Sunday, July 31, 2011


It's been a while that I spent a whole afternoon gossiping and practising yoga with my friend Michaela.

I thought it would be a good idea to honor her birthday (only 2 days ago) once more with some homemade Belgian waffles, jams and, corresponding to the soaking wet sky, with a cup of genuine English tea -  happy birthday!

Friday, July 29, 2011

my booklist for the summer

Coco Chanel  Ein Leben
Edmonde Charles-Roux

Wolfgang Herrndorf

Die sieben Geschichten der sieben Prinzessinnen

Der japanische Verlobte
Amélie Nothomb

Ian McEwan

Black Swan Green
David Mitchell

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit
Mark Seal

Die Party bei den Jacks
Thomas Wolfe

Bride Flight
Marieke Van der Pol

Small Island
Andrea Levy

Breakfast Lunch Tea
Rose Bakery

The Sweet Life in Paris
David Lebovitz

Yoga Mala
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

on my wishlist

Golden Gate, designed by Georg Alexander Eisenhut

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

raspberry strawberry jam the way my grandma taught me to cook it

"Take  any amount of fruit (1kg maximum at a time), and half as much sugar. Put fruit and sugar in a pot and  from now on you only need patience and the right method" my grandma said. She never allowed gelatine enriched sugar in her kitchen, by no means.

Well, the secret was in the right method, which meant you had to spend 30 tiring minutes, a wooden spoon in hand, stirring  through the hot mixture in an uncountable number of eights. 15 minutes while simmering on the hotplate, 15 minutes while set to rest on the cool surface of the workplace. 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 ... . An endless row of  tiring eights.

To keep tiredness within a limit it's a good idea to sit down next to the pot during the whole process. This way you only will suffer from arm tiredness... But it's worth the effort. Even when the finished jam sometimes comes out a bit runny  - always depending on the fruit's natural content of pectin, the flavour is unbeatable pure and fruity.

When you prepare jam from only 500g fruit/ 250g sugar, the stirring time decreases to 20 minutes.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How to get the perfect waistline

Do you remember my post about spring detox in February? If you took my advice to heart I'm sure you already possess a goddess body. If not, hum... it's never late to start with the miracle "health hooping". At least most of my friends are infected by the hoop virus yet..

Phase 1: the hoop falls down - you are lucky if you arrive counting to ten - exhausted
Phase 2: the hoop doesn't fall down anymore, but it HURTS -  you might get bruises
Phase 3: put on a sweater or your bathrobe  - continue - don't stop! - only a few rounds every day
Phase 4: it isn't exhausting anymore - doesn't hurt anymore - no bruises - you count to 100, to 200..
Phase 5: it's so easy - becomes boring - you listen to your favourite songs meanwhile : 1 song, 2, 3.....
Phase 6: supereasy - you watch David Attenborough "Wild Life" videos while hooping
Phase 7: David Attenborough's videos all done, you start learning to swing the hoop the other way round
Phase 8: you combine hooping with the yoga mountain pose

Once in phase 8 I recommend a dose of 5 minutes in the morning, 5 in the evening to keep up the good shape, That's it!

Have a relaxing Sunday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Leche Merengada - with love from Spain

It's so delicious, I keep offering it to everyone, so that I can excuse having more of it myself. It's taste is traditional spanish, so every spoonful loads me up with wonderful memories. Leche Merengada is a cinnamon-and-lemon-flavoured frozen meringue. I recommend you try it with a shot of hot espresso poured over.

you need:
500ml whole milk (soy milk works the same for me)
100g  sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cinnamon stick or a small amount of ground cinnamon
1 lemon, unsprayed
2 large egg whites

Heat the milk in a saucepan, adding the cinnamon, the salt and 3/4 of the sugar. Zest the lemon directly into the mixture. Once the sugar has dissolved transfer the mixture to a bowl and chill thoroughly.

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Whip in the remaining sugar and continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy.

Remove the cinnamon sticks (if using) and fold the milk into the meringue. Now it's time for the ice cream machine! Leche Merengada takes a bit longer to freeze than a sorbet or traditional ice cream, but it's worth the wait.

Monday, July 18, 2011

picknick time

How much I love this outdoor feel! I even thought about drying my laundry on a long rope that I'd tie from tree to tree through the garden. Must give an amazing photo and clothes and bed linen smelling like summer wind, roses and lavender.

We had Thai rolls, fried eggs and white bean salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions and green bell pepper. The giant white beans perfectly absorb the flavour of all the summer vegetables, so leftovers usually don't survive until the evening.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

#10 Red and Green Makes You Clean

Today I complained about being uninspired. My daughter just saw one way out of this creative drought.

Ever since I had a sip of this spontaneously created raspberry cocktail, things started moving. My creativity galloping away ( - me clinging on), pulled me into new terrain. The topic of discussion for the night has become profane : "is the primitive contrast of red and green enough to stimulate the demanding readership of my blog?"

Here the very liberal instructions to this miracle cocktail:

Undefined amount of Bacardi Rum
A handful of fresh raspberries
an ounce (or more to taste) of grenadine sirup
Put all of this in the blender and add crushed ice
Add fresh lime and Mint leaves

everyday freshness

The variety of florentine salads has been the beginning of a long journey of discoveries. Welcome to my guide for salads that never makes you feel like they are just a side dish.

Assemble a variety of lettuce, arugula or baby spinach on a plate
  • add  dried San Marzano tomatos, grated parmiggiano, roasted chicken, fresh and ripe tomatoes, fennel and artichokes cut in slices, Mozzarella di Bufala, chopped pine nuts and pistachios, little balls of fresh goat cheese, thinly sliced turkey....
  • sprinkle with nothing else than an excellent olive oil, balsamico, salt and pepper
  • dip chunks of white bread into the remaining bits of salad sauce
Choose high quality products - it will make a huge difference since all your ingredients are raw!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Is Dresden the new Scotland?

Right now, I feel like in Scotland. Pouring rain, the forest has never been this green, some cows escaped from the field and greeted us blocking the road (just sub sheep for cow and you get the true scottish highland feel).

Someone else must have thought so too:

Georg Schenk, the owner of Augustus Rex Distillery is already internationally known for his selection of noble spirits. He stuck to the old German varieties until this year he set foot on new ground! Well to be very literal he is still up in Dresden MAKING HIS OWN SINGLE MALT WHISKY.    

High quality is Mr. Schenk's pride: the water comes from the Erzgebirgian mountains  and the whisky is set to age in wooden Saxonian wine barrels. Three more years and the first Augustus Rex Single Malt is waiting for you to taste it.

Friday, July 01, 2011

homemade Pizzete

Tonight we enjoyed a heavenly extraterrestrial über delicious pizzete dinner though right now we are not in Italy, but in rainy Dresden ("too cold for the season..."). I must admit that my daughter, yesterday arrived from Florence, took the lead of  the whole thing. The dough had to be rolled out thin, thinner, thinnest! and my fridge had been searched  thoroughly to find every possible topping.

I couldn't resist to immediately  post you some pictures and the list of our ingredients. Open your fridge and become creative yourselves!

  • dough: 400g flour, 1sachet yeast,  pinches of salt, sugar and paprika, lukewarm water.  
  • puréed tomatoes
  • fresh ripe tomatoes
  • cheese
  • arugula pesto
  • radicchio
  • capers
  • fresh goat cheese with chilis
  • oregano
  • olive oil
  • a few sprinkles of truffle oil to season the radicchio