of vitamin bombs and tasty days in montréal

Hello hungry mouths! How’s your winter going so far (if you have any, after all)? Sleepy? After having returned from a short trip to the North American continent I am wide awake  (especially at night, thanks jet lag!) and I got some literally cool things coming up!

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Apart from showering you with some tips for the cold, yet tempting Canadian Montréal I have created, how else, another recipe – this time for an awesomely colorful vitamin bomb which will immediately sweeten and energize the grey and dark days we’re facing.

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So, the lucky young girl I am, I made use of my privilege as a flight attendant’s daughter once more and went a couple of time zones further west: to Montréal. After eight hour passed with two movies and a critical dissecting of the board-food (I love airplane-meals, always good for a surprise. Like, who ever would serve coffee cream alongside spaghetti with something like tomato sauce?!) Anyways. The weather conditions in the former “Ville Marie” were surprisingly mild and merciful when I arrived (“Oh you must be used to cold temperatures anyways, you’re Swiss!” – I am told by every Northern American who at least got as far as to distinguish Switzerland from Sweden, maybe.) but the Canadian skies decided to show me all they have up their sleeves on my second day: icy rain, snow, wind, and fog – simultaneously. Result: my flight home got cancelled and my stay prolonged. There is definitely worse places to be grounded indeed. I didn’t really feel like going outside, of course, but who cares about that in a city with 30 km underground labyrinth full of shops and restaurants?  So here is why I came up with three travel-advice-categories for the city at St-Lawrence River. Ville Marie, by the way, is also the name of the quarters I stayed at and they got a lot to offer. Let’s have a look at it!

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Montreal in merciful weather conditions

If you should happen to be blessed with nice or something-near-nice weather in Montreal: use it! Go to one of the awesome ice-skating places, there are plenty of them, for instance at the Old Port of Montreal. Also, there is no getting around, you have to walk up Mont Royal! Dress warm, maybe bring a slide, your ice skaters or your skis, whatever. The area is vast and the view stunning!

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Montreal in brisk weather conditions

Go for the Museum of Fine Arts! Really! I am not an art person for sure. I don’t really know much about it, nothing that goes beyond Monet, van Gogh and Picasso. And maybe that is one of the reasons why I went, sort of to calm my guilty conscience about my ignorance. Whatever, I was completely amazed by the extent and the range of pieces of art that were exhibited there. From Renaissance to contemporary artists, paintings, photography to chairs in all forms and colors they really had everything that might ever have been considered art by some soul in the world. I still do not know much more about arts but now I think that maybe that’s all it needs for you to enjoy it and find it fun.

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Montreal in hungry conditions: breakfast, lunch and dinner

It is my first dilemma when I come to a city I haven’t been to before: food. Everyone is a less bearable person when hungry, really. So I am always happy when people tell me where to eat. Straight forward. So I don’t waste time on that, getting ever more “hangry”.

If you can, and if you’re not on the “poutine” (fries with greasy sauces, seriously?!) side of eaters, go either for Rue St.Paul or for Rue Crescent (although I am sure there are other streets just as rich in treasures). They both offer neat shops, cafés and restaurants.

My personal favorites for a whole day of eating shall thus be presented here:

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For a light, fresh and healthy lunchMandy’s. Cute and bright interior. Great choice of salads and drinks!

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  • For a nasty dinner consisting of awesome homemade pasta: Wienstein and Gavin’s. Plus: they serve baguette with pesto before you order. So mean!
  • And last but not least: for the craving in between, go to the well-hidden, yet cool-chic Café Spoon and treat yourself with a matcha-latte with almond milk.

Now after having talked about food so much, I hope you still do have at least half an ear and an eye for what I created for you today. You should and I don’t want you to leave without it. For it is one more step towards getting healthy and sane through freezing days full of sneezing people, a pure vitamin bomb with potential to become a quick dessert, eye-catcher and (mostly) guiltless midnight snack, too:

blood-orange with honey and peppermint-cream, topped with roasted cinnamon-walnuts 

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ingredients:

  • 2 blood oranges in slices
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 handfuls of hashed fresh peppermint
  • cinnamon
  • 1 handful of walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon honey

preparation:

  • whip cream, then add peppermint and a pinch of cinnamon
  • roast walnuts with some cinnamon
  • put orange slices on a plate, top with honey, cream little cinnamon and some walnuts

So quick, so simple, so good!

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I wish you wonderful days of winter, eventually turning into mild and sunny days of spring (fingers crossed!).

Love, Florence

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It’s all about brunching – 3 awesome brunching recipes trying to keep up with Basel’s best brunching-place!

Hello again after a very long time of silence! What’s up, dear fellows? I got some pretty tempting food-stuff coming up today, hopefully not only capturing your attention, but also our taste buds!

