Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Let's kill that thing II: More alternatives to pumpkin soup

And did you already try out the cupcakes? When you did not do it because you were saying: Sounds good, but no pumpkin weighs only 150 g... what to do with the leftover? - I've got some ideas for you.
So this post simply consists of a collection of different things I did with my pumpkin, bare in mind I am a single student, so it will not work out for a family dinner, but for a nice little something for one to two persons...

Basis for all these recipes/inspirations is my leftover butternut pumpkin, about 700 g were left. As you saw in my cupcake post I put my both halves in the oven until the pumpkin wasn't raw anymore and you could (more or less) easily peel of the skin of it.

Pumpkin mash: Just spice it up!
some ginger
pepper + salt
a bit milk

This made up an really nice and spicy pumpkin mash being a bit more fruity than your usual potato mash... loved it. But since just mash wasn't enough for me I also made some caramelized onion rings.

What we need:
1 onion
sweet, mild vinegar
some oil

Cut your onion into rings and fry it in a pan until they start to get brown. Then you simply add a bit of vinegar and since mine had quite a bit sugar in it (as most of the vinegars do) it had a sour and sweet note afterwards, just the perfect match for the mash.
Lastly I toped my meal of with some tofu sausages, but obviously this can be a meal in itself or you can use it as a side for any meat meal...

Roasted pumpkin seeds
I always regretted throwing away all the seeds inside a pumpkin and I do believe anyone who ate roasted pumpkin seed once in their lives do too. So I simply decided to try roasting them in a pan. And let's just say: It turned out pretty good. After taking them out of the pumpkin you should clean your seeds pretty well, so there is no orange stuff hanging on them. Then you put them in a pan and leave them in there for quite a while, 10 - 15 minutes I would say, and simply stir trough them from time to time, so they won't burn. When they start to turn brown you simply add any flavor you want. I decided on curry and chili.
Make sure you eat them fast, because they will stay that tasty for about 1 to 2 days.

Pumpkin + Feta sandwich
What we need:
bread (coincidentally mine was with pumpkin seeds)
crem cheese
salt + pepper

My roommate looked at me like I was a weirdo when I mentioned this idea, but I remember eating a similar sandwich at a school trip to England.
Luckily when peeling my pumpkin I was able to get quite a big chunk out of it. So I cut it into thin slices and putting this onto a mixture of feta and cream cheese. After adding some salt and pepper you are good to enjoy the perfect sandwich. Buying lunch at uni was never less appealing.

I would say, mission accomplished. We successfully used up a whole pumpkin without making soup.. even though I am right now quite in the need for one, autumn downside number 1 hit me: I got a cold.

Stay healthy!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Let's kill that thing I: Pumpkin Cupcakes

October is nearly over and this does not only mean that autumn is right here but also Halloween is coming up pretty soon. And I am telling you no news when I say: Everyone is posting somehow Halloween themed content, either on their blogs or on youtube.
For a long time I decided to actually not do any post about the whole topic, because I am not the biggest fan of the whole holiday. Especially since I am German and traditionally there are other holidays we got as for example St. Martin on November 11th. But when I bought and actually decided to cook several things out of an pumpkin I decided to share my results... and therefore I proudly present today: Pumpkin Cupcakes. I believe Americans are used to smashed pumpkin in desserts etc. but in Germany I got many weird looks. Nonetheless I am convinced. Try it, they taste amazing.

Since you will not need the whole pumpkin for your cupcakes I made several other things with the leftovers, stay tuned for a post on probably Tuesday... 
I am also admitting that I was inspired by Couch magazine to do this post, since they made pretty similar cupcakes, but I added some adjustments...

What we need for 10 - 12 Cupcakes:
Side note: I advice you to use a butternut pumpkin, they normally taste amazingly sweet and are really easy to deal with.

 Making of the pumpkin mash:
1. Cut your butternut pumpkin into two halves and use a spoon to scoop all seeds and the surrounding flesh out of your pumpkin. You might want to put that stuff aside for roasting your very own pumpkin seeds... See part two for that.
2. Put your two halves into the oven for about 40-50 minutes at 180 ° C until the pumpkin is soft and good to eat.
3. Use again a spoon to remove all the peel... you might even able to remove big parts by simply pulling...
4. Mash your freshly peeled pumpkin with a fork.

