I have been avoiding the Nespresso madness for far too long. So long, I don’t even remember why I disliked it so much in the first place.
Was it the fact that I would have to settle for an odd looking pod, instead of my precious Blue Mountain coffee beans? Or that I could not possibly accept the fact that a tiny little coffee maker which had no setting of bar pressure nor a setting for the grinding could ever produce a decent shot of esspresso? Or was it just George Clooney?????
Well probably all of the above had made me stick to my good old noisy coffee machine that automatically ground my precious coffee beans and produced a good cup of coffee. But this is not the case any more.
Last month I was in Berlin and was lucky enough to stay at the Waldorf Astoria, which by the way is a wonderful hotel! Words can not describe!!!! It is when you go to places like this that you feel blessed and gratefull for being able to have had that experience………….
Back to the coffee post……
Well, in my room there was this little tiny fella ‘the smallest Nespresso machine’ along with various colourfull pods. So, as a known ‘need to try everything person’, I made myself an espresso using the light blue pod. Well that was a revelation! I could and still can not believe how, such a silly looking device, can produce such a good result. You should have seen the look on my face! I was like: whaaaaaaat???????
So it is time to revise and make a statement!
I am about to buy a Nespresso machine because it is low maintenance, trouble free anddddd I can have a different coffee flavour every time 😉
Next time you’re close to a Nespresso shop, get in and give it a try. It is absolutely worth it!
P.S. And for those of you who usually do some market research before buying a machine, my advise is: Do not fall for the Keurig machine and pods. It’s like comparing Microsoft to Apple. Stick with Apple ;))))
March 22nd and this is my first post for 2014!!!!! Trying to live life to the fullest, is not an easy task and I sure try to do it 😉 . So despite the fact that the first trimester of the year comes to an end, it’s never too late to say Happy New Year !!!!
The photo is not choosen randomly. Sometimes we need to be reminded that time goes by and we might loose an opportunity which will only be given once in our lifetime. I don’t want to miss anything or more importantly anyone significant from my life, how about you…?
First time I made these, so please excuse the sloppy job. They are not as proportioned as I would like them to be, but then again I’m a newby on those ;)))))
I have to master the technique of ‘flooding’, ‘lining’, ‘layering’ and more, so patience! Nevertheless, photos are uploaded and you can find the recipe for the frosting I used, below.
ROYAL ICING RECIPE
2kg confectioner’s sugar
3/4c egg white powder
1 1/3 warm water
4tbs oil free vanilla flavouring
Few drops of lemon juic
Mix the powder with the water and let it stand for approx. 5 minutes, then tranfer in the mixer. Add the falvouring and using the paddle tool, slowly incorporate the sugar into the mixture, but make sure you add the drops of lemon before adding all the sugar. Consistency is the key to icing, so feel free to omit an amount of sugar if you wish it to be more runny or add some extra in case you need a stiff icing.
Since it’s one of my son’s favourite dishes, it has been completely adjusted through the years to his liking. So feel free to alter some of the parameters according to your children’s preferences. For example my son wishes to have a very thick crust and less vegetables in the quiche (weird don’t you think? I mean which child does’t like vegetables???? Right ? :)))))
Ingredients for the Brisee Dough
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for filling
5 slices bacon
1bag i.e. 500gr mixed vegetables such as peas, green beans, corn, slices of red peppers etc (use them straight from the freezer)
A pinch of salt and pepper
3 tbsp milk
200gr grated cheese (I use my own mix of mozarrella,edam & parmesan which adds a nice golden colour and a firmer crust ,but you can use the one you like)
So start with making the crust, which is a brisee dough, by adding the salt in the flour and then place them straight in a food processor or blender. Add the cold butter and beat on ‘pulse’ until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then add the water little by little until you get a dough (you might not need to use all the amount of water). Once you have a formed dough place it on a board and spread it out evenly using a rolling pin. Place the spread dough sheet into the prepared tart tin which is best if you have it buttered beforehand. Place a piece of lining paper inside the tin on top of the dough sheet and have it baked blind (either with ceramic pebbles or the old fashioned way with beans) for approx. 30min in 180 degrees Celcious. If you make it thicker than 0,5cm then bake it longer. While the dough is cooking , cut the bacon in thin stripes and place in a medium casserole on low heat. Once it starts to sizzle add the vegetables and stir. Cook for approximately 15min. You do not need to add anything since they will cook in their own water (straight from the freezer remember?). Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside in a glass or porcelain bowl (not a plastic one). Beat the eggs and milk together, pour over the vegetables and mix thoroughly. By now the crust must be ready. Take out of the oven and remove the pebbles with the lining paper. Invert the vegetables mix in the tart and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the cheese and place back in the oven for another 30min keeping the same temperature.
I hope you ‘ll enjoy this as much as my son does!
A sizzling pot of lentils.
The 22nd of September, marks the beginning of autumn and this dish is a must for the season.
You’ ll need: 1 cup of lentils, 2 cloves of garlic, 5 dried bay leaves, 2 cups fresh tomato juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, a pinch of salt, freshly groundd pepper according to your liking.
Fill a medium pot with water and boil the lentils for approx. 15 min. Drain and rinse under cold water. Return the lentils along with all the ingredients in the pot adding approx. 600ml of water. Bring to boil and reduce until there are little bubbles on the surface (as in the picture). Once the water has reduced which will be around 40min later, you can check the consistency and if it is to your liking you can remove the pot from the fire. If you feel like it’s too ‘liquid’ then you can let it simmer for a couple more minutes.
Enjoy a bowl of hot lentils with toasted village bread!
One of the things I enjoy making is flower arrangements and sometimes I get a bit carried away when I have many flowers to choose from. The photo depicting my car’s interior is proof of that. If possible I would like to own a flower shop just to be surrounded by them every day. You got it, this girl’s weak point is flowers, but keep it a secret because if somebody wishes ‘to get to me’ then flowers is the way to go ;).
So, today I made a little bouquet of red Rose buds which look great in an old silver plated vessel. Then I used 3 pink Hydrangeas, mixed with dark green leaves, tied together into a firm bunch and placed in a ball shaped (what usually is referred to as gold fish bowl) vase. Finally, I used various seasonal greens which I found at the flowers market and had them mixed with branches taken from my cherry tree. To add a touch of colour I used white Shamrock Crysanthemums (these are wider than the usual ones and have a spike-like form).
Remember, even simple greens and flowers can look like professionaly made bouquets if you tie them firmly and use a nice urn or vase to display them.
Nourishing the mind and soul is more important than fueling the body and I am soooooo happy 😄 to have been able to read all these books during my vacation (+ some more which are not shown in the picture).
But I also had a great dinner for which I will be posting in the reviews section.
Off to the beach now 😎