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Egg white scramble with asparagus and prawns

I honestly don’t know which intro I can write to get you into reading this post, which is an easy, healthy protein-packed recipe. Well maybe the fact that this is an easy, healthy protein-packed recipe does interest you. Maybe if I tell you that this is a great recipe to make the most of the last asparagus of the season, which are not the best but still are very nice to mix with other ingredients? And what if I promise you that this recipe is perfect for bruch, lunch and dinner? Well, if you are intrigued, which I hope you are, scroll down.

Scrumbled egg whites with asparagus and shrimps_2

You will need (serves 2 hungry ladies):

8 egg whites
Two bunches of asparagus, chopped
200 g cooked prawns
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil

First, bring water to a boil and cook the asparagus for about 8 minutes.

In the meantime, sauté your prawns: in a large nonstick skillet heat extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves and when they start getting a golden colour, add the prawns and cook for a few minutes more.

Drain the asparagus, tap them dry with paper towel and add them to the prawns. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and cook for a couple of minutes.

Scrumbled egg whites with asparagus and shrimps_5

While the prawns and asparagus are cooking whisk the egg whites.

Finally add the egg whites to the asparagus and prawns and cook over medium heat. Here you can use diferent techniques but basically we stir, mix and stir with an spatula. Continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. And voilà!

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Isn’t it easy? Serve it over bread (and butter) for brunch, add some strawberries as pudding and you will have a nice Summery lunch or eat a plate for dinner if you want something extra light and healthy.  Make the most of your seasonal produce!

Starskin masks

A few weeks ago we confessed our recent obsession with face masks. You can read the post here. We tried a few brands for the purpose of research and the Starskin Anti-aging Silkmud Green Tea Clay Mask really stood out. In fact, we loved it so much that we inmediately bought a bunch of them, not only for us but also as a present for our friends. Since the change we saw in our skin was so impressive, we decided to widen our research and try more Starskin products. A few dead cells later, here you have the results…

We started with the Foaming peeling puffs. The yellow package contains a patented Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Carrot and Broccoli extract infused puff that, once you have added a few drops of water, creates a rich lather that claims to slough away dead skin, help reduce wrinkles and bright up skin tone.  We were a little bit afraid of this one since we both have sensitive skin but, apart from a light sting in my left cheek the first time I used it, we can guarantee this product suits sensitive skin. No discomfort. Our skin wasn’t red or irritated afterwards and we’ve used it once every week since then. However, one thing we would advise is to use it gradually: start by applying it for just a minute and a half the first time, two the minutes the second time until you get comfortable with the three minutes recommended by the brand. The puff can be used up to three times which gives you a great value for your money. And it smells like sweet lemon icre cream, which is a plus in our books.

The veredict: once you’ve rinse the light foam off you will immediately notice that the skin is softer. Immediately! Most black heads will be gone and your skin will be clearer and brighter. As we’ve said before, this product is now part of our weekly beauty routine.

Then we tried the Hydrating Bio-Cellulose face mask because it was recommended as a second phase of the peeling program. Really comforting after the first step, it has a texture between gel and lotion. Like the first Starskin face mask that we tried, this one was also quite difficult to put on but once it was on, it adapted very well to our faces and was quite comfortable.  It smelled like clean clothes and left our skin moisturised and toned.

The veredict: this face masks is good, even more when used after the peeling. However, it leaves your skin quite sticky and after an hour we washed our faces because we couln’t stand the stickiness. We won’t buy it again because of that.

Finally we tried the Brightening Bio-Cellulose face mask. We left it in the fridge for 10 minutes, as advised, and the cold feeling was quite nice on the skin. Again, it was complicated to put on (that must be house brand). This mask is formulated with naturally fermented, vitamin-rich coconut juice and it’s an after party face mask. Since our parties consist in late night MasterChef marathons, we can’t tell if it really helps with skin hangovers, but it sure left our skin brighter, dewier and kind of whiter!

The veredict: we will definitely use it again. It’s a bit sticky but not as much as the Hydrating face mask. When you are close to your 40s dewy skin is the goal, so we will keep this face mask in our “let’s pretend we are younger” cabinet. And if we ever party hard, we will use it and report back.