Making of the cupcakes:
1. Crack your walnuts and roughly chop them, then put them into your cupcake tray or your silicon moulds.
Next to pictures are mixed up, BUT:
2. After storing your butter outside the fridge for several hours it should be nice and soft. Add your eggs, sugar and salt.
3. Use your mixer to mix it until its all fluffy and nice.
4. Mix your backing soda, the cinnamon and the wheat flour in a separate bowl...
5. and also your pumpkin mash and the milk.
6. While you still mix add your wheat-mix and your pumpkin mix peau-a-peau until it forms a nice sticky dough.
7. Chop your dried apricots and add them to the mixture.
8. After filling your dough into your cupcake moulds pop them into the oven for about 30 minutes at 180° C.
9. Let them cool down a bit, I did not remove the silicon mould because I decided taking them to uni and the pretty loose walnut base wouldn't mix that good.
10. Make an icing of your linking. I mixed a good tablespoon of each quark and cream cheese and added just a bit of honey.
11. Put the icing on your cooled-down cupcakes. I then decided to sprinkle some pumpkin seed and a bit of cinnamon on them and you are ready to eat them.

And these they are, they taste a bit spicy and I believe I have to bake them again this autumn, because they are ideal when you are sick of the 10th pumpkin soup of the season...

Friday, 19 October 2012

VISIT: Alexander McQueen Exhibition in Hamburg

I believe most of you already read, that I moved for starting uni. Before even applying for uni I was actually looking forward to go to one specific museum. Knowing that I probably will never go to any big catwalk show and sadly it isn't even possible in McQueen's case, I wanted to visit the "Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe" (museum of art and industrial art (I am not too sure about the translation of the latter)). Luckily they prolonged the time for the exhibition and so I was able to see it a week ago: An exhibition dedicated to Alexander McQueen's fashion.

And for all of you still thinking whether to go or not when they stop by Hamburg and/or just for inspiration I collected some impressions while being there.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Quick update: Brigitte Shooting

How many of you remember that post from the early beginning of July? Not many I guess, but I wanted to give you just a little update. Back then I wrote about the amazing opportunity I had, that included being on a photo-shoot in Hamburg to be featured in the German Women's magazine Brigitte and on their website. Ringing any bells? *klick*
Nevertheless, even though the appearance itself got canceled the pictures arrived at my old home in Cologne and everything produced on this day can be found in the word wide web.
To put it in a nutshell: Here are all the links to all the images. And since I am not that sure about the whole copyright situation, a post without pictures.

These are the pictures that were supposed to appear in the magazine itself, but due to changes in management, it got cancelled. But since there are actually some international readers, this way you can see it...

I made my next appearance at the "Schuh Ampel" meaning something like shoe traffic light, being a check, whether outfit and shoes do or do not work out together.

Lastly the lovely ladies of StyleNotes featured us blogger on their blog, the fashion blog of Brigitte, so for all you German readers this is maybe interesting, especially my amazing fox drawing skills. Aye?

That's it, I am off studying... see you all on Friday

Friday, 12 October 2012

The rain dilemma: Scarf/Hood DIY

In whole Germany Hamburg is known for its bad weather. You could think this is just a rumor, thats at least what I wanted to believe before moving. With living in Hamburg right now I can see: The weather is bad as said. So leaving without an umbrella is nearly suicidal. And here starts the whole handbag dilemma. Girls do not want to leave the house with a huge handbag for every occasion. A clutch or just a smaller saddle bag do look nice with many outfits. Unfortunately they do no fit an umbrella. So except when all your jackets have a hood, you are torn between getting wet or switching bags (btw: I learnt: Even when its looking nice, the next bigger rain is just waiting for you to be out and about).
I wanted to find a solution, and I can proudly say: I found one (besides wearing hats everywhere). Remember those scarf/beanie/hood things poor children had to wear (including me), that were able to keep head and neck warm...?

What we need:

jersey/thin fabric with stretch, I used an old XXL T-shirt so I was able to save a seam (and money)
sewing stuff

optional: a good fitting loop scarf/snood and a hood/hat for measurements

1. Fold your fabric once, so you can save the front seam of your loop / Lay down your t-shirt. Use your loop scarf and your hat/hood to evaluate the rough outlines of your hood + scarf. Since jersey is pretty thin you want to make your scarf as broad as possible to add some volume. Trace around your pattern.
2. After cutting out you start sewing, the amount of seams depends on your basis. T-shirt user need only one seam to close the hood, for all the others: Sew along the hood and the neckline and in case you did not use your fold wisely also in the front of the scarf.

I believe autumn with all its surprising rain can come (as long it isn't already here -.-). So all the times you cannot simply stay at home and drink hot apple juice: Throw on your scarf/hood/something and you are save for at least some drops.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

September favorites + new hair

I've been quite a bit inactive, but hey: Moving and starting uni was quite exciting and I'm still in the middle of it in the moment by just having my very first days. Nevertheless I wanted to give you not only an update on quite an drastic change regarding my hair and my current favorites.

