Archive for October, 2011

October 29, 2011

Wintertime

Don’t forget the turn the clock back for an hour tomorrow morning at 3! Tomorrow will last 25 hours.

October 27, 2011

Taking a bath..

This picture, which I found on http://www.columbusmagazine.nl ( Thanks for sharing it with me & us!), a Dutch magazine on travelling and tourism, is soooooo freaky, I had to share it with you. Kind of speaks for itself, right? I remember that time I saw a girl with a “pet”-snake around her neck, my friend went to touch it and when I came closer I couldn’t move anymore and started sweating.. Is this an anaconda?

Thai boy...

Thai boy...

 
Do YOU like snakes?
 
 
October 26, 2011

Happy Diwali!

Deepavali or Diwali, popularly known as the “festival of lights,” is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-November for different reasons. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC.

Deepavali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.

 The name “Diwali” is a contraction of “Deepavali” (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvalī), which translates into “row of lamps”.[5] Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas or dīpas) in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.

 The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival, Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. Amavasya, the third day of Deepawali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. Amavasya also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the Bali, and banished him to Patala. It is on the fourth day of Deepawali, Kartika Shudda Padyami, that Bali went to patala and took the reins of his new kingdom in there. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj), and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.

 While the story behind Deepavali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region (festive fireworks, worship, lights, sharing of sweets), the essence is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light (Atman) or the underlying Reality of all things (Brahman). It’s a celebration of the victory of good over evil; the uplifting of spiritual darkness

2011 date: 26 October
2012 date:13 November

Thank you, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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May Diwali
bring light to your spirit,
warmth to your home,
joy to your heart!

October 26, 2011

The Affordable Art Fair celebrates it’s fifth year in Amsterdam!

From 27 to 30 October 2011 the AAF Amsterdam will celebrate it’s five year anniversary. Join the party at the WesterGasFabriek and celebrate art!

Affordable Art Fair Westergasfabriek Amsterdam

Affordable Art Fair Westergasfabriek Amsterdam

 The Affordable Art Fair is the place where you can enjoy a wide variarity of art styles and techniques. The relaxed and accessible environment of the AAF is interesting for starting art buyers but also the more experienced collector. With prices ranging from €100 to €5000 there will be something for everybody. AAF carefully selects galleries who offer a wide range of art: from figurative to abstract, from traditional to avant-garde.

On the AAF we have several services to make your visit even more enjoyable.  If you have bought that piece of art you love, get it wrapped for free with our wrapping desk. If you need a moment to think and digest your impressions, visit our café and bar.  There is a café serving organic sandwiches, salads, fruit and drinks and a winebar for the occasional glass of wine or other cooling beaverages.There is professional crèche service hosted by Skon. It is free, open during fair opening hours and no pre booking is necessary. Children between 2-10 years old are welcome. Children can be left at the crèche for one hour, which leaves you free to browse around and enjoy great art! This makes the AAF a great place to meet up with friends or bring the family.

The AAF also offers different activities. Make your own art at one of the free workshops that will take place throughout the event. Learn how to make art: it is free and fun! Get to work and take your own piece home. The experienced instructors from Made by Me! will explain how to make your own painting or mixed media art work. These workshops are free and will be offered through out the day during normal opening hours.

So, at the Affordable Art Fair Amsterdam, you can enjoy viewing fantastic art and also learn about it!

In short, the perfect conditions to start or extend a contemporary art collection!

I’ll be visiting for the 2nd time and last year I did not buy anything, nor am I planning to this year, but when visiting The Affordable Art Fair, one with a “budget” definitely feels like being able to afford art.

Affordable Art Fair

Affordable Art Fair

More info, location, prices, etc; http://www.affordableartfair.nl/content/home

A list of the exhibitors; http://www.affordableartfair.nl/content/deelnemers

October 26, 2011

Amsterdam Central Station – (re-) opening front entrance

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In 1875 two architects were commissioned to design the station. They were P.J.H. Cuypers and A.L. van Gendt. The two architects divided the work: Cuypers designed the station building with a monumental façade, while Van Gendt planned the construction, including the station roofs and viaducts on both sides of the station. (Tourist TIP: Did you ever see a picture of the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Central Station next to each other? Go ahead, make the picture and compare them!)

IT’s been 7 years! But from NOW on we’ll be able to enter the Central Station through the main entrance again! After all the chaos of construction, espcecially on the “entrance” of Amsterdam, thi will feel like a luxuoury! Unfortunately it will take untill 2018 untill Amsterdam Central Station will be free of construction.

The Station Island already plays host to around 250,000 passengers a day. In a few years, this will have increased to 300,000. The decision to build the North/South Line was the reason to examine the position of the Station Island as a whole. It seemed a large-scale upgrade was necessary to enable the island to remain a well-functioning interchange in the future.


