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It was quiet here for a long time, in response to the sudden slowness of the world. Within there was time to rediscover some things, sort through others, and slow down certain. I’ve listed a few of these good things for you:

1) It feels like there are more and more newsletters on the communication horizon. But there are only very few that I read repeatedly and almost collect because they give so much added value (they are all German, but maybe translatable?): The newsletter from Feng Shui consultant Susanne Berkenkopf is one of them. She is a coach for people & spaces and also does Chinese astrology and she writes in such a stimulating and sensitive way about the broader relationships between building, living, and life, inside and outside. /// The second newsletter that I recommend to all my women friends is by Dr. Dorothee Struck, a gynecologist from Kiel. She regularly provides good-humored information on specific topics related to women’s health – whether on wanting to have children, hormone-free contraception, pelvic floor, or thrombosis, and she always has great book tips or other recommendations. She also offers great webinars! /// The third newsletter is by Pilates and Yoga teacher Eva Schwaighofer, who also blogs on Individualisten (the tip for her also very great Instagram channel came from my friend Veronika), and in her newsletter she shares incentives on Movement in Everyday Life, for example for the mobility of the feet or the pelvic floor.

2) Beautiful you. I have written about it here, that I love Gua Sha. Some time at the beginning of this year, I discovered this course from Angela Chambers and was immediately blown away by her deeply relaxing presence, her soothing voice, and her combination of essential oils and TCM. Since then, I’ve been doing her facial massage almost every night. There is also a version within the course without a stone, which I find even more intense. Just warm fingers on the well-oiled face, along the energy channels and acupressure points, feeling like a blessing! The self-massage is so sooting, after that, I feel like I have been put back together every time. And our ancestors already knew that our hands have healing powers.

3) Speaking of the healing powers of self-massage – which is also an integral part of Ayurveda, that I have cherished since my Ayurveda Cure. I recently rediscovered the short form as an aromatic foot massage and I practice it with vetiver oil every evening, even if it’s only two minutes. Vetiver is a deeply calming (some say sedating) oil that is very grounding and soothing. It is often used in sleep blends as it relaxes the nervous system and brings you into the “here-and-now”.
/// For the massage put a little body oil (almond oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, sesame oil …) in the palm of your hand and add 1 drop of good quality essential vetiver oil (attention, vetiver is very potent, one drop is enough. As it is very viscous, I recommend using a screw-on pipette for easier application). Apply the blend on your (cleansed) feet and alternately massage the soles and tops of your feet very slowly and with pressure. There is often a lot of tension around the ankle and on the upper forefoot towards the toes. Massage as long as it feels good. Finish the massage on the acupressure point KD1, named “bubbling spring”, on the sole (beware, not during pregnancy). Just hold the point lightly for about 30 seconds or make circular movements. KD1 has a very relaxing and regulating effect, it calms and clears the mind, provides emotional balance (also good for headaches or dizziness).
If I want to go to bed quickly, I just apply the oil blend on my feet and then hold this point for 30 seconds at a time. ///

Extra tip for hot summer nights: take one drop of peppermint instead of vetiver for a cooling and refreshing effect on feet.

5) The best ice cubes ever. Filling the molds is a little tricky, but the result is super good. No more Negroni, mint water, or cold brew without these giant ice cream balls. Even when the really hot summer weather might be already over, there is still a chance for a few late summer days when an ice cube in a drink will make a difference. (Psst: And, in three and a half months it will be Christmas).

4) This Instagram account. Wow. Just wow.

6) There are fresh tea herbs that can be bought in the supermarket, and there is Cedronella, easy to keep on the balcony in summer and as a potted plant indoors in winter. And simply the very-very-best herbal tea. Right after anise hyssop and Australian lemon leaf.

7) That salsa! So easy and quick, so good. So summer. Even in late summer.

8) My new discovery: the Wonderfood Natto. Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans and is a rare natural source of the vitamin K2-MK7 (which we need to incorporate calcium in the body). It is said to be one of the most stinky ferments there is. I think it’s smelly, but mixed with a little mustard and soy sauce (that’s how I learned it from a professional) it’s pretty delicious. Also this way the bizarre threads that it creates become a little less, too. And to be honest, after some time, it gets a bit addicting. I order it online and then freeze it in portions.

