Adjusting to life as an expat requires flexibility, and what is better for maintaining or improving flexibility than yoga? That is why I am happy to announce that over the next 5 weeks I will be leading a do-it-ourselves yoga class on Wednesday mornings from 9 – 10 am at the art room at the ais Bilingual School. While this may not be a food based event, I ask for your indulgence in offering it through Expat Kochen. With all the amazing food here in Switzerland, I know I need my yoga!
Melissa West offers a free yoga podcast each week via her website or youtube. We will use Melissa as our long distance teacher and do her hour of yoga together.
If you have practiced yoga before and are interested in getting out and doing some yoga, please join us. The ais Bilingual School (a division of academia Sprach und Lernzentrum) will collect 20 Chf as a donation for their charity, Stiftung Theodora. That 20 Chf covers all classes, so you are welcome to come to 1 session or 5. Just let me know which sessions you will attend.
Additionally I will have a guest teacher on
November 21 November 28; (his travel schedule changed!) my nephew, Tyler McCoy. He is an incredible yoga instructor who has taught yoga all over the world, and is currently working at Black Swan Yoga in Austin, Texas, U.S.A. I am thrilled to have him teach us.
So, how does this work? First email me that you want to come at email@example.com. Then show up at the ais Bilingual School art room with 20 Chf for Stiftung Theodora, and bring your own yoga mat. If you have a strap (even a bath robe strap or long piece of fabric works) bring that as well. Let’s do some yoga together. After we can take ourselves out for a cup of tea (and maybe a treat? ) to chat and congratulate ourselves for doing an hour of yoga!
Thanks to ais Bilingual School for donating the space for us. Note that the room is small, so please respond to me soon via email so I can let you know if we have room. If we end up getting a good turnout for this, I will consider finding a larger space for us!
Hope to see you on a Wednesday morning soon!
Ok, now I have been living in the Basel area for four years. Enough time to know my way around, you might think. Enough time to know how to read quite a bit of German, well, at least food German, the important stuff, right?
Or…not. Ah the experience of being an expat is rife with opportunities to be humbled, again and again. This one turned out pretty well though. ;-)
I have a habit of buying things on sale. It is one way I have adjusted to the prices of Switzerland. When I was overwhelmed by the choices of cheese, I began to just buy what was on “aktion” for the week. That with some trial and error is how I learned what I like and what I don’t. As it happens I love almost every cheese there is. Great for someone living in Switzerland, if not for her hips and backside!
The same process for meat. Part of my adjustment to cooking in Switzerland was getting accustomed to a smaller refrigerator. This means shopping more often. and I found that if I shop toward the end of the day I can buy the meat that is on sale, and cook it that night. Brilliant.
That is just what I did recently. I saw some ground beef on sale and bought it. My husband volunteered to cook it, and when he picked it up he said, hmmm, this feels like a brick. ? Huh? ? Okaaay….then upon opening he declared that he thought it was a meatloaf.
He crumbled it and I came and added the Mexican style spices to prepare it for my dish. Thank goodness I tasted it before adding salt – sure enough - it was a meatloaf. How clueless am I? I know the term “Hackfleisch” for ground beef, and honestly I don’t know if the package said it or not. I think I just saw it on sale, saw it looked like beef, and into my basket it went.
Good news is that it turned out to be great for the “Mexican Lasagna” that I made. I guess I was lucky this time. :-)
Does anyone else have these crazy stories about buying something that turns out to be not what you thought? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below(if just to know I am not alone!).
And meanwhile, here are some pix of my Mexican Lasagna. Which by the way isn’t Mexican and isn’t Lasagna, but someone’s casserolesation (to take anything and make into a casserole) of some vaguely Mexican ingredients that we love. Must be an American thing…
Basically, you spice up your ground beef (or perhaps meatloaf?) with cumin, salsa, adobo, etc., add some beans if you like, then layer in a casserole with cottage cheese, mozzarella or cheddar, and tortillas. Repeat layers till dish is filled, ending with mozzarella or cheddar cheese. Cook in a 200 C oven (390 F) for about 25 minutes, then let rest for 10 before serving.