To sum up: the Starskin Anti-aging Silkmud Green Tea Clay Mask is the best face mask that we’ve tried so far. Buy it (you can find de direct link in our shop!). And if you have a little bit time every Sunday for a peeling, try the Starskin Foaming peeling puffs, they are great! We won’t lie to you, we are looking forward to trying the Starskin Lip Mask. If putting on a face mask makes us laugh like there’s no tomorrow, those lip masks guarantee more laughs. Oh, and they also have feet and hand masks!! I’m sensing a new order coming up…

Bibo Madrid

The moment we booked our latest holidays in Spain we made our reservation at Bibo Madrid, the new restaurant of Spanish Chef Dani García. We finally got a table at Bibo Madrid! It’s a long story: last Summer, when we heard this new concept, a mix of traditional classics and nomadic cuisine, was opening in Madrid we tried to book a table, but sadly we came back to Germany before it opened. Bad timing. Last Christmas we tried again, but couldn’t make it because it was fully booked for the whole holidays. So this time we were determined: we were going to make it! And we did!

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After all the waiting and failed attempts, Bibo Madrid did not disappoint. Quite the opposite, we were mesmerised by the incredible food, the attentive service, the fun atmosphere… and the bathrooms, graced by the sound of birds! They’ve thought about every detail to make a dinner at Bibo Madrid a delightful experience. Everything was perfect.

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We started with a cocktail, of course. The innovative menu in the form of original playing cards is full of fresh proposals to work up an appetite. We chose the Thai Cooler, sweet yet sour, refreshing and served in a gorgeous coconut glass, and for me, a non alcoholic cocktail with red berries, lime and mint. We drank both of them quicker than we should have, but they were so tasty we couldn’t help it. And while we were sipping our cocktails and getting in a real good mood, a couple of appetizers were brought to the table: homemade bread with French butter and crunchy fried pork rind. I’ve never liked fried pork rind, a traditional Spanish tapa, but we fought for the last bit of this fried pork rind. It was that good.

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Bibo Madrid_1
The waiter came to our table to take our orders but we honestly didn’t know what to do. Everything looked so tempting that we were in awe. We knew we wanted fish and seafood. Here in Germany we can’t eat it and growing up in Spain you eat plenty of fresh fish and seafood, so you learn to love it from a young age, appreciate it…. and, therefore, we miss it terribly. When we discussed our doubts with the waiter he recommended a few things that we never thought we would like, but we loved. And that’s one thing that you should do at Bibo Madrid: let the staff advise you, pay attention to what the waiters recommend because as weird as the dish may sound, you will love it. So we ended up ordering a few plates to share, that way we could try a little bit of everything.

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We started with braised artichokes with payoyo cheese and smoked wagyu ham. It was delicate and light and we loved the touch of cheese, that added a really nice creamy texture. Then we had the oxtail brioche. This was one of the wonderful recommendations of our waiter and the proof that maybe something you wouldn’t order at the beginning can become your favourite dish. And what a dish! Creamy, rich, full of that classic Spanish stew flavour. It’s tiny because it’s strong and dense, but we were tempted to order more of that insanely good brioche. Luckily we controlled ourselves, because we still had lots of food coming. And we wanted dessert.

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We continued with Dani García’s version of the traditional Andalusian fried dishes. If you have ever visited Andalusia you will know that you can have the most amazing fried dishes, mainly fish and seafood, in its restaurants, bars and beach huts.  Dani García has taken that traditional technique to another level and offers in his menu plenty of different options. We opted for the creamy ham croquettes and the crunchy Sanlúcar langoustines.

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The croquettes were very different from your average croquette. They were covered in a rich dough that made quite a contrast with the creamy interior. To be honest, this is the only dish we wouldn’t order again. It was delicious, but really, really, really fulfilling. On the contrary , the langoustines were so good  you could eat dozens of them. Wrapped in basil and a light crispy dough, they came with a sauce that probably was nectar of the gods. One of the best options of the menu, no doubt.

