Summer Salad with an Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

Currently, being the lucky one to have 7 night shifts in a row, *yay*, I have a dilemma (major first world problem) – when do I sleep? Summer has finally arrived, temperatures are rising, skirts and dresses are out on the town, tanning is part of the daily routine and afterwork drinks on a roof terasse are also a must. How am I meant to work at night, get enough sleep and still manage to soak up all of the sun needed to restore my probably depleted Vitamin D levels?? Let alone take part in exciting summer activities such as swimming, cycling, (golfing – don’t judge), BBQ-ing, ice-cream eating and day drinking. Red Bull has helped a bit, but if you have any tips on staying awake 24/7, 7 days in a row, let me know. And no, drugs are not an option.
Lucky for me it is possibly the last set of nights in 2016 as I am starting a new job in October – exciting, but also terrifying.
Anyways, the heat always manages to rob my appetit for warm food. Summer is a time for salads and fruits – so why not combine the two? The other evening I decided to use up some random fruity citrussy ingredients lying about in my fridge and came up with this. Satisfying, refreshing, delish. Perfect as a starter or main (if you add some oven baked/grilled salmon).

Summer Salad with an Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Strawberry Hazelnut Tart

HAPPY WEDNESDAY! And happy beginning of spring. It has finally arrived here; the riverbanks are full of very very white people enjoying the first few warm beams of sun.

In Switzerland, spring brings about the same discussion year after year: Strawberries. Suddenly supermarkets start selling them in the craziest amounts, as though they grow around the corner. The same questions arise every year: Where do they come from? Should we be supporting this terrible berry import business? Should we be buying fruits when they aren’t “in season”? Yes, this discussion even manages to steal the local newspaper’s headlines, year after year….. What I don’t understand is why we don’t object to having, let’s say, mango or papaya all year round. Now those fruits definitely don’t grow around the corner. Ever. Not even when they are “in season”. Having passion fruits all year round is fine as well, but dear god – importing strawberries – how dare we!!

Personally, I love strawberries. If the supermarket sells them and they taste of more than water, I will buy them. ALL OF THEM. With the following result: A tasty, light, spring-summer dessert or teatime treat. NOM.

Strawberry Hazelnut Tart

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adapted from bbcgoodfood

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Asian Marinated Salmon with Sesame Seeds and Glazed Pak Choi

I would like to apologise for the lack of posts. Main reason being: I moved into a new flat (yay!!) but didn’t manage to get my Internet installed for 3 whole weeks! Imagine a blogger without Internet for that time…. I almost went insane. Kidding. It wasn’t that bad. Quite freeing actually. On top of moving I also started a new job at the same time, which has admittedly been great but hahaha good-bye social life with having to get up at 5:30 on a daily basis.

Anyways back to today’s recipe: it is a delicious healthy summer alternative to your standard BBQ. Citrus fruits and fish just work. And add some asian veg on the side, voilà. Perfection! Ok, maybe not michelin star perfection, but medicalgourmet perfection 🙂

 

Asian Marinated Salmon with Sesame Seeds and Glazed Pak Choi

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Hazelnut Inspiration

So, as I previously mentioned, I have recently started taking one ingredient and basing a menu around it. Reasoning behind this new approach is an open house I attended one evening at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School. It was amazing and inspired me to up my game until I maybe one day decide to rob a bank of £30’000 for LCB’s educational fees. Until then I shall follow my own syllabus and teach myself the basics of classical cuisine. Today’s choice: Hazelnut. Why? NUTELLA, obviously! The best ever invented chocolate spread is based on hazelnuts. So….. anything made with hazelnuts must be good, right? With that in mind, I took a recipe from LCB for the main and once again attempted to be all master-chefy 🙂

P.S. For all you Nutella freaks – check this article out for inspiration on some crazy things you can do with Nutella. I’m tempted to try the Nutella, peanut butter and bacon sandwich….nom!

 

Sautéed Beef Fillet, Butternut Squash Purée and Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnut Vinaigrette

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taken from Le Cordon Bleu

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Pass the Parcel

How many epic birthday parties did you have as a child? They were the event of the year with endless cake, balloons, magicians, games and most importantly presents. Did your parents also go overboard with the motto: the more the merrier? Not only was the entire class usually invited, but also family friends with children of a similar age. Now calculate how many presents and cake that results in? A LOT! Aside from the obligatory goody bags, one of the best parts of these parties were the games: musical chairs, water balloons, the knife and fork chocolate game (secretly I actually want to play this again… maybe tipsy…. that might increase the entertainment factor), hopscotch, hide and seek, jump rope, capture the flag and pass the parcel. The latter was great. Despite the small probability of actually having the parcel in your hands when only one layer of wrapping paper was left between you and the prize, adrenalin was still pumping every time it was your turn to unwrap. Unwrapping parcels, presents and posted packages remains exciting to this day, even if you think you know what to find inside. I’m sure you have even all wrapped up a present for yourself and placed it under the Christmas tree at least once in your life…. or maybe that’s just my brother. But it proves the point. Things in parcels are exciting. So why not serve food in parcels as well? Not only is it a great way to develop the flavour while cooking, but it also almost always impresses the guests. Here is my latest attempt:

Salmon, Cranberry and Couscous Parcels with Caramelised Onions

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A Festive Dessert for the Greatest Season of the Year

Admittedly a tad delayed, but still timely, here is a list of a few favorite things which help make Christmas the best season of the year.

1. A great excuse to hold a party or two. With lots and lots of booze.
2. Christmas lights all over cities
3. An excuse to put a giant tree in your living room and decorate it (the smell is just amazing!! Fake trees are not the way to go).
4. Mulled wine. Nom.
5. Turkey and stuffing and trimmings and pudding and brandy butter.
6. MORE FOOD (and almost all of it seems to contain alcohol in some way or another).
7. Cookies
8. Gingerbread houses.
9. The spirit in the air: everyone is happy….. ok most people are happy.
10. Yet another reason to get presents (and of course buy some…not the season to be selfish)!
11. Christmas markets
12. Carol singing (definitely the only time of year I actually make it to church)
13. GLITTER
14. Lots and lots of family time…. probably not appreciated by everyone out there, in some cases 2 days a year are plenty.
15. SNOW
16. Mistletoe
17. Tasteless Christmas jumpers….. Primark seems to have been successful in this department

Why can’t it be Christmas all year round? We would possibly all be spoilt and overweight alcoholics by now if that were the case, but introducing a half Christmas in June doesn’t seem like such a bad idea:-).

Lebkuchen Mousse ala Robert Speth

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Hummingbird Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

One of the most beautiful combinations known to the baking world strikes again: take two on the chocolate and orange. Recently having moved to London, as a food lover, one explores all grocery stores, little cafes, restaurants and bakeries in the area. Surprised yet excited, I was happy to note that this combination has been commercialized over here. Who knew chocolate orange kit kats exist? Chocolate orange flavored smarties? Chocolate orange macarons in Fortnum & Mason? Who would think they’d stumble across chocolate orange cupcakes in every cupcake shop? Well done to the English for that, maybe you could spread your wisdom to the mainland europeans by the end of the year!

These cupcakes were inspired by a bag of mini jaffa cakes which had been sitting in the cupboard for quite a while. Initially I wanted to make vanilla cupcakes with an orange marmalade center “jaffa cake style”… but then I gave in. Luckily I changed my minds…the cupcakes were great!

Hummingbird Chocolate Orange Cupcakes 

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