Friday, January 19, 2007

Goin' mobile

Other than clearing up and sorting through my recipe collection (how many different ginger cookie recipes can you collect? Well, more than 10, apparently), I've been looking at mobiles lately (anything for an excuse to buy more stuff from the craft store, I guess - yay for piano wire!). Especially these pretty Danish ones by Flensted. The "Prize Hen" for example shouldn't be too difficult to DIY (she said... duhduhduuuuh!).

Here's a nice little instruction on how to make a desktop mobile (for the ceiling impaired), and here's a very zen looking mobile made of sticks and leaves (or anything else you happen to find under the soles of your shoes).

Monday, January 15, 2007

Gallo Pinto

Well, what else is there to do with all this ice and snow outside (and temps in the single digits) than cook and bake to heat up the kitchen? Here's a particularly pretty dish, a Costa Rican rice-and-beans plate called "gallo pinto"; "spotted rooster".

1. Cook 1 cup of rice (I use brown rice).
2. Chop 1 onion and 3 cloves garlic. Fry in olive oil over medium heat until golden brown. Add some ground ginger, coriander, and cumin (about 1 teaspoon each). Stirfry 1 minute.
3. Add 2 cans of black beans, rinsed & drained. Heat through (3 minutes).
4. Add the rice, stir.
5. Add 3 tablespoons of steak sauce, stir to evenly coat.

Pass cilantro, sour cream/yogurt, tomatoes and green onions at the table.

Healthy, high in fiber, low in fat. Yum!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The most beautiful commercial in the world

This is so beautiful it almost made me cry: The Sony Bravia tv commercial.
Two hundred and fifty thousand colorful rubber balls bouncing along the streets of San Francisco, to a music track called "Heartbeats" by José González. Enjoy! (provided you have a fast internet connection, or you can, no you HAVE to download the standard 60-second-version as an MPEG-4 movie (10.7mb)). Sniff.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A vat of Tabouleh

... and an award in "ugly food photography". Yuck. But tasty (it better be, since that's what we'll be eating for the next three days - I poured the whole package of couscous into the boiling water instead of only half of it).

Since SOMEBODY doesn't like tomatoes and cucumbers, I chopped up carrots, zucchini and yellow squash instead and then made the usual dressing with lots of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, chopped parsley, mint and green onions.

This is a filling, healthy meal, which also goes well with seafood - we had the Tabouleh with some
baked fish tonight, maybe some shrimp tomorrow.

Here's a more traditional recipe:


1 cup bulgur, 1 cup boiling water, 1 cup chopped parsley, 1 medium onion, diced, 2 cups chopped tomatoes, ¼ cup chopped coriander (optional), sprig fresh mint, chopped, ¾ cup lemon juice, ½ cup oil, salt to taste, pepper to taste

Place bulgur in a large mixing bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over the bulgur and let stand 30 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Combine bulgur with vegetables, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper.

Refrigerate, covered, a few hours or overnight. Serve cold.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Children of Men

So we went to see "Children of Men". A great movie, very loosely based on P.D. James's sci-fi-novel "The Children of Men" (German title: "Im Land der leeren Häuser" - translates as "The Land of Empty Houses"). Awesome action sequences, fascinating story taking place in a totalitarian Great Britain. The plot: All over the world, no human child has been born in 19 years - humanity is facing extinction for completely unknown reasons. Everything is basically going to hell in a handbasket - violence, terrorism, nobody cares any more about anything. Then the somewhat unlikely hero of the story (played by Clive Owen) encounters a pregnant woman...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Tee Hee

Here's my latest purchase from Craftyalien: Kitty pushpins and magnets! All cute and shiny!
I love all the handmade stuff you can buy on Etsy. It's like a huge worldwide craft fair (without having to schlep a grumpy husband along). You can get really good deals on things like jewelry or sewn items, and I always get a ton of inspiration from my little shopping "trips".

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Yay! Beaded Stars!

I actually accomplished something (and only 2 weeks after Christmas, which was when they were supposed to be done): Beaded stars! I simply followed the instructions on a great German website called Creadoo.

They are SO easy to make - all you need is about 80 cm (32 inches) of thin silver wire (I used 24 gauge wire, any thinner and the stars are too flimsy), and some nice shiny glass beads (large and small round ones, and the long ones called rocailles or bugle beads).

Then you just follow the simple pattern on the website (the first drawing is for the stars in the upper row of the photo, the ones I made), repeat 6 or 7 times, twist the ends together and voilà! All done.

Perfect to work on while you wait for your asthmatic laptop to download something. Or while you're wondering where the hammer is because you'd like to "help" the laptop a little.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Hippo gnu deer!

Man, and I only JUST got used to 2006. Am I the only one who takes an eternity to get used to new years?