Zucchini crust pizza

Bringing to you another much requested recipe I shared on my social media. Enjoy [I sure did]!

960B4A88-909F-429E-9E03-1D62B937068F

Ingredients

300g          zucchini

an              egg

150g          grated mozzarella

50g            grated Parmesan

5 tbsp        tomato sauce

pinch         of salt, pepper

basilica

Instructions

 First, grate and press out the zucchini. Then add some salt and let it rest for 10 minutes.

After that add the egg, 50g of mozzarella and 50g of Parmesan. ‘Roll’ out the ‘dough’ that results from the combination or to put it more realistic, you will rather end up spreading the mixture into a thin round shape directly on a baking tray.

Then bake it for 20 minutes at 220 degrees celsius.

After 20 minutes turn over the dough and then add the toppings of your choice.

Lastly, bake for another 15 minutes.

aaand you’re done! All easy and fast. Enjoy your pizza, no matter if all by yourself or together with family and friends!

yours, anna xx

Advertisements

the cinnamon bun

Welcome back to this small row of blogs I started back in April this year. After many comments and questions on my cinnamon buns, I am bringing back ‘anna’s simplicity bakery’ to reveal my bun receipt as a sort of beginning-of-autumn-celebration-gift from me to you. Enjoy the fall-ish sweetness.

Ingredients (modifiable):

for the dough…

500g                          of all purpose flour

1 package                of dry yeast

80g                            of sugar

80g                            of butter

one                            pinch of salt

250ml                       of milk

 

…and for the filling

60g                            of sugar

50g                            of butter

1 package                 of vanilla sugar

1 tbsp                        of cinnamon

 

Instructions:

First, add together all the dry ingredients for the dough, meaning the flour, yeast, sugar and salt.

Then heat the butter and milk together in a small pot until the butter is fully melted and add it to the dry ingredients while it’s still warm. Knead the mixture until it gets a thick, smooth, non-sticky texture. Leave it in the bowl for another 30 min for the yeast to unfold.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 356F and prepare the filling.

Melt the butter and combine it with both of the sugars and the cinnamon.

When thirty minutes have passed, roll out the dough and spread the filling on it. Roll the dough and cut it into thumb-thick slices. Put these slices on a baking tray and into the preheated oven. Bake them for 20-25 minutes.

Besprinkle them with some frosting or powdered sugar as soon they’re cooled if you want to.

There you go! The comfiness of fall turned into a single pastry. Note that these stay ‘good’ for several days (no eggs) and taste as if they came right out of the oven if you microwave them for a few seconds. And as usually- I dare you to try this out and share your creations with me via social media. Ideas for receipt improvements are welcome! I’m pumped for your opinions!

yours, anna xx

de Paris.

Bonjour, mes amis. Je ne sais pas si tu sais, mais j’aime français, privilégié la ville de Paris. I know, I know, I’m getting back to english now, but since I have recently been to Paris for the fifths time and it it starting to feel a tiny bit like a second home, I thought I’d tell you a bit about my love for the city d’amour and throw in some shots I took throughout my time there while I’m at it. Before we get started, if you are from Paris or France, I do not mean to offend in any way. Things as the typical clothing style surely do not mesh with everyone and I know that.

image

 

Let’s talk about the Parisian clothing style first. As you might know, I am obsessed with the simplicity and at the same time elegancy of the Parisian clothing style. I like the thought of putting on red lipstick and pulling up ones hair only to go out to pick up breakfast (though I’d probably never be brave enough to actually do that, but if it’d be part of the simple life, maybe I would…?). Beside the hair styles and make-up I can most identify with the clothes itself. There aren’t many colors when referring to a Parisian outfit. There is black and white, sometimes red in accessories, as a nail polish or lipstick, and then sometimes there is this light shade of brown and that’s it. Black and white stripes play a big role in french fashion, just as coats, turtle neck sweaters, blouses and very feminine shoes. The accessories are kept simple, just as the colors and clothes itself. There might be small earrings such as pearls and surely perfume. And while at it- Have you ever seen a Parisian woman walk around carrying a bag pack? No, you have not of course. It is common to have all important things in a small handbag. All in all the Parisian clothing style is kept very simple with little highlights, but mostly very expensive as the clothes usually is of well-known brands.

