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French Raspberry Cake

For those who requested this recipe. I found recipe on a lovely Pastry Swedish Blog but the original recipe is from France. I made this twice this month and my family loved it. It makes a perfect Fika / coffee break delight. Especially now when it's the berries season. I think one can use the same recipe and replace the berries with a different type and also the nuts. I like to play with basic recipes and get creative sometimes. 

Maybe next time I will make it with the blackcurrant we picked two weeks ago and try another type of nut that would go well with it. You will see it on my instagram updates :-)  enjoy!




Ingredients  

(About 8 pieces)
2 eggs
2 ½ dl powdered sugar
2 ¼ dl of flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tsp vanilla sugar

Topping
175 g of raspberries, frozen
2 tablespoons almond, chopped
75 g butter, refrigerated cold

* 1 dl flour = 50 gr

Method

1. Put the oven at 180 degrees. Whisk egg and sugar in a pile. Add wheat flour, baking soda and vanilla sugar and mix all into a smooth batter.
2. Wipe the batter in a form, about 24 cm in diameter.
3. Lay the raspberries evenly over the cake.
4. Sprinkle over chopped sweetbread. Cut the butter with a knife to thin layers and place them on top of the batter and the raspberry.
5.Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 38-40 minutes.
6. Let it cool in the mold. Please serve the cake with a click of cream or vanilla sauce.


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Vintage 20s Century Fashion Inspiration

Hi guys! it has been awhile since I shared with you a personal style blog post. As you all know I am obsessed with the 20s century style and The Great Gatsby Novel / Movie. Finally joined my dresses collection this amazingly beautiful Vintage Beaded Fringed Sequin Flapper Dress by Dresslily.com . 
The dress comes in two colors, black, and gold, black, and gold.

I am thrilled to share with you these photos of me wearing the dress and styling it to fit the old 20s hair and makeup. I am thinking this would be a great elegant  Halloween costume or a new year party dress. Two in one :-). 

About Dresslily.com, this is the second time I purchase dresses from their website. I am happy with their service. The shipping comes fast and the sizes are just as expected. The quality was just like the photos and the info description. I highly recommend them for formal and party dresses.








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Pesto Grissini Recipe





Ingredients

3 cups flour 
125 g salted butter 
60 ml oil
1/4 liter  = 2 1/2 dl  milk
1 large egg or 2 small
3 tablespoons pesto sauce
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt (or more depends on taste) 

Notes: 

1- you will need more flour for forming the Grissini or in case the dough was not thick enough.
2- Choose between mixed the pesto inside the dough or applying it to the dough after ( see image below)

Method 

Heat up the oven to 180 c. Mix all dry ingredients first, then blend the rest of the ingredients together in mixer/dough blender. Make a dough ball and lay it flat on the kitchen table to be as a thin as a pizza dough. Use a light knife or pizza cutter to form stripes. In the photos above I mixed the pesto sauce with the dough so I didn't have to apply it like seen below. But you can choose the style you like. Both will taste the same. 

Twist the stripes and lay them on the baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the Grissinis gets hard. When you remove the baking tray from the oven let it cool to room temperature until they get crispy. And save them in a glass jar or metal/ plastic food box. The plastic bag is not recommended.   


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Our Little Princess

Hello guys! Our princess finally completed her 18 months. She goes to kindergarten now, she says 8 words, she counts to 3 and she can build towers with her lego games. She likes to be independent and do things on her own. She rarely accepts help. This week I did a lot of shopping for her. She is growing fast so her clothes no longer fit. 

Nowadays we are doing potty training. My mom gave me some tips on the phone on how to get the kids to like the potty. And I also did some research about it. Right now I am working hard on the tasks at hand. This month is full of events and I will try to keep you updated. 





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A New Luxury DIY Collection For The Home

Hi loyal readers! as you know I am a big fan of DIY projects and my blog is full of them. I like to collect them and once I have time I try to get a little crafty and make some stuff for our home or as a handmade gift. Here I collected for you these lovely ideas you might want to try from Lia Griffith Blog. Enjoy! 











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What I learned from Louise Hay Books

I just learned a few days ago that Louise Hay has transitioned, August 30, 2017, of natural causes at age 90. She passed peacefully surrounded by loved ones. To honor her amazing soul I would like to share with some of her amazing wisdom lessons. 


