A little throwback to our vacation in Switzerland and Italy, Summer 2016

As I was looking through my photos of last years vacation, I though it would be fun to show some of the things we ate while in Switzerland and Italy. Yes I do make pictures of our food, if it looks nice I’ll snap a pic;) And I am not the only one…

We went to Switzerland last summer to visit my family. It was a very special and important time for all of us. My father had to undergo a very dangerous heart operation in June, where they only gave him a 50/50 chance of survival. Feeling so blessed and still emotional that he survived, I can’t explain how it felt to see my dad end of July.

Usually we only eat out a few times, it is pretty expensive in Switzerland and we are able to cook and eat at “home”, that’s why I have only a few pictures to show.

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This was one of my kids plate. They (we) love Cordon-Bleu.

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My “Fitness” Plate , as they call it, this was salad with deep fried fish, okay the deep fried part is probably not so fitness related;), but I love how they make salads.

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Now this is a iconic meal you need to eat if you are ever going to Switzerland: “Rahmschnitzel”. So delicious!

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My kids and I love the “Kalbsbratwurst” (veal sausage), another traditional dish usually served with “Roesti” (Hashbrowns).

 

We also went on a little trip to Venice, Italy. We went by train, 6 hours. Venice is a very interesting and beautiful City.

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Bridge of Sighs

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Very cute side passages

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It was my kids first time in Italy so they really had their minds on trying an Italian pizza:) and gelato (ice cream), for what I was to late to take a picture from, lol.

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This was for one person-they had no sizes to choose from! Way to much, but delizioso!

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I had to have Gnocchi al pesto-this is one of my favorite dishes-so good!

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Cappucchino

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(Pizza)Bread Faces- so cool!

 

Back in Switzerland:

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Beatus Caves.

Following pictures are from the french speaking part of Switzerland. We stayed with my two brothers and families in a Chalet. That was lots of fun!

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I hope you enjoyed my little throwback!

Ursula

 

 

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Forest Berries Meringue Pie/Waldbeeren Meringue Kuchen

Happy weekend everyone!!

While growing up in Switzerland, we used to spend a lot of time in the forest. With family or with school. They have nicely looked after hiking trails. There is just something calming and peaceful about it. We would also often look for and find a lot of blueberries and strawberries! Now these are sweet memories:)

I’ve had a lot of raspberries and we are still picking some strawberries in our garden. We used to have blackberries but after getting hurt (scratched) a lot, we had enough and we dug the plant out…but I tell you that is a stubborn plant, it keeps on growing back…My brother in Switzerland has a thorn-less blackberry plant!!! That is the most amazing thing. Haven’t seen this here so far.

For this berry pie I used a mix of what I like to call forest berries (Waldbeeren): blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Deliciously melt in your mouth meringue filling! Totally worth trying out! Feel free to use your favorite pie crust recipe.

 

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Forest Berries Meringue Pie

Pie crust:

  • 200 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 g butter, cold, cut into very small pieces
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 lemon, zest
  • 1 egg

-Mix together flour and salt, add butter and with a pastry blender or your hands mix until crumbly.

-Add lemon zest, honey and egg. Knead only until it holds together. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 375F/190C

-Grease a 9-inch pie form. Roll out dough to fit form. Prick dough with a fork. For blind baking I cover bottom with parchment paper, then as a weight I pour some legumes like dry chickpeas over paper. Bake for about 10 minutes then remove paper with legumes and lower oven temperature to 350F/180C and finish bake until golden brown.

Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 150 g sugar (I used honey)
  • 500 g berries of your choice (I used blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

-Beat egg whites with salt until peaks form, add half of the sugar, beat until shiny then add rest of sugar until stiff.

-Mix half of the meringue with the berries. Fill into baked pie crust. Then top with remaining meringue.

-Bake in 375F/190C oven for a few minutes until golden brown.

 

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Hiking in the Swiss Alps 2016

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Enjoy!

Wishing you all a happy weekend!

Ursula

 

 

 

 

You can find me on Instagram: @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

Canada Day Baked Maple Custard Doughnuts

Happy 150th Birthday Canada, July 1st 2017!!

