~ The Liebster Award ~

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Once again, thank you Alicja for nominating me. For you who are into healthy lifestyle, running, delicious foods, or feels like enjoying random rambles of a grad student, please visit her blog here.

The goal of The Liebster Award is to introduce fresh and interesting blogs into broader public.

The rules are simply write 11 facts about yourself, answer 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you, and ask 11 questions to the bloggers that you nominate. Simple as that, so let’s get started!

11 Facts About Me

1. I love cooking. I think that is obvious since Katenuil is basically a cooking blog, but really.. sometimes I just can’t fall asleep at night only because there are imaginary baked potatoes with smoked salmon and sour cream dancing in my head.

2. I had a huge crush with Prince William when I was a kid. I slept with his poster next to my pillow.

3. I wish I lived in 1950’s so everybody dressed up properly everyday.

4. I’m obsessed with Japanese idol group. My favourites belong to Hello!Project agency. I have also weak spot for Tokyo Girl’s Style, Fairies, and some Indonesian girls in JKT48.

5. Beef is my favourite meat. It never goes wrong. And I like my steak medium rare.

6. I like visiting aqua zoos. I think they are better and definitely more romantic than the normal zoo. The aqua zoo in Berlin (AquaDom and Sea Life) was really impressive with their aquarium elevator. Next time I want to visit the aqua zoo in Okinawa (Okinawa Churaumi) to see whales.

7. I learned quite a lot of sports, such as: swimming, basketball, horseback riding, tennis, table tennis, taekwondo, and even chess. So far I master none, but I guess I’m pretty good at horseback riding and table tennis.

8. I never cook in Indonesia. At my parents’ house, my mother cook for us every single day. I grew up watching her in the kitchen and remembering the taste of the foods. One day (I think when I was 16 years old) she tested my Indonesian spices knowledge and I failed miserably.

9. I have bad motion sickness. Once I get in the car I will be totally useless. So don’t expect me to pass the snacks or look for something in the car/bag/whatever. Just leave me in peace.

10. Tea. I love tea.

11 Questions From Alicja

1. Are you a morning person or an evening person?

I can be both. I’m quite flexible about that. Waking up early or stay up late never become a struggle for me.

2. Why do you blog?

Because sometimes I have loads of idea in my head and I feel like it would be nice if I could just dump it somewhere. I also want to practice my written English. It’s still far from perfect and the progress is not the fastest, but better than not doing anything about it I guess..

3. If you would know you were going to die in 72 hours, what would you do?

Eat steaks and hangout with my boyfriend and Spoes.

4. What was your first job?

Plucking white hair from my uncle’s head. I got paid with ice cream.

5. What is your favourite animal?

Cat, dog, and horse. I know a guy who didn’t believe that I like dogs only because I like cats and have some cat clothing. But you know what, I can be both cat person and dog person (+ horse person).

6. If given 1 million dollars to spend within 24 hours, what would you do with it?

Invest it in food business, buy house, and buy a holiday to Japan (is 1M dollars enough?).

7. What was the greatest challenge you have ever overcome?

Getting my confidence back after someone claimed that I’m just a girl with no sex appeal. I took it too seriously for quite a long time ( I was 17 years old by then) but as I grow up I managed to feel more confident and happy. Now I think I can be overly confident sometimes! :))

8. If you were to choose one famous person to have dinner with, who would that be?

Keanu Reeves. I would ask him the secret of eternal youth.

9. What thing from your past do you regret the most?

I have no regret.

10. What thing are you most proud of?

My taste buds. I think they are my best features.

11. Are you scared of spiders, bugs, or any other creatures?

I’m scared (or disgusted?) of geckos, frogs, and ghost. I also can’t touch living fish or dead fish with head on. I wouldn’t mind touching fish fillets though..

My Questions For You

1. What is the most memorable book you have ever read?

2. Do you believe in The One in love?

3. Holiday destination: big city, mountain, or beach?

4. What is your favourite season?

5. Panda: love them or hate them?

6. What would you make from overly ripe banana?

7. Would you rather dive with white sharks without any protection cage or step on Lego bricks?

8. What do you think is the most important thing in life?

9. What is your favourite Disney animations?

10. Can you swim?

11. Are you a sticky brownie person or a sponge brownie person?

My nominations are:

1. The Quiet Baker (click here) – I always adore people who can bake ❤

2.  Sepatu Merah (click here) – I really enjoy her writings and drawings. Plus I think she has awesome personalities too!

