Failed Brownie Baking and Pink Flowers

Heeeelloooo World, how was your week?

I had a pretty awesome time these past few days; extremely sporty as well for a school that is not praised for its teams…

IMG_0320The basketball team introduced themselves to us at this event called Midnight Madness last Monday. We also got to know our mascot – the Gryphon (which is still unnamed. Any ideas for a name?)

I have also been to a couple of soccer games.

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Go me and showing school spirit! 😉

Speaking of cheer, look at these cupcakes:

IMG_0344I MUST make them for Halloween, but so far my baking attempts have not succeeded in any way.. hence my blog post title.. The photo I took of the Protein Brownies I tried to make didn’t even come out. It turns pitch black whenever I try to open it; that’s how bad they were. Note to self: try the protein powder before attempting to incorporate it in to brownies. The result might taste better – maybe. I tried to follow a mixture of this and this recipe, and their’s came out well…let me know if one of you have better results? Maybe it was because I didn’t add any cocoa..

In better food news, there is this place here in Bronxville called Dumpling and Noodle that I have been frequenting on many a girl’s night. This past visit I had a great tasting red basil tofu dish with brown rice.

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IMG_0346Very satisfactory and healthy! 🙂

In dance news, one of my friends was wearing the cutest shirt ever in improv the other day!

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IMG_0352It says I love you to the moon and back! I absolutely love the book “Guess how much I love you”. I grew up with it and know it by heart, so I really enjoyed her shirt with the quote on it 🙂 Also Sarah is one of the nicest people ever and I think the shirt and her go well together 🙂 Adorable!

I also got be the inspiration for a few spontaneous dance shots:

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IMG_0348…and received some of the most beautiful flowers from a secret admirer 😉

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I can’t believe it’s already the end of the week! But you know what that means…Tomorrow will be Manicure Monday! Here is a taste of the polish I will be speaking admirably of:

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It’ll be my first Butter London manicure post! Exciting 😉

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

 

 

 

The Hungry Ballerina Review – Don Weber

Guacamole. Salsa. Chips.

Macarena. Sombrero. Churros.

Tex-Mex meets traditional Mexican meets Zürich, Switzerland.

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Don Weber embodies all you would expect from a Mexican restaurant, and more! Its extensive menu covers everything from nachos con queso, to burgers and fries, from mole and chile relleno, to quesadillas and fajitas.

With two Mexican food loving parents, I’ve had a good deal of encounters with tortillas and Co. – many of which were complete and utter failures! The Tex-Mex style copy-cat restaurants here are nothing in comparison to the real deal in the States. Disappointment after eating Mexican was a regular occurrence…

And then, one day, 3 years ago I was planning my 16th birthday party. My mom and I set off to check out the venue for the party and drove a little too far…but just far enough – we discovered Don Weber.
It’s hidden behind an African restaurant on the same road as the big cinema Abaton, near Escherwyssplatz, in Zurich’s trendy, never-sleeping area, Zurich-West.

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Now, we return frequently. The Dons know our order. It’s Nagasui and Tiffins all over again…

Last Sunday we took my Aunt and her daughters there for an early dinner. We ordered too much but happily enjoyed the plethora of chips available to munch on. Tortilla chips need to be eaten authentically (…in a Mexican restaurant) 😉 .

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Despite never really eating much cheese, I really enjoy their nachos. The mild, cheesy flavor is barely noticeable, the chips crunchy, under heaps of homemade salsa, guacamole and black beans.
Speaking of black beans, this restaurant is the only place I know serving them in Zürich! That’s reason enough to go there!

