The Brave Cook

My life from the heart of Berlin!

Archive for the tag “cooking”

Project Berlin Fairytale Flat

After living in Berlin in the same flat for many years I finally moved into a new place in June. Of course, I did not know how my new flat would turn out, because it is always a question of luck to find the right place at the right time. I was expecting the worst. Living in Berlin, you learn how difficult it gets every year to find a flat that is affordable and perfect at the same time. Most people go for shared living so that they can afford to live in the popular districts. For me that was kind of out of question. I love to have my own space that I can decorate the way I love and make it feel my home that reflects me as a person. Sharing my flat would be as if Carrie Bradshaw shared hers in Sex and the City.

So, I gave up my rooftop flat with a sunny terrace for a much more spacious flat with a huge kitchen and a sunroom, that we call a “wintergarden” in german. Of course, all this space costs me more money. But it is worth it and still way cheaper than most comparable flats in Berlin. I still have a green and quiet view with many trees and lots of evening sun. Most Berliners can only dream about such a gorgeous view. The best thing about all this is, my flat is still central enough to reach Alexanderplatz in 15 minutes and Stadtmitte in 25 minutes. It gets even better: I am at the Airport in 20 minutes and at the Hauptbahnhof in 25 minutes.

There is still space for improvement, but honestly, for the rent I am paying monthly at the moment, this is just my dream flat! It is central, spacious, sunny and green at the same time. The rooms are not completely done. Some things such as plants, curtains, pictures and little details are still missing and will be completed within the next months. Nonetheless, I am presenting you some of the highlights of my place with my own taste for furniture and interior design. My favorite places are the kitchen, the bathroom and my sunny wintergarden. Enjoy!


The Kitchen






The Bedroom







The Living Room




The Workspace





The View


The Story of Lu & Mithi: The Love and the End


Now I told the story of Lu & Mithi. The story that had to do with the past years of my life.

The relationship between me and Mithi ended and there is nothing to bring it back the way it was before. We would both have to move on with our lifes and make the best out of it. Of course, there is no hate or other bad feelings left between us for each other. We still consider ourselves good friends and we know that in case of any kind of help we can rely on each other. However, we do not want to depend on each other or to bring back old feelings.

I think, Mithi is handling the whole thing way better than me. He is focusing on his job and on earning money as well as finding a caring partner. He is doing it quite well and I am very happy for him. I am also busy with my job and with saving up some money. I know I have to look out for someone new too but it is pretty difficult to do it on purpose. In the end love and a relationship cannot be forced. Only time and coincidence will make it come true.

I am taking the good things out of the relationship with Mithi for my future life. I have found a true friend with a good heart. Someone, who is also struggling to find the same things in life. Mithi taught me many things. He taught me how to be strong and not to give up. He taught me to be patient. He inspired me to be creative and to try out new things. He believed in my dreams and most of all he showed me true love.

Life is not always easy and it is not always blessed but knowing Mithi is a true blessing and I am thankful for it. So this is the end of the story. And it ends with love. The love will always remain.

The Story of Lu & Mithi: The Conscience


It never feels good coming back home from holidays. It always felt strange and empty to me. This time, it was worse in many ways. I already said how much I was crying when I left Mithi in India. I thought this was only a good-bye phase. But it was not. I felt sad for the next days and weeks and I was crying a lot. I was crying for so many reasons. It was as if my heart and mind had been awaken and as if I was brought back to my previous condition. I could finally see and feel everything so clearly. And I realised it was too late.

I was expecting Mithi would talk to me the same way he did before my visit. Instead, he did not call me again. It was only me contacting him. And he did seem to be annoyed or bored with me contacting him and talking to him. He did not consider me as his partner anymore. Of course, it pained me a lot but I could understand his behaviour. It was his reaction to my behaviour. His decision to let me go.

I was unable to let go of him in that way. For me he was still my precious darling in my heart and I could not imagine to let the days go by without talking to him or to close that chapter of my life so suddenly. I kept sending him messages and telling him how much I miss him and that I still love him. He did respond sometimes but I could see that there were no deep feelings from his side anymore. I had no choice. I could not force him to talk to me or to change his feelings. Words are not as strong as actions. So the only thing left for me was to cry my heart out and get over it. I did not cry every day though. It was more like sudden crying attacks bursting out of me. But even after many months it was still not over with the crying.

