Cooking on our new Plancha

0 Permalink

Cooking a la Plancha has got to be our new motto at home. Recently my boyfriend decided we needed a new grill – better even, a plancha. Without having any idea of what exactly a plancha is compared to a normal grill, I nodded in excitement – loving the idea of some bbq sessions on our terrace. When the plancha arrived I still believed it was like a normal grill – perhaps the only difference being that the surface to grill on is one big hot plate. Oh, how wrong I was!

Firstly, I was educated that a plancha is not a normal grill, but so much more advantageous. And rightly so. Here are some important points to note:

1) A plancha reaches a temperature of 270-300ยฐC within 5 to 10 minutes (much quicker than most grills)
2) The smallest chopped foods can be made on a plancha without falling between the embers that a normal bbq brings with it
3) Everything can be cooked or grilled on a plancha – from meats, to fish, to vegetables, an omelette, pancakes or even popcorn can be made on it!
4) Grilling / cooking on a plancha can be done completely without oils or butter (though we do recommend oil if you don’t want food sticking to your plancha too fast)
5) It’s fast, easy and you can cook / grill super healthy
6) Cleaning has never been easier! Once done cooking, you can throw on some cold water or ice cubes and scrap the surface of the plancha with the spatula to remove any burnt food that is left. No need to take the bbq apart and clean between the embers – what a relief!

We’re still working on new recipes, trying out others and experimenting on the plancha – but one thing is for sure: so far it has alway come out great and really only takes a couple of minutes until the food is served!

Cooking on the plancha is easiest with a spatula and grill tongs!
We also have a lid to cover the vegetables to cook them through even quicker.. oh, and this lid can also be used to make popcorn!

Moving Homes with a Dog

0 Permalink

The move is more or less done – finally! Almost all furniture is where it is supposed to be, the outside area lounge and seating arrangements have been ordered and we are ready for summer! One of the biggest things that stressed me was actually having to move with my dog. Moving a dog from one place to another can cause lots of stress for the dog and more often than expected, the dogs don’t take it all too easy. Zaphira likewise had her issues. She immediately loved the place – ran around, enjoyed the garden from day one and was happy to look outside the windows to stalk the neighbours. Yet leaving her alone in the apartment was a task for itself. The first days she did not leave my side, barked when I left our new home after 10 seconds and was crying so loud I could hear it in the basement I felt.

To get a dog used to a new place, it is important to make it feel like a home. I decided to not have her with me during the actual days of moving and left her with a dog sitter. This way there was less stress for her and she was able to come into the (almost readily) furnished apartment. Her bed and all her toys were waiting for her and I hid treats all over the place for her to joyfully explore the new surrounding. Leaving her alone was an issue though. I decided to take baby steps. I would go to the bathroom or bed room and close the door behind me so that she wouldn’t be with me at all times. Yet, she knew I was still in the apartment. After a few days, I would go into the garden by myself. She was able to see me and stared outside the window. Later I would go through the garden and bring away the trash – suddenly I was out of sight. What started with a little panic attack from her side because normal after 2 days. Then I went grocery shopping around the corner for about 20 minutes and after about 3-4 weeks she seemed fully fine with the new situation. So proud of her! We are now at a stage where I can leave her alone for several hours if need be, too. Thankfully!

Just remember – moving homes with a dog is a whole new task and takes time and especially a whole lot of patience!



Finishing off my new apartment

Hello and happy Tuesday everyone! It’s been a while and my days have been filled with travelling, busy work days, spending some quality time with loved ones, enjoying nature with Zaphira and – trying to finish the new apartment!

I am proud to say that it is almost done. Well, it’s been “almost done” for about 3 weeks now. I managed to more or less unpack everything within a weekend – finished a few last boxes the weekend after and now only have one room semi-undone left: my home office. Although more or less everything is already at its place, it still feels a little cold and not as inviting as it should. My biggest issue: I cannot work in a place I don’t feel 100% comfortable in.

