Sunday, 15 February 2015


This year I definitly will work up my scraps!
I will reduce more scraps, than produce them!!
Not the tiniest one will be thrown out!!!
... cause they are all gorgeous and they are the colours I paint with...
With this proposal for 2015, I turned over one of my scrap basquets and started sorting them by colours. ..
It took me a whole day to get through the pile and decision,  whether to subdivide the main colours, was  tempting. ..
The result was packed bags, waiting for time and inspiration!!!
But there was a tiny bulk of long stripes left by the end of the day, and I immediately started to knot them together
 and crochet a little basket for al my scrap threats, waiting be be sorted out...
I just  love this scrappy thing... 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

lentil spread with curry

you don't get enough legumes in your diet??

try this nice bread spread

250g cooked french brown lentils
1 chopped onion
1 garlic glove
1 tsp curry powder
olive oil
chopped parsley
lemon juice

fry onions in olive oil, when they are golden add curry, garlic and lentils and cook for 3 more minutes, than let all cool down. Blend the lentils with olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley and lemon juice.
If you like it more creamy add some yogurt.


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Weekend in the Baix Empordà, Catalonya with Fideuà

Last weekend we went up to visit friends in the  beautiful Baix Empordà.
They own a huge country house with a lot of  pinterest corners and I couldn't 
resist to take some photos.

After a hearty Irish breakfast provided by Stephen, we went for a "cafe amb llet" in the tiny village
Vall Llobrega and a walk in the fields.

While we were chilling after a dipp in the pool, our friend Meme prepared a fideuà,

a traditional catalan dish , made with short lengths of dry pasta called fideus. 
Instead of boiling the noodles Italian-style, the Catalan way is to cook them with only a small amount of liquid in a wide earthenware cazuela or paella pan. Here, the noodles are first browned in olive oil, then simmered in a rich fish and shellfish broth. 
It’s a sort of cross between risotto and paella, and it’s a dish for all lovers of Mediterranean fish soups in the bouillabaisse family. 
Broth is added at intervals as it is absorbed, but not much stirring is involved. 
A dab of garlicky allioli, the Spanish version of aïoli, is added to each soup plate before serving.

If you want to make some on your own, try the following recipe:


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 pound small shrimp, shell on
  • 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 small dried hot red peppers, or use 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • A few thyme sprigs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 pounds meaty bones from cod, snapper or halibut, rinsed (or use boneless fish chunks)
  • 12 clams
  • 1 pound mussels, cleaned


  • 1 pound fideus noodles (dry), or use Italian fedelini or spaghettini
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of saffron crumbled into 1/4 cup water
  • 1 pound mussels, cleaned, for garnish
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, shell on, for garnish (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • Allioli, for garnish 


Make the broth: Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add small shrimp, garlic, hot pepper, fennel, coriander, bay leaf and thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper, stir to coat and cook 2 minutes more.
Stir in tomato paste and cook 5 minutes, until mixture begins to look dry. Add fish bones, clams, 1 pound mussels and 8 cups water; cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
Strain through a sturdy mesh sieve into another pot, pushing on solids with a wooden spoon. Discard solids and keep strained broth hot. Taste for salt. Broth should be well seasoned. (Can be made ahead, though eat it within 24 hours, or you can freeze it.)
Make the fideuà: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put fideus noodles in a large roasting pan or baking sheet. (If using Italian pasta, break it into 2-inch lengths first.) Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil over noodles and toss with hands to coat. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, turning with tongs if necessary, until noodles are golden brown. (May be done in advance.)
Place a cazuela or wide heavy pot on the stove. Add toasted noodles, pressing down a bit. Ladle 3 cups hot broth over noodles and bring to a boil. Push down on the noodles with a wooden spoon as they soften into the broth. Add saffron-infused water and cook for a minute, then stir to mix. Add enough hot broth to cover pasta by 1 inch. Lower heat and cook at a simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more broth (and adjust heat) if mixture dries out.
Scatter remaining 1 pound mussels over the top, then push them down until barely submerged. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until shells open. Turn off heat. The noodles should be cooked but firm, and the mixture a little soupy.
If using the large shell-on shrimp, season them and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes per side.
Ladle into individual soup plates. Mix the parsley with the orange zest. Garnish fideus with shrimp, if using, the parsley mixture and a spoonful of allioli.
4 to 6 servings
  • NOTE

    A clarification on the name of this recipe: Fideus is the name of the noodles used in the dish. Fideuà is the dish made with these noodles.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

For my mother

Over the years I got from my mother all sorts of materials,
often family treasures, 
like antique linen, lacework, ribbons..
..retro prints from the 70ties, which where taken down in the 80ties
and thanks to my mother's sense for value!! were carefully stored

heavy old linen curtains with huge burgundy prints,
folk cotton prints and and and...
seems  here pool is bottomless..

an in a weeks time she and my father will load their car again to drive
more goods down to Spain

so when my eyes got caught on my antique linen stack the other day,
I thought this bag might be the right thing
to say: "I love you Mama and thanks for being loved by you"


Monday, 14 April 2014

easter in Connemara

..hey hello there,

I am for a few days here in Connemara,
weather is fantastic and the whole place around the Old Monastery Hostel is covered in Wild Garlic

a gift from mother Nature

you can use it like spinach, doing a pesto, like fresh herb in a salad or soup
or mixed with sea salt,
like in the following recipe

blend 100g wild garlic and mix it well with 100g of the sea salt, you get a quite liquid  paste than mix it with the rest of the sea salt.
Lay out a backing tray with kitchen tissue and dry the salt /wild garlic mix on it outside.
Takes about 8 hours on a sunny day. Don't dry indoor, cause it smells really strong!!

or how about Jamie Olivers wonderful wild garlic& sausage fusilli???

Happy Easter wishes


Sunday, 6 April 2014

romesco sauce for BBQ

BBQ is such a nice food experience, whether you do it meaty or you go vegetarian.

it´s easy to prep and if you have guests and they join in with a salad or the desert, than there is hardly no kitchen work involved.... there is no excuse not to do some little extra effort and get one of the bests sauces done..

"the Romesco sauce" originates from Tarragona, Catalonia and contains only goodness

here my recipe:
  • 100g roasted almonds and hazelnuts
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 slice stale bread soaked in red vine vinegar
  • 6 sun ripe medium size tomatoes
  • 2 large red peppers
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  3 dried Nora peppers soaked in hot water or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or small hot pepper
  •  salt and pepper

  • Roast garlic, red peppers and tomatoes on a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil for about half an hour at 180ºC.
  • skin tomatoes and red peppers and squeeze out the soft garlic from it's skins
  • put the roasted almonds and hazelnuts (I don't bother to peal the dry skin off), the tomatoes, red pepper and garlic pulp together with bread I previously had soaked in vinegar (make sure not to take to much - especially if you use Spanish vine vinegar!!) in a food processor or use a large bowl and a blender
  • ground, mix and drizzle the olive oil into it, than add salt and pepper and the scratched out pulp from the Nora peppers.

i.... ja esta!  Bon profit!!


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Me and Kirsty McGee

when I am diving into my "just me weekends" and I create the chaotic set up for my crafting,

- meaning that I spread out good part of my materials to see what triggers me on this time-

and I turn on the music
full volume
no teens around complaining "Mamahhh!!!"
not for the noice of cause, but for my music preferences

and there they are, strong female voices:

Nina Simone, Amy Macdonald, Katie Malua, Melissa Etheridge, Marla Glenn, Lhasa de dSela,
Alanis Morissette, Aretha Franklin..

but there is one I favour at the moment and her name is Kirsty McGee

here a taste