image

image

image

To get on to the food. Everyone knows Paris for their good and mostly exquisite kitchen. While there are quite many specialities, I find myself drawn to french pastries and bread. This sounds very boring indeed, but Paris is the best place to get a Baguette. A long bread, you think? Far more than that. Bakeries all around the city sell fresh Baguettes with almost anything you can imagine. Chicken, salad, turkey, tomatoes, mozzarella and so on and on, and you cannot imagine how good a lunch this makes. Every time I have yet been to Paris, I mostly ate bread, for like the whole week and it does not even get boring, I swear. Another french treat I love are croissants. I can never get enough of them. I mean, you can have them all around the world mostly, but a croissant in Paris? Even the thought makes it taste a hundred times better. Surely I have to talk about Crêpes as well. As a kid who grew up eating mostly nothing but Crêpes when- and wherever I could, eating this in Paris is a match made in heaven. Just like croissants they taste better than anywhere else and are can be ordered in what feels like a hundred variations, sweet and salty and can be bought every 200 meters. Not to forget Paris special and exquisite treat the Macaron. It is a sweet treat that comes in different colors and flavors. The price of it is pretty shockingly expensive but if you ever get to Paris just treat yourself to a few and enjoy.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

The following paragraph will refer to the experience I have made according to the people and language in Paris. The times I have been there I have made good and bad experiences alike. With my family, when I have been to Paris the first few times, people on the street weren’t willing to help to help us find a certain Metro station for example, acting as if they could not understand us in neither English nor simple French. The last two times, this had changed. I have had people just suddenly starting to talk to me, asking me if I need help or where I am from, being interested in who visits their city. Referring to the language I would definitely recommend you to have some french vocabulary at hand when going to Paris. Just look up some words or phrases you think could be helpful in advance. If you want me to I can even send you a vocab list with useful stuff I made for my class for my most recent trip to Paris. Don’t be afraid to ask!

image

Lastly I have a few tips for you on places you should visit (places I like best). The top tip from me, which I keep taking about is that if you want to see Paris from above, then you should not go up the Eiffel Tower (which is a fun thing if you go up by stairs, don’t get me wrong). In my opinion you have the best view on Paris from the Arc de Triomphe, because from there you get to see the Eiffel Tower and believe me, it is simply so beautiful. You will not regret it! A must-visit tip is for all my bookworms is Shakespeare and Company near Notre Dame. It is a heaven for all people who love books, even to those who do not. Many books have been written about it and throughout the many years it has already existed many incredible people have been there (such as Allen Ginsberg!!!). Juts give it a chance and thank me later. The area all around the bookstore in general is my favorite to be around in Paris, because it unites a lot of lovely thing. In many little streets there you can get all kinds of different foods, there a little parcs to rest with benches and small stores and great places to get souvenirs for an acceptable amount of money. So if you only have a day in Paris, spend you time all around Notre Dame and check out the view from the Arc de Triomphe and you’ll be all set! So this is a big yes to the Paris! By the way, you are free to send me question referring to a trip to Paris any time and I will try to answer them as best as I can.

image

image

image

image

La La Land, a movie discussion

…and yet another thing to welcome to the blog… movie discussions. This long-term blog series will share my thoughts on some of the movies I come by, starting with La La Land, which I have recently watched a lot and wanted to share my opinion on with you. Please note that from a certain point on, this blog will contain spoilers (which I will surely point out again when I get there) and you should not continue reading if you haven’t yet watched the film.

image

La La Land is a movie with a very new and special concept, in my opinion and can therefore not really be compared to other films hitting the theaters these days. Looking at it from a greater distance though, you are likely to enjoy this if you grew up watching Mamma Mia (like me) or, looking from an even greater distance, High School Musical, though as I said already, it’s not really comparable, but it is definitely much more like a musical, rather than a movie. So the first thing you should pull into consideration is if you think or know that this could be your cup of tea. If you can answer that with a yes, you are a step closer to a new favorite film of yours.

