Tag Archives: cooking

new year, new me

11 Feb

lovelies, let’s breeze past the fact i’ve been inactive for oodles of time, again.

how has 2014 been treating you so far? i, for one, was very happy leaving 2013 behind me- not that it was all bad, but especially the end sucked, with emergency eye surgery in november and getting robbed on christmas… let’s just say i’m looking forward to 2014 being better :)

speaking of better, and referring back to the title of this post, my new year’s resolution is to get in the best shape i’ve been. i’m aiming for ever, but that might be hard going back to the slimness of my 13 year old self. let’s be realistic here.
i’ve started working towards better physical fitness in april, after some events led to a very minimal consumption of food, and saw me losing 1,5 kgs in a week. no better motivation than that to get started on a healthy clean eating regimen! i’ve modelled my food plan on the paleo diet, with added influences of the dukan diet.
paleo_food_pyramidof course, it’s much easier to eat clean in the summer, when salads and light foods are especially appealing, but their winter counterparts are just as delicious!
vegetables of all colors come into play, eaten when possible as raw as you can- the less cooked they are, the better. i’ve omitted sugar and sweetener where i can, it’s taken a few days to get used to it, but now i can’t imagine drinking sweet coffee or tea again. lean red meat, chicken, turkey, tuna and salmon also feature heavily in my new diet, and go splendidly with all the vegetables! i haven’t given up grains, i often eat cereal (muesli) in the morning with low fat yogurt and berries, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, as well as wholegrain rye bread for spreads. but i find myself not really craving bread or carbs in any form in general, and when i do feel like having a sandwich, a tortilla is a great substitute for bread!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmy drink of choice is water, or green tea. all day long. sometimes i drink peppermint, or other herbal teas too, but usually it’s green, especially in the mornings. in the evening i’ll sometimes switch the green tea for black, and add some skim milk to it (i often add milk to green tea too, it’s delicious!)

step two of the plan, was exercise. obviously. no way around that. nutrition plays an immense part in getting fit, but you have to get off your ass as well.
i’ve posted about my passion for zumba before, and i still do it once or twice a week, but i’ve added a few other elements to my workout regimen.
for the lovelies that haven’t heard of zumba, here’s a short video of what to expect from a class:

i try to go to the gym 3-4 times a week- sometimes less, sometimes more. when i don’t make it to the gym, i’ll go for a run outdoors; i don’t really like running, but it gets the job done, and is a pretty decent workout. i enjoy working out by myself, but i love the classes. when i do a solo session, i usually use the crosstrainer for 30-45 minutes, and then round it off with free weights, focusing on shoulders, triceps and biceps. i often pack in some squats and crunches too, depending on the workout i’ve done the session before.
the classes i frequent apart from zumba are bodyshape (aerobics-cardio), bbp (which stands for bauch-beine-po, abs-legs-ass, a combination of cardio and resistance exercises), body pump and body balance. the latter two are by les mills, and are freaking awesome!
you can read about body pump here, but it’s basically an intense “resistance workout training focusing on low weight loads and high repetition movements”. it is killer. but the feeling you get after doing it overshadows by far your inability to walk up stairs and lift a teacup the next day. it’s addictive. here’s their promo video, and the second one is what to expect from a class:

body balance is a beautiful beautiful class, which combines the elements of tai-chi, yoga and pilates to give you a well rounded, toning, strengthening and calming work out. i usually take a bodybalance class after one of the tougher sessions, to give myself a deep stretch, and calm down in a powerful way from the intensity of the previous class. here’s what to expect from a bodybalance class:

after almost a year (omg time flies!) of working out regularly and eating clean(er), i’m very happy with the results. i’ve lost 8,5 kgs, my arms, legs, back and abs are way more defined, and i’ve lost two dress sizes. the thing that most amazes me, is how working out has become an integral part of my lifestyle, and i’m so happy about it! it’s not a chore, something that i have to do, it’s something i look forward to doing, i want to! love it.
in conclusion, i don’t want to give the impression that i became a total health nut. puh-lease. i still have pizza, mcdonalds, sweets and pretty much any other thing i want. but the key is in the quantity, timing, and necessity. when i order a pizza, i only eat half of it. the other half goes into the fridge/freezer for some other time. when i eat junk, i try to do it earlier in the day, so that my metabolism is still running high enough to burn it effectively. cookies or chocolate in the evening? sure, but instead of eating 10 cookies, i’ll have 4. instead of three rows of chocolate, i’ll eat one. and it’s enough to still the craving. and of course, i then pack an extra bit of time at the gym to soothe my conscience. annoying little bugger it can be.