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We also ordered the vegetarian fajitas for us three adults older girls as a main meal and some quesadillas for the little girls. Both came with extra portions of fresh and garlicky guacamole and salsa which can be refilled as many times as you like. Stuffed and happy, we barely managed half of the generous portion of delicious food. Next time we will probably be getting a smaller portion of the fajitas (it could’ve easily served more than three six)…

Olé! Adios! Ehhhhhh Macarena!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

The Hungry Ballerina Review – Restaurant Geeren

Mountains, cheese, chocolate and cows…Weird German accent, watches, banks and yodeling…

View from the lake

View from the lake

This basically sums up what most people think of when you mention Switzerland (or are we talking about Sweden? Sorry, another stereotype (of a different culture 😉 )).

Restaurant Geeren, situated on the outskirts of a forest, embodies the very Swissness I imagine when I picture it in my head: Swiss German speaking service, homemade food, cheese, Hörnli (like macaroni), Rösti (hashbrowns) and the Swiss chalet feeling of wooden everything with benches and tables and sweet decoration.

Halfway through my salad

Halfway through my salad

It’s the kind of place you don’t come to when on a diet or with little appetite. The portions are massive and barely manageable, but somehow get polished off quickly by many of the Swiss frequenters.

I’ve never understood their eating habits.. the Swiss are generally slender, but eat a diet based on loads of potatoes, cheese, chocolate and bread – and not in moderation either. It just doesn’t add up in my head! Especially since I was raised on rabbit food and eat my veggies before considering anything else! 😉

Whenever we go there for dinner (which recently has become once a week) the waitresses always comments on how little we eat (I generally only ever manage half the portion..)

Macaroni (Hörnli) with Breadcrumbs (Brösmeli)

Macaroni (Hörnli) with Breadcrumbs (Brösmeli)

But managing only half is not for a lack of flavour! The food is delicious there! I have tried their hash browns, their pasta with various different sauces, their Spätzli and of course their desserts..

Meringue

Meringue

Like their main courses, their desserts are equally huge. We ordered the meringue to share and enjoyed every last bit we could manage after the amazing dinner 🙂

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Ice Cream

Ice Cream

 

Bring your appetites for a big helping of Swiss food – Restaurant Geeren is highly recommended and always delivers high quality food!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

The Hungry Ballerina Review – Nagasui

There are two places in Zürich where people know me by my food order. I walk in, sit down, scan the menu for anything new until the waitress comes to take my order. Barely making a sound, she orders for me, knowing my favourites like the back of her hand..Panaeng Tofu, Papaya salad, Mango Ice Tea and a Sweet and Sour Sesame Tofu..or do you want something different for a change?

Oh it feels good to be famous..oh wait..I’m not. I’m just a sad little girl who likes to eat. The same food. Every week. Sometimes twice. For Lunch and/or Dinner. How about both? It’s just too good NOT to eat like a boring person…!

FOOD, EVERYWHERE!

FOOD, EVERYWHERE!

I feel sorry for myself just by reading the facts..but I justify my frequent visits by alternating between the two sister restaurants, Nagasui and Tiffins. I definitely don’t feel any better about my sad self, when at Tiffins I almost never change my order. It has to be a Panaeng Tofu with vegetables, hold the rice cause I’ll share that, with extra sauce, so I can eat it like a soup (and use up the leftover rice my fellow meal-sharer doesn’t manage ;)). Nagasui is similarly unadventurous, with my usual being what you can read in the opening paragraph.

Unadventurous is actually the wrong word: We’ve actually been going to these two particular places for as long as I can remember and have already tested EVERYTHING on the menu. 15.49 times. I’ve done the sweet and sour fried thing as a kid. I had my Pad Thai and Fried Rice carbo overload times as a young teen. I rotated through the 5 curries on the menu when I was in love with all things coconut. And when I thought coconut milk was fattening (I know, I know..I was very delusional…very sad) I nibbled on “lighter” vergetable stir fries..
The fact that I’ve been going there for, like, ever, gives me the courage to let them know when their standards have dropped and are suddenly no longer up to par (in comparison to previous years..), so if their curry is suddenly watery, I’m the first to tell them. The rice seems old? I tell them.. Too spicy, too hot, too …weird? I want it just right! (Goldilocks-syndrome..) (They are like family to me and never take it the wrong way :). I hope!)

