Monthly Archives: January 2016

How to create your own personal gallery

As you could see in my last post I love to visit art museums and galleries. Art has something inspiring to me. I find it very intriguing to think about what the painter thought about his or her picture and what intention they had with it. So every time I visit a bigger art museum I buy a postcard of one of my favourite pictures as a souvenir.

postcards

Up to now they all just were stored away in a drawer but I always had the plan to create my own personal small gallery out of them as soon as I had my own flat. Well, I don’t really have my own flat now, but as I told you I just moved in with my boyfriend which makes me responsible for decorating ;).

After the first weeks of sorting all our stuff out and storing it using the limited space up to the last centimetre, I headed off to the fleamarket last saturday to look for some old frames. I first thought about using one sort of frame for all the cards but decided that different frames would make the whole think more authentic.

frames

I found these three frames very cheap on the fleamarket, cleaned them up and decided which picture would go with which frame.

In addition to the postcards I also recently bought three small pcitures which were shot with a pinhole camera by Przemek Zajfert, an artist from Stuttgart. I loved his small pictures and decided to get three of them for our new flat.

trio

I wanted to frame these little beauties in a special way. For this I bought a bigger white frame at IKEA. I started by cutting out white cardboard in the size of the frame as the background. For the “frames” of the small pictures I cut out three identical squares in the middle of another cardboard. The squares where around 0.5cm bigger than the pictures themselves. After that I clued small cardboard stacks between the two cardboards and arranged the pictures within their little “frames”.

Crafting a frame

first results– I guess now you see waht I meant, right? 😉 –

I like how the pictures immediately look more valuable and just give the illusion of originaly peaces of art (if you ignore the size of them).

My own personal gallery

Just imagine how happy I was when all the pictures where up on the wall. I especially like how the different sorts of frames fit together and make the gallery even more interesting. So now I have my own little Van Gogh in my living room. How great is that!

Of course you can do your own personal gallery with what ever pictures or cards you like. Any ideas?

How do you like to decorate your flat? Any projects coming up?

Culture and Comfort Food – A Perfect Weekend in January

January was a month full of new starts for me. I started my first real job last Monday and moved in with my boyfriend. It’s all very exciting but at the same time it freaks me out how fast things are changing sometimes. I am not very good with changes, I have to admit. I always need some time to adapt to new situations.

So this weekend was perfect to step back and close the week with some of my most favourite things to do. Enjoying some art and indulging in deliciously heavy comfort food, made the last week with all its new experiences step aside and I was able to completely relax. I guess that’s what weekends should be about ;).

Now if you think we just stayed in bed all day, you got me wrong. On Saturday we headed off to Frankfurt to see the anniversary exhibition of the Städel Museum. The art museum is celebrating its 200th anniversary and is having a great exhibition till the end of January.

Städel Museum in FrankfurtMasterworks in Dialogue Städel Museum

The exhibtion is called “Masters in Dialogue” which describes well the essence of the exhibition. The museum is comparing some of their most popular works with other pictures from different museums from all over the world which have a relationship to each other. Sometimes the pictures were painted by the same paitner and you could see the development of the painter or two painters who didn’t know each other painted the same object or theme with different intentions.

– You can change the subtitles into English at the bottom of the video –

As you can see in the video, this exhibtion was quite different from the chronological presentation of a normal art museum and reminded me of the approach the TATE in Liverpool is taking with their exhibition “Constellations”. They also present a picture and arrange it with others who were inspired by this one picture or painter.

Art is something which really fascinates me and what could be better than spending an rainy and cold January Saturday being inspired by some great art work ;). Well I guess what makes a wintery day even better is some warming food. Since I left Britain in summer I miss the hearty food like pies and mash. So I combined these two traditional dishes in a warming Sheperd’s Pie.

Vegetarian Sheperd's Pie
To mix it up a bit, we decided to try a vegetarian version of the Biritsh meal. I found this recipe on BBC goodfood. Because I couldn’t find lentils in a can and was to lazy to boil dried lentils, I deciced to exchange the lentils for peas which turned out to be a great decision.

