The bomb salad and a good week-end

February 22, 2016 § 1 Comment

Phew… this was one busy week-end. Among skiing, shopping, wedding planning (man, that can be exhausting!) and meeting with friends we managed to relax a little. Yesterday the weather was amazing: 14°C, blue skies and a gentle breeze. I could feel spring in the air!

lac 1 lac 2 noi 2

When we came back from France it was quite late and I was feeling exhausted. Good thing is I had started making the salad before we left (let’s say it one more time: planning is KEY!), so it only took about 10 minutes before we had dinner on the table.

In fact I loved this salad so much that I made it again for lunch today.

salata

I call it ‘the bomb’ because this is an explosion of different tastes and textures in one bowl. Let’s see.. softness from the lettuce and avocado, crispness from the radicchios and red pepper, with the addition of roasted pumpkin seeds and bacon bits and chewiness from the halloumi cheese and olives.

Here’s how I made it:

  • All veggies were at room temperature (this is important). I cubed the radicchios and red peper, folder a bit of avocado in, washed and dried the lettuce.
  •  I added in the olives, then simply ripped the salad leaves with my fingers.
  • I heated up a pan and roasted the pumpkin seeds until they started to plump up. I immediately folded them in the bowl with the veggies. No oil is needed for this.
  • I used the same pan to warm up the halloumi and the bacon. The smell in the kitchen was amazing!
  • The vinegrette was a mixture of raspberry balsamico and a bit of Dijon mustard. No oil was needed since the pumpkin seeds, bacon and halloumi provide sufficient fat. I find that vinegrettes can make or break a salad, so it’s important to use good quality ingredients.
  • I mixed everything and dug in. This salad was so satiating and divine-tasting!

This was the perfect winter lunch. In the cold months I find I am unable to enjoy cold salads – the veggies are not so tasty and they leave me feeling quite unsatisfied. But this salad is half warm, half room temperature and it felt complete. Added bonus? You can start making it ahead of time – the cubed veggies, olives and roasted pumpkin seeds sit very well together in the fridge. Just make sure you add the vinegrette and the bacon and halloumi just before serving.

If you try it, let me know what you think. Also, what is your favourite salad?

 

 

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Nu sunt un munte, sunt doi

February 17, 2016 § 2 Comments

Viata e simpla. Uneori vad cu extrema claritate anumite lucruri. Atat de clar, si atat de aproape, incat ma cuprinde pe loc o stare de profunda mirare si calm. Viata e simpla.

E important sa faci ce iti place. E mai mult decat important: e vital! Sa traiesti cu sens, cu miez, sa conteze. E mai putin important daca speli scarile unui bloc, tesi haine sau operezi pe cord deschis. Cum se leaga zilele tale de lucru? Exista muzica? Ritm, cadenta? Sincopele sunt in regula, dar intreaga compozitie a vietii tale trebuie sa aiba muzicalitate.

Limitele nu conteaza. Pe ele le putem izola, pune deoparte si ignora. Dar avem un capital limitat de zile de viata si e vital sa nu traim placid, cu sila, cu lipsa de respect fata de viata.

Mesajul e asta: descopera ce iti place la nebunie, la ce esti bun! ce iti da o energie incredibila, si iti face inima sa danseze? cauta bine! cand vei gasi in sfarsit, inima ta va sti fara putinta de tagada. o sa tasnesti din inima muntelui ca un parau, vei curge cu repeziciune, fara oprire, vei circula prin lume, si te vei bucura plenar. vei darui si vei absorbi la randul tau, dar viata va fi bucurie pura.

Talentul tau unic care este?

Salata boeuf altfel

February 16, 2016 § 3 Comments

salata

Numesc aceasta mancare ‘salata boeuf’ doar pentru ca prepararea este similara cu cea a salatei cu nume francez. Dar in acelasi timp s-ar putea numi si salade russe sau salade poulet sau pur si simplu legume fierte cu sos. Sau ‘salata-inovatie’…

Povestea e asa: am avut un pui de tara, o raritate la noi in casa. Nu am mai cumparat sau mancat pui de vreo 4 ani. Doar ca de data aceasta am primit cadou un pui crescut in curte. Am stat pe ganduri si pana la urma l-am transformat intr-o supa cu taitei de casa, un pilaf cu ciuperci si… ce era sa fac cu restul de carne? Sau cu legumele scoase din supa?

Solutia era clara: o salata boeuf (sau poulet, la rigoare :)). Doar ca nu voiam maioneza. Asa ca iata cum am procedat:

Ingrediente:

4 morcovi, 1 telina mare – fierte

1 sfecla rosie – coapta

jumatate de piept de pui – fiert

castraveciori acri – dupa pofta si gust

230g iaurt grecesc (atat a avut borcanasul meu, voi puteti pune mai mult) si cam 100g mustar semi-picant

Metoda:

Daca legumele si carnea sunt fierte, salata e gata in maximum jumatate de ora. Stiu ca mamele sau bunicile noastre petreceau cam jumatate de zi tocand legumele in cubulete cu laturi egale sau frecand maioneza, dar eu chiar nu sunt genul. Am taiat toate legumele si carnea in cubulete potrivite, am sarat si piperat dupa gust, am adaugat iaurtul si mustarul si am dat la rece. Fara bataie de cap.

