Sunday, 7 April 2013

A Gluttonous Cat in the Kitchen.

Hello Cats !

This is quite a random sunday afternoon post. I have been "collecting" photos of most of the "amazing" creations we cook in kitchen class. Now some of those things look a bit peculiar but I put my hand in the fire (Maybe just an italian saying... uhm..) that everything tastes delicious. 
We make everything ourselves with the advice of our chef, most desserts though are already made aside from the one bakewell tart in March :)
I wish I did those month per month.. well I will do now for my last 2 months.
I must say that I thoroughly enjoy kitchen class and I was considering taking a culinary path here at school but honestly I can't see myself in the kitchen, I enjoy cooking yes, baking too but working in a kitchen full time.. hell no !
Let cooking stay a hobby !

Top Left: Risotto with spring green pesto, roasted vegetables and pine seeds, beef.
Top Right: Black Forest Gateaux.
Bottom Left: Tiramisu.
Bottom Right: Lamb stew, green beans and swiss rösti.

Top Left: Pangasius skewer on rice with vegetables.
Top Right: Pork roast stuffed with plums on cauliflower.
Bottom Left: Feta on salad with nuts with lemon truffle oil and fruit bread.
Bottom Right: Some meat (sorry..chicken?) on french fries, broccoli with mushroom gravy.

Top Left: Beef Stew on Rice Pilaf with peas and watercress.
Top Right: Beef on green beans with roasted tomato and mushroom cream sauce.
Bottom Left: Homemade bakewell tart with roasted almonds on warm custard
Bottom Right: Beef carpaccio with lemon oil, parmesan and watercress.

Hope you enjoyed this culinary intermezzo on my blog :) More to come soon.. well.. end of the month roughly. 
Since I'm on a culinary scholarship you might see some more food sooner than the end of April. Stay tuned.

Hugs & Kisses

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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Paris ~ La vie en rose 2013

Hello My Cats,

so here I am.. back.
Back from where, you might think. Well I spent last week in the most amazing city in the world.
From the very first moment I set foot in there I was back in love. Maybe I was literally seeing "La vie en rose" I saw art everywhere, I was speechless from seeing poems written in the metro, having big mosaics inside the stations, violin, trumpet and other instrument players playing to get some money, the style of the french.. just everything.
Paris. My home (someday).

Present from Edie.

It's my spring break tradition now... doing something twice makes it a tradition...right ?! 

I had the great luck and pleasure to stay at my friend Edie's flat, it's not the biggest nor the comfiest, nor the closest to the city centre but hey! free accommodation given in exchange of doing laundry and well I did food shopping and invited her for lunch and well.. my delightful presence is payment enough ;) jk

Walking behind them, was not fun.
I had a well set plan of things to do and see this week and I'm glad to say that I did most of them. I arrived on a saturday evening, quite late so that day was pretty much lost. Sunday I went on a solitary walk through Paris, heading to the Champs Elysees, which turned out to be quite a bad idea. A demonstration PRO-gay marriage was going on so several metros were blocked and the Champs were crowded like it's nobody's business. Hence why I headed back home quite early and spent the afternoon sitting on Edie's bed, watching "The Switch" (new fave movie) and several episodes of "Friends" while she was working, with a
classmate of hers, on a Chanel project. Edie's a fashion design student. Which might explain while I was sleeping next to balls of yarn and piles of different kinds of fabric.

On monday I went to Disneyland with the kind soul who back in November allowed me to see the backstage of Disneyland. He had an itinerary in mind by which one could fit as many attractions in one day as possible by switching up fast pass and queues. I guess it would have worked if many attractions weren't having "technical problems", half of the park was pretty much closed so we couldn't quite try out the system. 
When we went on space mountain, or tried to, we had quite an "adventure", not only the queue was rather long but the second it was our turn, we entered the wagon, a loud noise began and we had to
Train stuck in launch tunnel.
leave the train. Moments later 100 (slight exaggeration) cast members arrived, one of them in a mountain climbing harness and well few minutes later we had to evacuate the building. From the outside one could see that the previous train was stuck in the launching tunnel. To be quite honest.. I would have loved to be stuck there. I mean they were not upside down and they probably had to leave the train by going through a peculiar passage not everyone's allowed to see. 
Anyway we spent the rest of the day doing other attractions to pass the time until "Dreams!" was on. We saw the show with it's small variations so the addition of "The Lion King" and "Brave".. I must say that I liked the new bits. I'm a massive "Mary Poppins" fan so I was quite sad that they took it out but the new scenes are more lively and the music's much nicer especially the scottish music <3

