Discovering London

Happy Sunday and happy first advent! The countdown towards Christmas officially begins with the first of advent – and I still need to organize all presents. Speaking off, what are you giving your loved ones this year? I’d appreciate any help because I really am a little frustrated with what to give this year – I might need to look into some online shops later today and get that inspiration going.

Other than that, I am finally back in Zurich since last Wednesday night. London was great, as always, though this time I was actually able to throw in half a Saturday and full of Sunday for meeting friends and discovering London a little more. I usually only go for business recently and as much as I love it, you don’t get to see all too much during the meetings. I can only recommend the hotel I was in, so I will shoot a little post on that one soon. It was situated perfectly for walking around London and so I decided to take a walk on Sunday. I had no plan where I was going and so I just continued for several hours until I noticed I was absolutely lost. The good thing is, that you can jump into a tube almost anywhere, and as large as London seems, the tubes are quite easy to navigate. At least with the right app – thank god for the iPhone and all those apps! I took some pictures along the way, mostly of the architecture. I was lucky with the weather, as the sun was out almost all the time. With some clouds here and there, the photos worked out better than expected. I love the mix between old historic monuments paired with the most modern architecture you can find – and really, it’s all over London.  Now, I am not sure whether it was the chilly temperatures out in London or the past weeks with little sleep, though sadly my London trip ended with me catching a real cold. So I’ve been spending the past days in bed with a tonsil infection – and because I seem to be lucky with so many things recently, they will be taken out early next year. Joy!

Since the weather here in Zurich is anything but dreamy, I quite frankly don’t mind the bedtime right now. It’s been raining on and off yesterday and hasn’t stopped once yet. We did have a little snow yesterday morning, though sadly that all went away again. What have you been doing this weekend? xo

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Mini Morning Apple Pancakes

Mini Morning Apple Pancakes, Mini Morning Apple Pancakes, Mini Morning Apple Pancakes… Now, try reading that out loud three or more times, I swear it’s a tongue-twister to me – I’ve tried it and failed over and over again! What surely didn’t fail are the pancakes themselves, which I recently made on my favourite lazy Sunday mornings. Seriously, how amazing is it to sleep-in and get a heart-warming, delicious breakfast? It’s probably my favourite routine every weekend. With it being autumn, there are kilos and kilos of apples everywhere to buy for a nickle and a dime. I love it. Completely love it. There are about a million receipes to try out this season, and, quite frankly, it’s my favourite of the year (or do I say that about every season?).

I remember loving pancakes already as a kid. My mom would make them at least once a month, if not twice, for dinner. We would have the healthy pancakes first, filled with seasonal vegetables and sometimes meat, and were allowed to have one dessert pancake with cinnamon & sugar or nutella afterwards. I would always try to eat as many dessert-pancakes as possible, suddenly being super hungry again. Which reminds me, I should do that sometime soon again and share a recipe with you. What do you think?

This recipe makes around 8 mini-pancakes, so it is the perfect portion for two. Unless, of course, you are super hungry and want all for yourself. Naturally, you can also eat them when they cooled down some later hour and not share any. And, with it being no surprise, they are of course free of gluten and lactose.

What you need

2 eggs
200g glutenfree flour
50ml water
200ml milk
100g sugar (50g sugar and 1 tbs agave syrup also works)
1 pack vanilla-sugar
1 apple
coconut oil / or any oil of choice
powdered sugar (for decoration purposes if wanted)

What to do

1) separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until frothy (almost stiff)
2) add all other ingredients (excluding the egg yolk) into a bowl and mix it well
3) gently mix the beat egg whites under the mixture
4) cut the apple into slices
5) heat some coconut oil in a (small) pan and fill it with your pancake-mixture
6) prior to flipping the pancake, add a few slices of apple on top
7) flip the pancake and let it sit for another minute or two

Voila, now you can

1) serve it for you and your loved onces / or just yourself (no need to be ashamed!)
2) store them in the fridge for later
3) sprinkle them with powdered sugar (always looks great!) and serve them with some homemade jam – I had them with my apple-pumkin jam :-)
4) pack them in a lunch-bag for the kids to take to school – what a great snack!

As always – I hope you enjoy the recipe and of coures, I would be more than happy to see your creations and versions of it!

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Loods 5 No.2

Happy Friday loves! Another week has passed – so fast! The week has been busy as usual, though I really did appreciate it going by so fast this time. After having had an emotional weekend (you know, those ups & downs in life ..) it’s been good to work and take my mind off other stuff. Yesterday it actually started becoming really Christmas-y. At least in the city, the Christmas lights went on! I didn’t have much time as I sat the evening in front of my computer studying and later reading some photography books (or trying to), though I did meet up with my dad and a friend to enjoy the view. Though, what a fail (sorry, Zurich) only half of the lights went on and it looks like something went wrong. It’s a pitty because there were thousands and thousands of people on the streets to take a look at the lights (yet I don’t understand the excitment about lights that we can see daily from now on). I’ll definetely try going back soon with my camera to take some pictures, when less people are around.

Today is yet another day to come, though I am really looking forward to the weekend. I will be flying to London tomorrow morning at around 10am (such nice timing, no stress in the morning!) to meet a friend in the afternoon. We will go a little shopping, I will be my tourist-y self and we will check out some boutiques I found online that I want to see. Sunday I will be having a long spa day at the hotel (it looks so nice online!) and seeing another friend sometime in between to catch-up on life stories and gossip. Monday to Wednesday I’ll be there for business and attending a two-day conference, which should be really interesting. I’ll make sure to take some pictures when I’m round and about in London and of the hotel (if it’s as nice as expected) to share with you.

