a mother and daughter lifestyle blog

the journal

olive harvest at la vialla
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end of october we returned to our home away from home, fattoria la vialla in tuscany. we love getting away to somewhere a little warmer for a week in autumn - it really is the ideal time of year to travel when you want to enjoy some peace and quiet before the christmas madness begins. tuscany in autumn is such a dream - the fields, hills and trees are washed-out from the summer sun, making for the softest colour palette wherever you look. it’s just warm enough to soak up the sun in a dress during the day with a glass of rosé, but cuddle up next to the fireplace in a cozy knit as soon as the sun sets.

this was a really special trip, because we came to la vialla with a group of our best girl friends for a week of cooking, eating, olive harvesting and calmness. as always, arriving felt like coming home and we were greeted with such warmheartedness, generosity and love by our la vialla famiily. especially our dear annette, steffi and christina. our friends, most of who hadn’t been here yet, left feeling like family, too, at the end of the week. we want to share some of the pictures we took during our day of olive harvesting. it was really foggy when we started but in the course of the morning the sun came through and it turned out to be the most beautiful day.

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as a reward for all our hard work (ha ha), we had lunch in the olive grove. the longest table we had ever seen was set up, beautifully nestled between the olive trees. it was rather spectacular! the lovely cooks of la vialla completely spoilt us with bruschetta, pecorino, antipasti and toasted bread with the fresh olive oil from this years harvest. homemade sausages were cooked on the open fire, as well as a thick, warming chickpea stew, which was best washed down with a glass of ‘vino nuovo’ - the very first bottles of this years’ red wine.

lunch lasted well into the afternoon and we could have happily sat there, drank wine and chatted with the other guests, most of whom have been coming to la vialla as long as we have, for many more hours.

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the book + best pancakes ever!
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it’s here!! our book is finally here! actually, it’s been around since september 10th but we’ve been so busy with our book party and, honestly, just looking at it. it’s been such a whirlwind, we’ve signed so many books and received the most wonderful feedback and it’s only now starting to sink in that apparently we are actual, proper cookbook authors! which despite everything is still really hard for us to wrap our head around.

we are so excited to finally share it with you and hope you love it as much as we do. lots of lovely people have asked on instagram if it will be translated into english but we actually don’t know that yet, so we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed and wait for a little bit. until then here’s a little glimpse of the german version and one of our favourite recipes from it, our super duper fluffy pancakes that will brighten any sunday!

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the book has six chapters - morocco, asia, lithuania, tuscany, home and pantry - containing over 100 recipes. most of the recipes are been family favourites and have stood the test of time, having been served up for years and years. they are inspired by our favourite countries and of course, our home. here’s an idea of what to expect:

pantry foods (granola, crispbread, stock, spices etc.)

dressings & dips

nutmilks & jams

soups & salads from all over the world

hearty pasta dishes

sides to go with almost anything

breakfast foods for every day

baked goods & treats

drinks

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the book contains lots of basics like vegetable stock two ways, curry pastes, spice mixes, granola, jams - just great things to have at home at any given time. lots of summery salads and dishes with really fresh ingredients and then also very warming, hearty dishes for the colder months. and of course a whole lot of dessert and sweet treats like spiced brownies, affogato, apple crumble, pavlova and much much more.

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super FLUFFY pancakes (makes around 20)

  • 2 medium to large eggs

  • 300g plain flour

  • 2 generous pinches of salt

  • 2 tbsp white sugar

  • 250ml milk of choice

  • 100g full fat yoghurt

  • 80g butter, melted

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2-4 tbsp water

  • oil for the pan

add all ingredients (except the water) into a bowl and quickly mix together with a fork. it’s absolutely fine for the batter to be a little lumpy - don’t overmix, a too smooth batter is not your friend in this case. let rest for a couple minutes, then check the consistency and add a little water. the batter should be thick and not spread too much in the pan.

in a pan on medium high, heat the oil. once it’s hot, add a good tbsp of batter per pancake and cook for about a minute on each side. be sure to use a good coated pan for this as you want to be able to gently flip the pancakes without them sticking to the pan.

stack as high as you want and drown in maple syrup!

