Goodbye January

January (2)

Goodbye January, with your spring like, winter weather & your indecisive state of mind. You’re the start to everything; you’re both the second change & the new beginning. You come early every year; catch me by surprise & throw me off a little. But it is fine & it’s not your fault. It’s me, not you. I should know how this whole annual thing works by now.

Goodbye sweet January, I had a great time with you. A promising beginning, which makes me wonder what else is in store. I walked through your uncharacteristically mild days, left my gloves at home, stumbled into new ideas & got reintroduced to my all too familiar hesitations. I google-eyed the house, I read one book, saw three movies, watched 3 seasons of one series, played 3 different board games, cooked 2 new dishes, played one cd on repeat & had 5 favourite songs to listen to.  I thought, I wondered, I planned & I made lists. Oh boy, did I make lists; to- do- lists, how-to- lists, when- to- lists & why- to- do lists. But some days no list could help me straighten out which thoughts should come first & which could wait till later. I guess some things never change, no matter what year it is.

Goodbye January, I know it’s hard for you to go, leaving this world in the same chaos you found it in. But we both know that chaos is not going anywhere anytime soon. And really, it is not your concern, it’s ours. I just wish I could promise you that better times are coming, while truth is that I just don’t know. None of us do, I suppose. All I know is that I feel it is time for us we recover & regroup, before it is too late for all of us to get back to who we once were. Or at least, who we thought we were or who we aspired to be.

Goodbye Dear January; it’s time for us to part. But not before I take a moment to thank you for all the lovely days & moments we shared together. Thank you for the conversations I had, the plans I made, the inspiration that struck. Thank for the music that drifted my way, the images that filled my mind & the words I got to read. Even though you might have seemed commonplace at certain times, I don’t want to take our time together for granted. Because, after all, this has been a lovely start of something which still seemed rather huge & intimidating 31 days ago. You have been able to turn my apprehensive ship around & now, I’ve got my eye on the horizon.

Thanks again & goodbye sweet January

 

  

Book: Dingen die fijn zijn – Claudia de Breij (Dutch)
Movies: Wild, About Time & The Time Travellers Wife
Series: Suits
Songs of the month:
Catapult – Jack Savoretti
The Scientist – Coldplay (this version)
Emmylou – First Aid Kit
Wish I was here – Cat Power & Coldplay
Adventure of a lifetime – Coldplay

 

Advertisements

I Found a Way

I found a way

I found a way

Words by : First Aid Kit; a Swedish Folk duo, consisting on two young sisters. Even though I only just discovered their music & I wasn’t initially all that sure what to think of the songs I heard, I must admit that their storytelling is thought-provoking & compelling. Their songs, which are influenced by both country & folk music, make me feel upbeat & captivated at the same time. If you wish to hear more of their music, make sure to listen to songs such as My Silver Lining, Emmylou & Walk Unafraid.

 

Easy & Tasty Lentil Soup Recipe

Easy & Tasty Lentil soup

Easy & Tasty Lentil soup

Finally, a new food-blog. For some reason it always takes me ages to upload recipe blogs. And that while I’m in the kitchen all the time & I absolutely love cooking fresh, healthy meals every day.
For me, cooking a balanced & delicious meal every day of the week, is as vitally important as getting enough exercise, brushing my teeth & being an overall decent kind of human. Every time when I’m in the kitchen, I want to put both thought & love into the food I make. Because preparing dinner for those I love is my way of saying I care; I care a lot. And ‘selfishly’, cooking is my personal unwind-time in which I sing along with all my favourite songs & think about little else than taste & lyrics.

This year I would like to try & post recipes on a more regular basis. I was thinking one recipe a month, but I guess I’ll just take it as it comes & see where it goes. The recipes I’m planning to post are not all mine. I find my recipes in books & online or I get inspired by programs such as ‘MasterChef Australia’. As time goes by, I often adapt these recipes to personal taste or I come up with seasonal variations to a certain recipe. This way I create a ‘new’ version of an existing idea. And it’s these adapted versions which I would love to share with you right here.

I thought I’d start off these food blogs with a recipe that really suits the winter weather outside. I don’t know about you, but where I am it is pretty cold & frosty at the moment. So, perfect time for a hearty & healthy lentil soup.  This soup isn’t hard to make & will take about an hour to cook. My sister once gave this recipe to me & I’ve made the soup many times since. I have added potato & green bell pepper to the original recipe, simply because I love those vegetables in any lentil soup. Unfortunately, this soup, like most lentil soups, doesn’t photograph well, but I assure you, it taste so much better than it looks:)

Have fun with it & if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll try to answer any questions as quickly as possible.

