Feb 29, 2012
i'm not particularly into home bars. they mostly look untidy, catch a lot of dust quickly and generally often lack a certain 'female vibe', as they're mostly boyish. that's not true for all bars, though.
for this fabulous chariot, i'd make an exception. the whimsy, vintage looking paraphernalia is inviting and looks ready to put into action. i spy a cooler, a few decanters, drinks glasses, some liquids and bowls for snacks. and is that a vintage ice-crusher, and a mixer? that's how a stylish bar at home should look like, anyway: served on a nice chariot. so 'good-old-times', it makes you sigh and wanna drink a something on the rocks, immediately...
Feb 28, 2012
i'm a fan of all musky scents. ever since a friend of mine introduced me to this amazing, powdery perfum, i can't seem to get enough of it. it's like my drug. at first, it smells slightly of cleaning dergent. but give it a mere ten minutes, and it fully develops its lovely, deep sweet, dusky, powdery musky smell. the fragrance has a strong soapy ambiance. something spicy in it, and a hint of citruses. sheer opulence. light voluptuousness. perfect for a date night.
to me, santa maria novella's acqua di colonia muschio d'oro (translated: golden musk) smells exactly like freshly starched and ironed linen. the way a bed in a hotel should smell. were i a hotel manager, i'd diffuse this scent into the air so guests and passers by could linger in it's golden glory.
Feb 24, 2012
i'm going to be all mean on you and tell you this: i'm off for a long(ish) spa weekend now! i've got to relax a little and clear my head (and maybe eat some really good food, like, three times a day...). i'm talking beautiful scenery (the snowy woods on all sides of the hotel), lavish breakfast buffets, afternoon snacks from sweet to savory and an ample three course dinners, super comfy and deluxe rooms and basically just doing nothing for 72 hours... i've got my vogue with me, two great books, some bright colored nail varnishes, my bikini (it got a bist dusty during the last months), my new favorite striped xl sweater to lounge in and sunnies (yep, there is a pool area outside...), too. seems i'm ready for the treatments! wishing you a wonderful weekend! see you next week. xo
Feb 22, 2012
these flatbread chips are made in zero time. combined with a home-made humus and baba ganoush (smokey eggplant) dip it's the perfect late night movie snack.
1 pack soft flatbread (here i used flour tortillas), cut into triangles
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tbsp. ground cumin
2 bsp. ras el hanout
2 tbsp. salt (or to taste, as it depends on the sweetness of the flatbread)
preheat the oven to 220 degrees. combine the salt, cumin and ras el hanout with the olive oil. brush each flatbread triangle with the oil-spice mixture - from both sides. place on a baking sheet. bake for 10 minutes, turn around and bake again for 10 minutes on the other side, until the triangles are slightly golden-brown and crispy.
for the humus, see this post. the baba ganoush recipe has got to follow soon enough (in the meantime i recommend you just buy one, they are usually not bad at all).
Feb 21, 2012
in a hectic week, where maybe a dinner date was canceled, nothing sounds more appealing than preparing a simple, fuss-free dinner for two. something that says 'i care for you' but doesn't consume all of the quality time to prepare. this is maybe not the healthiest of sorts, but definitely a new favorite: naan pizza. it took me only 20 minutes to make it - from scratch! and it incorporates two of my all-time favorite ingredients: cilantro and aubergines.
4 plain naan breads (either home-made or store-bought - i like the bought ones very much)
2-3 aubergines, cut into relatively thin slices
2 bunches of cilantro, washed, leaves picked and coarsely chopped
1 bunch of basil, washed and coarsely chopped
1 piece of jalapeno (or other relatively mild green chili), deseeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, juice
1 point of a knife mild honey
1 point of a knife harissa
1 mozzarella bulb, depicked
fleur de sel
1 bunch of cress for serving
heat the oven to 220 degrees and upper grill function. first, salt the aubergine slices and put aside. then start with the cilantro pesto: combine the cilantro leaves, jalapeno, cloves, lime juice, honey and harissa in a blender, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and enough salt (it's always surprising how much salt a pesto needs). blend everything for a minute, until the pesto is smooth.
