Easy & Healthy Vegetable Soup

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Since I started my new “get healthy” programme, I have not changed my diet drastically. Our meals were already homemade and relatively healthy. I have, however, cut down on the extra items that had slowly crept into our diet; dessert after dinner, treats on the train, ice cream on hot days, fresh bread every day, etc.

I have a few dishes that I regularly cook for dinner and a variation of this soup is one of them. It’s spicy and tangy and you can basically add anything you like. You can keep it veggie or add some chopped pancetta or ham for more protein.

xx BHF

<recipe after the jump>

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Simple & Delicious Raspberry Lemonade Popsicles

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I found these gorgeous Sorrento lemons at Coop the other day. I couldn’t resist buying three, even though they were much pricier than the smaller lemons on offer. I added them to a white ceramic bowl that came with the apartment, which made a pretty “summery” centrepiece.

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Martin doesn’t understand my obsession with flowers and candles and fruit centrepieces, but, to me, they are a relatively cheap and simple way to add something special and pretty to the apartment. As it came furnished, there’s not much room left to add our my own style. I did bring over some framed photographs from the house in London as well as our throw pillows and bed sheets, but all of the larger items were chosen by our landlord.

After a few days on the table, Martin asked me if I had any plans for lemons. I didn’t really, but then I remembered that I had some plastic popsicle molds and decided to search online for a simple lemon popsicle recipe. It didn’t take long to find one that was simple and contained only a few ingredients which I already had in the apartment. The original recipe that I used only contained lemons, but I had a bag of frozen raspberries in the freezer, so added a few of these to each mold to add some extra flavour and colouring.

The recipe makes 6 popsicles, but I only have 4 molds, so I used the leftover juice to make Martin and I a glass of raspberry lemonade. The popsicle mixture is quite sweet so for the drinks I cut it with 50% water, with lots of ice and frozen raspberries. Martin approved. We tried the popsicles last night and they were really delicious and refreshing. The recipe contains a lot of sugar, so they’re not something I’ll make on a regular basis, maybe just when I have some centrepieces to use up.

xx BHF

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{recipe after the jump}

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Banana Walnut Cupcakes with Cinnamon & Cream Cheese Frosting

banana cupcakesThis past weekend the sun finally came out to play, yay! It was a nice break from the last couple of weeks which offered up mainly clouds, and rain and heavy showers.

On Saturday Martin and I trekked out to Lidl for some cheap(er) food supplies and then walked into town for drinks and dinner. Sunday was shaping up to be a lazy catch-up day until we were invited to our friends’ house for an impromptu BBQ. Martin went into town to pick up some beers and I decided to whip up some mini-cupcakes to bring with us.

I already had all of the supplies needed for banana cake, so I used my mom’s banana bread recipe for the cake and topped them with a cinnamon and cream cheese frosting.

They went down a treat and I even had enough to bring into my German class the next day.

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{recipe after the jump}

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Mom’s Easy Peasy Pizza Dough

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Homemade pizza is one of my favourite things to make on the weekend. There’s just something about a homemade pizza that feels so special. Maybe it’s because making the dough involves getting your hands dirty and some physical exertion. Whatever it is, I love it!

I call this “mom’s pizza dough”, but I believe she got it from a homemaking magazine. When Martin and I got married almost 3 years ago, one of the gifts from my mom was a book full of her favourite recipes, which included the recipe for this quick and easy pizza dough.

Once the dough is ready you can choose any toppings you like. I went with ham, onions and mushrooms, sprinkled with mozzarella and some freshly chopped rosemary.

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This pizza was particularly delicious. I also did a second pizza with fresh mozzarella, garlic and basil. For an extra kick, sprinkle with some chili infused olive oil. We used chili, lemon and herb infused olive oil purchased during our family holiday in Sorrento, Italy.

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{recipe after the jump}

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La vie en Suisse: Horse Meat

026Writing a post for every day of the week is a nice challenge and one I am committed to sticking to, but sometimes coming up with new content is difficult. On the days when I don’t have anything else planned, I thought it would be interesting to write about something that is very specific to my new life in Switzerland. The series will be called “La vie en Suisse” (because it sounds much nicer than “Leben in der Schweiz”).

Today I’d like to talk about Pferdefleisch, or viande de cheval or horse meat.

I was living in London when the UK horse meat scandal became breaking news in 2013. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t that worried, and I didn’t quite understand the mass hysteria surrounding the story. I did understand that it raised massive concerns regarding the traceability of meat found on store shelves as well as concerns about mislabelling and risk of harmful ingredients (i.e. the presence of certain veterinarian drugs usually banned in animals reared for food). But in terms of my beef having a bit of horse in it, I was like, meh, what’s the big deal?

I’ve eaten some strange things in my 31 years. Pigs feet (in my mom’s Italian cabbage and pork stew or minestra). I love liver and I’ve tried  BBQ’d chicken hearts on a skewer in Thailand. I’ve eaten alligator and jellyfish and sea cucumber, oh and a deep fried mealworm. So horse meat didn’t seem that weird/gross to me. I would find it difficult to knowingly eat a dog or cat, though. I say “knowingly” because I’ve had some interesting mystery meat while traveling.

I was surprised, though, to see that the grocery stores in Switzerland* sell horse meat, alongside the regular chicken, pork and beef. It’s much cheaper than beef and appears to be a lot leaner. I’ve joked with Martin that I will secretly serve it to him one of these days, but for the life of me I can’t think of what to cook it with? Maybe a stew?

I picked up some “Horse Chips” to test out the flavour and they basically taste exactly like beef. I do find it difficult to not picture a horse when eating them though. Images of “Rimrock”, my trusty steed from my Flying U Ranch holiday 7 years ago, keep popping up in my head. I’m sorry Rimrock, but your friend does taste mighty good!

What are your thoughts on horse meat? Yay or neeeeeigh?

ALSO!

Many thanks to foodessen for her Beautiful Blogger nomination. It is extremely appreciated and I’ll be looking into what I need to do next shortly.

xx BHF

*horse meat is sold in many other European and Asian countries around the world.