Tuesday my mission was to sell my Canon 550D which I had been trying to sell for weeks now. I found a cash express shop, I must admit that I didn't get much for it but my parents were happy so.. I'm glad. Also.. with that money I can buy a new camera which on amazon is quite "cheap" so that's good. Aside from that I went to eat at "Chez Clement" with Edie, which is kind of our staple restaurant and maybe the only good thing I learnt during my disastrous Nanny experience in Paris.  
One of Henry Dargers art works.
In the afternoon I went, alone, the "The Museum of Everything", now the name is an overstatement but it was a great place, sadly the exhibition is over now, but it's a touring museum so if you have a chance, give it a go. I saw quite a few peculiar pieces but the one who caught my eye the most was the work of Henry Darger, sadly it was not allowed to take photos but if you are interested google "The story of the Vivian Girls". 
And in the afternoon I had scones and tea at another tea salon suggested by the lovely french blogger Valentine, called "A Priori Thé" it was quite a small place but the people there were super nice and the scones and tea were delicious. I called it a memorial for my uncle, I happened to have ordered his favourite tea "Orange Pekoe" which I never had before and he loved his scones like every normal britishmen.

Tea time at "A Priori Thé"
I spent Wednesday wandering around Paris, buying a few bits and bobs I had in mind, visiting tea salons I wrote down from somewhere and Starbucks became my second home. My 3G, although paid, wasn't working for the first 2-3 days so I needed wifi, also to figure out where my next destination was.
Thursday was a bit of an annoying day to be honest, I was due to meet Edie in a tea salon but because
her phone died and she couldn't charge it anyway, there was no way to get in touch with her so when I eventually met her, slightly pissed off I just dropped off the keys to her place and left to go to Val D'Europe, because I was already quite late.
I went to the Magic Circus to meet my ex colleagues, sadly I found no one at first. But after a long and nice conversation with one guy from Sixt I went in the back office to find my Manager and one of my favourite colleagues so.. day saved. In the evening then was the goodbye party for one of my ex colleagues, another favourite of mine. A lot of people came, we ate, danced salsa and just had a super merry time. Loved being around those people again. 

Friday started with an art exhibition at the Musée d'Orsay, which was for free because I passed as student from Edie's school... sure.. couldn't care less about fashion but why not if it's free.
It was called "The angel of the Odd" I wasn't much amazed by it, I liked the short films that they showed there, which were quite creepy or.. well.. Odd. I was super happy when I found out the title of a scene that I knew and had been searching for years. It's called "Un chien andalou" here is the video.. it's not really for the faint hearted but I find it mesmerising. Sorry for the crappy quality, blame youtube.

In the evening I finally met Laura, an au-pair girl I was supposed to meet 2 years ago and last year but we never got round to it so yea we finally met and I'm super glad. I had a great evening with people I didn't know before.. the rest is history.

Thanks to the barista for the smiley,
my mood improved slightly before
leaving Paris.
As always I was shattered when I had to leave, knowing what's expecting me back in Switzerland. What I found comforting (kind of) was a girl that I met friday evening, I only introduced myself to her and after a short conversation she started counting how many months were left until I would be moving to Paris, which I found quite adorable. I'm willing to do things the way I did them back in June 2012, graduate and leave for Paris the day after. 

If things go the way I planned them, which so far is the case (almost), I should be back in Paris in July for Bastille Day, would be amazing to actually live it and not work through the day, get home on a super crowded bus and watch the fireworks in Disneyland from my balcony. I'd not go to Disney that day but I'd stay in Paris.. definitely another experience.

