No-Wheat Pancakes

Breakfast might be my favorite meal and I might have told you this quite a few times before. Although during the week I don’t take as much time as I should for having breakfast (it normally consists of a home-made smoothie to-go), I take even more time than required on the weekends. If it weren’t for breakfast, I would probably get up even later. I barely ever sleep in for too long, but I can stay in bed for hours – especially on those rainy lazy sundays. In the end, that is what they are made for, no?

A couple of weeks ago I started reducing my wheat consumption and have basically drawn it down to zero now. Not that I don’t like it – I am the biggest bread and pasta lover – but I’ve it isn’t too good for me. Since I’ve stopped eating it, my mood has gotten brighter, my skin better and I feel all around healthier than before. I guess it’s true what they say: You are what you eat. Lucky for me, I can still eat my sugar (I love my macarons and sweet-bites) and have found great alternatives for flour.

This great pancake is one of my favorites and I make it almost every weekend once. The ingredients? Simple:

 – ½ cup of coconut flakes
– ¼ cup of almond flour
– 1 tablespoon of agave syrup
– 3 egg whites
– 1 teaspoon baking powder (no need, but it makes it fluffier)
– a hint of cinnamon 

I always start by beating the egg whites until they have a white, creamy texture and add the baking powder while beating. Add the coconut flakes, the almond flour, the syrup and the cinnamon. Voila – there goes the perfect pancake. I usually top it off with some fresh fruit but anything works really – be it jam, the famous Nutella or any other topping. Since I made the homemade almond butter (last post), I enjoy adding a hint on my pancake, as well.

 

IMG_3280

IMG_3281

IMG_3288

Homemade Almond Butter

Ever so often I read these amazing, supposedly healthy recipes, which have almond butter instead of normal butter added to it. Or even better, gras-fed butter. I’m sure there is a store somewhere out there in Zurich, where I can find almond butter – it might be even around the corner. To be fully honest though, I’m a) too lazy to look for it and b) it will probably cost a fortune because it is not a standard supermarket product. Then I thought, why not make almond butter myself? Easy said, easy done. Can you guess the main ingredient? Surely you can and yes, of course, it’s almonds. Really, all you need is almonds. If you want, you can add anything to it – be it cinnamon, sugar, honey, oil, chocolate or salt (the salt I really need to try next!).

All you need for this simple recipe is almonds (I used about 3 cups – around 550g), a food processor and most of all: patience. I had read the patience part before, when looking on how exactly to make this almond butter. Little did I know I have absolutely no patience when it comes to watching those almonds being stirred up. Again, all you need is the processor and the almonds – start with a good 2 handful of almonds to put in the processor. Depending on the size of it, you can add all I guess, though mine is not particularly large (from WMF – previously used to cut onions and herbs). The almonds will be shredded up within seconds, I can promise you that. Next you need to scrape down the almonds and start the processor again. Now do this again. And again. And again. And again. I bet now you understand were I’m getting at. It took me around 20-25 minutes. Be careful, if the food processor over-heats, you better give it some time to cool off.

After having to struggle with trying to be more patient, I finally got my almond butter after around a good 25 minutes. Done! Literally, not only was my butter done, but so was I. Done with my nerves for sure. The final outcome is, however, amazing. There is nothing to say about it. The texture becomes butter-like, quite creamy, almost liquid-y on top (from the oil that has been slashed out of the almonds). When almost done, I added one tablespoon of agave-syrup to sweeten it up a little. I suggest definitely trying it first though. I am happy with my result, though in the end think I would not have needed that spoon of agave.

I placed the almond-butter in this great jar and placed it in the fridge. I would guess you could keep it outside, though this way it stays good a few weeks. How long exactly, I cannot tell. I would suggest at least 6-8 weeks for sure. In the end, almonds do not get bad – such as eggs. In my kitchen, I can assure you it won’t last that long either way. Firstly, I will use it for baking as I have been looking into recipes and created my own ones and secondly, because you cannot imagine how great it tastes on pancakes! I’m sure you can guess how much I love pancakes. Well, now they are even better! Hope this recipe was some help to you – sorry for the major nonsense talking – and good luck with the patience!

IMG_3295

IMG_3301

IMG_3297

Sorry about the lightning – it was quite late when I decided to take pictures. One of those last-minute-but-I-must photos, before indulging in it. 

New Patent Leather Loafers

My love to black and gold in combination seems unstoppable. Now, how amazing are these new patent leather loafers I got myself from Zara? I’m a huge fan of loafers. Little do I own any ballerinas – I believe I do have 1 pair, actually. Ballerinas are too cute, too feminine – for my taste. I like adding a boy-ish look to my outfits, a boldfaced twist of some sort. This can be done with different materials, patterns, images, colors or what the piece represents in general (patent leather, leather in general, gold, or in my case feminine skulls such as my necklace out of gold).