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And last but not least, the incredible smoked tuna tartar. This dish is a complete experience for the senses: on the one hand is absolutely beautiful and tastes amazing and, on the other hand, it smells heavenly. During our dinner we were sometimes surprised by a delicious smoked scent, and every time we would notice it we would start looking around asking: What is that? Where does it come from? Well, when the waiter brought the plate with a glass cover full of smoke and opened it in the table we were all oooohhhs and aaahhhs, that was it and we were lucky to have ordered it! Once you mix all the ingredients in the plate you get a creamy, soft, rich tuna with fresh and citric touches. The best tuna tartar we’ve ever eaten, hands down.

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And it was time for dessert, but sadly we just couldn’t order it. I blame the croquettes… well, that had been a feast so no wonder we didn’t have space for one of the amazing desserts in the menu.  I left my heart with the Nutella to dye for and the chocolate and extra virgin olive oil but we ordered a couple of herbal teas instead. That’s a reason to come back, isn’t it?

And just like that our two hours in the table came to an end and the waiter brought our check. This you should know: during the most crowded times, you can have the table just for two hours. At first we were a little bit worried, but the truth is that we weren’t rushed at all and the timing was perfect. All in all, we can’t recommend Bibo Madrid enough: we left planning our next visit (maybe for their Sunday Brunch?) and sending pictures to all our foodie friends. The restaurant is fun, it’s beautiful and the food is out of this world. The music in the background gets you in the most lively dance mood (we, grannies, almost went out dancing afterwards… almost, because we had a very early appointment the following morning and we are very responsible ladies), there is a wonderful relaxed vibe that combines perfectly with the fine dining experience, the decor is a modern twist on classic Andalusian kitsch and the service is really kind. So, next time you are in Madrid, book your table here.

Bibo Madrid, Paseo de la Castellana 52, Madrid.

Travel FOMO

Last month we spent our Easter holidays in Copenhagen. We love Copenhagen, in fact our first slow-paced weekend guide was dedicated to this delightful city. We rented an Airbnb and we ate in our favourite resturants, we took long walks in our favourite parks and we went back to our favourite pastel coloured streets. We had a fantastic time! It was our 13th visit Copenhagen.

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Fast forward one month. We are planning a few leisure days on the beach, trying to decide on the destination. Sardinia is high up in our bucket list, Santorini has been under our radar for a couple of years as well, Maldives sounds like paradise… but finally we choose to go back to Ibiza.

What can we say? We love what we love. However, there’s always that question: Should we explore new places or should we come back to the destinations we already know and love? We have to choose: we are normal people and we don’t live in a perpetual vacation. Besides, do you know how much a trip to Maldives cost? I looked it up because, judging by Instagram, everyone and her mother has already been there so I thought it had to be pretty affordable. Turns out, it isn’t. I don’t know how people do it. Are we missing some kind of secret about travelling?

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Back to our travel planning. We have to admit that deep down we suffer from travel FOMO. Even more when it comes to blogging. Inevitably, every time we travel we think about the content of the blog and we always fear that another post about Copenhagen or Seville won’t be interesting for our readers (hi, readers!!!!)  but at the same time, we want to stay true to ourselves and to our lifestyle. We have corporate jobs, we are expats, hence half our holidays involve travelling back to Spain to visit family and friends… again, we are normal people. We love blogging and while we always think about new interesting content, we don’t travel to get the perfect Instagram shot or to attract more readers. However, we are humans and everytime we see a fellow blogger checking a new country out of his or her bucket list we wonder: should we be more adventurous?

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But, let’s be honest: now that everyone seems to be living out of a suitcase and a trip to Maldives is the equivalent of a weekend getaway… who doesn’t suffer from travel FOMO? We surely do. But, have you seen a sunset in a small cove in Ibiza? Have you spent a sunny morning having a delicious breakfast in Atelier September in Copenhagen? Have you felt the joy of flying back to your country and hug your mum after a few months apart? Have you seen the impressive Dolomiti Mountains in Cortina d’Ampezzo? Then you will understand why we forget our travel FOMO and go back to our favourite places again and again!

