You know what you’re drinking is for eye surgery?

It has actually been too long since my last post. To be quite honest, I seem to have even forgotten, just for a little while, that I own a blog. I’ve been so preoccupied lately, though!

I’d like to make a fresh start. Go back to regular writing. At this point, I’m more into regular reading and viewing. I’ve recently bought Sherlock Holmes on DVD, which has been a huge inspiration when it comes to fashion.

You might or might not have noticed it, but the film has had a big impact on the dress sense of today. In my group of friends, we have people wear trousers, smoke pipes, wear t-shirts embroided with lace patterns, flash similar jewellery and flaunt similar hair styles. It’s OK to put time and effort into your look, it’s OK to wear delicate looking clothing, and it is certainly OK to look sophisticated.

Granted, you don’t need to don the ‘typical’ Holmes outfit of shirt, waistcoat, jacket and leather shoes to own the ‘look how stylish I look smoking a pipe’ look you’ve got going on, but to me it’s going back to the good old days of playing dress up. Not too many seasons ago, we were urged to dress to not impress with, for instance, the fresh-out-of-bed look or the cowgirl look that edged more towards ‘gardener’ classification.

I personally love to see more people neatly groomed and effortlessly chic, however, I’m not sure if Adler’s dress would work as well in modern day London as it did in the setting of the film. What do you think?

xx Chrisje

It’s always quiet in the eye of the storm

It’s been very quiet on my end lately, as you can see by the lack of posts. I’ve got quite a few drafts lined up that I was so eager to work out to proper posts, but I’ve either forgotten my line of thoughts, or the event happened too long ago.

One of these drafts was about my Easter Weekend, yes, very dated, but also about the macarons I had received that weekend, that had been brought to me all the way from the Rousier Yvan patisserie  in Versailles. I haven’t had the chance to upload the few pictures I took then to accompany this post, but I hope to do this soon.

The small selection of macarons I had received, namely 8 small ones and 1 large one, did not see much of the world. The array of flavours was dazzling, however all known to me: almond, chocolate, pistachio, passion fruit, raspberry for the small ones, Turkish delight with a marzipan filling for the large macaron. The small ones were delightful. I tried to make them last longer but the temptation to suck them, bite them and devour them was too big for me to fight. The large one was less of a treat, in my opinion. I’m not a big fan of Turkish delight, and this macaron was very sugary, much more ‘there’ than the other ones.

I’ve shared my experience with a friend whom I had told about my small obsession. She then went to Paris, tried some, and was blown away by how good such a tiny little thing can taste. She also told me that Gordon Ramsey has a recipe for macarons in his dessert cookbook. Have not been able to take a peek, but I will do soon enough and will give that baby a go! Another ‘expert’ on this subject might be Hisako Ogita, author of I love Macarons:

Weirdly enough, things have changed in a revolutionary way. In my life, I mean. I had more time to think about what I’d like to do with my life (and that at my age!), and more importantly, what I don’t want to do. As you might know, I’ve been thinking about going back into education by starting a degree from home, next to my full time job. After long consideration, this might be something to put on hold. I’d like to enjoy the summer and spend more time with my boyfriend and with my friends, and also I need to spend more time reconnecting with old friends and family, as I’ve not been able to do this properly for almost a year now.

If I’m going to do this degree, I want to do it properly. I want to do it to the best of my abilities and perfect it, and for that I need to be in a more relaxed state of mind, in a better environment for my physical and mental health, in a less demanding atmosphere. This is something I can’t get deeper into right now, but might come up a bit more later as well.

I’ve also thought about writing an article about female breadwinners. It appears that there is still some sort of taboo attached to it. As a female breadwinner myself, I have to admit at first I was uneasy about my ‘role’, and I still am when telling people about my home situation, but it also feels like something I should not be afraid to admit.

I could go deeper into my reasons for being OK with being the main breadwinner in my relationship, but then that would defeat the object of writing the actual article. For those having a problem with this, I would obviously be interested in your opinions and motivations, so please do not hesitate to voice them.

The next few weeks are going to be pretty cushty for me; I’ve got a new project coming up at work, have a day off planned next Friday, and a nice set of Dutch bank holidays are coming up for me. On the down side I won’t be allowed to have the English bank holidays off, but that is fine seeing as there’s plenty of days I do get off.

The last week has been A-OK as well. I’ve had some more time to see friends and to spend time with my boyfriend. I’ve been out a bit more than I’ve lately been able to, and I’ve been clothes shopping! That always cheers me up. I saw this great top at New Look on their website, but they didn’t have it in store unfortunately.

Not to mention my birthday is coming up! June is still far away but speaking in weeks; it’s closer than I thought. I will be having a nice long weekend off to celebrate my 21st, and my sister is coming over from Holland. If the weather would be close to what it’s been recently, I’ve got nothing to complain about 🙂

xx Chrisje

Homesick

It’s almost 10 pm, and I’m still sitting on the sofa on my laptop. My alarm will sound at an ungodly hour to wake me for another pointless Saturday at work. I can’t pull myself away from my laptop, even though at first sight there is nothing special on there.

