New year, new luck

Happy New Year, lovelies!

IMG_2257As you may know, 2012 has not been a very good year for me (in terms of personal matters), which is probably why I am more excited than ever about the change of years. 2013 is finally here and I’m determined to make this year my year. I have so many plans for this year and I can’t wait to get started! This year, I am going to complete my job training as a pastry chef and I will gain more experience in either of my careers – as a writer or as a baker, who knows!? I will travel to countries I haven’t been to or I might come back to beloved places. And I will try to find that positive, optimistic, happy girl I used to be when I was little. I’m afraid within the last two or three years I lost track of her a little bit, but I’m sure in 2013 she’ll come back. 🙂

Change is waiting – but not only for me personally. coffeerocketfairytale is undergoing the very same changes as myself. We are going to be bigger, better and more fun than ever. This blog is (and always will be) a work in progress and if you have any suggestions or anything you want to see here on this little site, please let me know so I can see what I can do for you!

Now, let me tell you about the first big change of 2013: Art & Craft. This is a new category I want to establish on the blog, something I want to do at least once a month (but, you know, if inspiration will strike more often, that would be even better!). Art & Craft will be about… well… you know… art and craft. (I just couldn’t resist putting that out there!) It’s going to be a category where I want to point out D.I.Y. or craft projects found on Pinterest, other blogs or websites as well as my own little projects and I think I’m going to start with that just now (stay tuned, I’m going to put it up as soon as I had put it all together).

Meanwhile, why not have a look at the beautiful annual report the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys have prepared…

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 19,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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Altes Fieber

Good morning!

I have only very little time but before I rush off to work here is some decent contemporary German music for you to start the day with. I’m not sure if you have heard about the ‘Tote Hosen’ but I am really excited to announce I’m going to see them live in concert next June. Other than their sound I also really appreciate the way they word their songs – they always seem to find the right lyrics. Enjoy!

 

 

First taste of Winter

Today marks the end of summer time in Germany as we adjust our watches to winter time.

But today also is the day of the first snow of the season (as well as the day when my car got it’s winter tyres, that is funny coincidence, though) and you probably know by now that if there is one thing (other than coffee and cakes) that excites me it is snow.

I love how you can smell the first snow in the crisp autumn air and I love the surprise when you wake up in the mornings and realise the outside world is all white and covered in pretty snow flakes. It probably has to do with childhood expectations because as a child I spent all winter waiting for the magic to happen. So many times I was disappointed when I ran to my bedroom window just to find there was no snow at all but rain instead. But those days when it did happen – when Jack Frost sent the prettiest of all snow flakes right down to where I was waiting – will stay in my memory forever.

I am ready so ready for winter and with all the snow glory outside, it felt like a good day to steep oranges in alcohol to make Christmas liquor.

I used the zest of 2 untreated oranges, cinnamon powder, anis, nutmeg, coriander, cardamum (10g each), 3 g ginger powder and 5 cloves. I put it all in a bottling jar and added 0,7l vodka, then mixed it well. (It now looks pretty weird, like, very brown because of all of the powdered herbs.)

In 4 weeks time, I will bring 100ml water with 250g sugar to the boil and add the sugar solution to the mixture of herbs and vodka.

Then it will have to sit in the kitchen for another 3 weeks until I can strain it through a sieve and fill it in bottles – and it will be right on time for  Christmas!

What are you looking forward to this season?

Hallowee…KEND WIND UP #68

Halloween is coming up but if you’re looking for the classic stuff, you should probably head over to Martha’s

However, if zombies, monsters and blood comes to your mind when you think of your dream halloween party, have a look at these beauties:

{cake 1 & 2 from left via pinkcakebox.com, cake 3 via ahnegao.com.br}

The brain cake is quite realistic, eh!? My favourite is the monster cake in the middle, though. I mean, hello, it even has a T-Rex, how cool is that!?

I really quite enjoy looking at photos of other people’s Halloween ideas. So for more Halloween stuff and inspirational ideas like bloody nail art, Day of the Dead-sugar cookies and pumpkin perfection, you might want to check out some of these Pinterest boards over here. And then come back and tell me which ones you liked best, if you want.

Side Cinderella {or: “Two Princes”}

Cinderella is looking for her shoe.

It got lost on the day of September 29, in the midst of an outdoor adventure somewhere in Turkey.

The day started with sunny 22°C at 7.35am when Cinderella rushed for breakfast. A couple of blinis and a cup of coffee later, Cinderella gathered her skirt and ran for her pumpkin carriage. A bumpy ride through magical forests, over lonesome sand dunes and past mystical creatures lead her to a mysterious castle, hidden in the mountains. The place cast a spell on Cinderella. She wanted to get there and swapped her pumpkin carriage for a floating raft since conquering the river would be the fastest way to reach the castle.

