Archive | June 2013

Kerala – Fruits of the Sea

Today I reblog my husband’s latest article from his own blog: http://www.manningtreearchive.com

Manningtree Archive

 

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I have good reason to like seafood. From childhood on, a delicacy from the sea would often find its way onto my dining table with occasional reminder from Mom of the true nutritional value of the fish and how it helps to grow strong and wise. I do not dislike other kind of food (except anything that crawls or with feathers) nor do I love all sorts of seafood. Actually, if I wish to be selective, I could do so since my home State of Kerala in the South-western tip of India bounded by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west, and a coastal line that stretches more than 360 miles long, has an abundant wealth of seafood.

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Besides the lakes, ponds and paddy fields (where fingerlings are occasionally released), we have 41 west-flowing rivers here in addition to…

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Fashion for comfort & love!

This is Bianca’s second guest post here, introducing one of her favourite fashion designers from Spain. So come and let her show you around this amazing store in Madrid.

Hii everybody and welcome back!

I know it’s been really long since any of you have heard from me and I’m truely sorry about my disappearing act. So here I am with a new article yet again. This one is about one of Spain’s most famous designers ‘Adolfo Dominguez’. So here’s a small brief about Mr. Adolfo Dominguez.

Adolfo Domínguez, born Adolfo Domínguez Fernández, is a Spanish fashion designer. He took over his father’s fashion boutique in Ourense in the early 1970s. Afterwards which he spent the following years developing his own designs, and finally made the big jump with a presentation of his work in Madrid in 1981. He also became the first Spanish designer to open his own brand-name store in Madrid, which soon mushroomed into a chain with outlets across Spain and abroad, including New Delhi here in India and in Bangkok/Thailand. The company went public in 1997.

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Store at Central World Plaza, Bangkok, Thailand

The people at the store were most welcoming to say the least. Here we met the manager of the store Kristian Nesic, a wonderful and charming man who was absolutely helpful and informative. And if I even start to talk about the store, it was amazing, to say the least. Absolutely brilliant architecture and interior! It was set up to look like the interior of a house, each floor like different rooms with wood panelling, brick walls and nice lighting.

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That is the coffee shop on the topmost floor of the store. With a wide variety of choices it was quite a perfect place to sit after an exhausting shopping session and enjoy your coffee or choose from a small but most delicious selection of wonderful salads, for example. It was here that we met with Mr. Kristian. He told us all about the company, their different lines, their history and how they are planning to expand the company etc. He also told us about their latest butterfly themed and eco friendly collections mainly designed by Adolfo’s daughter Tiziana Dominguez who is the creative director of the company.

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And that’s him handing me his card.

Looking at the work table set up they have in their store. It looks cosy, homely and like your own personal studio with small sewing machines, ironing table, places to hold threads and all.

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Now to talk more about the brand, they have their own women swear, menswear, accessories, wedding gowns and even dog wear! Yes! You heard me right, they have specialised clothing for dogs!! And I have to tell you, it’s pretty amazing and really cute!! Here are some pictures clicked at the store, maybe this will give you an idea. These are some of the garments on display at the store.

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I thought that was brilliant use of tie and dye on the shirt

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Looking through some of the t-shirts on display.

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Checking out this really pretty dress at the store. It was a really pretty flouncy and summery party dress in white with paint splatter kind of print on it.

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This really classy dress on display at the store. This one also happened to be a favourite of mine.

Now for the OMG! Oh so cute section, the dog section, I don’t think I have ever come across anything as cute as this!

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They had personalised dog outfits of different varieties, toys for them, accessories etc. It was one of the cutest things I had ever come across.

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Now isn’t that a cute outfit?!

Now for my favourite section…the ‘bridal wear’ one!! It happens to be my favourite section among everything. And the dresses out here were absolutely mind blowing!! Each one of those dresses was soo pretty in itself and done up with such beautiful detailing. I guarantee you that you would definitely feel like a princess in them on your special day.

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Haha! Crowning Glory!!

16aKristian showing me more of their lovely garments on display at the store.

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Isn’t that such a fun dress?!

Believe me! If I had the money I would have been having a wardrobe hanging with more than one Adolfo piece in it!

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So that’s all for now all you lovely people, until I come up with yet another catchy topic to interest you all, this is me Bianca signing off over here. Ciao!! Baci Baci!

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My thanks goes to Kristian and his colleagues for their kind help and before I really sign off for today – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Kristian from all of us –  have a wonderful Sunday

(Photographs: Bianca and Carina/Manningtree Archive)

ASPARAGUS FEST, PART II

HALLO !  Yes, I am back again.

