Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday in Nurnberg

     We have had a great weekend. Friday was the birthday of one of JP's fellow Alpharetta Areva coworkers, Pat. We meet our friends at the train station but decided to stay in town for dinner.

We headed over to a great steak restaurant in Erlangen, called Schlotfeger.  Then we went for drinks at Wheeler's an Irish Pub. We called it a pretty early night that night. JP was tired from having worked all day.
At Schlotfeger 
From left to right,
JP, Trevor, Brandon, Pat and me

     On Saturday, JP and I headed to Nurnberg. It's nice to get out of the house and walk around the city. Plus I need new jeans and I have exhausted all of my options here in Erlangen.  We took our time in the morning and took the 3pm train to Nurnberg.
A couple of pics waiting for the train.
 Somewhere between Erlangen and Nurnberg...
     Once in Nurnberg, we walked around and went to H&M and Breuninger, a department store to find me some jeans. I think I tried on 20 pair. Nothing. I did not find one pair. Oh well. We still had a good time hanging out together. 
Street Performers

This guy is really cool. He balances himself horizontally on a bottle using only one hand. It's pretty impressive, especially considering he's probably in his 60s or 70s.

     The weather was really nice. It was a cold day, but it was sunny and the sky was clear. It was a nice day to walk around.


     For lunch we got a Nurnberg specialty, drei in vecla. Three sausages in a roll with mustard on it.

     All of that jean shopping drove JP to drink. I don't blame him. LOL
Waiting for the train back to Erlangen.

     Later that night we had some friends over and watched our new movie, Inglorious Bastards. Always a good choice.
     Today, Sunday is a lazy day for us. We are just hanging around the house. There is a little bit of work to be done though. JP leaves tomorrow for a work trip all week so we have to pack his bags and I have a little bit of work on the house I need to get done. 

All in all, I would say it's been a great weekend. I hope you all have had a good one too!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Bikes!

     I am really excited. We finally got our bikes last night. We went Wednesday last week and picked them out, along with all of the accessories to go with them. I got two baskets, on for the front and one for the back. I have never been this excited about a basket before, but here it is necessary. It will make it much easier for me to go grocery shopping. I will be able to go farther away because I won't have to worry about carrying everything home by hand. It's good for JP too, now he doesn't have to walk to work or take the bus.

Between when I bought my bike and now, everyone kept asking me what brand of bike I got. I couldn't remember. So here it is. Kalkhoff, it's a German made bike. 

The front basket.
The back basket.

     Also, hopefully today, we are getting a new camera. We have a Canon 50D, which is a great camera. It's just not the best camera to carry around the city. This way I will have a smaller camera to carry in my pocket to take pictures around Erlangen to show. 

Now the only thing I need to find is the cord to charge my video camera...Where could that be? I'm off to look.

Yay for a new bike!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A dish to Warm up your Valentine's day

     Here is my version of Turkey Chili adapted from this recipe, found on, and some tips from my mom. It can make any day warm, why not V-day?

Turkey Chili
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 3 cans of crushed tomoatoes
  • 2 cans of kidney OR chili beans
  • 2 jalepenos, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 medium sized bay leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Place turkey in the pot, and cook until evenly brown. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook until tender.
  2. Mix in tomatoes, kidney beans, and jalepeños. Season chili powder, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.

     I always add some noodles to this dish but you don't have to. I suggest using fusilli.

A close up view of the table with the extras.

     Along side this dish I am going to serve some Tomato Mozzarella flat bread (they are more like crackers than bread) and my last bottle of one of my favorite cheap wines from the US. Smoking Loon Syrah. It is a Californian wine. When Australians make wine from the same grapes it is called Shiraz, FYI.  

