Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hart of Dixie and Rachel Bilson's clothing style

I absolutely looove the TV show "Hart of Dixie" starring Rachel Bilson. It might be exaggerated with the Southern attitude and all. But it definitely is great entertainment!
The second season just started and I'm already longing for every new episode just after having seen the latest.
But first things first: It's about a young doctor from New York (Rachel Bilson) who wanted to become a surgeon, but was advised to do a year of general medicine first. Fate brings her to the Southern town of Bluebell where she not only struggles with making herself at home there, but also gets into quite a bit of boy trouble. Doesn't that sound like a great thing to watch?
For all of those who are into fashion too, there's another reason to watch: Rachel Bilson or rather how she's dressed. (http://www.celebritystyleguide.com/c-1/tv-shows/hart-of-dixie/fashion-and-style-of-hart-of-dixie)
 However, we just have to admit that she looks amazing in anything she wears!

hart-of-dixie Michael Stars Beater Tank-Top
there's casual
hart-of-dixie Marc Jacobs Pleated silk-taffeta high-waisted shorts
or more business-like






























































hart-of-dixie Vanessa Bruno Spring 2012 Dress
the look for everyday








Friday, August 24, 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Lately I seem to have been watching a lot of great movies. After "Les intouchables" yesterday, today it was an English jewel.
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" does not only have a list of amazing actors. It is witty (if you like the British humor) and colorful, but at the same time rather emotional and at times even incredibly sad.
To come back to the actors: the majority of the protagonists are well known and once you've watched the movie it also becomes clear why that's the case. Their appearance seems authentic and no matter what kind of a character they represent, you can't help but take them to your heart.
And of course, India as a setting breathtaking. It is not trashy and romantic like in many other examples. You get a very diverse picture. You see its colors, the smiling people, the beautiful landscape and temples, but also its poverty and some people's hopelessness. It seems to give a picture of the real India (although I must admit, I've never been and therefore can't really judge).
You may cry just to start laughing a moment later. It shows life with all its faces.

So that you actually know what the movie is about, here's the trailer:


Thursday, August 23, 2012

some of France's finest cinema

There have been many different French movies that I liked. "Amélie", "Bienvenu chez les Ch'tis" or "L'auberge espagnole" would be movies one should have seen if interested in European cinema. Those are special, they have a very particular style, in terms of the story, the language, the humor...
But tonight I watched "Les intouchables", the story of a paralysed French aristrocrat tied to his wheelchair who hires a young black man from the banlieues (suburbs) to be his assistant. The movie has everything the others had too. But there is something else: a deeply emotional side. Contrary to what the title might suggest, I was very touched. It wasn't pity for the man in the wheelchair or for the guy coming from jail and getting a second chance. It was simply moving to watch them live their lives. It didn't even matter that I watched the movie in French and understood only about a third of their conversations. The director managed to keep the balance between the picture and the sometimes incredibly funny, but at times also rather profound dialog.

But see for yourself: Here's a sneak peek for you, the trailer of "Les intouchables".


Saturday, July 28, 2012

music that I enjoy

Switzerland may not be famous for its musicians, but there definitely are some great ones around!


Eleanor by The Drops just makes you feel good. And those guys happen to come from my hometown Basle ;-)
They have their first record out, it's called Flying Dutchmen. Listen!


I must say, BOY are only half Swiss, but make great music nevertheless. On their album Mutual Friends there are some more melancholic pieces, but also some for a good mood.


I could go on, but that'll be it for now. Enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hamburg in summer


It might sound crazy to visit the same city twice in one year, but Hamburg is definitely worth it. After having been there this February, my boyfriend and I decided we wanted to spend some days there again this summer. And we did.
For those of you who prefer hot, sunny days and the beach it might not be the right place to spend the summer. But for all the others: the days are long and the city glows!


 If you're up for a stroll through town, go to Altona. Just not before 11am, because most of the shops won't be open otherwise. And that would be a shame since there are a number of beautiful small shops like this one:


Walk around and keep your eyes open. For me, that's the best way to get a feeling of a city.