One last thing I NEED to mention. I hate ticket controls on the train cause I always listen to my iPod and therefore hate taking out my headphones when control comes, anyway this time due to a long night ,before, I fell asleep on the train and got woken up in the sweetest way by the control guy. He kind of tickled my shoulder, an adorable elderly (but not too old) man.. he also said something, which in that second I woke up, I didn't understand but he wished me a 'good night' once he left :)

This was it, I hope you enjoyed this long post. Stay tuned.. there's more to come, more in depth and specific topics :)

Love & Hugs

PS: If you are interested my instagram is: Joolscat  ^_^
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Saturday, 9 March 2013

Farewell, Uncle Trevor.

Hello My Lovelies,

this is a very difficult post to write. I still can't quite believe it... last night I lost my adorable uncle Trevor. 
Not being home makes it so much harder, I only heard from my mam how he pretty much got worse and worse by the day and how he was weaker and everything was not going well at home anymore.
I met this uncle quite late, to be honest, but it was an immediate bound between me and him. He was such a joyful and happy person, spoke italian with his strong english accent and when he spoke english it was just a lot of fun. 
5o'clock every afternoon he had to have his "cuppa tea" even in summer with 40° in the shade.. "It refreshes more than water, trust me." he used to say every single time.
How he dropped by to talk about his and my cats and have a glass of wine, how he used to love the german food we cooked, how he used to be so happy about the same presents every year.. classical music, a cat calendar, tea, mince meat (for mince pies) and a christmas pudding. 
I knew my passion for the english language came from somewhere, knowing that someone from England was a little part of my family, got me more than excited. That little part is gone now. I wish I could have said goodbye one last time.

Goodbye Uncle Trevor, you are and always will be loved. You won't be alone up there, have a cuppa tea with the family and give Lillo and Paula a cuddle from me. 

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Sunday, 3 March 2013

Disney Childhood Memories

Hello My Lovelies,

today on a completely different note than usually I'm gonna talk a bit about my childhood and it's relation to Disney. 
Mainly through cartoons... Classic Cartoons and "Silly Symphonies" oh those lovely short films that were all time present after school time.
On german telly there used to be a show about Disneyland Paris which unfortunately my mother and me can't remember the name of.. so silly since we watched it every single day, but anyway, after this show the famous Disney Classic Cartoons were on, always like 2-4 back to back, which I loved. 
My mother had the great idea to record them on VHS so that I could re-watch them.. over and over and over :) we had so many VHS in the end.. I remember #24 being my favourite. So here is what was on #24... or what I recall being on it :)

"Ferdinand The Bull" (1938)
an adorable story about a bull, forced to be on the spanish Corrida but who preferred by far to just 'stop and smell the flowers'

Donald Duck in "Early To Bed"
Needless to say that Donald Duck was my favourite character and this short cartoon (which seemed sooooo long when I was 5) still cracks me up now, 17 years later. Poor Donald can't find peace.
btw if you can't understand one word.. it's cause the cartoon's in french (damn you youtube)

 "The Little House" (1952)
Cartoon about a little house living in the country which first misstreated by a vandalising family ends up surrounded by big mean skyscrapers and finally gets to find peace with a loving family surrounded by fields, just like in the beginning.

Donald Duck in "How to have an accident at work"
First of all, enjoy the lovely jingle at the beginning, just brilliant :)
Still hilarious and from what I've heard, quite a few companies use this to actually promote safety at work.

"The Cookie Carnival"(1935)
My love of baked goods must have come from this cartoon. A little gingerbread man helps a young cookie lady become really pretty and eventually even take part at the Cookie Carnival.

Now this was just a little digest of my favourites, but I highly recommend all of the classic cartoons and silly symphonies, they are just amazing and they will stay amazing forever, I'm 100% positive that my children will grow up watching those. 
You can see the heart and passion put into those. Just sit back and enjoy.

Love and Hugs

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Saturday, 23 February 2013


It has a wrong feeling to it when you are listening to a song which clearly belongs to a city, while you are in a different city. 
Sounds like a riddle right ? Let me explain.