I was thinking of what kind of desserts are very typical to Canada. Each province and territory has its own specialty. From Nanaimo Bars, Saskatoon Berry Pie, Butter Tarts, Apple Pie, Tarte au Sucre, Wild Blueberry Pie, Beaver Tail (like Elephant ears), and many more. Anything with Maple Syrup comes into my mind of course!! A very popular Canadian Coffee Chain has these Maple Boston Doughnuts and these the are my favorites. I have not had a doughnut in years…really. But I’ve made baked jelly donuts or as we call them in Switzerland, “Berliner”. Of course a doughnut should be fried, but these taste really soft and yummy, are easy to make and are a little on the lighter side that way;)

My son was helping me forming the doughnuts. He is slowly getting better, but he is starting to get a bit bored, so this was something for him to do. You can form the donuts as big as you like, from doughnut hole shape to regular doughnut size. The dough, custard and glaze are sweetened/made with maple syrup to really get into the maple goodness, or Canadian spirit:)

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Baked Maple Custard Doughnuts

 

Coconut Custard

Find the recipe here: Coconut Custard mini tarts with mixed berries

-You can use any non-dairy or regular milk for this recipe

-Sweetened with 1/3 cup of maple syrup

-Do not forget to make the custard ahead. It needs time to cool and set.

Dough

  • 200 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp dry instant yeast
  • 50 g butter
  • 125 ml milk

-40 g butter melted

-Mix together flour, salt and yeast, add maple syrup.

-In a small saucepan mix together milk and butter and over low heat let the butter melt. Add to dry ingredients and mix well, then start kneading dough until forms a soft ball. Place back in bowl and cover with plastic wrap, let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.

-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

-Form dough into desired doughnut shapes,  place onto sheet, cover and let rise again for about 30-45 min.

-Brush doughnuts with melted butter. Bake in preheated 350/180C oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Maple glaze

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp butter

-In a small saucepan mix maple syrup and butter together, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let cook until thickens while stirring constantly.

-Dip or brush warm donuts with the maple glaze (as much as you like)

 

-I filled the warm doughnuts first, then glazed. Works well with a small round pastry tip.

-These taste best when freshly made!

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Enjoy!

Happy Canada Day!

Ursula

 

 

 

Follow me on Instagram: @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bee Sting Cake/Bienenstich

Hi there, I am finally back! I’ve had a wonderful trip to Switzerland-visiting my family, I really really enjoyed it:)

I thought you might like to see some photos I took:

 

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Lake Thun

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Eiger, Moench, Jungfraujoch

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Beatenbucht, Lake Thun

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Schloss/Castle Schoenau

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Spitzbub Cookie

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Nussgipfel

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Bienenstich/Bee Sting Cake

Seeing all the yummy stuff over there, I thought of making Bienenstich, Bee Sting Cake. A famous German Cake.

 

Bienenstich

Yeast Dough

  • 250 g all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 50 g soft butter
  • 1 tbsp quick instant yeast
  • 200 ml milk, warm
  • 1 egg

For the topping:

  • 50 g butter
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 100 g almond shavings

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 400 ml milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla pod

For the dough: In a bowl mix together flour, salt, sugar, add butter and mix well. Add Yeast, milk and egg. Knead dough well until smooth dough forms. Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size.

For the Almond topping: In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together butter, honey, milk and almonds until warm, remove from heat.

For the pastry cream: In a medium saucepan mix together, and bring the milk, corn starch, sugar, egg and vanilla pod to a boil, while whisking. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl, cover with a plastic wrap touching the cream to prevent a “skin” forming on top. Let cool down a bit then put in the fridge until set.

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C. You can use a round cake pan or a square pan.  Line with parchment paper.

-Roll out dough to fit the pan, let rise again. Cover with almond topping and bake for about 30 minutes. Let cool completely.

-Cut cake in half. Spread pastry cream on bottom then cover with top. Cut in desired slices. Store in Refrigerator.

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Enjoy!

Ursula

 

 

Follow me on Instagram: #littleswisslittlecanadian

Lemon Easter “Egg” Cookies

Happy weekend everyone!

After an other taste of spring weather craziness, we are hopefully done with snow until next winter! I am really looking forward to warmer temperatures and some more spring flowers blooming in our garden, for now only crocuses are blooming.

I found these fun “egg” cookies on the chefkoch.de website and just had to give it a try!!

These are so cute:) I really like the lemon curd filling that I found on texanerin.com, it is so refreshing! You could also fill these with apricot jelly.

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My kids are maybe a little to old now for Easter egg hunt and such, but we are never to old for some little treats;)

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Makes about 5 big and 10 small cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters.

 

Lemon Easter Egg Cookies 

  • 150 g butter, soft
  • 1 tsp organic lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 75 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 150 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 75 g cornstarch

-Whisk together butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and lemon zest. Add flour, cornstarch, milk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

 

Lemon Curd (Paleo) 

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil or unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup+1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

-Mix together eggs, honey and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat stirring constantly until it thickens, about 5-10 minutes.

-Strain and let cool completely. Store in airtight container (I used a mason jar) in the fridge for up to 1 week.

 

-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

-Roll out the dough 2-3 mm thick, they will rise a bit. Cut out a even amount of egg shape cookies. I had one left over which I baked just like that and then was gobbled up by my daughter for “testing” of course:) Half of the cookies need a small hole, you can do that by taking a small circle cookie cutter or the round part of a piping tip.

-Bake in a 200C/390F preheated oven for about 11 minutes or light brown. Let cool completely.

-Spread lemon curd on half of the cookies. Dust the cookies with the hole with icing sugar or a cookie icing (lemon juice and icing sugar mixed together). Place two cookies together. Store in fridge.

 

–I used 1/4 cup honey for the dough instead the icing sugar–

 

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Enjoy!

 

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Thank you so much for 200 followers!!! It was amazing to get to know so many amazing bloggers and looking forward to many more:)

 

You can find me on Instagram #littleswisslittlecanadian

 

Ursula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Squares (Studentenschnitten)

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!!

It can be very tricky to translate a German word/sentence, because if you do translate word by word it often does not make any sense. This cake is called Studentenschnitten, which means student slice. This does not sound so great, therefore I will call it simply, Chocolate Squares. You can buy it ready made in Switzerland, and that is what my Mother and everyone else I know used to do-we never made it ourselves…

This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover Christmas cookies and chocolate. I used a simple recipe from a Swiss chef, Annemarie Wildeisen. The base crust, which is similar to a pie crust, is from my Tiptopf cookbook. (She is using a store bought dough)

 

Chocolate Squares

 

Base crust (Pie crust):

  • 150g flour
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 90g butter, cold
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg

-Mix together flour and salt. Add butter and with a fork or pastry blender mix until it resembles fine crumbs.

-Add whisked egg and mix dough only until it holds together. Wrap in plastic foil and chill for 30 minutes.

 

Filling:

  • 300g cookies, finely ground
  • 6 eggs
  • 175g sugar
  • 100g bittersweet chocolate or milk chocolate
  • 175g butter
  • 100g flour
  • 150g hazelnuts or almonds, ground

 

Chocolate Icing:

  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 40g butter
  • 3tbsp icing sugar

 

-Whisk together eggs and sugar. In a double boiler melt together chocolate and butter, add to egg mix.

-Combine flour, nuts and cookie crumbs. Add slowly to wet ingredients.

-Roll out base crust to fit into a 30cm square or round pan.

-Cover with the filling. Bake in a 350F/180C oven for 40-50 minutes.

-In a double boiler melt dark chocolate, add butter. Sift the icing sugar and mix well. Spread onto the cooled cake.

-Cut into squares.

(You could spread some Strawberry jelly onto the cake first, and then add the chocolate icing)

Can be kept in refrigerator for 3-4 days

 

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Love, Peace and Happiness!!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Marinated Oranges with Meringue topping

After all the holiday meals this dessert is light and refreshing. Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, that is for sure useful during the cold winter month. The meringue reminds me of the beautiful mountains in Switzerland. I grew up surrounded by hills and on sunny days you could see the mountains in the distance. We spend many vacations renting a Chalet in the mountains and hiking every day in a still almost untouched surrounding. Whenever we visit my family, I soak in all that beauty, and make lots of pictures too:)

Here in Canada we have the beautiful Rocky Mountains but they are far away from Ontario where we live. The landscape here is pretty flat.

Marinating the oranges gives it a special touch, but it also tastes great without alcohol. I dusted the meringue with a little bit of icing sugar to mimic the snow covered mountain tops;)

 

 

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Marinated Oranges with Meringue topping

  • 3 Oranges; blood oranges, Grapefruit…
  • 2 Mandarins
  • 100ml Orangejuice
  • 2tbsp Cointreau, Rum, Schnapps…
  • 4 eggwhites
  • 1pinch of salt
  • 3tbsp honey, or sugar
  • 1tsp orange zest

 

-Cut oranges and mandarins in thin slices, remove white skin. Layer in a baking dish and cover with the alcohol and orangejuice. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

-In a medium bowl whip eggwhites with the salt until soft peaks form then add honey and whip until stiff and shiny. Add orange zest and fold it gently under the eggwhites. Cover the fruit with the egg mixture and bake immediatly in a 200C preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

-Dust with some icing sugar and serve warm.

 

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Enjoy!