A tour of C.E.R.N., Switzerland.

I’m going to try and explain the C.E.R.N. tour to you guys but it’s a little difficult as 90% of what was said and shown went WAY over our heads. “Founded in 1954, the CERN laboratory sits astride the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 22 member states.” The process starts a minimum of 2 weeks before you even set foot on the grounds, all people interested in touring the facilities must apply online and be granted permission to visit. It’s 100% free of charge!

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C.E.R.N. (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) is part of a huge University campus. The tour starts in the reception building where you sign in and are free to visit the small museum while you wait for your group to arrive. This dome shows a short film twice an hour.

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The collider is contained in a circular tunnel, with a circumference of 27 kilometres (17 mi), at a depth ranging from 50 to 175 metres (164 to 574 ft) underground.

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This is what their backup tape arrays look like, storing petabytes of experiment data.

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An old cross section of the pipe that encases the tubes holding the particle beams.

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Cool things?

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The “Matt” particle.

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The tours are given by staff member scientists (I’m assuming whoever pulled the shortest straw that day) and begin in a cold dark room holding a replica accelerator. Particle physicist Jean-Paul explains C.E.R.N.’s achievements timeline and answers any kind of questions you may have. Did you know the World Wide Web was born here?

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Next, a movie is played along with a cool light show dumbing down the whole process, making it easy for anyone to understand how particle tests are conducted.

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An actual section of the accelerator.

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Next, the tour continues in the office where data is analyzed. We watch another movie (3D) then get to peek into the Atlas control room, oddly enough we arrived on a day when experiments where not being held. Tests are usually conducted 30 hours at a time back to back.  

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Lego!

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That’s pretty much it for the tour. It’s not riveting but very fascinating, as I’ve mentioned before, most things said will probably go over your head. I was surprised how busy it was, there where several tours happening in many different languages, our group consisted of about 20 people from around the world. 

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Gex, France. The cutest little town in the French alps.

Only 20 km from Geneva, Gex is an adorable tiny town in the Franch mountains.

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Our awesome apartment had a balcony and full kitchen.

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Oh, and horse neighbours.

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The horse in the back stuck his tongue out for the photo.

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Cool.

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I love pink!

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This pub was AMAZING! We went everyday for little wines.

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Affordable little wines.

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So much cheese.

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Scallops with a mustard crème fraiche sauce.

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Horse steak, grassy greens and carrots, a natural pairing.

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Dinners from 2016 for which I don’t remember the recipes. I promise, they were all yummy!

Khaosan Road style Pad Thai with chicken – shrimp, dried onions, crispy chicken skin, red cabbage, sprouts, home grown cilantro, fresh limes, green hot peppers, carrots, garlic, leeks, basil and Bulgarian mint.

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Cabbage rolls with rice and pork. I remember using a touch of dried mint which gave the rolls a nice, light, fresh flavor.

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Dark photo of strained yogurt, green figs in syrup, strawberries and toasted pinenuts.

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Pork steak with roasted sesame and broccoli crumble (steam broccoli then dehydrate), octopus onigiri and lemon olive oil octopus salad.

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Roasted chicken with homemade antipasto. Note to self, make more antipasto. I’m pretty sure I used this recipe. 

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Caviar cake! Layers of blini, avocado and trout caviar.

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Homemade schnitzel with beans, sausage and sauerkraut.

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Beef tripe in butter with 3 dipping sauces. Parsley, chili and more butter?

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Caesar salad with AWSOME dressing and grilled chicken thighs.

4 Anchovies
4 large cloves Garlic
2 Egg yolk, large
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Honey
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black pepper, ground
1/2 cup Olive oil…maybe less

The trick is to first blend the hard ingredients with the yolks and then add the wet ingredients, except the oil which you slowly pour into the blender to thicken the sauce.

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Polish “Milk Bar” dinner.

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Pressure cooker osso bucco with spinach dumplings. I really like Emeril’s recipe.

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I went dehydrator crazy and made my own veggie stock.

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French onion soup.

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Avocado and caviar appetizer.

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Chicken liver pâté.

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Appetizer platter.

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Pickled herring. Even I, who for some reason hates pickled herring, liked these…maybe because I added a stick of cinnamon? I’m not 100% sure but I think I used this recipe.

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Christmas dinners.

So this was my list/menu for Christmas…it was enough food for a family of 6! The squid and duck were out of this world!

24th
-Stuffed squid: lemon, garlic, parsley, fried bread crumbs, mini shrimps
-Garlic butter shrimp
-Wreath salad with citrus champagne vinaigrette

25th
-Duck a l’orange
-Polish misteria: cucumber, sour cream, garlic and dill salad
-Matt’s Polish potato mayo salad (made by Matt!)
-Stuffing stuffed onions: sausage meat, nuts, figs, candied orange peel and sage

Loads of wine, Champagne, homemade eggnog and Christmas cookies.

