Who else can't wait to see the upcoming Royal Wedding of Prince William & Kate Middleton? :)
Call me a dreamer, but I love royal weddings and tales of royalty. So for those of you living in Indonesia, below is the list of TV channels that will be showing the wedding live. I was googling to find the schedule and found a blog called Daniel's desk that gave all the information I was looking for. So I happily copy-pasted it for you. Enjoy the wedding!

The wedding ceremony in Abbey starts April 29, 11 a.m. local time, so it means 5 p.m. (WIB) here

CNN - "A Royal Wedding"
starts @ 3 p.m. (WIB)

BBC Knowledge - "The British Royal Wedding"
starts @ 2 p.m.

E! - "William & Kate's Royal Wedding"
starts @ 3 p.m. | hosted by Giulliana Rancic

TLC - "William & Kate: Royal Wedding"
starts @ 4 p.m.

DW TV Asia - "The Royal Wedding Live"
starts @ 4 p.m.



"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all"
- Harriet Van Horne

If cooking relieves stress, then eating the food and eating it amongst friends is like the cherry on top of a chocolate sundae... it makes the whole experience even sweeter! Yesterday, we had the second session of the Cooking Playdate, this time with 2 newcomers: my cousin Sandri and her friend, Ranie :)
We made several things together, starting from Ranie's Fresh Orange Fizzy Drink, which was highly enjoyed by everyone, especially Amal and Jiri (who is obsessed by oranges hehehe). Since we're trying to make healthy, nutritious yummy food that can be enjoyed by kids, I thought that Healthy Chicken Nuggets would be a good idea to try out -- I'll post the recipe in another post.
What I'd like to post today is Dinda's delicious Spinach Lasagna because everyone loved it. You'll see the recipe at the bottom of this post :)
As for dessert, I showed everyone to make the really simple Apple Crumble that I've already posted in this blog. See here for the recipe. All in all, another fun day cooking and talking about life & kids. I was amazed to see that Jiri could finally walk since the last time I saw him, he was still learning :)
Our challenge for the next Cooking Playdate: recipes that don't require using the oven! Wait for it and in the meantime, enjoy trying the Spinach Lasagna and the Apple Crumble...

Lasagna noodles - for medium sized pyrex, about 6-8 sheets
Spinach - 2 bags (the organic veggie bags, if possible)
Garlic - about 3 small cloves
Onion - 1 medium, chopped finely
Tomato, diced - about 3 medium
Tomato paste - 1 can
Basil - to taste
Oregano - to taste
Brown Sugar - to taste
Mushroom, Eggplant, Paprika (optional)
Bechamel Sauce : melt 1 part butter and whisk in 1 part flour, cook until golden brown, whisk in milk until cream consistency
Ricotta - 1 tub of Yummy brand
Mozzarella - 1/2 block, grated
Parmesan - a handful, grated or shaved

1. Boiling lasagna and keeping them from sticking together is tricky! Do the lasagna filling first, before you boil the noodles. Even then, what I do is keep them in water up until the moment I put them in the baking dish.
2. To make filling : boil spinach until just slightly wilted, drain* and set aside -- sautee garlic and chopped onion with olive oil until fragrant and onions are clear, add chopped tomato, tomato paste and water until forming a sauce.
*) Save the spinach water to boil lasagna, although you probably will need to add more water.
3. Season tomato sauce with pinch of salt, brown sugar, basil, oregano. Set aside about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce for lasagna topping.
4. Add spinach into the rest of tomato sauce and cook for about 5 whole minutes, then set aside.
5. If using other veggies, sautee and set aside, don't immerse in tomato sauce. You will use the other veggies in the layers.
6. Start boiling the lasagna, remove from heat after 5 minutes, don't drain, keep in water.
*) Pre-heat the oven to max
7. Smear the pyrex/glass dish with butter.
8. Put some ice or iced water in the lasagna water so it is cool enough to handle.
9. Pull out two sheets of lasagna and place on bottom layer of dish. Spread spinach 1/2 spinach mixture on noodles. Spread 1/2 tub ricotta on spinach.
10. Place two more sheets of lasagna on ricotta and repeat one more layer.
11. Place two more sheets of lasagna on ricotta and spread bechamel on the noodles.
12. Use the 1/2 cup tomato sauce you set aside and pour on top of the bechamel.
13. Sprinkle mozarella and parmesan for the final topping.
14. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then switch to top heat for 2-3 minutes while watching closely so cheese topping does not burn.
15. Let the lasagna sit/cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.



