Friday, May 31, 2013

I wish I had a garden full of peonies....

My Dresden: Ratimir about student life in Dresden

I had the pleasure to talk with Ratimir (23 years), originally from Duschanbe (Tajikistan),  about student life in Dresden. Since 4 years he is studying electrical engineering at TU Dresden.  Here's my little interview for you:

How would you describe Dresden to someone who has never been?
It's a cultural city with a stunning Altstadt and a perfect campus; the atmosphere is familiar. Even being more than 35.000 students you often see familiar faces.

The best neighbourhood to live in?
Dresden Neustadt or on the campus (there are a lot of parties)

How do you get around the city?
Students get a free semester ticket for public transport (valid all over Saxony!) -or by bike

Where do you meet girls?
During the week: at the small bars at Dresden Neustadt
On weekends: At Pier 15, a chic and stylish club with beautiful outdoors. There's a beach, a volley ball court and a swimming pool. Perfect place to chill!

The coolest clubs?
Pier 15 (Leipziger Str.15, 01097 Dresden)
Downtown (Katharinenstr.11-13, 01099 Dresden)
Kraftwerk (Wettiner Platz 7, 01067 Dresden)

What is a tourist place you love to visit?
Frauenkirche and Zwinger

The best place to have coffee and watch people?
The cafés at Weiße Gasse and the Borowski (Prager Str. 8a, 01069 Dresden)

What is your favourite restaurant for a dinner with friends?
Va Piano (St. Petersburger Str.26, 01069 Dresden) and Al Capone (Alaunstr.62, 01099 Dresden)

Where do you go when you want to eat something healthy?
(I never eat healthy, haha!) Ok, maybe to Sushi and Wine...

What should you bring back home from Dresden?
Dresdner Christstollen and Radeberger 

A place to stay when springtime comes?
the meadow behind SLUB (University library)

What do you do to stay fit?
I go to Fitness First twice a week and I love running in the Großer Garten.
University Dresden offers courses in football, dancing, riding, tennis, actually any activity you can imagine. 

Your idea of a perfect Saturday in Dresden?
An early morning run along the Elbe, brunch at Rauschenbach (Weiße Gasse 2, 01067 Dresden),
shopping at Prager Straße, chill on a rag at Elbwiesen or Großer Garten, have drinks at BBC (Alaunstr.16, 01099 Dresden) or in one of the close by shisha bars Habibi, Canape and Magnolia,  dance at the Downtown until the morning comes. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

weekend links

If you are a lover of fancy papeterie you'll find a lot of beautiful things on these sites: the magic notebook, rosa cosa and Casa di Falcone.

Currently I feel enchanted, inspired and energized by Mimi Thorisson's blog Manger.

"I believe that traveling alone is the last great test of who you are in the world where everyone aches to be the same" writes Andrew O'Hagan in the NY Times blog on travelling. Read Yes, Please/Party of One.

As my own laziness comes and goes in waves I found it helpful to follow " 4 simple steps to start the exercise habit" by Leo Babauta at Zenhabits.

Someone else just started working with Lightroom 4? Marc Matsumoto's tutorial is a great help!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

a welcome and a birthday cake

Today I spent a big part of my time figuring out  a new "best" size for my blog photos (gracias Cristina por tu ayuda), adapting consequently the width of the text and trying out different script types for a watermark. No time at all for cooking and baking!
Nevertheless I also wanted to surprise my daughter with a freshly baked cake which would fill the house with a welcoming smell on her arrival.  Baucks' Lemon Cake Mix did the trick for me. I just needed to add eggs, mil and butter, mix the batter - and into the oven. More time for my readjusting endeavour....

Two thirds of the batter went into my welcome cake, the remaining third I filled into a little heart shaped form as a birthday gift. (I'm not a football fan, but I hope the television will be on tonight!)
The best part of baking is the decorating; the icing and the moment I browse the garden to collect edible flowers. Difficult today. Rododendron is definitely poisonous. The beautiful yellow daylilies (yes, edible) didn't even decide to open at only 12°C... Also the roses need a few more days of sun and WARMTH. Anyway, happy birthday, Christian!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

David Tanis' Rhubarb Kumquat Compote

I'd like to recommend you the cookbook A platter of figs by David Tanis. He celebrates radical simplicity, the idea of eating with the seasons, the mastery of perfect cooking and unexpected composition.
Good food has not to be fussy, simplicity is the key!

I love each one of his 24 menus in A platter of figs (6 menus for each season of the year). The Rhubarb Kumquat Compote is part of spring menu n° 6 "Duck for Dinner". Did I intrigue you?  Well, menu n° 6 comprises Crabmeat and Parsley Salad as a starter, followed by Five Spice Duck with Buttered Turnips and Fried Ginger - and as a sweet ending:

Rhubarb Kumquat Compote

2 pounds rhubarb
12 kumquats, sliced
1 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Trim and destring the rhubarb, then slice into small pieces.
Put the rhubarb and the kumquats in a bowl and mix well with the sugar. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft. Cool to room temperature.

Serve the rhubarb with plenty of sauce and a dab of Crème Fraîche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, with whipped cream or plain whole-milk yoghurt.

