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Friday, February 27, 2015

The Happiest Yellow

One of the happiest yellow colors I know is the color of postal trucks (and carts, and trains) in Sweden. Every time I see that "egg yolk stirred with sugar" shade, I get happy. Every time I see that


yellow truck or cart, I think, "something good is going to happen today. Something very good is coming my way." (See the long, yellow train in the picture?)
The building in the picture is called Tomteboda, and it's a mail sorting facility in Stockholm, Sweden. I just love how the morning sun is hitting the building in this picture, currently one of my favorite buildings to look at.
I don't know much about steam punk, but to me, this is a steam punk-sy building. It reminds me of an art exhibit by Shaun Tan that I saw very quickly last autumn
(it was during Culture Night and I did not know that the exhibit was on, hence only a super quick look).  The piece above is called "The Tuesday Afternoon Reading Group".
Look at the chimneys behind the portrait! I see two buildings, plus Tomteboda, that look almost like that on my train ride.
The happiest yellow, and a dog.

When the skies are gray, it helps to see the happiest of yellows, and to think, "something very good is coming my way soon". Give it a try.

Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

First snowdrops of 2015

Finally! I had been looking for snowdrops in the forest (near a farm) twice already, and finally today, here they are! (There will be a metaphor about searching for something at the end of this post.)
The temperature has been fluctuating from +4C during daytime (and probably a lot more in sunny spots) to minus 2C early in the morning. The last time I looked for the snowdrops a few days ago, there was still some snow in that part of the woods, and no snowdrops to be seen. That same day though, I noticed that the muscari bulbs near my parking spot had started to sprout!
Really? Here I had been going to the woods and walking the icy path to that one spot where I knew the snowdrops are, and nothing. Meanwhile, the muscari (known in Sweden as "pearl hyacinths", and I also learned the name "grape hyacinths" today) were growing right here, in front of my eyes.

Now for the metaphor:
It is interesting to think that that the answer we are looking for might already be here, right in front of us. Not a journey away, not in that one book that if I just bought it and read it I'm sure it would give me an answer. (For the record, I am all for books, and books do contain many good answers, and questions.)

Back to my pearl hyacinths, I suspect that a bunny or two have been munching on the new buds. So I sprinkled some red hot chili flakes on the buds - a tip I read somewhere. I hope this harms no one.

Ahh, spring is here.

Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fenheļa-avokado salāti ar greipfrūtu / Mīlestības salāti

According to some statistic, most people will not get a romantic present on Valentine's Day. So instead of trying to figure out your feelings about Valentine's Day, "turn the steak around" (Swedish expression) and
give your loving attention to someone this Valentine's Day. Your kid, your dog, your awesome relative that always comes through for you (but what have you done for them lately?).
To celebrate you, your body, and the fact that it was still pretty light out yesterday at 5 pm (I could not believe it!), here is a delicious and pretty salad (recepte zemāk būs latviski). This fennel-avocado salad with grapefruit is also part of my 2015 foodie resolutions to make one new sweet and one new salty dish a month (so this is January's "salty", a bit belated).
Sastāvdaļas:
sviests
1 fenhelis
2 avokado
dažas greipfrūta daiviņas
olīveļļa
sāls (skaisti būs ar sāls skaidiņām)
 
Darba secība:
Pannā izkausē sviesta piku (jo vairāk sviesta, jo garšīgāk).
Noskalo fenheli un nogriež tam "artērijas" ("zarus", kas aug no sīpola) un ja ir kāds nesmukums, nogriež arī to. Sagriež fenheļa skaisto sīpolu ("sirdi") daiviņās vai strēmelēs, kā pats grib, un apcep sviestā, lai fenhelis kļūst mīksts un nedaudz zeltains.
Nomizo un sagriež avokado.
Nomizo dažas greipfrūta daiviņas, lai būtu bez baltās mizas (kā bildē).
Visu kārto uz šķīvja, apslaka ar olīveļļu un pārkaisa ar drusciņ sāli (jo ļoti viegli uzbērt par daudz).
 
Notes:
Greipfrūts ir vairāk skaistumam un mazam garšas akcentam, tāpēc labāk mazāk nekā vairāk. Lūdzu, es varētu šos salātus ēst katru dienu.
Receptes ideja no žurnāla Buffé, 2015.gada 1.numura, 15.lpp. Tur arī padoms, ka šie salāti brīnišķīgi piestāv pie laša - nu protams! Krāsnī cepts lasis ir Pieliekamā vispopulārākā recepte. Kamēr lasis savā nodabā cepas krāsnī, var sataisīt šos salātus, un vakariņas gatavas.
Lai izdodas!
 
Paldies, ka ieskatījies Pieliekamajā!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

The One (Cake) Decorating Secret I Learned in France - and How You Can Use It for Valentine's Day

Not that it was very secret, but I first noticed this combination in Paris many years ago, and it stuck - for a happy, bright cake (or pastry), decorate with
strawberries and pistachio nuts. So pretty!

This is a birthday cake I made for a friend a long time ago, and the letter candles spell out "Congratulations!" in Swedish.

Have a beautiful day!

Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Musli batoniņi / Musli bars

How I "wasted" expensive musli, but there are lessons learned (recepte zemāk būs latviski). These musli bars are part of my 2015 foodie resolutions, and I'm happy to report that
this recipe checks two resolution boxes: both my "one new sweet thing a month" and "utilize all food".
One of the food items that I regularly throw out is egg white that I have left over after using the yolk. So I had this one musli bar recipe set aside for quite a while because it called for egg whites. I have now tried this recipe, and my conclusion is this: musli bars is not my thing.
 
I would have been so happy to eat this expensive, GI (glycemic index)-smart musli with milk, and I would have been so happy to eat a fig or two with my coffee. But in bar form, this snack was neither here nor there for me. I wanted the bars to taste much sweeter. Dip them in dark chocolate, perhaps?
Bottom line: I love this musli as a treat, I just won't put it in bar form. But I am glad I tried this recipe. Now the recipe in Latvian, and after that some conclusions in English again.
 
Sastāvdaļas:
7 dl (1dl = 100ml) musli (Risenta GI-gudrais muslis ar godži ogām, ķirbju un saulespuķu sēklām, kinoa un griķu pārslām)
12 žāvētas vīģes (apm. 250gr = 1 paciņa)
2 tējk. medus
1 ēd.kar. kanēļa (man bija par daudz, liktu mazāk)
4 olu baltumi
3 ēd.kar. sezama sēklu
 
Darba secība:
Uzsilda cepeškrāsni uz 125C. Sagatavo cepamo plāti ar cepampapīru (es izsmērēju arī ar sviestu, nezinu, vai vajadzēja). Ja muslī ir mandeles vai citi rieksti, nedaudz sasmalcina.
Sasmalcina vīģes, lai būtu diezgan lipīga masa ar vīģu gabaliņiem. Bļodā nedaudz sakuļ olbaltumus, tad maisa kopā visas sastāvdaļas, lai būtu lipīga mīkla.
Uz plāts veido divus kukuļus, lipina kopā, lai sanāk apmēram šādi:
Liek cepties krāsns viducī uz 20 min.
Atdzisušus sagriež gabalos un uzglabā ledusskapī slēgtā traukā.
 
Notes:
Recepte ir no paciņas, no Risenta GI-smart musli.
 
The awesome thing is that one of the egg-whites that I used was over a week, maybe two weeks, old. I am "thorough with hygiene" (such a Swedish saying :), "noga med hygien") when I save the egg-whites, so now I have learned that a chilled egg-white can keep in the fridge for quite a while (do the sniff test, of course, and use common sense).
 
Click here for my 2015 foodie resolutions.
 
Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

On the road again

One of the best things in life has got to be trains. "Train I ride, sixteen coaches long (...) Train, train, coming round, round the bend." I think of this song almost every day now, and I'd really like to know




















where my Elvis records are.
I get a thrill pretty much every single time I get to ride this train, I do.

Have a good day, everyone!

Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ko es iemaaciijos par hiacinteem

Man tik ljoti gribejas tadu milzigu bunti hiacinshu. Lai buutu kaa pie florista, kaa filmaas, vai kaadaa greznaa veikalaa. Nevis vienu, vai triis ziedus, bet bunti. Istenoju savu sapni, un luuk, ko es iemacijos:
1. Nekad nebiju redzejusi, ka hiacintes pardod ar vel gandriz visu siipola dalju intact pie kaata. Nezinaaju, ko ar to dariit, taapec nogriezu, varbuut taa bija kljuuda.

2. Sajuuta, katru reizi uz savu hiacinshu bunti paskatoties, pirmo dienu bija vienkarshi nezisakams prieks un laime. Apsedos uz sava mazaa kebliisha un kusu no laimes un prieka par taadu skaistumu.

3. Tachu pec pirmas dienas maajaas hiacintes saaka ljoti smarzhot. Taa, ka atverot majas durvis, mani sagaidiija milziiga medus smarzha, ari tad, kad biju nolikusi vaazi vistalakajaa sturi citaa istabaa un aiztaisijusi durvis. 

4. No hiacinshu kaatiem uudenii bija smiltis, un uudens nedaudz sadulkojaas. Gribeju to nomainiit, un uudens nomainiishanas procesaa rezultaataa notika tieshi taapat, kaa man vienmer notiek ar tulpeem - ziedi pec tam saak sashljukt paari vaazes malaam. Nav vairs tie tikko grieztie, aukstie, skaistie zaldaatinji, kas kaartiigi staav vaazee rindaa.

5. Hiacinshu ziedi pec nepilnas nedelas saka zaudeet kraasu, palikt gaishi, gaishi zili, gandriiz balti (no kausa viducha uz zieda malaam).

6. For the record, es nopirku 10 hiacintes par 120 kronaam (apm.12 eiro), un shajaa vaazee ir devinjas. Skaitliski man pietika, bija kaa filmaas un zhurnalos, un kaa pukju veikalos :).

Secinajums: kad gribeshu ziedus for stunning visual (or photographic) impact, I will definitely know what to do with hyacinths. Bet savam priekam pirkshu tulpes, kuraam ir maiga, zalja, laimiiga smarzha.

Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!