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Archive for February, 2014

I’ve always been a lazy person at the weekend. I usually sleep in until noon, or if I have plans I wake up at the latest possible moment and rush to get there. It usually works well for me, but I can’t deny I sometimes yearn to be a get-up-and-go kind of person.

However, I’ve recently discovered a much more satisfying kind of weekend laziness. It still involves spending a good chunk of the morning in bed so don’t panic!

This morning I woke up at 8:30 am which is very early for me on a weekend. Why? Because I decided to attempt (for the first time) making one of the best breakfasts I have ever had: bircher muesli! This involves soaking oats in apple juice overnight, and then assembling the dish in the morning. So having put the oats and apple juice in the fridge last night, I was extremely excited this morning to make the dish and see if it would be as nice as when I’ve tried it before. That’s probably why I woke up so early – I was basically experiencing the Christmas morning effect but for yuppies who get excited about farmers markets and organic oats (don’t worry, I’m judging myself).

If you’re wondering, the rest of the recipe involves mixing the soaked oats with some grated fresh apple, yoghurt and topping with fruit of your choice (I used blueberries). If you want a slightly more coherent version of the recipe, the one I used is here on the Guardian website. One small variation is that I used freshly squeezed apple juice (thanks to my housemate’s juicer), to avoid any added sugars found in store-bought juice.

It was absolutely delicious! I would happily have this for breakfast every day. Because I’ve never been a big oat eater, I only recently discovered this dish during a weekend brunch session at a local cafe. I fell in love with it which is why I decided to try making it myself. It’s incredibly fresh and light, while at the same time moreish and satisfying. For those who have never tried it, I’m including a picture below in the hope you will be tempted (disclaimer: not a picture of my actual bowl, as I literally ate it too quickly and forgot to take one!)

Bircher muesli

So having had my muesli, I made myself a cup of coffee, and with no other plans for the morning, I returned to bed to continue my lazy Sunday morning. This involved watching an episode of a very old Jamie Oliver show I discovered (I know, food food food!) where he travels to exotic destinations to discover their local cuisine (basically a British version of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations). I watched the first episode where he travels to Morocco. Having never been myself, I was overwhelmed with a desire to pack my bags and go after seeing Jamie walking through the markets filled with mountains of spices, enjoying a home coked tagine in a local’s riad (a traditional Moroccan house with an interior courtyard – an oasis!), and sampling the delicious street food late at night. If you live in the UK and want to watch this, you can find the show on 4OD (just search for “Jamie does…”).

I think the show has also inspired my next cooking challenge! Jamie made a Moroccan “snake cake”, or M’hanncha, which is basically flavoured almond paste wrapped in filo pastry and baked to crispy perfection. I found a recipe for this here, and I will be making it the next chance I get!

To round off my lazy morning, I read a bit while listening to Australian band’s Boy & Bear two albums: Moonfire and Harlequin Dream. I’m seeing them tomorrow evening, so I wanted to get in the mood. On the one hand, they’re the kind of dreamy indie rock that has become omnipresent nowadays (I’m not selling it I know), but at the same time I find them quite different from Mumford and Sons or similar bands. Most of theirs songs are quite dreamy and comforting, while at the same time being upbeat and showing some interesting influences I think. They’re definitely worth a listen especially if you like this genre, but would like to try something slightly different.

Boy & Bear's two albums: Moonfire and Harlequin Dream

Boy & Bear’s two albums: Moonfire and Harlequin Dream

So that was my lazy, but very satisfying morning. Hope yours was equally enjoyable.

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Oh my, it’s been a long time! Something suddenly reminded me that I had this blog, and I feel compelled to have another go at semi-regular posts. Perhaps it’s because recently I feel like I’ve been bulldozing through life without giving myself a chance to breathe. Writing is a chance to slow down and contemplate, and I think I’m ready to do that.

In any case, I don’t want this to get too deep too soon so I’m going to stick to ‘what is says on the tin’ (a favourite phrase among Brits, which I love): five songs for the week! It’s a varied offering so if you stumble, pick yourself up and keep going.

White Rabbits – Percussion Gun

I feel like I’ve posted this song before, or at least meant to. In any case it deserves to be on this list just because of the repeat plays today! A bit of indie rock never hurt anyone and I really like the singer’s voice on this track, very husky!

Jeff Buckley – Just Like a Woman

Any OC-watching-indie-kid has listened and cried to Hallelujah: “it just speaks to me”! I don’t believe that mass consumption can ruin a track if it’s truly beautiful, and that’s the case with Hallelujah. However, I think Jeff Buckley is worth a deeper look. His album Grace is soulful from start to finish. However, this cover of Bob Dylan’d Just Like a Woman is accomplished in every way it needs to be, and so powerful emotionally. Once you’ve heard it, you can never forget it.

Nina Simone – Feeling good (Nicolas Jaar edit)

An electronic mix of a Nina Simone song?! Why why why? Because it’s amazing that’s why. It makes me think of summer and sitting on a terrace with a beer and friends…and I’m feeling good.

JJ – Still Dre (Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg)

This is where my ignorance shows. I’d never heard of this song (the original) until I went away with my friends for New Year’s (always a great musical education). The original is very good, but I could listen to this modern, dreamy cover with it’s old school beats in the background  over and over again (which I have done). What I like the most about listening to music is our ability to create an association between a specific event and a song, and then every time you hear the song you are overwhelmed by that feeling! It’s a wonderful thing and it’s exactly what this song does for me.

Jay Z ft. Frank Ocean – Oceans

While I was away many things happened: Jay Z released a new album, I saw Jay Z live, JT came out for Holy Grail, we were all happy, and after many repeat plays of the album I decided this song was my favourite. Phew, what a journey. In all seriousness, I love this song and I’m so glad it introduced me to the wonderfully dreamy voice of Frank Ocean.

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