Cooking with the Thermomix: for meat lovers

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Happy Monday! I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend just as much as we did! Although it rained non-stop yesterday, we had a lovely time at a friends home party. I even got to bake some muffins (vanilla with blueberry and chocolate ones!) and generally we ate like kings yesterday.

Shortly before we went to the home party (not knowing that there would be a cook), we cooked up a meat recipe with our Thermomix at home. The recipe (called Bunter Bauerntopf in German) is super easy and we used one from the German Magazine “mein ZauberTopf“.

Cooking with a Thermomix really is dead easy. I have always wanted one, then became skeptical in the beginning of having it and now I am starting to slowly love it. It really takes so much work from you and can basically do everything from cutting, heating things up, keeping the warm, baking bread, making soups, weighing ingredients, to even making ice cream. Really, it can do almost everything. I believe the new ones even have a function where you can add all ingredients into the Thermomix and tell it to cook at a later time so the food is ready when one gets home / or wants to eat later. So cool! I do still enjoy actual cooking and taking on the whole work once in a while, so I will most likely continue with both strategies!

Baking Season

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“In der Weihnachtsbäckerei, gibt es manche Leckerei, …” does anyone know this German Christmas song? I was in Germany, Ingolstadt (near Munich), this past weekend to see most of the family. My uncle turned 50 last week so everyone came together and we had some wonderful times there. My grandma listened to this German song in the car when they drove down from the north of the country to meet us. She had it stuck in her head the whole weekend and kept on reminding me that it used to be my all-time favourite Christmas song when I was younger. Fact is, I still do very much love it. It really brings back memories from when I was a child, baking and decorating cookies with my grandparents, mom and sister. I loved it. I still very much do love baking – which is why this season is one of my favourites when it comes to making dishes in the kitchen. It’s the perfect excuse for baking cookies and cakes. For cooking warm, hearty and stomach-filling foods. For drinking a glass of wine in the evening and ending the night with a hot chocolate and a marshmallow. And that is exactly what my boyfriend and I did last night – we took a rather semi-spontaneous trip down to the kitchen and made ourselves some hot chocolate. Amazing. Thank god we had some lactose free milk on hand!

This upcoming week should be rather calm at the office, which is nice. There is still loads to do, especially before the holidays start, but it’s not as filled in regards to events and outside meetings. I do have to get up super early tomorrow, though, to attend a 8am presentation. Way too early for me. Good thing is, with the sun setting so early and the sky darkening so quickly, I go to bed rather early these days. Especially after this weekend I will need to catch up on some sleep again during the week. I might be travelling this weekend on a spontaneous note, too – but the plan right now is that we will stay in Zurich and enjoy another weekend here before I leave to Malta again next week. Maybe I can bake a few more cookies on the weekend? There is always some kind of excuse and I’m sure I’ll find another one if needed this weekend, too. Besides, who needs an excuse for baking cookies? xo

Meatballs filled with Avocado

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March 9 – this coming Wednesday is officially the (US) national meatball day! What better way then to celebrate this day with a new recipes for meatballs? I’ve thought about going vegan once or twice, quite frankly, I was a vegetarian for almost 4 years of my life (note, that I simply did not like the taste – typical teenage-syndrom everyone goes through I guess). When looking back at it, and despite the reoccuring veganism trend I see ever so often, I currently cannot imagine my life without meat. It just tastes too damn good, and really, it’s just super filling. Never saying never, who knows, I might end up at that stage again one day. For now, however, I want to share this party-perfect recipe for you. This meatball recipe is super simple to make, again contains neither lactose nor gluten, can be easily served as a party-snack or combined to make a lovely meal. This recipe makes 10-12 meatballs, which might not sound like much, but beware, they really are filling (even my dad – hence, a man with good appetite – said so).

