Saturday, February 27, 2010

LFW - London Fashion Week

London is one of the most key cities when it comes to benchmark the fashion world. For those fashion curious audience I am putting a link where  you can check the update, overview and daily catwalks during LFW AW 2010/2011

Enjoy and tell me what you find!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I heart

After all these years I still looovvvveee Marithé and François Girbaud.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shake your Day!

How can we manage 5 veggies and fruits a days without any stress! Jårg and I came up with a theory- how to manage our daily nutrition intake a few years ago. I admit we slack off sometime and we feel the different. 

We shake it … yes we shake anything that can be eaten raw. Creating everyday a new shake cocktail is fun to get up every morning. You can actually replace the caffeine with the shake. It wakes you right up. Because the nutritious value of the shake is amazingly high. It is full with vitamins and minerals as well as very low calories and fat. We drink it as breakfast of lunch when we are home.
Oster 4093 Classic Beehive Blender, Chrome
 What are we shaking –
First you need a good blender or hand mixer - we prefer blender … our basic ingredients are the combinations from at least 4-5 selections of fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon juice, apple, carrot, tomato, banana, kiwi, ginger, cucumber and tea made from Rooibos. Then come special guests such Boston salad, red leaves, parsley, Fennel, cooked/raw beet root, celery, broccoli, rocket salad, cauliflower and whatever fruits and vegetables in the season that you can eat raw.

The most important is to have enough liquid and not too much. It can be any fresh juice, mineral water or natural tea made from fruit or Rooibos.

You can add plain yogurt, buttermilk or honey to this energize shake. When I had my wisdom tooth pulled the other week. This was my saver for one week. Drops of olive oil or seed oil give addition digestive value.
American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ratatouille not the Cartoon!

I have tried to cooking this wonderful dish of Ratatouille and failed several times, using different recipes and suggestions from different Chefs and experts including my Provencal friends – It’s either way too complicated or it did not turn out as I wish. What I got out from analyzing each batch and summarized from all notes and experiences is this - sloooowly cook over a lowww heat for a looong time and keep simple method. 
Well, The Ratatouille after I was using my own intuition and the experiences and the result was happiness. You may follow recipes which require salting and blotting Zucchini and Eggplant with or without baking the vegetables and peeing the skin of Sweet Pepper or bake the dish it in the oven if you like. I decided to go on my own way by keeping the basic foundation of ingredients and stewing method. Here is my way of Ratatouille. So I made a pot last week and serve it in all variations.

1 Large Sweet Pepper/Paprika/Capsicum, cut into stripe
1 Medium Eggplant/Aubergine, dice into about ½ inch
1 Medium Zucchini cut half lengthwise and slice into about ¼ inch
1 bulb Fennel (optional), remove stalks and quarter then slice into about ¼ inch
1 large Red Onion halved and slice about ¼ inch thick
5 large Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 large cloves of Garlic, crushed
2 tablespoon chopped Flat Leave Parsley
Herb de Provence
Sea Salt
Fresh ground Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tip before cooking: the trick about cooking Ratatouille is a slow cooking over low heat – stewing, for a long time to get the medley of melted tender vegetables which still in pieces and composition of natural flavor and herbs which combined into one.

  1.       Pour Olive Oil to cover the bottom of a heavy skillet pan over low-medium heat. When the oil hot add Onion and cook until it almost brown to get nice flavor to Ratatouille
  2.      Add cut Vegetables, crush garlic and cook for about 5 minutes
  3.      Add Tomatoes, Herb de Provence, Sea Salt, chopped Flat Leave Parsley and Fresh ground Black Pepper, cook until start boil then reduce the heat and keep it simmer for about 2½-3 hrs – You can transfer to earth ware at this step if you like. If you use the earth ware cover the pot and let it come to boiling point then lower the heat and let it simmer. Make sure it cooks over the low heat
  4.      Finish the Ratatouille by adjusting the flavor with Sea Salt and Fresh ground Black Pepper

Serving Suggestion: can serve this wonderful vegetable stew cold or warm as side dishes for grilled fishes, grilled Lamb, Grill Chicken , Omelet or as Pasta Sauce. Add to Quiche recipe or serve alone or add crumbled Goat cheese and Provencal Olives with fresh Baguette for nice light lunch. Use your imagination for more creations.

The Flavors of Olive Oil: A Tasting Guide and Cookbook

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chalkboard Deco Trend

Click to see the Deco Trend from Cyana Trendland - Chalkboard Deco Trend

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Diet !?!

