Linzertorte – Daddy’s Birthday Cake Recipe

Happy belated Birthday via this blog, dad!

Last week was my dads birthday. Since seemingly forever, one of his all-time favorite cakes is the so-called Linzertorte. My mom used to bake it for him every year at least once for his birthday; sometimes just in-between during the winter season. It’s also a traditional Christmas season cake in Germany. This year my dad was in Zurich for his birthday – mom joined, too. Because they arrived the night before his birthday, I decided to bake the cake a day before and surprised him in the morning with it and a lit candle.

Even though I am not the biggest fan of the cake, I must say it did go pretty well. The only thing I would note down for next time – the jam: it was too sweet for my taste. It really is important to find a good jam too add to the layer – or, make one yourself. Perhaps something I can do the next time around. For now, however, I wanted to share the recipe with you.

What you need

250 g soft butter / I used plant-based margarine
200 g brown sugar
2 medium-sized eggs
1 egg yolk
200 g grounded almonds
200 g flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
knife tip of clove powder
250 g of your favorite jam (I used raspberry – the traditional receipe idea)
more flour
coconut oil 

What to do

1) In a large bowl, mix the butter with the eggs and sugar until nice and soft
2) add in the almonds, 200g of flour, cinnamon and clove powder – keep mixing
3) heat up the oven to 180°C 
4) spread coconut oil (best to use a cooking paintbrush) all over the baking tin (diameter around 26 cm)
5) add ⅔ of the dough into the tin, spread it equally and add jam on top of it (leave 2 cm free towards the edge)
6) add in more flour to the ⅓ of dough – so much, until you have a thicker cookie-dough like mixture
7) spread this dough onto transparent film, roughly 0.5 cm high – and place it min. 45min into the fridge
8) once fully cooled down, take out the dough and cut it into long strips, around 1cm wide
9) you’re ready to now place them onto the jam in any weaving-style you want
10) once done, whisk up the egg yolk and brush it onto the dough (this prevents the cake from burning and turning too dark)
11) now off into the oven – 40 min straight baking

E voila – there you have it! You’re (perhaps) first Linzertorte! Actually easier than it looks on the photo, I swear!

Note: I was inspired by the German-written recipe on the Betty Bossi website (though slimmed-down the recipe slightly) – though feel free to check out this one, too!

Vegan Falafel for the Win

Another week, another recipe! I surely do not want to bore you with recipes only on this blog, but if I am in love with something I need to share it. So here I am telling you about my rather newly discovered love: chickpeas! Who would have known that these little yellow fellows are so healthy, so filling, and can be used in so many recipes.

A new favorite recipe of mine is this vegan falafel recipe! It is so simple that it’s almost scary – so good that you cannot stop eating them and the preparation time takes around 10 minutes at max. Personally, I like simple recipes and things that do not take long to make after coming home (usually somewhat late) after work. Given this reason I made these falafel after work the other day and did not even add a side-dish. What I can recommend, though, is a cucumber salad (speaking of, I found a great recipes that I will share in the near future!).

For these crispy, little falafel, you need

240g (drained) & pre-cocked chickpeas
1 large onion
1 handful of fresh coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons buckwheat (or any other) flour 
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
a hint of salt

What to do

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250°C 
  2. add all ingredients into a food processor and mix until you get a smooth mixture (make sure it doesn’t become too smooth or else you will get a soup)
  3. take roughly one large tablespoon of the mixture and form each patty with your hand
  4. place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle (or paint) all patties with a light layer of olive oil
  5. bake until golden-brown for roughly 18-20 minutes

Et voila – within a couple of mintues preparing and baking, you have the perfect, healthy (and vegan) falafel ready.