Recently I’ve felt a bit lost. I know where I am and what I do, I do intentionally, but sometimes I stop and I’m surprised at the situation I am in. Tonight I had a little switch flick in me and I’ve decided to go for a complete overhaul. I used to be straight forward, down to earth, ready for action. I used to make my reputation count for itself. ‘Never regret anything’ used to be my motto. I never did.

Ever since I got into a ‘proper’ job, and got saddled up with all the responsibilities that come with such a job, I’ve been miserable. Lately, I’ve got the feeling I’m slowly burning out. So in my attempt to overhaul and research the internet for ways to cheer up and get back into my old exercise regime, I found back some stuff that used to define me.

Sikth - In this Light

Music. And now listening to that music, it all comes back to me. Who I used to be, what I used to do, what I used to stand for. What I stand for now, but am too tired to fight for. Some people might think I’m being childish, irresponsible, but I don’t care. In my opinion, I should work to live, not live to work. And I’ve cheated a lot of people out of their happy days by pretending otherwise.

Tomorrow morning at 5.30 am I will start the first day of the rest of my old life. I’m going to get back into shape, I’m going to have fun, care less and worry less. I’m going to stick more time in the people I call my friends, I’m going to follow up my ambitions, and if I get rejected or snubbed at or laughed at along the way, I’ll shrug and move on.

Life’s too short to constantly worry. And it is certainly too short to care about if anyone likes me or not.

Thank you for reading.

xx Chrisje

Happy Easter?

I’m posting this message and this picture after having had a discussion with some friends about Easter and how this holiday is about new life and birth, but also about chocolate and bunnies, which in all fairness don’t have anything to do with the religious feast at all.

I understand for some people this might be hard to swallow, but I’m honestly trying to start a discussion about the necessity of sweets and decoration to celebrate a religious feast. Obviously this is not meant as offence, as I’ve accepted quite a few chocolate Easter eggs myself!

The following image can be shocking for some, therefore I’ve added the link to the image and not the image. Please let me know what you’re opinion is.

http://www.openrescue.org/rescues/2005/20050304/dead09.jpg

xx Chrisje

Uprooted tree

Yesterday I saw this uprooted tree on my way home.
You might not be able to see it in the picture, but that chunk of land & roots was huge!

xx Chrisje

The best chocolate cake in the world

Earlier today George’s mum and stepdad came round to visit us for Mothers Day (today) and Georges birthday (tomorrow). As I did last year, I have made George a birthday cake, one with a beautiful brownie-like consistency, simple yet so mouthwateringly good.

So I’ve decided to share the recipe with you. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need many ingredients, and it’s quickly to make. It is nice with buttercream icing, or without, or warm with some vanilla icecream. This recipe serves 8 to 12, depending on the size of the pieces. Unfortunately no picture of the end result as it got eaten before I had the chance!

Easy chocolate cake
Ingredients:
200 grams of unsalted butter
200 grams of good quality chocolate (of 70% cocoa or higher)
100 grams of flour (sieved)
300 grams of fine caster sugar
6 medium eggs

Directions:
Melt the chocolate with the butter au bain-marie, or in a bowl in the microwave on a low setting, stirring well every 30 seconds. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a separate bowl, whisk the caster sugar, the sieved flour and the eggs. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Put the cake batter into a spring form and put into the  preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Let cool before cutting and serving.

If you’ve tried my recipe, please let me know what you think! 🙂

xx Chrisje

My macaron adventure

This month’s edition of delicious. features some pretty pastel macarons on the front cover, as well as a quick and simple enough looking recipe on page 75. Reason enough for me to take the plunge and have a go, is what I thought!

I have to admit, if I’d be waiting any longer for good reasons to start tackling my ‘issue’ with the macaron recipe, I’d have accumulated enough reasons to NOT follow through. So today, when I woke up at ridiculous o’clock (8.20 am) and couldn’t get myself back to sleep, I decided to venture into the kitchen and get my ingredients out.

Looking back at it, I was naive. Meringues have never been my strong point – I’ve tried once, failed, never tried again – and I think that the fact that I’ve never actually had a macaron (shame!) has not helped either.

To make a long story short, I won’t bore or bother any of you with my massive failure – but my little chocolate flavoured rounds of joy were the colour of expensive dark chocolate, the consistency of chunky mud (I could unfortunately not recreate the so called ‘magma like consistency’ that was quoted in a few recipes) and tasted like brownies. Yes, nice with some peanut butter, but oh so far away from the meringue I was expecting.

I’m not yet defeated though. Next time I will try the basic recipe, no colourings or flavourings, to see if that will get better results. I’m not expecting massive changes, it could be that I’ve maybe skipped a step or haven’t read the recipe properly, so the only way forward is to keep trying!

Once were past this point, I can put into practise my ideas. I’ve noticed, for example, that there are no such things as cinnamon macarons. I do not know if this combination is impractical or just not tasty, but I absolutely love cinnamon, so I think cinnamon macarons are the next step. I will keep you updated 🙂

As for the (pastry) chefs and macaron experts there, does anyone have any tips for me for next time? Thank you.

xx Chrisje