sâmbătă, decembrie 29

Running late

luni, decembrie 10

White chocolate brownies, recipe for heavy winter

brownies © mic dejun de bucuresti

I care so much about people that it often hurts. Yet again, this is what makes me be me so trusting people less would mean changing who I am into someone I wouldn't really like that much. Baking for others calms me down, makes me a better person. Sharing is caring, isn't it? Even though I learned that sharing too much is never a good idea.

There's a milion things one cannot control. There's unpredictable snow, there's unpredictable mistakes, changes of a plan and so forth and so on. Yet when you bake something, even when you make that recipe for the first time, it's you again, doing something you love, knowing that the dough will rise and the crust will turn golden.

I don't like these small certainties because they offer the impression of mere control, but because this means living. Drinking tea while doing nothing else but drinking tea. When thinking about other people, when trying to figure out what you already know cannot be figured out, baking is that one break you need from your thoughts. And then something good comes up from all this and it's you again, sharing brownies with people, smiling, knowing that in 10 years from now you'd enjoy doing the same thing. Sharing.

sâmbătă, decembrie 1

Not dreaming. Planning a white Christmas

I'm crazy about chocolate, friends and Christmas. Put them together and you'll have a perfect white Christmas. Because this is my plan for this year's Christmas. I'd say it would be my first holiday dinner since we had many parties there already in just one year since I moved in. But now my house is white with dust. Who knew renovating your bathroom (read: out with old, in with the new) would get so messy, so loud, so... flooding your neighbour for the second time this autumn? Well, I knew it alright. But one's has to be patient because the only way to make room for the new and the better is throwing away the old, the ugly and the someone else's memories. The more you bring out your personality in that house, the more you invest, the more you'll love it and the more it'll pay you back in comfort, peace of mind and dear new memories.

So I've been digging through the snow (read: Pinterest) to find some of the nicest white Christmas ideas. Since now there's almost nothing I can do but planning, I know these ideas will be useful once my house is clean again and ready for Christmas. I haven't decided what gifts to offer to all of my guests, but I'll figure out something. Until then, this is what I think might help me have the perfect white Christmas dinner and table:

luni, noiembrie 26

Quinces jam and fighting inner foodie

One should never find the inner foodie, right? Well, I'm doing it. I'm struggling to get back to the Dukan diet but so far I've been doing the opposite. I'm thinking now it's my job to finish the jar I already opened, cook the vegetables in the fridge and restart tomorrow. Can't tell you how many times I started this again and again. But it did me so well, it cleansed my body and I want that feeling back. So tomorrow, Dukan Day 1.

Also, any tips for not murdering another orchid? My lemon trees seem to be doing rather well sitting by the window and I hope the orchid will thrive as well.

sâmbătă, noiembrie 24

Work in progress

 Boy, there are so many things to do in a house. Even though there are moments when you think this is a continuous project and the day when you won't need to buy new tiles, new pipes, new whatever might never come, when things fall into place you understand how everything actually works and you only get excited about it.

As I write, two men are fixing a new door yet I have to run soon for a small photo project, come back home, change and leave again to buy floor tiles and a shower cabin. Tuesday we start working on the bathroom so that should be fun. :) Seriously though, I can't tell you how happy I am for finding all the pieces I want and getting even closer to such a dream.

The kitchen is far from being finished, especially since now I want dark paint where now is dark blue. I still haven't found the perfect chairs (looking for some lab stools, any ideas?). Actually, below is the perfect chair I wanted but it's not for sale at IKEA in Bucharest.


miercuri, noiembrie 21

News break. Coffee break

source: pinterest.com

OK, so I'm interrupting this perfect morning to write you all about this perfect morning. :) You don't get them just like that, you have to make them so.

I wouldn't say I've been myself lately. The same self, but just a little less of me. Whenever you put yourself out there, caring perhaps too much for others and worrying definitely too much about not getting other people upset, you end up disappointed and exhausted. Those strong connections all of a sudden seem thin, unstable, breakable. Something that even a draft could scatter.