Serve with guacamole and yum! Really hits the spot on a chilly fall night.
Oh, and notice that funny last picture? Those are the leftovers in our big fridge. The one that only works when the chilly fall weather comes? (Some might call it a balcony) That is where we cool things down until we make room in the mini fridge. In the winter it doubles as our back up fridge or freezer, depending…
All part of the adventure of cooking in a foreign land. ;-) Happy cooking adventures to you, wherever you are!
One of my favorite things about being an expat is meeting other expats, from all over the planet! How cool is that? I not only get to live in Switzerland, meet Swiss people and learn about them and their culture, food, etc., but also I get to meet others on similar adventures with completely different backgrounds, perspectives, and importantly, food interests. Once it is established that we have a love and appreciation of food in common, so many doors are opened. And that is how I got to know my friend Abi, from Sri Lanka. She is a foodie also, writing a blog called Ami’s Vegetarian Delicacies. We have talked about cooking together since meeting, and finally we did! And, our friend Rocio, from Mexico, joined us as well. Abi and Rocio came to my sSk (anyone remember that term? small Swiss kitchen?), and with Abi in charge, we set to work. After some chopping and whirring the kitchen was full of color and wonderful smells.
You know, sometimes I am surprised how in this tiny kitchen (smaller than the kitchen in my first apartment), a group of cooks can work together and make something delicious and beautiful happen. All that’s needed is the right attitude and willingness to get close! It helped to have one chef and two prep cooks. With Abi in charge, asking for pans, gadgets, chopped whatever, we all slid around each other as needed to create a feast. It was like a dance, not choreographed, but graceful just the same. And finished, we were ready to sit down and enjoy. A glass of wine, a beautiful meal, and friends. That is what it is all about. Delicious, spicy, colorful. Again, isn’t that what life is about?
Thanks to Abi and Rocio for your time and willingness to cook with me and let me share it here.
Recipe links to Abi’s blog below. Now, one question. We are thinking about having a related event. Shall we plan a Sri-Lankan cooking class soon? Would you like to dive into a sSk and learn about the food Sri Lanka? If so, please let us know!
Green Beans Stir Fry
Egg Plant Curry
It’s finally apple season, and while the farmers markets are packed with different varieties of beautiful apples, going to the farm and picking your own apples is a fun fall activity for adults and child alike. There is nothing better than wandering through an apple orchard, giant apple picker in hand, reaching high up in the trees, and pulling down flawless, delicious apples.
The only problem is coming up with recipes for the 20 pounds of apples that end up in your kitchen afterwards! When you’re tired of eating apple sauce, and can’t think about making another apple pie, this gluten-free, sugar-free apple cinnamon cake from Elana’s Pantry will gladly take a few apples off of your hands and is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Cinnamon Apple Cake
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
tablespoons orange juice, fresh squeezed
1 cup creamy roasted almond butter
¼ cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon sea salt
1. In a food processor combine apple, orange juice, and almond butter and pulse until well blended
2. Pulse in agave, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon (yes, 2 tablespoons!) and salt
3. Pour batter into a greased 8×8 inch Pyrex baking dish
4. Bake at 350° for 32 to 36 minutes
5. Cool and serve with whipped cream
Vanessa Gatelein, Health Coach
Avocado Savory Cocktail! That was the favorite at Toes ‘n Tinis last Friday evening. It was a surprise as most of us were just curious about it, but ended up loving it. Very refreshing. Beautiful color. Needs a better name. Do you have ideas? Please list them in the comments below! So far I only thought of Green Goddess but as that is taken as a salad dressing it doesn’t quite work. But the sentiment is good…
We will do a full follow up post soon, but in the meantime in case you are wanting to try a lovely cocktail for summer here is the recipe (adapted from one found in a magazine at the dentist’s office!).
1/4 chopped avocado
5 basil leaves
1 shot white tequila
1 shot Cointreau
Lemon juice to taste
That’s it. Muddle the avocado and basil together and put into a martini shaker. Add other ingredients and ice. Shake and pour into martini glasses, enjoy! A great way to celebrate what is left of summer.