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BookCover_BerlinCoffeeshop1Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, Gerlis Zillgens, and her recipes for Hangover Breakfast, Herring Salad, Pumpkin Cake and Creme Brulee along with an introduction to her book, Berlin Coffeeshop. Please join me in welcoming Gerlis and savor her recipes as you read about her new book!

Hangover Breakfast

All you can drink coffee

1 liter seltzer

1 large serving of herring salad

1 pickled herring

2 slices of brown bread

1 neck massage

Herring Salad Recipe

Serves four:

2 cups beets, pre-cooked

2 1/2 cups sour cream

2 onions

3 pickles

2 medium apples

1/2 bunch of dill

Salt, pepper, pinch of sugar

2 tbsp wine vinegar

1 tsp grated horseradish


Cut the herring fillets into bite-sized pieces. Peel the onions and cut into rings. Cut the pickles, beets, and apples into small pieces and put them in a bowl with the sliced onions. Add the herring to the other ingredients. Season with salt, pepper, grated horseradish, and vinegar. Then add sour cream and stir everything together. Wash the dill, chop finely, and add it to the mixture. Season to taste again and serve.

Pumpkin Cake

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean

3 eggs

a pinch of salt

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup sliced almonds

14 oz pumpkin


Finely grate the pumpkin flesh. Separate the eggs and beat the whites with a pinch of salt until they are stiff. Mix the baking powder with the flour; sift.

Whisk the room-temperature butter with sugar and vanilla bean until sugar is completely dissolved. Then stir in the egg yolks. Finally, fold in the almonds, flour, pumpkin, and egg whites.

Grease cake pan or line it with baking paper and pour in the cake batter. Cook at approximately (325° F / 170° C) for an hour.

Crème Brûlée

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup milk

8 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

2 vanilla beans


Combine cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla bean in a measuring cup.

Fill small ramekins with mixture and allow it to thicken in the oven at 200° F / 95° C for 55 minutes. Let cool, then sprinkle brown sugar on top and caramelize with kitchen torch. If no torch available, broil briefly in oven.

Bon appetit!


Follow Sandra and her friends as they navigate life, love, life as late-20-somethings in Germany’s hip Berlin. The best office in the world is in the Coffee Shop – a cozy café in Berlin. From here, Sandra plies her trade as a thing-finder. Her customers are people who have lost or want to find something which will make their life happier. But on her quest for other people’s desires, Sandra suddenly finds herself in search of her own happiness – and of herself. And a dead goose further aggravates her emotional turmoil…

Episode Guide

Episode 1: “An Office, An Office” – ISBN: 9783838714523

Episode 2: “Key to Paradise” – ISBN: 9783732500826

Episode 3: “Life’s No Walk in the Park” – ISBN: 9783732500758

Episode 4: “The Undead” – ISBN: 9783732500819

Episode 5: “Crew Ariel” – ISBN: 9783732511112

Episode 6: “Far Too Beautiful” – ISBN: 9783732511129

Episode 7: “Better Half” – ISBN: 9783732511136

Episode 8: “To Be or Not to Be” – ISBN: 9783732511143

Episode 9: “Totally Retro” – ISBN: 9783732511150

Episode 10: “Nightmares Comes True” – ISBN: 9783732511167

Episode 11: “Money, Money, Money” – ISBN: 9783732511174

Episode 12: “Only Virtually” – ISBN: 9783732511181

About the Characters

Sandra is a seeker of things. Her customers are people that are looking for something they can’t find. Sandra’s office is a table in the Coffee Shop, a cozy cafe in central Berlin that is run by her friend Captain.

Captain’s cafe is the hub of Sandra and her friends’ lives. Captain is always looking for new male waiters that are as attractive as possible. For the sake of simplifying things, he calls them all “sweetie,” since he replaces them as quickly as he does the daily special at the Coffee Shop.

Nils studies veterinary medicine, but he is actually occupied full-time with being Sandra’s seeker assistant. On her missions, the two end up in situations that bring them closer together. But they are really just best friends.

Claudi is Sandra’s best girlfriend. In addition to Sandra, Claudi has around 7,112 friends – on Facebook – who get to hear about everything that happens in her life, as well as those of her friends Sandra, Captain, and Nils.