That’s it! Enjoy and have a nice evening, people!

xx

Nisa

 

 

~ Make It Easy ~ [Not So Green Pasta Salad]

Yesterday I stumbled into a nice article about radish in TheKitchn. My first experience with radish was not very pleasant. They were served raw in a salad, and I was not prepared to taste such a peppery flavour. But last night was my turning point. They suggested roasted radish in exchange of another common vegetable for roasting as brussels sprouts or . I got really excited about this idea and ended up falling asleep only at 4:30 in the morning.

My first step of roasting radish was to make a mixture of:

– 1 tbs of olive oil

– 1 clove garlic

– splash of rice vinegar

– salt and pepper

Use this mixture to rub the halved radish evenly and roast them in 200 degree Celsius for 15 minutes.

After roasted, the sharpness of the radish will be very mellowed down and they will be nicely softened up while still maintaining the crunchy texture, thus very refreshing.

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Upper picture: goat cheese 55+ and fusilli. Bottom picture: roasted radish. Some people like it a little brown on the surface, but I find mine perfectly crunchy for my taste.

 

I was really in need of something light, low in calories, and could be made in less than 30 minutes dinner so I decided on a pasta salad. I have fusilli ready in my cupboard, so that would be a perfect plan. Another option for pasta would be penne.

The highlights of this pasta salad are the roasted radish, goat cheese, and smoked fish. I used smoked haring, but there were so many small bones in it. If you don’t mind small bones (like me) this fish is a good option (cheap, easy to find). But if you think small bones are unacceptable then you can go for smoked mackerel, for instance. Under the name of convenience, I shredded the fish meat and goat cheese by hand. It also gave the rustic feeling to the salad, though.. (excuse, excuse)

To give more texture and nutrition, I added green olives into the salad. This was not really necessary and easily replaced with any ingredients of your choice.

Finally, give a little toss to your pasta salad, and it’s ready to serve!

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A bowl of unusual pink-green salad. A nice change from the routine of rocket (rucola) filled pasta salad. The green olives were stuffed with cheese. I bought it from a random shop in Groningen because it was only 50 cent per jar and I thought it would be a nice evening snack. Apparently they are nice in a salad too 🙂

Because last weekend I had too many big portion dinner, I opted for a smaller serving:

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Too little?

 

I really hope that I won’t get too hungry tonight. Or maybe I will just go to sleep early before my belly realize that it’s already too empty for my standard. Yeas, I think I will do that. Read some pages of Trans Atlantic then go to sleep. No late night Netflix.

In the next entry, I will tell you more about myself, answer questions, and make a short list of blogs that I find deserving more followers (or casual visitors at the least). This is part of The Liebster Award and I would like to thank Alicja (check out her awesome running blog here) for nominating me. Keep on running, girl!

xx

Nisa

 

 

 

~ A Cure For The Gloomy Winter Mood ~ [Korean BBQ simple version]

When was the last time you feel happy? Not just okay.. but the real happy feeling. Lately whenever people ask me about how am I feeling, I always reply with ‘I’m okay’. Well, this is NOT OKAY to feel like this all the time (at least for me). I need a mood booster.

Just like that, it was just aired on Dutch news that a guy was hijacking a TV station during a peak airtime and tried to ‘send a message’ to people. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) he was arrested before he managed to say anything. It would be interesting to know what he’s going to say. But watching the whole arresting scene was different enough to make my day. You don’t get to watch thing like this everyday. It was surreal. It feels like you’re watching a real action NCIS or Die Hard. Anyway, because this is Netherlands, don’t expect anything gore or bloody or a bullet rain. Policemen entered the studio then the guy surrendered directly. No anarchy whatsoever. Sometimes I think that Dutch people are just the European version of Canadian. They are very relax and soothing. Or like a Brontosaurus: big, but nice and friendly.

Oh, it’s snowing in Den Haag. Not fair. I want snow too.

Aside from the sudden event in Den Haag, I decided to actually do something to lighten up the gloomy winter mood. With the help of Korean cabbage pickles (Kimchi) and Japanese sesame-lemon sauce (Goma), a very simple Korean BBQ was successfully held in my tiny living room. The other supporting actors of this BBQ are thinly sliced beef, enoki mushroom, steamed white rice, carrot, and brussel sprouts. The beef was seasoned with salt and pepper before putting on the grill, while the carrot and brussel sprouts was boiled in salt water until softened (not too soft, though.. always leave a bit of crunch, colours and vitamins on your vegetables).