Chocolate and mascarpone pots

This week has been particularly long. It has been one of those “just give me a pint of ice cream and a Big Bang Theory marathon every night” kind of week. But since everytime we buy our favourite ice cream we eat in in one sitting, we decided to create our own substitute for ice cream. Just to keep fitting through the doors, basically. Fear not, we are not going to give you a recipe with frozen banana / stevia / avocado cream / black beans / whatever “healthy” ingredientthere’s left in the market. These chocolate and mascarpone pots are as naughty as it gets, but we’ve tried to minimized the damage (and the guilt) by using skimmed milk, bio yogurt, dark chocolate and just one tablespoon of sugar. And no palm oil, the latest enemy of human health. Is this good for you? Well, it’s better than supermarket bought ice cream, that’s for sure. You can lick a pear if you want to stay skinny, but we need our chocolate fix no matter the muffin rolls.

Chocolate and Mascarpone pot_5

You will need:
100 ml skimmed milk
100 g dark chocolate (we used 85% cocoa dark chocolate)
5 bio chocolate yogurt
250 g mascarpone
1 tablespoon sugar

The steps are ridiculously easy: first melt the chocolate using a bain marie. In case you don’t master this easy technique, you can find this video very useful. Once the chocolate is melted, pour the skimmed milk in the same pan and mix well until you get a smooth, creamy consistency. Remove from the heat and let it cool down for a few minutes. Then pour the chocolate in your pots to create the base for this delicious dessert. Let it cool completely.

In the meantime whisk the chocolate yogurt and 125 gr mascarpone together. In a separate bowl, whisk the rest of the mascarpone (125 g) with one tablespoon sugar for just a few seconds. It’s important that the mascarpone keeps a creamy, heavy consistency.

Finally, it’s time to assemble the pots: with the help of a spoon pour your chocolate yogurt and mascarpone mix over the chocolate and then add the creamed mascarpone over the top.

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It’s messy, it’s fresh and it’s delicious. Bear in mind that it’s not overly sweet, so you might want to add more sugar. But remember, according to the news, sugar is the devil. It’s up to you…

You can serve it in a huge pot and share it like you would share a pint of ice cream or you can prepare five to six smaller pots and serve it as individual dessert. We prefer the two spoons, just one pot with a touch of Netflix serving method. But if you want to control your portions or serve it for pudding when entertaining, go for the small pots.

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The best thing about this recipe is that it admits all kinds of variations. You can change the chocolate for strawberries, banana, mango… be creative. You can use jam as base, mix a fruit yogurt with the mascarpone and then top it with the creamed mascarpone and some fresh fruit. I personally always go for chocolate, but if you want a fruitier version, the sky is the limit!

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Capsule wardrobe: one month, one piece

During the last couple of years I’ve been reading about the capsule wardrobe concept. It’s something incredibly simple but it attracted my attention from the beginning. However, my interest was not achieving the perfect wardrobe or being more conscious about what I was shopping. Not at the beginning, at least. It sounded appealing to me because everytime I looked at our walk-in closet I would get scared thinking that eventually we will move away from Germany or relocate. And the mere thought of such a big move gave me the heevie-jeebies. So, during the last year we’ve been donating lots of items: from homeware to, of course, lots of clothes. We owned too many things, everything looked untidy and I hate moves.

But in January I really thought about how I was going to approach the capsule wardrobe trend. It’s a trend, yes, but I find that it’s a very clever one. I really wanted to reduce the amount of things that I was purchasing, I wanted to own just a few edited pieces of clothing that I would really use and that resonated with my lifestyle. Of course, I wanted a better looking wardrobe as well, with more quality and less quantity.  I’m in my late 30s so by now I know that I won’t wear heels even if our best friends get married and put together an ultraglamorous wedding (that happened and I wore flat sandals because I wanted to dance all night long, run to take lots of pictures and be super comfortable. I had a blast), I know that in my line of work jeans and sweaters are office appropriate pieces of clothing and I know that if there’s no food involve, I won’t get out at night. So I only need casual, comfortable clothes with the occasional nice dress for special occasions and the basic monochrome blazer to make the jeans + sweater combo more office-like in case I have a meeting.

