The perfect cocktail for a dumpster fire

I’ve found dumpster-on-fire gifs a more relevant and appropriate response in 2020 than I could ever have imagined. Cancelled trip? Cartoon dumpster on fire. Laid off and job hunting in a seriously low economy? Well, that merits a flaming dumpster floating down a flooded street.

Of course 2020 has brought some good things. A couple of healthy, happy babies were born to people I love earlier in the year (not me, thankfully). The lock-down period was relatively easy for me and my husband (maybe even downright delightful for Sofie having both of her humans around almost all the time). I’ve discovered the joys of teaching yoga online (I’m planning another virtual yin yoga class for Friday, August 28th—more info coming soon) and practicing with teachers from a distance (HealHaus in NYC has been a lifeline).

And I’ve come up with my perfect margarita. An ideal cocktail for reflecting on 2020’s dumpster fire tendencies and planning for better days.

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Comfort baking

These strange (and physically isolated) have me missing friends and family, uncertain about what’s to come, and feeling generally anxious. To help me cope, I’m making comforting, familiar, satisfying recipes that call to mind childhood memories—and don’t require any strange, hard-to-find ingredients.

These super-simple, super-delicious blueberry/lemon cornmeal muffins certainly fit the bill! And, as a bonus, they’re wonderfully high-protein and delightfully filling.

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Damn bunnies can’t hold their booze

Off with their heads—and in with boozy whipped coffee!

In perhaps the funniest late night TV show segment I’ve ever seen, Seth and Rihanna go day drinking (if you haven’t seen it yet… go watch it now) and reveal the greatest Easter hack ever: beheading chocolate bunnies and using them as glasses.

Genius.

But tequila is a little intense for QuarantEaster—and I don’t have Rihanna’s skill for downing shots. My solution? Combining current Instagram-darling #WhippedCoffee with a slightly lighter white Russian.

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Can bread pudding save the world?

Despite being a carb-loving family, we frequently aren’t able to get through a loaf of bread before it goes stale or, even worse, starts to grow green stuff. I hated throwing away the last bits of gluten-filled goodness and started stashing leftovers in the freezer. The most obvious solution was to transform those bread cubes into bread pudding, which I love—especially topped with a creamy, buttery, boozy sauce!—but opportunities for a decadent dessert proved few and far between. Inspiration hit and I tried turning regular, sweet bread pudding into a main-course-worthy dish. Voila savoury bread pudding, also known as strata and more commonly served for brunch. 

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Hiding from the heat and eating flatbread

Zürich is having its second heatwave of the summer and it’s making me more than a little aggravated. I am not a fan of hot weather. (That’s an understatement!)

Weather in Zurich: Wed 8:20, sunny and 24.6°C
Almost 25°C before 8:30 in the morning!

Thankfully, this round of high temperatures isn’t quite as extreme as the +40°C days and 22°C nights we had back in June. And most of Europe is seeing the mercury climb, so I can take comfort in the fact that I’m not suffering alone—but I’ve still become somewhat obsessive about keeping our flat cool.

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Baking in translation

Baking in Translation - Cinnamon almond oat cookies
Cinnamon almond oat cookies

Adjusting to a new kitchen, new tools and a new oven is always a challenge when settling into a new home. Add in the difficulties of a new language and new ingredients in a different country and things get even more complicated! The various measuring systems also throw in another dimension of complexity…

Fahrenheit or Celsius? Or whatever ‘gas mark‘ means? Metric or imperial? Grams or cups or ounces? Is a kitchen scale required? Or a set of measuring cups?

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