That brings us right to the music, the soundtrack of the film, which is one of the best I have listened to in a long time. As one of the topics that is dealt with is Jazz the score has some quite jazzy tunes, which I found myself falling in love with very quickly, as I enjoy almost anything vintage and find myself often dancing to older music, rather than what is in the charts these days. Beneath the incredible songs the sounds are very well made as well. Watching the film you will be able to realize that right in the beginning, as the camera is rolling by some cars waiting in line and the people in them listening to different kinds of music, so that it grows louder approaching them and quiter while rolling away.

Which brings us right to the camera work. The camera work is very stage like, if I can put it like that. We have spot ons and offs, just like on stage. But since the film is very much like a musical, this is more than just fitting. In case, I even think, that this was supposed to underline Mia’s role in the film. Since she is an (aspiring) actress, the movie, which she is a big part of, adopts that from her, just like it does with the Jazz music, which is Seb’s speciality as a(n) (aspiring) musician.

To get right to the actors and their acting. I found myself drawn to Ryan Gosling playing Sebastian a lot faster than Emma Stone as Mia. Mostly I think that this is, because it felt like Emma was putting a little too much effort in being Mia. To me it seemed like she was acting a little too much, being a bit too loud or quite, a little too embarrassed, a little too-much-everything. On another side I think, that this is less Emma’s doing and more the directors and I partly do understand, that this might just be part of Mia’s special character. Anyways, I enjoyed Ryan’s acting just a little bit more, but that is probably just because I could slightly relate to Seb more than I could to Mia.

I know that all this does not seem to have a proper concept to you, but it is now time to get to the story of the film. Seeing the trailer a couple of times before I watched the film, I expected a lot more story to this than there was at first sight. When I first watched it, I actually found myself almost unable to find a real one, with a beginning and an end and that whole part in the middle, but with each time I rewatch it, there seems to be more to the story it tells. It is obvious that this is a story about a young woman and a young man, with a dream, which they are struggling to reach. The movie starts with their ways crossing accidentally several times until they begin to actually sense the others presence and things go differently than expected…

(attention. please do not keep reading if you do not want to be spoilt, because in the following I will discuss further events and the ending of the film. thank you.)

image

Mia and Seb spend some very happy months together, pushing each other to conquer their dreams, until Seb accepts a job offer he thinks Mia wants him to take seriously and things go down. While Seb is starting to adjust to his new job, that is in case not his dream, Mia works to live hers. Both fail and leave each other broken and done with what they once wanted. Until one day Seb again pushed Mia to go on, to live her dream, and has success. It is only then that their ways truly part. What I feel is kind of an epilogue picks up quite a few years later, with Mia having a husband that is not Seb and a child and being a successful actress and Seb finally having made his dream of an own Jazz Club come true, which Mia discovers accidentally with her husband one night. When Sebastian spots her in the crowd, he starts playing their tune and Mia finds her self thinking of an alternate ending for both of them together, imagining what it would have been like if everything would have turned out perfectly for them.