When the convoy finally gets moving towards the capital, it’s remarkable. Captain is leading the way in the truck; followed by Nils in his tiny jam-packed car; and then a large taxi at the end with Claudi, Simone, my parents, and me on board. The speed of the heavily loaded truck is not particularly even with that of the eighty-year-old taxi driver. He keeps hitting the gas then abruptly breaking again, constantly riding Nils’s bumper. It only gets better when my father gets him into a conversation about the Green Party’s attempts to introduce a speed limit on the German highways. Now he’s not glued to Nils’s tail anymore, but has his eyes on my father in the passenger seat for a moment, as he angrily badmouths the Green Party. A taxi driver taking his eyes off the road while moving at about sixty miles an hour doesn’t really put me in a meditative frame of mind.

Taxi driver (angrily): “First the smoking ban. Now this speed limit. They’re trampling all over freedom. I am for freedom. They should be sent straight to the workhouse.”

Dad: “Yeah, but then they also wouldn’t be free.”

Taxi driver (angrily): “To the workhouse! Whoever wants a speed limit should be put in the workhouse.”

Dad: “Workhouses, um, weren’t they abolished a long time ago? Hang on, I’ll ask the daughter, she knows everything about the modern world.”

My creator looks back questioningly, the taxi driver looks back angrily, and the taxi swerves along the shoulder.

Dad: “Do workhouses still exist in Germany or don’t they?”

Me: “No, dad, workhouses haven’t existed for a long time.”

The taxi driver snorts, looks back angrily as if I were responsible for the stupidity of the workhouses being abolished. The taxi comes within a few inches of the guardrail.

Dad (to the taxi driver): “Workhouses haven’t existed for a long time.”

Taxi driver (angrily): “Why is the idiot in front of me crawling?”

Dad: “That’s my daughter’s ex-fiancé.”

Simone quietly clears her throat.

Mom: “If someone is gay, it’s just because he hasn’t met the right person yet.”

Taxi driver (angrily): “Gays also belong in the workhouse.”

Dad: “Workhouses haven’t existed for a long time.”

Simone: “My boyfriend isn’t gay.”

Taxi driver (with a long look back): “The gay guy in front of us is your boyfriend?”

The taxi misses the right guardrail by a hair. The driver sharply turns the wheel to the left and a general outcry ensues.

Taxi driver: “It’s all the gay guy in front of me’s fault.”

Dad: “He isn’t gay.”

Mom: “The one in the truck with the furniture, he is gay. But he just hasn’t met the right girl.”

Me: “Mom!”

The taxi driver glares at my father, changes to the left lane, and cuts off the truck. The truck hectically puts on his blinkers.

Taxi driver: “They’re all the same: gays, Greens, Angela Merkel.”

Me (quietly): “Interesting statement.”

Dad: “I think people often say ‘the same’ when they mean similar or alike.”

Mom: “Nonsense.”

Taxi driver (confused): “Huh?”

Dad: “Well, same implies exactly the same. So, I can’t have the exact same taxi as you because there’s only one. But I can have a similar taxi or the same type of taxi as you because there may be several of them.”

Taxi driver (happily): “Are you also a taxi driver?”

The driver glances happily to my dad; the taxi changes lanes. One of the drivers coming up behind us has to slam on the breaks.

Outraged comments from Claudi’s Facebook community:

Dad (surprised): “I’m retired.”

Taxi driver: “Me too.”

With a long sideways glance from the taxi driver, the taxi drifts towards the left guardrail before its driver gives the steering wheel a sharp turn right. I am slowly getting queasy.

Taxi driver: “Sorry, that never usually happens.”

The taxi cuts off a bus. Its driver, a man who looks like Stale Solbakken, the former coach of the Cologne soccer team, gives him the finger. The taxi driver stares at him, fascinated.

Taxi driver: “Solbakken?”

Mom: “Soul what? You should be watching the road.”

Claudi: “I could go for some cheesecake.”

Already a nervous wreck, I pull my MP3 player out of my bag and put on my headphones. Therapeutic.

I try to sing away the nausea: “I have twenty children, my wife is pretty … ”

My mother pulls the headphones out of my ears.

Mom: “Don’t shout like that.”

Taxi driver (mutters): “Lesbian and then adopting twenty children. They all belong in the workhouse.”

I resolutely stuff the headphones back into my ears, blast the music, escape the verbal madhouse and pray (in case there is a god) for our survival and that I don’t puke on the back seat.

Buy the Book:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Berlin-Coffee-Shop-Episode-Office-ebook/dp/B00W1VXXCI/ref=sr_1_sc_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1429018611&sr=8-3-spell&keywords=gerlis+zilgens

Connect with Gerlis:AuthorPhoto_GerlisZillgens

Website (in German): http://www.gerlis-zillgens.de/

Publisher’s website (in English): http://www.bastei-entertainment.com/

Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!