Stock Taking III

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by Anna

sewing a neutral hexagon baby quilt
mending socks for my little cousins doll
ripping open boxes
knitting a blanket
drafting a pompon rug

crafting envelopes for christmas mail
gathering ideas for the christmas cards
preparing a give-away!!!
stamping with Perlenfischer products
loving all the crafty chrismas markets I went to already

cooking cabbage
baking savory pizza
baking sweet christmas treats, duh
mixing red wine with spices
eating more and losing weight
drinking winter punch

writing christmas cards
reading The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce
listening to christmas music, duh
planning what to bring to Christins New Year’s Party
going away to the mountains for christmas

Here at Meet my at Mikes is a list by Pip with prompts for taking stock posts – so much fun!

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Waiting for christmas: 12 cake and cookie recipes

by Anna
Christmas stollen
What better way to start the christmas baking than with a traditional stollen? This poppy seed stollen is a family favorite and a recipe that has been handed down from my grand-ma.
gingerbread from scratch
Another christmas classic one can simpy not pass up on: Homemade gingerbread and the zillion ways to decorate it! Makes a cute gift tag, too!
Hettys shortbread two ways
Hetty made a simple shortbread recipe her own by adding cranberries and pistachio or orange and amaretto. Cannot decide which Christmas shortbread I would like to try asap, you?
Orange Pomegranate Scones
Pomegranate seeds resemble little diamonds, no? So these Orange-Pomegranate-Scones will grade up your christmas brunch a lot!
buche de noel
Have you ever made a yule log cake? I felt intimidated by the idea yet loved it so much that I went ahead and made it with the help of a sweet friend, it is so worth it! And nothing to be afraid of…
Spekulatius Pralinen
Speculoos is THE taste of christmas for me – even though I could have it all year round. Make some speculoos pralines to give to some very special people this christmas.
Muffins Rose Wine
Cranberry’s great every day – paired with rose wine it makes a festive treat. Try making Hettys aromatic Rose Wine Muffins with cranberries for christmas breakfast.
pink pepper cookies
I fell in love with Pink Pepper Shortcrust Cookies last december and I haven’t fallen out of love since. They are still on my agenda to make this year. Why has the day 24 hours only?!?
ottilienkuchen
This one has already been made and eaten up completely: Ottilienkuchen. Almonds, chocolate and some rhum – doesn’t take much to make me happy at christmas – and Ottilie’s cake has is all.
Linzer Plätzchen
We haven’t shown many cookies in this round-up yet? These Linzer Plätzchen (cookies from Linz) with a heart of jam will change that. Hetty made them with plum sauce from her parents garden – the plums, that is.
rotweinkuchen
Red Wine Christmas cake I love you so much, I made the recipe, which yield two cakes, and send one off to my former host family in France. Hope it arrived there safely and still edible.
Bethmaennchen Coconut Christmas
Marzipan. Another ingredient that says Christmas out loud. Bethmännchen (moist marzipan cookies) are a favorite both at Hettys and my house growing up. Hetty made them vegan and with coconut.

What are you baking these days? I made sugar-coated almonds in the microwave the other weekend – and was impressed! Way better than at the christmas market! Happy second of Advent! ~Anna~

Advent “wreath” in a box (Adventskranz in Obstkiste)

by Anna

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To think outside the box? Can mean to put your advent wreath inside a box. This year my advent wreath is made from a fruit box, four small bottles a tiny poinsettia, as well as ivy, twigs and rose hip collected in the neighbourhood. Talk about recycling and being thrifty. The best thing about it: You can totally still make one in time for the first Advent sunday with only a trip to the grocery store (or your recycling bin) and a walk in the woods.

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I have had the bottles quite a while already planning to use them as vases. Because I do not have enough vases. Kidding. Then I found a small empty crate in the street and decided it needed to go home with me. I am all for boxes, containers, purses and everything that will hold stuff. As if i had not enough stuff but that is another story. When I stumbled upon mini poinsettia and short candles it was decided: the Advent wreath would be an Advent box this year.