Do you also feel frustrated when you see how effortless french women look? It's as if they didn't even take a minute to think what they would wear today, yet they look fabulously chic, even when wearing just jeans and a t-shirt. Well, that my friends, is called parisian chic :)
It's actually quite simple and that's why French style icon Ines de la Fressange wrote this book to give you a few tips she's learned throughout her life as a model, mom and parisian: "No complete outfits. Don't look "rich". Wear two scarves. Make sure you own the following: a man's blazer, a trench coat, a navy sweater, a tank top, a little black dress, jeans and a leather jacket. And Converse sneakers. And flats: "Some people think that shoes are ladders. No man is going to say, 'I would love you so much more if you were 10cm taller.' Women are suffering, you know. Elegance is about feeling nice."

All the photos you see above are from her book, which mostly includes photos of Ines and her 16 year-old daughter, Nine d'Urso, who I find absolutely gorgeous. Her hairdo and look is so laid back, which I know she's inherited from her mom. You might already know all the advice she's giving in the book, but it's a nice reminder :)



It's been a while since I've posted some inspirational photos on this blog...

All the above make me feel girly (which also means I want to buy all of them!). The color of the nail polish is called "Gris Montaigne" and I think it looks sexy!
[photo found on Cherry Blossom Girl]

I'm in the mood to cook and have friends over so this table looks perfect to put some nibbles.
[photo found on Sunday Suppers]

Ok I'm not planning to make a tattoo any day soon but if I do, it might be something like this :)
[forgot where I found this]

Have a great long weekend everyone!



I have to admit I don't have the "greenest" hands... I've never planted anything my whole life! But ever since I've worked for Yayasan Usaha Mulia and started promoting their Organic Farm, I can't help but be more excited at the idea of getting my hands dirty. So today Amal came home and said his teacher asked him to plant something. See, he's learning about earth's natural resources and of course, about trees and soil. So I get out some seeds I had bought (almost a year ago...shame on me!) - rosemary and lavender - and well, just went with my instinct and started instructing Amal on what he had to do. We'll see how they turn out... I'll keep you posted! :)

First we put some dirt & compost in some small peat pots that I had bought at Ace Hardware.
Then we made a hole in the soil, put in the seeds, covered it up with soil again and gently watered them.
Et voila! You'll have to see what becomes of them in a few weeks :)


French is not the easiest language to learn, but as soon as you see this short movie, you'll be running to your local Centre Culturel Francais :)

EF - Live The Language - Paris from Albin Holmqvist on Vimeo.



Last weekend, Amal & a few friends - Momo, Mabel, Sabine & baby Jiri - as well as their moms travelled all the way to Desa YUM Cipanas to learn about organic farming but mostly to learn how to harvest and get their hands dirty!

They first started at the compost area where Kang Oleh tried to explain about the steps to make compost but as you can see in the photo above, the boys weren't as comfortable there as the others. They much preferred to feed the rabbits instead :)
Finally they all went to the gardens where they first learned how to harvest carrots which were a lot of fun, though I tried and it's not as easy as it seems because some are well grounded in the soil so you have to use a fork to get the carrot out. They also harvested salad, pakchoy, corn and tomatoes.
Jiri joined the fun though only for a while because the sun was so hot and unfortunately, his cute hat fell into some mud :) The best part I think was seeing the kids wash their vegetables in order to bring them back home. They were all very keen and cleaned the whole lot without complaining! Amazing!
All in all, an excellent day... and I'm even thinking of sending Amal to help at the farm during his 5-weeks holiday in July...hehehehe :)



This 11-year-old kid is awesome!! I have a feeling that if this video was showed to small children and teens, it could make an impact on how they view food. Right now, most children don't really understand what they put in their mouth - they usually look for the food that is most "tasteful" (like nuggets and sausages) or that has the best advertising on tv (especially if it offers gifts for kids)...

If you care about your children's future (in terms of their health and how their world will look like), take Birke's advice seriously and pay attention to what you eat and where it came from starting from today :)



As you all know, I work in a local NGO which I passionately believe in. Yayasan Usaha Mulia is doing excellent work in the local communities we work in. One of these communities is in Cipanas, West Java. YUM has a been among the Cipanas people since the 1970's and now we have an excellent huge project we would like to fundraise for which is to bring the love of reading to the children of Cipanas :)

YUM has recently been approved to join the challenge by Global Giving, an internationally-known donations portal. We have 30 days to find a minimum of 50 donors and to raise a minimum of $4,000 so that we can be permanently accepted on their portal! Donating is so easy: I made my donation on Friday via credit card. The website has a secured and trusted software for donations.

[YUM's current library in Cipanas]

As of today, YUM has raised $542 from 19 donors!! And that's only in 3 days!!
If you are interested in helping out YUM's challenge and donating to this project, I have made it very easy for you :) Just click on the "give now" link below and you will be directed to the projects' website.

Give Now

Or you can click here for the full info on the project. Thank you and have a great Sunday everyone!!