Aug 25, 2013

Sunday's recipe: homemade pizza in a brick oven

Ah pizza, I can't even describe how much I love it! The base remains the same while you can put anything your heart desires on top of it, savory, sweet, it doesn't really matter. Most people need at least tomato sauce and cheese on top of theirs to refer to them as pizzas, so I often make sure to have the basics. 

I shared with you my favorite pizza dough recipe before. It is exactly the one I used for our pizza evening during our holidays in Tuscany. The one thing different to home? The brick oven, which brings the art of pizza making to perfection.

Ingredients for the pizza dough:
(makes for six), click here for German version 

500 ml water, lukewarm 
925 gr flour 
40 gr yeast 
20 gr salt, I often just eye-ball it 
25 ml olive oil 
1 pinch of granulated sugar 

How to: 

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and stir in the olive oil, sugar and salt. Next add the flour step by step, mixing it with a spoon until it's shaping up in a ball, then knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it's smooth. Let it rise for about half an hour in a warm place, afterwards knead again. Now put the ball of dough in a bowl and cover with plastic, let it rest in the cold at least a couple of hours, preferably over night up until two days. After having done the short version and the 2 day version I can honestly say that the pizza bakes up much nicer if you let it rest in the fridge for two days, but overnight works just as well. I roll out my pizzas quite thin because I prefer it that way. When I'm using my oven at home, I pre-heat it on the highest temperature possible and bake it for a couple of minutes, just make sure to keep an eye on it. 

To me, this is a very reliable recipe which I use quite often, as you can keep the remaining dough in the fridge or freezer. Why not make a foccaccia or calzone with the rest? This dough is never wasted in my home.

Want to feel a bit longer like you're in Italy? Have a look at these two posts from 2011, amongst my all time favorites on the blog: 


Aug 23, 2013

Sun protection for face, hair and body

Just chilling on a hammock, fully protected with my beauty essentials I put on before I went out to soak up some sunshine in Italy. 

This summer I discovered wonderful sunscreens for the face, one being Josie Maran's Argan Oil Face Moisturizer SPF 40+ and the other one La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dry Touch Gel-Cream with SPF 50. Both of them are quite different yet my skin loves both depending on what kind of state it's in: for when it feels a bit dry I use Josie Maran's which has a light texture and very sweet, artificial smell (which I don't care for but my sister loves it - each his/her own I guess). One downside is that in my opinion it moisturizes better than it protects from the aggressive sun. When my face is acting up and having a rather oily day, and especially when I want full sunblock, I use the one from La Roche-Posay. Contrary to what the name gel-cream suggests, it's quite thick and smells very chemical, but it can be applied beautifully with a matte satin finish and - surprisingly - no white mask effect.

Don't forget to protect your hair, too! I love this spray from Wella, which is made for fine hair and works really well for me. I spritz this on my hair occasionally and only smell the clean smell it leaves, but to the touch the hair remains the same, just the way I like it.

Of course there's also something for the body: when I'm sightseeing I use Piz Buin's cream version because it's less slippery than the oil spray. Both of them effectively protected me from getting all red and sunburnt.

Of course no tanning session is complete without books. I read 3-4 books during my 1 week holiday and one of them was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, an easy read but emotionally very captivating, I liked it a lot.

Oh and by the way, there will be a giveaway on our Facebook Fan Page tomorrow for Swiss readers (sorry guys, next time we make an international one).

Have a great start to the weekend!

Aug 21, 2013

The golden hour in San Gimignano

We arrived in San Gimignano earlier this month at the most perfect of times: the golden hour. That last hour of sunlight made the medieval hill town in the province of Siena - with its ancient buildings and many towers - look like dipped in gold. It was still very hot and even despite the hustle and bustle of all the tourists I noticed the air was filled with that delicious smell of Tuscany, which I can hardly put into words. We quickly dropped our bags at our hotel on the Piazza della cisterna, changed and were out in no time. Sipping a cold local white wine on the piazza and thrilled with the anticipation of things to come, I completely forgot the long car journey to get there... 

