Written for El Paso Inc., April 21-27 issue, 2013

It’s a Sunshine Day! (for those of you who are also “Brady Bunch” fans)


I’ve just been notified that I have been awarded the Sunshine Award, a food blogger award that is awarded to food bloggers by their peers. Anika, host of the SUPER AWESOME CANNOT-MISS blog,, nominated me, although I’ve been a HORRIBLE absent blogger for so long. Having a child, moving to NYC then back, freelancing, etc., has made my free time a rarity. 

BUT Anika has inspired me to go back to my writing roots and write again about food, my German-American household, and those cultural quirks that never fail to amuse us.

The rules are:


Rules of the Sunshine Award


  1. Accept the award.
  2. Post the award on your blog together with the name / link to blog of the person who granted the award.
  3. Answer the questions below.
  4. Pass the award to 10 other blogs providing links to their blogs.
  5. Contact your 10 bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.


Amanda’s answers to the Questions:


  1. Favorite color? – This is something I thought I’d NEVER say….PURPLE! Before I had my daughter, I thought people who loved purple were those who never grew out of high school, wore scrunchies in their hair, decorated their house with butterflies and dream-catchers, and thought white zinfandel was the most sophisticated of drinks. But after having Hannah and seeing her delight when getting to wear a purple outfit, or coloring on the sidewalk with purple chalk, or saying “lila” for every color, I’ve reconsidered. For now, at least, it is my favorite color.
  2. Favorite animal? – Concur with Anika: Dogs and Elephants
  3. Favorite number? – 4 ( I have to thank singer Feist for that. “Counting to Four” has made me have “four” on the brain.
  4. Favorite food? – Schweinehaxe, frosted mini-wheats, banh mi sandwiches, sole meuniere, animal crackers and perfectly ripe pears.
  5. Favorite drink? – I assume this is the alcohol variety. I don’t drink (lost that urge when I found out I was preggers  with Hannah and never got it back. Amazing, considering me and my past, lol). My favorite drink at the moment is Diet Mountain Dew…I could lie and say it was something natural, healthy and trendy…but no.
  6. Facebook or Twitter? – Again, same as Anika. I couldn’t tweet to save my life. I like facebook, never quite took to twitter.
  7. What is your passion? – Creating. Anything.
  8. Giving or getting presents? – Always, ALWAYS much preferred giving. Even as a bratty 10 year old at Christmas time! I adored watching others open their presents!
  9. Favorite day of the week? – It’s actually Tuesday. Being a freelancer makes all the days blend together, but Tuesdays means I have the house to myself all day, totally quiet, and I can nap for hours.
  10. Favorite flower? – Baby’s Breath, wild rose, Indian paintbrush and cherry blossoms


Blogger Nominations







Now, I could name 10, but I’d really be stretching it and I want to name the ones I REALLY follow, not just randomly pick…so this is my top 4!

What are your favorite German-American fusion food/culture sites????

New York State of Mind

I know, I know. It’s been months since I’ve posted, but moving to NYC has taken every ounce of my being…writing resumes, cover letters, freelance stories. I am just now coming to grips with how to juggle my time, which leaves me exactly six minutes a day for free time…after Hannah goes to bed.
So, what have I learned about New York in the almost three months that I’ve lived here? I have learned I am a lot tougher than I thought. If I KNEW ahead of time how many times I’d be rejected for a job, I’d have never tried. It makes the ones I HAVE gotten that much sweeter, though! And each interview makes me that much tougher, smarter and less immune to stage fright. Which leads to another thing… if an audition posted on Craigslist seems too good to be true… it is WAY too good to be true! “New Movie Starring VIN DIESEL and ALL STAR CAST NEEDS ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE, NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!” i.e., “We work for a photographer and we have no movie connections. We are just gonna tell you you have to have a headshot or three or ten, or else you won’t go anywhere.”
I’ve become SO much less fearful of crowds and, on the subway, I won’t be shy about squeezing between the slumped sleeper and the over-indulgent bible thumper if there’s a dedicated seat there. I used to let people squeeze in front of me in line because I “didn’t want to cause a fuss.” Ha! If anyone tries that now??Fuggeddaboutit!
I know that Starbucks bagels are NOT bagels. I know my H&H from my Zabar’s. I know where to get the best Banh Mi sandwiches in Chinatown. I get stopped by tourists in Grand Central, asking ME to give them directions.
I’m blending in. I LOVE not being mistaken for a tourist. I LOVE actually hearing myself mutter, “Oh, damn. A tourist. This will take forever.”
My six minutes are just about up, but in short, I love my town!

Seller’s remorse

So, for the last few weeks, we’ve been putting lots of our belongings up for sale via the local classifieds. While we have managed to sell most of what we’ve put up for sale, I’ve come to realize I am NOT one to drive a hard bargain. In fact, I’m a bona fide pushover.
I stated “firm” when I stated the price on most items, but found that I just get too eager to make a sale and always seem to drop the cost a few bucks, even when it’s a deal and a half to begin with.
Yesterday we sold my almost decade-old iMac G4, the “spacepod” looking one that was just SOOO cool when it came out. My computer savvy husband said I’d be lucky to get $75 for it. Considering I bought it for nearly $2,000 and it got me through a managing editor position, countless blog posts AND it was the venue for meeting my husband, I was really having a hard time letting go. I posted it for sale for $150. It took a while, but we finally got a buyer. I felt ripped off, lol, but my husband was so proud of my sales acumen😉
I could really get into this selling thing. I’m already looking around at other items to sell, things we hadn’t considered. But at this rate we’d have just a carpet and a pillow before we moved to the Big Apple.

