Tag Archives: Migros

Gluten-free Dutch Babies

With nine children, my mother never had time to make us breakfast in the morning. Most days it was cereal, toaster waffles or toaster strudel (OMG !) and in the winter she would heat up water for oatmeal. Special breakfasts like pancakes, crepes, Belgian waffles and my beloved dutch babies were only made for dinner from time to time.

Dutch babies were and probably are still one of my favorite foods in the world. Covered in syrup, they are not the healthiest meal. When my sister and I inherited the recipe from my mother, we learned that they are actually supposed to be sliced and eaten as a dessert and not served whole to a single person. Oops!I tried to pass on my love of dutch babies to Kay, but like popovers, he thought they tasted to eggy and he didn’t really care for them. Shame!

Since I know he doesn’t like them, I always made dutch babies whenever Kay was gone for breakfast. He traveled a lot for work, so I definitely got my fill of dutch babies over the years. But it’s never enough!

Sometimes it’s these “secret single behavior” things that makes me the saddest about missing out on gluten. I attempted my first dutch baby a month or two into the gluten-free diet and it did not turn out well. It was still edible, but that’s not saying much.

I tried a few more times and my results were even worse. They were thick, didn’t puff up and cooked strangely. I thought about giving up on dutch babies, because making these gluten-free versions while Kay was away was actually depressing me more than cheering me up, but I decided to look at some recipes for gluten-free versions online.

I followed one recipe (can’t remember which one) and the results turned out pretty well. One of the tricks mentioned was to make sure the eggs were room temperature by warming them in a bowl of water. I had always used eggs straight out of the fridge with no problems, but I guess something changed when I switched to gluten-free flour.

I decided to make my mother’s recipe with the egg trick and what do you know, the dutch babies are turning out more and more normal each time! I think I am getting the hang of this. 🙂

Gluten Free Dutch Babies

3 eggs, warmed to room temperature in a bowl of hot water
1/2 cup GF flour like the Aha mix from Migros
1/2 cup milk, preferably dairy-free these days
pinch of salt
2 TBS Butter (28.4g), eyeballed. No exact measuring butter here folks!

  1. Warm your eggs for a bit in a bowl of hot water to bring them up to room temperature. Not enough to cook them, but enough so that your yolks are nice and runny when you crack the eggs.
  2. Start preheating your oven to 400ºF/205ºC.
  3. Beat eggs and then add flour, milk and a pinch of salt. Beat all until combined, but don’t over beat the batter.
  4. When the oven is almost hot, cut the butter and put it in your pie pan in the oven to melt it while it reaches the correct temperature. (Don’t stick it in too early and let your butter burn!)
  5. Take the pan with melted butter out and pour in your dutch baby mix.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed up.
  7. Drench in maple syrup and enjoy!

They are also wonderful with strawberries or other fresh fruit, jams like raspberry and whipped cream if you are being extra indulgent. Don’t judge me for all the syrup on this one!!

Mmmmmm. Are you a fan of puffed oven pancakes?

Finding Glass Tupperware in Switzerland

When I purged gluten from our kitchen, I had to give away all of our plastic tupperware. I planned to replace it with glass to be healthier and to make reheating food at work more convenient since I normally transfer my food to a bowl before microwaving. It took me about 8 months to finally settle on a few sets with some prices that I can stomach here. (Spoiler alert, it’s still a lot more expensive than anything available in the US.)

Without Amazon or Target, it’s sometimes hard to find quality kitchen items for a reasonable price here. You can get a lot of things from Migros or Coop, but often the quality or choice is lacking. There were hardly any glass containers like Pyrex available or they were very expensive or mostly round-shaped. I even searched in Globus and Manor and didn’t really find anything suitable. Honestly, I just wanted something like a Pyrex value set below, but Pyrex Europe does not offer sets, especially at these prices.

($29.99 from World Kitchen. I cannot express what a fantastic deal this set would be here!)

We do all of our cooking on weekends and then I portion half the food into lunch containers and the rest into bigger family-style containers to keep at home, so I was looking for a mix of big and small containers, with more small ones for transporting food to work. Moreover, I also wanted containers that fit well in my cooler lunch bag because they need to stay cool during the two hours I’m at the gym and traveling to work. Ideally, I wanted to be able to pack four containers or two containers and yogurt/fruit as I can now.

