Mediterranean feeling: Chicken with olives

It’s strange, but Mediterranean Sea has a great attraction towards me. I love the climate there, the herbs, plants, the air, the architecture. There is something sweet, salty and relaxing about it, and the colors are wonderful. People who know me, are aware already of my passion for cooking and, for the people who not know me, I must say that the kitchen is my very own art studio, where I can create new forms of taste. I like to experiment things, to mix the ingredients and I’m in love with spices and with Mediterranean cuisine. That’s why I use it as a source of inspiration in many of my “creations”.

chicken

Anyway. I have an itch these days cause my oven doesn’t work properly so I skip it every time I cook and I’m trying to manage the things with the pan or with dry cooker. Maybe is a good thing, cause my philosophy in the kitchen is: simple, fast, fresh and tasty and in oven the food is cooked slower than in 30 minutes.

All these having said, I can share with you my special olive chicken recipe.

What you need:

*chicken breast (sliced or not)
*4 garlic gloves
*2 fresh skinned tomatoes (or 1 can of tomatoes)
*oregano
*2 spoons of virgin olive oil
*one hand of kalamata olives
*salt & pepper
*one glass of dry white wine
*if you like it more spicy use a pinch of chilli flakes

The recipe works perfect for oven, but if you want to make it faster, or if your oven doesn’t work (as mine) you can use dry cooker pan 🙂

How to make it:
Wash and slice the chicken if it isn’t already sliced and put on some salt, pepper and oregano (I add some chilli flakes too). Put the dry cooker on the stove, let it heat and then add the olive oil and the chicken. Put the cover on let the flesh cook on small heat for about 5 minutes and add the wine. Cover it and let it cook again for about 5 minutes. In the meantime press the olives with one finger to take the stones out (that’s why the best olives to buy are the softer ones), and add half of the olives into the pan. Cover it again and prepare the tomatoes. Cut them in small cubes if they are fresh and in bigger slices if they are canned and then add them into the pan. Put some salt too but be careful with that cause the olives tend to be pretty salty. Together with the tomatoes and their sauce add the rest of the olives and let everything on small heat until is cooked (for about 20 minutes). For more taste add some oregano in the sauce with about one minute before you take it from the stove and serve the chicken with a green salad.
That’s a healthy and fast meal and even you probably like to combine the chicken and tomatoes with potatoes, my advice is to not do such a thing. Unless you want to put on some kilos :D….

PS. I guess I’m not the best food photographer. I’ll try to do my best next time.

We’ve never seen it as it was

I must admit I was pretty upset with the bank evaluator when he didn’t give a very good score to our house. (no wonder why :)))). And now, looking back, and being wiser :D, I understand we’ve never been realist when it came of the house. We had to make an imagination exercise from the very beginning, to see the ugly “Beast” magically transformed, so we actually didn’t really see all the mess around here.

The buckets, weeds, the dirt and the huge amount of work and stress waiting for us near the corner were not actually there. We could never see them and I’m sure now that this was the best thing. If we’ve seen it we would never had the courage to do anything. curte before july curte process2 curte process curte process3 curte process4 curte after

The yard, the house, the small guest house in the back yard, the garden are not finished. Not even close. Our tiny white house’s story is just in the beginning, but the first traces were made and I hope you’ll come with us in our scary, yet wonderful journey.

In the pictures you can see the first part of the house, in some stages of the process. The first window (in the right of the pictures) didn’t exist. We made a new window for bringing more light in our home. Because we know, of course, that a home filled with light is a happy home.

Probably the tiniest bathroom in the world…

I guess that, if the Guiness Book guys would get on our street and would use, by absurd, our bathroom, they will not give us a prize for the tiniest bathroom in the world, but they will put it for sure among the smallest.
Have you ever thought you’d never be able to put a sink, a shower, a toilet and your bathroom stuff in a 1,7 square meter room? Well I can tell you it’s possible.

baia beforebaia before2baia after1baia after2baia after3
Because we thought (for a very good reason) we could never use the old bathroom the house (still) has, we had to find a solution for a brand new such a place. So…we built our bathroom in a part of the old hallway, it has exactly 1,7 square meters and for now is the only bathroom in the house.
Despite it’s small dimensions, I can say it is one of the most charming places around here, especially because we didn’t listen to all the advices we got and instead of making it all white, we put paving stone on one of the walls. There is now a tiny sink, a tiny shower we had to buy from the internet cause we didn’t find it in the stores and (don’t smile!) a NORMAL toilet.