My conscience was very hard on me. I was reflecting on my behaviour and my words I showed the last months and I could not believe that this was me. I never wanted to become such a person. I wanted to be the person I was before. This was simply not the way this love was supposed to end…

The Story of Lu & Mithi: The Cold


So in the middle of my depression being apart from Mithi and developing feelings for another person I made the decision to visit my darling in Mangalore, staying in his family’s house with him and his parents. I was debatting with Mithi a couple of times if this was the right time for me to come since I was such a wreck emotionally, but I insisted to come. I could not stand the feeling of being apart even longer from him. And I also needed a break from my life and routine in Berlin to find inner peace again.

When I arrived in Mangalore after a long flight I was greeted and taken care of so warm by Mithi and also by his parents. I felt at home right away. They did everything to make my visit as comfortable and nice as possible. I felt so blessed during that time. The climate with rain showers in the evening, our trips with the scooter to the city, visiting the coast and seeing the beach, going to the church together. So many beautiful moments that I will never forget. The first days felt like I finally left my life in Berlin behind.

Sadly, I was still not over the last months and I had difficulties to open up as much as I should have during my visit. After all, it was the time to be with Mithi and to enjoy every moment with him as much as possible. It was the time to hold him, to kiss him, to tell him how much I love him. Instead, I was cold. I was cold and I did not notice it because I was so busy in my mind to find my own inner peace that I overlooked what this all actuallly was about. It was not about me, it was about us, about sharing my feelings and my life with another person instead of sealing myself off from everyone.

Of course, Mithi was feeling my cold and after the first days he started to leave me to myself thinking I would not have any true feelings for him. He could only see my depressed and cold self. When the last days of my visit finally arrived I started feeling sadness, knowing that I would be leaving soon and get back to my life in Berlin without Mithi by my side. I was unable to find the right words back then to tell Mithi how sorry I felt for my cold behaviour and that I was unable to open up to him the way I should have done it as his partner. I was crying the last night and day a lot. Even at the airport I could not hold back my tears. The only thing was, I did not show my tears to Mithi. What meaning would my tears have to him, if I was unable to turn my feelings into actions?

So I returned back to Berlin and I was unsure if I actually felt better or worse. The next days and weeks would show…

The Store of Lu & Mithi: About Lu


It is always a challange to write about oneself without leaving out an important detail of the own personality. What to say? How to start?

I can describe myself as a romantic, believing in the one and only true love and in being faithful and honest to the people I love. I despise selfish people as well as people who think they are superiour to others. The biggest heart is the one that is treating all kinds of people with respect and without prejudice.

The day I met Mithi I opened my heart to him without prejudice. I opened it to him completely, giving it all to him. I felt like my life started having a meaning with him. I felt never alone again. Every time I came from work he was there waiting to talk to me. And I enjoyed our talks so much. He gave me that feeling that I was able to talk about anything on my heart, expressing it openly.

When Mithi lost his job and had to move back to his parents house in Mangalore, India more than one year ago, I was thinking this would be only temporary. But things turned out differently. He was even more busy there and our talks became less. I tried to think positive in any way and to enjoy life in Berlin the best way possible so that I would not drown in sadness. First it worked fine, but I started to be more and more busy with my office life and especially with making bonds with colleagues. Thinking this would be a good thing to do turned out to be the opposite.

When the person you love is not there to talk to you and to share all the moments with you, you share these moments with someone else. In my case it was a colleague that I started to like a lot. We understood quite well and I thought we could be really good friends. The problem was that I felt more inside when being with him. Many nights I stayed awake thinking how it could be that I felt in a way for him that I used to feel only for Mithi. I knew the answer was the distance.

I am a very open person and I knew that Mithi was able to see that there was something on my mind, so I told him openly about my emotional status and how hard the situation was on me. I promised him to control my feelings if he would give me enough time to find myself again. I am aware of how much I hurt him during that time by telling him everything and asking him to give me time, but during that period I was emotionally devastated and a wreck. I was unable to care for him emotionally too. First I had to fix myself inside and find out where and why I lost myself on the way.

When I came to Mangalore in October to spend the month with Mithi I was hoping my visit would help me to find back to myself and to our love but I was still not ok by then and things would not simply go back to what they were before…

The Store of Lu & Mithi: About Mithi


I will never forget the day I was talking to Mithi for the first time. He was crying like waterfalls telling me how lonely he felt and that he was thinking about suicide because he had nobody being there for him and caring for him. I did not know him at all and I also had no idea in my mind what I was actually expecting for myself from talking to him but for some reasons I felt very touched by him opening up to me as a complete stranger, him feeling so free to tell me all these very intimate things from his life. He asked me directly if I was interested in a relationship with him and I said yes.

