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Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful start into 2017! We have exactly 361 days left this year, to make it our greatest – what’s the plan? I’m out and about a lot this year and will try to tick off all my goals within the next months. First and far most, however, I need to write (well, start) and finish my master thesis. Joy. New Year’s Eve was amazing by the way – we had a house party at my bfs place with another 14-15 people. We had some great food, bubbly wine and a whole lot of fun. Luckily, I had Monday off and was able to get my energy back – ready for the new year at work. Yesterday started rather calm at the office. I organised quite a bit and tried to read through all the emails that piled up over the last few days. Today is seems, is the real start. I’ll be out for a business lunch and am jumping right back into a few large projects that were slightly on hold due to holidays.

I also wanted to share these photos with you my sister took of me in Malta two weeks ago. It’s incredible how warm it was there compared to the weather here. It’s freezing now, a bit snowy and it seems we are still far away from spring. These photos were taken at the Dingli Cliffs. Wherever you looked, you saw nature’s beauty. The cliffs are breathtaking. Yet, what really struck me, were these cute little stone houses (?), which were quite frankly fully falling apart. I am not sure what it was, but I assume they used to be some sort of shelters for farmers when the weather turned bad all of the sudden? Either way, the fact that they were so tiny and, quite frankly, broken down – yet had No Entry & Private written all over – made them especially cute. I had to take a few photos there. It’s a great contrast to the rather fresh velvet trend that everyone is going on about. Well, same here. I love love love velvet. Here, I am wearing my velvet pants from Zara (a few years old), a velvet body also from Zara (this season), and my adidas originals (which are so dirty they must be thrown out, soon). The sunnies are from Dior. What are your thoughts on velvet – keep or throw for 2017?

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas loves! I hope that everyone had a lovely start into the holidays so far and is enjoying the time with loved ones, family and friends. This time of the year is one of my absolute favorites – it’s all about spending the time together with the family, spendng cozy nights in and having good food. Growing up in European countries, I am used to celebrating especially on Christmas Eve, the night of the 24th. It was all about enjoying the family yesterday for us, unpacking presents and filling out stomachs with lots of food.

It is first year that the family (mom, dad, sis and dog) are spending Christmas at my place in Zurich – and I love it. Seriously, we might need to repeat that next year. The years before were amazing too, of course – with lots of family around (aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents). However, this year we decided to make it small and cuddly. It was amazing. For dinner I made potatoe-maroni puree, added beef filets on top (meat done by dad), topped with glazed apples, differently colored carots and lots of onions made in a red wine sauce. The dessert, hours later – cause we were all too full from the main dish – was berry crumble with vanilla ice cream for the rest. The recipe was amazing, so I shall surely make that again, photograph it and blog about it. Right now though, I cannot see any more food heavy food. Tonight will thankfully be more or less back normal with a lovely mushroom risotto my mom will be making. Tomorrow is Thai evening with chicken and yellow curry – one of my favorite dishes currently.

I will also show you some of the presents in the next few posts coming up. I love them all! What did you get – how did you spend your holiday? Wishing you all a continuing lovely holiday, lots of love, health and happiness! xo

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Mini Morning Apple Pancakes

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Mini Morning Apple Pancakes, Mini Morning Apple Pancakes, Mini Morning Apple Pancakes… Now, try reading that out loud three or more times, I swear it’s a tongue-twister to me – I’ve tried it and failed over and over again! What surely didn’t fail are the pancakes themselves, which I recently made on my favourite lazy Sunday mornings. Seriously, how amazing is it to sleep-in and get a heart-warming, delicious breakfast? It’s probably my favourite routine every weekend. With it being autumn, there are kilos and kilos of apples everywhere to buy for a nickle and a dime. I love it. Completely love it. There are about a million receipes to try out this season, and, quite frankly, it’s my favourite of the year (or do I say that about every season?).

I remember loving pancakes already as a kid. My mom would make them at least once a month, if not twice, for dinner. We would have the healthy pancakes first, filled with seasonal vegetables and sometimes meat, and were allowed to have one dessert pancake with cinnamon & sugar or nutella afterwards. I would always try to eat as many dessert-pancakes as possible, suddenly being super hungry again. Which reminds me, I should do that sometime soon again and share a recipe with you. What do you think?

This recipe makes around 8 mini-pancakes, so it is the perfect portion for two. Unless, of course, you are super hungry and want all for yourself. Naturally, you can also eat them when they cooled down some later hour and not share any. And, with it being no surprise, they are of course free of gluten and lactose.

What you need

2 eggs
200g glutenfree flour
50ml water
200ml milk
100g sugar (50g sugar and 1 tbs agave syrup also works)
1 pack vanilla-sugar
1 apple
coconut oil / or any oil of choice
powdered sugar (for decoration purposes if wanted)

What to do

1) separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until frothy (almost stiff)
2) add all other ingredients (excluding the egg yolk) into a bowl and mix it well
3) gently mix the beat egg whites under the mixture
4) cut the apple into slices
5) heat some coconut oil in a (small) pan and fill it with your pancake-mixture
6) prior to flipping the pancake, add a few slices of apple on top
7) flip the pancake and let it sit for another minute or two

Voila, now you can

1) serve it for you and your loved onces / or just yourself (no need to be ashamed!)
2) store them in the fridge for later
3) sprinkle them with powdered sugar (always looks great!) and serve them with some homemade jam – I had them with my apple-pumkin jam :-)
4) pack them in a lunch-bag for the kids to take to school – what a great snack!

As always – I hope you enjoy the recipe and of coures, I would be more than happy to see your creations and versions of it!

