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Academy Awards 2014 Best Moments: Lupita Won, Jennifer Fell (Again) and … Oh Yeah…There Was Pizza

Published March 3, 2014 by The Feminist

With Ellen DeGeneres hosting the Oscars, you just knew it was going to be an extraordinary night –and boy!- I was not disappointed. From the Selfie Heard Around The World to the reappearance of Pharrell’s Hat, everything was just perfect…

… except for the fact that Leo, poor fella, had to go home empty-handed for the umpteenth time. (But I’m guessing he soon drowned his misery in lots of champagne or super models. Probably both.)

So let’s start, shall we? 😉

1)      Jennifer Lawrence fell…again.

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2)      Ellen DeGeneres Opening Monologue

A couple of hilarious sneers:

“For those of you watching around the world, it’s been a tough couple of days for us. It has been raining. We’re fine. Thank you for your prayers.”

“Possibility No. 1: ’12 Years a Slave’ wins best picture. Possibility No. 2: You’re all racists.”

3) Pharrell was Happy!

He even went off stage to shimmy with Meryl, Lupita and Amy.

4)      Best. Selfie. Ever.

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5)      There was pizza!

…and they had to pay for it like all other 99% of ordinary people on the planet

6)      Lupita Won!

Lupita won… and everyone was crying. But Cumberbatch was the prettiest cry baby of them all.

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7)      Another wonderful Cumberbatch moment: He photobombed U2 on the red carpet

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Can things get any better than this?

No they can’t.

And with that, there is nothing more you need to know.

Vegetarian Hustle

Published January 21, 2014 by The Feminist

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Did I just make a not so subtle reference to the most hyped and award-deserving movie of the moment? Whatever. Just humour me for a second here, because just like American Hustle, this post is an explosion of fun and great acting skills.

I would like you to meet the Bradley Cooper of Veggie World:

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Moroccan Aubergine and Harissa Soup with Marinated Seitan

Whereas Bradley Cooper’s character Richie DiMaso relies on his curlers to make him sexier, this soup doesn’t need any embellishments. It stands on its own.  The smooth and comforting texture of the aubergine is a match made in heaven with the exotic blend of spices. Add to that some zingy and sharp seitan croutons and you’ll understand why this soup does not require a perm to make a lasting impression.

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Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout
  • 250ml vegetable stock

For the marinated seitan:

  • 100gr seitan, cut into chunks
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ tsp harissa

Method:

  1. Put the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and toss in the seitan. Marinade for at least one hour.
  2. Fry the seitan dices until crunchy and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile make the soup. Put the aubergine under a hot grill for about 40 minutes. Turn it around every 10 minutes. Remove the aubergine from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cool, cut an opening along the aubergine and scoop out the soft flesh. Discard the skin.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauce pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the tomato puree, harissa and spices and cook for another minute before adding the stock. Simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer the scooped aubergine flesh to the soup and blitz to a smooth liquid. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Serve hot, with the crunchy seitan on top and garnish with some extra sesame seeds and spring onions, if you like.

Now on to the Amy Adams of light meals:

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Cauliflower Frittata with Feta Cheese

Just like Amy Adams’ cleavage in American Hustle, this frittata is anything but subtle. Boldly spiced cauliflower, smooth and creamy eggs and punchy feta cheese: it doesn’t take much to understand that this ambitious lunch doesn’t need a British accent to seduce every man on her path.

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Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4-6 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ½ cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Bunch of fresh parsley
  • Bunch of chives
  • 200gr feta cheese, cut into chunks
  • 9 eggs
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Blanche the potatoes and cauliflower florets until just al dente.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the spices. Toss the vegetables in the spicy oil and fry for a couple of minutes. Put the vegetables on the bottom of a round baking tin.
  4. Whisk together the eggs and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley and chives.
  5. Pour the egg batter on top of the vegetables and scatter the feta chunks on top. Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

For the grand finale we go to the Jennifer Lawrence of vegetarian patties:

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Spicy Kidney Bean Burgers with Herby Cauliflower Bulgur

In contrast to Jennifer’s character Rosalyn, I have to admit that this dish is anything but the”Picasso of passive-aggressive karate” but more of a “Dali of otherworldly extravagance”. Crunchy burgers served with refreshing homemade Tzatziki  and accompanied by fragrant bulgur with roasted cauliflower: completely bonkers but definitely Oscar-winning material!

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And with a bit of imagination the dish resembles Jennifer’s exploded hairdo.