9) I love to read “The Best American Food Writing” every year. This year especially, because the awesome Samin Nosrat (the woman behind the great book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, and the Netflix series of the same name) has edited great writing on the current issues of the time. I got goosebumps reading the detailed story about the US multi-almond farmer who supplies a large part of the world market with his Californian almonds and taps the groundwater of neighboring federal states to irrigate his fields. And not only that.

10) The hymen does not exist. This is the title of a German book that just came out and which is amazing. Incredibly beautifully illustrated, designed, printed in single-tone colors, thread-knotted. And a heartfelt recommendation, not only because my sister is the co-editor and my father sends all the booklets by hand (after he has enclosed the folded poster). But because this booklet is a must-read for every woman and every man, education at its best or, as the Maroverlag writes: “a wild, beautiful and evil illustrated pamphlet to abolish a myth”. Yes!

11) And a bonus heart tip that is the perfect match: Period panties by ooia. The panties are functional, elegant, and comfortable. I have different ones and I love them! An integrated membrane system with merino wool and bacteria-inhibiting silver chloride ensure that nothing leaks and everything stays dry and comfortable. And on their Instagram channel, the founders not only provide information but also give a regular look behind the scenes of this great women startup.

Disclaimer: Some links are Amazon affiliate links. If you buy something through it, I’ll get a mini commission and I’ll probably use it to buy a new cookbook in the bookstore around the corner.

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soup paste in jar

This soup paste is so good that for months it has sneaked itself organically into just about any of my cooking. The kinship is already hooked as well, and after several runs, I can say that you can really do it in all variations of veggies, depending on which vegetables you have on hand. And, best to make lots of it.

I also like this cooked paste better than the raw version, that looks really nice in the jar, but is not quite as versatile. This one refines soups, stews, risottos, vegetable dishes, …you name it, but also spices up salad dressing or purees, just about anywhere a bit of vegetable umami is needed.

Or, just as it is! I like when coming home hungry to drink first a glass of hot broth: Simply dissolve 1-2 teaspoons in hot water. When tasting, therefore, I would make sure that the paste, completely dissolved in water, has a round umami flavor. Even if the production takes some effort: I promise, you will not regret it.

The recipe is quite simple – however, you do need a good food processor, better even a high-performance blender or Thermomix, to end up with a really smooth paste. Good ingredients are any strongly flavored vegetables, such as roots (carrots, parsnips, parsley root), celery (stalks and greens), onions, leeks, and for the umami-kick mushrooms, dried tomatoes and some Parmesan cheese. You could leave out leeks or mushrooms, however the dried tomatoes are not exchangeable because they bring such a deep and umami-rich taste.

I always use natural rock salt. If you use any other salt, you may need to adjust the ratio accordingly.

For the total amount of vegetables, I use around 18% rock salt, which is 180g for one kilo of vegetables. You can take less salt, but a minimum of 12% is required so that the paste is stable. Of course, more salt is also possible, but I usually prefer salting in the pot or on the plate (using my beloved pink finger salt). There is no spice heat or pepper used in the paste, as I prefer pepper freshly ground over the food and like to rather vary the spice heat. You can totally increase the amount of fresh herbs, I use altogether mostly several bunches.

The easiest way is using a Thermomix, because this device blends and cooks at the same time, nothing can burn and the texture is very good – however, the preparation using a pot and blender or food processor is just as doable. When cooking in a pot, make sure that the mixture does not burn (stir often and if required add a little water (or wine)). Depending on how juicy your veggies are, keep the mass as liquid as a thick stew and then later cook the pureed paste down while stirring. It also helps if there are a few fresh tomatoes in the mix as they give off water. Chop the herbs finer, if using a pot, too, because the blender might not do it so well later.

Before transferring the cooked mass into a blender/food processor, wait a bit until it looses heat, otherwise the risk of burning yourself by spills is very high.

And another tip for aesthetics: the vegetable colors also make up the color of the paste. So if you use a lot of leek or celery greens with carrots, you get a brown paste, when using less green, a reddish paste.

Last, a thought on stability. In General, the jars probably last for many months when sealed tight in sterilized jars. However, I always store my jars in our second refrigerator, so I have no experience of storage in the pantry. Please leave me a message if you try it. Once a jar has been opened, a cool place in the refrigerator is inevitable though. And, always remember to use a clean spoon!

This post has not been sponsored in any way. Due to German advertisement laws it needs to be declared that the post contains unpaid advertisement for a brand.

