Bathroom Art Series

In design school I had a professor who would collect flight safety cards for their novel infographics. They are often hilariously horrible, yet interesting how the artist/designer chose to convey this important emergency information. As I started traveling internationally in 2007, I began collecting my own cards as well. I stopped after I had 14 or 15 from different airlines and plane models.

Over the years, I dreamt about making an ironic bathroom series because I thought it would be amusing for guests to ponder flight safety when they visit our bathroom.

For a long time this was impossible, because Kay refused to drill holes in a rental. Then we spent literally two years discussing and debating how to go about hanging up a series of photos on the wall. This is THE FIRST thing ever hung up in our flat after two years.

Kay’s issue was making too many holes in the wall for whenever we move out eventually. He argued that we should buy a museum-like gallery system, so we could easily hang multiple photos and change them if we like. I finally caved and gave up my multiple-holes-in-the-wall pitch.I actually bought the frames for my bathroom series in 2013 or 2014, but yes… they sat on my desk for the better part of two years before I could finally start hanging them up. And it was not easy! First I had to buy screws to hang some string in the middle for the photo to hang properly.After a lot of testing, I decided I would have to hang the frames with the string set in the lower third, because they are so small and light and bulky that they would not lay flat against the wall.Here is the gallery rail, which mind you, has five screws in it. In case that’s not clear, this is only four screws less than if we hung the photos without this rail system.…and this was my main problem. Even hanging with the hook set lower, these darn frames just flopped out from the wall. It was infuriating. I swore it then and I swear it now, it would have been SO much easier if we just drilled some darn holes in the wall. I ended up flipping every frame around and taping black electrical tape around the clear gallery cable to secure the frames. But that wasn’t enough… I needed to secure both the top and bottoms, plus secure invisible pieces of plastic on the sides to make sure the frames would stay aligned to one another and not all crooked.After all this tedious taping was done, the entire taped together grid of nine frames was STILL hanging off the wall, so I doubled up on some double-sided wall mount stuff to really secure those suckers to the wall. Yep. It’s a bit ridiculous. Now all nine frames are taped in multiple areas to another, plus these silly pads gluing the whole thing to the wall. Changeable? No fucking way. Don’t you dare touch this now that it is up!The final result looks really nice, but it took literally hours and a lot of patience… all to save making four additional holes. Gah. That’s compromise folks! Still, I do love the gallery now that it’s done. I just do not want to ever touch it again.Now guests are free to contemplate the safety measures required during a flight emergency as they relieve themselves or freshen up.And really… it is the first thing up on any of the walls. It’s great to just have something there on those stark white walls that I don’t feel like painting with that annoying-to-paint texture. 🙂I also could finally spruce up the severely lonely corner in the guest bathroom with a vase from my FIL and some fake plants from IKEA. Now I am not quite so depressed when I look over there from the throne. And for the other bathroom, even though it has a window, we have like four layers of curtains for privacy, so I also got a fake orchid from IKEA to brighten up this space as well. It’s actually a little nice not to have to worry about watering or taking care of these plants. 🙂Do you ever buy fake plants to spruce things up a bit?

Salt (Orange) Cinema

Orange cinema has been around for years and I always thought about going, but never made the time. Often the weather in Switzerland was too cold and rainy in the summer the last several years to really think about going to an outdoor cinema. I was also turned off by the idea of people smoking in their seats near me.

Orange had to change its name to Salt earlier this year for legal reasons, but they are still operating their annual summer outdoor cinema and I decided to finally give it a try and tick this off my Swiss “to-do” list.Some friends and I decided to go for the Annabelle ladies night showing of Dirty Dancing, a special evening with some free goodies like a glass of prosecco, free ice cream (not for me, it was a gluteny cone), a bag with some beauty samples at the end, and free makeovers at the entrance.

I was actually really impressed by the cinema. You buy a ticket and then get there early to stand in line so that you can grab a good seat. Normally in Switzerland, all the cinemas automatically have pre-purchased seats, so open seating is a bit strange to go back to. In the end, you arrive around an hour or two early to see the movie, but no fear… there is food and drink!I’m sure this is where Salt makes all the money. With a couple hours to kill, people are more than likely to eat dinner at one of the many pop-up versions of local restaurants in the cinema grounds and imbibe on some adult beverages.

Assuming there would be nothing for me, I ate at work beforehand and brought some GF snacks in my bag, but I did buy a cider and some of the girls did not want their free proseccos, so I ended up having a couple of those as well. I might have been able to eat at some of the places

The movie was also GREAT. I am not as crazy of a Dirty Dancing fan as many women, but it is a great oldie and it was so fun to watch the movie in an open crowd. There was a great atmosphere and audible reactions to all the best parts of the movie. The weather was also fantastic that evening! No rain and the heat from the day persisted so that we never needed the jackets we brought with us. It was the perfect summer evening!