Vegan, Sugarfree & Glutenfree Waffles

Sundays are probably my favorite weekdays. Why you ask? Simple – the week is coming to an end, I can sleep in, usually all household cleaning has been done, and I either go for brunch or make my own larger-than-usual breakfast at home! I have changed up my diet quite a bit these past few weeks – going from eating meat every day to eating completely vegan for a month. The idea behind it was to give my body a break from all the animal derived foods and seeing how my body would adjust to such a change of lifestyle. Although I have gone back to eating meat once in a while now since a week or two, I still try to eat plant-based most of the times these days. I believe everything should be done in moderation and as much as I enjoyed the vegan lifestyle I still do enjoy meat too much once in a while to giving it up completely. Perhaps that will change in the future – or not, we shall see. Either way: during my plant-based diet phase, I tried out several new recipes that were – obviously – vegan.

I am a huge fan of sunday-waffles! Previously, I would make waffles with standard recipes – which usually contained either eggs, butter or some other form of animal derived by-product. This time I went for an all vegan recipe and switched a few things up from the normal recipe I would have used earlier.

What you need (for 8 waffles)

1 large, ripe banana
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
150ml warm water
100ml almond milk with slight vanilla flavor (can use plain almond milk)
200g glutenfree flour (I used buckwheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda (glutenfree)

What to do

  1. get you waffle iron ready
  2. mash the banana and add it into a large bowl
  3. add all other ingredients and mix everything together until you have a smooth dough
  4. heat up the waffle iron once without any dough
  5. add two tablespoons of dough into each iron set (or however large your waffle iron is)
  6. let it bake the waffle until ready

This recipe is super easy, quickly done and barely needs any ingredients. Note that the waffles are not very sweet. If you do want it a little sweeter, I suggest adding a tablespoon of maple syrup or the like to the dough beforehand.

I topped up my waffles with some fresh blueberry “jam” which I made whilst waiting for my waffles to bake. Here I used ¾ cup of fresh blueberries, 1 tablespoon of agave syrup and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and mixed everything up.

Et voila – time to enjoy a lovely little breakfast without having the guilt crawl up after indulging!

 

My review of the 5 day detox with pressbar.swiss

I did it! I finally have my first juice detox behind me. Well, at least to 85% of it. I’ve only recently said that I was going to do a juice cleanse and though I would share my results with you – a sort of review, so to speak. After searching the internet for all kind of juice detox delivery services in Switzerland, I decided on pressbar.swiss. I really liked this service provider the most. The bottles were cute looking (so important!), the juices were all freshly pressed, no extra ingredients added and it was rather vegetable heavy (less calories than fruit). The price was absolutely ok in comparison to many other products I found here in Switzerland. The “only” downside, it seemed, was the delivery time. This is not a cleanse that you can decide on one day and do the next. It takes 1-2 weeks notice in advance before they can deliver it. Alright, so I decided this earlier on in October and decided to start mid October (third weekend). The juices came as early as 6.45 in the morning (extra payment for early delivery is possible) and I was oh-so-excited to start this cleanse.

I chose the 5 day detox program. Having had juice days before I did not think it would be all too tough and I wanted more than just the simple 3 days that people start with. I knew I could do 5 days straight – or so I thought..

Day 1 – It was easier than expected. The juices came and I was excited the instant I saw those colourful little bottles. Second “downside” was the fact that the bottles were much smaller than expected. Well, I should have read it better I guess. The bottles are 250ml each – thus, rather small and surely smaller than I expected. It does say on the paper that you can snack in between if needed (some fruit or a vegetable are ok), or that you can mix the juices with water to have more liquid. Of course, drinking plenty of water throughout the day is a must. So other than the fact that I was surprised by the size, the endorphins had overtaken my fear and the day went by well. Slowly, towards the evening, I became rather hungry. In the late evening, I was super tired and felt like I was starving to death. I didn’t, of course, but it wasn’t all too fun going to bed with an empty, oh-so-loudly grumbling stomach.

