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Thursday, May 30, 2013

May Wishlist

this months window shopping findings

1. some mint love with those T-strap flats, 2.isn`t this scottie apron the cutest ever?, 3.romantic 50ies lace wedding dress, 4.get the perfect boho look with those arrow earrings, 5.say home sweet home to your plants with this planter stair
Lately I have been a little lazy around here,I know.But there`s always time to browse your favorite online shops,don`t you think?Dreaming about all this cute stuff always is a good thing,although let`s be honest,we will never have the money to buy it all.Well,at least this goes for me.Anyway I love spending time looking at online shops.What about you?
So of course I couldn`t resist on sharing my monthly wishlist with you.

Lovely stuff I found online this month
6.need some vacation too,this black and white dress helps to bridgeover, 7.bringing some Saint Tropez feeling at home with those yellow and white pillows, 8.I absolutely want this yellow oil lamp,it`s just perfect for my balcony, 9.also a fan of loud colours,then this bag is made for you, 10.I mean who wouldn`t fall for the lovely detailed collar of this blouse has.

Hope you enjoy it and read you soon.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

I`m all about Weddings or What I am Reading this May

My May lecture from Sophie Kinsella

It has been a while I read a book from Sophie Kinsella,one of my favorite authors.So this month it seemed to be the perfect moment to go for another Kinsella book.
Some of you may know her from her "Shopaholic" book series,of which the first book also set foot on screen,known under the name "Confessions of a Shopaholic".I,by the way,can really recommend this book series,as I read some of them and they were absolutely hilarious and fun to read.

But enough of that and more about the actual Kinsella book,that I`m reading,which is called "The Wedding Girl".The Title already reveals the main topic,it`s all about getting married.Or in this case about getting married,while already being married!
Does this sound a lot like bigamy?
And it totally is,but of course there is more to the story....

Milly,a 28 year old woman,is going to marry her big love Simon in a few days.Unfortunately she forgot to tell him,that she already has a husband.Ten years ago she had married a friend to give him permission to stay in the country.Today she has lost track of her friend or husband,however you want to call it,and is still married to him.With a marriage coming up,Milly has a big problem,as you may have guessed already!
But it`s coming even bigger,when a person from her past appears,who knows exactly what Milly did ten years ago.

Is Milly going to tell the truth to her future husband Simon?
Well,I`m eager to find out.And if you are too,join the reading and stay tuned for the coming up review at the beginning of June.


PS: Oh and don`t get confused,if you are looking for the book.It got published under her pseudonymous Madeleine Wickham.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blueberry & Raspberry Curd Tart

recipe for a delicious berry and curd tart

Berries are absolutely the best.And sweets made out of berries are just epic,don`t you think?I always have been addicted to desserts with fresh berries,as they never turn out to be too sweet,due to the slightly sour taste that berries have.
If I had to choose between a Black Forest cake and a berry tart,totally natural I would go for the second one.What would you go for?
Howsoever you decide,if you like berries you will surely also like this little tart recipe I have in store for you today.

A few days,while browsing my cook books,I found a yummy looking recipe for a berry tart (found in this book).Actually I wanted to make a smaller,slightly different version of this recipe without curd.Unfortunately my downsizing of the short pastry ingredients turned out to not be correctly,which resulted in a smaller amount of dough.There was no way I could put the berries on top without them rolling down again.But hey!Luckily I have genius friends!My best friend came up with the idea to add curd,so the berries would stick and not roll away anymore.
That`s the little story how this tart was born!

What you need (for a griddle with about 10 inches diameter):
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate
  • a pinch of salt
  • 6 ounces butter,at room temperature
  • 4 ounces sugar
  • 10 ounces plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner`s sugar
  • 6 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries
  • 1 to maximum 1 1/2 cups curd
  • 1 sachet clear and sugared glaze 
I used exactly the same quantities for the dough ingredients as in my cook book,mentioned above.Like that you can be sure that you get enough dough and don`t have to face the same problem I did.

sweat pastry and curd bottom for berry tart

Put the first six ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.Then start kneading the dough until it has a smooth texture and doesn`t rupture anymore.Wrap the dough with clingfilm and let rest for at least one hour.
If you have time make the dough the evening before and put it into the fridge over night.