So you need to work your way out of it and back to your own self. Knowing what your habits are. Those habits you like and that make you be you. And then, once you start enjoying your company again, once you reconnect and find that inner peace, once you remember nothing is lost and that everything is going to be okay, you are ready to embrace the whole new year.

So this morning is perfect. I had my coffee at home, so strong, so tasty. And then I got my favourite French magazine, December issue, newly put on the shelves. I had another coffee just one hour later and the question: "Do you want cinnamon in your coffee?" made my morning brighter.

I'm thinking sometimes this is all it takes. Just some cinnamon in your coffee.

luni, noiembrie 19

Dreams come true, they really do

These past two days have been so nice yet equally busy. I still can't believe how many things are finally changing. Everything that makes me tired over the day is forgotten once I enter my house. My home. It's such an incredible feeling and such a relief. It took me months to feel that the place belongs to me and that I belong there. But it also took months to fill it with memories, with friends, with family. And building it step by step while looking at the results and seeing how much they are a reflection of who I am makes me feel so happy once again. It's a dream I once had and now it came true. And it's something it takes time and something you appreciate more and more.

I would not give this away for anything, this great feeling I have knowing that I made it, that it's something I accomplished. Something I wouldn't have thought possible 2 years ago. But it's been already one year and here I am: at home. My own home, soon even closer to that dream.

And I can't wait to share it with the most beautiful people in the world. Few, but those incredible few.

duminică, noiembrie 18

38 days until Christmas

This is what the Ikea home page says: 38 days until Christmas. I find that so nice. It's like such a great reminder of something beautiful. I feel like all morning and all afternoons already have that taste of a winter season. Everything seems more quiet, Christmas trees already are everywhere and everyone just seems to be thinking about winter and presents. And me, I love it although I'm currently doing major changes in the house, buying tiles, carrying doors with the elevator and similar other enjoyable activities.

I'm not complaining, I'm enjoying every bit of it. It's a month with just a few more days of rushing and racing and December should be all about friends and family. I like it so much, all this warmth.

sâmbătă, noiembrie 3

You can only have one favourite pumpkin pie

It really bugs me to actually write the name of the blog on the photo. It ruins it. I won't do it again. :) Haha, I guess I wanted to talk about the pumpkin pie. Grandma's gonna do it this time. The pie, not the blogging. She has her recipe that she's been using all her life. I took a weekend off. No cooking, just been lazy and watching cartoons. I decided after many months of working, planning, renovating the house, such a break is all I need. And it feels sooo good.

This is the end result. To me, this will always, and I mean always, be the best pumpkin pie in the whole world. It captures all my childhood, all my autumns, all my good memories. And it's my grandmother who made it and she's part of my childhood as well, that someone who prepared so many breakfasts for so many years.

marți, octombrie 30

Cinnamon rolls with walnuts or The Baker Rises II

If coffee were illegal, I'd have to serve a hundred years jail sentence. Note that whenever I write coffee, I mean dark, strong, black coffee. The darkest you'll ever imagine. I guess it's true what they say: once you go black, you never go back. At least the same happened with the dark chocolate. Pardon my cheap joke.

So here below (and above) you can see my very first cinnamon rolls (to non-believers: told you I could do it!). They were suprisingly easy to make (yet so many recipes are suprisingly easy once you actually make them).

You know how I don't usually write the recipe, but I'm thinking it could be useful although this is something you find all over the Internet. However, it's tasty tested and it's the recipe I found on Make My Lemonade (top cooking/DIY/beauty blogs if you ask me).

  Here we go. For the dough, you'll need:

    600 gr all purpose flour
    240 ml warm milk
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon and a half traditional yeast (translating the recipe now made me realized I used only one tablespoon and it worked just fine)
    75 gr sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    75 gr melted butter
    1 pinch of salt
     50 grams walnuts or other nuts (optional)

Mix the yeast with the warm milk and leave it until it's well dissolved. Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix vigorously until you obtain the dough. Put it in another bowl greased with a bit of oil, cover it with plastic wrapper and leave it one hour aside, room temperature.


