Month: mei 2015

IMG_0260

London: Shakshuka at Nopi 

On a short business trip to London, I noticed that Nopi, an Ottolenghi restaurant, was located near our hotel, Le Meridien Piccadilly. We did not have much time, so I opted for brunch there. Of course, I can’t resist getting to know Ottolenghi!  The vegetable chef For those of you who don’t know Yotam Ottolenghi; he’s an Isreali chef, based in London, who wrote various cookbooks. He is well-known for his dishes in which vegetables play the biggest role. I actually read about him in a Sylvia Witteman column for Magazine Linda, I think, in which she complained that since Ottolenghi, everyone appears to add pomegranate seeds to every dish His bestselling book, Plenty, just had a successor: Plenty more. I’ve never tried any of his recipes, so a good introduction would be to eat at one of his restaurants:)  Breakfast or brunch Considering the limited time we had, I opted for brunch at 11. Which is, I now know, not really a brunch time. Oh well. Breakfast it is. The restaurant itself was quite …

Calendar.On Blank Desk.

The challenge, second week: all setup

So, I decided to Get Prepared. I started the second week, with a thorough plan. No more improvising groceries. No more thoughts about outfits. So, I made a change, starting with groceries. One of the reasons why I always end up going to the grocery store three(!) times, is because I think of a recipe I want to cook. Then, I tend to forget half of the groceries. And afterwards, I add a desert to the menu. And guess what, then I need to get those ingredients… Again. This time, I was going to do it differently. I found two great recipes: a lentil salad and a South African meatloaf dish. And, I decided to order my groceries. Ordering online is lovely, because you actually can use the search box to find ingredients. No more strolling through the supermarket. Oh, and if they don’t have an ingredient, you can just google ‘replacement for…’ So, my online grocery basket was filled. Took me only 15 mins. The biggest challenge was to be home at the time …

IMG_2357

Pikaplant: funding to water my plants

I came home one evening and emptied my mailbox. To my suprise, between all the flyers (I still need a sticker on my mailbox. Note to self.) I found this little card. It had a picture of a beautifully designed plateau with lovely fresh plants. But what triggered me, was the “Kickstarter” logo. Kickstarter Several months earlier, I was introduced to kickstarter: a platform for crowdfunding. At that time, my office was working on our own crowdfunding platform, so ofcourse this one intrigued me. The products, and especially the movies of their really inspired creators, really energized me. I remember a man from Kenia who made belts and bracelets with a story: you were able to see where, by whom an how they were created. And supported the local economy by funding. Very Artisan. I also remember “Homey”, the voice controlled house automation. Siri – eat your heart out Online meets mailmarketing So, I was very surprised to see this product, that is on kickstarter.com, on a postcard in my mailbox. No stamp, no address, …

IMG_2339

Book review: No excuses!

Yes, I am a sucker for books about success and willpower. This is one is exactly about that. No excuses! Brian Tracy helps you building successful habits, by becoming self-disciplined. The book starts with saying that self-discipline, is thé one thing that can change your life. It is written for people who are ‘hungry’ for more, do more, have more. Well, I can certainly relate to that. The book says that, in order to achieve that, you must become a different person. Interesting… There are over a thousand things that can make you more successful, but without self-discipline (“the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not”) they won’t work. Eliminating enemies to success So, to become self-disciplined, you need to eliminate your two worst enemies: “Path of Least Resistance” (taking short cuts) and “The Expediency factor” (thinking short term). You must be able to deny yourself the distractions, and live for the delayed gratification, instead of the instant, because short term gain can …

IMG_0203

The Lurch: my new asparagus peeler

This weekend, I was at Duikelman. For those of you who don’t know Duikelmans but love cooking, you’re missing out! This store – what, three stores in the same street – are foodlovers heaven. I was there to pickup my Kenwood Cooking Chef Juicer, but I couldn’t resist. And I found an excellent product… an asparagus peeling machine! Whoa… It is the season. I just lóóóve asparagus. A la flammande especially. They are healthy and lovely. (Okay, maybe not the sauce..) But, I hate peeling them. First of all, I am never very handy in maneuvering them so I usually cut more fingers than aspargus. And second, it takes sooo much time! Now, at Duikelmans, they explained that this was thé king among asparagus peelers. Instant result. I love timesaving lifehacks! Yep, now  The Lurch (funnily enough also The Adams Family manservant, try googling 😉 ) is installed on the kitchen table. And of course, we had to eat asparagus right away. To be honest, the time I saved on peeling them (you only need …

IMG_0249

Book review: Being Martha

Being Martha – by Lloyd Allen What a perfect combination. While I was cleaning up my walk in closet, folding my laundry and organizing my closets, I listened to the unabridged book “Being Martha”, by her friend Lloyd Allen. I knew Martha Stewart from the stories about her perfect life, her perfect cooking and the perfect household and yes, I of course heard about the incident that got her all over the news in a less positive way. But, she built quite an empire. What can I learn from her? What is her secret to success? Those questions in mind, folding my sheets, this is what I thought. What inspired her To be honest, this book didn’t really explain. I learned that Martha came from a simple family, with parents who thought you should always work hard. Her father was apparently one that found criticism in all things, perhaps that taught her to strive for perfection. I found it really nice that Martha is an autodidact in cooking. According to the book, she was inspired …

Calendar.On Blank Desk.

30 day Challenge: week 1 – point zero

The first week of my May 30 days challenge! To know what the outcome is, I needed real confrontation first. A summary of a week without planning… So, Food. The weekend started with checking out what was still in the fridge. I made a salad of all leftovers. Sunday I actually woke up to Jamie’s 30 minute meals on TV, which inspired me to make his sweet potato mash with broccoli and panga filet. Of course, in the weekend I had enough time to do the grocery shopping (Exhibit A) the same day.

Passionata

Passion for Passionata

No, it’s not the lingerie. Though, it is certainly just as sweet… Meet Passionata. The bést Italian traiteur in Naarden Vesting. My sister and I like to spend our saturdays hunting for vintage treasures for my sister to sell in het webshop. There’s a place in Naarden Vesting where we always succeed. And no, I’m not going to tell you about that – it’s our little secret. But, getting back to treasures. Italian treasures. Passionata is a little store plus lunchroom. Which basically means, that you can eat a great meal and then buy more for later…  Why I love this place so much? Well, their Salade di Parma is thé best ever. We  always order the same… Made with fresh mozarella, tomatoes, excellent pesto, great black marinated olives, coppa di parma – I just can’t resist. Then, their store. Today I bought Torres crisps with truffel and herbs flavour, they are new to their collection. I was wondering whether this is the same Torres Brand, of the famous Torres wine. But when I googled them (www.patatastorres.com) …

Calendar.On Blank Desk.

30 day Challenge: Be prepared!

Aim higher. Constantly. That is something in my DNA. And what better way than to live by the wise words “motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going”? I have to confess. I am not a natural planner. I usually live by the day. And I usually believe that the stuff that is in my head, prioritizes itself. The upside of that, is that you act like your mood is, and your day can take turns you’d never expected. You always appear to have time. The downside is, you always feel like you’re behind schedule. And frankly, you are. Quite an improvement was already made by using my little Moleskin books, in which I now write down every day what I want to do the next. This gives me more overview. For this 30 day challenge, I want to go one step further. I want to ensure each week that on Sunday, I prepare the next week. Not just in my calendar overview, but also in what I will wear the …