Cooking · DIY · Kitchen · Tutorial

Winter time warmness: SOUP

With wintertime come many of my favorite things; one of them:soup. We always had soup at home and my mom thought me the most basic but best recipes. A few of my favorite soups are Zucchini soup, Chicken soup and here’s my special orange soup recipe for you to try at home. Ideal for warm and cozy home moments. It is pure health in a bowl: pumpkin and butternut squash are low calorie vegetables that are both incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, carotene and vitamins. They contain no saturated fats or cholesterol and are a rich source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of the skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good eye-sight – ever seen a rabbit with glasses :)? Those orange vegetables contain adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

Ingredients needed:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 large carrots – or more if you like it sweet
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 medium sized pumpkin – there are many varieties, colors & sizes you can alternate
  • 1 large onion
  • salt & pepper
  • about a tablespoon olive oil
  • chicken/vegetable stock/cube
  • a mixer

Instructions:

  • clean, peel, and cut the vegetables as small as you can
  • heat the olive oil in a big pot
  • add the sliced onion and let it brown
  • add the vegetables and let them brown just for a few minutes
  • add boiling water
  • add salt, pepper and the cube
  • let it boil and cook on medium heat for as long as needed until all vegetables are soft enough
  • let the pot cool down and then mix together

Tip:

make plenty so you can freeze some. i usually keep them in individual plastic pots in order to freeze smaller portions and heat them up quickly later on. you can keep them up to a year in your freezer. just write the date on it.

That’s all folks. Easy and pure health and warmth.

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Bon appetit

Antwerp

Guestblog: Marie-France Vodikulwakidi showing us ‘her’ Antwerp.

 

On a Saturday afternoon, Sien and I met up, and we took a stroll to the places I love in Antwerp.
First and foremost we stopped by Corto, a lunch bar with a homely feeling, where we had a succulent chicken pasta soup.

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Hanging out at the exotic market, in the same neighborhood, we took the opportunity to buy some scrumptious chouchous also called Caramelized Peanuts.

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To stay away from the crush of Antwerp’s main shopping area, the Meir, we’ve passed by the Stadsfeestzaal a neo-classic, very bling bling 20.500 m2 space, housing numerous shops. Always at the same spot, a recognizable group of skilled Israeli salesmen is so good at selling the magical products from the dead sea.

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To avoid the threatening weather, we hopped in the subway which took us to the main train station.

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I used to come to work by train but due to my irregular PR working hours, traveling in my own car ‘bubble’ seemed a much better option to me! This summer during the heatwave (unusual in Belgium, counting approximatively 200 raining days per year) Marilyn and I showed  the city around to a friend.  Antwerp Central station was on top of our list!  This railway cathedral  from the 19th century has been named by the american magazine Newsweek as the fourth most beautiful train station in the WORLD!

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We went to the same place with Sien to capture the hugeness of the edifice.

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As daylight faded we headed to Lombardenvest ( a posh-er shopping area) where all the christmas lights displayed reminded us that christmas is just  around the corner.

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Marie France

Personal

Growing up or growing old?

Recently i turned 29. This means i’m in the last year of my irresponsible life, where i can casually keep it immature without people judging me for it. However, i feel things are changing: i can’t go out and party anymore like i used to. Usually around 2am i’m either dead tired (or dead drunk, as the amount of alohol needed to get drunk decreased a lot). I rather stay home on a Friday night with a good movie (asked me this 5 years ago i’d be like: hell no!). Most of my girlfriends from University are married or slowly getting there. And according to my Facebook newsfeed: 2012-2013 has been a very sexual active year since half my facebook friends recently got babies. It also means i’m almost 30 and being single in this society when you are a girl + 30: that’s a whole different thing.

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So what do single girls in their almost thirties do? They get reality checks. Cause somehow whenever a girl hits that 3.0 mark it’s a bullet train ride: get a decent guy, get married, get some kids, get a house, get a .. life? Yeah, society pulled that little trick on us ages ago, and in the great evolution “from housewife to who’s wife?” this is the one thing we forgot to get rid of. And the pressure of what is generally expected, weighs on me like an elephant on a mouse. Cause, seriously, what do i want from life? Do i want the perfect husband? The perfect family? Does that even exist? In my opinion, perfect husbands died with Clark Gable (they are literally Gone with the Wind). And a perfect family? Being raised between kids with divorced parents and later ending up one myself, I simply can’t believe in perfection. It just does not exist. And even if it does, it’s not what i want. I want imperfection cause that’s what interests me. It really does. Perfection is boring. But then what do i get? Imperfect relationships? Intense acquaintances? Impossible situations? When i was only just in my twenties, impossible relations were okay. Cause when you’re young you can allow yourself to have fun and most of all: you can allow yourself to get your heart broken. But the older i get, the more i get to know myself and the more i want to stay true to the person i am becoming. I think more before i act. My voice of reason usually speaks louder than my heart or desire. I accept more and i accept less at the same time. I am less selfish and i understand that things can’t always go like i want them to, but on the other hand i protect myself more and therefor accept less bullshit. Or don’t i? I genuinely believe i am growing, and at the same time i find myself in situations where i’m pulling myself in every direction as long as i don’t have to face the biggest fear of all: What if i End up Alone. Panic Attack.

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We live in an era where everything is blurred. On one hand we all want to feel free. More and more young people start their own businesses to be free from a boss, we all want to travel the world, and a lot of us don’t want to commit to anything. This is understandable. In a generation where speed is a principle, more than a tool, we can’t commit, because every day might bring something new. A new challenge, a new project, a new job, a new person. Why should we commit to one person, when you can go on the internet and easily communicate with millions of people from all over the world. Look at our phones: we have so many different apps to chat or to publicly display our life: whatsapp, facebook, imessage, email, instagram, facetime… Even a plain old text is getting out of fashion. And sending out texts means wanting an immediate response. Time has no meaning anymore. Time seriously does not exist. Months have become minutes and days have become seconds. The last few years on the other hand, due to economic crisisses, we started to feel limited in our freedom. Suddenly we realised that stability is not such a bad thing. We started to appreciated old values again. But did that change our lifestyle? Did it slow us down? I don’t think so. I think it left us even more confused. We want to go there, but also stay here. We want to feel safe, but we need to feel challenged at the same time. We want to be happy, but we can’t be happy with what we have, we always want more.  And this is how i experience my “relationships” as well. Everything goes so fast, and before i know it i find myself in that same old awkward situation: “where do we go from here? what the hell am i doing?”. We are not together, we are not “apart”. But do we want to be “a part of” eachother?  How do we get there? Yes, hitting 29 got me thinking. A lot. And i still haven’t figured it out. Should we go back to pre-Clark Gable time? It wasn’t all perfect either back then, but at least there was some feeling of security. I don’t know actually what i want. Good thing i have another year to figure it all out.

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