Even though I found (and bought) one kind of large Pyrex dish with a lid from Migros since de-glutening the kitchen, I resigned myself to the idea that finding a whole set would be difficult here. I began searching for Pyrex alternatives because there was no way I would pay 20-45CHF per container and the smallest Pyrex available was anyway not small enough to fit well in my lunch bag.

(59.95CHF from Pro Idee)

Lock&Lock is a fairly big brand here and I was very interested in their individual products from Globus. I thought maybe if I found a set online that it would not be quite so expensive as the one off pieces. Nobody wants to pay 15-40CHF for one container, but 60 for a set of five was starting to sound like a good deal

I would have gone ahead and gotten the Lock&Lock set, but the three smallest containers were all square, which is not as space-friendly to my cooler as rectangles would be, so I didn’t stop my search there. After finding Lock&Lock on Toppreise, I was able to do searches for “Boroseal”, “Borosilicat”, “Frischhaltedosen glas” and similar to find several more brands, sets and value options available in Switzerland.

Emsa was a brand I had never heard of, but they popped up in my searches with several affordable sets.

(37.90CHF from Erwin Müller)

(29.90CHF from Erwin Müller)

After I found the Emsa sets, I somehow found this Silit set. We have a Silit knife from my MIL that’s awesome, so I know the brand is good.

(59.90 from Erwin Müller)

This set from Birgitte St. Gallen looked like one of the most affordable, but it was still square and the site needed a minimum order of 50CHF, which would mean ordering two sets. Plus shipping was a little more expensive than the Erwin Müller site.

(39.90 from Birgitte St. Gallen)

Likewise, this set from Weltbild was also relatively cheap but the sizes were actually a little too big for my needs compared to the Silit containers. Apparently I really had a specific size in mind for my lunch containers! (39.95CHF from Weltbild.ch)

Lastly, I heard that IKEA has some offers for cheap containers and they do, but unfortunately the smallest size (sizes are not accurate in the picture!) was square and the smallest rectangle container was also too big.

 

(Individually, 2.95-7.95CHF from IKEA)

I really like Lock&Lock as a brand, but I didn’t want to buy all the rectangle pieces individually and I was having a really hard time deciding which sizes I needed. It’s hard to tell from pictures online and I kept using a ruler to approximate how big or small things were. I wanted to make sure we would be investing in smart size since this would cost us way more than plastic containers.

At the same time, I was also lamenting the fact that QVC Germany offers some awesome lime or purple Lock&Lock sets that would totally go in our kitchen, but they only ship to Germany. Rats! Likewise, all those cheap US options don’t ship here.

Having gotten really fed up with searching, I finally made the decision to order the two Emsa sets above as well as two Silit sets for about 190CHF with shipping. That would give us 12 containers in addition to our glass Pyrex and the few bell jars that we have.

Did I save money? I think I still did. 190CHF works out to 15.8 a container, which is generally how much the small to midsize rectangle Lock&Lock cost from Globus. Also… bonus: with their black lids and red silicon, the Silit containers should be fairly stain-proof against tomato sauce and curry! I think that’s worth paying a little extra for…

Not only am I happy that we will be storing most if not all of our food in glass going forward, I am very happy that we are no longer strapped for containers! I had bought just the bare minimum to get by with plastic and we were always running out and sometimes had to stick whole pots of food or pans in the fridge. So happy I’m back to my usual storage container setup!

Also happy how many small containers I have! I figure if I still want some more, I should try the IKEA ones out since they are such a good price, but I’m looking forward to next summer when I can just heat these up and stick them in my bag to head to the lake.

I might have been able to find an Amazon business that ships to Switzerland, but I would have had to deal with exorbitant shipping fees and import taxes, so I’m happy to just have my containers sorted out locally.

Have you converted to glass storage containers yet?

Gluten-free Homemade Muesli

As a typical American, I came to Switzerland eating cereal for breakfast. Kay, on the other hand, ate a very Swiss breakfast of freshly sliced bread slathered in butter and jam. For years it went on this way. He had his bread and I had my cereal.

One could argue about the healthiness of either breakfast, but eventually Kay switched over to the dark side so that he could be a little faster in the morning and sleep a little longer. Slicing bread and doing all that buttering and spreading takes a long time! But he didn’t switch to conventional brand cereal like me… no. He started buying ingredients to mix his own muesli so that it would be healthier and less sugary than whatever I was eating.