Ingredients (serves 1)

For the burgers:

  • 200gr kidney beans
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ chili
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp coriander stalks
  • 2 cm piece of fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Sesame seeds
  • 1 egg
  • Corn flour

For the Bulgur:

  • 60gr bulgur wheat
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 2  tbsp mint
  • ½ tbsp za’atar
  • ¼ cauliflower , cut into florets

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Blitz all the ingredients for the burgers together, except for the corn flour, egg and sesame seeds. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper. Make small patties out of the bean mix and roll them in corn flour. (The patties will be very fragile so be careful) Put them on a baking tray and brush them with beaten egg and sprinkle sesame seeds over the top.
  2. Put in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and fry the cauliflower until just cooked. Stir through the za’atar.
  4. Cook the bulgur according to the instructions on the packet and stir in the cooked cauliflower and fresh herbs.
  5. Serve the patties with the bulgur and a generous serving of tzatziki

My Women of The Year

Published December 11, 2013 by The Feminist

Well, it’s that time of the year again. A time when we are all drowned in year-end lists -from best music and best movies to most famous celebrities,…- but don’t really mind because it’s part of the Christmas fun.

I think you can guess that I absolutely love those lists. It is a very relaxing way to reflect upon the past year without having to look into your own accomplishments. (that list would- unfortunately- be rather short 😉 )

The following list is a list of all the women that inspired me this year. There are no female CEOs on there, or world-changing philanthropists. There is no Hilary or Michele. (For there are plenty enough blogs covering those fantastic women already)

This is my ultimate list. It’s very subjective. It’s me.

Deal with it.

So let’s start, shall we?

1)      Jennifer Lawrence

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I have a confession to make, dear readers. Until a couple of weeks ago, I never really liked Jennifer Lawrence. People kept telling me how awesome she was, but there was just something about her that I didn’t quite get. Something seemed off. So even though I absolutely loved Silver Linings’ Playbook, I never liked her as an actress. (I think it has something to do with the name Jennifer, because now that I think about it, I also have an aversion of Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Garner)

A couple of weeks ago, however, things started to change. Do you know why, dear readers? She cut her hair. Being a short-haired woman myself-and rocking it, if I may add- I am always jumping up and down in excitement if a famous celebrity decides to go short. I was so happy Jennifer cut her hair, I decided to make up for all my previous Jennifer hatred and I googled her.

Which led to the following realization: she is the most awesome and funniest person on the planet.

And then I saw the Hunger Games (I kept putting it off, because of my Jennifer aversion) and now I am completely smitten! Jennifer Lawrence for president!

2)      Angelina Jolie

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I’ve always been an Angelina-fan for one very superficial reason: I think she is just the most beautiful woman on the planet. Later on, I started to realize that she is not only very pretty and a good actress, but also has her heart in the right place as UNICEF ambassador.

This year Angelina deserves to be on my list once more. She inspired countless women when she decided to go public about her preventative double mastectomy. Her New York Times op-ed was an honest, sincere and emotional reflection, which is something we see far too little from world famous celebrities. Although there was quite some controversy about the necessity and cost of such a procedure, I truly believe she is a brave woman. Not just for going through with the surgery but –as a famous movie star- deciding to go public with such a personal and private matter.

3)      Kerry Washington

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I have written about Kerry Washington before, so I will keep this very short. She is beautiful. (The jaw-dropping kind) She is smart. She is a damn good actress. AND SCANDAL IS THE BEST TV SERIES SINCE…. WELL… EVER!!!!

4)      Sandra Bullock

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I can keep this one really short as well. Has anyone of you seen Gravity? If you have, you know why Sandra Bullock is on this list. Her performance in Gravity was indescribable. I remember sitting in the movie theater, looking at the screen, and thinking to myself: “If she doesn’t win an Oscar for this role, the world has gone mad.”

5)      Miley Cyrus

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I know. I know. Miley Cyrus isn’t exactly someone to look up to. Between her ridiculously slutty performance at the VMAs, her God awful sense of fashion and her latest Twerking incident (She twerked on Santa Clauss the other day) it is hard to find anything positive to write about her. But then again, she is by far the most talked about and controversial artist of the year. Last year, I think 95% of all the people in Europe didn’t know who she was. (I, of course, did.) They might have heard about her but wouldn’t be able to describe her looks, let alone sing one of her songs. This all has changed. Everyone knows her. (although that has probably more to do with her tongue-sticking-out trade mark and in-your-face nudity than with her actual vocal capabilities)

Furthermore, I do like how she doesn’t give a damn about what other people think of her and that is –regardless of her behavior- something to admire.

And PS: Wrecking Ball is a great song.

6)      Lady Gaga

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Yes, she is a freak. Yes, she is completely bonkers. Yes, she wears the craziest clothes I have ever seen. And yet I absolutely adore her. In contrast to all the other female artists, Lady Gaga stands for something. She encourages people to stay true to who they are , to embrace their imperfections and to not be afraid to stand out and be different. I applaud her for that. (Ha! Get it? 😉 )

7)      Katy Perry

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The reason why I put Katy Perry on this list, is because of her song “Roar”. I truly believe this song deserves the title of “best women empowerment song of the decade”. The lyrics helped me get through difficult times and singing the song out loud still gives me an incredible rush of adrenaline.

