Long time no see or should I say write…?

Here I am again…It’s been quite a long time since I spent time in my blog, way to many changes occurred in my life and I’ve lost my interest in writing, in taking photos, in reading books and in general enjoying life.

Last time I wrote on this blog I was happy that my life changed and I left the city for a new beginning in the countryside with my former other half. Hmmm….well that didn’t work and shortly after that guess what…a new beginning again!

Now I’m writing again but this time from a big city far away from Athens. I moved to London almost a year ago and I’m still trying to adjust. I would describe life here as challenging. When I moved here I came because I needed a change, I needed to get away from my life or so I thought…

London is a difficult city in so many ways and I still think that this is not a city for me but here I am trying to do my best with moving on with my life and find joy and happiness again.

This last year was by far the worst year of my life or as a dear friend would describe I went through an “Annus Horribilis”. On the other hand, going through times like these you get the opportunity to realize a lot about yourself and life in general.

What I came to understand lately is that I gave myself the opportunity to start over again but at the same time I didn’t get it…I’m in a new city, I could rediscover myself, try new things, meet new people, visit wonderful places and take photos that I so much enjoy but I chose to work and work and work a bit more. I thought that working all day long could somehow make me magically forget about everything so I would feel better…The plan obviously failed and not only that…I completely lost interest in anything that used to make me feel better: cooking, photography, books, gym, friends…you name it.

It’s been more than a year now that I haven’t cooked, I haven’t read a book, I haven’t taken a long walk, I haven’t had any type of exercise. I deliberately put my life on hold and I still cannot figure out why.

I didn’t keep in touch with the few friends I had and I’m consciously avoiding making any new ones, with a few rare exceptions. This is not a healthy way to live your life and I’m fully aware of that.

So I decided that enough is enough…it’s time to activate myself again if I want to get out of this. I know that it is going to be hard for me, given my personality, but nothing worth having comes easy.

My work might not be the best but at least pays the bills, my living situation might not be ideal but at least there is a roof on top of my head, my social cycle might be extremely small but they are there for me, I might be growing older but I’m healthy so why should I see it otherwise?

As a dear friend recently told me “Nothing is either good or bad. It simply is what it is. What appears to be bad, may open undreamed of opportunities, or what seems good, may have a dark underside.”

Writing helps me a lot so I decided to start writing again. I’m not a writer, I never liked the idea of keeping a diary and I would describe my English as “Basic” so don’t expect much here. It helps me to share my thoughts but it’s very difficult for me to do it with anyone that I actually know, weird but true! In here i can share my thoughts and if no one is reading is perfectly fine but if someone is indeed reading is even better.

So here we are again and hopefully this will give me the motivation to enjoy life and have something to write about…

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A little something for my sister’s new home!!

DIY bottles for the little sister

I don’t know if I have told you before how much I enjoy crafts…I just love them…In my opinion the best gifts are those that were made with love no matter how big or small they are or how expensive or cheap they are!

This is why I made 2 little bottles for my sister’s new home. She recently moved in her new apartment and I have the habit of always bringing something with me when I pay a visit to someone…Some times it is food, some other times it’s a dessert and some times it is a small DIY gift for the hostess…

I just enjoy to see the smile on their face once they open the door and the phrase “Oh, you shouldn’t have to bring anything”….like everytime!!!!

Back to the topic now, my sister just moved in the new apartment and because it is extremely small but amazingly cute she didn’t bring all of her staff and there are a lot of things missing…

I had 2 small glass soda bottles ( I never through them, it’s like a small collection) and some paint, a few meters of string, glue for handcrafts and I thought to make her 2 small vases for single flowers or maybe 2 small stands for all her bracelets that tent to lay all over the house…!!!

One of the easiest crafts I might say…you practically glue the string around the bottle and if you like you leave a part of the bottle without string so you can paint it like I did or you can go ahead and cover with string the hole bottle….I added color that matches with her house interior and voila you are ready…!!!

Let them dry and place them in a cute box or bag!

I will make some more of these for my own house and I’ll add shells for the summer to come, I think that they are going to look lovely on the table in our backyard…

Do try to make your own gifts for the people you love…you don’t have to go out and buy expensive gift…we all need gifts from the heart!!!!

