Hip Hip Hurray for Hair: This season’s coziest trend

Published September 1, 2014 by fashionfoodandflirts

I’m aware that the sun is shining and that people are wearing flirty skirts and sunglasses. And yes, I know that it’s only the 1st of September… but that doesn’t stop me from getting ready for the winter with some fabulous fall fashion.

Although there are plenty of beautiful trends and styles to choose from for next winter (from French minimalist luxury to gipsy-inspired Wild West harsh winters), there seems to be one overarching trend that was used by practically every designer, no matter the theme of the collection…

HAIR.

I’m not talking about certain new hairstyle trends.

And I’m certainly not talking about Cameron Diaz’s plea to let “everything” grow wild and free.

I’m talking about all the types of “hair” that can be worn as a piece of clothing.

Whereas in the past, your only option was to wear that shiny fur that is often linked with old ladies who have a lot of money but  little taste, your hairy options nowadays are more versatile than ever. Not only do they often come in animal-friendly fake versions, you also have furs that target an entirely new type of women.

So forget about old ladies in fur coats, this winter every woman will want to have a fuzzy, warm and hairy piece of clothing hanging in her closet!

These are the different styles you can go for:

  • Classic elegance: Elie Saab shows us that traditional fur can still be drop-dead gorgeous. So embrace your inner princess and buy that (faux) fur stole!

hair elie saab

hair elie saab1

  • Classic elegance with a twist: Although Elie Saab and Armani seem to go for the same type of glamour, Armani adds a little edge to an otherwise traditional fur piece by experimenting with shapes and more frantic-looking furs.

hair armani

hair georgio armani

  • Grungy chic: who said fur and rock and roll can’t go together? Jean Paul Gaultier and Versace give the hairy look a classy yet grungy edge.

hair jean paul gaultier

hair versace

  • Go for colour: Think out of the box, ladies! Fuzzy clothes don’t always have to be in the traditional colours such as gray, black and brown, but can be in funky colours such as this petrol bleu at Marni.

hair marni

  • Cowboys and Indians: Again, you need to look at Marni’s collection for inspiration! Hairy coats, skirts and jackets with a wild wild west vibe almost would make one look forward to harsh winters! (Almost!)

hair marni1

hair marni3

In short, this season’s hairy fashion will definitely keep us warm this winter!

Rollercoaster Red Carpet: From Slutty Fashion at the VMAs To Bold Yet Classy Choices At The Emmys

Published August 26, 2014 by fashionfoodandflirts

Be still my fashion-beating heart!

When I laid my eyes upon the monstrosities worn at the VMAs last Sunday, I honestly thought the world was doomed. Seriously, I have never seen so many ugly, trashy and horrifying dresses in one night. I mean, when Nicky Minaj is wearing one of the classier looks of the evening, you just know something is not right.

vma minaj

Luckily for me and my traumatized love for fashion, the Emmy awards made up for all the fashion horror we were forced to witness at the VMAs. Not only did the stars of US television look astonishing in their fabulous gowns, many of them opted for bolder cuts, shapes and colours as well. (Without looking trashy!)

But let’s start with the negative news… the very negative news… the horrid fashion event that was  the VMAs. These past couple of years, the VMAs have turned into a fest of weird, slutty and downright “You have got to be kiddin’”-fashion. This year’s edition was no exception. The trashy looks (yes, it was trashy ladies, not sexy!) were swamping the red carpet, but all those slutty looks had exactly the opposite effect on my attention span. I was bored as f***

Seriously, even Beyoncé (yes, Queen Bey!) made me yawn in her albeit beautiful, stunning and not-at-all-trashy dress.

vma beyoncé

Every look on the red carpet that night was completely uninspiring and nothing I hadn’t seen before. Apart from Beyoncé, here are some other boring yet awkwardly slutty looks:

vma ariana

Ariana Grande. I know she is still young, but jeeeez girl, even prostitutes might save this for a special night.

 vma taylor

Is it just me, or do I detect a camel toe in Taylor Swift’s weird and far too short playsuit?

 vma kim

Bad. Worse. Worst. Kim Kardashian

vma miley

Miley Cyrus in a crop top. Again. Showing skin. Again. Wearing unflattering trousers in unflattering fabric. Again.

But praise the Lord! Luckily the Emmys demonstrated that at least not everyone in celeb-ville has lost every fashionable brain cell in their body. The actresses on the red carpet were breathtakingly gorgeous:

kerry-washington-emmys-2014-emmy-awards1

A thigh-high split, a bold orange colour and an underlying sparkling mini skirt: Kerry Washington shows everyone that the terms “daring” and “elegant” can be used in one sentence.

emmy january

Another bold cut: January Jones’ Prabal Gurung gown is pompous and elegant at the same time!

christine barenski

Christine Baranski: Zac Posen … with a cape!

emmy julia louis-dreyfus

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Carolina Herrera. Fabulous!

emmy lizzt caplan

Talking about making a major entrance! Lizzy Caplan black and white Donna Karan gown is to die for!

emmy julia

Julia Roberts looks both stylish and cool in het short crystal-embellished Elie Saab dress with long sleeves.