Spread a little bit of flour on your worktop and roll out the dough on top of it.Once you rolled it out to a size fitting your griddle,lay it out with some baking parchment and put your short pastry on top of that.Before baking don`t forget to make your tart crust and to pinch your dough a few times with a fork.
Put in the oven for 10 minutes at 392° F.Scatter the confectioner`s sugar over your tart and continue to bake,allowing the tart crust to delicately caramelize.Stand next to the oven,while continuing baking,to prevent your tart crust from burning.It`s done as soon as it`s color is turning into a golden brown tone.

While the tart crust is cooling off,rinse off the berries and remove remaining leaves or stems.
Add one sachet glaze and 0.25 quarts water in a pan and heat at a low temperature for about 5 minutes.
Cover your cooled down tart crust with a curd layer.Put the berries on top of it and finish by pouring the tart glaze over your berries.Do this by adding a spoonful at a time.

delicious sweet berry treat

Serve this delicious sweet treat with coffee.And most important,enjoy every single bite of it.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Book Reviews: "Glamour" from Louise Bagshawe

sharing my opinion on this book

Still owe you the review on this book,I presented you as my April lecture a few weeks ago.I had already mentioned then,that it is the story of three best friends building an exclusive glamour shopping mall.But there`s more to that,it`s a story about friendship,about how easily it can be destroyed,but as well how it can overcome every obstacle.
It`s also a story about three woman,all from an other origin,with different strengths and even more different characters.Although being that different from each other,in the end they are all looking for the same thing,and therefore are more alike than they think.

As already mentioned Jane,Haya and Sally become best friends in High School.Soon after that they got separated from each other,due to family and partially religious matters.One of them finds herself in a total new and unknown world,the other two loose everything they have and have to start from the bottom again.While getting separated,they loose track of each other,but they never forget about the friendship they had/have.

For quiet a big part of the book,the reader follows Jane`s,Sally`s and Haya`s lifes independently,until the moment they find each other again.That`s when they decide to found Glamour,an exclusive shopping mall with only the best and exquisite things in the world.
That`s where the story and their friendship turns and that`s also the moment,where I`m not going to tell you more about the story to keep it interesting.

Now let`s talk about the three protagonists.
Haya was the one of the three that I really liked,well I mean her personality.She seemed kind,sweet,honest,although maybe a little bit naive in the beginning of the story.Only thing I didn`t like about her was her submissiveness to her husband.
Sally is the typical Texas Girl,blond,skinny and with a beautiful body.She`s every man`s dream,although not very well-read and book intelligent.But she knows about her beauty and it`s effect on other people and even more important she knows everything about style and the perfect presentation.That`s how she overplays her lack of knowledge.I admire her for working herself from the bottom to the top,but she isn`t a likable character to me,as she is a little bit too narcissistic for my taste.
The same goes for Jane.I admire her as well,on one hand for her intelligence,her know-how and her ambition on the other for her endurance,but she is way to arrogant and cold hearted for me.To get you a picture of Jane.She`s kind of the visual and intellectual opposite from Sally.Although not ugly,she is nothing special.But she is intelligent,well-read and book intelligent.

The authors writing style is very clean and dry,there`s not a lot of humor or funny moments to find in this book,but keeping the story in mind,this is kind of ok.
I normally like it,when an author pays a lot of attention to describe the surroundings and all the little details,especially when this is done in a charming and visualizing way.Louise Bagshawe didn`t do this kind of writing in "Glamour",but I`m alright with that,as it would kind of turn the deepness of the story into ridicule.

In summary,I can really recommend you this book,because so far it was the best book I`ve read since I started my one book a month challenge.

Did anyone of you like this book as much as I did?


Friday, May 10, 2013

Watermelon Drinks

Party drink recipe

Best party drink ever guys!
This drink is so refreshing,due to the watermelon in it.And for that an even better summer drink!