now drain the excessive water from the aubergines and pat them dry. place on a baking tray, sprinkle with olive oil and a few pinches of fleur de sel. place under the grill and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until aubergines are slightly 'dry' and golden. take out and put aside.
prepare the pizza: evenly distribute a few spoons of the pesto mixture on the naan breads. place a few slices of roasted aubergines on each naan, and distribute some mozzarella over it. put in the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes. before serving, place some cress on top to give the naan pizza a little extra color kick.
this could also be a very nice snack or appetizer for dinner guests, served in little chunks. or you could try it with real, italian pizza dough (which i'm absolutely planning on doing, soon).
lately, i've been so obsessed with redecoration plans... i would love to paint our walls, to reupholster an old couch and to revamp vintage finds from the brocante. and i'm currently in love with four things: pairs, vintage frames (with a chalkboard inside, no less), reduced bedrooms and walls with many little frames. plus i've always loved the idea of creating an all-white space that can easily be transformed according to seasonally colored details and home accessories.
wouldn't this kind of interior design be great in an old building's flat, with wood panel flooring, white lacquered walls and intricate plastering on the ceiling?
Feb 19, 2012
aloo gobi is my new favorite dish. it's a fragrant mix of cauliflower (gobi), potatoes (aloo) and spices. the one-pot hot vegetarian dish is light and healthy, and simple to make. don't shy away just because you'll need a few unfamiliar spices! i made this in between a marathon dvd session last weekend, when i didn't really want to stand in the kitchen but rather wanted to couch surf on end... but aloo gobi can be partially prepared ahead, easily.
i wouldn't really change much the next time, but i'd love to try it with carrots or chickpeas.
1 large cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into equally sized, large chunks
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 large vegetable onion, peeled and chopped
1 cm piece red (hot) chili, deseeded and minced
1 piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. ground cilantro seeds
1-2 tsp. salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 plain yogurt
more cilantro leaves, chopped
cook the potatoes pieces and the cauliflower florets separately in salted water, until almost done (i like my cauliflower still al dente, so i only cook it for 4-5 minutes and the potatoes for about 30 minutes, depending on size). drain an cool both veggies, and set aside.
in a wok or a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. now add the cumin seeds and roast for half a minute. add the ground spices now: cumin, turmeric, garam masala, cilantro seeds, chili, and, while stirring constantly, roast for another half a minute or so, until an intense fragrance fills the air. but make sure not to burn the spices.
now, add the onion, garlic, ginger and minced chili, and sweat until the onion is golden. deglaze with the diced tomatoes. add a cup of water and the salt to the mix and let the tomato-spice-mix simmer for a few minutes with the lid closed. then, add the potatoes, cauliflower and cilantro leaves. reduce the heat and let cook for 5-10 minutes. season with more salt and ground chili or harissa, if necessary. add the lemon juice*. serve with a dollop of yogurt and some extra cilantro sprinkled on top.
* note: most recipes i found don't include lemon juice, but since i love patata harra (which is an arab mezze dish, that includes a lot of lemon juice and cilantro) i thought some fresh lemon will add a nice tangy twist to the heavy spiced pot. you could also skip it though, or replace it with a dab of yogurt or coconut milk.
got a new hair cut! i'm usually dreading a visit at the hair dresser's, as it never turns out the way i want it to. and mostly, i down-right regret going there. here's the before and after. quite a bit of my dry ends got cut, which really was necessary. and i got a few blond highlights, for more shine. i'm quite happy with the beige / sandy colored result. but in terms of hair style, i think i might just switch back to my usually bun after all. some habits are just so hard to change...
Feb 18, 2012
aren't quail eggs the cutest eggs ever? i love how dotted and sprinkled they are, and the texture and color variety to come in. when i saw these at our local supermarket, i had to buy them. though i'm not sure wether i wanted them for breakfast, primarily, or to shoot them. in the end, i made both: a nice picture and some (a lot of) mini fried eggs sunny side up (sadly, i didn't have the time to shoot these. let me just tell you the eggs are fried really quickly in this mini size... but they sure did look cute next to a normal sized bread slice).
some things in life are breakable and fragile, not unlike those little quail eggs. so we have to cherish those things in our life. treat them with care and with respect. like, the most important thing in my life is love (and let me tell you these thoughts are not v-day induced...). i cherish the love i've got; i build a nest around it, i keep it safe and warm. i try to give it a home. yeah, i'm expressing my love with nest building! that's who i am, that's what i do, to show my love: provide warmth for the people i love. and each and every day, i'm so grateful for this opportunity.