Right now, the bathroom is not completely finished, but it has already a big mirror, for the illusion of a bigger space, white and “stoned” walls, high ceiling and in the near future it will have some extra glass here and there.

I’m adding some pictures. Of the old hallway and the bathroom :).

PS. Sorry for the quality of the 1st picture, but it is the only one I have from that time

Our own… White House

Ok, ok, I know I’m not the First Lady of USA and LaurenĹŁiu is for sure not president Obama, but I can say that we’re living in a white house. Not THAT White House, which is probably 300 times bigger, but for us, our tiny home is the equivalent of that well known residence. We’re crazy to compare what it can’t be compared, you’ll think, but when you’ll see the “Before” and “After” pictures, together with all the stages in between, you’ll understand that we were not crazy, but, for sure, not entirely normal either.

 

casa before scris

casa before2

casa after1 scris

casa after2 scris

 

I could manage, today, when is sunny, to take some pictures from outside the street and a funny thing happened to me. A lady who was passing by probably thought I was from some kind of real estate agency and asked me if the house was for sale. “No, is not”, I answered with a smile.

I’ll post today some pictures took from the street. “Before” and “After” pictures, to see how the house looked in July when it was just a Grey House, and how it looks now, after a serious face lift. We’re far from the end of our work, but we’re really proud of what we could do in the last four months.

Now we have a (black) cat. Miaunel

miaunel

I’ve never had a cat in my house. My parents never allowed me to keep any kind of pet when I was a child, beside a chicken baby who jumped from the balcony (and died). Yes, I know, that’s a sad story, but as it happened about 28 years ago, it doesn’t hurt at all. I am an animal lover, but I can’t say I’m a cat person or a dog person, cause I like them both, equally. But my Laurentiu is a cat person.
That’s why….when Miaunel appeared in our yard, boney, starved, skinny, and with a really bad furr, we felt so sorry about him, so we started to feed him. He was the friendliest of all stray cats we used to fed during summer, so we’ve decided to adopt him. Entirely.
We called him Miaunel (it’s a name for someone who’s mewoing all day long :)) and last night he spent the night with us. Miaunel is an entirely black cat, with one white hair in his mustache, he is sleeping all day long (and night), he is picky with food (now when he has plenty of it) but very, very lovely.
I must admit: I know nothing about cats, but I was surprised to find out (on the internet) that people are really scared of black cats. Strange, but I love the idea of having a black cat. Maybe cause it can be almost a mystical creature….

how did the tiny white house gain its cats

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First time we arrived in the tiny (not white at all) house, everything looked pretty ugly, since… we realized that a building in our brand new yard was used by a cat to deliver her kittens.

during the working and stressful summer the cats we started to feed gave us a lot of joy.

today, when we actually live there, we have around three kitty babies. Two boys and one girl. Here are two of the cats

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Want Perfect Floors? Destroy Them First!

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Pfffffffffffff….It’s been a little too long since my last post, but we’ve been really busy. First, to make our floors P.E.R.F.E.C.T. Yes, they are perfect now and I guess their color is one we’ll not be able to find somewhere else.
Ok, I’ll tell you about that. Exactly as I promised last time.
Upset with our contractor, and having the house on a level we really were able to do it ourselves, we’ve decided to make the final touches. And as we said, we did it. Not in the best way for the beginning…But as in every good story, everything is ok when it ends ok…
After we painted the white walls, action not so difficult on the walls, but very tirening on the ceillings, we were ready for the next step. The floors. The funny part is that every time when mr. L and I were in a painting shop, there was a crazy yellow color we hated. Till..yes, you guessed perfectly we bought exactly that color. PINE. But it looked perfectly on the can. Natural and beautiful, as we wanted. But the lightning hit us after the first brush on our brand new and almost white wood floor. Cause in our hurry to get the job done, we didn’t have the inspiration to try the paint on a wood piece.
Ok so we had a small shock, but there was no way back and we painted one yellow room, hoping the color will fade out by morning.
WRONG! It didn’t. It looked even stronger.
What do you think we did? We painted another room like that, and then the entire house, cause, as I said already, we had no choice. The paint was a special one, we could not remove from the wood only together WITH the floors.

