The Oscars 2022 – Fashion Post

Welcome to my annual Oscars-Fashion critics a la AJ. As usually, I’m not discussing movies, performances, or anything else for that matter. I looked at the participants and their gowns, and I’m presenting my personal opinion here, nothing more. Your taste might very much differentiate, but we know this will happen. I hope, you’ll have a little bit of fun with this post.

What to wear What not to wear

Mila Kunis rocked the red carpet in a silk Zuhair Murad, elegant, stunning, flattering. Now, H.E.R. is a bit different… what on Earth happened here? It looks like the designer grabbed some fabric and draped it around her, somehow. She looks a bit like spilled lemon juice.
Reba McEntire in Pamela Rolland is the epitome of feminine. The emerald green makes her positively beam. Venus Williams is nicely dressed, but her overly revealing cleveage makes her look cheap. A little more would have been well adviced here… and I’m talking about a bit more fabric around the ample bosom…
Sofia Carson reminds me very strongly of Audrey Hepburn in this breathtaking Giambattista Valli dress. Maria Menouos, in my opinion, looks more like a lime colored rubber boot with the most senseless decoration ever seen. She’s a beautiful lady. I have no idea what her stylist had for breakfast…
Alana Haim looks stunning in her silver colored Louis Vuitton dress. Simple, beautiful, ladylike. (And I hope she’ll forgive me the typo below the picture) Jada Pinkett Smith wasn’t that lucky. Her stylist made her look a bit like a moss covered tree stump. Far too much fabric… What for? She doesn’t need it!
Jessica Chastain looks radiant in her lavender Gucci dress. She really glows with the flow. Now, Maggie Gyllenhaal… The cut and style of this dress would be elegant and figure flattering. But the gold applications, unfortunately, make her look a bit like a royal tea cozy.
Wanda Sykes looks cool and stylish in her ivory suit, feminine and impressive, while Ariana DeBose looks a bit like she decided on something that was made for a far bigger person. She almost falls out of her trousers and I’m not sure about all that extra fabric around and behind her. It doesn’t visibly serve a purpose. Too much red, too much everything.
Uma Thurman wears an accentuated ensemble in black and white, elegant and feminine. Zendaya, I believe, tried the same with her Valentino deux-piece, but to me, her design looks incomplete, and makes her look a bit sloppy and pale.
Rachel Zegler looks all the classic beauty she is in her black Dior gown. And then, there’s Billie Eilish… Billie, Billie, Billie… really? You look like you’re wearing the bed canopy from Dracula’s castle. Even a scarecrow has better taste than that!
Kristen Dunst in Christian Lacroix is glowing, a classic beautiful lady in red. I’m, in fact, a bit shocked about Nicole Kidman, who is rumored to have impeccable taste. In that gray ballooning frock she looks a bit like an 18th century lampshade.
Zoe Kravitz in Saint Laurent looks elegant, beautiful, simple and cute. I’m not sure about Julianne Hough though. I consider her one of the most beautiful women in every room, but that yellow gown makes her look a bit pale, and the dark red lipstick ages her. In my opinion she looks drawn and tired.
From what rumors say Kristen Stewart got quite a few negative headlines for her Chanel outfit on the red carpet. In my opinion, unjustly. Kristen Stewart was never one known to be traditional, and I think, with legs from the ground to the neck, and her positive radiance, she looks sexy and stylish. Well done!

I hope, you’ll permit me a few words about the gentlemen on the red carpet. I’m very much for unique individuality and the freedom to express yourself. But I’m also one who considers some traditions useful – even tasteful. I, therefore, hope, you will forgive me my comments on some ‘individual’ taste…

Bradley Cooper, in a classic, elegant tux as usually. It gives him positive glow and he looks attractive, handsome, and sexy. Wesley Snipes? Not so much. In this purplish/burgundy ‘something’ he reminds me a bit of a three week old radish that got forgotten in the vegetable section of a refrigerator… Oy…
Jason Momoa wears a classic all-black tux, his long mane is tamed, as I hear, in a french braid, and he wears glasses. he looks strong, masculine, and charismatic. And then, there’s Timothee Chalamet…. *sigh* Please, Timothee… you look like you had a hell of a hangover Saturday night and forgot half of your clothing. Get yourself a few muscles, and we’ll talk about this style, but chicken chest and no shirt don’t go well together. Huge fail!

I hope, you had fun with this post. Let us know your thoughts in the comments. We are curious about your taste!

(All pictures are curtesy of Google.com and usmagazine.com)

Thanksgiving 2020

It’s Thanksgiving 2020… a day we should find things to be thankful for, even though the year was a hard crisis for many of us, and will most likely not change with the upcoming new year.

Still… at this moment I want to see the positive things, that I have in my life and those are the things I’m grateful for!

