spring

All posts tagged spring

Lounging in Lingerie: The Spring 2014 Edition

Published April 22, 2014 by The Feminist

andres sarda 1

With May just around the corner, I am probably not the only one who has already spent vast amounts of money on the hottest trends of this Spring. A Pleated skirt, a pink bag, some floral prints,… Just a couple more items to go and I’ve got all the clothes on my Spring wish list. However, now that I’ve got the skirt, the bag and the print, it’s time to think about what goes underneath.

Yes, I’m talking about some fabulously feminine lingerie. Because what’s the point of buying an entirely new spring wardrobe, when the fabric closest to your skin does not ooze the same summery elegance?

Go for soft pastel hues for the ultimate Springtime experience. (I mean, just imagine how fabulous your ass would look in some delicate cotton candy coloured panties! )

Here are a couple of my favourite sets :

Agent Provocateur: pretty pink

agent provocateur

Marie Jo: passionate pistachio

Marie_Jo_Chloe_Fleur-De-Printemps_low_res-767x1024

La Perla: lovely lace

la perla

Stella McCartney: seriously sexy

stellastella under

And my absolute favourite, Andres Sarda: fabulously flirty

andres sarda

 

So my message to you ladies: before you spend all your money on clothes, think about what goes underneath instead. You can thank me later 😉

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Viva Sweet Springtime: Two Astonishing Spring Dishes

Published April 17, 2014 by The Feminist

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On this beautiful sunny day I think it is best to shut up for once and let some poetry do the talking. I am a huge EE Cummings fan and am often left bewildered by his astonishingly beautiful absurdity. The following poem truly captures the spirit of spring and the rhythm of these sexy vegetarian dishes. It is full of life. Full of love. Full of joy.

“sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in
are winging in the blossoming)

lovers go and lovers come
awandering awondering
but any two are perfectly
alone there’s nobody else alive

(such a sky and such a sun
i never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes)

not a tree can count his leaves
each herself by opening
but shining who by thousands mean
only one amazing thing

(secretly adoring shyly
tiny winging darting floating
merry in the blossoming
always joyful selves are singing)

sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”

 

I couldn’t possibly give you a better introduction to the recipes myself.

So please, enjoy!

Feta, Pea and Mint Quiche

This wonderful quiche is a celebration of spring flavours. The sweetness of the peas dances a classic waltz with the fresh mint and together they rumba sensually with the sharpness of the feta cheese.  Perfect for a springtime brunch!

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Ingredients:

  • One sheet of short crust pastry
  • 400gr frozen peas
  • 5 tbsp freshly chopped mint
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 300gr feta cheese, cut into chunks

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Blind bake the short crust pastry in a lined pie case for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the peas in salted water until just tender. Mash the peas together with some olive oil, pepper, salt and ground cumin and stir in the chopped mint leaves.
  3. Once your pastry comes out of the oven, spread the pea “pesto” on the bottom of your pastry case. Now put the feta cheese on top in any kind of pattern you fancy.
  4. Mix the eggs with the milk and salt and pepper and pour over the filling of your quiche.
  5. Put in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Exotic White Asparagus Omelet

White asparagus are a true delicacy this time of year and are often referred to as “white gold”. Although that last part might be a bit exaggerated, I do want to stress that white asparagus are divinely delicious. Traditionally they are served with a hollandaise sauce, eggs or smoked salmon, but as you all know, I like to think outside the box and wanted to try something different with these beauties. I made an exotic omelet with them. That earthy flavour of the asparagus went wonderfully well with the coconut, chili, lime and curry in the egg batter. It may seems strange at first, but trust me when I say that this tropical version is to die for.

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Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 6-8 white asparagus, peeled and cleaned
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed, toasted
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ½ chili pepper, finely chopped
  • Zest of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut

Method:

  1. Steam the asparagus until just al dente.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs with all the other herbs and spices and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the asparagus for a minutes. Now pour in your egg batter and let the omelet fry on a medium heat until just set.
  4. Finally, sprinkle on some extra sesame seeds and finish with a good squeeze of lime juice. Delish!

 

Perfect Outfit, Perfect Day

Published April 3, 2014 by The Feminist
Perfect Outfit, Perfect Day

This is going to be a short post, dear readers. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and everyone seems to be in a state of utter delirium because of the arrival of spring.

enchanted

I am one of those people going berserk over the first beams of sun. I adore spring. I breathe spring. I am spring.

So that is why I would rather go outside and enjoy this beautiful April day instead of sitting behind my laptop writing blog posts. No offence.