There were also plenty of bold colours:

emmy mindy

Mindy Kaling in Kenzo.

emmy kate walsh

And my favourite colour of the evening: the canary yellow of Kate Walsh’s dress.

So my advice to you, dear readers: Forget the VMAs ever happened and focus on the glamour of the Emmys instead! 

 

Fishy Business: Two Inventive Dishes from the Sea

Published August 24, 2014 by fashionfoodandflirts

fish

Contrary to what the first part of the above title may suggest, this post is actually a celebration of all the wonderful things that can be found under the Sea, and has nothing to do with rather suspicious or shady affairs with handsome Italian business men in Armani suits. (Sorry to disappoint you)

Although I will always attempt to eat vegetarian, there are days when I simply cannot resist the enticing call of a wonderful fish dish. (After all, I am a Pieces.)

The following dishes are true showstoppers that will make for a perfect Sunday meal with the family. They are full with bold flavours, colours and textures and will satisfy your fishy cravings in a heartbeat.

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Oriental Fish Fingers with a Thai-inspired Warm Noodle Salad

These fish fingers are without a doubt the best on the entire planet. Yes, I repeat: the best. You can also use this method to make crispy prawns, scallops, salmon and vegetarian alternatives such as tofu.

For the Fish fingers:

  • 600gr of strong white fish, cut into thick strips
  • Flour
  • 100gr desiccated coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Salt and pepper

For the sweet-and-spicy dip:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 5 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

For the warm noodle salad:

  • 300gr soba noodles, cooked according to the instructions on the package
  • 2 red chilies, finely sliced
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pak choi, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 200gr bean sprouts
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Lots of fresh coriander
  • Handful of sesame seeds
  • Juice one 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Method:

  1. Season the chunks of fish with salt and pepper and a tiny bit of chili powder. Place the flour onto a plate. Place the beaten eggs into a wide bowl and place the desiccated coconut on another plate. Take a piece of fish and dust it in the flour, next dip it in the egg (allowing any excess to drip off) and finally into the coconut. Put the fish fingers on a large plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (This is an essential step in creating the perfect fish fingers, so do not be tempted to skip it!)
  2. Meanwhile, make your dipping sauce by mixing everything together and pouring the sauce into individual serving jars.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large wok and add the pak choi, ginger, chili, garlic, and red pepper and fry 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked noodles and beans sprouts and add all the other sauces and lime juice. Stir in the sesame seeds and season to taste. Finish with lots of coriander and spring onion.
  4. Deep-fry the fish fingers for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Serve with a wedge of lime, the sweet and spicy dip and the fragrant noodles.

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Red Bream and Pesto lasagna

What makes this lasagna truly stand out is the home-made basil and almond pesto. Sure, you can just use store-bought pesto if you want, to save yourself the time and effort, but trust me: this pesto will transform an already great lasagna into an I-can’t-stop-eating-this-is-sooo-good lasagna.

Ingredients

For the basil and almond pesto:

  • 2 huge bushes of fresh basil
  • 50gr parmesan cheese
  • One clove of garlic
  • Handful of white almonds
  • Salt and pepper
  • Good quality olive oil

For the lasagna

  • Sheets of dried lasagna (no-precooking necessary)
  • 2 large courgettes, cut into 0,5cm slices
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 500ml tomato passata
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 500-600 gr red bream filet, cut into strips
  • Home-made pesto
  • 200gr mozzarella, cut into thin slices

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grill the courgette slices for a couple of minutes on each side until you get a lovely griddle effect. Set aside.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add the garlic, onion and pepper and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato passata, oregano, balsamic vinegar and harissa. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Make the pesto by blending all the ingredients together. The pesto should have a rather thick consistency and look more like a tapenade rather than a pesto.
  4. Grease individual baking dishes with butter and start assembling the lasagna. First a layer of lasagna sheets, then the courgette slices topped with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Then another layer of lasagna sheets, followed by the fish topped with a generous layer of that home-made pesto. Now another layer of lasagna sheets and another of the courgettes and tomato sauce. Finish with a final layer of lasagna sheets and spread some remaining pesto over the top. Put the mozzarella cheese on top of the lasagna and put in the oven for 30 minutes.

Baking With Booze: Campari Orange Cake

Published August 22, 2014 by fashionfoodandflirts

Although my Baking with Booze series is an experiment all on its own, it wasn’t until I was baking this Campari Orange cake that I realized how risky these desserts were. With this cake, I was truly touching in the dark. Basically, I just improvised all the way through. It could have gone horribly, horribly wrong, but for some mysterious reason (I call it “being a baking genius”) it turned out to be the most wonderful cake you will have ever tasted!

