Umamido

If there’s one thing Gillian and I like to do, it’s try new places to eat. Especially meals that I wouldn’t normally cook at home or that are really hard to recreate. Umamido is one like that, as it’s a Japanese noodle (ramen) restaurant. I’d driven past here a couple of times on my way to work and last week we finally got to try it. My favourite bits were the edamame and the gyoza! There’s plenty of locations too, if you’re interested in your own bowl of asian goodness. You can find their menu here.

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 15.40.31.png

Remembering Summer

Being too warm the old lady said to me

is better than being too cold I think now

in between is the best because you never

give it a thought but it goes by too fast

I remember the winter how cold it got

I could never get warm wherever I was

but I don’t remember the summer heat like that

Only the long days the breathing of the trees

The evenings with the hens still talking in the lane

And the light getting longer in the valley

The sound of a bell from down there somehwere

I can sit here now still listening to it

 

– W.S. Merwin

Grandma’s Apple Pie

One of my ultimate favourites, I’d have to say, is a classic apple pie. I love that there are so many different types and that it’s one for all seasons. You can have it hot with ice cream or cooled with a nice glass of iced tea in summer. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 375 g or 2 ½ cups of flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 225g or 1 ½ cups of melted butter
  • 200 g or 1 cup of caster sugar
  • 20 g of sugar
  • 1 bag of vanilla sugar
  • 3 spoons of soy milk
  • 6 big apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 teaspoons of cinammon
  • 60g of raisins
  • 1 pie tin
  • 1 rolling pin

Steps

Making the dough

  1. Mix the caster sugar, baking powder and flour
  2. Add the butter and soy milk
  3. Blend until a smooth dough that doesn’t stick
  4. Put a towel over the dough and put it in the fridge

Making the filling

  1. Peel the apples and cut them into little pieces
  2. Regularly add lemon juice and stir
  3. Add in the sugar, cinnamon and raisins
  4. Put the filling in the fridge

Making the pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F
  2. Put some baking paper to fit the pie tin
  3. Roll out ¾ of the dough and spread it across the pie tin to fit
  4. Fill the pie crust with the filling
  5. Use the rest of the dough to decorate
  6. Put some soy milk on the dough on top
  7. Bake in the oven for +- 1 hour

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 14.04.42.png

Blog break

Hi everyone reading,

First of all, thanks for reading! I don’t know if there are many of you out there, but I thought it’d be nice to keep you in the loop. So here goes. Recently I haven’t really enjoyed blogging. I feel uninspired and disappointed with what I’m posting. I’ve skipped the monthly overviews a couple of times. I’ve been putting off writing up the ideas I do have and sometimes it even feels like a chore to sit down and start. That is not how my blog started when I think back on it, and that is not what I want my blog to become either.

On the plus side, I’ve found so many other things I’m interested in offline (baking, reading, cooking, our garden, doing absolutely NOTHING AT ALL, friend, family, exploring more of Brussels,…) that I’m happy to just wander down that path for a bit too.

729fe8336ff5f504dcf3e91fdbca186a
© Ward Brackett

So…, I’ve decided to take a bit of a break and not make any promises as to when or what I will be posting. I want my blog to remain a space that I can pour my creativity into and not one that drains my energy. So no more weekly music video’s, monthly overviews, etc. I’ll be posting whatever I want whenever I feel like it. And that may be quite irregular. There may be weeks without a blogpost and then there may be a week with a few. Whenever inspirations strikes!

I still have some blogpost scheduled that you’ll see appear, but from then on it’s all question marks. I hope you can all understand.

Definitely “see you later” though,

Silke

PS: You can still keep up with me on Instagram  and I’m forever available through e-mail, text or old skool letter :-)

New York, New York

It’s been two weeks since we’ve been back from the Big Apple, but I still reminisce about the good food, the incredible weather (it was HOT) and the hugeness of it all. About time I’d let you all know what I loved and didn’t love about the big city life. Let’s start off by saying I won’t be moving to Manhattan anytime soon: not enough green, too many people and too many tall buildings. I need some space. What I did love was the shopping, the food, the city life and the older more historical buildings. Let’s round up, shall we?

Where we stayed – 

We purposefully didn’t stay in the hustle and bustle of crowded Manhattan, but took our lodgings to an AirBnB in New Jersey. Great location because 1. We got the beautiful skyline of NYC as our daily view, 2. Not as crowded, more of a residential neighbourhood feel and yet 3. Only 15 minutes by shuttle bus from the city centre! We were happy to just come home and relax, prepare our own meals and unwind from the busy city.