I Just Love Pasta…

pasta with garlic and rosemary

Good day to you all!!

Weather is getting colder and colder and I thought what could be better than to have a dish of pasta next to the burning fireplace…

I really didn’t feel like getting away from the fireplace for too long and then it hit me…I would make a pasta dish that would be ready in ten minutes!! It turned out so yummy and delicious that I’m certain that we will gain some pounds over this winter… 🙂

The recipe is simple and the dinner is ready in 10 minutes…Really!

All you need is your choice of pasta (I used riggatoni which I love), extra virgin olive oil, 1 onion, 3 to 4 garlic cloves (depending how big they are and how much you like garlic), linseed, rosemary, few drops of lemon juice, salt, pepper and some grated cheese. I think that most of us have these ingredients in our kitchen at all times…

Let’s begin…

Until your water comes to a boil, you chop your onion and your garlic cloves and you put them in a large pan with some extra virgin olive oil in middle heat. You don’t want them to burn, you just want them to let out their aromas and slowly melt.

You put your pasta to boiling water according to the instructions on the package (mine needed 10 minutes) and at the same time throw the linseed and the rosemary in your pan.

Once your pasta are ready drain them and throw them in your pan and mix them well with all the ingredients in the pan.

Serve them in a dish and sprinkle them with some salt, pepper and a few drops of lemon juice. If you like cheese like me, grate some cheese on top and you are ready. I would recommend that you go with a salty or spicy cheese!

Do try it…it is incredibly fast, full of aromas and tastes as I like to say, like heaven!

Now that I think of it, my guess is that with the proper presentation (large plate-small portion 🙂 not like mine) and the best fresh ingredients this dish could easily earn a place in an expensive restaurant with gourmet plates… 🙂 Anyhow, I wouldn’t have it any other way, other than next to a burning fireplace and a glass of wine!

If you would like to accompany the dish with something extra and you happen to have any bread, slice it, put in a baking sheet, sprinkle extra virgin olive oil, lemon, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and linseed on it and put it in the oven at the same time that you put your pasta to the boil, it only takes 10 minutes in 180 degrees for it to get crispy and there you have your perfect match for this pasta dish…!!!

Enjoy and if you like let me know what you think for this recipe…

Australian Aborigines the Dreamtime and their Work of Art

AU Aborigine from www.faithinterface.com.au

We are all travelers to this time, to this space. Just passing through. Our purpose is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love and then return home

by “Australian Aborigines Sayings”

Australian Aborigines is a topic that I have to admit that I had no knowledge until yesterday morning. I was asked to support 2 dear friends that would give a talk about that subject in Greek language and they needed some help with the translation of the presentation…Boy, I was fascinated…!!!

In order to translate correctly some of the terms like the Dreamtime, I woke up yesterday, grabbed my coffee read their presentation in English and did some research on the internet about the subject…Two hours later I realised that I was drowned so much in the subject that I have been reading articles about the Aborigines that were way pass the subject of the presentation! I’m telling you, if you haven’t heard of these people before, like me, and you start reading about them, their way of life, their history and their culture you will be fascinated too and I strongly suggest that you try it.

Did you know that the Australian Aborigines are considered to be one of the earliest folks on earth? I didn’t know either…

Their way of life, in total balance with the nature and with total respect to the earth (the lack of which has brought us to what we face these days, but this is another subject) is a way of life that for us these days seems impossible but it has given them the opportunity to remain original throughout the centuries. This way of life unfortunately also caused them suffering to deal with issues of illnesses, of property and warfare after the Europeans arrived in Australia. You all can understand how this goes from that point on, history keeps repeating itself throughout the centuries all over the globe, unfortunately.

But I wouldn’t like to talk about that issue, what I would like to talk about is how beautiful these people are, their beliefs and their forms of art.

These people, who refer to themselves as the “First People” believe in a beginning called the Dreamtime. “Dreamtime” is the belief that in the distant past, in a dream world, mythical creatures (ancestors-god-creators) created the land and the natural environment and when their creative work was done, they didn’t vanish, but they transformed into spirits within natural formations (rocks, lakes, hills, rivers etc) creating a pathway between the living and dead ancestors, which the living can access through dreams.