During our recent trip I also noticed that Hamburg is full of beautiful, green parks. You can walk for hours, going from one park to the next.
One that is particularly stunning is the old botanical garden, which is part of the Planten un Blomen park. It's perfect if you're looking for some silence. Although in the midst of the city, it's quiet and peaceful. There are chairs everywhere, so take a good book with you and just rest there for a while.



My third recommendation requires some good shoes: Take the S-Bahn to Blankenese, the wealthiest part of town, have a look around and then walk down to the Elbe. From there, you could walk all the way to the city center, but that might take you about 5 hours. We did about half and then took the bus back, which was enough for one day. If you're not up for walking, you can rent bikes, too.

However, whether in winter (when it's freezing) or in summer (when it's still not too hot), Hamburg is worth going to!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

summer's here - show your colors!

I've become a huge fan of OPI nail polish! They just have an amazing range of colors and it's great quality too. This summer, these are my two favorites:


With your nails in green or yellow you don't need much more to make your outfit special. It's accessoire enough!

Have fun trying it out :)




Monday, June 4, 2012

NY cheesecake

As promised, here comes the recipe for a traditional New York cheesecake. It's from "cheesecakes" by Maxine Clark, but I've changed quite some things.

What you need:
base
200g rusk/zwieback (make sure it's sugared)
100g butter
75g sugar

filling
150g butter
190g sugar
4 big eggs
30g flour
a untreated lemon (grated peel and juice)
8g vanilla sugar (1 package)
675g Philadelphia (should come directly out of the fridge)
60ml milk

topping
425ml sour cream
2 tbs. sugar
freshly pressed lemon juice from 1 lemon

I use a 26cm diameter springform.

How to:
As always, you need to preheat the oven, to 190°C.
Then, you start with the base for which you need to crush the rusk. I put the rusk (in portions) in a freezer bag and then use a rolling pin to crush it. This technique is rather time-consuming.
Melt the butter (slowly) and mix it with the rusk and sugar.
Grease the springform, then spread the mixture and with your fingers, flatten it.
Bake the base for 8-10 minutes. Afterwards, you need to cool it before continuuing. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C.

In the meantime, mix the butter and sugar for the filling. Gradually add the eggs, then the flour, the lemon zest and juice and the vanilla sugar.
Use another bowl to mix the Philadelphia with the milk (here you need a rather big bowl). Finally, pour the first mixture into the second and make sure there are no clots. If that's the case, pour it onto the base and bake for 90 minutes.

For the topping, mix the ingredients. Put it into the fridge until you need it.

Once the filling is baked, increase the temperature to 190°C again. Pour the topping onto the cake and bake for another 10 minutes or until it's solid.

To cool the cheesecake you have two options: You either switch off the oven and leave it there to cool with the oven door open. Or put it onto a cooling tray with a big bowl put over. This is to prevent the base from cracking.

You have to put the cake into the fridge for at least 2 hours, but in my experience, the cheesecake tastes even better when you make it in advance and leave it in the fridge for about two days.

Often, I make some raspberry coulis to eat with the cheesecake. It's really easy, but you need some patience to pass it through a sieve. All you need in terms of ingredients is raspberries and some sugar (I prefer it still a bit sour,  others like more sugar). I warm the raspberries a little, especially if you have frozen ones. And then, as I said, you need the patience to pass it through the sieve.

ENJOY!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

back to life

It feels sooo good! All my exams over, a whole summer of doing as I please ;)
This means, that I'll finally have some more time for this blog, too...
Tonight, I'm making some NYstyle cheesecake, but unfortunately you'll have to wait a bit longer for the recipe and all. Something you can look forward to ;)

Have a nice day! I certainly will ;)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stockholm


Hej!

Most of you probably have never been to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. For me, it's the most beautiful city in the world, especially in summertime.
You can have a bit of everything...

