The Greek Island Amorgos- Discover the superb natural beauty

The Spring has sprung, has finally sprung – well kind of. Looking outside just makes me dream about the sunny days by the beach reading a good book wile breathing the fresh air from the sea.
One of my favourite destinations is Greece. I love the traditional blue & white (hm maybe that’s why I love to wear stripes and this simple combination is one my favourites for clothes?!); oh the delicious fresh organic food, where the tomato it really tastes like tomato; the smell of pure fresh air; the friendly people… It is a place that makes me want to stay and come back, makes me desire to  visit every single island. Oh they are so many!! Probably the best thing to do would be to sail around for a couple of months. That would be amazing! I do love the well known glamorous Santorini or the party island Mykonos, but I also like to escape from the massive tourist areas to enjoy my moments of tranquility and discover high gems that are well known just by the greeks and a few people.
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Last Summer I went to explore the  island of Amorgos, another piece of paradise on earth, with beaches where you don’t find more then ten people or if you are an explorer you can find your own private unique beach. Can’t wait to explore more greek islands this upcoming summer 🙂 🙂 🙂
Which one is you favourite greek island?
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Home Made Gelato – in 5 min

Craving for Ice cream and allergic to dairy, soy and sugar? Here is a yummy substitute.

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I do love gelato! Ice cream! Sorbet! Whatever it calls, more cream, less cream it’s my favourite thing after chocolate. Winter or Summer.  During the cold winter days,  somehow, eating ice cream it makes me fell warm, it reminds me the beautiful hot summer days setting at the coffee-shops by the beach enjoying every spoon as it was the last one, while the sun rays warmed my body giving that beautiful golden tan colour. Or the endless summers days spent at the beach were  I could eat three ice creams per day.

But nowadays my body doesn’t tolerate any kind of dairy. But that doesn’t means that I can’t have gelato anymore, well I just can’t appreciate them on the coffee-shops or by the beach, but I can have it at home or some friends backyard in a beautiful sunny day.

When I say to friends that I make my own ice cream and that only takes 5min to prepare, they just make that face: ‘How come?!’ ‘How do you do that?!’.  So finally I am sharing it with you all. This is one of my favourite recipes because is easy and really fast to make it.

To feed my gelato craving I always have frozen fruit on the freezer: banana, berries, mango, ginger and so on…then I just need to choose the flavour, add few ingredients and Voila! Serious is more quick then living home and buy it at the nearby deli, plus very very healthy.

I do also have some more complexed, creamy and yummy recipes, that I will share in the future. But this one is perfect for the last minute cravings.

Ingredients:

Mango Gelato

  • 100g Frozen Mango
  • 30g Ripped Banana
  • Frozen ginger to taste
  • 1 tbs Milk (I use coconut or unsweetned almond)

 

Berries Gelato 

  • 100g Frozen Mango
  • 30g Ripped Banana
  • Frozen ginger to taste
  • 1 tbs Milk (I use coconut or unsweetned almond)

 

Chocolate Topping

 

Preparation:

Whisk the honey, cocoa powder and the milk until a glossy mix. Reserve it.

In the blender mix all the ingredients for the chosen flavour until you get a smooth consistency. Keep in a container in the freezer while you make the second flavour, if you wish too.

In a bowl place both flavourers, add the chocolate topping, sprinkle with coconut and..ENJOY!!!

 

 

Homemade toothpaste – The benefits

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Did you ever think about what’s inside your toothpaste? I never questioned that before. Since  I remember I use the same brand every time just because mom and the dentist taught me that we need so to keep our buddies healthy. I loved so much my toothpaste that I used to eat it from the tube when I was a little girl, and listening  to my mom: ‘That’s not to eat. It’s to brush.’  So I can’t eat..but I can brush with it?!

Toothpaste cleanses teeth and removes plaque, which is beneficial, but if your goal is to maintain healthy teeth through a proper diet, mainstream toothpastes will work against your efforts.

I am not a dentist or a doctor. But I do care about my health not only when there is something wrong with me but to prevent being ill. On my new path of discovery about this ‘new’ world of chemicals free, organic, natural and so on…I started to read the labels to find out about the ingredients used. But did you ever think about reading the toothpaste, shampoo, the make-up remover ingredients?! Well, it never crossed my mind before either besides the popular ‘paraben free’ and a few years ago also the ‘fluried’ started to be a popular subject, but I didn’t pay much attention back then. Now it’s different and I want to find out more.