Veggie Soup Paste

umami-rich heaven stuff

  • 1 kg Vegetables, such as roots (carrots, parsnips, parsley root), celery (root, stalks and greens), leeks, and 2 onions, 4 or more garlic cloves, some fresh tomatoes, 100g mushrooms.
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 180 g Rock Salt, ground
  • 1 bunch Parsley, chopped
  • ½-1 bunch Thyme, plucked
  • a few sprigs Rosemary
  • 3-4 Bay leaves
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 80 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Clean vegetables and peel if necessary. Weigh the total amount and determine the amount of salt.

  2. Chop the onions and garlic and set aside. Dice remaining vegetables.

  3. Sweat onions and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes in a large pot. Add the rest of the vegetables, salt and white wine. Add finely chopped herbs. Cover the mixture for about 40 minutes, simmer and stir from time to time. If it threatens to burn, add some water. When everything is cooked soft, let it cool until it is just hand warm.

  4. Meanwhile prepare the glasses (sterilize in boiling water or in the oven).

  5. Transfer the cooled mass into the blender or food processor and finely puree it (you might need to do this in different batches). Rinse the pot briefly and put back pureed veggies.

  6. Now is the time to test the broth. Dissolve one to two teaspoon of the paste in a glass of hot water and taste. If necessary, adjust the salt.

  7. Bring the mixture to a boil again, stir in the Parmesan cheese, and carefully pour the paste (which is very hot!) into sterilized jars.

  8. Yay! Enjoy your umami-enriched cooking!

The jars keep refrigerated for many months. When using always make sure to use a clean spoon.

Veggie Soup Paste (Thermomix recipe)

umami-rich heaven stuff

  • 1 kg Vegetables, such as roots (carrots, parsnips, parsley root), celery (root, stalks and greens), leeks, and 2 onions, 4 or more garlic cloves, some fresh tomatoes, 100g mushrooms.
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 180 g Rock Salt, ground
  • 1 bunch  Parsley, chopped
  • ½-1 bunch Thyme, plucked
  • a few sprigs  Rosemary
  • 3-4 Bay leaves
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 80 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Clean vegetables and peel if necessary. Weigh the total amount and determine the amount of salt. Chop veggies (but onions and garlic) into large chunks.

  2. Crush onions and garlic in Thermomix on speed 6 for a few seconds. Add the olive oil and and sweat onions and garlic on Varoma for a few minutes. Add remaining vegetables and crush on speed 7 for 10 seconds.

  3. Add the rest of the vegetables, mix on speed 7 shortly, add salt and white wine. Add chopped herbs. Cook the mixture for about 40 minutes or until soft on Varoma without the measuring jug, but cover with simmering basket to prevent splashes.

  4. Meanwhile prepare the jars (sterilize in boiling water or in the oven).

  5. When done, finely puree the paste covered with measuring jar on speed 10 for one minute.

  6. Now is the time to test the broth. Dissolve one to two teaspoon of the paste in a glass of hot water and taste. If necessary, adjust the salt content.

  7. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, bring the mixture to a boil again for about 30 seconds at speed 6, then carefully pour the paste (which is very hot!) into sterilized jars.

  8. Yay! Enjoy your umami-enriched cooking!

The jars keep refrigerated for many months. When using always make sure to use a clean spoon.

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mangold auf pinkfarbenem Tisch

{unpaid Advertisement, since there are links to awesome things}

A friend recently asked me for a culinary tip for a special birthday present for her boyfriend. At first, I found it rather difficult because I do not know her boyfriend yet.
But then I thought about what I love.
And I thought, maybe there is something for you?

Here are my current favorite products:

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rosemary cookies

These cookies could also be named best cookies in the world, at least at second glance. Because the aroma of rosemary has something so silent and yet unforgettable. I assure you, if you adore rosemary, like me, you’ll come back to these.

And that’s why it’s a mystery that these have not landed here on the blog yet. For more than ten years, they have been favorite cookies in my entire family and are sure to be baked two to three times a year.
Therefore, this time, I quickly noted the ingredients and pulled out the mobile phone for a photo because my father-in-law said he would be “happy about rosemary cookies again”.

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essential oils doterra

Advertising | Essential oils sneaked into my life, first quietly and then with great fanfare. For a good year, they accompany me from morning to evening, at the desk or in house cleaning, in the kitchen and for meditation, with physical ailments and to brighten the mood – and for birthdays and similar occasions I pretty much only gift personal oil blends.

I do not want to be without essential oils, and I hope I can inspire you to love these precious plant essences and their wonderful magic.

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