Looking back, it occures rarely that two people decide so fast to have a relationship with each other. In that case, it was not planned, it just happened. Usually you feel very soon if there is a connection between you and another person and it was there between the two of us. We also knew that we wanted the same out of life.

The following months and years would bring many wonderful conversations, growing feelings and a strong appereciation for each other. Finally we were both able to share our happiness and sadness with someone.

It was not hard for me to love Mithi. His nature made it very easy for me. He can be described as very caring and fully devoted to his partner. He is also a very humorous and witty person. It never gets boring with him. He is a source of information and I admit that I have learned a lot from him. I still miss our conversations enormously. Not only was he a source of information to me, but also a source of inspiration. As I already mentioned, he was the one who inspired me to start this blog and to try out so many things that I would not start on my own. I am one of these people who need an incentive to be creative and for me it was him.

Mithi has many talents. He is a talented writer, a great cook, good in crafts and singing. People love to be around him. For me all these things are not as important as his loving a caring heart.

So the reason why our relationship ended had nothing to do with him. He was actually the best partner I could wish for. It had to do with me and the circumstances we were put in. But that is a different chapter.

The Story of Lu & Mithi: The Beginning


It has been a really long time since I posted something on my blog. I started this blog with the idea of sharing with all of you pieces of my life and creative ideas such as cooking, sewing and photography. It was actually love for my darling Mithi that moved me to start this blog. Unfortunately our relationship did not survive the circumstances we were put into but the love was true and beautiful and it is still in my heart.

Being with Mithi was the most wonderful time in my life and I am still thankful for the chance of meeting the most precious person in my life so far.

I do not want to indulge in sentimentaliy but simply express my feelings about this blessed time and relationship with my partner, giving it the respect that it deserves.

I am expressing my feelings by telling our story, the story about two lovers, the story about Lu and Mithi, the names we have given each other, accompanied with photographs I made in his home town, Mangalore, India.

So this is the beginning…

Some baking before Christmas

IMGP0631The holidays are coming closer and I’m pretty happy about that because it means that I have almost two weeks off to work on so many projects. I really hope to finish some of my projects that are already rotating in my head for a long time. As the weather is pretty wet and cold outside it’s the perfect time to stay in the kitchen and to do some baking. I like baking more than cooking even though you end up with more stuff to clean.

I’ve found a recipe online for a white chocolate orange cake and I’ve changed it a little bit by adding red currant to it. Due to the fact that I will be very busy during my christmas holidays my next post will be in two weeks. I thought that this would be the perfect post to wish you all a lovely christmas and happy holidays!


For the sponge mixture:

  • 200 grams flour
  • 280 grams sugar
  • 80 grams cocoa, sifted
  • 100 ml milk
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 dash of salt

For the cream filling:

  • 6 leaves gelatin
  • 1 liter orange juice
  • 50 grams jam sugar
  • 300 grams white chocolate, broken up
  • 800 ml whipped cream


In the original recipe there was a different instruction for the icing but I wanted to cover the complete cake with the white chocolate cream so I simply made more of the white chocolate cream by adding the extra chocolate to it. To make a separate icing you need to take 250 grams of chocolate and mix it with 80 ml whipped cream.

First start with the sponge mixture. Preheat the oven to 160 C°. Grease and base line a 20cm round, deep cake tin with baking paper. Separate the eggs, beat the whites until stiff. Add the sugar and the yolks first. Now add the flour, the cocoa and the milk, beat until smooth, then tip into the tin. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Using a bread knife, halve the cake horizontally in three round pieces.IMGP0604IMGP0608Melt the chocolate in a pan over low heat. In the meantime, soak the gelatin. Add the orange juice and the whipped cream to the melted chocolate. Do the same with the soaked gelatin. Put the mixture for some minutes into the fridge to let it thicken slightly, but do not allow to get too stiff.

Put one half of the cake into a spring form pan, leave a gap on the outside and spread the cream filling over it. To give it a little bit of color and fruity taste, I added some red currant to the recipe. If  you want to do the same, you need to add now some red current over the first half. Now cover with the second half and spread the cream filling again over it until the spring form pan is filled with it on each side. Decorate with the red currant or any other fruit. Alternatively you can use orange stripes for decoration. Let the cream thicken in the fridge for 30 minutes or more, remove the spring form pan when the cream is firm enough.IMGP0616IMGP0621The Brave Cook

What quinces are made for…

IMGP0695The winter season did in fact start and its’s a little bit late for preserves, but I made this year some quince-plum jam for the first time and I did not have the chance to post it yet. I’m so busy all the time with work and all my hobbies, it’s not easy to find the time for a recipe post. Not only that it’s some time ago that I’ve made this jam, but it’s also already gone. I’ve eaten it and prepared some cake with it. I also gave one jar to my mum to use it for her baking. This was only fair, because I received the quinces from my parents garden. This fruit is usually very hard, so that you have to cook it to eat it. It’s used quite often for jam or jelly. I also decided to make some jam out of it. The main reason was that I did never prepare jam before.

