Monday, 26 November 2012

Juicy, crunchy, leafy Mangold

PhotobucketMangold, otherwise known as swiss chard or silverbeet, has been my latest food infatuation. This green, luscious vegetable is not only unanticipatedly juicy and delicious, but also widely considered to be one of the healthiest and most nutritious plants. Out of curiosity and want for discovering new recipes, when I saw organic mangold at the supermarket, I bought one, knowing of its highly regarded nutritional value. What I didn't know was that it was so tasty that I would be munching away at the raw leaves while cooking and felt almost sorry when they were wilting in the hot pan. Next time: raw mangold salad.

For this meal, I looked in my fridge and cut up some veggies I had. Next, I heated some olive oil in a pan, added some sticks of fresh thyme and a few smashed garlic cloves. When that had nicely sizzled and the oil was very nice and aromatic, I threw in some thinly sliced raw beetroot (I'd never fried beetroot before - they turned out a little raw, so give them plenty of time to cook, think carrots) tomatoes, mushrooms, all at high heat, and last of all, my precious chard. Give it a stir and a sprinkle of salt, and it's done! Who says cooking is tedious?

And because I can't help putting an egg on everything because I always want to eat egg, here was the finished product - plus a dollop of hummus (doesn't really go but who cares)(I also always want to eat hummus) and labane (some sort of mediterranean lemony yoghurt cheese dip), some rucola, and a generous drizzle of good olive oil over everything. My quick Sunday brunch.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Summer in Taiwan

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Early morning Taichung. Lunch with grandma. Frozen green tea and milk ice with mum. Noodle soup. My favourite: papaya milkshake. 'Watar': labelled for me in English by grandma. Taichung streets. Taiwanese bread with dried fluffy pork. City views.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Taiwan shores

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My Dad and I drove my Grandma out to the coast on the Northwestern tip of Taiwan today for a coffee. It was really far too hot to be outside today at all, but there was a generous, salty breeze, and of course this magnificent view of the sea. And iced coffee. And a slice of green tea cake.

Monday, 25 June 2012


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It was my flatmate Nina's birthday in the weekend, and everyone was looking lovely in the sunlight. We ate and drank to beyond contentment and reveled in the beautiful weather. Thanks, Vienna, for looking lovely for us too.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Paris, je t'aime.

There is just something about Paris. Something unique and inexplicable. Maybe for me, it's that it was the first place in Europe I ever set eyes on as a wide eyed nineteen year old. Or maybe it's the perfect weather that's coincided with every visit I've paid there. Maybe it's the cute, bubbly sounding chatter, the fact that people drink wine at lunch, the incredible croissants so buttery they melt your tongue, the smartly dressed people of all ages, the rosy hue on the buildings and beautiful streets, the direct, friendly nature of the people, the stylish, feisty, attractive women. There is something about Paris that steals your heart, as it did mine all over again when I visited last week. Being a tourist in Paris reminds me of this hilarious, sad and lovely short film from Paris, je t'ame, which I think sums up the experience beautifully.

I took the photo above from the top floor of the Pompidou Centre.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Polenta breakfast

Polenta is another great whole grain food which I can't believe I had never cooked until recently. It's made from ground maize, and becomes a porridgey consistency when cooked. It's creamy, nutty, smooth and substantial, and is extremely easy to make, much easier and faster than almost any other grain food. The thing about polenta is that it's so tasty that you don't need to flavour it much. No pasta sauce or gravy necessary here. My favourite way to make polenta so far has been to cook it in vegetable stock and serve a ladleful of it next to roasted or grilled veggies. Simple. I would imagine it would be delicious served with sausages or a steak too.

Today I thought I'd cook polenta in milk for breakfast, and this was the result. This is how I made it:
1) Heat a little milk in a pot. I probably used about half a glassful.
2) When the milk is hot, pour in some polenta. I probably used about half the amount of milk. Stir continuously. You'll see it start to thicken. Add more if you'd like it thicker.
3) Serve in a bowl with toppings of choice. I threw on some sultanas, cranberries, sliced almonds, walnuts and flax seeds.

This whole process seriously took about three minutes. I'm all about super easy yet delicious and nutritious food. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Overcast morning

Sometimes there are seagulls along the canal. They come swooping by my window. They must come a long way, I wouldn't imagine there are any fish in that rank water. 
I shot this photograph at a high ISO setting on this cloudy morning. The resulting grittiness takes me back to the days when I was in high school and would go out on winter mornings to shoot black and white film with an old manual Pentax. If only I still had access to a dark room. Printing was always my favourite part of the photographic process. There was so much you could do to tweak the picture to come out the way you wanted. Change your mind on how it should be framed? Not happy with the exposure or contrast? No worries, work your magic in the dark room under that oddly serene red light. At least my complete impatience for digital editing means that I've been forced to improve my photographing technique over the past few years and take a good picture right off. Moving forward, always.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Artist Inspiration: Juan Francisco Casas

These amazing artworks were drawn by Spanish artist, Juan Francisco Casas, using only a ball-point pen. I find his photorealist portraiture so captivating - aside from the obviously incredible drawing skill, the images are so provocative, animated, candid and personal. I love the way he 'frames' his portraits - cutting out yet revealing enough to let your mind complete the picture. These were some of my favourite works, which I found on the artist's website.


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Friday, 27 April 2012

I heart bulgur

Bulgur wheat is a whole grain cereal food with a chewy, substantial texture, which I discovered recently on my quest to diversify my carb consumption to more than just foods derived from flour or white rice. Here are some recent bulgur based dishes from moi. 
Photobucket  Bulgur salad with pomegranate seeds, parsley, cucumbers, olive oil, lemon juice, salt Photobucket
A throw-together dish - free range poached egg and bacon on a bed of bulgur with parsley and organic salad

Just face it, everyone loves looking at photographs of food.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Clair de lune

Our friend Werner took this picture of us while we were playing through some tunes for some last minute rehearsal before our friend Verena's wedding. The out of tune tinkerings of the rustic, clanky piano were so charming in fitting with this beautiful and most stylish wedding day.

Here is some outstanding footage of Mo and I accompanying Werner with his wonderful song, 'Salz'. My favourite part is at the end when some tech guys try to subtly come in to sort some stuff out, realise it's inappropriate then decide to back out quietly.

Check out more of Werner Kitzm├╝ller here.

Saturday, 24 March 2012


Auckland, New Zealand
Home. This rocky shore is just 5 minutes away from my mum's house. I miss being able to see a volcano from any given vantage point. And oh, the sea.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Mother Goose

Is there any music more divine, beautiful and simple as this?

Mother Goose was originally written as a four handed piano piece for children by Maurice Ravel between 1908 and 1910. Then in 1911 he made the logical step of setting it for orchestra, bringing it to life and making it all the more exquisite and magical. This music really pulls you into the delicate sound world of Ravel.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012