Exploring Switzerland: Zurich Katzensee (Lake)

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(Deutscher Post weiter unten / German Post further down)

February 19, 2020! This is a special day for many reasons – for one, and the main reason, I want to share it with you is that it is my mother’s birthday. So, Happy Birthday to you, Mommy! She is one of the kindest, most loyal and most heartwarming people I know!

Also, I wanted to share another small part of Switzerland with you that I absolutely love. The Katzensee (translates to Cat-lake – but don’t know why) is a small little lake near Zurich (around 20min drive from the city center) that one can walk / hike around within approximately one hour. The nature there, especially with all its trees and those coming out of the water, is breathtaking.

I have been sharing a few photos already on my Instagram with you, though they only show a small part of the photo. The full size ones are here for you to take a look at. For those interested, I shot these with my Canon EOS R (15-35mm 2.8 IS USM lens) – and I can tell you, I L O V E this camera and especially love love love the lens. You will surely be seeing more of these kind of photos from me going forward and I would love to hear some feedback from you! Also, all photos are available for sale in print if of interest.

German / Deutsch

Es ist der 19 Februar 2020 und ein besonderer Tag, denn heute hat meine Mama Geburtstag! Mama, ich wünsche Dir alles, alles Gute, Glück, Gesundheit und Zufriedenheit auch auf diesem Wege! (Natürlich hat sie auch eine Karte und Geschenke bekommen und wir haben im engen Kreise ein wenig gefeiert :-) Es gibt kaum einen vertrauenswürdigeren, liebevollen und herzlichen Menschen als meine Mama; weshalb ich es auch unbedingt heute und hier nochmals erwähnen wollte.

Aber nun zum eigentlichen Thema: Zürich und vor allem die Schweiz entdecken. Wie Ihr aus vorherigen Posts eventuell schon rausgelesen habt, versuche ich mehr und mehr von der Schweiz zu entdecken und nicht immer nur die Standart Routen zu besuchen. Letztes Wochenende sind wir dann zum Katzensee gefahren und sind dort einmal rumgelaufen. Der Spaziergang geht ca 1 Stunde (oder auch 1,5h, wenn Ihr so wie ich, immer Fotos machen wollt). Das Wetter war absolut perfekt zum Fotografieren – sonnig, aber nicht zu sonnig, bewölkt aber auch nicht zu dunkel. Der Katzensee ist ca. 20 Minuten mit dem Auto von der Innenstadt Zürich erreichbar und ein kleines Stück Land in das ich mich verlieben könnte. Jedesmal, wenn mein Verlobter und ich in der Nähe sind (wir Golfen auch dort im Nachbars-Ort) überlegen wir wie es wäre, wenn wir dort ein Haus mit kleinem Garten hätten. Oh wie schön es doch wäre!

Ich kann auf jeden Fall jedem, der einen kleinen Spaziergang in der Nähe von Zürich machen möchte und gleichzeitig die Natur geniessen möchte, den Katzensee nur empfehlen!

Für diejenigen von Euch welche an der Kamera interessiert sind: Ich habe diese Aufnahmen mit meiner Canon EOS R (mit der 15-35mm 2.8 IS USM Linse) gemacht. Ich bin wirklich ein klein wenig in meine neue Kamera verliebt und kann Euch somit schonmal versichern, dass Ihr einige weitere solcher Bildserien in nächster Zeit zusehen bekommt. Wer mir auf Instagram folgt, wird auch dort Teile der jeweiligen Bilder zu Gesicht bekommen (die kompletten Bilder sind dann hier – auch Ausgedruckt in verschiedenen Grössen zum Kaufen, falls Interesse besteht).

Hackbraten mit Speck & Ei (English version on the bottom)

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Ein frohes neues Jahr wünsche ich Euch allen! Neues Jahr, neues Jahrzehnt, ja, sogar eine “neue” Sprache auf diesem Blog. Ich habe eine kleine Umfrage auf Instagram sowie bei Familienangehörigen und Freunden gemacht – es stellt sich heraus, viele würden meine Texte und Rezepte gerne auf Deutsch lesen. Somit werde ich dieses Jahr versuchen Texte in Englisch und Deutsch für Euch zu schreiben.

Apropos neues Jahr – ich hoffe Ihr seid alle gut in das Jahrzehnt gestartet. Bei mir und meinem Verlobten war es ein ruhiger Rutsch dieses Jahr, genauso wie ich es liebe. Wir haben tagsüber noch die Wohnung umdekoriert und vieles umgestellt und zum Abend hin habe ich dann einen Hackbraten mit Speck und Ei, sowie Kartoffelbrei und eine Bratensosse gemacht. Es war köstlich!