Culoare rozalie este data de sfecla rosie, iar in poza de mai sus eu i-am alaturat susan de doua feluri si niste masline foarte bune. Combinatia de gusturi mi s-a parut foarte potrivita.

De ce ai face aceasta salata?

Pentru ca este relativ sanatoasa (ar fi fost si mai si daca legumele erau crude) si in mod clar satioasa. Pentru ca hraneste o familie intreaga si se face usor. Este un aperitiv pe care il poti servi si la o petrecere (doar daca musafirii sunt deschisi la noutati culinare) sau lua ca pachet la serviciu. Pentru ca poti adauga ce vrei tu: mazare, cartof, porumb, gogosari in otet. Si cumva, pentru ca stand acolo la masa din bucatarie si tocand rapid legume mi-am amintit de mama si momentele noastre impreuna. Cred ca salata aceasta este prezenta in bucatariile din Romania de niste generatii incoace, si asta imi da un pic de nostalgie.

Links of love (4)

February 15, 2016 § 2 Comments

Preamble: these kind of posts are not in any way sponsored. I am writing Links of love as a means for me to learn to notice and appreciate the small and big things around me.

I don’t normally use a lot of spices when I cook so it was nothing short of a miracle that I walked out of La place aux epices full of a dozen little bags. This amazing gem in Annecy carries everything, and I really mean everything you could ever imagine in terms of spices. I came out with a bag of raspberry piment salt, lemon herbs salt, freshly grounded vanilla and cardamom, wasabi-infused sesame, a bottle of mango vinegrette  and another little bag of prune-infused sesame. Oh, and the owner gifted me a box of candied orange peel. I loooved this place! I already tested the raspberry salt and mango vinegrette on my salad today and let me tell you, it was amazing.

epices

Finding the most hydrating, nicest looking lipstick that doesn’t cost a fortune? I thought I had lost this battle. I simply could not find any lipstick that stays on nicely without staining my teeth or the glass or that doesn’t completely dry up my lips. Until I found Clarins. I really love Clarins products, but this lipstick is fantastic and I am obsessed with it.

grenadine

Speaking of lipsticks and beauty… I’ve had this hair straightener from Tony and Guy for about 7 years. I purchased it on a whim when I was a student in London and probably only used it two or three times. You see, I never actually straighten my hair and I had no clue that you can use it to curl your locks. However recently I have found that one great way for me to decompress is to watch hair tutorials on youtube and this is how I came across this video of how to use a hair straightener to curl your hair. This was the result after 10 minutes of trial and error. Oh, and in this pic I am actually wearing the Grenadine lipstick, but the light in the room really doesn’t do justice to the beautiful color.

curls

Ever since I came back from New Zealand I’ve been on a reading frenzy. I’m reading books like it’s nobody’s business. I’ve gone through three of Harrier Lerner’s books – Marriage rules, The dance of anger and the Dance of fear and she was an absolute revelation. Lerner is a very prolific author and I encourage you to check out her books!

What’s your favourite cake? Mine is most definitely, forever and ever, the éclair. I don’t have a sweet tooth and I would most likely always choose cheese and olives over buttercream frosting, but éclairs… When we went to Annecy last Saturday I had to get one. You know how you get a random craving for something and then the craving doesn’t subside for days and days? It was like that for me with éclairs. Sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do and that’s okay.

When I need to do something I don’t want to do (most often a household chore) I motivate myself by playing some upbeat music. Beyoncé’s latest hit is great not just for that dreaded house cleaning, but also for running. Absolutely love it and have been listening to it on repeat.


What have you been listening to? Also, I’m curious: what’s your favourite cake?

 

Back in business: healthy, quick, delicious dessert

February 10, 2016 § Leave a comment

I know, I know… I’ve disappeared again, but with good reason: we’ve done A LOT of wedding prep and I have been travelling like crazy, both for business as well as for personal reasons. But I’m back and planning to stay around, at least for a while. 🙂

Before the crazy travelling ensued, I managed this amazing dessert:

desert 1

Is it vanilla custard? Is it a mousse? Or… perhaps a smoothie? I can tell you that none of my friends who received this picture were able to figure out exactly what the desert was.

I present you the most scrumptious, quickest mango Greek yogurt smoothie:

What you need:

1 cup Greek yogurt – mine was 230g

half a mango, peel removed

100ml water

any other fun toppings – shredded coconut, chocolate nibs, hemp seeds etc.

How to:

I pulled the yogurt straight from the fridge; the mango was at room temperature. I blended everything for about a minute on high power, using a hand blender. The texture and smell were simply divine. I topped mine with hemp seeds and left the other one plain. After a few hours in the fridge, the aromas had really set but the taste was unaltered.

Would I make this again? YES, yes and yes! Served in cups, it’s a really easy and elegant dessert for those who are health-conscious. Not only does the yogurt pack a ton of protein, but the mango gives it a boost of vitamins and fiber. One spoon of this smoothie and you are transported on a tropical island…

desert 2

Please try this, you will  not regret it!

Note: using good quality Greek yogurt is critical. Any other kind of yogurt will not yield the same results.

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