Avocado Mint Ranch Dressing

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Hey there lovelies! I admit to having become slightly addicted to trying out new things in the kitchen. I actually made this avocado-mint dressing already on the weekend to top off my salads and dishes during the week – it’s all about preparing and efficient time management! I barely have time during the week to try out new recipes at home at night and once I do find time, I admit to finding myself lazily lying on the couch and watching some tv. During the week everything needs to be pre-planned and shouldn’t take longer than 20-30 minutes until I can eat. Thus, I try preparing some of my foods in advance. If all fails, there is always a restaurant right around the corner .. :)

Monday evening I actually went on a wine-tasting event with my lovely friend here in Zurich – have I mentioned that I love wine? If not, I surely do! We finished the evening off with a dinner and then I worked a little more on my studies at home. Tonight I am hoping to grill – as the weather is supposed to be fantastic – and then I can hopefully go to bed a little earlier than the past nights. I will drive down  to Düsseldorf tomorrow morning and stay there one night before, finally, leaving to Hamburg on Friday until Sunday. I haven’t seen my besties, friends and family in so long it almost hurts!  So please bare with me, should I not find much time to post – I will try my best though! Sunday night I will return to Düsseldorf to then watch my dog at my parents place for one week before then slowly coming back to Zurich – and it will already be May. Damn, how fast the time flies sometimes!

Now to the actual recipe:

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What you need

1 lime
A small handful of fresh mints
1 ripe avocado
½ cup of almond milk
a hint of sea salt

What to do

1) Pick some fresh mint (or open the package) and wash it through thoroughly 
2) place the mint leafs into a blender and blend until small
3) add the flesh of 1 avocado and the juice of one small lime; now blend
4) add the almond mild and a hint of sea salt, now again: blend
you should end up with a creamy, fresh ranch dressing

Voila, now you can

1) place it into a jar and decorate it with some fresh mint, or
2) serve it with some salad or use it for dipping in some vegetable stripes and enjoy!

Make sure to add #StylePhantomrecipes when trying out the recipe yourself and displaying it on Instagram or similar and I will surely check it out! xo

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Homemade Wild Garlic Pesto

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Oh Sunday, why are you almost over already? I really wish I had a day between Saturday and Sunday sometimes – there is always so much I would like to do and so little time in the end! Today I treated myself with some gluten free pasta for lunch, I have not had that in forever! I topped it with some delicious wild garlic pesto which I made earlier this week – and quite honestly, I can barely get enough of it. So I thought I’d share the recipe with you, for those interested in making some as well. It’s not just great with pasta, but literally: on everything. I’ve had it over my rice crisp avocado breakfasts, over my asparagus, even in combination with an apple salad (so good!).

Last Monday I took a walk through the forest when I discovered wild garlic growing everywhere – everything was green; it was breathtaking and the smell.. amazing! In the midst of the garlic fields were quite a few people, already collecting this delish’ herb, and so of course I had to join in. Now making wild garlic pesto is probably among the easiest recipes to-do, and for me, as always; gluten free and diary free.

As always, I’d love to see your versions of it – so make sure to add #StylePhantomrecipes when reposting it on Instagram or similar and I will surely check it out!

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What you need

A large handful of fresh wild garlic (measured 175g)
½ cup of cashews (measured 75g)
½ cup of cold pressed olive oil
some sea salt
extra olive oil to cover up

What to do

1) take the stems off the garlic leaves and half them
(or find the appropriate size to fit in your blender)
2) wash the garlic quickly once
(you want to make sure that the garlic doesn’t absorb too much water, to not loose taste)
3) one handful after another, blend the garlic until a thick, green paste is achieved
4) add the cashews and olive oil and start mixing again
5) once you have a soft texture, add a sprinkle of sea salt and let it mix one last round
(you can always add more oil if needed)

Voila, now you can either

1) eat it directly with some pasta or another dish
2) add some more parmesan into it if you wish
3) fill it up into a mason jar and seal the top until all of the pesto is covered in olive oil
(this is needed for the pesto to not dry out, keep its taste and most importantly, stay fresh up to 3-4 weeks in the fridge)

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Now, how hungry are you after these pictures? I really wouldn’t mind another round.. :-)

Wishing you a lovely Sunday xo

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Homemade Salted Caramels

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (well, to those that are celebrating it) Unfortunately Thanksgiving is not all too big in Europe, and surely (sadly) not big at all in Switzerland. Though since I do tend to work with mostly Americans there is absolutely no way to miss Thanksgiving and I absolutely love the thought of celebrating it. Not to forget the food – I can never have enough food haha! Today is another special day, in my life: it’s actually my daddy’s birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!

