Category Archives: My German Experience


Five German Pastries to Love

Well, hello there. Have you missed me? I’ve certainly missed you. In the past few weeks, our son has become increasingly more active making it very difficult for me to do anything other than tend to him and the house. That being said, it is less than TWO WEEKS from him starting at the German kindergarten. I am so excited for him (and myself).

So, keeping up with my “Top 5’s”, I thought I bring up my most favorite treat, German pastries. A German bakery has so much to offer in addition to the wonderful fresh-baked bread. If I’m feeling so inclined (and they haven’t run out yet), here are my first picks, in no particular order,  for a treat at the bakery.

Enjoy! Yum!

1. Heidelbeer Frischkäse Kuchen

Translation: Blueberry Cream Cheese Cake

We have a small, but really good, bakery in our village that is in addition to the larger one. This one reminds me more of a little cafe and I first tried this cake only a few weeks ago. It is heaven! I’m not really a big fan of cheesecakes (I can hear you gasping at me!), but this is not like what you’d think of when you imagine American cheesecake as far as consistently and flavor. It’s a must try!

 2. Quarkbällchen

Translation: Cheese curd balls (Wait! Don’t let that scare you away!)

Quark is cheese curd that is most commonly found in Germany and Eastern European countries. As an American, I had never heard of it prior to ever living in Germany; however it is readily sold in many different types for different uses. These little pieces of awesomeness are like a more fluffy and moist version of an American donut hole. They have a little sugar sprinkled on the outside for a little added sweetness. I’ve also been able to find them with cinnamon which is my personal favorite.

3. Rotweinkuchen

Translation: Red wine cake

For those that know me, I know I’m stumping you with this one, considering it’s chocolate, but I love it! It’s very hard for me to describe, but the red wine gives it a unique flavor. In my opinion, the chocolate has a smoother and less overpowering taste. Sprinkled with a little powdered sugar, this cake is a great treat that is not too rich or too sweet. I’ve also found it to be very moist and I mention this because many German cakes are more on the dry side.

4. Berliner Pfannkuchen (Berliner for short)

Translation: word for word would be Berlin Pancake

Basically, these are the same as American jelly donuts, although they taste much better (in my opinion). They are called different names depending on where you live in Germany; everything from Berliner, Krapfen, Kreppel and I could go on. In Berlin in particular, they are simply called Pfannkuchen, which is typically used throughout Germany for “pancake”. They have different fillings of which raspberry and apricot/peach are my favorites.

5. Amerikaner

Translation: American (that was obvious right?)

Yes, yes, I know these aren’t German, at least according to the ever infamous Wikipedia. Apparently they originated in the United States, which would make sense, and are typically known there as a Black & White Cookie. While the origin may not be German, you can find them quite often at the bakery and they are so good! They are basically a spongy/fluffy shortbread cake that is topped with fondant icing. Whenever I eat one, I’m reminded of the fluffy, iced sugar cookies from home which is why I had to i include them on the list. They are a little treat I can have in my new home, that is part of my other home. Love.

So, that’s another list of “Fives” from me, but what about you? What are your favorite pastries where you live? I’d love to know!

Top 5 German Foods I Wish I'd Never Tried

Top 5 German Foods I Wish I’d Never Tried

To be fair, it was hard to come up with this list as I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to food. I do my best to try everything and give it a fair chance. Sometimes, I even try things twice just to give it the benefit of the doubt. But, when it comes to these things, I tried them once and only once. My husband (and son) love all of these things, but they are just not for me. I tried to find “appetizing” pictures, but for you non-meat eaters out there, you’ve been warned. ;-)


1. Leberwurst

Otherwise known as Liver Sausage, you can buy this fresh from the butcher, already packaged in the store or in a glass jar that obviously already has the casing removed. Typically, it’s eaten on an open-faced, buttered slice of bread or in a buttered brötchen.


2. Rouladen

From what I’ve read, Rouladen is typically rolled beef filled with onions, pickles, bacon and mustard, but the recipes vary by region and generational traditions. For instance, M’s mom serves it filled with a hard-cooked egg which is the only way I have ever tried it. I know many cultures, including my own, have different ways of serving beef and eggs together. Whatever the country, I’m not interested. M has also made a dish that has ham stuffed with ground beef in a sort of cream sauce. No, thanks. I like all of these things separately on their own, but let’s not start mixing them, k?




