Guilt-free desserts

There is something so sweet about it. Something that warms up your soul and satisfies every cell of your body. Yes, I am talking about chocolate. Recently, I have become obsessed with the taste of chocolate and the feeling of satisfaction it leaves you with. Of course, next to snacking on the unhealthier version from time to time (normal chocolate, or worse, M&Ms), I try reaching for the rather guilt-free and healthy version whenever possible. On Saturday I had a friend over for dinner (salad) and made him this tasty guilt-free chocolate mousse for dessert. He wouldn’t believe me when I told him it was mainly avocado and bananas he was eating right then and there. I’ve shared the recipe before, so I will link it again here for you. The salad was absolutely amazing as well – I paired it with some avocado, egg, chicken, and mango; which really gave it that last fresh kick it needed. Especially now that summer is coming (slowly but surely I hope!) I love mixing in fresh fruit and especially berries into my meals. It’s just so satisfying and refreshing. Tomorrow I will have another friend over for dinner before we head out for some drinks and then come back in (a sleep-over; yay!). I will most likely make that chocolate mousse again because 1) I love it and 2) she is the biggest chocolate lover I have ever met in my life (typical Swiss hehe). So it will be interesting to see whether she enjoys the healthy version or whether she needs the real chocolate one to satisfy her cravings. I am still unsure what to make for dinner as such – and am thinking of going for a salad again – but do you have any ideas? I’ve become quite boring with my food choices lately. :)

Fueling Food

Oh, the past weeks have been emotional – devastating! It’s when suddenly all seems to pile on top of each other and no matter what you do and how hard you try, some things are just not under your control. I felt helpless and a bit left alone – and by no means was I actually left alone. It’s times like these I am so, so thankful for having my lovely family and best-est friends around me and supporting me no matter what. As the saying goes, its important to value those not only supporting you in times of happiness and fame, but those catching you when you fall, feel deprived and when things are not going as straight as planned.

One thing that I learned, and a lot of thanks goes to my mother here, is to fuel the body especially during those times when the energy is really needed. It goes without saying that food is super important and that we are what we eat – we want to try and do our best everyday. So: stay focused even when you feel your worst! Of course, I am nowhere near perfect nor the healthiest eater. Looking back a few years, I remember stuffing myself with the most unneeded foods ever when in a sad or bad position in life. I have learnt from that and try, as soon as I notice I am not on top of my own game anymore (and that happens to everyone once in a while) to fuel my body with extra vitamins and nutrients. I make sure to eat fruit and vegetables everyday, go rather for a salad or quinoa base with chicken rather than the unhealthy fries. I started working out again at the gym, and in combination with the food I am finally finding my balance again – emotional and as well as in general. That is not to say I’ve found the perfect way to eating healthy my life long, but it sure put me back on track. And let’s not lie, I did steel some fries from my friends plate the other night and do enjoy my one (or two, or three) glass of wine on the weekend – in the end, we only live once.

Now I am sitting in my hotel room in London after having landed only a couple of hours ago. My dinner wasn’t quite as pretty on a plate but very delicious indeed. I got myself a quinoa salad with chicken from around the corner as I didn’t quite feel that I wanted to go outside. Instead I am working on some more emails tonight, trying to catch up on work, and going to bed early. Tomorrow my 2-day conference starts and I can already see myself arriving back in Zurich exhausted Wednesday night – though I am looking forward to these days. Another reason to try an fuel myself a bit better than usual! Other than that my week ahead is not all too spectacular, it’s really about work most of these days. I will try to catch up on my studies again and get into the routine to finally finish off my thesis which is due this summer. Yet, I am definitely looking forward to the weekend – lots of fun activities are planned; including yummy dinners!

*salad with egg, chicken, avocado and a vinegar and oil dressing

Dinner for Two

What better is there than to come home and cook a lovely dinner together with the partner? Especially during these cold and dark winter days, there is nothing I appreciate more than spending some quality time together. Quality time can simply be sitting together on the couch, or cooking together. I go out for lunch almost everyday and sometimes for dinners, too. Add breakfast meetings to it, and I surely have at least one meal a day outside. This makes me appreciate home-cooked meals even more. When cooking for myself, I honestly don’t put a whole lot of effort into it. It’s quite boring and rather sad when sitting alone at the table – even though that has happened often enough, too. Yesterday, I got surprised by coming home to three giltheads (german: Dorade / a kind of fish). We added some fresh garlic, lemon slices, salt and pepper on the inside, covered it with olive oil and more lemon juice, and placed it in the oven for about 30min at 180°C. It is one of the easiest recipes – yet so yummy. We also added some potatoes and fresh vegetables as side dishes. What a lovely dinner!

Baking Season

„In der Weihnachtsbäckerei, gibt es manche Leckerei, …“ does anyone know this German Christmas song? I was in Germany, Ingolstadt (near Munich), this past weekend to see most of the family. My uncle turned 50 last week so everyone came together and we had some wonderful times there. My grandma listened to this German song in the car when they drove down from the north of the country to meet us. She had it stuck in her head the whole weekend and kept on reminding me that it used to be my all-time favourite Christmas song when I was younger. Fact is, I still do very much love it. It really brings back memories from when I was a child, baking and decorating cookies with my grandparents, mom and sister. I loved it. I still very much do love baking – which is why this season is one of my favourites when it comes to making dishes in the kitchen. It’s the perfect excuse for baking cookies and cakes. For cooking warm, hearty and stomach-filling foods. For drinking a glass of wine in the evening and ending the night with a hot chocolate and a marshmallow. And that is exactly what my boyfriend and I did last night – we took a rather semi-spontaneous trip down to the kitchen and made ourselves some hot chocolate. Amazing. Thank god we had some lactose free milk on hand!

This upcoming week should be rather calm at the office, which is nice. There is still loads to do, especially before the holidays start, but it’s not as filled in regards to events and outside meetings. I do have to get up super early tomorrow, though, to attend a 8am presentation. Way too early for me. Good thing is, with the sun setting so early and the sky darkening so quickly, I go to bed rather early these days. Especially after this weekend I will need to catch up on some sleep again during the week. I might be travelling this weekend on a spontaneous note, too – but the plan right now is that we will stay in Zurich and enjoy another weekend here before I leave to Malta again next week. Maybe I can bake a few more cookies on the weekend? There is always some kind of excuse and I’m sure I’ll find another one if needed this weekend, too. Besides, who needs an excuse for baking cookies? xo

Chocolate Cravings Satisfied

You know this. Everyone probably knows this. I have such a sweet tooth – especially for chocolate. Not being able to eat regular chocolate all too much (lactose), I have to find other ways to satisfy my craving. Preferably somewhat healthy. I don’t always eat super healthy, hell, I drink every weekend and love my glass of wine. But given the chance and with some time, I always try to work out a somewhat healthy version of my cheat meals. So you might know this recipe already – I posted it here before. It is just so easy, so quick to make and so, so satisfying. Friends and family can’t get over the fact that it’s actually a healthy chocolate mousse. It’s unreal. So here it is again – satisfying my cravings on those cold winter days. Speaking off, it’s freezing at the moment. How did winter get here so fast? I am actually sitting here with a hot chocolate – preparing for the day at the office and getting everything ready. There is still so much to do before the weekend officially starts. Oh, and there’s plenty of stuff I need to work on coming up on the weekend. But I am more than looking forward to seeing my loved ones, sleeping in and spending some cozy, lazy hours in bed! What are your plans for the weekend? xo

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