What I found fascinating about their beliefs is that unlike any other “religion” I know so far at least, they didn’t believe that the humans were above everything else. You know or you might have seen the pyramid of living creatures where humans are on the top of the pyramid? Well I believe that the correct representation of living creatures with a geometrical design would be a cycle that includes all living creatures inside, you have probably seen that one also somewhere around the internet.

You can say that all these would be perfect in a perfect world…Yes I know that ideas like that seem distant and impossible these days and I’m not telling you to abandon your warm house and go live in a cave but a little more respect to the earth and the nature that feeds us would be appreciated…

Anyway, their bond with nature is given beautiful in their paintings. I had the chance to see some of their work yesterday and I loved some of these paintings, like for example the painting of Louise Numina of her Dreaming of Bush medicine leaves with all that variety of colors. Thanks to my friends, that gave me the opportunity to get to know this subject just a little bit I could better understand what I was seeing in that painting, because you have to know the story behind the Aborigines paintings to understand their value. When you first look at them you see dots, colors, geometrical designs and that’s it, but when you get to know the story of what the painting represents you will be surprised and you can “link the dots”!

Well, I didn’t become an expert to the subject by performing a translation or doing some internet research and this is why I’m going to leave the subject to the people who truly know it, but I was so exited about it that I had to write a few words…

I would like to thank Y and G for the opportunity to get a glimpse of the Australian Aborigines culture and way of life and I wish them success in the talk that they are giving this evening!!! I wish I could be there to hear more about these people…

Best dinner so far…!

Well hello again my friends, sorry for being away so long…

Yesterday we had probably the best dinner so far and I’m so so so sorry that I didn’t get the chance to take a photo of the dinner while it was still on the table!! I will write down the recipe for you though and as soon as I make this dinner again I will update the article with photos…So delicious…!!!!

Our dinner last night was turkey breast in the oven with sweet potatoes, mango and pineapples accompanied with a salad of finely chopped carrots and white cabbage!

Let’s begin…

For the turkey you will need:

  • 1 big turkey breast without bone and crust (2 breasts if they are small and if you like the crust it’s fine by me)
  • 2 big red onions sliced like onion rings (about 1 cm thick)
  • 1 big mango cut in cubes about 1x1cm
  • 3-4 medium sweet potatoes cut in cubes about 1x1cm
  • 1 pineapple can (if you can have a fresh one would be better) cut in small bites
  • Keep half of the juice of the pineapple can you will need it

For the topping of the turkey you will need:

  • 1 garlic clove cut in pieces
  • 1 tsp of fresh non grounded pepper (black, red, white, green)
  • 1 tsp of grounded thyme
  • 1 tsp of grounded rosemary
  • 1 tsp of linseed
  • 1/2 tsp of grounded maca (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of coarser salt
  • 1 chicken broth cube
  • 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp of honey
  • 1 Tbsp of sesame to sprinkle on top of the topping

For the salad you will need:

  • 4 carrots finely grated
  • 1/2 white cabbage finely grated

For the dressing of the salad:

  • 2 Tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of soya sauce
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of chilly sauce
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper

Wow, lots of ingredients you will think…yes, true…but in fact you will see that it is not that hard to make a beautiful dinner with all of these!!

And here we go:

1. First of all lets wash really good the turkey breasts and let them aside to drain really good.

2. We have to prepare first the topping of the turkey. I really enjoy using a mortar and pestle so I placed all of the ingredients (except the honey and the sesame) in the mortar and I kept on crushing them with the pestle until they became paste. This will take time because you have to smash the garlic and the pepper really good. The linseed will never smash completely so don’t bother trying it! After you have a beautiful paste then you put in the honey too and you keep on combining the mixture. Once done set it aside. Remember the sesame will come later.