Seriously, making sure that the levels of sweet and bitter marry beautifully together was a demanding balancing act. I wanted the cake to be sweet, but not too sweet. I wanted to be able to taste that typical Campari flavour, but without it being too grimacingly  bitter.

I swear, I was so nervous when I was about to taste this cake. (I even detected some heart palpitations!)

But once I took a bite out of  this cake, all my worries evaporated.

Mark my words: this cake is ridiculously delicious.

Furthermore, it was also ridiculously easy to make.

So yes, you would be an idiot not to bake it yourself.

The One and Only Campari Orange Cake

Ingredients:

  • 125gr ground almonds
  • 40gr plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50gr caster sugar
  • 1 knob of butter (approx. 1 tbsp)
  • 50ml of olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 100ml Campari
  • 2 eggs

For the syrup:

  • 100gr caster sugar
  • 70ml Campari

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Mix together the oil, butter, eggs, Campari, orange zest and orange juice. Your mixture will look disgusting at this stage (totally normal!)
  3. Stir in the caster sugar, flour, baking powder and ground almonds.
  4. Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Just before removing the cake from the oven, make your syrup. Bring the sugar and Campari to the boil on a low heat and let it reduce until you get a lovely syrup.
  6. Once the cake has come out of the oven, drizzle the syrup over the top. You can use all the syrup or only half of it (depends on how boozy you want your cake ;) ).
  7. Let the cake cool completely before slicing it into thin (or thick) slices. The cake should be firm enough to slice, but still feel moist in the middle and taste as light as a feather when it goes into your mouth.

Plus None: Amazing Dishes Just For You and Only You

Published August 17, 2014 by fashionfoodandflirts

plus

It will probably come as no surprise that I know my way around romantic comedies and fluffy television series. And if there is anything that I have learnt from watching the Zoe Harts, Carrie Bradshaws and basically all the movie characters Katherine Heigl has ever played, is that it is one of the most awkward and embarrassing moments in your entire life to show up at an event without a so-called “plus one”. Fancy gallery openings, grand weddings and even stupid office parties: no one wants to go to these things alone.

I can’t blame them, though. Even I – as a non-fictitious person – would never want to end up at the singles’ table at my cousin’s wedding, forced to make friendly conversations with Garry, the crazy uncle with the often acute viscous coughing fits, and funny Margret, who believes that wearing corduroy pants is the prerogative of chemistry students. *

However, apart from these horrid events, there are moments when I think that not having a “plus one” is actually pretty awesome: when you are cooking.

Without a plus one, you can cook whatever you like. You can empty your entire pantry, throw in your whole spice cupboard, without having to worry about the dish being too spicy or too “all over the place”.

More importantly, without a plus one, you don’t need to share.

So yes, having a “plus one” can indeed be wonderful, comforting, loving and all that fuzzy, heartwarming jazz. But when it comes to food, I like being selfish.

 I am a greedy chef.

And I am guessing there are some greedy foodies among you – my dearest readers – too.

So how about we start our own new movement? Instead of promoting “plus one”, let us advocate “plus none” instead.

Who is with me?

*note: the people in this fragment are purely fictitious, so any resemblance to actual people is nothing but a funny coincidence.

DSCN4124

Fragrant Mango Curry

Your entire spice cupboard in one dish: Fresh, fragrant, healthy and 100% vegan

Ingredients (serves 1 greedy chef):

  • ½ mango, diced
  • 70gr white beans (cooked)
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 red chili, sliced
  • 1cm piece of fresh ginger
  • ½ red pepper, cut into thin stripes
  • Handful of bean sprouts
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • Fresh coriander
  • Fresh Thai basil
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • ¼ tsp nigella seeds
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 125ml coconut milk
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • fish sauce

 

Method:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and add all the spices, together with the shallot, red chili and ginger. Let it sauté for a couple of minutes on a low heat until all the fragrances of the spices transform your kitchen into an oriental bazar.
  2. Add the coconut milk and let it simmer for 10 minutes until the flavours have multiplied. Now toss in the red pepper, white beans and mango and let it simmer for a further 5 minutes until everything is heated through.
  3. Finally, stir through the beans sprouts, spring onions, the juice of half a lime and the fresh coriander and Thai basil. Season with a splash of fish sauce.

Moroccan-style fried eggs with sumac and spicy tomato sauce

The definition of comfort food. Delicious fried eggs seasoned with tangy sumac, served on top of a bed of steamy tomato sauce with carrots, onions and peppers. The soothing comfort of the tomato sauce and the runny egg yolks works wonders with the freshness of some mint and coriander.