Labels: thought of the day
though we've really got the best-kept chocolate pudding recipe* for a chococlatey experience that ill bring tears to your eyes, and, no likely, is very easy and quick to whip up, sometimes you just have to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. my mom is a huge fan of nigella lawson's. she thinks she's fabulous. so, from time to time she would be tempted to skip her own well-proved, classic recipe and give nigella's a go instead. let me just tell you this chocolate pudding sure looks really nice with the chocolate sprinkles and cherries on top - but it was not a really big success in our family. we all prefer my mom's. so the conclusion of the day is: don't necessarily switch old for new, as it won't always guarantee you pleasure.
* i just browsed through my recipe index and couldn't believe i have actually never shared our best-kept chocolate pudding recipe with you... how could this have happened? it's one of my staples. okay, we all know what dessert i'm going to cook, soon.
Feb 15, 2012
the italian way of dining is not only famous for its pizza, but also for the 'contorni'. contorni (or side dishes), mostly in the form of vegetables, are a very important factor in a real italian meal. the most traditional contorni are greens, like blanched fresh spinach leaves, fennel or broccoli. but you also get patatine (roasted potatoes) or tomatoes.
my mom makes a habit of adding contorni to most dinners, as it's a good way to add to your 'five a day' (not that we need a rule to eat more). here, she used catalogna (both, the dark green leafy ends and the whiteish, inner buds, also known as puntaraelle) and cime di rapa - at least i think so? i'm never one to know my full italian contorni greens alphabet, pardon me. what i know for sure: the slightly bitter touch and simple processing give them the importance they deserve in a dinner without being too pushy.
wash and cut into chunks. blanch for a minute or two in salted hot water, drain and cool under the running ice cold water. then pat dry with some kitchen paper. to make them even better, quickly heat the greens in a little olive oil with some garlic and peperoncino and season with some fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper. add a handful of halved cherry tomatoes to the mix. also, a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice or a drop of acacia honey to the 'dressing' will do good, try it! serve as a side to pasta, lasagna or meat - or as a starter, with some pizza bread. mangia!
Feb 14, 2012
happy valentines day to you! i hope those still crazy winter temperatures in the minus degrees are not prevent you from following your love plans tonight?
for me it's clear: this cold and all the onion layering system has got to stop! seriously! though i like to snuggle up at home in my cosy knit socks and a hoodie, i am really longing for those days where you are just free to go out and spend the day in cafés, by the lake and on the street without freezing your pretty bum off.
but in the meantime (hold on folks!) you can eat some home-made lasagna at home and feel pretty happy. my mom made this one, and it was as fantastic as i remember it. we usually skip the bechamel sauce and add more tomato sugo instead. plus the extra trick i'll share with you: make some home-made basil pesto and sprinkle in between the pasta layers and on top, too, before serving. stay warm!
Feb 13, 2012
to every rule there is an exception, though. so i got hold of these cute silver, pointy broges from zara. i spotted them a while back in late fall and thought i won't need them (and their slippery soles...) in winter. but as spring might (or might not...) be near they are promising me a lot of good thins. like no more onion layering system when going out. and also no more tights under pants. only light breezes and ice creams on weeknights. yes, that's what those shoes are meant to be: outdoorsie ice cremy companions.
since my last post, you know all about my hair restyle considerations. and now you also know, what kind of look i envision. something a bit shorter, say, shoulder-length? something super cute - but nonetheless chic and grown-up looking. how about a shoulder-length bob with longer fronts and a wavy finish? miss elizabeth olsen and miss olivia palermo sport the look pretty well. we'll see what the hair dresser thinks...
