About Nathalie

Tea. Music. Waves. Sun. Food. Creations. Laughs. Stills. Moments.

C’est le pied!

le pied

A few months ago, I taught you how to express your surprise, disbelief or that something is brilliant or wicked to you in German. The German says “Das ist der Hammer!”.

Today it is a post of how the French express a similar situation. They like to use body parts and say “C’est le pied!”: “This is the foot!”. It is mostly used to express a positive surprise, that something is “awesome”. According to some websites, this expression is related to the joy of the woman in a sexual act and how her foot position would be. Ah les French and l’amour!

I hope that your day will be “le pied”!

Nathalie

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Music in your mail

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Already 4 years! A project which is already going on for 4 years and who is still not coming to an end. What am I talking about? Well in March-April 2009 my friend Marit from the Netherlands came to visit me in Germany and after a few drinks and hours of musical conversation we decided to send each other every month a cd of a band or artist, the other might not know.

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Nowadays we always give USB sticks to friends which are full of music but usually we never really get through them because of the huge amount of music at once. So it had to be only one cd per month and about one artist only so that we have time to discover this artist during the month.

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Since I moved to the U.S. I have been terrible because I never sat down to make new cds for Marit… until now!

Music mail 1

The fun thing about creating those cds is also to design the covers. We are even considering making our own photos if we are inspired.

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I love this project until now! There is nothing nicer than getting a packet in your mailbox between all the bills and ads and then putting on a cd and discovering new sounds. Thanks to Marit I discovered for example a lovely Dutch artist called Pien Feith. She is definitely not known enough if you ask me!

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So let’s get old school and send cds to your friends! It is fun and the great thing… you might get something back in return!

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Nathalie

Cook Perfect Fluffy Rice

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I usually try to post original recipes in order not to be too boring but today it couldn’t be more bland than simple rice! Yes just how to cook properly rice without any extras. I am actually just posting the recipe for my self, because I keep on forgetting how to do it right and I always need to ask Kris on how he’s doing it (he is the perfect rice cooker!). But why not sharing it with the rest of the world?

So off we go for lovely fluffy non sticky Basmati rice.

What you’ll need? Guess what? Indeed Basmate rice.
How much of it? 1 Cup for maybe 2-3 servings.

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1. First thing: Rinse the rice. How often? A professional cook would tell you “until it is perfectly clean!”.

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I would suggest you about 3 to 5 times. Try to get the water as clear as possible.
After rinsing the rice leave it to rest for about 20 min.

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2. Then put the rice in a cooking pot and add 1 cup and half of cold water. Leave the pot uncovered and cook on medium to high heat until small little ‘craters’ start to appear (do not stir in the meantime!).

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3. Once those ‘craters’ appear, stir the rice ONCE with a fork, turn to low heat and keep on cooking the rice for 8 minutes, this time covered. After 8 minutes turn the stove off and leave the rice to rest. If you want to eat the rice right away still leave it for another 8 to 9 minutes covered without cooking.

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Et voilà now you should have your perfect fluffy non-sticky rice à la Kris!

A little suggestion which might sound strange to many readers: if you eat bland rice, try to add a egg yolk (of course super fresh!) and mix it well, add a bit of salt and pepper. I love it! The family of my friend Catherine showed me their family invention when I was about 7-years-old and until today my Mum cannot understand why I like eating it this way.

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Nathalie

Original Pizza – Newport Beach

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In the past few weeks Kris and I have discovered a few spots in the OC which are some of our new fav’ places to have lunch or dinner.

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This one is about a pizzeria which couldn’t be any more basic than that: Home-made dough, hypnotizing smell on the pavement and a family friendly place with big tables.

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Kris and I were aiming for another place to eat, but where not convinced by it in the end and the smell of “Original Pizza” persuaded us to step in.

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You can even see that the dough is kneaded in the restaurant itself.

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If you’d like a nice American pizza eve’, forget about all those chains and try “Original Pizza“. You will not be deceived!

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Buon appetito!

Nathalie

Grilled Yoghurt Salmon

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Kris and I love fresh fish. However we are not really fan of fried fish. We like it either simply  grilled or baked with lemon or with a nice marinade. Kris would usually do an Indian inspired marinade (he is all about Indian food!), I tried a recipe with a yoghurt marinade from my German cooking book. Quick, simple, easy and… very tasty!

What you’ll need:

3 garlic cloves
1 piece of fresh ginger (about 1 cm)
1 red chilli (I used a dried one since I didn’t have any fresh at home. Here is depends how much eat you can and want to handle)
1 tsp of coriander seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of sweet paprika powder
1 pinch of cinnamon powder
2 tbsp of lemon juice
250 of creamy yoghurt
salt
4 pieces of salmon filets (about 160 g each)
Aluminium foil (if you grill over charcoal)
A bit of olive oil for the coating

And here comes the nice and easy procedure:

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1. Peel the garlic and the ginger and cut them in very little pieces. Wash the chilli and cut finely.