3. Fischfrikadellen

These are basically fish cakes, which I think are similar to crab cakes, and while I quite enjoy the latter, for some reason I don’t like these. The one time I tried it, I almost spit it out, but to be fair, I’ve never had one fresh from a restaurant or home-made. So, if that were ever the case, I might be willing to give it another go.




4. Mezzo Mix

Okay, so in case you didn’t know, Germans really enjoy combining drinks. You’ve got Radler (beer with lemonade), Cola Bier (beer and coke) Banane Weizen (banana juice with Hefeweizen) and in this case, Coke and Fanta mixed (well cola and orange soda to steer clear of brands). This is another one I almost spit out the first time I tried it, however, if I make the mix myself, it is quite good. I still have to be in the mood for it and can;t drink it regularly, but when doing it myself, I can add less coke which I think is why I don’t like the pre-made version. The cola is very strong and overpowering, in my opinion. I know I’m in the minority as it’s very popular here. (And no, my son hasn’t tried this one before I get any crazed comments, “you let your toddler have caffeine/soda?”)

mezzo mix



5. Schokolade Croissant

I can hear you all gasping, running to unfriend or unfollow me as fast as possible. I know it’s an awful thing to admit, but I hate these. I have tried them multiple times because my boys love them and somehow, I always end up holding them, but every time I do I regret it. For me, it’s like biting off a huge piece of chocolate wrapped in a small amount of bread. For me to like it, you’d have to flip that scenario and make it a whole-lotta bread with a dash of chocolate. I know. The horror! Please forgive me.



So, what about you? Any foods from where you live or your home country that you can’t stand? I’d especially like to hear the ones that are popular with everyone else (like my mezzo mix and croissant).

Show Me Your Neighborhood

Quite some time ago, I signed up for Piri Piri Lexicon‘s blog series, Show Me Your Neighborhood. And I completely forgot it was my turn! Oops! Luckily, Annabelle was kind enough to let me share mine anyway, albeit a little late.

Many of you know I live in a small village about 15 minutes outside of Trier, Germany. I am lucky enough to have mostly all I need within walking distance. We have a church, kindergarten, primary school, 3 playgrounds, cafe’s, wine probes, restaurants, butcher, a little market and even The Mosel River. I couldn’t ask to live in a more beautiful, picturesque place. I hope you enjoy this mini “tour” of my home.

On May 22, 2013, we made this our new home, here in Germany.

This is our little market that I can also walk to in less than 5 minutes. The inside is very similar to an Aldi if you’ve ever been to one of those. That add-on building with the yellow on the right is the bakery where you can buy fresh bread, pastries and cake.

Our village butcher located directly across the street from the market (Norma).

The kindergarten where our son starts in just 2 months!

The little kids playground for under 7 years of age and my little boy. He was only around 15 months old here.

Playground down by the river for all ages and it’s brand new! Although you can’t see much, I had to share for obvious reasons. It has a soft mulch base, with rope climbing and plenty of room for lots of kids. Our little monkey is 21 months old here!

The Mosel River - a 5 minute walk from my house.


St. Laurentius Church - this view is from the back long the river where the vineyards are.

Alte Burg Restaurant - former castle turned restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating, medieval dinner program and traditional Kaffe & Kuchen (coffee and cake) time.

Village Cemetary

This is our house in which two other families live inside. It’s basically 3 separate apartments with shared use of the storage and basement and laundry areas.

Typical street in the village and my lovely husband.

We are right next to the Autobahn and here is a picture of it crossing over The Mosel River.

Vineyard road we drove to take those overview shots.

We don’t have a train station right here in our village, but this one is only about a 5-8 minute drive away.

Tourist and Information Center - in historic times, the date the building was constructed was written on the outside. Here, you can see this was built in 1845 when it was used as a school house.

Several of these little wineries are along the river. They also serve as restaurants and hotels.