For a pie for 2 you need:

a small onion
one thick carrot
100ml red wine
200g chopped tomatoes
vegetable stock140g peas
500g sweet potatoe
butter
grated cheddar

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the chopped onions. Add the roughly chopped carrots and pour in the wine, some water and the tomatoes. Simmer till the water is nearly gone. Then add the peas with their liquid and simmer again, till the liquid has nearly gone.

cooking

While you are doing this, boil the sweet potatoes till they are soft enough to be mashed with some butter to a nice potatoe mash. Pour the tomatoe-pea mixture into a bowl and cover it with the mash. Put some grated cheese over it and bake everything for 20 minutes in the oven (190°C/170° fan/gas 5).

vegetarian Sheperd's Pie

The combination of sweet potatoe mash, peas, carrots and tomatoes was heavenly and the perfect end to a chilly weekend in January. This recipe will definitely become one of our favourites, I am sure.

What are your favourite things to do in January? Wrapping up inside or heading out into the cold?

 

 

Lactose free Orange Tiramisu for New Year’s Eve

Happy New Year to all of you!

I hope you all had a great start into 2016 celebrating with friends or family.

We spent our New Year’s Eve with friends in Munich eating and drinking a lot, watching the firework and ending the night with long talks about the last year and the coming one. It was nothing really special but I think that made the evening even better. I always feel that New Year’s Eve is best celebrated with good friends and some nice food.

Food vise we decided to have a pizza. You can never be wrong with a good pizza ;). My friend asked me to bring a dessert to round everything up.So, I decided to stay with the Italian theme and found a recipe of an Orange Tiramisu here.

However, the problem is that my friend is lactose intolerant, so I adapted the whole recipe as a lactose free version. I need to admit that this was my first Tiramisu ever, so I was more than happy that it turned out just to be one of the best Tiramisu I ever had – well at least in my humble opinion ;).

For the Tiramisu (6-7 people) you need:

250g Cantuccini
80ml Espresso
4-5 Oranges
65ml orange liqueur
20g icing/powdered sugar
400ml lactose free yoghurt
350ml lactose free wipping cream
1 vanilla bean
some sugar
some cacao powder

ingredients

To start, place the Cantuccini in a flat bowl and cover it with the cooled espresso.

Cantuccini

Then start to fillet the oranges. I know, sounds extremely difficult, but trust me with a sharp knife its easier than you think. Just start by cutting of the top and bottom of the orange. Then cut of the peel so that there is no white skin left.

After you have peeled all the Oranges take a bowl and start cutting out the single fillets of the fruit. Use a sharp knife and it won’t be that difficult. It’s just a bit of a mess ;). In the bowl you can save the orange juice which you can use for seasoning the cream mixture later.

Orange filetOrange

Place the Orange fillets on top of the Cantuccini and pour the orange liqueur over the fruits. Cover everything with powered sugar and put it to a cool place to rest for one to two hours.

Liquorsugar

After resting it you can prepare the yogurth and cream mixture. As I said, I used lactose free products but the whole recipe also works with ‘normal’ milk products. Start by wipping the cream and add it to the yoghurt.

Yoghurt

The original recipe uses a mixture of natural yoghurt and vanilla yoghurt but because there was no vanilla version of lactose free yoghurt I decided to spice my mixture with a vanilla bean which made the whole thing even better, in my opinion.

To add the vanilla flavour you just have to cut the bean open and scratch out the vanilla seeds with a knife. Add it to the yoghurt and cream mixture. I sweetened the mixture with some sugar and the orange juice from cutting out the fillets till it tasted slightly sweet. You don’t want to over sweet it because the Cantuccini and oranges are quite sweet so the cream needs to balance this out.

finish

Finish the dessert by spreading the mixture over the oranges. Because I needed to transport the whole thing, I finished it at my friends place. Shortly before serving, I dusted the Tiramisu with some cacao powder and served it on little plates.

Orange Tiramisu

I was so happy that this first attempt in one of the classics of Italian cuisine turned out so well. It really was a good finish to our festive meal on New Year’s Eve.

What did you do for New Year? Any special food?