Nostalgia is giving me a hard time. I'm starting to really dislike this city known as Lucerne. 
Earlier I was on the bus heading to Lucerne and "La vie en rose" started playing on my ipod, a song that belongs to Paris, that is french, sung by the amazing Edith Piaf, about seeing life "in pink", a song that does not match to the all white scenario of Switzerland, whatsoever. It's not only this though. 
A witty, although bitchy, lady once told me "To really get to know a city, you need to get lost in it. Paris is a great city to get lost in." She was right. About both points. So I did what I did on my first day of life in Paris in 2011, ipod in so that I lose complete sense of orientation and off I went.. maybe I discovered that Lucerne is not that bad afterall.

So I walked and walked and walked for roughly 1 hour, starting from a point I knew very well and yes, 1 hour later, I was lost. Yet it gave me no pleasure. If you want, you can find beauty in anything but I just can't. Of course there is some very nice buildings, but Lucerne is boringly small... I mean I just had to walk back straight and there I was, back at start point, even though I went left and right and pirouetted on myself. I eventually even found the sketchiest of areas which did not help with my mission either.

I miss Paris so much. I guess that if I had local friends here, a boyfriend here and I don't know other things that might keep me in this city, but I don't. All those things are in Paris somehow. I just can't wait to leave. 
It's sad that my only connection to the "real world" or well the only place i feel kinda alright is a chain café known as "Starbucks"... getting "Chai Tea Latte with Soy milk" like I used to do every single time I met up with Edie or when I had afternoon shift at work. 

I came to the conclusion that I know where my "home" is. It's in Paris. Everything I love is there, I'm just working on getting there as soon as possible. 2 more years, just 2 more years and I will be a "Parisienne".
Haul my entire life, one last time from country A to country B. 

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Thursday, 7 February 2013

Wouldn't it be nice...

to have a stable home to come to after your job ?
to meet your partner and with a glass of wine have a conversation about each other's days ?
cook dinner together and then fall asleep in each other's arms ?

Yes... it would be nice.

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Saturday, 2 February 2013

On Anorexia, weight loss and gain.

One might think that after about 80 posts I should be able to remember my blogger password.. well.. no. 
Oh by the way it just started snowing... I guess that's something humans will always be fascinated of.


Hello My Lovelies

Today I come to you with a different subject than normal. Weight Loss. 
I can say that after the age of 8 I started to be on the chubby side. Never really fat but you know never that you'd tell me "eat a burger" then I started dance lessons which became tougher and tougher and more regular and eventually by the age of 14 I was rated as anorexic. Sounds stupid right ? 
Well we had this food psychologists, nutritionists come to our school and force us to take a stupid test on our eating habits, physical data and all sorts of other things.
We were then given numbers and anonymously the numbers "at risk" were written on the blackboard.

Back in those days my best friend used to be a slightly over weight girl, sitting right next to me, so I knew her number she knew mine and as weird as it sounds we both were written on the board. Different problems yet both in the same boat.
Eventually we were invited to go see this psychologist and well it was amongst the scariest things in my life. Never would I ever have expected myself in a recovery clinic for eating disorders. I was not doing anything. I sped up my metabolism, had dance class about 5 times a week for 2hrs each time and ate healthily. Apparently it was too much.
The psychologist called us in. Pitch black dyed hair quite fake looking, fake tan, black lipliner and glittery pink lipgloss... an epitome of bad taste.
She bombarded us with a series of questions and if we did not answer straight away she almost shouted "YES OR NO ?".
We gave her our phone numbers and she wanted to give us appointments with our parents. Luckily that never happened. I'm blessed I got "out of it" without any help. 

Thing is.. I actually went back to the chubby side. Now this is something quite personal. I never liked my body, like, ever. There is always too much or too little. Legs are too short, stomach too protrudent. 
When I went for my work to Ireland that's when I hit rock bottom. Loads of unhealthy food and hardly any exercise made me gain tons of weight to the point that when I came back home, no one avoided telling me I got fat. 
I spent all summer losing those 7kg I gained and thank god I managed that pretty well. 

