Sunsets after work

Tags

, , , , , , , ,


Roberto and I have a new routine: whenever we get the chance, as soon I come home from work, we take the car, bike or skateboard and go.
Usually to a lake, across a canal or to the woods.

It is so relaxing, it helps to take away a few of the big thoughts and worries that I always have in my mind.
Sometimes we bring something to eat, some other times we just sit, watch and listen.

Tonight our conversation jumped from here to there, from adventures, traveling and enthusiasm, to memories of childhood, when we both were so shy.
We listened to the birds: R. said they were singing love songs. I asked what song he would sing to me and he whistled Banana pancakes – the whole song – and I joined him.

I drew a bit, silly things: rucksacks that looked like faces, streets and flowers, he put on a song that I think has been written for him.
When the sun had set, we slowly headed home.

Follow on Bloglovin

Longer days

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

It still amazes me how long it’s light here in the Netherlands. I know the science behind it and I have been living here for more than two years now, so I should be used to it by now, but still I find it incredible. It’s so nice to be able to go out after work and have a real road trip, drive until the sun is almost setting, then drive fast to the coast and stop for a long walk on the beach.

Seagulls looking at the sunset as it were the first time, a couple surfers trying to catch the last few waves of the day, and us, taking in every last second of sun, breathing the salty air and silently walking hand in hand.

 

Follow on Bloglovin

Blueberry & Strawberry Frozen Cheesecake

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Anyone needing some color in their day? Today I am in need of some, since the weather in Holland is very dreary.
I just can’t stand to stay one whole day inside, it’s against my nature, so I will have to find a way to cover myself up (since I haven’t bought a raincoat in two and a half years I have been living in the Netherlands) and go. There’s a organic farmer’s market in town today, or I might just go to the gym, or go somewhere random to take pictures.

But first, I want to share with you this colorful little cheesecake I made a few days back. It’s the picture of summer, isn’t it? It was so much fun to make and even more fun to photograph.
I was inspired by Linda Lomelino‘s cakes, I love them and think she is such an amazing photographer. I love how she uses flowers to complement her amazing cakes.

That day I went into town looking for the right flowers to decorate the cheesecake, but I couldn’t really find anything that wasn’t tulips or other bigger flowers. I was a little discouraged, but on my way back it hit me that the trees are blossoming. So I stopped in a playground close to where I live where there were some really pretty bushes and flowers and feeling like a thief I took a few branches and flowers. (Again Juliette? Really!? I fear it’s becoming an habit now.. ;)

If you want to replicate this cheesecake, make sure to buy organic strawberries and blueberries. I swear, the difference is huge. I know it makes it a little more expensive, but my god the taste is so good! Here you go with the recipe, let me know if you like it or if you made it!

Blueberry & Strawberry Frozen Cheesecake

150 g biscuits (e.g. Digestives)
50 g butter, molten

200 g organic frozen strawberries (let them melt a little, I broke my blender because I didn’t)
200 g organic frozen blueberries
100 g sugar
juice of one lemon
250 g ricotta
300 g cream cheese
300 ml heavy cream

To decorate: Fresh strawberries and blueberries, flowers, branches stolen from playgrounds..

Cover a 20 cm springform with cling film (/plastic wrap paper) so that the cheesecake won’t stick to the borders.
In a blender mix the biscuits and the butter. Pour them in the springform over the cling film and press with a spoon. Put in the freezer while you make the cheese layers.
Now you need two bowls. Blend the frozen strawberries and pour them in one of the bowls and add half of the lemon juice and half of the sugar. Clean the blender and blend the blueberries and pour them in the second bowl and add the other half of the lemon juice and of the sugar.
In a third large bowl combine cream cheese, ricotta and heavy cream. When combined well divide the mixture between the strawberry and the blueberry bowls.
Mix until incorporated.
Take the crust out of the freezer and pour the blueberry mixture on it. Put back in the freezer until it has hardened a little (about 2 hours).
Pour the strawberry layer in the springform and put back in the freezer overnight (or for about 5-6 hours).
Take out of the freezer 30 minutes before serving. Decorate with lots and lots of fresh fruit!

