Author: Laurelpaula

Soft, Chewy Pretzels and a virtual movie night

Soft, Chewy Pretzels and a virtual movie night

One thing that has saddened me most during the past 11 months is that fact that I have not been able to be with my family. In this regard, is has been an incredibly LOOOONG and challenging year.  Like so many other families with members…

Buckwheat Carrot Loaf

Buckwheat Carrot Loaf

This Carrot loaf has become a standard in our home, these days. It is so packed with wholesome goodness and it presents a great way for me to use up the carrot pulp from my carrot juice. This loaf so reminds me of my Grandmother’s…

The Flower Garden of the World  and Sweet Potato Fritter Recipe

The Flower Garden of the World and Sweet Potato Fritter Recipe

In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true. Buddha

I took a day trip with a friend of mine many years ago to a tiny village to the North Eastern part of Germany. I strutted through the town with my curly hair waving in all possible directions and dark skin, completely oblivious to the shock I was creating in this sleepy homogenous town. My friend and I went into a restaurant to have a meal, and it was then that I felt daggers of stares and glares from everywhere.

As I tried desperately to ignore the number of eyes that were observing my existence and every move, I noticed that one pair of those eyes belonged to a little girl. She was not glaring or whispering, making comments nor pointing. She was simply looking and had an open look of curiosity on her face.

Her bright blue eyes were glued to me, and I smiled at her. We spent minutes playing a game of stare and smile and look away, until she finally gained enough courage to confront me. She approached me with a timid smile and tugged at my arm, asking me why I look so dark.

I recalled a story that my mother told me when I was a little girl about her age. There was a gorgeous bouquet of flowers on the counter and I pointed to them asking the little girl what she thought of them. They are beautiful, she said. “I love flowers and so does my mom” she proudly replied. I asked her which flowers she likes, and she responded that she likes so many of them and could not possible choose just one.

I then asked the little girl to think about how the world would be if all the flowers in the world were all exactly the same-the same colour, the same shape and size, the same everything. She made up her face immediately and said that would be “really boring.”

I told her that the world is just like a huge flower garden, except that the flowers are the people. People come in different colours, shapes and sizes, to make up the beautiful garden of the world.

The little girl looked somewhat confused and after a few seconds of ponder and big wide eyes, asked me if that meant that I am just a normal lady like my mom with curly black hair and dark skin?

I smiled and nodded my head and she embraced me so beautifully, so purely-so innocently. 

Her parents then called out to her telling her that her “Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmüss (potato fritters with applesauce),” were ready (potato pancakes with apple sauce), and she ran off looking back at me smiling and waving.

I will never forget that interaction, and I hope that she holds it warmly within her memory bank as well.

Each time I eat Kartoffelpuffer, I remember that little girl. I hardly eat potatoes anymore, but use sweet potatoes generously in my diet. I wanted something that gave me the same warm and cozy feeling of the Kartoffelpuffer and these really hit the spot! My daughter loves them with apple sauce. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Fritters

May 2, 2020
: 8
: Medium

A lovely Sweet Potato cakes: From Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty


  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed and steamed until soft
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red bell pepper, minced
  • butter for frying
  • For the Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground black Pepper
  • Step 1 Steam the sweet potato until soft, then drain in a colander to let the liquid come out. Meanwhile, whisk the sauce ingredients until smooth and set aside. In a mixing bowl, work all the fritter ingredients by hand – it should be sticky, so if it’s a little runny, add some flour. Do not over-mix.
  • Step 2 Dip your hands in water and shape walnut-sized balls with the fritter mix, then flatten so you have round cakes around 5cm in diameter and less than 1cm thick. Place on an oily surface.
  • Step 3 Melt some butter in a nonstick pan. Using a fish slice, lift the cakes in to the pan and fry on moderate heat until you get a nice, brown crust, turning as necessary – about six minutes. Place between two sheets of kitchen towel, to soak up the excess butter. Serve hot or warm, with the sauce on the side and a crisp green salad.

Lemon Cakeletts

Lemon Cakeletts

It is Sunday or Saturday. Wait no, it’s Monday. I just checked, and it is actually Thursday today. The hours, and days and weeks all seem to melt together into one massive mass of time.  The only thing that differentiates my days are the recipes…

The Baker, the Neighbour, the Taxi Driver and a Chocolate Mousse Recipe

The Baker, the Neighbour, the Taxi Driver and a Chocolate Mousse Recipe

I returned home from a workshop feeling completely exhausted and absolutely famished. As I searched for my keys, my mind was in the kitchen thinking about what I could make for dinner. Some garlic lemon salmon with asparagus? Or perhaps some asparagus soup? As my…

Rice Caramel Cakes

Rice Caramel Cakes

My daughter had seen someone eating rice crispies  in a movie and asked if we could make some. While I didn’t have either Rice crispy cereal or marshmallows in the house, we  found some puffed rice and experimented a bit.

