Austrian Anecdotes: Schnitzelquest

It’s a schnitzel bit funny…this feeling inside.

In every classic tale, there comes a time when our hero must go in search of some precious object or fabled item to gain experience and wisdom. She must travel far and wide, endure all kinds of hardship and danger, to find the reward she seeks and return, triumphant. From Star Wars, to the Lord of the Rings, to Harry Potter, the hero’s quest is what separates the boy from the man, the girl from the woman, and the story from the legend.

In Europe, my hero’s quest was for Wienerschnitzel.

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An urban watercolor sketch and its inspiration

Watercolor Wednesdays

What a week! Since I last posted, more things have broken in our home (a lamp and a mug), my skating rink started its reduced session summer schedule, and I utterly failed at my first attempt to make popsicles. If you haven’t ever tried sucking on barely flavored ice, I would not recommend it.

In the same week, though, I started wedding planning in earnest, I discovered the joys of grownup vacuums, and used a coworking space for the first time. And while I will not be cooking again until our dishwasher comes back from vacation, I did make several more Austrian dishes I’ll share soon.

I’ve also been hard at work on another creative outlet: watercolor.

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Austrian Anecdotes: A Better Sachertorte

You can make almost anything look Instagrammable with some angles, a cute plate, and filters!

Missing that dessert you had during your travels? Bake the vacay.

If you read recipe blogs, you’ll know that there are those blogposts that look so perfect and magazine-ready that you just have to sigh. How can someone with such impeccable skills possibly exist? you wonder, and how can they be so good at what they do? They make everything look so easy and you just know that if you work hard enough, you’ll be able to do everything perfectly too. And off you go, inspired, to recreate this creme de la creme of a recipe.

Well, all I can tell you is this is not going to be one of those posts.

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img_3742Take a trip with Tafelspitz.

A little over a week ago, I came back to the US from Europe. I’d competed in an international adult figure skating competition in Germany and visited Vienna and Budapest afterward. It was my first time traveling solo, and while I was a little intimidated before I went, it was an incredible experience and I’m really glad I did it.

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Lion’s Head Meatballs


Seriously great meatballs. Not even lion.

Every cuisine has some kind of meatball recipe, for good reason: unless you are vegan, everyone loves meatballs. And I think Lion’s Head Meatballs are some of the best the world has to offer. They’re so named because the Napa cabbage floating in the soup forms the flowing mane of the meatball lion head, which especially makes sense if you’ve seen Chinese paintings of lions or lion dance puppets. Sometimes, though I think the name was created by old school Chinese trolls who knew people would just assume the recipe calls for actual lion. The good news is, it’s just pork. Oink oink!

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Hello, world!

Here is a photo that makes me happy:

Exhibit A

Why? There are at least 9 cozy things in the photo, not counting anything on the bookshelf. When I look at it, I can feel how comfortable I’ll be the next time I use one of the squashy pillows, or wrap myself up in a soft blanket. And the colors all go together in a very soothing “bedroom of a panda” way, which is nice and comforting. It’s like a big layer cake of coziness waiting to be enjoyed by said panda: me.

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