What's been annoying me though is that. That was 2 years ago. I've been stuck on the same weight for 2 years. My BMI tells me I'm overweight so now I decided that it was definitely time for a big change. 
I'm 21. I want to feel confident, wear age appropriate clothes and not dread the spring and summertime because of my hips.
Of course I'm not a 200kg girl, far from that... thank god. Yet I do probably have the same body issues and insecurities.
Chubby cheeks give the impression of youth. Thing is.. when you're 21 the last thing you want (maybe that's just me) is being asked for your ID because you look underage. Don't get me wrong, it's an advantage I used rather often but still. One day I'll beg to look "young" again but right now. NO.

Anyway what I'm trying to say is that I'm the laziest person on the planet.. maybe not but I used to live by the phrase "Can't reach it ? Don't need it !"
But since I want change I'm trying to do something every day. I've now set up an account on this amazing page called Sparkpeople. You can track your daily food intake and the calories, the exercises you do and the calories burnt, the amount of water you drink (VERY IMPORTANT) and last but not least there is tons of forums to read for advice, recipes and motivation. You can also set a goal and it tells you in how much time you can achieve it and how many calories you're "allowed" to eat to achieve it.
Now I eat at the cafeteria of my school which makes those tracker a little bit complicated but it's also a reason to eat healthier, to eat separable foods and I'm becoming a pro of "eyeballing" quantities. 
About the exercise. I like exercise no I LOVE IT ! Thing is I can hardly ever get myself to do it. I used to dance and used to love it to bits but here I don't have the chance and funds to do it so I have to do something easier.

For once I downloaded this app called P4P: Abs which can be a bit repetitive I must admit but it really works. I did that for 3 weeks and I did have a flatter stomach :D Aside from that, a lovely friend of mine shared the famous "30 day shred by Jillian Michaels" with me and now it's been a week that I have been doing that. Been sore for the first 5 of those 7 days but you can see results, you feel more energetic and everything's starting to be a lot less flabby. 

I'm not going to state my weight, I sort of do that on twitter in peculiar little ways but well. Tomorrow is my weighing day so cross fingers and toes. I've been good this week so everything should be fine :)

Sorry for the really long post but I hope you found it interesting. Reason why I am sharing this is because our "Personal Development Teacher" told us that a shared problem gives motivation. I am already motivated but this was also to give some ideas to those feeling lazy and lost. 


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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Back to the Swiss Life.

Hello My Lovelies,

I have about 2 essays to write, one report to prepare, a presentation to research but... this blog has been neglected, I'm aware and I want to apologise. So here is what happened the past few weeks.
Part of my lovely kitchen uniform.

I'm back at my university in Switzerland, 2nd year and if you remember last year I was a waitress, this year I'm a cook. If at first there was a general panic in me cooking I'm now quite alright with it. It's very tiring, 5hrs from 8 in the morning until 13.30 with a short lunch break in between but it's fine. Thank god it's only 2 times a week.

Roast pork stuffed with plums on a veggie
macedoine with red wine sauce.
We get to choose from the menu which part we want to prepare and during my last class I decided to work on the "Roast Pork stuffed with plums" you might wonder what's special about it... well technically nothing besides the fact that I'm a vegetarian and well it wasn't the most pleasant thing to do to stuff my hand inside a piece of pork meat but well it had to be done. I'm forcing myself to face a few more chances this year.

It's been snowing on and off here lately but the past 2 days the nice Swiss sun came back and gave us some sunny, albeit cold, days. 

This year's view.. not really new.. same floor just a change of room by 3 doors xD

Typically swiss food. Cheese Fondue.
I spent quite a few days going to town, to Pilatusmarkt and to the lake... I mean there's not A LOT of choice but I want to see the city a bit more, reason why me and Franzi are trying a few restaurants and things we haven't done here yet. We went to the Fondue House to have a traditional swiss fondue. Although being really really yummy it's also really stuffing, this pot was for 2 and we didn't even finish half of it.

This year again I'm a candidate for the SRC... I'm not too much after it but it would be cool, I liked it last year, it involves you in a lot of things but of course it also keeps you quite a lot busier but well it's interesting.

Anyway that's it for this quick update. 
I hope to write a bit more often also cause I have a monthly schedule now, so there will be at least one post each month :) but hopefully more than that.


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