DSCN4131

Ingredients (serves 1 greedy chef) :

  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of sumac
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1 carrots, finely diced
  • ½ red pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp za’atar
  • Drop of rose water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Fresh mint and coriander

Method:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in pan and add the vegetables and spices. Season with salt and pepper. Add the can of tomatoes and honey and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the sauce is fragrant. Just before serving, add a drop of rose water and stir in some chopped mint and coriander
  2. Fry the eggs in a pan and season with salt, pepper and sumac.
  3. Serve the eggs on top of the tomato sauce and finish with some extra mint and coriander.

 

Baking With Booze: My Very Own Cooking Show

Published August 13, 2014 by fashionfoodandflirts

Behold, dear readers. I’ve just started my very own cooking show.

Yes, me.

That crazy chick from Belgium.

It is a show about baking.

It is a show about booze.

It is a show about baking with booze.

Now before you start breaking out into a sweat because of the sheer marvelousness of it all, I do would like to warn you: this is anything but your regular cooking program. First of all, because it is supposed to be my quirky and foolish take on the classic cooking shows. Secondly, because my camera and editing skills are seriously below average. (Seriously below average!)

So  if you cannot stand watching such amateuristic work or just  don’t like staring at my face for more than ten minutes (I do use quite a lot of heavy Italian hand gestures), you can always simply read the recipe below.

Because this moist chocolate, lime, chili and rum cake served with a mint and lime flavoured sour cream deserves to be baked by you as well!

Ingredients:

for the chocolate cake:

  • 200gr butter
  • 200gr dark chocolate
  • 300gr caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 100ml rum, plus extra to drizzle
  • 130gr plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 30gr cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs

For the soured cream dip:

  • 3 –4 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • Zest of ½ lime
  • 200gr sour cream
  • 1 tbsp honey

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment and grease it with butter.
  2. Put the butter, chocolate, sugar, chili, rum and lime juice together in a pan and melt on a low heat. Let it cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl put together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.
  4. Pour in the warm chocolate mixture and stir until it forms one smooth consistency.
  1. Whisk in two eggs and pour the batter into the baking tin and cook for 30-40 minutes until the top of the cake is firm but the center is still gooey and soft.
  2. Meanwhile make the dip by mixing all the ingredients together.
  3. When the cake comes out of the oven, pierce the cake a couple of times and drizzle some extra rum over the top
  4. Let the cool completely before serving with a good dollop of soured cream.

The Battle of the Hemsworths: Who would you pick, Chris or Liam? (Plus the Most Important Poll of the Day!)

Published August 10, 2014 by fashionfoodandflirts

chris

A couple of nights ago, my best friend and I were re-watching the Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Why? Because it’s a great movie. Because Jennifer Lawrence is our personal role model. Because Liam Hemsworth is in it.

While we were watching that brutal scene in which Liam gets whipped by this evil dude from the Capitol, I asked my friend: Who do you actually prefer, Liam or his brother Chris?

What started as a random question swiftly turned into a fiery discussion. One that would eventually stretch over two whole days, in which not only me and my best friend enthusiastically ranted about both Hemsworth brothers, but other female friends  were pulled into the heated debate as well.

Some preferred Chris.

Others preferred Liam.

The really selfish (or should I say, smart?) preferred both of them.

To give you a good sense of what the discussion was all about, here is a list of our pros and cons for each of the boys:

Chris:

+

  • Subjectively the handsomest of the two. Friend A: “His face is like… carved by an angel using a golden chisel!”
  • His abs in Thor. Friend B: “Habba Habba!”
  • Older and hence, more mature.

-

  • His long hair. Me: “Jikes!”

Liam:

+

  • More masculine and robust facial structure. Friend C: “Makes him look like a real dude!”
  • Younger and hence, more likely to do silly stuff, like…say… go out with a Belgian girl.
  • He plays Gayle in the Hunger Games. Friend D: “Seriously, why would you ever decide to run off with a shorty like Peeta Melark, if you have a tall and handsome fella like Gale waiting for you at home?”

_

  • Miley Cyrus’ ex. Friend E: “If you can date a nutball like Miley, there is clearly something mentally wrong with you.”
  • Friend F: “Gayle is just a nagging whiner.”

 

As you can see, the cons list is not really that long, which makes making a decision even harder! Since I want to put to bed this pressing and highly important discussion once and for all, I need your help, dear readers! This is probably going to be the most important and most difficult question you have ever been asked: Who is the hottest, Chris or Liam?

Even more importantly, who would you like to date?

In order to guide this very tough decision, here are a couple of pics for you to gaze at.

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Chris Hemsworth shows off his ripped body as he chills by his hotel pool.

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liam hemsworth

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You’re welcome, by the way.

Now go on and fill in this poll:

 

 

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