Switzerland

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Sweiss is one of my favorite countries to visit in Europe. It is a small country though has so many different colours since it is surrounded by 6 different countries.
You can experience Germany, France and Italy all in one. It also doesn’t require too much traveling time from one city to the other unlike other countries in Europe, e.g. Greece or Spain.

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J’aime boir the cafe noir! I find coffees in Switzerland never failed me even when I had this little black coffee on the river cruise. I didn’t expect much from it though a nice coffee with a petite chocolate for a couple of euros is not too bad at all.
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We had a lunch at this fondue house which has got popular for Koreans since it was on reality TV show.
Food was average though I liked that kind of old style restaurant where waiters are friendly and is full of old furniture.
A bad habit I had while traveling was having a snack or sweets on the bus. I justify myself it is okay to try local snacks and reach towards a bag of chips.
I made a good choice though of course like yogurt and cheese (I have to admit they have pretty amazing dairy products!!).
That apple chips were so yummy, just dehydrated green apples pretty much. Munching on them pretty much everyday lol

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You never get sick of looking outside while being on the bus. Greens after greens..mountains after mountains.. Il est beaucoup belle!I wish I learned more of German, French and Italian just for a basic conversation when buying, ordering and getting around.
I felt quite rude speaking English to them and not trying their language. They were still friendly enough though you can understand why a tourism is so big in Switzerland.

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Beautiful Swiss Alps.. breathtaking scenery.. crisp unpolluted fresh air.. stillness.. quietness..

We only had a short walk about an hour in the mountains, but I made a promise to myself that I will definitely go back.I would love to try those hang gliding and hiking Alps. Well I will have to get over my fear of height first >.<
My mum also enjoyed Switzerland, first time for her and second for me. Living in a busy city in Korea, working long hours, looking after other people, etc.
She definitely deserves a good break and needs to get away from that life. I’m so fortunate I can go back home to see her and travel with her as well.
Nothing more valuable than that! You realise how important your family is when you live far far away from them. I’m looking forward to our next trip already:)

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Beetroot salad

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Beetroot is one of the yummy vegetables that I tried for the first time in Australia. I think you can find them in the markets in Korea nowadays though it is unusual vegetables still.
I only tried canned pickled beetroot for the first time >.< well..I didn’t know much about it anyway.
It was nice though texture was mushy, very sweet and sour, thanks to canned food, full of preservatives.
Then I recently started using beetroot more in my cooking since I discovered all the good things about this amazing little friend.
Beetroot is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin A and C, a good source of fiber, manganese and potassium.
The rich purplish red colour is betacyanin, a strong antioxidant and anti-cancer agent.
It helps to beat high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, anaemia, fatigue and constipation.
Sounds good to me:)

You can eat raw like me by grating and putting in salads or make home-made pickles (don’t buy canned pickles! please) or roast in the oven with a drizzle of balsamic.
Since it is scorching 38 degrees here today, I didn’t even go close to the oven or stove today.
Cold salad is a way to go!
For this awesome red salad, I mixed orzo, carrots, beetroot, celery, zucchini and mint leaves.
Season with good quality herb salt and pepper.
Drizzle olive oil and lemon vinegar. Sprinkle sunflower seeds and sliced dried figs.
I made this to take to my friend’s son’s birthday picnic party tomorrow. Hopefully everyone enjoys it!
My mum sent me a couple of photos of snowing in Korea. It is a festive season soon, Christmas..New year..
I miss Winter Christmas..wearing a thick coat, scarf, beanie and gloves..walking around streets full of beautiful lights and Christmas trees..having hearty warm winter foods..
That’s how Christmas should be to me, not in 40 degrees heat 🙁

Budapest, Hungary

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When I arrived in Budapest, it was already late afternoon. We had a pub dinner near the Budapest parliament, which lightened up when it got dark. Such an amazing neo-gothic architecture that makes you feel so small in front. We took a river cruise to have a look at a beautiful night view of Budapest. Parliament building, chain bridge, castle hill, etc.

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We also went to Heroes square which is located at the end of Andrassy Avenue. The monument was erected to commemorate the 1000 year old history of the Magyars.
After a couple of wines on the river cruise, I was so ready for bed since I was still jet-lagged (well..I don’t think I never got out of it until I left Europe…I’m so bad with time difference!)