IMG_20180629_202830

IMG_20180629_203234_Bokeh

What we ate – 

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in New York it’s to not wait to get food until you’re starving, because you can expect lines at restaurants! If you get hangry, like me, it is in your boyfriend’s best interest to make sure you have your food stops locked in. Here’s some of our best food discoveries

IMG_20180624_115741

  • Shake Shack – fast, easy, but such tasty burgers. Also the best strawberry milkshake I’ve had in a while.
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar – it’s everything I’ve ever dreamed Charlie’s Chocolate Factory would look like. If you’re looking for candy that’s American or just really weird flavours, this is the place
  • Dough Donuts – We’ve tried a lot of donuts in our lifetime but these ones were just ‘wow’. The melt-in-your-mouth yet so flavourful kind. New York knows how to do donuts, that’s for sure. Another good one is the Doughnuttery, in Chelsea Market, which by the way is foodie heaven! These tiny donuts come in all kinds of funny flavours and let me tell you, the ‘Purple Pig’ flavour is finger-licking good!
  • Ample Hills Creamery – A decent place for regular ice-cream with a wide variety of flavours.
  • Taiyaki Ice Cream  – A really fun ice cream place that makes fresh cones that look like fish (they’re still a bit warm when you eat them so you can tell they are really freshly baked – very instagram worthy and with very quick and friendly service.
  • Grimaldi’s Pizza – We had our best slice of New York pizza at Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn, where you can share a large pizza and choose to have two sides with varying toppings, a nifty idea. Go on time to make sure you don’t have to wait in line.
  • Fika – If you’re craving a coffee break in an airconditioned, quiet space, this is your place.

IMG_20180626_145721

Where we shopped –

  • Sephora – As a beauty and skincare lover this was one of my personal highlights of the trip and I spoiled myself with some goodies for my birthday. You can find ANYTHING here. The one on 45th East Street is the biggest. Heaven is a place on earth.
  • Glossier Showroom – Another beauty favourite was the Glossier Showroom in Chinatown. I love the aesthetics of the place and brand and the fact that it’s so well hidden in a penthouse makes it all feel very luxurious. The products are high quality and remain very affordable!

IMG_20180624_143822.jpg

  • Barnes & Noble – If you like books, notebooks or other book-related stuff, this is the place to be.
  • Paper Source – This place is a stationery lover’s dream. It’s where I bough my new 2019 journal, but wanted to buy everything.
  • Brooklyn Flea Market – We went to the this flea market in Dumbo, Brooklyn, where the shade of the bridge lured us in. It’s a great place for original souvenirs, nice jewellery, furniture (which ached because we couldn’t take any home), clothes and nice smelling soaps.

IMG_20180624_123437

  • Chelsea Market – As said, it’s a foodie heaven, BUT it’s also a place where local designers show off their work and you can buy some of their stuff.

What we saw – 

  • High Line – An old railway between the meatpacking warehouses that is now a 3km long park, such innovative urban planning. Loooooved this bit of green!
  • 9/11 Memorial – A testimony to the tragedy of 9/11 and a beautiful place to hang and ponder life
  • Grand Central Station – Not amazing (and not as big as I’d always imagined) but still worth a visit because it is beautiful!
  • New York Public Library – One of my favourite places we visited. This library is everything. Marble staircases, elegantly lit reading rooms, grand hallways, ooh yes. Wonderful just wandering around here.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.48.35

  • Times Square – Overwhelming but worth a visit. We thought they had like an event going on or something, but nope, just the regular amount of people on a night in New York.
  • Top of the Rock – We were a bit unlucky with the weather because it was so overcast and misty, but still, views up here are amazing with Central Park on one side and the Empire State on the other. If you can, take some food and drinks and watch the sun set on the rooftop!

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.50.10

  • MoMA – Bit of a whirlwind visit here, because we entered only an hour before closing time. We didn’t love the museum, but the museum garden was really nice.
  • Museum of Natural History – Very similar to the one in Brussels or Tervuren if you’re form Belgium. Good to know is that they let you pay the amount you want to get in (they have an indication price though).

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.54.08.png

What we did – 

  • Central Park  – We rented bikes and helmets for the whole day and decided to tour Central Park so we could cover the whole area. On our way we visited the Natural History Museum, saw the Guggenheim Museum, spotted the different ponds and discovered there is only one-way lanes to bike the park. The park is HUGE, which also makes it less cozy, but we were glad to get out and about in the green.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 14.09.12.png

  • Coney Island – We took the time to take the metro down to Coney Island, which we loved. There’s a beach and and old 50s amusement park/ fair, which made for a nice day of relaxing, enjoying the sun and watching people go by. Take a picture in one of the photobooths as a souvenir.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 14.07.58

  • Washington – We took a really early train (still snoozing when I think about it) to Washington D.C. and saw all the sights! Best parts were the Library of Congress (gorgeous interior and tiling), the Smithsonian garden, and the US Botanic Garden. So different from NYC too, with lots of white buildings, open spaces and green.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 14.07.10

  • Staten Island ferry – This ferry service goes to and from Staten Island all day and in doing so, goes by the Statue of Liberty. And did I mention it is free? So basically, it’s a free tour past the statue (which is smaller than I imagined?)! You get on the boat in Manhattan, get off in Staten Island and get right back on. It takes about an hour there and back.
  • New York Mets – We decided to see a baseball game at Citifield Arena. If you can, try to get weekend tickets because the crowd was kind of sparse when we were there on a weekday.
  • Brooklyn Bridge – We spent some time in Dumbo, which we loved. We really took our time wandering around this area. Afterwards, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (super crowded) to get the full experience. Impressive though.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 14.08.38

That’s it folks! If you have any tips for us for next time, let me know!