Watching the ending for the first time I was very confused and really disappointed, to be honest. I never imagined them both not ending up with one another, but having watched it a few more times, I think this ending is so much more meaningful than the other one would have been. It shows, that unlike in some other movies, life is not perfect and does not always turn out as wanted and that sometimes, no most times actually, you have to give up things, let go of things you love to reach what you dream of. It also shows, that you cannot reach your dreams all alone. That all on your own, you often loose faith. You often give up, without properly trying. La La Land shows that it is important to keep dreaming and to support other people and their dreams, just like your own. It highlights that it takes a lot f courage to believe and to finally achieve the things you dream of, but that with a little help, it is possible.

learning to calm down

lately I have been feeling stressed out a lot and had to figure out some simple things to calm down a little and since I know that I am far from alone with this, since there’s always work to do, exams to study for, money to earn, but mostly just a lot of pressure coming from peoples surroundings, I thought I’d share some of things that have been helping me get along, for you to try out eventually…

One, taking a hot bath. I know, this might sound a bit strange, but it really does wonders for me. Mind that by hot I mean just a little over your usual bathing temperature. One where it takes you a little longer to get fully into the water, you know what I mean? It makes me calmer than anything. I feel relaxed after getting out of the tub and it works even better if you take a little nap afterwards (but only about max. twenty minutes or you will feel really tired when waking up after napping for longer, promise, i know what I’m talking about).

Two, slow classical music. I didn’t used to be into classical music at all until a few weeks back, but around that time, I had to start writing really long essays for my major literature class at home within just a few days under the week and so I had to come up with an idea how to get through that and discovered classical music. It’s lyric-less character didn’t distract me from the words I had to write and at the same time calmed me, because silence really killed me while writing them.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Three, good nights sleep. I’m a really easily-distracted sleeper when I am stressed, so what I discovered for me this past week feels like a wonder. No matter what temperature my room has, when I sleep, I am hot, which causes me to sleep pretty badly, waking up tired and exhausted. So I just put a mattress with some pillows and sheets directly by the window, opened it a little and went to sleep. I woke up feeling better than I had in ages, not at all hot and sweaty, and now it’s most likely I’m never going to sleep in my real bed ever again, huh, but whatever. I guess that’s a different story.

image

Four, reading a few pages of a classic before going to sleep. Yes, there isn’t anything that sounds more boring that that in our century, but just try it out. It’s calm and mostly descriptive writing style will soothe you and calm you down, when at the same time getting your thoughts away from everything that is personally bothering you, like emptying your mind to prevent the Dark Lord from entering it (Potter thing that just had go in here, I’m sorry).

image

Five, shut off phone at least half two hours a day for a break. With my social media (Bookstagram and Blogging) activity my phone can have a really distracting and most days even stressing effect on me. So it just helps me a lot to turn it off completely for a while each day, to either take some time to relax or to study more concentrated, without getting distracted by incoming messages. Some days it is enough for me to just put it into another room and walk away, so you don’t necessarily have to turn it off, if you don’t want to, the point is to not have it with you for a while a day.

I am hoping some of these can help you the way they help me. Don’t ever fail to message me if you want to talk. I have an open ear for all of you and I promise, I will answer. It might just take me a little time, but I will, and always remember- keep your head up. You’re getting through today and tomorrow and this week and this month and next month and the following one. You do. You can and you will, even if you might not think so right now. Take it day by day, in small bits. You are strong, I know it, and that’s why you can get through whatever you are struggling with. And even if today was exceptionally hard, or this week, or month. Don’t give up on yourself. Not today, not tomorrow and not ever. You deserve better. You deserve to be believed in. Especially by yourself. It will take time, surely, but you can learn, and before everything else, start learning that one thing. Start learning to believe in yourself.

yours, anna xx

The Blueberry Muffin

Welcome to this brand new row of blogs. I have always loved baking, since it soothes me, but I’m not that much of  a talent. Anyways, my creations do come out enjoyable and in ‘anna’s simplicity bakery’ I am going to share some of my favorites, that I’ve already been showing off around my social medias. They are all really simple to make and I hope you will end up liking them as much as I do. Here comes the first receipt… The Blueberry Muffin.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Ingredients (modifiable):

150ml cup                          of plain Greek yogurt

250ml                                  of plain milk

150ml                                  of olive oil

500ml cup                          of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons                       of baking powder

250ml cup                         of sugar

some                                   grated vanilla

one                                      large egg

one cup                             of blueberries

 

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Then add together all the ‘wet’ ingredients, meaning yogurt, milk, olive-oil and the egg.