It’s funny to think about now, but back then it was a small nightmare capable to keep me awake for about two nights..thinking “God, we made so many efforts only to find out that a yellowish paint is able to send us to madhouse!”…Mr. L. was almost in the same state of mind, and after deciding that we are not able to live with that crazy color, we tried to fix it somehow.
We bought in an evening another paint color, and after three (3!) new coats, VOILA! we had some nice and quite unique floors.

Thank God!

From the Beast to the…Beauty? Not yet, but we’re close

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It’s me, “the 1st cat” 🙂 and even my first thought was to tell you first how we got here with our house, I’ve decided to start with the present and to sprinkle around from time to time some memories.
Since yesterday I’m living with this strange feeling that our house is a black hole. For our money, our time, thoughts and energy. Four months ago everything seemed nice and smoothly probably because we had money, time and excitement to start transforming the beast into the beauty.

However, I have to admit and to remember the terrifying thought I had on my first hour spent around our fresh bought house. I was S.C.A.R.E.D! cause only then I realized what we have been into and how much money and work we had to put in there. Looking back, I guess we have must been a little (more) crazy to make such an investment, and even I wanted so many times to run screaming, I’ve stayed. Maybe because I was stubborn enough to see that gem in the mud.

It’s been more than 3 months already of our 2 work months (as our contractor said) and we are still not in the house yet. We even “divorced” of our contractor and decided to finish the work all by ourselves.
This is how we’ve managed to paint our floors in an horrible yellow/orange pine color I could never live with.

…but that’s another story…

So….We Bought a House

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Here we are again! – Alexandra and Laurenţiu – pretty newly married (for one year:)) with no kids, and we are going to show you our journey to our dream home. We live in Transylvania, in a not so big, but charming city, and we are living (and working on) our dream. We can’t wait to see the house habitable, so we are able to take two kittens and a puppy.

Our story begins in the autumn of 2012 when, right after our wedding (in September the 15′th) and honeymoon, we’ve started our Odyssey. As I’ve already said, we both have a dream: to own not an apartment, but a house. A small one, in a big garden, with two cats and a dog. So, last year in October, right on this time, we started chasing it.

First thought was to buy a land piece and to build our own dream house, but in about three months, after billion of land sights we decided to drop the idea. Our rules were simple: to not make us car “addicted” (so the land piece had to be not so far from the city), to not make us spend more than necessary money on car gas; to be in a good location – not far from the vegetable market, schools and kinder gardens – and to be big enough to transform it in a romantic garden with a tiny vegetable corner. A very difficult thing….Believe me. Especially that the money we had were not enough to buy the newest house and that we didn’t want to make a big bank loan. So here we were, in the worse situation possible. I could say….

Anyway, after mornings, days, afternoons and evenings spent on the real estate websites, after we saw a huge amount of houses, we almost gave in. But we didn’t. And our perseverance finally brought us a result.
By the end of April we’ve found this house. It was old, looked terrible, it wasn’t inhabited for one year and the yard…the yard was a mess. Garbages, metals, leaves, bukets and a real jungle – up and down there, because of a very old grape vine. Despite all these, the house was in the perfect location: good neighborhood, on 5 minutes (by foot) from the biggest vegetable market of our city, on 10 minutes (by foot) from the old center of the city, on 2 streets away from school and kinder garden.
I think any other normal person would have been running screaming, because the house looked…. horrible. But we stayed. Especially for it’s location and because its structure was allright. I guess we could see the gem in the mud….

and still are…

As I said, we needed a loan, and after all the bank papers were done, we could, finally, after 3 months of waiting and nerves stretching, to sign the papers. The big event took place in July the 3rd, some months ago, but even so, we don’t live there.

Why? That’s an easy question. Cause we have to make the house young again…..
How things go we’ll show you in our next posts…