Like in food, in the toothpaste you can find all this synthetic ingredients and strange names: triclosan, FD&C Blue Dye, sorbitol and other ones including the fluoride and aspartame. Yes! you do have a sweetener in your toothpaste, it’s everywhere! That’s why we are so addicted to it. Lately I’ve thinking about all this strange ingredients: Do you know what they are? Would you eat them?! I don’t think so. if we can’t eat them maybe we shouldn’t use this products at all. It’s just a thought, it doesn’t mean I will be that radical, maybe I can be half way.

First I started looking for a safe alternative to the common toothpastes. I found out that there are many alternatives but very pricy and some of them still containing some of that bad ingredients like sodium lauryl sulphate.

Realising that in my pantry I have all the ingredients necessary to make a homemade toothpaste, I decided to experiment and make my own without spending a fortune on store-bought brands. It is so easy and quick to prepare.

First I started with small quantities and adjusting to my taste. I must confess that the colour is not that appealing, but the most important thing is that it cleanses gently, leaving the teeth feeling clean and polished.

Do you have your favourite homemade toothpaste recipe? please feel free to share it! I’ve been experimenting with my own homemade toothpaste recipe for a while now after realising how easy it is to make it. And my next step is to get myself a bamboo toothbrush and start with oil pulling.

But be aware that the home made version doesn’t foam up like conventional paste and bicarb soda imparts a salty taste, but can be flavoured any way you like. It can take some time getting used to it. Also, due to turmeric the tooth brush will be yellow dye.  Just warning you!

Ingredients:

• 3 tablespoons coconut oil

• 3 tablespoons baking soda

• 1 turmeric

• 1 clay

• 1 xylitol

• 3 tablespoon distilled water

• 20-25 drops of peppermint oil (start with half and adjust for taste preference)

It is important not to use metals when making this recipe, because the bentonite clay can absorb the metals.

How to prepare:

1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a ceramic bowl and stir with a ceramic spoon or chopsticks;

2. Add the wet ingredients and stir;

3. Storage in a glass container.

Do you know what is Mahlep, the cherry bitter baking spice?

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In the Muffin’s recipe, as you probably noticed, I used an unusual ingredient: Mahlep.  It was the very first time I used it.

I discovered this aromatic spice in Greece while exploring the  local market.  At the time I had no idea what it was or what it was used for.

I asked around but no one could explain me because of their poor english. I bought anyway a very small pack, that I’m regretting now, I should have bought more….

Once back home, I put it away and completely forgot about it. A month later I flew to Antalya in Turkey and again the same happened; I found the Mahlep, in a spice & chocolate store, but this one was in powder. Again I asked what it was for and this time I was told that it’s something traditional for cakes but it should be used in a very small quantity. And this was all I got from trying to understand very poor spoken english.

Still I was very intrigued…. but I had a good feeling about this powder. The few words I got from the guys at the shop were enough to make me buy it, again! This time back at home I did my research. I learned about it and decided to experiment it. The muffin dates were my first creation where I have used the Mahlep powder. It left a beautiful cherry scent in the kitchen, making my mouth watering for a bite! I was taken by surprise how good Mahlep made this muffins!

What is Mahlep? It is an aromatic spice, just like nutmeg. Is made from the seeds of a species of cherry. The cherry stones are cracked to extract the seed kernel and after ground to a powder before use.. The tree is native in Mediterranean region, Iran and central Asia. The finely ground mahlepi powder is made from the inner kernels of fruit pits of a native Persian cherry tree (Prunus cerasus mahaleb).

What is used for? It is used in small quantities to sharpen sweet foods. Used for centuries in the Middle East Greece, Armenia, Turkey, Iran as a flavouring for baked goods. In Greek cousin, it is the characteristic flavouring of Christmas and Easter cakes into pastry recipes. Something that I never tasted because I eat grain-free – Paleo. In Armenia where it is used almost exclusively for sweetbreads and confectionery and Turkey it is used for pogača – kind of small round bread

What it tastes like? It has a distinctive fruity taste,  a delicate fragrance that is dominated by a bitterness flavour similar to almonds and cherry notes. Although quite aromatic in the sense that “a little bit goes a long way” it is the combination of the fragrance and the bitterness which makes the spice uniquely suited for sweet foods.

