Linzertorte – Daddy’s Birthday Cake Recipe

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Happy belated Birthday via this blog, dad!

Last week was my dads birthday. Since seemingly forever, one of his all-time favorite cakes is the so-called Linzertorte. My mom used to bake it for him every year at least once for his birthday; sometimes just in-between during the winter season. It’s also a traditional Christmas season cake in Germany. This year my dad was in Zurich for his birthday – mom joined, too. Because they arrived the night before his birthday, I decided to bake the cake a day before and surprised him in the morning with it and a lit candle.

Even though I am not the biggest fan of the cake, I must say it did go pretty well. The only thing I would note down for next time – the jam: it was too sweet for my taste. It really is important to find a good jam too add to the layer – or, make one yourself. Perhaps something I can do the next time around. For now, however, I wanted to share the recipe with you.

What you need

250 g soft butter / I used plant-based margarine
200 g brown sugar
2 medium-sized eggs
1 egg yolk
200 g grounded almonds
200 g flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
knife tip of clove powder
250 g of your favorite jam (I used raspberry – the traditional receipe idea)
more flour
coconut oil 

What to do

1) In a large bowl, mix the butter with the eggs and sugar until nice and soft
2) add in the almonds, 200g of flour, cinnamon and clove powder – keep mixing
3) heat up the oven to 180°C 
4) spread coconut oil (best to use a cooking paintbrush) all over the baking tin (diameter around 26 cm)
5) add ⅔ of the dough into the tin, spread it equally and add jam on top of it (leave 2 cm free towards the edge)
6) add in more flour to the ⅓ of dough – so much, until you have a thicker cookie-dough like mixture
7) spread this dough onto transparent film, roughly 0.5 cm high – and place it min. 45min into the fridge
8) once fully cooled down, take out the dough and cut it into long strips, around 1cm wide
9) you’re ready to now place them onto the jam in any weaving-style you want
10) once done, whisk up the egg yolk and brush it onto the dough (this prevents the cake from burning and turning too dark)
11) now off into the oven – 40 min straight baking

E voila – there you have it! You’re (perhaps) first Linzertorte! Actually easier than it looks on the photo, I swear!

Note: I was inspired by the German-written recipe on the Betty Bossi website (though slimmed-down the recipe slightly) – though feel free to check out this one, too!

Wildnispark Zurich – My Sunday Stroll

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Since I have Zaphira in my life I started going for walks so much more; naturally, of course. Yet, I get bored quite easily if the routine hits too hard and seeing the same scenery daily really doesn’t boost my imagination nor creativity. I likewise noticed, sadly enough, that I don’t know Zurich as well as I wish I did. I thus decided to try and find new walking routes at least once a month. This Sunday I started with taking Zaphira to the Wildnespark (Wild Animal Park) in Zurich. It’s really quite the nice walk in autumn – calm, quiet, not too many people but still oh-so-many smells that kept my little fur-friend fascinated at all times. I especially loved that dogs are allowed in the area – at least when kept on the leash. Likewise, there is no entrance fee – which was also nice. The parking (when arriving by car) did cost 10,- Swiss francs; though because this money is used to support the wild park I really didn’t mind the fee (it’s a one-time pay for the whole day). For those that want to go more often, one can also purchase a parking ticked for the whole year (for 100 Swiss francs).

I absolutely loved this new scenery (and loved seeing the Moose!) and will absolutely go back – especially to see the park throughout the different seasons!

My review of the 5 day detox with pressbar.swiss

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I did it! I finally have my first juice detox behind me. Well, at least to 85% of it. I’ve only recently said that I was going to do a juice cleanse and though I would share my results with you – a sort of review, so to speak. After searching the internet for all kind of juice detox delivery services in Switzerland, I decided on pressbar.swiss. I really liked this service provider the most. The bottles were cute looking (so important!), the juices were all freshly pressed, no extra ingredients added and it was rather vegetable heavy (less calories than fruit). The price was absolutely ok in comparison to many other products I found here in Switzerland. The “only” downside, it seemed, was the delivery time. This is not a cleanse that you can decide on one day and do the next. It takes 1-2 weeks notice in advance before they can deliver it. Alright, so I decided this earlier on in October and decided to start mid October (third weekend). The juices came as early as 6.45 in the morning (extra payment for early delivery is possible) and I was oh-so-excited to start this cleanse.

I chose the 5 day detox program. Having had juice days before I did not think it would be all too tough and I wanted more than just the simple 3 days that people start with. I knew I could do 5 days straight – or so I thought..

Day 1 – It was easier than expected. The juices came and I was excited the instant I saw those colourful little bottles. Second “downside” was the fact that the bottles were much smaller than expected. Well, I should have read it better I guess. The bottles are 250ml each – thus, rather small and surely smaller than I expected. It does say on the paper that you can snack in between if needed (some fruit or a vegetable are ok), or that you can mix the juices with water to have more liquid. Of course, drinking plenty of water throughout the day is a must. So other than the fact that I was surprised by the size, the endorphins had overtaken my fear and the day went by well. Slowly, towards the evening, I became rather hungry. In the late evening, I was super tired and felt like I was starving to death. I didn’t, of course, but it wasn’t all too fun going to bed with an empty, oh-so-loudly grumbling stomach.