Somit möchte ich Euch auch gar nicht allzu lange auf die Folter spannen, hier geht es direkt zum Rezept:

Für einen Gugelhupf Hackbraten braucht Ihr folgendes:

– 1kg gemischtes Hackfleisch
– 4 Mittelgrosse Zwiebeln
– 10 kleine / medium Eier
– etwas Kokosöl (oder Backspray)
– 6 Scheiben Volkorntoastbrot
– 2 EL Olivenöl
– 300g durchwachsener Speck
– 5 EL mittelscharfer Senf
– Salz & Pfeffer

Schritt 1
Zu erst sollte das Toast in einer Schüssel kaltem Wasser eingeweicht werden und der Ofen auf 180°C Unter-und Oberhitze vorgeheizt werden. 6 von den 10 Eiern könnt Ihr bereits hart kochen (ca. 7 Minuten). Danach werden diese abgeschreckt und gepellt.

Schritt 2
Während die Eier noch kochen, könnt Ihr die Backform mit etwas Kokosöl einfetten. Nun nehmt Ihr die Speckstücke und legt die komplette Backform damit aus. Es sollten keine freien Bereiche mehr zu sehen sein.

Schritt 3
In einer grossen Schüssel, mischt das Hackfleisch, 4 Eier, die Zwiebeln (klein gewürfelt), das Olivenöl, das eingeweichte Toast (klein gezupft und ausgedrückt) und den Senf zusammen – am besten mit den Händen. Gleichzeitig könnt Ihr die Mischung anständig mit Pfeffer und Salz würzen – für diejenigen die es schärfer mögen, etwas Chilli Pulver ist auch willkommen.

Schritt 4
Nun könnt Ihr ca ⅔ des gemischten Hacks in die mit Speck ausgelegte Backform füllen. Ihr solltet das Gemisch ruhig etwas andrücken und es nicht zu locker lassen. Desto mehr Luft dazwischen ist, desto eher kann der Hackbraten später zerfallen. Danach legt Ihr die 6 hartgekochten Eier auf die Fleischmischung und bedeckt diese mit dem restlichen Drittel. Auch hier solltet Ihr schauen, dass das Fleisch gut festgedrückt wird.
Danach kommt der Hackbraten für ca 75 Minuten in den Backofen – am besten auf mittlerer Höhe auf ein Rost. Nach der Backzeit solltet Ihr dem Hackbraten gute 15 Minuten Zeit geben um abzukühlen bevor Ihr diesen stürzt.

Meat Loaf with Bacon & Egg

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had the utmost fantastic start into the new decade. My fiancé and I both took it rather easy, redecorated and reorganised our apartment during the day and in the evening of New Years Eve I decided to make us a good old fashioned meat loaf with bacon and egg – joined by smashed potatoes and a good brown sauce.

Due to several friends, family members and followers (instagram) having requested more German on my social media pages, I have decided to give it a try here on the blog, too. Also, I’ll be honest, I somewhat missed writing in German (although I feel I need some more practice!)

So here comes the recipe!
What you need:

– 1kg minced meat
– 4 medium onions
– 10 small / medium eggs
– a little bit of coconut oil
– 6 pieces of brown toast
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 300g thinly cut bacon
– 5 tablespoons medium spicy mustard
– salt & pepper

Step 1
First of all, make sure to soak the toast in a bowl of cold water. Then, pre-heat the oven to 180°C (heat from above and beyond) and boil 6 of the 10 eggs in hot water until they are hard (approximately 7 minutes). Once the eggs are boiled, you can go ahead and peel these.

Step 2
Whilst the eggs are still boiling, you can already start and oil the inside of the baking dish to make it less sticky later on. Then, line the baking dish with the thinly sliced bacon – making sure there are no spots missed.

Step 3
In a large bowl, mix the minced meat, the onions (cut into small cubes), 4 raw eggs, the mustard, the olive oil and the toast (ripped into small pieces and squeezed out) all together with your hands. Make sure to add a good amount of salt and pepper – and, if you like it spicy, feel free to add chilli flakes.

Step 4
Now you can add around ⅔ of the mixture into the baking dish (laid out with bacon), add the six boiled eggs into it carefully, and then finish off by covering these with the rest of the mixture. Make sure the meat mixture is rather tight in the dish, so that you avoid it breaking later on. Now you can place it into the pre-heated oven and bake it for around 75 minutes. Once it is fully baked, give it around 15 minutes to cool down before turning it over and taking out the meat loaf – ready to serve!

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