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Apple-Pumpkin Jam Recipe

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Happy Friday loves! I’m quite glad that Friday has arrived – the weeks keep getting busier towards Christmas. Last weekend I’ve been busy cooking up some recipes again in my kitchen – it surely never gets dusty in that area of the apartment. Since I’ve been a little kid I’ve always loved the kitchen. I loved watching my mom prepare dinners when I was younger, loved watching her make cakes on the weekends or for our birthdays, and loved some of those traditional recipes my grandma would throw out from time to time when I visited her. Nowadays it seems to be more my grandpa that turns up the stove and prepares meals when we visit – and I must say he is amazing at it! I’ve already stolen so much inspiration from him, though generally, from my whole family. As much as I love trying out new recipes and playing around in the kitchen, it’s always nice to know those meals that will work out perfectly just because they have been perfected throughout decades. My mom used to make super much jam, the whole year round, with all types of fruit. She still does them from time to time, though because we all live in different places she obviously doesn’t make heaps anymore.

Last weekend I made several glasses of apple-pumpkin jam paired with a hint of cinnamon. It tastes amazing – with a great emphasis on the apple and gives a great splash of color to any bread in the morning. Actually, I’ve been using it daily so far, be it on my bread or in my morning porridge. A hint of fruit never is a failure in taste in my eyes. The recipe makes about 8 medium glasses and when closed properly, they stay well for months. Of course it’s also possible to only do half of the recipe, or even less – but I always prefer a few glasses too much rather than too little. It’s also a great little present for your loved ones – be it for a birthday, christmas, or just in general.

What you need

1.2kg Hokkaido Pumpkin
1kg apples (I mixed sweet and sour ones)
1kg brown sugar
juice from ½ a lemon
200-250ml still water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 packs Confi-Vite from Coop (gelling agent/thickener 2:1, fruit:sugar)

What to do

1) Cut the pumpkin into squares and take out the seeds (no need to peel it)
2) peel and cut the apples into the same size and remove the seeds as well
3) place the pieces into a large cooking pot together with the lemon juice
4) turn the stove on medium heat and cook the pumpkin and apple until they are soft enough to puree
5) once they are soft, puree them slightly
6) add the sugar, water and gelling agent (Confi-Vite)
7) continue to puree it until you have reached your desired texture (I always love keeping some pieces in)
8) now that everything is much more sauce-like in texture, turn the heat up and let it boil for 5 minutes
9) now fill everything into the pre-cleaned jars (I usually turn them upside down before filling them so nothing gets inside). Once a jar is filled, close it with the appropriate lid and turn it upside-down.
10) After all glasses are filled and upside down for about 10 minutes you can turn them normal again – note that you should hear a popping-sound, which means that they are closed fully (air-proof) and will thus stay good much longer

Now you can

1) eat it all up on warm toasts, on bread, waffles, put some on top of porridge or any other way
2) store them in a dark, dry room 
3) give them away as little presents to your dearest ones

Do let me know of how your jam turned out, if you’ve made any amendments to the recipe or found even more creative ways to eat it – I’m always interested in seeing what my readers make out of it!

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Apple Cake Recipe

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Hello and good morning beauties! It’s monday, a new week, a new day, and a new opportunity to start something big – though it only includes work and uni on my side. As promised last time, I wanted to share my birthday cake recipe with you. I love apple season – there is so much you can do with apples, so much to cook, so much to bake and everything is overflowing with inspiration. And on the positive side, every dessert suddenly seems a tad more healthy! Or at least we can pretend that. This recipe, as always, is free of lactose and gluten.

What you need for the dough

140g buckwheat flour
100g buckwheat flakes (the smaller, partly grinded ones)
100g coconut oil
100g coconut blossom sugar (or normal sugar if you don’t have any – though the color and taste makes a difference!)
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons backing powder (GF)

What you need for the filling

4 large apples (or 5 smaller ones)
1 large tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon speculation spice (not needed but very yummi!)
3-4 teaspoons lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons agave syrup
1 large tablespoon buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons coconut blossom sugar (not needed if you don’t want it sweet, or even more if you like it sweet)

What to do

1) add everything needed for the dough in a large bowl and mix it well
2) the dough should be sticky, though not too dry – do add 1-2 tablespoons of water, if it seems to dry to later knead
3) make sure to line the cake pan with oil so that you can remove the cake easier later on – I used coconut oil, though you can also use olive oil or butter
4) place ⅔ of the dough into the cake pan and knead it to fill the whole inside (see pictures below)
5) cut the apples into 1,5-2cm slices and place them into a bowl with all other ingredients needed for the filling
6) once everything is well mixed, you can place the apples into the dough-covered cake pan – make sure that you don’t add the liquid that is left over in the bowl
7) using the other ⅓ of the dough, you can place any desired design on the cake – I chose the classic grid/checked style for this cake
8) place the cake into the pre-heated oven at 180°C
9) after 30-45 min, when the cake starts getting gold/brown colors, cover the whole cake with kitchenfoil and bake for another 60-45min (90min in total)
10) make sure to let the cake cool-off a bit before taking it out

Now you can

1) serve it while it is still warm – delicious!
2) keep it for later hours or the next day
3) add powdered sugar (looks amazing) or even serve it with whipped cream (lactose free if needed) for those that prefer it

The cake should hold for a good week, though to be honest, it lasted only until the second day for us!
On a side note, I used a smaller cake pan with a diameter of 18-20cm. For the larger sizes, I would try doubling the above ingredient amounts to fill it accordingly.

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