Marrakech

Two weeks ago my mum and I took a little mother-daughter trip to Marrakech, Morocco. It reminded me a little bit of Lisbon (the colours), Peru (the landscapes) and Egypt (the lifestyle). I took lots of photos on our 6 day adventure, so I thought I’d share the best bits (as per usual) with you guys.

The Old Town (Medina)

We spent a full day exploring everything within the old city walls, the Medina. There is so many things to see! We booked a guide for a day so we could get our bearings of this city (that is totally a maze, by the way!) and we walked A LOT. Our first stop was the Djema-el Fna, which is the main square and basically where most of the action happens. There’s snake charmers, henna tattoo artists, little restaurants (at night), a plant market and lots of fruit stalls. Trying some freshly squeezed orange juice here is a must!

IMG_2490 copy

IMG_2357 copy

IMG_2504 copy

We also went passed the Koutoubia Mosque, which is the highlight of the city. It can be seen from far away and heard too, when prayer begins. Even though we  couldn’t go in as a non-muslim, we very much enjoyed the looks of this architectural stunner from outside.

IMG_2480 copy

We also paid the Saadian tombs and the Bahia Palace a visit, both of which are stunning. The tiling is just wow. I could walk around there all day just people-watching or reading underneath the trees.

IMG_2414 copy

IMG_2393 copy

IMG_2416 copy

IMG_2444 copy

IMG_2431 copy

IMG_2447 copy

Other than that, the souqs were really interesting – we saw the leather processing, bargained (hard-core) prices and learned a lot about the different spices and medicinal remedies. We also got ourselves some of the famous argan oil.

IMG_2507 copy

IMG_2433 copy

Jardin Majorelle + YSL Museum

We spent another half a day exploring the Majorelle garden and YSL Museum. One tip: if you plan on visiting the YSL museum anyways, get a ticket there! The line at the gardens is waaaaaay longer and by getting your ticket at the museum, you can skip the queue. Anyways, we made our way through the garden which was a-ma-zing, but a little but overcrowded to be enjoyed fully. I really enjoyed the bright colours of the yellow and blue that are so typical for this garden, as well as the cacti. The garden’s café is a nice relaxing place too if you want to stay a bit longer.

IMG_2560 copy

IMG_2521 copy

The YSL museum is kind of disappointing, unless you are really really into fashion. It’s a nice museum though, with some cool features. The movie about YSL is interesting too.

IMG_2565 copy

The Atlas Mountains

One main goal of the trip was to get out of the city too and explore a bit of the surrounding nature. So we booked a day trip with Marrakech Inspiring Tours (with our guide Abdul) and we would definitely recommend. Although the drive is pretty long, the tour never got boring and we made plenty of stops to enjoy and photograph the surroundings, which was nice.

IMG_2575

IMG_2580 copyIMG_2591 copy

IMG_2592 copy

IMG_2611 copy

IMG_2586 copy

IMG_2607 copy

Aït Ben Haddou

One of the highlights of said day trip was the Aït Ben Haddou, a UNESCO heritage site that seems to be yet undiscovered by the masses, one of the things I loved about it so much. In the middle of the desert, these castle-like structures arise and behind it is an entire village (still inhabited). Interesting to see to say the least.

IMG_2632 copy

IMG_2692 copy

IMG_2651 copy

IMG_2667 copy

IMG_2641 copy

Hammam

I absolutely wanted to try hammam while we were in Marrakech. It’s a bit of a strange experience to have someone wash and scrub down your entire body, but the massage afterwards was really nice and we came out rejuvenated. We booked our hamma experience through Les Bains de Marrakech.

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 17.46.30.png

IMG_2719 copy

Le Jardin Secret

We spent our last day hanging around in the souqs and enjoying the serenity of this place called le Jardin Secret. This recently opened garden is a true oasis with lots of green and water. Different from the Jardin Majorelle though, because the plants are less exotic and more English-French garden-like, if that makes sense. The roof-top terrace is the perfect hangout spot to enjoy the garden.

IMG_2772 copy.jpg

The Riad experience

It can be nice to get away from the hustle and bustle that is Marrakech city life, so when you are looking for a place, the riads are a perfect hideaway.  Really, there are tiny pieces of paradise in an overcrowded city. It’s like an oasis of piece and quiet. Best breakfast ever.

IMG_2346.JPG

IMG_2339 copy

That’s it, folks. Curious to see where I go next…? :-)

Until then,

Silke