If you looked at the link I included of the original recipe you will notice I made quite a few changes. I NEVER follow recipes exactly. I consider myself a good cook and I know what to add or subtract to adapt the recipe to JP and my tastes. I also have one of the best references available: my mom and my grandma. I know there are people out there who don't feel as comfortable in the kitchen, so I will explain all of the differences and why I did or didn't add something. If I miss any I apologize in advance.
  1. I like my chili spicy so I added the jalepeños to kick up the heat.
  2. I added garlic because garlic always makes everything better. I have never eaten anything and thought, 'That would have tasted better without the garlic.'
  3. Instead of adding extra water I just used the water that was in with the tomatoes and beans to give extra flavor. Also I am glad I didn't add more water because it wouldn't have turned out thick enough.
  4. I actually used chili beans instead of kidney and it turned out great. The big inspiration behind this was the fact that I couldn't find kidney beans at the store, more on that later. I also didn't mash the beans at all.
  5. I added the bay leaves instead of the other spices because I am not a fan of oregano or cumin and my mom said they were important in her chili. That was good enough reason to me.
I think that is all of them. 

If you have never checked out then I highly suggest you do so. I rarely even look in my cookbooks anymore because I can find everything and more on this site.

     I am making this dish again tomorrow. We are having some friends over and to watch Inglorious Bastards, which we bought while out today. Unfortunately I couldn't find ground turkey anywhere today and the one place I knew would have it was far. I had already been to three grocery stores when I decided to just get the ground beef that is much more common to eat here in Germany. Germans just aren't big poultry eaters.
     I am actually having a hard time finding a lot of things that I am used to cooking with in the US, but the longer I am here the more I am figuring out what they carry where. It will only get better.
Just for fun, a close up of my Chopper.

If you try out my recipe let me know how you like it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Best Friends 4 Ever

     I met my best friend 3 years ago today. Since then a lot has happened. This is the story of us. The short version.

     We met on a Sunday night, February 11th 2007. Immediately, we were inseparable. I even told my friend who was with me that night that I thought I would marry him. Corny, I know, but true. We had our first kiss at Northside Tavern in Atlanta. It wasn't too long before we were living together.
     JP graduated from Georgia Tech in December of '07 and accepted a job in Miami. We met a lot of friends and had some really great times there. We lived and worked in MIA for a year and a half. Gears were set in motion for a move after a co-worker mentioned JP to a manager at his current company. Miami wasn't the best fit for us, so he took his current job and we moved, again, back to Atlanta.

     About two months after starting the job, they started talking about sending JP to Germany or Paris. We had been talking about getting married for a while and tentative plans were discussed for a Spring 2010 wedding. Not very romantic, but we decided to get married in the Fall instead, just in case we were sent overseas. It's much easier to bring your wife with you, than your girlfriend.
     We were married on August 9th 2009, in a ceremony, at my cottage, by the lake. It was preformed by the same pastor that married my parents 28 years before. There were only 8 people at the wedding, including the pastor and his wife. It was a very intimate event. We have now been married for six months.

     After a nice honey moon and receptions both in Detroit and Miami, we returned home to Atlanta. We were only there for a couple of more months before packing up all of our belongings and shipping them overseas. We arrived here in Erlangen, January 9th 2010. We have so much to explore together.

     A lot has changed in the last three years, but all for the best. A couple of job changes, a couple of moves, but I would follow him anywhere. He honestly is my best friend. I can't wait to see what the next three years brings.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Welcome to Erlangen!

   I get a bike today. I am so excited. While I enjoy walking every where, it will be nice to have a quicker option. Yesterday was particularly cold and I would have loved to ride to my German class instead of walking. Five minutes in the cold is much better than 15. I will be sure to post pictures after I get the bike.
    So far the only exploring that we have done have been of Erlangen and the city of Nurnberg, a 20 minute train ride away. I have yet to eat at a bad restaurant. Some of our favorite places are Lo Studente, a small Italian place with a great specialty dish, and Schlotfeger, a delicious steak house. Can you tell I am hungry?
    We are actually going out to eat tonight. There are a couple of things we are celebrating. Valentine's Day, our three year anniversary, and it's been six months that we have been married. We usually celebrate V-day early to avoid the crowds and our anniversary is the tomorrow but our 6 month-aversary since our wedding was yesterday. Today is a nice compromise.
     I am going to dress up tonight but we have to go buy bikes first and I have to try them out. For now I am just wearing jeans. I did my makeup and hair (kind of. :: see my other blog) already so that all I have to do is change when we get home. I am sure we're going to have a great time.