I went for a sunday walk equipped with a modewaerts bag and scissors. People must have thought me weird. I like weird. I somewhere once read that all greenery and shrubs that grow over your fence and hence outside your property on common ground may be trimmed – and I am not sure it is true – I die so. In an alley I cut ivy, on the side of he road fir and rose hip. I think it was well worth turning “criminal” for this project…

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Supplies wooden crate, four bottles, four candles, a tiny poinsettia, shrubs/greenery, small jar (to hold the flower), decoration if desired

Peel off any labels on the crate and brush it clean. Place the bottles in the corners. Arrange the twigs. I had at least two of each kind and distributed them evenly across from each other for a balanced look.

Place the poinsettia in the jar and put it on top of e twigs in the center of the crate. Push down gently and make sure it site more or less level on top of the greenery.

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Distribute the candles to the bottles, I needed to point them a little with a knife. You may want to fill in gaps between the bottles with tiny twigs for a fuller look. I liked to decorate mine with only a pinecone added.

Happy first of Advent tomorrow! ~Anna~

Waiting for christmas: 16 christmas crafts

by Anna

“It’s that time of the year when the world falls in love…” – can you tell I have already been listening to christmas music? To me advent, the weeks leading to christmas, really are the most wonderful time of the year. It’s magic. There are so many fun and festive things that I want to squeeze in from now on until the new year and crafts are one of them, christmas markets another one. If you feel giddy for christmas like me, why not start crafting now?
braided fabric christmas tree outline
Fabric and paint are my favorite materials, what are yours? I gifted this braided fabric christmas tree last year and now I am very tempted to make another one, wanna join me?
Salt Dough Ornaments
Love handmade ornaments? Get a head-start with Hetty and make these super simple salt dough ornaments with cookie cutters. I bet you have all the ingredients at home already.
kraftpaper giftbag
Some folks have already bought gifts, right? (I have.) If I were the super organized German that stereotypes tell my I am, I would have them (ok, it – just one) wrapped already. Handmade gift bags are a great option.
Very simple christmas lanterns
Candles are a huge part of autumn and they carry us well all the way through winter. Every year I tear up when I see the lit candles on the christmas tree for the first time on christmas eve. Make these festive votives with Hetty.
cork tree
You like wine and collect the corks? Perfect! When you also need another cute christmas tree in your life, here is your project: a christmas tree from wine corks – happy making!
Advent Wreath Orange Pine Cone
Advent wreaths make the countdown easier as advent calenders do. By the way, I am still gathering supplies to make mine. It will be a recycling/natural materials wreath. In a box.
saltdough houses
You’re looking for a crafty project that you can keep all winter on display? Make saltdough house lanterns – I still enjoy them tremendously. Please, only put electric tealights in the tiny houses.
Sparkly Glittery Christmas Tree
We love to have plants around the house, and we like little crafted fake trees, too. Hetty explains how she made the
sparkly glitter tree here – hop on over.
Door wrapped in christmas paper
I am a child at heart and refuse to grow up. So I still like to decorate one door in my place with christmas wrapping paper and disguise in this way one room as a giant christmas present with a bow. “Step into christmas…”
Pine Cone with golden bow
Pine cones, gold and bows make for a festive, natural and simple garland. Combine your search for pine cones with a walk in the woods to not only get in a crafty but also a holiday spirit.
Time goes by
Waiting for snow? Stamp with little fir twigs on just about any material containing natural fibers to make this snowflake print – or do you feel they are little clocks?
Advent calender from cardboard rolls
There is still time left to make an advent calender, Hetty shows you a sweet and simple one for the guy in your life. You only need to ask friends and family to collect tp roll for you and think of stuffers.
wintry vases
When there is neither snow nor ice and cold outside, you can easily offer winter a home in your house by making these wintry vases with ice and snow spray.
free printable lanterns
I enjoyed making lanterns from tin cans and a free Star stencil to download and print. These lanterns are inexpensive, quick to make and really pretty to look at. They also make a sweet little gift.
ice lantern
Is it cold where you are? Make an ice lantern and set it on the patio. Even if you live in milder climates this could last a couple of hours and would make a perfect greeting at your door for a holiday party.
annas christmas tree
I feel like I can speak for Hetty as well, when I say we honestly loved our alternative christmas trees last year. Mine will go up into the window this christmas season, so the neighbors can enjoy it, too!