To start of the latter: My favorites can be put all under one headline. Thank you Mum. Concerning many of my vintage pieces my Mum has always been one of the best sources because she is as bad as me in giving away old clothes. Lucky me can find quite a lot of nice 70s pieces next to newer additions. And from time to time I am able to inherit some really amazing pieces. I believe with the fact in mind of me moving out the end of the month my mother was just too good about handing me some of her treasures. And due to knowing that she does not wear them anymore I was really happy to take them.
But my Mum did not only support my move clothe-wise, but also by getting me the coolest map ever in form of a Moleskine for Hamburg, hunting it down in a little bookshop in Vienna since printing this edition got discontinued.... So thank you dear, dear Mum.

1. Blue shirt with perlescent buttons Since I couldn't find the perfect jeans shirt this summer this one replaced it, so I could stop searching even though this one is quite a bit smarter than your over-sized jeans shirt. And it fits really good.

2. Paisley / Mandela print scarf // 3. Checkered wool scarf These two bad boys are huge square scarves I prefer to wear folded like a huge triangle over shirts and jackets. The wool one does even add quite an amount of warmth, so they are pretty handy hand bag staples.
4. Paisley + something vest It's hard to describe the pattern of this one, it looks kind of oriental or Indian. However this vest adds a nice twist to many outfits but does fit surprisingly good so I do not look like a child that raided its father's wardrobe.
5. Black (old school) riding pant inspired pants By talking of a riding pant I am not talking of these tight and skinny tight look alikes from American Apparel, but of a nice pair of high waisted pants which have a wider leg with a tighter seam at the ends. It is also decorated with really nice leather covered buttons, so even though I am normally the skinny jeans girl I love this pair.
6. Grey/green checkered pants Even more surprising is this pair, because the legs are even wider, on the other hand these ones fit amazingly around the waist and do emphasize your bottom in a positive way. Combined with the right additions you look like Sherlock Holmes cooler sister. Not the worst look.
7. Moleskine City Hamburg notebook There you have my beloved Moleskine. It allows me to discover my new city without looking like a complete tourist. And yes this is needed, because I am not really interested in owning a smart phone. So owning a map is necessary

PS: Not on this picture is the huge amount of food my Mum put into my cupboard so grocery shopping is not really needed during the first five months... 

I promised you also an update on another topic, my hair. After enduring a kind of bob cut for about an year, I got tired of it. Not so much on the look side but especially because I am not actually used to having long hair. I never got past my shoulders, so getting my hair short again was not the most surprising thing. With my new look I opted for the whole Garcon cut, the thing Twiggy pulled of in the 60s but with a modern twist, also thanks to my not completely long enough bangs.


I have to admit. both picture series did not have the perfect lighting (etc) + my hair in the first one needed a cut quite badly, but I love the new hair. Especially since it is wind proof. And I am aware of the fact, that it does not really look like Twiggy at all in the end, but phewww.

Hope you all are fine and you do approve this update

Friday, 5 October 2012

Deco tip: Campari candle

Moving is done. I spent all Monday and Tuesday with unpacking stuff, but since yesterday there is a sticker on my passport saying that I officially live in Hamburg. And as it is with this German city: It is raining all day.
So I wasn't even too keen to check out my new home but had enough time and patience to decorate since a new room is like a blank canvas, you can let out your creativity by arranging old and new stuff.
I always used different bottles as vases liking the whole look of not trying too hard, but my mother brought back the idea of using the iconic Campari bottles as candles: Quickly made and a nice present for a (late summer) party...

Important side note: I am in no way sponsored by Campari, I do not even like drinking it, this tutorial is made due to one reason: I like the bottle design in combination with the red liquid. End of story.
What we need:
a bottle Campari 
bottle opener
red lamp oil
wick and wick holder for candles (the latter can be found in decoration stores or crafting supply shops)

1. Open and drink your bottle. For Vegetarians and Non-Alcoholics: You might want to get some help for this step... I asked my father
2. Fill the red lamp oil into your empty and clean bottle.
3. Put your wick into the liquid by supporting it with the wick holder, allow the oil to infuse for a few hours. Light your Campari candle.

And that's it. I know, not the most challenging tutorial, but it looks quite nice, especially when you light it in the dark. Plus I will hopefully be able to finally post my late September favorites this Sunday, so stay tuned for that.