3. You need to chop now…cut the sweet potatoes in 1x1cm pieces, the mango also and the pineapple (if not already caned chopped) and keep them aside in a bowl with half of the juice from the pineapple can. Now cut the onion in about 1 cm thick rings. Lay the onions in the center of your large baking pan so that the turkey breasts can be laid on the onion rings. While chopping pre heat your oven at 180 Celsius degrees on air.

4. Place your turkey breasts on top of the onion rings. Now if you kept the crust you need to punch a few holes in the crust so that the topping can stay on top of the crust but also go underneath it. If you didn’t keep the crust like i did, simply drop the topping on top of the breasts and with a silicon brush try to apply the topping so that it covers the hole breasts. The topping is really thick and it will not be so easy but don’t worry because as soon as the pan gets in the oven it will start to melt and it will cover most of the surface. Once done with the topping, sprinkle the sesame on top of the breasts.

5. Now fill the baking pan with the chopped sweet potatoes, mango and pineapple. Also put in the pan the half pineapple juice that you kept aside. Add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil on all these and you are ready to get it in the oven. It should stay in the oven for approximately 1 hour. Every 30 minutes you must shuffle the potatoes, mangos and pineapples so they won’t burn. The time needed may vary depending on your oven!

6. Now that our dinner is in the oven we will make our salad…Not a big deal, peal of the carrots and grate them in a bowl and take the half cabbage and grate it in the same bowl.

7. Finally you will make the dressing for your salad. Remember put the dressing in the salad right before you seat on the table to eat and not earlier! For the dressing, I like to place all the ingredients in a mason jar and stir (this way you can make more dressing and keep it in the fridge until your next dinner) and this is what i suggest you to do, put all the ingredients in a mason jar, close the lid and shake really really really good. And you are done! Wait for the dinner to be ready and just before you seat down to eat pur the dressing on top of the salad.

Remember, as strange as it might seem, don’t put any water in the pan. The juices from the ingredients are more than enough for the dinner to be cooked.

Well, that’s it…I suggest that you try this food if you like combining tastes like I do! I would be more than happy to hear from you and I promise I’ll try to make this dinner again soon so I can upload pictures…

Bon appetite!!!

 

 

Raining again…

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Good morning to you all!
After a few stressful mornings I just love this wonderful day! It was raining again all night and today I woke up, opened the windows and smelled the air…so pretty…so lovely feeling!! It is a great morning that I could never appreciate while I was living in the big city!!
So now, here I am drinking my coffee enjoying the wet atmosphere along with the fact that the weather is getting a bit cold and yes, today I get the feeling that things are going to be fine!!
No worries today about anything and thats a promise!!
I hope and wish you all have a great day!!!

Portrait of an extraordinary cat named Turbo!

It is not the first time that you hear me talking about one of our beautiful cats…Turbo is his name and his battery never reaches “Low” so we spend the whole day together yesterday taking photos!

I must admit that he is a great model…he never gets tired…he likes taking photos of him…and he enjoys any kind of attention!

So, below you will find some of his best photos from yesterday! The light was great, his mood was even better and in my opinion the result is beautiful!

Turbo will be here with me, waiting for your comments on his pics… 🙂

Enjoy!!!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHope you liked them as much as we did!!!

How about some nature today…?

“In the right light, at the right time…everything is extraordinary”

Well good morning to you all…today I decided to share with you some of my recently taken photos…so here I ask you…How would you feel about some nature today???

Your thoughts are more than welcome, but please do not copy my photos…if you would like a photo just contact me.

Here we go…

Pinhole photography from the reeds against the sky next to our house

Pinhole photography from the reeds against the sky next to our house

Pomegrande flowers against the sky from a nearby yard

Pomegranate flowers against the sky from a nearby yard

A pink rose from our garden

A pink rose from our garden

Aloe vera from our garden

Aloe vera from our garden

Pink boukambilia flowers from one of our trees in the garden

Pink boukambilia flowers from one of our trees in the garden

Wild berries from the front yard

Wild berries from the front yard

Again berries from our front yard...but this time with a visitor!

Again berries from our front yard…but this time with a visitor!

Ants...the hard workers of our yard

Ants…the hard workers of our yard

A single reed against the autumn sky

A single reed against the autumn sky

Small ivy next to our front door

Small ivy next to our front door

And that’s it for today….More nature pictures in the future…!!

