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

Welcoming my first puppy; Zaphira

First things first: Happy September! Jee – time passes unrealistically fast these days..!

Now, I finally took that one step I have been thinking about for too long – I finally bought a puppy. Welcome home, Zaphira. I picked up Zaphira on Wednesday in Berlin – flying back and forth for one day to picking up this little piece of love. You may have noticed that I am obsessed with dogs and couldn’t wait to get my own. Finally, it has happened. It still feels so unreal when I wake up and have this little lovebug looking into my eyes and wanting to cuddle first thing in the morning. The breeder asked me to choose a name starting with Z – so Zaphira it became. I wanted a name that is not so popular, not so much known, and rather elegant in its nature. She is an Italian Greyhound (which I find elegant in their own nature), 10 weeks old, and honestly the cutest thing on earth. Yet, she is a little chewing devil. The minute she is awake after taking a nap I cannot leave her out of my sight without having to worry she will release herself on the carpet (still need to practice) or chew on something other than her toys. But who can be mad at such a sweet little angel? I can’t! Yet, being „strict“ is especially important in the beginning to teach her everything. What are your tips and tricks on teaching the puppy to pee outside and stop chewing everything they see? I would love to hear from anyone with a dog and some puppy experience! xo

A New Haircut – Welcome to the Lob Family

I did it! I finally cut my hair a little more than usual – and it only took me two years of self-convincing. Not all too bad.

In all seriousness though, I always have to smile at how attached most of us women are to our hair. Cutting it from long (under boob length) to over the shoulder already seems like a huge step. And it was. Surprisingly, I felt quite at ease when walking out of the hairdresser. I guess that I have been planning this for so long, that now I was almost certain of exactly how it would look and no surprises came up. That is, you do have to trust the hairdresser – of course. Funnily enough, although a lot of people have asked me, I did nothing but cut my hair. The whole hairdresser visit took me around 45 minutes; including washing and hair drying it. I think that is the shortest time it ever took me. People have asked whether I have coloured my hair again – and although the light falls differently on the photos, there is no change in hair-color as such. Honestly,I have had some slight moments of doubt though, in the past days (I got it cut on the weekend). I either feel it is too short to do anything with it, or perhaps a little to long. I might need to thus wait a few weeks for it to grow just a tad more, or simply cut off another 5cm. I am very much leaning towards the second option. In addition: Is it just me or do I look more mature now? Surely feel like it, though!

What’s next? The week has started rather busy – then went a little quiet and is now fully blown packed again. Speaking of packed, I need to pack my little suitcase once more this tonight. Tomorrow afternoon I am off to Malta to see the family until Monday evening. I have decided to take a long weekend off – really need to catch up on some sleep and find a bit more me-time to work on my new projects. Speaking of – I most likely already told you that I have handed in my master thesis. Now is the time to relax and do nothing – you think? Of course not! I have already started something new that is utmost exciting to me, is done out of complete personal interest and is all about .. health! I will be telling you more on my next post. Lastly, there is another big, big, big thing happening mid next week and I am dying of excitement. It is something I have been wanting for all too long and now the time has finally arrived. Of course I will be showing you all about it – so stay tuned. If you cannot wait to seeing the news here, be sure to follow me on my other social media accounts! xo

Let’s talk about doing and not just trying for once

Welcome back! First things first: don’t try! Now, I always speak about believing in yourself and trying. In the end, if you don’t try, you won’t know your potential. So if I say don’t even try, it seems quite paradox, doesn’t it. Quite frankly, it does. Now, let me get deeper into the topic.

Of course, I am a big believer of chasing your dreams. Go for it! Don’t let time pass by and suddenly you wake up regretting that you did not “try” it. That is to say, speaking of trying in the past sounds so much better, doesn’t it? Still don’t get it? Let me try to explain.

I am a big believer in following your dreams and doing what you love most. My saying is and always will be: go for it! And these three simple words are all they are. There is no “try” in it. My personal opinion is that one should approach a new idea, an adventure, a task or whatever it is with the opinion and set of mind that one will achieve, will manage and will go for it. People that say they will try often don’t actually give their full potential. Understand what I am getting at?

I have heard it over and over again. I tried. I really did try. Ok, so basically your goal was to get rid of some extra pounds (classic, no?). Usually (trying to generalize), people that say I will lose 5 pounds will actually manage – no matter in what time frame. Those that say they will give it a try, usually are not putting in 100%. Think about it. Think about how you approach certain goals and how the mental strength changes from being unsure and potentially scared, to receiving adrenaline and believing in yourself a little more once you say (try sounding convinced!) YES I can do it and I will manage it.

To summarize: trying – when speaking about really having gone for something and (for whatever reason) failed – is of course normal and can happen. Yet, one should not use the phrase “I tried” as an excuse for not having achieved what was initially pursued. I understand this is often easier said than done, but I also believe that it’s a booster for once belief and mental strength. Now: dream, believe, schedule, work on it and win it! 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