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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Guaca Everywhere

You might have noticed that I love using avocado whenever I have the possibility. Be it as a substitute for butter, smashed on a piece of toast or simply in form of a good guacamole – you cannot go wrong with avocado. Imagine one would be allergic – is that even possible? I think it would be my nightmare come true. Either way; as you might remember I had a dinner with a few girls at my place a couple of weeks ago (before I started my travels). Speaking of travels – it feels so good being back at home with the loved ones!

For one of the starters I had made these eggs filled with guacamole. Simple, tasty, quick in the making – and super cute! For 8 halves you (obviously) need 4 eggs, round about one medium sized avocado, some salt, pepper, lemon juice, hot paprika pulver and perhaps a little onion. Once you have boiled the eggs and let them cool off, carefully cut them in half and take out the egg yolk. Add the yolk with the mashed avocado, add a little pepper, salt, the juice of half a lemon, and if you like, a small onion (cut into small pieces). Mash up the whole thing and add whatever ingredient you feel is needed to making it taste as good as you can. Carefully fill the egg-white halves and sprinkle a little paprika pulver on top – eh voila; off you go and present it to your guests.

I love making this little treat as a snack on the side or even as a topper for a good green salad. Nevertheless, don’t underestimate the power of an egg-avocado guacamole – it is SO filling. My friends and I snacked on these together with the homemade sweet potatoe and pumpkin/hokkaido chips (recipe here) and were basically full. Going over to the main meal was already a heavy task given we were so full – and we actually never made it to the dessert (which got eaten a day later). I’ll present the two courses to you shortly, too – and will also post a couple more footage from my trip.

Today and tomorrow is mostly office and admin work. There is so much to catch up on and so many emails to go through. Thursday I’ll be leaving to Geneva for a night, enjoying a lovely (business) dinner event and going to some meetings. I love these kinds of dinners – they have them every couple of weeks in different cities – and they are absolutely great for networking within the industry. I may have time to write another post on the train so do stay tuned!

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Cloud Bread Breakfast

Breakfast. Who doesn’t love breakfast’ Now, I am not talking about needing it. I totally have my phases – swinging from not being able to live without my breakfast to not wanting to eat at all before lunch (and living on coffee and hot lemon water before). Since a few weeks now, though, I literally need breakfast again to function. It seems that every time the summer ends and the colder, darker days near, I need my vitamins and protein right after waking up. I usually have a chia-pudding during the week. It’s easy, its prepared and done for me to indulge in when waking up and the preparation the night before takes no more than 5 minutes. I usually add some frozen raspberries into it and flavor it either with cinnamon, vanilla or some cacao. I then quickly cut up another fresh fruit in the morning and am ready to eat – or take my breakfast to the office.

Then come the days where I really want to sit down – enjoy every bite, and probably, just enjoy life. These days usually come around on the weekend; Sundays to be precise. I have now made it my little Sunday ritual to sit down and enjoy every bite or spoon of whatever my breakfast is made up of. Lately I have been making cloud breads and eating them with a mix of fresh avocado spreading, home-made jam (such as this pumpkin-apple-cinnamon one), or simple cream cheese (lactose free) topped with some berries. Seriously, there is probably no combination that does not work with these fluffy little pieces. I might try Nutella next! I haven’t had Nutella in f o r e v e r – and now that I am writing about it, I really am craving it. Damnit!

What I was getting at: the cloud bread. It’s so simple. I know I say the same thing every time, but it really is. It needs 5 ingredients, 10 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to bake and a split-second to love them.

What you need

3 eggs
3 tablespoons of cream cheese (lactose free, if needed)
1 tablespoon of agave syrup (or honey, if you like)
a hint of cinnamon (around ½ – 1 teaspoon)
½ teaspoon baking powder (gluten free, if needed)

What to do

1) Pre-heat the oven to 150°C
2) Separate the egg whites from the yellow and place them in two different bowls
3) Add the cream cheese, cinnamon, baking powder, and agave syrup to the egg yellow and mix it well
4) Now whip up the egg-white until stiff
5)Once the egg-white is ready, add it to the egg-yellow mixture and carefully mix everything together
6) Using the mixed dough, you want to make around fist-sized circles on the baking sheet (usually 3 tablespoons). Make sure to leave some space between the different “circles” as they will spread a little bit in the oven. The mixture should allow you to make 6-7 cloud-breads – but depending on the size, you might up with more or less.
7) Place the dough into the oven and bake for around 15 minutes – keep an eye on them; they should become fluffy and turn into a golden, slightly brown color.
8) Once done, you can take them out and let them cool off for a couple of minutes

The best part, and one that I really can’t get over yet, is that it is really quite healthy – compared to real “bread”. Not being able to eat gluten I try to stay away from all breads. I know there are several gluten-free breads out there, and there are super many recipes (which I actually want to try out). But because I do need to watch my figure a little bit – to not explode – I do try to keep the empty carb-intake low. I admit it. So this “cloud” bread is perfect. It simply has no carbs and, instead fuels the body with tons of proteins already in the morning. Alright, the Nutella probably won’t be the healthiest option if I try – yet, it could be worse! I am also thinking on making my own chocolate-spread. I always prefer having home-made options. They are usually healthier, surely have no additives that are unknown and often test so much better than the supermarket product. Now, I wish you all a yummy-cloud-breakfast and let me know what you think of it!

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