Let’s see, where was I?

My last post was in February, just a month after our daughter Hannah was born. I was sure, sure, sure I’d find the time just a few weeks after the birth, as I recovered from my C-section lolling about in bed, playing with my baby. L.O.L.
So, let’s do my life in a nutshell since my last post. Wake. Feed. Play. Nappy change. Console. Feed. Nappy change…that’s the first two or three ( or six?) months.
Also in her third month, Hannah got her first plane ride to Houston, because we needed to visit the German Consulate in person to get her German passport and declare her dual citizenship. And just two months after that, she, Christian and I were zooming off to Bavaria to visit Hannah’s Oma and Opa.
Yep, she’s a well-traveled tot and what kind of parents would we be if we let her be raised in… El Paso????
Sooooooo, after much consideration (not on moving, mind you, but WHERE to move), we decided we’re going to “go for it” and move to New York City. This is something I would have never, ever done if I were alone. But with Christian’s eagerness and with the hope of providing so many opportunities for Hannah, I was easily won over.
We’ve got a place in FAR north Manhattan, and we’ve paid for two months. That will give us sixty days to find a job, find another permanent place, find childcare, and see if we too can take a bite of the Big Apple.
In the meantime, we have exactly three months left here in El Paso to sell pretty much all of our belongings (we’re flying to NYC. That’s two suitcases each. And that’s IT. Can I interest you in a gorgeous changing table or exercise bike?), get rid of our Jeep, say our goodbyes to my family (Hannah’s my parents’ only grandchild, so it’s not so easy), and study up on the ins and outs of cheap NYC living. I am already romantically envisioning living off of Doner Kebabs and salted bagels whilst treating Hannah to a day at FAO Schwartz.
I’ll be posting the details of our move and our transition from little desert border town to bright lights, big city!

Chez Waldmannstetter

Today’s weather would have made for a spectacular Sunday … IF it wasn’t blowing horrible, dusty winds and making it impossible to see more than two miles in front of you! Yep, El Paso introduces spring in SUCH a lovely way. Not. At least the birds are starting to migrate here, so we get our own version of Hitchcock’s famous movie every evening, with birds flying South in masses, practically blackening the sky.
I will never, ever lose my last few pounds of baby weight with Christian’s cooking. I might as well just forget about it and never think about it again. Christian made his homemade pasta sauce, served with his gorgeous salad (he makes a mean salad) and baguette. Yep, I will just reconcile myself with this last ten pounds and I’ll start packing my pre-preggers jeans for Goodwill.
Here’s Christian’s beautiful salad and him further tempting me with a piece of fresh Parmesan. I just can’t wait until Hannah can eat with us and see just how daddy was so instrumental in making her a healthy, happy baby. Mommy couldn’t stop eating his special dishes. If it weren’t for him, Hannah would live on pbj sandies, oatmeal and PowerBars.

Sorry, the cat got my tongue

Yep, it’s been way too long but I finally found a brief moment to catch up on my blog and not have to type the chopsticks method…one finger. Hannah’s in her bassinet, not sleeping (does she ever?), but giving me a chance.
The other night, Christian decided to get back into the gourmet cooking mode, after weeks of Domino’s, pasta and whatever else we could muster with the one last gasp of energy the two of us have at the end of the day.

And what did he make? Tongue! Okay, we’ve been watching a lot of Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain to lull us to sleep (well, to lull Hannah to sleep) these days, so we’ve been curious. Sure, El Paso Mexican restaurants have lots of “lengua” on their menus, but neither of us had ever had the, er, guts to try it out. I’ve had my share of menudo, so tripe isn’t a stranger, but tongue has never been a “must try” item, until now.
The prep work made me think twice, but Christian’s tongue/carrot/leek/cream casserole was outstanding. I had to use the suspension of disbelieve method to try, but once I did, I thought to myself that I could get into this “extreme eating” every so often. Beef cheeks are next.
Hannah’s Uncle Rosser came by for a visit and a stroller walk this afternoon, and Hannah was on her best behavior. She has a knack for being soooo good in public and when she has visitors. She saves her energy for right when the door closes and we’re alone. She is very good that way😉
Now we’re off on a date. Yes, that’s right, a bona fide date. Dinner and then a coffee. We’ve played it safe with family restaurants like Applebee’s and State Line so far, but we’re going out on the edge tonight, to a quiet Vietnamese restaurant. I am making sure she’s well fed (maybe overly fed) right beforehand.
It’s great to be back on the blog and I pray I can manage to be coherent as my brain finally is coming back around.

Side note: We’ve got our tickets to Munich in May! Almost three weeks of introducing Hannah to her daddy’s family, as well as having a second honeymoon filled with long walks in the forest, visits to Bad Gögging, Abensberg, Regensburg and Passau, Schweinebraten, Oma’s Kartoffelsalat, Uli’s Gulasch, Pflaumenkuchen, Griessuppe…. God, this is going to be a LONG three months.