What do you think about my work…???? 🙂

Not your ordinary fruit salad…!!!

not your ordinary fruit salad

 

The other day we had friends in the house…and we decided to stay in for the night instead of going out for a drink…and I had a few fruits in the fridge and a bottle of Mohito and what would be more delightful than a fruit salad along with our drinks…!!

I just love to decorate the food that I make, whether it is a gourmet plate or a simple fruit salad…it just makes me feel better when the plate has a beautiful decoration!

Since we are here on the countryside and in our yard there are plenty of flowers and trees I decided that for my fruit salad i would use some Bougainvillea leaves (washed them really really good) to place the grapes and the cheese mixture and 2 flowers just for color… Just cut the grapes in half (if they are big enough like the ones I had) and for the cheese mixture just use some white cream cheese combined with herbs and pepper (really tasty!!)

Then I cut small pieces of non-stick baking paper to place my melon hearts (yes they have the shape of small hearts, I know you can’t see it, I should have taken a better photo of them) and just place thin slices of prosciutto above them…

And finally in the middle I placed a cute little vintage bowl with small pieces of kiwi with a few drops of chocolate!!!

All these were served in a wooden cutting board (because, who needs plates 🙂 )…simple, lovely and tasty!!!

The quantity was just about enough for the 4 of us and the tastes were perfectly combined…

Try it and you will remember me! You will impress your friends and you will love the result!

Oven omelete…yam

oven omelete

 

Today I woke up feeling sick and hungry…I think that the flu in on to me…

Yesterday, with the fever I couldn’t eat anything and today I woke up thinking of my oven omelet…yam…yam…

Now I’m going to get me some omelet but before I get off to the kitchen I thought of posting the recipe of this simple and slightly healthier version of omelet that came on to my mind a few months ago…

For this omelet you can use practically anything that you like or anything that you can find in your fridge…this is what I mostly love on this one…you just improvise and the result is always good…!!!

I usually make 4 servings, so you can adjust the ingredients to your needs…

You will need:

  • 2 eggs per serving
  • 1 onion (for  4 servings)
  • 1 pepper (for 4 servings)
  • 2 slices of bacon per serving or any other kind of meat/salami you prefer
  • 2 slices of feta about 1cm thick (for 4 servings) or any kind of white cheese you like
  • 1 small hand of yellow grated cheese (per serving)~just enough to cover the top
  • a little bit of garlic (if you like)
  • a little bit of salt
  • a little bit of pepper
  • a little bit of oregano
  • 4 table spoons of olive oil (for 4 servings)

How you are going to make it:

  1. Slice & cut all the ingredients in to small pieces (onion, pepper, bacon, feta) and through them in your atomic clay pot (or in any other atomic pot or pan you have~just keep in mind that it will go into the oven in the end)
  2. Through 1 table-spoon of olive oil in each clay pot
  3. In a bowl combine the 2 eggs with the garlic, salt, pepper and oregano and after you give them a good stir through the mixture in the clay pot.
  4. Repeat Step 3 for as many serving as you make.
  5. Finally cover the top of each clay pot with the grated cheese and
  6. Through the clay pots in the oven for about 20-30 minutes in 180 degrees on air

In this omelet you can put anything you like, like for example, some times I put corn instead of feta cheese or tomato instead of peppers and so the story goes…Mix and Match the ingredients you like and make your self a wonderful oven omelet…

When my sister comes for dinner and she want’s omelet then I make one for her without any cheese or olive oil (because as she says she is on a diet 😛 ) and I only put the albumen of 2 eggs (I keep the vitellus for mine!) and I add arugula and spinach…She has to make the difference you see…!!!

Anyway, try this recipe if you like and get back to me with any suggestions or comments!!!

Tip: In case you don’t have atomic pots, don’t worry, you can use a large baking pan with non-stick baking paper covering the whole pan (remember to cut the baking paper at least 3cm higher than you pan) and put all the ingredients inside and then take out the baking paper from the pan, cut like a pizza or a pie and serve!!!