I called it “Pferd Futter” or “Horse food” because that’s what it looked like to me.

Anyway, I more or less stopped eating cereal in an effort to incorporate more fresh fruit in my diet and then with the celiac diagnosis and Kay’s absence, I didn’t even want to think about cereal and how depressing it is here. We don’t have Chex in Switzerland. You can buy gluten free cornflakes from Migros and Coop, and from Coop you can also buy chocolate crispy rice for kids. From non-specialty stores, that’s it!

L-R: Bio cornflakes: 2.20CHF for 300g ($2.45 for 10.5OZ) / Schär cornflakes: 2.90 for 250g ($3.23 for 8.8OZ) / Schär Flakes Milly Magic 123: 4.95CHF for 250g ($5.51 for 8.8OZ)

You can’t even buy most normal muesli ingredients in the store without them being laced with gluten. I can buy puffed amaranth from Migros, but all the soy flakes are coated with malt flavoring, making them a no-go.

So why don’t I just let Kay buy his normal muesli ingredients and let it go? Crumbs. CRUMBS. Or shall I say, dust. Every time Kay makes muesli in his tupperware and every time he gets some out in the morning, cereal dust flies into the air and all over the counters.

If that cereal dust happened to be wheat-y, barley, malt or otherwise gluten-y… it would be all over our counters. And because we are in a hurry in the morning, that gluten death trap would be there in the evening too. Cleaning up his muesli mess is not one of Kay’s strong suits, but if he did… I would have to worry about him contaminating the dish towel and then forgetting to change it out with a new dish towel. I know… anal. But with celiac, you have to be.

There’s always a question of how much gluten is bad for you, but in my own home, I would rather not doubt what I am eating. I don’t want to worry about wheat particles flying around while I bake, nor do I want to question what the dish towel was last used to clean. Nope. Gluten-free cereal for all is the way forward.

But since oats are a no-no the first year, I wanted to find a way to make oat-free granola to mix with those boring cornflakes. I’ve been lurking on Against All Grain and found this recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Granola, so I had to try it out!

First I soaked the nuts overnight which is supposed to break down the phytic barrier and give the granola a nicer crunch. Kay just thought I was crazy to be soaking them in water and then dehydrating them.

All chopped up and ready to be baked. We have a convection oven, so I used that instead of going out and buying a dehydrator, but after baking 3-4 hours at 75ºC/170ºF, the muesli still came out pretty moist.

I didn’t feel like baking it longer at this point, but I would definitely bake it longer next time. I feel like buying a plastic dehydrator from the store seems like a waste of money when we have an oven with airflow, but maybe I’m wrong.

I threw all the muesli in Kay’s new GF cereal container with GF cornflakes, buckwheat flakes from the health store, puffed amaranth balls, and millet flakes from the health food store. Then I poured it in a bowl to mix before putting it back in the container.

This muesli is delicious! It smelled heavenly and it had a lovely autumn flavor that had me wanting to start eating cereal again too!

See all that mess up there? Haha… homemade muesli is still quite messy, but I don’t have to worry about it being a gluten mess now! And by watering down the expensive health store gluten-free alternative flakes with homemade muesli and cornflakes, I can feel better about the cost of our gluten-free muesli.

Even if you aren’t gluten free, you should go try this muesli out! It is seriously delicious!

Larger than life office lamps

Out of the blue, Kay agreed to go housewares shopping with me last weekend. I wanted to look at pillows and we ended up trying out beds and looking at options in 4-5 different stores around Dübendorf. The man even suggested going to IKEA. He must love me. 🙂

We browsed the lighting sections at a few different stores and are trying to figure out what to do in the living/dining room when we came upon these really funky lamps:

Stehleuchte NEW YORK 169CHF from Micasa Stehleuchte NEW YORK schwarz 169CHF from Micasa

I bet you think they just look like normal desk lamps, right? Well they are huge… see if you can get a sense of the scale from these pictures:

See that dude in the back? He sort of gives you a little idea of the scale. These things are huge floor lamp versions of their desktop counterparts.

At first I thought they were strange… and then I thought they were really cool. I want an oversized desk lamp in our office! And 169 is a pretty fair price for such a large lamp in Switzerland. Anything to avoid spending 400+ on a lamp!

Would you go for a crazy lamp in your home?