The word DIET always sounds desperate to me. I have been adding sizes to my clothes in the last few years … well it comes with age and the change of situations and activities – I admit-I dredge going into diet. I enjoy cooking, eating, drinking and throwing dinner party too much. I used to be very active in sports – tennis, long distance bicycle ride on weekend, walking, swimming, etc. When I moved to Tokyo a few years ago my focus was on my job. Our social life was also well very busy – eating late, too much wine and champagne, sleeping in, lack of exercise or movement- these were the things no one should do like 3-4 times a week! The effect showed. Every visit back to Europe we were losing weight. I cannot imagine myself not enjoying life and I am sure I am not only one. I did lot of research and reading many success diet stories. The main messages which I gather from several experts and those who succeed in weight lose are eating healthy and consciously, exercise and being discipline. I came across several articles – why give up what you love, continue it with new approach...What is that mean … here is what it means. Analyze your routines: eating habit and exercise – if you do any then you better start moving your body. Doing slowly in healthy and natural way will avoid any yo-yo effect and you will be able to maintain your weight. Beside I am very keen on eating heathy food.
The Holidays season was approaching. Jårg and I wanted to be at home and I was longing to cook feasts and inviting friends and love ones. At the same time we did not want add anymore weight which we have gained on our biz trips last year. We want to do the opposite. We said we will eat consciously by reducing size of portion and I paid more attention to ingredients – more vegetables and fish - see my blog Middle of Holidays Season walk as much as we can in winter temperature – in this weather you even burn more calories. Make you keep the rhythm of your exercise 3-4 times a week. On top of that we take a 2 months break from drinking alcohol after Jårg’s birthday till mine. We were gushing in pool of  bubble and really good wine during the festivities and his birthday.
Since short before X-Mas we have lost between 5-6 kilograms and continuing. We still eat whatever we like even sweet & spicy pork belly. Slowly our stomach is shrinking naturally. Each day our meals consider of  1 main meal and 1 light meal such salad, quiches, soup, muesli or leftover  and the rest of the day we snack on fruits, nuts, sandwiches, raw vegetables, yogurt, chocolate, cake, cookies all rotating. We eat when we are hungry. Never starve yourself by being hungry. Drink lot of water and herb tea. The most important thing is to balance your calories, fat and carbohydrate intake as well as keep daily nutrition and MOVE you body and exercise - walking, dancing, jogging, join the gym if it fit you. Avoid any food conservation as much as you can. In accompany to this I also do a lot of reading on nutrition. Consult your physician or nutrician  beforehand if you have any health problems. I say ENJOY & and BON APPETITE!  

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Homemade Italian Sausage

One thing I really missed when I moved to Germany and Japan was a good Homemade Italian Sausage and the smell of Pepper & Onion  with grilled Sausage on the street of Little Italy in NYC during San Gennaro Festival or at my parent's deck during Summer barbeque in Connecticut. So I had learn how to make it. I borrowed recipes from different chefs and fused them according to my flavor.

Basic Italian Sausage without casing
1 kg of lean Ground Pork or 500 grams ground Pork and 500 gram ground Veal
1 tablespoon fresh ground Fennel seed
2 big cloves of garlic, crushed
1 ½ teaspoons Paprika
2 teaspoon of fresh ground Black Pepper
1 tablespoon of Sea Salt
3 tablespoon chopped Flat Leave Parsley
1.       Mix all ingredients in a bowl well.
2.       Cover and let it sit in a cool place at least 5-6 hours before you use. Best when you let keep it over night
Tip: you can add other herbs such sage, oregano, rosemary or other as you wish spices like chili or other ingredients like mushroom or truffle.
This is delicious for pasta sauce, lasagne, sandwiches by making patties and fried or grill them and top with pepper and onion, pizza topping and more
Pasta with Homemade Italian Sausage
500 gram Homemade Italian Sausage
1 large Onion, sliced
1 large Sweet Pepper, cut into strip
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 medium Plum/Italien Tomato –peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons Flat Leave Parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon Tomato Puree
Grated Parmesan Cheese for serving

Dried Oregano (optional)
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
Pasta as you wish  
To peel Tomatoes – drop tomatoes in hot boiling water for 30 second drain and rinse with cold water. Then pull the skin with finger. It should come off easily
1.       In medium saucepan- heat olive oil over medium heat, add Sweet Pepper cook for 3 minutes then add Onion and cook for another 5 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside
2.      In the same sauce pan over medium-low heat and add Homemade Italian Sausage – by quickly spooning into bite side. Stir occasionally so they don’t stick to each other and the pan. Cook for a few minutes until almost done but still pink
3.      Add Chopped Tomatoes cook for a few minutes add prepared sweet pepper and onion, chopped Flat Leave Parsley, Tomato Puree, Salt and Black Pepper. Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes
4.      In the meanwhile prepare pasta according to instruction for aldente!
5.      Before serving add about 2 tablespoons of Pasta cooking water to the sauce. Taste and adjust flavor with salt and pepper or dried Oregano

Tip for serving – In the same pasta pot or large glass or ceramic bowl mix little sauce with pasta well then top with the extra sauce in serving pasta dishes.