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lots of love, kerstin & larissa

lemon fennel risotto
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we love a good risotto and this is just the perfect dish to hold onto summer for a little bit longer. munich is treating us to some really warm days still, yet there’s no denying that they are getting shorter and shorter and we are well and truly headed towards autumn!

lemon and fennel make such a great team - incredibly fresh and luscious. paired with generous shavings of pecorino and freshly cracked pepper, every spoonful of this risotto is reminiscent of summer, yet warming and hearty. everything we hope for in a dish these days.

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lemon fennel risotto (feeds 4-6)

  • 250g arborio rice

  • olive oil

  • 250g fennel, about 2 bulbs, with greens

  • 2 tbsp pernod, pastis or limoncello, mixed with a tiny bit of water

  • 1 - 1,2 liters vegetable stock

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • peel from two untreated lemos

  • 1 heaped tsp fennel seeds, roasted und freshly ground

  • 125g pecorino cheese, grated

  • 75g pecorino cheese, shaved

wash the fennel and cut into fine cubes. heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the fennel in it. after two minutes, add the rice and salt and cook for another two to three minutes. deglaze with the pernod and gradually add the vegetable stock, stirring constantly. grate the lemon peel into the rice and season with the fennel seeds. let simmer until the rice is cooked, this will take about 40 minutes - don't forget to stir occasionally. if necessary, add more hot water. season with salt and freshly ground pepper and stir the grated pecorino as well as the fennel greens into the risotto. serve with shaved pecorino, some extra fennel greens and freshly grated lemon zest.

bon appetit, kerstin & larissa

england part II: our favourite norfolk beaches

after two beautiful days in barford we packed some sandwiches, said our goodbyes and jumped in the car. next stop: norfolk.

back when we were living in england we used to spend holidays fishing for crabs in blakeney (apparently the chelsea of norfolk), eating lobster and building sandcastles at the beach. when we moved back to germany we started spending our holidays elsewhere again and slowly but steadily forgot all about norfolk. and how beautiful it is. just the spot of calmness and the breeze of fresh air we needed after a long hot summer in munich.

we fell in love with norfolk all over again and will feed you our favourite things to do, see and eat in the next couple of posts. to start, we really wanted to share our favourite beaches with you, as we think this can be a bit of a "hit or miss" - we drove to quite a few, some that you're better off avoiding and some that are so beautiful we just had to share.

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holkham beach

we loved holkham beach for its sheer vastness - sand and water as far as you can see with beautiful dunes to nestle into and enjoy a picnic or just some rays of sun and a good book. there were lots of dogs racing around and playing so coming here with your dog must be a dream (we wished we had taken leni!). it's also possible to bring your horse and go for a ride along the water, making holkham an animal lovers' paradise. still, it's so vast that you can absolutely come for a long walk and some peace and quiet without being bothered by anyone or anything. it also wasn't crowded at all when we were there. maybe because it is rather a little stretch to walk from the parking lot. we didn't mind at all and it was a beautiful walk through the marshland. just remember this when planning a trip in case you have lots to carry or are travelling with little children.

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what to do in the area

when visiting holkham beach we suggest you go see holkham hall afterwards, as well. it is just down the road across from the beach car park and has a beautiful deer park, walled gardens and a house that is worth visiting. the family who own it still live there but it's open to the public on mondays, thursdays and sundays (the grounds and gardens are open every day). afterwards, stop for some cake at the courtyard café and enjoy a look around the lovely shop - we certainly did! if you're looking for a proper bite to eat we recommend the victoria inn.

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weybourne beach

weybourne beach was just a super quick drive from our cottage in letheringsett so we loved coming up here for the golden hour when the evening sun bathed the cliffs and stones in golden light - quite spectacular! as you can see from the pictures weybourne is a pebble beach with a strip of sand right by the water. it therefore wouldn’t be our first choice for a typical beach day when you just want to cosy up in the sand and read but it’s perfect for picnics when sand can in fact be a bit of a pain. we packed a basket full of quail egg salad and crayfish & rocket sandwiches and homemade flapjacks and were happy to just sit on the pebbles and enjoy the view.