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And since I’d rather spend my money in boutique hotels, flight tickets and breakfasts in cute cafes, cutting down my clothing budget was the logical thing to do. So I came up with the idea of buying just one piece of clothing per month and do so only if I really needed it and the piece fitted in my new, edited wardrobe (bearing in mind my needs and lifestyle, obviously). I started by making a list of the things that I’ve always wanted to own and the brands that I really love. The list was surprisingly short.

Five months later this is all I’ve bought:

January: I have a thing with sneakers and I wear them a lot. They make almost every outfit look cooler and they are the epitome of comfortable. So, why spend money in pretty heels if I don’t wear them? I’d rather spend my money on sneakers. I’ve always wanted a pair of Adidas Gazelle and when I found this grey pair in our local Adidas outlet, in my number and 30% off, I knew I had to buy them.

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February: a black, soft, comfy turtleneck has been a basic in my wardobre for years. So when a washing machine accident left my beautiful COS black, soft, comfy turtleneck looking like a Barbie-size sweater, I decided it was about time to give in and buy what I really wanted from the beginning: a black, soft, comfy cashmere turtleneck. I made the most of the sales and bought this amazing cashmere number from The Kooples, one of my favourite brands (fortunately, it was on sale).

March: I’ve always wanted an Equipment shirt. Shirts are one of my favourite pieces of clothing and I find them very stylish paired with jeans and sneakers, with power suits or even as beach coverup. Since I had an Equipment shirt on my radar for a long time, I had been browsing the web to look for a reasonable priced one (they are quite pricey, to be honest). And one day of March I saw the perfect white and blue striped Equipment shirt in The Outnet. Score! As a little review, I have to say that the quality of the fabric is outstanding and the cut is tremendously flattering. So if you want to invest in a shirt, let it be an Equipment one.

April: on April we went to Copenhagen. That was dangerous. Copenhagen offers the best shopping in the world, I think. Everything is stylish. However, by then, my one month/one piece mindset was going strong, so no temptations. Besides, we wanted to spend all our money in incredible food (#priorities). But I did buy something in the end. A wonderful white Spring/ Summer dress. It checked all the boxes: midi, with sleeves and timeless. I believe I will use it a lot over the years. You might think that living in a cold weather country this could be a not very sensible buy. On the contrary, since I moved to Germany I own an extremely edited Summer / holiday wardrobe because I don’t feel the need to buy a thousands of cute sandals or flowy Summer dresses like I did when I was living in Spain. In my opinion, this dress looks very nice paired with boots or sneakers and a denim jacket as well, so when German Summer hits (usually a Tuesday in the middle of June), I’ll be prepared.

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May: no shopping done for the moment. However, I’ll be spending a few days in Spain at the end of the month so I might find one of the items of my shopping list, who knows. I’m looking forward to lots of meetings with friends and family, so I don’t think I’ll have time for shopping, though. No complains: Spanish food, sun and my family is all I need right now!

This wardrobe and shopping analysis has completely changed the way I shop. First, reducing my pruchases hasn’t been difficult at all. I have to admit that shopping for clothes has never been easy for me. I’m kind of amoeba shaped, so shopping usually ends up with me swearing I won’t eat a carb ever again (but heading for pizza afterwards to make me feel better) and cursing my 155 cm height. But I love fashion and I’m human and addicted to Instagram, so I thought it would be more difficult.  It turned out it only made the experience more exciting! Knowing that I have to select carefully what I purchase whenever I want to buy something, forces me to spend a fair amount of time browsing possibilities, choosing the right pairings to the clothes that I already own, making lists and… well, that’s pure fun for me. Besides, if I’m buying just one piece, I’m making sure it’s timeless, good quality and, therefore, I will wear it for a very long time. The result: my wardrobe is indeed better looking and more concious.