In summer, most of the citizens of Stockholm spend all of their time outside. So there is a street cafe at every corner and the parks are filled.
Långholmen

Another possibility is one of several islands. There's Långholmen, the green island in the Southwest of the city. Depending on the temperatures you might even consider having a swim in the sweet water there. But don't be surprised, the water won't be as warm as the Indian Ocean ;-)


Djurgården
And there's Djurgården. It is mostly known for its amusement park. But there is definitely more to it.
Other than Långholmen, Djurgården is very well connected. You can reach it by ferry, by bus or by streetcar.
There are parks, museums, cafes, but you will also find some hidden place to relax.

Beckholmen
Two years ago, I was in Stockholm with a friend. We were walking through Djurgården, looking for some place to sit in the sun and read. Without anyone disturbing anyone. And we found the perfect spot. In the South of Djurgården there's another, very small island called Beckholmen. I don't really know whether it would have been private, but we sat on a little landing stage with no one around. I guess it was the most peaceful place I had ever seen.

Skeppsholmen
A third, rather small island is Skeppsholmen.
First of all you have the very sweet bridge with the crown on it (which you might have seen on some postcard, it's a very popular motif).


One thing I liked on the island was an outdoor exhibition with machines by Jean Tinguely and sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle.



STF Hostel af Chapman & Skeppsholmen
In case you plan on spending a bit more time on Skeppsholmen, there's also a hostel, STF Hostel af Chapman & Skeppsholmen, to be precise. It's located on this very beautiful sailing boat.
Personally, I've never stayed there. But there's another hostel on a ship that I can recommend:

Red Boat Mälaren
The Red Boat Mälaren is located at the Söder Mälarstrand, a boardwalk which leads you from the bridge coming from Gamla Stan right to Långholmen. This is also where I go jogging when I'm in Stockholm.
The hostel is rather simple and the rooms not too big (it's on a boat after all), but very clean and nicely decorated.
The staff on the boat is absolutely lovely and very helpful.

At the front end of the boat, there's a little terrace, a great spot to enjoy the warm evenings in summer. Also, the hostel has a bar ;-)

Gamla Stan
Something that you absolutely cannot miss while being in Stockholm is a stroll through Gamla Stan (the old town).
At first, it might look like set up for tourists only (in the bigger alleys you won't be able to escape them), but once you enter the smaller alleys and just walk on, you will find some more peaceful places.
One of them being this one here. I found it by chance when I was walking and taking pictures of all the beautiful old houses. There are a few benches under a big tree and apart from the occasional group of tourists there is no one around.

the Royal Palace

Once you walked through the old town you will eventually reach the palace.


A funny thing to watch is of course the guards there. If you're lucky (I think it's around noon) you will see them as they change positions.
And if you're very lucky (as we were last summer) you might get to see the Royal Brass Band.
Here you have a sneak peek of the Royal Brass Band playing ABBA's Dancing Queen.


video

National Museum
Now for those of you who like museums. I must honestly say that I have not yet visited too many in Stockholm, but I can definitely recommend the one's I did.
First of all there's the National Museum which you see on the right. Already the building is nice to look at, but there are always also interesting exhibitions.

Another museum, which personally I liked very much was the Nordiska Museet in Djurgården. It tells you a bit about everything you should know about Scandinavia, be it fashion, furniture, customs or anything else.
A third museum would be the Dans Museet (dance museum), although that probably is not of everybody's taste. You can have a look at costumes from all over the world, there are pictures and also some films to watch. I found it quite interesting to see the different customs connected to dancing, but since I'm studying anthropology that's kind of my job :-)

One thing that is on my list for when I visit Stockholm the next time is the Vasa Museet, which, as I heard, must be very impressive.


I guess there are many of you who have been waiting for the shopping tips since the beginning. Well, here they come.

There's absolutely no way around a Indiska shop. Although I'm aware of the fact that its fashion might not be of everybody's taste I would say that you have to have seen it. When I first entered one of the shops (of course, there are several in the city) I was like "Wow, that's exactly how I pictured Swedish fashion". This may be true for some pieces, but it's not like they only have clothes for a certain style. That's an observation I made in the city as such: the Swedish people all seem to have their own style and it all looks absolutely amazing. (Apart from the fact that there seem to be a Swedish gene that ensures your beauty. This town is filled with good-looking people!)