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Being a regular, I don’t want to give you a biased review. Because honestly, I will. The food is great, the places are great, the waiters are fabulouuuus!
So yeah..no, I’m not even going to try. Just go there. Order the papaya salad if you want something fresh. Try the Panaeng if you want to ruin all future Panaengs (it really is that amaaaaazing). And wave if you see me. I’ll wave back.

..Or no, on second thought I would probably forget I told you to wave, and look at you thinking, who is that smiling freak waving and giving me a thumbs up while pointing at their food…?!

Weirdness aside, if you should remember anything from this post, then it’s this: GO THERE.

That is all..

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

P.S I’ve had this post typed up and waiting until I had the pictures. I’m not even going to mention to you how many times I visited the restaurant since writing the first draft, and not once did I manage to take pictures! Tonight, my mom remembered after we devoured the divine feast, and my father managed to snap some quick pictures of what was left…so I hope to update the pictures..eventually 😉

The Hungry Ballerina Review – Nooba

Set the scene; a busy intersection. People, people everywhere, getting on and off the trams, going in and out the stores nearby, sitting down and getting up from the outside tables at the neighbouring restaurant. It’s summer, the umbrellas are up, the wooden benches are out, children are running dangerously close to the road, their parents idly nibbling and barely watching, a glass Sauvignon blanc in their hand. Pan Asian cuisine. Curry, noodles, rice and more. This is where I had dinner last week.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Nooba. Not Nobu, the expensive Japanese fusion sushi place, taking the world one fish roll and bento box green tea ice cream at a time. Nooba. Laid back food with reasonably speedy service; open all day, most days and famous for their noodles – its name is short for noodle bar. My mom and I go there when we don’t know where else to go. We also go there on a Sunday when every other restaurant is closed or we don’t want to drive far. We don’t go there specifically for the food..
Don’t get me wrong the food is very popular, it’s just not our number one favorite place. It’s a mere 5 on our Asian restaurant scale, right next to Wagamamas and Asian Moon. We go there for their Vietnamese spring rolls and vegetarian gyozas, because it’s the only place we know of that is serving them. We don’t go there for their curries – Nagasui and Tiffins are better..
After not having eaten a proper lunch, we went there for an early bird dinner at 3.30. Against all odds, I was too hungry to think straight and ordered their papaya salad just so I could get fresh food asap (I have issues with non Nagasui Som Tams…poor, spoiled me). We also ordered their Vietnamese spring rolls to start.

Som Tam

Som Tam

Then we had to decide on our main dishes. My mom ordered the nooba deli wok, consisting of lentils, tofu, potatoes, aubergine, carrots, zucchini and popadoms, and I ordered the green curry with tofu and jasmine rice, as I had never tried it there and wasn’t in the mode for fried rice or noodles. Both were ok, but again, it was not Nagasui..

All in all it is a great place on stand-by. They are also very child friendly and have a variety of things to choose from if you never know what to order. Their spice palette works well for everyone – nicely, and less spicy they introduce non-Asian connoisseurs to the cuisine.

Bon app!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

The Hungry Ballerina Review: Restaurant Ah-Hua

Greetings fellow food-friends! Welcome to my very first review of the well-known Thai restaurant, Ah-Hua.

Ah-Hua, near Helvetiaplatz

Ah-Hua, near Helvetiaplatz source: google

This authentic (so they say) food joint is located near Helvetiaplatz , a square near to the famous, constantly busy and party-prone Langstrasse – literally translated to the long street.

From outside..

From outside..source: google

I haven’t been to Ah-Hua for about three years, so I was looking forward to see if it had improved in food quality. Judging by the crowded restaurant the last time I entered through the entrance, I had expected it to be amazing, but was gravely disappointed. Back then I pushed my disappointment on the fact that I have been spoiled with too much perfectly delicious food from my absolute favorite restaurant Nagasui, and told myself it’s just me..I mean why else would this tiny place be non-stop, jam-packed full?! So, when I entered the restaurant yesterday, I had a mission – I had to find out why this place was so popular!