“I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.”

“You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we're not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.”

“Every thought we think is creating our future. ”

“I have never understood the importance of having children memorize battle dates. It seems like such a waste of mental energy. Instead, we could teach them important subjects such as How the Mind Works, How to Handle Finances, How to Invest Money for Financial Security, How to be a Parent, How to Create Good Relationships, and How to Create and Maintain Self-Esteem and Self-Worth. Can you imagine what a whole generation of adults would be like if they had been taught these subjects in school along with their regular curriculum?”

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

“Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.”

“I have noticed that the Universe loves Gratitude. The more Grateful you are, the more goodies you get”

“I am willing to release the need to be unworthy. I am worthy of the very best in life, and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it”

“I say “Out” to every negative thought that comes to my mind. No person, place, or thing has any power over me, for I am the only thinker in my mind. I create my own reality and everyone in it.”

“I do not fix problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves.”


“No matter where we live on the planet or how difficult our situation seems to be, we have the ability to overcome and transcend our circumstances.”


“In the infinity of life where I am,
All is perfect, whole and complete,
I no longer choose to believe in old limitations and lack, I now choose to begin to see myself
As the Universe sees me --- perfect, whole, and complete.”


“The point of power is always in the present moment.”

“When we expand our thinking and beliefs our love flows freely. When we contract we shut ourselves off. Can you remember the last time when you were in love? Your heart went ahhh!! It was such a wonderful feeling. It is the same with loving yourself except that you will never leave once you have your love for yourself.Its with you for the rest of your life, so you want to make it the best relationship that you can have.”

“I will not be distracted by noise, chatter, or setbacks. Patience, commitment, grace, and purpose will guide me.”


“You are the only person who thinks in your mind! You are the power and authority in your world.”

“I change my life when I change my thinking.
I am Light. I am Spirit.
I am a wonderful, capable being.
And it is time for me to acknowledge
that I create my own reality with my thoughts.
If I want to change my reality,
then it is time for me to change my mind.”


“Deep at the center of my being there is an infinite well of love.”

“Think thoughts that make you happy. Do things that make you feel good. Be with people who make you feel good. Eat things that make your body feel good. Go at a pace that makes you feel good.”

“Your unique creative talents and abilities are flowing through you and are being expressed in deeply satisfying ways. Your creativity is always in demand.”

“All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe."

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Home Decor Photography

Hi loyal readers and interior design lovers. I am back with a different type of inspiration made by my designer friend OM who used these photographs I have on my sore Nature Whisper Etsy. These lovely photographs are perfect for minimal, modern and basic designs. Black and white has been always one of of my favorites when it comes to sophisticated decorating and expressing one style. 

Here you can view the collection of these lovely photographs, taken by my friend Lina Ström. Available for purchase in different sizes. 




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September Is Already Here

 Hi again, Julia and I went last weekend to the forest and picked lots of raspberries. Julia was picking them and eating directly non-stop. She looked so cute. By the time we came home I made a lovely French raspberry cake that was so delicious. 

I have been very busy lately. Julia started kindergarten last week officially but only three days a week. And I got time to tick off my to do list. An old friend came to visit me from Britain and we had such a great time. It has been awhile since I had long conversations in the proper English language.  

I will try to keep the blog posts going even that I have lots of things in hand at the moment. I am hoping by the end of September I will have more free time. 



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Kafta Kabab Grilled In The Oven


Ingredients

2 pounds. 4 oz. ground beef ( mixed with lamb preferable ) 
1 cup parsley or coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon 7 spice mix
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
A dash of cayenne powder or chili flakes

Method 

Soak wooden skewers in ice water. or use the metal ones. Preheat the oven in high heet.
In a large bowl, mix the meat, onions, parsley, 7 spice, cumin, black pepper, salt, and cayenne powder. Mix with spoon or hands until completely blended.

Divide the meat into 15 golf ball portions. Insert a skewer into each portion and shape it with your palms to make a log shape.

Repeat with the others.

