Tag Archive | fashion

Courgette Fritters With Fiery Onion Jam

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In 2013, Jo and I took our two girls for a one month vacation to beautiful Madrid. Ostensibly this was meant to be a little “educational trip” for Bianca to look at fashion (she is now a qualified Fashion Designer) and for Andrea to look at Architecture; she too has since qualified and is working as well.

One of the Studios/Salons Bianca and I visited was to this very beautiful Store of “Adolfo Domínguez“ (for more details look at my blog entry of 23.06.2013 – Fashion for comfort & love!). After our “work” we always made our way to the top floor where, to put it simply, we felt a bit like inside the world of “The Devil Wears Prada”. Sometimes it seemed to us, that every woman there nibbling on a lettuce leaf and/or having their glass of delicious wine, had walked straight out of pages of VOGUE. In retrospect I would have liked to eat (and photograph!) my way through Chef’s small but very delicious looking menu.

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(Pic. Above: Inside the top-floor Cafeteria at “Adolfo Domínguez” – a little heaven amidst the noise and hectic of Madrid.)

But one item from his blackboard I really loved and in the end he very kindly shared the recipe with me.

I have altered it a little bit – in order to suit our own pallet giving it a little bit more ‘kick’ especially re the spices -.

This is lovely for Snacky food served on a bed of beautifully crisp green salad with the Onion Jam as an accompaniment and when made smaller and a bit thicker also as cocktail party food.

So, why not give those little Fritters a try – maybe you too end up liking them as we do in my own little family.

Little Courgette Fritters with fiery onion jam

Recuerdos de Madrid – Memories of Madrid

Right at the beginning a little word of advice, when you make the onion jam, make double or even treble the amount you want for your fritters, this thick chutney like jam is so Moorish, it keeps well in your fridge up to a week – you also might want to have it with your favourite cheese!!!

I used the following:

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Appr. 1 lb courgettes (yellow or green), top and tailed, coarsely grated and kept aside in a bowl
A small chunk of hard cheese (either freshly! grated Parmesan or Cheddar), kept aside

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2 eggs, slightly beaten with a fork
App. 4 Tbsp of Besan (yellow) flour also known as garbanzo bean flour, chickpea flour (or plain)
Salt and pepper (you will need a bit more salt here than usual)
¾ Tbsp of Kashmiri Chilli powder
½ tsp of fennel powder
½ tsp of cumin powder
Small bunch of Spring onions (use the green part only!)
Vegetable Oil for frying
1 very clean cheese clothes
A few sheets of kitchen paper towel

To make the onion jam I used the following:

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4 large onion, thinly sliced
½ Tbsp Oil
3 green chillies
5 small garlic pods
1 Tbsp (maximum) soft brown sugar
½ tsp of dry red chilli flakes
Heat oil in a wide pan, add your onions and the garlic, stir and on low heat and cook this for the next 20 minutes, approx.. or until onions are very soft.

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When done let this cool down quickly and transfer to your Blender with the chillies, sugar and the chilli flakes and “blitz” until everything is very smooth.
Return to the pan and once again on very low flame cook for an additional 10 minutes. Done! And ready to be used with the fritters.

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Tip the grated Courgettes onto the cheesecloth and wring out as much of the liquid, which will have appeared, and move to a large mixing bowl. Now add the eggs, cheese, flour and all the spices and the spring onion greens and mix well. Check seasoning.

Take your pan, add just enough oil to cover the pan and heat on medium flame. When hot add dollops of your fritter mixture with a big spoon carefully into the oil, flatten the fritters slightly and gently fry for 3-4 minutes on either side. A word of warning: do not take your eyes off them for a second – they can turn dark very quickly (see my own disastrous first attempt: delicious but near cinder top and bottom!!)

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Remove and keep on the sheets of kitchen paper to lose some of the oil (do not cover). If you make a large batch, keep them on a baking sheet inside your oven on very low heat to keep warm.

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When you finished making all your fritters, bring them to your table with the beautiful jam in a separate bowl and enjoy!!

Carina

Notes: You can of course also use half/half (yellow/green) courgettes.
The amount of chillies used is suited for our own pallet; tone it down if you want, but……you do want ‘the kick
’!

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MADRID ……

(Two weeks of non-stop festivities, noisy parades (and a visit to Santa Maria la
Real de La Almudena)

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This is the Catholic Cathedral in Madrid, which was consecrated by Pope Paul II in 1993. When the capital of Spain was transferred from Toledo to Madrid in 1561, King Felipe II wanted a Cathedral for his new capital. Plans were discussed as early as the 16th century to build a Cathedral in Madrid dedicated to the Virgin of Almudena, but construction did not begin until 1879. Unfortunately, when we visited Madrid and this Cathedral my normally faithful Nikon let me down, so I was not able to photograph this beautiful Church; but hopefully on our next visit…..!

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Some time ago the 4 of us flew off to Madrid to spend a very happy month on a family holiday in this vibrant city. Although each of us wants to go back, especially on the invitation by friends to return for Christmas, we all decided to spend this year here at home – for once!
So for today I will just take you to some famous sightseeing spots of Madrid.

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The actual Christmas celebrations are stretched over 2 weeks and include noisy (but fun) parades and dancing everywhere.

