Currently … February 2014

Hi! I hope you’re all wearing a smile to combat the [still] grey weather outside and make somebody else join you in the happiness. Fingers crossed the sun will make an appearance soon.
Eleven days [!] into February already I figured it might be fun to update you a little on some of my currents and it’s

 

Current book: A bit of difference by Sefi Atta. I just started it a few days ago so can’t say much yet. My mum picked it as a birthday gift and I’m keeping my fingers crossed she made a good choice.

Sefi Atta_book

Current music: Aside from last month’s happiness inducing tune an old favourite has been making an appearance again: Vampire Weekend.

Current guilty pleasure: Viber! Actually, it’s not so much of a guilty pleasure to begin with but the time I spend on it and especially the fact that it’s usually pretty late for me already when everybody’s on … Not the best when trying to go to sleep earlier. That being said I still don’t see myself giving up on it and if you’re using it, too: Let’s chat :)!

Current nail colour: Essie’s Jam ‘n’ Jelly. A late birthday present by my mum and I’m already heads over heels for it. Though can I just rant a little over the fact that we can get only a fraction [98 the last time I checked] of the colours available in the US and Canada over here? Not fair, Germany.

Current drink: Almond milk while I still can. I mailed the company and for whichever odd reason it’s sold in the tiny countryside town my parents live but not in the city I’ll move back to.

Almond milk

Current food: All the food. Moving at the end of this week means making a more or less successful effort at using up as much of my staples as possible. Looking at all there is I have a hard time believing it was actually just me buying all of that. Are you sure? I’m suspecting some kitchen elves sneakily adding random odds and ends to my pantry. Amidst all of that, though, there have been some new disoveries.

Currently_food_February

Blueberries – Chocolate with pink pepper – apple chips – dumplings [recipe to come]

Current need: More time with my family. These past two and a half months  😯 [really??] went by way too fast and there’s so much we’d planned to do but didn’t manage to squeeze in.

Current triumph: Four of my articles getting published in the newspaper the week after I left – and all on the same day.

Current wish: The last parts of the puzzle magically making sense to me and showing me where they belong. If any of you have some spare time to help please feel free to come over.

Puzzle

Current bane of my existence: Still spending more money than I’d like to. Budgeting hasn’t gone too well mainly because I tend to forget writing any and every purchase down immediately and little things add up. That’s not to say I was giving up just yet, though. There’s always a way to change things for the better.

Current outfit: Lace! I’m into all things lace and my mum – obviously knowing this – sewed me a new dress for my birthday because I hardly ever find all I want in any store-bought dress [but still own quite a few of those as well …]. While there are a few things I would have changed I’m obsessed with this lace application on the arms. And the colour, obviously. She knows me so well.

Lace

Current indulgence: Sleeping in. Soon enough the nights of ten glorious hours of sleep – okay, on the weekend and it was an exception – will be over.

Current procrastination: With the upcoming move back into my apartment I’ve been postponing the packing for days already and likely won’t start until the eve before our departure. Do you think my suitcases will magically pack themselves if I just wait long enough?

Current blessing: Maybe I’ll answer this in a similar way every time but it’s just true: my family and blends. Believing that everything happens for a reason I don’t think it was a coincidence these past days have shown me the truly amazing people in my life again.

Current excitement: If you asked my dad it should be this …

9. Februar 002

  Never mind that my dad’s phone still runs under the name of the lady he bought it from.

Our new car with all its gimmicks like a stereo that [supposedly] recognizes you phone via Bluetooth allowing you to play music from it [first test: fail], is voice-operated [again: fail when he tried it ;)], … Long story short: every man’s dream. But I’m a woman and just want a car to get me around. Sorry I’m not sorry.

My actual excitement, though, is being a tester for Kristy’s first cookbook. While I’m not allowed to share pictures on the blog yet you might want to follow me on Twitter for some first impressions …

Current link: Bloglovin. Right now that I have some time off I’m playing catch-up on blogs a little. Still just a little because for whichever reason my to-do list seems to grow by the minute though I’m not starting work again until next week. I’m clueless about how that happens …

Happiness inducing today: Playing Bingo with my mum.

Keep in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Are you using Viber?

Tell me your current

  • a) book
  • b) needs
  • c) food
  • d) blessing

Con-fusing definitions [Kidney Bean Pot Pie with Mashed Parsnip Topping]

First things first: I’m glad many of you like the idea of a Blogger Birthday Calendar! Just so I can work on it [further, that is, as I already got started] please let me know your birth date in the comments of yesterday’s post if you’d like to be included. What’s not to like about birthday wishes from all over the [blog] world?!

Let’s talked [confusing] defintions! In case you’re really busy and just want to see the recipe you’re excused to skip to the bottom of this post right away. If, like me, you enjoy some random musings in a recipe post join me in my ponderings.

bite

While taking the first bites of this dish I wondered how I personally defined strange but good. It’s [obviously] never an inedible dish but just something I wouldn’t serve to my parents [or any other family member for that matter]. Granted, they are interested in new foods and dishes but at the same time consider oat bran [not kidding!] strange already so … there you go. Who knows what my dad would think of Indian-German fusion dishes? I’d rather not try to avoid creating memories or running gags of the “do you remember the time* when you served us that weird food?!”

Bean Bake

*Michael Jackson reference totally unintended but not unwelcome

The next definition confusion: Know that when I’ using the term ‘fusion cuisine’ I actually have no idea what the exact definition is. Usually being Miss proof-read-and-check-everything-twice when it comes to work I’m letting loose of my need to control everything on the blog. That being said my definition of fusion cuisine is met by just combining elements of different styles of cooking. Mashed potatoes [Kartoffelpüree] are typically German to me, the spices in the kidney bean part are Indian-inspired – ergo: fusing two cuisines. Simple. Wrong or right? Feel free to let me know if you’re familiar with these terms.

Fusion

Vegan Kidney Bean Pot Pie with Mashed Parsnip Topping

  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • ½ cup kidney beans (100 g)
  • ½ cup passata/tomato sauce
  • ¾ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • coconut oil for frying
  • optional: 4-5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed and quartered
  • Scant ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Garlic + onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the beans:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until translucent.
  2. sprinkle in the spices. Turn the heat down to medium and carefully toast the spices for about two minutes. Don’t walk away or you might burn them.
  3. Mix in the kidney beans and sauté for about two to three minutes.
  4. Add the passata and let simmer for five more minutes. Lightly mash some of the kidney beans to create a creamier texture.
  5. Layer the kidney bean sauce into a small casserole dish. Add the mushrooms on top if using.

For the mashed parsnips:

  1. Add parnsips and Brussels sprouts to a small pot and add just enough water to cover them. Cook until tender.
  2. Pour in almond milk and blend [I used an immersion blender] until not completely smooth but leaving parts of the Brussels sprouts whole.
  3. Season to taste with garlic and onion powder*, salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon the mashed parsnips on top of the kidney bean mixture. Smoothen out the top.
  5. Bake the covered casserole in the preheated oven [375°F] for 20-25 minutes.

*I find tastes vary hugely so my advice would be to start by adding just a sprinkle of garlic powder and 1/4 tsp of onion powder for a start. Then season to taste.

Seeing this as a spin on the classic American pot pie I noticed just now that I’m writing this post that I actually fused three cuisines. An American/German/Indian fusion dish? Should we call it a multicultural taste experience?! I’ll let Laura and Kierston – as well as you – be the judges :). I’m also linking up with Healthy Vegan Friday for the first time.

Happiness inducing today: Many wonderful happening that almost made me forget today (Friday) [or todmorrow – depening on what time you’re reading this] is my last day at the newspaper.

Have you ever fused two cuisines? Which ones and how?

Are you a fact-checker or relaxed about terms, definitions and spelling? I’m usually really finicky about it and my colleagues and family are simultaneously glad and scared when asking me to proof-read any texts they’ve written. Knowing I’ll be deeply honest and hard in my criticism.