Follow on Bloglovin

That time I stole a (food styling) treasure

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,



I was in Italy and I was walking to the car when I saw this basket filled with little tins. My instinct immediately told me to take it and run for my life, but I didn’t. I asked my mum if it had been there for a long time. She said it had been weeks, that it was our neighbors’, and she said that I probably could take it since it was just laying there and taking rust (and if mum gives the permission it’s not stealing anymore, right?). I was like “Mum, I cannot just take it, it’s not mine!”. But the thought of this amazing pice of food styling art kept following me.

I don’t know my parents’ new neighbors, but I have heard there are very nice people. I could have asked them. But I didn’t. The day before leaving I couldn’t stand leaving without it, so I took it. Naughty, naughty Juliette. Shame on me!

If you are reading this dear neighbors,
I am sorry, I will give it back, I am happy I was able to use it for these photos.
Also, your little tins travelled across Europe to come to the Netherlands, aren’t you proud?
I hope you’re not mad at me,
truly yours,
a guilty soul.

Pan Focaccia

As you probably understand fro the name, Pan focaccia is a more breadths focaccia. It’s a little less oily than a focaccia and you can stuff it or eat it on the side of your main dish. I highly suggest stracchino on it, but you might not know what it is, since I have never seen this delicious cheese outside Italy.

500 g flour, preferably “00”
7 g dry yeast
300 ml lukewarm water
100 ml tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin oil to sprinkle on top
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar

In a big bowl mix flour, salt, sugar and dry yeast. Add olive oil and slowly add lukewarm water while mixing.
Add water until a soft dough is formed. When you touch it it shouldn’t be wet and if you press a little it should be elastic and spring back.
Let rise for about 1 hour, until the dough has doubled its size.
Preheat the oven at 170 C.
On a baking tray pour a little olive oil to avoid the Pan focaccia sticking.
Put the dough in the middle of the tray and with your finger tips spread it out until it reaches the corners and sides. You can make the sides a little thicker and in the center you should press more to form some dips.
Sprinkle the remaining oil on the dough, the oil will mainly go in the dips.
Put in the oven for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size of your tray (I made mini pan focacce) and oven, until your pan focaccia is golden.

Follow on Bloglovin

Homemade granola #2

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Bowls, I love them. I am always reminded of the episode of How I Met your Mother in which Ted says “Anything sounds weird if you say it a hundred times..bowl..bowl..bowl…..bowl..” when I say “bowl”.

At work (I work in the nicest shop in town, click here to get an idea of what I mean by that) we constantly get new stuff for the shop and every time we unpack new things it feels like Christmas. Even though we don’t get to keep anything unless we buy it, it’s such a happy feeling when you unpack something new and you see it’s really cool, cute or just really handy. It also usually means I am going to buy it at the end of my shift anyway.

The same thing happened when we unpacked these bowls. They come in six different pastel colors, all very very pretty and matching the textiles that we sell (and that I have at home). You probably know what that meant: that day I went home with four new bowls.

This morning I made a new batch of granola and it turned out pretty good so here is the recipe, if we can call it so.

Homemade Granola #2

2 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 tablespoon grated coconut
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
a handful walnuts
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Preheat the oven at 160 C.
Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan (if it is not already molten).
In a bowl mix together all ingredients.
Put a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and pour the granola on it.
Put in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Stir every now and then.
Store in a airtight container.

I ate this granola over soy yoghurt, with fresh raspberries that reminded me of picking them barefoot in my parents’ garden in the summer and more walnuts. Perfect breakfast.
Follow on Bloglovin

Nature in the city

Tags

, , , , , ,

It has been a hectic couple of weeks; how have you been?

At the beginning of the week I felt a little caged by the city, my toes itched, which means I wanted to basically take my bag and leave for an unknown place, travel, meet people, see new places, but also, I needed air. I took my bike and first drove through the lovely city I live in, but it was not enough, I needed to be alone, completely alone. With the camera in my hand I biked just outside the city where I usually go for a run, but of course, because it was Easter monday it was pretty crowded. Then I remembered a place R. and I went to about two years ago, when we had just moved to the Netherlands.

I walked into the wood and I was surprised by seeing a blanket of white flowers between the trunks of the trees. I felt releaved immediately. I don’t know what it is, sort of an addiction to nature or so.. I walked for an hour in this sort of little park than no one except for me seems to have discovered. There were a myriad of birds singing, then it started raining, but I was covered by the leaves. I stayed for a while: listening to the birds, smelling the wet soil and being alone for a moment.

