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Let's cook: Lentil salad with goat cheese



Lentils, as most of you surely know, are a vegetarian's best friend. They give you protein, they substitute meat in many dishes and they are damn delicious. For me, I like them best in chilis, soups and Indian food. For summer I needed something more light though, so I tried a lentil salad and I loved it so much that I need to share this with you.

What you'll need:


1 cucumber
1 bunch of scallions
1 red onion
5 small tomatoes or 2 big ones
1 cup of lentils (I prefer brown since they hold their shape pretty well)
1/2 goat cheese (I like goat better than sheep, but feta cheese would work just as well)
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil
salt & pepper
optional:
fresh mint, basil or cilantro


You want to cook the lentils first, seeing as they have to cool down quite a while. During that time chop up all of your vegetables and put them in a large bowl, I like small chunks, so this always takes me a good half an hour. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper and any fresh herbs, mix well and store in the fridge until the lentils are cold.
Just add the lentils, mix again and enjoy!



A little trip to Paris: Day 2

My head is a huge black hole everytime I am trying to study & memorize things.
So instead of focusing on my sociology exam, I'd rather share some more Paris pictures with you.

On our second day we started off with a long walk to Monmartre, my favourite place in Europe. We climbed approximately 4000 stairs to get to the top, but once we reached Sacre Coeur, it was all worth it. As I said before, I am not a church person at all, but this one is beautiful. Still, couldn't be bothered to wait in line to get into a church (I really do not get it. At all.).



The actual highlight of Montmartre is 'place du tertre'. Back in the day Montmartre was the center of modern art (when Picasso used to live here) and still, a lot of painters and artist come here everyday with their easles and paint right at the center of Montmartre. It's beautiful.
We decided on a nice sunny spot outside a coffee shop to have breakfast while watching the artists do their magic, it's surreal and delightful.

 

Now, I could have spend the entire day there without the feeling of wasting one second, but it was our last day, train was to leave at 6 and M. wanted to see the Eiffel tower in daylight. So we took a metro into the center and walked some more towards the tower.


And thus ended our very short, very fantastic trip to Paris. (Not before we had the best Lebanese food though. THE BEST.)

Currently


I love currently posts, not only do I love sharing things with my dear readers, they also help me reconsider my past weeks, cherish the moments that stayed with me and keep me excited for whatever I have planned next. So let's start, shall we?

Currently, I am...

excited about: my summer! I'll be back in Switzerland, staying with my dear friend Raquel, doing yet another internship at the place of my last internship. I was supposed to do one this summer anyway, because it's mandatory with university but I really wanted to get away from Germany for a little while and while I know it's not my usual 'okay, let's pack my bags, where is the next flight leaving to' routine, staying with a friend, seeing all the people who hold a very special place in my heart again, I really couldn't think of a better place to be.
And on top of that, I think it will leave me with a lot of creative time for myself, something I haven't had in the past months. I hope I can spend a lot of time driving around Switzerland with nothing but my notebook and my camera.

watching: I have been completely hooked on Pretty Little Liars. I didn't want to study and was desperately looking for a new show to watch and so I started PLL without really thinking I would like it, well, turns out I love it. In the off chance you haven't seen this and look for a nice time consuming 'must watch it all at once' show, go ahead, give it a try, it's much better than it sounds like at first.

listening to: this is a tough one because I have been listening to the new The National for 4 weeks straight not even thinking about any other music. It was all I needed, it filled my heart and warmed my soul and I sat on swings not thinking about anything just getting lost in the beauty that is 'Heavenfaced' or 'Slipped'.



But then something happened. I found a picture of Kate Nash. She was my number one role model and queen of all girl crushes a couple of years ago and I wondered why I ever stopped listening to her music so I wanted to find out what she's been up to and now I am all back into the role model & girl crush heavens. Just look at her, listen to her. Perfection.



horrified about: what is happening to the people of Palestine. I know one should not mix blogging with politics, but you know what? Fuck that. There are children dying. Women. Innocent people. Gaza has no bunkers, no anti-missile systems, the people can't leave Gaza due to the huge wall that's around it and controlled by the Israeli military. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on earth, so every bomb that is aimed at Gaza is SURE to kill civilians. Israeli missiles have already hit a hospital, a facility for children with disabilities and God knows how many apartment buildings. How is that reasonable? How can we stand by and let these things happen?