I was actually in Zara to look at the last end of summer sales they had on stock. Guess what? I found nothing. As much as I love clothes and absorbing fashion in all possible ways, I am quite picky when it comes to actually buying the pieces. Instead, I was drawn to the new collection immediately – I found several pieces, I’m sure will land in my wardrobe with time. Not just at Zara’s, but several different stores. These loafers were actually quite well hidden somewhere on the bottom of a rack. Honestly, I barely look down – maybe I should more often! Only by chance did I see these beauties when I was about to leave the store. My luck, they had exactly one pair left in my size – or at least in store. Doesn’t that scream BUY ME, already? It surely seemed like it. To my favor, I really do not own that many shoes for that period of transition between seasons. That way it made perfectly sense to get a pair that would be easily combined with my wardrobe colors – as I mentioned before, almost all is black. At least that is the color I wear more often (yes, I know, it’s not a color officially).

Have you had a chance to look at the new collections in store, already? What’s your must-have from Zara (or any other store)? I’d love to hear all about it – maybe it’ll be something I would need with time, too. For now, happy Wednesday everyone!

IMG_3306

IMG_3307

IMG_3308

IMG_3313

IMG_3317

Dining at Amici Miei

Some people eat to live, even to survive. I would say I basically live to eat – seriously, eating is probably one of my biggest passions. Quite frankly, this might also explain my love for cooking and baking so much. In general, almost everything that has to do with the kitchen – I love. In my last post I told you I would show you the photos of the amazing dinner we had in Peschiera del Garda (Italy). Well, here they are – and looking at them makes me want to return as soon as possible.

Amici Miei (the restaurant) is one of those small restaurants up on the hill, away from all the tourists. Further away from tourist attractions often, and surely in this case, means amazing food at a fair price level. I could have bathed in the rosé, eat this tartar on a daily basis and have the steak on a regular. The portions were insanely large – the pasta was supposedly only a side dish! Cooking for myself, this would be a whole meal for me. Then again, I am aware of the fact that in Italy, pizza and pasta is really only seen as a side dish for most people. The amount of pasta they can eat seems impossible to me every time I visit this beautiful country. Of course I did not eat all of the below by myself – I would be rolling around by now! – but I had dinner with my father, whom I did the road trip with. Next to everything making my mouth water only thinking about it, the food was so well presented that it looked amazing simultaneously (surely gave me some inspiration for my next meals!)! For all those wanting to visit Peschiera del Garda, I can absolutely recommend this amazing little place! Have any of you been there before?

IMG_3163

IMG_3167

IMG_3168

IMG_3165

IMG_3174

IMG_3171

IMG_3173

IMG_3175

Peschiera del Garda

If there is one thing I never want to give up, it’s travelling to places I’ve never been too. Last weekend my father and I decided to do a roadtrip with the motorcycle, with no definite destination ahead of us. We knew we would start in Zurich, drive towards Innsbruck (Austria), head down to Italy towards the coast and eventually drive back up again- and so we did. After driving over the boarder down to Italy, going over the alps, the landscape got more beautiful with every kilometer we passed. Passing a little town up somewhere in the mountains, out of nowhere we saw an outlet for traditional German clothing. I immediately knew, that if they had a Dirndl (traditional dress you basically need for the Oktoberfest), I had to have one. Guess what? I got one – but that is another story, another post and another time I will report upon that.

Towards the evening we decided to head down to Peschiera del Garda. Now let me tell you – I completely fell in love! This little town all the way down at the south of the lake made me feel like I was in vacation, better yet: in heaven. It felt like I had left all pressure, all worries (not that I have many), all bad thoughts and all stress behind me. I was suddenly fully relaxed and it felt like I had needed it in forever. I was love-struck, to say at the least.

Peschiera del Garda is a relatively small town. We arrived in the evening just when the sun went down and all streetlights were turned on. It was a beautiful view, one that I am missing right this second whilst writing and thinking back to the weekend. Oh, how much I would do to be there again. That evening we also had the most delicious food, ever! You cannot imagine how much meat I ate, what an amazing Rosé I had, what a great experience it was and how little we spent on it. It was a recommendation by the hotel and it was worth every penny we spent. He had told us the place as if it was a secret and it surely was magical. The food was breathtakingly amazing. I will definitely post all about the food next time – trust me, the pictures are making me hungry the minute I looked over them.

You see that little bag further down on the photo? That little piece of paper with the words Gucci on them made me SO happy! I instantly felt like a child being fed with candy. Oh, I am so easily satisfied, it is almost embarrassing. But I did, I got a little something (I’m sure you can all guess what) and had to grin all night. Ever since I bought this beauty, I have been wearing it every single day.

Later that night we decided to up the hill and found an amazing bar that was placed outside. They had great background music on and I can tell you the glasses they served were HUGE. Huge is probably not even the right word, compared to what I am used to from Zurich, they were enormous – one glass surely made me happy and satisfied. Writing to you about the trip makes me almost sad now – I really wish I could go back! – and simultaneously so happy – I feel so blessed I was able to experience that little amazing town. I surely, definitely, to a hundred percent, will go back. The atmosphere was magical, the lake view breath taking, the weather amazing (we had around 29C at midnight) and the Gelato (oh, how I love ice-cream) was to bathe in.

Thinking back, I cannot wait for my next vacation! Until then, I wish you all a great continuing week – hey, it’s almost weekend!

IMG_3192

IMG_3191

IMG_3200

IMG_3202

IMG_3180

IMG_3182

IMG_3183

IMG_3177

IMG_3176

IMG_3239

IMG_3233

IMG_3253

IMG_3243

IMG_3257