Breakfast feeling: Mmmmmmmm…Eggs Benedict with Asparagus

Asparagus’ time is almost over. So we’re gonna start to miss it. Soon….Very soon. I like it so much that we ate 2,5 kilos in 2 days, but we still have some left, so I’m gonna transform it into a cream soup.

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We have some bad weather around here, and even Miaunel who loves to stay outside is in the house and is sleeping since early morning. Probably  he had some interesting and busy night. By the way, did I tell you we neutered him? Thank God. Even first we took the decision based on his future kittens with no parents or foster home, we soon started to feel we can’t live with him anymore because of the spraying. Now he is a great cat. Clean and who smells good. Our house and yard are the same. So I feel our Miaunel is back and his cuteness is even greater. We can’t love him more, I can say.

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I realized today I wrote lately only about food and garden. Almost nothing about the house. But they are my main interests right now. Especially that we spend a lot of time outdoor, so most of our days pass in the garden. Anyway, I’m not gonna change my habit now, right? so I’m gonna show you the 5 stars breakfast we had today.

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It was incredible tasty, especially that combines some of our beloved ingredients – eggs, homemade Hollandaise Sauce, cheese (grilled), toasted bread and asparagus. My advice is to save the recipe for a weekend gloomy day, cause you’ll need some time and patience to create it.

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Take your time, don’t panic and enjoy

What you need:

*asparagus (I used green and white)

*some cheese (grated, pecorino, or any cheese you like)

*eggs (I used 2 eggs for every person, and another  one for the sauce)

*a few drops of lime or lemon juice

*2 garlic cloves

*cold butter (about 30 grams)

*bread (one slice for each egg)

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How to do it

1. If you use white asparagus, you have to peel it, but the green one is perfect the way it is. Prepare it like here.

2. In the same water you boiled your asparagus, prepare the poached eggs like here

3. For the Hollandaise Sauce you’ll need one egg yolk, the butter, lime/lemon juice, salt, pepper and some water, all combined in a bain marie vase.

4. The problem here is with the egg. Be careful to not overcook it, cause if you’re not careful you’ll have an unwanted omelette. So in the bain marie put about 3 spoons of water, add the  egg yolk stir everything then start adding the butter cut in small cubes. Don’t put it all together, cause your sauce will not have the creamy consistence.

5. Don’t stop from the stirring , add some extra drops of water if the composition is too thick. Take the pan from the fire and add the lemon juice drop by drop (be careful to not make it too sour) the salt and pepper. You have to taste it (maybe several times) to make it perfect.

6. When your sauce is ready is bread’s  turn. In a hot frying pan add a small quantity of cheese and put right away the cheese over it. Turn the bread and “fry it” on the other side with no cheese.

7. When you’re ready with the bread, create the arrangement for the plate, by placing the bread on the bottom, then the asparagus, then the egg. Sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper and then with the Hollandaise Sauce.

It is just a bit complicated than usual, but I assure you your effort will be awarded with a gorgeous and glamorous taste.

 

 

 

“Ugly”, lovely and unique decorating objects

Some people might find them ugly. For me, they are very, very interesting. I’m not talking here about the white bird I’m gonna put somewhere in the garden, but about the sphere which is actually an oil lamp.

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Today, before going to work, we’ve decided to stop for a minute in the old stuff store we bought already some of the things around the house. They don’t have very big things, but a lot of small interesting items. I must admit: I like a lot those places. They make me feel great and I have the feeling I landed in a magical land like Alladin’s cave.

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I loved the small oil lamp on the first sight and I’ve learned already I must buy the things I fall in love with cause if I don’t, they start to hunt me for years. So we bought it and it was really cheap for such an interesting mini lamp – 2,5 euros. The wrought iron is one of the things I like too and we bought two iron objects from OBI.

I like the one that look like angel’s wings and the open circle too and I’m gonna put them, both, on our gallery wall. I’ve just cleaned them and I’m looking forward to see them on the wall.

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Another object we bought today which is not in the picture, cause right now is soaked in the water to get clean, it’s a half tea pot made of glass.. You’re gonna love it if you like interesting and different things, so I’m gonna show it to you later, when is nice and clean. 

Tiny white romantic fence for the vegetable garden

One of the main reasons that made us buy a house with a plot was the vegetable garden. Laurentiu and I, we don’t like what our food became so we’re preoccupied on buying as clean fruits and vegetables as possible. We prefer the veggies  markets instead of supermarkets or hypermarkets and, even better, our own bio garden.

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We followed the good advice “Don’t plant the vegetables you won’t eat “, so we have there only the vegetables we usually buy: radishes (they are almost eaten :D), a lot of green onion, a huge amount of tomatoes, some chilli peppers, bell peppers (not many), lettuce, chickpea and pea. We also had some old potatoes in our pantry and we planted them too, so in some weeks we’ll have new potatoes for our healthy meals.

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The vegetables we have is not the reason I started this post, actually. The fence is. The tiny white, romantic fence we painted ourselves these days and that we used to define our small vegetable plot. I loved it the first time I saw it and I love it even more now, when is white and in its own place.