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She promised us a second recipe from Chef Pierre in Bangkok and what happened? Some of you may have asked. Nothing, nichts, niente, nada etc.

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But here is the little story – everything was ready in good time to be posted as promised first thing, before breakfast even, on Thursday morning. But then something else inevitably happened. We were both happily reading our books when suddenly around 10.30 pm an enormous “bang” was heard outside somewhere in the road – the lights went out, thankfully only for a short while, but……… the lines for TV and Internet disappeared completely. So, at this time, Friday afternoon, when I drafted this I have no idea when those lines will once again be restored; we will just have to wait and see. – The lines only came back now.

And nearly 10 days later here is Chef Pierre’s second Asparagus recipe, and this time he is using that lovely fat white Asparagus which is very much connected to my earlier memories. So absolutely simple, no fuss, no complicated cooking, this is the best way to enjoy that beautiful taste of this kind of Asparagus.

Although Chef Pierre has given this recipe with “Paris Ham”, it is also absolutely delicious with smoked salmon!

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White asparagus with Paris ham and hollandaise sauce

500 g white asparagus

120 g hollandaise sauce

Some tiny new boiled potatoes

100 g Paris ham

50 g lemon, cut in half

20 g lime

For the hollandaise for 5 pers.

100 g egg yolk

200 g good unsalted butter

20   g lemon juice

10   g salt

3   g white pepper.

Method

Prepare the potatoes and boil them slowly until tender.

Peel and clean the asparagus and boil them in very hot water for about 8 to 10 min according to size.

Prepare the hollandaise sauce.

Display the elements on the plate nicely and serve right away.

Just do remember three important words “the asparagus must be hot, the sauce warm and the Paris ham cold!

Make the hollandaise.

Melt the butter and keep warm, around 45 to 50* C.

Mix the egg yolk with 60 g of cold water in a stainless steel bowl and  whisk this over a bain marie (simmering water in a pot), whisk it constantly until warm, fluffy and has a thick consistency like a mousse.

Take it off the fire if necessary from time to time – the process should be slow and not exceed 65 to 68* C, or your egg will start to scramble.

Then take off the fire completely and add lemon juice, salt and pepper (according to taste) while stirring the butter.

Serve right away.

Bon appetite, mes amis!

Asparagus Fest at “The Verandah”

Last weekend I invited you, my dear blogging friends, onto an imaginary flight to Bangkok to join our table at “The Verandah”, the elegant restaurant overlooking the mighty Chao Phraya River at our favourite hotel, the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.

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This is the domain of Chef Pierre (Rimoneau ) who, as part of “The Verandah’s” Asparagus Fest, has graciously parted with two of his most delicious Asparagus recipes, especially created and prepared in order to showcase the delicious flavour of the wonderfully white asparagus and the organically grown green asparagus and using ingredients from the Royal Projects.

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In fact I am off tomorrow “Asparagus hunting” in our new hypermarket. It will not be the wonderfully thick white kind of variety which was very much part of my German seasonal feast, when I still lived in the country of my birth, but just the very thin green variety which I got to like later in England – better than nothing at all, I say. Don’t you agree?

Asparagus Salad with waxy boiled quail eggs

 80 g Asparagus, green import

 90 g Asparagus, white import

120 g Asparagus, local (wherever you are)

  30 g mixed salad

 20 g sundried tomatoes

 10 g parmesan shaving

 65 g boiled quail egg

  1 g edible flower

 25 g lime and olive oil dressing

 ½ g chervil

Method           

Peel and boil the asparagus: 3-4 min for the green one’s and 8-10 min for the white one’s, according to their size. Test.

Pick and clean salad, dry and mix together.

Boil the quail eggs, 3 min. Cool them down and peel them.

Prepare an olive lime juice dressing with salt and pepper.

Set the salad in the plate, add the asparagus cut in length, the sundried tomato cut in strips, and add a flower on top.

Add some parmesan shaving and at the last minute cut the quail eggs and place them on top of the salad, the yolk should be running into the salad.

Serve right away – with the dressing separately.

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Enjoy!

So, for whatever your personal taste buds crave, I suggest you try both – and why not!? I am sure you will not be disappointed. Second recipe will follow in a couple of days.

I hope you all enjoyed your treat and of course I will pass on your comments together with my personal thanks to Chef Pierre and to Executive Chef Stefan for their kind help and support.

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See you again soon, Carina