But the white water rapids were relentless and the water, as crystal clear as morning dew, felt almost frozen on Cinderella’s porcelain skin. When one extra hazardous wave caught the raft, Cinderella got covered at high tide and her shoes were washed away. One brave knight in shining armour returned the princess’ left shoe, but the right one remained missing up to this late day. (Cinderella was forced to wear another shoe, found by a nearby pathway, and hence made a fool of herself.)

One, two princes who would like to return Cinderella’s shoe, please get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or by leaving a comment below. (Need to live in a pretty castle with horses and cats. And need to like Rock’n’Roll. And need to be nice. And handsome would be good, too. And funny. No further requirements stated.)

“Yeeeeeaaaahhhh…. one, two princes kneel before you, that’s what I said now, princes, princes who adore you….” 

End of the summer

Woah, time flies. This year has gone by pretty quickly, don’t you think?

12 months ago I just started out as a pastry chef – my second career after being a journalist for a little while. At that time I was a little desperate, I guess… wondering whether what I was doing was the right thing.

Turns out it was.

One year later, I am an aspiring pastry chef, lover of cakes and life, and pretty happy with who I am.

A lot has happened during summer – that much that I actually didn’t find the time (and the motivation, I have to admit) to blog about it. My life was a roller coaster ride.

I lost touch with some of my friends – and even with family at one time, I reconciled with my arch-enemy, I became auntie of a cute little baby boy (of whose existence I didn’t know for more than a week into his life), I made new friends and met old friends I haven’t seen in years and I made a fabulous Grace Kelly-themed cake.

It would probably bore the heck out of you if I explain each and every aspect of each and every story to you but let me give you a brief look on what has happened in the past weeks. (Oh, and allow me to brag a little about the cake… it’s awesome. And made out of styrophone because it’s a show piece for a competition at iba
World Market for Baking
in Munich. But it’s awesome, even when made of styrophone.) 

Also, I have been in the news more often than I have been reporting news. So I guess that makes it official: I’m not practising as a journo anymore. (For the moment, that is. I still believe that one day I might go back to journalism.) The local paper did an interview with me about my job and another time they did a story on ice-cream production.

But the biggest scoop is my continuing holiday drama.

Remember in July when I desperately wanted to go on holiday and my best friend stood me up and in the end I went without anybody else, all by myself?

Well, listen to this: shortly after my trip to Greece I talked to one of my mates about his holiday and he said he didn’t know where to go and he didn’t really want to go alone. So I jokingly said I’d go with him if my boss would give me a week off. Well, during summer I totally forgot about the conversation I had but three weeks ago when I saw my mate again, he asked me whether I’d go on holiday with him. Coincidentally, my boss allowed me to go, too, and so we went to see the travel agent the other day and then spontaneously booked a trip to Turkey, starting next Tuesday.

Now I’m pretty much broke but so happy. I’m going on holiday. And I won’t be alone this time. The freaky part is: I’m going with a mate I hardly know. I mean, we usually only spend time with each other when the whole clique does something together, like going to a party or something. So I’ve got no clue what his interests are or how he usually spends his days… but that’s the exciting part about it too!

Perfect end of summer, isn’t it!?

Mini-Marshmallow Cupcakes

Today I spent most of the day baking (as usual).

First, I made pizza (from scratch, of course!), then a plum cake and a plaited yeast bun (because I had some yeast dough left from the plum cake) and then some blueberry muffins (because I had some blueberries left, too).

Last week I had also made some brownies and some marshmallow cupcakes so now we have plenty to eat…

And because I realised it’s been a loooooooong time since I last shared a recipe with you (and a loooooooong time since I last posted – CampNaNoWriMo takes it’s toll!), here’s how to make super-yummy very cute mini-marshmallow cupcakes:

120 g flour
100 g sugar (+ some vanilla sugar, optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
120 ml milk
1 egg
12 mini-marshmallows

For decoration:

12 mini-marshmallows, white + some extra for decoration

buttercream frosting (equal parts of unsalted butter, beaten at high speed for several minutes until fluffy and white, and vanilla pudding, slowly added to the butter – I suggest to use 50-80g of each)
30 g cocoa powder

To make the cupcakes, put the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer (paddle attachment) and beat slowly. Add butter and continue beating until you reach a sandy consistency.
Add milk and egg and beat until everything is well-combined. Fill in 12 paper cases and drop 1 mini-marshmallow into each case. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 175°C.

Divide your buttercream frosting in two halves. Add cocoa powder to one half and whisk until well-combined. Fill vanilla frosting and cocoa frosting in two seperate pastry bags. Beginning with the vanilla frosting, pipe a circle on each cupcake, leaving a little room for one mini-marshmallow to take place.

Pipe cocoa frosting on top of the marshmallow. Cut remaining marshmallows in tiny pieces and sprinkle on top.

Enjoy!

World Bat Day | WEEKEND WIND UP #67

Happy World Bat Cat Day, everyone!

Look what I got in the mail today:

My new Batman tee. Yay!

I saw ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ on the weekend (and what a weekend that was – after work my workmates and I went for a swim, then dinner, then to see the movie, then to a bar and then, at 3.30 next morning straight back to work) and I got a voucher to order the shirt online – and here it is!

{via Pinterest – click for source}

Also, I don’t feel the need to review the movie because whatever you’ve heard of it is possibly true: it’s awesome!

Yet another writing challenge

Last night I was unable to go to sleep because I realised: it’s August already!

A couple of weeks ago I had found out about Camp NaNoWriMo, the novel-writing challenge best known for its annual “30 days and nights of literary abandon” in November – except it happens in August.

Since I kind of failed in taking part in NaNoWriMo last year I decided to take part in Camp NaNoWriMo this year – and almost missed it.

See, November is an incredibly busy time for pastry chefs. Actually, September right through to February is an incredibly busy time for pastry chefs and confectioners. It’s Christmas time.

And Christmas time means working about 12 to 14 hours, lack of sleep, lack of free time – and loooooots of delicious cookies.

I have to admit that when I started my job training, I didn’t expect Christmas would have such a huge impact on my business – and I certainly didn’t expect to give up NaNoWriMo on… what… Day 2?

Especially since taking part in 2010 was so much fun.

Anyway, summer camp is on now and it’s going to be awesome! (And I’m telling you about it because the more people you tell about the more often you’ll be reminded to actually work hard to achieve your goal. You don’t think so? Well, it’s Sabrina-logic.)

{Let me know if you’re taking part, it would be so much fun to meet up at some fireplace and roast some marshmallows! Or we could even share a cabin, maybe?}

From Ireland to Greece | WEEKEND WIND-UP #66

Ladies and gentlemen… um… yeah… well…

I guess another one of coffeerocketfairytale’s legendary wrap-up posts is over-due. 🙂

You might have noticed how unusual it is for me to be that quiet for such a long time and I think you have every right to know what I have been up to since disovering the taste of rhubarb water.

I went to Greece for a short holiday.

Originally, I had planned to visit Ireland – my friend and I wanted to hire a car and stay wherever we wanted to – but flights to Ireland simply overrun our budget so we decided to go to the beach instead.

We went to see a travel agent and were ready to book the flights and hotel – when my friend stood me up and told me she didn’t want to go away at all.

First, I was really dissappointed and angry at her (after all we had planned to go away for almost 3 months now but she waited until 10 days before the week we had planned to go to tell me she changed her mind). I have had a whole lot of trouble to get that particular week off work so eventually I decided to go alone.

And that was my best decision ever. Going on holiday all alone is awesome. You can relax, sleep as long as you want, go wherever you want, do whatever you want. Perfect.

I went to Rhodos, Greece, where I had been before but stayed in a different hotel this time.

It was right near the beach where the water was crystal clear. There were more locals than tourists and I enjoyed the tranquility, the sound of the waves and the heat.

I went on a boat trip to the island of Symi where I ate Symi shrimps.

On another day I visited the Old Town of Rhodos with its magnificent history and arcane buildings.

And I spent a whole lot of time at the beach or at the pool reading, relaxing and drinking frappé:

Sadly, even the best holiday comes to an end and when I got back home I had my brother’s 30th birthday to organise.

It was a hell of a party and I made a huga cake for him.

And then there was Milow. You know Milow? The Beglian guy with the funny lyrics… “I sometimes wish you were a mermaid so I could raise you in the tub at home…”

The girls from work had bought tickets in February and for months now we have been looking forward to the show – and it was awesome!

We had lots of fun that night and I can assure you that Milow’s songs are live as perfect as they sound on the record (because don’t you hate it when you really really like an artists’s record and then find out that they suck when performing live?  – Well, that’s not the case with Milow, he is excellent on stage.)

Now I’m back to “normal” life after all these great summer experiences and I’ve got a whole bunch of things to do.

Right now, I design my next special cake for another competition at a trade fair in Munich in October (and this time I can choose the topic or motto for the cake myself, so that’s going to be rather exciting!).

And what are you up to these days?