Monday, 25 July 2011

quilt project

I have nearly finished the top of my patchwork quilt now, and so happy with it finally coming together! I can't wait to see the finished product. Are you this excited when you sew? I'll be posting about it again soon, I'm sure. In the meantime, you can have a look at the mock-up.

Friday, 22 July 2011

sewing project

After much, much reflection, I decided this summer would be the time to start making proper patchwork. I dabbled in a few DIY projects over the past few months - nothing really organised or properly done, though. So after a bit of soul-searching, I thought it would definitely be best to rely on the advice of the people who know what they're doing. I got this book last week, and had my first penny-dropping moment: chain piecing!

OK, so I've started this new little project, and already I want to start making more from the book. The thing is, I bought those lovely squares of pre-cut fabric in Paris last month, and really want to make a simple bed-spread to start. It's really quite basic, but I fell in love with the soft tones of the fabric, and couldn't resist them. My next one will have to be a bit more vibrant though!
In any case, chain piecing is the best revelation.

More to come soon!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


Over the last few months I was lucky enough to visit Spain twice for work. Both times I stayed in lovely but completely different places, and the Spanish culture wowed me as it never fails to do. I think I completely rediscovered Barcelona when I went in May. It was not anything like the city I remembered from years ago when I first saw it with my nonchalant 20-something eyes, and yet it wasn't the painful and poignant setting I'd seen in Biutiful either.
Gaudi's architecture blew me away, especially the inside of Casa Battlo.
This is well worth a visit, and do take the audio guide, otherwise you will miss literally half of it.

And to think some of the floors of this house are still currently inhabited by the Battlo descents!
Every detail of this house was thought-through and exquisite. I loved it so much I got a fold-out calendar for next year from their shop.
La Sagrada Familia needs no introduction either, as THE landmark of the whole city. I went inside for the first time, and nearly cried when I saw the immeasurable work that has gone on in this church. Once again, if you can get a guide to explain the details, even better, but the sheer views are enough to take you aback.

There were many more visits during my short stay, including the unavoidable Parque Guell, and the chocolate museum.

Although the latter is not the best museum of its kind (if you're a chocoholic like me, I recommend the one in Koln, Germany), it has an unbeatable admission ticket!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Almond macaroons

Just for you, the simplest ever recipe I know. I hope you make at least a batch to try it for yourself, and let me know how they turn out.
Almond macaroons

 Mix together a hand-beaten egg white (I mean with a whip, not literally by hand ;) ), 75g of sugar, and enough ground almond (roughly 100g) to make your mix look like this

Put little blobs of your mix on a baking tray, stick them in the over for about 10-15 minutes at 180, and watch the miracles happen!

You will not believe how yummy those old-fashioned macaroons are. And they make a perfect last-minute present if you go round to your girl-friends for a spot of coffee and gossip!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

summer cooking

Yesterday I made one of my old classic - tomato tart. I hadn't made one in ages, but the tomatoes smelled so good I thought it would be the perfect way to eat them. I even made the pastry for it, even though I wasn't really in the mood!

It is perfect served with a green salad. And the photos show you all you need to know about the recipe, really. I will post the recipe at the bottom of this post in any case, so feel free to use it, and enjoy!

Tomato tart

* Spread your shortcrust pastry in your previously buttered dish. (I just love my Pyrex one)
* Spread a thin layer of wholegrain mustard. Sounds wacky? Thinks again, it balances all the flavours out!
* Cut thin sliced of emmenthal / cheddar and put on top of the mustard.
* Cut your tomatoes into thick slices, and put them in a circle, one sort of on top of the next one. The more the merrier, right?
* Salt, pepper, and add dried or fresh herbs if you feel like it. I like mine to be just tomato-ey, and then I can go wild on the salad I serve it with.

I prefer to eat mine cold, but that really depends on you.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

more flowers

A couple of weeks ago I got these wonderful flowers. They were so pretty I took loads of pictures of them. It was such a simple combination, but it worked beautifully, especially with the morning light!

oOo - peonies & flowered mint - oOo
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