Monday, January 31, 2011

Schnitzel und Freaknomics

Tonight I made our very first German meal - vegetarische schnitzel and spätzel. For those of you who don't know, schnitzel is like a fried porkchop (basically my nightmare). Of course, we did the vegetarian version. Schnitzel is served with spätzel, which is potato squigglies that are boiled.

Then I added steamed broccoli as a side, and since we can't eat the gravy that typically goes on top of it, we added ketchup and BBQ sauce ;) Gotta love American influence!

After dinner, we sat down and watched a documentary we recently purchased, Freakanomics.

For those of you who don't know, Matt and I are big into documentaries. We both love to learn, especially when it includes social/political/cultural issues. If you do too, check out the book or movie, Freakanomics. It's pretty awesome.

And then, these two got frisky:

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Das Alps, Again

Here are some more pictures from our Alpine adventure:

Matt holding me up, because we were on the edge of a mountain and I was hyperventilating just a bit.
Smiling because, OMG, we're on top of the Alps!!
Our friendsies Emily and TJ.  The atmosphere inside this place was insane.
Amaretto shots?  OF COURSE!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our First Fútbol Game

Yesterday Matt and I went to our first soccer game. We watched Kaiserslautern play area rival, Mainz.

Matt, Sam and I met our friends, Brett and Shawn at the Brauhaus downtown. It's the only remaining brewery in Kaiserslautern.

After enjoying the local brew, we headed to the stadium. The atmosphere was electrifying! It reminded me of an Auburn/Georgia game.

We found our seats and watched, as our Red Devils battled, and eventually lost to, Mainz.

It was an amazing time! Quite cool to see people get excited about soccer. That's something we aren't used to. I can't wait to go to another game!

Ready for the game

Playing downtown

Sam enjoying a Pils

Brett with her "slate" (aka flight) of Brauhaus biers

Before the game starts

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Saturday, January 29, 2011


Yesterday Matt and I cooked a delicious pasta meal! We used the pasta that Sarah sent:

Then I sautéed asparagus and broccoli, a tossed it with the cooked pasta. And, of course, added delicious marinara.

I feel like a we make is pasta. Oh well, it's terrific!

Then Sam called and told us he was on the way down from Bremerhaven, so I concocted some cupcakes. I saw how to make cupcakes vegan with half the calories on The View. Just take one box of mix and add 12oz of diet soda. Please don't tell Dot Dot that I used a box of cake mix!

Patton watching and wanting me to drop some

Trying the cupcakes. They were delicious!!!! So fluffy!

Then, we ended the night with a French Bordeaux, courtesy of Tressa ;)

What a delightful evening!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Sarah Flory = The Best

So yesterday I come home from a particularly stressful day, and guess what? I have three packages to open! One was from Sarah, and two from my dad (formal dresses for the ball next weekend).

I rip into the boxes, knowing what two of them contained, and looked at the dresses in disbelief. There was no way I was going to fit in to them! I hadn't worn the red one since Beauty and Beau my Senior year, and I was much smaller then.

After Matt insisted I give it a whirl, so I tried on the red dress. With a bit of sucking in, it fit! I was so excited, because I've been religious about journaling my diet, and it's helped me lose the weight I've gained since the wedding. And it has paid off!

Thanks dad! And I promise I won't wear my monkey slippers to the ball. Now to track down a spray tan!!

Then I ripped into the package from Sarah! Each goody included a special note, which I loved! It's crazy how well she knows me, because everything she sent was something I would have picked out. Down to the organic hemp doggy toy for Petunia!

The spread

It's impossible to find Intuition razors here. Something Matt was so happy to see! Haha.

Sarah has the best taste in cookbooks! This is going to be a bread addition to the Greek and Baking books she sent in Virginia

This is awesome! It's a tumbler, so it doesn't sweat. And I can reuse it so there is no waste, which means a happy mother Earth :)

Patton playing with his doll. No kidding, I say "go get your doll" and he comes back with it. He is in love!

