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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Champagne is ALWAYS the answer

What better way is there to enjoy a warm Summer’s evening than with a delicious salad and a refreshing glass of Champagne? Transfer this scenario to the actual Champagne region in France. Now we are talking! This past weekend I was lucky enough to take part in such a road trip to this specific region and oh my was it amazing. Cycling through vineyards around Épernay with the most beautiful views, beginning the day with bubblies, exploring Champagne cellars, ending the day with bubblies, what more does one need for a Saturday? For all of you haven’t managed to make a brief escape in this direction: plan it and add it to your bucket list. Once you do go, don’t fill your car with too much of the golden bubbly goodness, as it’s cellar life is only 3 years after sale. So, if you have a lonely bottle at home sitting in the corner waiting for that special occasion, which you bought just under 3 years ago, it’s high time to invent that special occasion and indulge! And if I live in your proximity, don’t forget to invite me.

Below you will find a salad which, in my eyes, is a perfect accompaniment for a glass of your favourite Champagne. Apologies for the picture, it does not do the dish justice at all.

Proscuitto, Basil, Mozzarella and Fig Salad

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Quarkcake with Red Currants

There is a river running right through the middle of my city which essentially turns into a public swimming pool as soon as summer hits the town. If you cross the bridge around 6pm, there will be little heads bobbing about in the water as far as you can see, with the famous “schwimm-fisch” (waterproof swimming bags shaped like fish) in tow, enjoying their after-work cool down. To complete the Rhine experience, one must then lay out and tan, have a beer and a legendary burger sold at one of the little bars set up along the river. Pure bliss. And now for today’s recipe: this is a simple delicious summer dessert which I  had once roughly 2 years ago at a friend’s place. I managed to sneak the recipe out of the kitchen, but since then I have always missed the red currant season … until now! I got sooo excited when I went shopping and saw red currants and this is what happened.

Quarkcake with Red Currants

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