Exploring Switzerland: Bremgarten (Aargau)

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It’s been almost 6 years since I moved back to Zurich, Switzerland. Six years, and it feels like I still do not really know the country well at all. I meet so many expats here, so many people abroad that have visited Switzerland, and almost all of them seem to know more about the country and have visited more places than me. The reason is simple: work. I’ve been working almost constantly these past few years, with little time to travel other than for work and I’ve not had my car for all too long. And let’s be honest, I was never the type to go “explore” all too much on my own.

Being a Swiss, Sam obviously has seen much, much more of the country than I have. Nevertheless, we made a little promise to ourselves. I want to explore more of this beautiful country, see more places than what is near and around Zurich. A few weekends ago we went to Bremgarten, in Aargau. Sam partially grew up there when he was younger and lived in a house we visited with his family. It was so nice to see where he grew up and kind of get a feel of how his childhood may have looked. At least I know where he went to school, hehe.

The old part / town of Bremgarten is beautiful. So many of the houses are hand-painted and in different colours. You can walk over the river via several bridges and walk into the forest and be in nature within 10 minutes of walking: breathtaking. You all know how much I love and enjoy being out in nature, so it really felt good. Also, the weather was amazing. We stayed for about an hour and a half before we went on to visit his dad and the girlfriend. There we went for another walk with our dogs and then enjoyed a lovely cooked dinner – so good!

Apple Pie – An easy go-to recipe perfect for an autumn family visit

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the perfect golden apple pie

What a wonderful weekend we had! Samuel and I visited his dad in his hometown and had the most wonderful dinner! I was requested to bring a little cake for the afternoon coffee and as we all know; I love baking! The only the I didn’t enjoy when I received the news that I would baking, was the fact that it was late in the evening and I had to bake the cake and be prepared the next morning. Great. So I searched the internet (Pinterest, to be real) and looked for recipes that had simple ingredients and meant I had to do no grocery shopping (if not really necessary). I also wanted something not too big, as we were only 4 in the afternoon and baking a huge cake would have made no sense.

The above picture is the cake before baking it. I will link the recipe here. Do note though, that the dough was way more than I needed. I was debating to use the rest of the dough for making a grid on top of the apples, though then decided against it – I wanted more apples and less dough. Also, I used like 3 times the amount of cinnamon because well, I L O V E cinnamon! One last change: I used margarine (non diary butter) as I cannot eat diary. The rest is more or less the same as the recipe from Pinterest :)

For all those that want the English recipe, continue reading.

For the dough, you will need:
– 250g all purpose flour
– 5 tablespoons sugar (I used brown sugar)
– 150g cold butter (or diary free)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 3 ½ teaspoons cold tap water (or cold water in general)

Make sure to mix everything up with your hand until you have a perfect dough that is not too soft. Then place it into the fridge, and wait for at least 30 minutes.
During the waiting time, you can cut the apples (I used 5 medium sized sweet tasing apples, peeled) into thin slices (or cubes, depending on how you want to fill your apple pie). Mix the apple pieces in a large bowl together with 80g of brown sugar and 2 (or more..) teaspoons of cinnamon.

Once the dough is cold enough, roll it out on a table. Make sure to use enough flour so it doesn’t stick to anything. You want the dough roughly 0.5-1cm thick at max. Once rolled out, place it gently into the form you are using. Personally, I used coconut oil to in the pan beforehand to make it non-sticky after baking. Once the dough is laid out, I added the apple slices in a pattern I thought looked best for this rectangular form.

The cake will need to bake at 180°C for 30 minutes. If you want it a little sweeter, add some more brown sugar on top before placing it into the oven. E voila! Your cake is ready to be served. It tastes best when serving it a little warm, perhaps with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or cream in general.

I hope you will enjoy the recipe if you do it, too, and make sure to let me know and tag me on your photos (instagram, for example) so I can share it with the rest of the community and be inspired myself!

Thermomix Recipe: Healthy Pumpkin Soup

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Good morning! I cannot believe it’s already Halloween again in a few days – how did this happen so fast? I’ll actually be coming back home on October 31st from my US business travels, so I don’t know how awake I’ll be or whether the jet lag will have me under control that night! Either way, every year when October starts, when the leaves turn orange, and the halloween decorations come out – I crave a good pumpkin soup! And that is exactly what I cooked the other night – or better, what the Thermomix basically cooked by itself for me!