Grill in the oven in 250 c to your taste preference. I like them soft and not well done. Serve with salad and hummus and pita bread.
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TURKISH RED LENTIL SOUP

One of my favorite food when I lived in Turkey. The taste of this red lentil soup brings back to me the memories when I lived  Istanbul, Antalya. You can make this soup weekly and refrigerate it and take it out every time you felt like a light dinner. Besides the method below I know a quick way where you can boil all ingredients without the spice and oil. Beat them in the mixer, bring them back to the cooker add the spice oil etc ... and cook for about 5 minutes. If you want to make it like a pro follow the recipe below. Enjoy! 

INGREDIENTS

For the Soup:
1 cup red lentils
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 heaping Tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon dried mint
½ teaspoon thyme or oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (Turkish pul biber is great if you can get it)
8 cups water
4 teaspoons vegetable broth powder, or replace 4 cups of the water with 4 cups of a prepared vegetable broth
½ teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste, depends on the saltiness of your broth)

For the Paprika Oil:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoons paprika
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

Pick through your lentils for any foreign debris, rinse them 2 or 3 times, drain, and set aside.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the olive oil and the onion with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and sauté for another 3 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir it around for around 1 minute. Now add the cumin, paprika, mint, thyme, black pepper, and red pepper and sauté for 10 seconds to bloom the spices. Immediately add the lentils, water, broth, and salt. Bring the soup to a boil.

After it has come to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover the pot halfway, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils have fallen apart and the carrots are completely cooked.

In the meanwhile make the paprika oil by swirling together the olive oil, paprika, and red pepper in a small sauce pan over medium heat. The moment you see the paprika starting to bubble, remove the pan from the heat. It's done.

After the soup has cooked and the lentils are tender, blend the soup either in a blender or simply use a hand blender to reach the consistency you desire. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Serve the soup with a drizzle of paprika oil, wedges of lemon, and extra mint and red pepper for everyone to customize to their taste.

Source 


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Couscous Tfaya: Caramelized Onions & Raisins

Another method to cook couscous in the Moroccan cuisine. It goes with chicken or lamb. Tfaya refers to the sweet and spicy caramelized onions and raisins served with this dish. Some versions also include chickpeas, fried almond, mixed dried fruit like the peach. (In this photo below I have added dry peach and raisins). 

The ingredients call for the exotic spice blend known as  ras el hanout. If you can't find it, substitute a few whole cloves and a pinch of nutmeg.

You can serve the dish on a bed of instant couscous, but for authentic results, steam the couscous over the simmering meat or use the quick microwave method. Fried almonds are a garnish and can be made ahead of time. Steam additional couscous if planning to offer afterward. Allow for an additional cooking time if preparing lamb instead of chicken.




For the Chicken or Lamb:

1 small skinless cut-up chicken or 2 pounds (1 kg) lamb, cut into 3-inch to 4-inch pieces
1 very large thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon ginger
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon
ras el hanout
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
1 teaspoon smen (Moroccan preserved butter/glee), optional
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
6 cups (about 1 1/2 liters) water

For the Tfaya sauce:

2 pounds (1 kg) thinly sliced onions
1 cup raisins, soaked in water for 15 minutes, then drained
4 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crumbled
saffron threads
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water

For the Couscous:

1 pound (1/2 kg) dry couscous
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup fried almonds
1 whole or sliced hard-boiled egg per person (optional )

Cook the Chicken or Lamb
In the bottom of a couscoussier, mix the chicken or lamb with the onion, ginger, salt, pepper, cinnamon, ras el hanout, saffron, optional smen/glee, and oil. Over medium heat, brown the meat, turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
Add the 6 cups of water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue simmering until the meat is tender – a little more than an hour for the chicken and about 2 hours or more for the lamb.
Check the level of the broth occasionally, especially toward the end of cooking, and add water if necessary. The broth should cover the meat, allowing ample sauce to stir into the couscous plus enough to serve on the side. When ready to serve, taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Make the Tfaya

While the meat is cooking, mix the 2 pounds sliced onions, raisins, sugar or honey, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads in a large saucepan.
Add the butter and 1/2 cup water, cover, and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for 30 minutes or longer over medium-low or low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and golden. Add more water only if the liquids evaporate before the onions are cooked.
Once the onions are cooked and richly colored, reduce the liquids to a thick syrup. Turn off the heat, and set the caramelized onions aside. Reheat the onions prior to serving.
Steam the Couscous
The couscous will be steamed four times over the simmering meat. Begin this process while the tfaya is cooking.