i’m curious to know whether any of you have tried or are doing these classes, and what you think of them?
let me know!
before i forget, follow me on instagram for updates!

ciao for now, lovelies

 

nominations make my day!

29 Jan

firstly, i would like to thank the lovely naomi from bewitchery, le très cute chat texas from texas, cat in new york, and the inspiring lindsay from little fashionista on the prairie for nominating me for the addictive blog, the super sweet blogger, and the one lovely blog awards. only they know that they’ve nominated me ages ago, and i’m only getting around to do it now. *ssshhhh secrets*
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secondly, i want to thank lisa from mademoiselle snow, and tianna from storybook apothecary for nominating me for the versatile blogger and the beautiful blogger award.
i’m really really honored to receive these nominations, they mean the world to me! i am so thankful for all you lovely people reading my blog, you don’t understand!
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now, i will list the rules for all nominations, but i don’t think i’ll be able to follow them because… well, it’s 5 nominations… that’s a lot of rules! bear with me please…

addictive blog award rules:
1. Thank the person awarding you
2. Share a little about why you blog and how the journey started.
3. Paste the blog award on your page.
4. Nominate 10 other bloggers you feel deserve the award.

super sweet blogger award rules:
1. The nominee has to thank the person that nominated them
2. Answer the 5 Super Sweet Questions
3. Nominate a bakers dozen of other Super Sweet Bloggers and let them know
1. cookies or cake?
definitely both. it’s too hard, i can’t decide.
2. chocolate or vanilla?
vanilla.
3. what is your favourite sweet treat?
i love cupcakes and muffins, but i’m also a total cookie whore.
4. when do you crave sweet things the most?
usually in the afternoon, but sometimes i find myself craving sweets in the morning.
5. if you had a sweet nickname what would it be?
ummm… i really don’t know, but lemoncookiecupcakevanillasweetie has a nice ring to it.

one lovely blog award rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Add The One Lovely Blog Award.
3. Share 7 things about yourself.
4. Pass the award on to 15 nominees.
5. Include this set of rules.
6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

the versatile blogger award rules:
1. thank the person who gave you this award.
2. include a link to their blog.
3. next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
4. nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
5. finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

beautiful blogger award rules:
1. link back the person who nominated you.
2. post the award on your page.
3. tell 7 facts about yourself.
4. nominate 7 bloggers and let them know they have been nominated.

right, so im going to start sharing things about myself:
1. i’m dying to get another tattoo
2. i can’t wait to go to new york again
3. i’m really sick of winter and the snow, in fact if i could apparate, i’d be on a beach right now
4. i wish the wizarding world in harry potter were real
5. i would love to taste butterbeer- it sounds delicious
6. i love baking, but i don’t bake often for myself because then i feel guilty about eating all the goodies
7. i would love to have the means to open an animal sanctuary and rescue- hopefully sometime in the future i can do it
8. i’m obsessed with sweet potatoes and pumpkin
9. when i’m stressed i drink cinnamon tea with milk
10. when i see nailpolish, i have a compulsion to buy it
11. same goes for shoes
12. i love to sing
13. i love to party and go out as much as i love staying in my sweats at home and chill
14. i’m proud of myself for having nurtured this blog for a year now (yes, happy birthday brownponytail :) )

ok, that’s all i can come up with at the moment, sorry lovelies! now i will nominate blogs i follow, but not for specific awards- the nominees can choose which award nomination they want to follow :)
fashion noodles
she is impeccable
rara reid
closet cast
candy coloured dreams
imagination is spicy
pixi wishes and forehead kisses
my style <3
beautiful kayekie
hungry hinny
keeping up with the kelly
cinnamon spring
adventures in polishland
a purrfect cat
e-namel
and lastly, i want to raise awareness about the following blog stop animal abuse – it’s very informative, quite graphic at times, but it just shows the truth about the atrocities going on in the animal kingdom, which i think everyone should know about.