I went back home completely refreshed. The weight I felt on my shoulders in the morning had dissolved.

Easter brunch table

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My mum just told me she is going to paint eggs with my nephew. I am so jealous! I want to paint eggs too, and I want to search the eggs in the garden!
I also know I am going to spend Easter on my own. But that doesn’t scare me too much. Roberto and I are professionals at celebrating holidays on other days. It’s a tradition!

Maybe I will be painting eggs, surely I will have chocolate eggs (actually, I already had a myriad this week), and whenever we will have a day off together, we will have our Easter brunch. The table will probably look like I styled it here. Soft colors, some flowers and Mr irreplaceable: coffee. I might also make this pretty healthy, cheesecake-reminding, breakfast/dessert.

To make this Raw Breakfast Cheesecake: Mix together dates and walnuts until crumbly and moldable. In a bowl, mix natural soft cheese (low-fat, high-fat, vegan,.. whatever you like) with coconut sugar or honey. Put some dates dough in a glass or bowl and press. Be generous, it will add a lot of flavor and texture to the dish. Pout the soft cheese on top and sprinkle with chocolate flakes.

What will your Easter brunch table look like? Will you add lots of fresh color or use a light and soft palette?
I wish you all a happy Easter in advance!!

Follow on Bloglovin

Photography vs Living the Moment

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How many times did I hear people complain about photography, saying you don’t get to “live” the moment, and that you live through the lens instead?

I have been thinking about that a lot, and I think I might have found my vision on this issue.

On the one hand I agree; at a concert, in a theatre, and at a dinner or a night out with friends, I feel like the camera is not needed. Sure, you want to “capture the moment” to have it with you forever, but if your unconscious self will consider that moment worth to be remembered, it will stay forever, like burned in your memories. I myself love to take a photo with my phone when I am with friends, but I don’t like to overdo it, that’s it. At that moment living in that exact moment is far more important.

On the other hand however, I disagree. Since I was about eight years old, when I took my first photos, of a cow and of a friend, I can see the world from a different perspective. When I am with my camera, I see more things, I see more details that I would otherwise have overlooked. With my camera I experiment and I see, through that lens I see lines, textures and patterns I would never have noticed if I weren’t a “photographer”. That’s what I like about photographing landscapes, and in a way food as well. I live the moment through the lens, I discover things and wander through those textures and patterns. That’s basically why I will never put down my camera (except for an angry looking security guy telling me cameras are not allowed).

What are your thoughts about photography killing the moment?

(here are a few more photos I took in Italy)

Follow on Bloglovin

A shaky video and some thoughts

Tags

, , , , , , ,

 

 

In the middle of the wood I sit down on a stone that looks like a throne. From here I can see the town I was raised in; few houses on the top of a hill, not many people living in them and not much happening around. I walk in the opposite direction, deep into the woods while butterflies fly away as I walk the small path. Birds and crickets are telling us it’s August. A tiny spider walks up my leg and threads a web to reach the nearest grass blade.
I lay down and listen. It’s like watching the stars: the longer you watch, the more stars you see; and I hear more birds, more insects flying around, a cat and a dog fighting far away, cows on the top of the mountain.. and I realize how different being alone and being lonely are. Growing up I used to hate this place because I was feeling lonely, now I treasure every moment spent here because I am not lonely anymore, I am just alone. Nothing makes me feel less lonely than being surrounded by nature. (Thoughts on Nature – August 2013)

The foodie is back!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

In the exact moment I was writing that I have not been much of a foodie lately in my previous post, I felt the urge to bake.
So weird, I reminded myself by writing about it, that baking relaxes me, and I needed it. Immediately I opened my cupboard doors: there wasn’t much that would bring me far from some basic cookies,and I really wanted to make something not too unhealthy. Fortunately, I had some quinoa left, so I made my signature granola, the recipe of which you will find here. This time I added flax and sesame seeds, and instead of the cinnamon I used speculaas spices.

The morning after I made the most spectacular breakfast: a parfait of yogurt, blueberries, mixed nuts, raisins and my homemade granola. Sooo good!

Parfait Breakfast
Parfait Breakfast
Parfait

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,701 other followers