Welcoming Autumn with a Pumpkin Marzipan Orange Juice Cake

Not only has autumn officially already begun, no – October is just around the corner. How did I seemingly miss all of July and September? The summer has most definitely left us this year and although it is rather nice and warm these days there is a brisk of fresh air and one gets chills when sitting in the shade. The trees are slowly but surely loosing their leaves, and heck, my mom has even been picking up chestnuts off the floor whilst going for her long walks. I will miss summer – oh, I surely will. But at the same time I love autumn so much. When the leaves are slowly turning into all sorts of autumn-y colors from yellow, to orange, red and brown. I finally have an awesome excuse again to drink hot chocolates in the evening and comforting food is so understandable to everyone. The bikini-body is now on hold again until next year! Ugh, I wish..!

No but seriously – autumn for me is the start of being more and more in my kitchen again. I love cooking and baking, but notice myself getting lazy and not doing much at all in the summer. In the end, it’s hot outside and a salad on the go is just about what everyone goes for. These past days I found a new recipe on 20min.ch which instantly caught my eyes! In order to be able to eat it myself, though, I had to make some adjustments to making it gluten- and lactose free. In addition, I left out just one more ingredient that I did not think it needed and added a hint of cinnamon instead. I took photos „just in case“ the cake ended up good enough to share with you guys. Guess what – I. love. it. Seriously, one of the yummiest cakes I have eaten in a while. It is super soft, not dry at all, not too sweet and yet sweet enough to satisfy and cravings.

For those that understand German and you have no intolerances I can only recommend the linked website. Otherwise, here is the recipe and how I made it.

What you need
4 eggs; medium sized
1/2 pack baking soda
150g gluten free flour / I used buckwheat flour
200g grounded almonds
1 orange
250g marzipan
250g freshly grated pumpkin / I used butternut pumpkin
a hint of salt
175g brown sugar
125g butter at room temperature / I used lactose free butter

What to do
1) Whisk up the butter, add in 4 egg yolks (keep the egg whites for later), the salt, and sugar until a creamy blend is formed
2) add in the baking soda, grounded almonds, the juice from one orange, the grated pumpkin and marzipan (previously cut into small pieces)
3) mix everything well, until you have a nice dough
4) whisk up the egg whites until fully stiff and slowly add to the rest of the mixture – make sure to not mix everything to hard now
5) Add everything into a baking pan (make sure to coat it with coconut oil or lactose free butter, in case you do not have silicon pan) and place it into the pre-heated oven (180°C) on the lowest rack 
6) bake for 55-60 minutes until the top is nice and brown // note; I also made small mini-cakes, which only took around 20 minutes in the oven

Now you can
1) enjoy it immediately
2) keep it for the following days / well kept fresh in the fridge for several days
3) surprise your loved ones with a piece of freshly baked cake

I totally fell in love with this recipe – a big thank you to 20min.ch again here for the great inspiration – and will surely be doing it more often in the future. The cold weather is only slowly coming and it’s already screaming for hot comfort food! xo

Clean Chicken Yogurt & Fruit Salad

Happy Friday! My favorite day. Not because I don’t enjoy work, not because I go out, but because I can sleep in the next day and thus stay up a little longer for once in a while without being fully sleep deprived the next morning. That is, if I manage to sleep in. Tonight I have date-night – and I decided to cook at my place. I love to get all cozy at home and just enjoy home-cooked food once in a while. Same thing tomorrow – I will be having one of my girl friends over to chitchat on the couch, be lazy, drink some vino, and enjoy some home-cooked deliciousness (or so I hope). I have been searching for some new recipes to tingle my taste buds just a little bit more these days.

Looking at theskinnyconfidential.com recipes, I chose one of her recipes (that is part of a meal plan) and slightly changed it – just because I did not have the same exact ingredients on hand. I love her recipes because they are simple, super quick to make, and easily amendable. That is, I suck at following recipes to the point – I always need to put my own note on it and I cannot weight foods for life. I just don’t have the patience.

So here I tried a super healthy, super clean, and surprisingly fresh tasting chicken salad that I combined with fruit and nuts. For informational purposes: I have started buying (as often as possible) all organic products. Also, Coop (favorite little supermarket around the corner of my house) offers a huge range of glutenfree and lactosefree products since a while; which makes cooking just so much more fun.

So for this salad, I used the following ingredients:

– 2 pieces of chicken (around 220g), poached at home and after cut into bite-size pieces
– 1/2 a yogurt (natural taste, lactose free in my case)
– a good handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
– a good handful of seedless grapes, cut in halves
– 1 medium-sized green apple, cut in bite-size pieces
– a small handful of cut almonds

And believe it or not – that is it. All of the above ingredients were tossed in a large bowl, well stirred and immediately served. Oh, and this keeps you fuller for longer than you though (protein packed, I assume) and lasted me for two meals (kept in the fridge).

I would also think that some fresh orange pieces could taste great in it, perhaps in stead of the grapes – so that is something I will surely try out next time. Also, if you want your salad a with a little more spice or taste, try adding in a spoonful of agave syrup for sweetness, or some chilli flakes for the spicy kick. Lastly, fresh lemon juice is always a good idea.

Let me know your thoughts and if you have tried out this recipe – or anything similar! xo

Taco Night & my week ahead

Finally, it was time for taco night! You guys have no clue how much I’ve been craving to eat some these past weeks. With all the traveling, being busy, going out for dinners and lunches almost daily, though – I’ve just not had the time to make these little pieces of deliciousness until this past weekend. Let me tell you, I fully indulged in these and do not regret a single thing. If you’re interested, I am happy to share the recipe with you – just drop me a line or PM.

My weekend in general was one I cannot complain about at all. I’ve taken time off completely – no studying, no writing, no nothing (except for some obvious house cleaning). The weather has been great – almost too hot (always need to complain, I know:). I’ve been at the lake, even in the lake (rare one for me), went for some longer rides with my bike, had friends nights, date nights, went for dinners, saw my closest friends, tanned (or at least tried to), and enjoyed my favorite wines (yep, can’t do without a glass here and there).

Now that the Monday has found it’s way into our lives again, or at least mine, it’s time to start planning again for the week. I’m off to London tomorrow – staying until Wednesday evening. It’s a packed trip with meetings all day long. I might have some free time tomorrow; and am hoping to spend that with my parents (landed in London this morning from Miami). Wednesday we fly back to Zurich together, get to spend a little time together on Thursday, and Friday I am off to Liechtenstein for the day (meetings). Basically, my week is rather crowded again. Yet, it’s just the way I like it: busy, not too stressful though, surely not boring. The upcoming weeks will mean a lot of traveling, again. Especially June, I will be off to Las Vegas (for a few days; business), followed by a short trip to Spain (seeing my granny). And after that I’ve got some personal stuff going on. Then, June is already over. Time flies. It really does. Let’s see how I can keep up with everything – I’ll try to take you with me! xo

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. :)