thank you again to everyone that nominated me, and i hope that all you lovelies are good!

hiatus over

23 Oct

lovelies- my hiatus is done.

i promise.

this past month, i’ve been absent from the blogosphere because of… well, life actually.
i’ve had friends visiting, work keeping me busy and uninspired, general writer’s block, books i’ve been reading, and been hanging out with friends. all activities that had me invest my time, leaving no room for sitting at the computer.

don’t think that i haven’t been thinking of you though! oh no. i’ve been diligently taking pictures, baking and cooking, so that i can show you what i’ve been up to this past month.

stay tuned for the next posts, in the meantime, here’s a picture of yuki at dinner last night. he’s fancy like that.

creamy feta and tomato spread

12 Sep

hello lovelies,

i wanted to remember the last days of summer by sharing one of my favorite summer foods.
it’s so simple, fresh and tasty!

yummm

 all you need for this delicious treat is:
– 1 box of feta cheese (can be creamy or light, salty or low-salt, however you prefer)
– some cherry tomatoes
– some dry peppermint leaves
– salt, pepper and some olive oil
– optional: lemon or lime

– wash and chop up the tomatoes, add them to the feta and stir until the feta becomes like a paste.
– add some olive oil, salt and pepper, and crush some mint leaves over the cheese.
– stir and add some more mint if you want it more minty.
– if you want to give it a zesty kick, you can add some lemon or lime to it.

done! so easy, right? you can eat this with toasted bread, as a vegetable dip, as filling for sandwiches or as a snack on the side with crackers.
it keeps for about 4-5 days in the fridge (as long as the cheese would keep normally).

low-fat wholewheat oat apricot muffins

30 Aug

yesterday i was grabbed by the urge to bake something.  i was also craving apricots for the longest time. so i put the two together. 2 birds one stone thing, you know?

i scoured my fridge for possible ingredients (i like to freestyle when i cook or bake, twist some recipes and personalize them), and found i still had some buttermilk, from when i made red velvet cupcakes for a friend’s birthday party.
so i googled “wholewheat buttermilk apricot muffins”, and was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of recipes and combinations out there. i opened the first 15, and decided to come up with my own.

now, i haven’t tried them yet (i forgot them at home- brain wasn’t awake yet), but i gave a few to my friends who were travelling today, and they told me the muffins were delicious!
i tweaked the recipes i found by using wholewheat and oats instead of regular “white” flour, and brown sugar instead of white. i also added a couple of spoons of apricot jam to the batter, to intensify the flavor.

ingredients:
– 1 cup chopped dried apricots                                        – 1/4 cup melted light butter
– 1 cup boiling water                                                             – 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 1,5 cups wholewheat flour                                              – 1 cup buttermilk
– 1/2 cup oats                                                                          – 1 egg
– 3/4 cup brown sugar                                                         – 2 tbsp apricot jam
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 packet vanilla sugar (1,5 tsp)
– dash of salt

directions:
– preheat the oven to 190°C (about 400°F) and line muffin tray with paper cups.
– chop apricots and place in a bowl. pour the boiling water on them and let stand for 5 minutes.
– in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, sugar, salt, baking soda and vanilla sugar.
– in a separate bowl mix the butter, oil, buttermilk and egg.
– slowly add the wet bowl to the dry ingredients, but dont overstir. add the jam and keep stirring.
– drain the apricots and add to the batter, make sure that they are evenly spread.
– fill the muffin cups and bake for about 17-20 minutes. test with a toothpick, if it comes out clean, they’re done.
– cool the muffins before removing them from the tray.

healthy, low-fat fruity muffins- enjoy!

