Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine

Long time not (too much) cooking. After so many weeks of travel and even more delicious foodie invitations I could not resist, I am finally trying to get back on the cooking track. Till now, I did bake some bread - one with oregano and another with onion, but nothing noteworthy to share till now. Yesterday, we went to do some basic shopping at the Asian shop in Charlottenburg, when I was advised by the careful S. to do not dare to leave the shop without buying the pack of Tofu Shirataki. As it definitely suited the budget - it costs around 3 Euro and the kosher standards - it does have a delicate OU sign on its left, as many other tofu sorts I noticed a couple of weeks back - I put it in the basket.
Today, I tried to get used with it and even prepare it with some available ad-hoc ingredients we have in the kitchen.
The fettuccine were preserved in alkaline liquid that smells really unusual - you can add 'bad' as a proper description as well. After 4-5 minutes of rinsing under cold water, the smell disappears. For the rest of the preparation, I behave as I do in the presence of noodles:
Added in a pan
garlic (3 cloves) and scallions on taste (3 pcs.) - finely chopped
3 teaspoon of oil - olive oil is a good choice
5 pieces of okra - finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
Mixed in the pan together with the fettuccine and after 7 minutes, were ready.
It serves 2 and we played a bit the Asian experts eating it with the chopsticks.
The taste of fettuccine is neutral so some sprinkles of salt will balance the taste pretty well.
Another detail of the fettuccine is the low calories content, with an estimated 20 calories per serving. 

Bon App├ętit!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Polish Design in Berlin: No Wodka

I am following the achievements of Polish design, especially the one introduced to the Berlin/German audience, for a while but did not have any idea that there is a full shop dedicated to it, where else but in the fanciest and most design-oriented part of the city: in Prenzlauer Berg. To be very honest, I did not know what is the nationality of the design works presented in the shop I passed by on Pappelallee 10, but I felt invited by the honey colour of the wood and the natural inspiration of some of the objects. 
Under the shop brand of No Wodka, the Polish design is introducing to the Berlin audience its best production, be it interior design, furniture and fashion. 
Out of the many choices presented, the fashionable part was the least attractive: the colours too aggressive for my taste, the lines too chaotic and the style different of mine. 
Recently open, the organization of the space is not the strong point of this shop, that has though a friendly customer service, communicating both in German and English. The crowded space can accommodate though the irregular shapes of the tables, perfectly fit, it seems for the design needs of many apartments in Berlin. 
The 'herbal' design of the bed linen are one of the most interesting products. The high-quality cotton satin is designed to look like a big stack of straw, reminding of the hot sunny Polish summers. I tried to imagine this gay chaos in my home and realized that, regardless of the grey season outside, it creates a certain feeling of freedom and well being that would love to keep at home all round the year.
The pieces of furniture presented are light, very colourful, with a lot of reminiscences of the pop-art but less pretentious and for sure less kitsch. 
It's not a single aspect of design that seems to be missing from the shop. The simple white plates are decorated with a lot of humour. 
The room lamps are minimalistic, answering the technical needs of the high concerns for less energy consumption - it suits various types of bulbs, created effects that offer the best light while avoiding the waste of resources.   
The mixture of colours and elegant spectacular line made my afternoon, and the feeling of well being when I see something interesting kept me company for a long time after I left the shop. Maybe I should come back a couple of months after to check out what's new and get back in touch with a certain chaotic yet joyous Central European spirit that I am missing sometimes. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Travel discoveries: Anastasia Beverly Hills in Bucharest

On the road for a couple of weeks for some travel assignments and random human discoveries in Central and Eastern Europe, I love the comfort of meeting my favourite brands: the new beauty parlour Anastasia Beverly Hills in Bucharest, Romania. In full honesty I confess that Anastasia's brow contour kit is one of the most awesome beauty discoveries in the world: it helps you to find the shape that suits your face by offering the make-up tools that make you feel so different.
I have a very controversial personal relationship with my brows. Till my mid-20s I preferred them wild and untouched, but once I was on the way to a proper fashion rehab, I wanted them as thin as possible. Not always, if ever, the shapes were suited for my face, and the experiments lasted till I had the chance to be part of a live eyebrow shaping with Anastasia. An elegant and powerful public presence, Anastasia left Romania decades ago, and by using golden ratio calculations set up a method to identify the best shape of brow that suit your face. One of her main recommendations that will never forget was to give up the fake small tiny eyebrows and get a natural look. An advice that she is permanently using when working the look of big Hollywood stars like Madonna or Jennifer Lopez. Here are some advices from the Eyebrow Queen about getting the perfect eyebrows. If asked what are my fashion essential I never go on travel without, her tweezer and eyebrow kit are on the top list. 
The Bucharest headquarters of beautiful eyebrows is situated in the elegant Radisson Hotel, situated on the fashionable Calea Victoriei Avenue.