Monday, November 30, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 48

1. Getting my hair cut a good bit in Sofia. I wish Vessi, my trusted stylist worked in Vienna: quick, efficient and nice. I also got a gel mani while there and was out of the door with new hair and nails a mere hour later.
2. Being back in Sofia full stop, not just because of the beautification mentioned above. I had missed the city, which is my favourite business trip destination and in the course of about 20 visits now feels a bit like a home from home.
3. Realising that I won't need to squeeze myself into overheated shops with hundreds of shoppers on the desperate hunt for Christmas presents as the few gifts I will be giving have either been purchased already or will be ordered online.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Kitchen Hack: Impress Your Guests with this Quickie

I was a) hungry bordering on hangry and b) had a leftover egg and half an avocado in the fridge that I had to use up. I remembered all the pictures on Instagram of eggs baked in half an avocado and on a whim decided to skip the "baking" part but just pop it into the microwave. It was such a success that I recreated this again for guests a few days later. If you like eggs and avocado and own a microwave, this is how you do it:

Halve a ripe avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out a bit more of the flesh to create a deeper cavity. Position your avocado in an microwave-safe container that keeps it from toppling over. I used a small china bowl, as pictured. I recommend cracking the egg open and pouring it into a small milk jug for better control as unless you use very small eggs, really big avocados or have scooped out a lot, you will have too much egg white. Carefully slide the yolk and as much egg white to not have it overspill into the cavity where the pit was. Sprinkle some freshly ground salt and pepper on top and put into the microwave. Use the highest setting and set the timer to 10 seconds. If you don't have a transparent door, check the consistency after 8 or so seconds to be on the safe side if you want your egg on the runnier side. You can control the consistency by doing this in short intervals. I wanted my egg white to be firm, but the yolk still soft. Once it was done, I also added a little bit of lemon juice to season the avocado. Delicious! You can spread this on bread or eat as is.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 47

1. Decorating my flat for Christmas (I have to admit that I was operating under the assumption that yesterday was the first Advent Sunday, ooops) and also getting a head start on the Christmas baking front.
2. Accidentally ending up at Art Mart with my Mum as the queue at Albertina was brutally long and walking out with a beautiful piece by Valentina Wecerka, an early Christmas present that already hangs in my bedroom.
3. Equally accidentally discovering (when I am hangry I am even more impatient that usually) that I could recreate the ubiquitous egg baked in avocado in less than 10 secs in the microwave.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All I Want for Christmas Is YOU

...and all those flaps that come with it!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 46

1. Seeing Vienna get into the Christmas spirit and being able to give one of my favourite team-mates whom the Lufthansa strike brought to Vienna for a few hours a whistle stop tour of the city centre.
2. Striking the right balance of being out (almost every night) and enjoying my flat.
3. I went to a Händel Oratorium, where a friend of mine was one of the soloists, and one of the two cellists turned out to be my classmate whom I had not seen for 25 years. I briefly talked to him in the break and we assured each other that we had not changed at all since we were 18 ;-) Coming from a family of musicians he was very talented and ambitious from a young age and thanks to the passionate talks about his instrument ("my cello has a soul") he gave to the class, I have had a soft spot for this cellos (and cellists) ever since.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 45

1. Sushi always makes me happy and I had it last week like pretty every week I am in Vienna. Always the same (California Sake) at the same place in the same company.
2. Getting some things done I had postponed for ages. Very gratifying.
3. Holding the first language-exchange "class" on Friday. My Russian 1:1 course at Berlitz has ended. The Firm paid for it, but it is way too expensive for me to continue out of my own budget and so I suggested to my teacher that I could give her 12-year-old son English tuition in exchange for Russian conversation. I was really happy that she agreed and also "bullied" her son to participate.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 44

1. Getting the chance to revisit Berlin after more than 10 years. Short, but sweet.
2. Beautiful autumn weather on the weekend.
3. Finally completing my semi-annual "clothes swap" operation, i.e. t-shirts and sandals go way up high in the wardrobe, boots and woollen jumpers get shifted to eye-level. It may sound like a task of minutes, but I have A LOT of shoes and jumpers. And t-shirts, and blouses, and dresses, and skirts. Thank God no bag-change is required...
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