Pumpkin (pie) spice waffles with apple pumpkin sauce

by Anna
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Confession time: I was a bit bummed when I found out there is no pumpkin in pumpkin pie spice. Ok, I was not really disappointed but I was very serious about finding out what was in this stuff that parts of blogland go crazy about once fall arrives. There is no such thing as pumpkin spice where I am and I have neither been very much into pumpkin growing up not into sweet pumpkin dishes since starting to eat pumpkin. I first encountered pumpkin pie during my first (and only) Thanksgiving while living in the US. I admit I wasn’t a fangirl. Then things changed and here I am with my first own sweet pumpkin recipe, a very fruity apple pumpkin sauce. Oh, and there are pumpkin spice waffles. Can I tempt anyone with those?

Apple pumpkin sauce

2 apples (I used a sourish one and a sweeter kind)
1/2 of a small hokkaido pumpkin (or any pumpkin that can bu used unpeeled)
apple nectar (or agave nectar)
some cinnamon and nutmeg or pumpkin spice

Clean, pit and cube apples and pumpkin. In a steamer cook them for 25 minutes or on the stove with a little water until they are soft. In a bowl combine with a tablespoon of apple nectar and mingle some with a fork. In case you want a fine apple pumpkin sauce process with a blender. Sprinkle on some cinnamon and nutmeg or the famous pumpkin spice.
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Speaking of which, I made pumpkin spice similar to The Kitchns Pumpkin Pie Spice recipe I even have the ingredients noted as a fall inscription on my parents’ kitchen chalkboard…
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Annas pumpkin spice
2 ts ground cinnamon
1 ts ground ginger
1/2 ts ground cloves
1/2 ts ground nutmeg

Mix all the ingredients and store in an airtight container. Customize this to your preferences to truly make it your own. I will go heavier on the ginger next time, you do as you please.
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Pumpkin spice waffles (vegan or not)
For non-vegan pumpkin spice waffles just use my recipe for cinnamon waffles and substitue cinnamon with pumpkin spice. Use two teaspoons of it…
150g flour
150g margarine or sunflower oil
1 heaping tbs soy flour
1 tbs apple sauce (take some smushy apples from your apple pumpkin sauce)
3 tbs apple nectar (or agave nectar)
1 tbs Apple Cinnamon Liqueur or plain rhum
2 ts pumpkin spice

Mix all ingredients and bake in the waffle maker according to its instructions. I got four vegan waffles out of this recipe, the non-vegan version makes many more. Also, I am still experimenting with vegan waffles, these tend to fall apart more easily. This is partly because of the dough, partly because of my waffle maker. Any advice?

If you feel like there is not enough pumpkin spice in your day, enjoy these with a homemade pumpkin spice latte!

Apartment Progress II

by Anna
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Here I go happily crossing things off of my to do list for the apartment! Bedroom? Finished! I am very happy how the shop style wardrobe look I was going for is conveyed from the image I showed you in the first apartment progress report to real life.

First, I made over the old changing table that I am going to use as a dresser. This is an heirloom piece of furniture to me, both my brother and I were changed on it as babies ( I believe my parents had taken off the hutch then) and it might have been another piece that the ‘rents had acquired with their house. Like my white table, a former kids desk, it had been sitting in the basement. Cool, huh?

When I was little I had put stickers all over the dresser which my Dad had already taken off, danke Papa! I just sanded, primed and painted in chalkboard paint. And then let the precious thing sit outside to dry and bad luck had that it the rained on it over night. Bummer. I painted over it again, but, as you can see stains remained. Oh well, c’est la vie. The basket is a lucky thrift find and the knobs are painted with nailpolish as I already did with the knobs in my former kitchen

Fun fact about the kitchen: the new owners send me a photo of it in its new home! Yay!