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what to do in the area

after the picnic we absolutely recommend you go for a walk along the norfolk coast path that starts directly at the beach. you can walk all the way to sheringham and it’s a beautiful route with stunning views that you mustn’t miss. it’s an easy walk we would consider appropriate for almost all ages - the whole walk to sheringham is just over 4km and pretty flat throughout.

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brancaster beach

this beach is owned by the national trust and therefore not only very well kept but also perfect with children, as you can drive right up to the front (unlike holkham beach where it’s quite a stretch from the parking lot to the beach). having said that it might be important to add that you won’t be directly by the water, as brancaster beach is exeptionally wide and you can quite literally walk miles until you’ve reached the water. it’s perfect to build sandcastles and there are pools of water to tap into so you probably won’t even mind (we didn’t!). there is so much space that in parts it can feel as though you have the beach to yourself which we really enjoyed. perfect for dozing off or long long beach walks.

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what to do in the area

just under a 10 minute drive away from brancaster beach and sat on a compound with lots of great little shops you’ll find eric’s fish and chips. we read about it in the car and literally 10 seconds later drove by it accidentally - if that wasn’t a sign we don’t know what is. we ordered beer battered cod loin and beer battered king prawns with a side of fat chips and homemade tartare sauce that was ridiculously delicious. the fish was cooked to perfection but the real winner were the king prawns - if we could fly back just for them, we would. eric’s has a really nice outdoor area to sit and the other shops are worth a visit as well, so really make sure to plan a stop here.

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where to avoid

just because we mentioned it before we think we should add that hunstanton beach is definitely to be skipped as we found it just wasn’t worth our time at all. when we were there it was ridiculously crowded and not what we look for in a beach, regarding scenery and crowd. it might be nicer during low season but we would still recommend avoiding it altogether as there are so many far more beautiful spots.

england part I: a trip to daylesford farm
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two weeks ago we went on a long overdue trip to england, which, for us, is always a trip down memory lane. we stayed for 8 days, rediscovered old favourites and found new ones. our first stop was barford in warwickshire, where we stayed with some of the first friends we made when we moved to england years ago. we've never lost touch over the years and have made a habit of visiting each other either in england or germany whenever we can.

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we arrived to crisp air and a familiar drizzle - which was highly appreciated after the heat wave we'd had in germany. so refreshing! after a quick lunch at the house we hopped into the car and drove the short stretch to daylesford farm. we had been wanting to go for years (!) and had never got around to it so when liz (our dear friend and host) suggested a little shop & lunch there, we were delighted to finally go.

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daylesford farm is by certain no insider tipp anymore, it's extremely popular and in addition to the original farm in gloucestershire, they have three shops in london where you can buy their organic produce. and while you might think that with all it's popularity it might be a bit hyped and dressed up, we were genuinely impressed. there is so much to do: from buying organic food in the farm shop, having a look around their interior department, to booking cooking classes (amongst lots others!), having lunch and going for walks on their vast grounds - we couldn't decide what to do first.

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the flowers alone absolutely blew us away and we could have bought them all!

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when the sun came out we decided to sit down for a spot of lunch in the courtyard. they have a great menu of seasonal dishes (using fresh ingredients from the farm), freshly squeezed juices and botanical cocktails. everything really feels so fresh and wholesome.

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after soaking up some sun rays we picked up a few treats from the farm shop.

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highly recommend the salted caramel brownies - tasted almost as good as our own! ;)

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we would have loved to do a floristry workshop or a farm tour but that will have to wait until next time. instead we headed to hidcote manor garden for a walk. hidcote is part of the national trust and a firm family favourite, we used to come there all the time for walks and picnics.

as england has had warmer weather this summer than usual as well, all the gardens we visited weren't as lush and green as they would normally be this time of year. we were still in awe of how beautifully they are designed and tended for.

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of course we couldn't resist a short match of tennis before heading back home and getting dinner ready. such a great start to our trip.

xx kerstin & larissa

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