Inside

Inside, source: google

Similar to my last visit, every table was already taken before we arrived (we did however reserve a table, so didn’t have to wait in line..). On our way there, members of the group were describing how scrumptious everything was, how they frequent the place at least once a week, and how it is so amazing, no other restaurant could ever compare. Their recommended dish? The panaeng…which, funny enough, is my absolute favorite peanut and red curry based dish (yummiest with tofu!).

Intrigued, I take my seat. In front of me was the long menu, each page containing pictures of each individual dish, with a short description. With a galore of meat based dishes, the weak selection of only two tofu main courses (both stir fries) was just plain sad. I did however ask, whether is were possible to replace tofu with the meat in the curries, which the waitress said they can do, but only for 1 Fr. more. At an average of 19 Fr. per dish,the price wasn’t too shabby, but since I wasn’t familiar with the dishes, I didn’t know if it were worth the extra Franc. What’s more, if you want rice, it’s another 3 Fr. increase…

Due to my hopeless love for Nagasui’s Panaeng, I decided against unnecessary disappointment (I have so far only found one restaurant that makes better Panaeng than my usual place!) and went for a tofu, vegetable and cashew nut stir fry and a Som Tam (papaya salad.)

When it comes to papaya salad, I am also very stuck-up and spoiled. Nagasui (and their sister restaurant Tiffins) honestly have gotten the recipe down to a ‘t’. Even my father says that no other restaurant prepares this refreshing salad, as deliciously as Nagasui. Knowing this, I still wanted something green with my meal, and after checking if the sauce contained fish sauce (which it doesn’t), I dug in.

Som Tam

Som Tam, source: google

It was good, but not great..The peanuts they used were sweet (weird?!) and the tomatoes really soggy. Also, for the 18 Fr. I paid, I would have expected a generous portion. Instead, I received barely enough…

After a long wait, my second course came:

Tofu

Tofu, source: google

Also not the biggest portion in the world, but combined with my starter, I left the restaurant just satisfied. The stir fry sauce was o.k – a Sweet Chili Sauce watered down with the addition of mirin and soy sauce – and the vegetables were cooked just right. Being a tofu lover, I enjoy a huge portion of tofu, which this, sadly, was not. My favorite part was probably the roasted cashew nuts…

After seeing the Panaeng that the others ordered, I stopped complaining (to myself!) about my dish, because the curry looked sooooooo oily that I knew I had made the right choice to stick with my instincts after all..I love a dense and creamy Panaeng, not a watery, weird-looking one, where the coconut milk in is has separated..

All in all it was o.k. I went home still not understanding why it is so popular. While I was there, I looked around and noticed a plethora of Swiss clientele, with the majority of them ordering a red coconut curry soupy thing with rice. Either it’s that dish that I was missing out on, or the Swiss have a limited list of restaurants to compare this place to and therefore think it’s the best..Who knows?! All I know is that I will definitely be remaining a regular at Nagasui and have yet to find a similar, or better, place to eat!

Mission completed!

And with that, I wish you a bon appétit (it’s lunch time here!).

Anoushé xoxo

Question of the day:

Do you have an absolute favorite dish that you can only eat a certain restaurant? Do you try this dish at various restaurants, or stick to your one favorite place?

Growing up, we would regularly eat Indian food. My favorite at the time was Saag paneer or Paneer Makhani. We frequently varied the restaurants we visited and I would only order those 2 dishes in hopes of finding the best. My relationship to Panaeng and Som Tam are completely different though. I’m not as adventurous anymore because I’ve been disappointed by the dish numerous times, so I try to avoid ordering them, unless I’m convinced it will be equally tasty..