Day 2 – Now I almost got used to it. The good thing is I started on a Friday so my second day was a Saturday and I slept nice and long. Longer than usual. Perhaps, I needed the energy as I had not eaten the day before. With me only waking up at around 11am (very late for me), I had enough juices to get me through the day without being hungry. In fact, the hunger never kicked in that day. I was outside a lot with my puppy and went a little shopping (mostly dog treats). In the late afternoon, though, my headache started. I had read that this is a normal side-effect of the body when it is going through a so-called detox. But maaaan.. I am not used to having headaches and I swear it was the longest and probably worst headache – even migraine – I have ever experienced. I kept drinking a lot, and I mean a loot, of water. The headache did not go away. I went to bed with my head spinning.

Day 3 – I woke with my head still spinning around. I hated it – I hated the detox and swore myself I would just go ahead and eat something. In my belief that my headache would go away once I ate, I ran into the kitchen and searched for food. For one, I did not have a lot at home. Secondly, it all seemed rather unhealthy – especially to the clean days I had just experienced. My ego was too big. I did not want to throw it all away and decided to continue. The headaches really did almost kill me that day but I managed to survive and barely moved around that day.

Day 4 – Monday it is. I decided to continue again. The day went by pretty alright and work kept me going and my mind off food. Then, in the afternoon, I got a request for a lunch meeting the next day. Of course, that would mean I would fail on the last day. Then again, it was a meeting request I could not really say no to. Business is always a priority during week days. So I said yes. And boy, I was excited to eat the next day.

Day 5 – I started my day with two juices in a row. That would keep me satisfied up until lunch. Knowing I was able to eat again, the juices suddenly tasted so much better and I was almost sad to break my juice detox on the last day. Lunch came around and you could not believe how happy I was. Happy as a little child when I ordered my tartar with vegetables!

So my juice detox ended right then and there. I had a few juices left so I kept them in the fridge for the upcoming morning. Looking back at it, I guess I could have finished that last day. Perhaps – but I do not regret my lunch. at. all. The cleanse was meant to – well as per the name – clean out my body, my system. I had the feeling it did – sort of. I did loose around 1.5kg – but, for 4.5days I guess that is not much. Either way, it was probably only water and of course that is not the reason one should do a cleanse. It is, however, a great kick-start to starting off to a healthy food routine. Would I do it again? Not sure. I guess, yes I would. However, I would prefer it on days were I have off and sleep in every day. Also, I would go with the 3 days cleanse next time and get used to it slowly.

Do you guys have experience with detoxes – do you have a favourite? Let me know, I would love to hear about it! xo

Freshly pressed juices to-go & a boost of vitamins

Good morning and happy October already! Time flies so fast I am struggling to keep up with it. How did we manage to get into autumn so quickly already? It’s getting colder by the day I feel and I am ready to take out my winter jackets soon. With the cold approaching rapidly, I have the feeling my body is in extra need of vitamins and all things healthy a little more than usual. I notice my skin looking duller by the day – and I ain’t liking it at all. So I decided to start  my mornings these days with an extra boost of healthy fruits and mostly vegetable juices and get in those greatly needed vitamins.

Yesterday I spent almost an hour in the kitchen only to grind through those vegetables and fruit into the juicer. And I am proud to say I am rather satisfied with the outcome – the colors of the different juices are just as I had hoped they would be. A grassy-green that makes you feel healthy by looking at it (includes mostly apples, cucumber, spinach, one orange and ginger), a wake-you-up orange (consisting mostly of oranges, carrots, ginger and apple) and a deep-loving-red (made up of oranges, carrots, apples, ginger and beet root).

I am also thinking about doing a few days of juices only and find this a great way to getting used to the tastes already. I have never really done a full juice cleanse and thought that now with autumn having kicked in and winter approaching, this may be a good time to clean up inside of myself after this wonderful summer and lots of glasses of wine. I will, probably though, order juices, as making freshly pressed juices on the daily really is a bit time consuming (don’t forget buying the groceries first). Do any of you have experiences with juice cleanses and are there any you can recommend?

With that I am wishing everyone a great Monday and kick-start into the new week! xo