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The little heavenly delicious bastards. I’m lucky that there’s a big Asian supermarket here in Groningen. Only thing is they are not cheap so I have to enjoy every bite with maximal pleasure.

 

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This is how they look like: on the left is the Goma sauce and on the right is kimchi.

How I eat: it took time until my grill pan get hot, so I enjoyed steamed white rice with kimchi first. The refreshing sour taste of kimchi is a really good pair for the sweetness from white rice. I also prepared boiled vegetables beforehand, so I ate them (they have naturally sweet-bitter flavour!) between rice and meat. After my meat was ready, I simply dip it into Goma sauce. The sauce has a combination of sour and sweet taste so it goes well with the juicy piece of meat. Lastly was the enoki mushroom. Honestly I wasn’t really sure about how to handle this delicate vegetables. I planned to stir fry them slightly in sesame oil, but in the end I just grilled them on the meat juice. It turned out delicious.

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The set up of my BBQ dinner. My table was small (it was also a painting table) so I put the condiment bottles somewhere else (well..on the carpet >.<)

 

In the end, after haunting my dream for 2 days in a row, finally a relatively successful Korean BBQ dinner was done. No more drooling over kimchi before sleep. Even if I get the kimchi-lust again, there’s still some kimchi left in my refrigerator so I can make kimchi omelette or kimchi fried rice or even something as lazy as white rice with kimchi (yes, I also still have some leftover rice in my fridge). Happy!

Now if you ask me again about how am I feeling I would be like: I’m great, thank you. And you? ^^

xx

Nisa

 

 

 

~ Birthday Treat ~ [Leek Soup with Tilapia]

How will this world look like tomorrow?

I turned 27 yesterday (I should change the bio part of this blog). There are so many birthday wishes that I received on my Facebook and my private line, and I’m very grateful for that (thanks, people!). The thing is I really don’t feel any different between the 26 years old and the 27 years old me. Only maybe…. I’ve got a new pimple on my chin this morning.

However, what I noticed on my birthday evening was that the sky was really clear and I could see plenty of stars. It was raining almost all the time this past 2 weeks, and by some luck the sky cleared up just like that at a perfect time. I remember there was this one star that was significantly brighter than the rest and it blinked continuously. I should have recite my wishes, but I’m still not sure about what I really wish for. World peace, maybe? Or some common sense for a lot of people.

And today the sky is once again cleared up. Honestly I’m still in bed and trying to get myself walk to the market now, but the view from my bed is quite enjoyable to say the least. Maybe I’ll sit here and read a few more pages of 1Q84. Groceries can wait.

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The view from my bed. Look at the clear blue sky! A rare sight in Netherlands at this time of the year (at least for this year)

For dinner tonight I actually want to make something thick and filling. I’m thinking about Ketupat Sayur, a traditional Indonesian dish. But there’s also this bean salad that has been on my mind for quite a while. I wonder which one is nicer for a day like this.. maybe I’ll do the Indonesian dish next time when it’s a rainy day again.

Speaking of rainy day, I always think that warm soup is the best food you can eat while listening to the rain drops. So as my thank you gesture for all of you who send me very thoughtful wishes on my birthday, this recipe is for you 😉

Leek soup with tilapia

Ingredients:

– 1 leek

– 1 medium size onion

– 275 gr tilapia fillet

– butter

– cooking cream

– fish sauce

– ground chilli

– salt and pepper

– spring onion (for garnish)

How to cook:

Slice leek (after you wash it thoroughly) and onion into more or less 1 cm thick slices. You don’t have to worry very much about the thickness because in the end we will blend the soup.

Slice tilapia fish into around 2 cm thick slices. If you can’t find tilapia, feel free to choose other white fish.

Heat up the pan. Melt 2 tbs butter and add onion. Make sure the butter doesn’t burn (keep the fire low while melting the butter) and stir until onion soften up. Add sliced leek into the pan and mix everything together until coated evenly with butter.

Add 500 ml of water and 1 tbs fish sauce.

Boil the soup until vegetables are soft enough to be blended and take the pan off the fire. At this point I used hand blender and doesn’t make everything smooth. I keep the soup with a little vegetable chunks for nice texture.

Put the pan back on the stove, put the sliced fish into the soup.

Cook the soup until the fish just cooked. Don’t overcook it because then the meat will fall apart. Add 2-3 tbs of cooking cream. Season with salt, pepper, and chilli flakes (if you like it a little spicy).