I want to say thanks for so many things:

A roof over my head

Something to eat in my fridge

My amazing sister

Wonderful friends

My car

California Sunshine

And that my heart still can LOVE and HOPE


Of course, I’m grateful for the God-given talent to write and that I had the chance to publish three books (and the fourth in the queue…


Last, but not least, I’m grateful for the wonderful subscribers, readers, followers, and friends that make my writing, social media, and blogging so much fun! Thank you!


If you have the chance to spend this holiday with your loved ones and family, please enjoy it. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see my family this year. I want to wish you and your family members:

Soul Taker Secrets – Katie Bakes Bread

We know that Katie loves to invite the ‘Council Of Twelve’ over for dinner. She cares for each one of the Council members and wants them more to feel like a real family. Now, we also know, Katie isn’t a naturally talented cook. But that does not keep her away from trying. Lately, she got a recipe for European bread, a rare recipe that’s normally inherited within the family. The last family member does not have kids and wants Katie to have it. Let’s see what she did with it.


Ingredients:

2.2- lbs flour

3.5 ounces unsalted butter

2.08 cups milk

2 eggs

2 1/2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cube fresh yeast

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Instructions:

The flour goes into a big sturdy bowl. With a spoon ‘shovel’ the flower in the middle towards the outside and create a deep ‘hole’ in the middle.

The salt goes on the outside, where the most flour is.  Don’t mix it with the middle, please.

Pour half a cup milk into a coffee mug, the rest of the milk into a pan. The unsalted butter goes into the pan as well. Carefully and slowly heat up milk and butter together until the butter is liquid.

In the coffee mug add the sugar and carefully pluck the fresh yeast into pieces. Add it to the milk and sugar and leave it there for about 15 – 20 minutes to activate the yeast. (The fresh yeast is hard to find in supermarkets but can be ordered online.) Occasionally stir the liquid until the yeast is viscous and softened.

One egg and the egg white of the second egg go into the deep middle in the flour bowl. The yolk of the other egg putt aside into a coffee cup or mug and put it into the fridge.

When the butter is liquid and the milk warm, let them cool for a moment. It’s better they’re not used boiling hot, or you’re burning your hands. – As soon as they’ve cooled down, pour them in the deep middle of the bowl where the eggs are. At the end add the mug with the milk, sugar, and yeast and add it, but make sure you don’t mix it with the salt.

Start stirring the ingredients with a wooden spoon until the entire mixture turns halfway into a crumbly dough, then turn the bowl upside down and get the mixture out, onto a clean and sturdy surface. Use your hands to clean out the bowl and then start kneading the mixture until you have one compact dough.

 

Continue kneading now and start working some air into the dough. Knead for at least ten minutes, then the dough goes back into the bowl.

Cover the bowl with a warm, humid, clean towel and place the bowl for around 90 minutes in a very warm room to let the dough rise. (Under no circumstances try to invent ‘technics’ to accelerate that process. It’s first of all, useless because it’s the yeast that is growing and does that quite slowly, and second, if you involve your oven or stove, all you will have is a slight ‘crust’ on the surface of the dough, which will ruin the bread.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

After 90 minutes, check the dough. It should have been grown significantly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remove the dough from the bowl and cut it into two pieces. One of them put aside. The other one is cut into two pieces again. Take the two pieces then and carefully flatten them on the surface to get the needless air out.

Now start carefully rolling both ‘quarters’ of the dough into long (approx 40 – 45 inches) rolls. If your dough has risen as he was planned to rise, that length should be possible). Cross both rolls in the middle and start braiding them. One side goes ‘down South’, the other one goes up to the opposite side. It’s actually quite simple. In case one is confused and doesn’t know how to do it, there are videos on YouTube.

 

Repeat the same thing with the second half of the dough. By now you should have two braided bread loaves on one or two oven trays.

 

Now, cover the loaves again with the humid warm kitchen towel and move it back into the warm room for another 45 minutes.

The bread will rise again. See the difference here:

BEFORE                                                                                    AFTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, keep the towels on the bread and set them into a cool, almost cold place. (not the fridge or freezer) for about 10 – 15 minutes. This is going to ‘shock’ the yeast into ‘a coma’. Means, from that cold moment on, it won’t grow anymore.

Then get the mug or cup with the leftover egg yolk from the fridge and add a teaspoon of milk. Stir until you get a pale yellow liquid which you carefully apply to the bread with a common household brush. If you don’t have one, just use the back of the teaspoon. But don’t press, just carefully brush over the bread, otherwise, you’ll have lots of bulges and pockets in the bread surface.

Now, place the trays in the cold oven, don’t pre-heat! Bake it on 375 degrees F. for about 30 to 35 minutes until the egg yolk on the bread is golden-yellow. Under no circumstances open the oven during the first 20 minutes. It might be your bread is sinking within itself and you’ll get flat loaves.

Leave the loaves on the trays for another five minutes to make sure the bottom is crusty, then remove them from the tray and put them on a lattice or grid to let it cool.

Katie served the Council Of Twelve braided bread like that: