around the world, Photograpic, Places

By the Dead Sea

Dead Sea, Israel | piecefully  Dead Sea, Israel | piecefully Dead Sea, Israel | piecefully

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2014. All rights reserved.

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around the world, Photograpic, Places

Tel Aviv pt. I

it was a long time since I published something here. I suppose life caught up with me (school, work an small projects that is). anyways I thought I’d pick this up again, maybe because I’m now living abroad for a while again. so here goes. I went to Tel Aviv in june. this was before the recent events that give me the chills just thinking about. even so, it was a really nice trip and here are some of the pictures.
Beach of Tel Aviv | piecefully Beach of Tel Aviv | piecefully Beach of Tel Aviv | piecefully

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2014. All rights reserved.

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around the world, Photograpic, Places

Focus

my apologies for the lack of activity here. hard-drive crash happened. then exams happened. and then christmas grabbed my attention. still working on getting my computer in order. anyways. about a year ago i traveled around in east Asia (Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Singapore..). that’s when i met these guys, on a backstreet in Taipei – casually playing their everyday game of something i don’t know. i love their focus and concentration. a healthy reminder to cherish the moment and focus on the task at hand. easier said then done.

oh, and i’ll get another recipe up here whenever i’ve digested all that christmas food and sweets…

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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around the world, Places

James’ Kitchen

in december i went to taiwan. walked through dark and chilly streets of taipei and finally found this little gem. James served us some proper taiwanese food of which everything was delicious. we ordered heaps of dishes but what i truly remember is that incredible garlic rice you can glimpse among the dishes. if i’m not mistaken we all had two helpings (or even three…). i have to try and make it some day soon. from the outside the place looked like smallish but once inside we were proved wrong; even the japanese party besides us asked how in the world we had found the place. some good research and patience with the map i said.

Taiwanese restaurant, Taipei | piecefully

Taiwanese restaurant, Taipei | piecefully

Taiwanese restaurant, Taipei | piecefully Taiwanese restaurant, Taipei | piecefully

Taiwanese restaurant, Taipei | piecefully

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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eats, festive eat, Places, sweet eat

Taiwanese tea and coconuts

Wistaria tea house in Taipei, Taiwan. built in the 1920’s. the building became a teahouse and gained its present name in 1981 and at that time it was meeting place for political dissidents fighting for a democratic Taiwan. it’s perserved as a historic monument and open for anyone to come for a cup of wistaria tea. i went there in december 2012 and i could literary have spent hours and hours sitting in the fantastic surroundings drinking cup after cup of their fragrant tea. every tiny cup was a small treat. thankfully i managed to bring some back home.

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at Wistaria the tea is traditionally brewed in tiny tiny ceramic pots, filled to the brim with leaves. the tea is then transferred to an open pot (“ocean”) before poured into the small serving cups. you get your own pot of warm water and can then pour yourself new tea as the discussions continue… just as the taipei artists, academics and literati does and have done. if you find yourself in taipei – don’t miss out.

another tiny treat that might be closer to home, and easier to try, are these pieces of chocolate covered coconut. like bounty but better and healthier, without both dairy and gluten. you make them in the swiftest of a moment and finish them off just as fast.

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Coconut and chocolate squares

one can coconut milk (400 ml)

ca 170 g shredded coconut

about 2 tbsp coconut sugar

2 pinches of sea salt

ca 150 g dark (70%) chocolate

chill the can of coconut milk in the freezer for 30-45 min. by doing this it is easy to scoop out only the coconut cream, leaving the “water” out. then put the coconut cream in a pot on the stove together with the sugar and salt. bring to a boil and make sure all the sugar has dissolved. steer in the shredded coconut. season with sugar/salt if needed. flatten out the mixture on a tray covered with baking paper (rectangular) so that is approximately 1,5 cm thick. leave to cool in the fridge a couple of hours or over night. cut the coconut in 20 pieces and dip in melted chocolate. before putting in the fridge to cool again sprinkle some sea salt ont top and garnish with shredded coconut/coconut flakes. they keep for about a week in the fridge. but don’t worry at that point there wont be any left. the recipe is an interpretation from this girl’s. thank you for the inspiration.

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eats, Places, salad eat, summer eat, Uncategorized, vegeterian eat

Summer rolls.

yesterday was so warm. i had a vietnam flash back from the trips there last year and this year.  a culture so far away. and the wonderful kitchen. we visited a place where they made rice paper wrappers and i managed to get som nice shoots of this skillful form of art. as such, i decided to use the inspiration collected when in vietnam. with loads of thanks to this couple that helped me remember the ingredients.

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summer rolls for four (or rolls for dinner and salad for lunch)

rolls/salad

one block (ca 200 g) firm tofu

oil for frying

1 kohl rabi, cut into thin strips

1 carrot, cut into thin strips

1/3 of an iceberg lettuce, shredded

1/2 handfull coriander (cilantro) leaves

1/2 handfull thai basil leaves

deep fried shalotts (the original recipe says fried rice flour – but I couldn’t find any at the asian store close to home so this had to do to get the crispy texture)

cellophane  noodles

ca 24 sheets of vietnamese rice paper wrappers (thinner are better in my opinion)

pinch of sugar (coconut or other)

some salt

black pepper from mill

cut the tofu in 0,5 cm slices, dry with paper and pan fry on both sides at high heat. when cool cut in thinner strips. cook noodles in boiling water for 2 minutes. drain, refresh in cold water and drain again before setting aside. the next part is optional (mostly because i forgot to do this step in the heat of the moment). you either pan fry the kohl rabi and carrots, seasoning them with a little sugar, salt and pepper until wilted – or leave them all fresh. when/if cool toss with tofu lettuce and noodles.

for rolls: dip a rice paper in warm water for a second (once! if you soak it will most probably tear..) place the paper on a flat surface and put a coriander leaf and a basil leaf face down on the bottom 3rd of the paper, wait for 20 sec. then add some of the vegetable mixture (approx 1 tbsp), a bit of shalotts/roasted rice flour and fold; bottom over the filling, the sides and then roll.

for salad: toss in a bunch of herb leaves with the vegetable mixture, pour on the dipping sauce and top with the shalotts/roasted rice flour.

dipping sauce

3 tbsp fish sauce

juice from two limes

1 tsp rice vinegar

50-100 ml coconut sugar (or caster if you like)

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2-1 red chili, finely chopped

combine in a small bowl and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. serve in small individual bowls with to dip the rolls in.

i made half into rolls and served half as a cold salad for lunch the day after. (you can only eat so many rolls at once, and leaving them in the fridge overnight is not to recommend). light but filling .

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