Day 2 – Now I almost got used to it. The good thing is I started on a Friday so my second day was a Saturday and I slept nice and long. Longer than usual. Perhaps, I needed the energy as I had not eaten the day before. With me only waking up at around 11am (very late for me), I had enough juices to get me through the day without being hungry. In fact, the hunger never kicked in that day. I was outside a lot with my puppy and went a little shopping (mostly dog treats). In the late afternoon, though, my headache started. I had read that this is a normal side-effect of the body when it is going through a so-called detox. But maaaan.. I am not used to having headaches and I swear it was the longest and probably worst headache – even migraine – I have ever experienced. I kept drinking a lot, and I mean a loot, of water. The headache did not go away. I went to bed with my head spinning.

Day 3 – I woke with my head still spinning around. I hated it – I hated the detox and swore myself I would just go ahead and eat something. In my belief that my headache would go away once I ate, I ran into the kitchen and searched for food. For one, I did not have a lot at home. Secondly, it all seemed rather unhealthy – especially to the clean days I had just experienced. My ego was too big. I did not want to throw it all away and decided to continue. The headaches really did almost kill me that day but I managed to survive and barely moved around that day.

Day 4 – Monday it is. I decided to continue again. The day went by pretty alright and work kept me going and my mind off food. Then, in the afternoon, I got a request for a lunch meeting the next day. Of course, that would mean I would fail on the last day. Then again, it was a meeting request I could not really say no to. Business is always a priority during week days. So I said yes. And boy, I was excited to eat the next day.

Day 5 – I started my day with two juices in a row. That would keep me satisfied up until lunch. Knowing I was able to eat again, the juices suddenly tasted so much better and I was almost sad to break my juice detox on the last day. Lunch came around and you could not believe how happy I was. Happy as a little child when I ordered my tartar with vegetables!

So my juice detox ended right then and there. I had a few juices left so I kept them in the fridge for the upcoming morning. Looking back at it, I guess I could have finished that last day. Perhaps – but I do not regret my lunch. at. all. The cleanse was meant to – well as per the name – clean out my body, my system. I had the feeling it did – sort of. I did loose around 1.5kg – but, for 4.5days I guess that is not much. Either way, it was probably only water and of course that is not the reason one should do a cleanse. It is, however, a great kick-start to starting off to a healthy food routine. Would I do it again? Not sure. I guess, yes I would. However, I would prefer it on days were I have off and sleep in every day. Also, I would go with the 3 days cleanse next time and get used to it slowly.

Do you guys have experience with detoxes – do you have a favourite? Let me know, I would love to hear about it! xo

LCY-ZRH

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Oh, how I love coming home. When flying into Switzerland and seeing the beautiful alps – it’s when I get all excited to being home soon again. Buh, I also love London. Especially this time of the year – when all the Christmas decorations are up and lighting up the city streets – it couldn’t get more beautiful. Tonight the Christmas lights will be put on here in Zurich; and I am so excited. It gives a feeling of warmth and love, despite the the freezing cold temperatures that are taking on the country. I will be meeting up with a few friends at Bellevue (in Zurich) to take a first sip of the hot wine (Glühwein in German) as the Christmas Markets open. I’m surely changing into some warmer clothes before it though! For lunch I am meeting a girl that I met at an event a couple of months ago (remember this?) – so excited! It’s such a great feeling to meet people more or less my age, outside of work for once, and talking about all things girly, beauty and fashion. Really looking forward to it! Tonight I’ll probably go for dinner again, as my fridge is screaming empty and there is no point in buying anything now. Why you ask? I am taking off tomorrow once more: Friday evening to Monday afternoon I’ll be in Malta. My dad is turning 50 (!) so we have a few family members flying into Malta where they have their home and will be celebrating on Sunday with a great dinner on Saturday. And yes, I am surely looking forward to the somewhat warmer temperatures before heading back here next week. What are your weekend plans? xo

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Travels & Birthdays

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Wednesday already! How did that happen? The days are flying by – and so are the birthdays. I might have told you this before, but I swear almost everyone I know is celebrating their birthdays these days. November-kids for the win! Today is my sisters birthday: so all the best, also from here, to the sweetest and kindest soul on earth! Tomorrow it’s my uncles birthday. I’d love to be there, in Hamburg, but unfortunately my travel plans don’t allow for it. I’ll be flying into London tomorrow – a day trip, only. It will be quite busy. Boarding at 6.45 am (too early!) and arriving back in Zurich at around 9pm. I’ll have to wake up at 5 am tomorrow, so I am already complaining on the inside. Next week I’ll be in London again, though less stressful, as I am staying overnight. I’ll be there Tuesday to Wednesday, and attending a bigger event on Tuesday night. Then Friday next week I’ll be flying to Malta for the weekend (well, until Monday afternoon) to celebrate my dad’s 50th birthday next Sunday. And then November is already over. Annnnddd we will be going into December, starting the Christmas season, and jingle bell songs will be filling my apartment at all times. Alright, maybe not at all times, but surely from time to time when the cookie-baking-season starts. So excited!

I’m still debating whether to decorate my home or not. Usually, I am all in for it. This year, however, I will be spending Christmas with the family in Malta, and already flying there on December 21st. Not sure if it’s worth decorating for 3 weeks? I most likely won’t be able to decorate anything, time wise, until the start of December, or maybe this upcoming weekend. However, the first weekend in December (or second?) I will be traveling again, to Ingolstadt (south of Germany). As you can see, I am not home many weekends before Christmas arrives and so I really am debating whether to “skip” the decorating this year. What do you think?

Now I’m off to dinner with a good friend of mine. It’s always funny being around him and I can’t wait to eat. Already hungry. The next debate is what to eat. I am somewhat craving sushi (as always), but we may try out something new! Anyways – need to jump now. Till next time!

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