Some thoughts..

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If there’s anything I’ve learned in my few years of life is not to be afraid of who I am. There are so few people that can really speak their mind nowadays, mostly because they are embarrassed and that is simply wrong. 

I was very shy as a child. I used to hide under the table when guests came over and pretend I was invisible, because I didn’t want to talk to them. I am shy now, as well, which is very often perceived by people as arrogance. I am not a people person, mainly because I enjoy being on my own, I like to lose time inside my own mind ( which, frankly, more people should do) and I find social chatting exhausting. However I do get lonely, and that is what my few friends are for. I will only make the first move if a person really interests me, otherwise I’m pretty quiet. My mother always told me that this is not a bad thing and I should embrace who I am, what I am, because if I don’t get myself, no one ever will, and I know she is never wrong. She goes as far as to be proud of having a rather ‘strange’ (as she puts it) kid.

I think it is important to take some time for yourself, too. Call it meditation, or thinking, or however you want, but being on your own, just discovering yourself can be extremely fascinating. There is so much that you don’t know about who you are, things that are so interesting to find out, that you should know. Just as you leave some time to meet your friends for a coffee, put some time aside to meet with your own thoughts. Wander around your mind, read books that change your perspective on the world, listen to music, analyze your dreams, do things that make you happy.There’s only one you in this entire universe, and if you don’t think that is spectacular, you are so wrong.

Because, if there’s one thing I learned is to appreciate my own self and accept and appreciate the diversity of people around me. Surround myself with other types of people, people that will challenge me, help me grow and people that will bring out the best in me. That is the only way to find happiness, in the friends that laugh with you and in your own infinite mind. 

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21 Days to go

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Taking advantage of my last sips of the delicious Caramel Machiatto I decided to write a bit. I just came back from doing some shopping for St. Nicholas. I bought lots and lots of sweets, tea cups and warm socks for my parents and for my grandmother. I’m very excited about this Christmas. Actually, no, I’m excited about Christmas in general, to be honest. I know, I know, it’s “over commercialized” and so on. I’ve heard this side of the story, too, because one my friends is a very cynical soul ( so am I in general, up to a point ). 

i just can’t help it, that warm feeling inside once December starts. I love everything about it. I get so excited when the first Coca-Cola commercial with Santa comes up in the cinemas, or when Starbucks change their cups to red. I love listening to carols on the radio, all of them! ( Last Christmas was once my favourite song, so yeah…). I enjoy the slight taste of cinnamon in every food and I actually always wanted to have one of those ridiculous red-reindeer jumpers. I can’t wait to walk with my best friend around the shops and buy all kinds of stupid things for the relatives or help her choose a gift for her mum. Or, walking under the lights in city centre, taking pictures. What about those cute Christmas-markets, where they sell mulled wine and ginger bread?

 I mean, how can anyone really hate Christmas?

I agree that the world doesn’t get better for a month, that people don’t change just because they see some lights on the streets and drink more hot chocolate. But it does send a positive message, to spread joy, make people smile. It should be more about that than about buying huge presents, I agree. And, like it or not, I actually think it brings a bit of warmth in this cold months.

 

 My favourite seasonal songs (that you probably never even heard) to cheer up all the grumpy cats out there:

Cooking Tuesday: Fluffy Banana Pancakes

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Banana pancakes are deffinitely one of my favourite meals and a great way to start a new day! ( or finish it ). Here’s the best recipe I found for you to make your own delicious pancakes…with bananas! 🙂

What you need:
2 cups buttermilk (or 2 tablespoons vinegar + enough whole milk to equal 2 cups)
2 small or 1 large ripe banana, or about 1 cup mashed, plus extra for slicing on top of the pancakes
2 eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

What to do:
In a large bowl, add the buttermilk. If using the vinegar plus milk option, let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the milk to turn to buttermilk.
Whisk the mashed banana, eggs, butter, and vanilla into the buttermilk.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Pour the dry ingredients over the wet and mix just until incorporated. Do not overmix.
Let batter rest for about 5 minutes.
Heat a non-stick griddle to 325 degrees or large frying pan over medium heat. Melt a little butter on the cooking surface, spreading it evenly, if desired (or if the griddle/pan is not non-stick). Using a ⅓ cup measure (or an ice cream scoop works as well), pour the batter onto the griddle or into the frying pan. They are ready to flip when they look a little dry around the edges and start to form little bubbles (about a minute). Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown and the cooked through.
Serve topped with sliced bananas, butter, and maple syrup.