This week, however – if I am lucky – my two carpets should arrive that I ordered. One for the living room, and one for my office room. I’ll then need to add a few last details, put up some pictures (some walls got repainted so I had to wait) and hopefully I am rather done then. Of course, my apartment is ALWAYS a work in progress and I love switching things up from time to time. Yet, the basis should be done in the next few weeks. At least that is my plan before I leave for my next trip!

Family Visit in Malta & A New Vegan Rice Recipe

0 Permalink

What a week it’s been! So much going on, so many travels, business meetings, enjoyable moments, good food, and: my very first food poisoning (not so fun!!). The week started off in Zurich for a night, went on in London for two days and continued in Zurich on Thursday. It’s been rather stressful on the business front, yet thankfully also quite successful! My agenda for the upcoming months is filling up quickly and as much as I cannot wait for all the travels, meeting people and seeing new places, I likewise more and more cherish my days at home with my loved ones and spending time with Zaphira.

Thursday night started amazing! I had a busy day that ended with a lovely business dinner and then went over to a nice evening with hours of talks over a good glass of sparkling wine. Then it all turned negative: at around 3am I woke up with the worst fever and chills. Then it all took its turn, and the food poisoning fully hit me. The joy..

Friday didn’t look much brighter. What was meant to be an amazing day ended up with me feeling dreadful and wishing the day went past even faster! It started with me receiving the keys to my new apartment. What was supposed to be an amazing experience, however, ended in me barely noticing what was going on around me. Thankfully my dad was in the city and helped out with everything. I also had to skip the business meetings and spent half the day in bed. in the late afternoon however I had to get ready, off to the airport and off to Malta. I got home (family home in Malta) at around 8pm and was dead asleep an hour later.

The good news: Saturday I felt much better. Although I couldn’t eat most of the day, the nausea was more or less gone. In the evening I made a new vegan rice dish for the family. I looked at different recipes on the internet, got my inspiration and changed it up a bit. I must say: it was super delicious! The family loved it and it was decided we’ll add it more often to our monthly recipe options!

So here it is – super, super simple.

What you need for 4 people:
– 200g of uncooked rice
– 600g of spinach (frozen is fine)
– 200ml of water (boiled) with 1 tablespoon of vegetable broth
– 1 can of chick peas (including the liquid it’s in)
– 1 large onion / and one clove of garlic if you want
– 1-2 tablespoons of yellow curry paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
– 40g of yellow raisins
– 1 tablespoon of olive oil (coconut oil works just as well)
– 50g of unsweetened and unsalted cashews (for the topping, if you want)
– salt and pepper

What to do:
1) heat up the oil in the pan and add the curry paste
2) add in the chopped up onion (add one clove of garlic if you like)
3) boil the water, add in the broth and add it into the pan
4) add in everything else
5) let it simmer for around 20-25 minutes (until no more liquid is left and the rice is cooked) – eh voila – you are done!

6) if you want a topping – you can roast the cashews in a separate pan until they are golden-brown and add them on top before serving

super simple, super yummy!
the view from our balcony – always amazing!
the coast on a rather windy day
I could take a million photos of the ocean – I love how every second there is something new and exciting to see, how the image is never the same and brings about so much inspiration!

Quick Update from our End

0 Permalink

Good morning, afternoon or evening :)! Whilst Zaphira loves to stay on the couch on cold winter days, I on the other hand try to use my free time to continue packing everything up. Because: Big News: I am finally moving! Everything is set and almost ready to go and the big moving day is finally coming around the corner (end of February). I found myself a cute little apartment a little further outside of Zurich (still close enough though) with a small garden perfect for long summer nights outside – and – of course for Zaphira. Thus, I apologise that I have not had the chance to update you here all too regular the past few weeks and I promised myself to getting back into the routine once everything is settled in. Of course, I also plan to share some of my journey with you!

Although I still have a few nights until the move, I also have some travels coming up before. Therefore I will need to pack everything up by the end of this week ready for the move once I am back in town! Can’t wait to show you more :)!