The recipe, once more with the Thermomix, is super, duper easy! First of all, the ingredients are:
Pumpkin, and
Ginger
Yup, that’s it. All you really need is pumpkin and a little bit of ginger (only if you want a hint of spice!). Now, I of course added spices and herbs, but that really depends on what taste you are looking to get at the end. Here is what I did:
1) cut 800g of pumpkin into large pieces (and roughly 1,5cm of peeled ginger if you like), add them into the Thermomix bowl, cut them for 10 seconds at speed 5
10 sec / speed 5
2) now add around 75g of oil to the pot (I used rapeseed oil), and cook it at 100°C at speed 2 for 5 minutes
5 min / speed 2 / 100°C
3) add all your spices and herbs as you wish! I used a hint of salt and pepper, around 1 tablespoon of curry, 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika, ½ tablespoon of ground chilli (or add in a fresh chill if you like it spicy!) and cook it for another 12 minutes at Varoma steam, speed 2.
12 min / speed 2 / Varoma (120°C)
4) to get it creamy, you now have to stir it for 10 seconds at speed 7.5 – tada, you can now serve the soup hot and tasty!
10 sec / speed 7.5

My Man & I: Attending the Officer Ball

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Happy Tuesday! We had such an amazing weekend and I wanted to share some insights with you. On Saturday the day started off a little hectic – we had to clean up the apartment a bit, Samuel went to the hairdresser, I got extra ready (shaving, peeling, creaming, etc.) and walking the dogs. In the late afternoon we brought both dogs to my parents – whom thankfully were in Zurich and agreed to dog-sit Saturday to Sunday. Then we stopped by the city for a drink – because you know, there’s little better than an apero in the afternoon ;) and then back home again to get ready. Saturday night was the officer ball. Swiss military officers with certain ranks were invited to The Dolder Grand in Zurich for a lovely evening with foods and for dancing.

I wore the black dress I had ordered some time ago from Zalando – such a good catch! Unfortunately I cannot find the dress online anymore, though I’m sure its available somewhere. Let me know if anyone is interested and I’ll make sure to find a link!

I love this picture because I look oh-so-skinny!

We stayed until the end of the officer ball until around 2am. The next day we seriously noticed our age. I am not as fit anymore and I always dread staying up too long! It feels like my body needs days and days to re-generate!

Sunday we picked up the dogs from my parents and took them out to a big field where the dogs could run freely and enjoy themselves with other dogs. It was so fun seeing them have fun and bathe in the river! Afterwards we had a lovely super-late lunch at Fork & Bottle – their pulled beef burger is to die for! But also the truffled fries. Oh, and the ribs. They are so so good, too! I also love the fact that its a huge beer garden, one that is dog friendly, and you can sit outside and enjoy the surrounding nature. I think we stayed a good 3,5-4 hours! It really was lovely.

My Favourite New MakeUp Mirror from SimpleHuman

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Happy Tuesday! Yesterday I arrived in London for a business trip until Thursday. My days are filled with business meetings and delicious meals – so good! But enough of that (check my Instagram to not miss out on any stories), today I am here to talk about my new beauty tech gadget. I am speaking of the Wide-View Sensor Mirror pro from Simplehuman! Sounds extravagant, doesn’t it? Well, it really is a game changer.

For those having read my last few posts, and those that know me, I am such a fan of good lighting! This may sound strange, but for those of you doing your makeup in a bad light, you know the struggle! Our bathroom lights really aren’t good at all, and so I’ve always done my makeup in front of our large bedroom windows, hoping for some natural light. Because, as we all know, natural light is still the best. No one needs an orange makeup line down the jaw before leaving the house :)

Unfortunately, the light outside isn’t always as good, either. Especially now that winter is around the corner again, there will basically be no sunlight before I arrive at the office. But really all year round, a grey cloudy day can ruin everything when it comes to good natural light for your morning makeup routine.

My hubby knew my frustrations and acted (another reason I love him!). A few weeks ago we were looking for a new mirror with light for our bathroom (which we also purchased), when we found this beauty online (here)! What started with us being amazed (we are such gadget nerds!) by the technology descriptions, quickly escalated in an order and delivery a few days later.

This makeup mirror really does it all! And this is NOT sponsored :) It’s got a wide view – basically three mirrors in one, making it possible to see yourself and face from basically every angle! It comes with a small magnetic mirror that you can take off and zooms x10. The light is super natural AND, changes according to your background. Basically, the light changes depending on the light around you. Therefore, I can finally put on my makeup in a completely dark room and still have the most natural light, EVER! Also, so SO cool, is the fact that you can connect it to your app. Basically, I can use a selfie from a certain environment (let’s say candlelight dinner selfie) and the mirror will adjust it’s lighting to “mirror” the light of the place you’ll want your makeup to look natural in. The technology behind it is simply amazing. I have no idea how exactly this works, but I am a huge fan! Also, it turns on automatically once I sit in front of it without even having to turn anything on / or off, that is. So practical!

So yes, the mirror surely isn’t the most inexpensive, but for those looking for a safe bet on getting the best and most natural light, this IS IT. The only negative I’d say, is the small mirror. I would find it more practical if the magnetic field was a little higher up and I wouldn’t have to lean down so far when looking for a close up. Then again, I barely use it so I don’t mind it all too much.