Short city trips are what most of our travels looks like. And we love it. We had a chance to visit many places over the last five years thanks to many different factors. One of which is definitely a central position of Brussels. It’s close to almost anywhere in Europe. In about two hour flight we can get to Oslo or Porto, Edinburgh or Rome, Madrid or Stockholm. And by train we have still plenty of options – Paris, London, Amsterdam, Cologne, Bremen, Lille etc. We visited many of these cities already and we still have a long list of places we would like to visit.
On our most recent city trip we went to Copenhagen, which was the third Scandinavian capital we visited. We’ve been to Oslo few summers ago and we spent a weekend in Stockholm little over a year ago (you can read about it here).
This last few weeks have been pretty busy. With friends visiting us, us visiting Copenhagen, work deadlines, preparing for moving, city trips and Christmas planning I haven’t been cooking much. It was all about salads, soups, sandwiches and eating out lately.
I love to cook and love to eat the meals we prepare at home. So I really look forward to calmer weekends after New Year’s when we will be in our new flat. The flat with an oven so I’ll finally be able to bake. I have a long list of cakes and cookies to try and cannot wait.
Even on busy schedules I try to cook at least when we are at home on weekend. I almost never cook anything labor intensive, but sometimes even the basic meals can feel fancy.
That’s the case of this Italian style risotto. This recipe is much easier than traditional recipes for Italian risotto. It’s not necessary to constantly stir the rice. It has ton of flavor, is creamy and delicious.
First I found The Art of Simple blog and shortly after that I started to listen to The Simple Show podcast. When I found out Tsh Oxenreider, the author of the blog and podcast, also published books I had to read them. I ordered Notes From a Blue Bike book, convinced I’m going to love it as much as I love Tsh’s blog and podcast. And I was right!
Tsh’s book is full of stories from everyday life, vivid pictures of bits and pieces of life in different places of the world, and thought provoking questions. It’s one of those books you can read in one sitting, because the stories flow so naturally and easily. At the same time, what you read will make you stop and think. What are your life goals? What it means for you to live intentionally? How you can gradually change your life to correspond to your goals and believes.
When we first moved to Brussels almost everyone around us was skeptical. They all had their own opinion about the city and those were not optimistic. It didn’t influence us and soon after we settled and started to explore the city we found many things one can love about Brussels. One of them are definitely parks.
You can find a big park in each municipality along with some smaller green areas. If we walk from our apartment for about 30 minutes in any direction, we will arrive to a park. In nice weather the parks are packed with people. In not so nice weather (which is unfortunately more common in Brussels), you’ll still meet lots of people walking, running or biking around.
When I was a child there used to be children’s flea market in our neighborhood. I don’t know who organized it, but once a year a flea market poster appeared on the front door of our apartment building. The flea market took place on a big playground right in front of a building where we lived. We saw it from our balcony, so even if we would forgot it was happening we never actually missed it. Every kid stretched a blanket and displayed all kinds of things for sell – books, toys, hamsters. I think we never actually sold anything, but I’m sure we bought few things at the market.
To this day I’m attracted to all kinds of markets. Here in Brussels you can find a market quite easily. It’s nothing unusually to see a street blocked for cars with people sitting in front of their houses with things for sell in front of them. I never bought anything but I’m always curious to see what people sell and what other people find still useful to buy. You would be surprised by some things you can see on display or by the state in which the things for sale are.
I cooked with coconut milk for the first time about five years ago and I think it was some version of a coconut curry. Since then I tried a few curry recipes and at the end I settle on this vegan version. To this day this coconut curry is our most frequent use of the can of coconut milk.
I make my life easier with using store bought red curry paste but I usually cook chickpeas from scratch. I also found a shop where they sell a good quality canned coconut milk. And by good quality I mean a coconut milk which contains only coconut, water and citric acid. Some other brands of coconut milks (which are more widely available in stores) contain different kinds of thickeners, emulsifies and stabilizers.
Subtitle of The War of Art book seems very promising: “Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles”. Who wouldn’t want to win, right?
What is the book about
The War of Art is divided into three books. In the first the enemy we fight against is defined – the Resistance. Pressfield describes all its forms, symptoms and ways it attacks. How it fight us, what it uses against us, how we believe it and how we let it trick us, and beat us. The Resistance is personified here, it has its own will, goals and ways.