Monday, May 20, 2013

how to make the best use of the first tender baby beetroots

It's always a feast when Mr. Herzog from Landmarke delivers the first young and tender vegetables of the season. They are so fresh and tiny, you literally can eat them with root, stems and leaves. Here's how I prepared my first spring beetroots:

green smoothie with fresh beet leaves

the leaves of 4 baby beets
a handful of lemon balm leaves
a few mint leaves
1 apple
1 banana
1 teaspoon almond butter
1 cup water
1 cup ice cubes

Mix all ingredients in your blender until smooth.

beet stems in vinaigrette

stems of 4 baby beets
olive oil
vinegar (in case you've got raspberry vinegar, use it!)
salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the stems until smooth (about 5 min.), cool down quickly in iced water and marinate for half an hour in the vinaigrette.

salad of grated beetroot, apple and turnips

4 baby beetroots
2 turnips
1 apple

Dress with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Grate the beetroots, turnips and apple (I always use my little Zyliss grater). Add the lemon dressing.
You may substitute the turnips by young carrots, it's equally delicious. Enjoy!

grated beetroot, turnip and apple

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cultural Heritage: Marcolini House and Garden

Until a few years ago Marcolini House was the home of several families. Romantic and spacious, but lacking all comfort of modern life and in a state of progressing decay. Each single room had to be heated by small stoves. Against all odds (and colds) my friend Katja lived there with her family. She painted in oil and just loved the spell of the place in pure nature and in such close neighbourhood to the Pheasant Castle.

Today the new owner, Mr. Stelzer, is renovating the three-sided house with passion and an eye for details. Despite the fact that renovation is still in progress, Mr. Stelzer opened the Marcolini House to the public. In the meantime it has  become a lovely place for weddings and family celebrations, dinners after hunting, coffee parties and wintery gatherings around the fireplace.
Currently one of the halls is being restored to its original baroque elegance and shall be used for chamber music concerts. And hopefully, in 2016 the 120qm Marcolini Suite will be finished, redecorated and ready for the guests.

The atmosphere at Marcolini House is welcoming and laid back. If you are in the area of the Pheasant Castle (Fasanenschlösschen), the Game Reserve (Wildgehege) and Großteich don't forget to stop by and have a cup of coffee,  a piece of cake or a bowl of soup. You can sit in the yard or inside the historical rooms. The everyday selection of food includes: soups, stews, homemade cakes and tarts, coffee, tea and other beverages.

The surroundings of Marcolini House are breathtakingly beautiful and are a popular weekend  destination for locals and tourists alike. Therefore I recommend you visit during the week.
The Marcolini House is right beside the cute pink Pheasant Castle, and just a 20 minutes walk away from the Moritzburg Castle. You could also rent a bike and explore the beautiful lake area and the forest.

Marcolini House is open everyday from 11:00h to 18:00h throughout the whole year (with the exception of hail, snowstorm or tornado). Barbecues on the weekend.

photo by Rosa

Monday, May 13, 2013

overnight oats

In the evening I fill a jam jar with

  • dried goji berries
  • dried sour cherries
  • water to soak
  • oat flakes
  • almond cuisine (= creamy almond milk)
  • pestled flaxseed
  • chia seeds
  • chopped and roasted nuts 
  • chopped dates, agave or maple syrup to sweeten

Next morning I top the mixture with fresh fruit. 

Be inventive and combine whatever you fancy. In case you need more inspiration click on  Zain's Swiss Summer Oats. Great photos and recipes!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

weekend links

Hermès scarfs are just amazing and pure luxury.  What a great craftmanship! Have a glance behind the scenes.

Lately I've been researching a lot about cameras, lenses and settings.  A big Thank You to all the photographers who share their experience and advice. Here you can find a compilation of the most popular cameras and settings for Reuters' 2012 photos of the year.

"A good wife always knows her place". A time travel back to the year 1955: the good wife's guide .

Another photographer who lately caught my attention: Christian Richter from Jeßnitz/Germany.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Canihua Pudding, Yoghurt and Strawberries

 Canihua seeds look like this:

Who would have thought that this healthy grain could be metamorphosed into a rich and creamy chocolate dessert ?  And luckily, without being rich in the popular sense of the word. No fat, no cream, no excessive chocolate and sugar, just healthy little grainygrains....

50g (only 50!) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
500ml milk ( I took fresh goat milk)
100g Canihua, ground
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
100g Muscobado sugar ( a bit less is fine)
( I'm thinking about an additional cup of expresso next time...)

Combine the chocolate and 250ml milk in a saucepan. Bring the milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the chocolate.
Mix the remaining 250ml milk with the Canihua, the sugar and the cocoa powder. Whisk the mixture into the choco-milk.
Bring to a boil again and stir until thick and creamy. Remove from the heat and fill into a bowl or into 8 expresso cups.

Canihua Pudding matches perfectly with créme chantilly, yoghurt and strawberries. Enjoy!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Munich in springtime

 We had a great time last weekend celebrating my youngest nephew's confirmation. Thank you!!