But don’t worry, dear readers. I won’t leave you empty-handed. Because this post is not only a celebration of spring, it is also a celebration of the perfect spring outfit. It is feminine, funky, cool, retro, classy, elegant and quirky all rolled into one. This colourful outfit is the embodiment of a sunny perfect day, with the light blue representing the fresh breeze of air and the soft orange and coral capturing the warmth of the sun.

It is fabulous. It is spring. But first and foremost: it is YOU!

Enjoy!

Perfect Primavera: Spring In My Step, Spring In My Risotto

Published March 28, 2014 by The Feminist

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By golly, don’t you just love it when the sun shines? I mean, what’s not to love? Those sunbeams shining through branches of trees and the first spring warmth in beautiful harmony with a refreshing breeze…

Sigh. The sunny start of spring is making me very optimistic! I almost feel the urge to touch the flowers, dance in the grass and sing with the birds! (If only I could do that without people looking at me as if I were completely bonkers.)

However, to spare you all some traumatized ears, I won’t be bursting into song. Instead, I will cook something delicious; something reminiscent of this beautiful sunny day.  Sounds good, huh? 😉

This risotto primavera is what spring is all about: fresh, tasty and vibrant. It’s a classic combination of green asparagus and peas, a flavour combination that always sweeps me of my feet in all its simplicity and freshness. The creamy and unctuous texture of the rice balances so well with these tender yet crunchy veg and the basil highlights the green colour palette oh so beautifully. It’s almost like a Van Gogh painting, ready to be eaten…

Risotto with Green Asparagus, Leek, peas and Basil

Ingredients (serves 3)

  • 250gr Arborio rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • Vegetable stock
  • 9 large green asparagus
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 200gr frozen peas
  • 100gr parmesan cheese
  • Lots of fresh basil

Method:

  1. Clean the green asparagus and steam them until just al dente. Cut them into approx. 2cm chunks. Set aside.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic and onion until soft. Add the rice and let it fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Pour in the white wine and let it simmer until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid.
  4. Stir in the leeks and add a ladleful of stock. Stir frequently until the stock is fully absorbed. Continue this process, adding the stock one ladleful at a time.
  5. Once your risotto rice is almost tender, stir in the frozen peas and the al dente asparagus and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with pepper and parmesan cheese and finally stir in lots of fresh basil.

 

Pleats Please: Fashion’s Newest It-Skirt

Published February 19, 2014 by The Feminist

Once worn by grandmothers reminiscent of their youth and librarians who spend too much of their time reading Nicholas Sparks’ novels, the pleated skirt is now back on everyone’s fashion radar. Whereas the classic pleated skirt was often stiff and made out of heavy fabrics and in previous years usually worn by slutty prep school teenage girls (Remember Britney Spears in Hit Me Baby One More Time?), the new version of pleats is wavy, breezy and simply gorgeous.(Think Elizabeth Taylor Hollywood glamour!)

Although pleats can be seen on practically all garments this spring –dresses, trousers, coats!- it is the pleated skirt that is most likely to stick around for quite some time and not just become a one-season trend.

So forget about old and scruffy. This season’s pleated skirt is all about embracing your own feminine coolness. Whether you opt for soft and breezy Elegance or razor-sharp Origami, these skirts will definitely get some hearts racing!

My favourite designer-pleats were those shown by Proenza Schouler: metallic, razor-sharp and yet oh-so ladylike.

pleats proenza schouler

 

pleats proenza

Or what do you think about this very alluring Christian Dior skirt? Raf Simons clearly knows how to pair classic femininity with daring sexiness (that cut-out halter top!)

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Salvatore Ferragamo’s version of pleats: crisp and clean with an edge

pleats salvatore ferragamo

Go for black and white like Celine.

pleats celine

Or if you want something more affordable , this similar version at Zara is totally fab as well!

pleats zara blackwhite

In fact, there are quite a lot of pleated skirts in the Zara Spring Collection! (So you don’t have to completely bankrupt yourself to look insanely cool and glamourous!)

pleats zara

 

pleats zara print

No matter what style you go for and no matter the price category: pleats look pretty perfect on practically all people (Humor me for the P-overload here) 

The Power of Pink: Seeing Life through Rose-Colored Glasses

Published January 25, 2014 by The Feminist

There is no further denying it: I like a good dash of pink. Just look at my blog. You will practically drown in pink if you’re not careful. I love pink every day, all day. From the soft rosy hues to bright fuchsia colours. From Amaranth pink bedroom walls (Guilty. I’m single, i.e. no need to tone down my girly side) to lavender coffee mugs and orchid teapots.