Second, to make my version of this clothing rack I ordered five 160cm broomsticks on amazon, tied them together with cute rope (more about that in a minute) and tada here is my DIY clothes rack. Once I had my material on hand – and since I skipped the drilling – this was a five minute project, yay! A cute looking and quick to put together project always fulfills me in a way that is beyond words – it’s instant happiness. Right now there is a whole lot of weight on it but it holds up, partly because it is jammed between the wall(s) and the wine crate shelves in front of it. If you want to have it standing free I would drill and secure with more rope at the bottom as seen in the tutorial link above.
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The bed is facing the window which was the best decision not only for the room layout, but also because now I wake up and see the big beautiful tree in front of the window and the birds sitting and singing on its branches. This goes well with the still somewhat nostalic feel of the room, no? Only the wall under the slant was empty then, but the solution was there before the problem: I just made a white/babypink fabric garland (seen all over pinterest) and it was done. The very warm reindeer blanket is a gift from my parents and came all the way from Lithuania to me.
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Orange and green hues above the kitchen table add a freshness to the old and chipped kitchen that make me smile everytime I enter or even pass by. I loved the clementine wall on A beautifull Mess and spun it off into a clementine canvas. Woodchip wallpapers all over the apartment don’t make for good stamping on the walls, I guess. I am going to try anyway. For the moment I love my clementine canvas and the ability to move it around if my little heart desires so. I actually used Schöner Wohnen paint samples in Mango and Honey for the fruit and the tiny cans as templates for the stamp. Then I also glued the foam stamps to the cans, now I have everything in one place in case I feel like I need more clementines in my life. Knowing me this might happen in the middle on the night on a holiday…
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Before we talk about the rope shelf would you please note the reflections in the frames glass? It’s the string lights on the balcony, I guess I can cross off “show string lights on the blog” too, now, can I? When I saw the hanging rope shelves I knew they would be perfect for the new place, modern, light and challenging my woodworking unexperienced self. I upcycled slats from an old bedframe for the shelves and bought cute teal rope, as seen above for the clothing rack, then skipped the lip/skinny strip and whitewashed the boards. There is another one of these waiting to me mounted but I wanted to see how it holds up first because of my lightweigth walls. In any case, thanks to ABMs Joshua!
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And then there is this. Hetty suggested she came over after christmas and write on the wall for me. I did a cesond coat of paint but my handwriting still does not look like mine on that wall. I like the “people still feel” bit of it, but the rest? Nah. Another idea might me to write it out on paper/a plastic sheet and cast it on the wall via an overhead projector/beamer? I just write more like myself on a level surface…

There is another thing that has improved but not so much that I can show you. The really 70s (in a bad way) looking bathroom looks a little happier with my printed instagram photos on the tiles. I hope the photo paper and the moisture will be friends, cross your fingers, please!

Vegan recipe round-up

In honor of todays world vegan day, here are modewaerts favorite vegan food ideas!
vegan potato aubergine tofu moussaka
Love aubergine/eggplant and tomatoes? We too! Try making vegan moussaka
Leek Pizza vegan
Every season is leek season, so make leek pizza today!
vegan white chocolate glaze
Show some love with vegan petit four hearts
Vegan Cashew Cream
Vegan cashew cream – need we say more?
Vegan Panna Cotta with Almonds and Tangerines
This almost sounds to good to be true! Hetty made vegan panna cotta with tangerine and passionfruit sauce
All Veggie Vegan Pizza
It’s way easy to make pizza vegan, let yourself be inspired by our all veggie pizza
vegan quiche kichererbsen spinat
Quiche and veggie tarts are as easy to make as pizza – and just as good! How about our spinach and chick pea vegetable tart ?
vegan chocolate mousse
We received so much positive feedback about this vegan chocolate mousse , be sure to give thanks to the girl who thought of this (not us!)!
vegan rhubarb chocolate muesli granola
Anna starts her days with homemade mueslis – rhubarb cocoa muesli is a bit on the sourish side.
caramelized walnut carrot cake
Who says we can only have vegan caramelized walnut carrot cake for Easter? Certainly not us!
crunchy oat scones
Oh, oat scones! We could eat you all day every day!
winter minestrone
Fall is comfort food season, branch out with a lentil and algae minestrone!
kale chanterelle paprika pizza
One of the more unusual pizzas we had on here: kale pizza!
Lemon Coconut Guglhupf
We are suckers for lemon! If you are too make lemon coconut bundt cake , will you?
Apple Almond Muffins with glaze
Y’all went crazy over Hettys vegan apple muffins – we can totally see why!
pear things
Hettys precious pear thingees – the name says it all, doesn’t it?
tofu celery salad
For years Anna underestimated celery, that’s a mistake that won’t happen no more after having made tofu capers celery salad!
apple tahini pizza
We loved our pizza battle – here are two versions of vegan apple pizza
Christmas Scones Orange Pomegranate
Orange pomegranate scones will be delicious for any festive occasion
fall winter muffins
November marks the start of speculoos season in our books, time to make some crunchy pear speculoos cupcakes
marzipan muffins
Need a boost of caffeine in eatable form? Glazed marzipan coffee muffins might be your thing!

