Monday, March 31, 2014

Easy tasty and spicy crutons

Every week, we are left with a lot of leftover challes and it's a big challenge to find out how to use them when the freshness is a couple of days away. The easiest way, I discovered on my own, is to turn them into tasty crutons. The preparation is very easy both in terms of directions and waiting time. It takes around 15 minutes to have them. 
You should: slice the challes, cut it into little cubes. Roast for a while in the pan together with olive oil and, by choice: 1/2 tea spoon of salt, 1/2 tea spoon of za'atar or other spices. That's all!
The crutons are waiting for you to be matched with soups, fresh veggie salads, meat meals. Eaten fresh and hot, it is a very inspired use of your leftovers. 

Bon Appétit!

Roasted olives recipe

I love olives but as I can get bored very easy, I need to diversify the recipes and ingredients and last but not least, tastes. During my February challenge of cooking from Leila Lindholm's cooking book, I discovered a recipe that was too tempting not to try.
It can be done very easy - in less than 20 minutes, and is also very affordable - if you have the garlic, the olive oil and the za'atar and other spices in the house.
I chose the black simple olives and I don't think it can go with other kind of olives. 
I slowly heated at 250C in the pan 150 ml. pure olive oil, with 1/2 tea spoon of cumin powder, and 1 tea spoon of za'atar, plus 3 cloves of garlic, minced. After 2 minute, I add the olives - 150 gr. - and mixed slowly all the ingredients. After around 10 minutes, the roasting is done and the olives are waiting to be tasted. 
It goes very well with a meat dish, but also with some fresh veggie salads or with fish.
It serves two.

Bon Appétit!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Perfume recommendations of the month

I neglected a bit my perfume recommendations on my blog, but this is past already. Today, I spent a pleasant amount of time, checking up the newest perfume fragrances in town.
Not familiar with Elie Saab's perfumes, I did something new today and tested the Eau Couture. Offered in a delicate water green bottle, it has a rich and sophisticated fragrance: almost sweet, a but nutty, very fresh and with a deep sense of sweetness where traces of vanilla can be also identified. Beautiful, even though a bit complicated to match during the winter or extreme heat. Perfect for the cherry blossom time and the beginning of the summer. My favourite recommendation.
The Modern Muse by Estée Lauder is playful, bold, creative and more than anything, rich in floral fragrances. When you open the bottle is like you smell a diverse bouquet of beautiful flowers. I loved it too, but found it very demanding in terms of matched wardrobe: an elegant long evening dress doesn't go any moment in time.
La Petite Robe Noire, by Guerlain has first and foremost a cute bottle. It is a relatively easygoing fragrance, I will rather recommend to teenagers and women in their early 20s. It is fresh yet mysterious, chic and seductive.  
Is new, limited edition and unisex. Gucci Quality may smell a bit unusual, especially if you identify the individual elements of the mixture: geranium, orange and peach, with traces of patchouli (which I don't necessarily fancy). 
On the checking list, I also had:
Born in Paradise by Escada, which smells to extravagantly for me, a better choice for a shower gel than a daily perfume. Especially, by Escada is full of positive energy and loved it very much. 
Last but not least, Madly, by Kenzo (I was actually looking for Kiss n'Fly, which was limited edition and no longer available at the shop I've been too): a floral combination with musk, which suits me very much. 

Fashion recommendations: Miu Miu bags

I recently saw to one of my friends some interesting Miu Miu bags that made me curious to check more models and patterns. With a half day on my own, I decided to spend some time in the luxury paradise of the KaDeWe, in Berlin. Miu Miu has two areas there: at the third floor, where most bags brands are represented, where they present shoes, and at the ground level, with a whole elegant cubicle dedicated to elegant bags.
The majority of models suit a busy life, are spacious - including for your iPad and a small book and a makeup purse. For the big models, the lateral pocket helps you to better organize your space, with space for keys and your phone. There is also a zip pocket inside. Most colours are decent, and can be matched with various outfits and shoes. Useful for those used with a busy life is also the shoulder strap that makes walking easier, especially if you have one kid on your right hand and another in the stroller. 
This model and colour is my favourite: elegant, simple, spacious enough, without encouraging me to carry to many unuseful items. It also has a shoulder strap. The leather is semi-gloss, looking very good and preferable for any occasion. It can work especially if you have a late restaurant lunch after a full day in the office. 
This soft calf leather top handle bag has a well portioned space: three inside compartments, a special cell phone pocket and another zipped pocket. The colour can be a bit pretentious, but it suits very well the pastel spring outfits. 
The next two models are very much my style. There are two inside zip and phone pockets. the detachable chain and leather shoulder strap. 
 The orange version is more joyous and in tone with the hot season.
Back to the have-it-all model: this green matelassé bag can carry almost everything you need for a whole busy day. It has a snap closure and can be easily carried either only by the handle or with the detachable shoulder strap. The model is available in vivid yet decent colours. With a full black outfit or a black-and-white combination it does not require a special dress. 
Source of the pictures: Miu Miu online store

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Interior design shop review: Kokon Munich

Travel is a great way to learn and discover more. As for me, I always try to combine the passion for travel with new discoveries in the domain of cooking, fashion, lifestyle and interior design. Many of my trips should always include a short overview of interesting shops and ideas. While visiting Munich a couple of weeks ago, I discovered the very elegant and colourful Kokon Shop, situated relatively close to the main central area, on Brunhamstrasse 21.
The style is rather classic, and includes a variety of furniture and design products. The space is huge and you will need at least one hour to browse all the options. In case that you already know what you are looking for and no time, there are many representatives of the customer service ready to help. 
The main style is modern, with a touch of classic. The prices are middle to high-end, and suit a variety of spaces, especially for the home. Especially the chairs are very varied. If you have a very modern and non-conformist/creative office, you can dare to bring some of them as part of the office furniture as well. 
The materials and textile part has very often an ethnic influence, that can bring a lot of colour to grey ambiances. A colourful chair pillow can completely change the style of the room, without too much investment. 
There it is also possible to buy directly the materials and use your creativity to create your own curtains or table clothes. The materials are the strong point of the shop, as it was the first type of products distributed when the shop was created, in 1987, with products from India and Bali.
Most furniture belongs to the South-Eastern Asian style. Matched with some flowerly Asian prints, it makes you feel you are far away in sunny lands. 
My favourite category of products are the lightning solutions, very simple, but extremely interesting when was thinking to match them with various interiors and rooms.
I spent a lot of time, actually, trying to imagine various places for those lamps and still feel that I miss some precious details.
The shop has also a corner dedicated to children furniture and decorations, colourful without being loaded. In fact, children don't need a loaded room, but practical tools and a lot of space to enjoy their freedom of playing in the most creative possible ways. 
In terms of decoration and general style per se, the shop doesn't have a certain line and the big space is rather randomly crowded. I was expecting more coherence and a unified design message, but on the other hand, with so many options and products, there is almost impossible to do anything else but to offer to the buyer the best choices and guidance.