Garnish the soup with spring onion slices and a splash of cooking cream. Serve while its hot.

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Too bad I don’t have bread!

*Having a freshly baked bread to dipped in to this soup is a terrific idea. So please try to have some bread to go along with it.

See you next time and have a beautiful weekend, people!

xx

Nisa

~My Little Painting Gallery pt.1~

 

Either I’m funny or the world’s funny, I don’t know which. The bottle and lid don’t fit. It could be the bottle’s fault or the lid’s fault. In either case, there’s no denying that the fit is bad.

-Murakami, 1Q84

This quote from 1Q84 by Murakami took me by heart right after I read it. As a person, most of the times I feel separated from ‘normal’ people. But hey.. what is normal. Everybody is different. Normal is just a word to call something that are adopted by most. But still sometimes it bother me that people judge a person just because he/she is (a little) different. Take an example: I don’t want to have kids (yet..or ever). I swear to you every time this subject appears in a discussion there will be people being upset at my decision. I need a place where there’s no judgment and I can be myself.

Apparently moving brushes against canvas or paper has some kind of therapeutic effect on me. It relaxes me. I could be irrationally cruel/happy/sad/lonely/crazy in my painting. It really feels liberating.

Below are some paintings that I made since last year. I started with cotton canvas, and now moving on to paper. I find working with paper is easier as it has really smooth surface so I can move the brushes in finer movement. But on the side, canvas gives different structure on the painting, which I really like. I think for now I will stick on paper.

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-Joyous Resurrection- Death is not always a bad thing. If you see it as an event where we become one with our fellow particle of the universe then it could be one of the happiest moment in your life.

 

 

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-Volcano- Angry nature is beautiful. It just is.

 

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-One Afternoon in Autumn-

 

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-Hello/Goodbye Bunny- Is it a meeting? Is it a farewell? You decide.

 

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-I Want To Play- My lovely Spoes is one indecisive cat. Sometimes he looks like he wants to be outside, but when I open the door for him, he just stand there by the door. And when I let him stay he will just stare outside the window and look mellow.

 

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-Ikuta Erina- Morning Musume 9th generation member. This picture is part of the J-Melo Girl’s Project.

 

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-Draw Me Like Your French Cat- An impressionist painting of Spoes. One may ask ‘why curve instead of curves’. It’s because he has only one curve like a ball.

 

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-Early Tulips- I was pretty sure that I wanted to paint tulips. But if you look at it deeper it’s more than just a bunch of pink flowers. Pretty much like life, isn’t it?

 

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-Hold My Hand and Take Me Away- ..to somewhere far far away

 

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-Burning City-

 

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-Journey to the West- Maybe I’ll go hiking someday.

I hope you like the paintings as much as I do. I’m still trying to find out how to use variety of surfaces and medium to be used on my painting. Maybe someday it can be the center of my life. Who knows, right?

xx

Nisa

 

~New Year, New Life~

Only hope keeps a man alive.

If I would make a curve from 2014, it would be a U-shaped curve. It started okay in the beginning, then dropped considerably in the middle. However, some things are getting better during the end of the year.. or maybe I just get used to all of the annoyance.

The thing is, only during hard time you can really see who and/or what is really important in your life. Sometimes life can be very crowded with unnecessary drama, people, nonsense that clog your mind, and those are usually disappear gradually during a hard time. People who are toxic or not really care about you will leave, crazy unimportant issues will look no longer worth your attention. Your eyes will see way clearer and you will have simpler judgement than ever.

In accordance to that, to start 2015 I will start with being thankful for some simple things such as:

1. My loving boyfriend who always always always be the place to come home. No matter how crappy I felt and how selfish I behaved.

2. Spoes. Thank you for being cute and fluffy. I don’t care if you eat a can full of wet food every day and still nag about snack. You are my beautiful little olliebol.

3. My cozy room. Nicely located next to a park, big kitchen, roof, and a working toilet. You can’t go wrong with that.

4. I found a hobby (which are writing and painting). Finally my best friend can relax now and stop telling me to find a hobby.

5. Berryz Kobo concert in Paris. I was a fan since 2006 or 2007 (it’s been a long time ago, I forgot) and finally I managed to watched them live. I’m so beyond happy!

