Tuesday, January 31, 2012

winter, finally!

The kitchen in progress is constantly on my mind: walls down- done, new window - done, walls - painted. The next step on the list is the wooden floor.
To balance out my excitement and stress of being the construction supervisor  I went on a stroll today capturing the wintery vibes.

Insider: Professor Remus Lupin's transformation....

Monday, January 30, 2012

lunch in the sun - cream of Jerusalem artichokes with red curry and coconut

My today's lunch has been inspired by a recipe from the French/Italian blog Un déjeuner de soleil. By chance I had all the required ingredients in my pantry so I could follow exactly Edda's indications

With a tiny personal modification: I added a teaspoon Sambal Oelek and a pinch of lemon myrtle.  A bit more spicy and very delicious!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paradise of spice

Next to Lutherkirche in Dresden's Neustadt, very close to Bautzener Straße and Albertplatz, there is  ZAFFARAN, an amazing condiment shop and café. From squid's ink to tonga beans, from  Japanese yuzu to  Persian blue salt, there's no condimental wish to remain unfulfilled.

My friend Nancy treated me with  a heavenly smelling lemon verbena. Can't wait to use it!

 Don't miss to pass by, tea and cake have been divine, too!

only 3 weeks until back to normal life

For now I'm living in a continuous "this-very-important-decision-has-to-be-taken-now-or-never" mode, and believe me: it's sooo exhausting.
I really thought I was well prepared and I had planned thoroughly.  It's incredible how on the way things are developing and changing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

peace of mind

...is what I need right now, living in the middle of a building site. Week 1 is nearly over! My plan is to be finished with the renovation by the end of February.

The Great Bell Chant (The End of Suffering) from R Smittenaar on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

the catch of a Sunday's walk: UVs for me and some snapshots for you

Yesterday my friend Micha urged me to spend more time outdoor to catch the necessary amount of wintery UV rays. No excuse!  Even on ugly days ( really every EVERY day, Micha??) when I'd prefer hiding inside with a good book and a cup of tea.
(By the way, the best book I've read in months has been The Vertigo Years, Europe 1900-1914 by Philipp Blom. It's been deeply disturbing for me to read about a period of time that in many ways is so similar to our today's world).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

kitchen turnaround

Hi, my dear readers! First I must apologize for having been such a lazy blogger lately. Things are taking up speed, the turnaround of rooms is going to start on Thursday. Yes, this Thursday! As I mentioned it in an earlier post I've decided to move my kitchen from the north/eastern side of the house to the former music room in the south. A wall has to be removed to give additional space to the new kitchen, the floors have to be replaced, the former kitchen will become library, two new windows  (towards south) will be quarried out...   and  I stop here because you already can imagine  how excited I am right now.
I hope the coordination of the different craftsmen will work out well (the most important thing in my opinion) and there won't be too much dirt. Meanwhile I'll try to keep you on the loop by the one or the other shot from my camera. Wish me much luck and good nerves!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

kale crisps

I found this recipe here and it reminded me strongly of some pieces of kale I lately had topped my  pizza with. Even though I had blanched the kale before, the leaves turned brown with tendency to black, burnt , paperlike, ashy... and  only very few of them  got really nice and crispy. Definitely not an award-winning pizza topping.


"preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line the baking tray with  parchment paper.
 Remove the leaves from thick stems and tear into bite sized pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale.
 Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges are brown        
 but not burnt"

YOU WILL GET some really delicious kale crisps!

The moment you put the first piece in your mouth it feels super crispy, salty, much lighter and thinner than a potato crisp, yumm..... then it becomes chewy (must be the healthy fibres), and if eventually you have eaten more than two or three of them, you may want to skip dinner. Promised!

kale crisps

1 bunch kale 
1 tbs olive oil
1 ts salt

Monday, January 02, 2012

a mug of sunshine: carrot soup with ginger and orange

After the opulent Christmas cooking I'm craving "clean" and simple food again. You know what I mean: a few ingredients like vegetable, fruit and  herbs can make such a quick and delicious (and healthy) meal. I put "healthy" in parentheses because in the past, the h-word was the most reliable motivation killer for my children to like my cooking. Healthy equaled "muesli" and uncool; in consequence: not desirable at all.
Once I learned to avoid the word in question things got immediately better. From then on only the taste decided!

After all, it's funny that the position of the family's health maniac has been seized by my sweet 20 year old daughter in the meantime. And - I must confess- better than I'd have ever been capable!

Carrot soup with ginger and orange 

750g carrots, chopped
1 onion, diced
a piece of ginger (walnut size), sliced
the juice of half an orange (or more to taste)
vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
oil to sprinkle over the soup (olive, flaxseed, argan, sesame...)

Put the carrots, the onion and the ginger in a saucepan, cover generously with vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil, then let the carrots simmer for about 15 minutes until tender but not pappy. Process with a hand blender until smooth.

Add the orange juice and stir.

Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a teaspoon of oil  into each mug. 
Top the soup with a few stripes of green. I took portulaca leaves.

Instead of the greens you may prefer to top the soup with a cappuccino of milk foam.