I already served this drink twice,when having some friends over,and they all loved it so far.Or at least they were so kind to pretend,that they did!Anyway,I for my part really like this drink,especially the taste of watermelon.
So is there anymore argument you need?Or did I finally persuade you to try this one?!

What you need (for at least 2 servings):
  • 9-10.5 ounces watermelon flesh
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau or any other Triple Sec 
  • 1 1/2 cups Absolute vodka or any other non flavoured vodka
  • cane sugar
  • honey
If you prefer your drinks less stronger,diminish the amount of alcohol and add more watermelon and/or lime juice.

How to make a drink with watermelon and vodka

Cut your watermelon into big slices,remove all of the seeds and trim off all the watermelon flesh.Put all the watermelon flesh into a bowl and mince with a hand-held blender.Then mix together the watermelon ,the lemon juice,the Cointreau and the vodka.

Pour some honey on a plate and some cane sugar on another one.First turn the rims of your glasses in the honey and then in the sugar.Make sure that the rims of the glasses get covered completely with honey or the sugar decoration won`t be even.

Add a few ice cubes,a straw and/or any other decorations you like,serve and enjoy!

What is your favourite summer drink?


52 Lists: The Things I Want to Make

52 Lists week 13

During the day I normally got a couple of DIY-ideas and inspirations popping up in my head.Soafter reading that,you might think this list would be a piece of cake for me.At least I did,duh.
Quickly I realized this wasn`t the case,when I sat down to think about it.My mind just blanked and it took me quite a while to complete this one.

Well I call it the bad habit of not writing down my ideas right away.I tend to not have my notebook with me,when they pop up in my head or I just don`t take myself a second to write them down.
Are you familiar with situations like that?And what do you do to keep your ideas and inspirations in good memory?


....And please don`t forget to check out the 52 list from Morrea Seal,the original founder of this project.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Leek Pie

Delicious vegetarian recipe with leek

Leek is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with at the moment.I`ve always liked it,but right now I am really going through an obsessive phase.
Additionally I`m a huge fan of all things made in the oven,especially if it includes dough.So a leek pie just sounded like heaven to me,the reason why I decided to make one myself. 

What you need (for 1 round baking sheet):
  • 8.5 ounces puff pastry (I used an already rolled out one,lazy me...)
  • 2 leek rods
  • 1 eggs
  • 7 ounces sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4.5 ounces grated cheese (I used emmentaler)
  • salt and pepper
  • eventually 1-2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
Roll out your puff pastry,if you don`t have an already rolled out dough.Make it as thick as you like it to be,but just remember,the thicker it is the more time it needs to bake.Afterwards put it on your baking sheet and pinch the dough a few times with a fork.Then put  it in the oven for about 10 minutes or even more at 390 F,if you have it rolled out thicker.While the puff pastry bakes you can prepare the other ingredients (Step 2).
Don`t forget to take the dough out of the oven,before it`s done completely!

Rinse off the leek.Remove one third of the green leek leaves and then cut the rest of the leek into small rings.One leek ring consist of various rings,so you need to separate them all.After that halve or quarter all the rings to a size you like.
Heat a pan with 2 tablespoons oil and add the leek rings as soon as the oil is hot.Steam for about 3 to five minutes at high temperature.Then add the missing ingredients to the leek.Don`t use all the cheese,put a bit,like 1/2 ounce,aside for later.Cook everything at a low temperature for almost 10 minutes.
If your pie filling still is too liquid after cooking,add 1 to 2 tablespoon flour,this will help to thicken it.It is quiet important,that the stuffing isn`t too fluid,so that it won`t soak the dough.

Pour your filling on the puff pastry and add the remaining grained cheese to slightly coat your filling.
Put in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes at 390 F.After 20 minutes baking time start checking your pie regularly to see if it`s done.It should be slightly brown on the top,but sufficiently baked at the bottom.

If you like you can also add chopped onions and diced bacon to this pie.I decided to go clean,by only using leek.
What about you?Do you have some yummy leek recipes for me?Do you even like it?
In case you do,also check out my cream leek soup.