I thought I’d end with this gorgeous picture I took from my kitchen window just a few weeks ago. You can see the hills of vineyards in the background, along with the church and the rooftops of other houses in my village. I hope you enjoyed this trip through my beautiful new home!

Show me your neighbourhood around the world

5 Things I Would Have Never Eaten Without Going To Germany

So many times I think to myself, “Wow, I would’ve never done that, tried that, seen that, had I not moved to Germany”.  I’m quite sure if you are a fellow expat, you’ve also had these thoughts.

Food can be a big cultural difference and only further exacerbating that culture shock you feel when you move to a new country. While other countries may have similar things, they are typically different in their own way. Think, pizza. How many different styles of pizza can you think of? Exactly. 

Aside from beer and bratwurst, Germany has so many other delicacies to offer. Here are five that were new for me:

Fleischsalat - basically bologna with a sweet mayo type sauce and pickles

Fleischkäsebrötchen or just Fleischkäse also known as Leberkäse - not necessarily my favorite, but not bad either.

Oh. Holy. Yum. If you went to a Christmas market you most likely had one of these; similar to potato pancakes and served with applesauce.

Yum again. You can have these cooked and they taste like the good all beef hot dogs. Or you can leave them out to dry and eat like a beef stick with some hot mustard.

My first Dampfnudel (yeast dumpling) with cherries and vanilla sauce at the Christmas Market this year. So. Good.

Ok, so there is definitely a running theme of MEAT, but I haven’t even begun to share all of the many fantastic sweets you can find here. Don’t worry, that’s soon to come.

What did you think? Any you would try or have tried? What’s a food item you tried for the first time in your new country?

***And don’t forget about the Monday Ante next week where you can submit your favorite post from this week for a chance to be published on this site the following Saturday! 

‘Tis The Season For?

That’s a loaded question! I know for some this time of year is more stressful than any other! My Facebook feed is full of all the parents with their sneaky Elves, the bakers, lovely presents, tempting sales, gorgeous traveling, wonderful Christmas Markets, and beautiful Christmas trees. And yet, somehow, despite seeing everyone so busy and socializing, I find myself retreating. I’m turning inward and wanting to spend more time with just my boys. I’m not writing as much and reading little. I’m playing with my son during the day and watching movies with my husband at night as we plan our little one’s special Christmas. I’ve never been one for all the hustle and bustle over Christmas. I have never felt that is what it’s all about. I think this year, though, I have other reasons for my retreat.

Maybe I am a little homesick, not for just a place, but for different times in my life.

Maybe it’s because finances aren’t as good as they could be, preventing the extra fun to be had.

Maybe it’s both of these things.

But maybe, just maybe, those things are helping me to actually sit back, relax and enjoy what is important every day, not just this time of year. Maybe these things are the start of  something new.

I was recently asked through an expat advisor if I had any advice for expats during the holidays. While this is my first holiday as a new expat, I’ve been here before and I know the drill. I know how to get through and make it work and what I said is simple.

Make the holidays your own. Don’t focus on the traditions you feel you are missing, but the new ones you can create. 

And I think, I live in the perfect place to help me with that. While I miss my family and friends and some of the traditions I had before, I love these new ones I am slowly creating. Germany’s Christmas markets are simply gorgeous and still hold on to so much tradition of their own. My instagram will show a few photos from during the day, but it is so much more magical at night and this was my first time ever going in the evening and only the second time to ever go at all! Sadly though, I think it is harder for this unprofessional photographer to get good photos. Nonetheless, I hope you can see why I adore Christmas in Germany!

Trierer Weihnachts Markt

My first time having roasted chestnuts and this family has been doing it for 3 generations!

Käthe Wohlfahrt Traditional Decorations Store

My first Dampfnudel with cherries and vanilla sauce.

“Meat Street” literally translated as this was the street that many used to live on right next to the standard market.

So from this little girl and all the wonderful tradition she grew up with

Yep, that’s me not my son!

To this grown woman and her wonderful husband and their little boy making new ones!

Warm & fuzzy from some yummy Glühwein!

Wishing all my fellow expats a wonderful time of new traditions! xx