Apartment Progress

by Anna
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Well, hello, it’s been a while! Above you can see my to do list and some ideas for the apartment. There has been some remarkable progress already, if I say so myself, that’s why you haven’t heard from me. White walls instead of vanilla walls are a good excuse to take a blogging hiatus, right? Only that I did not paint them myself, but I better keep that tidbit a secret…

So, I have been making decisions, searching high and low for storage ideas, been painting an old changing table and just getting settled in the new place.

Projects from my list that I already tackled
Giant clementine canvas for the kitchen
String Lights on the balcony
Dresser aka changing table makeover with chalkboard paint
Furniture and a key holder in the hallway
Entire apartment painted white
Herbs and fall plants on the balcony

Work in progress
Instead of stamping in the living room I started writing on the wall behind my couch – it’s cheesy lyrics, you know me, that mean a lot to me – but I am neither completely happy with my handwriting not with the color. The teal looks too green and the writing feels like I am copying a first grade schoolbook on how to write pretty. Gotta put more of my personality in.

I have been looking all over the internet for storage ideas. I don’t want a regular closet, I want to see my clothes. So doors are not an option. I was going for a wall-mounted rail going from one wall to the other. Turns out my wall is too long for standard rails or curtain rods. The longest I found were 2,50m and the wall is almost three meters. Piecing together seemed like an option.
Yet, the thing is I cannot have it hanging from the ceiling because I have overhead heating. Apparently such a thing exists. This also means I cannot put lamps just anywhere, only an electrician is allowed to change the places of the lamps.

Next ideas for the wardrobe: Mount the rail/rod to the wall behind it. There are systems that allow this, but I am not a fan. My dad suggested putting supporting tubes up from the floor which would also hide the place of piecing together pipes for the desired lenght. In my books this is not minimal enough. I don’t want stuff on the floor (or should I say I did not want?). Also I want that chalkboard dresser in the middle of the wall underneath the clothing rail.
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Then I found and fell for this shop looking idea from COUCH magazine that would easily be customizable and a fun diy. Dad said it would not hold much weight – and I don’t want my wardrobe crash down in the middle of the night and attempt to murder me in my slumber. Another no it was. Now I am going back to my VERY first idea and just put to clothing rails on either site of the dresser and see how that goes. I have one bought and the other one will be dDIY, yay! I am still entertaining the idea of one or two shelves as seen in the shop style idea for shoes and hats. But clothes first! (That’s because I already have a little show rack in the hallway.) Also this whole minimal wardrobe thing will only work because I am right now living with a capsule wardrobe of 37 pieces. There will be more underbed storage for clothing not in use.

Living room storage. That’s another though call. I need something like a sideboard or vertico or buffet type dresser. I need doors here desperately but I don’t want the piece of furniture to be tall. I love this piece but it might not hold as much as I need it to hold, think dish towels, table cloths, vases, and the like. Though certainly totally worth the asking price I am not ready to splurge. I would love for my storage piece to be vintage but maybe i will just hack an ikea thing? This is a big construction site in my head right now.

Also for progress I made the hanging rope shelves recently shown on A Beautiful Mess they only need to be hung. Once that’s done I will also share how I turned an inconveniently located ac thing appear to be a totally purposed art display shelf, ha.