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I was not a big fan of local foods in Europe. From my experience, they seem to have quite heavy salty foods with lots of meats and potatoes.
Best meal of the day for me was a hotel breakfast unfortunately. Fresh fruits, vegetables and some protein! A couple of plates lasted me almost all day 🙂

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Fishermen’s Bastion.. Apparently there was a fish market nearby in medieval times, and this bastion was built to commemorate the fishermen who protected this part of the city.
There is a lookout at the top. The view from there in the morning was quite different to the night before. Then we took a walk through the Castle hill that has old citizen houses and narrow streets.

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Beautiful Autumn colour trees covering up the hill. It was only late September though Autumn here seemed a bit early. My favorite season of the year!
You can find a lot of ittle souvenir shops had paprika (chillies) hung up to dry in the sun. Apparently a person who discovered vitamins in this chillies won the Novel prize.
After a only short walk we arrived in the Royal Palace, which was build in the 13th century after the Mongolian invasion. It’s used as the national gallery and history museum now.

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Last meal in Budapest was pork, potatoes and rice (where is my greens?), then we headed to Wien, Austria.
It was a short stay in Hungary and definitely didn’t have enough time to get around the city and park area. I would love to go back there and stay a little longer next time to go to the parks, museums and local bistros and brasseries, too.
So many things to do in so little time in Europe:)

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Sushi

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Sushi (well..a.k.a Kimbap in Korea) used to be a special meal for me when I grew up.
We had a picnic day in Spring and Autumn twice a year when I was at school. Sushi was a must dish that everyone brought in their lunch box and compared whose tastes and looks better. I liked that excitement the night before, waiting for a picnic day, sometimes sleepless night with a big smile on my little face. Mum used to get up really early and made noises in the kitchen to make my lunch box when I was still sleeping in bed. Then I wake up and walk to the kitchen. The kitchen bench is a full of colourful ingredients like a rainbow. Spinach, carrot, pickled radish, ham, cheese, eggs, some herbs, etc. My family ends up having mum’s sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner that day. She made the prettiest sushi in the world and it, of course, tasted delicious! Ah..nostalgia..my childhood food 🙂

I know sushi has become a big trend of healthy take-away food. To me, though, western sushi has so much rice and no flavour compared to Korean sushi. And did I mention it is a bit pricy for a small roll of sushi >.<
I normally make one myself home because it is so easy and fun to make. If you haven’t done it before, it may look a little intimidating task but trust me on this! You just need to practice a couple of times until you get the hang of it. Always the first one is the ugliest, exactly like when you make pancakes. I used two cups of sushi rice and some vegetables to make two big rolls. A bit of chilli sauce to spice it up as well. I find it helps to have the sharpest knife you’ve got at home in runny water before you slice them up so that rice doesn’t stick to your knife and ruin your beautiful sushi. Writing this post…I think myself I really should call this Kimbap, not sushi!!!!

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Paté Platter for Dinner

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Having vegetables and fruits most of the time, I can feel quite exhausted and a lack of energy at times. The micro-nutrients from vegetarian diet are great though it is true that you get iron and vitamin B12 deficiency.
After my visit to my uncle who is a oriental medicine doctor back home, I had to find a list of foods that contains high iron to boost more energy in myself. I tried a pan-fried liver before but somehow the flavour got more intense after cooking, and it was hard to eat after a couple of mouthful. Pate, on the other hand, needs a little bit of preparation but I think it has better texture and flavour.

The liver is a storage for many important nutrients, a rich source of iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin A. It has a incredible nutritional benefits when compared with fruits, veggies and other meats. I guess having the organ meats helps the farmers and environment as well. People worry about a high cholesterol content in the liver, though it is a good cholesterol (you need it in your body unless you have hyperlipidemia!) and a small amount is okay. It is all about moderation after all.

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Problem with making pate, though, is most recipes suggest using so much butter or oil to make a smooth texture. Well I had to give up on that. There is no way I use that much butter in my food.So I used a couple of table spoons of coconut oil, hoping it helps to hold everything together. I also had the liver in milk for an hour before cooking to get rid of any bad smell. Then I boiled it with white wine, bay leaves, peppercorns and some other spices in a saucepan until it’s cooked through. Remove from the heat, cool down a bit, blend it all up, put it in a ramekin, and set in the fridge. Well…it turned out to be so crumbly without butter >.<
I might need to try again with some other substitutes to make a buttery texture next time.

Viola! I served with zucchini bread, red onion jam, home-made pickles and green salad.
Very satisfying dinner 🙂

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