Feb 12, 2012
i presented a few valentine's day gift ideas for her - but what about him, you ask? globes have always been among my top gifts for him (as seen here). but not just any plain, old globe will do - even if it's vintage. obviously, it needs to be special for the one who means the world to you, right? aren't these custom-made versions from here super adorable? in which ever way you see the world, this team here is sure to make your globe dreams come true.
Feb 10, 2012
i am currently craving a new hair style. well, truth be told: 'm rather lazy when it comes to hair and beauty. normally, i just look like that: high bun, unisono fair hair. too fair, for my liking. i've been wanting to go a bit darker for years now, but somehow it never turned out the way i wanted it to. it either got yellow (the negative side of having fair hair) or orange (dito). my hair is neither really thick, nor really voluminous, nor really shiny. and it's not really looking good without efforts; like, i can not simply wake up, shake my hair and look like a goddess. no, no. far from it. more like a krümelmonster, more likely. let's just say i'm not really blessed with amazing hair, like i'm sure some of my readers totally are (and i'm totally not jealous).
but now i just told myself it's time for something new. i feel like i owe it to myself to put a bit more efffort into my daily hair routine. i feel it's time to at least try and make the most of my unloved locks. like, at least blow-dry them every morning. maybe even in front of a mirror (and not, like i mostly do, because my bf doesn't have a mirror in his room) without. that would be a start, right? and maybe, just maybe, to give my hair a bit more of a grown-up twist, and not always hide it in a bun.
let me find some inspiration and then i'll show you again to hear what you think. but for now: happy weekend, you all! lots of love.
Feb 8, 2012
it's no secret that i've got an distinctive sweet tooth. and i'm never one to say no to a sweet dinner, either. rice pudding has always been one of my favorite dishes. traditionally, i prefer it with cinnamon-sugar and plum compote. here i made a quicker version for myself with canned sour cherries from germany, and drizzled some browned cinnamon butter over it.
1 cup risotto or rice pudding rice (round grains)
2 cups milk
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean, extracted
2 tbsp. sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. sugar
1 glas canned sour cherries
pour the milk in saucepan, add sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean extract, bean as a whole and rice. heat and bring to a simmer, while constantly stirring so that the milk won't boil over. when simmering, close the lid, turn off the heat and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes, or until liquid is completely absorbed. remove cinnamon and vanilla bean.
in a frying pan, quickly brown the butter together with the cinnamon and the sugar. arrange the rice in a bowl, sprinkle with the browned butter and place some sour cherries on top plus a bit of their juice. serve warm.
ps: for those of you who watched closely, yes, it's the cute silver spoon that i got from my mom.
1 white pitcher by astier de villatte
2 glass cloches for keeping decorative objects, like antlers, by jaysonhome
3 absinthe spoon by jaysonhome
4 herkimer diamond studs by shop terrain
5 karl sequinned poplin collar via net à porter
6 miu miu glass pearl necklace with bow via net à porter
7 vintage swiss army blankets in white and greige by jaysonhome
Feb 5, 2012
even better than getting a present is searching for the right gift for your loved one. and when cupid strikes again (e.g. on valentine's day), this is what's on my top list for gifts: the heart-shaped shoe-clips are super versatile and pimp every outfit within a blink of a neatly made up eye (lash). the pullover would easily be one of my favorite items in my wardrobe, especially now as it's super cold. and aren't those cupid's arrow like shaped measuring spoons uber sweet? and i particularly lay an eye on the white monogrammed ring bowl.
Feb 2, 2012
snacking is one of the best things imaginable for me. and it can only get better when consumed while watching a good movie. i love to plan and prepare special snack sized bites that require no forks and knives and are easy to eat for the occasion of a movie night.
these are my favorite picks: roasted potatoes made to chips, spiced and herbed almonds, chickpeas (also as humus dip) and flatbread chips. now i just need the movie to go with it (i'm thinking maybe 'batman II' as i so liked the first part, 'batman begins', that we watched last weekend). as for tonight, i guess it will be just me, myself and i at a hotel in geneva (and because of the sibirian cold i don't really feel like going out). can't wait to see what the fancy hotel offers on the room service snacking side!