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The duck sat in a brine for almost 3 days and then I loosely followed this recipe.

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Sweet and sour pork meat balls with purple Brussels sprouts.

Easy, budget friendly dinner!

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Place Brussels sprouts on the bottom of a steamer. Place meatballs on top of Brussels sprout and steam for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the balls. Serve with warmed sweet chili sauce or homemade sweet and sour sauce. Garnish with cilantro and green onions. 

 

For the balls:

  • Ground pork
  • Diced bell pepper
  • Freshly grated ginger
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper

For the sauce:

  • Dark fruit jam (I used lingberry)
  • Hot sauce
  • White vinegar

Mexican style pozole.

This is not a 100% authentic, Abuela approved, recipe as I don’t have access to hominy or large dried ancho chilies to make my own chili sauce but the flavors were there. One of my favorite soups I’ve made so far.

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  • The night before: Brine your Boston butt (pork butt) in cold water, salt, brown sugar, cumin and 2 bay leaves.
  • Cut the pork into 1 inch cubes.
  • In a pressure cooker: meat cubes, an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, a heaping spoonful of ancho chili powder, a tablespoon of red pepper paste (roasted red peppers and garlic simmered until paste) and enough rich chicken or beef broth to cover the meat. 
  • Pressure cook on high for 45 minutes.
  • Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Add a can of huge white beans and half a can of corn (optional).
  • Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Serve with radishes,  shredded cabbage, limes, green onions, sour cream, tortillas, etc..

Stick to savory, Amalia!

It all started with 1 bored girl and 4 innocent egg whites. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not very good at just sitting. Sure, I can watch TV and movies non-stop for hours on end but I’m usually cooking or crafting something at the same time. Last night the 4 egg whites sitting in refrigerator where driving me crazy, I hate wasting food and I know that egg whites have a short shelf life, what should I make with them!!?! After some serious Pinteresting I decided to make Royal Icing Sugar, looked easy enough; eggs whites, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, blue food colouring because why not, and a splash of  vinegar (in lieu of cream of tartar). Whip, whip, whip and OMG, WHAT! I never read the recipe through, I just made a LITER of Royal Icing Sugar! I don’t even like desserts!

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Ok, well now I needed something to “ice”. Wow, I really didn’t think this through. Back on Pinterest and a few minutes later I decide to make Old Fashion BAKED Sour Cream Doughnuts. I’ve made fried doughnuts many times before and they always turn out so delicious, why not attempt the healthier version.  Mix, mix, mix, bake and TA DA!!!! I think I’ve nailed it.

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Heavenly crab and shrimp stuffed mushrooms.

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Imitation crab and shrimp stuffed mushrooms
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Print
356 calories
11 g
47 g
30 g
15 g
8 g
298 g
599 g
6 g
0 g
20 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
298g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 356
Calories from Fat 262
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g
46%
Saturated Fat 8g
42%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 13g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 47mg
16%
Sodium 599mg
25%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
12%
Sugars 6g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
22%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 10 large mushrooms
  2. 6 surimi "crab" sticks, finely chopped
  3. 1/4 cup chopped shrimp
  4. 1/4 cup grated gouda
  5. 2 tablespoons of a good tasting mayo (like Japanese mayo)
  6. 1 tablespoon chopped green onion or leek
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped bacon
  8. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  9. Olive oil
  10. A sprinkle of nutmeg
  11. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Peel or clean mushrooms with a dry cloth, remove stems. Place mushrooms top side down on a baking sheet, salt and lightly oil. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest until cool then drain the liquid (or keep the juices for stock or gravy).
  2. You can either mix everything together, stuff the mushrooms then bake at 450 degrees for 5-8 minutes or separate all the non-seafood ingredients into two bowls then mix one with shrimp and one with crab.
Notes
  1. My oven doesn't have numbers on it so I'm probably way off with the temperatures.
  2. 350 degrees = medium heat
  3. 450 degrees = medium high heat
beta
calories
356
fat
30g
protein
15g
carbs
11g
more
Amalia and Matt's blog http://mattandamalia.com/

Homemade Cheez Whiz

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Ingredients

  • 4 ounces of extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • more or less 1/2 cup of whole or reduced-fat milk

Instructions

  1. In a food processor blend the Cheddar cheese, the cream cheese, cornstarch, honey, turmeric, mustard powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  2. Heat the milk in a microwave-safe cup in the microwave for 45 seconds or until warm, not boiling.
  3. Slowly pour the milk over the cheese mixture a little at a time and blend in the food processor until smooth. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

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