6. Successful diet. I went from 58 kg (in January 2014) to 52 kg (in June 2014).

7. First published scientific article in ACS Biotechnology: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/sb5000252

8. First painting appeared in J-Melo website.

Eripon J-Melo

 

This is a painting of Ikuta Erina, the member of a japanese idol group, Morning Musume. I submitted this picture as part of J-Melo program Girl’s World where girls from all over the world can show their support for Morning Musume via their painting/drawing. It’s not a competition or something.. but still having my noob painting on their website makes me really excited.

 

9. Loving friends who whine, dine, and dance together with me.

10. The ability to feel more thankful for what I have already got.

 

In the end, I decided my resolution for this very year today, on the first Monday of 2015. I want to be healthier and happier than ever. This year I will be 27 years old, and I have a feeling that it will be a good one. The thing that I have to remember is that life will always be hard, so I have to push harder up than life push me down.

Happy (great) new year, everyone!

xx

Nisa

P.S. I think this is a proper motivational picture to end this entry.. so here we go! (I love Snoopy too..)

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~ The Best of Both Worlds ~ [Dutch Meatballs]

I’ve been living in Netherlands for 4 years, have a dutch boyfriend, but still can’t speak Dutch properly. As my sincere apologize to this country, on this entry I’ll write about their traditional recipe. But because I don’t want to lose the spotlight, I will combine their recipe with my take of sweet broth.

Dutch meatballs (with delicious broth) 

Meatballs (recipe provided by Mr. Ewoud Frankes)

Ingredients:

– 300 g ground beef (however I heard that the 50/50 mixed ground beef/pork would make the balls more juicy)

– 2 tbs biscuit/dried bread crumbs

– 1 egg

– 1 tsp parsley

– 2 tsp onion powder

– 1 tsp garlic powder

– 2 tsp ground nutmeg

– generous amount of salt and pepper

– sunflower oil

– 40 g unsalted butter

How to cook:

In a bowl, mix the ground meat with all dry ingredients and egg. Form balls (mine were as big as golf balls).

Heat up sunflower oil and butter in a Dutch Oven, then lay the balls (gently) one at a time. Roll the balls every now and then until they get browned evenly.

Add 1 cup of water into the pan, make it boil, then turn the fire lower and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes in a covered pan. If your balls are bigger, adjust the cooking time to make sure they cooked nicely in the middle.

Sweet broth

Ingredients:

– 1 medium onion, cut into thick slices

– 1/2 winterpeen (I cannot find a translation for this vegetable, but FYI it’s that big sweet carrot), cut into quarters

– 1/3 eggplant, cut into (around 2 cm)  blocks

– 2 tbs sweet soy sauce

– 1 tsp garlic powder

– 1 tsp parsley

– 1 tsp ground nutmeg

– a splash of Worcestershire sauce

– 1 tsp chili powder (optional)

– Sun flower oil

– Salt and pepper

How to cook:

Heat up 2 tbs of sunflower oil in a pan. Throw in the onion slices and stir it until they become translucent and fragrant.

Add the winterpeen and eggplant into the pan. Mix until everything is coated with oil evenly.

Pour 1 cup of water into the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients into the broth. Let the broth boil for 5 minutes, then put the fire low until the broth just simmering gently. Cover the pan and cook until carrots get soft (I like it when they are soft but still have slightly crunch on it).

Before turning off the heat, taste the broth again and adjust the taste with salt and pepper (even sugar) again if necessary.

To assemble:

This is the core of this recipe (because of the title of this entry), so you have to do this.

You can also skip this part but keep it a hush-hush from me

Fish the balls out of the dutch pan, and lay it gently on the broth. Let them simmer together for 5-10 minutes so the juice from meatballs also released into the sweet broth.

Then it’s done.

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Juicy balls in sweet broth. The broth was inspired by Indonesian ‘semur daging’. But then again  I guess that the word ‘semur’ was originated from a dutch word ‘smoor'(?) It feels like I twist the recipe with Indonesian touch that was originally came from Netherlands. Confusing. 

Serve it with whatever you like. It can be rice, spaghetti, noodles, or potato. I served mine with potato salad (the ready to eat one from supermarket so don’t ask me how to make it :p)

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I had two balls for dinner! Balls balls balls! I love balls!

 I ate 3 more balls after this picture was taken. There goes my plan for eating smaller portion. Sappig!

For you fellow non-Dutch people who live in Netherlands, try this recipe to impress your Dutch friends. For you Dutch people, I hope this recipe turn out edible for you.. or you might even like it! Let me know 😉

 

xx

Nisa