Easy Dinner @ Home

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Last nights dinner: super easy, done in 10 minutes and I’d like to say semi-healthy, too. We had gyozas filled with mushrooms and chicken, which we got at our local asian store close by. I absolutely love these things and may just call them my new favourite meal for when I don’t want to cook for long. Honestly, we only had to steam them for about 10-12 minutes and prepare the salad on the side. For the steaming we used our Thermomix. Samuel bought it a while ago and I am slowly but surely loving it more and more. It really does make life easier sometimes.

Otherwise, our day was rather less exciting: typical Mondays. I worked from home today, took Zaphira to the vet (the bandage was taken off), and we were able to cook at home for both lunch and dinner. We’re trying to cut down on eating out; for health reasons and to try and spend a little less on food. Let’s see how long we can last ;) We did go out on Saturday, though, and really enjoyed that. We decided that once a week we will continue having our date night out with a good dinner at some cute restaurant. Can any of you recommend any good restaurants in Zurich that are not on the top of list of every google search?

Creating your own Wood Photography Board

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Ahhhh! I finally have my own wood photography board that I can use as a nice background or board for my little photoshoots – especially when taking shots of my foods for you guys! Best thing about this board: I made it myself! I have always been a huge fan of DIY projects. Yet, I have not done much in this regard lately and thus wanted to start again. Since I’ve been looking for a nice wood board for a long time (and I know exactly what I want) and because I did not want to spend too much money ($$$!), I decided to make my own. I searched the WWW quite a bit – mostly pinterest – and found my inspiration from the lovely Liz on her Love Grows Wild blog. I’ll be honest: I was a bit scared of ruining this project and failing at making my own wood board. Yet, I can say: it is SO easy!

I won’t go into all too much details, as you can find a great instruction of how to build your own board on her blog – but here are the steps very simplified. For my board (50x120cm) I used the following materials:

  • 4 wood boards; each 1m in length and 15cm wide
  • 2 wood boards; each 1m in length and roughly 5cm wide (all bought at the local Migros Do it + Garden)
  • an electric saw (can be manual, too) – I used this one from Bosch
  • sandpaper
  • natural wood stain – use the color of your choice
  • white mat paint
  • drilling machine & screws
1) I first cut the wood boards in half, used the sand paper on all edges, front and back, used the drilling machine and screws to put it together and colored both sides with the natural wood stain
2) I added the vaseline on all places where I wanted to scrape off the white paint in the next step. Mostly, I added the vaseline to the edges on each board as well as on some random spots on the boards themselves.
3) I painted the wood board with the white mat paint I had bought. As you can see, the paint did not hold well where the vaseline was applied before.
4) Here comes the fun part – using the back of a knife or a spatula, scrape off the paint on all areas where the vaseline is!
And here is the finished piece! So proud!

So here you (above) you can see some photos I took straight after finishing my board. Nothing all too special – but I made a great salad for us and a friend of ours that was over, as well as photographed the cakes we had (I made an apple cake and our friend brought a lactose-free cheese cake)!

Vegan Breakfasts with MOMA Foods

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I don’t often eat breakfasts – but when I do, I make sure to fuel my body from the get-go; especially if I don’t have a lot of time! Recently, I had the pleasure of receiving two full boxes of MOMA Porridge. I left one of each flavour at home (for when I decide to eat breakfast one day) and immediately took the rest to the office – which is where I tend to eat breakfast a little more often. My expectations weren’t all too high – in the end, I prefer cooking everything up myself if possible and eating as less packaged foods as possible. To my surprise, it tasted much better than expected. The tastes available are as follows: Almond & Caramel, Apple & Cinnamon, and Coconut-Chia! I wanted to try each and every one more than once before writing a small review.

Again, they tasted unexpectedly… well, tasty. I especially like the fact that none of them taste all too sweet – rather, I could imagine that some would want to add some sweetening to it; such as honey. A second point I much appreciate is the good-sized portions of porridge. As mentioned earlier, I don’t really eat breakfast. The times that I did make my own porridge at the office (usually in winter when I need to warm up), however, I usually ended up making much too large portions that either I never finished – or worse, I did finish and felt super full from afterwards. Both wasn’t ideal. I admit that the first time I actually thought the portion was way too small for my hunger (I don’t eat often, but I can eat pretty large portions when I eat!). Yet, I quickly figured that the amount was perfectly portioned and did fill me up. My favourite one is surely the Almond & Caramel, even though it is closely followed by the Apple & Cinnamon one. How about you – any breakfast eaters out there or likewise often starting with lunch? Oh – and last but not least – I actually stopped eating these for breakfast but instead decided it was the perfect afternoon snack for me (usually topped off with some fresh fruit such as different types of berries)!