Easy & Tasty Lentil soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Easy & Tasty Lentil soup
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
– 1 tablespoon peanut oil or sunflower oil
– 1 onion, peeled & cut into small pieces
– 3 celery stalks, cut into small pieces
– 1 green bell pepper, cut into small pieces
– 2 or 3 medium sized potatoes, cut into small cubes
– 2 cloves of garlic, peeled & grated
– ± 3 cm fresh ginger, peeled & grated
– 2 tablespoons Garam Masala powder
– 200 grams (or 1 cup) red lentils
– 500 ml (light) coconut milk
– 1 litre vegetable stock
– 1 or 2 limes
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– A small bunch of fresh coriander
– Crème Fraiche (optional)

Utensils:
– Chopping board
– Sharp knife
– Grater
– Can opener
– Silicon Spatula or spoon
– Large (non-stick) pan

Preparing the soup:
– Put your (non- stick) pan on high heat and add the oil.
– When the oil is hot, add the onion, celery, bell pepper and potato. Fry for about 5 minutes.
– Reduce the heat to medium and add the grated garlic and ginger. Fry for about a minute.
Keep stirring to keep the ginger and garlic from burning.
– Stir in the Garam masala. Fry for about a minute or until you can clearly smell the Garam masala.
– Turn up the heat and add the lentils, the coconut milk and the vegetable stock. Bring everything to the boil.
– Turn the heat down, place a lid on the pan and let the soup simmer for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and fall apart. Frequently stir the soup. If you like your soup a little thicker, remember to take the lid off towards the end of the cooking time.
– When the lentils are cooked through and the soup is done, add the juice of 1 or 2 limes.
– Add salt and pepper, to taste.
– Serve the soup with a handful of fresh coriander on top and maybe a small scoop of crème Fraiche.

If you liked this post, you might like to check out my previous food blogs too:
Eggplant Salad & Vegetarian Thai Green Curry

Alive Inside

Alive-Inside-Banner

First post of the year. Of course I will start of wishing you all an amazing & beautiful New Year, filled with wonderful moments & incredible adventures. Thanks for finding your way back here!
And thanks for going on this new blog adventure with me. I had a great time blogging here last year & I’m really looking forward to share all sorts of new things with you in the year to come.

I haven’t really set myself the same goals as I did the previous two years, during which I  worked on the 365 days Playmobil Project, 2014 & A photo a day, 2015.
After two years of 365 day photo challenges, I felt I needed a little break from that weekly deadline (which I hardly ever made anyway:) Having said that, I certainly want to keep gently pushing myself & brighten up this blog with photos, drawings, ideas, music & recipes. And since I’m also an enthusiastic cook, I thought it would be nice to finally work on a few more recipe-blogs.
So, hopefully, that will all work out!

Today I thought I kick things off with something beautiful, inspiring, sad & touching I saw during the season holidays. It’s something which I desperately want to share with you. The documentary below, called ‘Alive Inside’ came out a while ago. It tells the story of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia & it show us how these ‘lost’ people are able to rediscover their sense of self through the power of music. A couple of years back, I saw a small part of this documentary somewhere on the internet & it touched me deeply to see the amazing effect something as ‘simple’ as music had on people who seemed too far gone ever to be reached again.
When I stumbled upon the full documentary on Netflix the other day, I watched it instantly. And a few days later, I watched it again. I don’t think I ever cried so much as I did watching the incredible story. It’s an eye opener, a slap in the face & an amazing story that concerns us all.
I could go into great detail about ‘Alive inside’, the story it tells & the feelings it stirred within me. But I wouldn’t be able to find the proper words & explain the essence of what the documentary shows. I think it’s much better to watch it for yourself. It’s sad, but so powerful & inspiring at the same time. If you are a music lover & a people lover, this documentary will be well worth your time.

I love music. My love for music runs deeper than I anything I could possible explain right here. It’s like my soul is made of it. It is a love that comes straight from within, like an instinctive need, like a force that always keeps me going. It lifts me up when I’m down, it opens my eyes, it makes my heart sing & my brain celebrate. I can’t image a life without music & the magical proportions of it. And so, I hope that one day, when I’m old, alone & lost, someone will show me mercy & give me back the wonderful gift of music.

The full documentary can be found on Netflix as well as on Youtube.
If you would like to find out more about the documentary, feel free to visit the official website.