Wednesday, 27 February 2013

World-food Wedensday. Soup soup soup and some cake.

It is no secret that living in the cold north I have months on end where I am pretty much addicted to root veggies in any kind of food. I love the little buggers. Mostly they just get washed/peeled and stuffed in the oven with oil and garlic but sometimes I like to experiment a little bit. Also combined with this was the fact that my bestie was visiting us on Friday and I felt like spoiling her with a 3-course meal that wouldn't cost the world. So I set out to plan a full meal with minimum cost, kicked the husband out of the kitchen and gave him one task; to take pictures of the food. While he did manage to snap a few good ones of me and the bestie he forgot the food. So you will have to look at me only:

Our menu ended up looking like this:

Starter: Potato blinis with smoked and marinated salmon, Greek yoghurt and finely chopped onions. I won't share the recipe for the potato blinis with you as it turned out more like plate sized pancakes with a weird consistency (nothing wrong with the flavour though), but the salmon was marinated in sesame oil, soy, lime juice and garlic and turned out really well. Even husband who doesn't like smoked salmon was nuts about it.

Main: Cheesy cauliflower and carrot soup with roasted Sarrano ham and homemade bread.
Now this is a dish that I have adapted from an old Jamie Oliver show and it has been hiding out in my food binder for years until I got a new cook-book by Mr. Oliver and it was there again! My husband thinks that I have an unhealthy obsession with cauliflower but it is much more versatile than people give it credit for. We use it for millet-cauliflower mash (as a healthier alternative to mashed potato and also a remnant of the first year of our relationship and my husband being a vegetarian) or as a main ingredient in curries.
To make this soup you will need for 4 people:
2 carrots.
2 sticks of cellery (can be left out if you as us have either allergies or just don't like the taste)
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic.
100-200 grams of cheddar depending how much you love your cheese. Do yourself a favour and get a decent one as it adds so much flavour to the soup.
800 grams of cauliflower (one large)
2 cubes of stock unless you are fancy and make your own.
Spices to your liking (would recommend at least chilli oil/sauce to give it a kick and stay back on the salt depending on which cheese or meat you use.)
1 tsp of mustard.

Meat or vegetable garnish of your choice and bread are optional but highly recommended.

Prep carrots and sellery and dice. Prep onions and chop them in medium sized cubes. Chop the garlic finely. Cut the cauliflower into 1½ cm thick slices to ease the cooking time. Heat up 2 tbsp of oliveoil in a large pot and cook the vegetables without lid for 10 mins on medium heat or until the onions turn a light brown and carrots are soft, but not mushy. Boil 1 3/4 liter of water and add stock. Add to the pot. Get it to boiling and then let it simmer with lid for 10 mins.
Remove the pot from the heat and add cheese, mustard and spices. Blend and serve with the garnish of your choice.

Dessert: Strawberry and chocolate Mille feuille which looks something like the cake below.

These puppies are complicated business and although I was not quite happy with the outcome they tasted very nice and posh. They were also the single most expensive item on the menu, but so totally worth it. 

Monday, 25 February 2013

Music Monday and Oscar night hang-overs.

Morning people.
I'm pretty much not awake while writing this after having spent all night watching the Oscars which for people in our neck of the woods means staying up until at least to see the "big ones."
We did an Oscar ballot and out of 24 categories I only managed to guess 9, so safe to say that I don't always agree with the jury about which movies are art and which ones are just... well American propaganda.
For those who did not watch it here are some results for you:
Oh and seeing as it is Music Monday and it is little over a month until Game of Thrones season 3 premieres (March 31st) here is a little friendly banter from one author to the next ;)

Write like the wind!

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin in "Argo"
Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"
* Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"
Best Animated Short Film
"Adam and Dog," Minkyu Lee
"Fresh Guacamole," PES
"Head Over Heels," Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly
"Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare,' " David Silverman
* "Paperman," John Kahrs
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
* "Brave," Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
"Frankenweenie," Tim Burton
"ParaNorman," Sam Fell and Chris Butler
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits," Peter Lord
"Wreck-It Ralph," Rich Moore
Best Foreign-Language Film
* "Amour," Austria
"Kon-Tiki," Norway
"No," Chile
"A Royal Affair," Denmark
"War Witch," Canada
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in "The Master"
Sally Field in "Lincoln"
* Anne Hathaway in "Les Miserables"
Helen Hunt in "The Sessions"
Jacki Weaver in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Adapted Screenplay
* "Argo," screenplay by Chris Terrio
"Beasts of the Southern Wild," screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
"Life of Pi," screenplay by David Magee
"Lincoln," screenplay by Tony Kushner
"Silver Linings Playbook," screenplay by David O. Russell
Original Screenplay
"Amour," written by Michael Haneke
* "Django Unchained," written by Quentin Tarantino
"Flight," written by John Gatins
"Moonrise Kingdom," written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
"Zero Dark Thirty," written by Mark Boal
Achievement in Directing
"Amour," Michael Haneke
"Beasts of the Southern Wild," Benh Zeitlin
* "Life of Pi," Ang Lee
"Lincoln," Steven Spielberg
"Silver Linings Playbook," David O. Russell
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"
* Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour"
Quvenzhane Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts in "The Impossible"
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook"
* Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln"
Hugh Jackman in "Les Miserables"
Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master"
Denzel Washington in "Flight"
Best Motion Picture
"Amour," Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz, producers
* "Argo," Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, producers
"Beasts of the Southern Wild," Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, producers
"Django Unchained," Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, producers
"Les Miserables," Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, producers
"Life of Pi," Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, producers
"Lincoln," Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, producers
"Silver Linings Playbook," Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, producers
"Zero Dark Thirty," Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, producers

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

World-food Wednesday; Salad time.