I love every possible shade of pink, but there is one variation that can totally leave my breathless and that is powder pink. So you can imagine my excitement when practically every designer incorporated some pinky items in his spring collection! It was a dream come true! This spring we will embrace our inner lady and pay homage to all that is feminine and soft.

However, don’t mistake soft for innocent. Powder pink may embody our kind and gentile personality, but it also highlights our superhuman strength. Powder Pink is Power Pink. Forget brainless Barbie. Think Olivia Pope.

In conclusion: here is my rule number 1 for wearing pink:

Pink outside the box: it is not because you are wearing pink that you have to look like exploded cotton candy.

My two favourite spring collections were those of Elie Saab and Burberry Prorsum. Why? Because they used an exuberantly abundance of pink but without turning everything into an overtly sugary candy factory.

Elie Saab, as always, has designed some of the most amazingly gorgeous, flamboyantly feminine and graciously elegant outfits I have ever seen. This man is a true genius!

pink elie saab short

pink elie saab

Burberry Prorsum is also one of my all-time favourite go-to brands, if I want to get fashion inspired. They clearly respect the classics –no one could do a trench coat more justice than Burberry- but still manage to reinvent these classic items  and turn them into an edgy interpretation of old-school glamour.

pink burberry

pink burberry coat

pink burberry skirt

Of course we can’t all afford Elie Saab or Burberry Prorsum, so here are my favourite pink pieces from more affordable brands.

I simply adore this bold mirror embellished dress from River Island

pink river island

Mix girly pink with a butchy leather look! This light pink leather peplum jacket is definitely on my to-buy list.

pink leather

Biker chick goes ultra feminine: sounds right up my alley

Don’t be afraid to mix and match different trends at once: why not try powder pink with a Roaring twenties Feather dress?

pink 20Spink 20s back

Or combine pink with that other big spring trend: the flowy maxi skirt.

pink maxi skirt

We must not forget shoes. With these light pink pointed pumps you will be up in that beautiful corner office in no time. (Because, as you all know, good shoes are the key to a successful career)

pink pumps

And for the very wise girls among us, invest in a chic powder pink bag: Ultra Classy, Ultra You!

This Willow Tote by Mulberry is yours for “just” 2,000 pounds! What a bargain! (Do note the hint of sarcasm)

pink mulberry

Or go for a more inexpensive version from River Island:

pink bag

There are simply too many options for you to choose from, so for once it is allowed to pink before you think.

Cake Season in full Bloom: Boozy and fruity elderflower cake

Published May 25, 2013 by The Feminist

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Elderflower cake is a well-known afternoon tea treat this time of the year: It is easy to bake and the refreshing floral taste of the elderflower transports us to the most sunniest places imaginable, even if it is raining cats and dogs outside.

Most elderflower cakes are made with elderflower cordial, a non-alcoholic soft drink that is often used in cocktails. The elderflower in this amazingly fragrant cake, however, is not so innocent. ( Innocence is not really my style 😉 ) I used “RoomeR”, a wonderful artisanal liquor produced in my hometown Ghent. It gives the cake a great depth and an electrifying boozy aftertaste! Oh yes, the RoomeR turns this cake into something truly special!

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Those who would really like to bake this cake (If you don’t, you are really missing out on something extraordinary, dear readers! ), but don’t live in Belgium and hence can’t find a bottle of RoomeR, I suggest mixing equal amounts of elderflower cordial and rum. Admittedly, it won’t be exactly the same, but at least you will get that boozy kick 😉 .

The topping was made with RoomeR, elderberry jam and decorated with fresh strawberries. Since the elderflower and the elderberry come from the same plant, it feels very therapeutic to bring these two predestined ingredients back together once more.

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Boozy and fruity elderflower cake

Ingredients:

For the sponge:
• 2 eggs
• 55gr soy spread (or butter)
• 190gr caster sugar
• 160gr plain flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 50ml milk
• 110 ml RoomeR

For the topping:
• 150gr elderberry jam
• 50ml Roomer
• Fresh strawberries

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 20cm diameter loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
2. Mix together the butter, flour, sugar and baking powder until it forms a sandy consistency.
3. Mix together the eggs, milk and RoomeR in a jug and gradually pour the liquid into the crumb mixture.
4. Mix thoroughly until the batter is thick and smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
5. Put the elderberry jam and the RoomeR in a small sauce pan and heat through to create a glossy and runny spread.
6. Once the cake is removed from the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then pour over the fruity elderberry spread. Let it sit for half an hour before removing the cake from its tin.
7. Arrange some strawberries on top of the cake.