How to store? As with all spices, should be stored in a cool dry place, and it must be used within a year or so for the most powerful flavour.

Where to buy:

http://parthenonfoods.com

http://foratasteofpersia.co.uk

http://marketurk.co.uk

http://www.ebay.co.uk

Istanbul: Egyptian Spice Bazaar

Did you ever taste Matcha Latte?!

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The first time I tried Matcha green tea was during my trip to Malasya a few years ago, but that was it. Fortunately recently it started to become more popular all over the world making it easier to purchase it. And again I’m really hooked on this gem. But is a shame that is dam expensive and still hard to find, but worth it!

By now you must be wondering what the hell is Matcha green tea – is a powdered green tea, a star of the traditions of Japanese Tea Ceremony. It’s made from the leaves of shade-grown tea and ground into a fine powder with a hand mill, so it makes it one of the most healthy green teas out there.

And why is so expensive? Because of its many health benefits.  When you drink Matcha you are ingesting the whole leaf, meaning that one glass of Matcha is the equivalent of ten glasses of the green tea. It goes perfectly with milk due the smooth taste, rich flavour and colour. Hot or cold, cookies, sponge cake…you choose. Matcha does contain caffeine that will give you an instant pick up and so should not be given to kids. Adults only!

Ingredients:

• 1 tsp Matcha Green Tea Powder
• 3/4 cup milk at your choice (I used coconut as usual)
• 1/4 cup boiling water
• Xylitol or stevia to taste
• 1 Matcha Whisk or electric milk whisk

Preparation:

1. Bring enough water to a boil for the amount of servings you are making;

2. Slowly whisk the Matcha powder;

3. Once powder is dissolved into water, mix in the milk and sweeten to taste with Xylitol or Stevia;

4. You can also add a spice taste adding a stick of cinnamon when your heating the milk or whisk the milk with it once in the cup, just like you do with your coffee.

Where to buy:

http://www.ocha-tea.co.uk

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com

http://www.bladesoho.co.uk

Fall in LOVE with Buenos Aires II . Puerto Madera District .

The city’s newest district, inspired by places such as the Docklands in London and Darling Harbour in Sydney, Puerto Madero is now an ecological reserve, also very popular during the weekend for birdwatchers, walkers and cyclists. The highly pedestrian invites for a long walk along the docs where you can find ships floating museums; considered one of the most successful urban restoration projects in the world. FODDIE-REC-ARG.PUERTOMAD.030 FODDIE-REC-ARG.HOTELFAENA.035 The sky was clear, the sun was hot and shining. The day was begging for more then just a walk around the city for shopping or sight seeing. It was craving for something WOW!! something more spicy… And could I find it on a weekday when every one is working?! Oh yes! It is possible! And just a few minutes from the town center! Pure decadence 24/7! From the moment I walk into this old red-brick building I felt welcomed to enter in the Philippe Starck Argentina’s homage. Lavish, opulent, immersed in a richly ruby-red. I was feeling  even more sexy and posh on that red carpet. Hmmmm…Where are the paparazzi?! (actually when I arrived there was were some kids waiting for some latin celebrity). I love art! And here I found one of the world’s best Malbec collections (such a good surprise), and a sexy posh 1920’s inspired silk cabaret. Every single door is a surprise, you never know where it will take you. And I have open all; the bistro, the Library bar, the toilets, the spa. After checking out and taking pictures of every single inch of this masterpiece of design – pictures worth more than words – I just laid back in the sumptuous reddish chaise lounge by the wonderfully large pool (heated during the winter) ornamented with a enormous golden crown fountain. I closed my eyes while pampered with a foot massage and taning. When I woke up I had an exotic cocktail smiling at me.  If you prefer a wine, they have the biggest collection in Argentina. Now imagine all this plus a very hip and trendy Saturday Pool Party, or a Tango show followed by drinks. Perhaps the best night life in Buenos Aires 😉 If I could choose one place to live in Buenos Aires, this would be the place at one of the 83 unique privately owned apartments, just to have that super-star feeling. FODDIE-REC-ARG.HOTELFAENA.034 Hotel Faena Martha Salotti 445, Dique 2, Madero Este http://faena.com info@faenahotels.com ME-CINDERELLA-1&2.014

Greek flavours

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