Another perk: following sales and new collections is easier when you already have something in mind. Browsing online shops or shopping the traditional way can be really overwhelming, at least for me, because there are too many options, brands, sales, shops… argh! But when you know exactly what you want, everything makes more sense and shopping is way easier. By the way, you can find the links to the pieces I’ve bought (or to similar ones) in our shop!

But most importantly: in case we move (and I really hope we do one day) all my clothes would fit in one tidy, edited box! Mission accomplished.

PS: I’m planning on writing an update on this extremely fascinating and important matter, probably in November. Let’s see how it goes…

The slow-paced weekend guide to Lake Como

Our slow-paced weekend guide to Lake Como is live! We’ve put together all the information you need to enjoy a fantastic weekend in the heart of Lake Como, full of great food and long, serene walks in the most beautiful gardens and promenades. If, like us, you just want to relax and eat well while travelling (granny style much?) and you’ve always wanted to visit the area, you will love it. Check the Weekend Guides section in our front page… or just click here!

Broad beans and mozzarella toast

This time of the year is the best to have colourful, bright and light dishes on the table. Going to the farmers market is pure joy and we try to make the most of the seasonal produce we find every Saturday. It’s our very own tradition: on Saturdays we go out for breakfast and then we visit the farmers market. And those simply things make us happy. Like finding the first green, fresh, sweet broad beans of the season.

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A couple of weeks ago we prepared these broad beans and mozzarella toasts for dinner, inspired by the chef Martín Berasategui. He has been a source of inspiration lately, as you would have seen in one of our latest recipes: this mushroom and Parmesan rice. We loved the result so much, that here you have our take on the recipe:

You will need (Serves 2):
150 gr fresh broad beans (the smaller, the better)
Mozzarella cheese (the amount depends on how much you love mozzarella)
2 slices of your favourite bread
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 head lettuce
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
A pinch of fresh thyme
Sea salt
Pepper

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First you will have to blanch the broad beans. It’s a very easy procedure, don’t worry. Have ready a large bowl of ice water and a plate lined with a cloth or paper towel. Then, bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the broad beans to the pot. After about 90 seconds quickly remove them from the boiling water and plunge them into the ice water bowl to stop the cooking process. When the broad beans are completely cool, remove them from the ice and drain on the towel-lined plate.

Now wash your head lettuce, strip the leaves off and tap them dry with towel paper.

Shred the mozzarella and mix it with the broad beans and the finely sliced spring onions in a bowl.

Prepare your dressing: combine the lemon juice, salt, thyme and pepper. Whisk in one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Pour over the mozzarella, broad beans and spring onions salad and mix well.

Finally, toast your bread in a griddle pan. Once they are done, lightly rub your bread a couple of times with the clove of garlic and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.

Now you just have to assemble your toasts: begin with the lettuce, then add the seasoned broad beans salad with your hands, sprinkle a little bit of pepper on top… and serve.

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Fresh, light, delicious and ready in the blink of an eye! And if you are in the other hemisphere, we have an Autumnal toast for you. Go check this mushroom and mountain cheese toast!

Spring vegetables salad

We love a good salad. It’s been years since we forgot the boring tomato and lettuce “I’m on a sad diet” kind of salad and we started incorporating lots of delicious ingredients that made salads complete meals full of nutrients and flavour. In this blog we have shared with you a few salad recipes, always seasonal, including our very favourites like this mango, avocado and chicken salad, this white beans and tuna salad or this amazing peach and chicken salad. Now that Spring is here and Summer is around the corner there are lots of great vegetables in season and that means colorful, delicious salads with juicy vinaigrettes.

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Today we bring you a recipe with one of our favourite Spring ingredients: asparagus. Lately, we’ve been having grilled asparagus for dinner every other day and while we love this simple way of eating our veggies, we wanted another alternative to enjoy them. We’ve already shared with you this wonderful asparagus and potato tart and this brunch salad, but we wanted something different. Enter this spring vegetables salad…

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You will need (serves 2):
5 or 6 small new potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 eggs
A bunch of asparagus, ends snapped off
A bunch of watercress
4 cornichons, chopped
1 tablespoon little capers
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
A few sprigs of fresh parsley, leaves picked and chopped
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijo mustard

Spring Vegetables salad_1

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/ fan 200ºC. Put the potatoes on a baking tray with a pinch of sea salt and pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Roast for 15 to 20 minutes.