170 g brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
60 gr melted butter

Mix all the ingredients above and when the dough is ready, make a rectangle and spread the filling on it without reaching its margins. Roll it tightly on its length, then cut in equal slices (mine were 2,5 cm thick. Note that you'll place the slices horizontally). Once you place all of them in a baking tray, leave them aside for another 45 minutes. Preheat oven at 175 degrees and bake for 30 minutes until golden. You can grease them with egg yolk to enhance the colour.

 You can, of course, place them with some space between each other so you'll have separate buns. Enjoy!

duminică, octombrie 28

Santa Claus is coming to town

 I'm a fool for Christmas. Last year everything seemed to be in such a rush. Christmas and Ney Year's Eve passed by and I felt as if I didn't cherish those holidays properly.

And yes, I'm well aware I'm writing this in October. But you know what? November's right around the corner. And hey, in November we are so entitled to talk about Christmas. Plus, for me it's already a month with several birthdays. So that means focusing on beautiful things like searching for presents while all the stores will be decorated already.

I never actually pointed my finger at the marketing side of the winter holidays. I enjoy every bit of it. Should I complain that the amount in stores triples? Seriously? :) I leave that to the Grinches, I bet there's plenty of them out there.


The central heating began dripping this morning yet, thank God, it's still warm inside the house. Sure, I could get grumpy and believe this ruins my whole day and week but I wait for the plumber, happy that things are not worst and hoping for the best. Yet again, I guess that happens when you get used to pipes getting broken or things going wrong around the house. You just learn that in the end things will be just fine and that you will never get things fixed if you get angry. Things are just things, they break sometimes but these are things you can replace. The most important things in life are actually those you cannot replace and the ones you have to actually value. You know, like honest friendship.

These being said, I'm heading to my kitchen (sounds like I'm going on a mission) to make some cinnamon rolls.

miercuri, octombrie 24

Love Pavlova?

Photo from the great blog Ma Recreation

So so so, my super strict diet is approaching its end. Not only because my foodie personality turned the volume higher. And higher. Aaaand higher. But also because one cannot definitely go on dieting when one wants to bake. And bake. Aaaand bake. I guess you understood so far how my brain works. Yes, it's thinking FEED ME COOKIES. 'DIP' ME IN A CHOCOLATE BATH. COOKIEEE! Yep, it says lunatic all over my face when I start talking about food. The only way curing that is, well, cooking.

So diet versus baking: 0 - 1. Also, I do have to mention that there has also been the influence of a friend who tempted me (mercilessly!) with a marzipan treat which I took and promised to share it once I'm done with this diet which, mind you, did work its magic, cleared my skin like no other and made me lose 3 kilos in only one week.

But here it goes: diet versus marzipan: 0 - 1. This song says it like no other. So when it comes about what's a girl to do, well, she should enjoy everything and that everything ought to be AMAZING.

And then, of course, there's the bunch of recipes I've been e-mailing to myself. But hey, Yahoo's not gonna bake all those goodies. And yes, then there was Pavlova and I fell in love with it. This has to come out perfect from the oven and this is something which just has to be done. You know, one should know how to swim, light a fire, know to give first aid and cook Pavlova. Yes, I know it makes no sense, but you'll wanna do it once you see this:

Hope you had fun reading this, I know I had while writing it!

Ah, almost forgot, here's the song you heard in the video.

duminică, octombrie 21

Spinach omelet. A love story

It comes as no suprise (or by this time it should no longer be one) that I LOVE spinach. I think eggs+spinach+mozzarella (if around) equals the perfect relationship. Always. Yet I do confess using frozen spinach and fiercely cut while making a quiche proved to have a better taste than the fresh one. Just because I don't chop the fresh one like the one you buy already frozen.

Yet a dear friend just let me know she has a suprise: fresh spinach from the market. Will I be frozen this? No, I'm so gonna eat it all today, fresh and green and wonderful. I love warm food in the morning and fresh coffee. If you don't have time for breakfast, make some. You'll be smiling a whole lot more, I promise.