It gives me hope to think, that Palestine is not alone in their struggle, and that a lot of Jewish people fight constantly against Zionism. I just wish te UN would stop turning their heads and do something to protect the oppressed people in Gaza. But then again, no one has been protecting the Syrian people... If you have the opportunity, just go to one of the peace marchs to show solidarity.

studying: UGH. UUUGH. So much to do, so little time. In the coming 3 weeks I will have to study 24/7. On friday, I have this presentation about constructivism, a really weird, complex theory. Both fascinating and a pain in the a... I think the hard part is that we have to cut it down to 20 minutes when it actually took me about 3 days to understand the idea behind it. But yeah, glad when that is over. And as soon as it is, I will have to start studying for my sociology exam, which will hapen in 3 weeks and I haven't done anything so far. I like sociology but I hink it could be really tricky. And it's A LOT! And when that is over, I need to write 2 papers and the internship report over the summer. Fun stuff.
Still, I couldn't think of anything better to study. I am learning a lot and I love learning (I'm sure everyone knows by now).

I hope you are having a great July so far! Keep it up :)

Let's cook: pina colada cupcakes with coconut milk frosting


Just when I want to show you these pina colada cupcakes the weather gets bad. I won't lie, these are best served on a nice and hot sumer day, but they will also help bring a little summer feeling to a rainy July day.
As of last week, I am the proud owner of a brand new oven. Bliss. After 4 months with no oven at all it was about time. After the inevitable lasagna spree, cupcakes had to be made and I chose these pina colada ones merely because I can't drink actual pina coladas, the cream in it doesn't really get along with my stomach.

Now I kind of just adapted a regular cupcake recipe to make it more tropical, however, these came out perfect. They are super fluffy, moist, coconut-y. I had a hard time not eating them all at once.


(makes 9)

FIRST: line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners & preheat oven (I always forget. always)

1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
(you could also add a little desiccated coconut, but I didn't think of that until after)

--> mix and set aside

1 cup brown sugar
0.5 cup butter (or margerine)

--> mix until creamy

add:
1 egg
0.5 cup coconut milk (use a non-sweetened brand please & shake well before opening the can)
0.5 cup pineapple or any other tropical fruit juice
a little of rum aroma

--> add to the flour mixture 
--> mix until no clumps are left
--> fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 with dough and bake for 20 minutes
--> let them cool down completely before adding the frosting



this one is easy:
- put the can of coconut milk you used for the cupcakes in the fridge (1 hour should be enough)
- place 3 cups of confectioners' sugar in a bowl
- add 0.5 cup of desiccated coconut
- with a spoon, carefully get the gooey, thick coconut pulp out of the can. 2 tablespoons should suffice

--> mix well until you have the consistency of mayonnaise (you might have to add a little more coconut milk)
--> put in the fridge for 3-5 hours

The frosting will be very thick once refrigerated, almost like butter, so you best spread it with a knife on the cupcakes and store them in the fridge until served so the coconut frosting won't melt.
For extra juicy pina colada cupcakes, serve them with a slice of fresh pineapple on top, I put half a toothpick into mine so they stay in place.


Instagram flashback: June

Still very busy right now, and hardly ever on the internet these days, the weaher is just too nice to spend time inside. I can't believe it's already July! Ramadan hast started and to make it a little easier for M. I decided to try a little fasting myself. I'm drinking water though but I will try and eat only after sunset with him.

Now let's see what I've been up to in June:


We started June with a little trip to Paris! It was beautiful, we walked around and took pictures, had fantastic lebanese food and I ought 2 macarons, hoping I might like them this time, as they were authentical parisienne macarons, but no, I really do not like macarons. At all.

The weekend after we went to Switzerland. We visited a friend there and aside from having the best time with her, we had the best weather ever, so most of the time was spent in or next to the water (little waterfall first and then swimming in the Rhine!) I love this country, I really really do.

Okay, the wedding picture is actually the last day of May, but I'll still include it because it was such a special day, my second ever wedding! It was an Afghan / Persian wedding and it was beyonf beautiful ad luxurious! // Also, we loved all the fresh fruit in June, but those pomegranates? I mean they don't usually are the size of a human head, right?

And of course a lot of running, healthy snacking and studying at the public pool! My new favourite time to go on a run is right before the sun sets, the air is not as hot, the sky looks beautiful and you try to be a bit faster just so you can reach your goal before it gets dark.

I hope you had a great June as well!
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