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Archive for October, 2012

Fatayer

October 31st, 2012

Elisabeth

Ever since pumpkins are back in season I’ve been trying as much different recipes as possible. Moro’s fatayer is by far my favourite one. Fatayer are Middle Eastern stuffed pastry triangles. I made square shapes to avoid the triangles ’empty’ corners without filling of my first attempts but feel free to try it the traditional way. This dish is slightly time consuming to make. There are more fun things to do then cutting and peeling a pumpkin or making dough from scratch but trust me it is all worth it. The sweetness of the kabocha pumpkin combined with salty feta cheese wrapped in a light crispy pastry is a match made in heaven! Editing these pictures alone made me want to get right back in the kitchen.

Serves 4:

For the dough:
220 gr white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried yeast
100 ml tepid water
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the filling
800gr pumpkin (i used the Japanese variety Kabocha), peeled, seeded and chopped into chunks
1/2 garlic glove crushed to a paste with salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
80gr feta cheese crumbled and mixed with fresh oregano ( i used fresh basil)
1 tablespoon of lightly toasted pinenuts 
sea salt and black pepper to season

Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the water and then pour the oil into the water. Pour the water into the flour a bit at a time while mixing (do use your hands, it’s messy but there just is no other way). When all the water is added, transfer to a floured surface and knead well. If the dough is still sticky add a little flour; if it’s still crumbly add a little water. Continue kneading until the dough is no longer tacky but soft (approximately 5 min).

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200 C. To start the filling toss the pumpkin in the garlic and olive oil and season. Place on a baking tray in the preheated oven for about 25 min or until soft. Remove and cool. Puree and taste for seasoning (and restrain yourself from eating the filling straight away…trust me this isn’t easy!)

To make the fatayer, divide the dough in four and roll into balls. On a generously floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll each ball to approximately 5mm thick , making sure the shape is a rough circle about 17 cm diameter. Put a tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each circle top with feta and oregano and pinenuts. Moisten the edges of the square with a little water, then lift the dough into the centre . With your fingers, gently squeeze the adjoining edges together until sealed. Trim the edges of the square of any excess with scissors . Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the dough starts to colour, but isn’t totally crisp.

Let me know how it works out for you!

all pictures by elisabeth for aestheticshelter.com

Still life I & II

October 22nd, 2012

Elisabeth

Sometimes, when I got some free time on my hands, I’ll start playing around with my camera creating still lifes. I just had to make use of this perfect light in my living room yesterday afternoon.

What’s your favorite pastime?

all pictures by elisabeth for aestheticshelter.com

Anne-Marie Witmeur

October 17th, 2012

Elisabeth

When it comes to interior decoration I have a soft spot for brass objects and colourful fabrics. If you are looking for the latter Anne-Marie Witmeur’s shop in Ixelles is the right place to be. I discovered the shop the same day I stumbled upon Bonnie & Jane (it is located a bit further down the same street). Here you’ll find a great selection of handwoven blankets and throws from India and killims and pillows from other far of places.

The shop also offers a great selection of handcrafted furniture, objects and jewellery. Every object has a story to tell and the warm and kind shop owner is more than happy to share them with you. I fell head over heels for these painted wooden screens. Ever i saw similar ones here and here I am dying to find my own to hang in the bedroom.

These colourful bowls, made of recycled phone wires, were sourced in South Africa. I wouldn’t mind having these at home to brighten up those gloomy autumn days…

Anne-Marie Witmeur
Rue Darwin 52a
1050 Bruxelles

all pictures by elisabeth for aestheticshelter.com

Around the web Clipboard I

October 5th, 2012

Elisabeth

Here are some things I’ve been coveting lately. I must admit I am not a huge online shopper but I do spent time looking for beautiful objects regularly, just for the pleasure of the hunt. Since a couple of you have requested advice on where to shop in the digital world I figure I might just start sharing my favorite websites.  Some sites I have talked about before, some are local, others will take you to a far away exotic country. I would love to hear your tips and addresses.

I. vintage wishbone chair | II. ceramic jar | III. toiletry case | IV. brass cuff | V. flat ankle boots | VI. incense sticks  | VII. tufts cushion