The only hard part was that because it was during the week and connections are not that late, I had to book it to catch one of the last trains home.

Would you believe it that Kay has still never been to this cinema? It’s always me trying the trendy things to do in Switzerland. Maybe some day I will drag him out for a movie while it lasts.

Gluten Free Burgers

After my order from came in, it was time to open a beer and grill some burgers. Woohoo!My tomatoes were not ripe yet, but I was able to grab a few pieces of lettuce from the balcony instead of buying a whole head just for a couple burgers. I usually end up making the burgers for Kay because I always just wing the recipe with ground beef, a bit of onion, an egg, some GF panko, and whatever seasonings I feel like.

Kay put those bad boys on the grill and then finished by laying some cheese over the ones we would eat that night.It was a tasty burger! (Said in the tone of Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction.)To go with the burgers, Kay made a Cooksmarts slaw for our side. And since we had already tried some of the Brunehaut gluten free beer, we decided to make two flavors we’d already tested into Panache with lemonade since it was a very hot day.After a great meal, I enjoyed my new fairy lights from IKEA which are almost discontinued already as summer 2015 closes.

We’ve been doing a good job enjoying summer hardcore this year and I just hope the weather continues well into early autumn because Switzerland deserves some heat! Gluten Free Galore!

I can’t recall if a colleague recommend to me or if I found it when I was searching for gluten free hamburger buns, but it was on my list of things to try out for a long time. I really wanted some pre-made hamburger buns!

In July, I finally made a big order for around 100CHF, which got me much, much more than I would from the local Reformhaus, where bio, gluten-free items cost much more for even the same things.A bag of muesli for instance can cost almost 8CHF in the store, but were under 5CHF online. Not only that, but they had tons of brands and foods not available in stores. I ordered multiple types of cereal, muesli, my hamburger buns, and several types of Belgian gluten-free beer that I had never tried.I had high hopes for the buns, but I only ordered two packs to test them out first. I mean, not only have I not tried to make hamburger buns myself yet, but sometimes you just want the convenience of making something spur-of-the-moment, or as on-the-fly as you can with a meticulous gluten free diet.

I can’t tell you how often I have hamburger cravings and know it’s impossible to order one. The gluten free hamburgers we found in Australia were incredible and I had a strong craving again this summer!We are also pretty set on cereal mixings for a long time. Normally if we don’t feel like going to Reformhaus to buy special cereal, we just buy the only available cereal at Coop or Migros, corn flakes (blah!) and add in dried fruit. Sometimes not even Coop carries GF corn flakes though, but now we can make our mixes with puffed oats or buckwheat, buckwheat flakes, assorted puffs and so on. I was also looking forward to testing out all the beer they had. I only ordered ones I haven’t had before and not everything was in stock, but I got five kinds of Brunehaut beer, which is made similar to Daura GF beer where they make the beer and then de-glutenize it later.

It’s worth noting that these beers would not be allowed to be labeled GF in the US because malt/barley is an ingredient, but I have never reacted on one of these de-glutenized beers yet, so I partake in them from time to time. (Don’t worry, my main love is still caipirinhas!) Overall I am happy with my purchase and plan to make another one in the future. The only downside is all the packaging that ordering online comes with, but lots of these products are French or foreign and I couldn’t  get them in a store in the Zurich area anyway.

Le Creuset Pot Roast

Like the crepe pan, I also really needed to put my new Dutch oven to use and what better way than by making my mother’s classic pot roast?Not having a family recipe, I decided to use this recipe from The Wicked Noodle.

We bought a huge piece of meat. Seriously, look at that thing! I got to browning it, using two forks to help me maneuver the meat in the pan without burning myself.After the meat was a tad browned on all sides, I pulled it out and stuck the onions in to cook for awhile. I also used fresh thyme, which very sadly did not survive our recent Montenegrin holiday. 🙁After the sauce was done, I threw that bad boy back in the pot and cut up my carrots and washed my potatoes.After roasting time, the house smelled gorgeous and Kay was reaaally hungry for dinner.I took the roast out to carve it on our big cutting board. Success!I hope I will get a lot of use out of this pan. I plan on moving it with me wherever I go. This pan is coming to the grave! I’m really happy to finally have a pan that I can transfer from the hob to the oven.

Do you have any favorite Dutch oven recipes?