8)      My Mom

Adding your mother to a list of celebrities is a bit cheesy, I know. Nevertheless, I honestly think she is the best woman on the planet. She is always there for me and I couldn’t have done it without her. She is the definition of a strong woman. She is better than all the female stars in this list combined. She is the true star.

(Feel free to throw up in a nearby bucket.)

Jump in that jumpsuit, Girls!

Published April 30, 2013 by The Feminist

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When most people think of Spring fashion, they immediately think of flirty dresses, cool shorts and peplum skirts. Although I absolutely adore all these cute items, I can often be a bit tired of wearing these typical Spring outfits. And I’m guessing you (as a fellow fashionista) feel the same way. So why not try an amazing jumpsuit instead? Literally everyone seems to be jumping for the jumpsuit this season: Great designers like Balmain or Jason Wu and stars like Beyonce, Jennifer Lawrence or J.LO. I especially love the Miley Cyrus-jumpsuit look (although I can’t really be objective here, since she and I have the same hairdo, so I will always think that everything she wears is spectacularly high fashion! 😉 )

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The stylish options are endless! I absolutely love jumpsuits with a sexy plunging neckline or a provocative open back. That’s what makes jumpsuits so much fun: you can show some skin, but it will never ever look slutty. On the contrary, you will be the epitome of cool and chic, a Bond-girl par excellence! Other very cool jumpsuits ideas: strapless (the Jennifer Lawrence look!), accentuating your waist with a belt ( look at the Jason Wu and Balmain collections!) or a jumpsuit with sleeves (rock it like Beyonce!)

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Jason Wu

I am normally not the kind of woman to jump (pun fully intended) to conclusions, but this time my rash conclusion is totally justified: Buy that jumpsuit, Ladies! You can thank me later 😉

 

Oscars 2013: a very subjective red carpet recap

Published February 25, 2013 by The Feminist

Before the envelops were opened last night, all eyes were on the red carpet, where the stars arrived to show off their beautiful gowns and tuxedos.

Here are my personal favourites!

Looking absolutely fabulous in an Art Deco-inspired gown by Armani Privé: Academy Award-nominee Jessica Chastain

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Naomi Watts was simply breathtaking in this futuristic metallic dress!

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I’ve told this once before – but damn! – Kerry Washington has STYLE! She looks so beautiful in this coral Miu Miu dress with embroidered bodice!

kerry oscars

Showing off her famous curves in a black velvet Alexander McQueen gown with a stunning gold embroidered neck, it’s Salma Hayek!

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Sandra Bullock looked stunning in a dramatic Elie Saab dress!

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Is there anything Halle Berry cannot pull off?? She looks amazing in this long-sleeved Armani gown, don’t you agree?

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Amy Adams rocked the red carpet in a beautiful pale blue ball gown.

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In the “meh!”- category: the Jennifers! Jennifer Aniston’s dress was boring as hell and although a lot of people thought Jennifer Lawrence looked stunning, I personally didn’t get her outfit. Something was off. I can’t really tell what exactly, there was just something really odd about the shape and fit of the dress. What do you think?

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In the category: You’re never too old to shine: Sally Fields in Valentino red and Jane Fonda in Versace yellow.

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Who were your personal favourites, fellow fashionistas? 😉

This girl has some serious Oscar Fever, y’all!

Published February 24, 2013 by The Feminist

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Tonight is the night we have all been waiting for! It’s Oscar night: by far my favourite night of the year, after Christmas Eve! (and that means something!) I love everything about it: from the red carpet and the beautiful, drop-dead gorgeous dresses to the emotional acceptance speeches. The Oscars provide the ultimate escapism, transporting me to another place, a place of glitter and glamour where it’s okay for women to go completely over the top and wear very bold, eye-catching dresses!

Sigh.

If only I could be there….

Anyway, let’s talk about who I believe should take home one of these prestigious Academy Awards:

• Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway: I saw Les Misérables last night and let me tell you something: she deserves the Oscar! Oh boy, I was literally lost for words!

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• Best Film: Django Unchained, Les Misérables or Argo: Django and Les Mis are my personal favourites, but personal preferences aside, I believe Argo should win, because Ben Affleck was surprisingly left out of the Best Director category.

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• Best Actor: They all deserve to win! (Except Bradley Cooper. P-leeeeaaaase, not Bradley Cooper!)
• Best Actress: I’m a huge fan of Jessica Chastain, but I’m afraid Jennifer Lawrence will beat her to it.

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• Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, hell yeah!! (I am hugely disappointed, however, that Leonardo Dicaprio isn’t even nominated in this category. Wasn’t he brilliant in Django? Not to mention Samuel L. Jackson, who was also ignored!)

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Who are your favourite nominees this year? Come on, you can tell me! I won’t judge. 😉