Cooking on our new Plancha

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Cooking a la Plancha has got to be our new motto at home. Recently my boyfriend decided we needed a new grill – better even, a plancha. Without having any idea of what exactly a plancha is compared to a normal grill, I nodded in excitement – loving the idea of some bbq sessions on our terrace. When the plancha arrived I still believed it was like a normal grill – perhaps the only difference being that the surface to grill on is one big hot plate. Oh, how wrong I was!

Firstly, I was educated that a plancha is not a normal grill, but so much more advantageous. And rightly so. Here are some important points to note:

1) A plancha reaches a temperature of 270-300Β°C within 5 to 10 minutes (much quicker than most grills)
2) The smallest chopped foods can be made on a plancha without falling between the embers that a normal bbq brings with it
3) Everything can be cooked or grilled on a plancha – from meats, to fish, to vegetables, an omelette, pancakes or even popcorn can be made on it!
4) Grilling / cooking on a plancha can be done completely without oils or butter (though we do recommend oil if you don’t want food sticking to your plancha too fast)
5) It’s fast, easy and you can cook / grill super healthy
6) Cleaning has never been easier! Once done cooking, you can throw on some cold water or ice cubes and scrap the surface of the plancha with the spatula to remove any burnt food that is left. No need to take the bbq apart and clean between the embers – what a relief!

We’re still working on new recipes, trying out others and experimenting on the plancha – but one thing is for sure: so far it has alway come out great and really only takes a couple of minutes until the food is served!

Cooking on the plancha is easiest with a spatula and grill tongs!
We also have a lid to cover the vegetables to cook them through even quicker.. oh, and this lid can also be used to make popcorn!

Family Visit in Malta & A New Vegan Rice Recipe

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What a week it’s been! So much going on, so many travels, business meetings, enjoyable moments, good food, and: my very first food poisoning (not so fun!!). The week started off in Zurich for a night, went on in London for two days and continued in Zurich on Thursday. It’s been rather stressful on the business front, yet thankfully also quite successful! My agenda for the upcoming months is filling up quickly and as much as I cannot wait for all the travels, meeting people and seeing new places, I likewise more and more cherish my days at home with my loved ones and spending time with Zaphira.

Thursday night started amazing! I had a busy day that ended with a lovely business dinner and then went over to a nice evening with hours of talks over a good glass of sparkling wine. Then it all turned negative: at around 3am I woke up with the worst fever and chills. Then it all took its turn, and the food poisoning fully hit me. The joy..

Friday didn’t look much brighter. What was meant to be an amazing day ended up with me feeling dreadful and wishing the day went past even faster! It started with me receiving the keys to my new apartment. What was supposed to be an amazing experience, however, ended in me barely noticing what was going on around me. Thankfully my dad was in the city and helped out with everything. I also had to skip the business meetings and spent half the day in bed. in the late afternoon however I had to get ready, off to the airport and off to Malta. I got home (family home in Malta) at around 8pm and was dead asleep an hour later.

The good news: Saturday I felt much better. Although I couldn’t eat most of the day, the nausea was more or less gone. In the evening I made a new vegan rice dish for the family. I looked at different recipes on the internet, got my inspiration and changed it up a bit. I must say: it was super delicious! The family loved it and it was decided we’ll add it more often to our monthly recipe options!

So here it is – super, super simple.

What you need for 4 people:
– 200g of uncooked rice
– 600g of spinach (frozen is fine)
– 200ml of water (boiled) with 1 tablespoon of vegetable broth
– 1 can of chick peas (including the liquid it’s in)
– 1 large onion / and one clove of garlic if you want
– 1-2 tablespoons of yellow curry paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
– 40g of yellow raisins
– 1 tablespoon of olive oil (coconut oil works just as well)
– 50g of unsweetened and unsalted cashews (for the topping, if you want)
– salt and pepper

What to do:
1) heat up the oil in the pan and add the curry paste
2) add in the chopped up onion (add one clove of garlic if you like)
3) boil the water, add in the broth and add it into the pan
4) add in everything else
5) let it simmer for around 20-25 minutes (until no more liquid is left and the rice is cooked) – eh voila – you are done!

6) if you want a topping – you can roast the cashews in a separate pan until they are golden-brown and add them on top before serving

super simple, super yummy!
the view from our balcony – always amazing!
the coast on a rather windy day
I could take a million photos of the ocean – I love how every second there is something new and exciting to see, how the image is never the same and brings about so much inspiration!