What still needs to be done
Change ceiling lights, sure they must stay in the locations of the old lamps but having my collection of lamps will make it so muc more homey here.
Hang curtain rods in my room and in the living room.
Make fabric garlands.
Stamp a wall in the bedroom: I have the color and made the stamp but was discouraged by the writing on the living room wall. Oh well. The spirit will come back.
Mount apron holders.

What do you do first thing when you move into a new place? What’s the most important feature to make it feel like home? How many times have you moved?

September in a wrap

by Anna

September passed by in a blur. And I feel so happy it did. Here is what happened:

Looking forward to fall

Looking forward to fall


September 4: found out that I had to be moved out by the 20th of September.
September 6: read an ad in the paper for an apartment that sounded perfect for me. Just a little smaller than the current, on the top floor and with a balcony with a view over the whole city and beyond. Available when I needed it to be. Called and felt immediately connected with the owner.
Painted the turquoise wall in my living room back to white. Started packing boxes.
hanging planters spider plants
September 7: Sold my dresser and two Billy shelf systems for a bottle of Zinfandel.
September 8: Found out that I could see the apartment on saturday.
September 12: Hosted a big late summer party at work. Expected 70 people to turn up.
September 13: Visited the apartment. Fell in love with it head over heels. Called the owner fifteen minutes after leaving the place to tell them I want to take it. They agreed. Praise the Lord.
Sept 14: Packed more boxes.
One pillow a week

One pillow a week


Sept 15: Decided to put my kitchen on ebay Kleinanzeigen and sold it within 24 hours.
Sept 16: Sold the old unpretty sofa and had it moved out.
Sept 18: Took down lamps and the faucet with Dads help.
Sept 19: The kitchen was taken down and moved into its new home in a shared student flat. Bye Bye love. Finished packing boxes, took apart my bed and moved my matress to my parents. Camped in my brothers old room, Yay! Went to sign the lease on the new apartment.
Sept 20: With the help of seven hard-working friends and family members we moved the remaining furniture – not a lot anymore – and a whole lotta boxes into the basement at the new place. Cleaned the old place and handed in my keys.
Pumpkin decoration

Pumpkin decoration

Sept 22: Found out that one of the best friends in the world expects a baby!
Sept 24: Started a Sh’bam class. Back home fell onto matress camp laughing myself to sleep.
Sept 26: Open Doors at work, sore face from smiling.
Sept 27: Got keys for the new place. Moving in!
Sept 30: Plans: Day off! Will be reconnected to the internet!

Feeling Incredible thankful all this went so smooth!

Late summer pizza: Plums and green beans

by Anna
plum green bean pizza
Have you noticed all the figs at the grocery stores and on the farmers markets? They look so delicious and tempting, I can hardly resist buying some everytime I come across them. Only thing is: I prefer them cooked. Is that strange? Well, this made me think of Hettys fig pizza from last year and a way of alternating it. When I spotted green beans as a special offer at the farmers market last saturday I decided it would be fig and green beans. Except that I then discovered three poor little plums in my fridge. They were very ripe and needed to be eaten asap. So here it is: green beans and plums on pizza.
late summer pizza plum green beans
Plum & green bean pizza
Make the dough with spelt flour, 3 teaspoons olive oil and use 100 ml warm water.

For the topping
3 ripe plums
10 to 15 green beans
parmesan cheese
Heinz Culinair Ketchup Roasted Garlic, Thyme and Honey OR tomato ketchup, thyme, garlic and honey

Blanche the green beans and cook them a couple of minutes on low heat. Make the dough and roll it out flat on a sheet of parchment paper or a baking mat.

Spread three tablespoons of ketchup on the pizza base. Add minced garlic, drizzle on a little honey and sprinkle some thyme if using.

Wash and pit the plums and cut them in wedges. Spread them on the pizza base. Retrieve the green beans and chop them in bite size pieces. Add them to the pizza. Rougly grate parmesan cheese on top.
green beans and plum pizza topping
Bake the pizza at 200° for 10 to 15 minutes. What I especially liked about this pizza was the combination of somewhat sour and mushy (think plum butter) plums, the still a little crunchy green beans and how the spices in the ketchup tied everything together. Yum!

I don’t have to mention that I ate the whole thing myself, do I?