I have in mind to create a small sign, where to write: “The Bear’s Garden”. This is a very special garden, a fairy one (from the children books), where the vegetables taste better than regular ones, and where they grow pretty well.

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I also took the liberty to post some random pictures taken around our garden, with the blooming chives, some young climbing rose, a pretty sage plant and the “bird’s” bath put on the ground filled with fresh water every day and used not by birds (because is not high enough), but by bees and cats to drink in hot sunny days.

P.S . Yeah, I know the grass is tall. We’re gonna cut it one of these days.

Snack feeling: Strawberry & banana smoothie

I don’t like to waste food. Each time I throw some spoiled food I’m thinking that somewhere in this world there are children, women, men, old people who have nothing to eat, who didn’t eat anything in that day, or worse who die of starvation. That’s why, I feel really bad when our food gets spoiled, but, against our efforts, it still happens.

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This is the reason I’m trying to buy fresh ingredients, in small quantities, and we are not fond for once in a week shopping trips.

This strange feeling of future spoiled food came up in my heart 2 days ago, when we were in the vegetable and fruit market and  bought 2 kilos of strawberries. We both love them, and I don’t know what stopped us from taking 3 kilos. I even asked Laurentiu “Do you think we’re gonna eat them all?” and because he was sure we’ll make it we came home with a lot of the red and juicy fruits.

Today, after 2 days we are out of strawberries and this happened because we ate them like mad men. Eating them fresh was not the only use we gave them, cause yesterday, in a very hot day I used some of them in a strawberry – banana smoothie.

smoo2(I couldn’t resist the pink beauty and I tasted it a bit before I took this picture)

I didn’t have the inspiration to photograph the whole process (is a good thing the inspiration stroke when I saw the yummy result!)….but maybe because the drink is really fast to prepare (it was ready in less than 1 minute).

What you need

1 banana

yogurt (the quantity depends on the glass you have)

7 strawberries

1 coffee spoon of honey

a vertical blender

* in a hot day use the ingredients directly from the fridge, for a cooling effect

How to do it

Wash the strawberries (remove the green parts) and put them in the blender. Add the peeled banana cut in slices, the yogurt and honey. Blend them, put the smoothie in a tall glass and enjoy.

Bio radishes from our vegetable garden (first victims)

Our vegetable garden made its first victims this morning. I am not talking about some kind of ugly bug, but about our first radishes. They are 100% eco and bio and they welcomed us with roses in their cheeks to pull them out from the soil. And we didn’t think twice.

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Aren’t they beautiful? Yes, they are, and we ate them on the breakfast together with a simple omelette with smoked cheese and white asparagus.

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It was a real joy to feed them with nothing but water and to see them become such beauties :).

Ah, wondering how they tasted? G.R.E.A.T!

Shimeji mushrooms, Transylvanian style :)

Yesterday I had in mind something ordinary like chicken schnitzel for our lunch, but one road to supermarket changed my mind in no time. My “relationship” with the Asian shimeji mushrooms is not new. I saw them first in the supermarket more than one year ago and I fell in love with them on the first sight. Even I had no idea how to cook them, I thought “What the heck, I will figure out something” so I bought them.

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The recipe is simple (even the final result may look a bit strange), fast and incredible tasty. Laurentiu even said they were my best pasta of all times.

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Schnitzel fell onto shadow yesterday when I saw those adorable mushrooms we bought in the next second. We also purchased to buy rice pasta, and even I was trying to avoid “the glass” ones, I ended taking exactly those. They look a bit strange and have that gummy texture, but they were great with the asian mushrooms, some garlic, butter, soy sauce and chilli flakes.

What you need

*butter

*the juice from 1 lime

*rice pasta

*shimeji mushrooms (I used 2 packages) (washed)

*soy sauce (I used light one)

*chilli flakes

*4 garlic cloves cut in slices

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How to do it

1. First bring some salty water to boil in a medium pan, then switch off the fire. Add the rice pasta, let it stay in the hot water for 3 minutes then drain them

2. In a hot  wok pan add the butter, mushrooms, the garlic and let them soften for 5 minutes.

3. Add the drained pasta, the soy sauce, lime juice and the chilli flakes. Stir and you’re ready 🙂

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Lunch feeling: Salmon in oregano crust with tzatziki sauce (and blanched broccoli)

I am not Greek and I don’t have any Greek roots, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be in love (you can read “smitten”) for Greek food. I love Ancient Elada’s dishes, and I can’t wait for our next trip to a Greek island. Yeah, I love the sea, the sun, the food, history, the sweet air of the Mediterranean Sea and the easiness of life you can find there.

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And this is why I don’t lose any moment and opportunity to get closer somehow with those lands…

Fish, herbs, roasted vegetables, thick yogurt, garlic and cucumbers are some of the beloved ingredients of a Mediterranean inspired dish and I used them to cook a light, easy, fast, healthy and delicious meal. And yes, we ate it in our baby garden 🙂

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The main ingredients for this simple/sophisticated dish are Salmon, Tzatziki sauce and Broccoli, they go great all together and the whole meal is fast to prepare, ready in no more than 45 minutes.

