Next year there will be three of us and getting drunk next to a river in a light of a moon won’t be an option (well it wasn’t one this year either but I could still be there totally sober). Things are changing. I know it, I see it and I am a bit scared. But let’s talk about it in a year or so.
For now I enjoy cooking and frying and mixing and silence in a kitchen and small breaks for coffee. I also enjoy pumpkin and pumpkin pancakes. These ones are made with a rice flour, so it has a specific flavour and texture, but specific is good :).
You will need for 3-4 people:
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup rice milk
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/2 vanilla stick seeds
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- big pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For a topping:
- 1 banana
- 1 orange
- 2 tbsp honey
Mix all the ingredients for pancake in a bowl and mix them. Hit a frying pan with a bit of a coconut oil and place one tablespoon of dough for one pancake. Fry till it’s nicely brown and flip on another side.
On another pan place cut orange and panama, pour honey over it and fry for about 2-3 minutes.
Serve still warm pancakes with a fruity topping.
September 16, 2014
Sometimes simple solutions are the best ones. I baked a big loaf of bread again and, well, we eat it. I experiment with sandwiches, try it warm and cold. But whenever I can’t figure out what I feel like, I put avocado on a slice of bread, add tomato and a goat cheese and enjoy it while thinking. Do you like this combination of flavours? It is delicious and refreshing, especially when you add a bit of mint (always a good idea!).
I fell in love with avocado few years ago in Sydney. My friend used to repeat that it’s a natural butter and he was caring it around in his backpack. It was also very easy to find a treat with it in Sydney’s cafes. This year I had an amazing sandwich in The Grounds of Alexandria and I’m still dreaming about it from time to time. That’s why I’ve been trying to recreate it. Homemade sourdough bread - checked, organic tomato and avocado - checked, goat cheese from a farmer - checked, mint from my little windowsill garden - checked. It couldn’t go wrong.
You will need for 1:
- 1 avocado
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp chopped mint
- small pinch of chill flakes
- 1 tomato
- goat cheese
- salt and pepper
In a small bowl smash avocado, add lemon juice, chopped mint, chill flakes and mix it. Toast a slice of bread and spread avocado mix on it. Add slices of tomato, sprinkle with goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper. You can add fried egg if you like, it goes pretty well with avocado.
September 11, 2014
It’s September and it’s time for apples! Did you know that Poland is the third biggest exporter of this delicious fruits? Maybe that’s why I feel like I have them in my blood. You may say I eat them in kilograms, even though I am a tiny bit allergic. Well, you can’t have everything.
I am a happy gal living in Berlin - city of relaxed people. Just today one girl made my day. I went to a pharmacy to buy Folio (pregnancy thing) and asked her for a specific one (for third trimester). She looked a bit confused and asked if I’d like to buy another one. I answered that I’m sure I want that specific one I’ve asked for. This super friendly girl told me “Well, this one is for pregnant women, are you pregnant?”. I showed her my profile (7th month) and started to lough. She made me feel skinny and totally in form. I also had a meeting with my doctor. He’s the most relaxed one I’ve ever met. Tomasz asked him if it’s ok that from time to time baby must press my nerves or something and I loose control over my legs (just for a tiny second, but it’s a strange feeling). The guy smiled and simply said “Well, that’s life”. He made my laugh as well. I am a bit of an ignorant and each symptom seems to be normal for me. I do not worry about it, just enjoying my “special” time. And I am grateful that I live in a city full of positive people.
You will need (for 2 people):
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp cheddar cheese, grated
For fried apples:
- 2 apples
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme
Heat an oven to 175*C. Cut apples in quarters and cut out nests with seeds. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add oil, apples, honey and thyme. Fry until apples are soft on both sides. Put on side.
Separate egg whites from yolks. In a bowl place whites and whip them until foamy. Then using a wooden spoon mix in flour, salt, yolks, milk and cheddar cheese.
Melt butter and spread it around an iron pan or baking form. Pour the egg mix into it and place apples on top (it may fall into the foam).
Bake for about 12 minutes.
September 09, 2014
Nothaft Seidel Cafe is my new happy discovery. Baristas and all the staff are really sweet, they made me consider moving to Prenzlauer Berg, so I can come here for my morning coffee and cake.
I had flat white and it was perfect, not too strong, not too weak. Just good. Big sandwich with mozzarella, rucola, dried tomatoes and salami was delicious and rich in ingredients (I loved it). The fun part is that you can observe them making one.
I honestly enjoyed interiors as well. You can sit outside in a sun, or maybe inside up front with a good natural light and chat with a friend or enjoy a book. If you want some privacy or need to work a bit, go on the back, where you can be comfortable and get a bit of energy for your laptop. I go to cafes mostly to enjoy it with a nice company, magazine or a book, but from time to time I have an urge to leave my kitchen and work somewhere else for an hour or so and this place was perfect for it.