Future impression of the “Stationseiland” of Amsterdam Central Station

More info about the Central Station, its construction and the future plans; http://www.stationseiland.amsterdam.nl/@462693/feestelijke-opening/ and http://www.stationseiland.amsterdam.nl/projecten/planning/

In English; http://www.stationseiland.amsterdam.nl/english/english/

October 21, 2011

Musicheta about food III

Some of you really disliked my last Musicheta on Food (II, see HERE). I looove the ladies, I think they are true performers and know how to make a show. I’d love to see them live AND I’m still looking for the perfect burek-recipe, FYI everyone!

I got more positive feedback on the French Musicheta on food (I, THIS one), I think these dudes are very funny too.

I’m still trying to make an as-complete-as-possible list of Musicheta on food and thx to some friends I can add some more.

This website; http://www.mixedup.com/foodsongs.htm , courtesy of Peter Bochan, has a beautiful list of  525 songs on food.I still have to review this list and listen to aaaaaal the songs so I’d love to hear your comments & reviews!

 

Here’s a traditional Sardinian recipe:

And one of my fave’s, an Italian classic;

Thank you Mr Bochan of http://www.mixedup.com/foodsongs.htm ,
M. for helping me with my research, and some members of “The posse” for providing me with their Italian fave’s.

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October 20, 2011

on Life

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware,
joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
– Henry Miller

For amongst others these reasons I decided I deserved sushi for lunch again today.
It gives me energy.
Makes me happy.
Makes me feel alive..

Sushi

Sushi

October 19, 2011

Magret de canard – recipe

Every since that weekend in Paris, (see here) my first trip to Paris, I occasionally crave for and dream of a nice piece of duckmeat. I have decided recently that I’ll buy a whole duck soon and will prepare it in the oven. Since duck costs € 36,- a kg over here, I decided I needed some practise (never made duck before!) before testing my skills on such an expensive piece of meat. Yesterday I went into a fine butcher in the expensive part of time and asked for some duckmeat. What they offered me was a “magret de canard” of about 400gr, google told me it’s the breast of the duck. That’s what I noticed when I unpacked it too. I’ve got many cookingbooks so combined what I thought would be tastiest (and simplest! I decided not to marinate the meat but to make a sauce.) and here’s my improvised recipe;

  • Cut the fat of the duck in squares without cutting into the flesh, do diagonals all the way and again to produce squares on the fat. Leave on the side on room temperature.
  • Put your oven on at 150 degrees and prepare a deep dish and tin foil for when the duck is cooked and you keep it hot while you finish the rest of the preparations.
  • Cook on a high fire on the fat/skin side for 5 minutes. Do not touch for five minutes, then cook on the flesh side a further 5 minutes.( if the meat is about 2,5 cm think; its 5mins + 5 mins for it to be bloody – it tastes best bloody, but if you want it medium cook 6 mins on fat side and 7 min flesh side).
  • Once your duck is done, put it in the oven & cover with the foil ( I put the meat on top of some almost roasted slices of sweet potatoe in an ovendish; amazing combination with the duck!)
  • Put the fire of the pan you baked the duck in to minimum, and add some beer to the pan, continuously stirring. I decided I’d add wine to the sauce, but the French sweet dessert-wine I felt like drinking with dinner and thus bought,would make the sauce to sweet in combination with honey, so I poored some of the beer I was drinking while cooking in the pan. I added some (real!) butter, 2 table spoons of honey and 3 teaspoons of balsamic vineagar, kept stirring to use all the juices of the meat and added some thyme (which I picked & dried myself on an island in Croatia). I reduced the liquid by half to get a nice thick sauce.
  • Next; Cut the duck into slices about 1cm thick, leaving the fat on there ( it tastes great) and serve with the sauce according to your liking. Some freshly grinded pepper over the meat finished it off for me.

I served the duck with some mashed potatoe,
ovenbaked sweet potatoe slices,
stir-fried crispy Pak choi with garlic
and the balsamic-honey-beer sauce and I loved it. I left it a minute too long in the oven ’cause I’m not a fan of red meat but it was lovely. I’m sure it would have been even tastier if I would have made the meat in goose- or duckfat instead of sunflower-oil.

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Wish I had leftovers for today but this small piece was just a test. Yes. I’m ready for the whole duck.

Next on my shoppinglist is Goose- or duck-fat. Anyone going to France soon & passing by Amsterdam after?

October 19, 2011

Amsterdam Dance Event

From today on, Amsterdam is the centre of dance- music and the dance- scene. I don’t do dance. I dislike electronic music. I hate huge crowds and too full clubs. In fact I don’t even like clubs at all. I can’t dance on this kind of music without drugs and I don’t do drugs. Shortly; The Amsterdam Dance Event is not “my thing”.  (This is; for example. Or check out my favourite blog HERE where the maker united all my favourite music- his October 17 post makes me REALLY happy!) 