Caramel Puff Squares

March 11, 2020
: 18 Squares
: Easy

A delicious caramel-ly rice puff treat with a chew and a crunch


  • 1/2 Cup Almond Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 3 1/2 Cups of puffed Rice
  • Step 1 Prepare your square baking tin by lining it with baking paper.
  • Step 2 Put the rice puffs into a large mixing bowl
  • Step 3 Place the maple syrup and the almond butter into a saucepan and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until you have you have a homogeneous mixture.
  • Step 4 Pour this mixture over the puffed rice and stir until they are all coated with the syrup mixture.
  • Step 5 Pour the coated puffs into the prepared pan and press down until you have a smooth surface.
  • Step 6 Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to set
  • Step 7 Slice into squares and enjoy!
. The end result is a beautifully treat with a chew and a crunch and a sweet, caramel flavour. Yummers!











My Novel Chapter 1 Part 6. Coconut Wrap Recipe

My Novel Chapter 1 Part 6. Coconut Wrap Recipe

He turned around and smiled a smile so wide, so beautiful, so loving, as he ran across the street towards me, and I ran to meet him. As my body clashed against his, we embraced, cried and screamed.  After our elongated embrace, I looked over…

My Novel Chapter 1. Part 5 and a fluffy Pancake Recipe

My Novel Chapter 1. Part 5 and a fluffy Pancake Recipe

We went on for a couple hours and while he spoke, I envisioned us being married, having children, living in a wonderful home. This just all made so much sense! I had that vision again of him visiting me in Berlin running into my arms.…

My Novel: Chapter 1. Part 4 and some Sesame Almond Crackers

My Novel: Chapter 1. Part 4 and some Sesame Almond Crackers

A triumphant scream emerged from my body and I started running around in my living room, throwing my arms up in the air and swinging my hips around as if I had just had a litre of wine. I put myself together, took a deep breathe again and went over to the computer to read the message, carefully, slowly.

“ Oh, my goodness Paula is that really you? I was just talking to my mother about you the other day and we were wondering where you were. Where are you in the world…Do you have time for a chat? My number is…”

I read the message countless times over and started screaming deliriously!

My entire body was shaking.

I wrote:


Then I deleted it…I shouldn’t come across too desperately.

“Yeah, sure…when is a good time?”

Two seconds later, he wrote.


I wasn’t sure if I should stand up or sit down, so chose to walked around in circles   as I dialled his number. Within seconds, on the other end of my telephone Carl answered.

His soft, 40 year-old voice felt like an old t-shirt over my body. We meandered into the conversation as if our last conversation with each other was just yesterday and not 34 years before.

Here is the recipe for the wholesome sesame crackers that I made. 


Sesame Almond Crackers

March 11, 2020
: 40 medium-sized Crackers
: Easy

A Deliciously Crisp Almond Sesame Cracker


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 6 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ts. Salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • A dash of salt and pepper to top the crackers
  • A bit of oil to spread on the baking paper
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C
  • Step 2 Line your baking tin with baking paper and spread with a little bit of oil.
  • Step 3 Take out another piece of baking paper and spread it with a bit of oil
  • Step 4 Put all of your ingredients, except for the egg into a mixing bowl.
  • Step 5 Add in the egg and mix until you get a sticky dough
  • Step 6 Divide the dough into two equal parts.
  • Step 7 Place the dough onto the middle of prepared baking tin, which should be lined with oiled baking paper.
  • Step 8 Place the other piece of oiled baking paper onto the dough and roll it out to spread across the entire tin.
  • Step 9 Roll out the dough into a large rectangle about a 1/8 or 1/4 of an inch thick.
  • Step 10 When the dough is rolled out, remove the top piece of parchment
  • Step 11 Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into how ever many pieces you like
  • Step 12 Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of the crackers.
  • Step 13 Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until they brown slightly.
  • Step 14 Let them cool complete and break them into pieces to enjoy!
  • Step 15 Repeat for the other half of your dough!
My Novel: Chapter 1 Part 3 and Raw Coconut Macaroons

My Novel: Chapter 1 Part 3 and Raw Coconut Macaroons

The following morning, I woke up another dream about Carl and woke up smiling. I grabbed my computer and went onto Facebook. There were only two Carl Shar’s and while none of the photos initially looked anything like the 6 year old Carl I knew…one…