look at this bikini by princesse tam tam... it's perfection. it comes in various plain colors and three shapes. and that cute bow can be pinned to it. i love the cute, girly but nonetheless chic design. and (vital): it's not too tiny. conclusion: i have to have it.
Apr 14, 2011
i've got this mad obsession with lavender scent. it's something i love in soaps, room sprays, candles, perfumes, creams and even tea. when i first saw yotam ottolenghi's awesome tea cakes in 'the cookbook', i knew they're meant to be mine. to achieve maximum flavour, lavender honey is included. and some dried lavender flowers are sprinkled on top.
i like to serve such mini tea cakes on a shabby etagère as a sweet addition to the regular dessert, or just on a normal afternoon to perfect a cup of tea. don't they look all cute and french?
Apr 9, 2011
when it comes to meat, i am willing to admit that i am really not at all an expert. you see, i used to be a vegetarian for all of my childhood and the first years of adulthood. mostly because i really didn't like meat that much. i guess you could probably call me 'picky' when it comes to meat...
now, with a home-made, tender, aromatic and old-fashioned brasato di vitello ('roast veal' in italian), things do look a teeny tiny bit different. namely: i love it. because i really do like a good (emphasis) piece of meat like that only now and then. and cooking it is the best part.
i prepared this arrosto together with my mom in my kitchen. we love to cook together, we never fight in the kitchen. we're just working along in perfect, harmonious unison. i mean, my mom is totally the better cook than me and everything. so, the advantage is clearly on my side. hence, my mother insisted on doing the arrosto the good, old-fashioned (probably italian) way.
for the arrosto: first, sear the veal on high heat from every side for a few minutes and spice it with salt and pepper. put the veal in a casserole, then add some chopped roots and other vegetables (carrots, some onions, some garlic cloves, celery, leek and parsnip) and cover everything in red wine. add some spoonfuls of tomato essence and a few herbs (rosmary and thyme). put the veal in the ofen and roast for two and a half hours on about 220 degrees, continually sprinkling the arrosto with the liquid. if necessary, add some stock. take out the vegetables and put aside. cut the arrosto in thin slices. if you like, refine the roast sauce with some cream, season with salt and pepper and gently drip some over the meat slices when served.
to accompany the arrosto, we thought a plain risotto is always good (i love risotto, as you can see here and here). so we decided on a lemon risotto with decorative, green piselli (peas). in the last minute, we put together a little bear's garlic pesto to accompany the risotto. and i insisted on grilled vine tomatoes and some baby carrots sweat in brown butter to add more color and spring-appeal. basic, but oh so really good, that piece of meat.
Apr 8, 2011
lately, we've experienced luxuriously warm weather. so much so, that i've already sported shorts (like, really short ones) last weekend. how much does the world cost? hum?
what i love about summer? well, for a start:
1 skimpy shorts on bare legs (or bare legs, as such)
2 the smell of bratwurst in the evening air
3 riding my (old, old, rotten) pink bike
4 feeling energised and breezy
5 spending days by the lake, tanning
6 eating ice-cream...
7 going home from work when it's still fair outside
8 the urge to pick flowers on every random lawn
9 the feeling that you can stifle together a delicious dinner from only a gas station's food supply
10 peoples' smiles. where do they hide them in winter?
11 cold beers
12 hot asphalt beneath the thin soles of summer shoes
13 the smell of sun cream and coconut
14 breakfast, lunch and dinner on the balcony
15 it's open air season!
picture source: found on weheartit, via starsinyoureyestwinkle.tumblr.com
Apr 5, 2011
there is green salad. plain, boring. then there is herbs salad. salad made entirely of herbs. plus a few eatable flowers and fresh rasperries. spring on a platter!
for the salad, i used three sorts of (big leaved) cresses, spinach leaves, sorrel (sauerampfer), bear's garlic (bärlauch), normal basil and a special dark red basil, flat leafed parsley, chervil, mint and cilantro leaves. plus some yellow and blue violas.
for the dressing, i tried to mash a handful of rasperries and combined it with rasperry vinegar, a variety of selected oils like argan oil and avocado oil, some freshly squeezed lemon juice, orange peel, salt, pepper, two spoonsfuls of honey and a drop of chili paste. the slightly sour dressing matched perfectly with the intense, aromatic taste of the herbs.
no rocket science at all. but just how i really love my green salad.
Apr 4, 2011
last saturday, c's family was visiting. now i love occasions like these, since they obviously do require a rather nice, sociable feast night. so i figured some thorough dinner planning was allowed. i put together an elaborate meal of tartes au chèvre for apéro (goat cheese tartes), herbs salad, brasato di vitello and for dessert a variation of schwarzwälder torte plus some mini gugelhopf cakes.
unfortunatley, you can't have your cake and eat it (as the saying goes). meaning: you can either have a home-cooked dinner - or spend the day outside in the brilliant sunshine... go figure: i decided to spend it with cooking. and really did it with all my heart. still, nothing, not even brilliant sunshine, can compete with the feeling of getting people to gather around your table. and making them happy.
i will be posting the various courses and dishes one by one. but first: les tartes au chèvre (another of my go-to exploits by donna hay). you can find the recipe, which i slightly adapted (i added sugar to the onions, and sprinkled finely chopped rosmary on top of them. otherwise it's about how i did it), here, on 80 breakfasts. enjoy!