1’st, the fish (how to do it)

1. Wash the salmon, rip the skin out, cut in medium portions, then add salt and pepper. Because one of the best ingredient for white meat is oregano (rosemary too, but I can’t stand it) I used it here. I wanted to make a herb crust for the fish, so I put the dry oregano on a plate and I trundled the fish in it, on all its faces.

2. Preheat the oven on 200 degrees (Celsius), wash some cherry tomatoes, cut some garlic in big chunks (or use it whole, with the skin).

3. In a covered pan (or clay pot) for oven, add 2 spoons of olive oil, the fish, the tomatoes and garlic.

4. Put the pot in the oven, let the fish cook, then add a half glass of white dry wine after 5 minutes.

You’ll have time for the rest, but don’t forget to check the fish to not get burn :).

(in the meantime wash the broccoli, and blanch it in boiling water with salt. Be careful not to over boil it cause it will become yellow, not green. When is ready take the broccoli out in ice cold water to keep the color)

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2’nd, the tzatziki sauce (how to do it)

You’ll need for a big quantity: 3 medium, peeled cucumbers, 3 (or 4) garlic cloves, Greek yogurt (I used about 250 grams), salt, white pepper and olive oil (1 spoon)

1. Grate the cucumber, add some salt and let them rest for 5 minutes to take the water out

2. Mince the garlic in a bowl add salt and olive oil and rub them together. 

3. Squeeze the water out of the cucumbers,  add them in the garlic and olive oil’s bowl. Add the yogurt, put salt and pepper if needed and that’s it.

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Yeah, I know it sounds complicated, but it is not and the result is D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!

 

Our baby garden – a glance in the future

Our garden is one more week older and, even we continue to plant seeds and seedlings, we’ve started to see the first results of our work. Two of our 12 roses (10 of them are climbing roses) almost opened their flower buds, some of the vegetables are almost ready to harvest (the green onion), the grass is bigger and thicker and I can’t even tell you in words how much I love seeing them like this, developing, growing, blooming.  

lavender(via: northcoastgardening)

tamarix(tamarix via: growsonyou)

Our collection of plants is not so diverse as I’ve already told you, and unfortunately, some of the plant’s roots we planted a while ago don’t show any signs of life. It is the case of the 2 Echinacea, 3 Salvia plants, the poppy and some lillies and that’s why we’ve decided to plant something in the free space. Maybe they will grow later, I don’t know…but I can’t see the empty soil like that…

kerria(kerria japonica via: terra4incognita)

glycine(glycine via:passionfleurs2013)

The option for the free zone is one and only LAVENDER. That’s my number one favorite plant and I simply love it for so many reasons… It is a strong plant, it doesn’t require constant attention, the cold in our area doesn’t kill it, neither the warm summers and it doesn’t need too much water to survive. And those are just some of the aspects, cause it seems nothing compares to its beautiful fragrance, and the charm of the blue, lila flowers. I love it cause it attracts bees and butterflies and we need them both in our space, to make sure our berry plants, tomatoes and peppers are going to have fruits.

clematis(clematis via: mirror)

If lavender is my favorite plant and we have already 12 of them 🙂 some “exotic” shrubs are also in row for winning my heart. We live in a temperate climate area, in a mountain region, with colder air than in the southern part of the country and that’s why a fig tree might be considered an exotic appearance, around here. So we bought one. I already had a fig tree in my parent’s yard for about 7 years and in the last 3 years we could even eat some figs. I know what to do to help him survive in our cool winters and what branches to cut or not to, to make him rewards us with the beautiful fruits.
honeysuckle(coral honeysuckle via: blogfinger)

Lavender, a fig tree, a kerria japonica bush, coral honeysuckle, english dogwood, clematis, climbing roses (especially yellow and white ones) are the plants (still kids) who found a foster home in our garden by now and one of my favorite and a plant I’ve always dreamed to have is wisteria, the glycine, as we all know it.

They are all still children plants right now, so they don’t look like in the pictures, but they are going to :). I love them and the garden too much and that’s why I’ll make sure they are going to be gorgeous. The plants and the garden are the main reasons we wanted so much to have a house with a plot and that’s why we made such a great effort to have them both for the past 12 months. Cause I can’t believe that last year on this time we have just found our current home on the market…

The Irish Moss in bloom

Nature has her ways to amaze us and this is the feeling I had today when I realized that the Irish Moss we planted some weeks ago is going to bloom. The flower buds are so tiny that if you want to actually see them, you must look closer. And closer.

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It is like we have to stop our fast lives for one second, take a deep breathe and then, in silence, we are able to feel the wind blowing, the time passing, the grass growing, the flowers blooming, in our case.

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I love to see those white flowers as small as pin heads coming out from that green and also tiny sea. Is like an entire green sky together with its stars landed in our backyard…

… an absolutely gorgeous feeling…..