After that, add the dry ones one by one. First the flour, then baking powder, sugar and vanilla.

For the dough, add the blueberries at last, folding them in carefully.

Now grab a muffin tray and lay it out with muffin forms, add in the batter until almost full.

Bake for five minutes at 425F and then go down with the heat to 375F and leave in the oven for another 20 minutes.

Take them out & leave it in the tray for some more minutes to cool a bit, then get ’em out and enjoy them while they’re still warm.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

…and there you have them already. Beautiful and easily made little muffins that usually come in twelve when I make them and can be eaten over several days without getting bad, or just as well eating ’em all just freshly out of the oven. Made another tray just this morning and can’t wait to get back to them tomorrow morning for breakfast (they are an ideal breakfast too, by the way). Hope you enjoyed this first receipt in a row of more coming in the future. Make sure to tell me if you try this out, spam me with shots of them over on my other social medias and talk to me about your new ideas for this little receipt of mine. I’m pumped for your opinions.

yours, anna xx

editing my photography

Many people recently requested me to explain how I edit my photos on Instagram, so I decided to explain with some supportive photos over here and give you some main tips on photography as well.

Let’s jump right in. To begin with the actual photo… I take my photos with the Nikon D3100 from my parents. Sometimes, but really rarely, with my phone (an iPhone 5c). The only app I use for editing my photos is VSCO. I just picked my recent shot from Instagram to show you the progress of editing…

Here is just the plain unedited photo to begin with…

image

I’m currently using the A6 filter with a strength of about 8.4, so that you can see an affect but it doesn’t look too unnatural, edited.

image

The next things I do almost always depend on the photo itself. But with mostly every photo I increase the temperature a little bit, about from +0 and +1.1.

image

The next things I do, as I told you, depend on the photo itself. With this one I increased the contrast a bit to highlight the beautiful contrast between sunshine and shadows.

image

Another thing I did with this was taking the exposure a little upwards.

image

And voilà. Here we have the finished post. Simple, wasn’t it? and it still looks really natural, but manages to support my brownish, black and white theme, which I like a lot.

image

The last thing to give you on your way for editing your photos are some main tips on photography I can give you itself. Because, well, you can only start editing you photos when you have some good quality photos at hand. Some most important things to achieve that are following…

The most important thing is the lightning. Always take photos in natural lightning to prevent from getting grainy, low-quality photos. We all know the scene. You take nice photos, you really like and such and then the quality isn’t really a bummer, which makes you feel really miserable and we don’t want that, do we?

The next tip is referring to lighting as well. With time I started to accept that some days, or better most days, there’s not that perfect ‘not too bright nor dark’ lightning. It is something like the photographers dream, that perfect lightning. So start working with what you have. It’s super sunny? Strange shadows seem to ruin your photos? So what? Make an achievement out of them. Like ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’. Like I did with this photo. The shadows and sunshine give the photo a pretty special atmosphere, in my opinion. You can also experiment with various objects and the different shadows they throw. It can create incredibly unique shots.

The last two tips I have sound pretty simple, but might actually be quite hard to achieve. Be yourself, but also keep trying new things, experimenting. Try to find out what message, what story, you want to send out through your photography. Get out there. Watch the work of others. Look at photos on Pinterest similar to the kind of photos you want to take. Try to re-create the ones you like and when you get bored with that, start thinking of new things. Go out again. Keep your eyes open and use everything around you to get inspired. Photography is a lot about feeling and seeing, what isn’t visible at first sight. Remember that and then wander new places, get to know new people and almost take your camera, if possible. That’s how you get inspired, how you get the photos and then you edit them, always staying true to yourself.

yours, anna xx