It’s very easy to make your own jam, so there is no difficulty or trick behind it. To make my jam more interesting I decided to add plums and ginger to it. That’s why my jam has this beautiful red color on the photographies. You can make your jam out of every fruit to love, there are many great combinations and I’m sure I’ll some of them in the future.IMGP0577


  • 3 quinces
  • 3 plums
  • 1 tbsp (fresh) ground ginger
  • 1 fresh ground vanilla bean
  • 400 grams preserving sugar (1 to 1)


As you can see on my photography, I had one big jar and one small jar full of jam in the end. You can use more fruits if you want to make more jam. My cooked quinces and plums made together 400 grams.

First, chop the quinces and the plums in quarters. Put them in a big cooking pot and cover all pieces with water. Bring it all together to a boil and cook it until soft. This should take some 30 minutes.IMGP0690When the quinces are soft enough you can separate the fruits from the juicy water and use a blender, mortar or whatever to blend the soft fruit pieces together. When making jelly instead of jam you need to add extra fruit juice from the cooked fruits. For my amount of fruits (400 grams) I would use two cups of juice to make jelly of it. I did not make jelly, so I simply drank the juice water.

Now add some grounded vanilla and ginger to the cooked fruits and mix it with the same amount of 400 grams of preserving sugar. Adjust the amount of the sugar to the product you’re using, 1 to 1 means that you need to use the same amount of sugar as the amount of fruits you have. Check the texture of the jam and add some juicy if necessary, but remember that the jam gets more firm after a while.IMGP0691IMGP0703Put the jam in a jar and keep it in the fridge if you’re using it up daily. It’s really fun to make preserves. The smell from cooking the fruits is just incredible. It can also be a very beautiful and personal present. I wished I had more time to spend in the kitchen to produce such lovely things.

The Brave Cook


The Smurfs are coming!

Last week I presented you some of my sewing projects and the reactions were so good that I decided to present you more here on my blog. Next to cooking sewing is another big hobby of me and I don’t want to refrain from sharing my sewing experiences with you the same I do with my cooking. When it comes to cooking I’m an amateur. Regarding my sewing it’s not so easy to estimate my skills, but I’m trying things out and I’m determined to get better and better. Learning to sew means to me to create different things. Last week I have presented you a waistcoat and an altered bag. This week I tried to make something new out of an old piece of cloth. Actually, I made some underwear out of a t-shirt.

I was not planning to make mens underwear out of a t-shirt this week, but looking for some leftover fabric in my closet I’ve found an old smurf t-shirt. Yes, it was in fact mine! I had even worn that t-shirt a couple of times at work! This t-shirt was so cute that I decided to make something out of the smurf motif. The smurfs have been my favorite cartoon as a little kid and I still love the way they look. I immediately got the idea of making underwear out of it. First of all, the material was very stretchy and second I know some mens underwear with colorful prints and I always loved it. So I decided to make an underwear pant with a colorful smurf print on the back.

If you are planning to turn a piece of cloth into something else you just need to be sure that the material is appropriate for your idea and you also need to check if there is enough material from the piece that you’re using. My old t-shirt was cut very tight and I had to check first if the length and breadth would be enough to fit my hip area. Fortunately, it fitted perfectly on my hips so that I would not even have to cut the sides open. I simply had to cut off the upper part of the t-shirt including smurfette. I love smurfette a lot, that’s why I kept her to use her for another project in the future.I could have made the pant with the print in the front, but I wanted to make a lining in the front and the motif would look better in the back. I also found a waistband that was formerly a part of another shirt. I thought it would look good on the pant and give it a sporty look. I think I made a very clean and nice looking finish. I should remember that for the next time. Trying the pant on it was feeling very comfortable. Hope you also like the fit and the design of it considering that it was made out of a t-shirt!For all of you who are waiting for another recipe: I will definitely post more recipes on my blog, but I will also share with you my sewing projects and other things out of my life! So my blog will be an interesting mixture!

The Brave Cook

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