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Recipe taken from here

Clichee

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There are some quotes that you hear all the time, and seem to have lost their meaning. Many of them aren’t even true. But there are some cliches, that turn out to be quite right.

Everything happens for a reason.
If something bad happens, look at its bright side, try to see this event from another perspectice. Things have a very weird way of occuring, and a misfortune that spoiled two weeks of my summer, turned out to be a chance to start something beautiful.

You are what you eat.
Never trust people that don’t love chocolate.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.
Hell, it’s very used, every person on Facebook has once posted this quote. But, it’s a good motto! And I like stars a lot. Actually, I’d prefer them over the moon.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Golden quote from Bambi that more people should go by nowadays.

Action speak louder than words.
Very, very true. It might be clichee, but what you do, how you act, showes so much more about your person than your words.

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Cooking Tuesday special: Spiced Carrot Layer Cake

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Today it’s a special Cooking Tuesday because it’s my birthday, therefore I have a rather difficult recipe that will end with the most delicious cake in this galaxy!
Now, I am usually all for chocolate. . There is never enough chocolate. I could literarly eat 85% dark Heidi for the rest of my days.
But trust me on this one, this cake is absolutely delicious, unique and suprisingly light.

What you need:

FOR THE CAKE:
1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for pans
1¼ cups flour, plus more for pans
1¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground allspice
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
½ cup finely ground almonds
3 cups finely grated carrots
1½ cups packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup orange juice
1 tbsp. orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract

FOR THE GLAZE AND ICING:
12 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
¼ cup buttermilk
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
¾ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup mascarpone cheese
3 8-oz. packages cream cheese
2 tbsp. dark or spiced rum
1 tbsp. orange zest
1 1-lb. box confectioners’ sugar
2 cups finely chopped walnuts

What to do:

Make cake: Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour three 9″ round baking pans; set aside. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until it browns. Chill until solid.

2. In a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and allspice. Finely grind coconut and almonds in a food processor. Combine nut mixture, carrots, and flour mixture; mix.

3. In a bowl, beat together browned butter and brown sugar until fluffy, 1–2 minutes; beat in yolks one at a time. Add yogurt, juice, zest, and vanilla; beat. Add flour mixture; beat. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks; fold into batter. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops with a spatula. Bake for 30–35 minutes. Let cool slightly.

4. Meanwhile, make glaze and icing: In a 4-qt. pan, combine 4 tbsp. butter, sugar, buttermilk, syrup, and baking soda; boil. Cook until dark, 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in ½ tsp. vanilla. Spread glaze over each warm cake. Remove cakes from pans; transfer, glazed side up, to racks. Let cool.

5. In a bowl, beat remaining butter, mascarpone, and cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add remaining vanilla, rum, zest, and sugar; beat. Chill. Spread 1¼ cups icing evenly over 2 cake layers; stack, top with remaining layer. Frost top and sides; press nuts onto sides. Chill before serving.

ENJOY IT!

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recipe taken from here

Before I’m 17

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I have no idea where my sweet sixteen year has gone. I think I mostly slept through it, which wouldn’t be unlike me.
However, here I am, the last day of being 16 ever. Creepy.
I don’t really care about ‘getting older’ at this moment, because in the morning I know I won’t feel any different. I’m just in for the cake.
But I am proud of this year. I made fabulous friends, I finally, finally went to a French course, I improved my piano playing, I read the whole SH collection ( give me some credit, it was pretty huge ), I discovered Hannibal, I even learned how to make a Caesar salad – not from Hannibal the cannibal, though.
There are things I didn’t get to do, of course, but there’s a lot of time ahead. A lot of days and hours and minutes ready to be filled with fantastic stuff ( like sleeping).
So come on, 17, let’s see what you’ve got.

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The Stars Dealer

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I have always been fascinated with stars. I can’t really explain the reason behind it, or this enormous feeling I get when I look up at the night sky. I suppose it’s all very typical for the human being to be fascinated with all that is beyond our knowledge, what is beyond our world and the Universe is itself one big question.

I’ve read about people that feel small looking at the stars above them. That feel like a very tiny bit of this whole wide infinity. People that realize how little they matter. How unimportant their lives go by, like the blink of an eye. I don’t.

Looking up at those shining bits of light, I feel so important. I look up and lose that sense of loneliness, because for a few moments, I feel like time stops, just for me to give time to admire such vast beauty. So, I decided to steal some constellations and store them in my bedroom. Remember those phosphorescent stars you had as a child, glued to the ceiling, to keep nightmares away? I bought a set of those 🙂 Now I have my own private night sky, shining above my head every night.

And honestly it’s the best thing there is.