So thanks dad, and danke schoen Sarah!!! You made my day!!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our Puppin Puffin

If you haven't met our pup, Patton, shame on you! He is the most glorious bum sniffer in all of the land.

Patton is a Boxer, and he thinks he's a human. He often greets us with a hug, whines when he doesn't have a bed to lay on, and could eat bananas and sweet potatoes all day if we'd let him.

This little baby was born in Alex City, Alabama, and we picked him out when he was just 3 weeks old. Since then he's called Auburn, Alabama, Richmond, Virginia, and Sembach, Germany home!

Patton is the most fun loving puppin I know. He loves to play, snuggle, and eat fruits and veggies. We no longer give him squash - that just exacerbates the flatulence :(

When I'm not calling him by his given name, Patton Jefferson Cole, I call him "Sugar Booger", "Sweet Pea", "My most precious Puppin", "Pupster", and occasionally "Boo Bear". Or whatever comes to mind at that moment.

Now I wanna give him a smooch!

When he can't find his bed, he cries

This is how he's allowed to sit on the couch, in daddy's lap!

Whenever I sweep or mop, Pup gets out of the way by hanging out in his crate. And looking at me like I'm a moron.

This is how he sits. He does this in the car, which cars driving by find hilarious.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

More of the house

I just want to thank Sarah for asking for these pictures. It's been the perfect motivation to clean.

Dining/living room

Rest of dining room

Man cave...needs a lot of work

My room :)

I love it! The clear container next to the kettle is our compost can. I'm so excited to start composting!!!

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Das Haus

Per request of a Twink, here are some pictures of the house. More to come, as I clean up :)

Our living room with the new sofa

Patton is showing off the foyer. To the left of the door straight ahead I'm going to put up a lot of framed photos.

The Florys' room

Our room. It needs work!

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

This weekend our friend Sam came into town. He lives in Bremerhaven, a few hours North of here on the North Sea. We met at Fort Lee when Matt was in BOLC, and it was awesome getting to see another familiar face. That's the second week in a row now, we are on a roll!

The entire weekend Sam was whining about Italian food. Since we could only find a Chinese restaurant open yesterday for lunch (Germany is not really known for it's Asian cuisine), we decided to cook at the house for dinner. Since Sam was being a little baby, we did eggplant parmesan. Plus it's my favorite Italian dish :)

We just cut eggplant in discs, sprinkled them with salt and covered them with towels for 30 minutes to remove access salt. Then we washed off the salt, patted them dry, and dipped them in egg whites, then breadcrumbs. Bake at 450 F for 20 minutes. Then add mozzarella and our homemade marinara, and as Sam would say, "MONEY!!!"

It was delish!

In the oven

Out of the oven

What is that? Sam is helping? He refused to have anyone else do the bread.

Enjoying dinner with Kendall Jackson Pinot Noir. Perfection!

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cheesy pasta bake

We often make this dish that is a mix between lasagna, mac and cheese and baked spaghetti.

You just combine skim ricotta and skim mozzarella with whatever spices you like. Layer homemade marinara (as mentioned in previous posts), cooked pasta of your choice and cheese mixture. Bake at 250 F for about 15 minutes.

I like mine smothered in marinara

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Matt and I have been keeping up with the recent news out of Tucson, Arizona. We are both admirers of Gabby Giffords and the work she's done, as well as her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, as Matt's always dreamed of traveling to space.

I am a news buff, and it's hard to tear me away from CNN or MSNBC. And Matt and I both are Political Science majors, so add that to the mix, and you have two people that are constantly bouncing ideas and current events around in every day conversation.

Now, I do not intend for this blog to get political. Politics are divisive, and that's not the purpose of Das Coles. However, I do want to touch on the recent tragedy in Tucson a little more.

Gabrielle Giffords is an amazing woman who has accomplished amazing things. As a woman, I look up to her. Over the last week and a half she has become a household name, and those who otherwise wouldn't know of her benevolence and service have learned just how special she is. The fact that she has fought through this tragedy is a prime example of her strength.

