28 November 2011

And when I opened my eyes.. Everything was orange!

You know how sometimes during the Fall you can go for a walk, and walk through perfectly normal streets when all of a sudden -BAM- you're in a leafy orange wonderland?

Oh, I love that. I'm a big fan of the colder seasons and although I do get giddy as a small child whenever it snows, Autumn must be my absolute favourite. My parents used to take me along on long walks through the forest when I was younger and I was really looking forward to going on such a trip, so I rang them up. The day we planned on going was one of those misty, unbelievably cold days we had last week, but we decided to go for it anyway. I'm so glad we did. The fog was thick as pea soup when we left the house, but quickly made way for sunshine and some actual warmth.

Naturally, I couldn't go without my camera, so I made some pictures. Hope you like them!

This right here is my main problem whenever I go into the woods. I come across paths like this one and just have to go and find out where it leads. I can get lost so easily when there's something pretty luring me away...

The fog may have cleared for the most part, but it left its traces everywhere. Made the whole forest gorgeous. (and look, bokeh! ooooh..)

We even encountered some wildlife: a wild photographer! Otherwise known as my sister, who is just as triggerhappy with her camera as I am.

The only time I like spiders is when their webs get moist from foggy weather.

Can't go for a walk in the woods without stumbling across heaps of these babies. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head...

We were somewhat disappointed that the chestnut season was already over. Or at least, it was in this bit of forest. The leaves were covering everything, making it exceptionally hard to see if there were any left on the ground, but the few we found were all hollow and gross. We did find a handful of edible beech nuts though. They were delicious.

Remember what I said about alluring forest paths?

Sometimes they end like this.

21 November 2011

Lifechanging decisions

I've got some important news to share with all of you. No, I'm not pregnant. Just want to get that out of the way first.

I've decided, after several months of thinking and deliberating and discussing and bouncing ideas off of the BF... That come January 2012, I will be a fulltime freelance translator. I've quit my job at the bookshop, the 29th of December will be my last workday there.

It is, quite possibly, the scariest, most influential decision I have made in the past, oh, two decades, maybe. (that was a joke. I'm 23. Haha.) It took me months to realise that trying to freelance in my spare time while working 15 hours a week wasn't going to work: I was passing up jobs, not taking chances, purely because I had those 15 hours a week to fall back on. If I want to really be a translator, build a career on this, then I have to take this leap. And it's a giant leap, and I'm still mid-air at the moment, but I've already left my safe haven and am soaring, and we'll just have to see how I'll land. I'll stop now before this analogy takes a nosedive.

(Sorry. Couldn't help myself.)

So. Now you all know what's been gnawing at me for the past few months! I guess all that's left is some shameless self-promotion!

If you're looking for a translator (Dutch-English or English-Dutch), an editor or a writer, visit my website, www.stefanieweber.nl, and send me an email!

We'll go back to our regularly scheduled nonsense next post. I've got a WIP on the hook, and some cooking malarkey to show you, and a forest trip that I took a ton of pictures of that deserves its own post, so stay tuned!

16 November 2011


It's getting colder. I love love love it when it gets colder. Not just because colder weather means snuggling up on the couch with a blankie and a hot mug of coco is now not frowned upon as much as when I do it mid-summer.

This happens a lot when it gets colder. And when this happens, the whole world seems to go quiet. And that's something we kind of need, every once in a while.

(sounds gloomy, I know, but it's true! I've got important news to share but it will have to wait until after the weekend. Sorry!)

4 November 2011

Deliciousness and gorgeousness, all stuffed in one cake

I did something today... that was absolutely nuts. I made almond milk! (ha, see, nuts! I crack me up.)

Almond milk is the easiest thing to make, if you don't take into account the fact that you have to let your almonds sit in water for a whole night. It's rough. I know. But as your almonds are soaking, think of the following: nutty, delicious, tasting like almonds, gorgeous when cold.. Almond milk!

But when my almond milk was all done, I wanted to use it. You know, because it's milk! So I made the following cake.

Hmmm.. Oh, if you think that looks good, you should smell it! Divine! Divine I tell you! And so easy. It's an easy apple/cinnamon/almond cake. It would be an even better cake if I hadn't used up all my almonds to make the milk and had some left over to chop up and add to the cake, but hey. You can't have 'em all.

The cake is lovely and moist, tastes slightly of almond and somewhat more of cinnamon, but that's tweakable.

Gorgeous though, isn't it? Sweet, juicy bits of apple, accompanied by those lovely little flecks of cinnamon...

There's only one thing you can do now. Make this! Make it for your loved ones, your next door neighbour, your teacher, or better yet, make this for yourself!

Cinnamon Apple Almond cake

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup almond milk (I used this recipe from See You In the Morning)
1 apple, chopped in reasonably small bits
2 tbsp cinnamon sugar

Preheat your oven to 175 C.
Combine the apple chunks and the cinnamon sugar in a bowl and make sure the sugar covers the apples well. Set aside.
Butter and flour your cake tin.
Cream the butter and the sugar.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
In a different bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.
In alternating turns, add the flour mixture and the almond milk until all is incorporated.
Add the cinnamonsugar-covered apples.
Pour your cake batter into your prepared cake tin and pop it in the oven. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean.
Let the cake rest for a few minutes in its tin before you turn the cake out on a plate or board.