*very inspiring blogger award*

27 Jun

hemingway and shakespeare, the two very entertaining kitties who author the blog twocatsviews, nominated me and my little blog for the very inspiring blogger award!
you can just about imagine how flattered, honored and happy i am about this award. that’s right, very!
the rules for this award are:

1.Display the award logo somewhere on the blog:


2. Link back to the blog of the person who nominated you:

thankyouthankyouthankyou hemingway and shakespeare, you awesome (fur)people! keep telling your tales on twocatsviews, i love to read what you get up to!

3. State seven random things about yourself:

– i started blogging as an anti- new year’s resolution. i challenged myself to pick up writing again- instead of attempting something new.

– apart from fashion, i love interior decorating.

– some day, i will have a horse, two dogs and three cats.

– i speak 5 1/2  languages.

– i could never date someone who doesn’t love animals.

– if i could choose a super power, it would be flying (without wings though, think along the lines of superman).

– i only started cooking and baking 2 years ago (real cooking, as in without using the microwave, and real baking, as in no ready- mixes).

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs (i did 16, was inspired):

the lonely dogs, a beautiful photoblog about 23 rescued dogs living with the author in mexico.

the cats i meet, by beth. a cat- crazy girl (after my own heart!) that documents the cats she meets day to day.

i broke my glasses again, by erica. a ms-paint obsessed college student with a great sense of humor.

the good greatsby, by paul. very funny anecdotes of his daily life that include family and friends.

mommy man, by jerry. the adventures of a gay superdad- hilariously and wonderfully written.

jenne chrisville, by gervin. a fashion blog as fabulous as they come.

catpurrology, by sally. beautiful pictures of her cat slash, and the quest of what causes a cat to purr with happiness.

the fancy pants report, by kate. very cute and stylish fashion blog- totally inspiring!

sarah smiles awhile, by sarah. wonderfully witty blog about life, and general wonderings.

a purrfect cat, great blog for new cat owners. tips and tricks on healthy nutrition and care paired with beautiful photos of a beautiful cat.

dysfunctionalbachelor, by tanc. hilarious tales out of the mouth of an australian living in l.a.

i like to l.a., supercool and funny blog about living in the city of angels.

vivaciously fabulous, by dana. fashion, travel photographs and daily inspirations- a very interesting and inspiring read.

the desert bride, by christina. wonderfully informative blog with beautiful pictures, all about the big day- lovely!

jetsetbarbie, by christina. i might be a bit biased, because irl we’re friends, but her blog rocks… baking, travel and weddings- what isn’t there to love?

meeah, by mia. cute and inspiring travel blog by my bestie <3

5. Notify those bloggers that they have been nominated and of the award’s requirements.

chicken surprise!

27 Feb

today i discovered that i’m harboring an amateur chef inside of me :)

ages ago i saw an ad on tv about some cooking thing, where you have a ready made spice mixture in a transparent, heat resistant baggy, and you just have to throw chicken (or fish or meat) in it, seal it and throw it in the oven! i was amazed, it looked so easy! and, it has the amazing advantage of  being virtually fat free cooking! of course i had to try it, but instead of buying the (overpriced and additive-full) ready made stuff, i got just the baggies- which actually have apparently been around for ever, but people (or maybe just me?) never knew about.

so i had the baggies laying around in a drawer for the past 2 months at least, and finally on saturday, i decided that i had to give it a go, so i bought chicken drumsticks- easy piece to start with :)
today was finally the day i got to it: peeled the skin off the legs, chopped a quarter of a red onion, half an orange bell pepper in dices, peeled and cut up 3 medium potatoes, and threw everything in the baggy. i read online that with this cooking method, the flavors become more intense, so one shouldn’t overdo it with the spices, so instead of adding salt, i sliced up a handful of black olives, and added them to the bag. finally, you need a little bit of moisture- i took a scarce tablespoon of olive oil, and some lemon and lime juice, mixed them, and poured it into the bag!

then all you have to do is tie the baggy, poke a couple of holes in it with a toothpick (on the upper side!), and pop it into the preheated oven, on 200°C for about 45 mins to an hour.
final step, put the bag onto a dish or bowl, cut it open and slide the contents onto the plate. voilá! delicious!

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