In the meantime boil the eggs just for 7 minutes. Take them out of the heat, run them under cold water and once they are cool, peel and put to one side.

When the potatoes have had about 20 minutes in the oven and they start looking golden, throw in the asparagus, toss to coat in the oil and roast for a further 15 minutes.

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While the potatoes and asparagus are in the oven, prepare your vinaigrette: add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, the red vinegar and the Dijon mustard and whisk to mix. If you are preparing this salad for more than 2 people and you need more vinaigrette, just remember this proportion: two tablespoons of olive oil per one tablespoon of vinegar. You can apply this rule to all your vinaigrettes, by the way.

Now put the watercress, cornichons, capers and chopped parsley into a serving dish. Take the asparagus and potatoes out of the oven, cut the potatoes in halves and chop the asparagus. Add them into your serving dish. Finally, chop the eggs and add them to the salad. Pour your vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Serve while the potatoes and asparagus are still warm.

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We love this salad for dinner: it’s very comforting. The sweetness of the new potatoes and asparagus and the sourness of the cornichons and strong vinaigrette create the perfect contrast. It’s light but fulfilling and, even though it’s really easy to prepare, feels like a gourmet delicacy. If you are having guests and you want to impress them with a different salad, this is your recipe!

PS: This is our take on a recipe by Anna Jones. We can’t recommend her book A Modern Way to Eat enough.  Our favourite recipes by Anna Jones include this spicy muhammara, this coconut and vanilla cake, this guilt free blondies and my wife’s favourite: these salted caramel dark chocolate brownies.

Face masks

Everyone knows I have a soft spot for everything beauty but, surprisingly, it was my wife who wanted to do this post because recently she has developed an addiction to face masks. Not that I complain! I’m more than happy to try as many face masks as she wants. And since we have a long weekend ahead and there’s nothing better than a pampering session in your pajamas on a Saturday/Sunday/bank holiday night, we thought you might want to read about our face masks discoveries.

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We bought six masks, three for her and three for me,  and we’ve tried them during the last weeks (one mask each per week). They were all different because we have different skin types and therefore different skin needs. We chose three brands that we’ve never tried before: Dr. Jart+, FaceInc and Starskin. They all were inspired by Korean beauty and we found them at our local Douglas (for those who don’t live in Germany, it’s a chain similar to Sephora). We thought some of them were nice, others not so much but there was one mask that blow us away. And without further ado, here’s our experiment:

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Dr. Jart+
Both face masks had a soft texture, similar to a smooth, cottony fabric. They felt expensive although they were just 7€. The first thing that surprised us was that they were made for people with small noses and our noses, which are not particularly big, weren’t completely covered. But apart from that, they weren’t slippery and they stayed put for the 15 minutes that we had them on. Even if we laughed the whole time because who doesn’t laugh hysterically when applying a face mask? It’s absolutely silly but so much fun.

I chose the Brightening Solution face mask, which promised a brighter skin tone and youthful and radiant appearance. My skin tends to look dull, with a touch of “you haven’t seen the sun in six months, haven’t you?” touch, so a brighter and radiant appearance sounded fantastic. It had a nice minty scent, really spa-like, and the mask was soaked in a creamy solution that felt fresh and moisturizing. The result? My face looked clearer, even whiter but in a nice way. It did felt a little bit sticky afterwards so I didn’t use my night cream that evening because my skin was still covered in the solution.

She chose the Clearing Solution that promised an improved texture of the skin and fewer blemishes. This masks was definitely more liquidy and the solution felt like a gel. It was quite refreshing and her skin surprisingly absorbed all the gel! However, since the nose is a problematic area for her and the mask didn’t covered it, she felt like it could have worked better. The result: smoother skin and uniform skin tone. But the blackheads on the nose were still there afterwards.