It's food time! Welcome to the first installment of the recipe sharing part of my blog. As some people might know I am pretty obsessed with food and pretty much abide to the saying that some people eat to live and others live to eat. I love cooking, reading about food and of course eating it as well. (Walking the flab-be-gone path) 
This week has been all about the cooking and enjoying nice food because the hubby is off for school vacation which has given us plenty of time to concentrate on matters close to my heart. So far this week I have made garlic and chili oil for the pantry, homemade sugared bread crumbs and baked twice. I have categorized two cooking books and almost decided on throwing out my Jamie Oliver book as it is pretty much primary school material. We also went on a field trip to scout out some competition for our dream business and had lunch at Themsens  which I would rate as average. I am not a food snob, but I sometimes wish that the atmosphere and the food fit together a bit better. The restaurant in itself is cosy enough and gives off a vibe of homeliness to a point, but the food is very posh and modern.
This week's recipe is for a simple light salad thrown together as a last resort with whatever we had lying around (that happens surprisingly often around here). As the pictures indicate we ate it in a very rustic style, but of course you can clean it up a bit.   

Duckbreast on a salad base.

For two people I used: 
1 duck breast.
400 g of spinach
1 grapefruit
4 slices of Prosciutto (or bacon if you are not looking for a lean option)
50 g of cheddar (any hard cheese will do)
10 olives. 
1 tablespoon of homemade garlic oil + a couple of garlic cloves each (can be left out and replaced by normal oil or butter)


Wash and drain your spinach and place it on a plate. 
Spice up duck and fry it for 2-3 mins on each side on a hot pan starting with skin-side down. Grease or oil-up an oven-proof dish. Cook duck for 7-10 mins depending on how well-done you want it in a preheated oven.
Slice and fry up your Prosciutto.
Cut your cheddar and olives into bite-sized pieces. 
Peel your grapefruit like you would peel an orange and removed the flesh of the grapefruit from the skin. 
Arrange on your plate. 
Take the duck out of the oven and let it rest for 4 mins, preferably with some tinfoil to keep the heat in. Slice and divide into portions. 

Courtesy of Rabbich Photography.

See you on Friday for fiction time!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Music Monday

Here is the music video for this week. It is the newly released Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra re-vamped version of The Bed Song.

Peace out comrades.

A new start.

New blog?
Yes indeed.
Let me tell you (insert ramble)
As a follower of Amanda Palmer's blog site it has been interesting to see the reactions of people when she started an open discussion about bullying and how it sometimes ends in tragedy when the victims can no longer stand to be a part of this world.
My own story would probably echo many others from the comments on her blog; lonely child who was bullied for my appearance, my family history, my accent, my lack of social skills and my love for anything considered a bit weird (RPG's, marching bands, literature )  It went on for most of my child-hood and my father only reacted to it once it became psychical with one boy in particular beating me up and dragging me through the class-room by my hair in front of the teachers who did nothing. It severely affected the way I acted at boarding school and high school. I was convinced that if people knew who I really was and how I felt they would mock me even more so I stayed away and only interacted with the other "weirdos". When I became an active Larper I entered a whole new world of being acknowledged for who I was but at the same time it was my secret world that I didn't share with more than a few select people. I quickly found that I could be myself around these new friends because they didn't judge me for being wacky. I have met a lot of amazing people through the Larp community and the last 10 years has shown me that it is okay to share emotions with other people that are not your immediate family. I thought I was grown up enough to put a distance between me and bullying for good, even joking that if I ever won an Oscar or any other great prize I would thank everyone who had ever mocked me, bullied me or otherwise made my life hell for being the main reason behind me inventing fantasy worlds. It was all behind me right?
Well it turned out it wasn't.
And when it happened again in my adult life I was just hit that much harder for believing that it was all over years ago.
This time the bullying came in the form of mental warfare from 20 grown men who thought that if they pushed me enough I would leave my job and everything could go back to how it was before. And they succeeded. From completely stone walling me to questioning every bit of my authority over them, they managed to push me to a place where I never wanted to find myself again. So I quit. I have had a few people tell me already that I was being to sensitive and that it probably wasn't as bad as I made it out to be. Maybe if I didn't have my back-ground I would agree with them and maybe I would have fought harder, but with years of experience in this field I knew it was only a matter of time before my students would have had to watch me break down in front of them and I wanted out before it came to that.
So here we are on the other side with a few more scars and a whole bunch of knowledge about myself and where my limits are. Time for a fresh start and to dream again (something that the people at my job center don't really encourage) about the possibilities the future might hold. I need my happiness back without having to fight for every little ounce of it. Somewhere in the process between student and I have learned a lot about myself and what challenges I might still face and the dream was always there in the back of my mind. Maybe someday I will share it with the internet, but for now it is between me and a select few people.

So after this rather long blog-post I want to say welcome! Welcome to a new section of my life and career that you will all have the chance to follow. My blog schedule (heavily borrowed from my good friend Mr. Scott Is as follows:

Music Monday: Youtube clips with new, old, fascinating or just interesting music.

World-food Wednesday: Sharing recipies, ideas for cooking and pictures of jummy food production by yours truly.

Fiction Friday: Sharing my stories, reviews of other people's work, progress reports etc.

Silly Saturday: Put on a silly hat and join me in the world of Grumpy Cat, wacky anecdotes and random stand-up.

I will try as a standard to have the blogs up by 18.00 (CET +1) In between these scheduled things I might of course also put things up, but as a rule of thumb these are the 4 main days.

See you on the flip side comrades.