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This year the whole centre of Madrid is literally bathed in lights – an incredible sight; this “spectacle” is designed by a number of well known names in the fashion- and design field using energy saving lights. The boulevards are brightly decorated and there are open-air ice rinks. Charming Christmas markets are set up in the main squares – and one must not forget to look at the most spectacular Belenes (Nativity Scenes).

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Madrid is worth visiting at any time of the year – so why not try to come for Christmas?

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I now offer you 3 totally different kinds of music for this season and which, I think, go well with this beautiful city. Let me start with this video entitled “Canciones de Navidad en español”

For you, who like Flamenco for Christmas I found this little musical treat. The video is entitled: “Villancico Flamenco.- “Mira Qué Bonita” por Camarón de la Isla.”

This was recorded in 2011 in Belén de la Catedral de Sevilla . Try and see this video to the end – the crib here is absolutely beautiful.

But if you prefer just to sit back with a nice glass of wine and listen to a beautiful concert, I present this feast to ones ears; it is “Concierto Navideno de la Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria”.

So, light your candles, take your time and choose the right kind of seasonal music for you and relax, but most of all – enjoy!

Have a wonderful and peaceful 4th of Advent.

Carina

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(Meine “freie” Uebersetzung)

Dies ist der katholische Dom in Madrid, welcher in 1993 von Papst Paul II eingeweiht wurde. Als die Hauptstadt Spaniens in 1561 von Toledo nach Madrid verlegt wurde, wollte Koenig Felipe II einen Dom fuer seine neue Hauptstadt. Plaene wurden schon im 16th Jahrhundert discutiert einen Dom in Madrid zu bauen zur Widmung der Jungfrau von Almudena, aber der Bau startete erst Anfang 1879. Leider, als wir Madrid und diesen Dom besuchten, liess mich meine normalerweise getreue Nikon im Stich, so dass ich nicht in der Lage war diese wunderschoene Kirche zu photographieren; aber hoffentlich beim naechsten Besuch.
Vor einiger Zeit flogen wir 4 rueber nach Madrid fuer einen monatelangen Familien Urlaub in dieser lebendigen Stadt. Wir wollen alle wieder dort hin und ganz besonders auf die Einladung von Freunden Weihnachten mit ihnen zu verbringen, aber wir haben uns alle entschlossen, dieses Jahr mal hier zu Hause zu bleiben – zur Abwechslung!

So fuer heute moechte ich Euch nur zu einigen der sightseeings spots von Madrid nehmen.
Die eigentliche Weihnachtsfestlichkeiten strecken sich ueber 2 volle Wochen hin und man sieht viele laute Paraden, die aber grossen Spass machen; und ueberall wird getanzt!

Dieses Jahr ist die ganze Innenstadt von Madrid buchstaeblich in bunte Lichter getaucht – irre; dieses Schauspiel wurde von einigen der bekanntesten Designer in der Mode- und Design Branche entworfen. Und die Lichter in allen Farben erfuellen waehrend dieser gesamten festlichen Zeit die Stadt und sie sorgen dank Einhaltung strengster Umwelt- und Energiekriterien fuer helleres Licht bei geringerem Verbrauch.

Freiluft Schlittschuh Bahnen, Weihnachtsmaerkte auf all’ den grossen Plaetzen – und dann noch die wunderschoenen “Belenes” (die Krippen) – herrlich.
Es lohnt sich Madrid waehrend des ganzen Jahres zu besuchen – so warum versucht Ihr mal nicht zu Weihnachten dorthin zu reisen?
Ich biete Euch nun 3 ganz unterschiedliche Musikvideos fuer diese Saison und diese schoene Stadt an.
Erlaubt mir dieses video “Canciones de Navidad en española” vorzustellen.

Fuer Euch, die Flamenco zu Weihnachten hoeren moechten, habe ich diesen kleinen musikalischen Schatz gefunden. Das video heisst : “Villancico Flamenco.- “Mira Qué Bonita” por Camarón de la Isla.”

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Es wurde in 2011 in der ‘Catedral de Sevilla’ aufgenommen. Schaut Euch dieses video bis zum Ende an – die Krippe hier ist unwahrscheinlich schoen.
Aber wenn Ihr es vorzieht Euch mit einem Glas Wein in Ruhe hinzusetzen um ein schoenes Konzert zu hoeren, stelle ich diesen Ohrenschmaus vor: “Concierto Navideno de la Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria”.

So, zuendet Eure Kerzen an, nimmt Euch Zeit und sucht Eure Musik aus, aber hauptsaechlich – geniesst sie!

Habt einen ruhigen und friedvollen 4. Advent.

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)

Happy Valentine’s Day

. . . today once again I like to take you on a small virtual tour through the Lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, where their incredibly talented Flower Guru Khun Ken has created Pink Magic for Valentine’s Day.

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The concept for his decoration this time comes from the Thai Royal Flower Theme – using an incredible 1860 lines of beads with the colour of the ‘Baan Mai Roo Roy” flower (Globe Amaranth i.e. Everlasting Flower).

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He used the “Everlasting Flower” because February is the month of LOVE – so his choice of the ‘Baan Mai Roo Roy’ seemed very appropriate.

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Come now and sit with me in this beautiful Lobby and watch the world go by whilst we are having some coffee and cake (in pink, of course).

Carina