First Steaming of the Couscous

Lightly oil the steamer basket and set it aside. Empty the dry couscous into a very large bowl, and work in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil with your hands, tossing the couscous and rubbing it between your palms. (This will help prevent the couscous grains from clumping together.)
Next, work in 1/2 cup of water, in the same manner, using your hands to evenly distribute the liquid into the couscous.
Transfer the couscous to the oiled steamer basket, being careful not to pack the couscous. Place the steamer on top of couscoussier, and steam the couscous for 15 minutes, timing from when you see steam rise from the couscous.
Note: If you see steam escaping from between the basket and couscoussier, you'll need to seal the joint. You can do this in several ways:

Wrap and tie a long piece of damp cloth over the joint, or
Tightly wrap a long piece of kitchen plastic film around the joint, or
Wrap and drape a long piece of kitchen plastic film onto the rim of the couscoussier, and then place the basket on top

Second Steaming of the Couscous

Once the couscous has steamed for 15 minutes, empty it back into your large bowl and break it apart. Allow it to cool slightly, and then gradually work in 1 cup of water and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt with your hands. Again, toss the couscous and rub it between your palms to break up any balls or clumps.
Transfer the couscous back into the steamer, taking care not to pack or compress the couscous, and place it atop the couscoussier. Steam the couscous a second time for 15 minutes, timing from when you see the steam rising from the couscous. (Again, seal the joint if you see steam escaping.)

Third Steaming of the Couscous

Turn the couscous out into the large bowl again. Break it apart, and let cool a few minutes. Gradually work 1 1/2 cups water into the couscous with your hands, tossing it and rubbing the grains between your palms to break up any balls.
Transfer the couscous to the steamer basket for its final steaming. Again, try to handle the couscous lightly and avoid packing it.

Final Steaming of the Couscous

Time your final steaming of the couscous to coincide with when your meat is done cooking. If preparing chicken, go ahead and steam immediately after adding the 1 1/2 cups of water. If cooking lamb, allow the lamb to finish cooking -- perhaps another hour -- before steaming the couscous for the last time.
Place the couscous back on top of the couscoussier, and steam for a final 15 minutes, timing from when you see the steam rise through the couscous. Again, seal the joint between the steamer and the pot if you see steam escape.

Serving the Couscous Tfaya

Empty the couscous into the large bowl, and break it apart. Gently mix in 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter, and two ladles of sauce.
Spread about 1/3 of the couscous on a very large serving plate or platter, and pour a ladle of sauce all around. Arrange half of the chicken or meat in the center, and top with some of the caramelized onions and raisins.
Mound the remaining couscous over the meat to conceal it, and generously ladle more sauce all around the couscous. (Reserve some sauce to offer on the side, if desired.) Place the remaining chicken or lamb in the center of the mound or couscous, and top with the remaining caramelized onions and raisins. Decorate with the fried almonds.
Serve immediately. Traditionally, everyone gathers around the couscous, with each person eating from his own side of the platter.

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Moroccan Pancakes Recipe ( Baghrir )

 

INGREDIENTS

250 gr of fine semolina
4 tablespoons plain flour (40 gr)
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 heaped teaspoon active dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
500 ml warm water
2 teaspoons baking powder
METHOD

• In a blender insert the semolina, flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the warm water and blend until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth.

If you don’t have a blender place all the ingredients in a large bowl and use an electric whisk instead of a blender.

• Add the baking powder and blend again for a few seconds. Leave the batter for 30 minutes to allow the yeast to proof and blend again for a few seconds.

• Grease a non-stick pan and place it over medium high heat. Wait for the pan to be very hot to start baking the pancakes, otherwise you won’t get many holes on your pancakes.

• Place a small amount of batter (as you would for any pancake) and leave the pancake until it dries out. As soon as you place the batter on the pan, the batter should start bubbling and drying out. Once the baghrir is no longer wet (it takes about a minute), it will mean that it is cooked. The baghrirs are cooked only on one side. Never flip them while baking them as you will loose the holes.

• Repeat until you've used all the batter.

• Don’t pile up your Moroccan pancakes while they are still hot, as they will stick to each other. If you want to pile them when they are hot, separate them with a tissue.

• Serve hot and top your baghrirs with anything yummy, pretty much like with any other pancake!