My dad loves caramel and especially the combination of sweet caramels with a salty hint. I decided to give it a try and make my own homemade salted caramels and gave these to my dad as one of his birthday presents. It’s always nice to receive something homemade, self-made, I believe. It shows how one cares and how much thought was being put into giving. And I love cooking and food haha – so it all kind of fit together. Salted caramels are also amazingly easy to make, barely need any ingredients and are a perfect gift. And it’s Thanksgiving: so for all those that still need something quick to make, here is the ingredients list:

– 200 ml of heavy cream
– 80g of unsalted butter
– 1 tablespoon of salt (or less if you want it less salty)
– ¼ cup of golden syrup (or corn syrup if you can get it)
– ¼ cup of warm water
– 1 fresh vanilla
– fleur de sel

– baking dish
– 2 saucepans/cooking pans
– parchment paper
– enough patience for the end

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1) line the baking dish with parchment paper
2) line the parchment paper with a layer of oil (I used simple plant cooking oil) or with nonstick baking spray

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3) over medium heat, warm the butter and cream until everything melts. add in the salt and stir for a minute or two
4) in another pan, combine the syrup, water and sugar. stir it well over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and a thick grainy paste has formed
5) make sure to wipe the inside sides of the pan with a wet brush (or something similar), so that no sugar crystals are above the actual sugar paste (otherwise it will burn into the pan!)
6) once the sugar has dissolved, do not stir the mixture anymore and increase the heat.
7) once the sugar mixture starts to boil, without you having stirred it, you will slowly get a smell of caramel
8) now slowly start adding the butter-cream-mixture into it
note: once the two mixtures are added together (and boil) the mixture will triple in size, hence: make sure your pan is large enough
9) keep the heat up and do not stir the mixture anymore once everything has been mixed together
now: it’s time to wait and watch
10) the caramel mixture will take a bit of time (around 15min on my side) before it starts to darken more and more. once you have reached a rich golden, light brown color, turn of the heat and mix in the fresh vanilla
11) now immediately pour the caramel sauce into the baking dish – how amazing does it smell already?

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note: you can knock the filled pan against the kitchen counter (slightly!) a few times, to remove most of the bubbles from the caramel

12) let the caramel mixture sit for about 10 minutes, until it slowly starts to harden
13) if you like, you can now add some fleur de sel (large grained, amazingly tasting salt) on top of the hardening caramels. it allows the salt to slightly sink into the caramel and simultaneously acts as a great decoration

the caramel takes a while to harden fully, so I would suggest cleaning the kitchen, singing to your favorite song or doing whatever. Around 2-3 hours later my homemade salted caramels were ready for final cutting

 

 

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I decided to cut the caramel into smaller pieces and individually wrapped those in small pieces of parchment paper.

Note: the wrapping took forever! haha, I almost drove insane, though I do like the fact of having small portions to snack from instead of one large caramel. Isn’t it just so much more fun when you can just snack on something, on-the-go?

I quickly noticed that more caramel was staying stuck on my knife and cutting became harder with each piece. I suggest lining the knife with some oil from time to time, to make cutting less of a pain!

Unfortunately these little love-bites (haha!) are not lactose-free, which I need to look at when eating myself. I snacked on them slightly only to have my stomach get back at me a few hours later. I can assure you though, these are probably the best caramels I have eaten, ever! Not to mention, I am usually not into caramels, whatsoever.

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Ready, set, cooking! Wishing you all a great day (and happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating)! I now need to hurry to work – got two important meetings already before lunch, though also absolutely looking forward to them.

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