Sunday afternoon cooking class with Muy Bueno

Authentic Mexican food is one thing that is hard to come by here in Germany.
So when I came across an event posted on the facebook page,  Muy Bueno Cookbook Germany , I signed up!
On Sunday, a girlfriend and I shared the afternoon cooking with the lovely Veronica, co-author of Muy Bueno Cookbook. She hosted an intimate, 8 person, cooking class in her home.


The menu included: Black Olive Tapa with Tomato Tapa Crostini, Chicken Paella with a Mexican twist, Lemon & Raspberry Sorbet and Mexican Sangria.










It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. The recipes came together effortlessly and were delicious.


Here is the recipe for Seafood Paella. We just substituted chicken breast cut into medallion size. The twist that makes it ‘Mexican’ is the addition of cayenne pepper and chile powder for that added kick!

Seafood Paella

Here is the recipe for Mexican Sangria. It was mentioned that a variation of the recipe is to make it with canned fruit including the juice.

Mexican Sangria

The class inspired me to try my hand at making homemade flour tortillas today. Elsa was right there to help me roll the tortillas out!

Flour Tortillas



I also tried the Chicken Fajita recipe from the Muy Bueno cookbook blog with the fresh, warm tortillas!

Chicken Fajitas 





a beautiful walk in esslingen am neckar


Located 2hr 25min from our front door and 9 miles southeast of Stuttgart in Southern Germany, the village of Esslingen am Neckar rests on the Neckar River and is surrounded by vineyards.

Esslingen was occupied by U.S. soldiers in April 1945, toward the end of World War II. During the war the city suffered very little damage, most of the medieval appearance of it’s city center has been preserved.

I first caught a glimpse of Esslingen from an American photographer, Laura Boston-Thek, who lives in the village.  Laura has a gift for telling a story through her camera lens. Over the years, through social media, I have enjoyed her colorful stories of Esslingen and she has inspired my own photography.

So when we had a few hours to spare before the Stuttgart Frühlingsfest opened last Wednesday, we decided to check out Esslingen for ourselves and it did not disappoint. Wandering the streets with my camera, I felt like a child in a candy store.  At every turn, something beautiful to be seen and of course photographed.

Here I offer you some highlights from my walk through the beautiful village of Esslingen am Neckar.


Old Town Hall {Altes Rathaus}


Market Square {Marktplatz}
Until 200 years ago this was the location of the Hospital of St. Catherine which was demolished in 1811.  Twice a week the market square hosts a farmers market. The sights and smells entice you to fill up your shopping bag as I did with olives, strawberries and local wine.  The big festivals throughout the year also take place here.


In the top right of this photo you can see ‘The Burg’ sitting high above the town centre. Constructed in the 13th century, The Burg was a defense position on the city wall.
Today it offers gardens to walk in, views to marvel at and a few restaurants.


Church of St. Dionys {Stadtkirche}
In the 17th century, when the south tower started to lean, a support bridge was constructed between the two towers.


View of the Stadtkirche and Sektkellerei Kessler


Spreyer Zehnthof {Sektkellerei Kessler}
Just to the left of the Stadtkirche, as you look at it from the Marktplatz, is a tight road that leads behind it. Here you can find the Spreyer Zehnthof, a seventeenth century barn that was converted into the headquarters of the Sektkellerei Kessler,  the oldest sparkling wine cellar in Germany.



Schelztor Tower {Schelztorturm}
It now stands free, but the gate tower was once a part of a wall and the spot where the Neckar River branch entered the town – a vulnerable spot in case of a siege.  An ice cream shop now occupies the entrance.



St. Nicholaus Chapel
In the middle of a bridge over the Neckar River there is the little chapel of Saint Nicholaus. The chapel is a memorial site for the victims of the Nazi regime and World War II.


Our last view as we ended our visit to Esslingen. This beautiful swan bid us farewell.

We most certainly will return!




this moment :: 12 july

{this moment}
::inspired by soule mama::
A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’d like to share , please leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.



Wishing you a rockin’ weekend.



romantischer weihnachtsmarkt :: sankt wendel

Sankt Wendel is a small village in the Saarland region of Germany on the border with France and Luxembourg.

Each year this sleepy town is host to a cozy Christmas Market. With over 120 wooden huts offering local delicacies, unique handmade arts & crafts, and a medieval crafts market with felt, lantern, basket & candle makers. Every afternoon visitors can enjoy the procession of the Three Wise Men with their camels through the city center and re-enactment scenes from the Christmas Story. A 40 foot Christmas pyramid, nativity scenes, toboggan run and gnome’s forest are among the highlights of this market.

The intimate atmosphere of the Sankt Wendel Weihnachtsmarkt invited us back again for a second year. The crisp night air, twinkling lights, warm glühwein, and festive live music made for a perfect date night. A new Christmastime tradition!

















If you find yourself in the area (66606 Sankt Wendel), the market is open: 8-16 December, 11.00 – 20.00

Love to all,


day trip :: Aachen, Germany

Our Saturday started out rainy but the clouds soon gave way and we decided to hit the road again. This time we headed for the border.  Leaving Belgium, crossing into the Netherlands briefly, we arrived at Aachen, Germany.  The drive was about 1h 30min.  Andrew enjoyed a nap.  Alex kept busy with his books and singing along with his playlist on the iPod.

Aachen is the westernmost city of Germany and a historic spa city in the North Rhine-Westphalia region. It was a favored residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany.

We were intrigued by the beautiful city upon arriving. Alex had his mission: find a toy store. Shopping was a treat as familiar stores lined the pedestrian walking streets. I found an excellent craft store (they even carried fabric!) a euro store (our version of a dollar store) and beloved Nanu Nana.

After several hours of exploring, we settled in the cozy little restaurant Rose am Dom for lunch. Jay enjoyed Schwein Schnitzel with mushroom sauce and fries while I had the Schwein Geschitzels with a mushroom gravy, salad and fried potatoes. The portions were large enough to share with the boys. We washed it all down with a few Gölsch, a pilsner, and apfelschorles (apple juice mixed with sparkling water)

It was a lovely day. We are already planning to go back on 21 March for a big flea market. :-)

Interesting statues like this one were found around the city.

Mama & Andy

Big Al.

Andy man

The restaurant we ate lunch in

St. Stephen

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Love to all,