Oh, and whilst flipping through my photography book yesterday, I (being a multi-tasking expert..not) flipped through some old photos on my laptop. Voila, I found some more from my trip the store Loods 5 that I went to with my mom. You can find all details about the store and what to expect there in my last post about it. So really, this post is just a quick update on myself, my week and what’s to come – surely looking forward to sharing everything with you in the upcoming days! xo

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Apple-Pumpkin Jam Recipe

Happy Friday loves! I’m quite glad that Friday has arrived – the weeks keep getting busier towards Christmas. Last weekend I’ve been busy cooking up some recipes again in my kitchen – it surely never gets dusty in that area of the apartment. Since I’ve been a little kid I’ve always loved the kitchen. I loved watching my mom prepare dinners when I was younger, loved watching her make cakes on the weekends or for our birthdays, and loved some of those traditional recipes my grandma would throw out from time to time when I visited her. Nowadays it seems to be more my grandpa that turns up the stove and prepares meals when we visit – and I must say he is amazing at it! I’ve already stolen so much inspiration from him, though generally, from my whole family. As much as I love trying out new recipes and playing around in the kitchen, it’s always nice to know those meals that will work out perfectly just because they have been perfected throughout decades. My mom used to make super much jam, the whole year round, with all types of fruit. She still does them from time to time, though because we all live in different places she obviously doesn’t make heaps anymore.

Last weekend I made several glasses of apple-pumpkin jam paired with a hint of cinnamon. It tastes amazing – with a great emphasis on the apple and gives a great splash of color to any bread in the morning. Actually, I’ve been using it daily so far, be it on my bread or in my morning porridge. A hint of fruit never is a failure in taste in my eyes. The recipe makes about 8 medium glasses and when closed properly, they stay well for months. Of course it’s also possible to only do half of the recipe, or even less – but I always prefer a few glasses too much rather than too little. It’s also a great little present for your loved ones – be it for a birthday, christmas, or just in general.

What you need

1.2kg Hokkaido Pumpkin
1kg apples (I mixed sweet and sour ones)
1kg brown sugar
juice from ½ a lemon
200-250ml still water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 packs Confi-Vite from Coop (gelling agent/thickener 2:1, fruit:sugar)

What to do

1) Cut the pumpkin into squares and take out the seeds (no need to peel it)
2) peel and cut the apples into the same size and remove the seeds as well
3) place the pieces into a large cooking pot together with the lemon juice
4) turn the stove on medium heat and cook the pumpkin and apple until they are soft enough to puree
5) once they are soft, puree them slightly
6) add the sugar, water and gelling agent (Confi-Vite)
7) continue to puree it until you have reached your desired texture (I always love keeping some pieces in)
8) now that everything is much more sauce-like in texture, turn the heat up and let it boil for 5 minutes
9) now fill everything into the pre-cleaned jars (I usually turn them upside down before filling them so nothing gets inside). Once a jar is filled, close it with the appropriate lid and turn it upside-down.
10) After all glasses are filled and upside down for about 10 minutes you can turn them normal again – note that you should hear a popping-sound, which means that they are closed fully (air-proof) and will thus stay good much longer

Now you can

1) eat it all up on warm toasts, on bread, waffles, put some on top of porridge or any other way
2) store them in a dark, dry room 
3) give them away as little presents to your dearest ones

Do let me know of how your jam turned out, if you’ve made any amendments to the recipe or found even more creative ways to eat it – I’m always interested in seeing what my readers make out of it!

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Apple Cake Recipe

Hello and good morning beauties! It’s monday, a new week, a new day, and a new opportunity to start something big – though it only includes work and uni on my side. As promised last time, I wanted to share my birthday cake recipe with you. I love apple season – there is so much you can do with apples, so much to cook, so much to bake and everything is overflowing with inspiration. And on the positive side, every dessert suddenly seems a tad more healthy! Or at least we can pretend that. This recipe, as always, is free of lactose and gluten.

What you need for the dough

140g buckwheat flour
100g buckwheat flakes (the smaller, partly grinded ones)
100g coconut oil
100g coconut blossom sugar (or normal sugar if you don’t have any – though the color and taste makes a difference!)
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons backing powder (GF)

What you need for the filling

4 large apples (or 5 smaller ones)
1 large tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon speculation spice (not needed but very yummi!)
3-4 teaspoons lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons agave syrup
1 large tablespoon buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons coconut blossom sugar (not needed if you don’t want it sweet, or even more if you like it sweet)

What to do

1) add everything needed for the dough in a large bowl and mix it well
2) the dough should be sticky, though not too dry – do add 1-2 tablespoons of water, if it seems to dry to later knead
3) make sure to line the cake pan with oil so that you can remove the cake easier later on – I used coconut oil, though you can also use olive oil or butter
4) place ⅔ of the dough into the cake pan and knead it to fill the whole inside (see pictures below)
5) cut the apples into 1,5-2cm slices and place them into a bowl with all other ingredients needed for the filling
6) once everything is well mixed, you can place the apples into the dough-covered cake pan – make sure that you don’t add the liquid that is left over in the bowl
7) using the other ⅓ of the dough, you can place any desired design on the cake – I chose the classic grid/checked style for this cake
8) place the cake into the pre-heated oven at 180°C
9) after 30-45 min, when the cake starts getting gold/brown colors, cover the whole cake with kitchenfoil and bake for another 60-45min (90min in total)
10) make sure to let the cake cool-off a bit before taking it out

Now you can

1) serve it while it is still warm – delicious!
2) keep it for later hours or the next day
3) add powdered sugar (looks amazing) or even serve it with whipped cream (lactose free if needed) for those that prefer it

The cake should hold for a good week, though to be honest, it lasted only until the second day for us!
On a side note, I used a smaller cake pan with a diameter of 18-20cm. For the larger sizes, I would try doubling the above ingredient amounts to fill it accordingly.

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