Notes

• The traditional topping for baghrir in Morocco is melted honey and butter syrup. To make the syrup, heat equal portions of honey and butter until melted. You could also add some drops of orange blossom water to the syrup.

• Warm water in this recipe means water that is warmer than room temperature but not hot.

• If no bubbles start popping when baking the pancakes, it is most likely that the batter is too thick and/or that the batter hasn’t proved long enough. In that case, add a couple of tablespoons of warm water and leave the batter to proof for an extra 15 minutes.

Source 
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BEEF AND BROCCOLI ON SLOW COOKER



Ingredients
2 lbs. boneless beef check roast or steaks
1 can beef broth (about 15 oz)
1 C. low sodium soy sauce
2/3 C. dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C. corn starch
4-5 C. broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
Serve with white rice (I cooked two cups dry in my rice cooker and it was a great match)

Directions
1. Cut meat into thin strips, about 2 inches in length.
2. Put beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and garlic into the slow cooker and stir. Add meat.
3. Cook on low for 3 hours (or high for 1 1/2).
4. Remove 1/2 C. of the liquid and place into a small bowl and add cornstarch. Whisk unit smooth.
5. Pour cornstarch mixture back into the crock pot and stir. This will thicken your sauce. Cook for another 30 minutes.
6. At this time you can add your frozen broccoli to the crock pot (at the same time you add the cornstarch) or you can steam your broccoli separately in the microwave. If you steam or cook separately just stir them into the sauce before serving so they're covered in that saucy goodness.
7. Serve on top of rice!

RECIPE NOTES

Note about cooking time: Your crock pot may differ in temperature than mine, I suggest cooking this for 4 hours on your first go-round of this dish. 6 hours in the crockpot seems to be giving a lot of people "shredded" beef instead of slices, so decrease cooking time by 2 hours and go from there. Mine turned out fine with 6 hours.

If you are using frozen broccoli florets, you do NOT need to defrost them prior to putting them in the slow cooker. You add them in at the same time as you add the cornstarch mixture. As stated in the instructions, after you add the cornstarch mixture, you cook for 30 more minutes. This should be more than enough time to cook and defrost your broccoli florets.

If you're using fresh broccoli, you do NOT need to steam them prior to putting them in the crockpot. You add them in at the same time as you add the cornstarch mixture. Since you cook an additional 30 minutes, this will ensure that your fresh broccoli will be cooked through.

Yes, you put the meat in the slow cooker raw, in sliced pieces.

If you find that your mixture is not thickening, simply drain the liquid from the slow cooker and place it in a small pot over the stove over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir into the liquid. This should thicken the sauce.

Source
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My Treadmill Workout



I the past years I have been working out on and off. Sometimes I did cardio work outs and pilates at home, or fat burning yoga went to the gym in our building and so on... but since the beginning of August I started working out regularly and created a routine that really worked for me, which I am going to share with you now for those who might be having a hard time sticking to a workout plan. Especially busy moms. 


“The number one thing a new runner wants to think about is consistency,” says Sean Fortune, a certified running coach and owner of Central Park Coaching. “You don’t need to be running fast, you don’t need to be running hills, you need to create a routine that gets your body used to running.”

Once you’ve established regular mileage—jogging for 30 minutes several times a week on a flat treadmill for at least four weeks—start playing with speed intervals. You don't need a strict structure to your intervals when you begin, Fortune says. Run fast when you feel good and slow down when you’re tired—a method called fartlek training. “Maybe a good song comes on your headphones—push up the pace and see how you feel,” Fortune says.


If you want a bit more structure, start with a 1:1 ratio: 60 seconds of speed followed by 60 seconds of active recovery, suggests Cristine Agresta, Ph.D., a fellow at the Michigan Performance Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan. Active recovery means taking the treadmill down to a comfortable, slow jog or even a walk so you can get your breath under control. And while it’s OK for beginners to start upping the incline during a brisk walk, don't take on too much too soon. “You want to strengthen the foot, the ankle, the lower leg,” Fortune says. “Playing with an incline could potentially lead to shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or knee problems.” 


Here are several Treadmill workout routines you can choose from depending on your target. You can also check out my Fitness Pinterest board where I usually save all my workout tips that I try and work for me. 






Info Source


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