***** TRANSITION *****

Well, it’s been AGES since I’ve written in this blog…  OVER A YEAR, to be exact.  😛  So it’s high time to pick it up again.

But now it’s time to turn an about-face and take it in a new direction…  as I’ve left Switzerland and moved back to Southern California.

Stay tuned as I give it a much-needed face lift!  😀

To be continued…

Taiwanese beef stew (紅燒牛肉)

I’ve been craving meat lately but haven’t really had time to cook anything properly.  By the time I get home from work or German class after work, it’s super late and I’m just wolfing down whatever I can get my hands on from the fridge and cupboard.

Taiwanese beef stew (紅燒牛肉)

Taiwanese beef stew (紅燒牛肉)

So this is where my slow cooker comes in!  I recall my mother telling me I could use the Taiwanese spice packets she gave me to stew some meat, so I decided to throw in some beef chunks into the slow cooker this morning before work, add a spice packet, top with some soy sauce, rice wine, and water…  and then let magic happen while I was slaving away at the office.  😉   Continue reading

Berry-Smash Muffins (Strawberry Muffins)

Berry-Smash Muffins (Strawberry Muffins)

Berry-Smash Muffins (Strawberry Muffins)

It’s a lazy Sunday evening.  After finishing two loads of laundry and my weekly Skype session with my mother, what’s a girl to do next?  I suppose I could have cleaned my apartment…  jumped on my exercise bike to get some exercise…  or done my German homework.  >.<

But instead of any of these things…  I decided to make some strawberry muffins.  😉   Continue reading

Four Ingredient Nutella Mug Cake

Yummy, gooey, fluffy Nutella cake (after I consumed about half the mug already)

Yummy, gooey, fluffy Nutella cake (after I consumed about half the mug already)

After making ratatouille and chicken noodle soup today, I was craving something sweet and decided to make another microwave mug cake.  After all, the last one was a cinch and quite yummy, so I decided to search for a Nutella version this time.  I found a recipe on Kirbie’s Cravings that only uses four ingredients, which looked simple enough.  She had a good point in saying that Nutella already has sugar and oil, so why add any additional amounts to the cake?

Well, I tried following the recipe to a T…  and it exploded in the microwave!  :O   Continue reading

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup for Two

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

I’ve been sick all weekend, so that means holing up indoors and stuffing my face with food.  I think the only productive thing I did all weekend was two loads of laundry today.  My YouTube music of choice today is The Rolling Stones.  It’s been interesting, because I never thought I liked rock, rhythm, and blues…  and now their music is kind of growing on me.  It must be my old age.  Or perhaps the fever is getting to my head.  😛

Actually, I don’t think I have a fever (not that I actually checked), because you know the old saying, Feed a cold, starve a fever?  Well, I’ve fed myself nonstop all week…  so I must have a cold, not a fever.  😉  In fact, my belly is so full now, it’s actually hurting.  But that’s another blog post.  (Stay tuned for dessert right after this.  ;))   Continue reading

Simple Ratatouille

Ratatouille up close

Ratatouille up close

I bought an organic eggplant the other day.  It was just so beautiful sitting in the produce section…  fat, plump, and purple…  I just couldn’t resist.  So I brought that baby home and then realized…  I’ve never cooked eggplant before!  I had no idea what to do with it.  :O

So…  scouring one of my favorite websites, Pinterest, I discovered that it could be used in ratatouille!  Awesome.  I liked the movie with the rat, so why not?  😉  In fact, I had never even heard of this dish until that movie…  so you never know what enlightening things you can learn from watching cartoons.  😉   Continue reading

Spaghetti with Ricotta and Walnut Pesto, Truffle oil, and Rucola

Pasta with Ricotta and Walnut Pesto, Truffle oil, and Rucola

Spaghetti with Ricotta and Walnut Pesto, Truffle oil, and Rucola

Just the other day, I was admiring all the pretty colors of fall–oranges, yellows, reds, browns–and I thought to myself, I should walk around town and take pics, à la my springtime blog post…  but suddenly–all the xmas decorations are up in the city, and it’s SNOWING!  :O  I guess winter came and smacked me in the face without me even realizing.

I guess I do realize it, because with the shorter days and colder weather inevitably comes the hacking, winter cough.  ACK ACK ACK…  it started off as a sore throat on Monday morning and then transmuted into a killer headache with a hacking cough for the rest of the week.  Now it’s Saturday night, and I’m miserable at home alone, not feeling well enough to go to my friend D-‘s goodbye party.  😥  Oh well.   Continue reading

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake--so light and fluffy!  :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake–so light and fluffy! 🙂

I’m on a roll today…  after making both Vegetarian pork sung sushi (素肉鬆壽司) and Paleo Slow Cooker Pot Roast, I was still craving a little sumthin’ sumthin’…  so I started browsing mug cakes online.  😉

I’ve looked at mug cake recipes before and have read some horror stories about how they come out soggy and undercooked–not like REAL cakes at all.  However, then I stumbled upon this little number from The Novice Chef:  Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake!  In her blog post, she describes how delicious this cake was–and the secret was NO EGG.  Interesting…   Continue reading

Paleo Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Paleo Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Paleo Slow Cooker Pot Roast

It’s cold in Switzerland now…  cold enough for me to switch back to Celsius on my smartphone.  >.<  I tried to convert to Celsius when I first moved here, but anything over 2 °C didn’t mean anything to me–I always had to convert back to Fahrenheit to figure out how to dress for the day–and then finally one day I just followed my American friend M-‘s advice and switched back to the Fahrenheit setting on my phone.

Since then, I know that if it’s 70 °F, then it’s nice and warm…  if it’s 60 °F, then I bring a light jacket with me…  if it’s 40 °F, the I wear a thicker jacket (and maybe a scarf)…  and if it dips below 35 °F, then it’s time to switch over to the Celsius setting and pull out my down coat.  😉   Continue reading

Vegetarian pork sung sushi (素肉鬆壽司)

Vegetarian pork sung sushi (素肉鬆壽司)

Vegetarian pork sung sushi (素肉鬆壽司)

Those that know me know that I like cute things.  Hence, my favorite Swiss word  Schnügel and my favorite Japanese word kawaii (かわいい).  Never mind my favorite Dutch word kansloos…  uh, that’s a whole ‘nother story…

Two weeks ago, I even learned a new variant of the Swiss word–Schnügi–so now I have even more ways to express cutie, cuddly things.  Yay!!  ^.^

So I suddenly got into my brain to make some onigiri, because I’ve seen so many of them in bento boxes out there with cute character faces.  However, a lot of the assembly techniques require specialized tools…  which I can’t readily get in Switzerland.  T_T

Continue reading