What you need
330g minced beef*
1 medium sized egg*
1 medium onion* 
2 teaspoons paprika (powder)
1 teaspoon sea-salt (I use lavender sea salt)
1 teaspoon dried basil teaspoon
½ a medium sized avocado
1 tablespoon of olive oil

*(though it won’t matter if a little more or less)

What to do
1) peel the onion and chop it into small cubes (I use a cutting-mixer)
2) place the minced beef, cut onion, egg, paprika, sea-salt and basil into a large bowl and mix it thoroughly with a fork (or using your hands) until everything is well mashed-up
3) peel the avocado and cut half in little cubes (approx. 1 x 1 cm sized)
4) depending on how fast your stove is, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan (or make this step later if you have a gas-stove or something similar fast)
5) using your hands, place about 2 tablespoons of the beef-mixture in your hand, place a piece of avocado in the middle, and roll the meat around until you’ve reached a golf-ball sized meatball (if needed, add a little more meat – simply make sure the avocado doesn’t peak out anywhere)
6) repeat step 5 until you have used up all of the minced beef mixture – I usually end up with 10-12 meatballs
7) once all meatballs are finished, carefully place them in the pre-heated pan
8) make sure to pan/fry the meatballs from each side, for about 2 minutes, which should be enough for the meatballs to be well-done yet not dry – if you’re unsure, after about 12-15 minutes, simply take one out and cut it in half

Now you can
1) have them immediately whilst warm
2) indulge them with a spicy tomato sauce
3) serve them in a bowl for your guests to snack on whilst gossiping away over which actress wore the best dress at the golden globes 

What do you think of the recipe? I’m already thinking a little further and thinking with what else I could fill these meat-balls, any ideas? For cheese lovers (and myself absolutely not being one), I could imagine that a piece of molten cheese inside doesn’t sound bad either. Either way, with or without meatballs, I wish you a fantastic continuing Sunday! xo

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U.S. National Banana Bread Day

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Happy (U.S.) National Banana Bread Day guys! I seriously did not know that this day existed until, at the beginning of the year, I looked into what national food days there are to place some in my calendar – and I can assure you, there are numerous! But in all honesty, what better excuse does this day offer than baking a lovely banana cake and indulging in a piece or two for breakfast, combined with some fresh avocado spreading and – whilst we’re at the subject – a fresh banana (or any other fruit, really).

Since I am sucker for a good banana cake, I bake one at least once a month. It’s perfect for breakfast or for that afternoon tea or coffee for a snack on the side. Since I make these gluten- and lactose free, it is one of my favourite snacks I’m actually permitted to eat. I’ve previously shared my classic banana bread recipe here and also this delicious variation with chia seeds and berries here. What’s your favourite way to combine this tasteful piece of heaven?

With that, I wish you all a tasteful day! xo

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Breakfast made with Love

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Good morning loves! How cute is this toast? I recently saw a similar bread photo on Pinterest and decided to re-create my own little toast for breakfast. Now that I can finally eat again (after the tonsil surgery), I try to enjoy weekend breakfasts even more – you know it’s my favorite meal of the day. Really though, it usually turns out to be a brunch. This weekend I served a heart-toast, one with avoado and my new favorite morning drink; a matcha latte. I don’t know how I missed out on this matcha the whole of last year – I swear I had tried it earlier but really must have messed it up (or so my memories tell me).

I think this little breakfast is also the perfect surprise for a loved one – be it the partner, family members, best friends, or anyone dear. And speaking of loved ones, I think it’s a great little surprise for the upcoming Valentines Day – and it takes no effort at all. Of course it would make sense to make sure the loved one likes toast. And egg – but you get the idea I’m after. Speaking of Valentines – I hear so many opinions and have had so many debates. Numerous couples ignore the day because its “just like any other” – but (usually the girls) complain they didnt get anything. Some fully work it like their lives depend on it (does it, really?) and others, well they hate it because they aint in a relationship (or so I assume, usually). With February right around the corner, and thus Valentines, I have had this conversation over and over in my friends-circle. I came to the conclusion that I do like the day – I like having those little life excuses to give a little extra portion of love, but I don’t think people should reduce it to that day in the year. Nor make it the most special love-day of the year – because really – I feel blessed daily to have my loved ones around me (or reachable via phone). And with loved ones I include everyone dear to me – my closest friends, relationships and family members. With so much negativity going on in this world, I wish everyone would celebrate Valentines day – just imagine a day of peace and love. Without wanting to sound like a hippie.

Either way – I’m off to starting a super busy week (which I will throw out there in parts via snapchat – @stylephantom). Have a lovely Monday! xo

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