Verdict: nice but not incredibly so. Hadn’t we tried the week after the incredibly amazing Starskin masks (there you go, a spoiler) we might have had a better verdict. Do we recommend these masks? Yes. But only as a nice extra treatment to your skin, not to achieve an impressive result. Great for the average weekend, not so much for the day before an important event. Yet again, they were just 7€ each, so you get a nice value for your money.

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Starskin
THE BOMB. These masks were the bomb. We liked them so much that in a recent layover in Amsterdam airport we literally run across the terminal to buy more Starskin face masks (they were on sale at the Duty Free!). The only drawback is that they are a nightmare to put on. We had to help each other because there were plastics that had to be peeled off, the face masks are divided in two parts, there is clay involved, the holes for your eyes are kind of downwards… It was all a bit messy but the result made all the process worth it.  Oh, and the instructions come in lots of different languages. That’s handy.

She chose the Starskin Detoxing Master Cleanser Mask. The mask was actually quite rigid and didn’t stick to the skin, so she had to lay down while she wore it. But I guess that adds a relaxing feel to the experience. Before putting on the mask she washed her face with a cleanser that came with it. That was the best part of all. She loved that cleanser and she swears that’s the cleanest she had ever felt her face. The mask smelled like green tea, in case you are picky with scents (she is). It promised a glowy, detoxified, softer skin. And it was supposed to attenuate first lines (I already have second or third lines, so that’s why this mask was for her and the antiaging one was for me). The result: the combination of the cleanser and the mask felt really detoxifying and calming and her skin looked clearly juicier.

As I mentioned before, I went for the Anti-aging Silkmud Green Tea Clay Mask. This masks clearly made a difference. It was one of those wow! moments that rarely happen when it comes to beauty products, at least for me. I needed help to put it on, but afterwards it adapted perfectly to my skin and was actually very comfortable at the beginning, though it started getting tight as the 15 minutes passed by. The brand recommends leaving the mask up to 40 minutes for a better result but I wouldn’t have tolerated it more than 20 minutes. It smelled clean and slightly sweet, very nice. It promised glowy, younger looking skin and tighten pores. I initially doubted that my pores would improve because it’s one of my biggest skin issues but when I peeled off the mask I HAD NO PORES. I swear, they were gone.  My skin was like porcelain, it was gleaming, glowing, brighter… it was unreal. I also noticed that the lines around my mouth had vanished (I do have chubby cheeks and apparently I smile a lot, so I have noticeable lines that go from the side of my nose to the corners of my mouth). The result: incredible skin.

Verdict: go try these masks. Run across an airport to find them if you have to. In fact, we have bought a ton of different Starskin masks to try and we will make a huge post about them next month. We are so looking forward to trying them! Specially my wife who has bought a bunch of them, including the anti-aging one because she was jealous of my skin when I tried it! And by the way, prices go from 10 to 15€ so they are a bargain bearing in mind the incredible results.

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FaceInc
These masks were… meh. We bought them because we absolutely love the NailsInc nail polishes and we were excited to try them but the results were a little bit disappointing. Both masks had a very chemical-ish smell and the texture was quite synthetic. However both masks hat fun designs, mine was pink with a colourful flower crown (much like a Snapchat filter) and her was green, which reminded us of The Mask (insert Cuban Pete song). Again, laughter guaranteed.

I chose the Flower Power mask. The solution, which has botanical flower extracts and vitamin E, was really liquidy but the mask adapted very well to my face. It felt cold on the skin, but it wasn’t unpleasant. The result: my skin felt moisturised and after peeling off the mask I massaged the excess of solution into my skin, which felt fresh, nice and comforting so I skipped my night routine that evening.

She chose the Instant Balance mask, which also felt quite cold on the skin. Not much to say here. The result was moderately juicy skin.

Verdict: meh. They are just 5€ each, so they are fun and nice for a pajama party or as part of any afterparty kit kind of goodie bag, but we wouldn’t recommend them if you are looking for a real improvement on your skin.

Have you read all the post? We applaud you. I can speak about beauty products for days #sorrynotsorry. If you can speak about beauty for days too and you have any face masks recommendations to share with us, please write them down in the comment section. Let’s nurture my wife’s addiction to face masks!