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2. Heat a small pan, toast the coriander and the cumin seeds (stir!) for roughly 1 minute until they spread a nice spicy smell.Poor in a mortar and grind them.

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3. Add the paprika, cinnamon, lemon juice and the yoghurt and mix well. Season the marinade with salt.

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4. Either turn on you BBQ or you oven grill (this was my option this time). On the BBQ put the aluminium foil and grill the fish on it for roughly 10 minutes. Turn once. It you grill the fish in the oven as I did: put the fish in a greased baking dish. I added the left over of the marinade and put it on top for extra flavour. Grill again for roughly 10 minutes.

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5. It is tasty with some fresh bread and a nice salad. Lovely spring or summer dish! Enjoy!

Nathalie

Little hand-made creature

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With a few friends we decided to meet up once in a while to do some sewing. I am still a bloody novice when it comes to sewing. My problem is that I still always want to make to complicated projects to start with. I’d better follow my friends Susi & Jess who decided to make that day simple pillows. Anyway I ended up creating a little outer space. It was simple enough to practice simple straight lines and have the occasional turns.

What you’ll need:
– Some fabric for the body and a plain colour for the face
– Some little eyes to stick on (much quicker to realise but not recommended for small infants. If it is meant for a baby, I would suggest to sew some eyes on the little man)
– A button or anything else to make the little creature more attractive!

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1. Decided on how your little man should look like, draw it on paper and cut the pattern out. Make sure to add a generous border everywhere for the seam.

little creature 1

Little Albert was very busy with his beloved ropelittle creature 4

2. Then draw the pattern on the fabric you chose working with. Use two pieces of fabric. One for the front and one for the back of the little creature. Then cut it out.little creature 5

3. Next part: Pin the two pieces of fabric together, making sure that on both sides it shows the ‘inside’ of the creature (we will turn it onto the right side once we finish sewing. Now sew along the needles making sure to keep a part open to turn it  around. I suggest to keep the opening along one leg since it the easiest from there to access all areas of the fabric.

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You always need a few treats during creative sessions!

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4. It still looks quite funny. The important part is now to use some stuffing to fill out the little man.once it is well filled, close the area along the leg. To close it, simply sew by hand.

I then cut out of a white piece of fabric little ears and a ‘face’. I glued them all with a glue especially made for fabric. Then I added the little eyes and a big fat black button.

little creature 7 These are the awesome pillows made by Susi & Jess.

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Get creative and awake lots of little creature to life!

Nathalie

Raw Vegan Gluten Free Cashew Cheesecake

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Okay I have to say at the start: I do find it funny to call a dish with a name which doesn’t contain the product itself? You don’t follow me? Well this lovely vegan gluten-free cheesecake doesn’t contain any cheese (obviously since it’s vegan!). But of course I know the message: it looks and feels a bit like it. In the end it doesn’t really matter. This cake is simply divine and so fast to make since it doesn’t require any baking (raw!). I have to thank my friends Jess (vegan) and Susi (gluten intolerant) for challenging me when they come around. I wouldn’t have tried this recipe.

Ingredients:

High-powered blender
9-inch (23 cm) springform pan

Filling

4 cups raw cashews, soaked (1 L)
1 cup filtered water (250 mL)
1 cup raw agave nectar (250 mL)
1 cup melted coconut oil (250 mL)
1 tbsp raw vanilla extract (15 mL) (next time I will try a vanilla pod)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (10 mL)

Crust

2 cups whole raw pecans (500 mL)
1/4 cup chopped pitted soft dates (60 mL)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt (2 mL)

Preparation:

Filling:

1. To soak the cashews for this recipe, cover with 8 cups (2 L) water. Set aside for 1 hour. Drain, discarding soaking water, and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear.

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2. In a high-powered blender, combine soaked cashews, water, agave nectar, coconut oil, vanilla and lemon juice. Blend at high speed until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

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Crust:

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3. In a food processor, pulse pecans, dates and salt until smooth (no large pieces should remain). Press into bottom of pan, ensuring that there are no gaps.

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Assembly:

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4. Pour filling over crust and freeze for at least 2 hours or until firm in the centre  This dessert can be made ahead and kept in the freezer for up to 1 month.

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5. When you are ready to serve, remove from freezer and set aside to thaw for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pan sides and slice. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

6. To check if the cake is frozen all the way through, insert a tester such as a wooden skewer or toothpick. If it comes out clean, then the cake is ready to be thawed.

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The nice thing about this cake, no need for guilt! We could even consider being a healthy treat! So enjoy this nutty coconut tasting cake!

Nathalie