So, if you plan a day of shopping, there are two major areas I can recommend. The most obvious choice might be Drottninggatan, which is in Norrmalm. There you find all the big brands like H&M (which are everywhere, by the way), Zara, Mango etc. most of which you will probably find in your home town too.

The other possibility (which also includes some shops and brands you might not know) is in Södermalm, more precisely Götgatan.
One of my absolute favorites there is Weekday, a Swedish brand which might be best know for their Cheap Monday collection. Whenever I'm in town I buy some jeans there. But you might find many things more.

For those of you who have a bit more cash there's also Filippa K., a Swedish designer who makes very nice clothes.

Then there are also some second hand shops where you will surely find something unique. One example would be emmaus, but there are many more.


I could go on and on about how beautiful Stockholm is and what places you should visit. But I guess, it's easier if you just convince yourself by visiting the city!
In Europe, SAS, the Scandinavian Airline, has quite good flight offers.

So I'd say: Hej då, vi ses i Stockholm.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to make the perfect Latte Macchiato

Have you ever wondered how one makes as wonderfully looking Latte Macchiatos as they do in a coffee shop? Well, I happen to know and would love to share the secret with you :-)
It's definitely not as hard as it looks, you just need to know the basics.

1. Make a cup of espresso.

2. Warm as much milk as you need for half a glass. (It's very important that the milk is not too warm otherwise you risk that the glass breaks.)

3. Pour some more milk into the pan and use a milk frother to froth the warm milk. (Make sure that there are not too many big bubbles, it should be as dense as possible.)

4. Take a spoon to fill the froth into the glass. Leave about a finger's breadth.

5. Gently pour in the espresso. (This way, the coffee should be between the milk and the froth. If you pour too quickly, it will already mix with the milk.)

6. Put one more spoon of froth on top to hide the entry point of the coffee.

7. Sprinkle some cocoa.

There you go. You just made a perfect Latte Macchiato.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

cinnamon rolls - kanelbullar

With Easter knocking on our doors I thought a recipe might be a good idea...especially this one! It's a Swedish special and has become one of my absolute favorites! Maybe you'll try them for your Easter brunch?

What you need:

dough
75g butter
250ml milk
25g fresh yeast
100g sugar
½ tsp salt
at least 1 tsp ground cardamom
500g flour

filling
40g butter
ca. 1 tbs cinnamon
ca. 1 tsp cardamom
75-100g sugar
1 egg to brush
decorating sugar to sprinkle


How to do it:

Melt the butter then add the milk. The mixture shouldn't get too warm since you use it to dissolve the yeast. Pour it into a big bowl and add sugar, salt and cardamom. Then gradually add the flour. (I use a wooden ladle as long as possible, then my hands.) Knead the dough until it's smooth (You might have to add some more flour). Cover the bowl with a slightly wet cloth and leave it to raise for at least an hour (up to four hours would be better). 
Knead the dough again and divide it into 3 equal pieces. Roll the dough into rectangles of about the size of 20x30 cm. They should be approximately 0.5-0.8cm thick. (It depends on whether you prefer tastin more of the dough or more of the filling.)
Melt the butter for the filling and brush each rectangle.
Mix sugar, cinnamon and cardomom in a seperate bowl and disperse it over the butter. As you can see in the photo above, it is perfectly okay to also use your fingers for that. Otherwise it's rather difficult to have it dispersed equally.
Roll each rectangle lengthwise so you have three rolls of 30cm. (Make sure its rolled as tight as possible. If not you can still adjust it afterwards.) Then cut each into spirals that are about 2cm wide. Make sure the spirals' ends don't unwind. Put them on a baking tray with baking paper on it. Depending on the size there should fit about 16 to 20 cinnamon rolls on one baking tray.

Mix the egg in a small bowl and brush each cinnamon roll. Then sprinkle some sugar on them.
Leave them to raise again. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220°C.
Bake them for circa 8 minutes or until they are golden.
When out of the oven cover every baking tray with some aluminum foil.
Voilà.
Eat them as fresh as possible! Even when they're still warm if you'd like that.
Keep the rest in a box or wrapped in aluminum foil, but definitely not for more than two more days.