People have been blaming everyone for this tragedy. Sarah Palin has been one person that many seem to blame. Now, I am not Sarah Palin's biggest fan, but I do know she is not at fault for a psycho's tirade. That being said, I think what she said in response to ignorant finger pointing was inappropriate.

There is one person to blame for this incident, and that is Jared Loughner.

But I thought President Obama made a great point when he said we should use this time to take pause and reflect on ourselves. Are nasty and negative comments really necessary? Does it do any good?

I'm a firm believe in karma and positive energy. You reap what you sow, get back what you put it, however you want to say it. And negative words/thoughts/actions do nothing but proliferate hate. There is no reason why two people of opposite belief systems can't have a respectful conversation.

I am guilty of it. Since I've met Matthew I've matured and "toned down my rhetoric". There are things I've said about people of different value systems that are just plain wrong. And every once and a while I slip up. But more times than not I use caution, because even though I am not an influential person, my words may hit someone the wrong way, and cause them pain. And I'm certain that is not any sane person's intention.

Still, I have found myself in conversations with people who are just as passionate with me, on the other side of the spectrum, and their words have crossed the line. That's when you step away from the negativity and reflect on the positive.

Yes, I like politics and yes, I enjoy healthy debate. But we all need to look at ourselves and ask if we are putting forth the best example. Whether it's about politics or sports, it doesn't really matter.

Matt and I recently attended Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" and it changed us for the better. It seems our country is in the adolescent stages, trying to find itself. While we are trying to figure it out, I think we should ALL put our best foot forward.

Smile more, speak kind words. Help out your neighbor, pick up that piece of trash in the middle of a crowded parking lot. You never know when what you do or say may be seen or heard by another.

But most of all, smile :)

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My favorite European influence

There are many things I've learned to love about Europe. My first German dining experience was a bit surprising. We ordered our drinks, and I was so thirsty that I started guzzling down my water. Surprise! It has bubbles!

Mineral water is served regularly over here, and you have to ask for "flat" or "no gas" if you prefer still water.

However, I've learned to love mineral water! Which is odd, because I can't stand soda. It is actually very good for you! The bubbles oxygenate the blood, making it the optimum hangover helper.

Matt and I like lime in our mineral water...YUM!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My husband is a Saint

This is true - my husband is indeed a saint.

Matthew Cole is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me. From the beginning he has been patient, straightforward and hysterical. He always knows how to calm me down and make me laugh. And quite frankly, I don't know how puts up with my shenanigans day after day!

Just so you know what he has to deal with, let me explain my latest mishap. Today was my first day out and about on my own. I called him thrice to get directions. But that wasn't it...

I get home from a long morning of running errands and there are two dirty faced young men at my door. Just as I was thinking "these guys look like chimney sweeps" they divulged that they were indeed, you guessed it, chimney sweeps.

I let them in to do their job, and while I was entertaining Patton and putting the groceries up, they informed me that they would have to cut a whole in the wall to clean the chimney. I kind of thought it was odd, but I'm in another country and surely they know how to do their job.

So they cut a whole in the wall, did some clinking around, and left.

After their exit, I called Matt and told him. He wasn't very happy and asked why I would allow them to do that. My answer: "They said they had to".

This wasn't a good enough answer for Matt, who calmly said he was going to have to call the landlord. Oops.

He's pretty perfect. No yelling or cursing, just "Please call me next time".

I freaking love him.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Auf Wiedersehen Austria

So, we weren't able to ski the entire weekend because Matt hurt his knee trying to be a bad ass. We decided to drive home early to see our puppin, and take in the sights along the way.

I absolutely adore driving through Europe. Especially Austria. There is always something to marvel at. And every few kilometers you run across a schloss or burg. A schloss is a castle where royalty lived and a burg is more of a fort. So several burgs would surround a schloss.

Here is a terrible picture I took at the last minute of a castle of sorts:

And we saw this:

There were several in the air, this is just the one I got a photo of.

And of course,

These aren't amazing pics, but I did snap some stellar photos on my other camera. As soon as we have Internet, this blog will be bombarded with them :)

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