A Smattering of Little Things (predominantly food)

Outliers is one of those books that I picked up, expecting to get a third of the way through and lose all interest, but I was so fascinated that I tore through it and then my brain began spinning and doing back flips. A totally worthwhile read. At this moment I am impulsively downloading all three of Gladwell's other books to my kindle.

Tangent: I am having one of those weeks, nay, months it seems, where time is just getting away from me. On one hand it's frustrating because I just wish I could slow everything down and savor it more. On the other hand, reminding myself that we have only been here 2.75 months eases my inner perfectionist when I am wondering why I am not yet fluent in French.

(Sitting with a group of Italians at work is not helping this matter as learning to swear in Italian is WAY more fun than say, learning French verbs and their conjugations).

This past weekend we just hung out. Anthony was on a business trip until Saturday mid-morning and he was exhausted when he got home so we decided to lay low and make lots of great food. I don't know if there is something in the water here or what, but lately I have been wanting (I can't even believe I am typing this) to cook. Like full on simmer and saute crap and chop and blend and whatnot. This is probably a harbinger of the apocalypse, so when it happens, just remember that you read it here first (because there obviously won't be other things on your mind).

Pizza dough - the easiest thing that I never everever thought to make from scratch. Five ingredients and a few hours later put that blinker on because you are merging onto Gluttony Highway. Plus you get to punch the dough...does it get more fun than beating up your food? I think that it does not. Also, it's a law in Europeland that pizza must be eaten in its entirety on the day it is made. And we are nothing if not compliant.

Pinterest recipes finally got the better of me so I decided to make this incredible soup. Roasting a tray full of mushrooms, onions and herbs smelled so incredible that I kept cracking open the oven door to take a whiff. I can now say with conviction that a mushroom and onion steam is forever onward my preferred method of facial

(especially because it does not come with a Ukrainian lady looking at my face with a giant magnifier and clucking disapprovingly). Even though the recipe only called for one pound of mushrooms, I decided that two pounds would be more appropriate and was thrilled with the result...until I learned that cooked mushrooms give Anthony the heebie-jeebies. He may have actually tried to tell me that while my face was in the oven and I was huffing the steam. Whoops. Listening ears, Kim. We pureed a batch and the smoother consistency made all parties happy.

During our Saturday round of errands, we accidentally stumbled into Globus, the single greatest grocery store on planet earth. While it's pricey, we decided to indulge ourselves a leeetle bit and bought these incredible cherry tomatoes.

(And some incredible Parmesan and some incredible cheese straws and some incredible bread...and there may have been an incident where Anthony had to pry a tiny 20 franc sausage from my hands as I cried and mumbled something insane about Fresno peppers and cured meats being the only thing in the world that would ever make me happy...hilarious times you guys.)

While we brought a lot of storage containers with us, we have been fighting an ongoing battle between our American sized tupperware and our tiny Swiss fridge. Luckily Anthony found this company that makes all sizes and manners of canning jars so he ordered us a variety. They fit perfectly and are incredibly fun to fill with food...and squeal about how cute they look whenever I  open the fridge. Above, a caprese salad in progress. Aaaand finally,

The sunsets from our bedroom are unreal. I only opened up the exposure on this a bit - the rest is all nature. Every night it's different with the color gamut ranging from Malibu Barbie to Early Sixties Living Room. It's awesome. Beyond awesome. I'll try and not bog down too many posts with sunset photos, but I cannot make any guarantees. Because...I mean...look at it!

Happy Friday!

Saturday Morning Market

On Saturday morning, we strolled to the open produce market on the main pedestrian walkway in Lausanne. Our goal was to acquire some nice things for a lunch at home. As we strolled through the stalls however, we realized that our minimal-at-best language skills were not going to cut it. There is a rather intense sounding dialogue that takes place over open-air fruits and vegetables and watching it made me feel as though I was in one of those actor nightmares where you show up on opening night and don't know any of your lines.

(edit: we now know that we would have been fine and were just being cowards)

So we contented ourselves instead with wandering through the streets and simply admiring the wares on display.

Then the food surrounding us started to play mind games.

And soon our stomachs were rumbling.

Anthony located a tiny pizza parlor in the nick of time. Just as my stomach rumblings were making small objects begin to fall off shelves.

Pizzaesfizi: vendor of temptingly decadent Italian style pizzas.

There were about six different pizzas to choose from,

(white bean and bacon to zucchini and gorgonzola to pecorino and pepper)

and in my hunger I burst out "Yes. Hello. I would like to try ALL THE PIZZAS!"*

The chef looked at me very seriously and said "you can have as many as you like you know" and picking up a pair of scissors continued, "just point to the ones you want and tell me how much you would like of each and I will cut a slice for you"

(Then my head exploded from happiness.)

We ended up trying five of the options, each one more delicious than the last. When we had exhausted the plate and had unceremoniously adjusted our belts, my inner Veruca Salt was finally content.

(Now all I want is an Oompa Loompa.)

*Some paraphrasing and slight exaggeration may have occurred. When I am hungry, short term memory functions shut down to conserve energy.

It's almost the weekend! Time for Drinks!

To celebrate the fact that summer seems to have finally arrived in Chicago, we decided to splurge on some fancy lemonade and then Anthony got one of his brilliant ideas to use it as the base for a cocktail. The following is a visual guide to recreating:

And of course, no happy hour would be complete without:

So there you have it - a perfectly refreshing, slightly tangy lemonade cocktail with a little cooling infusion of mint. I like everything really tart, so mine used a LOT of lemon, but the best thing about this drink is that everything can be adjusted according to your tastes.

On that celebratory note, I will be heading to South Carolina for the 4th so there will be lots of pictures up next week!

Happy Independence Day!