They have a nice selection of delicious cakes as well. I’ve heard about a killer banana bread and a lemon cake, but I’ve decided to go for a beetroot cake. OMG! I was eating it for about 30 minutes as it’s too good to eat it fast.
After a big disappointment in Suicide Sue (three times a row bad service) I thought that Prenzlauer Berg is low in good, friendly cafes. But it’s not! CK Cafe, Bonanza Heroes and Nothaft Seidel Cafe rocked my mornings. So go there, discover little boutiques and design stores in this neighbourhood and stop for a nice break in one of them.
Nothaft Seidel Cafe, Schönhauser Allee 43a
10435 Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg
Mon - Fri: 8.00 am - 8.00 pm, Sat: 9.00 am - 8.00 pm, Sun: 10.00 am - 8.00 pm
good fast breakfast
September 07, 2014
I may not be such a horrible mum after all. Do you remember an idea to trick my baby that fruits and veggies are sweets? Well, I still think it will work out, but I may bake her few cookies from time to time as well. Oat cookies with nuts and dried fruits taste amazing and are a great substitute for ones we buy in stores. It’s almost like a bowl of granola in the morning. That’s why we should have it with a glass of milk.
I found the original recipe on Anja’s Food 4 Thought blog. From my recipe you’ll get 6 bigger cookies, but you can easily double ingredients if you feel like more.
This is it for today, I could write, that I got a list of things I need to buy for a child and myself before her appearance and that I totally freaked out, but I won’t. I could also write that I didn’t even know that half of them exists, but again I won’t. Let’s stay optimistic.
You will need (for 6 cookies):
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 banana, mashed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tbsp sesam seeds
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Use two tablespoons of mix for each cookie. You can use round dough cutter to form nice round shape or you can do it by hands. Place baking paper on a tray, put 6 or more cookies on it and bake in 175*C for about 20 minutes.
September 05, 2014
I’m totally lost with all the things I need to buy for our baby. I think that buying a car or apartment is easier. I’m very grateful for bloggers who share their experiences, otherwise I’d end up with a whole store’s assortment in my bedroom. Three months to go, so much to organise. And they say that this is the easy part ;)
I have this strange feeling that I’ll miss my life. I know that a totally different feelings will take over, but working from cafes, delicious coffee with a good book, walks with Tomasz, mornings in bed - I’ll miss you all so much. And of course our lazy and slow breakfasts. I hope that our girl will be a big fan and she will help a bit. For sure she knows how to kick, so she should be good with working on a dough.
I’m trying to make everything that I like so much as often as possible. I still have three months to enjoy silence and to concentrate on myself, Tomasz and work. I also take time to experiment with food. And this is how this no flour muffins were created. They don’t taste as regular muffins (as there’s no flour in them), but they’re yummy. Mix of fruits, oats and millet makes the flavour very delicate, if you want it to be more vivid add blueberries or raspberries. My most favourite part is that it’s well moist. It goes perfectly with a glass of milk!
You will need (for 12):
- 1 big or 2 small apples, pealed and grated, so it has a sauce consistency
- 3 bananas, smashed
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 4 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 cup cooked millet
- 2 cups oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- chopped almonds to put on top
Start with cooking millet (place 1/2 cup of millet and 1 cup of water in a pot, bring to boil and boil for about 10 minutes on a medium high heat, so water evaporates. Put it on a side and leave it under a cover for about 10 minutes and then let it cool down). When millet is ready add all the other ingredients except for almonds and mix well. Place papers in a muffin baking tray (for 12 muffins) and divide dough between them. Sprinkle chopped almonds on top. Bake in 180*C for about 25 minutes.
September 01, 2014
Bonanza Coffee Heroes has an awesome name and serves super delicious coffee! This little place was created out of love to a good coffee and for you to enjoy it.
It is tiny indeed, just few seats inside, but when the weather is nice, you can sit outside in a sun or walk around neighbourhood. Come over to enjoy a cup of a damn good coffee, have a chat with a friend or think about life, as this cafe is not created for people with laptops. Food options are limited, but you can grab a croissant.
Each cup is served with a double espresso shot, each coffee blend is homemade (they have their own roastery!). I can legally enjoy one shot of coffee per day so I had to ask for it and I wasn’t sent away. It seems that gossips about barristers being strange with annoying customers may be just gossips. I can be annoying with my urge to get a perfect picture and asking strange questions, still guys were really friendly.
If you’re a coffee person and visit Berlin’s cafes from time to time, there is a big chance that you had Bonanza’s blend already. It is popular and there is a reason for it. So if you like to have a well prepared cup of delicious coffee at home, buy your favourite blend and take it with you.
Bonanza Coffee Heroes, Oberberger Strasse 35, Prenzlauer Berg
Mon - Fri: 8.30 am - 7.00 pm, Sat - Sun: 10.00 am - 7.00 pm