In this post about San Gimignano you'll see some details of the outfit I wore on one of our days there.  Be prepared tp get carried away from your everyday life to the dolce vita. And if that wasn't enough, you might like this post from Tuscany when I was last there two years ago: Biking the Tuscan hills

Top: Zara
Shorts: H&M

Sandals: Zara

Hat: my boyfriend's, bought from local shop in San Gimignano

Bracelet: bought during my trip to India in 2012


Aug 18, 2013

Sunday's recipe: peach galette

Perfectly ripe, sweet yellow peaches... probably my favorite summer fruit!
Up until two years ago, I just ate them on their own or thrown into greek yogurt and topped with crunchy granola. But then one day something big happened: I discovered a savory side to peaches (click here for the peach pizza recipe)! I loved the combinaton of the balsamic glaze and the sweetness of the peaches so much that it has been baked many times more. As much as I love it though, I get that it's not for everyone. So when I recently was asked to bring something over to a get-together, I opted for something a bit less exotic but every bit just as delicious: a rustic peach galette. 

Since there is this very detailed and well written recipe which worked for me, I'll directly link you to it. If you prepare the pate brisée (butter crust) a night before, it's made in absolutely no time and tastes amazing even if you can't serve it warm. Hope some of you try this recipe before the peach season is over. Let me know if you do so, I love hearing from you or being tagged on Instragram (@nesdem).

Have great Sunday!

Deep exfoliation

I have written before about my love for deep exfoliation and it is a once/twice a week neccessity for me, be it a homemade scrub or this wonderfully and strangely gourmet looking one from Caudalie I bought recently to slough off everything and be ready for some tanning action in Italy (not that we had a beach vacation but anyway), it's always a good idea to do so before you're exposed to the sun.

Developed at their Vinothérapie Spa in Bordeaux/France, Caudalie's signature grape-rich scrub is blended with exfoliating grape-seeds, rich honey, softening brown sugar and essential oils. Sounds very delicious to me and I love hopping into the shower and come out with skin so delightfully smooth and nourished. In my book, Sunday's are made for healing the soul, be it through cooking and baking deliciousness (see the "Kitchen Heals Soul" tag) or pampering yourself in the bathroom. What are you waiting for?


Aug 4, 2013

Sunday's Recipe: basil & lemon syrup

What do you do when you have basil in abundance, but have already eaten too many caprese salads or pasta with homemade pesto genovese? I, for one, go on Pinterest and have a look at the various recipes, usually pick something that sounds very new and interesting to me. In this case, it was a lemon syrup with a hint of basil. It was perfect because I needed homemade hostess gifts for the upcoming days anyways.

Maybe you remember that I've already posted once a recipe for Turkish mint lemonade? You can check that one out if you're more into mint than basil. The first recipe is tried and tested, this one here I just had a little sip of it since as you can see on the last pictures, I bottled them up as gifts. But I imagine it's just as delicious as the recipe with mint.  

(makes approx. 0.75 l.)
A bunch of fresh basil leaves 
juice of 10 lemons
600 gr of granulated sugar 
Grated rind of half of the (organic) lemons 

 How to:

 In a small pot, combine the lemon juice, sugar and grated rind and bring slowly to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves and let bubble for 5 minutes. Take the pot away from the stove and add the basil leaves and let them soak for about 3 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and store in a glass bottle in the fridge. This way you can keep it for several days and dilute it whit water, add to prosecco or whatever your heart desires.


Workday outfits

It's been a long time that I haven't posted any elevator office outfits on the blog but kept sharing them on instagram (@nesdem). One of the reasons is that I don't quite like this new elevator or the actual fact that I'm not as free as I used to be regarding my outfit choices. None of these are very stylish or something new but basically these kind of outfits with the occasional pop of color keep things from getting too boring for me. Here you can have a look at the previous elevator outfit posts.

Especially in summer I'm having a bit of a hard time to find suitable garments in my wardrobe because they're usually too short for the office. I thought some of you might be working in an environment with even stricter clothing policy; how do you manage to dress appropriately without compromising your style and taste, and even more importantly, without getting bored?



Aug 1, 2013

Black and Pastel

Instagram moments @miji_b
left: can't live without black ;) , right: cutest nailpolish ever - icecream nude nailpolish from ETUDE House

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