Happy Easter everyone!

FRIEND OF A COW is back...in animal printed jeans

I'm back! It has taken me a while, I know. But you may all look forward to some more posts in the near future...

This morning, I was looking at some fashion photos and saw this picture of Miranda Kerr (whose style I love by the way) on www.people.com:


I immediately fell in love with those animal printed jeans. Just by chance I went to "Mango" this afternoon and voilà there they were! So now I'm a proud owner of a pair of blue leo print jeans...definitely a must-have this spring!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Petite Camargue, France

Living in the Swiss town of Basle really has so many advantages. Apart from the fact that my hometown is extremely beautiful, it is also incredibly close to Germany and France.
That's what is to be seen in the Petite Camargue in France where we had a nice little walk on Sunday:









muffin marathon

Last week I spent an afternoon baking muffins with a friend. So much fun!
Here's what we made:

Carrot Muffins
ingredients (for about 12 muffins):

50g butter
120g sugar
1 pinch of salt
zest of 1 organic lemon
2 eggs
1dl milk
200g carrots
150g ground almonds
100g flour
4 tsp. baking powder
120g powdered sugar
ca. 2 tbs. lemon juice
12 carrots made of marzipan


Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Stir the butter until soft, then add sugar, salt, lemon zest and eggs. Keep stirring.
Grind carrots, mix them with the rest. Then add almonds, flour and baking powder.
Fill the dough into the preparated molds and bake for about 25 minutes.
To cool, leave the muffins on a cooling rack.

For the icing, stir powdered sugar and lemon juice (make sure it's neither too thick nor too thin). Disperse on muffins with a knife or palette-knife. Decorate with marzipan carrots before the icing is dry.



Orange Muffins with Chocolate Chips
ingredients (for about 8 muffins):

100g butter
100g sugar
2 big eggs
100g flour
1 tsp. baking powder
100g dark chocolate, chopped in small pieces









Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Mix butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Fold in the chocolate bits.
Then fill the dough into the preparated molds.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the muffins have a golden brown surface.
Leave to cool in molds for 5 minutes, then put the muffins on a cooling rack.



Cranberry-Chocolate Muffins
ingredients (for about 12 muffins):

150g dark cranberry chocolate (recipe also works with regular dark chocolate, of course)
125g butter
1-2 tbs. kirsch (or some other liqour)
125g flour
200g sugar
3 eggs








Preheat the oven to 230°C.
Melt butter, chocolate and kirsch in a pan. In the meantime, mix flour, sugar and eggs in a bowl.
Stir the melted chocolate mix into the bowl.
Pour the dough into the preparated molds and bake for about 12-15 minutes. (The muffins are also delicious when the inside is still a bit liquid, but just not too much.)
Leave to cool on cooling tray.



Apple-Cinnamon Muffins with Raisins
ingredients (for about 10 muffins):

0.5dl milk
60g butter
175g sugar
2 eggs
150g Mehl
2 tsp. baking powder
ca. 220g apple, chopped into small pieces
ca. 30g raisins







Preheat the oven to 210°C.
Melt butter with milk in a pan. Meanwhile, mix sugar and eggs in a bowl.
Pour butter and milk into the bowl, stir.
Sift flour and baking powder into the bowl and mix with the apple and raisins.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Then leave to cool on a cooling rack.



I've adapted all of those recipes...I hope you like it! As we say in Switzerland: En Guete! (enjoy your meal)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hamburg - impressions

Apparently it took me ten days to sort my photos in order to post some...actually I was just busy with university starting again :-)
I must say: Hamburg is really worth visiting!

...in front of the "Kunsthalle"

great architechture

us
everyone's enjoying the sun

St. Pauli

St. Pauli

St. Pauli

frozen

Isn't the city just beautiful?!

icy island

Alster

tranquility

harbor tour

those won't be going anywhere any time soon ;)

Speicherstadt

Speicherstadt

"Spiegel" publishing house

beautiful Valentine's Day decoration

...the weather wasn't always grey :)

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