The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is the leading electronic music conference and the world’s biggest club festival for electronic music. The  event offers a unique blend of daytime conferences, including interactive workshops, technical demonstrations and in-depth round-table discussions, alongside a nighttime music festival which takes place in 52 venues around the city. The annual event attracts 3,000 business professionals and 130,000 festival visitors from all around the globe.

Over the last 15 years, the ADE has grown from a three-day event largely focussed on Dance Music into a platform for every imaginable kind of electronic music spread over four days. The event kicks off on Wednesday with the experimential ADE Playground and ADE University, alongside a newly-expanded 3-day Music & Bits conference program, plus a full daytime conference program at the Felix Meritis and the Dylan Hotel. ADE also now includes the prestigious DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll on Thursday evening. For the general public ADE opens its doors on Saturday for ADE Next, where aspiring musicians and producers are able to meet the professionals and get expert opinions on their work from some of the world’s most popular and in-demand artists, DJs and producers. The nighttime line-up features the very biggest DJ and artist names on the planet as well as a selection of the best upcoming talent performing in the 52 clubs and venues that make Amsterdam one of the very best and most inspiring clubbing cities in the world.

With a daytime program based around the Felix Meritis centre and the Dylan Hotel (both on the renown Keizersgracht) and De Balie in the heart of Amsterdam’s city centre, the ADE has gained a reputation amongst music industry professionals for being an event where things get done. Thanks to the abundant presence of artists, DJs, managers, the media, labels, publishers and producers from 58  countries, the volume of deals done and valuable connections made is one of the most remarkable aspects of the ADE’s daytime activities.

But you know what? For my favourite German friends (Girls I miss you & wish you could “do” this dance thing instead of me!) and simply ’cause I can, I’m gonna give it a go this year! Soon you’ll be able to read my Amsterdam Dance Event Experience (s) here…. wish me luck, woohoo!

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More info, participating venues, artists & labels;
http://www.amsterdam-dance-event.nl

October 18, 2011

Food- allergy & intolerance; AMINES

A food allergy is an adverse immune response to a food protein. They are distinct from other adverse responses to food, such as food intolerance, pharmacological reactions, and toxin-mediated reactions. Food intolerance or non-allergic food hypersensitivity is a term used widely for varied physiological responses associated with a particular food, or compound found in a range of foods. Food intolerance is negative reaction, often delayed, to a food, beverage, food additive, or compound found in foods that produces symptoms in one or more body organs and systems, but it is not a true food allergy.

For someone who loves food, I should consider myself blessed for not having any food- allergies or intolerances. I basically eat whatever I feel like. Whenever too. This is something I (and perhaps you too?) take for granted I guess..

Recently I had a little girl visiting me who get’s really sick after consuming (cowmilk-) dairy products. Sure I love goatcheese and can put that on my pasta instead of cow-milk-cheese, but the girl is not even aloud to eat “normal” icecream. I had a craving for icecream that day so bought the one kind that she is alloud to eat; soy icecream. She loved it and I disliked the taste so much I didn’t finish mine.  I even tried to make an ice-coffee out of it, it didn’t help. The soy-flavour was stronger than the coffee and I really didn’t like it.

Do you ever realise that there are people that need to really think before they put anything in their mouth?
“Can I eat this?” “What will it do to me?” “How will my body react?” Kind of unbelievable right?

While checking some recipes on WordPress, I came across a woman who (seems to be a great cook! & ) has an amine- allergy or intolerance. Do you know what that is? Or what amines are? Well I had to look it up too; amines are organic compounds and functional groups that contain  a basic nitrogen atom with a lone pair. Well that’s Wikipedia’s explanation, I still don’t understand. (Here’s the full Wikipedia article.)  Michelle, can you give us a hand? Explain us really simply what amines are, please?

Michelle Ferris states on her blog/website (see here; http://aminerecipes.com/ ); “I’m here to prove to myself and to you that eating low amine foods can be delicious.” And she is! If you have any amine-problems, please read her info, check her recipes & start cooking! I can eat whatever I want but I’m looking forward to try some of her recipes, the combination of the flavours and ingredients she uses just water my mouth. Here’s my favourite recipe on her site; Jalapeno mint jelly with lime basil chicken, jumm….

Some more info about food allergy & food intolerance;
http://www.allergyclinic.co.uk/foodallergy.htm
http://www.enzymestuff.com/conditionsensitivities.htm
Thx again Wikipedia & Michelle Ferris. Good luck with your site!!

Food- allergy/intolerance

Food- allergy/intolerance