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After weeks, months even, in my University’s library, tons of coffee and a lot whining I am finally back on track. I had my Bachelor’s exam in december and since then, I basically spend my days sleeping, cooking, brunching and looking for jobs, mostly in exactly this sequence and with unequal distribution of personal priorities. Now, to feel a little more useful doing all this, I decided to write a post on brunching. Okay, yes, it’s definitely not the most urgent thing to do in my life. But it is the most appealing one indeed, for: whoever does not love a colorful brunch with friends when every single one of them has nothing but time on their hands because they all belong to that lazy species of human beings called students?

So that is why this post includes (as the title already reveals, actually): an absolute must-go-brunching-place in my sweet Swiss hometown Basel plus a couple of recipes for the absolutely most yummy, healthy and easily prepared Brunch ever. Here we go!

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Lately, it was a cold and sunny sunday morning and I was cranky from all the Bachelor-preparation, I decided to go out brunching. That is my solution to everything: treat yourself. Especially when you actually do not have time for stuff like this. Do it all the more!

So, since then I love starting my days off with hanging in bed for ages and then getting up to have an extended (means: till dinnertime) brunch with lots of yummy food, friends, talks and laughter (especially since I gotta wait 6 weeks for my Bachelor-results, how nerve-racking is that?!). This new food-passion was triggered by a pretty little restaurant in one of my favourite Baselean areas (for its ever changing, colorful character): The Kleinbasel around Klybeckstrasse and Feldbergstrasse.

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La fourchette, the fork, it is called and its interior looks like a classy vintage furniture shop. They offer heartwarming dinner and every first sunday of the month there is a huge brunch. And let me tell you one thing: It is worth every cent. After three hours in the warmth of la fourchette and the icy winter winds of Basel hissing outside, I had devoured tons of spinach rolls, croissants, sesame-bread-buns, humus, frittata, cheese, chestnut-cake and chocolate-tart. To sum it up: I felt like a double as heavy , double as lazy and double as satisfied version of myself.

So it was sealed: I needed to become the queen of brunching. And my long way up there is what you get to see now. First of all, there a a couple of things that should not be missing at any good vegetarian brunch:

  1. homemade bread
  2. eggs
  3. fresh fruit
  4. homemade granola
  5. yoghurt
  6. fresh brewed coffee and tea

And that is what I present you with now, in a special and healthy, yet no more complicated version: a homemade flax-seed bread, a slow cooked omelet which needs no supervision, and the perfect homemade granola with an awesome yoghurt-mix. Have a look:

flax-seed braided bread with walnut oil

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ingredients:

  • 500 g spelt flour
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil (or any kind of oil you prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • 1,5 cups milk
  • 20 g fresh yeast

preparation:

  • mix flour, salt, sugar and flaxseeds
  • dissolve yeast in milk, add walnut oil
  • mix all ingredients, apart from the egg and knead well
  • cover with a warm and wet towel and let rise for 1,5 hours
  • preheat the oven to 180°C
  • divide dough in three, roll the parts between your hands an braid them
  • put on to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk on it
  • bake until golden-brown, about 30 minutes

slow-cooked omelet with feta, violet carrots and peppermint leaves

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ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 violet carrot
  • 1/4 feta cheese
  • 1 handful of peppermint leaves
  • olive oil

preparation:

  • preheat olive oil in a pan
  • with a potato peeler, peel off thin carrot stripes
  • mit eggs with milk, salt, and pepper
  • roast carrot stripes, then add egg-mix and turn down the heat to medium
  • add crumbled feta on top of the omelet, then put a lid on the pan and wait until egg thickens
  • top with peppermint and fresh carrot tripes and serve with bread and butter

homemade cinnamon granola (on berry-yoghurt with orange-flax-seed-oil)

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ingredients:

  • 500 g oatmeal
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 2 cups popped spelt
  • 1 cup pecan nuts
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup flax seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

yoghurt:

  • 2 cups frozen berries
  • 1 kg greek yoghurt
  • 4 tablespoons orange-flaxseed-oil (or any you like, I got mine at the health store and I love it!)

preparation:

  • preheat oven to 120°C
  • mix all ingredients and stir with your hands
  • spread mixture on 2 baking sheets
  • bake for about 40 minutes or until well-roasted and crunchy
  • for the berry-yoghurt

Now with these three recipes it is nearly impossible to fail any brunch-attempt. Also, they are easy to prepare ahead and allow you to be read for your guests and a cosy day in. Now I wish you an absolutely heartwarming winter-time with all your beloved ones. I myself am getting prepared for a trip to winter wonderland aka Québec next week. I hope to be back with lots of travel-and-food inspiration and chitchat for you guys! See you then!

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Lots of Love, xx Florence